Thursday, October 14, 2021

Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer





Award-Winning Series and an Amazon's top 100 listing
"A not-to-be-missed hilarious romp through San Francisco harboring witches, magic, a to-die-for Djinn, and some very sexy vampires you'd love to have bite your neck." (NYT Bestseller Jennifer Skully)
Working at a Suicide Prevention Center in San Francisco, Lily Goodwill thinks she’s heard it all—then she gets a call from a man about to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Something about the caller, maybe his yummy British accent or Lily’s ability to understand his crushing ennui, makes her break all the rules and rush to meet him. After all, she is a vampire and if she can’t talk him down she can glamour him.

But things don’t go according to plan. Her caller glows with a blue fire and turns out to be a vampire-hating Djinn. Suddenly, for the first time in centuries, he’s found something intriguing. Is Lily really a vampire with a conscience and an obsessive-compulsive disorder, involving Handi-wipes and Lysol, or is she just another bloodsucker?

Add in another vampire, with a history of female lovers stretching over three centuries, who swears he’s reformed and declares his undying love for Lily. Stir in a mean pair of witches and a vicious warlock, who are staking vampires around the city and you have a recipe for a riotous adventure of supernatural proportions.

Lily Goodwill is a quick-thinking, smart-talking vampire who’s still figuring out how she feels about dining al fresco in the City by the Bay.

I adore urban fantasies and when I saw the description of Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer, I knew this was one I couldn't miss. Not only is it a unique story line with a vampire helping save suicide victims, but it's filled with lovable characters. McBrayer does an amazing job at crafting an entertaining story that any fan of urban fantasy is sure to love. I especially loved the ending and can't wait to read the next book in the series.


Chapter 1 Lilith


“Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how can I help you?”

“Hi. Is this where I call to get drugs for anxiety?” a slightly blurred voice asked.

“No, ma’am. This is the number you call if you’re having thoughts about harming yourself.”

I try to keep my voice professional as I stare at my featureless grey carpeted cubicle and Formica desk.

“Oh. Oh, I am. I really need the meds, you know, like Xanax? It’s free, right?”

“No, ma’am. We can’t help you with that. I can offer you free counseling. Would you like to talk to one of our counselors tomorrow?”

“No, I just want the freaking drugs.”


Well, so much for caller number one. I hate when we get callers like that. I can’t do anything for them. I know they have problems, just not ones I can help with. We have to keep a complete account of every phone call. I’d rather stick bamboo shoots under my fingernails than do the paperwork. As I fill out my log I see my supervisor stalking me— great.

“Lilith, oh, Lily…”

“Yes, Meredith?” I say, head down, rolling my eyes.

“Did you fill out your insurance forms yet? You know that if you don’t, you can’t get your medical.”

“Ummm, I don’t need medical.” I really don’t need medical.

“Lily, what is this on your desk?” Her voice rises. “You know we can’t have anything personal on our desks. You’re going to have to remove all this stuff.” She sniffs. Her short, chubby self, quivering with outrage.

“It’s only cleaning supplies, Meredith, some handi-wipes and Lysol. I don’t see how this is personal.”

“If you get cleaning supplies, then Dan gets pictures of his kids. Remove them.”

I see Dan covertly slide his pictures off his desk out the corner of my eye. At least someone escapes the wrath of Meredith.

She walks away.

Just love her. With all my unbeating heart. I put my supplies in my bag for easy access. It will give me something to tweet about. She doesn’t follow me on Twitter, so I can rant. If I didn’t love and feel so strongly about what I do, I’d use those cleaning supplies on her.

The grey painted walls, a school locker grey, not a warm grey or a lovely taupe, do nothing for the beautiful Victorian building where I work. Almost like they try to make it as depressing as possible.

Being among the cubicles, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on my calls, even with my superior hearing, with all the other calls going on around me. But this is where I come three nights a week to do something that makes me feel good about myself.

The lines are busy tonight. I finish my notes, and my line blinks again.

“Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how may I help you?”

“Hello Dear, it’s Mrs. Gunderson. How are you tonight?”

“Hello, Mrs. Gunderson, I’m fine. How are you feeling? How is Sprinkles?”

“Mr. Sprinkles and I are feeling rather blue. My son was supposed to come and visit today, and he canceled at the last minute. He said he had something come up at work. I haven’t seen him in months. It’s always something with him. You’d think he’d want to see his mother.”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Gunderson. That must have been very disappointing. How is Mr. Sprinkles taking it?” Mr. Sprinkles is code for Mrs. Gunderson. She describes his symptoms, and I translate them into hers. She’s a long-time caller, lonely and often needing to talk. I want to have a serious conversation with her delinquent son.

“Well, Mr. Sprinkles isn’t eating, and he is having a hard time sleeping. I’m worried about him.”

“I am too, Mrs. Gunderson. Can you and Mr. Sprinkles come in and talk to one of our doctors?”

“Oh, I don’t know about that…”

“I think it would help Mr. Sprinkles sleep better and maybe start eating again. I’m so worried about him.”

“You’re such a sweet girl. I’ll talk to them just for you.”

I let my shoulders relax. Mrs. Gunderson has been calling for months now, and she’s been slowly getting more and more depressed. It took a couple of calls to figure out that her cat, Mr. Sprinkles, was really a way for her to talk about herself. I quickly make an appointment for her before she changes her mind. I make a note to the therapist that she’ll bring her cat and the reason why, along with a brief history of her calls.

When I’m done, my light is blinking again — no rest for the wicked as they say.

“Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how may I help you?”

“Lilith, I’ve been trying to kill myself, but nothing seems to work.” A lovely voice with an English accent make me flash to all things British, and my fangirl comes out. Although I’m supposed to be helping him, I get a tingle through my nerve endings as I listen to him talk. Wait a second, what did he say?


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