Kim Cox was born in Randolph County on January 1, 1974 to David and Kathy Hunt. She has two younger brothers, Jeff and Brian. Kim attended school at Tabernacle Elementary, Farmer Middle and Southwestern Randolph High.
After school, she went straight to work in a mill full-time and also waitressed full-time. She didn't have to, she just did. Throughout the years, Kim worked alot of different jobs gaining a wealth of knowledge from each one. One day, Kim realized she wasn't happy with where and what she was doing and made the decision to return to school. Kim started out at Randolph Community College, Sandhills Community College, the University of Phoenix and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She eventually transferred to Pfeiffer University where she graduated with two BA degrees, one in Psychology and one in Sociology. It was with these degrees that she was able to become a lateral entry special education teacher. Kim worked in this profession until she became pregnant with her daughter Jordan. Now, she is a stay at home wife/mother/writer and wouldn't trade it for the world.
Kim currently lives in Asheboro, NC with her daughter Jordan and husband Kevin, owner of two Verizon Wireless dealerships. They share their 15 acres with four Weimaraners, two cats, and two hamsters.
When not writing, Kim can be found kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, hiking, camping, fishing, flying, sailing, wrafting, ziplining, riding fourwheelers or horses, skating, reading, or simply hanging out with family and friends.
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Smashwords book reviews by Kim Cox
- The Nightlife: New York
on Sep. 24, 2012
The Nightlife: New York (The Nightlife Series) written by Travis Luedke, 2012, is an Adult Urban Fantasy novel about a young man who feels detached from his place within society happening upon a disturbing situation which leaves him and his existence altered for all eternity.
Luedke’s purpose in writing this particular book was to create a unique story, adding new and exciting elements to entice the reader to keep turning the pages and to create a broader readership and love for this particular genre.
Book one of this series takes place in New York City. It is told mostly from the young man, Aaron Pilan’s point of view. Incorporating vampires, romance, law enforcement and a very strong female protagonist, the author does a stupendous job of showcasing his knowledge and understanding of what it means to write Adult Urban Fantasy.
Directed at those ages eighteen and over, Luedke uses a formal style of writing clearly demonstrating his ability to write a concise, coherent, clear, original well thought out novel both fluid and forceful in its dialogue allowing for it to capture and hold the reader’s attention.
For me, as a reader, I found the novel intriguing. It was interesting to read about “living” vampires versus the “undead”, human cattle, time limits to feeding and New York City nightlife while still enjoying traditional elements such as blood exchanged conversions, mind transference, the stare, feeding, indisputable strength and sleeping during the day. In addition, the author gave Pilan the ability to read thoughts which foreshadows things yet to come and leaves the series open to unchartered possibilities. How exciting is that?
All in all, I’d say, Luedke fulfilled his purpose in writing this novel. As mentioned above he produced two unique characters each extraordinary in their own right. He blended traditional elements with new and exciting theories while creating a story full of action, drama and romance. I don’t know a reader alive who wouldn’t find one of these components worth their time. Therefore, I would definitely recommend this book to others.
In regards to writing elements, the theme of the book seemed to be about Pilan’s transformation and him learning to adapt to his new life or existence, surroundings and to Michelle to which he now finds himself eternally bound.
As the story unfolds we are privy to Aaron’s trials and tribulations. We the readers get to see his character development progress with the story in both traditional and new and original ways. We witness the psychological changes, as well as, the physical changes he endures in this conversion process. Luedke really manages to draw us into Aaron’s struggles, so that we can sympathize and relate to him. I think he really wants us to like his characters and we do because they are three-dimensional and not flat. I can’t speak for everyone else but I know I was thrilled when Aaron unleashed the beast, endured Michelle’s wrath and claimed his place, no longer to be seen as a boy but a man, an equal.
The thesis, to me, was about conversion, overcoming obstacles, and acceptance.
Luedke uses narration as the method of development for the novel. He allows the reader a little background on Pilan and his connection with modern day society, followed by his conversion, learning to adapt and later accepting and fulfilling his role.
As for plot, I feel like being offered a little insight into Aaron’s life allowed us as readers to not only get to know him and the person he was before his transformation but I think its maybe foreshadowing something yet to come. For example, why was he so detached? Was he meant for greater things? Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence him finding Michelle. The whole time he is learning his place, he is also developing internal skills, mind reading and this ridiculous strength. I can’t help but think surely there is something more to this. Then there is Michelle with this whole back story we know nothing about. She is a complete mystery that we have yet to unravel. Given these facts, I think it is safe to say the plot is primary and the love story secondary. Although, sometimes, the whole love story connection seems to take precedence over the other. It’s a back and forth kind of thing and honestly, I think it is alright that it is.
And just like with his characters, Luedke’s writing style encompasses intellectual, emotional and aesthetic qualities, in that, it is clear and easy to read, drawing on humor, wit, harmony, rhythm, symbolism and good story telling to engage his readers.
Luedke places his diverse characters in the Big Apple, New York being the perfect setting for this novel with crowded streets, packed clubs, drinking, drugs, sex, corrupt cops, and gangs. What more could you ask for in an Adult Urban Fantasy novel? The chaotic scenes alone allow for invisibility, feeding and blending in.
Something of special note is Luedke’s cover for the novel. I mean, who doesn’t know what the Big Apple is and the looking glass reflection of a disco ball like apple is perfect with its symbolism in regards to Aaron’s life or existence. It is like looking at something from the outside, something your apart of, only you’re not. I’d say it was a perfect representation for this book.
As far as an overall evaluation of this novel, I think it has it all. For me, I like Luedke’s concept of “living” vampires versus the “undead.” Who wants to have sex with a dead person? Not me, that’s for sure but I like stories of vampires and I want to know how they were created, as in, who was first and why. I would also like to know if humans will discover them and what ethical questions will be raised in regards to the feeding process. I mean, as it stands, humans do not even know what is happening, so, will that become a violation of rights and if so, how will it affect Aaron and Michelle. So many questions, I could go on and on. Therefore, I will continue reading in the hopes of having those questions answered.
In addition, when compared with other novels in this genre, I think The Nightlife: New York (The Nightlife Series) more than holds its weight because it offers something new for consideration without stepping too far away from what we find traditionally intriguing about vampire lore.
Within the novel itself, Luedke offers the reader multiple ways of connecting with him and finding his other works. He gives credit where credit is due and notifies readers with advanced warnings in regards to the books contents.
In conclusion, Travis Luedke wrote, produced, published and edited a novel with the concept well thought out and delivered in such a way it compels the reader to want more. He uses modern day wording and phrases, as well as, incorporates other languages to give the text, style, and feel its own flavor. His characters are vibrant and intimately persuasive and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of them. If you haven’t read the novel, you should. It is definitely worth it. You can find it free of charge at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090P1MIU.
Travis Luedke is a family man and writer of Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-Fi. He has written six fiction novels. His current works include, “The Shepherd” and “The Nightlife: New York”. Having read multiple authors as a child, he is most influenced by Laurell K. Hamilton, Sunny and Dean Koontz. Aspiring to follow in their footsteps, Luedke has planned another six novels, including one non-fiction novel.