Tag Archives: Horror

Toxic Ash #teasertuesday

 

 Toxic Ash

(book 2 of the Eldritch Elysium series)

 

Genre: Paranormal fantasy

“”I need to make things right with The Company. I need to know that I’m not in danger of having my services terminated.”

“Rin…”

“I know,” Ash sighed and put a hand to the bridge of her nose, feeling the seeds of a headache taking root behind her eyes.

“Do you really?” Buddy’s gaze gained an added pressure, a weight that she’d never felt before and drew the flutter of fear from deep within her gut. “You know that Jeb was from The Corporation? You know that because of this, relations between them and The Company have soured to the brink of all-out war? Do you know that you’ve been put on review?” The word “review” was like being slapped in the face with an iron gauntlet, Ash felt her legs turn to unexpected noodles and her bladder somehow grow full in an instant. “Now you want to talk to me about making things right? And exactly how does the soldier who fired the first shot put the bullet back in their gun?”

Jenkins was angry, a very rare sight indeed, even so he was forever conscious of the steady stream of passing tourists and his voice never rose to a shout. Instead it grew more and more quite, finally escaping his lips in a venomous hiss that made Ash wish she was facing a cobra instead of her former teacher. Being up for review meant the very real possibility that her worst fears were being realized already.

If the Company decided to terminate her contract—well, from the very beginning, Ash had always known that a contract with The Company could only be ended the same day as her life. Suddenly the organization that had nurtured, embraced and sheltered her was turning its decidedly wicked claws in her direction and she didn’t like it one bit—but, “I didn’t call you lightly Buddy, there’s no one else. Can you—will you—help me?”

 

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Happy Halloween

On behalf of Distinguished Press, I wanted to say happy Halloween! Am I saying it too early? No, silly. All of October is a celebration of Halloween, or at least it should be!

Here’s a little Halloween poem I wrote for all of you. Enjoy!

 

I saw a spider on the door

As I reached for the knob.

It spun its web, trapped my hand,

And turned it into one pink blob.

 

I ran to the back door,

Only to be greeted by an army of wasps.

They flapped by my shoulder,

Reminding me that nature is boss.

 

I stared at an empty box

Left in my living room.

And then it opened on its own.

The flaps– like a ghostly flower– bloomed.

 

Spiders, wasps, and ghosts in boxes,

All of this is true.

To cleanse myself from evil.

I jumped in the shower with you.

 

Then my lover said, “come to bed.”

So I crept into the sheets.

But a clown’s face greeted me

With teeth as bloody as beets.

 

I screamed when It bit me,

And the spider cast a web.

Then the wasp formed a nest

And the clown in my bed said:

 

“Happy, happy Halloween

I hope you like my friends!

We’ll be here with you

Until the very end!”

 

A smiling jack-o-lantern

Sat on the window sill.

And with blood running from my face,

I knew that I was so very ill.

 

It was Halloween, all right,

Our greatest fears had come to be.

I had spiders, wasps, and clowns

Horror was all I could see.

 

But I laughed as blood soaked the sheets

And told them they were fools.

You’re messing with the wrong man.

I break all of Halloween’s rules.

 

And so I became the horror

That walked down the street,

To torment and freak

All of those who were meek.

 

On this night, our fears came true.

Do you have strength to fight them?

Because on one night, you will see

The evil only you can imagine.

 

Joe Chianakas is the author of Rabbit in Red, the first book in a horror trilogy with Distinguished Press. Get it here.

Be on the lookout also for Ashwood, an upcoming horror release just in time for Halloween by author C.J. Malarsky! Check out her author Facebook page here!

 

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Why I Want To Be Successful

One of my favorite joys as a professor is writing a student a wonderful letter of recommendation. That’s one of the surprises for which no one prepares you. I love the moments when a hard-working (we hope) student walks through my office door and asks politely and hesitantly, “Do you think you could write me a letter of recommendation?”

I smile and nod. “My pleasure.”

And it truly is. I get to work with the next generation of ambitious leaders as they pursue their dream jobs, and there is little else that gives me the satisfaction of being able to help them achieve that. And not just through classroom lessons, but through that essential reference, the teacher communicating with a future employer and saying, “You’ve got a great candidate here.”

My first novel, Rabbit in Red, releases on September 29. I wake up every morning and pinch myself. “Is this really happening?” But it’s terrifying, too. I ask myself, “Do I need this? Do I really want this?” People are going to see the inside of my head! There will be critics—oh, so many critics! Can I handle all of that?

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One of my college classes. I’m in the back with the maroon shirt. This is my dream job!

Yes. The answer is yes because I think of the smile on a student’s face after they read the rave review I had written for them. I’ve worked hard to be in a position where I am lucky to help others get to where they want to be. I’m lucky to already have my dream job. But I made the decision to never stop developing and chasing new dreams. I set a goal to be a published author, and now it’s happening. I hope for success, of course, but I have to ask: “Why do I want to be successful as an author?” It’s not ego or pride, is it?

No, it’s more than that.

I dream not (just) of being on a bestseller list (although of course I’d be thrilled!). I dream of a day when I can help other writers and artists accomplish their dreams. Isn’t that what would be the absolute coolest thing about being J.K. Rowling or Stephen King? They could get on a Twitter account any hour of any day and make someone a bestseller with a single tweet. Can you imagine?

Oh, I’m sure it’s a terrible pressure, too. But what a beautiful gift.

That’s also why I’ve fallen in love with my publishing home at Distinguished Press. We fight for ourselves, sure, but we’re also fighting for one another. I’ve told my students that when we collaborate with others, when we strive to help others, then we also help ourselves.

If we fight for the success of others, then we, too, will find success.

One day I hope that I possess the beautiful gift of recommending an artist to the world and consequently am able to help that artist achieve all of his or her dreams. THAT is my dream.

Fan art for Rabbit in Red, which releases on September 29!

Fan art for Rabbit in Red, which releases on September 29!

I’ll look back on all the enthusiastic people that have always been my side, and I’ll do anything I can to help them out.

That’s why I want to be successful. That’s why I fight to share my first book with the world and hope to share a dozen more.

I’ll hope you be with me as I take my first steps as a published author.

About the author: Joe Chianakas, 36, teaches communication at Illinois Central College. His first published novel, Rabbit in Red, releases on September 29. Like him on Facebook here, and follow him on Twitter for the latest exciting news!

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The Fantastic and Fabulous Author Catherine Stovall: Reborn Blog Tour

Author Catherine Stovall

Author Catherine Stovall

Today is a special day because I’m interviewing Author Catherine Stovall. Not only is she a fantastic writer, she’s also a great friend of mine. I met Catherine over six months ago and we’ve spoken nearly every day since. She’s devilishly charismatic, exceedingly intelligent, wildly humorous, and vastly resourceful. I’ll never forget the conversation we were having when she mistakenly thought I was barely in my early twenties. The conversation was based on my own personal lack of action in the book publishing world. I was impressed at her success and all that she’d accomplished, and her words to me were, “You’re younger than I was when I got started.” Again, like I said, she’s very entertaining and I just can’t allow her to live that down. It’s always good for your ego when you are able to baffle a person as brilliant as she is, but it still sucks that I’m no spring chicken.

Catherine doesn’t like to be forced into a box, and she doesn’t like labels, therefore she writes in any genre that suits her fancy. Stolen and Reborn are considered many things including YA, Horror, Romance, and Occult. Fearful Day is General Fiction Horror. She’s currently working on a fantasy novel, a crime novel, and preparing to release a Drama Short Story.

Okay, enough dilly-dally. I could go on all night about how awesome Catherine Stovall is, but let’s get on with the interview and you can see for yourself why I so adore this woman.

You can enter to win a copy of Reborn from the Rafflecopter giveaway.

“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”
—Marilyn Monroe

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
I am an eclectic in all areas of life. I wear many hats and do many things. In my “normal” life, I am a full time office manager, a wife, and a mother of three children. In my “creative” life, I write, sketch, and do amateur photography. In my “crazy” life, I ride motorcycles, play with giant reptiles, and generally do anything for an adrenaline rush.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing very early on in my childhood. It was not until I was 30 that I decided to write a book. I finished and published it within that same year.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started with poetry when I first learned to write and it became a true passion for me. Later in life, it became a necessity for me. On the face of a blank page, I found my outlet for all things.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up all over, born in Florida and later moving to multiple places through Missouri. I traveled extensively on the East Coast and lived in Alabama for a bit. We lived on farms and in small towns. I was the youngest of a large family and though times were hard and my parents were strict, I had a wonderful life full of hard-learned lessons.

Where do you live now and what’s it like?
I currently live in what I like to refer to as Sandland. It is a tiny town in Southeast Missouri with little life. It is a nice safe place to raise teens.

Do you have a day job? If so, tell us about it…
I am an Office Manager at a small loan company. I work with a crazy bunch of humans. They are always colorful and interesting. Sometimes they are plain insane.

If you could write a different genre, what would it be?
I am interested in writing Steampunk. I have tried my hand at it before but I don’t feel I have really captured the genre yet.

How much of the book is based on real life experience?
Many scenes in Stolen are based on true events in my life. When Jenda and Soborgne first meet the readers actually experience an embellished version of how I met my best friend of 20+ years.

What are your current projects?
I am working on ten separate projects right now, including Eternity: Requiem of Humanity: Book 3. There are several different genres to include YA Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, and Thriller. You can check out the complete list and their descriptions on my webpage.

>>> Catherine Stovall’s Webpage <<<

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about a book and what would it be?
I would like to redo the beginning of Stolen. Many readers have found the start to be a little slow. Being inspired by the early greats, I have a huge love of backstory and today’s readers seem to prefer a more action packed beginning.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A short paragraph from Arcana ~ I spent three years in the darkness with no sun. It seemed like an eternity without feeling its warmth on my skin. Sometimes, I dreamed about it. In these dreams, I was younger and the world was the way it was before the war. I was twelve when the war first broke and sixteen when it ended. I remember clearly, what life was like before the High Priestess’ Age of Magic.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you get your inspiration back?
Writer’s block curses all writers at some point in their career. For me, it is best to separate myself completely from my writing for a few days. When I come back, I am similar to a starving man at a banquet table.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I read, spend time with my kids, and have adventures with my husband on our motorcycle.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
Horror has always been a fascination for me. Turning to the YA genre came from the desire to produce books I would want my children and little sister to read. I wanted to provide them with material that focused on true imagination and less sexual situations.

Where do you get your ideas?
My dreams are often nightmares and they provide plenty of inspiration. Other times I derive story ideas from everywhere around me. Music plays an enormous part for me as well.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I start with a general and very weak outline. I have learned not to focus too much on preconceptions because my characters never seem to cooperate and I end up veering way into left field.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I use social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. I find photo contest are very effective online. I also do as much in-person promotion as possible. This summer, I held a pet food drive for my local No-Kill Shelter. I also pass out fangs with promo cards attached to them at Halloween while I take my own children trick or treating. Both were great promotion opportunities. We will be hosting a blood drive in the spring for the print release of Reborn as well.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I recently finished a YA Fantasy novel titled Faire Eve. I believe that once the book has found the right home, my readers will love it as well. Faire Eve is currently being reviewed and hopefully will be joining the growing list of my novels available to the public.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Not very original but, “Don’t give up. You may receive a hundred rejections but it only takes one yes. Also, save up and get an editing program. It will change your life.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you. Without my readers and fans, I would not be able to do what I love and share it with the world.

The Hypothetical Hotspot™

with Author Catherine Stovall

What are you going to do when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?
Grab a chainsaw, a bunch of guns, lots of food and ammo, and my laptop before heading to the most unpopulated area possible.

Where do babies come from?
Oh, they crawl in under the door while you sleep. Just like cockroaches, they never seem to go away either.

Can you pick any product of your choice and write a catchphrase for it?
Turtle Lattes. It’s like crack in your coffee. 😀

Do you have Road Rage?
My biggest pet peeve is when people pull out in front of me just to slam on their brakes and turn. It sends me into a spree of cuss words that could make a sailor blush.

What are three of your worst habits?
Marlboro’s, Mountain Dew, and my filthy mouth.

What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice?
Well, if you have recovery time between the two scares, I am assuming, you could end up one quarter to one-third dead. If no recovery time then, I will see you when you return on the wrong side of the Zombie Apocalypse.

If I got slobbering drunk, would you make me a sandwich?
As long as you promised to slobber on the sandwich and not me. I got a thing with spit. Ewww…yuck.

If you write a book about failure, and it doesn’t sell, is it called success?
If you start writing a book and you finish it, that is success in itself. So, yes.

If something “goes without saying,” why do people still say it?
Because people love to hear themselves talk.

Why do all the superheroes wear underpants on the outside?
I always assumed it was for more restriction in that area. I mean the man of steel must have a few issues if he gets excited. ~~ waggles eyebrows~~

What is another word for “thesaurus”?
I was really tempted to list the word in every different language I could find but… I’m lazy so I’m going to go with an attempt to be funny. It’s a writer’s cheat sheet.

What would happen if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
He’d be a Vampire Batman or he’d ditch the suit and just be hot.

If chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and beans are a vegetable, why isn’t chocolate a vegetable?
Wait! Chocolate isn’t a vegetable. OMG… my whole life has been a lie.

When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
At the same moment when the glass stops being half-empty and becomes half-full. To specify that would be when people become delusional or they take their happy pills.

If a stripper gets breast implants can she write it off on her taxes as a business expense?
Actually, yes. Other tax write offs include thongs as uniforms and latex as safety materials. Thanks to a strange lawsuit.

What does PU stand for (as in “PU, that stinks!”)?
Not to be boring and informational but it is a shortened version of the French term peur that means to stink.

What do people in China call their good plates?
Home Plate?

What type of animal is Snuffaluffagus?
I believe Snuffy was created in the image of wooly mammoth, minus the tusk, so he did not frighten children. Whatever he is, he cracks my shit up!

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
I have done a lot of research on how to kill people in cold blood (for the books I swear) and it is the general style and manner overall that determines a killing to be an assassination.

Stolen

Stolen

Stolen: Requiem of Humanity Series:
Book 1
Jenda and Soborgne are best friends and everything they do, they do together. Unfortunately, this time the girls may be joined at the hip in a far more horrible way: by death. The girls are kidnapped and held captive by Belle and Matteo, two vampires with a plan. Belle, a sociopath in life and death, is searching for an heir to her reign as the only vampire to hold the secret to surviving the sun. Matteo is a lost soul who would give anything to be loved and to see the light of day. As the four characters’ worlds collide, blood is spilled, lives are lost, and rules are broken. Disappointment in love and life bring out the worst in humans but, with vampires, it leads to a chilling tale of romance and terror.

Click the links for Stolen on E-Book and Paperback

Reborn

Reborn

Reborn: Requiem of Humanity: Book 2

After killing the only female vampire known to walk in the sun, Jenda and Soborgne travel with Matteo, Jenda’s true love and a major player in the girls’ human demise, to Budapest in search of protection and answers. Hunted by the Dracul for their crimes against the vampire Belle, their future is unsure and the danger is mounting. An ancient feud between God, Demons, and Vampires places Jenda and Soborgne at the center of a battle for their lives and a mysterious prophecy. The girls find themselves separated once again but this time, Soborgne has chosen to walk away. Feeling as if the world thinks she is the epitome of evil, she turns away from her friends and the light. Even the constant thirst and the rising darkness inside Jenda’s mind can’t stop her. To many coincidences and unanswered questions sends her back into the world of her mind and a visitor she thought long gone offers her the information she needs… for a price.
Click here to purchase Reborn.
You can also enter to win a copy at the Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearful Day

Fearful Day

Fearful Day (Short Story)

Sometimes, in the darkness, there are things waiting for the most innocent souls. Things that seek out the goodness in its victims because it is the most precious thing they can destroy. 

The author of Stolen: Requiem of Humanity: Book One brings you into the recesses of a twisted mind in this tale of demons, shadows, and prophecies fulfilled.
Click here to purchase Fearful Day.

Who designed the covers?
The incredibly talented Alaskan multi-medium artist Christy Weber, who also happens to be my sister, designed the covers for Stolen and Fearful Day. The Reborn Cover was designed by Mrs. Venus Botticelli, an equally talented artist who typically does not share her work with the world.

Before we go, did you enter a Rafflecopter giveaway? Did you join The Official Catherine Stovall Fan Page? Did you check out Requiem of Humanity Series on Facebook?

There’s much more to come on The Reborn Blog Tour. Stay tuned, she’ll be on the Writing Network tomorrow.

I adore you, Catherine Stovall. Thank you so much for dropping by. ♥

By Coey Cain

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