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I'm afraid of all these things. But most of all, I'm afraid of failure. I'm no coward. I want to make that perfectly clear. But my life turned from nearly perfect to a horror movie in a matter of days, so I take fear a lot more seriously now. I'd followed my life plan almost to the letter, with very few detours. I'd gone from plain old Ms. Carrie Ames to Dr.
I had a great residency in the E. The city and surrounding rural communities provided endless opportunity to study and treat injuries inflicted by both urban warfare and treacherous farm equipment. Living my dream, I'd never been more certain that I'd found the success and control over my destiny that had always seemed to elude me in my tumultuous college years.
Of course, sleepy mid-Michigan towns get boring, especially on frozen winter nights when even the snow won't venture out. And on a night exactly like this, after only having been home for four hours from a grueling twelve-hour shift, I was back at the hospital to help deal with a sudden in-flux of patients.
The E. Thanks to my rotten luck, I was charged with attending trauma cases that night, patients with serious injuries and illnesses that put them in imminent danger of death.
Or, more specifically, carloads of mall-hoppers who showed up in pieces after hitting black ice on South. After I'd admitted three patients, I found myself in great need of a nicotine fix.
While I felt guilty for sticking the other doctors with a few extra cases, I didn't feel guilty enough to forgo a quick cigarette break. I was heading for the ambulance bay doors when John Doe arrived. Fuller, the attending physician and most senior M.
Distracted by the fact that Dr. Fuller's smooth, Southern speech had been replaced by an urgent, clipped tone, I didn't notice the patient on the gurney. I had never seen my superior lose his unflappable calm before. It scared me.
The cigarette between my fingers snapped in half when I jumped, reduced to a fluttering shower of dry tobacco. My break had been officially canceled. I brushed my hands clean on my lab coat and fell into step beside the gurney. It was only then that I noticed the state the transport was in.
The sight of the patient paralyzed me as we entered the cubical and the EMTs were squeezed out to make way for the R. Quickly, please," Fuller snapped, shrugging off his blood-smeared white coat. I knew I should do something to help, but I could only stare at the mess on the table in front of me. I had no idea where to start. Blood might be the one thing I'm not afraid of. In the case of John Doe, it was not the blood that made working on him, touching him, even approaching him unthinkable.
It was the fact that he looked like my dissection cadaver on the last day of Gross Anatomy. Puncture wounds peppered his chest.
Some were small, but four or five were large enough to fit a baseball in. What the hell was he shot with, a god-damned cannon? Fuller muttered as he probed one of the bloody holes with his gloved finger. It didn't take a forensic-science degree to tell that what had caused the wounds in John Doe's torso had not caused the wounds in his face. His jaw, or what was left of it, hung skinned from the front teeth to the splintered end, where it had been ripped from the joint to dangle uselessly from the other side of his skull.
Above the gaping hole in his cheek, one eye socket stood empty and crushed, the eye itself and optical nerve completely missing. Fuller said. John Doe's remaining eye, clear and bright blue, fixed on mine as if he were totally alert. It had to be a trick of the light. No one could endure this kind of trauma and remain conscious.
No one could survive injuries of this magnitude. He didn't cry out or writhe in pain. His body was limp and completely void of any reaction as the attending staff made an incision in his windpipe to intubate him.
He never looked away. How can he be alive? The concept destroyed the carefully constructed logic I'd built over three years of medical school. People did not live through something like this. It wasn't in the textbooks. Yet, there he was, staring at me calmly, focused on me despite the flurry of action around us. For a sickening moment, I thought I heard my name from the mangled hole of his mouth.
Then I realized it was Dr. Fuller's frantic voice cutting through the haze of my paralyzed revulsion. Come on, now, we're losing this guy!
Fuller, to see him silently lose his faith in me. I don't know what would have been more distressing, but I didn't get to make a decision. I mumbled a feeble apology, turned swiftly and ran. I had barely escaped the grisly scene before I noticed the sticky splotches on the floor that stained the pristine tile a deep, glossy red.
I was going to be sick. I fell to my knees in the congealing blood and closed my eyes as the bile rose in my throat. I rocked back and forth on my knees, my vomit mixing with the blood on the tiles. A sudden hush came from the cubicle behind me, followed by the insistent whine of the heart monitor protesting the cessation of pulse. Pack him up and get him to the morgue," I heard Dr.
Fuller say. His cool, Texan confidence crept back into his voice, though it was tainted with weariness and resignation. I scrambled to my feet and ran to the staff locker room, unable to face my failure. I was still in the locker room an hour later. Fresh from a shower, dressed in clean scrubs from central processing, I stood before the mirror and tried to smooth my wet, blond hair into something resembling a ponytail. My mascara had run in the shower and I wiped at it with my sleeve.
It only served to darken the circles under my eyes. My bone-pale skin stretched sharply over my cheekbones, my blue eyes were cold and hollow. I'd never seen myself look so defeated. When did I become so pathetic? So cowardly? Cruelly, I taunted myself with memories I couldn't push aside. The way I'd snickered with the other students when the skinny foreign guy had tossed his cookies on the first day of Gross Anatomy. Or the time I'd chased Amy Anderson, the queen bee of the eighth grade, from the bus stop by sticking earthworms in her hair.
It appeared that I'd become one of those people I'd despised. To the entire E. Mary's Hospital, I had become the squeamish nerd, the shrieking girl. It cut so deeply, I'd need emotional sutures to heal. A knock at the door pulled me from my self-pity. Steady footsteps carried Dr. Fuller to the end of my narrow bench. For a moment, he didn't say anything at all.
Without looking, I knew that he stood with his head hanging down. His hands would be in the pockets of his crisp white coat, his elbows tucked in at his sides, giving him the appearance of a tall, gray stork.
Jennifer Armintrout born July 11, is an American author best known for a series of urban fantasy novels known as the Blood Ties series, published by Mira Books. The books chronicle the life of Dr. Carrie Ames, an emergency room doctor who must adapt to life as a vampire after being attacked by one of her patients. Armintrout's Blood Ties series has been published in five countries, with the first volume making USA Today's top book list. Armintrout also publishes erotica under the pseudonym Abigail Barnette. Reception to Armintrout's work has been mixed to positive, with Romantic Times giving her work mostly four stars. Fionna Free Man is the pseudonym of a writer of erotica, and the book was a recasting of the story of Thomas Jefferson and his mistress Sally Hemings into vampire fiction.
REVIEW: Blood Ties Book One: The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout
Armintrout's bold debut, the first book in a violent vampire series, bares its fangs early, unafraid to spill blood and vital organs from its very first pages. ER resident Dr. Carrie Ames tells the story of how, after being attacked and left for dead, she eventually realizes she's been "turned. Feisty, independent Carrie would like to make up her own mind, but an invisible "blood tie" to Cyrus Kerrick, her evil sire, leaves her in his thrall—she can't help lusting after his body and power. A deadly game of wits develops between Carrie and Cyrus, whose desire for companionship masks his plot for world domination. Carrie, Cyrus and Nathan are all well drawn, as is the love triangle that develops among them. The book's level of gory detail—the narrator is, after all, a newly minted emergency room doctor—may put off all but the most stalwart of readers, but if you've got the stomach for it, this fast, furious novel is a squirm-inducing treat.
When I finished with this book, I thought that there were some people who were not going to be happy if they bought this book thinking it was a romance shelved in the romance section, published by Harlequin. But then I looked at the cover and thought, the buyers of this book have to be aware that this is something different. And it is. It is scary, gory, horrifying, sad, and maybe a bit redemptive. The story opens with Dr.
Blood Ties Book One: The Turning
Added by 8 of our members. I'm no coward. I want to make that perfectly clear. But after my life turned into a horror movie, I take fear a lot more seriously now. I finally became Dr. Carrie Ames just eight months ago.