Timberwolf A spooky Story by Carol Hanrahan

6491148Timberwolf – A Spooly Short Story

by Carol Hanrahan


Book Summary:

It’s the full moon, and our werewolf has been invited to dinner with the local vicar by his widowed neighbor. A home-cooked meal for this bachelor sounds pretty good. He’s starting to get very hungry….

My Review: 

An excellent short story to start our Monsters Month. Alan McKay was a werewolf and he had know it for the last 20 years.  With the full moon pending he gets invited to dinner at the widow Hanson’s house along with the Vicar.  Seeing no harm in going to dinner before the full moon rises Alan attends.  The twists and turns that take place from here on out are more then worth the read.

This was only 15 pages on my kindle so it’s a very quick read.  The author does an excellent job of weaving her tale.  The foreshadowing is excellent and the prize is at the end.  The story leaves you wanting more and as anyone knows that is the mark of a good story.

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background image – Full Moon by LoggaWiggler from pixabay.com


Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk


Short Fiction Thursday:

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk


Book Description:  Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”


My Review:  If you already think that carnivals are creepy then this story will seal the deal.  I personally have very fond memories of carnivals as a child. However, I never remember seeing an assassin there. They may have been even more fun if I had.

I really liked this story. It was a great mix of fun and danger. I should say that I have never read any of The Elemental Assassin series so I didn’t know any of the characters before hand. I’m sure that the story is even better when you know the characters involved but this story was great on its own. I didn’t have any problems following along. It’s my understanding that there are twelve books in this series and like any long running series the author knows the main character so well that she feeds us information smoothly and it didn’t interrupt the story. That was really important to me.

This was the first thing I have ever read anything by Jennifer Estep and I really think I’m going to give her Elemental Assassin series a try. Yes, even though it’s twelve books in. Actually at the moment it’s only eleven books in, Black Widow comes out November 25th according to her website.

This is a great story to get you in the mood for Halloween. Bring on the carnivals!

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QC-13_roundA tiny bit of violence there are knives involved. All kinds of throwing knives.





Background image: Carnival by Lilykreit from freeimages.com


































The Way Life Was Forever by Carey Corp



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The Way Life Was Forever

by Carey Corp

Book Summary:

Sun-dwellers are foul monsters that eat a human’s flesh from their bones…or so sixteen-year-old Lyra has always been taught. To keep their citizens safe, her colony seals itself into the vaults by day.

Moonwalkers are horrible beasts that feed on the blood of men…at least, that is what Perseus was told. The only sure survival for his people is to lock themselves into their repositories each night.

Both labeled as undesirable by their respective kinds, a fated meeting in the forbidden forest offers Lyra and Perseus an unexpected chance at happiness. If they can overcome their own prejudices and discover the truth about one another before time runs out.

Can the sun-dweller and the moonwalker learn that when reality is distorted by hate and terror sometimes the only thing to truly fear is fear itself?

My Review: 

I will admit it was the cover of this book that first caught my eye.  When I read the summary I thought, well that could be interesting.  I was not disappointed.  This is a very short story and I felt like I had just started it when all of a sudden it was over, but don’t let that fool you.  It is very descriptive and you learn a lot about our main characters in a short span of time.

Essentially there are two groups of people, the Sun-Dwellers and the MoonWalkers and each believe the other will kill them.  When it is time for one faction to come out the other one seals themselves up in there vault like homes.  If you are not back when it is time to seal the vaults you are left outside.  Lyra gets left outside when the day comes and that is when she meets Perseus.

I don’t want to say much more or I will give the whole story away, but this is a free short story on Amazon and I enjoyed it.  It was well worth the little time it took to read it.


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PicsArt_1375992687897GA_roundThere is nothing inappropriate out this book.





Turned at Dark by C.C. Hunter

tnTurnedAtDarkTurned at Dark

by C.C. Hunter

Book Blub:

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang hadn’t believed in ghosts until she saw her dead cousin darting into the shadows of an alley. She hadn’t believed in vampires until in the dark of that same night she is turned into one. Introduced to a strange world of supernaturals, she struggles to accept this new reality. Unfortunately, the boy she loves senses something different about her and can’t accept her. Should she follow her vampire cousin’s lead-walk away from everything she’s knows and loves-and fake her own death? Or should she set her pride aside and ask for help from the camp leader of Shadow Falls-a camp where supernaturals go to learn how to cope with their powers. Either way, her life as she knows it, will never be the same.

My Review:

This is a quick read (about an hour) but it is well written and gives us a wonderful glimpse at Della’s previous life. It is a prequel novella to Born at Midnight.  It was sad, a little funny and a perfect start to this series.  It’s always nice to see how someone became what you know them as.  Della is a strong female character that knows what she wants and as it turns out isn’t afraid to go after it. She doesn’t go the comfortable route and takes the one she believes is right.  I recommend this quick read.Jessica





About the Author: 

cchunter_hatC.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she’s still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com

Greywalker by Rayne Hall

Greywalker by Rayne Hall

From: Undead Ten Tales of Zombies Edited by Rayne Hall

ebook_cover___undead__ten_tales_of_zombies_by_raynehall-d5revv0Book Description:

Welcome to the world of the not-quite-living.

While zombies still have physical bodies, their minds are irrevocably changed. No longer governed by a conscience, incapable of reason, unrestrained by values of right and wrong, they often follow primitive instincts. If their new focus is overwhelming hunger, they let nothing get in the way of their urge to feed.
Confronted by a zombie, how would you defend yourself and those you love? What if it was your friend, relative or spouse, with remnants of their old personality – would you protect them or kill them? Is a zombie an individual with human feelings and rights, or is it a menace to be destroyed?

In this story collection, ten authors share their visions of the undead, each with their own style of storytelling and their own imagination of how ghouls may impact our lives.

Some of these zombies have been infected by virus-spreading bites, some were raised from their graves, and some have chosen the undead state for reasons of their own. Most have their wits about them, but their priorities have changed. They are single-minded in pursuit of what they need… which may or may not be living human flesh.

The authors come from around the globe. They write variously in British or American English, with different word choices, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Their tales range from short flashes to long yarns, from fantasy to science fiction, from funny to macabre and from thought-provoking to scary.

See which story of these ten appeals most to your taste. But beware: Some of these ghouls are deceptive, and by the time you realise the danger, it may be too late.

Story List:

1. IMMUNITY by Jeff Strand
What if the body’s immune system can shake off the infection?

2. GREYWALKER by Rayne Hall
A dying man will pay any price to gain time.

3. LAST CHANCE TO SEE by Tracie McBride
You have twenty-four hours before death becomes permanent.

4. FURZBY HOLT by Jonathan Broughton
Collecting census information in this English village should be an easy job.

Retirement home resident Margaret is hearing music that no one else can hear.

Mama lives in the basement.

7. I’LL LOVE YA, FOREVER, BUT… by April Grey
Faithful to a fault, that’s my Fred.

The year is 2225. Is it safe to reanimate a person from the barbarous past?

9. THE REASON FOR ZOMBIES by Douglas Kolacki
My limbs are not as cooperative as they used to be.

10. FEEDING FRENZY by Matt Hults
These zombies are hungry.


My Review:

I love the anthologies that Rayne Hall puts together.  They are always unique and her contribution to this anthology is even more so.  This was a fun story with a bit of a twist at the end.  I knew that the witch had her own reasons for helping Turgan but I didn’t know where his journey would lead him.  That was the fun of this story.  You know that the full out zombie part is coming, you just don’t see it or expect it when it does.  I liked that she gave me a false sense of security.  I honestly thought everything was going to be alright for Turgan and Laina.  I should have known better.

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Try these reviews:



From the Indie Side

FROM_THE_INDIE_SIDE_EbookEditionFrom the Indie Side – An anthology

Book Summary:

A man who remembers the future and a veteran haunted by his past. A witch ignorant of her powers and a vampire achingly aware of his emptiness. An unmaimed man, a cursed queen, a troubled marriage, a family just trying to survive.

From an abandoned convent to a Martian classroom, an open-mic reading to a New Mexico mountaintop, these fantastical and imaginative tales will take you on a journey through impossible worlds, all-too-possible futures, and disquieting glimpses into the other side of reality.

Packed with original short stories ranging from sci-fi to thriller to the supernatural, “From the Indie Side” brings together some of the biggest authors in independent publishing today. Be prepared for a great ride–and don’t be surprised if you discover your new favorite author in these pages.

Featuring Michael Bunker, Peter Cawdron, Kate Danley, Anne Frasier, Sara Foster, Jason Gurley, Mel Hearse, Kev Heritage, Hugh Howey, Ernie Lindsey, Susan May, and Brian Spangler; and edited by David Gatewood. Includes a foreword by Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of WOOL.

My Review:

This is an excellent collection of short stories by a truely amazing collection of authors.  I had bought this book because of Kate Danley.  She’s one of my favorite authors so I read Queen Joanna first.  It was great.  In all of her work Kate Danley creates atmosphere that you can practically touch.  I love that about her work.  As a side note the menu in the digital book works well.  You can read the summary of the story and then go right to it.

After I read Queen Joanna I went back and started from the beginning.  I dare you not to be moved by The Winter Lands by Jason Gurley.  It’s one of those stories that stays with you long after you read it.  I really enjoyed it.

This book would be great to read on a short trip or on a rainy afternoon.  All of the stories were interesting and caused me to take a look at the authors more closely.  Some of them I had never heard of before.  I can’t wait to read more by them.

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PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13 The stories are complex.







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Check out our review of The Woodcutter:


The Devil Eats Here

The Devil Eats Here (Multi-Author Short Story Collection)

2940148532583_p0_v1_s260x420Barnes and Noble




This collection of short stories reads just as advertised.  Here is the book description:

“Each of the nine authors in this book presents a different approach to storytelling, a different writing style, and a different interpretation of the theme. Some of the stories are very short, others are long. In some tales, the devil is a literal figure, in others a metaphorical one, and in several he is something else altogether.

1. The Sacrifice by April Grey
Be careful what you pray for.

2. The Angel and the Jungle God by Siewleng Torossian
Ali’s special day has arrived.

3. The Best of all Possible Worlds by Tara Maya
Personal Paradise Inc. caters for a special clientele.

4. Round and Round the Garden by Jonathan Broughton
Children will listen.

5. Mean Dick Skyler by John Blackport
Is this deal as sweet as it first appears?

6. The Devil, You Say by Alice Gaines
Was he the devil, or an angel in disguise?

7. Devil Take It by Douglas Kolacki
Being blind and getting jerked around by the bus lines was bad enough. But now…

8. Rejection Letter by John Hoddy
An editor gets some of his own.

9. The Devil Eats Here by Rayne Hall
Join the prince of hell for lunch at your local diner. ”

These stories are really short.  Alright some of them are really short.  Some of them are a little longer.  You could read a couple of them at lunch.  They are complex stories that are completely disturbing.  I mean that in a good way.  They were unexpected.  I have to say that the first one stayed with me.  It was crazy and the end defies description.

My favorite though was The Best Of All Possible Worlds by Tara Maya.  It was like it was written especially for me.  It was science fiction and alternate history all rolled up into a great big ball of awesome.  There was a twist in the ending (by now everyone knows I like to be surprised by an ending) and the main character got exactly what was coming to him.  It was great.

They were all interesting and I enjoyed them.  I had originally decided to ration this collection but I changed my mind.  Once you start reading you’ll keep reading.  You won’t need me to tell you about them.

These are so short that I can’t talk about them individually without spoiling the endings.  I promise you they are worth the time spent on them.  The payoff at the end of each one is worth it.


R  These are mature themes that an adult should consider before giving to anyone under sixteen.

If you want something that I would rate PG-13 try one of my favorite anthologies; Sympathy for the Devil edited by Tim Pratt.  It has a lot of famous authors in it including Holly Black (one of my personal favorites) who contributed “Reversal of Fortune”.  The story is fun and the main character is a very smart girl who outwits the Devil.  Sympathy for the Devil is worth the heavy e-book price tag but you should just buy the book for your library.  You’ll want it for your shelf.


Some Of The Best Short Fiction

     So Jessica’s on vacation until the new year.  That means that I have been left to mind the blog all by my lonesome.  Since I’ve been left to my own devices for the rest of the year I’ve decided to make the last Novella Thursday post of year count.  I want to look back over Novella Thursday and give it its due.  Novella Thursday has come to encompass all manner of short fiction.  We had no idea when we started Novella Thursday that there was a major shortage of novella’s in the world.  We take suggestions by the way so if you have any send us an email by clicking on the contact us tab at the top of the page.
     I’ve read some great short fiction this year.  I’ve had the pleasure of discovering authors that I would most likely never have stumbled upon (Terry W. Ervin II who is on my list to read next year) . I think one of the joys in life is to read a short story and then discover that author has written novels.  I experienced that most recently with Short Fuses by Stephen Leather.  After story number two in the collection he wrote that he always considered the unnamed character to be Spider Shepherd.  I went right to Amazon and downloaded Hard Landing.  If for some reason you haven’t read the stories in Short Fuses yet you’re missing out and shame on you.
     I guess that I fall into the group of people that feel like short fiction doesn’t get the respect that it deserves.  People tend to disregard short fiction and act as if the author put less effort into it.  Short fiction is an art.  When short fiction is done properly it’s beautiful.  I feel the same way about poetry but that’s a post for another time.  For now, enjoy our list of some of the short fiction that we were really excited about this year.
This list isn’t in any order.  We would never rank stories.
  1. The Flash Gold Chronicles by Lindsay Buroker
  2. Short Fuses by Stephen Leather
  3. Shadow Lantern by Gareth Lewis
  4. Haunted Love by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  5. Dark Places (A Gryphonwood Anthology)
  6. Cinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell
  7. Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall
  8. The Loneliness of Jacob Rozinski by Julian Lorr
  9. Bah Humbug by Heather Horrocks
  10. Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Short Fuses by Stephen Leather

Short Fuses by Stephen Leather

15770355Book Description: Four free short stories from bestselling author Stephen Leather, plus opening chapters of six of his bestselling thrillers.

The short stories are: Breaking In (where a burglar gets more than he bargained for when he breaks into a London house), Strangers On A Train (where a mugging on a train doesn’t go to plan), Inspector Zhang and the Hotel Guest (where the Singaporean detective solves a mystery) and Cat’s Eyes (the backstory of a Bangkok go-go dancer).

There are also tasters of six of his bestselling novels, including The Chinaman, The Vets and The Birthday Girl.

Stephen Leather is one of the UK’s most successful thriller writers. He was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Before that, he was employed as a biochemist for ICI, shovelled limestone in a quarry, worked as a baker, a petrol pump attendant, a barman, and worked for the Inland Revenue. He began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series. Two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were made into movies.

My Review:

Reading these short stories was like eating potato chips.  I would say just one more and after that one I would say just one more.  Then I was done.   There are only four.

These are really short stories.  I don’t want to say to much about the stories in this book and ruin them.  They are so short that you could read one on your lunch break or waiting to pick someone up or even while you’re waiting for your stop on the bus.  Maybe mass transit isn’t the place to read story number two.  Then again maybe it is.

This book isn’t sweet, warm and fuzzy.  These stories are violent and people die.  They are also mesmerizing.  One moment it has you worried for a cat burglar that broke into someones house and the next it has you terrified by gang members.  That’s how all of the stories are.  They had unexpected plot twists.   I loved it.  It’s free.  Check it out.  I bet you go right back to Amazon or B&N and buy one of his novels.

Don’t miss More Short Fuses by Stephen Leather

PicsArt_1375992687897R- Violence







Original background: Silver Black Background 2 by Maliz Ong from PublicDomainPictures.net

Soul Windows by Jaleta Clegg

Soul Windows by Jaleta Clegg


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What I love most about short stories is that they are usually so short that I get to fill in some of the information myself.  I feel like I’m contributing.  I like that feeling.

This story hints that it takes place in Victorian era India.  Of course it could just as easily take place in Victorian era Africa or the middle east.  Anywhere there were British citizens , a bazaar, Turkish coffee and no alcohol.  As I understand it, Turkish coffee is found in several parts of the world so that clue didn’t help.  The story starts out with a few men sitting around a table having a conversation about eyes being the windows to the soul.  When Blake and Jim are left alone at the table Blake tells Jim he bought a charm from a wizard at the bazaar.  The story is about what Jim finds when he goes looking into a soul.

This story discussed some interesting questions.  What do people carry around with them that no one knows about?  How dark are peoples souls?  Do we ever know people?  What would we find if we could see into each others souls?

I’m happy that I can’t see into someones soul.  Thinking of these hypothetical questions makes me realize that people are puzzles and the world is complex.  It would be terribly sad if we knew everything about everyone even if it would make things safer.

This story is a sad one but something to ponder.


PG-13  Jim looks into another’s soul.