It's strange to discuss the second installment of the Netherworld series when the first book still hasn't come out. But I'm into the first draft of Blood Potion No. 9, discovering Brandilynn is getting a bit more used to being dead. She's also finding more trouble to get into as a new danger rears its head. Seems like someone has it in for the vampires of Fulton Falls, sneaking fatal dragon's blood into the commercial supply most of the fanged rely on for sustenance:
I’d seen Wendy around before, but she usually sat at a desk. “Did you give Penny the night off?” I asked Tristan.
Tristan stared at me long and hard, and I realized his extra vampireness this evening had not as much to do with me as I’d initially suspected. “Penny suffered her final death early this evening.”
My mouth dropped. I hadn’t been close to Penny, but she’d been Tristan’s aide the entire time … seven months … I’d known him. A newer vamp, she’d had the bad taste to wear black, not at all flattering against her bluish-white skin. She’d been a secretary in life, and her skills as an aide were second to none.
“What happened?” I asked, my voice hushed with respectful shock.
Tristan’s lips narrowed and his fangs glimmered into view for an instant. He kept most of his calm, but that little slip told me how furious he was. “She drank tainted blood. It’s Fulton Falls’ sixth such death in the last year. That’s why I need Dan off the Beasts and on this matter.”
Most vampires didn’t get live donors like someone with Tristan’s clout did. They were forced to drink the pouched stuff you could pick up at any grocery or convenience store. Lately, the more expensive Blood Potion No. 9, sold in slim black bottles dressed with fancy gold labels, had been flying off the shelves because dragons’ blood was somehow getting into the cheaper supplies. Dragon’s blood is lethal to vampires. A single drop, hard to detect in an sixteen-ounce pouch full of human blood, will eat up a vampire from the inside like acid. The tampering was claiming vampire lives all over the southeastern United States. Officials couldn’t track it down, and despite close inspections of all the packaging and distribution plants, the bad stuff was still getting out.