Senior Year Bites (The Clanless #1) by J.A. Campbell
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Senior year is supposed to be fun: boys, dances and graduation. It’s significantly harder to enjoy it when you’re dead.
Thanks to an innocent game of Truth or Dare, I wound up sleeping in a graveyard. Probably not the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but thanks to a couple of well-placed fangs, I’m here to tell the tale.
Vampires might stalk pop culture, but they’re just myths, right? Yeah. Not so much…
Everything seems a lot more difficult when you’re a nocturnal creature of the night, especially school. I was managing, but couldn’t keep it hidden from my friends. Steph decided that we should be cool, like superheroes, and fight crime.
I’m a vampire, not a hero. Living in a sleepy New England town, crime is a little harder to come by. At least it is until a serial killer moves into the area. He’s got the authorities stumped, but then again, the cops don’t have a teenage, blood-sucking, non-hero on their team. It doesn’t take long for me to discover the world is full of monsters. I may be one of them…but will I turn out to be the hero, or the killer everyone is looking for.
I followed him for several miles to a ritzy neighborhood hidden away amongst the trees, most of the houses isolated from each other by space and forest. I slipped through the woods, following Alexander through several more turns to a three-story house with a wraparound porch. It was tucked back away from the street and surrounded by bare-branched hardwoods. He pulled into the driveway and parked to the side of the two-car garage. I hid and observed as he climbed out of his car, stopped, and looked around. He frowned, and I wondered if he knew he was being followed.
He stopped scanning the forest and moved closer to the house, and I followed him. This time of year there was no way I would find an open window, but I might be able to hear enough through one to find out more about him.
I slunk around, glancing in windows, catching glimpses of nice furnishings, spare decorations, and a lit fireplace. I ducked when I saw Alexander walk into the kitchen, and stretched out my senses to see if I could detect anyone else in the house.
It seemed like Alexander lived alone. I had almost expected Ann’s other friends to live with him as well, if they were actually connected to any of the strange things going on.
A loud ring made me jump, and I thought I heard Alexander swear quietly before he picked up the receiver.
"Hello?" His voice had lost most of the arrogant smoothness, and he sounded scared when he spoke again. "No, I wasn't followed. I'm sure. No, I haven't found anything. She doesn't know anything. She doesn't even know what she is."
I felt a cold thrill ripple through my body. Was he talking about me? Why would he be? I supposed he could be talking about Ann, but I didn't think so.
"No. I haven't found it. I'll keep looking." Alexander sighed. "I am trying to hurry. I know time is of the essence." He paused again. "Bye."
I jumped and rubbed my ears when Alexander slammed the phone down on the receiver. Hearing still enhanced, I could hear Alexander's footsteps coming closer. I flattened myself against the house, sure he was going to look out the window. Somehow, he had sensed me.
"Maybe I was followed," he muttered.
Trying to hide, I pressed myself more firmly to the ground, trying to make myself as invisible as possible. I gasped as something seemed to grab me by my shoulders and hips. Before I could do more than flail a little, it yanked me down, through the snow. The ground embraced me into its cold, safe, comforting depths, and before I could really think about panicking, it lulled me to sleep.
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer.
She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult Tales of the Travelers fantasy series.
She's the editor for Steampunk Trails and a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association.