Showing posts from February, 2022

In the Arctic Sun by Rowan Hill

I have a soft spot for debut books and when I had the chance to read an ARC for Rowan Hills' debut novella, I was excited.. and not disappointed. I was also not prepared for this one. After a painful separation, Sarah is alone in her arctic home when she starts hearing and seeing strange things around her home. Scratches on the roof, doors that won't stay closed and a mysterious presence in her basement are her new companions. Sarah is isolated by more than just her location. As the situation in her home grows more dire, she turns to the men around her, but they in turn doubt and distrust her. In turn, Sarah grows more desperate until she is forced to take matters into her own hands. This novella is tense and gripping. The story builds into a violent climax and an ending I did not predict.

Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor

First, I love the title. It's perfect for a short horror story collection. Isn't that what we read dark stories like this for? That little chill/thrill that opens our eyes up wide in the middle of the night when we hear a noise. It's something that's baffled my mother about my since I was small myself.  Little Paranoias is a mix between longer short stories and flash fiction. The effect is that I was never quite sure how long a story would be or what to expect. There were four stories that I particularly enjoyed: Weary Bones - The collection opens with a tale about a failed attempt to cheat death and gain a second life. More touching than terrifying, "Weary Bones" moved me in ways I did not expect from a horror collection.  Always in my Ear - This story of estranged friends reuniting is also oddly heartwarming (I mean other than all the murder).  Stick Figure Family - A twist on those stick families people put in their car windows that I enjoyed. I never had o

What Did Not Die by Ruth Anna Evans

  Jordan has been working as a reporter for two years, but nothing has prepared her for the story she faces today. While covering a house fire, she sees a vision of a black-eyed girl. Soon she starts seeing the little girl everywhere - and the bodies keep piling up. Soon Jordan realizes that the girl she is seeing has been causing fires all over town, and even more terrifying, she seems to have a special connection to Jordan herself. What Did Not Die is a creepy novella. The little girl is terrifying and gave me shivers in each of her scenes. This story is not a happy ride and not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, I love a dark story with ghost girls and darkness. This story is best read all at once... and with the lights on.    

Monthly Microfiction - Reflections

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate, here is a dark romantic drabble that offers a twist on the Perseus/Medusa myth. Enjoy!   Reflections        Perseus took the gorgon's head to the lake to get a good look at its reflection in the daytime. All he had seen in the darkness of the cave had been a mass of writhing snakes. Perseus held the head out before the water and froze.      He knew that face.     It was his sweet Medusa, his first love from the island of Seriphos. They had shared many kisses by the sea before she disappeared. Perseus had prayed to the gods to help him find her.     He supposed that they had finally answered him.     He dropped to his knees and wept. Originally published in Lost Lore and Legends from Breaking Rules Publishing Europe

Graveyard Smash: Women of Horror Anthology Vol. 2 - Kandisha Press

 Welcome to my first post of Women in Horror Month 2022*   To start us off, I read and enjoyed my first Women of Horror Anthology by Kandisha Press. Each story in this collection falls under the theme of "Graveyard Smash", but still offers plenty of variety. While these are horror tales, none were too gory for me (though some came close) and I honestly enjoyed each story. My favourites: Until There's Nothing Left - J.A.W. McCarthy The collection opens with a heartbreaking tale of a young woman with an unusual power and her efforts to deal with loss and grief. This story brought tears to my eyes, even as it sent chills down my spine.   The Clockmaker - Sonora Taylor Easily my favourite story in the collection. With elements of fairy tales, Taylor weaves a story about a clockmaker who lets his pride get the better of him, with horrific results.   The Chimes ad Midnight - Paula R.C. Readman A creepy little ghost story about murder and betrayal. This story was chilling and a