Thursday, February 28, 2019

#BookReview & #Excerpt for Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter by A.L. Bryant!! @ALBryantHSW #books @pumpupyourbook #booknerds #Horror #Thriller #booktour




BLESSED: THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER by A.L. Bryant, Supernatural/Christian/Thriller/Horror, 279 pp., $5.99 (Kindle)


Title: BLESSED: THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER

Author: A.L. Bryant

Publisher: HSW Publications LLC

Pages: 279

Genre: Supernatural Christian Thriller/Horror


On New Year’s Eve 2021 the staff at St. Ann’s Hospital witness a
medical miracle when a semi-conscious woman walks into the emergency
room. The Jane Doe has been stabbed multiple times and as the staff
struggle to keep the woman alive in the end all they can do is stand
back and watch as their mysterious patient revives herself.



Glory wakes up in St. Ann’s Hospital gravely injured from an attack
she cannot remember. However, her memory loss is no ordinary amnesia and
she is no ordinary patient. Much to the shock of the hospital staff
Glory heals at three times the rate of an average person. Soon the
administration hears of her unique case and waste no time convincing the
recovering Glory to be a part of an experiment to discover the origins
of her power.



Once outside the comforting walls of the hospital it becomes apparent
that healing is just a small portion of Glory’s capabilities. Abilities
that to Glory’s distress are becoming increasingly unstable. Deciding
that the hospital’s experiments are in vain, Glory embarks on her own
Journey to discover the source of her power, unaware that she is a major
pawn in a war between two secret organizations.

The two syndicates continue to clash in their fight for control and
their battles result in several casualties. The crimes of their warfare
surface and draw the attention of Dennis Wilson, a NYPD Detective known
for solving his cases in the first forty-eight hours. Dennis follows the
trail of bodies out of curiosity. But when his curiosity causes the
deaths of his loved ones Detective Dennis becomes obsessed with the
case.



In his overzealous attempts to find the murderer Dennis becomes the
syndicates’ next target. Now the Detective must run for his life and the
only person capable of saving him is the very person he suspects.



Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is a hybrid of government
espionage and supernatural Thriller. This novel is intended for
audiences 18+ that seek an edgier outlook on Christian fiction. Blessed:
The Prodigal Daughter is the first installment of the Blessed trilogy.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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With a slight hesitation, Glory
examined the entrance. Using the corner of her jacket she tested the knob, not
overly surprised when the door opened easily. Behind her, she could still hear
the muffled sounds of the girl’s sobs. Glory stepped one foot through the door
and paused. She turned sideways and looked back out into the yard. With one
foot inside the house and one still on the porch, she stared at the girl, whose
eyes were as wide as her own. The side of her body that remained outside of the
house felt light; she could feel the breeze whip her clothing. She raised her
hand and, as expected, it lifted easily. Glory looked down at her other arm,
the one in the corridor of the house. Sweat drizzled down her brow as she
struggled to lift it.
            Making sure
to keep her voice light, Glory nodded in the direction of the gate. “Go home,
I’ll get Mitch and he’ll call you afterwards.” She waited until the girl nodded
reluctantly and disappeared.
Feeling a strong urge to leave,
Glory turned as quickly as she could and closed the door behind her. Instant
darkness. She pulled out the cell phone Dr. Stephens had helped her purchase
shortly after she left the hospital, and turned its flashlight on. She had not
paid the bill in a long time, so she had no service, but Glory still kept it
charged. The corridor was short, maybe two or three large steps long. A staircase,
which dominated the space in the narrow corridor, stood against the left wall. Glory
shined the light up the steps trying to determine where they led, but the light’s
range was too short.
Examining the staircase carefully
to make sure it could hold her weight, Glory began ascending. The house had its
own gravity; every step felt like moving through quicksand. By the time she
made it to the top, she was winded. She leaned against the wall, shining her
light around the area while she rested. She stood in another corridor, much
larger than the first one. A solid wall lined one side; several doors, some of
them mere centimeters apart, lined the other. She pushed herself away from the
wall and walked to the first door, covered her hand with her jacket, turned the
knob, and pushed the door. It gave way only slightly before it refused to open
any farther. She tried pulling the door, but it could only be opened inward.
She pushed one more time, shining a light through the narrow opening to see if
she could locate the blockage—silently hoping it wasn’t the boy—but nothing met
the light. Frustrated, she moved on to the next door, only to encounter the
same problem.
By the sixth one, Glory started to
wonder if any of them were meant to open. With each door, she put more strength
and effort into her shoulders and arms, desperately trying to force her way
through. By the twelfth, she was exhausted. She took a deep breath and shoved
her shoulder against it. The door swung open, Glory stumbled two feet, and fell
through the hole behind it. She fell through one story of the house into an
open room and into the much bigger hole in that room’s floor. She fell through
another story and into another room with another hole. She hit hard rock and
slid until she landed on her back. Her head hit the floor and her eyes
instantly clouded from the impact.
Glory’s breath and sight came back
simultaneously. Slowly, she sat up with a grunt as she brought her right hand
to her ribs. Not only had her pack survived the fall, but she had managed to
hold on to her phone. Standing up, still favoring her left side, Glory began
dusting herself off. Her hands shook and she took a deep breath to dispel the
effects of the adrenaline still rushing through her body. Turning on the light
so she could look around, Glory shifted her feet. Taking a small step forward,
she tripped on something, but managed sustain her balance with a small hop to
dislodge whatever had caught her foot.
Glory turned the light downward to
look at the ground and saw a piece of cloth clinging to her boot. Ruffles—the
cloth was filthy, covered in dust and grime, but the ruffles still maintained
their shape. Forgetting herself, Glory reached out and ran her fingertips over
the cloth, smoothing the dirt away so she could see the color. Her fingertips grew
warm and her eyes widened as she realized what she had done. Too
late, she snatched her hand away.
“This is so exciting!” A young
woman in a blue ball gown tightened her grip on her friend’s arm, her gloved
fingers long and delicate. Looking a little less interested, her friend, a tall,
thin brunette, pried the girl’s hands from her arm, but her friend only returned
them with slightly less bruising force.
“Yes, well, if my father knew I was
here, it would be the end of me.”
“That’s what these are for, silly.”
The young woman flipped her blonde hair behind her shoulders and tapped her
masquerade mask with her folded fan.
“I shouldn’t have let you talk me
into this. I have a bad feeling.”
“You are thinking far too much. Now
tell me how beautiful I look and then let’s go get some refreshments.”
The brunette stood back and
pretended to consider her friend. “You look positively stunning as always,
Annabelle. Your dress is lovely; I could never pull off so many ruffles.”
Annabelle waved the last statement
away. “Nonsense, Sarah, I’m sure you would look just as lovely in ruffles. I
don’t know why you insist on wearing such drab garments.” She looked her friend
up and down, a frown on her face as she examined the dark green dress that
covered Sarah, from its unfashionably high neckline down to the slightly
pointed toes of her boots.
Sarah grimaced. “My father does not
agree with today’s fashions. He thinks exposing shoulders, wrists, and cleavage
is unseemly.” Trying to distract her friend from her dress, she made a show of
looking around. “This is an extremely odd house, isn’t it? Why would he build a
staircase directly at the entrance?”
“For that matter, why build a
staircase that only goes to the top floor when there are four flights in
between?”
“We’ve been here less than an hour
and I’m already confused. So many corridors and staircases.”
“And how many rooms are there,
anyway? There are doors everywhere you look.” The girls spoke frantically now,
their intertwined arms squeezing together as they became more excited.
Annabelle turned to her friend.
“Let’s explore the house more.”
Sarah looked over her shoulder. “I
don’t know. We haven’t even greeted the host yet. It would be bad manners.”
Annabelle shrugged. “It was bad
manners for him not to show himself so he could be greeted.”
Keeping an eye on the group they
had been standing with, Annabelle pulled Sarah toward the door, only to stop
mid-stride as their path was cut off by a large figure in an expensive dinner jacket
and a full porcelain mask.
“Good evening, ladies.”
Annabelle released Sarah’s arm and
took a step closer, resting her hand coquettishly on her bosom. “Good evening.”
She let the greeting hang in the air. When the man merely nodded, Annabelle
tried again.
“I do not recognize you, and since
I know everyone in this town except the owner of this fine home, you must be…”
“The owner? That is correct.”
Barely masking her annoyance,
Annabelle turned to her companion. “This is…”
The man held up his hand,
effectively cutting off the introduction.
“If I wished to know the identity
of my guests, then I would not have made this a masquerade ball.”
Flustered by her mistake, Annabelle
released a breathy chuckle. “My apologies, I don’t know what I was thinking. We
must keep the mystery up.”
The man turned his head to the side
as he considered the two ladies. “Do you like mysteries?”
Eager to impress, Annabelle stepped
forward. “Yes, I do!”
The man turned to look at Sarah,
who hovered in the background, not at all certain she wanted to join in the
conversation.
“And what about horrors?”
Taken aback, Annabelle frowned. “I
beg your pardon?”
“Do you like to be frightened?”
Not sure where this was leading,
Annabelle glanced at her friend. “I suppose being frightened every once in a
while can be thrilling.”
The man nodded slowly as if
contemplating her answer. “Do you believe in the supernatural?”
Annabelle laughed. “Do you mean ghosts
and goblins? I think it’s nonsense.” She waved a delicate hand. “Stories to
scare children.”
“And what of demons?”
Annabelle paused, the smile wiped
from her face. “The church tells us that they exist, so I believe in them.”
The man leaned back on his heels
and shoved his hands into his pockets. “So do I. I have always been curious,
and judging by the turnout of this gathering, I’m not the only curious one.”
While he surveyed his guests, Sarah
inched forward and grabbed her friend’s arm.
“Come, Annabelle.” Annabelle ignored
her, staring at the man as if mesmerized. Sarah pulled sharply on her arm. “You
said you wanted to explore the house.” This time Annabelle looked at her and
nodded, allowing Sarah to lead her around the man and toward the door.
“Do you ever wonder what it would
be like to be possessed?” Both girls turned to look back at the man as he spoke.
“All the power of the demons and none of the rigid rules of the angels.”
Sarah trembled. “At the expense of
our souls and sanity? No, thank you. You can keep your so-called demonic power.”
She pulled Annabelle forward and escorted her through the door. Before she
could close it behind them, she looked up to see the man looking directly into
her eyes for the first time.
“There is only one way to leave
this house, and it isn’t the way by which you entered. I doubt you could find
the exit even if you stayed here a hundred years.” He turned and headed
toward his other guests. “I wish you the best of luck.”
Sarah closed the door. “What an
unpleasant man.”
Annabelle shrugged, walking along
the corridor, sliding her hand along the wall. “I think he’s fascinating.”
“I think we should leave,
Annabelle.”
Annabelle swung around. “I’m not
leaving until I’ve explored this house.” When Sarah didn’t make a move to
follow, Annabelle turned her mouth down, opened her eyes wide, and lifted her
pupils, creating the perfect pout. “Just this one corridor and then I promise
we will leave post haste.”
Sarah studied her friend and then
nodded. “Just this one corridor and then we’re leaving.”
Annabelle smiled and skipped toward
her friend, linking their arms once more.
Trying to take her mind off the
eerie darkness of the corridor, Sarah changed the subject. “I wonder what he
meant when he said that judging from the turnout, there were a lot of people
curious about demons.”
“Oh!” Annabelle swatted the
question away. “He was just referring to his invitations.”
Sarah looked over her shoulder. Had
she heard something? “What about his invitations?”
“In his invitation, he appealed to
those of us who were interested in a thrilling evening. Something about
satisfying curiosity about demons in—and these are his words—the demons’
playground.”
“What?” Sarah stopped walking. She
stared in Annabelle’s direction, but could barely see her in the dim lighting.
Misinterpreting, Annabelle
shrugged. “I know… Who would name their house that?”
Sarah grabbed Annabelle’s
shoulders. “Who cares about the name—why did you come? Why are we here?”
Annabelle tried to pry Sarah’s
bruising grip from her shoulders. “Calm yourself, Sarah. It’s like taking a
ghost tour, there is no need to be—”
Sarah covered Annabelle’s mouth
with her hand. “What is that?” The question was rhetorical; the noise was
piercing and distinct.
“W-why is everyone screaming?”
Annabelle, who had taken Sarah’s hand from her mouth, stared back toward the
ballroom. Sarah grabbed her friend and made a move back toward the sound—but
more importantly toward the path she hoped would lead to the exit. The girls
had only gotten a few feet when the corridor erupted in chaos.
Terrified men and women spilled
from the room, tripping over each other in their panic and trampling the people
in their way. They didn’t run back the way they came. Instead, they ran toward
the two girls, their bodies pressing forward trying to propel themselves farther
away from the ballroom. Everything happened so fast that it took Sarah a
couple of seconds to react. In that short period of time, the mass of people was
almost upon them. Sarah swung around and pushed the startled Annabelle farther
into the corridor.
“Get into one of the rooms!”
Annabelle grabbed the closest doorknob. She leaned her weight against it. Sarah
came to help.
“It won’t open!” Annabelle cried.
“It’s locked?”
“Not locked—just won’t open!”
“Try the next one. Hurry!” Giving
up on that door, Sarah followed Annabelle to the next one. She looked over her
shoulder to find the crowd less than ten feet from them. Directly behind her
friend, she cried out in relief as Annabelle opened the door. But her world
came crashing down as she watched her friend disappear in that same second.
Glory sat up sharply. A full minute
passed before she stopped gasping and coughing. She had made some progress in
controlling the duration of her illusions. Standing, she dusted herself off and
picked up her cellphone. From what she could tell, she was underground in a
place that resembled a dungeon carved from the rock that the mansion had been
built on. It was large and dark. There was no place for light to shine through,
so even during the daytime, the room would still be pitch black.










MY OPINION:

I enjoyed this Christian thriller to a point. I felt at the beginning of the book it was just all over the place and even chaotic at points. I didn't like how the author went back and forth with different people and what was happening was sloppy. There seemed to be WAY too much happening. There were too many people that were introduced to us and it was hard to keep up with at times. They are thrown at us without real introductions and that left me feeling lost. After a quarter way through or more, the book calms down with flipping all over the place and then you can enjoy the tempo of the book and I did. This wasn't a fast-paced thriller but it wasn't slow either.  

There are three siblings that this book is focused around and they have powers given to them by God that are hunted, mistreated, rescued and then saved. They are resilient, strong and have an amazing bond. This thriller takes us on many twists and turns and at times it's a little preachy. Which I expected because its' listed as a Christian thriller. We also meet Gloria a woman that stumbles into a hospital not knowing who she is and what she is supposed to do because she has lost her memory. You will learn all about Gloria and the three kids and be glad you did. I enjoyed this tale and by the end became a fan of the author. I would recommend this horror/thriller book.


I give this book 3.5 of 5 stars!








A.L. Bryant was born and raised in St. Petersburg FL. She became
interested in writing at an early age; an interest that depending on the
circumstance brought punishment (detention for passing out the latest
installment of her novella during class) and praise (being chosen for a
youth writers conference at the Poynter Institute.)  A.L. Bryant gets
her inspiration from both her mother and her Great Grandmother. Her
mother recently published an inspirational children’s book under a
pseudonym and her great grandmother is South Carolina’s first published
African-American female author and playwright.

Until recently writing had simply been a pastime for A.L. Bryant who
although she attended several writing courses, graduated with a B.A. in
International Business. It was shortly after her second job as a
Financial Office Manager at a Goodwill correctional facility that she
realized she loved writing more than anything else. It would still be
some years before she would convert the short story she wrote in college
into a novel.

Besides writing, A.L. Bryant loves traveling the world. God has
blessed her with the opportunity to visit a total of seven countries.
She has studied abroad in Seoul and has traveled throughout Kenya; two
locations she researched for her Blessed series. Her dream is to visit every country in the world.
Her latest book is the supernatural Christian thriller horror novel, Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter.

SOCIAL LINKS:

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Email: thewriterslife@gmail.com



13 comments:

  1. Sounds like a brilliant excerpt

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  2. Great review. Sometimes less is the best when it comes to character dumping.

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  3. (BLESSED: THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER by A.L. Bryant) I always like reading a good horror thriller book.

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  4. This book sounds like an intriguing read. Awesome cover!

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  5. Looks like an interesting book.
    The cover is lovely.

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  6. Thanks so much for your honest review and the book description as well.

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  7. I find myself getting frustrated when the flow of a novel is choppy. Sometimes I'll stick it out and finish it.

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  8. I love that Christian fiction doesn't mean it has to be a boring book!

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  9. I'm glad the pay off at the end felt worth the confusing beginning.

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  10. Looking forward to reading it.

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