Emily Knight I Am… – A Review

I don’t know if I’ve ever reviewed a YA novel for this blog before. Not that I’ve specifically excluded them, but …

*shrugs*

Well, now I am. And it’s a wonderful one to start with: Emily Knight I Am… by A. Bello.

I met her in September of last year at the Triskele Literary Festival in London. She was fun and energetic, and her work was so impressive. She was also a finalist for the Great British Entrepreneurship Award in 2016. For more on that and the press she’s started, you can read my interview with her on the Graveyard Shift Sisters website.

When she asked if I would review Emily Knight, I was flattered. Her book has a brand-new cover, more vibrant than the last in my humble opinion.

Emily knight

 

Emily Knight is a troubled thirteen year-old girl, who takes her frustration out on the world around her. She fights, she steals, and is unrepentant when caught. She doesn’t need to steal, she’s from one of the wealthiest, most well-known families around. The paparazzi have captured many of her thefts on camera.

But Emily is crying out for attention. Her father hasn’t been home in years, instead he’s searching the planet for her long-lost brother, Lox. Both Emily’s father and brother are famous fighters, with the ability to fly, breathe underwater, command fire. While Emily is struggling to control her power. Surrounded by wealth and privilege, she’s still unhappy.

When Emily gets the chance to go to the Osaki Training School, where her father and brother attended, she’s nervous. She wants to learn, but is worried the other students (and teachers) will expect more from her and she won’t be able to deliver. She’s Thomas Knight’s daughter, after all.

Soon, what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter as an evil older than she is resurfaces, and Emily will have to use her intelligence and cunning to protect everything and everyone she loves.

Emily Knight I Am… is a page-turner, full of magic and dojo-style fights, perfect for any reader that loves to watch an imperfect character grow into a hero.

It’s rare for me to read about a character of color from a wealthy, famous family who is tested and challenged to become something more than she started to be. The teachers as well as the students in the Osaki Training School are of diverse backgrounds, both racially and socio-economically, which makes it feel like a real specialist school. The lessons are fascinating, and I was amazed to find out that there is real danger of injury and pain for the students.

The second book in the series Emily Knight I Am…Awakened will be launched here in the UK on September 28th at Waterstone’s Islington 6:30-8:00pm. If you can’t make it, grab a copy of Bello’s Emily Knight I Am… on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Emily Knight 2 book launch invite

Advertisements

Day 24: Lori Titus

LoriTitus.jpg

Lori Titus is a Californian with an affinity for dark fiction, and a knack for crafting sympathetic characters. Her work explores mysticism and reality, treading the blurred line between man and monster. She credits her mother and sister–both horror lovers–with her early love of the dark and strange.

An editor responded to one of her short story submissions, asking if she was willing to serialize it. That serial became the basis for her first novel, Hunting in Closed Spaces, Book One of The Marradith Ryder Series. Marradith is a young girl with extraordinary powers, which make her valuable to some, and dangerous to others.  Amid does of romance, magic, and werewolf lore, she attempts to find her place in and amongst figures, so so easily  categorized as good or evil.
Her work is also features in the anthology of horror fiction and poetry by African-American women, Sycorax’s Daughters.

Her latest release, Blood Relations, is a paranormal tale of religious fanaticism, witchcraft, and murder in a small South Carolina town.

blood-relations

Learn more about Lori on her blog and follow her on Twitter.

 

Day 22: V.H. Galloway

vh-galloway

Veronica Henry writes speculative fiction under the name V.H. Galloway. Born in the Ft. Greene section of Brooklyn, N.Y., she is a resident of Austin, TX, who has also lived in Ohio, California, and Nevada. From her career in tech, to her fascination with the stars, she is made of and loves all things geek.
In 2008, she traced her African ancestry to Sierra Leone and the subsequent trip still remains one of her proudest moments and her fiction often incorporates African themes.
Her short story “We Have Ended” is an example. It was chosen to be a part of Fiyah Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction’s first issue, “Rebirth,” a review of which you can find earlier on this blog.

Her horror/sci-fi hybrid, The Un-United States Of Z is a trilogy series that even for non-zombie fans has been described as “tasteful insanity.” In this trilogy, Galloway shows that even during the zombie apocalypse, the country remains racially divided. She has said “Reflecting this reality in my work is important because I think that its is only through ongoing dialogue that we can effect change.”

ununited-states

Learn more about Veronica on her website and follow her on Twitter.

 

 

 

Day 19: Rasheedah Prioleau

rasheedah

Rasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer and filmmaker with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Blume, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, and Charlaine Harris… just to name a few.

Her first film project of the year is The Descended, inspired by her Gullah ancestry, which is the story of two estranged sisters who travel to the South to inherit land they never knew about.  Along the way, a restless spirit possesses one of them and other must work with local Witches in order to save her. The full pilot script was an Official Selection at the 2016 Fright Night and the October 2016 Indie Wise Film Festivals.

Her novel Everlasting: Da Eb’Bulastin (Sa’Fyre Island Book One) is also steeped in Gullah-Geechee culture. After another incident of sleepwalking, Aiyana wakes up lying under the stars on Sa’Fyre Island, an island off the coast of South Carolina with a rich Gullah and Native American history. Believing the incidents have something to do with her long awaited transition into queen of the island, Aiyana shrugs them off. Soon she learns the transition involves an unwanted possession and the revelation of a dark family curse.

everlasting

To learn more about Rasheedah, check out her website and follow her on Twitter.

Day 16: Sumiko Saulson

author_sumiko_saulson

Sumiko Saulson is a novelist, poet, and artist from Los Angeles, California now living in Oakland, California, who by age 19, had two self-published books of poetry. She is the Oakland Art Scene reporter for the Examiner.com and also a lead vocalist in the alternative rock/crossover band, Stagefright, that combines gothic and alt rock influences with reggae.

Saulson has penned several novels– Solitude (2011), Warmth (2012), Happiness and Other Diseases (2014), Somnalia (2015), and Insatiable (2015). Many of her short stories have been published online or with presses large and small, including Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From the Lake Volume Three. In 2016, she won the Horror University’s Scholarship from Hell, given by the Horror Writer’s Association.

She has also compiled a non-fiction book collection of author biographies and interviews called 60 Black Women in Horror (2014), which she is currently in the process of updating the book to add at least another twenty writers.

Her short story anthology Things That Go Bump In My Head (2012), has something for just about any horror lover–a few old-fashioned scares, a ghost story, and dark humor. You can also find her work in the Colors in Darkness anthology of horror featuring characters of color, Forever Vacancy.

things-that-go-bump

Learn more about Sumiko on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Day 15: Vicy Cross

vicy-cross

Vicy Cross resides in Texas. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she writes speculative fiction, Gothic horror, unusual historical fantasies, and all things strange. Despite the dark, gritty imagery in her books, she practices a non-violent lifestyle and is vegetarian.

Her debut dystopian novel, Tuesday Apocalypse, is a first-person narrative told in epistolary format.  Epistolary novels are written exclusively through the use of letters or journals by one or more characters, and are examples of the classic Gothic style used by Stoker in Dracula and by Shelley in Frankenstein. More modern examples are Walker’s The Color Purple and King’s horror classic Carrie.  As the style has fallen out of favor, Cross’ unconventional manuscript was rejected by at least one publisher for the narrative structure alone.

In Tuesday Apocalypse, Cross’ experience as an erotica writer is evident.She is able to blend sex and horror into a tale that chronicles a unique battle between good and evil, between faith and the flesh. In war-ravaged 1940’s Britain, Sister Barbara fights not only against a tentacled monster, but against her own burgeoning sexual desire–for first a man, then for a woman– which tears at the core of her deeply held beliefs.

Barbara’s mounting fear is palpable as she strives to find out what is turning the patients and staff at the hospital into monsters, and whether she should succumb to temptation and join them.

tuesday-apoc

Find Tuesday Apocalyse on Amazon and follow Vicy on Twitter.

Day 11: Crystal Connor

crystal-connor-2

Washington state native Crystal Connor loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, and rogue scientific experiments. In addition to writing, she also reviews horror and sci-fi films for Horror Addicts.
Connor, who “writes straight up horror with a service of science fiction and dark fantasy on the side,” uses her time spent serving in the United States Navy in her writing, piecing together monsters and nightmares from tales she learned of during her deployments at various ports-of-call throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Book One of her Spectrum Trilogy, The Darkness, featuring a battle between two powerful women over a child neither of them has birthed. Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, determined to erase what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Inanna, a dangerous witch, more deadly than any other in the long tradition before her.

But the Child, may prove to be stronger than either of them.

the-darkness

Pick up Book One of the Spectrum Trilogy, The Darkness. Get more of Crystal on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.