I know it can be intimidating to buy books by authors you haven't read before, even if I do sing their praises. That's why today I've got something for review that you can get for free. That's right, F-R-E-E. You can download E-Macabre, along with some other free pdf files, at SpecFicWorld.com. One thing I love about electronic works is that I can put them on my Palm Treo and read on the go without having to carry a book.
E-Macabre brings us eight short stories within fifty-two pages. There is a little something for everybody here and it makes for a great introduction to some authors you may not have heard of before. At least two of which you will see again here later on. Because these are short stories I don't want to give away too much in the reviews. I am only providing a synopsis of each story. Each story is well written and provides quality entertainment.
You might want to read this on Valentine's Day as some of the stories show how quickly love can lead to horror.
Mortichinery by Michael A. Arnzen: What price would you pay to preserve the remains of one you love? A widower wishes to preserve the final moments of time he spent with his wife and a mortician presents him with that opportunity. Michael does a great job of giving you the setting, characters and action right away. No wasted text in this story.
The Foundling by Angeline Hawkes-Craig: A cold night, a kind heart, a cross bound infant. Angeline does a great job in describing the era and setting of the story. At what point is evil born? This story examines that question and provides a couple more questions for the reader to explore. I feel there is a back story to this one waiting to be written.
Sunrise Revival by James S. Dorr: A preacher, a farmer and the casting out of demons. My parents took me to a revival once as a child and it scared the hell out of me. After reading this story I think that may have been what my parents had in mind. I think there is a story following the action of this one waiting to be written. I really liked the fact that the story kick started my imagination at the end.
The Sweetness of Your Heart by Ann K. Schwader: Which is more horrific, what one does in life or what happens to one in death? Reading this story made me think of works by Poe and Stoker. Ann's style of writing in this story matches the time frame the story takes place in. It's almost poetic. Love is in the air.
The Kinds of Things You Talk About In Arkansas Truck Stops by David Acord: Just the twist that fans of Quantum Leap have been waiting for. A life renewed or a chance to fix another life? Although painful it does seem like a promising proposition, as long as you don't mind blood in your eggs.
Residual Fumes by Margaret L. Carter: Horror of the supernatural. There are a couple of lessons in this story. 1 - Don't leave the car running in the garage. 2 - Beware of revenge from beyond the grave. What scares me most about this story wasn't the supernatural element but the fact that I read about situations like this in the news on a regular basis. Reality meets fiction in a horrifying way. What price must be paid for love?
Lost Souls by Kat Yares: This is the second widower story in the collection. Remember the irritable old man that lived down the street? He was always alone and just creepy. Ever wonder what made him that way? To learn the answer might cost you your life. Nothing leads to horror faster than love.
Sharks in a Sea of Red by Jason Brannon: The final story of the collection and another story that shows how quickly love can lead to horror. A broken heart, a sharp knife and a thirst for revenge. What more can you ask for? Well, there is the undead.
A special thank you to Jason Brannon for allowing me to quote the following from "Sharks in a Sea of Red":
Burton shivered at the thought of what was going to happen to him. He had watched those wildlife documentaries too and remembered the way the sharks thrashed and flailed in the water at the first signs of blood. He wasn't sure how accurate a description it was for the undead, but just the idea of it made him wish for a quick death.
"Can't we talk this over?" he asked, screaming as Tanya shook her head 'no' and cut him once on each cheek with the tip of the knife....
Be sure to try and escape the cage by playing the online game The Cage: The Game at Jason's website. It's a very interesting promotional tool for his new novel The Cage.