COVER REVEAL: The Dark Carnival, A Pen & Muse Anthology

•September 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Some of you might recall last October, when I was part of a short story series, The Dark Carnival. My story appeared alongside others from some very talented authors. That series has been turned into an anthology now, due out soon. Today, I get to reveal the cover of this anthology to you, and maybe a teaser or two as well. Without further ado, I give you, THE DARK CARNIVAL COVER!


October approaches. Autumn leaves are nearly falling. The Dark Carnival is calling, calling. Will you answer its call? Will you heed the beckon?

The doors are opening.

Will you leave with your life?



Blurb: In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It’s The Dark Carnival.

And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there’s no promise that anyone can leave…alive.


Edited by: Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, and Jessi Shakarian

Contributors include: Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley.
*Final lineup subject to change




Add it to Goodreads here:


Want to show The Dark Carnival even more Goodreads love?

Add it to your shelves – horror, anthologies, and thriller are good places to start.


Did you say you have more love? Pin the shiny new cover to Pinterest, send out some tweets, and scribe it into Facebook. You never know – show The Dark Carnival enough love, and it might just let you leave.


Cover Design by the fabulous C. Elizabeth Vescio. Learn more about her and her incredible design skills here.


About Pen & Muse Press

Need writing tips? Want to learn how to market yourself as an author? Pen & Muse Press was started to give you just the tips you need. No matter how long you’ve been writing – or haven’t been, embrace your craft.

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Hotly Anticipated Sequel: RUNNING AWAY By Julie Hutchings

•September 26, 2014 • 2 Comments

I’ve got a treat for you guys today. My very good friend, Julie Hutchings, wrote a book, one you might remember me raving about before. That book was Running Home, a refreshingly different view of vampires. I love vampire books, but I get tired of the same old thing, so I was delighted by Julie’s take on them, one which involves fate and Japanese mythology. If you haven’t read Running Home, then I STRONGLY suggest you do so, before I start questioning your life choices. ;)

No, really, go read it.

Of course, my first question after finishing Running Home was “Where the hell is the next book and I want it now!” Okay, that’s only sort of a question, but that’s not the point. I demanded the sequel of Julie because I wasn’t remotely ready to stop reading the story of Eliza and Nicholas.

Today is a fabulous day, in no small part because today the world gets that sequel! Yes, Running Away releases today. I’ve read it and I have to say, it’s EVEN BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK!!!! Yes, that’s saying something, but it’s entirely true.

Running Away Final Cover

Book Name: Running Away (The Shinigami series, #2)
Book Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Running Away (book  #2) on Goodreads:
Running Home (book #1) on Goodreads:

Running Away book blurb:

Eliza Morgan is desperate to escape the horrors of her mortal life and understand why death follows her, leaving only one man, Nicholas French, in its wake. He’s the one she loves, the one she resents, and the one fated to make her legendary among the Shinigami– an ancient order of vampires with a “heroic” duty to kill. He’s also decaying before her eyes, and it’s her fault.

On the ghostlike mountaintop in Japan that the vampires consider home, Eliza will be guided by the all-powerful Master for her transition to Shinigami death god. When Eliza discovers that sacrificing her destiny will save Nicholas, she’s not afraid to defy fate and make it so—even when Nicholas’s salvation kills her slowly with torturous, puzzle-piece visions that beg her to solve them. Both Nicholas and his beloved Master fight her on veering from the path to immortality, but Eliza won’t be talked out of her plan, even if it drives the wedge between Nicholas and her deeper.

Allying with the fiery rebel, Kieran, who does what he wants and encourages her to do the same, and a mysterious deity that only she can see, Eliza must forge her own path through a maze of ancient traditions and rivalries, shameful secrets and dark betrayals to take back the choices denied her and the Shinigami who see her as their savior. To uncover the truth and save her loved ones, Eliza will stop at nothing, including war with fate itself.

About the Author:

Author Julie Hutchings

Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, giving you vampires with a Japanese mythology pants kicking is available through Books of the Dead Press. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.

Julie on Twitter:

Julie’s Blog:


Julie on Goodreads:

Running Home on Amazon:

Running Home

Hope Blooming

•September 24, 2014 • 10 Comments

Another personal post. I will get back to talking about writing again at some point, really. Continue reading ‘Hope Blooming’

A Bit of Painful Truth

•September 15, 2014 • 32 Comments

I’ve been trying to avoid this post for a while, both writing and posting it, but I feel like I need to be honest about something, even though I hate the idea of sharing this. It’s very personal and those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know I don’t tend to post about my personal life here. This blog is about writing, both mine and those of my friends. Today, it isn’t though. And hitting ‘publish’ has been so hard, because I feel like I’ll disappoint people with this truth. But I’m doing it anyway, because I have to. And maybe I’m wrong, and people will understand. I hope so.

Continue reading ‘A Bit of Painful Truth’

Words Go By

•August 8, 2014 • 7 Comments

… And still I think about you. Bonus points if you know what song I’m paraphrasing here.

In this case, “You” is Eben, the main character in Vintage. He’s been fun to write and I miss him already.

I suppose I ought to post something about how Camp NaNo went, now that we’re a week into August. Some of you might be curious how writing (well, sort of rewriting) Vintage went and where I’m at in general.

Continue reading ‘Words Go By’

The Blood Spell – The End

•July 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Here is the conclusion to my short story, The Blood Spell. Remember, this is the same world as my current WIP, Vintage. It’s a prelude, occurring before that novel. I hope you guys have and will enjoy this story. I loved writing it. :) Please feel free to leave a comment either here or on Mari’s. Tell me what you think, what you liked or didn’t. I’d love to hear from people about this.

Originally posted on Mari Wells:

J. Elizabeth is here to finish her story, I know you all are on pins and needles to know what’s going to happen next.

The Blood began to shiver. They weren’t supposed to get cold, but it shook as if in a blizzard. Jansen lunged forward, but skidded on his knees, colliding with it. The chains pulled them both to a stop. This time, it didn’t scream. Its head snapped back, eyes wide open as tears of blood poured down the pale cheeks.

Lips skinned back to reveal clenched teeth and fangs. Jansen felt a brief flash of pity for the thing before squashing the feeling.

Desperate, he seized the one remaining option, placing his fingertips on the vest-like contraption along the bands that encircled it. The pressure pushed the tips closest to his hands deeper into Cantor’s skin, but it wouldn’t matter how much he hurt the thing if…

View original 2,259 more words

The Blood Spell

•July 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment


I was invited to join Mari Wells’ month of vampire with a new short story. This is going to be a two-parter, with the second going up tomorrow.
Also, I should mention that this short story is a prelude to the novel I’m writing right now. A taste of it, so to speak. Just in case you needed another reason to read. ;)

Originally posted on Mari Wells:

Today, I’d like to thank J. Elizabeth Hill for being a part of Vampire Month. If you don’t know the amazing @jlizhill, I recommend you all head over to her blog and stalk, I mean, follow her, while you’re off following her, stop by Amazon and pick up her books, (not vampire but still enticing). She agreed to write a vampire story for us. Part 2 tomorrow.
I’ll shut up now and let you get to reading this awesome story.

The Blood Spell
By J. Elizabeth Hill

Jansen grinned at the strange weapon in his hand, using his body to keep it hidden from his prisoner. The dagger was one of a kind, specially made for him. Two slender, double-edged blades sprouted from the guard. The gap between them narrowed but they never actually touched. The hilt was wrapped in black leather. To Jansen, the dagger was a work…

View original 2,237 more words


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