Authors “dying” to meet fans at first ever HallowRead Convention

poster of HallowRead event with skull and books

First ever HallowRead Festival arrives in Ellicott City, MD



Get into the “spirit” of the season at the first HallowRead Convention – hosted in historic Ellicott City, Md. This inaugural event brings together paranormal writers, readers, and fans to celebrate the spooky season in style.

Rachel Rawlings, author of the Maurin Kincaide Series, a blend of paranormal and fantasy, created the event as a way to connect authors with their fans – locally. She said she even came up with the name for her mini-convention in the Fort McHenry tunnel.

Fans of the genre will be pleased to know that Fangoria, an internationally distributed horror magazine, has partnered up with HallowRead. Tom Defeo, president and owner, will participate in one of the panels. Defeo will be signing and premiering his magazine’s new book, a collection of their magazine covers and the stories behind them.

“Halloween is my favorite time of year,” Rawlings said, adding that she and her husband are even making decorations to put up around town.

But HallowRead is more than just a book festival. The mini-con does feature author panels and book signings, but there’s lots of activities for fans to enjoy the genre. Convention goers can enjoy a pop-up bookstore, a ghost tour, pub crawls, and the chance to dine with favorite authors.

Plus, sign up for the SteamPunk Author Victorian Tea to enjoy a sit-down afternoon tea – costumes welcome.

The best part, Rawlings said, is the play – an interactive performance of Dracula in the haunted ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute. The play will be performed by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Tickets for the play must be purchased separately; see below the post for more info. Make sure to mention HallowRead when ordering for a discount.

“It’s not just the books that will have you sleeping with the lights on,” Rawlings said. “The town’s haunted as well. All the panels take place in the buildings on the ghost tour or that are rumored to have a haunted history.” For example, the Trolley Stop, a quaint tavern, used to be called The Bloody Bucket.

But non-paranormal fans take note – the gore level is low, Rawlings said. “It’s all in good fun.” Ellicott City has plenty of historic shops, museums and restaurants without a paranormal flavor. Take part in the author panels and shop around town separately.

The event cost isn’t just a flat rate – although there was a three-day access pass for everything but the tea and the play. That pass sold out in late September. Participants can sign up for whatever events they’d like, then spend the rest of their time enjoying the city.

Ticket prices are reasonable, Rawlings said, compared with other conventions. “We’re not trying to make a profit with the HallowRead, just cover the tickets for [the events].” Ticket prices and info are listed at the end of the post.

Participants can receive special rates at the SpringHill Suites, with a free shuttle service provided to and from the event.

The weekend unofficially begins on Thurs., Oct. 24, with a free reception in The Still Life Gallery, hosted by authors L.M. Pruitt and Shea MacLeod, explained Rawlings. “This is an opportunity to really get to know some of the industry’s leading authors in genre fiction.”

A convention wouldn’t be complete without a swag bag full of goodies. Attendees will each receive a bag of freebies from authors and some businesses in town.

Win door prizes and other goodies during the panels too. Rawlings said they are hosting a raffle for Art Where We Are, a nonprofit that brings art teachers and supplies to children in shelters. The raffle includes baskets filled with books, swag and other goodies. Plus, those who stay at SpringHill Suites will enjoy prizes from participating authors too.

There are still some spaces left for vendors, depending on the size of merchandise, and businesses and authors are welcome to donate items to the participant swag bags. (Rawlings’ email is posted below.)

HallowRead is slated to become an annual event, Rawlings said, adding that Ellicott City and its businesses are “thrilled” to be the host. “I think it’s important for authors to connect with readers and vice versa. It reminds us why we write and is a fun way to say thanks for their loyalty and support.”

HallowRead red logo

HallowRead Convention Details

Address: Main Street, Ellicott City, Md. 21043

Dates: Fri., Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to midnight

Sat., Oct. 26 from 10 p.m. to midnight

Sun., Oct. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m. *@ Springhill Suites, Columbia, Md. – breakfast and photo op/signing

Cost: Ghost Tour and panels: $38

Saturday panels only: $25

SteamPunk Author Tea Add-on: $15

Dracula Play Tickets & Info: (Tickets for the play must be purchased separately. Mention HallowRead for a discount!)


  • Ellicott City is a historic town and some buildings may not be handicapped accessible.
  • These are walking tours so wear comfortable shoes.

For more info:


Burn by Brooke Cumberland Releases Today; Sign up for Giveaway

"burn" by brooke cumberland - book cover

“Burn” by Brooke Cumberland

“Burn” by Brooke Cumberland is the second book in the SPARK series, and released on 10/1/13. “Spark,” the first book in the series, released back in July to rave reviews on Reviewers said they enjoyed the fast-paced read.
(provided by Tantalizing Promotions; used with permission)
Just when Velaney thinks she is safe again…her worst nightmare comes back to haunt her.
Eric is dealing with his own insecurities as he tries to accept Velaney’s decision to help the enemy…can he get past it? Will they be there for each other in the end?
Eric struggles to step aside and trust Velaney…but will his past keep him from doing so? Can he let go in order to move forward?
Velaney and Eric had their fair share of ups and downs in SPARK…their love was undeniable and intense. Just when you think they could get their happily ever after…pasts collide and merge together…will they fight for what they want?
Or will their love crash and burn?
headshot of Brooke Cumberland, author of "Burn" which released 10/1/13

Brooke Cumberland – Author of Burn (release date 10/1/13)

About the Author
Brooke Cumberland is a Mid-Western gal, from Wisconsin. (Go Packers!) She’s a stay-at-home mom of three children (one daughter & two stepsons) and a black furry dog. She studied psychology in college, and counseling and education in graduate school. It’s here Cumberland found her love for writing.
Most days Cumberland is reading or writing, or just hanging out with her family. She loves movies, cooking, and shopping. She’s addicted to Starbucks, Coach purses, and wearing yoga pants.
Connect with Brooke Cumberland
Twitter @blcumberland
Places to Purchase “Spark” by Brooke Cumberland
(#1 in Spark Series; “Burn” is the second release)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: images are copyrighted by the author and Tantalizing Promotions. Used with permission.
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