Publisher: Bitten Fruit Books (May 9, 2012)
Story 1 - "Last of the Blood"
When the sweet scent reaches me, I know I have found what I'm looking for.
My hands reach out in the darkness to the unaware girl. She's warm and soft, and doesn't even get to scream before I'm drinking deeply from her, her struggles too feeble to bother me.
Only the blood counts.
I've never tasted anything like it. Gloriously sweet, thick and strong, and full of life.
I drink until the hunger subsides, until the body that I hold so close to me hangs lifelessly in my arms. Only then I see. Only then I recognise it, and the agony … oh, the agony is more than I can bear!
Story 2 - "Demonica"
Tonight is the Midwinter Solstice Ball, the most important night in the Daemonic Court's calendar.
This is the night when new disciples are chosen, when demons come out to play, and all bets are off.
As it happens, tonight is also the night I become Queen.
Irina is about to become Queen of the Daemonic Court and Damon is on the run from his own nature …where will their paths take them?
Two short stories that will seduce you with romance, danger, sensuality … and Vampire bites.
Good News Review
Bites consists of two dramatically different stories, each one a dark and atmospheric gem, a bite of pure reading enjoyment. Ninfa Hayes displays the strength of her writing skills by picking such diverse story lines and succeeding so brilliantly with both.
In "Last of the Blood," Damon Blackwood, born in London in 1896, lives a soulless childhood in an orphanage. Enlisting as a soldier in World War I, he experiences the horrors of war at an early age. One night is different: Damon is approached by a trio of Vampires, led by the powerful Master Gabriel, who recruit him into their Covenant. Damon settles in to his new way of life.
Gabriel says we give them the best time of their lives. They are well fed, well dressed and loved, almost worshipped … until the last drop of their blood slithers down our throat. Then they're nothing more than a nuisance.
I don't know when I stopped caring, and just embraced it; when the last shred of humanity fled in the face of the being I have become.
It feels good not to care.
Gabriel was right to choose me.
Trouble is brewing inside the Covenant. Gabriel becomes obsessed with the Countess Nataliya, whom Damon believes is evil. Gabriel claims Nataliya for his own, making her immortal. Damon feels he can no longer stay with the family he's deeply attached to, and strikes out on his own. The rest of the story covers Damon's travels and his attempt to deal with the chain of events that Nataliya sets in motion.
When I'm about to reach the Underground station, I hear the first sirens and screams. I can sense the Vampire minds stirring ... Tonight, London will run with blood.
As I enter the station, a pain so strong hits me that I fall to my knees.
My eyes are full of tears, and I wail in anguish, as I experience the first Vampire death.
An outstanding, bittersweet story for older YA and adult readers, "Last of the Blood" is a creative and engaging vision of the intimate lives of vampires.
In "Demonica," Ninfa turns her imagination to a legend of origin, a very early time when Eden exists along with humans on Earth. Eden is in a magical location flanked on one side by the home of Darkness, of Lylith and her progeny of incubi, succubi, vampires, and werewolves. On the other side of Eden lies the home of the Light, the Angels, the faithful servants of the Gods. A son or daughter of the residents of Eden is chosen each year to join the Darkness or the Light. The choices made in Eden, over time, will determine the fate of the humans on Earth. Will the Light or the Darkness become more powerful?
The story is told in a refreshing point of view by Irina, a sixteen-year-old girl of Eden whose mother expects her to be chosen by the Light. Irina has her own feelings and desires, though, and from the beginning she and her mother have different expectations.
Every year, Daemons and Angels come for us, to choose the worthiest amongst the Children of Eden and ask them to serve. Good girls go to the Celestial Court, my mother used to tell me … but honestly, who wants to be a good girl when you can have fun?
On the day of the Midwinter Solstice, the knock on the door isn't Irina's betrothed, a boring young carpenter, to claim her in marriage. Instead there's a Daemon at the door, come to claim Irina for the Daemonic Court. It turns out that Irina is no ordinary recruit for the Darkness; she bears a birthmark of a fleur-de-lis, Lylith's mark, on her shoulder. Irina's entrance into the Daemonic Court stirs loyalty and jealousy, and later lands her in the arms of an Angel. There are warring factions on both sides, Angels and Daemons, and Irina's presence triggers momentous events.
In spite of its short length, "Demonica" has remarkable complexity and depth of backstory, and I could see it becoming the start of a series. First, though, I'd like to see it written at novel length to have more time to explore the ideas presented. For older YA and adult readers.
To summarize, I feel that Bites is a terrific debut, a dark pair of stories that will grab and keep your attention. Ninfa has a gift for vivid description that pulls you into the scene. My favorite of the two was "Demonica," although "Last of the Blood" was a close second. I highly recommend Bites and eagerly await more stories from Ninfa Hayes!
About the Author
Ninfa Hayes lives in Manchester, UK, with her husband, daughter, and two gorgeous kitties, Jemima and Shelley. Originally from Italy, she's half Spanish, half Italian and British by choice and marriage. She loves books and is a total bookaholic! Reading and writing have always been a big part of her life and for this she thanks both her parents for passing down the literary gene and the passion for a good story.
Ninfa is big on networking and co-runs an array of Facebook pages and blogs about books and all things supernatural. She also reviews books for Bookaholics Book Club on a regular basis. If you'd like to find out more about Ninfa and her stories, you can follow her on her Facebook author page, Ninfa Hayes.
An interview with Ninfa is coming soon!