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ST. BLAIR

CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT
Young Adult Paranormal/Supernatural
By E.W. Skinner
Published April 17th, 2014


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synopsis


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.

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Author-Bio


Emily W Skinner


Emily 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:http://www.thefilmmom.blogspot.com/20...
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.

Website: http://ewskinner.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilyauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StBlairChildrenOfTheNight

Blog: http://www.thefilmmom.blogspot.com




“You’re snoring,” Beatrice poked Sybille’s shoulder as she walked past the younger woman. Sybille had no more than sat in the chaise when she dozed off.
Beatrice’s apartment was like Sybille’s and every other residence in the building. Government issued light blue sofa, a cream colored chaise, a blue molded plastic rocking chair and a beige oval coffee table, accented by beige walls and a small fireplace for winter nights when the old building’s furnace wasn’t working well. Approved personal photos, timed for each shift of residents, projected on the wall above the couch one after another – a slideshow offering individuals the visual sense of a unique existence.
Each bedroom contained one single bed with a trundle for partnering that could be pulled up to form a double bed. The bedspread was stock issue navy blue cotton with beige polka dots; there was one head pillow and one body pillow per resident. In the room’s corner was a garment rack for hanging clothing and six rounded cubes for folded undergarments, athletic wear and shoes.
Sybille lifted her chin off her collar and stretched her arms upward. She tried to sit up straight in the lounger but her lower back was tight from standing on the window ledge. She was exhausted, and would definitely set off meters if she didn’t rest soon.
Beatrice Croce lived with her husband’s brother, Frank Croce. Her husband Salvatore had died more than eleven years earlier and they both found solace sharing a place.
Frank was at the theatre for a few hours and Beatrice was concerned he’d be shocked by Sybille’s appearance and call security.
“Please take this,” Beatrice handed the younger woman an identical jumper and a pair of shoes. “I don’t know how you’ll feel in my shoes? And fix your hair, Frank will be back shortly and we have to convince him to allow you to sleep here.”
            Sybille had already been down the hall a few times to see if her roommate Crystal Lundgren had arrived home, to no avail, so her only solution was to stay with Bea for the evening. Sybille nodded and rubbed her puffy eyelids with the fist of her left hand. Then she noticed the caked blood under her fingernails. “Mind if I shower?”
            “Please do.”
            Sybille padded to the small but functional bathroom with the folded garment held to her chest.
            “May I read it?” Beatrice called out to Sybille.
            She closed the door and pretended not to hear what Bea was saying.
Once undressed, she stood before the mirror staring at her flat stomach, lean ribcage and nearly flat, solid breasts. Women’s bodies didn’t appear all that different, unless they were pregnant. She tried to imagine her stomach stretched by a baby, and wondered if she would ever find a suitable partner…
Then it hit her, Mark. He was the whole reason she was in this situation.
            She turned away, embarrassed at her naked self as if he were watching too. She stepped into the shower and turned the cold water dial and then the hot, waiting for the temperature to even out as the pipes whistled to the flow of pressure. The rising steam refreshed her. She washed hurriedly, not wanting to disappoint Beatrice, the only person who could protect her right now.
            She turned the temperature up and enjoyed the sting of the water’s pleasureful pain scalding her scalp, neck and shoulders, rinsing the stains of misery from her hands… but not her heart.
Then she felt it again, a piercing in the middle of her chest, shooting straight through her breasts and stopping deep in her abdomen. Her knees wobbled as the throbbing seemed to intensify and she shut off the hot water first, letting the cold take her breath before turning it off. She leaned against the tile, hugging her thin frame and feeling the closeness of his hip next to her in the subway car. The pain returned.
She had to stop thinking of him!
            Toweling off, she put on the undergarments and outer day garment, knowing she would have to sleep in it for the next several hours. There would be no opportunity to get into her own apartment that night.
            She wrapped her hair in Bea’s blue terry towel and pulled the book from the pocket of her bloodstained jumper. Her fingernails, though chewed up, were now clean and bright pink flesh shone under the nails.
Sybille slipped into Bea’s shoes. They were snug. The foam lining had enough give to keep them from causing much pain, she hoped. She stood next to the door and opened the book to the first page.

Blair’s diary and vision

                                Hi Sybille,
              You found it! So glad…

Stunned, she snapped the book shut.
How?
A new feeling of surprise quickly erased her sadness. “I don’t understand?!” Her eyes welled up and a smile quivered to her lips. She held the diary to her heart. Her mind raced, she wanted to read and devour it all, but it was so thin it would be consumed quickly.
And what about Bea? She asked if she could read it…
She opened it again.
Hi Sybille,
              You found it! So glad…
Warmth enveloped her. The twitching began again and she closed her left eye. With her right eye she strained to see what was making the brilliant flickering in her peripheral vision, but when she opened both eyes it was gone. She looked at the book and wondered who this message was from? Is Blair a boy? Or girl?
She slid down the door and soaked in the feeling she couldn’t name. She couldn’t even comprehend it.
Did she have an admirer? Could someone have planted this with the intent of a rendezvous?
Was she destined to go out on the window ledge?
It gave her purpose. Hope. She took a deep breath. Would someone set her up? Deductive reasoning taught her to avoid negative conclusions and live in a state of peace. This didn’t compute. She opened the book again and read:
Hi Sybille,
You found it! So glad you did. Well, I hope your name is Sybille, because that’s what God brought to me. So it’s weird, I…

Humph, Good was spelled wrong…Sybille was startled by the pounding at the back of her head.
“Are you okay?” Beatrice knocked hard and Sybille was shaken. “I’m going to open the door if you don’t respond.”
She snapped the book shut and tried to clear her throat. “I’m changing…” she managed, then held her mouth to stifle the sob building inside. She dropped the book into her borrowed jumper’s pocket and stood quickly, wiping away tears with the back of her hand. She pinched her cheeks and forced a practice smile. Her lip trembled.
Who are you Blair? Sybille wondered. Her right eye began to twitch again as she stared at herself in the mirror.
Could this be hope? Or was she just asking for trouble by having the diary? 
She would have to decide quickly. Very quickly.
 


 FUN FACTS


1)      E.W. Skinner worked a second shift job that had major overtime when she first got the idea for St. Blair: Children of the Night. She would take walks on her job breaks and she said it was so desolate, that they felt like we were the only people in existence. But in reality, the rest of the world was asleep. On those walks, she and her coworkers were exposed to strong odors from a nearby yacht builder, who worked the same hours. It seemed toxic and secretive to Skinner that the boat builders were working during second and third shift hours. But likely, the heat of Florida temperatures didn’t permit the nearby boat business to work in the heat of the day. But the night world that she worked kept her separated from her husband and children, because she slept while her family played and they slept when she was wide awake working. So the society in St. Blair: Children of the Night was developed from that experience.

2)      E.W. Skinner’s daughters, Marquel Skinner and Blair Skinner, live in Hollywood, California. Both of her novel series are named for her girls. Her adult novel Marquel is penned under Emily Skinner. Though her books share her daughters’ names, the books are not about her daughters. She decided to write under different pen names to differentiate the age group that might read each series.


3)      E.W. decided to share how she develops her stories by adding a list of Reading Group Discussion questions in the back of St. Blair: Children of the Night. She wants readers to think about what they are reading and why writers chose the names, dates and settings of their stories. The answers to the questions can be provided to the reader on request at: www.ewskinner.com.

4)      E.W. shares that her characters tell her their story. She is their instrument. She helps her characters get their story out. And she always surprised when a new character shows up. Though she writes with plots and outlines at various stages of her process, the character always wins. If they chose to live or die, cheat or be faithful, fight or strike, they control their destiny.

5)      E.W. spends a lot of time writing in coffee houses to avoid distractions at home. She is more prone to cook or clean or finish a home project if she feels she can spare a few minutes.

6)      When her character Eston showed up, she immediately saw David Beckham, but she could easily see Adam Levine as Eston.


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