Infinite Days: A Vampire Queen Novel by Rebecca MaizelInfinite Days: A Vampire Queen Novel by Rebecca Maizel

Infinite Days: A Vampire Queen Novel

byRebecca Maizel

Paperback | August 3, 2010

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The first in the delicious new Vampire Queen YA series, a tale that rewrites the rules of blood-sucking eternity

"I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me . . ."

After centuries of terrorizing Europe as the world's most powerful vampire queen, Lenah is finally able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love, Rhode, who sacrificed himself in the ritual to grant her deepest wish.

But when Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham Boarding School in Lover's Bay, Massachusetts, she rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly waking up a teenager isn't hard enough, she has to dress herself appropriately, go to class, and be gawked at as the beautiful new girl, all while learning her new human senses and weaknesses -- and trying not to fall in love with Justin, the most popular guy in school.

And right when she thinks she has the hang of it, the worst happens: Her old life collides violently with her new one, making Lenah realize how attached she's become to her humanity. How can she choose between protecting her new friends and honoring her past?

"Infinite Days is a wonderfully sexy, dark novel full of lush prose. Rebecca Maizel is a marvel, writing more than just a story, she creates myth with every page." -Carrie Jones, author of New York Times bestselling series, NEED

Rebecca Maizel is the bestselling author of the Vampire Queen series, starting with Infinite Days. She graduated from Boston University and the Rhode Island College master's program. She teaches community college in Rhode Island and is studying to receive her MFA from Vermont College.
Title:Infinite Days: A Vampire Queen NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.31 × 5.47 × 0.94 inPublished:August 3, 2010Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312649916

ISBN - 13:9780312649913

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it A short vampire series I enjoyed that was a little different from the other books I read of the same genre.
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED Absolutely fell in love with the characters and the story. I couldn't put the book down and once I finished it I couldn't stop thinking about what was going to happen next. The cliffhanger the author left was too good!! Definitely read this book!
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Infinite Love To start off this review I'd like to proclaim that ever since the Twilight series I've avoided most vampire books. However the thought of a vampire becoming human again after 592 years was really appealing to me and I am so happy that I read it. Lenah, the female protagonist is very unique compared to other female characters. The reason being is that Maizel gave her two personalities. The evil, cold and calculating one of a vampire and the innocent, charming one of a human. In order for Lenah to become human again she had to go into hibernation for a hundred years which means that she is clueless when it comes to modern technology and behaviour which can give the book an almost comical aspect. Throughout Infinite Days Lenah has a few flashbacks which I thought were craftly written as well as easy to follow compared to other books where you end up getting lost. I thought the plot was endearing and the ending was a huge cliffhanger that makes you want to read the sequel. However the only things I didn't like was how Lenah seemed to recover from the death of her friend so rapidly as well as how forgetful she was to the time passing. (You have to read the book to understand the importance of that) which is why I only gave it a 4/5. All said and done however I do really appreciate Maizels work and am anticipating the sequel.
Date published: 2012-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Infinite Days gives an intriguing new perspective on vampires, when Lenah is transformed back into a human and has to adjust to her new life while trying to hide away from her Coven, who will look for their leader. There are a few surprises and plenty of interesting scenes, past and present, and you'll be hooked. Read this one! ~~ Lenah's lover Rhode has just sacrificed himself so that she could become human again. His dying wish is that she live her life fully, and that starts with her attending Wickham, the best boarding school money can buy. I thought Infinite Days was a really easy novel to like. Lenah, while completely vicious as a vampires (yes, scary vampires!) as a human, she's mostly clueless. She doesn't know how to drive, know what a prom is, or had a meal that wasn't blood. She's feeling things for the very first time, emotions beside anger and hate, and actually feeling what grass feels like, or another person's skin. It's all new to her and it gives her such a likeable innocence. Even though we don't get to see much of him besides flashbacks, I definitely loved Rhode. He loved Lenah since he set eyes on her centuries ago and was willing to die so she could be happy and experience life as a human again. It was so tragically beautiful! Because of how I felt about him I wasn't too overjoyd with Lenah's feelings for Justin, especially since she gets all googly eyed first time she sees him. And Justin lost even more points because while he liked Lenah and outright flirted, he did it when his girlfriend wasn't around. *Shakes head* They were cute though, and the drama leads to some better moments. As a human, Lenah was noticeably different than as a vampire. As a vampire she took great pride in being the most powerful and cruel female, but as a human she's, like I said, innocent and sort of lost. It was a great contrast to see her adjusting to her new life. But her coven is looking for her and as soon as you reach a point in the story, you're just waiting for that moment to arrive. And then BAM. It all comes rushing in. I definitely did NOT expect the ending but I loved it! It ends on such a cliffhanger and I was bouncing in my seat with anticipation for the next book, which you get a little peek at, but nothing that satisfied. Unfortunately, the sequel Stolen Nights has been pushed back as Ms. Maizel makes it just right, so it could be coming out next year instead of this fall :( Review also here:
Date published: 2011-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Great I really enjoyed this book. I have read a lot of vampire books and I didn't expect this book to be that good. But I really loved it. It was a different take on vampires altogether and I found that I couldn't put it down! If you hesitant about reading this book, go for it, it's really great! :)
Date published: 2011-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Original spin on the regular drab vampire book. Right off the bat I've got to say I get the feeling that the author wasn't sure whether or not she was writing a teen's novel or an adults novel. On one hand there were a lot of teen stuff going on but the author kept veering off toward with murder and massacre. Not that I minded of course I found it interesting and addictive at points. The book is different for so many amazing and awesome reasons. First of all Lenah Beaudonte (as human and vampire) was one of the best protagonists in a teen book I've ever read. The book kept the self-loathing to a minimal which was a relief. It revamped (bad pun) the original evil vampire. It had a neat pro-human thing going. The one problem was the whole Justin/Lenah relationship. Rhode had just died and then she's running off with this other guy who seems to be only a pretty face and a thrill seeker. Though Justin irritated me the book was still an amazing and quick read.
Date published: 2011-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The grass is always greener on the other side Infinite Days is an endearing vampire tale with a twist. Lenah Beaudonte wakes up in the 21st century in the body she’s always been in, but for the first time in 500 some years her heart is beating. With that first feeling of pleasure in feeling her heart beat, she’s brought into reality that her transformation from vampire to human is complete thanks in whole to her companion and saviour, Rhode. He has given up his own life so Lenah could have her humanity returned to her. After centuries of being a blood hungry demon, Lenah had become unsatisfied and restless with being this one track being. Infinite days’ vampires doesn’t sound as appealing to be opposed to the other vampire series out there. They are devoid of touch and feel and only use the rest of their senses for their predatory interests. Yes that means.. kill! kill! kill! and maybe some (unseen) sex. But really what’s the point of that if you can’t sense a touch of any kind? As Lenah adjusts to her new life, we’re taken on this visual journey of appreciation for the things we see in our every day lives that we may just take for granted. Scenery, food, friendship, love and so much more of life’s benefits. Lenah drinks up this second chance at life, meeting new friends, unexpectedly falling love again. Even if she has done these things before, she sees it all with new eyes. But, its not all sunshine and rainbows. Lenah is still haunted by her life as a vampire, slaughtering innocents without a second thought and making her own fantasy team of vampires. She fears she will suffer consequences soon but she may not be the only one in danger. This was a good YA vampire book. It doesn’t follow the road that all the others take. There’s not a ridiculous amount of pining and brooding. Lenah knows what she wants and goes out for it, and that’s to be admired. She’s an interesting character filled with intelligence, humour, strength and a devilish bad side whether she’s vampire or human. The things that she learns as a human makes her endearing and relatable. The men? Well there’s plenty of teams to choose from. Justin the bronzed god-like athlete. Tony the artistic and sexy best friend. And of course the rest you’ll just have to read about in the book. Great start to a fresh, new series. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Date published: 2010-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Interesting I read the book in one day and I thought it had a great plot with the characters and what it was in their past lives. I loved every character. The Book was really well written by Rebecca who is a newcomer. This book is now one of my favorites and am now looking forward to the next novel due in 2011. I recommend this book in need of a good romance and who loves vampires, its different than Twilight, but its one of those books you cant put down, from start to finish.
Date published: 2010-08-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad / Good enough. I picked out this book out of random at Chapters the other day and it turned out alright. I was a little skeptical at first about it, mainly because it's about Vampires (and let's face it, they're getting a little bit over-rated), but it turned out pretty entertaining. Although it is about Vampire, the main aspect is Humanity. I loved the fact that it wasn't a Cheesy Twilight Rip off. In this story, the main Character (which i loved), Lenah, becomes a human again after being a vampire for 500 years. She faces emotions shes never had before and she experiences love in a whole new way. Really, the end had me bite for more.
Date published: 2010-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fresh Take on Vampire Genre! Rebecca Maizel's debut novel Infinite Days, the first in the Vampire Queen trilogy, offers a fresh take on the vampire genre. The novel brings back the more traditional style of vampires (ie. the deadly kind you never want to cross paths with) while also managing to add a few new spins as well. It was a delight to read, with wonderful writing you could easily lose yourself in. The entire time I was reading, I found myself quite fascinated by the idea of a many centuries-old vampire suddenly finding herself human once again. Lenah Beaudonte wakes up to find herself human once more after a century-long slumber in which a dangerous ritual transformed the vampire back to a human. A new transfer student at Wickham Boarding School, Lenah must slowly adapt to modern times and life as a normal girl once again. Struggling to fit in, little does Lenah suddenly expect to catch the eye of the most gorgeous guy on campus, Justin Enos, or that she feels something for him as well. Lenah may be trying to make the most of her new life, but she's living on borrowed time. The powerful Coven that Lenah left behind still thinks she's buried underground and when they realize she's gone, they'll be coming after her... and blood will be shed. I thought the relationship between Justin and Lenah progressed rather quickly. Rhode, Lenah's soulmate and maker, had just died after sacrificing himself for her, yet as soon Lenah sees Justin for the first time, she was already feeling attracted to him. Before you think too harshly of Lenah though, she thinks about Rhode often too but I guess you could say I was a bit surprised at how soon a new love interest was introduced in the story. (Plus, I was still siding with Rhode...) Lenah's past as a vampire is interspersed with the present, so it was quite interesting to see the change from the cold Vampire Queen to a human teenage girl. The last leg to the finish kind of creeps up on you. I mean, all along as you're reading, you're sort of waiting for something big to happen. As Lenah becomes accustomed to her new life, there's always the imminent danger of her Cover eventually trying to search for her in the background of the story. There's comfortable pacing until the last 100 pages when events seemed to suddenly rush by. New questions are brought up and the ending leaves you wondering just what's going to happen next. I was so glad to find the prologue and first chapter of the next book, Stolen Nights, was included, but not so thankful with the note it ended on. It will leave you wishing it was already out in stores! Too bad we must wait until early 2011. You can also read the review at:
Date published: 2010-08-06

Read from the Book

Chapter 1I release you….I release you, Lenah Beaudonte. Believe…and be free.   Those were the last words I could remember. But they were formless, said by someone whose voice I did not recognize. It could have been ages ago. When I awoke, I immediately felt a cold surface on my left cheek. An icy shiver rushed down my spine. Even with my eyes closed, I knew I was naked, stomach down on a hardwood floor.I gasped though my throat was so dry I made an unearthly animal sound. Three heaving breaths then a thump-thump, thump-thump - a heart beat. My heartbeat? It could have been ten thousand fluttering wings. I tried to open my eyes but with each blink there was a flash of blinding light. Then another. And another. “Rhode!” I screamed. He had to be here. There would be no world without Rhode. I writhed on the floor, covering my body with my hands. Understand that I am not the type of person to find herself naked and alone especially in a situation where sunlight shines down on her body. Yet, there I was, bathed in yellow light, sure that I was moments away from a painful, fiery death - I had to be. Soon flames would erupt from within my soul and turn me into dust. Only, nothing happened. No flames or imminent death. There was only the smell of the oak in the floor. I swallowed and the muscles in my throat contracted. My mouth was wet with... saliva! My chest rested on the floor. I pressed down on my palms and craned my neck to look at the source of my torment. Luminous daylight streamed into a bedroom from a large bay window. The sky was a sapphire blue, no clouds. “Rhode!” My voice seemed to swirl in the air, vibrating out of my mouth. I was so thirsty. “Where are you?” I screamed.A door somewhere near me opened and closed. I heard a wobbling step, an uneven shuffle then Rhode's black, buckle boots stepped into my eye line. I rolled onto my back and looked up at the ceiling. Gasping. My God - was I breathing? Rhode loomed over me but he was a blur. He leaned forward so his hazy features were within inches of my face. Then there he was, as though coming out of a mist, looking as I had never seen him before. The skin over Rhode's cheekbones stretched so tight it looked as though his bones would break through. His usually full and proud chin was now a thin point. But the blue of his eyes - they were the same. Even in the haze of that moment they pierced me, down to my soul. “Fancy meeting you here,” Rhode said. Despite black bruises that ringed his eyes, a twinkle, from somewhere deep within looked back at me. “Happy sixteenth birthday,” he said and extended a hand.       * Rhode gripped a glass of water. I sat up, took it from him and finished it in three large gulps. The cold water trickled down the back of my throat, flowed down my esophagus and into my stomach. Blood, a substance I was used to, trickled, but its absorption into the vampire body was a lot like a sponge soaking up liquid. It had been so long since I'd had a drink of water....In Rhode's other hand was a piece of black cloth. When I took it from him, the cloth cascaded out to reveal a black dress. It was lightweight cotton. I pressed up from the floor and stood up. My knees buckled but I steadied myself by throwing my arms out to balance. I stood there for a moment, until I was firmly planted to the ground. When I tried to walk, a small vibration shook me so hard that my knees touched.“Put that on and then come into the other room,” Rhode said and lumbered unevenly out of the bedroom. I should have noticed that he had to hold onto the doorframe when he walked but my knees and thighs trembled and I had to try and find my balance again. I let my hands fall back to my sides. My brown hair unfurled and like seaweed, strands stuck to my naked body. Longer strands reached my breasts. I would have given anything for a mirror. I took a few breaths and my knees wobbled again. I looked around for a corset but there was nothing. How curious! Was I meant to walk around this place with nothing to hold me in? I slid the dress over my head and it stopped right above my knees.I didn't look a day over 16, yet if someone had calculated on that particular day - I officially turned 592. Everything was so crisp and bright, too bright. Beams of light trickled minute rainbows across my feet. I looked around the room. Despite waking up on the floor, there was a mattress in an iron bed frame covered by a black comforter. Across the room a bay window looked out at full leaves and swaying branches. Beneath the window was a seat covered in blue, plush pillows. I ran my fingertips against the textured wood of the walls and couldn't believe that I could actually feel it. The wood was layered and I felt the raised and jagged parts under my smooth fingertips. My existence as a vampire meant that all my nerve endings were dead. Only by remembering what things felt like as a human would my vampire mind understand whether I was touching something soft or hard. The only senses a vampire retained were those that heightened her ability to kill; the sense of smell was linked to flesh and blood, sight was super sight, detailed down to the minutiae, its sole purpose to find prey within an instant. My fingers fluttered over the wall again - another rush of shivers rolled up my arms.  “There will be time for that,” Rhode said from the other room. My heartbeat echoed in my ears. I could taste the air. As I walked the muscles in my thighs and calves seemed to burn, twitch and then relax. In order to stop shaking, I rested my body weight on the doorway and crossed my hands over my chest. “What century is this?” I asked closing my eyes and taking a breath.“The 21st,” Rhode said. His black hair, which reached halfway down his back the last time I saw him, had been cut short and now stood up in a spiky hairstyle. Around his right wrist was a white, medical bandage. Rhode gripped a side table and lowered himself into a crimson colored lounge seat.“Sit,” he whispered. I sat down on a pale blue couch that faced the lounger.“You look terrible,” I whispered. “Thank you,” he said with the barest glimmer of a smile. Rhode's cheeks were so sunken that his once masculine, carved features now clung to his bones. His usual golden skin had yellowed. His arms quivered as he lowered himself into the chair, holding onto it until he was almost fully sitting down. “Tell me everything,” I commanded. “Give me a moment,” he said. “Where are we?”  “Your new home,” he closed his eyes. Rhode leaned his head back onto the chair.  He gripped the armrests and I noticed that the rings that had once adorned his fingers were now gone. The curling black snake with emerald eyes, the poison ring for emergencies (which meant it was always filled with blood) were missing. Only one ring remained on his pinky finger. My ring. The ring that I had worn for 500 years. Only then did I notice that own hands were bare. It was a tiny silver band with a dark, black stone -- onyx. “Never wear onyx unless you want or know death,” he once told me. I believed him. Besides, up until that moment, I was confident no vampire enjoyed creating death more than I did. I tried to avoid his gaze. I'd never seen Rhode so weak.  “You're human, Lenah,” he said. I nodded once in acknowledgement though I looked at the lines in the hardwood floor. I couldn't respond. Not yet. I wanted it too much. The last interaction I had with Rhode, before waking up in that bedroom was about my desire to be human. We had an argument; one that I thought would last for centuries. It did, in a way, the argument had happened a century before that moment. “You finally got what you wanted,” he whispered. I had to look away again. I couldn't stand the cool blue of his eyes appraising me. Rhode's appearance was so altered - changed - as though he was withering away. When he was at his fullest health his square jaw and blue eyes made him one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen. I say man but I am not sure of Rhode's age. He could have been just a boy when he was made into a vampire but through the years, he'd clearly seen and done so much--it aged him. Vampires as they move into the maturity of their existence become so ethereal in appearance that it is nearly impossible to guess their age. Making sure to keep my eyes away from his, I examined the living room. It looked as though he had just moved in, though the atmosphere of the room felt like Rhode. Despite a few boxes piled next to the door everything seemed to be in its proper place. Many of my possessions from my vampire life decorated the apartment. Specifically, items from my bedchamber. On the wall, an ancient sword was held to a metal plate by golden clasps. It was one of Rhode's favorite pieces, his longsword from his days with the Order of the Garter, a ring of knights under Edward the III. It was a special sword, one that was forged by magic, outside of the brotherhood. It had a black leather grip and thick base that tapered down to a deadly and distinct point. The pommel, the wheel shaped counter weight on the top of the sword had an engraving circling its perimeter: Ita fert corde voluntas, the heart wills it. On the wall, on either side the sword, iron sconces made to look like roses linked by vines and thorns held unlit, white candles. White candles should be burned in a house wishing to dispel evil spirits or energy. Every vampire had them for protection against other darker magics. Yes, there are worse things in the universe than vampires.“I forgot your human beauty.” I looked back at Rhode. He wasn't smiling but his eyes sparkled in a way that I knew he meant it. Seeing me now in my human form was a personal fulfillment. He had done what he had set out to do hundreds of years before.     Chapter 2  Hathersage, England -- The PeaksOctober 31, 1910 – Evening  My house was a stone castle. There were halls with marble floors and painted ceilings. I lived in Hathersage, a rural town known for its rolling hills and gorges. My castle was offset from the road and watched over endless fields. That night was Nuit Rouge or in English, Red Night. Once a year, vampires would come from around the globe and occupy my home for one month. For the 31 days in October, Nuit Rouge brought vampires of all races to my home. 31 days of opulence. 31 days of pure terror. This was the last night before everyone returned to their respective hauntings.  It was just after dusk. Above me the stars sparkled in the twilight - they glinted gold light off of glass goblets. I pushed past guests sipping on blood and dancing to a string quartet. Rhode followed me out from the back of the castle and onto the stone terrace. Men and women, dressed in top hats, corsets, and the finest silks from China, laughed and crowded Rhode’s way. At the back of the house, a set of stone steps led down into the gardens. Two white candles stood tall on either end of the steps, their wax dripped tiny archipelagos onto the stone. The yard spread out wide and then down, out into the sweeping countryside. I was wearing an evergreen, silk gown adorned with a gold piping, and a matching corset beneath.  “Lenah!” Rhode called but I was darting through the crowd. I was walking so fast that for a moment I thought I would spill out over my corset.“Lenah! Stop!” Rhode called again.It was just after dusk. I ran the length of the gardens down the sloping hill into the start of fields. I led Rhode down the hill, out of sight of the vampires in the castle. I stood at the foot of fields that spread out for countless miles into the distance. Back then, I looked different. My skin was pale white, no shadows under my eyes or wrinkles on my skin. Just white, clear skin as if my pores had been buffed away. At the crest of the hill, Rhode looked down at me. He was dressed in an evening suit, with a top hat and black silk lapels. He held a cane in his right hand. When he stepped down the side of the steep hill, the wispy grass that stretched for hundreds of miles, bowed under his feet. I turned to look out at the fields. “You have not said a word to me all evening. You’ve been completely silent. And now you run out here? Care to share with me what the hell is going on?”“You don’t understand? If I uttered a word I would not be able to conceal my intentions. Vicken is unnaturally gifted. He could read my lips from five miles away.”Vicken was my last creation, that is, the last man I made into a vampire. At fifty, he was also the youngest vampire of my coven, though he didn’t look a day older than nineteen. “Dare I think that this might be a moment of clarity?” Rhode asked. “That perhaps you realize Vicken and your band of ingrates are more dangerous than you anticipated?”   I said nothing. Instead, I watched the wind trace patterns over the grass.  “Do you know why I left you? My fear,” Rhode spat, “was that you had truly lost your mind. That the prospect of infinite time had started to eat away at you. You were reckless.”  I spun around, our eyes met immediately.  “I will not let you fault me for creating a coven of the strongest, most gifted vampires in existence. You told me to protect myself, and I did what I had to do.” “You cannot see what you have done,” Rhode said. His strong jaw clenched. “What I  have done?” I stepped closer to him. “I feel the weight of this existence in my bones. As though a thousand parasites are eating away at my sanity. You told me once, that I was what kept you sane. That the curse of emotional pain released you when you were with me. What do you think happened to me for the 170 years you were gone?”Rhode’s shoulders fell. His eyes were the most blue I had ever seen - even in 500 years. The beauty of his slim nose and dark hair always shocked me. The vampire essence heightened a person’s beauty but for Rhode it radiated from within and lit up his soul -- it made my heart burn. “The magic that binds your coven is more dangerous than I would have ever thought possible. How did you expect me to feel?” “You don’t feel. Remember? We’re vampires,” I replied. He gripped my arm so hard, I was sure he would break a bone. I would have been frightened had I not loved him more than I could articulate. Rhode and I were soul mates. Linked in a love bound by passion, the lust for blood, death and the unfaltering understanding of eternity. Were we lovers? Sometimes. Certain centuries more than others. Were we best friends? Always. We were bound. “You left me for 170 years,” I said through gritted teeth. Rhode had only returned from his “break” from me the week prior. We had been inseparable since his return. “Do you not know why I brought you down here?” I asked. “I can tell no one else the real truth.”Rhode dropped his arm and I turned to face him directly. “I have nothing left. No more sympathies,” I whispered though there was an edge of hysteria in my voice. I could see my reflection in Rhode’s eyes. His dilated pupils overwhelmed the blue but I stared into the blackness. My voice quivered, “Now that I know you have the ritual…Rhode, I cannot think of anything else. That my humanity - that it might be a possibility.”“You have no idea how dangerous this ritual is.”“I don’t care! I want to feel the sand beneath my toes. I want to wake up to the sunlight pouring through my window. I want to smell the air. Anything. Anything I can feel. God, Rhode. I need to smile¾and mean it.”“We all want those things,” he replied in a calm manner. “Do you? Because I don’t think you do,” I said.   “Of course. I want to wake up to blue waters and feel sunlight on my face.” “The pain is too much,” I said.   “You could try again. Concentrate on me – loving me,” Rhode said gently.   “You, who leave.”  “That’s not fair,” Rhode said now reaching for my hands.    “Even loving you is a curse. I can’t really feel or touch you. I look at the humans we take and even they can feel. Even in their last minutes of life they have breath in their lungs and taste in their mouth.” Rhode held my palm in his and the warmth, the feeling of his passion for me swept up though my hand and into my body. I closed my eyes, relishing the momentary relief from the countless tragedies resting within me. I opened my eyes and took a step away from him. “I am losing my mind and I don’t know how much longer I can bear it.” I took a moment, careful in my wording. “Ever since you discovered the ritual,” I continued. “It’s all I can think about. My way out.” My eyes were wild, I was sure of it. “I need this. I need this. God help me, Rhode because if you don’t I will walk out into sunlight until it scorches me to flames.” Rhode nearly lost his top hat with a gust of the wind. He ripped his hand out of mine. He still had long hair then and it fell past his shoulders and onto his topcoat. “You dare to threaten me with your suicide? Don’t be petty, Lenah. No one has survived the ritual. Thousands of vampires have tried. All - every single one has died in the process. Do you think I can bear to lose you? That I could part with you?”“You already did,” I whispered savagely. Rhode pulled me close, so fast that I wasn’t prepared for the force of his mouth against mine. One deep growl from him and my bottom lip split open-Rhode bit into me. I could feel a rhythmic pull as he sucked the blood from my mouth. After a moment, he stepped away and wiped his bloody lip on his jacket sleeve. “Yes, I left you. But I had to find the magic and science I needed. If we ever try this ritual -- I needed to make sure…I didn’t expect you to fall in love when I left.” There was a silence. Rhode knew as well as I that I never believed he was coming back.  “I do not love Vicken as I love you.” I said every word so it was clear and calculated. After a moment, I added, “I want out.” “You do not know what will come to you if you chose human life.” “The air? Real breath? Happiness?” “Death, sickness, human nature?” “I don’t understand,” I said stepping back again. “You have said yourself that humanity is what all vampires crave. The freedom to feel more than constant pain and suffering. Do you not feel this way?” “It consumes me,” Rhode said and took off his top hat. He looked out at the fields. “There are deer, there,” he pointed. He was right. About ten miles away a herd of deer grazed silently. We could have fed off them, though I did love my dress and blood would not match the green silk. Besides, I hated the taste of animal blood and would only feed on them if I were in a dire situation. With the creation of the coven, I had ensured that would never happen.  Rhode slipped his hands around my lower back and brought me even closer.“Your beauty will be a powerful force in the human world. Your human face may betray even your best intentions.”"I don’t care,” I said not quite understanding and not really caring either way.  Rhode reached out and ran his index finger down the thin slope of my nose. He then gently rubbed his thumb over my lips. His furrowed brow and piercing stare. I couldn’t have looked away even if I had tried. “When I took you from your father’s orchards in the 15th century I saw your future laid out before me,” Rhode confessed. “Swashbuckling vampire linked to my side for all eternity.” There was a pause. Somewhere behind us music from the party echoed down into the fields. “I saw my own dreams.” “Then give me what I want.” Rhode’s mouth was a thin line. He furrowed his eyebrows and looked out at the deer. They galloped deeper into the grassy hills. I could tell from his still mouth and dark expression that he was formulating a plan. “One hundred years,” he whispered but still looked out at the deer.  My eyes widened.  “Starting tonight you will hibernate for one hundred years.” Rhode turned back to look at me and pointed up the hill. I knew he was gesturing toward a cemetery. It was to the right of the terrace and protected by a wrought iron gate topped by spiked points. Hibernation only occurred when a vampire rested in the ground. The vampire sleeps and deprives herself of blood – there are a series of spells so the vampire remains in a meditative state, almost to the point of death. On a prearranged day a fellow vampire revives her. But only with magic is this possible. Only very brave (and some would argue very stupid) vampires have done this. “The night before you are supposed to wake,” Rhode continued. “I will unearth you and take you somewhere safe, somewhere you cannot be found. Somewhere you can be a human and live out your days.” “And the coven?” I asked. “You leave them behind.”My heart throbbed, a familiar pain that I couldn’t help but recognize. The magical binding between the coven and myself would force them to search for me. Just as I knew I would love Rhode until the end of the earth, I knew that the coven would search for me. I nodded once but said nothing. I watched the deer nibbling at the grass and licking their fur. “You are not afraid to die?” he asked. I shook my head. Rhode turned to face the house. I stopped him from walking up the hill by gently grasping his fingers. He turned to me. “Will you be there?” I asked. “If I die and we fail, will you be there?” Rhode’s fingers lightly grazed the top of my hand. He turned it over, touched my palm and whispered,  “Always.”                                                                         *“How did you do it?” I was spellbound. Back in the dark apartment, my back pressed into the pillows. My fingers wandered over the fine velvet. My fingertips skimmed along the softness of the couch, which produced a wave of goose bumps over my legs. Before, I would have known the couch was soft but it would only have meant the fabric. It wouldn’t have meant comfort or safety. Just soft. “That night. The last night of Nuit Rouge. You went to bed…” Rhode started. “After killing one of the maids,” I admitted remembering the young, blonde girl I caught off guard in the attic. Rhode continued with a slight smile. “I told Vicken that you had decided on your hibernation. That you would sleep for 100 years and that I was to wake you on the last night of the following Nuit Rouge. I also explained that you wanted to be buried - to make it official. He thought it was a wonderful idea. He wanted a chance to rule your coven.”“I wouldn’t have protested against that,” I said.  “Precisely why he believed me so willingly. It was a lie, Lenah. The moment you looked into my eyes on the fields and begged me for human life, I knew that my quest, my vampire life, your vampire life, what I had done to you was coming to an end.” “I shouldn’t have begged you. Manipulated you like I did.” Rhode laughed but the breath was short, “That is your way.”  I looked at the bandage around his wrist and the dark rings circling Rhode’s eyes. At that moment, I felt a surge of guilt. In my human state, I couldn’t imagine bribing Rhode or threatening him with suicide. It had been so easy for me before. Easy because the emotional pain that clouded the vampire life prevented rational thought. “Please tell me about the ritual,” I asked again.  Rhode unwrapped the white bandage, roll-by-roll until his wrist was bare. There, on the inside of his wrist were teeth marks, my teeth marks - two small indents on the inside of Rhode’s wrist. The one on the left was just higher than the one on the right, I always hated that my bite was uneven. I could have recognized my teeth marks anywhere. “The most important thing is the intent. The success of the sacrifice and it is a sacrifice, depends solely on the vampire performing the ritual. It takes two days.” Rhode stood up. He paced whenever he was telling me something difficult. Sometime in the 16th century I asked him why. He said it was so he wouldn’t have to look me in the eye. “The intent is where most vampires fail,” Rhode continued. “You have to want the other vampire to live. You, in turn, have to want to die. It is the most unselfish act you’ve ever committed. As you know such selflessness is nearly impossible for the natural state of a vampire.”“Who told you this?” I asked. “When I left you for those years, I went to France. I searched for --” “Suleen,” I said though I was suddenly finding it very hard to breathe. Rhode had met Suleen…in person. “Yes. He was coming out of a fifty-year hibernation. When I described you and then told him of my plan, he comforted me with a compliment. He said that I might be the only vampire with soul enough to succeed.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise. It must have been quite a special moment in Rhode’s life. I wished I had been there to see Rhode’s reaction when Suleen said something so significant. I imagined Suleen. He was an East Indian man, or at least he had been some time ago - when, I have no idea. He is the oldest vampire alive. Nothing in the grand scheme of life would or could ever rattle his soul. Suleen is not hindered by death nor does he want to return to human life. All he wants is to live long enough so he may see the end of the world. “There are a few more rules,” Rhode explained. “The vampire performing the ritual must be over 500 years old. Suleen mentioned something about the chemistry of a vampire of that age. It is a crucial ingredient. But most of all he kept saying, ‘The intent, Rhode. It’s the intent.’ The will and the desire to give up your life in order that another may live. Vampires are selfish, Lenah. Inherently so. I had to find that will within myself.”“You sacrificed yourself?” I whispered. I was unable to look up from the floor. Rhode remained silent. He was waiting for me to look at him. I hated him for it. Finally, our eyes met. “The ritual required that I gave you all of my blood. After two days, you woke up, more or less, and bit into me. I had to allow you to finish it—well, almost all of it. But the important thing was the intent, the chemistry of my blood and my love for you.” “I never would have agreed to those conditions.” Much to my surprise, Rhode’s stoic facial expression turned into a smile. A toothy, happy smile. “Precisely why I did it when you were weakened and hibernating.” I stood up, now it was my turn to pace.“So where is Vicken?” I asked trying to think like a vampire. Trying to place all the pieces together. I had been asleep for one hundred years. “He remains at your house in Hathersage with the rest of the coven. I believe he is awaiting your return.”“Have you seen him since my hibernation?”  “He is too young for me to converse with as often as he would like. His energy tires me. Yet, when I stayed with them he was respectful. He’s a fighter. Excellent swordsman. I can see why you loved him.”My cheeks warmed, which surprised me. Then I realized, I was feeling shame. I snuck a peek at Rhode’s fingers holding the arm of the lounger. They were pruned, and wrinkled as though all the liquid inside him had been sucked away.“I do not blame you for loving another,” Rhode said. “You believe Vicken loves me? As I love you?”Rhode shook his head. “Vicken loves your outward appearance and desire for thick, congealed blood. I love your soul. As a mate to my long search on this earth. You are - were - the most vicious vampire I have ever known. I love you for that.” I couldn’t respond. I thought of Hathersage, of the fields, of Rhode in his top hat and the deer grazing in the distance. “Vicken will search for me,” I said. “As you know, he is bound to me. And when he finds me, the coven will destroy me. I created the coven to do just that. To seek, capture, and obliterate.”“That is the exact reason why I chose this place.” “Yes. Where are we?” I looked about the apartment.  “This is your new school.”  “You intend for me to go to school?” My head reared in his direction.  “It is crucial you understand.” Even in his weakened state Rhode stood up and towered over me. He glared at me with such a passionate fierceness that I should have been frightened. “Vicken will dig you up from the cemetery. I promised you would return on the final night of Nuit Rouge. The party ends October 31st.”“So on the 31st he will find an empty casket. End of story.”“It’s not that simple. You were a vampire, Lenah. One of the oldest of your kind.”“I know what I was.” “Then do not pretend that you need a tutorial in the seriousness of this situation!” Rhode snapped and continued pacing very slowly. I was silent. Rhode regained some of his composure and again spoke at a low decibel. “When Vicken digs up the grave and discovers an empty casket he will search the earth for you. As you’ve said yourself, the magic that binds the coven has made it so. You made it so. He will exhaust himself, so will all of the coven until they find you and bring you home.”“I did not foresee myself in this situation.”“Yes, well, luckily, for now, the magic that protects you allows a few luxuries. Your vampire sight and your extra sensory perception.”“So I did keep it, then,” I said and stood up. I looked around the room again. Yes, as Rhode said I could see all of the adornments in the room down to the knots in the wood floor and the perfection in the paint on the walls. “The more you assimilate into this human existence these accompaniments will fade.”How was I to process not being a vampire anymore but still retain some vampire qualities? Could I be in the sun? Did I eat food again? These thoughts rattled within my head and I stamped my foot in frustration. Rhode put his hand on my cheeks and I was startled by how cold they were. It stopped my tantrum. “You must disappear into human life, Lenah. You must go to school and become a sixteen year old girl again.”In that moment, I couldn’t cry no matter how badly I wanted to – I was too shocked. Vampires cannot cry. There is nothing natural in a vampire. No tears, no water¾just blood and black magic. Instead, the tears, which would spill over the cheeks of a normal person, in the vampire are utter and acidic pain that scorches the tear ducts.I wanted to run or turn inside out, anything to curb the feeling that made my stomach burn. I balled my hands into fists and tried to fill the anxiety with a breath but it caught in my throat. My gaze fell onto a photo resting on top of a bureau. It looked tattered and old though the last time I had seen the photo, I was posing for it. 1910, the last night of Nuit Rouge. In the photo, Rhode and I stood hip-to-hip, arms around each other’s waists, on the back terrace of my home. Rhode was dressed in his black suit and top hat, me in a gown, my long brown hair tied and styled in a long braid that fell over my left breast. We were more than human. We were frighteningly beautiful.   “How can I do that?” I turned away from the photo to look at Rhode. “Hide?" “Oh, I think you will find it easier than you expect. You have never been sixteen before. I snatched that away before you could.” He stepped close to me again and kissed my forehead.  “Why did you do this for me?” I asked. He pulled away and the air shifted as the space opened up between us.   “Of course, you must know,” Rhode said and cocked his head to the side. I shook my head to say that I did not nor could I ever understand what he had done for me. “Because,” he continued, “throughout all of my histories I found no one I loved more than you. No one.”“But I’m losing you,” I said, my voice breaking.  Rhode grasped me so my cheek pressed against his chest. I stayed there a moment and let my heartbeat echo between our bodies.  “And you think Vicken won’t be able to find me?” I asked “I do not think in his wildest dreams he will understand what I have done. It will take the entire coven’s effort just to follow us this far and I believe I have done my best to conceal our whereabouts. Also, why would he ever suspect you could be human?”I stepped away and looked back at the photo portrait of Rhode and me.“When will you die?” I asked turning away from the photo and sat back down on the couch. I brought my knees to my chest and linked my arms around my shins. “The morning.”                                                                      *We sat together and I stared into Rhode’s eyes for as long as possible. He told me of the changes in society. Cars, television, sciences, wars that neither of us, even in our vampire minds, could understand. He said that practical things were of the utmost importance to humans. I would now be capable of getting sick. He had placed me in the finest boarding school in New England. A doctor, he informed me, was only a few buildings away. He begged that I complete school and grow up, as he had prevented me from doing. We talked and talked and without knowing it, I fell asleep. The last thing I remember were his eyes looking into mine. I think he may have kissed my lips but that also felt like a dream. When I awoke, the shades were drawn and the whole living area was shrouded in darkness. Across from me, red-lighted numbers illuminated the blackness. A digital clock said that the time was eight in the morning. I was on the couch and Rhode wasn’t in the red lounger across from me. I shot up. My muscles were stiff so I stumbled and held onto arm of the chair.  “Rhode?” I called out.   But I already knew.  “No…” I whispered. I spun in a circle. There were only four rooms: a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. Off the living area was a porch. The curtains were closed yet the way the wind drifted inward made the curtains billow. The door was open behind them. I pushed them aside and stepped out onto the wooden patio. I put my hand over my eyes as a visor. My eyes adjusted immediately as I scanned the porch, hopeful for only a moment. Rhode was gone. From my life. From my existence.  I saw the onyx ring lying in the center of the tile. When I approached it, I realized it was in the middle of a tiny pile of glittering dust. It looked as though sand was mixed with mica or tiny diamonds. My Rhode, my companion for close to 600 years, weakened from the transformation and self-sacrifice had evaporated in the sun. I dipped my thumb and index finger into Rhode’s remains. They were cool and gritty. I pulled out the ring and slid the smooth metal over my new, sensitive skin.  I was alone.   

Editorial Reviews

"Infinite Days is a wonderfully sexy, dark novel full of lush prose. Rebecca Maizel is a marvel, writing more than just a story, she creates myth with every page." -Carrie Jones, author of NYT bestselling series, NEED"Once the most feared vampire in the world, Lenah Beaudonte wants what all vampires eventually want: to be human and feel, love and even cry again. After an elaborate ritual that involves the death of her soul mate for the last 592 years and a 100-year secret hibernation at her English countryside estate, Lenah awakens at an elite New England boarding school, returned to her former 16-year-old human self. As she adjusts to the new century (almost too quickly, "chatting up" friends in mere days), tries to fit in with her peers and experiences her first human love with gorgeous and intelligent Justin and guilt for her past ruthless killings, flashbacks across the centuries reveal Lenah's former life as a vampire, how she formed the coven she rules and why she must prepare to battle its members once they discover her disappearance. In this new series starter, strong, brave, powerful Lenah sheds the wannabe image, capturing readers instead with her complex yet fascinating history and visceral, at times sensual, narration." -Kirkus"Maizel has written a gripping debut novel that wraps a historical story into a modern, paranormal tale. Lenah is a multilayered woman who understands the test of time, yet experiences life as if just born. A new series sure to appeal to many - young and old. Breathtaking!" -Romantic Times Book Reviews (Top Pick)"Maizel's dark and dreamy debut reverses the vampire trend with a heroine whose heart's desire is to regain her humanity and abandon her evil past. After more than 500 years as the queen of her English coven, perpetual 15-year-old Lenah finally has her chance to become human again when her vampire sire sacrifices himself for the necessary ritual. Determined to live her new days to the fullest before her coven finds and kills her for her betrayal, Lenah explores American teenage life at a boarding school in Massachusetts with best friend Tony and boyfriend Justin. Eventually discovered, abducted, and remade as a vampire, Lenah retains her soul and becomes something entirely new--a compassionate vampire with unexpected powers who can bridge the worlds. She returns to school and her friends, but the coven isn't far behind, and they aren't interested in mercy. Maizel's lustrous style is occasionally uneven, but the captivating characters and intriguing story easily overcome the slight flaws. Vampire fans or not, readers will find a lot to enjoy in this exploration of the power of intent, desire, love, and sacrifice." -Publishers Weekly "Infinite Days is a deliciously engaging mix of vampires and romance, peppered with humor and layered with a lush, grippingly dark backstory. Rebecca Maizel's first novel is a real treat!" -A.M. Jenkins, author of Damage