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Shadows in the Heart by Jewels of the Quill

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Rediscover chills and thrills...and quills...on Halloween!

Seven JEWELS OF THE QUILL AUTHORS offer stories with horrors, romance, shudders, woo-woo and a few giggles. Halloween lovers can expect to be charmed, bewitched and scared freaky.

A collection of scary and humorous stories for readers to enjoy during the spooky season...or any day of the year!

"The Unvanished Hitchhiker" {horror} by Margaret L. Carter (Dame Onyx): In a twist on the Vanishing Hitchhiker urban legend, in which an unsuspecting driver picks up a hitchhiker and discovers the passenger is a ghost, a bereaved mother waits every Halloween night in anticipation of the knock on the door, bringing her lost daughter home yet again.

 "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass" (A Mischief in Moonstone Story, Book 4) {romantic paranormal mystery} by Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone): Three days before Halloween, reclusive, young Alyssa Swain finds a man dead in his car in a ditch just outside of Moonstone. She runs for help, but when she returns, the body is gone. When the scruffy, tall dead man shows up alive the next morning on her doorstep, he insists she called him to help her with the house she’s refurbishing—to get it ready for a traditional Halloween party to celebrate the lives of her loved ones who have died. A party for dead people?! To her chagrin, the crazy man won’t leave. In fact, closing the door against John Christopherson doesn’t help. As big as his name, he walks boldly through doors and proceeds to knock out walls, paint, fix the pain of her past—and claim her heart. But will her newly-awakened feelings be strong enough to keep John from crossing over to the afterlife at midnight on Halloween? Does she have the right to stop him from his destiny? A moonstone brooch found in a wall hands her an unexpected solution—but only if she’s brave enough to finally embrace her past. "Trick or Treat" {Young Adult Halloween story} by Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz): Derrick Olsen wants to go with his friends to the Middle School Halloween dance, but instead he's stuck taking his baby sister trick-or-treating. It's the worst Halloween ever until they stop at an abandoned house and stumble on a trick that could change this into the most exciting night of Derrick's life...or the most terrifying. "The Beast" {horror} by Jane Toombs (Dame Turquoise): What really did happen at the Saints and Sinners Halloween costume party?

 "Papa" (Woodcutter's Grim Series--Classic Tales of Horror Retold, Book 1) {romantic horror} by Karen Wiesner (Dame Amethyst): For the ten generations since the evil first came to Woodcutter's Grim, the Guardians have sworn an oath to protect the town from the childhood horrors that lurk in the black woods. Without them, the town would be defenseless…and the terrors would escape to the world at large.

A wickedly horrifying rendering of the classic children's story "Hansel and Gretel", in which modern revenge is served up sweet...

Less than a year after Randall Parker left his family for elementary school teacher, Amy, the unthinkable happens--his ex-wife and two children are killed in a car accident. Ever since the accident, Amy has had terrible nightmares in which Rand's son and daughter return to exact revenge on their father and Amy herself (the wicked step-mother) for abandoning them. When Rand convinces her to come away with him for a healing respite to an isolated cabin in the woods, Amy's guilt-filled nightmares turn into pure horror.

"White Elephants" {Young Adult Halloween story} by C.J. Winters (Dame Tanzanite): It's Halloween night, there's a full moon, and twins Noel and Merry, along with Merry's boyfriend, Jonas, are deconstructing a house on a deadline. They need to salvage what they can and have the interior gutted in time for the bulldozers at 8 a.m. The orphaned twenty-something girls recently inherited their father's small deconstruction business, but they're far from experts.

Noel discovers a skeleton behind a bedroom wall. Fearing the police will declare the house a crime scene and make it impossible for the twins to fulfill their deconstruction contract, Jonas volunteers to dispose of the skeleton in the woods. Before he can do that, however, eight-year-old Tobias sees the skeleton in Jonas' car and decides to help the adults in their disposal efforts.

"Ghost of a Chance" {paranormal contemporary romance} by Karen Woods (Dame Coral): Love endures even after death. Cathy Reynolds, although a ghost, has been trying to help her husband Jake through his mourning for her following her murder, almost a year ago. Now, on her birthday, Halloween, she has an opportunity to push Jake and Mary Edwards-Robins together. Mary's been in love with Jake for a long time. Although reluctant, Jake's far from immune to Mary. But does Cathy have a ghost of a chance of getting him to give in to his feelings? Reviews for SHADOWS IN THE HEART:

5 Tombstones! "Truly a new twist on old urban legends. This collection is everything I hoped it would be. Clever, spine-chilling stories that made me unable to stop reading. The characters are outstanding and unique. A great Halloween anthology. "The Unvanished Hitchhiker" by Margaret L. Carter (4.75 R.I.P.): A new spin on an eerie urban legend. Not grisly but a cliffhanger making you eager to solve it. This is an addictive story. The ending made my heart leap. "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass" by Christine DeSmet (5.0 R.I.P.): The story drew me in. Such unique characters. Halloween celebrating the lives of our loved ones who have passed on. This spooky parable is a real page turner. "Trick or Treat" by Carrie S. Masek (4.75 R.I.P.): Enchanting story. Definitely for the whole family! The curls in story give new life to a seasoned tale. The characters were delectable, the writing is very vibrant. I watched the scenes in my head as the story unfolded. "White Elephants" by C.J. Winters (4.5 R.I.P.): New spin about the abandoned house in town. Not the characters I expected, which was very refreshing for me. I was relentless until reaching the end. Having an unique ending left me very satisfied. "Papa" by Karen Wiesner (5.0 R.I.P.): The eerie tale of Hansel and Gretel has just gotten more chilling. Papa’s characters were unyielding individuals with strict beliefs. Just when I thought I had figured it out, the book turns and it throws all my first conclusions out the window. It kept me on my toes. This is a truly Halloween inspired revamp, to an old fairytale. "The Beast" by Jane Toombs (4.5 R.I.P.): The old Halloween Party. I was entertained. The characters were a perfect spin to the story. Even though this tale was brief it is well written. The ending is a cliffhanger, which is a delicious way to end this story. "Ghost of a Chance" by Karen Woods (4.75 R.I.P.): Romance is in the air even on a tragic Halloween. The characters are so real this could be your boss or even your best friend. From the start the author lays out the teasing scenes. It is packed with ghostly encounters, black cats and even a tragedy. This is a Halloween romance if there ever was one." ~Bitten by Books

5 Angels! "Are you looking for creepy, hair-raising tales, then this anthology has it! Seven of the Jewels of the Quill authors each contributed a spine-tingling story to Shadows in the Heart. Even though the stories happen around Halloween, it doesn’t need to be Halloween if you are in the mood for chills! I liked all of the stories and find it hard to make comparisons or pick a favorite. I might prefer one tale because it is a type of story I prefer, but each tale is uniquely different from the others and are all good for their type of story. Your favorite may not be my favorite so I prefer to let you pick for yourself. I would like to suggest that you might want to leave an extra light on when you sit down to read this anthology, just in case…

""The Unvanished Hitchhiker" by Margaret L. Carter: I loved the suspense in this tale! Ms. Carter keeps the reader off balance up until the end of the story, guessing what is really going on and what will happen. This story definitely rates a 5 in creepiness!

"I have not read any of the other Mischief in Moonstone stories yet, but I intend to now! "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass" (A Mischief in Moonstone Story, Book 4) by Christine DeSmet is a delightful romance and ghost story. The creepiness in this story is in the beginning, after all wouldn’t you be unnerved by finding a dead man in a car crash who disappears then reappears at your house and tells you he has come to help you? This story is just down right fun! I loved it and can’t wait to read more stories in the Mischief in Moonstone Series.

""Trick or Treat" by Carrie S. Masek: This is a fun, yet hair-raising story. This one has a creepy rating of 5 but is still fun, I loved it!

""Ghost of a Chance" by Karen Woods: I loved this sweet tale of two people overcoming tragedy in their life and finding there is still a lot of life to be savored. I didn’t find this one creepy because I loved the thought that Cathy’s ghost wants to see her husband happy without her.

""White Elephants" by C.J. Winters: I laughed at the messes Jonas and Tobias make of the effort to get rid of the pile of bones and my favorite is Tobias final solution! You’ll just have to read this one to find out what happens. I don’t want to give anything away!

""Papa" (Woodcutter’s Grim Series—Classic Tales of Horror Retold, Book 1) by Karen Wiesner is the creepiest story in this whole anthology. It is a twisted reversal of the Hansel and Gretel story I grew up with. This story is off the creepiness meter. I had chills down my spine reading this one. Do not read this story at night, alone, and especially not in a cabin in the mountains! If you love the scary ghost stories you probably used to hear around the campfire when you where a kid growing up, then this is the story for you.

""The Beast" by Jane Toombs is another story that is off the creepiness meter! The tale is told in first person and you are never told the name of the speaker so the effect is like you are that person. I loved this story but I kept waiting for someone to jump out and say “BOO” or “the beast man is going to get YOU” like we used to do when we were kids telling scary stories. That didn’t happen but this story didn’t need it, I was scared anyway!" ~Stephanie B. for Fallen Angel Reviews

4 Hearts! "Seven Jewels of the Quill authors serve up a varied and enjoyable Halloween sampler in this anthology. "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass" by Christine DeSmet is a ghost story both funny and sweet. This is a truly original story, my favorite in the collection. It is filled with both silliness and wisdom. Karen Wiesner gives the reader a spooky grown-up tale reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel in "Papa" with a trip to a village where time stands still in a truly scary excursion. "White Elephants" by C.J. Winters: This is clever and readable, with just the right touch of humor. Karen Woods contributes "Ghost of a Chance" and provides some traditional romance. Jane Toombs horror tale, "The Beast": Jealousy, perhaps insanity, and a possibly heart-chomping serial killer make this taut little psychological tale a winner. "Trick or Treat" by Carrie S. Masek is a fun young adult story. Margaret L. Carter’s "The Unvanished Hitchhiker" is a twist on an old urban legend. This is a nice blend of genres and an enjoyable read." ~reviewed by Lynn Bushey for The Romance Studio

"SHADOWS IN THE HEART is a Jewel of the Quill Anthology by Whiskey Creek Press authors. Being a Halloween collection, the stories are ghastly, now and then crimson stained, time and again ghost seeping. "The Unvanished Hitchhiker" by Margaret L. Carter opens the suspense. In Christine DeSmet's "When The Dead People Brought A Dish-To-Pass" a whole saga unfolds. In Carrie S. Masek's "Trick or Treat", a Halloween witch makes Derrick and his little sister bipolar. Together they make one mean match for the Middle School bullies. On the date of murdered wife Cathy's birth remembrance, Judge Jake Reynolds moons alone before court in "Ghost of a Chance" by Karen Woods. As C.J. Winters contributes her bones in "White Elephants", Amy in Karen Wiesner's "Papa" turns into one hell of a nightmare. The collection culminates neatly with "The Beast" by Jane Toombs, perhaps my favorite of the collection. Anyone keen on a counterbalance of love, horror, murder and apparition will have a feast on SHADOWS IN THE HEART which in turn stirs a keenness to read more of the Jewel of the Quill collections available from the publisher." ~TCM Reviews

"A wonderful Treasure Trove of stories to be told by moonlight on Halloween! Author Margaret L. Carter chills the blood in "The Unvanished Hitchhiker." On Halloween night a crimson scarf is returned by passing motorists who knock on Alice Wade’s door, only to haunt her. "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass" by author Christine DeSmet is a mystery Alyssa Swain has to solve before she loses the Halloween ghost who has turned her world upside down. Derrick Olsen wanted to attend the school Halloween dance wearing his ninja costume, not baby-sit his sister, Squirt. Author Carrie S. Masek turns this "Trick Or Treat" night into one Derrick and Squirt will never forget. Judge Reynolds was lonely, it was Halloween, and it was Cathy’s birthday. 'Mystery' the black cat understood what Jake needed. "Ghost of a Chance" by Karen Woods is one fate-filled night Jake and Mary will never forget. Noel and Merry Callaghan find a skeleton while pulling down the interior of a Victorian house to be bulldozed the morning after Halloween. Jonas is sent out into the woods to hide the evidence so they do not lose the contract. "White Elephants" by C. J. Winters has bones rattling in places they should never be. Randall Parker only sees the ghosts of his children after Amy falls ill and refuses to leave the apartment. He takes her to Woodcutter’s Grim where time stands still. Karen Wiesner chills Halloween night with the story "Papa." "The Beast" by author Jane Toombs is a heart stopper. Howard did not want to discuss the Beast Man—no one did. A Treasure Trove of Anthology stories by Jewels of the Quill Authors to definitely read every Halloween night when ghosts return to haunt." ~Pamela Faye for Rolling Seas Reviews

4 Stars! "Her dead daughter's reappearing shawl has Alice confused and her friend doubting her sanity in Margaret L. Carter's tale of horror, "The Unvanished Hitchhiker." Christine DeSmet's romantic paranormal mystery, "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass," is a beautiful but unusual love story about John and Alyssa. She's alive and he's not quite. Derrick doesn't want to babysit, but he and his 6-year-old sister have an incredible adventure on Halloween. Carrie S. Masek paints a spooky tale for young adults in "Trick or Treat." The ghost of his wife and a mysterious cat conspire to match Judge Jake with Mary, a widow he's known for 25 years, in "Ghost of a Chance," a romance by Karen Woods. C.J. Winters describes a home demolition with surprises and precocious 8-year-old Tobias with a bag of bones in "White Elephants." "Papa" is a chilling interpretation of Hansel and Gretel in the romantic horror novella by Karen Wiesner, where Randall and new bride Amy are haunted by specters of his deceased children. "The Beast," a horror story by Jane Toombs, is best told at midnight around a campfire. Who is the Beast Man, and why is someone afraid of him? The gems shine again in this Jewels of the Quill Halloween anthology. Their award-winning talent in this potpourri offers a variety of treats--and possibly a trick or two." ~reviewed by Donna M. Brown for Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"“When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass” by Christine DeSmet is a great Halloween story of how love can work miracles and make one wish to live again. “Trick of Treat” by Carrie S. Masek is a delightful tale of assuming the identity of the Halloween costume you don. “Ghost of a Chance” by Karen Woods is a terrific ghost story. It is one that pleases all who read it. “White Elephants” by C. J. Winters is one of the best. “Papa” by Karen Wiesner is a creepy tale of a man who hears his children crying after they die in a car wreck. Curl up with a copy of SHADOWS IN THE HEART, a Jewels of the Quill Halloween Anthology, on Halloween to have a spooky night. Jewels of the Quill never fails to produce a time of reading pleasure, and this time they have added a creepy aspect. Urban legends and fairy tales take on a new look in the hands of these talented women." ~Dawn Myers for Writers Unlimited

"SHADOWS IN THE HEART is an anthology of spooky-themed tales, all with paranormal elements featuring seven authors and published by Whiskey Creek Press. I suspect it was unintentional or coincidental, but guess that many of these authors are feline-fans.

""The Unvanished Hitchhiker" by Margaret L. Carter: The innocuous little place at the end of the road houses two women; one cheerily competent, and the other, oddly knowing, even expectant. We know something will happen - and are not disappointed. The occurrence is bizarre, and still, believable. There is that person inside all of us that wants to debunk the paranormal. When the main character sets out out to clear up the questions brought about by the strange occurrences of Halloween night, we are join her quest, impatient to discover what really happened. The writer presents a puzzle though, that is sure to intrigue.

""When the Dead People Brought A Dish-to-Pass" by Christine DeSmet is a paranormal mystery. It starts with tragedy - then a puzzle. Main character Alyssa is well-meaning, but tormented by her own past. Alyssa doubts herself, her sanity, and we share her--and perfect pussy Miss Millicent's -irritation, with the fleabag of a ghostly cat intruder, too. Threads of romance weave the story together offers a certain appeal and rather farcical humor. The premise is unusual and the story is a quick and entertaining read.

""Trick or Treat" by Carrie S. Masek has the immediacy and punch of the best of first-person narratives. We find ourselves in shoes familiar to most of us - walking house to house, hoping for the best treats... and just at that stage where one starts to wonder just where the treat cut-off age is. Derrick, chaperoning a six-year-old, has better plans in store, but adult concerns land him in disappointment. It is all so comfortably familiar - from the spooky dark walk to the hoped for candy (Snickers and M&Ms feature highly.) So, when things really start to happen, it is a total surprise. This is fast and fun, as well as incredibly imaginative and unexpected.

""Ghost of a Chance" by Karen Woods: A match-making ghost inhabits this tale. The courtroom setting catches the attention right off the bat. While much of the tale happens in retrospective it remains active and interesting. Strong characters really make this tale. The writer manages to balance grief delicately. This lively contemporary romance is sure to please. Most intriguing may be Mystery, the cat... who might be a cat, and then again, might not.

""White Elephants" by C. J. Winters: When a deadline looms, even the dead can't drag the twins from their commitments! This active story features one unfortunately-located skeleton, snappy dialogue, and (to save time) a self-appointed forensics team. The premise is a hoot and the story unpredictable. Who would have thought that resolving one minor problem (what to do with that unwanted skeleton in the closet) would lead to such offbeat adventures?

""Papa" by Karen Wiesner: In this is a dark and disturbing tale, guilt only serves to feed the terror. The darkness of the theme is enhanced by many images: from tombs, accidental death, endless grief and a place, called a "Grimm." Sin and guilt form a backdrop here, as well as the specter of a pact with the devil. It starts dark enough, but the growing awareness of a true horror waiting just around the corner will make even hardcore horror fans cringe.

""The Beast" by Jane Toombs: The anxiety builds in this tale built around a costume ball. Our fuzzy-headed narrator leads us to question the sanity of our perspective. Why would she want to go as a bride - or better yet, a saint? Who exactly will be attending as the Beast Man, and why shouldn't he be mentioned? This tale charms us with its questions, twists our perspective, and requires our narrator to take things into her own delicate hands." ~The Long And Short Of It Reviews

978-1-59374-685-8 (trade paperback), $14.95;
978-1-59374-686-5 (electronic), $5.99
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