A troubled Army vet wishes he were dead…
A lonely vampyre wishes she were human…
And a ruthless drug lord wishes he were immortal…
After a failed suicidal mission to destroy an opium kingpin’s yacht, Army vet, Brandt Dekker, is shipwrecked on a desolate island. He is initially happy to be alive — until his haunting memories return.
A stunning, yet awkward, girl named Lia has been caring for him, along with her mysterious and frightening father. They seem merely eccentric at first, until an astonishing truth surfaces: Lia has fangs. Real serpent-like fangs. She confesses to be a vampyre and yet promises no harm to Brandt.
Panicking, Brandt tries to escape the island, but the only possibility is an ancient derelict boat that has no motor or sails. There is nowhere on the small island to hide. He must come to grips with his new neighbors, and find a way to become allies if they are all to survive. Because, there are real monsters hunting Brandt. Monsters with guns and explosives rather than fangs or claws. Assassins who will find this island and kill anyone in their path to get to Brandt.
With help from Lia to repair the boat, Brandt pledges to set sail and lure the assassins away. But the repair takes days. And as each day passes, Brandt finds himself more and more enchanted by the sweet and gentle woman who claims to be a benevolent vampyre. He doesn’t believe he deserves love and happiness, but could they possibly lie in this enchanting girl’s embrace?
Her past has imprisoned her on the island, and his has imprisoned his soul, and both of their worst fears come back to threaten their newfound hope together. Brandt had been willing to sacrifice his life for a chance at redemption against his enemies, until he came to the island. Now there is more at stake than he is willing to sacrifice. In a battle to save their lives, Brandt will also fight for his soul against a terrifying enemy that is more powerful than he could have ever imagined.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This was my second story attempt, meant to be something to write while I waited for queries on what ended up being a shelved trilogy. The idea wasn't epic, just a curious thought: What if a vampire had a daughter? Yeah, it had been done as horror flicks before, but what if I did it as a real parent protecting their offspring? The title came first, then the story, and it ended up very different than I had envisioned it. And I loved that it did.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Mainly by feel. I liked the juxtaposition of someone with survivor's guilt, willing to sacrifice themselves vs someone who was ruthless in pursuit of immortality. I also wanted my vamp to be innocent and let everyone else be monsters.
Oh good God, it’s a coffin. Brandt blew out a horse-snort through his lips. He had barged into the basement where the dead relatives were kept. This was going to be embarrassing to explain, and certainly he had no business snooping around the family’s crypt, or whatever this was. He needed to shut this door and get his ass back up to bed. If his luck held, they may never know he even saw the basement. Slick, man. Hurry up.
The door was fully open and Brandt had to go down the first step to reach the door handle. As he did, he heard the subtle creak again downstairs. Like a coffin lid creaking? Yeah, right. Out of the corner of his eye, he could’ve sworn he saw some kind of movement on the coffin lid, but he was already irrational and rattled from a concussion, probably drug-addled, and certainly paranoid. Just close the door, Scooby-Doo. He grasped the door handle with both hands.
Something tickled his spine. It felt the same as when he had been locked in his room and he thought there was somebody with him. The tickle turned into a humming in his brain and his eyelids got heavy. Oh, for the love of… No, no, no! He wanted to slap his face with one of his hands, but he needed both to pull the door. He shook his head, trying to jog sense into it. Come on, pull! At least wait ‘til the door is shut to pass out. The door budged and he had to take a step backward, but his strength was ebbing. His body was becoming numb. The door handle was still in his grip, so he refocused his effort into pulling and the door swung a little closer to him, but he didn’t think he would be able to take the step back up to the top landing. Come on feet. Obey me, you pieces of shit! His feet wouldn't budge. In fact, he believed he was starting to lose his balance. A moment later he was sure. Whatever was stunning him, and this time he was certain it wasn't Lia, it was keeping his limbs from maintaining their balance. And his weight was closer to the basement side than the kitchen. Oh no. He could feel his torso lean toward the basement even as he figured this out. The door handle was still in his hands, but his fingers were uncurling and held no power. Still no response from his feet. Maybe if he could just fall forward onto the top step, he wouldn’t tumble down the stairs. But no, his torso wouldn’t obey either. He was a sack of useless human meat that had no ability to move, and he was about to fall down a long flight of stone stairs.
The entreaty was to no one in particular. Probably to God himself, but Brandt was not a religious person and simply did not know who to send the message to. He elaborated in his mind. To whom it may concern. I am about to fall down some stairs and bust my head open. Would the nearest deity, or convenient spirit, please be so kind as to save my useless ass? Thank you, sincerely, Me.
He squinted from the desperate effort to find some solution anywhere in front of him. There simply was none. His parting wish was that he could tell Lia he was sorry for blaming her for whatever was happening to him. He was resigned to expecting serious injury and multiple broken bones, if not death, when he saw something familiar.
Familiar and haunting. The eyes. The yellow glowing eyes that he had seen several times in his dreams, and in the blurry hallucination of his water rescue, were right in front of his face. They bore into him. He had no idea if he was still falling, or floating, or was already dead. Everything went quiet and seemed to fade away. Only the eyes remained. Brandt had no recourse except to look into those eyes.
They spoke to him. They told him to relax. He wasn't in control, what else could he do? Was he even falling anymore? He had no sensation of falling. Just the vision of those damned eyes. They had no substance, just glowing light as if they were made from pieces of the sun. He wanted to say something to the eyes, but he wasn't able to speak. The eyes spoke again. “Let go.” He didn’t want to let go. He didn’t trust the eyes. But he was tired of everything.
Screw it all. He let go.
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