Book Jacket


rank 961
word count 47774
date submitted 02.07.2010
date updated 08.07.2011
genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantas...
classification: adult

Burns Like the Sun

Amanda Stafford + Melissa Melton

Is being the object of one's obsession a fantasy come true or a never ending nightmare?


Emeline Ryan—an orphan trapped forever in the beauty and naiveté of her nineteen-year-old self—first lays eyes on haughty vampire Jude Archer in London, 1854. The chance encounter is a turning point in both their “lives.” For Jude, it is love (and lust) at first sight. For Emeline…not so much. The brief moment they share sparks a singular obsession in Jude. Determined to have her, Jude stalks Emeline across the Atlantic, across the breadth of her native America, and across time.

Told through both their perspectives, BURNS LIKE THE SUN is the first book in a trilogy following the (un)lives and chaotic romance of Jude Archer and Emeline Ryan.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



action, afterlife, bildungsroman, blood, cat and mouse, coming of age, dark, dark fantasy, death, dracula, drama, epic, erotic, existential, fantasy, ...

on 28 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
xXJessicaGreenXx wrote 425 days ago

This is freaking incredible! My faith in Vampire novels is completely restored. Stuck to this book like glue!

bektamun wrote 660 days ago

Read chapter 1 and will have to come back when I have more time to read the rest. So far - damn good.

CarolinaAl wrote 1336 days ago

You provide us a poignant fantasy with an clever plot and fascinating characters. Rich imagery. Polished writing. A remarkable read. Backed.

Pat Black wrote 1338 days ago

Interesting rendering of people-watching - one of the great unheralded skills for a writer, I reckon. We've all sat there at train stations and airports, drinking in little details of other people's lives, whether we're conscious of this or not. It was good to see this done by vampires (perhaps it's a form of vampirism?) in an intriguing, generations-spanning paranormal adventure. Smart writing, cleverly done

Pat Black

Robert Mourningstar wrote 1361 days ago

I have read the first couple of chapters of you book and found it has a unique style to the writing that I like. To be honest, I can't say that the story has hooked me after two chapters, but it is proving to be very interesting. Sorry it took me so long to get back to your book, but I am happy to back it.

K.McCracken wrote 1362 days ago

This story engulfs the reader from the beginning. I have made it to chapter three so far and will go back to read more. I wanted to comment on how much I enjoy the story and that I am pleased to back it. Best wishes.
~K. McCracken
What the Heart Wants

K.McCracken wrote 1362 days ago

This story engulfs the reader from the beginning. I have made it to chapter three so far and will go back to read more. I wanted to comment on how much I enjoy the story and that I am pleased to back it. Best wishes.
~K. McCracken
What the Heart Wants

Andrew Burans wrote 1365 days ago

The "prologue" is a good use of foreshadowing, sets the tone for your story and leaving the reader wondering what is going on exactly and wondering what will happen next. I always like the use of the first person narrative voice and you have done it superbly with two characters. Well done. Using the first person allows you to convey, and you do it well, Emma's and Jude's feelings, thoughts, observations and emmotions. Your imaginative writing makes your fantasy a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

J.S.Watts wrote 1367 days ago

The prologue works for me - it flowed and read lucidly, as far as I was concerned with the exception of the Japanese businessman, whose role confused me a little. The historical scenes work well and feel authentic and the feeding on Lord Grey is nicely visceral. All in all it comes across as a good read.


owen carless wrote 1370 days ago

very nicely written, i like the twist on the theme. i found the first few paragraphs of the prologue a little confusing as to what was actually happening. also the second paragraph of the first chapter could do without the bit explaining that you're not talkiing about the japanese businessman, it seems redundant. i don't like the liberal use of italics, but that's just me, i know its normal for the genre.

stylish writing.

Lynne Ellison wrote 1372 days ago

remarkable piece of vampire fiction

Lara wrote 1372 days ago

Well written. convinces straight away. Backed
Good for Him

Sly80 wrote 1372 days ago

Sizzles from the start, 'It was the abrupt shift in emotional atmosphere that betrayed him' ... the fashionista and the unibomber. There's an awful lot hidden from view here, not least the true nature of Emeline, but we step back in time to find out what that is. So, she has a remarkable ability to overhear, she's strong, she metes out vengeance ... ah, and drinks blood. She is also becoming disenchanted, and perhaps overreaching, 'Had I misjudged him?' If this is Emeline, what on earth is the one she is running from...

Impressive writing, you two: 'Like a taut rubber band released, reality snapped back into focus', 'the glass globes' frail incandescence', 'A low wail of delight sang up from my chest', 'There was dark beauty in their lamenting siren song'. Emeline is amoral at best, perhaps immoral, but she's a character we come to understand as she struggles with herself. Jude is another matter entirely, it seems. Neat historical details, such as the funeral biscuits, add authenticity to the flash back. This is a clever twist on the vampire romance theme, where the killer is the prey ... backed.

Possible nits: 'playing felt like an exercise in mechanics anymore', is that a typo or slang? 'As if the body on the table was [were - it being a hypothetical] not reminder enough'.

caribe wrote 1373 days ago

This is really well-crafted -- language, sentence structure, pacing all work to move the story along. I particularly like your use of very short sentences. They're like punctuation.

K.A. Wilson wrote 1375 days ago

I got totally engrossed in this - to the point I stayed up till the wee hours because I didnt want to wait to find out what happened next! You've done something different in that the heroine is running away from the love interest instead of running to him. I love how it goes back in time and they all have their own interwoven histories. Great stuff & happy to back it!

K.A. Wilson

Sarahjoy4him wrote 1375 days ago

Great writing! I really enjoyed reading!

acmlee wrote 1375 days ago

Hi Amanda and Melissa - Sorry about the delay but I finally got round to checking out the first few chapters of 'Burns Like The Sun' as promised.
I'm not really into the Vampire genre but this looks like good work. Good opening to chap 1, good natural flow to the story but with a genuine under-current of dread from the outset. Ditto the remarks about the cover art too - looks great. Backed.
Adrian Lee

Roxanne Kade wrote 1376 days ago

What a brilliantly plotted story! I love the cover and your pitch drew my attention. The conflicting emotions and passion between Jude and Emeline is powerful and really had me reading more! I can't wait to read further - as time permits - and I will comment more. This is definitely a book for my collection and I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I picked it up in a bookstore!! You deserve every bit of success that will come with having a beautifully written novel like this. WELL DONE.
Best of luck

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1377 days ago

Your pitch is just great, and your cover says it all. I like the font you've used on your book cover. I am not a big vampire fan, but I'll back you for the writing. Nice job!

Elizabeth Wolfe
Would you consider backing MEMORIES OF GLORY? I thank you for taking a look.

Rakhi wrote 1377 days ago

I thought this was splendid, the pitch made me read this, the prologue captivated me and the beginning chapter has made me a fan.
The prologue was very good, I felt I was in slow motion and present in the scene. I liked the way Emeline and Jude are described physically through their gestures and actions. Emeline is portrayed strong, dynamic and very haunted. Jude is exciting, passionate and hopelessly obssessed. They make a great pair, and both are interesting enough to carry the story.
The writing is darkly poetic, tension filled and unique without trying too hard.
I simply enjoyed this very much.
Backed earlier.
Rakhi (Sir William, An Urbane Knight)

Stafford and Melton wrote 1378 days ago

Now for the constructive criticism: The first thing that jumps out at me are the adverbs. Words like "unwittingly," "coldly" "fluidly" and "urgently" can be avoided. Find a way to write these sentences without the adverbs and they will be the stronger for it.

Hahaha this reminds me of that comment I read in the forums about how if JK Rowling put HP on here, the Authonomites would have...what was the quote? "Beat the adverbs out of her." :)

The prologue is purposefully vague for sure. In fact, that's the point. For magical elements, please read on.

Burns Like the Sun
Classification: Adult

Jason Morte wrote 1378 days ago

Having owned a bookstore, I can tell you that this genre has become very popular over the past several years. There is a huge audience out there for books like this one. If it's too erotic, however, it may not be suited to younger readers. I do like the historical angle, though, with the trek across nineteenth-century America.

Now for the constructive criticism: The first thing that jumps out at me are the adverbs. Words like "unwittingly," "coldly" "fluidly" and "urgently" can be avoided. Find a way to write these sentences without the adverbs and they will be the stronger for it.
Overall, the grammar and sentence structure was good.
The other thing is that you need to paint us a picture of what you see in your head(s). I've read the prologue twice and still am not sure what's happening. If you were to forget about this and come back to it and read it a few years from now, you wouldn't either. There may be a reason for this vague scene but you must be concise and descriptive. Show us exactly what's happening. If you don't, you'll lose your reader on the first page.

I just noticed Keith's comment below. I'm afraid he's right. Unfortunately most people who comment on this site are unwilling to leave constructive criticism. I know for a fact that many of them don't read the manuscripts, or if they do, they breeze through it so they can move on.

Perhaps the reason for the confusion is because you haven't shown us the "magical element." We readers are not familiar with the dynamics between these two characters. We don't know what kind of relationship they have. We don't know the supernatural dogma of this story. You do, because you've planned it out before you started writing (I hope) but we the readers are left confused.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Keith and I are a little deet-dee-dee. I don't know. Just giving you my honest opinion.

Stafford and Melton wrote 1378 days ago
Plagarma wrote 1378 days ago

I was a little confused with the prologue - Emeline was waiting for a flight out I think. Jude was watching. Then Emeline would soon vanish and Jude would follow. Wasn't Emeline getting on a plane? This is the opening of the story, a reader cannot be confused who or what the characters actually are, even if it's a prologue.
I've now read the first chapter, I am totally confused. Who is me? Is me Jude? If so there is no indication. I'm really sorry, I know you asked me to comment, except I don't think I can give the work justice. As a reader I must have essential information to understand what I'm reading. I can't understand, although other writers who've commented seem to, which is even stranger after reading some of them. But I wish you both well in your genre.

Stafford and Melton wrote 1378 days ago

Ladies, you have provided for me the easiest read I have had on this webiste bar Abi Knight's Relic. I congratulate you both and turn green whilst doing so.

What a wonderful compliment! Thank you very much for the read, comment, and backing.

Burns Like the Sun

Davej wrote 1378 days ago


I love the prologue, it's atmosphere is electric, the passion between emeline and jude simply fantastic.

Chapter 1

Very distinct style of Bram stoker and Kostova in the chapter, placed well when the reader is taken back in time. the atmosphere is again fantastic, and the reader emphasises with the heroine when she dispatches Lord Gray(the killing is very well done by the way). We then move to the funeral, the explantion why they are there is well witheld until the right moment, and her feelings twist nicely (my only down point, is wether this is a little to long), and then we're back to the present.

Ladies, you have provided for me the easiest read I have had on this webiste bar Abi Knight's Relic. I congratulate you both and turn green whilst doing so.


DJ-The Lost Cactus

P.S. Probably helped that I'm a huge Dracula and Historian fan?

Kace wrote 1379 days ago

Although I hesitated to read yet another vampire story, I'm glad I read this one. The perspective is fresh ... I mean, of course blood from the wrist is like drinking a frustrating trickle ... and the descriptions of place and time look researched. I think your vocabulary is likely a lot better than mine too :) Only critique I'll make is that a couple of times I noticed you using today's terms for things that wouldn't have been invented yet ... when the person is supposed to be in that time ... specifically the vampires "crashed" the boy's wake ... not sure the would have described it as that if they were actually in that time. Sorry, that's the only piece of constructive criticism I have - weak as it is - cuz it's really good.

LintonWood wrote 1379 days ago

This not my genre, but I do think that it is very well done and that the plot grips the reader at once. The central characters are credible & easy to relate to. There is very little I would pick up on as a reader except that varying the sentence length a little more in the longer narrative passages could perhaps improve the flow?

Excellent job,

Stafford and Melton wrote 1379 days ago

PS. It's great to see someone (or some two) take the vampire genre back from the forces of puerile celebration of female helplessness and codependent relationships!

Wei (Kunlun)

Okay, that is just freakin' awesome. The first time we ever even spoke of the concept for this book, that was one of our main goals...not to glorify some helpless, pathetic chick who can't take care of herself (and, in our book's case, it really comes out in later chapters that Emeline can definitely take care of herself). Your comment means we did it!


Wei wrote 1380 days ago

PS. It's great to see someone (or some two) take the vampire genre back from the forces of puerile celebration of female helplessness and codependent relationships!

Wei (Kunlun)

D. L. Stroupe wrote 1380 days ago

This is some kind of stalker!! But then, nobody can stalk like a vampire. This reads very well and I think you'll have little trouble climbing the charts. Good luck with it! (Backed earlier)

Wei wrote 1380 days ago

Yes, I confess, I'm another converted non-fan of vampires. Well, a non-fan of certain all too well-known vampires, anyway. This really is good writing, it borders on a parody of classic gothic, but it also has believable passion and moral conflict. Emmeline is a very appealing character -- intelligent and self-motivated. Well done!

Wei (Kunlun)

Pia wrote 1380 days ago

Amanda, Melissa -

Burns Like the Sun - Breath-taking romance, and crossing boundaries of genre, which lends authenticity to the writing. Great opening line, followed by a mystic tone-setting -. . . in the scene but not of it . . .
I like the apt metaphors, doing what they should do, enhancing a situation in vividness, complexity, or breadth of implication (Priceton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics). The switch to first person in the second chapter is very effective. I noticed what I think are two tiny words missing . . . Across a crowded airport (I) was closer to him . . .and, a little later . . . A sense of caution caused it (to) speak up again . . .
I'm truly a fan of your passionate writing.

Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Stafford and Melton wrote 1380 days ago

I approached this with some trepidation, I'm sorry to say - it was the vampire thing. I've read a lot of them recently. However, believe me I was delighted I read this. Some of the writing is quite exquisite.

We're getting that response across the board: the initial sneer or eye-roll when we say we've written a vampire novel and then surprise once readers give it a go and find out it doesn't read like a "normal" vampire story (read: Twilight fan fiction). That's probably because we don't strictly write vampire stories; many of our projects are in the literary fiction vein, some are comedic, and others overlap genres. It just so happens that the first one we pushed through to completion centers around vampires.

Many of the books that have left an impression on me through the years cross boundaries and make categorization difficult. I hope ours achieves that, as well. It makes me very happy to surpass expectations and possibly change perceptions about what mainstream fiction can offer.

Also, thank you for the advice on use of "that" and "was." We will be making another editing pass through the book soon (alas, editing is never done!), and I will add that to our list of things to look for.

I appreciate that you read a good portion of our book and took the time to comment. I'm looking forward to diving into yours, too. : )

Burns Like the Sun

carlashmore wrote 1380 days ago

I approached this with some trepidation, I'm sorry to say - it was the vampire thing. I've read a lot of them recently. However, believe me I was delighted I read this. Some of the writing is quite exquisite. It has atmosphere, pace and lovely rich descriptions. The prologue demonstrates true skill and I found chapters 1,2, and 3 (that is all I have time to read at the moment) to maintain this quality. There is a consistency and rhythm to your work which certainly means that it rises above nearly every vampire novel I have read on this site.

Would you allow me to give you one piece of advice that someone gave me lately: Try and lose the 'was's' and the 'thats'. So for instance, In your prologue, the sentence 'It was the abrupt shift in emotional atmosphere that betrayed him' could be written as 'The abrupt shift in emotional atmosphere betrayed him.' If you read the two outloud, I think it's possible the second has better pace.

Anyway, I have to congratulate you on the quality of this book and I wish you all the best with it.
The Time Hunters

LintonWood wrote 1381 days ago

Great suspense in your opening scene an the characters featured are interesting and credible. I reckon you could remove 5-10% of the words without detracting from the story. This would improve the flow even further.
A fine effort and well-done.

SueAnn Jackson Land wrote 1381 days ago

So many reactions to this -- why aren't you (both) published? I imagine you people watching and the stories formulating, being discussed, written and re-written. A handshake and then Emeline opens her eyes. I have read many vampire stories but not many of them caught and held my attention. I like that your MC feels regret. The first chapter draws the reader in as much as the tendril of smoke whisping with hope -- nice line. The second chapter was long for me. You are enjoying revealing the character.... just give this reader a bit of time to catch my breath! Before I lose it again... beautifully written, eerie and sensual.

Backed -- of course.
SueAnn Jackson Land
The Truth About Whales

fletcherkovich wrote 1381 days ago

Hi Amanda + Melissa.

I have read your work and found it fascinating. I feel that it is a great pity when writers, who are obviously keen and dedicated to their craft, find it hard to become published. This is one of the wonderful things about Authonomy, that writers can share their work with other keen writers or readers. Your work certainly does not seem out of place on Authomony, and I can easily imagine it finding its way into print some day. I have backed your book as I felt that your efforts deserved my support. Best of luck with your writing.


M. A. McRae. wrote 1382 days ago

Well written, polished, and a good story, even if it is vampires. Backed. Marj.

lizjrnm wrote 1382 days ago

Wow - this is talented writing and certainly full of imagination! Backed with pleasure!

The Cheech Room

Marcus Fisch wrote 1382 days ago

Wow! Love this genre, love this writing. Bring on the entire trilogy.
Backed all the way
Abel kane
The Alchemists' Cookbook
Something Elven

Daniel Manning wrote 1382 days ago

This is good stuff, nice fluid writing and the opening chapter had me hooked. The dialogue is believable and your characters are great
Backed with pleasure.
Daniel Manning
No Compatibility

Azam Gill wrote 1382 days ago

Burns Like The Sun.
The uncluttered, effective prose builds up and maintains tension. The narrative voices are distinct, and under control. POVs switch effortlessly, although some transitions could benefit from a second look.

The characters are very well drawn, and their development cleverly handled through the sweep of time in the novel. The vivid descriptions of locale do not digress into a display of penmanship, a sign of maturity.

The story line is meticulously structured.The moral order of the work is structured on its central conflict intersecting with class conflict. The social comment achieved with the addition of rough justice and vigilantism is impressive.

There is a reading public for stories involving vampires, and once finished, this novel should distinguish itself.

You could perhaps consider applying your obvious talent and hard work by enriching the prose with more metaphors. However, that’s an artistic decision only you young ladies can take.

You might also want to check your French spellings and agreements.


Azam Gill

ALPACAJUNCTION wrote 1383 days ago

Burns Like The Sun: Very interesting. Very well written. Should do well. No crits here. Good luck ladies. Congrats on a well written well planned work. Backed

Niobrara Kardnova wrote 1383 days ago

Original new take on the ever popular vampire genre--examining the obsession of it all from a perspective other than pure sex. I especially liked the way Jude's obsession followed him across time and space and was reflected in those around him. Definitely backed.
Niobrara Kardnova (The Trouble with Wives)

Andy M. Potter wrote 1383 days ago

hey AS + MM, you're in miracle territory here. a clean MS with 2 writers. how do you do it? and the pace is great; the prose, polished. kudos again.
on my shelf.
best wishes, andy

KW wrote 1383 days ago

"Mad, bad, and dangerous to know." As many things, "it started in a room." This is a treat through time, passion, hatred combined with love. What is there not to like. Simply, it "burns like the sun." Backed for now.

Beval wrote 1383 days ago

I am not your natural born vampire reader, but this is so deliciously gothic I found I could be an unatural vampire reader for a change.

olbilldoor wrote 1384 days ago

I have often wondered how people co-wrote novels. It is such a solitary thing for me. But you two have managed it quite beautifically. It is over-written inplaces, but that is omething I see in almost every novel I read. It isn't distractedly so, so I doubt it signifies. I enjoyed it, and as I am the ultimate authority on these things (self-appointed, of course), that is all that matters. Best of luck, ladies.


greeneyes1660 wrote 1384 days ago

Hi guys, I think this is a fabulous Vampire story. A Vampire with heart, SUPERB....You both write with such emotion that we are immediately attached to your MC. We feel her regret and believe in her commitment.

Your descriptive writing is vivid and moving. Bleeding tears very powerful image. The airport scene where she has to recall the worst day of her life(or 2nd worse) to give her strength to fight her demon WOW...You ladies are definetly meant to write as a team, this is one moving story...Bravo Backed with certainty Patricia aka Columbia Layers of the Heart