Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

Happy September everyone!

I’m someone who adores the fall. Yes, I’m drinking pumpkin spice coffee already. LOL. Give me days with crisp air, leaves on the ground, and cozy sweaters! I bought myself a sweater while in Scotland that I plan to practically live in for the next six months.

To celebrate the coming change, I have a guest today! Please welcome author and friend, Cyn Ley!

Hi KateMarie! Thank you for the opportunity of visiting with you today!

What genres do you write?

 I write multi-genre—short stories mainly, but am venturing into longer works. Paranormal, horror, social satire, humor, scifi light, general fiction, and stuff that’s rather odd. I’m currently working on the second installment of a new cozy mystery series, the first having debuted in PINK FLAMINGOS & OTHER FOLLIES (It’s A Mystery I: The Lost Boys). I also have several new short stories in the works.

Tell us about your books!

I’m delighted to say that I am a top-reviewed author on Amazon for all of my titles. Never saw that coming! LOL

There are currently three available in print and Kindle editions, and one short which is available on Kindle only. The first book, ENCOUNTERS TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN has the best of the stories published between 2014 – 2016, and ranges all across my spectrum, including several written for other Solstice Publishing anthologies. There are 20 stories in all. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUYCFBC


The second, THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER TALES, has a special place in my heart. Published in 2017, I was living very close to the Veil, my Beloved Husband having brushed through it a few months earlier.  I wanted to explore the Afterlife as I’ve experienced it, seeing it from the Other Side as well as this one.  Consisting of four stories, the book has been described as “literary fiction,” and contains some of my best writing to date, I think. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071JMBPZM

The Ossuary-001

Next came PLOT TWIST, a weird and funny tale about what happens when a demon on assignment shows up at a science fiction convention.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078YC35LX

plot twist dna-001

After THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND, which is fairly intense reading, I felt I needed to lighten things up a bit as well as introduce something entirely new to me. PINK FLAMINGOS & OTHER FOLLIES (2018) is funny, quirky and engaging, consisting of five tales. One of these, “It’s A Mystery I: The Lost Boys,” is the first installment of a cozy mystery series. I hope to release the second installment later this year. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BR15J71

pink flamingos-001

Favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

They’re actually the same thing: when my Muse whacks me upside the head at 2am and orders me to write stuff down. LOL Be that as it may, she’s always right!

 What’s your process? Do you outline or just let the story unfold as you write?

I don’t have a process per se. A lot of times stories come to me in bits, then build on themselves. I have yet to use an outline. For me, writing is very organic—it will happen where and when it wants to. While I’ll have an idea of where I want a story to go, sometimes the story has other ideas! I usually end up writing all kinds of alternatives. The story will shake itself out. Even if I Have A Clue where it’s going, those alternates are still important to write down. I might be able to use them at another time, and if they’re not written down, they’ll be lost forever.

Most surreal moment since you were published was?

It still is! Reading reviews of your work is always a little surreal. I love hearing from my readers, both good comments and not so good comments. I think it’s essential for authors to keep an open mind and learn from the feedback they receive, whether or not they like what they’re hearing. This is not to say one has to concede to the reader–after all, they’re not living in your head–but they can draw your attention to areas where you may need to tweak how you communicate your story.

Name three places you’d like to visit so you could incorporate them into a story/book.

 For me, it’s not so much places as it is things I’d like to do. Go ziplining. Take a helicopter trip over Mt. St. Helens. Visit places where the residents may be dead but are not sleeping. See a Sasquatch, and remember to bring fresh fruit with me as a gift. Stuff like that. As the saying goes, “Life is a banquet!” Maybe I’ll sit down and share an apple with a Bigfoot.

Thanks for stopping by, Cyn!

Readers, if you want to connect with Cyn, you can find her via social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynthiaLey2@cynthialey2

Blog: https://authorcjl.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cleyfiction4/

A top reviewed author on Amazon, Cyn takes much of her inspiration from the part of the beautiful Pacific Northwest she calls home, where fire (the active volcanoes) and water (the many rivers and the Pacific Ocean) actually do mix. Among her many interests are history, embroidery, folklore, and things that are generally rather strange.


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Hey everyone!

Like I said yesterday, I’m trying some new stuff. Last Monday interviews are going to be on hold. I’m still on the fence if I’ll post stuff on Mondays or not…we’ll see. LOL

However, I want to start giving out more teasers! Starting today, and as often as I remember, I’m going to post a teaser from one of my books!

Today, I’m happy to share a short story from my anthology, “A Stab At The Dark”!

Death’s Agent

            The cigarette tip flared for a moment, breaking up the darkness of the alley. A figure leaned against the wall. Wisps of smoke floated about his head. The shadows of the alley obscured his face, which was what he wanted. Few would ever admit to seeing him. Even fewer would survive if they did.
The alley itself wasn’t much different than thousands he’d waited in before. Rodents gave him a wide berth, scurrying about in the piles of trash and human waste. He really didn’t mind the rats. At least they didn’t try to bum a smoke from him.
He glanced up once. The apartment window, dark as the alley, gave off a light that few could see. He was one who could. The pulsing red light was starting to fade. He glanced at his watch. 3:51 am. It wouldn’t be much longer. By 4:00, he would be able to go in and put the light out.
He raised the cigarette to his lips, only to find it was nothing but ash and filter. Cursing, he added it to the small pile just to his right. Judging by the size, he’d gone through at least two packs since he got here. A black-gloved hand reached into the pocket of his coat. He fumbled about, finally pulling another pack out. Absently tapping the pack against his other hand, he glanced at the window again. The light wasn’t getting any dimmer. He might finish this pack while he waited.
The sound of cellophane mixed with the chittering of the rats. He put one of the cigarettes in his mouth. One hand put the pack away, the other searching for his lighter. Flame flared as he lit up, briefly illuminating his face. The rats ran at the sight.
He inhaled deeply, enjoying the familiar rush of the nicotine. Something different happened, though. He coughed. Not a simple cough, but one that threatened to tear out what lungs he may have left. Doubling over with the effort, he rode out the spasm. When it finished, he leaned against the wall. His breath came in gasps.
It was then that he saw the other figure in the alley.
“Been here long?” A woman’s voice drifted towards him.
“Too long, if you ask me. Not sure where the intel came from, but this one–” he gestured up towards the window “–isn’t ready to go yet. Judging from the light, he’ll be here a while.”
The woman walked towards him, her stiletto heels making no sound on the pavement. She glanced upwards, then turned her attention back to him.
“He’s not the one who will be leaving tonight.”
A scythe appeared in her hands, slicing downward. Her watch beeped. It was 4:00 a.m. He may have been one of Death’s best agents, but the chain smoking needed to stop. Now.

Be sure to pick up a copy! I’m going to be using universal links so you can find the books no matter what country you’re in!




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Solstice banner 2

First time authors have a hard time getting their first contract. Many of us have been there and it is discouraging to say the least. Solstice Publishing has published many first time authors and are actively seeking fresh new writers to add to our Solstice family. Many authors got their foot in the publishing door by writing short stories. This is a great way for authors to build their catalog while they work on their longer novels. At Solstice, we believe every book has a home. It may or may not be with us but we invite you to see if we’re the right home for your story.

Solstice Shadows publishes Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal, Horror, and all sub-genres therein. If you have a short story that falls into one of these genres, we welcome you to read on and consider entering our short story contest.

Official Contest Information:

Solstice Shadows wants to read your short stories!

Do you have a short story collecting dust? Are you an aspiring author who wants to be published? Are you an established author who is willing to take risks? Are you a self-published author who wants to see what it’s like working with an Indie Publisher?

Solstice Shadows is hosting a short story contest starting June 1st through July 6th 2015.

* Accepted genres: Fantasy, SciFi, Horror, Paranormal, and all sub genres therein. (We do not accept non-fiction/overtly religious stories/pornography)

* Story length: Up to 20K words.

* The story cannot be currently for sale on any platform.

To Submit:

1.) http://www.solsticepublishing.com/submission

2.) Click on ‘Solstice Shadows’

3.) Type “Shadows Short Story Submission” in the ‘Title’ box.

4.) Your cover letter should tell a little about your story and a little about you.

5.) Follow the directions for submitting your story.


1st place – A 3 year contract for the short story, A promotional video highlighting the book and author, and a FB release party hosted by Solstice Publishing.

2nd Place – A 3 year contract for the short story, a promotional video highlighting the book and the author.

3rd Place – A 3 year contract for the short story.

Winners will be notified by August 1st,2015 via email.

How will the stories be judged? Here’s what we’re looking for in no particular order:

1.) Submission guidelines followed

2.) A social media presence

3.) An exciting first scene.

4.) A clear and organized plot.

5.) Interesting characters.

6.) Engaging dialogue.

7.) Correct grammar/punctuation

8.) A satisfying conclusion to the story

9.) A unique voice.

We hope you decide to enter and look forward to reading your stories. If you have any questions, feel free to email us (solsticeshadows@gmail.com) or catch us on Twitter (@solsticeshadows)

Happy writing!

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The coolest thing happened earlier this week! I got invited on Twitter to enter a contest! First time that’s happened, and I’m honored!

Went through some short stories and found a favorite. Just uploaded it to the site today. If you have time, please give it your vote and share the link.



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Yes! A random post from me on a Thursday! LOL

Starting today, I’m going to either have a free book or a book on sale for the next six weeks in a row!

Today through the 19th, you can pick up a copy of ‘Fin’s Magic’ for free!


I’ll be doing additional blog posts as the event progresses, so keep an eye out!


fin'smagic with quote

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