Evelyn Chartres Author
Evelyn Chartres – Author (Nom de Plume)

Elena Hartford Reviews The Van Helsing Paradox

Here is a lovely 4🌟 review for The Van Helsing Paradox from Elena Hartford! This is my latest dark fantasy release that tells the tale of Clara Grey, a young child who grows learns that monsters are real, and grows up to hunt things that go bump in the night!

I found that her review reads beautifully, and has a near poetic feel to it. Here is my favourite quote:

Throughout, Chartres dazzles with her ability to build interesting characters and throw them into intriguing situations…

Thank you Elena Hartford for the kind words! I’m am so happy that you liked my novel! 🥳

Bleed Through – Part I

Edith Stone stood near a bench that overlooked a park that seemed to stretch out forever. This area was a popular place to spot some of the greatest minds in history. They would often congregate here, in a meeting of the minds, one that attracted a slew of onlookers.

The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

She was a woman in her early forties, and had this shine in her hazelnut eyes that never dulled. Her raven black hair and sunburned skin gave her an exotic look, but that was a byproduct of where she lived for the last years of her life.

Her feminine curves, fit physique and the sharp features served only to enhance her beauty. Unlike many who frequented this place, she opted to maintain her true form, flaws and all. Because, in her mind, it made her all the more human, even if she was anything but.

She was even proud of those deep scars that ran down her back. These were reminders of the hard life she endured, just like any hunter of her calibre.

While many of the patrons loved nothing more than to find Einstein and Newton indulging in their love of mathematics, Edith had no such interests. There was one person, and one person only she sought in this bazaar of human history’s finest.

“Did you know that you keep better time than a clock?” Angela asked from a distance.

Edith turned around and beamed a warm smile. Before her, stood that red headed child, she fell in love with over a century ago. Her pale skin, red hair and green eyes were ever-present, no matter what age she chose to appear as.

“You know, I prefer it when you come as you are,” Edith said.

This version of Angela was a young woman of immense beauty. At this age, her freckles had paled, while her figure had fully formed into the sultry body of a dancer. She had lips that beckoned, forever moist, and yearned for that intimate touch only her true love could provide.

Edith let a soft gasp escape her lips, the shock of seeing Angela in this form never failed to stir intense desire. Although to hear this one talk, one would think that her nose was her only redeeming feature. An opinion that Edith contested every time that subject came up.

The radiant redhead closed the distance between them, and embraced Edith who was both older and taller. For a second they stared longingly into each other’s eyes, while Angela traced her lover’s lips with a finger.

She then nibbled on her lower lip, feeling parts of her grow moist, compelling her to move closer, until their lips made contact. It was as though the ground trembled whenever they kissed, every time, a moment of pure bliss.

The immaculate park and its patrons faded into a fog, until only they remained. Their passion, this act of intimacy, did not need to be shared with every soul in proximity. Besides, their love for one another was never meant to be shared with the public. Even here, they were taboos that were not meant to be broken.

“Alone at last,” Edith said with a contented sigh.

“That’s why I chose this age,” Angela said. “How can I indulge in the sweet lips of an angel as a child?”

“True,” Edit answered while she subconsciously ruffled her white feathered wings.

Angela, despite her name, did not have a pair of her own. Her death may have been slow and excruciating at the hands of a ghoul, one that sensed the cancer consuming her from within, that had not been enough to warrant ascension.

Edith on the other hand, had dedicated the bulk of her life to hunting things that preyed on humanity. Or at least that was true, until she found a better cause to fight for.

She joined a band of women who were fighting for the right to practice their faith. A group that was being systematically hunted down by the government. Her original intent had been to gather intelligence, trying to root out the cause of this aggression. Was this nothing more than a tug of war between church and state? Or was there someone, or something pulling the strings in the background?

What she found was a sense of belonging that never materialised at the Tower, a secret order of hunters loosely aligned with the Church. The fact that she met a breathtakingly beautiful soul while infiltrating the group sealed the deal. Of course, as with most cases of love during a war, tragedy struck and took her away. Killed by a creature she had sworn to eradicate from the face of the earth.

That death had not only been traumatic, but it set something within the depths of her psyche. Edith had never been known for risk taking. She was the source of strength for the girls; a trait many rallied to in times of crisis, but that was also her greatest weakness.

Her heart torn, she ventured out to recover her lover’s body, but ended up getting captured by the local militia. Edith put up one hell of a fight, but what could a lone woman do against the combined force of an army? She did what many of her compatriots had done in her situation, pray for strength, even as they raped and tortured her. Despite weeks of brutal interrogation she held firm, and kept her wits about her, waiting for an opportunity to present itself.

One of her captors had taken a liking to Edith’s body, and often claimed dominion over it. Since she was known to put up a fight, they normally secured her to a table as a precaution, forced to adopt a position that made her more cooperative. That time, he forgot to check the knots.

She choked the life out of him with the ropes used to bind her. For a moment Edith stared at this so-called man, whose trousers were puddled around his legs, and spat on his corpse in disgust. That man somehow managed to ejaculate just as his life became forfeit, effectively being rewarded for all of those sick and depraved acts carried out in life.

That night, Edith showed the world just how brutal a hunter could be, when pushed beyond the breaking point. A platoon of men were based at the compound where Edith had been held. Once the sun shone on her for the first time in months, there was not a single man left breathing. Those killed in their sleep, were the lucky few. Others had been hung, shot, electrocuted, burned, skinned alive, or disembowelled.

When reinforcements arrived later that week, most chose to drop their weapons and run, while others chose the cowards way out. After all, being charged with desertion was preferable to the chance encounter with an avenging spirit, or as she became known, the Ángel de la muerte.

These atrocities did little satiate her bloodlust. While these men wholeheartedly deserved their fate, there was someone else equally deserving, the one who masterminded the attack that killed her love. That thing, a traitor to the Tower, was a powerful vampire hell bent on destroying all those who opposed her.

It took weeks, but the vampire named Drusilla was found at a place called the Grand. A luxury hotel nestled in the mountains that turned out to be a haven for their kind.

Fortunately, this hotel was a couple of hours away from an army training base. It took little more than charm to get access to their munitions cache, and take what she needed to exact her revenge. Once at the hotel she found her target, lured Drusilla to her room, and set off a series of charges. The fiery inferno she unleashed in that explosion claimed a lot of lives that night.

That’s how Edith ended up at the Pearly gates. She soon learned that her self-sacrifice had earned her a set of wings. While Edith did not see her elevation as a blessing, she nonetheless embraced the opportunity to cross the threshold and be reunited with her first love.

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Cause and Effect – Part V

Breanna heard a series of hurried steps down adjoining corridors. People were scrambling to evacuate the building, so naturally she wondered why. Her curiosity was further piqued when her mobile vibrated, the sound it made was deafening in this quiet room.

The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

While their technology was far superior to such a crude device, nothing of theirs was currently operational. Since Mason and Brett were busy removing panels from the false floor in an attempt to access the generators, she used her fingerprint to unlock the device.

It took a moment for the men to realise what Breanna was up to. How was this possible? Their technology were designed to survive the rigours of interstellar travel, and yet a toy designed by these apes worked fine.

“What are you doing with that?” Mason asked.

“As in doing with a mobile? Or what am I busy doing with it?” Breanna asked absentmindedly.

Mason had to think about it before answering, “Let’s start with the first part.”

“People think those who don’t have these things as though they are from Mars,” Breanna said in all seriousness.

The men looked at one another and smirked. It seemed that their female cohort spent far more time amongst the apes then they assumed. It also spoke volumes on how much attention they paid her.

“Besides,” Breanna added. “It’s a great way to get out of any unwanted small talk, or get some creep off my back.”

That concept was alien to them, sure they looked like Greek gods, but women tended not to force themselves upon them. This was their first real insight they had on the plight of human females.

“Glad I was selected to be a male,” Brett said with a smirk.

Breanna gave Brett a dirty look before saying, “I got tired of disintegrating aggressors.” Her eyes narrowed on the last part, just to drive home the point that this was a less than subtle threat, before adding, “That tends to bring up a lot of unpleasant questions, not to mention the need for an alibi when someone is last seen alive with you.”

“So what about the latter?” Mason asked in an attempt to change the subject.

Breanna looked up at the boys for a few moments before she answered, “According to Bealzabook and some of the major news services. There are several reports of a shockwave that circumnavigated the globe.”

“Global?” Mason asked.

“Since McMurdo station in Antarctica reported the disturbance,” Breanna said. “I think it’s safe to say that it is.”

Mason paused for a moment, his mind going over the hundreds of variables in his head. All in an attempt to figure out what was required to generate this kind of event? None of the permutations he could think of would permit it, at least not with the precise application of frequency and power.

“Did you confirm all of the settings prior to triggering the tachyon discharge?” Breanna asked before giggling at some random meme on her timeline.

Mason turned to look at Brett, because that was the one variable he had yet to consider. There was no way that someone in this room was capable of making such a simple mistake.

“Oops,” Brett said.

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!

Harvard Beets

Beets were a frequent side at large family gatherings. Their distinctive red colouring and juice made them easy to spot. This recipe adds sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch to transform this side into something akin to a dessert.If you were on the fence between love and hate for beets, this recipe may very well have you embracing this treat!

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cornstarch
  • 14 fluid ounces (400 ml) of canned beets (drained)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of white vinegar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of white sugar

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl mix water and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan on high heat, add vinegar and sugar.  Bring to a simmer. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves.
  3. Set heat to medium Add beets. Heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to allow for the beats to warm throughout. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add cornstarch mixture to the beets. Continue to heat stirring until sauce thickens.
  5. Remove from heat, beets are ready-to-serve.

Cause and Effect – Part IV

Moments later, ripples in the pool settled, permitting Evelyn to the reflection of her smiling face. She knelt down, touched the pools surface, and watched as the ripples propagated throughout the pool.

The Van Helsing Resurgence - Saturday Scenes

“She put up more of a fight then either her parents,” Marc said before placing a pair of uniquely crafted rings on the edge of the pool.

Evelyn looked at the rings, scoffed at how ostentatious they were, and kicked them into the pool. Once those rings disappeared from sight the imp giggled, it was like an intolerable, tingling sweetness of water glasses when played on by a cunning hand.

Evelyn moved away from the precipice and found Marc waiting for her. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes, and without saying another word left the pool behind.

After all, there was nothing more to say on the matter. Had she accepted their gift, she would have clawed her way out of the pool, an act permissible only to those who chose to embrace the eternal night.

Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!