Author: V.M. Nelson
Series: The Dhampyr Series, #1
Publication date: October 25th 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Tasi, an eighteen-year-old, head-strong, blood-drinking, dhampyr, has been hidden away in a small town in Maine since the death of her parents. Though she had trained to fight and kill vampires, she never believed those skills would be useful in her mundane life. That’s where she’s wrong.
In one moment, her life changes forever, and her aunt’s final words ring in her head.
They want your blood.
Now orphaned and charged with protecting her sister, Emily—a sister who doesn’t know what they are or that she’s about to endure a life-threatening change—Tasi has no other choice but to follow directions left for her. She is to find an ally who lives in New York City. This is the only way Tasi will figure out why she and Emily are being hunted before they end up drained of their blood.
South Station was bustling with people. The building had high ceilings, lots of shops, and from the aroma swirling through the air, some tasty eateries. Chatter filled the atmosphere, and as we approached the lower platform, horns blared from trains pulling in and out. Announcers over the loudspeaker called out train numbers and destinations. Emily had said little to me all morning, knowing I was still beating myself up over last night. She knew how stubborn I was and that I might snap if provoked. It’s not one of my best attributes. But when I was ready to talk, she would know.
I glanced over at my sister. She gave me a small, knowing smile. Her voice echoed in my head. We’re both alive. I knew I was acting stupid. As long as that was a onetime mistake and I didn’t put Emily at risk again, I had to let it go.
Emily shifted her weight. Her lips were tightly pressed together as she wrinkled and unwrinkled her freckled nose. I bumped her with my elbow, then turned to her, extending my arm. “Hi, I’m Tasi, and I’m done being stupid and feeling sorry for myself.”
She let out a giggle. “Finally.” She ignored my arm and gave me an enormous hug. I leaned my cheek against her forehead. “If I had to sit on a train in silence until we reached New York, I think I would have lost my freaking mind.”
“Yeah, me too.” The tightness in my stomach lifted.
Our embrace ended as they announced our train. We headed for the back and found some empty seats together. The seats were arranged in fours, which could be an issue, depending on who filled the seats facing us. I hoped no one would sit there, or at least would leave us alone if they did.
While we waited, I watched the hordes of people filing onto the train. Some whispering to each other, dressed in casual attire. Others with their suits on, storing briefcases overhead. The murmurs grew louder as more people boarded the train car. My body was tense, and it became hard to separate the oblivious people from the ones who may be threats.
“If we have time, can we go to the giant toy store in Times Square?” Emily asked. “It has an indoor Ferris wheel!”
“Yes, once we find Sonya. I want to make sure we find a place to stay before we start sightseeing.”
“Okay.” She clasped her hands together.
As we continued talking, a girl not much older than me stopped in front of us. Her hair was a thick golden blonde. It was pulled back in a half ponytail, and the curls bounced with her slightest of movements. Her lips were narrow and cheekbones high.
Sickness stirred in my gut, and the hairs on the back of my neck sought refuge.
“Are these two seats open? My friend is running late, which is so typical. It’s hard to find a good traveling partner these days. So annoying.” Her emerald eyes sparkled like gems.
“Sure.” Prickles coated my skin as she eyed me.
She sat down across from Emily. “I like the window seat. I hope you don’t mind.” She directed that to my sister.
“No . . . no, it’s fine.” Emily gave her a small smile and focused back on me. She saw what I had.
Our seats were in a section too close to other travelers for either of us to do anything. We were safe for the time being. However, my first thought was to lead the girl somewhere private so I could kill her.
She sat still as she looked out the window, her flawless complexion hard as stone. Yup, she was one of them, but did she know who we were? The train jerked forward, reminding me we were in this for the long haul. The trip was about four hours; that was four long hours with a filthy vampire sitting across from us. That’s the problem with big cities. These large transportation centers provided enough shelter so vampires could hide out there during the day.
“So, are you guys headed to the city? Business or pleasure?” She studied my eyes, as if waiting for me to stumble or hesitate.
“A little of both.” I showed no fear as I locked my eyes on hers. “You?”
“Business, mostly. I hope my friend made it. It’d be such a shame if he had to catch a later train. Plus, our boss would be really unhappy with him if we screwed up our task.”
Great. I hoped he missed the train, because if it was a friend of hers, I didn’t want to meet him.
Turning to Emily, I noticed her apprehension. She was readying herself for the worst. Part of me wished I hadn’t given her those stakes. Our eyes met, and I hoped she deciphered my visual message to relax. Still feeling a little rebellious, I pressed my luck. “So, what kind of business, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Her ringlets fell off her shoulders as she leaned closer, showing me her venomous fangs. “Pest extermination.” She scowled.
about the author
V. M. Nelson is the author of The Dhampyr Series. She writes upper young adult paranormal, urban fantasy with a touch of romance thrown in. When she isn’t writing, you can find her playing video games.
Virginia resides in Minnesota with her partner and three children. She has always had an obsession for myths, legends, and fairytales. If asked, she would prefer to live in an alternate universe with vampires and fairies.