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“The night I met Death, he thought he was just passing through.”

The eerie, obsessive attraction between a restless woman and a dangerous traveler tips into madness.

Terror with a twist, STALKER is a richly gothic tale to be read by candlelight.

55 pages, Unbound

First published January 1, 2017

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About the author

Pauline Schmidt-West

6 books30 followers
I now have a podcast available on iTunes and via EveningsKingdom.com. The story is an epic quest, across an ancient, magical kingdom.... please enjoy!

My first novel, EVENING'S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts. My stories have been shortlisted for the International Aeon Award, and featured in Reddit's NoSleep channel, The Art Mag and the Sierra Nevada Review.

By day, I'm in Business Development, and work remotely from an old school bus we converted into our cabin on wheels. I adore hiking, long books, and black coffee.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,964 followers
October 21, 2017

When it comes to atmospheric horror, there's a lot of great examples out there, but it's a real treat to get all that AND waves of emotion and fluid interpersonal awesomeness.

A warning to the faint of heart: this is all sorts of sexy and darkly disturbing stuff. What begins as a sexy romance with lots of flirtation soon gets very horrific, indeed. :)

No spoilers, since this is just a short story, but it's fun and I can always point at West for some of the most wonderful prose out there. Truly, atmospheric interpersonal horror.

So easy to fall right in and start shivering. :)
Profile Image for Myra.
68 reviews8 followers
May 29, 2017
Thank you to the author for providing me with an advance reviewers copy.

I really enjoyed this strange tale of dangerous attraction. The language is very evocative and transports you to the setting in such a way that you can almost feel the lush carpets of the hotel and smell the bourbon and the old wallpapers.
The story is about Ainsley, a bartender who lives in a small and pretty isolated town. Her mother is very ill and she has to stay and take care of her. One night a handsome and curious stranger walks into the hotel (Ainsley works at the hotel bar) and orders a drink. What follows is a game of seduction and really (really!) well written dialogue. There's definitely something very off and strange about the man who calls himself Dane.
I was completely transported into the setting and I loved the characters. I guess I'm a sucker for impeccably dressed suave gentlemen;) My favourite character besides Dane is definitely Comfort - an elegant tough old lady who is a regular at the bar.
I wish I knew more about what and who Dane was - but at the same time I did like the mystery of not knowing. Also, sex that mentions wombs at all is sort of distracting to me, but I guess it made sense in the context.
I love the theme of the story - sex can be a dangerous drug, something that takes you away from yourself and makes you forget about your priorities. And sometimes a handsome stranger is just that - a stranger.
Profile Image for Debbie.
660 reviews7 followers
September 19, 2017
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.I feel so honored that she has shared some of her work with me. Her writing is so lush and visceral-I felt like I was in this gothic thriller while reading it. LOVE! This is the story of a barmaid who is working to support herself in an aging hotel so that she can take care of her sick mother. Along comes a stranger to her small town who is dangerously seductive...
777 reviews20 followers
June 2, 2017
I feel so privileged to have "met" Pauline through an ARC of her first novel, Evening's Land. It's like I'm getting a ringside seat to the birth of a great new author. I've read lots of authors' early works, but only after they were famous and/or dead.

Let's hope for a long, fruitful career for Pauline, because I think her ideas are great and her writing beautifully poetic.

With a bit of tighter editing, Pauline's prose will yield great stories. Her writing is genuinely atmospheric.

I only had two issues with this: first, I wasn't sure if Maraschino was the hotel, or the town, or both. Either way, I couldn't get over the cherries. Maybe explain the name, somehow?

Secondly, how does a town with a population of 262(?) support a large luxury hotel, if the cover is supposed to be the hotel?

I admit, I panicked a little towards the end, thinking I was going to get aliens, but Pauline did that wonderful little twist she does and we'll just call it ambiguous.

I truly enjoy Pauline's stories and if you like ambient, twisty fiction, you will, too.
Profile Image for Nia Ireland.
405 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2017
When a sexy stranger walks up to the restless bartender's bar, she's powerless to resist his slightly creepy charms. When he comes back into her life a few days later, the real trouble begins...

The suspense and build up in this book are amazing, tension you can cut with a knife but with the occasional joke or phrase that had me laughing at the down to earth reality. West's writing style is pure gothic poetry, which is why this novella gets 5 stars and I started reading her next one the second I finished this.
Profile Image for Sinead.
175 reviews8 followers
January 11, 2018
it was good i liked it pity is was so short. i was thinking it was going to be about something else but that's okay
Profile Image for Patrício.
289 reviews80 followers
February 7, 2018
Thanks to the author for sending me this novella in exchange for my honest review.

Ainsley is a bartender in the hotel in an isolated town, whose mother is ill and needs care. One night, an intriguing man goes there, and she feels immediately compelled by Dane, with a shadow of mystery around him. And strange things start happening.

I had read Children before, so had some expectations for this novella, but, unfortunately, it wasn't as good.

I liked the eerie atmosphere, the setting (the town and the hotel, especially - I'd love to read more about them!) and the characters, especially Dane. I loved him!
The story had everything to be awesome, if it wasn't for its climax. It was too short and ineffective for me. I wanted more.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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