Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book #6: The Vampire Shrink

Title: The Vampire Shrink

Author: Lynda Hilburn

Date started reading: Jan. 12, 2012
Date finished reading: Jan. 16, 2012

Publish date: April 3, 2012
ISBN: 978-1402792786
Number of pages: 320

Official summary: Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight, Ph.D., doesn’t believe in the paranormal. She especially doesn’t believe in vampires. So what happens when she finds herself neck-deep in the vampire underworld? Kismet is smart, witty and attractive. She’s respected in her field, successful and prosperous. She’s followed all the rules – done everything right. So, what’s the problem? Her life is empty. There’s no passion. No vitality. No excitement. That is, until a new client introduces Kismet to the vampire underworld, and a drop-dead gorgeous, 800-year-old vampire named Devereux. Kismet isn’t buying the vampire story, but can’t explain why she has such odd reactions and feelings whenever Devereux is near. Kismet is soon forced to open her mind to other possibilities when she is visited in her office by two angry bloodsuckers, who would like nothing better than to challenge Devereux by hurting Kismet. As Kismet gets pulled deeper and deeper into the vampire subculture, she struggles to hold onto her professional ideas about what is and isn’t “real.” The more she finds herself attracted to the charismatic, handsome Devereux, the more out of control her life becomes. When one of her clients shows up in her office almost completely drained of blood, Kismet finds herself immersed in an ongoing murder investigation. Kismet is questioned by irreverent, handsome FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real. And one is a murderer. A murderer who is after her. In the midst of all this, Kismet realizes she has feelings for both the vampire and the profiler, but even though she cares for each of the men, facing the reality that vampires exist – along with all the other supernatural insanity she discovers – is enough of a challenge. For now. (

Book "trailer:"

How I obtained the book: Got a free advance reading copy through my employer (a newspaper)

Memorable quotes:
  • "My involvement with vampires began innocently enough, long before the blood hit the fan, so to speak." ~ Kismet
  • "Well, there's something to put on the back of my business card: Therapy that isn't as bad as you thought it would be."  ~ Kismet
  • "Geez. Life isn't weird enough, so we need to suck blood. Why didn't I think of that?" ~ Kismet
  • "I spent most of my childhood thinking I was crazy -- or cursed. Normal kids didn't spend time hiding in closets, talking to invisible friends, and picking up bits of people's thoughts. I learned very early to keep my weirdness to myself, to isolate so nobody would notice." ~ Kismet
  • "Dr. Cliche. I wonder if this man ever has an original thought." ~ Kismet about her ex-boyfriend Tom
  • "My childhood was a strange trip down a demented Yellow Brick Road." ~ Kismet
  • "Even thinking about talking to a good-looking man gives me cramps." ~ Kismet
  • "If I'd known I was going to have a mental breakdown today, I'd have penciled it into my appointment book." ~ Kismet
  • "I have never been called insane in such a lovely way ever before." ~ Devereux 
  • "Somebody help me. I'm possessed by a vampire wannabe." ~ Kismet 
  • "False bravado was one of my favorite defenses. Never let the violently delusional know you're afraid." ~ Kismet 
  • "I certainly handled that with finesse and style. Let's hear it for the Queen of Mixed Messages." ~ Kismet
  • "Juan told me that he could tell what kind of mood I was in by the amount of hot peppers I asked for in my burrito. He called it Burrito Psychology." ~ Kismet's thoughts when she goes to a Mexican food cart 
  • "What a jerk. I guess you really can't teach an old horndog new tricks." ~ Kismet about Tom
  • "Of course, all women are emotional basket cases. Freud was really on to something with his notions of female psychology. Hysterics, every last one of you." ~ Tom
  • "It was official. Like Elvis, my brain had definitely left the building. At some point during the last few hours I'd apparently fallen through the looking glass. I didn't have a map of Wonderland, and nothing in my previous experience or education had prepared me to deal with the strange parallel universe I'd landed in." ~ Kismet
  • "Why did I have to fall for brilliant men who were either egomaniacs, crazy or both?" ~ Kismet
  • "My own personal avenging angel. He looks like a god but talks like a character from a historical romance novel. I sure can pick 'em." ~ Kismet
  • "Holy shit, somebody help me. A vampire who doesn't like blood -- is this a joke? Am I being secretly filmed for some reality show?" ~ Kismet
  • "Geez, the guy's voice should be a registered weapon. It could take you down in three seconds." ~ Kismet
  • "Up to your ass in blood once more, eh?" ~ Police Lieutenant Bullock to Kismet
  • "How had I managed to involve myself in so many situations where I felt like a chess piece being moved around on some cosmic board by unseen hands?" ~ Kismet
  • "Note to self: buy wooden stakes." ~ Kismet
  • "A phantom vampire lover, a religious fanatic killer, and a beauty queen predator. Just another day in undead Oz." ~ Kismet
  • "Vampires suck. In more ways than one." ~ Kismet

My commentary:
  •  I know it's only two weeks into the year, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this book is going to go down as one of my top 5 favorite books I'll read this year (if not the absolute top favorite)
  • The book combines two things that absolutely entice me -- vampires and abnormal psychology. My love of vampire myths began when I was 11 or 12 years old, so of course, this book would draw me in immediately because of that. I want to go back to college to become a mental health counselor dealing primarily with abnormal psychology, so I find it really interesting to read about Kismet's attempts to find a logical/medical reason for people to think that they're vampires. It's fun to read all the mental illnesses she throws out to try to make a diagnosis on who she thinks are just "vampire wannabes." (I actually got a really good chuckle out of Kismet mentioning bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder considering I suffer from both of them and I was once obsessed with becoming a vampire myself. I was a teenager and so naive.) I feel a real connection to Kismet, so much that I'm rather shocked by it. It's like the author climbed into my brain and wrote a book exactly how I would've loved to write it
  • Kismet's sense of humor is very sarcastic and hilarious. Her inner thoughts are sprinkled into the book in italics. Many of the quotes I put above come from her inner thoughts. Frankly, I wish I could quote the entire book because I love it all, but of course, I can't do that. My copy is all marked up with my favorite lines. I've never used a pen to mark up a book this much
  • The author mentions "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries" at several points while trying to figure out a logical explanation why her new client called Midnight wants to become a vampire. She also compares the FBI agent to the characters on "The X Files." She brings up the Harry Potter series a couple times. I love when authors allude to current/recent pop culture
  • I wish this book would be turned into a movie or TV show. It would be perfect to be translated onto a screen. Someone once told me that not every book needs to be made into a movie/show, but this one sure does.
  • I normally refuse to pay full price for books, but I would've gladly paid for this book. I'm just lucky that I stumbled across it for free. It is definitely worth money and the time to read it. If you're into vampire stories, check out this book.... trust me.
  • I am so used to speed-reading that normally I would've finished the book within about 48 hours, but I'm forcing myself to read this slowly because, well, I don't want to miss a single word. I've even stopped myself and re-read several parts at different points. It's too amusing and interesting to rush through. I'm really savoring this one, instead of just devouring it. 
  • I discovered on the author's website that there is a follow-up book (and perhaps more to come). I can't wait!

Buy on The Vampire Shrink

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for reading my book and writing about it! I'm so happy you like it! It's really exciting when someone really "gets" my book. I appreciate the time you've taken to support Kismet and her world!
    Best, Lynda Hilburn