Psychopomps (Shepherds of the Dead) Available in Digital or Print

Happy October 1st! Autumn is hands-down the best season of the year. Time for spooky, paranormal, and otherwise haunting reads!

My short story “The Resurrectionist’s Kiss” is featured in an anthology that is now available in print as well as e-book format.

Check out Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead on Amazon

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The anthology also features stories by Ben Lane Hodson (Author), E. W. Farnsworth (Author), Raychel Rose (Author).

So if you are looking for a way to check out our work while celebrating autmumn and Halloween, this would be a good way to do that!

Author Raychel Rose put together this awesome book trailer. Enjoy!

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Action, Austen, Alice, and More: Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Recap #SLCC15

SL Comic Con Cindy-Grigg-1030x832Writing is often wonderful but just as often, it’s a total slog, so I love the opportunity to step back and attend conferences or conventions.

This past weekend, participating in panels at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 was a blast and I enjoyed meeting so many writers and readers. Here’s a recap!

First off, we broke a world record, no big deal…

Second, a bunch of you signed my email list for editing information but if you took a card instead, here is a form where you can please send me your email. We’ll be in touch soon.

My favorite panels to observe included one for Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, one about voice acting, and another about a really inspiring project for children facing difficult challenges: True Heroes, featuring Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Ally Condie, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Adam Sidwell, and others, with photography by Jonathan Diaz.

True Heroes

As for the panels I participated on, here’s a quick run-down:

IMG_2820Writing Action – I loved being on this panel alongside amazing authors Aaron Lee Yeager, Eric James Stone, Larry Correia, Robert J. Defendi, Frank Morin, and Charles E. Gannon. I was able to share a few things I’ve learned from writing my character in Piccadilly Valkyrie, Kára, an immortal who confronts her complex relationship with violence and self-defense, and who trains to be a bare-knuckle boxer when exiled to live among mortals in early 19th century London.

IMG_2886Tea Time with Miss Austen – I loved meeting Shannon Hale,
author of Austenland, awesome podcasters Lola Binkerd and Emma Fyffe, and fellow authors Mette Ivie Harrison, Shallee McArthur, and E.B. Wheeler.  We explored why Austen is still relevant today and I believe our consensus was that if she was born in our day and age, she would be writing an awesome t.v. series with the likes of Tina Fey.


Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20150 Years Down the Rabbit Hole (Through the Looking Glass / Lewis Carroll) – It was a pleasure meeting my fellow panelists Jessica Day George, Nathan Croft, Benjamin Tilton, and I particularly enjoyed sitting next to Frank Beddor, author of The Looking Glass Wars series, who inspired me with his awesome, intensive sourcebook on the topic. He is definitely an author who does his research! During this panel I was able to contribute a bit about Mischmasch, Carroll’s ‘self-published’ periodical among friends and family and the inspiration for the name of my boutique press Misch Masch Publishing. Check out our latest anthology, just in time for the Halloween season. Psychopomps: Shepherd of the Dead features several tales about those beings who may escort us into the next life.

Digital (e-Book) or Paperback

Finally, please consider joining my social media channels to the right, or at least browse through them so you can see the fun cosplay!

Author Raychel Rose Shares Her Inspiration for “The Sea of Ghosts”, As Featured in PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD

It’s fun to have author Raychel Rose guest blogging with me today, as I have enjoyed working with herin conjunction with a new anthology of short stories, which you can can pick up on Amazon: Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead.

Her story “The Sea of Ghosts” caught my interest because it features a more sinister version of a mermaid–or is she? Rose keeps you guessing with this intriguing character, who is also a psychopomp, guiding dead seafarers such as the story’s protagonist (a reluctant pirate!) to either Infernum or Aeternus.

This story is a fun take on the journey one makes into the afterlife.

Here is deeper insight from Raychel Rose herself.


DSC_8084 (2) Raychel Rose

It was a weekday when the main idea of The Sea of Ghosts came. My sister, and two friends, Matthew and Margo, were all sitting in a room where I was present. I’m not sure how it came along, but the main idea–a grim reaper falls in love with their dead person they’re supposed to be guiding into the afterlife–was brought to life.

That was how it first came along.

About a month passed and I was browsing Twitter and saw the submission opening for Psychopomps. I was immediately intrigued and knew I had to enter. But what was I to enter? Ah, yes, the Grim Reaper love story.

Over the next couple of days I plotted with all my might. I gained inspiration from Pinterest, where I find a lot of story ideas. I knew the story had to revolve around some type of made-up creature. But what? I didn’t want the ole’ Grim Reaper in a dark cloak. I wanted something original. A mermaid!

I knew I needed a shipwreck. That was easier said than done. There were thousands of shipwrecks! But a pirate shipwreck? That was even harder to find. I was browsing shipwrecks online when I came upon the two articles on Hunters Galley and I knew I had found the ship. It may not have been a pirate ship, but I could always change that.

That’s a reason I love to work with historical fiction. I can blend fact with fiction.

After the main plot and research were done, I needed to work on the theme. I wanted to focus on redemption and being free from the past. Nathaniel, my main character, carried around a bunch of guilt. And then he died and wanted to be free from his past. But how could he? He was dead.

A lot of my inspiration for redemption came from being a born-again Christian. I wanted a representation that only Christ could redeem Nathaniel, but without being preachy or even mentioning Christianity in it.

A lot of my inspiration while writing The Sea of Ghosts came from listening to music. I have already made a playlist blog post that you can check out below:

My research was done online. I found only two articles on the internet about Hunters Galley. I guess that was another reason I was drawn to it. I felt like the ship and history had been forgotten about. And we should never forget history.

In this anthology, each author also suggests a classic short story that inspired them, and I was impressed when Raychel a tale by Ambrose Bierce, who is far too overlooked in the classic horror / paranormal genres. It’s not all about Poe–though, he’s in the anthology as well!

Find more blog links for this project at the official Misch Masch Publishing site for the anthology –  Pscyhopomps: Shepherds of the Dead.

Get your copy of Psychopomps: Shepherd of the Dead on Amazon

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My Panels for SL Comic Con 2015: How to Write Action, Tea Time with Jane Austen, and the Impact of Alice in Wonderland!

I absolutely love being involved with SL Comic Con and next week’s 2015 event looks to be as killer as ever.

Here’s the run-down of my panels and such!

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I have two books coming out right around this time so it’s a bit of a whirlwind how that’s all worked out, but I can’t wait to share both of these.

One is an anthology called Psychopomps, so it is a collection of  speculative fiction short stories by me and three other authors: Raychel Rose, E. W. Farnsworth, and Ben Lane Hodson. In it, we also include our favorite classic short stories on the topic of ‘Shepherds of the Dead’, so you can’t go wrong! Even though you’ll of course like our stories, you’ll also get timeless but sometimes overlooked tales by luminaries such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, H.P. Lovecraft, and E.F. Benson (available on Amazon).

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The other is the first novel in my series Peacock Lavine and the Fates of Nyx, about an immortal Valkyrie who creates a new identity as a social enigma influencing change in regency era London, when she’s forced to live among mortals (available October 2015).

“A Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Rollick and Tussle Through an Alternative Regency Iceland and England”Piccadilly Valkyrie (Book 1 in the series) hits notes of Jane Austen’s society but it also encompasses lower elements, societal hermits, Luddites, and of course, Norse supernaturals.

 The coolest thing about these conventions is learning from others, so my goal in participating on panels is to give back and hopefully share anything that might be helpful, interesting, or entertaining to either readers or writers.

Why I’m on this panel: In my novel Piccadilly Valkyrie, my main character learns the basics of 18th century bare-knuckle boxing.

Friday September 25, 2015 1:00 pm to 1:50 pm

Some of the biggest challenges writers face involve fast-paced flurries of action, big explosions, and keeping track of whose limbs are where – all without the help of a visual aid. Writing action is a serious undertaking and shouldn’t be done without adult supervision. Luckily, we’ve assembled a team of adults to help guide you through the process.


Room 255C

Larry Correia
Robert J. Defendi
Charles E. Gannon
Cindy Grigg
Frank Morin
Eric James Stone
Aaron Lee Yeager

So if you’re going to SL Comic Con, let me know or come up and say hello.

Check out my SL Comic Con Profile Page  or this main Panel Programming Page for more details, and have a wonderful week!

Be a Beta Reader or Listener for Piccadilly Valkyrie

I ‘m excited to be finalizing work on my next novel PICCADILLY VALKYRIE and am looking for some scathingly-honest beta readers!

If you love any of these genres, you will likely enjoy this book: Urban Fantasy, Odin/Thor mythologies, Regency, Victorian, Paranormal, Adventure, Steampunk, and Romance.

If you’re wondering whether all that is a strange combination–it is! Here’s the cover and an early version of the back cover blurb follows:

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Peacock Lavine is an enigma making waves in London with her uncanny ability to empower the disenfranchised of society while also gaining influence among the social elite.

She is herself disenfranchised, from the Icelandic compound where she was raised to be one of Odin’s Valkyrie–immortal Swan Maidens who weave Fate on ancient looms. Valkyrie also fly their Faxi (cloud horses) onto mortal battlefields to recruit the bravest warriors for death and an afterlife as heroes called Einherjar. The Einherjar get to battle and feast in Odin’s great palace Valhalla in preparation for the great immortal battle of Ragnarok.

But Peacock developed differently than her fellow Valkyrie, propelling her into a series of choices about how she will survive exile from Odin’s realm, live among mortals, and discover a use for her blossoming identity as a very different type of Valkyrie. Her adventures among London’s low- and high-society lead her to confront mortal conventions as well as Odin’s role for Valkyrie in the afterlife, as eternal bearers of mead for the Einherjar while never engaging in battle themselves.

Peacock’s own ideas pitch her into a fight against the mortal and immortal forces that would keep her powerless against something she is still struggling to believe in–her own Fate.

I’d be grateful for your honest feedback on the first few chapters of PICCADILLY VALKYRIE or the whole thing. Whatever you have time for! I expect to be send this out to beta readers in early August.

A few other things you might be concerned or curious about:

  • PICCADILLY VALKYRIE is a YA book, which to me means it’s for anyone above the age of about 12. The main characters are between 16 and 30 years old.
  • Sex is referenced as something that happens but it is not detailed in the prose.
  • Violence features more readily than is typical for regency novels. While it features the fun ballrooms and such of Jane Austen stories, PICADILLY VALKYRIE also takes readers into the underprivileged, lower-class, and criminal sides of early 19th-century society, including boxing and gambling dens, prisons, and other gritty scenes. It is also about Valkyries (Death Maidens) who recruit from mortal battlefields so its wider scope includes things like Luddite rebellions and the Napoleonic Wars.
  • The book’s main themes are challenging: pacifism versus war, fate versus free will, women’s and men’s roles in mortal and immortal paradigms, disability, privilege, religion, industrialization versus artisanal craftsmanship, being raised feral ;), and more .

Hopefully, this helps you gauge whether it’s something for you. I’m pretty sure it is! I’ve had a blast writing it and love where it has taken me.

The following link takes you to a bit more detail about what to expect from beta reading and a quick sign-up form.

– SIGN UP TO BE A BETA READER HERE – 

Thanks, and have a wonderful week!

Extended Deadline: Short Story Submissions for ‘Shepherds of the Dead’

I’m excited to announce that because a few projects have been rearranged, I’m extending the deadline for submissions to an anthology coming out Fall 2015: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

I’m really excited about the scope of this book. Here’s more detail on the project and theme if this is a new idea for you: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

Basically, a psychopomp is any escort into the afterlife, from the Grim Reaper to angels and beyond.

Below is the latest mock-up for the cover. Still playing with fonts and such but hopefully this helps you capture the vision of this book:

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Note that the original mock-up was designed with contributing authors on the front but we may go with something more like this. Just wanted to mention this in case not having your name on the front is a deal-breaker for you.

All names will be prominently displayed on the back cover and as mentioned earlier, selected stories will include complete bio’s linking back to your author sites and whatnot.

The new deadline is July 31, 2015.

Hopefully this gives a few of you a bit more time. I figured I’d offer the extra time window since I can.

I hope you’ll send in a story. New authors welcome!