From USA Today, Amazon bestselling, and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes Ghosts of Fire, a supernatural anthology of ten thrilling tales. Meet paranormal detectives, imprisoned dragons, dark demons, cursed jewels, and handsome prophets. Explore shifting realms trapped in mirrors and a disturbing future where a president aims to rid the world of Otherkind. Ghosts of Fire is the third, long-awaited Elements story collection from the dynamic and inventive Untethered Realms group.
“The Flaming Emerald” by Jeff Chapman: When Orville finds an emerald in a pawnshop, Jimmy suspects there’s trouble ahead, which is precisely what they encounter, trouble of a very weird and supernatural kind. Will they rid themselves of the cursed jewel before the flames scorch them? This is another story in Chapman’s Huckster Tales series.
“The Cost of Greatness” by Meradeth Houston: The newly elected President swears that he will rid the country of Otherkind, no matter the cost. When violence breaks out, one question must be answered: what is the cost of peace?
“On Day 168” by Cherie Reich: For 168 days, a dragon imprisoned Astryd in his cave, but the chieftain’s daughter has escaped to discover the dragon may not be her only enemy. This story takes place several hundred years before Reich’s series The Fate Challenges.
“The Vagaries of Eloise Stanton” by M. Pax: Lucy’s family disappeared when she was a child, lost in a world of mirror. No one believed her, yet the reflections of her family’s faces haunt her, plead with her for rescue. On the verge of at last being reunited, Lucy must battle the cruel woman, who isn’t quite human, standing as a barrier between the two realms.
“Mind the Gap” by Gwen Gardner: Carl James wants to impress the lovely Detective Inspector Madison Perry by helping her catch an international art thief. Little does he know how his world will change when he steps through the ancient standing stones and finds himself an unintentional Gap Walker.
“Ryan” by Misha Gerrick: As the oldest griffon in existence, nothing thrills Ryan more than hunting down Aleria, the most powerful phoenix alive. But when the blitz traps both immortals in a struggle for life and death, he discovers she might be more than his prey. She might be his salvation. Ryan and Aleria’s stories continue in Endless.
“Rollerskate Boys” by Catherine Stine: An old shoe warehouse seems like the perfect place for artist Lily to set up a studio. But after moving in, she is tormented by startling clatters in the hall and the ghostly trails of boys on roller skates. When a deadly fire erupts, she’s no longer sure of what is real and what’s a figment of her nightmares.
“The Torchbearer” by Christine Rains: Sent to a dark crossroads by Hekate’s command, Desma must listen to the words of a handsome prophet whose ominous message mystifies her as much as he captivates her.
“In Plain Sight” by Angela Brown: Kazel and Amandine are best friends with their own little secrets to hide. When a boring study session at the library comes to a screeching halt, it forces them to put all their cards on the table and into plain sight. Readers of Neverlove and Frailties of the Bond will enjoy the return to the Shadow Jumpers and NEO worlds.
“Demon in the Basement” by River Fairchild: A man returns to his childhood home, determined to destroy the evil residing within it… or die trying.
Cherie Reich has more books than she can ever read and more ideas than she can ever write, but that doesn't stop this bookworm from trying to complete her goals, even if it means curbing her TV obsession. She is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia.
Ghosts of Fire is an anthology of ten supernatural stories. I read Meradeth's story, The Cost of Greatness, on Election Day, which made its theme of a newly-elected President who wants to get rid of a group of people who were "different" especially eerie. What I liked most about this anthology, though, was the diversity in story types. There's something for everyone here. Word of warning: don't read Demon in the Basement late at night when you're home alone! Very, very scary.
Ghosts of Fire features ten thrilling fantasy and horror short stories by Angela Brown, Jeff Chapman, River Fairchild, Gwen Gardner, Misha Gerrick, Meradeth Houston, M. Pax, Christine Rains, Cherie Reich (me!), and Catherine Stine. In Jeff Chapman's "The Flaming Emerald," Jimmy and Orville must return a cursed emerald before they go up in flames. This story has such fantastic voice that sets the reader right on down into an old western setting. Meradeth Houston creates a world not too different from our own in "The Cost of Greatness," but I'm hoping for a better outcome from our world. The Otherkind were fascinating creatures, and I would love to read more about them. "On Day 168" was by me (Cherie Reich), so I'll just say if you like dragons, elves, and treachery, then you might like my story as much as I do. In M. Pax's "The Vargaries of Eloise Stanton," Lucy must save her family from a museum art project gone awry. I loved the use of mirrors to reflect Lucy and the grim worlds she's caught between in her attempts to free her family. Gwen Gardner takes the reader to England in her "Mind the Gap." I enjoyed the idea of Gap Walkers and the combination of it and art theft. Ryan and Aleria are caught in a struggle to the death in Misha Gerrick's "Ryan." This short story makes me want to read her novel Endless. I'm intrigued with the creatures of phoenixes and griffons and how Gerrick uses them in her story. "Rollerskate Boys" by Catherine Stine is a haunting and yet vibrant story. Stine paints such beautiful pictures with her words. Many people know the tale of Hades and Persephone, but I love what Christine Rains has done in her story "The Torchbearer," which focuses on one of Hekate's lampades and the handsome prophet who foretold the six. In Angela Brown's "In Plain Sight," Kazel and Amandine reveal each other's secrets in their escape from the Harvestors. Having read Brown's Neverlove, I found it to be a lot of fun revisiting that world she created. River Fairchild's "Demon in the Basement" is a chilling story where Robert must revisit his childhood home to destroy the evil within. The style reminded me of some Stephen King stories. Even though I was one of the editors and contributors to Ghosts of Fire and may be a bit biased, I have to say this is one of my favorite anthologies to be in to date.