Blood of My Blood: A Review

Vampirism as plot can be a tough sell, when the market is awash in tales of bloodsuckers and their effect on humanity.  But, occasionally, I’m lucky enough to find a fresh take on a beloved horror staple.

Awakening of The Spirit is a new three-part, mystery/suspense series about the supernatural criminal world in Washington, D.C.

In Book One titled Blood of My Blood, award-winning writer Montiese McKenzie creates a criminal underworld with supernatural creatures, ancient and powerful. But the government has its own plans to grasp this power for itself.

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Agent Alexander Rubidoux has been working kidnappings for years, but he’s never come across anything like the disappearance of wealthy financier, Paul Kirsch. He’s also never been stirred by woman like he is by Kirsch’s wife Kathryn Spencer, an Afro-Russian who requests his help to locate her husband.

During his investigation, D.C. goes from a town he’s known forever to a hotbed of paranormal creatures and abilities he’s never seen before. And he’s out of his depth. Blood of My Blood brings readers into a battle between darkness and light with a unique focus on actual historical events like The Bolshevik Revolution, the Holocaust, as well as race relations in America incorporated in a modern-day setting.

Kathryn is a multi-layered character. Exactly what we want to see, especially from a Black female protagonist, where in dark fiction the range of our emotions and responses is rarely explored.  She is a vampire, a mother, a reluctant — yet loyal — wife, not always in that order. Her feelings about her vampirism, her Russian heritage, and her abusive relationship all shift with the events of the story.

And Rubidoux finds himself willing to do anything for her.

A fast-paced, well-researched read. Themes of Christianity, spirituality, and eternal life alongside race relations, and violence.

Blood of My Blood is available on Amazon.

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Montiese McKenzie is a lifelong Philadelphia girl, writer, who somehow stumbled into accounting. As a kid if she wasn’t writing stories exploring the human condition, she was stealing her mother’s matches to light things on fire. With a B.A. in both History and Sociology from Bloomsburg University, Montiese combined her love of the human condition, time periods, and writing to survive five years in the boondocks. A cat mom, a sock collector, and lover of MerchantIvory films with too much dialogue, Montiese is about to enter her fourth decade riding high on naps and snickerdoodle cookies.

For more information about her and her work, visit her website, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram pages.

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Graveyard Shift Sister: Michele Berger

Horror meets Black hair care.

When I found out about Michele Berger’s latest release, Reenu-You, I knew I had to reach out to her to discuss her inspiration for the book, the strength of sisterhood, and how she’d never before thought of herself as a horror writer.

Well, welcome to the sisterhood, Michele. We’re glad to have you.

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Read the entire review and interview on Graveyard Shift Sisters.

Featured Author: Auden Johnson

In one of my recent forays onto Twitter, I came across the profile of one Auden Johnson.

I stopped because I rarely come across black female dark fantasy writers–even fewer that write sword and sorcery–and I love to talk with other female writers of dark fiction to get a feel for their experiences writing in the genre. I’m also excited that she has a dark fiction world-building guide planned. So I reached out.

Auden was gracious in responding and agreed to be a featured author on my blog. A little about her in her own words:

I am a Dark Fantasy writer. I can’t help but be one and believe me, I’ve tried. It seems no matter how far you run, your passion always catches up with you. I didn’t make the choice to be a writer, the stories made it for me. Dark Fantasy allows me to combine my two great loves–horror and fantasy. 

Darkness and dark things have always fascinated me. I’ve tried to write light or “normal” stories but you can’t make the stories into something they don’t want to be. Subtle creepy is beautiful. Without meaning to, all my stories deal with darkness in some way.

“The written word reaches into my soul and pulls out someone I didn’t know existed. ” –Auden Johnson

Words are an escape. They somehow lift the weight of the world off my shoulders. I talk about them as though they’re alive. Well, a writer’s job is to make words come alive for you. I’ve been writing for ages and I’m still surprised by the things my mind creates. My mind has always been this vast other world, bottomless, where nothing is impossible. I love it! 

Cover art for The Marked Hosts.
Cover art for The Marked Hosts.

Auden has published three short stories: No Vacancy, Clipped Wings, and Welcome to My World and three novellas: Visible Through Darkness, Shadows under the Light, and Devdan Manor. Her first two novels in The Merging Worlds series, The Sciell and Chains of the Sciell are now available. Her latest release is a dark fantasy/sword and sorcery novella titled, The Marked Hosts.

Synopsis:

She should’ve left the boy to die.

Contessa Torain’s job was simple: Talk humans out of blowing up her homeworld, Devortus, because of a few rogue Brevia soul eaters. A moment of pure insanity leads her to save a child, Asamee Banks, and the brat follows her home. He smells like her kind, but different. His existence creates a mystery she must solve.

The brat is an aggravation when all she wants is a quiet life.

But more Brevia invade the human world, feeding off the residents. Contessa, and her team–along with the bratty Asamee–escape back to Devortus, but find it empty.

The Sencil, dragon-like guardians of Devortus, are dying and they now care only about getting another body as host to survive. Contessa’s only goal is to find her family. But which one of her team is marked?

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Auden’s latest release, The Marked Hosts, you can find it on Amazon here.

Dark fantasy author Auden Johnson.
Dark fantasy author Auden Johnson.

Auden’s bio:  Lover of dark worlds. Nerdy & proud. Anime fan. Nature photographer. Sometimes silly, everyday dreamer, forever lovely. Just trying to be me–writer to the core. Find out more about Auden on her blog, on Twitter, or on G+.