58 Horror Short Stories, Something to Offend Everyone

Other than the obviously provocative title of 50 Shades of Purple and Other Horror Stories by P. F. McGrail, a reader might expect fifty stories in this short story collection. Nope, there are fifty-eight stories. In a foreword, McGrail tells readers how he did this. It is not like the Muse camped on his doorstep for a few weeks or months.

McGrail notes in the foreword that there are bound to be a few stories that will offend someone. There might be as many as ten that are over the top. I have tried to note them below but, really, would you buy a book with the intention of skipping three or four of the stories because they might offend? I would not skip the stories marked offensive, but I would not read anything more by the author. That situation did not occur with this collection and I will read more by this author.

This is available on Kindle Unlimited. The variety of stories in the collection supports a five-star rating

Snow Jobs

Persistence of Frost: A Study in Magic by Chris Kim is a very short story full of surprises and improbable…

A Ghost of a Chance

The front cover of Ultimate Seven Sisters Collection by M. L. Bullock is minorly deceptive with a front cover announcement that there are “All Six Books Inside.” Some readers might not be happy with the claim that what is inside constitutes “books.” The Amazon site lists this collection as six ghost novels in one, a collection of 607 pages. I usually choose one “long” novel as part of the mix of five or six current reads. Free on Kindle Unlimited, the price is an eyebrow-raising USD 9.99 even though I purchased the collection from Amazon at USD 0.99. There is a possible typo for you.

How Cookies Crumble

Drip Drop Dead by Willow Rose is Book 12 of the Emma Frost books. I like all Willow Rose books, she is one of my “Go To” authors for thrillers. Many of her novels are part of a series and one of my failings is I pick one of her novels not in order. That is OK because I have never found one of her novels not to be a stand-alone novel. Rose presents enough of a back story to not frustrate me but not enough so there is a teaser element and I want to move on to another novel to get a complete character picture. Note that this is Book 12 so there are a lot of backstory teasers and I look forward to reading more in this series.

Gargoyle Shapeshifters

Cracking Grace by Stephen Stromp is a story of three worlds. Audrey and her father, Richard Lansly, appear at the beginning of the story and inhabit the world of the living. Audrey’s father is a sculptor and caretaker at a local cemetery. He is proud and conscientious in his job as a caretaker and proud of his skill as a sculptor. Many of the tombstones are his creations. Richard has even sculpted the statue of Jesus out of a block of marble. Audrey and Richard live in a caretaker’s cottage near the cemetery. The two had always enjoyed walks through the woods and picnics by the nearby river until Audrey’s mom died. Now, whenever Audrey and her father agree to go to the river for a picnic or even just for relaxation, Audrey’s father stops at the cemetery to talk to his wife, Pat and contemplates the meaning of life at the site of his wife’s grave. He never goes further. Audrey misses her mother but also misses the times she had at the river with her father.

Burning Witches

With a provocative cover and an interesting title, Salem Burning by Daniel Sugar presents the continuing story of a witch as she passes through interesting times from the 1500s to the 1700s. From the beginning of the story, the reader assumes this will be a story of witchcraft but only after several pages does the author develop the “witchery.” It develops slowly with the administration of a poison to Kyle while he sleeps. The poison does not kill but seduces Kyle into believing he is in love with the plain-looking Lilly. Sugar entices the reader with the promise of secrets to be soon revealed.

When the Spirit Moves Me

The Remnant by Channing Whitaker is a fifty-four-page short story that costs USD 0.99 on Amazon. I received an author request to read and review the story but due to other promotional blurbs, I had already purchased it. This is Book One in a collection titled Black Band Shorts.

Ryker’s World Sucks

Fangs & Fairy Dust by Joynell Schultz is described by the author as “An Angels of Sojourn Spin-Off Novella.” This was a good chance to explore a writer style in a genre outside my usual preference. Unfortunately, this was a politically correct, social justice, simplistic tale disguised with fairies, vampires, and an omniscient, controlling body dedicated to stamping out evil when it first appeared so that evil could not develop to its full, powerful self. This tale will not motivate me to read more about Angels on sojourns.

Village Families Are Tough

Entwined by Tara A. Devlin will be a hit with fans of fantasy and “other worlds” construction. Not a genre…

Ghostly Friends

Wraith by Angel Lawson is a Young Adult paranormal novel. I was happy to note that it is Book One of a series; I have not had good experiences when I jumped into the middle of a series. The mobi edition has an intriguing cover which immediately catches the eye. The next attractive feature that appears immediately is the author’s writing style. The protagonist, Jane takes the reader into the middle of chapter three before we find out that the main protagonist and narrator is named Jane. Before a reader receives this knowledge, we have already met Evan, a ghost, Conner, a mysterious “bad boy,” Ava, Jane’s best friend, her parents, and several of Jane’s teachers. I am occasionally annoyed when the identity of the main character is not given early. Information is presented in such an interesting way throughout the first three chapters, I didn’t notice the lack of a name for the main character.