Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Blurb #49: Gruwel Hall

There is good news and bad news to report. The good news is that my short story, "First Kiss," won second place in the Writers' Journal Romance contest. Yay! The bad news is that Writers' Journal is closing its publishing doors. This is the quote from their website:

"After months of searching for another publisher for WRITERS’ Journal (WJ) magazine to no avail, Val-Tech Media (VTM) has decided to cease publishing WJ. Our last prospects decided January 19, 2012, not to take on the publication. Until this time we operated as though some publishing company would continue with WJ. Unfortunately, no one has stepped forward. We thank you for your support over the years and hope WJ has helped you become better writers."

To read about the reasons for their decision in more detail, please click HERE.  It is sad to see another long time publication go under. This is becoming a sad trend.


Welcome again to Book Blurb Friday.  If you're a newbie, here's the scoop so you understand what follows.  Please click HERE or click the tab under the blog header for details of the Book Blurb Friday meme.  This is the shortened, abridged version:

Write a book jacket blurb (150 words or less) so enticing that potential readers would feel compelled to buy the book.
Below is this week's "book cover," generously offered for our creative blurbs by talented photographer and fellow Book Blurber Kathy Matthews at Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy.

Gruwel Hall
(144 words)

When Maura Aarden focused on Gruwel Hall she was mesmerized by the fingers of ivy that clutched the stone and mortar of the abandoned structure like an alien fist. Her two cameras captured her vision. And more.

The digital photos gave Maura the colors she sought, the grays, greens and icy blues. But from the black and white film emerged faces in the windows, ghostly shapes, smoky and ethereal beyond the glass.

Maura returns to the site, camera in hand. She is determined to take more photos, this time from inside. But a fall down a shadowy stairway inexplicably renders her totally blind. It is only when looking through the lens of her camera that she can see, but sight through the lens reveals images Maura believed existed only in nightmares. Haunted and hunted, her only goal now is to escape Gruwel Hall alive.

In honor of Kathy, I employed the use of obscure faces to accompany her awesome photo. Kathy often sees faces in her photos (as do I on occasion) and I thought she might get a kick out of my use of that here. Thanks again, Kathy, for being so generous with your photography.

To be sure that others can read your blurb, please put your name and link in Mr. Linky, below, if you are participating in Book Blurb Friday. If you have no blurb to share, please do not install a link. It will be treated as spam and removed. Thanks.

Please scroll past the Linky widget to see our "book cover" for next week.

Here is our "book cover" for next week's Book Blurb Friday #50, provided by the lovely Ashley Ortiz. Thank you, Ashley!

Thanks for participating in Book Blurb Friday. If you have any photos you think would be appropriate as a "book cover," please send them to me via email (

See you next for Monday's microfiction. Have a great weekend!



  1. You got the old (and rusty) grey cells working this week!

  2. You had me at the "alien fist." How chilling! And congratulations on your win, Lisa. So sorry to hear about Writers' Journal. Dark times for sure.

  3. Wonderfully creepy! I'm already invested in Maura and hoping that she not only escapes, but regains her sight. I'm betting there is plenty to scare me before that happens. No doubt, I'm ready to buy it.

  4. Congratulations and condolences at the same time. I would love to read your story!

  5. Lisa, I am so happy that your story did so well! That is way too bad that they are closing down though.

    I love your blurb. It is way spookier than mine is, and of course much better written ... but I'll never beat the queen!

    How weird that Maura can't see except for through the camera lens. What happens when she gets a dead battery? I hope that she gets out of there alive, and quickly.

    Thanks so much for using my photo this week. Ashley's is very cool!

    Have a great weekend,

    Kathy M.

  6. So sad about the magazine. Happening all too often now in the print world.
    Congratulations, though, Lisa.
    And congratulations as well on this blurb. It has it all. I'd have to buy the book.

  7. Ooh, I love the name "Gruwel Hall." Totally spooktacular!

    Congrats for the 2nd place finish. It's too bad the Journal is closing though. I'm afraid it's the shape of things to come for many, many print magazines...

  8. Superbly creepy book you created this week! Well written blurb for this scary idea...
    Congrats on the acceptance!
    Oh, but sad news on the folding of the magazine. I was shocked as I just bought the one on the stands and thought I needed to subcribed once more...just hadn't done it yet.

  9. Briefest of comments at the moment but the spookiness of this tale would be too frightenng by far for me - so imaginative though!

  10. Well, to make things all about me, as is my habit, I would like the record to show that I am in no way affiliated with Val-Tech Media. Just sayin'...

  11. Brenda - Thanks!

    Tammy - It is sad about Writers' Journal. I enjoyed their publication.

    Grandma - Oh, you can bet it would be super creepy. LOL

    Lorraine - Thanks. It would have been in WJ had they not folded. I'll find another home for it. :)

    Kathy - Thanks for allowing me to use the photo. You're very generous with your talent.

    Kay - Thank you!

    Michael - "Gruwel" actually means "horror" in Dutch!

    Claudia - I was surprised as well, and I'll miss receiving the magazine.

    Sandra - Too scary for me as well! LOL I love to write horror, but I have a tough time reading horror written by others.

    Val - Haha...I'm glad you cleared that up. :)

  12. Congrats on the contest win! That's exciting. Sorry to hear they are ceasing publication.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. Congratulations on your win!!!! I don't think I've read anything mushy from you but now...I think I must!

  14. Congratulations on your win at WJ. I am heartsick over their closing. Lisa, I am inspired by your writing and think that you are the BEST writer I know. I mean that. You have such a way with words. I want to write just like YOU do.

  15. Tanya - LOL My story that won first place last year is better. This one I messed up POV in just a single sentence and didn't find it until AFTER I submitted! That's what I get for not asking the Inklets to critique it first.

    Linda - Wow. Just wow. That means so much coming from you. You've humbled me. Thank you.

  16. Congratulations on your second place showing in the Writer's Journal contest! Good for you! And I agree that their closing their doors is a reflection of a sad trend.

  17. Congrats on your contest win, Lisa, you deserve it.

    Very sad that another publisher is gone. It makes me wonder if I'll recognize anything about publishing in 10 years.

    Critter Alley


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