Showing posts from August, 2021

Troubling Stirrings in Sphere Court by Christopher Besonen

  This is a bit of a surreal horror novel. At times the narrative walks the fine line between being unpredictable and confusing. When reading this book, it's best to set aside your expectations of a traditional horror story and enjoy the ride. Each time I thought I'd figured out what was going on, the next chapter would offer a new twist or passage that changed everything. This story has so much: family secrets, mysterious characters, hauntings, close friendships, intrigue, and even a videogame-like adventure chapter where the characters have to race through life threatening obstacles. The writing style is unique and refreshing. At times, the phrasing read a bit like a translation, but overall I enjoyed the prose. One flaw I want to mention is the character names. The story stars Suzannah (or Suzy), her mother, Susan, and includes her grandmother, Suzette. The similarity of the names took me a little while to adjust to and while Suzette isn't in the story a lot, the POV doe

The Thicket by Noelle W. Ihli

What is it about corn fields that people find so terrifying? They are a common feature in horror stories. I just recently watched Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark  which included a huge cornfield complete with a hideous scarecrow. Noelle W. Ihli's terrifying thriller, The Thicket,  uses a corn field maze as one of the centrepieces of her novel to great effect. I grew up in the country surrounded by forests and farmland. There were corn fields nearby and I remember how tall the stalks were when I walked through them. It was impossible to see the edge of the field. I had the reassurance that if I just followed the rows, I'd eventually reach the edge. But if it's a corn maze, the paths could lead anywhere... Norah and her brother go to the Thicket, a haunted Halloween theme park where actors jump out at people to scare them. At the centre of the park is an enormous corn maze. I've been in a few of these haunted houses and one haunted hay ride over the years. Even though

Release Day: Summer Terrors

Summer Terrors is another excellent horror drabble collection from Black Ink Fiction that includes five stories written by me. Description: "Everyone knows the big names of summer horror and their stories. But what about the maintenance man who doesn’t like his rooftop encroached upon? Terror at summer concerts? Tentacles...lots of tentacles." ** Buy a copy here . My stories: The submission call asked for summer activities gone wrong. Although I've never been a fan of hot weather, there are still plenty of things I like to do in the summer: swim, camp, hike, etc. When I was younger, I would spend at least part of my summer at Girl Guide camps where we would canoe, practice archery, sing campfire songs, and more.  Each one of these horror drabbles is inspired by my memories of hot summers as a kid.   "The Sprinkler", "Sand" Growing up we did not have a swimming pool. It wasn't until I was an adult and I spent four summers working at a swimming p

Final Accountability Post Camp Nanowrimo

Well, I didn't quite make it.  Final count: 37,199/50,000   My plan was to do one big burst at the end and push through the last 13,000 in a few days, but life didn't agree with that. Either way, I still produced a lot of words this month and now I get to spend August finishing up the last of my stories and editing. So much editing! I'm still glad I used the push to get a lot done, even if I didn't meet every goal. I made progress on several planned projects and on a few other surprise ones.  The next Nanowrimo event is the big one in November. I don't think I'll be doing a whole bunch of little stories then. Probably going to just focus on 1-2 larger projects, although I haven't decided what those are yet. Thanks for reading my posts through Camp Nanowrimo!