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Karen Kincy
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Shadows of Asphodel
Karen Kincy
Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success
Kelly James Enger
Bite Me - Parker Blue Val Shapiro doesn't patrol the streets of greater San Antonio hunting vampires for kicks, nor is she fulfilling some sacred, ancient prophecy. She's just trying to cope with as a demon/human offspring and sate the lust of her succubus half (Lola) by dusting vamps after dark. When her little sister Jennifer tags along on the nightly hunt without permission, Val returns home to find herself kicked out and forbidden from making further contact with her family, all on her eighteenth birthday.

Having met up with Special Crimes Unit hunky detective Dan Sullivan while patrolling the night before, it's not long before Val's on her way to earning a living from her slaying duties. With her new half-terrier sidekick half-hellhound sidekick Fang in tow, Dan's sister Gwen as a roommate, Val's just in time to investigate the New Blood Movement. While NBM's leader Alejandro says the group wants nothing more than an improvement in vampire/human relations, Val and SCU her colleagues have their doubts. When a rash of innocent humans are targeted by rogue vamps and New Blood's most recent volunteer, Jennifer disappears, Val's no longer letting Lola out just for kicks.

In some ways Blue Parker's BITE ME treads familiar ground, specifically a young girl hunting big bad beasties in the night; but that trope is turned on its head in several ways. The slayer herself is half-demon and has not taken up the call of vampire hunting to fulfill a life long destiny. Val is quite simply, an isolated, neglected young girl with limited options when it comes to satisfying her demon's desires. Ms. Parker takes the idea of self-determination is taken a step further by not making vampires, nor even evil by nature.

Obviously there are vampires who drink humans dry, but the members of the New Blood Movement demonstrate their ability to make the choice for themselves. We can make a similar assumption about demons, given Val's choice to protect people who would otherwise be defenseless against creatures with superhuman abilities. The importance of choice becomes even clearer when Val meets fellow half-demon, Micah Blackburn and sees how he employs his incubi powers as a dancer at the club Purgatory rather than seducing unwitting females.

Originally posted at TeensReadToo.com.