End of November Excerpt Poll! (Sticky Post. Newer Stuff Below.)

By Kayla Matt

By Kayla Matt

So, I’m thinking of doing a week of excerpts for the end of November.  The problem is that I’m not sure what to go with.  Then it hit me.  I’ll just set up a poll and the Top 5-6 characters will get a ‘free to low spoiler’ excerpt.  I might even slip some in from Books 6-8 if they fit.  Feel free to vote even if you haven’t read the books and we’ll see who wins.  My money is on Fizzle.


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Happy Anniversary to ‘When Stars Die by Amber Skye Forbes’

When Stars Die Graphic 7

About the Author


Amber Skye Forbes

Amber Skye Forbes

Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.



About the Book

“Yet, even when stars die, they leave a lasting impact through their light, their diamond brilliance as they scatter their material to form new stars. When people die, they leave the same impact with the footprints they leave on people’s hearts. Even the ones who feel insignificant go out, leaving behind dust that can nourish the world anew.”

When Stars Die

When Stars Die

Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims in the snowy city of Malva. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18387010-when-stars-die

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Amber-Skye-Forbes/dp/0989312879

Blog: https://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com/

When Stars Die Graphic 2Also, check out the Blurb and Cover from the upcoming Book 2 of the ‘Stars Trilogy’, The Stars Are Infinite

Alice Sheraton is slated to be executed for being a witch; however, her father spares her. He sends her to Finight Hill, a safe house for witches. Here a Shadowman begins to pursue her, and from this Shadowman she learns she has been bound since birth with a terrible fate: either be a martyr to free witches from their misery, or choose to live knowing her existence will bring on more chaos.

The Stars Are Infinite Cover

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NOW ON YOUTUBE! My Chat with Sally Ember, Ed. D. of *CHANGES*

First a big thank you to Sally Ember for having me on her show.  It was a lot of fun and I’m still on the adrenaline rush.  I recommend any author talk her about an appearance because it is a lot of fun.  So check out her blog and her books by clicking HERE!

A few more thank yous to those who asked questions and made comments:

Jack Flacco

He has recently released his second book of the Ranger Martin series, so check it out and help spread the word.

John Howell

Always a pleasure to interact with the author behind the exciting thriller, MY GRL.

Nicholas Rossis

Fellow fantasy author who has the Pearseus series bundled.  Thank you for throwing in a few laughs and supporting me.

Rayne Dowell

Glad you enjoy the show and I hope you discover Luke’s secret soon.

Again, I had a lot of fun and a big thank you to everyone who could make.  Please visit and like the video on YouTube and help spread the word.  Also don’t forget to subscribe to Sally’s YouTube feed, which means you’ll get an update whenever a new video goes up and you can see another author enjoy the spotlight.

Now I’m off to celebrate with some pizza.

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Creating the Horror Atmosphere

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

You know, I never realized it wasn’t spelled ‘Cemetery’ until now.  All I remember is that this covered always freaked me out and was responsible for me not trusting a neighborhood cat for a week.  It looks creepy even though you don’t know the specifics of the story.  Again, I guess when it comes to horror, so you can only take my opinions and advice so far.  Further if you buy then a few drinks.

I’m going to try to explain something that I’m forming in my head as I write this.  I try to touch on multiple senses with my writing by describing things that relate to each sense.  You can feel the breeze, sea the fantasy city, taste the food, smell the flowers, and hear the goblins sneaking up on you in the alley.  I do it to create an atmosphere and draw you into Windemere where you have fun.  Yet, I’m sure a few tweaks and you have what many horror authors do.  It’s all about atmosphere and finding a way to keep the reader tense as they move through the story.  A scary cover simply kicks things off by working off the sense of sight.

So, what can you do for each sense?

  1. Sight- Cover aside, you can touch on what the character sees.  Maybe have things slowly come into view, use fog to make the area ambiguous, or use short, abrupt sentences like a verbal pounce.  One trick can be to have the character unsure as to what he or she is seeing, so the reader starts to wonder.  Is that a chair or a murderous beast crouched to pounce?  You don’t know until the light shifts or the thing moves, so you can draw the discovery out just enough to make either answer have a strong result.  That would be relief both ways, but one is messier than the other.
  2. Hearing- If action and adventures depend on big noises like dragon roars and explosions then horror is at the other end of the spectrum.  The dripping of a faucet at night, something tapping on the window, and the list goes on.  I think this might be more important than sight because many horror stories take place at night when you’re more dependent on your ears.  Think about how a person is wandering through a dark forest and they can barely see.  Noises are what will freak them out and drive them into action or in certain directions/traps.
  3. Smell- I’m not really sure how much this one will be used unless you establish a certain scent as a sign of trouble.  Sulfur smells for demons can work or a smell that is associated with a ghost’s previous life.  If you establish these then mentioning them in passing will activate the caution of the character and reader.  This doesn’t always mean an attack too.  Could just be that the creature was there or is passing by.  You have to balance false alarms and real attacks with this.
  4. Taste- I’m even less sure here.  Possibly a taste of decay on the breeze or if someone is tricked into eating human flesh.  Though I do know that some people get a metallic taste in their mouth when they’re terrified.  Something tells me that taste works better in conjunction with smell or touch.  For example, tasting something foul or familiar on a breeze.
  5. Touch- You can have a lot of fun with this one because a terrified person tends to have an immediate reaction to being touched without warning.  There’s also using the sense of something briefly touching them that can enhance a scene.  Nothing severe like punches and kicks, but gentle grazes and contact that a person might not even be sure happened.  Again, I think the point of aiming for the senses in horror is to create suspense and put as many of them on edge as possible.

That’s all I can think of here.  A lot of it would depend on story, setting, and the type of monster/villain you’re working with.  Wolfman might not be gentle touching, but a ghost could do it.  Any horror experts out there want to weigh in and tell me where I went wrong?

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Guest Post by Vanessa Finaughty: Five Tips for New Writers

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksToday I’m featuring Vanessa Finaughty, a prolific South African author of 15 books with the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen (and I should know – I, too, am blue-eyed!).

She’s written a guest post for us, with five tips for new writers. Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out her amazing giveaway, featuring a number of free downloads for six books, penned by her, Michelle LouringAlianne Donnelly and Simon Ludgate!

5 Tips for New Writers

Guest post by Vanessa Finaughty

1:Write what you know or be prepared to spend hours doing research.

Even if you’re writing fiction, your story needs to be believable, and it won’t be if you get your facts wrong. How much research you need to do depends on how much you already know about the topic – anything you aren’t 100% clear on needs to be researched.

2:If you aren’t enjoying…

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#FREE from 22 to 24 October – #LIONS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature by Emma Child

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:


Hear him roar! It’s the king of the jungle—I mean, the king of the savanna! King of the savanna? What? Before you go thinking we’re crazy, check out this amazing children book LIONS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature for yourself! Written especially for kids, this fun-filled adventure will take you on a whirlwind trip to Africa and Asia, where you will be up close and personal with lions in the wild!

Follow along with the powerful lioness as she goes on her nightly hunting trips to capture prey for her little ones. Meet the rare White Lion—considered to be lucky by the people of Africa. Learn about the animals that lions like to eat—and the animals that like to eat lions!

This wonderful kids book is truly a must have collection to any bookshelf, library, classroom or eBook reader. Reading to children can create a lifelong…

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Back Up Questions

Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant

No reason for that picture, but to get attention.  Just making a simple request:

Please comment with any questions that you may want me answer in tomorrow’s interview.

I can’t guarantee these will get answered there, but it would really help with giving me a few jumping points or to warm up beforehand.  If I don’t answer them on the interview then I’ll do so in the post where I link to the YouTube video.

Thanks and I hope to see some familiar faces there.

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*CHANGES* Episode 9: Sally Ember, Ed. D., Interviews Charles E. Yallowitz

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Less than 24 hours before this event!
My 1st LIVE INTERVIEW, so join us to enjoy the insight . . . and probably comedy.
Will I faint or pick my nose without realizing it?
Only one way to find out!

Seriously though, I’m both excited and nervous about this.  This is a scheduled post, so I hope to have had my haircut by then.  I’m going to relax once I finish editing this final chapter and I’m going to bed early.  Once the son is off to school tomorrow, I’ll be getting my butt in gear and getting my mind calmed down.  So join me on this exciting step into the world of marketing and enjoy the show.

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