Horror

The Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror Reaches #1!

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in Horror, Pen and Muse news, The Dark Carnival, Writing | 3 comments

The Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror Reaches #1!

A wonderful thing happened today. A wonderful, amazing, totally rockin’ thing… Let me give you a few hints… It involves clowns, things that eat people, and pure evil It involves ghosts and possessions It’s not something that should be read alone in the dark… That’s right! The Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror became #1 on Amazon today in it’s category. We’ve been watching for weeks as it sat at #2, waiting patiently behind works like H.P. Lovecraft. And today we surpassed H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King to make #1! Woohoo! Here it is in all of its glory!     I feel so honored to be a part of this anthology and to have been able to work with such talented authors and illustrators. I’m humbled beyond belief. I feel especially excited because this is the first published work that Pen and Muse Press has ever put out and it’s a best seller! Woohoo! Here are the current working for the Dark Carnival (which look pretty darn good)! #1in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literature Collections > Horror #2in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Anthologies #8in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Anthologies Well-deserved thanks goes to… With that said, we just want to thank every last one of you who made this possible. Special shout out to Kristen Jett, Jessi Shakarian, and Meghan Schuler for their special behind the scenes work. An additional thank you is due to our fantastic contributors: Kristen Strassel, Meghan Schuler, Claire C. Riley, J. Elizabeth Hill, Jessi Esparza, Debra Kristi, Ryan Bartlett, Michelle Ceasar Davis, Brian LeTendre, Ken Mooney, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, Lucas Hargis, Kat Daemon, T.A. Brock, Calyn Morgan, Emily McKeon, Gregory Carrico, Kristin Hanson, Nicole R. Taylor, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Brian W. Taylor, Kate Michael, Ezekiel Conrad, Jamie Adams, Bobby Solomons, Mark Matthews, Jamie Corrigan, Kristin Rivers, Kristen Jett, Sheila Hall, Suzy G, Kim Culpepper, Ruth Shedwick, J.C. Michael, Wulf Francu Godgluck, Ashly Nagrant, Amy Trueblood, Vanessa Henderson, Tawney Bland, Julie Hutchings and Stevan Knapp. Without all of you this wouldn’t be possible! And a thank you to you! Thank you to everyone who participated in reading the Dark Carnival showcase, encouraged our authors and illustrators, anyone who has followed this blog or tweeted us, and thank you to every single person who has bought a copy. You rock!   Get a Copy Today (Or Add it to Goodreads!) Here are the bazzillion places you can get a copy depending on the country you live in or where you prefer to shop!   Add it to your Goodreads! Smashwords Amazon USA Amazon IN Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon FR Amazon ES Amazon IT Amazon JP Amazon BR Amazon CA Amazon MX Amazon AU   Did I mention that any money earned from these sales are going to charity? So what are you waiting for? It’s less than a coffee. It’s less than most packs of gum!   Congratulations again to all of our hard working authors, editors, and cover designer Cara!   Much love and creeptastic...

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Pen & Muse Haunt: In the Room Next to Mine by Sia Marion

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Horror, PM Haunt: The Haunted House | 2 comments

Pen & Muse Haunt: In the Room Next to Mine by Sia Marion

Boys and Ghouls! Welcome to the Pen & Muse Haunt! The Haunted House looms before you, threatening to swallow you up. It’s larger up close, isn’t it? You know that you shouldn’t really be here. In fact, now that you’re here, you want to leave.   But you chose to come inside. Even though you knew something felt a little off. All you can really do now is try…try to stay alive. You can see the live list of participants and their post dates on this link. Good luck. You’ll need it. Muahahahahaha!   In the Room Next to Mine by Sia Marion   This is a true story. God’s honest. No, I’m dead serious. You’re thinking everybody says that, aren’t you? Well, this time it’s true. But, I don’t blame you for not believing me. I don’t believe it either, and it’s happening to me. I think the whole thing would be a lot easier if I hadn’t woken up with a broken leg. Because then I probably wouldn’t have fallen out of bed–which is how I ended up hitting my head so hard. Now I’m having fuzzy blanks in my memory. Upside, I did wake up in a nursing home, so my leg is being well-tended to and I got an ice pack for my head right away. Problem, I don’t know how I got here, here being Italy. Yeah, that’s sorta a problem. Upside, this…castle…is really lovely—ancient, moss-covered, cool, and quiet–tucked away, you know? Just sometimes—I hear them whispering. Hey! Another thing—who told me I’m not perky, anyway? I was sitting here at my little window in my wheelchair made of reeds or something native like that and it dawned on me that somebody had once told me that I don’t have a very cheerful demeanor.  I want it stated for the record that that is emphatically not true. Reference the above positive outlook and wry humor in the face of certain death. My attitude does need adjustment, though—again I direct your attention to the above certainty of impending doom. I figure I must have really p-to-the-freaking-o’d somebody, even though I can’t remember it, because they keep calling me by the wrong name, like- they’re doing it on purpose. Like-just right now, see that nun coming? She’s called me Ms. Lowry three times already! How much you got she does it again? I think she stuffs her bra. I don’t know why she looks at me like that- with that look on her face like she doesn’t trust me. I want to say something, but I don’t. When I first woke up, I asked her to please make the whispering stop. I said that lady in the room next to mine just won’t stop talking. She acted like I was talking about showing my panties to boys, that’s how appalled she was. She is pretty old, though. I hope I didn’t hurt her feelings. ****** I hate it when they give you a shot and when you wake up, you’re in a completely different room, don’t you? They’ve changed my nightie and my bandage, less bulky by half now, and moved me back into my wheelchair. This time the view outside my window is of the front lawn. It rolls away in this green, never-reaching sort of way. After dinner, a priest comes to my room to sit with me, a young one. I suppose he’s sort of cute. He looks at my view and says the Italian landscape is bella per sempre. I reach my finger to stroke the lavender growing in a pot on the sill and almost miss...

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Waiting on Wednesday: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Horror, Waiting on Wednesday, Writing | 0 comments

Waiting on Wednesday: Party Games by R.L. Stine

Those of you who know me, know that I’m a HUGE R.L. Stine fan. I’ve read all of his books. I love horror. And I even write some of my own. Imagine my excitement when I received the most glorious thing in the mail this weekend… an ARC of Party Games by R.L. Stine!   As you can imagine, when I first spotted it, it was love at first sight (I’m sure it was mutual…)   And then, well, things between us got pretty hot and heavy, pretty quickly.   Though my initial instinct was to call out sick until I’d read through it 13 times, I suppose that I will have to read on my spare time. Le sigh. But seriously, how exciting is this?! About Party Games Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear’s birthday party at his family’s estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party—the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn’t know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems… on Fear Island.R.L. Stine makes his triumphant return to Shadyside, a town of nightmares, shadows, and genuine terror, and to the bestselling series that began his career writing horror for the juvenile market, in the newFear Street book Party Games. PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON Giant universe sized thank you to Scottie at MacMillan for making my dreams come true. <3 What’s your Waiting on Wednesday post? Is there a book you can’t wait for? Let me know in the comments below!         *Shout out to Jill from Breaking the Spine for hosting Waiting on...

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The Dark Carnival Anthology: Cover Reveal & Book Blitz Sign Up

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Horror, Pen and Muse news, The Dark Carnival, Writing | 1 comment

The Dark Carnival Anthology: Cover Reveal & Book Blitz Sign Up

Last week we did something exciting. We approved the finalized cover of the Dark Carnival Anthology. The fantastic author and graphic designer extraordinaire Cara Vescio designed the cover — and it’s no less than incredible. Man, we are lucky! If you’re looking for an affordable and creative graphic designer, there really is no need to look any farther than her. This anthology came about after having a writer and illustrator showcase last October that had around 80 contributing artists and authors. It was so popular and wonderfully dark and creative, we wanted to compile it in an e-book for all to read and carry on their e-readers. For a list of the contributors, click here.   About the Dark Carnival 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 is the Dark Carnival. And when the Dark Carnival comes to town, there’s no promise that anyone can leave…alive. Authors include Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, and many more. Illustrators include Ryan Bartlett.   Be A Part of the Cover Reveal & Book Blitz We’d love to have YOUR help in celebrating the cover reveal! Sign up to help reveal the cover of the Dark Carnival Anthology this September and the blog blitz this October. Once you sign up, you’ll receive an email with everything you need to help reveal the cover of the Dark Carnival anthology before the reveal date. You do not have to do both of them. But we’d love to have your help in any way! Cover reveal: 09/29/14 Blog blitz: 10/01/14 – 10/07/14   SIGN UP TO REVEAL THE COVER & BLOG BLITZ HERE   We are so excited to have so many fantastic authors, illustrators, readers, and supporters, &  ...

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12 Days of Christmas: Krampusnacht by Colleen Britton

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in Horror, Writing | 0 comments

12 Days of Christmas: Krampusnacht by Colleen Britton

KRAMPUSNACHT by Colleen Britton Hans Sauer turned, wiping the sneer and snot from his face with the back of his sleeve, and fixed Peter Schultz in the beam of the flashlight. The boy had stopped again, clutching at his too-small Hitlerjugend coat, his breath blowing out in ragged, white gasps. “Hans, please,” he moaned, sagging against a tree. “Let’s take a break.” Hans smiled, lips tight against his gums, and waded back through his tracks. “Don’t stop now,” he said. “We’re almost there!” Trees jutted out of the snow, long black darts with hoary fletchings. It was late, past curfew, and the stars peered at them with bright, beady eyes. Hans sniffed hard, snorting back his runny nose. Peter was a mess. He looked like he’d been at it for hours, hiking through the woods in the middle of the night. But they’d only been gone for twenty, maybe thirty minutes, the lights from the village just hidden by the trees. Peter’s gaze fell. “I was thinking, maybe this isn’t such a good idea…” Hans smoothed the curl hooking at his lip. “You’re not afraid, are you?” he grinned. “I thought you wanted to come.” Peter hesitated, “Well, I–” “Come on.” Hans grabbed Peter by the shoulder and wrenched the boy ahead of him. Peter glanced back, his face lunar in the incandescent light. He huddled into his coat collar. “This is stupid,” he muttered. “There’s no such thing as the Krampus. It’s just kid stuff.” “Shh,” Hans hissed. “You want him to hear?” He laughed, his voice echoing through the trees. He prodded Peter’s back with the flashlight. “And anyway, I’ve seen him.” “Unsinn,” Peter scoffed. “If you’ve seen him, what does he look like?” The pale beam swung through the trees, careening into the shadows. “He has long hair all over his body,” said Hans. “Thick and wiry. His teeth are like the tusks of a boar. And he has the horns of a goat. But the worst,” Hans whispered, “is the sack.” “The sack…?” Peter echoed. Hans nodded at the boy’s hunched shoulders. “You know how the Weihnachtsmann carries a sack filled with goodies for good girls and boys? Well, the Krampus carries a sack, too, for all the mischief-makers and all the liars and the cowards. And it’s the one he’ll stuff you into if you don’t behave.” Peter stopped and swallowed, his gorge thunking in this throat, “Then what?” Hans leaned close, his breath curling against Peter’s neck like smoke,“He eats you!” The flashlight went out. Peter screamed. Hans switched the light back on, doubled over with laughter. “If only I could’ve seen your face!” he hooted. Peter’s cheeks burned. He elbowed past Hans, lumbering back through the snow. “Hey, where are you going?” “Home,” Peter snapped. “I know when I’m being made fun of. I don’t even know why I came.” Hans hopped through the drifts and grabbed his arm. “Don’t be mad. I’m sorry about the flashlight. Here. You can have it.” He pushed it into Peter’s hands. “Just a little bit farther, please?” The boy pursed his lips, narrowing his piggy eyes. His fingers tightened around the flashlight, and he pulled it close to his heavy body. “How much farther?” Hans exhaled the breath he had been holding. He threw his arm around Peter’s shoulder. “Not much. Not much.” He pointed, “Just there in that clearing.” Peter aimed the flashlight at the opening in the trees. Hans eyed him, shifting his weight as the boy considered the distance. Finally, Peter grunted and lumbered toward it, his splotchy cheeks trembling with every...

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12 Days of Christmas: Twelve Black Hearts For Christmas By Wulf Francu Godgluck

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in 12 Days of Christmas, Horror, Writing | 1 comment

12 Days of Christmas: Twelve Black Hearts For Christmas By Wulf Francu Godgluck

Twelve Black Hearts for Christmas By Wulf Francu Godgluck “Hollyshitballs, it going to eat me alive. Again!” The two-story building loomed terror and furious against the pale winter sky. Its front doors open wide like a snarling mouth ready to devour any who entered. The second floor glowed yellow like demonic eyes from the windows. It’s only a building. That’s what I thought each morning I stood in front of the hell of all evil, more commonly known as Saint Vic’s High. Until my senior year I was the scrawny, dorky kid with a trazillion allergies and digestive problems. You know you were considered less than fly-shit when not even the EMO kids would touch you. Yeah I use to be that kid but not any more though. Not since Josh Willbrie took my hand in front of the zombie hyena popularity pack and, front and center, smacked his lips on mine. He, the high school quarterback and team captain kissed me of all people. Gizznicks! No one gasped in horror or cursed. Actually, I don’t think anyone noticed. We spent that summer together. He even invited me to watch him practice with the team. Strangely, after that epic event, high school seemed less scary… Or was it just that now I had been accepted into the higher pecking order of the superior popular kids? A big hand came to my hair ruffing the brown nest into more of a bed head. “Hi Booger,” he placed a kiss against my cheek and latched his arm around my shoulder. I blushed every time. Smiling, I quickly forced the smirk off my face. He stepped around to face me and his golden brown eyes stared darkly at mine. “Don’t, please. I want to see you smile more.” Before I could squeak a word his lips brushed mine. Fellow students past us without stopping to stare. It was no secret Josh was gay. He was like the trophy gay guy every one loved and kept high on the pedestal polished and shining and me? I was the speck of a stain so small against the backdrop that not even a microscope could pick me up.  He changed that — ok by now you get it. The likelihood of us being a couple was like a comet plummeting into the earth and the human race dancing around naked with unicorn horns attached to their heads because no one got killed. Fucking unimaginable! “What you got?” he asked as he pulled away and scaled the stairs but immediately held out his hand for mine. “Bio,” I shrugged, “double chemistry then algebra.” Our fingers touched and he wove his into mine, pulling me up the steps with his strength. Our shoulders bumped and our backpacks brushed against one another while we walked into the school. Stopping at his locker, not letting go of my hand, he retrieved his books. “A full day in other words.” He sounded disappointed. I knew he wanted us to skip class so we could get busy. Hey, we’re teenagers, of course we did the whole getting naked with limbs in different positions and certain appendages hard as nails drilling thing. “Sorry, Josh.” I apologized. He slammed his locker door and pulled me to him in a hug. “It’s cool. Besides you want to become a doctor so we can go live some place nice,” he smirked. Being this close to someone you liked your body did its own thing. Knowing no one could see, we rubbed against each other. “See you at lunch?” I shook my head, “You have a meeting...

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