Relative Strangers Book Cover Relative Strangers
A Modern Vampire Story Sophie Morgan Vampire Series Book 1
Helen Treharne
Urban Fantasy
Bewitching Book Tours

Meet Sophie Morgan… practical, Welsh, prone to occasional profanity, and seemingly a vampire magnet.

Sophie Morgan is 23 and has always done the right thing. She’s caused no stress for her family, worked hard through university, has taken a successful leap onto the career ladder and nurtured a reasonably healthy bank balance. It’s no small surprise then when, on a post relationship break-up, mini-break to Antwerp, she pursues a pair of thieves who steal her friend’s handbag. But this is only the start of her world being turned upside down. Ripped from the streets into a dark alley she is violently attacked, barely alive when quirky Irish bar worker, Michael Kelly, stumbles across the scene.

The pair, shocked by their experience and uncertain whether they have killed her attacker in the brawl which follows, go into the night for answers.   They get more than they bargained for. Sophie quickly learns that vampires exist, her neighbours back home aren’t what they seem and new boyfriends can be found in the strangest of situations.

Relative Strangers is the first in a new vampire series with a distinctly British flavour, but which will appeal to everyone. Reviews call it " a vampire tale with bite", with "brilliant characters that draw you in" and a very fresh take on the genre. Read it now to find out reviewers are raving about.


Available at Amazon Smashwords iBooks BN


I wakened with a jolt, my heart beating, and my lids heavy. The glowing display of my alarm clock informed me it was four a.m. Had the noise been real, or had I been dreaming? My brain fired up and I took in my surroundings. I'd spent two months living with my mother in my childhood home following my sudden relocation back to South Wales. I'd only moved into my own place a few days earlier and was disorientated. Bed, furniture, dressing gown draped over the chair- all mine, definitely my bedroom, no one else in the room with me, all good. So what the hell was that noise? My anxiety levels were sky high. It had been a terrible year, one brimming with violence and death. I couldn't take another emotional or physical beating; I hoped my imagination was playing tricks on me. Please don't let this be anything more than a dream, I prayed. I tentatively reached across the nightstand to flick on the lamp, but quickly retracted my hand. What if there is someone in the house? There could be someone downstairs. You don't want to let them know you're up here. Think Sophie, is that what woke you up, could that have caused the noise you heard - was it a bang, something smashing? It might be better to err on the side of caution. Take a breath, think before you do anything. Slipping my legs from under the duvet I padded over to the window and quietly pulled the cord to lift the blind. It was dark outside. Dawn wouldn't surface for several hours, but the street lamp at the bottom of the garden afforded me a little light. The town council switched them on early during the winter months. Everything outside looked peaceful. The gate at the bottom of the path knocked rhythmically against its post in the cold January wind. I must have failed to close it properly. Another noise. Was it a noise? Did I really hear something? Yep, definitely coming from downstairs. Blood whooshed through my ears as my heart began pumping adrenaline through my body. Someone else was in my house. Someone was moving downstairs. Oh my God, no, not here. How could he have found me? Why now? I've been moving on. I didn't even tell. My body froze in panic, but something deep in my gut forced my brain into action. There was no way I was going to give in after I’d battled for so long and so hard to stay alive, to survive. Nobody was going to rob me of that, or anything else for that matter. I quickly assessed my options, but they didn’t add up to much. I could hide out in my room and hope that the intruder would go of their own accord. Perhaps they'd just be an ordinary burglar - they'd be in and out. They'd take my purse, mobile phone and keys which I'd left in the kitchen and escape but I could replace things. At least I'd be alive and unharmed. But what if I just stayed put and they came upstairs, perhaps looking for things of higher value? Based on my experience, it was more likely that it was some sicko who would then have me penned in. I'd have no escape and be at their mercy. I wasn't ever going to let that happen to me again. Thoughts machine gunned their way through my brain, but I decided to come down on the side of braving it, going downstairs and confronting my intruder. Maybe, I'd be lucky and it would just be a petty thief, more scared of me than I of him. But on the other hand, perhaps it was him. If so, I was probably dead already, may as well get it over with.


Relative Strangers: Helen Treharne Excerpts and Soundbites

On being attacked by a vampire

“The searing pain ripped through my body. I couldn’t tell what was happening, but I knew it wasn’t good. At first all I could feel was an ice cold stabbing sensation in my neck. Then came the burning, a river of heat surging through my veins. I’d never felt anything like it before. Coherence was terminated the instant I felt my flesh tear open. Blood poured down my neck. I wasn’t sure what weapon he could be using but I could feel his nose resting on the side of my chin, his mouth manoeuvring itself around my neck, moving in a circular gnawing motion. Oh my God, I’m being bitten. Someone is actually biting me. What next? This cannot be happening? This can’t be real. What the fuck? I can’t die like this. Then everything went black.”


“When I opened my eyes, it was like that scene at the end of the Wizard of Oz, when Judy Garland wakes up to be comforted by her Auntie Em and with all her favourite faces sat around the bed. Yes, it was exactly like that. That is if you mean a bunch of practical strangers staring at me as I lay prostrate, crashed out on a wooden pub bench and caked in blood.”

On Being a Vampire

“Ferrer’s looked on, intrigued. This was not the typical response that a human had when confronted with a real, salivating, hungry vampire, fangs bare and ready to kill. She seemed to know exactly what Rachel, his young protégé, was and she appeared to be quite confidently attempting to defend herself. It was interesting. In the past three centuries, he'd seen humans demonstrate a range of responses when they realise a vampire may kill them. They ranged from debilitating shock, to the shaking of charms and prayers for help. Whatever the words spoken, or actions taken, they were always wrapped up in fear and confusion. Even when a potential victim was begging to be saved from the pains and troubles of their human existence, they reeked of insecurity and uncertainty. Mr Ferrers found the whole thing rather unseemly. Over the years he had been able to moderate his impulses and preferred to take his victims when they least expected it, and ensuring they were left with little more than a mild sense of confusion, if any discernible effect at all. His powers of persuasion had been honed to an art form, so much so that he could have been mistaken for being telepathic or having an aptitude for hypnosis. Neither was true. He'd spent centuries travelling the world, watching people, observing their behaviour, decades before that listening to the prayers and disclosures of his flock through the confessional window. The only sixth sense he had was observation – the ability to see and note the minutiae of someone's life, recognise the wealth of minor tells they gave away, and making a series of deductions. Rather than telepathy, he had excellent eyesight, a quick mind and years of watching human behaviour. Vampirism had increased these, but was not solely responsible. Of course, he did consume blood and that meant he could often detect if there was something fundamentally wrong with someone's health. It might taste thin to him, or have an unusual aftertaste. The most common problem was iron deficiency. The irony that he probably contributed to that was not lost on him.

On Killing Vampires

“You don’t need to stake them in the heart to kill them, although it’s quite possible that would work too, I’ve not tried it. Daylight definitely doesn’t kill them, or at least not the ones I’ve met. You don’t have to decapitate them either, but my philosophy is that if you cut anything’s head off it will probably cease to function in its usual way, whether it’s living or undead. I’m not a trained fighter, I’m basically about survival, and I’ve found that whacking just about anything with force and frequency will stop it. Either that or blow its brains out. It seems to have worked for me so far. When you kill a vampire they don’t just go "poof" and turn into cinders either. A well timed breeze doesn’t come along and blow their ashes far and wide. There’s no sudden mound of dust, which you can suck up in your vacuum cleaner, more convenient though it would be. Maybe they disintegrate given enough time, I don’t know for certain, but they definitely leave a carcass behind, which at least leaves you with a problem in the short term. I can’t say that I’m an expert on slaying vampires, or that I knew exactly what to expect when I woke up the following morning, but at the top of my list of chores was scrubbing my kitchen and disposing of the remains.”

About the Author:helen

After a successful career in business and career coaching, Helen Treharne returned to South Wales in 2010 to focus on writing, among other things.

Relative Strangers, a modern vampire story featuring an increasingly feisty Sophie Morgan, hits digital bookshelves in 2014. In addition to being the creator of the developing “Sophie Morgan” series, she is an urban poet and social commentator who can frequently be found ranting in the Twitterverse. She knew the degree in Sociology would come in handy some day!

Helen lives with her husband, three cats, an entrenched tea addiction and an increasing collection of stringed instruments. When she’s not writing she spends her time daytime hours working in communications and volunteers for a feline welfare charity. She can’t be trusted near stationery and has had more come backs than Cher.



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