Blurb: Human No Longer
On a summer night, Jenny and Jeff Sanders become the victims of a bizarre crime, leaving Jeff dead and Jenny in a coma. Their attackers aren’t caught. She returns to her children and her life. With Jeff’s
death his business and their income are also gone. Jenny, a novelist, hasn’t written a book in years, so she must move back to her childhood home in Summer Haven, Florida, where years before she and Jeff destroyed a sadistic family of vampires.
At least her brother, Joey, who owns a local diner, is there to help.
But Jenny has no appetite. She’s edgy. Her eyes hurt. Could be trauma from the attack. Grief. Until one night, after they’ve moved into the rundown family farmhouse, she can’t resist the night woods or drinking animals’ blood. Gradually she accepts the truth. Her attackers were vampires. Now she’s becoming what she once hunted and fears she must either kill herself or run.
She can’t abandon her children, but promises herself never to drink human blood; to find a way to live in the human world. It’s not easy. They renovate the farmhouse, which local gossip says is haunted. At night she hunts and hides what she’s becoming from everyone. She fights to be a good mother and not let the blood lust overpower her. Gets a job and attempts to fit in.
People, bodies emptied of blood, begin dying. Like years before. With her blackouts, she fears she may be their killer and confides in Joey. While a Detective, investigating her husband’s and his daughter’s murders,
complicates things. Jenny suspects it’s her attackers doing the killings. They’ve found her and demand she join them–or her family will die. When she resists, her children are taken. To save them, she becomes part of their killing spree. Becoming a monster like them…until she finds a way to outwit and ultimately destroy them.
In the end it takes supernatural intervention, a ghost, and the help of a childhood friend to set her, and the world, free from the vampires once and for all.
Excerpt: Human No Longer
The moon had inched downwards in the sky as she turned and headed towards the farmhouse. It was time to return home to her children. Awareness of the shadows stalking her, an encircling noose of entrapment, began once she entered the woods. She’d let her guard down again. So foolish of her. Before she could run, the shadows were on her. A steely hand grabbed one arm, another clamped around the other. Her instincts warned she was in real danger. These were her kind but not like her. There was this stench of malevolence
around them. Strong as smoke. Don’t let them capture you. You must get away.
“Ah,” a voice spoke near her ear, “you are strong. Zebulon said you were. I didn’t believe him. It’s beyond me how you’ve come to be what you are. It’s extraordinarily rare you didn’t die and then became one of us. You’ll come with us. Now.”
“Who are you?” she demanded, not struggling to escape. Be smart. Wait for a chance. Think of Teddy and Sarah. You must protect them.
“I go by Dante. And you?” She refused to answer. “Can’t you read my mind?”
He didn’t answer for a minute. Then he replied, “It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is you belong to us. We’ll decide what to do with you. Come along.”
“And if I don’t come along as you so nicely put it?”
“Then,” his laugh was somehow sinister, “we’ll have no further use for you. You’ll die here and now. I’m stronger than you. We’re all stronger than you.”
As afraid as she was, the words slipped out, “Did you kill my husband?”
“Your husband?” As if he didn’t know what she was talking about.
“Jeff Sanders. We were attacked in St. Louis beneath a bridge late one night the end of August. He died. I lived. Something, a cloud of shadows, swept in and out and left him dead.”
The vampire didn’t respond at first as if he were mulling it over.
“Well, did you?”
“Most likely. We dispatch so many of you. You’re our nourishment. We travel all over your world.” He snapped his fingers and the crack ricocheted around them. “You can’t expect me to recall every last pitiful one and where.”
The heartlessness in his voice made her instantly loathe him, as his grip tightened.
“How did you find me?”
“What you are called to us once your change was complete. It’s the way we knew you existed. Distance doesn’t matter.”
“Are you…am I…a vampire?”
“A vampire,” she hissed.
Another disgusted laugh. “Vampire? That’s what your kind think we are, except we’re so much more. We’re from another…place.”
His free hand waved in front of her face. “A vampire is a creature you humans made up. We’re not dead or undead, nor one of your devil’s disciples or any of those ridiculous things. One day we’ll rule this planet and all you cattle on it.
“I’ll give you a choice. You join us or not. It matters little to me either way. We just can’t have you out in the world running free. Alerting people to our existence before we’re ready for that to happen. It puts us in danger. If you’re not with us, you’re our enemy–and our enemies we do not allow to live.”
She didn’t want to join him. Them. She wanted to scratch his eyes out and break his neck. Jeff had been more than this monster’s nourishment; his death more than a consumed Happy Meal to her, to Teddy and Sarah. Damn if she was going with them!
The rage, fear and loss of the last month boiled over inside her and ignoring the words and warnings, she tore from their grasp and fled. Her body, lifting from the ground, moved faster than the wind through the night trees. Behind her she heard their curses and pursuit. She thought of the farmhouse, longing for the safety of its walls, and suddenly she was there in her kitchen. Her enemies left behind somewhere in the woods. She got away this time. How? Could they track her? Find her? She didn’t know.
She held her breath, listening, for what felt like an eternity. Nothing. After a while she thought she might be safe. No one had followed her. She consciously cloaked her thoughts, her very being, and shutting her eyes, leaned against the wall so she wouldn’t sink to the floor.