May 31st, 2019

balloons, Night to Dawn, horror fiction

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 Amazon.com and other online booksellers.
Good night,
Lorrieann

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, Night to Dawn, horror fiction

Carpathian Blood Review

Title: Carpathian Blood
Author: Michelle Hoefle
Publisher: Eternal Press (www.eternalpress.biz)
ISBN: paperback – 978-1-61572-867-1; eBook – 978-1-61572-866-4
Available at: www.amazon.com, www.bn.com, www.bookstrand.com, 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, Night to Dawn, horror fiction

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.