14 November 2014

ST BLAIR: Children of the Night Tour Stop!

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  Sybille Malone lives in an overpopulated Manhattan, Region One, of Global Good 2202. Their society is the fulfillment of utopian ideals developed by the surviving masses of 2100. Seventeen-year-old Sybille is a resident of Dayshift and longs for a Nightshift boy known only as Mark. Distraught by Global Good's restrictive culture, Sybille is desperate until she finds a relic of a past civilization. The discovery of Blair's diary sets off a chain of supernatural events that not only affects Sybille's close relationships, but has Global Good scrambling to find the culprit.
This is not what I was expecting when I read the blurb on this book.  I love dystopian books of all types and I especially love it when the main character is a female, but this book is unlike anything I have read.  I really enjoyed the world that Ms. Skinner created it was reminiscent of Divergent in that the population is segregated, and there are very strict dictates on where and when interaction occurs, especially among those members that do not meet societal expectations.

However, I did not care for the disjointed feel to this book.  The author kept switching points of view between several characters and then also incorporated dreams and journal entries.  I felt like every time I would settle into a scene it would change.  Then when you add in the religious aspects I was just too overwhelmed to really appreciate the story.  The storyline is very interesting and the world is fascinating but I just don’t think I can stand to read another book with the same disjointed writing style. 
Sybille splayed her fingers and reached out both palms in hopes of making contact with the card when she heard, “Sybille!”
It seemed the stern voice carried enough of a gust to push the card higher and further.
How was she going to get back in her apartment? Would it matter?
She dropped the book into her pocket and turned to face her neighbor, Beatrice, who was marching toward her.
Relief. It wasn’t security. She might have a chance to read the contents after all. She needed to wash off the window casing and put the sill back in place before DNA was secured, but where could she go? Or would Bea report her?
            “Syb?” The athletic, yet elderly blonde woman approached. “My, my. What happened?”
            Sybille just stared at the woman and said nothing.
            “Did someone hurt you?”
            “My keycard fell out the window.” She wondered if Bea felt the quake, but she didn’t want to ask.
            “Oh, that’s going to be a challenge. You’re Baker and Abner Malone’s child, correct?” The older woman seemed more perturbed by the thought of getting a replacement than the mess of blood and damage to the window sill. “Well there was no reason for you to destroy the building in your frustration! But why was the window open?”
Beatrice’s eyes narrowed as she stared at the younger woman, then back at the situation before them.
            Sybille nodded in agreement to being a Malone but refused to address the situation. “Could I freshen up in your apartment? I need to … before I go to the council for a new key.”
            “Well, I’ll loan you a jumper, but you MUST return it, you can’t go looking like that.  I AM NOT happy you’ve made me an accessory.”
Suddenly the realization of standing on the ledge hit Sybille. How had she done it? She felt as though her knees would buckle at that moment.
What had she gotten herself into? Why was Beatrice mentioning her parents? The gold flecks were twitching in her right eye again and she felt both eyes getting heavy; she could hear the older woman but didn’t follow what she was saying. She felt hazy.
Bea was so preoccupied with the scene that she didn’t notice the younger woman swaying. “….but I’m not going to report you. It would serve neither of us to spend the evening filing behavior complaints. I’ll call maintenance after you clean the hallway.”
Bea grabbed Sybille’s wrist and turned her hand over. “You’re going to soak I hope.” Then the older woman went quiet; the cold dampness of Sybille’s skin was alarming. The girl was either ill or faint.
            Sybille’s mind snapped back to reality. This kept her from dropping.
It was all rushing upon her now, the desperation, and the contemplation of ending her life, the inner loneliness and the longing.
She took a deep breath and began to sob softly. “What will you..?”
            “Don’t. There will be no weeping,” Beatrice demanded.
            Sybille nodded in agreement.
            “Take some tonic and compose yourself. Why is your eye twitching?”
            Tonic? She hadn’t had tonic since her preteens.  Sybille knew it to be calming oil, as her mother put it, empowering citizens with a sense of choice, and while there was no harm keeping it in one’s residence or sharing it, it was the last of the government’s approved self-regulating medications. All controlled substances had been outlawed more than 100 years earlier.
Sybille rubbed her right lid. “Happens when I’m nervous,” she lied. It was so foreign for her to make up an untruth. She wondered how she managed to speak it.
Then she noticed Beatrice looking at the outline of her pocket. Sybille turned away sniffling. Take tonic! Beatrice was calling her weak … and… why not? The evidence was right in front of them. Not only had Sybille destroyed property, but she had an illegal item… and she had no idea what was going on with her eye.
Beatrice indicated Sybille’s blood smeared garment with a stern once-over. “You’re not putting that jumper in my laundry order!”
            “I won’t, I’ll get you one of mine… can I change, please?

Emily W SkinnerEmily had a goal when she was 15, she would have a daughter named Marquel and write a novel titled "Marquel." She accomplished both and more.
A member of The International Thriller Writers, Emily was a protege of the late master of the pulps or paperback originals, Harry Whittington. Emily interviewed Whittington during her days as a feature writer for the Clearwater Sun daily newspaper and its weekly division. They became friends and he taught her how to plot and gave her approval of the original outline and sample chapter for "Marquel" shortly before he died in 1989.
After Whittington passed away, Emily challenged herself to write as her mentor did and wrote a chapter a day and finished the novel "Marquel" in 52 days. For more details on the novel's history read:
Fast forward, a second daughter, Blair is born and Emily and husband Tom focus on raising their family. Both daughters are now grown and work in Hollywood. So this might be an example of art imitating life or the reverse?
A devoted Catholic, Emily is rekindling her love for writing and has just completed the movie script for "Marquel" and a young adult paranormal appropriately named after her youngest child, "St. Blair: Children of the Night." She will begin the sequel to "Marquel" in the coming months, currently untitled.
When Emily isn't working as a marketing consultant or writing, she enjoys antiquing/thrifting and producing short films. Emily is the proud Executive Producer of Blair Skinner's film "Relative Eternity," a 2012 LA Shorts Film Festival selection, Sunscreen Film Festival selection and Short Film Corner Festival de Cannes selection. Written, directed and edited by Blair Skinner, "Relative Eternity" is on snagfilms.com for your viewing pleasure. It is free to view.

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