Title Metallic Red
Author Jennifer Ann Shore
Genre Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Mina Byron wants to be just like every other high school senior, but as one of the only half-human, half-vampires in existence, she’s far from normal.
After having the first eighteen years of her life dictated by whatever is best for the vampires around her, she wants to embrace her humanity.
When her uncle, the vampire King of Appalachia, agrees to send her to a private high school and integrate into the culture of the living and breathing, it’s not without sacrifice on her part. As she attempts to find herself, love, and friendship in the human world, she has to reconcile the future he has planned for her in the vampire one.
Metallic Red is a young adult vampire fiction book with romance, self-discovery, and a bit of blood.
If I were fully human, my negotiation skills would make me something of a legend, like a diplomat bargaining for the release of POWs, a lawyer campaigning for prison reform, or a drug kingpin working a global supply chain. Instead, I used my talent — honed after reading, watching, listening, and researching anything that could help my case — to go to high school.
From everything I understood about humans, most eighteen-year-olds would be celebrating the freedom earned with age and experience, not campaigning to follow a bell schedule and do homework, but I missed out on those things and so many others.
I didn’t have friends, just associates of my family and the businesses who weren’t interested in what I watched online or read about in a fiction book. Rather than running around at recess or playing in the mud, I spent most of my childhood sitting silently in meetings or studying on my own.
I had no curfew, no inside jokes, no real meaningful life and experience to speak on, and I craved it, just like I craved blood.
For months, I wore my parents down. At first, I merely posed the idea, and then I talked in hypotheticals. After that, I started leaving brochures to schools around the region.
My mother tended to indulge my questions and curiosity about being human, and I expected her to take my side or at least to understand why I wanted to explore the human side of myself. I’d spent the past eighteen years being surrounded by vampires or no one at all.
When it came down to it, though, she stayed silent beside my father, who saw no benefit and made it clear. Each time I asked, I tugged at the invisible thread of his patience, attempting to unravel a reaction into something I could leverage, but he remained stoic. Typical vampire.
“My answer will not change, no matter how often you attempt to change it,” he said, darkly against the right natural light of our kitchen.
Once again, I rehashed my argument, all the details of the preparation and benefits of my integration with humans, while he poured blood from a bag into my favorite mug.
“And when is the last time we had any information on or allies with the local young, human population in our area?” I added, digging for anything that might sway the decision in my favor.
He slid the nearly full cup across the counter into my open palm. “Why would I need a teenage ally?”
“Because in some cases, teenagers have the power to sway adults,” I added, taking a sip to hide my smirk.
I thought it entertaining, but I appeared to be the only one.
“Your self-interest reveals your naivety, Mina,” my father said evenly. “Do you understand what kind of risk you’d put us in each and every single day? You’ve done your research and have an argument, I’ll admit that, but it’s rife with your own selfishness. You do not have the level of discipline required to endure it.”
“To endure what?” I asked, staring him down across the kitchen counter.
“Humans,” I repeated, fidgeting at his response.
This was the opportunity I patiently waited for, the flaw in his logic that I could pounce on, drawing from my overfull notebook of reasoning. I was ready for it.
“How can you say all of that, when I am, in fact, half-human myself?” I asked bitterly.
He remained silent and still, and as I geared up to lay into him, he locked eyes with my mother in a silent conversation.
“Mina.” My mother’s voice was gentle enough to halt the floodgates before I even opened them. “I can tell you’re on the cusp of a very succinct argument, but I think we all know who has the final say in this.”
Another nudge toward my victory. “The King?” I asked, so innocently.
I picked up the phone from the dock and pressed the number for Trinity, my uncle’s secretary, on the speed dial. She skipped the pleasantries and patched me through to the correct line, he greeted me with tentative enthusiasm.
Five minutes after I uttered, “Uncle Derrick, I have a proposition for you,” I had an agreement.
I hung up the phone.
“Overruled,” I practically sang.
Surprisingly, my father showed the slightest hint of emotion on his face. The scowl barely registered as a flicker of anger before it morphed again into his typical neutral mask.
“We’ll see about that.”
He stormed out, and my mother chased after him without a second glance in my direction.
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Jennifer Ann Shore is a writer and an Amazon bestselling author based in Seattle, Washington.
She has written multiple fiction novels, including "New Wave," a young adult dystopian, and "The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy," a young adult romance.
In her decade of working in journalism, marketing, and book publishing, she has won numerous awards for her work, from companies such as Hearst and SIIA.
Be sure to visit her website (https://www.jenniferannshore.com) and follow her on Twitter (@JenniferAShore), Instagram (@shorely), or your preferred social media channel to stay in touch.