Blood & Spirits (The Coming Storm, Book 1)

Rated 4.71/5 based on 7 reviews
Veronica, a bloodsucking madam in Middle America, gets more than she bargained for after adopting Rachel, an eight year old ghost. Her house is set on fire, Rachel disappears, and suddenly there's a hit out on her unlife and warrants for her arrest. Contending with horny zombies, violent spirits, and murderous grave robbers, she tries to find Rachel and discover the truth of the coming storm. More

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About Dennis Sharpe

Born and raised in the middle of the American Midwest, Dennis Sharpe has been a writer as long as he can remember. His mother has told many people about the fantasy and science fiction stories he'd write on scraps of paper, and staple together as his 'books', before he'd attended his first day of formal education.

He has spent many late nights at diners and dives, drinking coffee with a tattered notebook to put a voice to his feelings of himself and the world around him, and other worlds that can exist only in fiction. The voices in his head don't ever stop talking to him, and so sooner or later he has to get out onto a page all that they've filled him up with.

Inspired by Neil Gaiman, Kurt Vonnegut, Frank Miller, Chrissie Pappas, Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Issac Asimov, and countless classic literary influences, Dennis continues with the ability to write what at a glance might seem absurd, but quickly begins to resonate with our own thoughts and emotions. He writes people we know, love we've known and lost (and found again), and places we've been in our lives and in our heads. Even his fictional characters and worlds carry enough of the grey areas we experience in day-to-day life, to let us find the truth in his words, no matter how fantastic.

These days he can be found still writing, drinking coffee with friends, or spending time with his children (the true joys of his life), in Western Kentucky.

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Trailer for Blood & Spirits, by Dennis Sharpe.

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Reviews

Review by: Wolf Paw Publications on Aug. 24, 2013 :
What can I say about this book that people who has had the pleasure of reading it haven't already said?
This story is just as amazing as the trailer it has for it if not more so. The narration and characters are vibrant and almost instantly come alive while the story's read.
Veronica has been through so much crap her entire life, and even after she meets Jules and he turns her, one would think her troubles would all be over. Not exactly. If anything in the times Jules turned her and then seemingly abandoned her everyone and their mother decides she needs to die.
The result? A fast paced Thriller with a paranormal twist in this first of The Coming Storm series by Dennis Sharpe.
This is the third book by Dennis I've had the honor of being asked to review, this is however the first full length novel of his I've read.
Aside from a handful of minor errors here and there, this story is impeccably written and definitely well thought out.
Dennis brings his almost signature style and flare to another masterpiece that will run an array of emotion through the reader.
It amazes me how easily Dennis created Veronica, a woman of deep conflicting emotion, and a kick ass attitude. One almost forgets she was forgets she was created by a man lol!
There will be times of sorrow and many times of chuckles. This is definitely a book a reader will not regret picking up.
I am a little miffed at the abrupt ending, I'm not a lover of the all mighty cliffhanger so Mr. Sharpe will hopefully have book 2 out soon.
I give this book 5 of 5 paws
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Brian Bigelow on April 19, 2013 :
This book has a pretty good story line though not quite what I'm into. I think the story flowed really well and I think this author has quite a future ahead of them.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Angella Graff on March 05, 2013 :
I'll get right into the review and say that I was pleasantly surprised by the book itself. I've mentioned before, recently in fact, I have such a hard time with vampire novels, and with this book added to my list, I can say that in just a short period of time, my faith in the fact that people are writing good vampire novels has been restored.

The book has a modern day setting, and the vampire herself is extremely unique. She's not the typical main-character that is perfect, not bursting at the seams with redeeming qualities, not everyone's fantasy. You can pronounce her name, it's average, and I immediately loved her for all of those reasons.

I found the book an easy read, but not because it was too simple or too fast. It was difficult to put down the plot was rich, but gritty and when it was over, I found myself disappointed because I wanted more.

The only thing that gave me pause in the book was the fact that it was told present tense. Typically that's not my thing, but in all honesty, after the first few pages, I saw how much that actually worked for the book, and I found that in the end, the prose was a good choice.

I'm giving the book five stars without question. It's the sort of rough, unapologetic read that I crave more often than not, and it's definitely something I'm going to be reading again. I definitely urge you readers to pick this book up as soon as you can!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Christoph Fischer on Feb. 28, 2013 :
"Blood & Spirits" by Dennis Sharpe is the first in The Coming Storm series and was recommended to me by a friend. I used to like True Blood but for some time now I have found the market for Vampire stories oversaturated and did not expect too much from the book.

I was pleasantly surprised when from the first few pages the quality of style and content showed a confident and purpose-driven manner of writing. A short prologue introduced the background of the main character with great sensitivity, something which I also often find over-done or over-dramatic. Here it sets the scene in an understated way.

Forward to the present the little child is now a grown up Vampire who sells sex so she can feed on the blood of her clients. Veronica Fischer (great name btw) is an odd character with many quirks that is not your usual heroine of a vampire story and I am grateful for that.She has taken an eight year old ghost under her wing who disappears after Veronica's house is set on fire. It becomes transparent that someone out there is targeting her and trying to set her up. Together with some friends, a love interest, who is also a Vampire, and her protector she sets out to get the girls back, fighting a malicious and vile Zombie and his associates.

The side characters are just as lively and colourful as Veronica, in that respect the book did remind me of True Blood, the TV series that I loved because the characters were playing with stereotypes but remained rather unique. I loved to hate the Zombie as much as I enjoyed seeing Veronica mess things up here and there and then succeed at other times.

The overall picture and the title of the trilogy refers to 'unquiet' activity of minions associated with Veronica's enemies.

The story has a lot of action going and is never dull. One of the things I liked most about the book was the skilful dialogue which sounded lifelike but never too simple.

Vampire stories aren't for everyone but as a casual visitor to the genre I would recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a good helping of the genre.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Melinda Gonzalez on Sep. 21, 2011 :
I'm going to work damn hard to have no spoilers here :).

I enjoyed this book. It is overall a strong start to what looks to be a very interesting series. It took me a couple chapters to really get into the book, but then when the ball got rolling it REALLY moves fast. I am enjoying the world so far, dark urban fantasy with a rich paranormal mythos that really feels fresh. Not a lot of romance, but I'm more than ok with that. I'm much more in it for the paranormal. And as a horror fan the gore also fits in nicely, but the more squeamish might find a few parts of the story uncomfortable. The vampires feel dark and real, with emotions and violence and gore, and I loved it. And... IT ENDS. There is definitely more story to read, but there is a conclusion here that is satisfying, and I appreciate that. I'm not the biggest fan of cliffhangers.

Veronica is a strong woman and competant madam, but her vulnerability and inexperience shine as she gets put through the ringer again and again. I am excited to watch her grow and hope she can blossom into the strong female lead that is hinted at here. Getting to watch her fail and have to ask for help made her feel realistic and really keeps the story moving, as does seeing the lengths she will go to for the family that has grown up around her. And her relationship with Jules is fabulous.

But I have to say, she wasn't my favorite character. I fell in love with Lucy from her first appearance. She doesn't feature prominently in this book, but she is just SUCH an interesting character that I just loved every scene she was in. Her grace and power shine through the words and she plays like a movie in my mind. VERY cool.

Garrett... I know others have fallen in love with him, but as a regular paranormal reader, he's just too suspicious for me to love him. He's TOO perfect. Time will tell...

Frank is FABULOUS in every sense of the word, and he really shines when he can. I'm not a huge fan of Lewis, but he came off as a bit two dimensional to me. I adore Jules, his strength and harsh reality mixed with his obvious affection for V. Rachel is interesting, but I didn't really get to know her well since she's gone most of the book ;). I love that the house girls have different personalities and I do adore Julie, she really knows where she stands and isn't afraid to do what she has to to keep the life she loves.

I could go on and on, but really you should check this out yourself. If you like vampires, ghosts and dark fantasy, and horny zombies don't scare you off, I think you'll find this an engaging read, and it will whet your appetite for more. I know I'm eagerly awaiting book 2.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Mireille Chester on July 26, 2011 :
A breath of fresh air... That's what I thought when I finished the last sentence of this book. Blood & Spirits had all the great elements of strange; vampires, ghosts, spirits, zombies, but all of them weren't completely typical, which I loved. Add in some magic, and I'm hooked for life.

The story line was great; I wanted to keep reading to see what the next twist was going to be. It was funny, scary, and emotional. The characters were fantastic. V is great. She's loyal, she's caring, and she's a vengeful bitch.

I've seen a few comments about the sex scene, so I'll throw my two cents in... Disturbing. That's the only word I can think of. Though not 'disturbing' as in, "what the hell was he thinking when he wrote this"; 'disturbing' as in I could feel how completely repulsed V was and from that moment on, I got what she was feeling toward him. I thought the scene fit and it was a geat way to show those emotions.

I can't wait to see what's in store for V and company in the next book of 'The Coming Storm' series. I am definitely giving this book 5 stars.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S B on June 30, 2011 :
I am eagerly awaiting the sequel!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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