Fledgling nurse Sorcha Alden knew she had the skills to save lives, but she never dreamed that her own life would be the one in danger.
Driven by tragedy to honor her family name, Sorcha embarks on a journey that takes her from the bleak but familiar streets of New York, through the sultry and seductive city of New Orleans, and into the brutal jungles of Nepal. Forging friendships and carrying on her mother’s mission of healing was her dream. Plunging into a love affair with the mysterious Dr. Ashayle could have been a fairytale.
Being murdered and waking up as a blood-thirsty monster—became her living nightmare.
Torn away form a life that had just begun, Sorcha returns to New Orleans as a newborn vampire, forced to start over in a cutthroat underworld of devilry and decadence. Complicated politics, bitter rivals and jealous ancestors stand between her and the promises she’s still determined to keep.
In a realm where the boundary between good and evil is as murky as the Mississippi River and immortal does not mean invincible, will Sorcha ever risk her shattered heart and love again? Can the magical harmony of the Crescent City give her enough courage to fulfill her eternal destiny?
Guest Post: Things I’ve discovered by Anne Marie Andrus
Today, I found myself searching for a blog post idea…something original. Searching doesn’t convey the struggle. Picture an author pulling her hair out and banging her head on the desk. Unique ideas elude me, especially under pressure.
So, I took my own advice on combating “writing stalls”, and went to the gym to mull over all the posts I actually had completed. How to Fight Writer’s Block, Inspirations For Your Latest Novel, Why You Write The Paranormal, Favorite Mystical Creatures (that one went in the trash), and Favorite Romantic Tropes. I fumbled through the favorite romance trope post a bit because, even though I liked a lot of them, I couldn’t always put my finger on a concrete example of why.
And then it happened. The magical, elliptical-machine genie granted me a wish. An original idea wrapped in a story from a long time ago…
I began my career in healthcare at the age of nineteen. I accepted my first full time position working the graveyard shift, mostly in the Intensive Care Unit. Looking back, I might not have recommended such an emotionally heavy job to my young, shy teenage self. Even when I floundered, I always felt as if I would eventually fit in.
Fast forward a year, to a cardiac arrest in the Coronary Care Unit. It was around two-o-clock in the morning, CPR was in progress, I was at the head of the bed, ventilating the patient and after about an hour, there was no response or sign of life. The doctor pronounced time of death. All the machines were shut down, I turned off the oxygen and started to follow the rest of the team out of the room. Something made me look back. I knew that after a person passed away, there could be reflexive muscle movement, but…
“Guys, you better come back…this patient is breathing!”
The doctors and nurses shuffled back in with the “she’s young, she’ll learn” look and turned a few machines back on. The heart rhythm on the monitor could just been the CPR drugs, except he had a pulse and a nearly normal blood pressure. I quietly placed the man back on the ventilator and kept on working. Statistics say that the odds of survival and meaningful life after a long code are grim, but he was alive.
Not only did that gentleman survive, he was weaned off the ventilator, discharged from the CCU to a regular floor…awake, alert and waving to people in the hallway. Sometime during the next week, the entire staff responded to the call bell ringing in his bathroom. He didn’t answer the “Can I help you?” on the intercom, so naturally everyone thought the worst.
He had one more surprise in store.
The nurses found him in the bathroom, fooling around with his girlfriend and he didn’t care who saw what!
Back to those tropes I struggled with…there is the real-life version of Glad To Be Alive Sex!
That story took place thirty-something years ago. I’m still working the night shift and Adult Critical Care is my specialty. The job remains difficult, hopeful, sad and glorious.
How does this apply to my novel? The main character in Monsters & Angels is Sorcha Alden, a twenty-two-year-old nurse from New York City. Searching for a way to honor her family’s heritage, she travels to New Orleans to join a charity medical team based in a busy hospital. Sorcha travels to Nepal where she stumbles into a brilliant love affair one night and the path of a deranged killer the next. She returns to New Orleans to start over, and learn many of the same things I’ve discovered…
Never assume you’ve seen it all.
Nothing is simple.
Anything is possible.
There is a place in the world for each person to fit in.
About the Author & Links:
Anne Marie has been an equestrienne, chorale singer, candy-striper, EMT, and baseball fan. Roaming the back roads of New Jersey with her family, she found great respect for antiques, historical locations and the stories they hold. Her current list of favorite pastimes include coffee, bourbon, and Les Miserables–which requires more bourbon. She has been known to attend sporting events just for the flyover. The boat she and her husband christened Glory Days, is her escape from the chaos of everyday life.
The inspiration for Anne Marie’s debut novel, Monsters & Angels, is her fascination with vampires and her passion for everything New Orleans. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working nights with the critical care team in a busy trauma center.