Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith Tour Stop & #Giveaway #YA #UrbanFantasy

Discovery of the Five Senses
The Urban Boys Series
Book One
K.N. Smith

Genre: YA Action-Adventure, YA Thriller, 
Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
Date of Publication: September 15, 2021 
ISBN:ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0989474755 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0989474757
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 53,490
Cover Artist: Pauline Malt

Tagline: Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

Book Description:

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory superpowers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys be able to defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late?

Amazon     BN     IndieBound

iBooks     Kobo     Smashwords

Book 2 Coming Soon

Excerpt Chapter Eleven -Mixed and Mashed

As one would imagine, a mysterious forest might offer deep, eerie chills, especially at night.

Instead, the forest cast a rich glow, and the environment was beautiful and serene.
Walking slowly with their eyes absolutely feasting on the horticultural delights, the boys were approached by something they weren’t sure was real. It floated effortlessly, lighting up in a sporadic pattern, but had neither sound nor discernible shape, other than being somewhat clear and round.

Its fluttering wings suspended it in the center of their disbelieving huddle. All eyes were on it, but what it was provoked more mystery than the forest itself. It bounced in a cheery, beckoning fashion, flashing its stunning wings, drawing the boys into a never-ending waltz. They were transfixed, unable to glance at each other, prevented by the daze each silently battled.
The little glowing being carried about, moving closer to their faces. It moved in and out of trees, spewing sparkle and splendor, then floated away from the boys, yet stayed close enough to continue the enticement.

Contributing to the amazing glow ricocheting from sprawling fronds to soaring trees and fallen leaves, the being’s creativity advanced in a display of twirls and spins, astonishing the boys. And they followed their little friend further and further into the forest.

Deeper ahead, the visual spectacle beautifully intertwined with the clicking noise, which grew louder and more defined, moving up the scale into high notes. The repetition of the noise mesmerized the boys, equating to an invisible lasso.

The friends grouped together, looking ahead and behind. Their stomachs tightened as the tension grew.

What they saw next would pale in comparison to their little, wondrous friend, who steadily bounced around several curvy pathways.

The small creature led them into an area deep within the preserve housing two large, floating, clicking balls of light. The boys instinctively covered their eyes, yet still tried to peep through their fingers.

The light balls began spinning wildly and grew louder, with their tops spitting out free-falling shavings of light like fireworks.

The sputtering light bounced off the dirt only to end up against a tree or one of the boys, then back down and up again.

Slowing down, the beings moved in between the boys. Too scared to move and struggling with reality, the boys’ eyes locked onto the radiant balls.

And with a striking force, the five friends were encased by a bright, piercing light as the balls exploded, emitting their energy onto the boys.

Mixing and mashing north, south, east, and west, bright waves covered the soil, spreading across trees, rock, and all plant life. The forest fell silent, frozen like an inhale without an exhale. It was dark and quiet, except for the liquid energy dripping from the huge, wavy leaves.

Being subjected to drifts both in and out of reality, the boys succumbed to the lure of a vacant black space within the deepest parts of their minds. They fell to the ground unconscious, laying in this forbidden domain in the center of a place they had been warned not to approach.

And from some distance toward the other side of the preserve, a draped shadow had been looking inward and saw this mysterious incident.

The curve of his black hood was loose enough for him to witness the unthinkable. But it also shrouded his expression, which was impassive.

This figure, a dark stranger, had been watching the boys for a period of time and saw the explosion of light. He knew it had exposed them to a grave risk in this place of both awe and fear. He realized time would now take the reins as a master guide for these stricken young men, all of whom would need hope as a rod and stamina as a spear on the long journey ahead.

Knowing the veil of normalcy would need to be maintained in order for this inconceivable episode to be minimized, the Dark Stranger drew upon his strength to physically move each of the boys to Rhee’s house.

He knew familiar surroundings would ease them as they roused, barely able to comprehend their predicament.

For he knew much, and every step, every footprint left an indelible impression on the path leading to the studio in Rhee’s backyard. Indeed, footprints providing a window to the past meshed with hope for the future.

And like a laser, the Dark Stranger steadied his gait, hurling each one up and over his powerful shoulders.

As he absorbed the totality of the scene, he breathed deeply. His head hung in a manner to which only trauma could relate. But in a sign of resilience, it swiftly sprung back.

Under the circumstances, he knew time would not be patient nor friendly.

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate had arrived.


About the Author: 

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author, screenwriter, and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. She inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. She lives in California with her family.

Visit K.N. Smith at 


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Sorry I've Been MIA - A Quick Update

I'm sorry there was not much added to this blog in 2021. My creativity was at zero.

2021 was a horrible year for me. 

My mother passed away in February. That left me gutted and the grief is still with me every day. She was my final link to the past. I am the only child of an only child. The only family I have now are my husband and children. 

In October, I received horrible health news. I am praying that 2022 brings me good health.

Overall- I had 3 surgeries in 2021. One in February, one in November, and one in December. 

2022 I'm trying to move forward and heal. 

I do have some good news to share- another Haunted America book will release this year. 

Amid all the grief, pain, and chaos, I have been researching and writing Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties

If all goes well, it will release in time for the 2022 Halloween season.

Jaydeep Shah's Halloween Playlist #Horror

Hello guys! 

Let’s have some Halloween fun in January. 

If you enjoy listening to Halloween party songs, I have included a playlist below. Play it when you miss Halloween.

If you ever threw a Halloween party, feel free to play this playlist. I think you’d like to break the dance floor this Halloween. ;) Haha!

Thank you, Bewitching Guide to Halloween, for having me as your guest.

I wish you and everyone out there a prosperous new year.


The Haunting of Black River Forest
Jaydeep Shah

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jaydeep Shah
Date of Publication: 12/14/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7349826-3-3
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 8611
Cover Artist: Jaydeep Shah

Tagline: A spine-chilling story in which adventurers struggle to survive on the land of a cold-blooded psychopath who enjoys slashing humans.

Book Description:

A forest of blood and corpses. The land of a cold-blooded psychopath.

In Black River Forest, it’s best not to wander too far off the beaten track. There’s no telling what you might find.

Mia and Oliver have long wanted to explore the forest, and one cold, rainy October day, a week before their fifth anniversary of the day they met, they finally make the trip.

But they’ve heard the rumors as well. The haunting. A psychopath hidden somewhere amidst the towering trees. Too many missing. Too few answers.

It’s only rumors, though. Stories. And stories can’t hurt you. Yet as Mia and Oliver venture deeper into the Black River Forest, they’ll soon discover that there’s more haunting this quiet woodland than hikers and bears.

The psychopath is very real. And he’s excited to meet them.

From Jaydeep Shah, author of Tribulation, the first book of the Cops Planet series, “The Haunting of Black River Forest” is a bloody, spine-chilling story best read with the lights on.

Kindle US      Kindle UK    Kindle CA      Kindle AU

Nook      Kobo      iBooks      Google Play

Excerpt 2:

After walking for three or four miles, the trio hadn’t found a way out of the forest.

Their hearts were beating in fear and their legs were tired from walking.  

“When will we find the way out of this creepy forest, man?” asked Mia, her arm linked with Oliver’s.

“I wish we hadn’t come here,” said Oliver. “But we have no choice except to keep trying to find the path.”

“I just hope we get to the right path before . . . he finds us,” said Jany.

“That’s what I’ve been praying to God for this whole time,” said Oliver. “I don’t want to encounter him.”

“Right. I just want to escape,” said Mia. “However, if we do meet him, and if he tries to block our path, I will kill him with my axe.”

“You must be kidding!” said Jany. “Please don’t say that again. I’ve seen enough horror.”

“What did I say wrong?” said Mia. “If he finds us, we must fight him and kill him. Otherwise, he will kill us.”

Walking, walking, and walking. Eventually, the trio reached a divide in the path. Following Mia, they took the left.

The trio walked for one more mile, until they saw something that stopped them in their tracks.

Skeletons. Hanging on almost all the trees ahead, as far as their eyes could see. Not one, not five, not ten, but at least a hundred skeletons, swinging on the trees in the breeze.

Jany gaped at them, her eyes filling with tears.

Oliver felt a chill furling through his body.

And Mia stood completely petrified; somewhere inside her, a voice said: My heart may stop beating if I let the horror possess my senses.

About the Author:

Jaydeep Shah is an avid traveler and the author of gripping horror, thriller, and romance stories. As a bachelor’s degree holder in Creative Writing, he aims to entertain as many as people he can with his stories. He is best known for Tribulation, the first book in the “Cops Planet” series.

In addition to those books, The Shape-Shifting Serpents’ Choice, Jaydeep’s first young adult flash fiction written under his pen name, JD Shah, is published online by Scarlet Leaf Review in their July 2019 issue. Currently, he’s endeavoring to write a debut young adult fantasy novel while working on a sequel to his first apocalyptic thriller, Havoc.

When Shah is not writing, he reads books, tries new restaurants, and goes on adventures.

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Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore by Mark W. Curran #Horror

 Why Stephen King Still Matters

No writer has had the impact and longevity on the American psyche as Stephen King. A best-selling publishing juggernaut, King has sold millions of books since his first novel, 'Carrie' was published in 1973. (His prolific output started even earlier; his first article was published first professional short story, The Glass Floor, to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967.)

How does one writer sell over 350 million books, had 60+ films made from his work and still remain relevant?

The answer lies in his ability to connect to the average reader in language which resonates not only visually but psychologically. Stephen King is an astute observer of human fears and behavior. (For a deeper dive into Stephen King's secret sauce, I'll be covering Danse Macabre - King's 1981 non-fiction book-length treatise on the subject of horror, in next month's column.)

A true rags-to-riches ascent, King's own climb to success started humbly. At the time of the acceptance of Carrie by Doubleday, he did not even have a working telephone on which to take the call. Carrie, the story of a troubled young girl who takes revenge on her high school bullies contained elements of supernatural horror and fused them with rage, serving up a potent cocktail which propelled it to best-seller status [and later made into a movie starring Sissy Spacek.]

Some scholars have argued that Carrie is a social commentary. Linda J. Holland-Toll has stated that "Carrie is dis-affirmative because society makes the human monster, cannot control the monster, and still denies the possibility of actual monsterdom while simultaneously defining humans as monsters."

Nonetheless, the novel is notable for being one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools in the 1990s because of its violence, cursing, underage sex and negative view of religion.

Salem's Lot, published in 1975, pumped new blood into the vampire genre. [sorry I couldn't resist]. During that same year Stephen King completed his fourth novel, The Stand which was published in 1978. Through the years King has been a fiction-generating machine turning out long-form novels at a near-miraculous pace. The trend has continued to this day.

He went on to become a publishing phenomenon, producing such classics as The Dead ZoneFirestarterCujo, IT, and many more. His work continues to be made into successful movies and TV shows. Stephen King is one of the most prolific published writers working today, reportedly turning in a minimum of 2000 words per day. He finishes a 180,000-word novel in three months. 

“If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind—they begin to seem like characters instead of real people,” King reveals, “The tale’s narrative edge starts to rust and I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.  Worst of all, the excitement of spinning something new begins to fade.  The work starts to feel like work, and for most writers that is the smooch of death.”

In his book The Philosophy of Horror (1990), author Noël Carroll examines King's work as an exemplar of modern horror fiction. Analyzing both the narrative structure of King's fiction and King's non-fiction ruminations on the art and craft of writing, Carroll contends that for King, "the horror story is always a contest between the normal and the abnormal such that the normal is reinstated and, therefore, affirmed."

While much of today's horror fiction seems to extend into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy, King's success over the years has been in keeping his horror fiction more mainstream and accessible to the masses. Keeping it real is the key to fiction which resonates across a broad spectrum of readers. It is here King excels.

A narrative that takes the reader too far from reality crosses the line of believability. In crafting down-to-earth believable characters, King is able to speak in a common tone even people who are not regular readers can identify with.

Currently on the best sellers lists is Billy Summers, the story of a hitman with a heart of gold who takes what he hopes will be one last job. While that premise may seem like a straight crime novel, the narrative turns into a nerve-rattling slow-burn, as Summers, an Iraq War veteran and former army sniper, plots his final hit while hiding out in a nondescript southern town.

While there are no vampires or werewolves in Billy Summers, it exemplifies the monsters we can become when the circumstances allow them. There is one reference to the supernatural in the novel.

Midway through the book, writing in a remote cabin high in the Colorado Rockies, Billy can see across the valley to the site of a haunted hotel that burned down. Hanging in the cabin is a painting of topiary animals, which seem to move around when he’s not looking. Billy turns the painting to the wall and writes on.

It is astounding Stephen King's works span such a large landscape of genres. Yet horror remains the one for which he is best known and most revered. And while the supernatural worlds he has introduced us to seem fantastical, the horror for which he is most remembered is that which seems to come closest to our own reality. In some cases King's writing has become prophetic. 

As Vanity Fare's Anthony Breznican states, "People keep comparing the eeriness of the COVID-19 pandemic to the far deadlier one that swept the world in his novel The Stand. They draw parallels between Donald Trump and Greg Stillson, the ego maniacal, world-threatening politician from The Dead Zone. Even the recent rush on grocery stores has vague echoes of The Mist, where shoppers turned against each other while surrounded by unseen threats."

In his 61st novel, The Institute, children with supernatural abilities are taken from their parents and incarcerated. Sound familiar? Even Stephen King himself admits doesn’t feel good about seeing the worst things he can imagine coming true. He’d rather remain in the realm of the impossible.

Yet there is always the sense of hope and redemption at the heart of his sometimes bleak narratives.

As Breznican also offers, "Within every terrifying story about a shape-shifting killer clown, homicidal father in a haunted hotel or super flu that depopulates the planet, the relentlessly prolific writer has filled his pages with equally powerful supplies of strength, selflessness and even hope. That may be why so many readers, many of whom discovered his books when they were kids themselves, have remained loyal over 45 years of storytelling."

What a ride it has been for horror fans. Many of his works have become iconic.

Who can forget the little girl twins standing at the end of the hallway in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining? Or the zombified cats in Pet Sematary (1983). How about when Annie Wilkes breaks Paul Sheldon's ankles with a sledgehammer in 'Misery?' [Readers are quick to point out that in King’s original novel, Annie doesn’t break Paul’s ankles: She chops off his left foot with an axe, then cauterizes the wound with a propane torch. It was later decided to change the scene for the movie version of the novel].

If one single achievement stands out, it is that Stephen King brought horror to the mainstream. His horror novels are still featured at the grocery store checkout counter, no small accomplishment when you consider that up until King, Danielle Steele was the most visible author on mainstream shelves. King made horror acceptable across a wide age gap, subsequently opening the door for sub-genres such as fantasy and sci fi. [Now dubbed 'speculative fiction.'].

King's fiction continues to be highly respected both from a sales perspective as well as a literary one. His work has stood the test of time, and will likely continue to do so for the decades to come. To close, I quote Stephen King from Danse Macabre: 

“The ultimate subtext that underlies all good horror is But not me. Not this time. Because in the final sense horror is the celebration of those who feel they can examine death because it does not yet live in their own hearts.”   

Witches of Wildwood: 
Cape May Horror Stories and 
Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore  
Mark W. Curran  

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction 
Publisher: NMD Books 
Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017 
ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7 
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365
Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction 

Book Description: 
Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran. Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.

The spooky offerings include: 

- An abrasive radio talk show host is stalked by an angry werewolf in 'Werewolves of Dennis'  

- A Fun Pier boardwalk worker falls under the spell of a strange attic dwelling girl  in 'The Girl In The Attic'

- An ancient sailing ship filled with bloodthirsty zombies crashes into the Jersey Shore in 'Night of the Wildwood Dead'  

The cornerstone of the collection is 'The Witches of Wildwood,' the harrowing and suspenseful tale of a witch-hunting preacher hell-bent on killing four teenage sisters determined to destroy the world from their Wildwood boarding house.   

This collection contains: 
The Girl In The Attic - Dante's Inferno At Castle Dracula - Neptune's Revenge - Night of the Wildwood Dead - Captain Harvey's Wildwood Seafood Palace - Showdown In Anglesea - The Fortune Teller Machine  - Jersey Devil - Werewolves of Dennis - Swamp Beast of Grassy Sound  - The Witches of Wildwood [novella].      


 Dante snapped out of his flashback in a startled daze.

He tried shutting the images out of his brain as he swam through the smoke and flame – peering forward as the shaft of white lantern sliced through the smoky darkness. As he walked the creaky floorboards, he heard the groaning and falling of smoky timbers in the unseen floors above him; he knew the ceiling could give way at any moment. His radio crackled with warnings to exit the building immediately. He reached down to his radio, switching it to off, then fought his way through the haze and flame.

He fought hard against the images; the memories as ghosts floated around him; he saw visions of his father, a fifth-generation firefighter, his tough, angry face floating disembodied on a thin veneer of white smoke. Then the image of his father: lying in a casket in a Northeast Philly funeral home, looking like some strange wax figure from a horror movie. The embalmers and makeup people had done the best they could but there was only so much that could be done with burn victims. It had been a fire in Manyunk, a section of Philly, that had taken his life.

Dante fought against the exhaustion and inertia he’d been feeling for months now; tried putting it all out of his mind; the divorce from Kathy; losing the custody battle; losing their home to the mortgage crisis. Guilt and depression had dogged him for the better part of his life, but a man had to remain strong, to fight his way through it, that’s what his parents and friends had told him.

It’ll pass, they said, in the meantime, man up.

But they could not know the debilitating effect of depression, how it freezes you and turns your life into a living nightmare of psychic pain. He’d tried sleeping it off, twelve hours a day; he’d tried drinking it away but it only made matters worse.

Snap out of it, they all said. Tough it out, Petrillo, suck it up. Yeah, he thought, if I don’t snap first.

The roar above his head was an angry crescendo; it sounded like a thousand railroad trains thundering over his head. He pushed forward into the oily black smoke and the ominous arms of orange and yellow flames that reached out all around him like angry beckoning spirits.

There was crashing overhead as sections of the burning roof fell into the floor above him. It did not slow his resolve or lessen his courage, he simply pushed the fear down below the surface He heard voices ahead of him. He stopped dead and tried to ignore the ghosts. Ahead of him in the glow of flame and smoke was Gracie-Lynn, his mother – the strong, silent pillar of strength that had endured so much before she’d died.

For years she’d dealt with his father’s unspeakable anger, the deep bouts of depression, the unexplained rage that would erupt in a split second into violence.

About the Author:

Mark W. Curran is a book author and horror film blogger. His indie horror films 'Hoodman' and 'Abandoned Dead' are now in worldwide release. He edits the weekly Horror Fiction Newswire and moderates the Horror Fiction Central website which feature the latest in horror fiction publishing, news and events.

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