Stolen Nights: A Vampire Queen Novel
  • Stolen Nights: A Vampire Queen Novel
  • Stolen Nights: A Vampire Queen Novel

Stolen Nights: A Vampire Queen Novel

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by Rebecca Maizel
     
 

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STOLEN NIGHTS by Rebecca Maizel
A Vampire Queen Novel

A new year is beginning at Wickham Boarding School. A new chance at life, at reversing the evil in my past. But nothing is ever as simple it seems...

Last year, the love of my life died performing a ritual to fulfill my one wish and make me human. And now I've

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Overview

STOLEN NIGHTS by Rebecca Maizel
A Vampire Queen Novel

A new year is beginning at Wickham Boarding School. A new chance at life, at reversing the evil in my past. But nothing is ever as simple it seems...

Last year, the love of my life died performing a ritual to fulfill my one wish and make me human. And now I've performed the same ritual for my friend Vicken - and survived. Why am I here, back safe on Wickham campus?

The strong magic I used in the ritual did more than just make Vicken human. It drew someone to Lover's Bay who does not belong here. She wants the ritual. Then she wants me dead. And she will take down any and everyone in my life to get what she wants.

As if that weren't enough, the ritual has also summoned the anger of the Aeris, the four elements and most fundamental powers on earth. They have a surprise and an unbearable punishment for me - like stepping into the sun for the first time, only to be put into a cage. And now I have to make an impossible choice - between love or life, yearning or having, present or past…

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In the modern world, elemental magic is all but forgotten except by those who seek to use it to gain power: namely, the vampires. Lenah Beaudonte, 500-year-old ex-vampire queen, and her soul mate, Rhode, used elemental magic to turn Lenah into a human teenager. The cost: Rhode's death. Or so she thought. The adventure truly begins with Rhode's reappearance and the zealotry of a vampire from Lenah's past who seeks to learn the secret of her human ritual to become her successor. The tale is fast paced, with a lot of vamp combat and a complex weave of Lenah's many romances throughout her centuries of living. At first, this novel seems to lack luster in its genre, but timeless themes of love and the search for identity, in addition to the cliff-hanger ending, leave readers pondering Lenah's choices and keenly anticipating the next installment. Fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga (Little, Brown) and P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast's "House of Night" series (St. Martin's Griffin) will find their appetites for the paranormal sated with Maizel's twist on vampire lore.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City
VOYA - Kate Neff
This is the second book in the Vampire Queen series, so there will already be a built-in audience, as well as appeal for readers who are still into the vampire craze. Although this is a sequel, a reader new to the series can pick up with the action fairly easily, thanks to a little recapping at the opening of the novel. The main character, Lenah Beaudonte, is a vampire who has just become human again after five hundred years of blood sucking. Lenah and her lover, Rhode, are now both human teens, but instead of being able to start a "normal" life together, they are confronted almost immediately by the Aeris, a sort of supernatural communion of the elements, who condemn the ritual Lenah and Rhode have performed and give them a choice: they can either go back to their original times (thus saving the souls who they turned into vampires) or stay in the present day with the caveat of not being able to be romantically linked to each other. Despite facing the innocent souls she turned, Lenah decides she cannot live without Rhode and opts to keep them both in the present day. This is where the action kicks off, with Lenah trying to reconnect with Rhode while a new dark and powerful vampire queen shows up to wreak havoc on any human she can sink her fangs into. The book, in some ways, follows many of the typical ups and downs that one might expect with a supernatural romance thriller, but it does end with a twist that is more than likely leading up to a third book in the series. Although not as widely popular as Twilight, the series has potential with descriptive prose and intriguing characters full of flaws and life. Reviewer: Kate Neff

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429965903
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Series:
Rebecca Maizel's Vampire Queen Series , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
284,105
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Stolen Nights

A Vampire Queen Novel


By Rebecca Maizel

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 Rebecca Maizel
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-6590-3


CHAPTER 1

"You're home," Justin Enos said, leading me through the great stone towers of Wickham Boarding School. I hesitated once I crossed the threshold, stopping at the main path that led past Seeker dorm and to the many halls and lanes of campus. In the distance, tall streetlamps lit up brick buildings like tiny beacons.

Only four days ago, I was so sure that this world was no longer my own. I had performed the ritual for Vicken, my friend, my confidant, also a vampire. I performed this ritual to turn him human. That also meant it had been four days since my best friend, Tony, was killed in the art tower, and since I believed I too would die.

"I can walk, you know," I said, though I stumbled and Justin had to grab on to my arm. He gave me a knowing glance. My thighs trembled, the result of lying unconscious in a hospital bed.

"It's a beautiful night," I said, leaning into Justin's arm as we walked. He matched my baby steps, holding a bag of my possessions on his other arm.

Lovers Bay, Massachusetts, was blooming in June, hydrangeas and roses all around us. Coupled with the aromas of the café and the restaurants behind us on Main Street, scents distinct to me in my newly regained humanity filled the air: sauces, perfumes, and fragrant flowers.

After everything that had happened, Wickham Boarding School campus seemed like an imaginary place. It lived somewhere locked in both dream and nightmare.

The night was quiet. The trees swayed lazily in the June air and I watched students meander across the campus, talking quietly to one another. The moon broke through the clouds, and when I looked back down to the earth, far down the path toward Wickham Beach, a figure leapt over the path and into the woods. Blond tendrils of hair flew behind her in the wind.

I grinned at first, imagining a student sneaking off campus to find something decadent to eat or to meet a boyfriend. Then something about the figure's movements caught my eye. She jumped with the ease of a dancer but with the charge of pursuit as well. She was lean and swift. Too lean ... too swift.

Alarmed, I scanned the school grounds.

"What's wrong?" Justin asked.

"Want to go down to the beach?" I asked, stalling for time.

Justin left my bag with the guard at the dorm and I waited alone, staring down the pathway. If she came back out of the woods, then I would know whether she was an ordinary human. Students passed by me, calling out:

"Hey, Lenah!"

"How are you! Feeling better?"

I kept my gaze forward. "Word got around fast when you went to the hospital," said Justin, nuzzling my neck.

We walked past the Union and Justin's dorm. I couldn't explain it, the knowing that she was strange, that the blonde might not be human. Perhaps I was just being paranoid. Of course I was being paranoid. I was an ex-592-year-old vampire. Oddities and strange creatures had once been an everyday part of my life.

We walked down to Wickham Beach. I took off my shoes, leaving them by the steps, and sat down on the cool sand. Sitting there, leaning against Justin's warm chest and marveling at the ocean stretching beyond us, I tried to forget about the wisp of blond hair and the unnaturally agile jump.

Justin's hand wrapped around mine. We watched the bay, and I replayed the memory of the first time I met him. During my first week reborn as a human, he had walked out of the water, glimmering and golden.

I leaned my head on his shoulder, breathed, and listened to the water lap lazily on the beach.

Except ...

A horrific knowing sent a shiver through me. I shuddered and Justin looked down at me.

"Hey ... are you okay?"

Look left ..., my mind said.

But Justin felt it too. He looked away from me and his fingers dug into the sand and he rose up onto his knees.

Death is coming, the voice inside my mind said. The voice of the Vampire Queen. The hunter of hundreds.

You know this trouble, the voice slithered.

I looked slowly down the beach.

"Do you see that?" Justin asked.

I did. My heart was a cello string, vibrating as though drawn across with a bow — wavering. Someone was running toward us from very far down the beach. A girl — not a child, but not a grown woman either. A student? Her slight frame swayed as she ran, zigzagging across the sand and then hitting the ground. She pushed herself up from the sand but her arm gave out and she fell again.

"I think it's ..." Justin's voice trailed away.

She finally got to her feet and started running again. The next time she collapsed to the sand, a few moments later, she cried out. It was a scream that traveled in a long wail down the beach, vibrating her terror into our ears. Goose bumps erupted over my arms.

I knew this kind of cry well.

"She needs help," Justin said, taking a step toward her.

"Wait," I demanded in a whisper, grabbing his arm. I narrowed my focus into the darkness.

"Are you crazy? She's hurt," Justin said. "What are we waiting for?"

My terror was a heartbeat quickened. A dry mouth. Words stuck to my throat, trapped by fear. I couldn't remove my eyes.

For there was someone behind her.

This someone threw her hips confidently side to side. A model's walk. A saunter of death. The woman grabbed the girl by her ponytail. There was a quick yank, animalistic, and brutal.

The wind came through the trees, shivering unnaturally in the summer breeze.

"Justin," I said. "We have to go. Now."

"But, Lenah!", I pulled him to me so we spoke very closely.

"Silence," I said. "Or we'll both be dead."

Justin didn't reply, but an understanding passed over his eyes.

I had to be calculated, purposeful. I could not let the human inside overwhelm me. I scrambled up the steps and turned into the woods that ran parallel to the beach. My legs ached from the days in the hospital and I grabbed on to the trees every few paces for balance.

"Lenah! We have to call for help!" Justin whispered loudly from behind me. I spun around to face him.

"Didn't I tell you? You must be silent," I commanded. "And don't say my name again."

I fell to my knees and crept to the edge of the woods where the dirt and beach storm wall met, and stared at the scene unfolding below. I gasped as I recognized the girl.

Kate Pierson, my friend. A member of the Three Piece — the group of girls at Wickham whom I'd unexpectedly grown to love over the last year. Kate was the youngest of all of us, barely sixteen. Innocent, beautiful, and now in grave danger.

This changed the circumstances.

We would have to do something. I immediately ran through our options.

We didn't have a dagger or sword to pierce the vampire through the heart, so we would have to frighten her with strength, which Justin had.

"Please stop," Kate cried to her attacker.

We lay stomach down and I clawed my fingers into the sandy grass.

The woman sauntered behind Kate, stepping over the darkened sand as though she were simply out for a night stroll. She wore all black. Thick, blond beautiful hair flowed and waved behind her in the wind.

She smiled, her mouth stained red with blood.

I drew in a long breath. "I know her," I whispered to Justin.

My home in Hathersage, England, swept into my mind along with a memory of the staircase that led to the attic.

The maid.

The friendly maid with rosy cheeks.

Now she was whiter than stone and very angry.

Below us, Kate tried to wriggle away from the vampire, but now I could see the extent of her wounds. Justin and I were too late, much too late.

I gulped as the blonde grabbed Kate by the front of her shirt and bit into the nape of her shoulder. Kate cried out a familiar, hollow scream. This was one of finality. Her small mouth opened and she hollered into the night.

"How?" Justin whispered. "How do you know her?"

"I —" A shiver rolled over me. "— I made her."

Slowly, ever so slowly, Justin turned his eyes back to the beach without speaking.

Congealed blood caked the sand together as Kate kicked away. She bled from her arms and her neck. This was a killing of strength. A vampire death can be one bite and virtually painless, but this was a death like Tony's: a ruthless killing, done not out of hunger or need but out of power. Out of joy.

Kate brought her fingers to her throat to try to stop the bleeding.

Useless. I had seen this too many times.

"I don't want to die," begged Kate. "Please."

My heart ached but the once powerful Vampire Queen inside me told me that this blond vampire was strong. She was unyielding in her desire for blood.

Justin and I could not run. We could not help. We would die at her hands if we made a sound.

We could do nothing until the horror was over.

There was one last scream from the beach.

And Kate Pierson was no more.

CHAPTER 2

"We have to tell someone," Justin said as we stepped out of the woods and onto campus.

"No. We can't," I replied. We stood under the lamplight on the pathway and I held a hand over my stomach. "What we have to do is get inside. I have to think this through."

I needed help. I needed someone who understood vampires.

I wanted Rhode, who was dead.

"We can't just leave her on that beach!" Justin said as a girl from the sophomore class and a security officer passed by us on the pathway. Ms. Tate, the science teacher, followed closely behind them.

"You said you heard screaming?" the security guard asked the sophomore.

"A couple times, sir. Down here."

Ms. Tate hesitated next to us.

"Lenah, good to see you, dear." She touched my shoulder lightly. "Did you two hear anything near the beach?" she asked as we stopped next to the greenhouse. "Someone said they heard a fight or argument."

"No," I said, shaking my head and taking advantage of the opportunity. "We were just in here." I gestured to the greenhouse.

She nodded and followed behind the security guard and the student toward the beach. It would be only moments before the sirens began.

My thoughts were at war with one another. What was a vampire doing here in Lovers Bay? A vampire I made. The name Vicken pulsed through my mind.

Vicken. My faithful Vicken. I created him in such darkness and pain. He was my compatriot. But a vampire no longer. I had performed the ritual, releasing him from the endless bloodlust and setting free the human inside.

What if the ritual had failed? What if Vicken had remained a vampire and was working with this blonde?

"Lenah? What are you thinking about?" Justin asked.

"Vicken," I said, focusing on Justin's face. "What happened to Vicken after I performed the ritual?"

A muscle twitched in Justin's jaw and he crossed his arms over his chest.

"I left him in your apartment when I took you to the hospital. I have no idea if he's alive or dead. I haven't been back."

The thought of a decaying Vicken on my Wickham apartment bed wasn't an encouraging thought, but I'd have to see for myself. We walked toward Seeker, pretending we weren't shaking as we walked. Just as I was about to go up to my room, a police car screamed onto campus.

It had begun.

As the car wailed by, it left in its wake an unnerving feeling that wrapped around me from my head to my toes. A knowing within my bones, for the second time that night.

Someone was watching me.

The blonde? Had she been looking for me? Was that why she had killed Kate?

Dozens of students were making their way to the beach to investigate the chaos. I looked past the Union and up the long slope of an enormous hill that led to the archery plateau.

A familiar figure stood on top, and hope immediately rushed through me. Suleen. The oldest vampire. He would be able to explain everything.

He stood dressed all in white with a turban fitted tightly to his head. He lifted his arm and motioned for me to follow him, then turned and walked onto the archery plateau, disappearing into the shadows.

I ran for it, trying to ignore the weakness in my legs as I sped up the hill. Justin followed behind me.

"Lenah, wait! What's going on?" he called.

I tallied the horrors of the last day as I ran. Kate's murder, the blonde vampire, and now Suleen's arrival? All of this was undeniably connected.

"Something is very wrong. He wouldn't be here otherwise," I said.

"What's wrong? Who is that?" he asked.

We crested the archery plateau. The line of targets sat in the distance highlighted by the moonlight. Suleen was not alone. A figure stood beside him in the middle of the field, clad in black pants, black boots, and black spiky hair.

My god.

The young man turned. His eyes bore into mine — blue. Blue. Blue.

My hand flew to my chest and I stumbled back.

Rhode. My Rhode. His whole body was surrounded by a halo of silver. The light that emanated from around his black hair, his blue eyes, and the curve of his face were nothing compared to the beauty that radiated from within him.

How could it be? I had run my fingers through his gritty vampire remains that first day at Wickham. I'd been so sure he was dead.

Of course ... the realization rippled through me. If I had survived the ritual with Vicken ... why wouldn't he survive the ritual as well?

I ran to him. He watched me, completely still. The shock of seeing Rhode coursed through me, over and over again, making my mortal heart race. I was a step from him, close enough to reach out and touch his skin.

I would touch him! Feel his skin with fingertips that were alive with nerves and pulsing with blood. Suddenly, Suleen stood between us. I stepped to the left to avoid him but Suleen blocked my way. I moved to the right — blocked again. Rhode kept his eyes locked on mine, but didn't take so much as a step toward me.

My fingers shook as my hand stretched out to him. "Rhode ...," I whispered. "You're not dead. You're not dead."

He stared, marveling at me as if I were an unknown creature or some rare bird.

"Rhode?" I said, panic rising from my stomach to my chest.

"Lenah ..." Suleen's slow voice broke my gaze. "We haven't much time."

"Damn it, Rhode, speak to me," I commanded.

Rhode closed his eyes for a moment, seemingly gathering strength to speak to me. Instead he took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes to look at me, I nearly fell back from their coldness.

"Rhode?" I said. "Do you know how long I've dreamt of this?" He didn't respond. "I love you!"

A pressure on my arm fell away. Justin. I had almost forgotten he was there. His cheeks were streaked with dirt and when I moved my gaze to his hands, those too were caked in mud and sand. It reminded me of our terror that night, of what we had been through in the last few hours. And Kate Pierson had died.

"This is Rhode?" he said faintly. The wonder and hurt in his tone made me want to clamp my hands over my ears.

Rhode stared at Justin with the same curiosity he had for me, as if we were some strange animals. Justin reached for me again.

"You don't want to be here," he said.

At this, Suleen stepped between Justin and me.

"What are you —?" I started to say as Suleen opened his palm, face out to Justin. A great gust came over us all at once. My hair flew about my face and tree branches creaked. There was a loud pop as Suleen thrust his arm forward. In a blink, a wide vertical whirlpool of water separated Justin from Suleen and me. This watery shield hovered in the air between us. I reached out, extending my fingers and ran them through the whirlpool suspended in air. They made lines where they broke through the water.

I had never — ever — seen a vampire with that kind of power.

"Lenah!" Suleen said from behind me. "Rapidement." Quickly. He turned back to Rhode and left the swirling shield hanging in the air as though it had always been there.

Justin banged a fist onto the watery barrier, then stepped back. He rose onto his tiptoes, trying to see over the water, but the barrier simply stretched upward too. Our eyes met through the water, his face rippling strangely.

"Lenah!" He yelled my name and the sound of his voice breaking made a knot form in the center of my chest. I could not go to him. Not even after everything that had just happened that night.

I turned to Suleen in frustration. "What the hell is going on?"

"When you performed the ritual for Vicken, you alerted the Aeris."

"The Aeris?" I said with surprise. I had heard of them, but only in ancient vampire texts and Celtic mythology.

"What you both have done with the ritual. It must be reckoned," Suleen said.

"A reckoning? Like a trial?" I asked. Rhode wouldn't look at me; his arms were folded across his chest. The muscles in his forearms contracted, drawing my eyes down for a split moment. Then he swallowed. I watched, just to prove to myself he was human, that he was real. His chest rose and fell in an easy rhythm. We had both performed the ritual, we had both intended to die, yet there we were together — both very much alive. Both human.

"You must focus right now. This will affect both of you —" He placed his warm palms on my shoulders. "— indefinitely."

I wanted to tell Suleen and Rhode about the blond vampire. About Kate's death and the horror unfolding down on Wickham campus.

The watery shield still hovered in the air but Justin was gone from the other side. All that lay behind it was the rippled green of the darkened trees speckled with silver glints by the moon. The knot in my chest tightened again when Suleen spoke.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel. Copyright © 2013 Rebecca Maizel. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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