Mourning Jewelry Preorder


by Stephanie Wytovich
Collected poetry, $12.95


Mourning is the new black…

The tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry began with Queen Elizabeth after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Without photography, mementos of personal remembrance were used to honor the dead so that their loved ones could commemorate their memory and keep their spirits close. Ashes were placed within rings, and necklaces were made out of hair, and the concept of death photography, small portraitures of the deceased, were often encased behind glass. Mourning jewelry became a fashion statement as much as a way to cope with grief, and as their pain evolved over the years, so did their jewelry.

But what about the sadness and the memories that they kept close to them at all times? The death-day visions and the reoccurring nightmares? Wytovich explores the horror that breeds inside of the lockets, the quiet terror that hides in the center of the rings. Her collection shows that mourning isn’t a temporary state of being, but rather a permanent sickness, an encompassing disease. Her women are alive and dead, lovers and ghosts. They live in worlds that we cannot see, but that we can feel at midnight, that we can explore at three a.m.

Wytovich shows us that there are hearts to shadows and pulses beneath the grave. To her, Mourning Jewelry isn’t something that you wear around your neck. It’s not fashion or a trend.  It’s something that you carry inside of you, something that no matter how much it screams, that you can just can’t seem to let out.

What They’re Saying About Mourning Jewelry

“From rimming the martini glass with a dead lover’s ashes, to bedsheets as straightjackets, Stephanie Wytovich masterminds the lustful grotesque. But there is a sweetness in the violence, comfort in the pretty terror. Feathers as amputated limbs, spirit carriages, and valleys that hold the tears of little girls. This collection caresses beneath the skin—like a fine lace shawl delicately woven with her own blood.”
-Jill Tracy, singer/songwriter and creator of Dexter season 7 theme

“In Mourning Jewelry, Wytovich takes all she did so well in her first book, Hysteria, and ratchets it up a notch. A bountiful, bold book, generously serving up more than 100 poems, each distinctive in its careful-yet-brutal musing about death and desire, written with a voice that is now firmly established as one of our top new horror poets. It’s a voice that seduces as it sickens. What strikes me most is Wyto’s talent for crafting morbid narrators and creepy characters that both fascinate and repulse us, in poem after poem, in a way that will have you turning the pages to see what lower depth she will take us to next. Even the Grim Reaper himself would drop his jaw reading some of these beautifully decadent poems. It’s a remarkable achievement.”
-Michael Arnzen, Bram Stoker Award-winning poet and author of Grave Markings

Mourning Jewelry features exquisite cover art by internationally renowned artist and musician Steven Archer, and is available for preorder at

Westermead Now Available In Kindle

westermeadAfter spending years as a Nook exclusive, Westermead by Scott Thomas is finally available in Kindle format. If you previously purchased this title in hardcover or paperback through Amazon you can download the Kindle edition for FREE through their Matchbook program! Or, if you’d like a sample, just go to the Amazon listing and click on “Look Inside.” Currently ranked on both the Folklore and Mythology bestseller lists at Amazon, see what Westermead is all about:

“The rushes rasp in ghost-fed breezes as seed-hungry finches chance the thistle’s fangs. The bracken has gone gold and brown, the brambles heavy with plump berries. The days, warm as brewed barley, are etched with frost beneath a rusty moon. Eerie effigies are set about to honor the dead, whom, as the year decays, are wont to roam the countryside.”

The ways of old merge with the magical and fantastic in this wondrous world. Experience Westermead’s thaw and awakening season by season, the lush heat of summer’s passion and the retreat into winter’s desolate embrace. Come celebrate and mourn with the people of Westermead as they make their way through a world steeped both in beauty and dread.

More than just a collection of tales, Westermead brings to life an enchanted country where the supernatural is as natural as the sunrise. Follow the intrepid documentarians, Purdy and Beech, on their hunt for the fearsome Frost Mare. Learn the secret of the stranger whose life little Melly saved in Four Bronze Sisters. Face The Mask of Black Tears alongside Mullein Wick while he fights for his sister’s release from servitude.

This new mythology is ripe with unique characters, spiced with folkways and mixed throughout with a deep respect for all things natural. Given storytelling this vibrant, it is both easy and thrilling to get lost in Thomas’ unique landscape.

The story “Four Bronze Sisters” from Westermead received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2005.

More is available at

Playing the Long Game

New Pages, well respected among those who follow cutting edge fiction, has reviewed the recent edition of Fiction International in which my story “Playing the Long Game” appears. I am fortunate to have been singled out for attention from the reviewer, alongside author Paul Forristal.

“The stories that are highly experimental in a manner of textual organization are balanced with the more conventionally organized narratives that tend to experiment in the tradition of 1960s science fiction and the fabulists. If fiction is to evolve, it must mutate like any other bio-organism. Compare Paul Forristal’s “What Happens” with John Edward Lawson’s “Playing the Long Game,” for example. Lawson’s story is framed as an interrogation of a former president, but functions as a political commentary in a surreal format where a machine approximates God in omniscience, omnipotence, and essential judgment. Conversely, Forristal’s story employs graphics, fonts, and pacing in close simulation of an interface and riffs off of a variety of forms and structures to spell out his narrative. Both create a feeling of experiencing the future and transform time and the experience of reading. And while one might seek out the more traditional forms, the experiments in this journal are not too far from the canon.”


Kindle Countdown Deals Coming To An End

We are entering the final day for Kindle Countdown discounts on Odd Men Out by Matt Betts and my own The Plague Factory. Here’s a little info about each book with links to purchase them at a special price:

BOOKS-oddmenoutThe Civil War has ended but not because the South surrendered, instead it’s on hold while both sides face a new enemy-the chewers, dead men who’ve come back to life. Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. But when tragedy strikes he’s forced to take shelter onboard a dirigible piloted by the U.N.’s peace-keeping force. It’s soon apparent that many more dangers are lurking and Cyrus must decide whether to throw in with strangers in a desperate bid to protect the country or cast off on his own.

“The stakes are high and the action and surprises are nonstop as Betts skillfully mixes elements of steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, and horror.”—Publishers Weekly

“A compelling story line, light humor, and a steampunk vibe make this an interesting and fun read.”­—Library Journal

plague factory coverThe Plague Factory contains 90 pages of John Edward Lawson’s most experimental poetry. The Plague of experimental John poetry, pages contain the most Factory. A lyrical reconstruction of the human disease manufactured through our mass media. A lyrical human. A mass disease digitally diseased. zzzzzzzz.

Wasteland Blues Now Available!

7e304-wasteland-bluessept13“Scott Christian Carr and Andrew Conry-Murray have fashioned a wasteland tale reminiscent of some of my favorite apocalyptic movies. A BOY AND HIS DOG and Cormac McCarthy’s, THE ROAD come to mind. Fans familiar with the genre will not be disappointed!”

Now available from Dog Star Books: the amazing post-apocalyptic debut novel by Scott Christian Carr and Andrew Conry-Murray. Buy it now at

Plague Factory Kindle Countdown Deal

plague factory coverMy poetry collection The Plague Factory has gone on sale over at Amazon. For the next four days it will be available at a gradually decreasing discount, starting at just $0.99 today, $1.99 tomorrow, and so on. While its surrealism, absurdism, and experimental tendencies don’t make it something that people seek out, everyone who buys either the paperback or eBook seems to like it. So, if you’re looking for African American poetry that is a little different give The Plague Factory a try when it costs you next to nothing. If you are part of a reading group and want to take advantage of this deal to give participants a low-cost selection, don’t forget to download the free Plague Factory Resource Guide. Still undecided? Why not use Amazon’s “look inside the book” feature to sample the collection. Thank you!

The man your librarian warned you about…


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