Publication: February 7th 2013
Genre: Upper YA (16+) Paranormal/Dark Fantasy
Marrying East Asian mythology with Western folklore, this novel has a surprising twist for fans of the paranormal genre!
Seventeen year old Olivia Cohen has also had an appetite for blood and an aversion to the sun as a human and when she is killed by a mysterious young woman, she finds her appetite has heightened and her skin is now burned by the sun. Living her life in a colony with other people who live a "vampire-like" lifestyle, she has grown up hunting humans and believing there is a blood so powerful it will turn them from vampire-like into true vampires. On one of Olivia's final nights as a human she meets eighteen year old Troy Evans and is immediately drawn to the unique scent of his blood. Now as an actual vampire, she must learn how to suppress her need to hunt and kill for his sake and decide if his unique blood is worth saving from those who seek it.
Alexandra Hope was born in New York, raised in Atlanta and has lived in Germany for the past three years. She writes pretty much whatever she feels like and for her debut novel she chose ninja-like vampires. She's a (Linguistic) Anthropology major, language lover, vocalist in a Japanese band and part-time bad fanfic writer.
“I know hiding is prey mentality but come on,” Felicity whined, feigning disappointment.
“I'm not hiding,” said Olivia as she stepped from behind the tree and showed herself. Felicity threw two shuriken as soon as she revealed herself, their sharpened blades just missing Olivia's arm and embedding themselves into a tree. A blur before her eyes, Olivia was gone and replaced by leaves and dirt stirring in the air.
“What the hell....” her voice trailed. She tucked her head into her shoulder and put her arm up to shield her eyes from the dirt.
When the dirt and leaves had settled she turned and saw Olivia had ran off. She took a machete to a tree, only managing a dent to its massive bark. “This is hardly fair Olivia,” she yelled.
She pulled out a third weapon from her jacket pocket before whispering, “It's a good thing that I don't fight fair.”
Felicity shrugged the jacket off, tossing it to the ground and walked through the forest, alert. At every slight movement she threw shuriken and always just missed Olivia who scrambled behind trees and further into the forest. Olivia thought of the many times she was forced to play predator in these woods and how her heart raced with each close call. She imagined if her heart could beat at that moment it would pump itself right out of her chest. When she had gotten far enough away from Felicity she lay quietly onto her back, her arms sprawled out to the side. A branch rattled above her, leaves falling down and as she looked up a bird spread it's red wings and flew into the night sky.
Relieved, she closed her eyes and buried her head back into the damp ground. It was no more than a few seconds before they shot back open. Felicity's machete was coming down quickly but as she looked on, it felt like it was barely moving toward her. The blade was closer than it seemed when Olivia tried to roll to the side. Her shirt, soaked and dingy, was caught under Felicity's foot, forcing her to squirm out of it or fall prey to the blade. She was out of the shirt and back on her feet before Felicity could see anything. Though the night was cold and she was now only in a camisole, she felt no different as she sped through the forest. Her movements were fast and fluid like globs of light streaming passed Felicity forcing her to throw three more throwing stars with poor precision. She took a right to avoid the attack and grabbed onto a large tree.
Olivia was only a third of the way up the tree when she felt Felicity tug her leg. She kicked her leg back, striking Felicity at the jaw. Stumbling back, she spat red and her blue eyes had turned a piercing cold. Olivia was sitting on a branch when Felicity stuck her third weapon, a sai, into the trunk and used it to scale the tree, pulling it in and out as she went up. Olivia leaned backwards and her legs wrapped over the branch before she could plummet to her un-death. After hanging backwards and awaiting Felicity, she lifted her legs from the branch and fell gracelessly onto the ground. The landing was anything but soft, her body cut up and blood seeping out as she sprinted away. Within seconds the wounds closed up leaving only a dull pain as a reminder that she had been cut. Felicity slid down the tree and took in the scent of Olivia's blood, a smile creeping on her face. She followed Olivia’s scent but stopped when her foot came over something buried under the leaves. She picked up the hook sword and added it to her collection of unauthorized weapons then continued after her scent. When she heard rustling to her left, she stopped and pointed the hook sword in that direction with her last shuriken in her other hand. Olivia had been deliberately rustling leaves under her feet to beckon Felicity toward her, kunai in hand.
The final shuriken struck Olivia's arm and she cried out.
“First strike's mine,” Felicity declared as she appeared in front of her. Though Olivia had expected her to attack, even with her vampire senses, she couldn't detect the direction it was coming from. Olivia held tightly to her injured arm, the wound unable to regenerate as the weapon remained lodged in her. Felicity's eyes had warmed up unexpectedly when she saw Olivia clawing at her arm.
“Stop moving, I'll get it out,” she said. She fell beside Olivia and put her hand to her arm but was caught by Olivia. With the shuriken still stuck in her arm, she grabbed Felicity's wrist and held it tightly.
“I've finally gotten your last throwing star.”
“You wanted it to get lodged in your arm?” she sat back, bewildered.
“Surprised?” asked Olivia, her voice getting smaller but a faint smile on her face.
“At your stupidity? Yes.”
Olivia's grip was tighter on Felicity's arm, so much that she could feel the bones grinding beneath the skin. She winced at the pain, but tears did not well in her eyes. “Are you enacting your revenge? Quite the sore loser you've become,” Felicity commented through gritted teeth.
Olivia pulled out the kunai from her pocket.
“I never wanted to do this,” Olivia admitted.
The kunai struck Felicity's jaw and blood spurted from the cut. She took her free hand to her face but still did not cry. Her eyes were bold. “You wanna kill me? Go on, do it. It's natural order....considering how many I've killed.”
“I would never kill you,” she confessed. “But I couldn't...”
The scent of Felicity's blood had stopped Olivia in her verbal tracks. Felicity smiled, a rather sweet smile.
“You smell it too? Something—”
“Shut up,” her voice was more pained than annoyed as she screamed at Felicity and then her eyes went dark.
Olivia pulled her head from Felicity's neck, her body languid and covered in blood.
No, she thought as she sank into the trunk of the tree.
Felicity's voice was a murmur as her name choked out of her month. She coughed. “You're a vampire...but how?”
She looked down at a bloody Felicity, her eyelids hanging over her blue eyes and threatening to close.
“I wish you didn't...”
“Didn't what?” she asked through coughs, her eyes studying Olivia's.
“I wish you didn't know that I was a vampire.”
Felicity's eyes shot open, her imposing blues bright on her face but without their usual iciness.
“I wish you would just forget...” Olivia's voice was almost a whisper as she stared at her.
“Forget what?” Felicity asked, her eyes blinking rapidly. She put her hand to her jaw then to her neck, pulling back a crimson stained palm. “What happened?”