THE HAUNTING SEASON: Eight Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights

Eight bestselling, award-winning writers return to the time-honored tradition of the seasonal ghost story in this spellbinding collection of new and original haunted tales.

Long before Charles Dickens and Henry James popularized the tradition of supernatural horror, the shadowy nights of winter have been a time for people to gather together by the flicker of candlelight and experience the intoxicating thrill of a spooky tale.

Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors — all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre — bring the tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding new collection of original spine-tingling tales.

Taking you from the frosty fens of the English countryside, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market, these mesmerizing stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to cold, dark nights. So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the ghostly spell of winters past…

Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Published: October 12, 2021
Source: Purchased (Nook)

★★★

THE HAUNTING SEASON is a mishmash of spooky winter/holiday stories. The collection was good overall, with a few hits and a couple of misses —

• A Study in Black and White by Bridget Collins: 4 Stars (creepy chess house)
• Thwaite’s Tenant by Imogen Hermes Gowar: 4 Stars (young mother on the run)
• The Eel Singers Natasha Pulley: 2 Stars (wut?)
• Lily Wilt by Jess Kidd: 3.5 Stars (photographer falls for a dead woman)
• The Chillingham Chair by Laura Purcell: 4.25 Stars (haunted wheelchair)
• The Hanging of the Greens by Andrew Michael Hurley: 3 Stars (wreaths bring up bad memories)
• Confinement by Kiran Millwood Hargrave: 3 Stars (woman in confinement stalked by evil)
• Monster by Elizabeth Macneal: 2 Stars (again, wut?)

Laura Purcell’s The Chillingham Chair was my favorite! Abrupt ending, but suspenseful & rather creepy. A Study in Black and White was probably second. I loved the chess theme and the overall creepy gothic atmosphere. ♥

Book Review: GHOULS, FOOLS, AND RELATIONSHIP TOOLS by Ann Hite

Ghouls
Publisher: Black Mountain Press
Released: September 1, 2014
Length: 49 pages
Source: Kindle purchase
Rating: ★★★★


“Carly K came to Black Mountain on the tail-end of a bad storm in the summer of 1974. I should have given more thought to a woman alone blowing into a hick mountain community like it was something special, but to tell the truth, I was purely dazzled by that girl. The first time I laid eyes on her she had pulled her car off at Hocket Drop, one of my favorite places.”

A humorous short story collection from Ann Hite, award winning author of Ghost On Black Mountain, The Storycatcher, and Lowcountry Spirit. Whether you are familiar with Ms. Hite’s wonderfully crafted Appalachian characters or not, you will love these stories set in Black Mountain, North Carolina.


GHOULS, FOOLS, AND RELATIONSHIP TOOLS is a funny and folksy “short, short story” collection from Ann Hite. The five tales in this book take place over a 50-year period, beginning in the 1950s, and they are all tied to Black Mountain, North Carolina, the curious setting of Ms. Hite’s previous novels.

I’m usually not a fan of short stories, but anything connected to Black Mountain is a must read for me! I had a great time reading this book, getting to know some new characters, and revisiting some old ones. Ann Hite is a talented storyteller, and she’s my new go-to author for Southern Gothics. I would recommend starting with GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN and going from there.  I think you’ll appreciate the short stories more. 4 stars!

P.S. How cute is that cover? Again, folksy!

Short Story Review: THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson

TheLottery
Original Publication: The New Yorker
Publication Date: June 26, 1948
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★★


The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson which caused quite an uproar when it was published in 1948. It’s about an annual lottery held in a seemingly idyllic village, and readers don’t find out the winner’s prize until the end.

On the day of the drawing, the weather is gorgeous, and the townspeople happily gather in the square for the drawing, laughing and chatting amongst themselves. They talk about how this event has been a part of their village’s history for as long as anyone can remember, and though surrounding towns are doing away with the lottery, this particular village doesn’t want to mess with tradition.

This tale is short, but it packs quite a punch. It only took reading a couple of paragraphs before I got an ominous feeling about the whole thing, and the conclusion was nothing but disturbing. While a 21st century reader may or may not be as affected by the ending as the original audience, the underlying message of Jackson’s story is just as relevant today as ever. The Lottery is definitely worth reading a time or two.