I always like story collections. I like that you get many different stories, conclusions and such a multitude of emotional roller coaster rides as you go through each story, as if you are living out the experience yourself.
In this book, a collection of stories sent to me by Blackthorn Book Tours, there are thirteen stories compiled. They range from murder mystery to an almost ghostly type of science fiction horror.
Here is the blurb:
“The moon has always been with us -- tempting us, enticing us, and enthralling us through the ages. Here you'll find thirteen stories involving this heavenly body -- sometimes tragic, magical, and other times mysterious, or horrific, but always, memorable.
Contributors include both veteran and first-time authors alike, and hail from around the world, including the United States, India, United Kingdom, and Greece. The collection was compiled and edited by Laura Seeber.”
I rated this collection the way I have rated others, by taking the average of the ratings of ALL stories put together. So, I score each story individually and then take the average of those ratings to get the final full book rating. I find this to be the fairest way to judge a book like this.
Now, I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone so, no spoilers here. I will say that while I liked this book, it should be noted that some patience will be required for this reading material. I don’t say that because the stories are boring. No. I say that because there isn’t forefront action on the first page of every story. While some of the stories do start right off with the horror roller coaster ride, not all of them do. Some tales read more like novellas rather than an actual short story.
One thing about this collection that surprised me was that several stories had somewhat vague or cliffhanger type endings. What makes this such an advantage is that the reader gets to create any ending they want for themselves. Some endings were surprisingly not what I had expected. And some of the stories and endings don’t follow the typical rules of horror.
All in all, I thought this was a well-rounded collection. No collection will ever please every person with every story. But this anthology was a nice, even mix of everything. For me personally, my two favorite stories were The First Victims Club and The Experiment.
Here’s a little information on each author included in this horror collection:
Laura Seeber (“To Make a Violin”)
Laura Seeber actually performed double duty on this anthology, acting both as a contributor and editor (so any typo complaints- send her way!). When she’s not writing horror, mystery, or dark science fiction, she spends her time divided between her young son and husband, her freelance writing business, and Antimony and Elder Lace Press.
Todd Taylor (“The Experiment”)
Todd Taylor teaches high school ELA, Creative Writing, and Theater in an inner-city Memphis-area School. His short story, “The Experiment,” was published by Laura Seeber in the summer of 2019 in an anthology called, Moonlit Dreams / Moonlit Nightmares. He has also written a play for his theater class that is being performed at 3 different high schools, and has 2 completed novels he is looking to publish. When Todd is not writing, he spends his time coaching track and field, playing guitar in a local band, woodworking, performing weddings / funerals, or relaxing with Sudoku.
Shaun Avery (“The First Victims Club”)
Shaun Avery writes fiction in a number of different mediums, normally with a dark or satirical slant, and often both at once. “The First Victims Club” comes from questions raised by watching horror movies. A LOT of horror movies. He also loves comics, and has co-created a self-published one, more details of which can be found here: http://www.comicsy.co.uk/dbroughton/store/products/spectre-show/
Unsurprisingly, this is also a horror.
A.P. Sessler (“The Sound of Stars”)
A resident of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, A.P. frequents an alternate universe not too different from your own, searching for that unique element that twists the everyday commonplace into the weird. When he’s not writing fiction, he composes music, makes art, and spends too much time trying to connect with his inner genius.
His first novel House of the Goat came out in January. It’s an homage to the Satanic Panic genre of the ’70s-’80s. https://www.amazon.com/House-Goat-P-Sessler/dp/1945940735
Lori Tiron-Pandit (“Receiving Room”)
Lori Tiron-Pandit is a writer, editor, and Web communication professional. Her work celebrates women’s lives and work, of both mystical and mundane significance, as well as their ancestral and contemporary imprint on the world. Growing up with the “great” “classics” of literature, all men, only very late did she realize that the male perspective was not all there was, that it was skewed and small, and it ignored women’s views. Her work is rooted in the worlds of women she’s been lucky to cross paths with.
Thomas Vaughn (“A Consultation by Moonlight”)
Thomas Vaughn is an author of literary horror and dark magical realism. He came from the debris field of rural Arkansas where he persists in uncertainty. When he is not writing fiction, he poses as a college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric. For him fiction serves as a tool to mediate the terrible reality that encompasses all humanity. These works represent his clumsy efforts to seek awareness in the face of a stillborn universe. And so, he pulses, waiting for a reply in the void.
Cara Fox (“Anamnesis”)
Cara Fox is an English author trying to write her way out of the dark. She favors steampunk, horror and Gothic romance, but you can find her anywhere that the stories sink their claws into you and the wine flows freely. Her work has been published by Tales To Terrify, Empyreome, Broadswords & Blasters and Horror Addicts, amongst others, and she is working on her debut novel, The Strange Case of Doctor Magorian.
Parineeta Singh (“A Visitation”)
Parineeta Singh currently lives in Delhi, India, and has earned a Ph. D in Creative Writing from the University of Surrey, as well as a Master’s Degree in the same field from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her work has appeared in many international magazines and anthologies, and we’re thrilled to have her talent showcased here as well.
Dawn J. Stevens (“When the Moon is Full”)
Dawn Juniper Stevens is the fiction pen name for Kara Kelso. She has been writing short stories and poetry for nearly 30 years, with the past 20 years spent writing an assortment of business, hobby, and nonfiction articles for a variety of businesses, websites, and projects. There aren’t too many types of writing she hasn’t dabbled in at least once, but fiction remains her favorite. “Kira’s Tale: Descend into Darkness” was released in 2013 and is currently available on Amazon.
In her spare time, she enjoys mostly non-fiction books for their source of education and learning from another’s beautiful experience, as well as spending time with family and children. She also enjoys sustainable gardening, music with soul, real life magic, and simply being surrounded by nature. She lives in the Midwest.
For news and updates, find Dawn J. Stevens on both Facebook and Twitter.
Jesse Moak (“One Stormy Night”)
Jesse Moak is a lifetime writer and dreamer who has been perfecting his craft and pursuing the dream of becoming a professional writer for some time. When he isn’t actively searching for an agent or writing other stories, he spends his time exploring his other passion of retro gaming at his blog retrorevelations.blogspot.com
Jamie Ryder (“Eleventh Hour”)
Jamie Ryder is a short story writer and pop culture content creator from Manchester, England. His short stories and poetry have been published by Hyperion and Theia, Colp, EastLit Magazine, AEL Press and more. You can find his other work on The Comic Vault, Yamato Magazine and The Rum Ration.
Sarah Walker (“Phosphene”)
Sarah Walker is an author and mixed media artist who currently lives in Lebanon Oregon. When she isn’t busy writing, she spends her time creating art that explores the boundaries of reality.
Dimitris Psomadellis (“The Magic Circle”)
Dimitris is a life-long writer that has been perfecting his craft in Mytiline, Greece for a number of years. “The Magic Circle” is his first published story with a professional publisher, and we have no doubt it will be the first of many.
Check out other reviews on this tour.
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