Book Review: To Eris – Human

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To Eris- Human (Payton Chronicles Book 1)

by Ann Snizek

Published by Snow Flower Publishing

 

Overview:

Eris Payton has moved around every 6 months with ‘her mother’ since her father left them at the age of 8. She has never felt in place anywhere. She was never able to make any friends. But then she meets Nelson, who closely resembles the missing brother of Ashley, a girl who lives in the same apartment complex as she does.

Pros:

The story flows really well. Ann makes it hard for you to even want to put down the book. I loved how you get to feel as though you are joining Eris on her journey. Ann makes you feel as though Eris is one of her friends that she introducing you to and not just a character in the book. Nelson, the one whom Eris meets, seems to be more than what he shows but gives to Eris nothing more than who is he is while he struggles with the personal journey of looing like Ashley’s missing brother, Matt.

Cons:

Hmmm. It is hard for me to find any faults in this story. I didn’t find, like in most books, any places where the story dragged. Ann is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and, also, a friend. I will be reviewing her other works on this website as well.

Rating:

 

1star1star1star1star1star

 

See you on the flip side of the screen –DRB

 

Mark Knight

Blood Family CoverBlood Family: Quest for the Vampire Key

By Mark Knight

Publisher: Amazon

Illustrator: David M. Rabbitte

 Release Date: 4/7/13

 Genre: Dark Paranormal

 

Blurb:

Until the age of seventeen, Daniel Dark had no idea of his true origins. Something was ulcerating deep inside him, waiting to claw its way free. Pastor Nathan Dark and his wife, Annie, had adopted him and brought him up as their own. But Daniel always felt that there was a secret they feared tell him…

Everything changes the day a mysterious package arrives at his home. It contains blood – human blood. Daniel’s vampire half awakens and takes its first step out of the shadows. The once lazy, goalless youth transforms into sharp-sensed killer. Now, there is no turning back.

Many horrors await Daniel, for he not only can detect but also attract the living dead…

Daniel Dark will unlock the sinister netherworld where helpless humans are kept and bred for bloodletting, and where he will have to face the unutterable evil.

 

 

Excerpt:

Daniel loved Sunday mornings. The folks had gone to Sunday Service of course, leaving Daniel with the entire house to himself.

Mom and Dad had given up trying to keep their son going to church. He hated the place, and made no bones about it. Considering all that his Dad had put him through in that building – the chanting, the laying on of hands, the constricting straps – they really couldn’t protest too much. So, they went to the church and Nathan gave his sermon and Annie helped with the communion, while Daniel sat in the living room at home blitzing out on a slew of Jackie Chan DVDs and cramming down junk food. Bliss.

After the Sunday roast (which even now was sizzling in its own juices in the oven, sending mouth-watering aromas into the living room) Daniel would have a catnap in his room, and then would get ready for an evening out with his cronies. He still hadn’t phoned his girl to see if she wanted to come. Maybe I should just hang loose for a while, he pondered. Daelin can call me for a change.

Yeah, like that would happen.

Impatience would win. Daniel would make the call.

The doorbell rang. Hoisting himself up from the couch, he ambled over to the front door, surprised that there was a caller on a Sunday morning.

Shit, he thought, I’m just in boxers! He shrugged inwardly. Whatever. They’ll have to take me as I am.

He got a fleeting glimpse of the caller through the slim stained glass window that bisected the door. If he had looked a few seconds longer he might have thought twice about opening up at all – but he’d already turned the handle and was swinging the door wide open.

What stood there before him was a courier holding a parcel. Then – no courier, just the parcel on the doorstep.

He’d just imagined the courier.

Just…imagined…?

The parcel was not large, perhaps the length of a loaf of bread, and wrapped in plain brown paper, tied off with string. He picked it up.

Oddly, there was no return address. No postmark. The handwriting of his name and address looked ordinary enough, however. Taking one last look left and right to see if he could see who had left it, he took the mysterious package inside and closed the door against the cold.

The package, by strange contrast, was warm. It was making his palms tingle, as though thousands of miniscule, electrified worms were eating their way out of the package and into his skin. It’s a bomb, he thought, only ninety-seven percent seriously. A bomb left by that creepy old pastor. Well, if it is, I’ll come back and haunt the fuck out of him.

He could have opened it right there but instead took it up the stairs into his room, closing the door after him. Usually, this is what he would do if his parents were home and he wanted to be alone (which was most of the time). Something about this package was telling him that it was not just specifically but uniquely for him, and where better to view its contents than that most sacred of realms – his bedroom.

Standing in the center of the room amid the debris of corn snacks, car mags, and yesterday’s clothes, Daniel allowed himself a long moment to wonder just who could have sent him this thing. It was nowhere near his birthday. His relatives were not about to send him a gift without a reason. Could it be Daelin? Nope – wasn’t her style. She had the role of gift-getter down pat, and Daniel could see no reason why that would have changed.

For a long moment he stared at the package. Feeling a chill, he quickly pulled on a tee shirt and jeans. He took a deep breath. Ok – I’m going for it.

The brown paper tore easily. The parcel wasn’t crumpled at all – in fact, it barely seemed that it had even been handled. Still there was that strange warmth, that weird prickling…

Finally, the last shred of paper fell to the floor. What Daniel Dark held in his hands immediately induced strange sensations. Wonder. Confusion. Dread.  It was a glass sphere, like a crystal ball. Black-red in color. Upon its surface was an embossed symbol, a kind of a trident.

For glass, it was remarkably warm. It was then he realized that the orb was not made of red glass; the redness was coming from what it encased within. His hands were tingling even more than before. There was a hissing sound…

The heat from his hands was eating into the material of the sphere. Daniel watched, open mouthed, as the outlines of each of his hands sunk slowly into the glass as though melting their way through it. An electrified glow traced his fingers as the orb continued to distort, until…

Detonation.

 

 

Mark Knight  About the Author:

Mark Knight grew up in Massachusetts, USA. Settling in the UK, Mark continued to write novels of differing genres, including horror and television scripts. Mark has scripted two horror scripts for Hollywood’s Little Slices of Death production company and one for Illusion Studios. He also won several short story competitions, and has had his work featured in published anthologies. Mark concentrates now on Young Adult urban fantasy novels.

 

www.markknightbooks.com

www.bloodfamily.co.uk

@markknightbooks (Twitter)

www.amazon.com/author/markknight

 

PS Bartlett

PS Bartlett

PS Bartlett

 

PS Bartlett

is an author from GMTA Publishing
and just released her first novel, Fireflies
David R Bennett: PS Bartlett  is that your real name? Or a pen name? (if so, why?)
PS Bartlett: PS Bartlett is my pen name. The reason I decided to use it is because when I was a child, whenever I wrote or drew or painted anything, I would always sign it that way. It also helps that it’s pretty easy for people to remember.
DRB:  Tell the readers a bit about yourself.
PSB: I’m an extremely busy woman. I work full time as an office manager, I’m a wife, a mother of three and a grandmother of one beautiful little girl who is almost three. I’m also an artist so when I have time, I love to draw and paint. I still have a seventeen year old at home so cooking, cleaning and being a Mom is still a full time job as well. I have some wonderful friends who are also family and extended family and I enjoy our time together. I love to read but I also enjoy a good movie and a select few television shows as well. My number one priority has always been my family. My dream is to be able to quit my day job and be a full time writer. I’m normally as fearless as a lion but I’ll admit, putting myself out here in front of the world is scary as hell.
DRB: How long have you been writing?
PSB: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Poetry and short stories were always my favorite as a child and I enjoyed doing all of my own illustrations as well.
DRB: What genre do you write?
PSB: Since I’ve just finished my first novel and it is historical fiction with a paranormal twist, I could say that is

Fireflies Blog Tour

Fireflies Blog Tour

what I write. However, I’m almost half way through my second novel and this one is completely different and will most likely be categorized as Fantasy/Commercial fiction. My answer I suppose

for now is, I write fiction.
DRB: What genre do you personally read?
PSB: I read everything from biographies to romance. If something interests me I read it and almost everything is interesting to me.
DRB: Who’s your favorite author, right now?
PSB: That is a difficult question because I’ve been writing almost continuously for 6 months and haven’t really taken the time off to enjoy the works of any new authors. I have at least ten new books downloaded on my Kindle and have barely touched them. I’m looking forward to my vacation so that I can finally catch up. May I answer you in June? 🙂
DRB: What challenges do you face when writing? I find that, myself, that my other characters want their attention when writing.
PSB: When I can find complete peace and quiet and a few hours to dive into my writing, the only challenge I find is when my characters seem to want to go on and on about themselves. I get so caught up in wanting to define who they are that I have to force myself to hold back and allow their true personalities to emerge gradually and not all at once in the first chapter. My biggest challenges are external; just finding time alone to write.
DRB: What was the inspiration for your book?
PSB: I was interested in the area where my mother grew up and have always wanted to explore the whole immigration process. She would go on and on about how wonderful that part of the country is and how simple life was. I had originally outlined the story to take place in the here and now but then found myself being pulled back to another place and time and it was there that the story seemed to fit perfectly.
DRB: Is there any message in the book you want your readers to know about?
PSB: I’d rather let them read it and whatever message they take away from the story is fine with me.
DRB: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
PSB: I know it’s been said thousands of times but it is so true that you should write what you know and if you don’t know, research. The only other thing I would advise is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never too late to follow your dream.
DRB: What’s next on your plate?
PSB: Finishing the novel I am currently working on is very important but what is on my plate currently is promoting the launch of “Fireflies” and trying to be a successful writer, so that when my new book comes out, I may actually have some readers who are looking forward to it. Either way, I’m doing something that makes me happy and allows me to be creative and express myself. Success, however is relative to how you define it. I define it as completeing a project that I’ve always longed to do and seeing it to fruition. Holding my first novel in my hands will be my own personal triumph, no matter how it all turns out.

The Death of Serulla

(As told by Destiny Phoenix…)

Serulla is a Komodo, a reptilian-like humanoid raised in a samurai clan society. She is the one caretaker of me that had the biggest impression on me. She took care of me for my parents since my birth.

My mom, Ariel Phoenix, walks down the stairwell in the basement over to the shelter built underneath our home. There Lady Serulla sits in a rocker nursing me. She hears my mother come and looks over at the stairs with her gold eyes. They are sad. Two other children are here as well. A toddler, about 2 years old, and another newborn.

At the time, I never knew these children would grow up to be Sandra and Chris Carpenter, my best friend and boyfriends respectively.

“How are the children?” She asks as she wipes blood off her forehead.

“The two Carpenters are sleeping soundly, while little Destiny just awoke to feed,” Serulla says softly to my mother.

“That’s good. These three will grow up to be extra special when the time comes.”

“What of young Master Brandon?” She asks mom.

“We sent him off to boarding school for his protection. I didn’t want to do it.” Ariel tells Serulla somberly.

“What happened?!?” She asks. “You’re covered in blood ma’am.”

“Grims. Multiple grins attacked us this evening as we patrolled the edge of the forest looking for the local witch coven.”

“Lillian and Walt were hurt and Gregory is with them at the emergency room,” My mother says. “I was asked to come and check on the children.”

“As you can see everything’s all right.”

“Thank heaven,” Ariel says.

Then, a perimeter alarm on the house goes off. My mother goes nuts. She removes the ivory handled katana from the scabbard across her back.

“Protect the kids,” Ariel says to Serulla. “I will be back shortly.”

Quickly, my mother rushes up the stairs to the basement. Then, she circles over to the basement stairwell to head up into the kitchen. That’s when she sees the intruders.

Wraiths. Damn! She thought to herself as she crouches behind the kitchen bar. Then, the tang of her katana scrapes the ground. No. Ariel, you idiot.

The wraiths mumble something in a language that Ariel doesn’t understand as she tries to make her way over to the formal dining room. Quickly, one enters from the other side of the formal dining room as Ariel enters it.

My mother knows she’s trapped. The wraith throws a dart at Ariel which she dodges as she slides into the wall opposite the kitchen entrance. The room is much longer than it is wide.

“Where are the children, Phoenix?” The wraith says wispily to my mother.

“I will never tell you!”

“Then, you’ll die!”

Both the wraith and Ariel hear fighting coming from the living room. Several high pitched squeals can be heard as the remaining wraiths are killed.

Ariel and the last wraith run into the living room. Ariel through the kitchen and the wraith through the main hallway.

Ariel gets to the living room in time to see the wraith gut an exhausted Serulla.

“No!” My mother exclaims as she dives through the bar pass through into the living room.

The wraith swipes at my mother with his razor sharp claws. She blocks them with her katana. Ariel, then, spins to avoid another swipe. In the process, she swings her katana and decapitates the remaining wraith.

The body of the wraith falls to the ground as my mother rushes over to Serulla.

“Take care, Lady Ariel.” She says with her last breath. “The kids are…safe.”

My mother cries as Serulla dies in her arms. How did this happen? In my home? How?!?