Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

The Running Home Media Takeover Begins!

Today’s Brew:  Hair of the Dog for Julie, Tea for Kristen.  The Keurig is broken.  Again.

by Kristen

We are three measly little weeks away from the release of Running Home.  This coming month on Deadly Ever After will feature character spotlights, extras, and all sorts of Running Home goodness.

This is me, giving it the good old 'author stare'.

Kat Ellis

Julie will also be doing guest posts on other blogs as well!  Her whirlwind world wide tour begins TODAY on Kat Ellis’ Blog.  If you’re not familiar with Kat, do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with her awesomeness.  (I wish Blogger and WordPress would let us reblog each other, but we can’t, so a link it is.)  We will keep you posted on other upcoming Julie appearances.  If you would like to have your very own Julie guest post, comment below and we will get in touch with you to set something up.

I can speak for Julie when I say how overwhelmed we both are by the show of support you have all given us.  We hope that you enjoy Running Home and all of the other crazy creations we have coming down the pike as much as we enjoyed writing them.

Running Home is on Goodreads!  Add it to your Want To Read list!!


Julie Depresses the Crap Out of You: A Short Story

TODAY’S BREW: So much of this chocolate cappuccino stuff that my heart will stop when I hit the bottom of the cup.

By Julie

snow white blog (2)

And she kept biting. Poison seared every inch of her insides, filling her with darkness, stripping her of innocence with each second. She cried for herself, and kept biting. The apple red seeped off like fingerpaint, revealing an unhealthy green underneath, not the color of growing grass, but the color of mold and sickness. And she kept biting, sobbing with every puncture of the skin, fingers gripping the putrid apple as it withered away.

This was what her soul ached for; anything to end the beauty on the outside. Her fairy tale ended with his life.

Her throat constricted, as much from the thought of him as from the poison. Her prince wasn’t coming back. She bit again. She prayed her heart would stop beating if he couldn’t be in it.

Bluebirds flitted around her even now, as her sky darkened as much as her heart had. All she could think, breathe, be was that he was gone. The birds chirped, mocking her with life as hers dripped away.

Fire red poppies burst to life around her as she fell to the ground.

Life may have flocked to her, but she couldn’t always make it stay.

Kat’s Cupcake Sangria–Elegantly Wasted Blog Tour

Today’s Brew:  Sangria!  A personal favorite

Julie and I thought we were the perfect hosts for this stop of the Elegantly Wasted Blog Tour. I don’t think I have to explain why.  Cheers!


Elegantly Wasted Book CoverOn the eve of her high school graduation, proper socialite Francesca “Frankie” Fairholm rebelled against her elitist and controlling family to pursue the dark lifestyle of a contract killer for the enigmatic Osiris Corporation. Years later, with her training complete, she believes she’s doomed to the life of a sociopathic lone gun until a botched hit brings two unlikely allies, her cousins Addison and Katharine.

Using Katharine’s etiquette school, Elegance, Inc., as a front, the trio weave through Frankie’s dark underworld, carrying out contracts, drinking too much wine, and trying not to get each other killed.

Trouble follows the team home when the death of the cruel Fairholm matriarch reveals more than they ever wanted to know about their family. As the funeral preparations play out, the trio begin to realize there is much more to their employer than meets the eye and their family connections run deeper than they ever imagined.

sangriaWine is a theme throughout the Wasted Series and one of the characters drinks a lot of it. Katharine Fairholm is a proper socialite who works as a “Wingback” for Osiris. She turns to alcohol to deal with her fear and uncertainties throughout the story. This makes her an amusing pain in the ass for the main character, her cousin Francesca.

Kat’s usual Friday night consists of raiding her wine rack and drinking her cares away. Unless there’s a contract to collect, in which case, she accompanies Frankie on her mission- still drinks… usually gets compromised and has to be rescued.

Sangria is my favorite drink because it combines fruit and wine. I’m not a huge fan of dry reds but when you add them to this recipe, it really makes a great party drink… plus, it’s pretty.

The base of this Sangria is Cupcake’s Red Velvet. It combines Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. If you don’t want to make a red sangria, replace the Red Velvet with Cupcake’s Angel Food- or the wine of your choice.

Kat’s Cupcake Sangria

One Bottle of Cupcake Brand “Red Velvet” Wine.
2 Cups. of Triple Sec
1 1/2 Cups of Club Soda (7Up if you want a lot of sweetness)
1/2 Cup each of Strawberries and Apples
One lime and one orange.
One bowl or pitcher.


  • Cut the strawberries and apples into chunks and put them in a large bowl.
  • Take half of your lime and squeeze the juice onto the fruit.
  • Cut the other half into thin slices (wedge those if you wish) and add them to the mix
  • Cut half the orange and do the same as you did with the lime.
  • Add the whole bottle of wine and the triple sec. Cover and let it sit for at least one hour.
  • Before serving, add your Club Soda or 7Up.
  • Fruit is very flexible. Raspberries, apples and strawberries also work nicely if you don’t want a lot of citrus added to your Sangria.

c_vescio_pic_smallAbout the author C. Elizabeth Vescio: Jack of all trades and stereotypical black sheep, Cara has been writing somewhat dark and morbid since that teen angst hit somewhere in the early 90’s- probably because her dad was a mortician. After pursuing a degree in English, she changed gears to photography and design in 2006… although she kept penning stories for fun while reading the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde and Hemingway (whom she adores even though he was a huge douche canoe). In 2009, her life shifted considerably and she found herself writing Elegantly Wasted- helping her sort out a bunch of stupid feelings and other lame stuff.

She enjoys cynical debates, cupcakes, making her mother-in-law sew her aprons that she never wears, zombies, the Fifth Element and Tomb Raider. She gathers her life inspirations from Neil Gaiman, Julia Child and Paul Simon. When she isn’t out photographing her next project, she’s studying color, concept and design or writing stuff down in hopes it makes sense one day… or she’s on Pinterest.

Cara lives in Las Vegas with her husband, John and their three genetically altered dogs all of which have personal vendettas for the guy who cleans the pool.

Cara on Goodreads:

Cara on Twitter:

Cara contributes to:

Book release date: August 1, 2012 by Luna Station Press

Series website:

Elegantly Wasted on Goodreads:

Elegantly Wasted on Amazon:

Elegantly Wasted on Barnes and Noble:


Kristen of All Trades, Master of…

Today’s Brew:  So much coffee.  I’m in the middle of working on an infomercial.

by Kristen

I’m an Aries.  The horoscope app on my phone suggests “Aries people need to keep physically busy. They accomplish many things simply because of their restless energy. They need to learn how to make constructive use of their energetic efforts. The typical Aries urge is to take on more than can be done reasonably well. Though others may find it difficult to keep pace with an Aries, they are attracted to their animation and spirited personality.”

I’m guilty of all of these things.  I just sent someone an email that said “I’m probably going to make your head spin.”  I have friends who refuse to go on vacation with me because they can’t keep up.

I share a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  Flanking Ms. Ross, Mr. Tyler, and I are Elton John and Mariah Carey.  Can you think of a more extroverted group of people?  This may also explain some of my more eccentric wardrobe choices.

Add to the mix way too many years in middle management.  I can’t help but want to dive in and fix problems I see, fill gaps, meet quotas.

This has all been good for my career as a freelancer.  I’ve worked hard to not have to own dress pants and be able to support myself.  So far, I feel that it’s been good for my career as a writer.  I’m not afraid to get out there, try new things.  I believe in Go Big or Go Home.

But then I see opportunities.  Things I desperately want to fix.  I have ideas, you guys.  Lots of them.  I get excited about them.  But how do I pursue so many things?  Technically I already have two careers, makeup and writing (one of these days, someone will break down and give me some money in exchange for my words and I can be a legit, money earning author.).  Do I have time to pursue new things?  Can I be fair to everything I’ve committed to?  When is it time to try something new and when should I just stop listening to all the awesome ideas my brain dreams up?


Justin Robinson Makes Something New and Cool: Everyman

TODAY’S BREW: Chocolate cappu-who the hell cares it’s caffeine.

By Julie


Another ass kicking book has escaped the clutches of Books of the Dead.  Justin Robinson’s Everyman explores a being that we never see ever ever; the doppleganger. It seems Roy Daley has a knack for finding something completely different. It gives you some classic horror feel like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but with a really character driven feeling.

Also, I love Justin Robinson. For reasons like THIS: (when asked what the hell his book was about)

I felt like Stefon trying to explain some terrifying aspect of New York nightlife to Seth Meyers.  “This place has everything.  Doppelgangers, living cell phones, a woman with nothing left to lose, gestalt entities…”

“I’m sorry, ‘gestalt entities?’”

“It’s that thing where a bunch of people become one giant monster?”

“That’s not a thing.”

The initial idea of the doppelganger — the monster — as a sort of anti-hero, had legs, but then the entire book would be the adventures of a psychopathic little worm wrecking lives until… until what exactly?  He had nothing to do.  It wasn’t until I started thinking about his victims, and what it could mean to lose one’s identity so thoroughly, that I had the seeds of a plot.

Justin, about naming his critter:
So I talked to my friend, [who is knowledgeable of such myths], hoping he would tell me what to call it.  “Oh, that?  That’s a Morgendorfer.  Romanian peasants thought they came through villages at night poaching chickens and itinerant carnival workers.”  (I have no idea why I thought a Romanian monster would have a German name, or why it would be the same as Beavis and Butthead’s favorite classmate, but I digress.)  Instead, he said, “That’s not a thing,” and I imagined the boyish face of Seth Meyers locked in his patented mix of baffled amusement and frustrated horror.  I told my friend I had been referring to the monster as a gestalt entity in my notes, and he said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”

And Justin says this about his main character, Ian Covey:
Ian is a sad, weak little man who is dangerous because of his weakness rather than in spite of it.  He shares more than a little DNA with the protagonist of my other horror novel The Dollmaker, though while Stephen was broken, he was not destructive like Covey.  Both men gained their power essentially by taking it from the universe.  They were broken in precisely the right way and had enough willpower to work the universe’s cheat codes.  The problem is that everything has a consequence, and pushing things out of whack enough to make living women out of wood or steal people’s faces is going to create some blowback.

I love a character that thinks he’s a good guy, but he’s a sonofabitch, and vice versa, and I love the way Justin does this. He gives you an unexpected anti-hero, and that is something I can get behind. Everyman is the first of many things I’ll be reading by Justin Robinson, because the dude knows how to write original horror, with a compelling character who makes messed up choices. I love that shit.


Follow Justin’s hilarious blog:

Big Deal For Tiny Person

TODAY’S BREW: Delicious Chocolate Cappuccino flavor. Finally, something that doesn’t taste like the airport floor.

By Julie


The 6 year old’s Kindergarten graduation is today. He has been against this thing from the get-go. Now, he’s not an introvert, and is usually the star of little school how-do-ya-do’s, but this one, he is just not feeling.  So the question is:


This is where we raise the question, will the kid really thank us for making him sing “the girly firefly song” or will he thank us more for listening to him and doing what he wants to do?

Is there any value in making him do this thing because he only graduates Kindergarten once?

Do you feel guilt about not attending every single goddamn school function?

Will forcing the child to do something like this that he doesn’t want to do make him look back and say, “man, my parents were such douches?”

Is it totally archaic to just tell him to suck it up?

Does it really benefit a child to see his parents have such interest in his school functions, even if he does not?

Remember when there was only the one graduation, from high school, and it was a huge deal because it was the only one?


I’m feeling  like we tell the boy we are going because it is important to celebrate accomplishments. It’s also important to celebrate accomplishments the way the accomplisher wants to. Therefore, we will have cupcakes and mini golf later. Either way, he does not have to sing.

Yes, we all have to do things we don’t want to do, but you know what else we have to have? Someone who says, “you know what? You don’t have to do it.”

One way or another, we are getting cupcakes out of this deal.

Happy Anniversary!

Today’s Brew:  Champagne!

by Kristen

June 20th marked our one year anniversary on Deadly Ever After.  Julie and I knew we needed a blog to get the word out there about our books, so we decided to do one together.  I had blogged before, but Julie was pretty relatively new to the internet.  It really never interested her before.  I know, it sounds hard to believe now.

The blog has been successful beyond anything we could have hoped for.  Our second day, we had 50 views.  Of course, some blogs have 50 views a minute, but for two unknown writers just starting out on a WordPress site, it got our attention.  We knew people would be paying attention.  I’m glad we had a good start because it helped us keep our momentum and build a community of friends and writers.

Some fun stats.  We have had just over 20,000 views.  113 countries have visited us.  That’s my favorite stat of all.  We have 175 people who follow our blog.  Our posts have been commented on 1290 times.  Our best day was actually June 20, our anniversary.  We had 874 views.  These are our top ten most viewed posts:

The Existence of Frigging Creeps, Specifically Ken Hoinsky
About Us
How Not To Be A Writing Loser by Julie
The Horrors of the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, London
Meet The Animal by Julie Hutchings
An Evening With Tiffany Reisz
Creating The Animal by Julie Hutchings
The Exception by Kristen Strassel
The New Hippies
Writing YA: How Old Is Too Old?
Because The Night

I love that it’s pretty evenly a mix of my and Julie’s posts, as well as About Us.

I don’t think that either of us could have guessed what would have happened with the blog or our writing in this past year.  We had both just finished our first drafts of Running Home and Immortal Dilemma (now Because The Night) when the blog started.  We didn’t know any other writers.  We’ve made some great friends.  Running Home is coming out in a month.  I have an agent.  Julie’s working on her third book.  I am working on my second full length novel, and I’ve also completed a novella.  I’ve been published in an anthology, Julie’s work will be featured in an anthology this summer.  We’ve done guest posts all over the world.

I’m excited to see what we will post for our second anniversary.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, read us, laughed and cried with us.  We love every single last one of you.

Kristen and Julie

Meet Melanie: Introducing Night Moves

Today’s Brew: Absinthe or something equally poser goth. It’s Marilyn Manson night.

by Kristen

I’ve been working on the second book in the Night Songs Collection, Night Moves.  We meet another muse, Melanie, and eventually, another band, Soul Divider.  Here’s Chapter One, an afternoon that will change her life forever.


The governor ordered everyone off the roads by four in the afternoon.  It didn’t surprise me in the least that my office waited until the last possible minute to let us leave.  The powers that be considered our work too important to be interrupted by little things like natural disasters.  Hardy New Englanders shouldn’t freak out over a foot or two of snow, the bosses chided us when we complained about the dangerous conditions awaiting us.  Of course, they had hotel suites waiting for them within walking distance.  I did not. My commute was miserable in perfect weather.

Snow piled up on the roads, covering icy slush.  It wasn’t so much to have to watch for these invisible landmines, but to also have to avoid the bumper car derby taking place all the way down Route Three.

Travel aside, I was actually psyched about this Blizzard.  Its Friday afternoon timing was perfect.  I looked forward to getting home before dark and cuddling up under blankets with my boyfriend, Jamie.  I was always so stressed out and exhausted from work we never got to have any fun anymore.  It was getting to both of us.

Jamie had been striking a big red line through every day on the calendar in our kitchen.  I asked him what he was counting down to.  He told me it was a count of the days since we’d had sex.  It made me want to die inside. When we first got together, we needed both hands to count how many times we were together a day. What happened to us?

The month was drawing to a close, and those red lines taunted me like twenty two middle fingers sticking up at me as I made my coffee every morning at four forty five.   This weekend, we were going to break that streak.  By a landslide.

“Babe?”  I peeled off my wet winter layers as I entered the dim apartment.  We’d already lost power. The fire alarm screeched in the hallway.  I’d expected Jamie to greet me at the door like a hungry dog.  He’d never know how to entertain himself without all his electrical toys.

“Jame?”  Maybe he was napping.  He practically scheduled naps into his day. Jamie worked from home doing web design. If it wasn’t for the on and off trickle of money he dragged in, I’d think it was just a fancy way of saying he spent his day screwing around on the internet.  For once, his nap didn’t annoy me. It gave me an opportunity to wake him up with a nice surprise.

I heard murmurs and soft laughter as I rounded the corner.  Weird.  The apartment walls were thin. Maybe it came from downstairs. The kids that lived downstairs must have been bouncing off the walls, trapped in the house with no electrical enterainment. The voices grew louder as I rounded the corner to the bedroom.

“What the fuck is this?” I exclaimed as I entered our bedroom.  Jamie’s naked body jumped up slightly over the bed, surprised by the sound of my voice.  He couldn’t go too far, since a very important part of him was inside Angela, our crazy white trash bitch of a downstairs neighbor.

I didn’t say another word.  My whole body shook as adrenaline took over.  Jamie’s ass was frozen in mid air, his arms holding him up over that skank’s body.  Her surgically altered breasts jutted out ridiculously from the tangle of sheets.  The least she could have done was save up for a decent boob job. Although, our tax dollars had probably paid for them, so I guess if these were normal circumstances, I could have seen the humor in her botched implants.

My brain ceased to function rationally.  I marched over to my bed and grabbed a handful of Jamie’s overgrown snowboarder hair. With strength I didn’t know I had, I slammed his head down against Angela’s. Over and over again.  Blood splattered against my beloved Pier One upholstered headboard.  I didn’t stop until I saw Angela’s brain oozing out on my pillow, down her chest, and into her exaggerated cleavage.

I dropped Jamie’s limp head into the mess.  Even broken and bleeding, he somehow looked peaceful. I backed away from the bed in horror.  A scream stuck in my throat, threatening to choke me.

I didn’t mean to do this. I didn’t want him to be dead.  I covered my mouth with my hand.  This was my fault.  Sure, he was in bed with that nasty slut, but why couldn’t I have just given him a little bit of attention before it came to this?

God, I hated my job.

As I began to come back to this planet, a different kind of shock washed over me.  I had two dead people naked in my bed.  And a state issued order to stay in the apartment with them.

Fierce Appearances

Today’s Brew:  A “Deckari Daquiri.”  There are perks to lunch dates that double as business meetings.  Said lunch date/meeting was on a deck overlooking the ocean, too.

by Kristen

Two unexpected perks of being a part of the Twitter writing community:

  • Going to the bookstore (you know, when I’m in the mood for a road trip) and seeing books by people you talk to on a daily basis.
  • Finding out about all kinds of cool author events happening locally.

On Julie and I’s last road trip to Barnes and Noble (Seriously, we have to plan an afternoon.  At least it usually also involves Pinkberry.), I picked up Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  My agent loved this book.  We’ve already established what amazing taste Pam has in books–I mean, after all, she is my agent.  I also tried The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz on her recommendation.  And you know how I felt about that.

If you’re on the fence about a book, see what Pam and her team have to say about it on

Back to Shadow and Bone.  I immediately got swept into the world created in this book.  It was beautiful, sweeping, and complete.  You never question the mythology of the Grisha or The Shadow Fold.  You can identify with Alina’s struggles, always feeling a little less than what she should be, and that she has a hard time believing that she’s more than she could have ever imagined.  And The Darkling, hawt.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel this way or not, but I can’t help but root for him even though bad things will happen if he gets his way.

As a writer, I always check the acknowledgements and the about the author page.  Leigh Bardugo is a makeup artist.  Badass.  When I went to the website, it linked me to her makeup work.

Wait a minute, I know this work. Leigh and I both started out in makeup on the same networking site.  This made my heart expand three more sizes for her and her amazing book.

Some of Leigh Bardugo’s makeup work. In case you weren’t already convinced of  how ridiculously talented she is.

Seige And Storm, the second book in Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, released June 4.  It is on it’s way to me from Amazon.  To promote and celebrate the release of this and several other books, MacMillan Teen put together The Fierce Reads Tour, which stopped at the Cambridge Public Library on July 15.  (From what I can tell, Mac Teen does these tours every so often, so stay tuned to see if your favorite authors will be coming to a city near you!)

Fierce reads featured Emmy Laybourne, Jessica Brody, Anna Banks, Gennifer Albin, as well as Leigh Bardugo.  All of their recent releases are YA paranormal.  I love listening to authors talk about their books, watching their faces light up as they speak about their creations to total strangers who care enough to want to hear more. All of the authors were personable and actually very funny.  A good crowd turned out for the talk as well.  I would have expected mostly young and middle aged women, but there were teen boys, elderly people, adult couples without kids. And of course, me.

Emmy, Jess, and Anna. I’m going to start a new website called

Very simple things inspired all of the authors to write their books.  Emmy spends a lot of time in Target.  Jess was inspired by an article about a soul survivor of a plane crash.  Anna was captivated by a Spanish Surrealist Painting.  Gennifer watched a documentary about a giant squid. Leigh had a bad dream and woke up in a dark, strange place.  (She was on vacation.)   They asked themselves a lot of “what if” questions about these things and places until they came up with the meat of their books.

Each author had a specific way that they wrote.  Some of them made very specific outlines.  Some of them couldn’t write an outline to save their lives.   All of them gave their characters wiggle room to dictate if any changes need to be made.  They all agreed that momentum was the most important thing to keep going and to fight blockages.  They then would go back and see what was working and what wasn’t.  All of these authors now write full time, but Gennifer had recently just quit her job.  Again, everyone had their own way that worked best.  Jess wrote in the morning.  Gennifer had to get out of the house to fight distractions.  Anna had to tackle all of the distractions in her life before sitting down to write.  Leigh has to block the internet and talk her way through that day’s work.  I always like to see all the different ways that people create.  It goes to show that writing really is an art form and the only rules that should apply are the ones that work for you.  And don’t be afraid to break them when needed.


I was surprised how many questions the audience had about the writing processes that created these books.  When Julie and I went to see Tiffany, the audience asked more character and plot related questions.   One thing that was absolutely amazing is that almost all of these authors have had their books optioned for movies!  Of course, that doesn’t mean the movies will actually be made, but they are one step closer.

(Takes moment to lie back and daydream about Because The Night premiering on Big Screen…Who to walk the red carpet with?)

There must have been quite a few aspiring writers in the crowd.  I know there was at least one. The authors were asked for their advice to new writers.

  • Keep writing
  • All writing counts, including journals and blogs.
  • Don’t be afraid to write badly.  Crap writing makes great fertilizer.  Published books go through many edits and drafts.
  • Don’t censor yourself.
  • Do your own thing, all advice won’t work for you.
  • Know when to listen and when not to. (Sound familiar?)
  • Finish something so you can see the end.  You get confidence from completing a project.
  • Learn how to take critique.
  • Don’t hold back with your ideas.  Blow the doors off.  You will come up with more ideas.


I didn’t stay for the meet and greet portion of this.  It sounded a little strange, the librarian wanted us to write what we wanted the authors to put on our books on post it notes.  So I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of these lovely ladies myself.  If these books are as full of personality as their creators and and as entertaining as this appearance, you won’t be able to put any of them down.

So, you’ve been wondering about The Zombie Project…

I am ridiculously excited to be a part of this. What a cool way to work with other writers.

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