Well, I finally did it . . . I self-published my first book, Hotel of Death: the chosen one. It's now available on Amazon as an ebook and as a paperback.
I also received a few reviews on my book and I decided to share them here, with you.
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Hotel of Death is well-written and exhilarating. I look forward to more books from Fridsma.
March 11, 2015
By Eric M
I just finished reading the Hotel of Death and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised. The author provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for a honest review, which I am happy to provide.
This book is written in a unique style that Cynthia Fridsma took the time to develop each character. The book is divided from multiple viewpoints from the different characters in the book, allowing the reader to develop a complete picture of what is going on and why. It was exciting to see how each life intertwined into the others and how each character was thoroughly developed.
The Hotel of Death is a mix of a few genres which keeps it fresh and interesting compared to some other books that I have read recently. During the first few chapters you'd never expect vampires or any other crazy additions to the book, but then events unfold and escalate sucking in the reader.
I admire how Cynthia took the time to get locations factually right, especially when Richard visited the Freedom Trail in Boston. I walked this exact trail only a few years ago and was able to picture exactly what she was talking about and where. It brought back some great memories and pictures from my trip there.
Overall Sybil was likely my favorite character, she was extremely well-developed and played a creative role in the book. The author maintained the unique perspectives throughout the book which was exciting to see. The only minor complaint I have about the book is it seemed to have some superfluous sections that were a bit drawn out, but being so entertaining it is not a big deal. If you are into action/adventure/spy/vampire style books, this one is certainly for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Hotel of Death
March 11, 2015
This book was good. I was a bit confused at the beginning of the book but I got used to the picture the author was trying to paint and it was good. I liked the character development and overall the story was unique. The story was told from multiple viewpoints and I think at first that is what though me off a bit. But if you like these types of action/adventure and little vampire books you should see what you think of this one. *I received this books from the author in exchange for an honest review*
4.0 out of 5 stars
It's not perfect, but a good one!
March 7, 2015
By Joannes Rhino
The author writes very well. You can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel what the characters do. It is truly a 3 dimensional experience. I was hooked from the 1st page and couldn't put down the book. The plot is flow naturally. The conversations are light and make sense. Overall, I truly believe that this book is worth the read.
I love to write and in 2007, one of my stories was published in the Twisted Magazine.
The owner/editor of the Twisted Magazine is Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, whom I contacted on MySpace. Andrea helped me with a story I wrote titled "Footsteps in the dark." She liked the story so much that she asked me if she may publish it in her Twisted Magazine. I was very pleased with the offer, and of course; I agreed. For the first time ever people from all over the world, who bought the Twisted Magazine, could read my story.
----// Footsteps in the dark - written by Cynthia Fridsma //---
This story was published in the Twisted Magazine in 2007
*** Parental Warning ***
Parents may find some language and situations in this story not suitable for those under the age of 18....
I know that you have to be careful when you walk alone in the dark -- especially when you're walking alone in a bad neighborhood like this one. If you're a girl, you might as well just ask to be raped.
Shit happens nowadays, just read the newspapers -- the headlines scream out to the reader, murder, rape, robberies, etc. It's no fun anymore to be out in the dark. But sometimes you just can't stay away from it. Sometimes you've got to be brave and walk through a though neighborhood like this one, where the junkies live on the street and urinate against the walls -- a neighborhood with colorful and pointless graffiti. They are out there waiting for you, just to take your money so that they can buy some cocaine. Well fuck them.
I had no choice anyway because my boss was nagging at me all day. I had to work some overtime to keep up with his ridiculous demands. No one can please that bastard. It feels as if I have been here forever and I guess so! Look at the time -- it's 1:30 A.M. My work is done and I can go home -- Finally! At least my boss promised me a day off. "It was the least that he could do," he said. Yeah right.
I hurried the hell out of there before he found something else for me to do and walked straight to my car -- just in time to see someone running away from it. I called out but there was no response; like I expected the asshole to say "Oh, hey, how ya doing? I'm vandalizing/pissing on/breaking into your car... be right with you!
As I got closer I discovered why he - I assumed it was a man - ran away so quickly. He'd stuck a knife into my tires. I immediately knew what that meant, a walk in the dark.
"Fuck," I said loud enough to wake the dead. And of course, no one was there to hear me because the parking lot was deserted at such an hour.
Calling for help wouldn't do me any good anyway. There was no call box nearby and someone at the office had stolen my cell phone while I was in the bathroom. I hope that the bastard gets their hands burned the first time hey try to use it. It would serve them right.
The only choice I had left was to walk home. If I was lucky I could try to catch a taxi. Yeah right... Like I am ever lucky. Just look at me. I am a loser.
I lost my lover when he committed suicide a couple of years ago -- just two months before we were to get married, I have a lousy job, a lousy apartment that I call "home," and a lousy salary too for all that matters. All I can try to do is to make life better for me, but obviously I'm not doing too great at that either. Sometimes I feel hopeless and just want to cry. But fuck that -- I wouldn't give Fate the satisfaction.
sure, when I was a kid I dreamed of writing a novel and earning a zillion dollars but reality sucks. So much for the dream I once had. Yeah I know, yada-yada-yada. Well, that's life -- at least my life. An empty hole and there is no sign of it getting better. I guess that some people are born to lose the game of life before it even begins.
Now I'm standing here, in this rotten neighborhood and I know that trouble is waiting for me somewhere out there. It's hiding in the dark, I can feel it. Do your best -- I'm ready for you!
A sound from behind me commands my attention and I turn around.
"Is anybody out there?"
I knew that I wouldn't get an answer. I have some pepper-spray in my bag and I started to dig it out when I heard that sound again. It was right behind me.
I looked around but still couldn't see anything unusual -- except I smelled something dead. I looked harder and saw a dead cat lying on the sidewalk, near an open garbage can. I stepped away from it. The cat must have been dead for days, which explained the scent. I saw some maggots in her swollen jaws. Not a pretty sight, not even with the dimmed light of the streetlamp. Perhaps a rat caused the sound I heard because I could see them now. They were crawling between the garbage. I didn't want to stay here much longer and decided to walk in the direction of the cemetery. It was just a block away from my home and much better than standing around listening to rats scurry about and smelling dead cat. The thought of being robbed, raped or killed didn't sound like music either.
So a walk to the cemetery and then straight home sounded like fun compared to standing around and waiting for whatever bad luck befall me. Again I heard the same sound behind me and I decided to run instead. I ran like hell away from it but the sound followed me. I didn't hesitated to open the gate to the land of the dead where I hoped I could find safety. After running part way into the cemetery, I stopped and turned around.
Standing only a few feet behind me, wearing a stocking cap over to his face, was a man -- a knife clutched menacingly in his hand. The knot in the pit of my stomach told me that he was the guy who'd slashed my tires. He was the same person that now wished to slash me! I was out of luck again but against all odds I decided to run.
After a while I couldn't breathe anymore I had to stop for a moment, I rested my hands on a gravestone and then I was forced to the ground. I felt the sharp tip of the knife pitching against my throat.
"Be a good girl and you'll survive to see another day," he said, his raspy voice sounding like old leaves crunching underfoot. "Take off your blouse and bra so that I can look at those fine tits you're hiding from me. I want to feel them, squeeze them and fuck them."
He started to tear off my clothes, ripping at me with the knife and groping me with his free hand. I felt the cold blade against my skin and then he smiled. "Ah, there they are."He paused for only a moment before he began hitting my tits with his bare hands. I screamed because it hurt, a lot. He didn't care and continued to beat me.
I closed my eyes and prayed to god, though I am not a believer, to make him stop.
"Open your eyes, bitch"he yelled, "or, I will close them forever with my knife!"
Sick fuck...I had to look at him while he beat me. Then he began undressing himself...
Crack! All of a sudden, he fell to the ground like a rock, dead. Bony hands helped me stand up and I peered into the eyeless sockets of a human skull.
"I don't like to see my little girl being hurt." The voice was so ghostly, yet so familiar. For a brief moment I saw some flesh on the decaying skull and I recognized my lover.
"I've got to go now, darling. I'm sorry that I had to leave you the way I did. I didn't want to hurt you but I couldn't live with myself any longer. You know that I was on drugs -- I didn't want to drag you down with me into that living hell."
Those were the last words he spoke and then dissolved into green smoke.
"No wait, please. Come back!"
"I have to go Helen, perhaps one day we'll see each other again. Perhaps one day I can forgive myself for what I've done to you."
His voice faded away and I was left alone in the dark, in the cemetery by the body of my rapist. I decided to take off his cap and I recognized him at once...it was my boss!
I'm just like you: I like to write even tough I've CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).
But I don't write in a specific genre. It's more a combination of Horror/Thriller/Fantasy and Sci-Fi and also a reflection with real events that happened in the past.
So under what category do you have to put your story in? I honestly don't know. If you write specifically about vampires, then hey: it's horror. But what if your story is about a vampire, who's actually a vampire slayer and who not only fight nasty underworld creatures like zombies. But also fight alongside a secret agency against terrorists who want to blow up US citizens. And what if there are some sci-fi-related elements in the mix?
I still haven't figured out under which category I've to put my stories....
Just like the title of my Blog says....
It took me a couple of hours, and I don't know if it's any good at all in English but my grammar and spell checker (I use WhiteSmoke - in case you wondered. And I prefer American English, mostly because my story takes place in Boston) gave me an 8, on a scale from 1 to 10...
I'm using a dictionary and sometimes Google Translation, although I don't consider it my first choice or even an option.
The way I use Google Translation is as follows:
I copy my English text and translate it to Dutch. If I can understand it, a little in Dutch, then I guess it's OK enough to use it as the final text.
I'm now working on the first chapter, while listening to Jimi Hendrix and Heather Nova. Two great creative minds in music... is there a better way to find an inspiration?
Being not native English always puzzles me whether I write something that's readable by a big audience or not. Sure, living in a great city like Amsterdam is nice and its international. Mostly, I feel like a tourist myself if I go downtown. Most tourists are downtown.
I do have one advantage, because all children learn English at school by the age of 11.
Therefore, it is easy for tourists to ask for directions because almost everybody - from teenager until most elderly - will understand you, all though most Dutch people. Which includes me too, talk with a "funny accent." Also most programs on TV are American - or British - programs with Dutch subtitles.
In Germany, your favorite actor speaks German, all of a sudden. But we do it with subtitles. FYI: I think is better that way.
However, there's a downside too: most people in The Netherlands think that English is a simple language, and I say they're wrong. In Dutch we have a rich vocabulary of words to choose from, way more than in the English language and that makes it so god damn complicated....
Because a word has more meanings if you say it in a diff. Sentence and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks for reading,
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