Going back through my bookshelf to the “Rock and Shock 2015” section comes the anthology I thought would fit quite well with Valentine’s Day coming up. Because the relationships in this book are as messed up as they are touching.
So, wether you need a reminder to hug a loved one, or an outlet for your romantic frustration, I think this book will fit right in.
Here’s this week’s book review:
Secret Things – 12 Tales to Terrify
Written by Stacey Longo
Genre: Anthology, Psychological Horror, Zombies
2 Sentence Synopsis:
A collection of short horror stories that explores the horrifying depths of human depravity.
A new collection of unapologetic chillers from Hiram Award-winning author Stacey Longo.
Francine Campbell looks like a sweet little old lady, but looks can be deceiving.
Victor and Holly Shaw seem to have the perfect marriage . . . until one of them starts considering murder.
Denny Fitzsimmons thinks he’s doing the right thing by saving a life. He couldn’t be more wrong.
This collection of wickedly entertaining stories will compel you to lock the doors, keep the lights on, and ponder what it might be like to embrace the darker side of human nature.
Everybody has secrets. Sometimes they can kill you. [amazon.com]
This anthology runs the gambit for emotion. Suspense, disgust, sorrow, and humor all mingle together into one fascinating collection.
As a reader I tend to be drawn to horror books that live in the realm of the occult and supernatural. Black magic, monsters, and ghosts are all the normal fair for me.
This book had none of that, and I completely loved it.
The strongest stories in this collection focus on the horror hiding in our everyday lives and in the hearts and minds of the people around us. Which is far scarier to me than a monster in the attic any night, because you have no way of knowing the evil is there, until it’s too late.
Not all of this book’s horror lives in the minds of humans, there are some well-placed zombies as well. The zombie tales read more on the fun/humorous side of chilling though 😉
Stand out Stories
There are two stories in particular that stood out to me in this book, Good Night, Francine and Trapped.
Good Night, Francine
This story follows the dramatic evening of a little old woman. Through her meandering thoughts we discover that she’s not anywhere close to “sweet” or “kind” but is actually a horrible human being.
The road this story took really surprised me, and I was amazing that by the end I felt both disgust and pity for Francine.
This is the story that you should buy the entire book just to read.
An older couple gets snowed in during a big Nor’easter and the journey they take will keep you guessing, break your heart, and leave you wanting to hug your loved ones.
The Tales Behind the Stories
Another thing I love about this collection is that you get to see some of Stacey’s writing process.
The section Interlude: The Tale that Failed cracked me up!
It was like being in my own head when I fight with a story. More proof that my process isn’t failing, exactly, just painfully growing the same way it does for writers everywhere.
There’s also a section at the end where Stacey goes through each story and shares a little bit about where each one came from. Some of her inspirations were really funny.
5 out of 5 blood spattered stars – For lovers of the messed up maze that is the human mind, writers, and zombie fans, this is a book worth reading.
This book is best read one story at a time by the light of a flashlight under your covers at night. Read one tale and give it the time to sit and percolate through your mind before moving to the next one.
Where to Find a Copy:
About the Author:
As I was researching about Stacey I found her bio section on her website and I thought, rather than boil it down to generic-sounding bullet points, I’d share her story in her own words. (Since there’s no way I could express the amount of sass that comes through when you read her words).
Born in Connecticut in the 70s, I grew up with two parents that had the audacity to be loving and supportive role models (don’t worry, I was able to successfully create my own angst despite their best efforts). My sister and I found ourselves growing up among the fluorescent nightmare that was the 80s, awash in legwarmers and off-the-shoulder “Flashdance” tees. It was our love for Duran Duran that got us through these tumultuous fashion times.
After college (WE ARE—PENN STATE!) I moved to Block Island, RI, where I eventually began my writing career as a weekly humor columnist for the Block Island Times. For six years, I waxed poetic on such topics as how to disguise dust bunnies as wall-to-wall carpeting and how difficult it is to tell the difference between wild grass and corn when weeding the garden. During this time, I also published articles in the Island Crier and The Works Magazine.
In 2005, I returned to my home state of Connecticut amid little fanfare, something I haven’t quite gotten over (where’s my ticker-tape parade, people?). I work as a copy editor to support my writing habit, and live an anxiety-ridden, caffeine-injected life with my husband Jason and two cats, Wednesday and Pugsley. [staceylongo.com]