4 Important Questions Authors Should Ask Before Querying Literary Agents – by Marissa DeCuir…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Digital Pubbing:

Your manuscript is prepped and ready to go, and now you’re thinking about seeking a literary agent so you can pursue traditional publishing. But where to begin? While there are plenty of helpful articles online about how to find an agent, many how-tos don’t answer some of the nitty gritty questions about what to seek out—and be wary of—during the process.

What if an agent expresses interest in representing you, but requests edits to your book—is that normal? What if they’re requesting you pay a fee for editorial services, or representation? What if you get an agent (yay!)—how long “should” it take for them to sell your book?

Finding an agent is certainly not a one-size-fits-all situation, but here are some answers to guide you in making the process more efficient, transparent, and stress free!

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Return of the Shadow of Monster Maker Fun: Creatures Donated by Deby Fredericks #October #Monsters

Frankenstein’s Lab

Here’s the last of the Monster Maker posts for October 2020.  These 3 have been donated by Deby Fredericks.  Hope everyone enjoyed this yearly event and return in 2021 for another round.  Enjoy.


Hovering over volcanic regions, these hazy orbs used to be mistaken for pockets of air getting trapped within the rising fumes.  It is only recently that we have learned that they are living creatures.  While they appear to be simple distortions, viewing them through an infrared lens reveals what they really look like.  The Bastremusi are covered in keratin scales with thin vents between the pieces to release puffs of air, which keeps them aloft and away from the burning ground.  They absorb the volcanic ash for nutrients through a bulb-shaped antennae that sticks out of the top.  When one is injured, it splits apart and births a new Bastremus that is half a millimetre thicker.  This method of reproduction has lead many to believe that there are only a handful of these creatures in existence and they are effectively immortal.


The name comes from the happy noise that this creature makes as it bounds through the hills of Hinx.  Thanks to the constant echoes of the region, it’s voice carries for miles and it is never clear what direction it is coming from.  Yormiyar do this because the vibrations cause certain flowers to bloom even if they are no longer in the ground.  It has been noted that the tone and pitch of their song changes depending on the target.  Physically, they have strong legs and bodies that taper from a wide chest to a slender stomach.  This is because they have very large lungs to help them sing for long periods of time.  Their arms end in cup-like hands, which they put on the sides of their circular mouths to create a megaphone effect.  While the rest of their body is smooth, the top of their head has a wild mane of hair that sticks out like flower petals complete with green sections.  This is what gives the Yormiyar energy through photosynthesis since they are really plants.


This is a monkey of the Oonar region, which has been turned into a giant urban metropolis by the humans.  Because of the removal of so much nature, the original fauna have either gone extinct or adapted.  To survive in this area, the Terlicash have taken a niche similar to pigeons.  Being able to breed quickly and eat a variety of food, they have flourished and become a fairly large nuisance.  They are the size of gibbon with similar body structure, but they have four long tails.  These prehensile parts are used to steal food and cause mischief without much care for punishment.  Flaps of skin beneath their arms allow them to glide from building to building if they need an aerial escape.  Bullets do very little to hurt them because they are able to hear the pull of a trigger from ten miles away and move to avoid the shot.  Anything that does hit them has to get through a thick mesh of muscles that is equivalent to kevlar.  Using close range weapons or fists is not recommended because the aggressive creatures have the strength to throw a fully grown man ten feet into the air.  It is said that while the humans built Oonar, it is the Terlicash that truly own the region.

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The Nutshell Climactic Choice and Final Step

Story Empire

Comedy Tragedy

Ciao, SEers. If you’ve been following along when it’s my turn to chat with you, you’ll remember we’re discussing Jill Chamberlain’s Nutshell method. If you’ve missed one or more of the installments or need a refresher on any of them, you can find the other posts here:

Today, we’ve reached the last of her concepts—the climactic choice and the final step.

Climactic Choice

The climactic choice is the crux of the climax itself.

In an Aristotelean comedy, this occurs when the protagonist is at his or her lowest (in crisis) and is faced with that between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place decision. Here, he or she chooses to move away from his or her flaw and toward the opposite strength.

In an Aristotelean tragedy, this occurs when the protagonist believes he or she is at the pinnacle…

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Immortal Wars: The Summoning Part 41 #fiction #throwback

(Previously on Immortal Wars.)

(Again, we shall revel in my teenage originality.  Everyone groan in unison.)

Disclaimer: Immortal Wars was the book I came up with and wrote in high school.  I hadn’t even hit college by the time I wrote the first two books.  That means I hadn’t developed my style yet, wasn’t good at self-editing, and the story was fairly basic. So, you’ve been warned that this is the ultimate author throwback segment for my blog and will show my author origins.  FYI-  I put the first book (The Summoning) through a Print-on-Demand publisher and the second one (Light, Blood, & Tears) never saw the light of day.  Enjoy!

“Look who I found on top of the warship.  He managed to throw Kilanus through Crol’s glass ceiling and escaped through the hole.  The whelp didn’t even hear me coming up behind him,” says Psylon as she drops Infinity at Adriana’s feet.  When Psylon woke up from Fate’s luck-caused avalanche, she had aimlessly stumbled toward the warship.  Just as she arrived, Psylon saw Kilanus get thrown through the glass roof.  Guessing that one of the planet guardians had to be there, the villain nimbly climbed the side of the ship and waited for Infinity to arrive.  As soon as he came out of the hole in the glass, she decked him with her morning star.

“I guess he was more trouble than I thought.  Nice job, Psylon.  But is he dead?” asks Adriana as she gently prods Infinity’s head with her foot.

“Not yet.  I thought you might want to throw him into the pit after the girls are finished having fun.  Send him up against Solix and see who’s the better guardian.  I’ll put my money on the old man,” laughs Psylon.  She drags Infinity to the cage that holds Solix and carelessly throws the Earth guardian inside.  She makes sure to throw him into Solix and knock the two of them into the metal bars.

“How could this young man defeat you so easily, Kilanus?  You were supposed to be our secret weapon against the new guardians,” whispers Tegam while he walks up behind the blond teenager.  Kilanus had successfully broken her bonds before she hit the ground, but the glass that she went through still managed to heavily slash the immortal.  Her face is lightly covered in dry blood, even though the deep wounds have healed.

“It wasn’t my fault.  He is much more powerful and dangerous than he appeared.  You should have seen the way he destroyed Crol.  It was very impressive.”

“I think you are not telling us something, Kilanus.  What happened between you and the guardian in Crol’s cell?  I sense another ambition somewhere in your future that deals with this specific guardian,” mentions Startrix in her eerie, dead-leaf voice.

“Nothing happened.  I watched him turn Crol into a large pile of ashes and then I tried to catch him for my mother.  That is all that happened.  I may have toyed with him for a few seconds, but I used everything I had at my disposal to permanently stop him.  I would appreciate it if you could use actually proof when accusing me of betrayal.  Mother, I swear that I tried to contain him and bring him to you.  So I tried to seduce him.  It isn’t like I’d be the first one to use my talented charms to get a man to surrender,” insists Kilanus with her arms crossed while she leans against the cage.

“Why am I not at all surprised about that?  After all is said and done, you are still Adriana’s daughter.  You are probably prone to intense actions of nymphomania just like your mattress of a mother,” exclaims Startrix.  Everyone around her takes a few nervous steps away, except for Tegam.  He practically leaps across the pit and ducks behind a large alien with the body of a tiger and head of a serpent.

“Hey!  Who are you calling a mattress!” explains Adriana.

“Just because my mom sleeps with any guy who crosses her path doesn’t mean I act like that.  I’m nothing like her.  I actually have some standards when it comes to men,” says Kilanus ignoring her mother’s outburst.

“If Adriana did not sleep with every man that she met, you would definitely not have been conceived.  And do not think I did not see you looking at the guardian just now, Kilanus.  I can see that you want him.  Your mother looks the same way at almost every male that comes in contact with her.  She’s nothing more than a sex fiend.”

“Quiet!  Will both of you shut up before I kill the both of you!  I would appreciate it if my sex life was not announced to everyone here.  Understood!” shouts Adriana.

“It isn’t like they don’t already know from experience,” mumbles Kilanus while she turns her back on Startrix and Adriana.  A quick, echoing whack on Kilanus’ head gets all of her attention and Kilanus turns around to see Adriana looking very angry.  The staff of healing is in her hands and the imprint on Kilanus’ head matches the magical weapon.

“I will talk to you after we dispose of these four interferences.  And trust me, Kilanus.  You will not like what I am going to say or do to you,” whispers Adriana as her temper slowly dissipates.

“Can we please get on with this?” asks Cybro.  He points at Psylon, who is waiting for someone to tell her when to start the entertainment.

“Right.  Sorry for the little interruption, but I had to put those two in their place.  Now that Psylon is here, we can start the show.  If you will do the honor, fire-starter.”  Adriana walks over to Solix’s cage and gives him a wicked smile.

“Which one of the girls do you like more than the other, old man?  Miracle, the Venus guardian, or Hydrana, the Neptune guardian?” asks Adriana while Psylon starts spinning her morning star over her head.  A low hum begins to emanate from the magical weapon as the spinning becomes incredibly faster.

“Don’t do it, Adriana.  I swear that I will destroy all of you if either Miracle or Hydrana are killed because of your actions,” threatens Solix.  He kicks Adriana’s face through the bars and tries to teleport out of the cage.  An invisible energy field suddenly envelops Solix before he gets away.  The field surges through him to cause incredible pain and breaks his concentration.

“Miracle, huh?  You just sealed her fate.  Okay, Psylon.  Use your magic on our vicious illusionist.  Make it interesting.”

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Welcome Marcia Meara with The Emissary #Series

Entertaining Stories

Welcome Marcia Meara to Entertaining Stories. Marcia is one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s hosted my book tours, and it’s time to repay the favor. She’s here to tell us about her Emissary Series, specifically book three of the series. Make her feel welcome, and please use those sharing buttons on your way out today.


Thanks so much for having me here today, Craig. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be visiting you and sharing a bit about my newest release, The Emissary 3: Love Hurts. This is the final novella in the trilogy, and I hope your friends and followers will enjoy the excerpt I’m going to share. I know this one will make the post a wee bit longer than I’ve kept them on this tour, but as the final stop, I wanted to introduce folks to Azrael in a…

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Monsters of Nytefall: Bob’s Horses

Yahoo Image Search

Bob loves horses to the point where he actively tries to slip them into every conversation that he has.  He judges people, towns, and kingdoms on the availability and treatment of their horses.  Chastity made stables on the other side of the road from the Scrumptious Siren because he insisted.  It was going to be simple, but Bob got his hands on the plan and made it bigger.  She won’t complain because the well-stocked and large stables have become a welcomed draw to travelers.  Still, it is another testament to the adoration that this Dawn Fang has for horses.  Why did this happen?

A little bit of an origin here to explain how this wasn’t a random choice.  Bob was one of my best friend’s Vampire: The Masquerade characters back in high school.  Everyone said I could use them if I ever did a vampire series, but things became complicated when I moved from Earth to Windemere.  Bob was the biggest problem because he was obsessed with cars.  On his character sheet, he had skills that involved using cars as weapons.  He once fired micro-machines out of a shotgun.  Game Bob kept it under control more than the book one, but I needed to find a replacement since cars aren’t a thing in Windemere and carts don’t move on their own.  Horses were the obvious choice and I made his unique power revolve around that.

Bob has the ability to craft horses using his aura.  He takes parts that he finds, but he never kills the animal.  I think he killed a camel and an antelope in the series, but those aren’t horses.  It makes it clear that he could create steeds of any kind and consciously sticks to horses.  He turns his magical energy into threads and sews the pieces together, including additions from other animals.  These threads also animate the body and restore most of its consciousness, which creates a very mild psychic connection to Bob.  He only uses it to sense their emotions and when they need repairs.  The more he concentrates on the creation, the more autonomous and long-lasting the steed is.  If he rushes the job then they fall apart quickly.  His limit is 12 horses at one time, so he is always swapping out newer models for older ones.  Those retired creations are typically buried in a personal graveyard and preserved in case he wants to revive them for a specific job.

There have been a lot of horses made in the series, so I’d have to go through every book to pick them out.  I’ve had it that Bob always has a horse for the right occasion or is able to pick up the parts nearby in an emergency.  It hasn’t been made clear because he isn’t aware of it, but he can sense horses and their parts when he needs them.  So, a dead stallion in the wild can draw him in if he needs to craft one.  I try not to make it too much of an issue since it doesn’t come up often.  There’s always a town or old battlefield nearby in Windemere during the first 100 years after the Great Cataclysm.  It’s that way now too, but less noticeable.

Just to give a list of horses that Bob has made or talked about:

  1. Speed horse that moves as fast as a cheetah.
  2. Power horse that can carry Titus.
  3. Invisible horse that can disappear with him.  Believe he named her Pumpkin.
  4. Aquatic horse . . . Think this was only mentioned.
  5. Skeletal horse in emergency.
  6. Zombie antelope in emergency.
  7. Flying horse . . . Only mentioned.
  8. Long range horse made for endurance.
  9. Camel.
  10. Considered an elephant.

I do wish I had created more opportunities for him to create horses.  It was a really fun power, but fairly niche.  He couldn’t do it in the middle of a battle or use it for a spontaneous attack.  Out of all the Dawn Fang abilities, Bob’s horse crafting is the only one that requires a lot of preparation time and doesn’t gear towards combat in any way.  Hope I used it enough for it to be memorable though.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Viral Blues,” BY AUTHOR, C. S. Boyack, @virgilante

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read! About this Book Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against …

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Viral Blues,” BY AUTHOR, C. S. Boyack, @virgilante
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Questions 3: Zombies . . . Because They’re Required by Law

Walking Dead/Shaun of the Dead

Some people must have known this was coming.  Although, zombies don’t seem to be as prevalent as they once were.  I’m out of the loop, so I don’t know what horror monster has risen to take their place.  Feel free to let me know even though this isn’t the genre I really indulge in.

Now, the zombie apocalypse is still a popular online topic because people enjoy talking about how they would survive it.  In fact, most people I’ve seen talk about it are pretty sure that they would make it.  Seems every human is a Rambo waiting to happen or lives in the perfect place to hunker down for a few years.  We tend to be more concerned with our fellow humans too.  Fiction has taught as that the zombies may be flesh-eating monsters, but other survivors are where the danger really lies.  We truly are a ridiculous species in the face of societal collapse and crisis.  Anyhoo, let’s see what people say about their zombie apocalypse survival skills.

  1. What would be your weapon of choice?  Why and how would you get it if you don’t already have it?
  2. How would you treat your fellow survivors if you meet them?
  3. How do you think you would get taken out during this event?
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Songs of Nytefall: Rivalry

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

This volume is all about a grudge.  War of Nytefall: Rivalry is straight to the point in my mind when it comes to the music.  Hatred, jealousy, and anger festering for decades really sets the mood.  Let’s get right into it.

This is rather self-explanatory.  The entire story revolves around Jewelz having a grudge against Mab.  Everyone else has been dragged into this because Jewelz wants to make her enemy suffer.  You can even hear the two yelling the lyrics at each other since they used to be friends as well.

A friendlier, but still on the nose, song that involves grudges.  Finding these were actually harder than I thought.  Tons of swear words and nothing that seemed as direct as they two songs.  I guess most of the angry songs I know are about generalized rage instead of aiming it at a specific person.

As I said, all of these are going to be about hating someone and having a grudge.  I had trouble remembering the name of this song, but it’s one that I played a few times for Loyalty, Rivalry, and Eradication.  I did try to find one song that could be about Clyde and Mab since this is the book where their relationship jumps up a level.  Nothing really seemed to work for them.

See what all the yelling is about in
War of Nytefall: Rivalry
On Amazon!

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Week 3 of the ‘Trick or Treat Book Bonanza’! #books #Halloween #October

Looking for some entertaining reads that are spooky, eerie, or simply magical?
Check out Week 3 of the ‘Trick or Treat Book Bonanza’!
New authors and books every weekday!

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