balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Vampire's Tribute by Margaret L. Carter: A Review

 Title: Vampire’s Tribute
 Author: Margaret L. Carter
 Genre: vampire romance
 Available on Amazon Kindle
 Rating: 5 Balloons

I had the pleasure of reading Margaret L. Carter’s Vampire’s Tribute. It contains two stories about the same vampire, “Payer of Tribute” and “Demon on the Hill.” “Payer of Tribute” opens with protagonist Isobel visiting the demon’s castle, offering to take the place of her sister Allison whom the town had offered as tribute in return for the protections he provided. She braces herself for a painful death; instead, Reynard proves to be much different than what she had anticipated. As the weeks pass, she falls in love with him. In “Demon on the Hill,” we fast-forward to 2018, when one of Allison’s descendants—also named Isobel—visits England to delve into her family’s history. She explores the ruined castle on the hill and finds that it wasn’t totally abandoned.

These stories were engaging, interesting reads. They’ve got a Beauty and the Beast feel to them, and I love reading such stories. The protagonist in each story had a lot of spunk, and I couldn’t help but love them. Carter’s vivid descriptions and characterization kept me reading and wanting to know the outcome. If you like romance, you’ll love Vampire’s Tribute. I highly recommend this book.
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

John Reinhard Dizon’s The Standard – Review

Title: The Standard
Author: John Reinhard Dizon
ISBN: 0-9876027-8-0
Publisher: Tenth Street Press
Available at Amazon, Smashwords, and other eBook retailers, 279 pages, $4.89
Rating: Five stars

In the near future, international groups are planning to return to the gold standard to resolve a recession. Ruthless international mobsters and drug cartels are planning to convert their holdings into bullion before attacking the major gold depositories in three countries – Operation Blackout – to get a monopoly in the new market. M16 assigns William Shanahan to disrupt Operation Blackout with the help of John Gawain. Ah, but Gawain is a convicted murderer released from prisoner in exchange for his assignment. Protagonist Shanahan, a standup guy, struggles with moral issues. He must put aside his antipathy toward Gawain so they can work together to foil Operation Blackout. Their target? Chupacabra, an assassin for the Medellin cartel who is coordinating a nuclear attack on the mainland.

We have two opposites working together: Shanahan, a righteous, upstanding man, and Gawain, a murderer serving a life sentence for serial killing before the government assigned him to the job. Not only must Shanahan find a way to foil Chupacabra’s plot; he must work alongside a man he despises. Shanahan seldom stays out of trouble, and when he does, Gawain’s Machiavellian, murderous tactics cause more for him. He questions the values of M16 and his country who gave Gawain a blank check in the trail of bodies he leaves while disrupting the terrorists’ network. When will too much be considered enough as Gawain stops at nothing to terrorize the terrorists?

I found all characters, protagonist and villain alike, very interesting. The romantic elements in the story force Shanahan and Gawain to reconsider their values. Shanahan starts out judgmental, with Walter Mitty dreams of marrying into British nobility. Instead, he falls in love with Morgana, a stewardess. He mellows out as he navigates the gray world of espionage. At first, I considered Gawain a despicable character, but his romance with Fianna exposes his vulnerability. For the first time, he finds himself putting the safety of another person above his own. By the end of the book, I liked him.

It was fascinating to watch the two men work the opposite sides of the same street. As the agents work together, they begin to appreciate different qualities in one another. The numerous villains invent creative ways for bloodshed, murder, and kidnapping.

A story with conflict and lots of action gets me reading and keeps me turning the pages. This Dizon did, along with his seasoned, layered characters and snappy dialogue. His writing has a James Bond feel to it and reminds me a bit of Tom Johnson’s pulp thrillers. Shanahan seldom stays out of trouble, and when he does, Gawain’s loose cannon tactics cause more for him. If you like James Bond thrillers or Johnson’s pulp tales, you’ll love The Standard.

I rate The Standard five stars.
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Carpathian Blood Review

Title: Carpathian Blood
Author: Michelle Hoefle
Publisher: Eternal Press (
ISBN: paperback – 978-1-61572-867-1; eBook – 978-1-61572-866-4
Available at:,,, and other major retailers
Rating: five stars

Carpathian Blood opens in 1293 A.D. with Vlad and his fellow Terranians migrating to earth in a defunct ship, hoping for a safe landing. Fast forward to present day, protagonist Mackenzie travels to Romania with her nine-year-old brother, Alain, to begin a new life. Instead, she stumbles into a war between the Terranians and the Vampyres. A Vampyre attacks her, nearly killing her. When her rescuer reveals himself, Mackenzie wants no part of his life or his war. But she’s caught on the horns of several dilemmas: She’s raising Alain by herself and fears for his safety. If she tries to leave with her brother, she might run into another renegade Vampyre. Alain yearns for a real family and wants to stay at Vlad’s home. Mackenzie herself is falling for Vlad. Vlad falls for Mackenzie and will stop at nothing to win her heart.

Carpathian Blood’s action and dialogue kept me reading from page one. It usually takes me weeks to finish a book, but this was a page turner, so I finished the book in three hours. I enjoy a well-crafted vampire tale, and Michelle came up with a really unique take on vampires. A crashed spaceship and an oxygen-enriched atmosphere on earth, as opposed to nitrogen, makes for some sexy Terranians. Vlad took drastic measures to save her life…twice, and Mackenzie made a worthy counterpart. Both of them, along with some of the other characters, made homes in my heart. I hope there will be sequels. Some of the other characters have stories that need to be told. I strongly recommend Carpathian Blood.
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

By Right of Blood

Today, I'm featuring a guest author, Lorrieann Russell, who penned the novel, By Right of Blood. Her cover appeals to the eye, By Right of Blood and her other books have enjoyed mostly 5-star reviews, and I am honored to feature her. With that in mind, I'm turning the page over to Lorrieann. ~ Barbara

My name is Lorrieann Russell. I have the great pleasure to introduce you to William Fylbrigge, late of Drumoak Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland, who has joined me today to tell you a little bit about himself. One thing that you should know about Mr. Fylbrigge; he is a work of fiction, and so happens to be the main character in my newly re-released novel, By Right of Blood. Who better to tell you about his story than the man himself? So without further nonsense, I will turn the floor over to him.

I've been part of this castle so long, I could rightly claim not to recall the time before I arrived; though if the truth is told, perhaps I remember it all too well. How well I recall growing up in my father's manor, Fylbrigge Hall in Aberdoir, and how well I recall my daily prayers and pleas to any god who would choose to hear, to free me from its walls. Though it was not my father who I longed to be free of — him, I never knew, being orphaned in my infancy — but my older brother, Thomas, who stepped into the role of father to me. Thomas, who had enjoyed the status of sole heir to our father's fortune; until I was born, of course. Thomas and his wife, Bryndah (I still shudder at the thought of her) became my "parents" though loving, they were not.
My own dear mother was lost to me, you see. She drew her last breath, just as I drew my first. It was a blessing from the Lady Goddess that I was suckled by a nurse named Rebecca. I loved Rebecca as a child loves a mother, trusting her to keep me warm, fed and protected against the Bryndah's raging temper. How well I recall the many times I hid within the folds of Rebecca's skirt to escape Bryndah's lash or a scratch from her talon-like fingernails. Indeed Rebecca protected me too well, for her own well being. I have missed her all these years, and a night does not pass when I do not see her face, wet with tears, imploring me to "run, little one" . . . before the flame engulfed her.
I was six then. I would spend the next six years being reared on monster tales of a man who ate his rivals and dressed himself in leather made of the skin of those who dared speak against him. His name was Edward of Stonehaven, and he was Bryndah's father. I believed every word she told me. After all, she was a demoness in my eyes "the vilest of the vile;" how much worse, then, was the man who sired her?
I was twelve when my nightmare became reality and I was tossed into a carriage and taken to Drumoak. My fate, she assured me, that Lord Edward would use my bones for quills and my skin for his bed curtains. I believed her.
I was a fool.
That is where my story begins, my arrival in Stonehaven in the summer of my twelfth year. I consider that to be the true year of my birth as it was at Drumoak that my life truly began. Nothing before then really matters. I am here, and this is where I will stay for a while.

William is tired now, and has asked to be excused. If you'd like to read more of his story, please get a copy of By Right of Blood, available at and other online booksellers.
Good night,

By Right of Blood
By Lorrieann Russell
Ebook ISBN: 9781452421841
Paperback ISBN: 9780615645704
Editor: Jesse V Coffey
Cover and artwork: Lorrieann Russell

Cover Synopsis:
William Fylbrigge is ill prepared to claim what is his, by right of blood, and his place among the powerful clan he has been born into. His older brother Thomas doesn't want to share what he thinks is rightfully his, secretly arranging to have the young lad killed in a convenient "accident." William could lose everything, including his life.
Sean Wilbrun, the son of a common groomsman, transcends the barriers of his class and station when he is elevated to the esteemed ranks of guard for Lord Edward, Duke of Stonehaven. His first assignment, however, is not to wield a sword to protect his duke, but instead to attend to the newly arrived foster son.
William and Sean soon form an unlikely duo and a lasting bond as together they face Thomas' accusations of murder and treason.

Short Synopsis
William Fylbrigge is ill prepared to claim what is his by right of blood, and his place among the powerful clan he has been born into. His older brother Thomas doesn't want to share what he thinks is rightfully his, secretly arranging to have the young lad killed in a convenient "accident." William could lose everything, including his life.

Author Bio:
Lorrieann Russell has written three books (so far) chronicling the life and times of William Fylbrigge: By Right of Blood, My Brother's Keeper, and In the Wake of Ashes. She has also published several short stories, and has been a featured guest on Edin Road Radio. She is an accomplished artist, illustrator, photographer and designer. A native New Englander, she spends much of her time in the mountains of New Hampshire, hiking and taking pictures of the landscape.
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Margaret L. Carter's Blood Hostage

Title: Blood Hostage
Author: Margaret L. Carter
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-61124-112-9 (eBook version)
Where available:Amazon and Barnes & Noble (prices vary)
Genre: vampire romance
Rating: 5 stars

This past week I had the pleasure of reading Margaret L. Carter’s Blood Hostage. Carter drew me into her story straightaway with lots of action and multi-layered characters. For starters, her vampires aren’t your typical cliche monsters that leave a trail of bodies. They have their own code of honor with elders who police them. Instead of draining people, they’ll drink a little blood and then hypnotize the “donor” into forgetting. They try to keep a low profile, rather than draw attention from the police. Although Carter’s vampires are allergic to garlic, the myths about crucifixes and changing into bats are just that. They do have other supernatural powers, such as mind-melding with humans, and that’s only if the human drinks their blood.

Hal comes from a long line of vampire hunters, but he realizes that not all vampires are evil killers. Still, he’d never trust one. His beliefs are challenged when his cousin tries to save a girl from a dangerous vampire, Conan. Instead, Conan traps both people in his lair, leaving them at the mercy of his bloodlust.

The conflict will keep you turning the pages. It begins with page one. Hal’s been stalking Monique, a vampire. Seeing her as his only chance to save the prisoners, he drugs and imprisons her. Naturally, Monique’s furious with him. In her opinion, humans are mere “pets.” To her chagrin, Hal is immune to her hypnosis. Because the girl is Monique’s favorite donor, she grudgingly goes along with him, though deep down, she resents him and his family for hunting her kind.

Carter turns up the heat when the two feel a mutual attraction despite their differences. With just a few sentences, she weaves in the characters’ emotions and feelings to make the attraction believable. Adding to the conflict, Monique’s almost at the cusp of her heat cycle. She needs to mate badly, and the only vampire available is Conan, a rogue she detests. She must seduce Hal, or else risk surrendering to Conan. Hal’s been feeling his attraction to her from the get-go, so when their passions explode look out.

The conflict notches higher with their mission to rescue Hal’s cousin and the girl. Carter keeps going at a brisk pace, making every word count. Hal and Monique make an interesting team, and I hope Carter writes a sequel. I’d love to read more tales featuring these characters.

“Blood Hostage” is available in paperback in Margaret L. Carter’s collection, Ardent Blood, available on Amazon and most other major retailers. It’s a must-read for any vampire enthusiast.

balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Demon's Fall

 Title: Demon’s Fall
 Author: Margaret L. Carter
 Genre: Paranormal Romance
 Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
 Cost: $1.99; about 34 pages
 Available at: Amazon Kindle
 Rating: 5 balloons

What would you do for love? In Margaret L. Carter’s Demon’s Fall, The Infernal Powers send Kammael, a demon in human form, on a mission to seduce Erin Collier from her destiny as a servant of the Light. Ah, but instead, he falls for her, and we learn what he would do for love. Determined to protect Erin from harm, he disobeys orders and faces a fall from immortality, along with other, more horrific consequences. What kind of consequences, you might ask. I won’t say, lest I give away spoilers.
I sat down to read, thinking I’d read a few pages and get back to it later. Instead, Carter’s suspenseful writing kept me flipping the pages, and I finished the book. I loved it. I would describe her writing as character-driven; her characters make sympathetic people, the kind of folks the reader would love. The suspense will reel you in and guide you to a surprise ending. If you like paranormal romance, you’ll find Demon’s Fall a delightful read.
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

P. J. Sheldon's Shadowed

Book Blurb:
You don’t know me, but I’m standing at your door begging you pay attention. See, I know things that you may not yet know. I see things you don’t even know are there. Some call me crazy, and you probably will too, but when you see that what I tell you is the truth… When you see the truth, then you’ll be hunting me. You’ll search for me. You’ll need me to help you understand. See you may not know this stranger at your door, but you will, and you’ll need me. I came to tell you what I know, what I’ve seen. The rest is up to you. There’s nothing else I can do. I’ll run from you when you stand stunned after I tell you. You don’t know me, but very soon… you’ll be hunting me, needing me, wanting me. I don’t know you, but pretty soon… I will because you are just like me. The question that you can’t ask me right now, but I’ll answer anyway, is trust no one or anything. For what you knew was all a lie.


About the Author:
I'm PJ. I'm a happily married mother of three incredible children. But my super power lies in words... LOL No, seriously though... I write and read romance, of all sorts. Romance is a girl's best friend. Well, it is for this girl. Ha! For the longest time, I read books by Stephen King, Tess Gerritsen and the like. Then a friend introduced me to Bella Andre and Jamie McGuire. From that moment on, I was addicted. I've read so many romance books now that I couldn't honestly tell you my favorite read or author. There are just so many out there and so many that aren't getting the reading love they should. Or at least I think anyway. *wink*
I started blogging before I began writing. It wasn't until my husband dropped my notebooks in my lap and told me to do something with my OWN stories that my writing career began. From that moment forward, I have written 21 books. 19 books under PJ, 1 book under Réna Edward, and 1 book under Maree Alexander.
Life is ever changing and we have move with the punches or get knocked out. Because of these changes, my writing career has changed as well. This site is a stem of that.
I hope that you will continue to give me your feedback and support on my books. And maybe in return, I can give you some new reads and authors to find with my blog!
Much love to all you beautiful people out there!

Book Links:
Pre-order Links:
Amazon (US) -
Amazon (UK) -
Amazon (AU) -
Amazon (CA) -

Inktera: *Coming Soon*
Playster: *Coming Soon*
Tolino: *Coming Soon*
Angus & Robertson Bookworld:

Add to your TBR:…/s…/35305751-shadowed-attachments



balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Tom Johnson's Three Go Back, an Interesting Journey

Three Go Back features three teenage girls whose time machine takes them on a horrifying journey back millions of years, through the dinosaur era. Horrifying though their journey might be, these characters discover world history first hand and observe ancient flesh. I am happy to share the book's debut review. Three Go Back is now available through Night to Dawn for $12.97 plus shipping.

By Tom Johnson
YA SF/Educational Adventure
Ratings: 5-Stars

In the 24th century, when travel is by teleportation vehicles, and the affluent live in bubbles floating thousands of feet above the ground, three young girls prepare for school as one presses the teleport button. At the exact same time, a massive magnetic storm from the sun strikes the Earth, disrupting the mechanism and turning their teleportation vehicle into a time machine.
Instead of instantly materializing at their school, the girls find themselves thousands of years in the past, at some point during the Ice Age. Time and time again, they attempt to return to the 24th century, only traveling farther back in Earth's past with each press of the button. With the batteries draining from each jump, they are stranded in each epoch for short periods of time, in which they experience the danger and excitement of fantastic adventure in ancient surroundings.
Previous novels by this author have fascinated me, and I was not disappointed with this one. There is a wonderful mix of adventure and camaraderie among the characters as they discover their world's past history first hand, and observe ancient life in the raw flesh. As they constantly go further back in time, the girls begin to fear they may never return to the world they once knew, and the reader turns each page in anticipation of some new thrill or danger.
This is a unique adventure for the Young Adult, with an educational content seldom found in stories for this age group. As I read this exciting tale, I discovered a thrill for an older generation of readers as well. Perhaps some of us do want to go back!
Terry Roberts, Reviewer (SF/Etc At A Glance)
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Real Characters; Honest Love; Brandi Kennedy's Books

Brandi Kennedy is a romance novelist who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world and through adulthood, that love of words has never changed. Brandi is now a contemporary romance novelist and poet with a deep love of writing and a curiously adventurous desire to someday write in several other genres.

A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet, and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.



Twitter: @brandikennedy84
Instagram: @authorbrandikennedy
Snapchat: @brandikennedy84
Amazon Author Profile:

**For some exclusive fun, different and exciting new information as well as an extra monthly flash fiction, join her for as little as $1 per month at:

Now, hop on over to the other blogs hosting Brandi for the entire month of February:
2/17 &
2/23 &
2/25 &
Stop by these blogs and leave a comment…there may be a prize for the person who’s visited and commented on the most blogs (other than the blog participants…aw shucks)!
balloons, horror fiction, Night to Dawn

Black Friday: a Blessing or a Nightmare?

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers crowd the malls at the wee hours in the morning, first got its name before 1961 because of the disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Its use became more popular around 1975. Later on, merchants tried to put a positive spin on the term, declaring that the sales would put them “in the black.” I did not go to the mall Friday because I’d already done my holiday shopping. I’d much prefer taking my time selecting gifts or other items without a crowd pushing at me. Better yet, do my holiday shopping at home in the safety of my balloons, and get the bargains via Cyber Monday.

About a week ago I went to the bank, and about fifteen of us waited in line for the bank to open. We wound up chatting, and the subject turned toward Black Friday. One woman described her experience with Black Friday shopping. She’d gotten in line, but about fifty people behind her knocked her to the ground in their hurry to get to the sales. Her injuries necessitated hospitalization, though she didn’t go into details. I was saddened to hear about people in so much of a hurry to buy that they kicked safety to the curb. I found myself wondering what happened to the spirit of the season.

At first, the stores opened at 6:00 am, but recently, they might open as early as 12:00 am or on Thanksgiving during the evening hours. Some people I know have scooped up bargains by hitting the malls in the early hours in the morning. I never understood the rationale of getting up so early to get to a mall. On my days away from the day job, I like my sleep.

Given the lack of sleep and crowds, I’d have to consider Black Friday a nightmare, but Cyber Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer some blessings. I was able to get a sweet deal on business cards from Vistaprint and this Monday, plan to get a deal on my favorite coffee from Ocean City Coffee Company. I expect my inbox to be filled with “special deal” emails from department stores, and that’s okay. If it’s something I need, I might buy. Otherwise, I hit the “delete” button. Cyber Monday will go further in putting stores in the black without the casualties of excited mobs.

What is your take on Black Friday? Do you consider it a nightmare or a blessing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.