Book review – Desecration by J.F. Penn

Desecration by J.F. Penn made me cringe. I write horror—much of it quite graphic—so when a book makes me uncomfortable I know it’s of the highest quality. Be warned. Desecration is not for the weak, squeamish or easily offended. It’s not sparkly vampires or ghostly love affairs. This is gritty, graphic horror infused within a mystery/thriller and the combination is simply brilliant.

From the Amazon product description:

LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.

When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie has nothing left to lose and she must race against time to stop the mysterious Lyceum claiming another victim.

As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.

A story of vengeance and passion for justice, a dark mystery with an edge of supernatural thriller.

I was immediately rooting for Sergeant Jamie Brooke. Her daughter is dying and yet she is a strong lead character. She doesn’t take any guff from the guys in the department, she rides a motorcycle, carries a gun and wears a black leather jacket. Her investigation into the mysterious organization known as Lyceum takes her into a subculture of corpse art and mutilation. The story really heats up when she is personally pulled into the investigation and to say more would be a spoiler. The story is textured, riveting and so well-written that I became lost in it.

You probably know Joanna Penn from her blog, The Creative Penn, where she provides a wealth of resources on marketing and publishing. What you may not know is J.F. Penn writes some of the best horror/mystery/thriller on the market today. Do yourself a favor and pick up Desecration. But leave the lights on.

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Guest post by Angela Addams

Please welcome back Angela Addams to the blog. Angela is a friend of mine and a fantastic writer. She has a new release coming out with Samhain Publishing, Cursed (The Order of the Wolf). Angela lives in Canada, has many tattoos, likes to shoot guns and has a great sense of humor. Enjoy!

P.S. Make sure to check out the new episode of The Horror Writer’s Podcast, out today.

The Creative Process AKA Insanity Wrapped in Chocolate.

fb pic2A number of folks have asked me what it’s like (in my brain) when I’m writing. They are often curious about where the ideas come from and how those ideas turn into books. The topic for this blog post came to me while in the shower (as do many ideas) along with a tsunami of other creatively related bits of information. For example, while I was pondering the shiny new blog topic idea, I was also listening to a conversation between two of my characters, thinking about how to navigate a plot hole, reminding myself about checking a setting/time of day conflict and hashing out some much needed character details. Oh yeah, and I realized that one of my characters was going to have to die by the end of the manuscript I’m currently working on. (I’m a ruthless killer, I know.) All of this played out in my brain in a 20-minute shower experience that had me frantic to get done so I could get to my computer to jot stuff down.

When I’m working on a manuscript my life becomes entrenched in that world.

Things usually start with a scene playing out like a movie (typically this is the opening scene of a new project but not always.) Once I’ve gotten started, like actually have written some words and committed to a plot, my mind becomes totally focused on that project. I’m even working on it subconsciously. I have dreams that give me character details, or scenes. I have random thoughts at weird times that make me scramble for sticky notes or napkins or whatever I can jot things down on. I get distracted easily from things that don’t involve my project…like having conversations with others, or grocery shopping…if an idea strikes, I follow it down whatever winding path it leads me to, abandoning what I was doing when it hit. If I don’t follow it, I lose it and that haunts me for some time.

When I’m writing I don’t stop. Silly little things like typos or spelling mistakes or character names don’t slow me down…I butcher the English language, dub the new character NAME and then move on until the idea has been exhausted. Once a chapter is done I go back, reread and add details. It’s chaotic, a frenzy of output, but so, so rewarding and very necessary to my writer’s soul. It also requires a lot of chocolate…obscene amounts…truckloads to fuel my work.

Insanity wrapped in chocolate. Yummy.


Every day is Halloween for author Angela Addams. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela spends most of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations. She believes that the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios.

She is an avid tattoo collector, a total book hoarder and loves anything covered in chocolate…except for bugs.

She lives in Ontario, Canada in an old, creaky house, with her husband and children.


Twitter: @angelaaddams



Cursed3Cursed – Her biggest mistake comes with fangs…and a nose for tracking her down.

Amazon – KoboSamhain

Wherever there’s a lying, cheating scumbag who’s broken a woman’s heart, Vengeance Dealer Darcy Wells is there. So what if she isn’t the most skilled witch around? She’s only using one spell, which leaves the hapless male suffering tormenting lust for one woman. Her.

The beautiful part? This curse comes equipped with a blinding agent, allowing her a clean getaway. Unrequited lust, coming right up! As far as Darcy is concerned, it’s justice served. Her next target: Raven Glock, rock band bassist and drop-dead-gorgeous sex god.

When Raven lays eyes on the luscious Darcy, he gives her what he promises all the starry-eyed groupies who toss their panties at him—one unforgettable night in his bed. Sex with Darcy is so epic that he forgets his cardinal rule: to get her out before morning.

At the crack of sunrise, Darcy serves Raven a face full of cursed ash. But something goes horribly wrong…and she finds herself magically tethered to one pissed-off werewolf.

Worse, breaking the spell could cost her everything…maybe even her life.

Warning: Sexually explicit language, tattoos, piercings, and giant…um…feet. Wet panties are a given. Author assumes no responsibility for spontaneous ravishment of significant others, pool boys, or local pizza delivery personnel.

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Digital Book Day – Free Books!


The Seventh SealThe Digital Book Day promotion is over but you can still get a free book by joining my email list. Thanks!

I am proud to be part of Digital Book Day from NY Times Bestselling author and marketing mastermind, CJ Lyons. The idea is simple. Get a ton of great books for free today only, Monday, July 14th. You’ve landed here because you want my book, The Seventh Seal. I’m thrilled you’re interested and so I’ve provided several ways for you to get your copy. Tell your friends about this great promotion before it is over. Not on my mailing list yet? Why not? Look to your right. Sign up for another free read as well as other cool stuff delivered directly to your inbox.

If you prefer to get the file through an online retailer you may use the coupon code to get a 100% discount from Smashwords. The coupon expires at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on July 14th.

Coupon code: [coupon expired]

You can also download the DRM-free copy as a .mobi or .epub file directly from me using the link below.

The Seventh Seal files on DropBox [link expired]

I hope you enjoy The Seventh Seal. Come back and let me know what you think.



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All aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr

My ride.
My ride.

Some people have a Bucket List. I’ll admit I’ve never seen the movie mainly because I thought the expression was stupid. Then again, a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” is hyperbole and few experiences in life are once in a lifetime unless they involve you dying at the conclusion of it.

However you want to label it, a few weeks ago I crossed an item off my Bucket List. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I rode coach on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited from Cleveland to Chicago before boarding the California Zephyr all the way to San Francisco. And back.

I had to be in California for an event and I had a few options on my mode of transportation. Time was not an issue, which is key to train travel. A plane will always get you there faster. This is a fact. But if you have the time and the patience, riding a train is an experience like no other. Full disclosure: I received no compensation or special treatment from Amtrak. My train was delayed 6 hours upon arrival in Emeryville, California (the last stop in Oakland before a bus takes you into San Francisco) which should be proof of that. We hit a deer. The buck stopped there. Wow, that was awful. Sorry.

Chicago to San Francisco is about a 49-hour trip. I purchased a sleeper car which means I slept (sort of) for two nights during the journey. If you’re in a sleeper car you are served three hot meals and given access to a shower while on the train. Pretty sweet. It’s a bit of a challenge taking a shower aboard a moving train but the meals are better than expected. I had grilled salmon for dinner and was relieved venison was not on the menu.

Many people ride the train like it’s a big party, socializing and meeting others. The people you meet have fascinating stories. It takes a certain kind of individual to cross North America on rails. Being an introvert, I spent most of my time staring out of the window at this gorgeous place we call the United States, writing away in my private space. Here’s the slideshow, a bit of a sampling of what I saw from my seat.

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This special episode of the TheHorrorWritersPodcast was recorded on the train, somewhere in the middle of Nevada. Although I share seven things I learned about the craft of writing while aboard the train, anyone might find it interesting. If you really need help getting motivated, in the podcast I talk a bit about my editor, Rebecca T. Dickson, who is also a writing coach. Check out the podcast and show notes for more details.

I’ll have a few guest bloggers this month as well as some other interesting news. Stay tuned…

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