Today I'm reviving a year-old blog meme called YA Unscene which lived for a month in 2012. It is a meme that features unseen or deleted scenes of novels that is followed by a short interview and a giveaway. For the first post, I will be featuring When Stars Die by Amber Forbes. This is a YA Paranormal that will be published next week.
Paperback, 267 pages
October 22nd 2013, AEC Stellar Publishing
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. 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?
Pre-order on Amazon
What or who inspired Where Stars Die?
My own imagination pretty much inspired When Stars Die. I know a lot of people have external sources that inspired them, but I simply knew I wanted to write about witches in a unique way and write about convents with witches, and everything else flowed from there. I don't have a Muse, and I don't have some external mystical force guiding me in my writing.
Can you tell us about the paranormal aspect of When Stars Die?
The paranormal aspect of When Stars Die is the witches, of course. There is also a lot of mystery. In the beginning of the book, Amelia sees these shadowy figures, but only she can see them, and she isn't sure why. But they stalk her throughout Cathedral Reims. It isn't until she accidentally sets her best friend on fire does she learn why these shadowy figures are haunting her. These shadowy figures in themselves are paranormal creatures to. They're dead witches, so when witches die they turn into these shadowy creatures. I have an entire elaborate system behind it, and I hope readers can keep up with it.
So Amber was set on becoming a professed nun but showed inhuman (fire) abilities, how does this affect her perception on 'taint' and who she is?
Well, once Amelia learns she is a witch, she starts to feel like maybe she isn't meant to be professed because a witch being a nun is a blasphemous thing. Witches are incredibly despised in her world. And while Amelia believes being a witch is a taint, she is also sympathetic toward them, not only because she finds out she is one, but also because her brother is one. She knows people have been brainwashed into hating witches because her religious texts tells them they should. She knows there is no logical reason to hate them, but she also knows you can't undo the years of socialization people have been put under.
Who is Theosodore Branch and how is he related to Amelia?
Theosodore is an assistant to Mother Aurelia, who is the Mother Superior of Cathedral Reims, the convent Amelia attends. But he is much more than this. Later on he becomes a sort of antagonist against Amelia, but then becomes her ally much later in the book. However, one thing I absolutely have to point out is that in the sequel, Stars Will Rise, Theosodore is the antagonist hands down. He will play an even more major role in the sequel.
What kind of readers do you think would like Where Stars Die?
I think the types of readers who would enjoy WSD are those who love paranormal and paranormal romance in general. Fans of the Infernal Devices, The Forest of Hands band Teeth Trilogy, and fans of other dark books will absolutely love this book. I just know they will.
Would you like to share a few quotable quotes from Where Stars Die?
Quotes: “She is a dance piece in a music box…” (p. 12) – Amelia describing Colette
“People think children are so tender, but they’re resilient. It is we older ones who are tender, already beaten down by life” (p.92) – Amelia comparing herself to Nathaniel
“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” (p. 133) – Amelia reflecting on her future and what if anything she’ll leave behind.
Do you have a favorite scene in this novel? What is it and why is it your favorite?
My favorite scene in the book is actually the third quote. Amelia is ruminating on stars and how when they die, they leave a lasting impact. It's the most literary point of the novel, and it's the scene that determined the title of the book. Amelia basically wants to die leaving that lasting impact.
Any last words?
When Stars Die is available for pre-order on Amazon, though you can technically buy it right now and it's not on pre-order.
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.
Follow Amber: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
One of you will win When Stars Die. This is a digital copy so it's open internationally. It ends on October 31st.