Voices of the Soul (Soul Seers One) by Rene Folsom
Orella (Ella) heard voices in her head, actually the thoughts of others, as long as she could remember. She and her mother were in a terrible car accident shortly before her 14th birthday. After Ella awoke in the hospital following the accident, she was brought to see her mother who was being kept alive on life support. Her mother talked to her in her head, explaining the gift that she had and that she was a soul seer. Her mother had this gift too. She passed away shortly after telling Ella this. Six years later, Ella was in college and a new student entered her class. She and Jonah had an instant connection, and she learned that he was also a soul seer. He helped her to understand her gift a bit more, and they explored the boundaries of what their gift could do.
The twist at the end of this story left me absolutely stunned and desperate to find out what happened next! This story was gut-wrenching and sweet, exciting and really left an impact on me. I can't wait for the next one!
Number 18 by Michael Loring
Robert was a predator, carefully watching his chosen victim waiting for the perfect time to attack. He was exact and precise as he stalked victim number 18, a petite brunette named Alexa, who was at a carnival with her boyfriend, Daniel. He watched them as they argued about what stuffed animal to pick, and then knew he had his opportunity when Daniel headed back to the campsite, Alexa planning to meet up with him after using the ladies room. The incredible detail mapped Robert's sick mind and I felt like I was right there with them in the woods as he stalked her. I literally held my breath, waiting for him to finish his horrific task.
The twist in this story was excellently written and detailed. It was brutal, fierce, and perfectly ironic! I couldn't help but smile a little bit at the end of this one... sometimes you get what you deserve! LOVED it!
Sweet Lenora, by Bart Hopkins
This story was set in the 1930's about a girl, Lenora, who came from old money. Always the dutiful daughter, she always listened to her ill bedridden mother. It seemed a lonely existence for Lenora. The only people in her life were her mother who needed a lot of rest, and the servants who saw to her needs, but kept an emotional distance. I was truly happy for Lenora when she met a boy named Charlie at school. They wanted to spend more time together, but Lenora's mother was not pleased with this new acquaintance, because he came from new money and wasn't of the same social standing as her family. Her mother arranged for Lenora to be escorted to the fair by Jakob Schmidt, a young man her mother deemed more acceptable, as he was from old money. Lenora was miserable at the fair, and Charlie was pleased to see this as he hid in the shadows and watched. At the end of the evening, Jakob became violent with Lenora and Charlie stepped in, striking Jakob with a rock and seeing Lenora safely home.
The twist in this particular story made her bizarre home life make absolute sense to me. It was horrifying and awesome!
Truth or Dare, by Jon Messenger
This is a tale of four college kids having a few drinks and playing a game of truth or dare. The loser would have to write the philosophy final for the winner. Brent, Whitney, and Jake all took their turns; the final truth or dare came to Jill, Jake's girlfriend. She chose dare, and the dare was to spend the night in Creepy Cemetery; a long-neglected cemetery near their campus. Once at the cemetery, Jill heard whispers and saw ghostly apparitions but the real shock happens when...
The twist. Not revealing it, though it surprised me and reminded me of a very important lesson at the same time. A truly excellent story that really made me think!
Suburban Zombie, by Anthony Lance
Neighbors Ted, Dave and their respective families are zombies. They live in a picture-perfect neighborhood in zombie suburbia. As the mothers in the neighborhood drop their children off at school and discuss crumbed brains among themselves, they don't realize they are being followed. The neighborhood is being invaded by...
The twist in this story is very ironic and hilarious. I loved the banter between the characters, and laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it. I will never think of zombies the same way after reading this!
All I Want for Christmas, by Jason Brant
This is the story from a girl's point of view, done exclusively in diary entries. Thinking back to myself at thirteen, these entries are pretty accurate for a girl of that age. She has a serious crush on Stevie and her parents won't let her date yet. Each entry is early-teen angst toward her parents and classmates at its finest! Christmas was something she certainly wasn't looking forward to, since Stevie was all she wanted...until she opened her gift.
The twist in this story came out of nowhere and I truly never saw it coming. It was delicious!!!
In the Eyes of the Beholder, by Penelope Bartotto
In this short story, Dominic was a truck driver who had to spend weeks at a time away from the girl he loved, Rose. He missed her terribly and planned on asking her to marry him when he got back home. Rose, however, didn't feel the same about Dominic. She felt that men had only one purpose in the universe- to provide women with what they need, want, and desire. Rose was not who Dominic thought she was. She was planning to get ahead, using a rich man that she was seeing, Kevin, to her advantage. Dominic was getting in the way of her plans, so she had to do something. Luckily for Rose, she had everything she needed at her disposal. She feigned an attack and had Dominic rush home to her, not even stopping to make his delivery first. She drugged him and took him to a warehouse, where she planned to drain him of his life so she could be free to take advantage of Kevin.
The twist was eerie! I loved this story, it played like a horror movie in my head. I'm sure the secondary characters at the diner knew more than they let on, but that just added to the creepy factor to this story... well done!
Little Tchotchkes, by Nicki Scalise
This is the story of a vampire named Marcus who cased goth clubs for his next meal. The girls were always willing to take him home, where he'd seduce them and then make them his meal. He always took a trophy from each victim, keeping it in his apartment. Bored with goth girls, an opportunity for a challenge presented itself when he paid for coffee for a girl who misplaced her wallet. She showed up at his apartment with a coffee for him later that evening and made herself at home. He befriended this woman, named Jules, for a while waiting for his opportunity to get her to take him home with her. He never fed at home. That chance never happened.
The twist in this one? Wow! Double wow! Depravity is the word of the day with this story! Absolutely brilliant ending!
I am Serna, by Magen McMinimy
I love witch stories, and this was no exception. A white witch was trying to save her niece, Ariel, from the Serna the Witch Queen. Ariel was already powerful, and the Witch Queen was worried that her powers might soon surpass her own. Ariel's niece hired Damon, a warlock and protector of the magical community to keep Ariel safe. She was hiding in a town named Sebastopol, working in a small biker bar. Damon flashed (teleported) himself to the little town and entered the bar, meeting Ariel. Ariel knew who he was immediately, and accused him of leading Serna to her when hellhounds attacked them in the parking lot. Luckily, Damon killed as many as he could and flashed Ariel to the hotel room he was staying in while in town. After guarding Ariel for a little while, he became attracted to her and wanted to get to know her better. He flashed her to his home and...
This twist caught me by surprise! I loved the ending to this, and actually re-read it to see if I had missed a clue as to what would happen!
Bloodlines, by S.L. Dearing
This story took place in WWII era Germany. A general was searching for two children, Sascha and Eduard Engel. They found their mother, but she had carefully hidden them under the floorboards. They had been forced to witness the interrogation and removal of their mother through the wood slats. All they had left of her was an oval, bronze pendant. A kind neighbor rescued them and sent them off to France to stay with a man named Patrice. Patrice was a wonderful man, and the children were delighted to find out that he was their grandfather and that their mother was his daughter. They shared a special gift, they could hear each other's thoughts. The general soon located the family, and went to the house. This is when the twist happens.
This twist was scary, amazing and finally beautiful! This story left me grinning and happy. It would have made a fine full-length novel, too!
Metronome, by Eaton Thomas Palmer
This short story took place in a psychiatric wing of a maximum security prison. Matthew, a serial killer, is a patient that Dr. Edgar Collins is determined to rehabilitate. His nurse, Erin, isn't quite as optimistic. Matthew saw himself as a spider, preying on the evil and foul people in the world. He made a dagger in the shape of a spider's fang, and dipped the end in poison, so that when he killed his victim, it resembled the demise of a spider's prey. While in therapy, Matthew was confident and smug, in control of himself and quite able to strike fear into the heart of Erin. In his cell, however, he became the prey. The clock just outside his cell tormented him endlessly, telling him to listen to him and not cry out. If he didn't follow the clock's instructions the clock would stop, ending Matthew's life. The doctor was quite irritated by Matthew's belief that the stopping of the clock would cause him to die, so he ordered a guard to cut power to the clock. He told Matthew that he deserved a day out of his cell, and that he could spend it in the lounge. This excited Matthew, and he stepped out into the hallway, instantly noticing that the clock had stopped.
The twist in this story was excellent! The horror inflicted on Matthew may have matched the horror Matthew inflicted upon his victims. This was a beautifully-crafted psychological nightmare!
I also want to point out that Cynthia Shepp has been absolutely amazing, not only in getting established authors to think outside the box and submit a short story, but also to readers who aspire to write. Hers is truly a labor of love, and these anthologies have allowed many readers to live their dream of seeing their work in print. Cynthia, you are awesome!
Paranormal Anthology With A Twist Edited And Compiled By Cynthia Shepp & Rene Folsom
*Voices of the Soul by Rene Folsom*
Ella has a very special gift. Her mother is on her death bed and needs to tell Ella of this special gift before it is too late. Ella has heard voices through out her life, but never really knew what was taking place in her mind.
Six years after her mothers death, Ella sits in her art class distratced.......until he walks in.......Jonah Chantrey that is.
Suddenly Ella's thoughts are running rapid for this sexy hunk. He responds without saying a word aloud.
Can it be that Ella and Jonah have the same gift?
Yes they discover they are both Soul Seers.
They spend the next couple of hours walking, talking and grabbing a bite to eat. Comparing their soul seeing abilities with one another.
An instant connection is formed and Ella and Jonah make fast plans for a date.
Jonah takes Ella to a stable for a beautiful night ride on two gorgeous horses. They end up at a lake with the moons reflection bouncing off of the rippling water.
Here Ella and Jonah experiment with their soul seeing capabilites and this is where it goes beyond what we expect.........I am not a reviewer to whom of which gives the best parts away.
What happens next will leave you in shock and awe of Rene's writing talents.
Rene's imagination takes us on a captivating~mind blowing~soul shattering journey.
The love and elements of surprise will leave you breathless.
*Number 18 by Michael Loring*
Twenty seven year old Robert preyed upon women for his own sexual satisfaction. Seventeen of them so far. His prey tonight would be a woman he sees at a carnival with her boyfriend. He over hears them talking about their camp site in the woods. The woman needs to use the restroom and her boyfriend goes to the camp to wait for her. Robert follows the woman and attacks! Will he be the predator? Or will he become the prey? I thought this story was very intriguing. The twist I knew was there, but had no idea the direction it would go in. I loved it Michael! What a major unexpected thrill!
*Sweet Lenora by Bart Hopkins*
Lenora leads a very protected life. Her mother makes sure of it. Question is....why? In Lenora's eyes her mother is an invalid that needs caring for and never leaves her room. Her mother doesn't allow her to listen to music or much else of anything. She gives Lenora long 30 minute talks of how evil and poisonous the world is. One day Lenora decides she will make some of her own decisions and starts a friendship with Charlie Swain......her mother is not happy and goes to great lengths to have things her way. From here on out Bart's twist gets as good as it gets. Read on book lovers. Bart Hopkins through me for an unexpected loop.
*Truth of Dare by Jon Messenger*
Four friends around, having drinks and playing truth or dare. Could be fun or a recipe for disaster. Jake, Jill, Brent and Whitney play around with their truths and dares. Most of the dares are not followed through. Then Brent boldly dares Jill to spend the night in the local cemetery. She takes the dare. Once there, creepy things start happening. NO! I am not telling you what these things are. Bottom line? I surely didn't see this twist ahead. Pay attention book lovers....I bet you won't either!;)
*Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance*
This is definitely not your every day, typical kind of zombie story. First time ever....but I will not be revealing anything about it. Why you ask? It needs to be read by the reader in order to fully appreciate the humor. Anthony had me laughing out loud and enjoying every word of his imagination. Kudos to you Anthony Lance. What a unique read with some very gory and laughable details.
*All I Want For Christmas by Jason Brant*
In this short story Jason graces us with the presence of a thirteen year old girl who writes in her diary about her trials and tribulations of life in general, her parents not giving in to her wants and the crush she has on a boy named Stevie. It was so brilliantly written that Jason Brant had me believing he actually had been a thirteen year old girl at one time. LOL! Yes, his imagination was that damn good!! He added a definite creepiness to it and humor all at the same time. I will never know how he does it...but he does it well.;)
*In the Eyes of the Beholder by Penelope Bartotto*
Dominic is a truck driver to whom of which has eyes for one woman and one woman only. Her name is Rose. To Dominic, Rose can do no wrong. He knows nothing of Rose's intentions. Unfortunately....Rose has more up her sleeve than what meets the eye. Rose believes that men are to do for women, give them all they want and make them happy. She is purely out for her own selfish needs. You will soon learn her game and she will soon learn that her own game can some times come back to haunt her.
Penelope added a bit of crazy and deeply strange weirdness, leaving us with a mind boggling bewilderment!
*Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise*
Marcus Keary has it all together. He is a vampire and is used to getting his meals off of young gothic girls. One day he meets Jules. They become fast friends after she forgot her wallet and he offers to pay for her coffee. Marcus waits....and waits.... and waits to make his move. Will he get it? Or does Jules know something he doesn't? The twists just get better and better book lovers. Wait until you see what Nicki did with this one! It is true what they say....sometimes things just aren't what they seem.
*I Am Serna by Magen McMinimy
Damon is sent to protect Ariel a white witch. Serna the dark witch knows in a few years Ariel's powers will be a deadly match against Serna. Damon does as told and finds Ariel. He has no idea what he is up against. This story was very short and had a pretty great twist. I surely didn't see it coming.
*Bloodlines by S.L. Dearing*
General Heinrich Muller has one goal in mind. That is to find Sascha and Eduard Engel. After their mama is taken by the Generals soldiers, they are found by the butcher, put on a train and sent to a man they know nothing about. This man is Patrice Ambroise. The children soon learn who he is and gain the knowledge of a gift they both have. Patrice gives them an insight in to their history and wants to protect them at any cost.
S.L. Dearing brings so many surprises to this short twist. She added just the right components of intrigue and beauty. The twist left me wanting more of a full length story. YES! It was that good!
*Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer*
Mathew is a serial killer that has been a put in the wing of a maximum security prison. Mathew at one time would prey upon his victims as if he was a spider. He even made a dagger that resembled a spiders fangs, dipped it in poison and then kill. Mathew however, becomes the prey in his cell. He is tortured in his cell. If he doesn't listen to the clock and do as told he will die. Dr. Edgar Collins is in disbelief over this bogus Mathew is feeding him. They come to the conclusion that they need to remove the clock. What happens next is an insane twist. If you like psychological thrillers, then this is a short read for you.
***In my opinion these are a bunch of very diverse, unique, fun and a little freaky short stories, which I enjoyed, LOL! What Cynthia Shepp brings to these authors is a challenge and a fun one at that. Rene Folsom has the talent of bringing the covers to life. They both amaze me and I am forever a fan of both of these wonderful ladies.***
I've always enjoyed stories with twists and this anthology provided plenty of good ones. Twist has a great variety of stories, from the haunting style of Sweet Lenora to the interesting vampire lore found in Little Tchotchkes and the hilarious teenage angst of All I Want For Christmas. Each story is engaging and entertaining. The anthology covers almost the full gamut of paranormal creatures: mind readers, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, zombies, Mormons (yes, Mormons are paranormal here), witches, haunted trucks, angels and spirit entrapment.
I don't want to say too much about each story for fear of giving things away, so I'll just give some brief impressions of each one.
Voices Of The Soul by Rene Folsom- A unique concept with romance and a bit of spice.
Number 18 by Michael Loring- A serial killer stalks his 18th victim. Creepy and dark.
Sweet Lenora by Bart Hopkins- A young girl gets advice from her bed-ridden mother. I loved the writing style of this one.
Truth Or Dare by Jon Messenger- College drinking game gone bad. Touching and sad.
Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance- A new twist on zombie lore with some very unique villains.
All I Want For Christmas by Jason Brant- It's almost scary how well Jason did the voice of a 13-year-old girl.
In The Eyes Of The Beholder by Penelope Bartotto- Interesting combination of paranormal concepts. Compelling and different.
Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise- Very unexpected but well done twist on vampire lore. I Am Serna by Magen Mcminimy- Great urban fantasy style.
Bloodlines by S. L. Dearing- A chilling villain hunts down two extraordinary children.
Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer- A good psychological mystery. Is he crazy or isn't he?
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This collection of short stories has something for all paranormal fans! The twists are very well done and most take you totally by surprise. It's hard to review an anthology of short stories without telling each of the stories, but they're all very well written and different from each other. If you need quick but satisfying reads, this book is well worth it!
A brilliant anthology separated into 11 short stories. I don't want to ruin the surprise of any of the stories so has instead written by opinions of them all individually not giving the stories away.
Voice of the Soul - Rene Folsom I absolutely loved this story! Very well written and I found myself drawn into the story. Will definitely be looking into reading the other novellas which continue this story.
Number 18 - Michael Loring Short but sweet, this had my mind wondering from the beginning what would happen. I immediately thought the predator wasn't what he was portrayed to be so this had a great twist to the ending.
Sweet Lenora - Bart Hopkins I personally didn't enjoy this story as much as the previous 2, for a short story it seemed to take longer to get to any real content and i found it hard to connect to the main character.
Truth or Dare - Jon Messenger A well written short story, but I found it very predictable as the the outcome. I would have liked to have seen an extra chapter maybe to see the main characters reaction to the outcome.
Suburban Zombie - Anthony Lance This really made me giggle! A very well written, alternative view on zombie life! A very interesting short read.
All I want for Christmas - Jason Brant Amazingly written and the twist at the end was brilliant. I would have never guessed that outcome! Amazed at how well Jason wrote from the view of a 13 year old girl!
In the eyes of the beholder - Penelope Barlotto An interesting piece with an interesting twist, well written and to me came across as a TV/movie concept.
Little Tchotchkes - Nicki Scalise Wow the twist on this was amazing! So well written and i would love to see this story expanded to its potential to see all the prior events leading up to this point and to see the outcome for the little plant!
I am Serna - Magan McMinimy Short and well written with an interesting twist at the end which was unpredictable and unexpected.
Bloodlines - SL Dearing This Story didn't appeal to me as much as the others, it was well written but the story just didn't draw me in as much of the others. I think I felt the ending was rushed and would have liked to see a bit more expand it.
Metronome - Eaton Thomas Palmer This was a very intriguing story, I would love for this to be expanded into a longer story to see some background into the clock and to see what the future held.
Overall I really enjoyed this anthology and it has totally left me wanting more! I was very impressed with a lot of the authors and will definitely be looking into more of there work, I am especially looking forward into reading more of the soul seers series by Rene Folsom and will be adding them to me 'to read' list for the near future.
Cynthia Has done as amazing job putting together this anthology and it will definitively be one that I recommend to others.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This Anthology is a great compilation of authors, most of whom I have not heard of before now. I enjoyed all the stories in here, and they kept me guessing throughout each one. There were a few stories I thought I had figured out half way through, just to be proven wrong. I wrote down the names of a few authors that I plan on looking up to see what else they have available to read, because I love their writing style.
I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for something spooky, and that will keep you turning those pages to find out what happens next. You will not be disappointed in the least. Good job to all the authors involved.
I probably shouldn't leave a review because I have my own short story in the anthology, but ignoring what I think of my own story there are some very talented authors represented in this book and I enjoyed every single story I read. Well Done All
Since this is an Anthology This review will be slightly different. As Anthologies are a comprised of more than story, it would do the book as a whole a great injustice to review and rate the book as such. This review I image will be quite lengthy as I'm going to break down and review each individual story within this book's covers...
1) Voices of the Soul (Soul Seers #1) by Rene Folsom
The start of this didn't come as a total surprise. It seems to be the current fad to have the main character come into or learn that have some special ability. Though Orella's is a bit different than I've encountered recently. The fact that her mother was able to convey the message and a small amount of what Orella can do, is a touching moment that will make a lump form in even the strongest of people. While Jonah isn't suprised that he and Ella share the same gift.. Ella's reacting is priceless! I cried from laughing so much. About the only thing I didn't care for in this story was Jonah. I mean as a characer he's great.. his vocabulary could use an upgrade. The lines he uses on Ella come off as being staged, like he's reading the script for a cheesy 19th century romance. The ending of this however isa good one. It's quite unexpected and a great start to the Soul Seers Series. I give this one 5 of 5
2) Number 18 by Michael Loring
I'd like to start with..Hell Yeah!!! I absolutely loved the start of this story. The cold fear and adreline coursing through Robert's veins pulses through the readers as he stalks and attacks his prey. I'm sure if he'd known what he was up against he'd have changed his mind, but that wouldn't make the story interesting. I wish this story had been a bit longer. There's not enough to really grasp the reader. The story does hold a lot of potential. The main characters are well thought out and you can picture the grey area between good and evil in which they dwell. I feel however that because it really isn't more than a piece of flash fiction, there isn't enough detail given to the moment. Because of this I can't accurately give the story a strong rating. I hope Michael Loring will consider lengthening this teaser story into something I can give a justified rating to, but for now... I give this one 3 of 5
3) Sweet Lenora by Bart Hopkins
This story has a historical feel to it. I can't quite place the time though it would have to be the year of or slightly after the new car Lenora's mother bought, though the feel is older than that. Lenora and especially her mother conduct themselves as if they lived in the Victorian era.. Though I suppose that could be due to how close to that era's end this story takes place and Lenora's mother's illness and detachment from the world around her. This story is vividly descriptive. Every nuance forms in your mind's eye and before you're even aware you're no longer reading a story but watching it on a screen on you can see. Bart Hopkins has a way with words that so few do, the ability to capture his audience even with works as short as this. There's one thing that confuses me about this story and prevents me from giving a 5 rating. How long was Lenora's mother as it was discovered at the end? And why had Jakob been so cruel for absolutely no reason? With these questions in mind, I hope the author will consider prehaps lengthening the story a bit just so the confusion is no longer there. I give this one 4 of 5
4) Truth or Dare by Jon Messenger
This story starts out strong. Each character's persona is clearly marked within the first chapter. When the kid gloves come off during their game of Truth or Dare, that's when the this story takes is pludge into the darkness. It was smoothly done and flowed like it would have had the characters been real people. I liked that a lot. This story is beautifully written.. However, it is also predictable. I give kudos to the Author for the research done on this though. 1) The knowledge that a spirit is bound to the place it died, and 2) Spirits see the living as we see them. I have to ask though, at the end, where was Brent? As familiar as this story is, it was still enjoyable. It felt like seeing an old friend after many years apart. For the beautifully written writing and the memories it inspired, I give this one 4 of 5
5) Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance
I've read my share of zombie stories.. None are as creative as this one is. This is the funniest story I've read yet. The fact of a bunch of zombie women sitting around talking about health risks made me laugh until my ribs hurt! Now before anyone starts complaining about the use of Mormons being the "zombies" in this parody.. You really need to evaluate. There is no other religious sect that could have been put in that role. Every non mormon at one point or another has been hounded by a mormon or a two. They don't care when you tell them you aren't interested in what they say, they come back numerous times until you're scared to leave your house. I applaud this Author for being brave enough to take something we all think and twisting it into this hysterical story... Even if he thinks those of us that aren't zombies are just brainless zombies. 5 of 5
6) All I Want for Christmas by Jason Brant
The fact that a man can pull off a typical thirteen year old girl at the start of puberty is impressive. This thirteen year old "adult" has all the cocky "I know it all and should get to whatever I want" attitude down. I also liked the simplicity of this story. It's the diary of an adolecent girl. You don't see many stories written as journals anymore. This was a nice treat for me. However there's a few things I'd like to point out.. A LOT of the Pagan community may throw a fit over this story.. It's about the most inaccurate thing I've ever read. Luckily I'm not like most pagans. I do feel the need to put in some corrections. 1) Witches don't celebrate Christmas, they celebrate Yule (december 21) 2) Witches do not eat people (or animals) Inaccuracies aside, this story was charming and I always give honest reviews so 4 of 5
7) In the Eyes of the Beholder by Penelope Bartotto
I absolutely loved Betty... This story is very descriptive. The writing style is excellent. You see and feel everything the two main characters do. I Wish there had been more to it though. To me this seemed to a romantic suspense rather than paranormal. The only element of Paranormal I really came across was Betty Lou. Even if I feel the story did not fit the nature of this anthology like it should, it was still captivating. It's a well written piece of work, though the end confused me a little bit. Due to the nature of the Anthology itself I can not give this story a 5 since I feel it doesn't fit with the others.. I did love it though and so I give it a 4 of 5
8) Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise
This was a beautifully written piece of art. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the twist honestly caught me off guard. The detailed descriptions allow the reader to not only see everything but to feel it as well The last line brought a smirk to my lips. It was a very clever touch to such a twisted story. Though I almost pity Marc in his psycosis, his little friend though, I think she should make a come back in another story. I really liked the characters and while I can't even begin to touch on the madness and darkness they each held, this was a good read for any paranormal fan I give this one 5 of 5
9) I Am Serna by Megan McMinimy
This story disappointed me. It had a good strong start, but then it just ended. I can't help but feel like a chunk of this story is missing. The writing style at the end of the story was nowhere near as strong as it had been at the beginning. I would love to read this story in its entiredy.. However, if this is all the story has to offer before editing was done, the author should consider filling in the chunk that seems to have been ripped from it I give this story 3 of 5
10) Bloodlines by S.L.Dearing
This story is as old as time itself. This version was amazingly written. Descriptive enough to feel and see and hear everything as you read. You can feel poot little Sascha's heart and how brave Eduard tried to be. The time line is not commonly used, which is another added bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading other works by Ms. Dearing. I do hope the author will consider expanding on this piece and let Sascha and Eduard have many more adventures for her fans to read and look forward to. I give this one 5 of 5
11) Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer
This final story in the anthology was very predictable. I reminded me of an old episode of the twlight zone I'd seen when I was little. Where a reader likes description, I found this story to be a bit too descriptive. It was almost as if the author were trying to fill in gaps with descriptions that didn't need to be there. I feel that because of the excessive amount of description in the story, the reader is almost robbed of the experience of watching the main character slowly lose his grasp on sanity because of IT. I did however enjoy the irony of the end. That was amusing. Almost like a just desert. I give this one 3 of 5
As for the anthology as a whole, I think it's wonderful. And while I didn't completely like all the stories within the pages, other people will. I think some of the stories had too much spliced out of them which caused them to lose their hold of a reader, but with anthologies that's to be expected due to the needed size of each story. I enjoyed reading the stories and I give a big kudos to each of the eleven authors that compiled this book. As for the stories I rated a 3, I'd love to read some longer works those authors have as I'm well aware that some people do much better with longer works where they don't have the "fear" of needed things being cut out. I thank each of you for allowing me a taste into your minds.. and a big thanks to Cynthia for allowing me to review this. I give this book 4 of 5 and can't wait to read the next one if Cynthia opts to gather some more.. or even these same authors to make a volume 2.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I really enjoyed this book and had it read within in two days. I always like to find new authors, and this was a glimpse into what they write. I have added a couple to my want to read another one list. They were also free of many typo's that really annoys me when I read many beta books. I do not like spoilers so I will give a brief review of each book.
Voices of the Soul: Wow! I really didn't see the twist that was coming in this book. It had me wanting to know more. Renee Folsom has been added to my want to read more list.
Number 18: After reading about the author I could guess what direction the twist was in this book. I thought that justice was served though. It was a good read.
Sweet Lenora: The twist at the end of this book was also I surprise. Very enjoyable.
Truth or Dare: The ending also had a good twist. Although it left me saddened (in a good way) that this could almost be realistic.
All I Want for Christmas: Jason Brant is one of my favorite authors so I was not disappointed in this story. It was written in diary form of a young teenage girl and first love. The twist went in a different direction then even I expected. Kudos
Suburban Zombie: Not your typical zombie story. I found it humorous and feeling sympathy for the zombies at the end.
In The Eyes of the Beholder: True love is really blind. Very well written.
Little Tchotchkes: Not your typical vampire story. I think it would also make a good CSI episode.
I am Serna: Another interesting twist. I wished it could have been longer. Still a good short story.
Bloodlines: This one grabbed my attention from the beginning since I like to study events from WW2. From my personal beliefs I did not care for parts of the ending, but still well written and thought out.
Metronome: This one is also a good short story of a doctor working in a prison for the mentally insane. He thinks he can cure them so they can go to a regular prison. Enjoyed the ending of this book and loved the twist at the end. Another author added to my read more list.
Interesting mix of stories. Some I loved but I liked the rest so I will go with a four because I prefer my stories longer and meatier but I would give it an extra half star if I had that option. And since its an anthology I'll be short and too the point on each
Voices of the Soul - I really did love this one even though I generally hate that kind of ending
Number 18 - The story kept me reading.
Sweet Lenora - This story didn't pull me in as much as some of the others.
Truth or Dare - Not what I expected, but liked it all the same
Suburban Zombie - Not bad, but the style wasn't one I preferred.
All I want for Christmas - So twisted but I loved it.
In the Eyes of the Beholder - I loved that I couldn't predict everything, and the story was great. I'm still rolling a couple things over in my head but I won't spoil anything.
Little Tchotchekes - I have high standards for vampire stories, especially shorts. I liked it.
I am Serna - I liked it, but not a fan of the end.
This book was an adventures read.Each story was vivid and full of imagery.There were a few stories I found to be predictable,but I think with so many vampire stories it's hard not to be.My top 3 stories were:Voices of the soul, Bloodlines and Metronome. "Voice" was a great way to start the readings.I was on the journey with the character and the ending through me for a loop. Bloodlines use of history and religious elements blended beautifully.Great imagery that you can see the battle unfold. And the last story Metronome,wow, leave it to the last one to freak me out. Everything in this story was creepy, and I mean that in a nice way.The author got his point across. Glad I read it in the day time.At night, in the dark might have made me book the book down and read in smaller doses.
Voices of the Soul - I was really enjoying this story, until the end. The ending ruined it for me. But before that it was a good paranormal love story.
Number 18 - liked this story, and liked the twist at the end.
Sweet Lenora - This story was just ok for me. I really didn't care much about Lenora, and I felt she was a little weak willed.
Truth or Dare - I liked the beginning of the story.
Suburban Zombie - I thought this was funny and original. I liked all the dark humor.
All I Want for Christmas - This was also a little funny. Written in the voice of a 13 year old girl, it had a good twist at the end.
In the Eyes of the Beholder - I liked all the characters, and I felt we got an insight into their characters. The ending was a little bit confusing for me.
Little Tchotchkes - I enjoyed reading this one. It was suspenseful and was interesting all the way through. I am a little sorry they did not become a couple. That would have been even more interesting.
I am Serna - this was a good story. Well written, and I wanted to know more about the characters. This could definitely be expanded into a novel.
Bloodlines - a good story, but the secret of why they wanted the children wasn't that exciting to me. Seemed like a lot of buildup, and then I felt a little let down.
Metronome - nice ending. This one kept you guessing for some time. Is he insane, or is there really some paranormal entity after him. I liked the ending. It was a fitting end for a serial killer.
A very nice anthology here, much better than most horror collections that I've read. None of the stories were bad, although there were a couple that I didn't quite warm to, as well as a handful that I enjoyed, and two - Voices of the Soul and Bloodlines - that I thought were piercingly beautiful.
Voices I have in single ebook form, and I've been planning to reread the whole Soul Seers series, so I skipped it this time round, but I know that it was one of my top five (out of nearly 400!) books read this year. Rene Folsom has been a favourite of mine ever since I discovered her books this summer. But I'm very happy to have discovered S.L. Dearing's work by reading this collection, and I'll look out for her in the future.
5 stars for those two stories, 3 stars for a couple of the others, and 3.5 - 4 for the rest, evening out to a very credible 4 stars from me.
Nice read. Each story brought a new "twist". I won a copy of this but after reading it I would have gladly paid for it. If you are looking for something light and mysterious, this is the one for you! Good job to the writers!
This anthology contains 11 stories. I will go through each story in the order they come in the book, and then in the end I will tell you which ones was my favorites and what I thought overall about this anthology. But before I get there, you should know that this anthology IS with a twist. Each story had to have a twist in it – and let me tell you, some of these I did NOT see coming! So, let’s begin with the first story:
Voices of the Soul by Rene Folsom
Orella (Ella) has been hearing voices all her life, but never truly understood what they were. She just thought she was losing her mind. When her mother and herself get critically injured in a car accident, Ella learns she is a soul-seer. Ella loses her mother and tries to move on, which isn’t easy.
One day, she meets a boy – someone kinda like her. Not entirely, but almost. Both are drawn to each other like moths to a flame, and quickly they become a part of each other. But is it real? Will it last? And who is Jonah Chantrey really?
I did like this story, although I have to say it did remind me a little bit of Twilight. And no, I do not mean that in a bad way. I enjoyed Twilight, but have found MANY other authors since. I’m just saying, I could relate some of the things to that book. Voices of the Soul starts out with a tragedy, turns into a love story…. Right before the twist is delivered. And I know many romance Lovers will sit and scream of vengeance, but for me, this ending was a really good one, one that made me want to read the next book in her series; Eyes of the Soul.
Number 18 by Michael Loring
In Number 18, we follow a man, who has chosen his target for the night, every thought he has about her and her boyfriend. There’s no doubt about the fact that what he has on his mind for the night, will not be pleasant for the poor girl.
But you know, sometimes Karma strikes back – HARD.
I’ve got to tell you, this was a GREAT story. I really want to tell you the so amazing twist the end has, but I’m tying my fingers into knots. NOT going to spill! I liked that we got to see the “bad guys” point of view in this story, and not the victims. It was different, and I liked it. If this is how Michael normally writes, then I’m definitely going to look into his books!
Sweet Lenora by Bart Hopkins
Lenora is tired of listening to her mother, of always doing the right thing. Every day, her mother (bound to bed by illness) starts the day by “preaching” to Lenora about her duty, of the dangers outside.
So, each day is a steady routine for Lenora. And it goes well… But Lenora is a young girl, about to turn seventeen, and we all know how teenagers at some point will try and unfold their wings, to try and fly, right? So does Lenora. But she does it the only way she knows how to; making friends with a young boy, Charlie Swain. According to her mother’s standards, he is not worthy of notice, his family was new money and new to town.
So, imagine the respond from her mother when she finds out. (shivers) To make sure Lenora doesn’t grow too fond of the Swain boy, she arranges a date for the Fall Fair and expects Lenora to go. So, will she end up with the young, correct man, her new friend, or maybe something else entirely?
Hmm, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this story. It was well written, don’t get me wrong, but somehow, I did see this ending coming. In a way, I would have liked Lenora to fight more, but maybe that’s a story coming later in her life. Who knows?
I did like the writing style Bart Hopkins created, and the action in the story, so I have yet another author to put on my TBR list ;-)
Truth or Dare by Jon Messenger
This is a story about how a dare got out of hand amongst friends. Jill, Jake, Whitney, Brent has a relaxing night, drinking and playing a game of Truth or Dare. But suddenly the game turns into something a bit scarier; Jill is dared to stay in a graveyard for an entire night…. Alone.
Arriving to the graveyard, Jill settles in to win the game, little does she knows, her nightmare is about to start…. Or did a lot sooner than entering the graveyard.
This story tugged at me, at my heart. I have no other words than; well written Jon. This might be a story of fiction, but the truth behind it – could happen for anyone who does what they do.
Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance
Ever read a story from a zombie’s point of view? Well, you got the chance here! In this Town, zombies are the normal thing. Guess what happens when a well groomed young man comes along?
This was a funny read for me – we always see the zombies being the bad guy, the ones infecting everyone else with a disease – this time, the tables are turned, and it was hilarious to read!
All I want for Christmas by Jason Brant
This story is in diary form, written by a thirteen young girl. All she wants is to be treated like an adult (my thought was… uhmm, yeah… you’re thirteen, not eighteen…) But what she want the most is Stevie.
In this short story, we get to follow her for the entire month of December, her attempts to get Stevie to notice her and her fight with the popular ones in school.
The end was certainly a nice surprise (well, not for everyone involved, but shhh…) I liked that this was a dairy, we could follow her through a difficult time in her life – although I have to admit, she was younger than what I would have liked her to be. But then – it was some time ago I was thirteen, and my concern was about other things than boys. But, getting back to this story. Liked it a lot, the twist was a good one too. :-)
In the Eyes of the Beholder by Penelope Bartotto
Very few manage to put too much into a short story without cramping it, mangling it. Ilona Andrews can do this, and to me delight, so could Penelope.
This story’s focal point is Dominic and his gal Rose. Dominic is a trucker, so most of his time is on the highway, with his beautiful truck; Betty Lou.
Rose is living the life – dating a man who might be The One, and have another one wrapped so tight around her fingers, she gets everything she wants from him. But when Dominic texts Rose to let her know he will be in her town the next day, and he can’t wait to see her, he is unknowingly thwarting her plans for Mr. Right. What’s a girl to do? Well, I know what any SANE girl would do – but then, this story wouldn’t be as interesting, would it?
I was amazed with this story. Penelope manages to put so much into the few pages she had available, and I closed this story wanting to know more about so many things!! Rose’s character is VERY interesting, I did NOT see her like that in the beginning!! Reading about her first plotting and then executing her plan was… amazing! I would love to know more about her, just like the subplot with a certain truck needs an explanation! Couldn’t put this story down!
Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise
Starting reading this story, my first thought was… “Another vampire-story…” Well, I was wrong. Luckily. It’s not that I’m tired of vampire stories it just takes a little extra to make me like them now. They need a twist, something new.
And Little Tchotchkes isn’t “just” another vampire story. The POV is from the male character, Marcus. We follow him through his hunts in the night, and when he stumbles over a different girl, someone who is the opposite if him, in all ways. Or so he thinks.
This story is well written but doesn’t really speak to me like some of the others did. I liked that it was different, and certainly the ending was a surprise, but there wasn’t really anything there that made me want to go and read more of this author. Not based on this short story. I’m not going to cross her off my list or anything, because I have been pleasantly surprised in the past by some authors who wrote short stories that I didn’t like, but when they got the space they needed to evolve their characters, it was amazing to read.
I am Serna by Magen McMinimy
I’ve read the first book in Magen’s Immortal Blood series, and I liked that one, so I was curious to see if she would be good at writing short stories as well. She can. I found myself drawn into the story about Damon and his hunt for Serna, his protection off Ariel, a White Witch niece.
Just as Damon arrives to the bar where Ariel works, Demons swarm upon them, and they have to fight for their lives. Although Ariel swore she didn’t need protection, it might look like she needs it after all. Trouble is, will either of them keep their heads level when the attraction grows between them?
I liked this story, although I would like to issue one complaint –but that’s for later. I got caught into this short story, and loved it – then twist delivered in the ending was spectacular. This was one I did NOT see coming! If you liked this short story, then make sure to read Magen’s Immortal Blood series as well – you will see exactly how amazing she is there!
Oh, that’s right… the complaint? The story was too short! ;-)
Bloodlines by S.L Dearing
Sascha and Eduard are on the run from General Heinrich Muller. They don’t understand why, all they know is that he took their mother when she didn’t divulge where they were. The General WANTS them, but the reason is unknown. He might work for the Fuhrer, but he isn’t his Boss. Now the children are in France, hiding. But not with just anybody. The children do not know, but the man who is hiding them is their grandfather, and there’s more to their bloodline than what meets the eye. Before the end, secrets will come forth, and their Faith will be tested.
This story was amazing to read. It was short (it IS an anthology after all), but Dearing manages to give a full story to perfection. The twist was beautiful made, and showed me that we shouldn’t judge a book (or human) by its cover. There’s sooo much more than meets the eye.
Definitely an author I will look into – I happen to know she just re-released her book; The Gathering!
Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer
I think this one was the one that baffled me the most. When I started to read Metronome, I didn’t quite understand it. I mean, I know and understand why the bad guys are in prison – but I’m getting ahead of myself. This story takes place in a maximum security prison, where a Dr. Edgar Collins has designed a special program in a try to normalize some of the prisoners. There’s one patient/prisoner, who is… well, he’s not responding as he should to the treatment. Everyone thinks he’s insane, and maybe he is. Who am I to judge? The reason why he is in prison is not normal, but that’s a different story, and one you really should read yourself. Gave me the chills though.
The best thing about this story was… the end actually. I really thought the twist Eaton delivered was freaking genius. And truly a work of Karma. The rest of the story.. well, it was good, but.. It wasn’t my favorite amongst the stories here. Sorry, but that’s my opinion.
All in all, looking at the entire Anthology… It was a good one. I liked the fact that the authors HAD to have a twist in their story, that was the reason for this anthology. It started as a contest actually.
I’ve read anthologies where I bought the book for one story, and the rest was.. blah. I’ve read anthologies who directed me to new favorite authors, where the one story I wanted to read was disappointing. This is one of the rare anthologies where I can sit down afterwards and say; I liked every story in this book. I didn’t love every story, but there wasn’t a story that I skipped or shimmied. I read all of them, liked all the stories, even loved some of them, but didn’t dislike or hate anyone of them. So that is a freaking amazing in itself.
So, if you like your stories with a twist, I suggest you make sure to click on some of the buy links in the end. You’re not going to regret it. I know I don’t. :-)
It is always hard to review an anthology of short stories, especially one where each story is written by a different author. Some authors resonate more with the reader than others. In Paranormal Anthology with a Twist, you have eleven stories, each one completely different from the last. The thread that holds them all together is the "twist" that each one has.
I think that I'll stick to what worked best for me (focus on the good). One of my favorite indie authors, Jason Brant, has a great little story, "All I Want for Christmas". It was one of the reasons I bought the book in the first place; and the twist was completely unexpected, it was great to see a grown man channel his inner 13 year old girl.
Some of the other highlights included Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance, Little Tchotchkes by Nicki Scalise and Metronome by Eaton Thomas Palmer. That is not to say that the others were not good, but these are the ones that I connected with.
Every story was well written and the anthology as a whole was well put together. What I got most out of this book was a great introduction to several authors...some of whom have been added to my wish list.
If you are looking for some quick stories that you can get into and out of without tying yourself down, this would be a great choice. With the zombies, vampires, witches, etcetera it would make a great book for October. You never know, you just might find an author that you want to read more of.
So many of these stories were made with such creative imaginations and I absolutely loved this anthology. It was even better than the first one. There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Some of the stories left me thinking "what the hell just happened"? That was the anthology's intention and it has succeeded. The endings were unpredictable. Especially with the story Truth or Dare. It completely caught me off guard and I loved the theme of it. The classic college kids playing truth or dare game where it goes horribly wrong. But the book was way better than watching some cheesy badly acting movie. Each author put in a lot of hard work and used the best of their imagination in this. I was really surprised when Jason Brant wrote about a 13 year old girl who complained to her diary about everything. It made me laugh with the over dramatic entries and the ending was the whipped cream to my pie and made me love it all the more. My favorite was by Rene Folsom though. The ending was so twisted it made my heartache and scream at my kindle "No no no no no". I was excited when I found out it was a mini series and will be continuing it. A well thought out and beautiful anthology. Each and every one of you should be proud of your hard work. Well done all!
I was going to do a mini review for each of the stories within the anthology, but then I realised just how large this post would be. I've never been overly keen on anthologies, in the past I've always felt like I was missing out on the bigger story. This is a great anthology of shorts, and works as a great introduction to 11 new to me authors. There are a few books that I have seen written by a few of these authors, but I wasn't ready to take the jump into buying their work but having seen samples of it here I am more than convinced by their capabilities.
This collection has something for everyone, there is a vast range of paranormal creatures within these stories. So you wont be left disappointed. And the twists.. they keep on coming. I promise you, some of these you wont see coming.
I enjoyed this book more than the Apocalypse one! These stories were more along the storyline I enjoy. But, they were both great and had wonderful authors! I loved the first story in this one. I read all of the books in the Soul Seers series! Rene Folsum is a great author! My other favorite was Suburban Zombie! By the title I was a little unsure but it was fantastic! Hilarious and I loved it! Anthony Lance hit a home run on that story! This was a great collection of stories and would highly recommend you read it!
This was actually a really good book. The stories in here center around some sort of disaster, crises or murderer and they have a twist that you don’t expect. The story I probably most enjoyed was Suburban Zombie. Everyone in the story is a zombie. They live their lives like a normal everyday person. But one day they are attacked by none other than Mormons. When bitten by a mormon, you become a normal human wearing nice dress clothes and carrying a bible. I laughed so hard when I read this one. Like seriously? Mormons? Some of the stories are mediocre at best but still very good reads.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I really enjoyed this book. I love paranormal books, so I was excited to read this one. I love how the authors had to have some criteria but had created such different stories. I think they all did a great job. I was shocked and amazed by the twists these stories had. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal stories. The stories are short but not too short that you feel like you are missing something. This is a great read!
The book was a nice and thrilling read. I loved all stories, except the first one, which I found a bit too long and boring. The story "All I want for Christmas" was hilarious. What I liked the most was the different writing styles and ways to see the paranormal genre.
There are 11 different authors that have written stories that are exciting, haunting and spooky, with all sorts of paranormal creatures. I found this book interesting but like some stories better then others. If you like spooky, this is for you.
Talk about stories with a twist and some with a What the Heck! Liked all the stories, some more then others, but overall this anthology was a great read!
1. Voices of the Soul- Loved this story from the beginning was so in gross in the 2 characters story that I didn't see Rene cranked her semi truck up and plowed me over at the end, literally messaged her saying What the Heck??? 2.#18- Wow Creepy stalker & his POV is how it's told, then Karma hits. 3 Sweet Lenora- Very good story, though kinda saw it coming 4 Truth or Dare- Wow Drinking games go Dark! Loved it. 5 Suburban Zombie- Hilarious POV from the Zombie 6 All I want for Christmas- Loved the written in diary form Good story ! 7 In the Eyes of the beholder- Loved it !! Betty Lou Betty Lou 8 Little Tchotchkes - Good Story 9 I am Serena - Loved this story 10 Bloodlines - This story was amazing to read 11 Metronome - This story gave me chills me out & the ending is the best
Disclaimer: I'm not sure if I got this as a freebie, a giveaway, purchased it, or one of my AMAZON PRIME loaners but it was next on my kindle to read list: I stayed up late nights over the weekend to read this book... each story was diverse enough from the others so that they didn't bleed into each other's theme. Great collection of stories, well written, I'm going to read it again soon to catch the bits I know I missed as I was not expecting most of the twists!