A HALLOWEEN COLLECTION ANTHOLOGY: SWEET STORIES TO SATISFY YOUR ROMANTIC CRAVINGS
MARKEE ANDERSON, CHARLOTTE RABY, RITA HESTAND, CHRISTINE E SCHULZE, KATE KINDLE
Victory Tales Press
Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4 Cups
Go On Without Me
Reclusive and lonely Lydia has shut herself off from life. Ever since her boyfriend died a year ago she has been afraid and unwilling to get close to anyone else.
Ian is a police officer who works with Lydia’s brother. Ian seeks out the despondent Lydia and entices her to take a short drive with him on Halloween night.
When the car stalls, the two seek help at a nearby house and while there have a strange encounter. The unsettling experience is cathartic for Lydia with the result that the shared experience brings Lydia and Ian closer.
A sweet tale of loss and moving-on, this tightly constructed story conveyed a wonderful since of atmosphere and was a joy to read.
Adrienne cherished her work with the disenfranchised and homeless. The needy were always welcome in her small restaurant where she provided delicious meals and dispensed practical advice.
One late evening a man entered the darkened café as she was preparing to leave for the night. She had neglected to lock the entrance but when the polite stranger asked melodiously if she might still have something for him to eat, she was happy to prepare him a meal from the refrigerated leftovers.
Simon began stopping in frequently just at closing time. Always impeccably polite, Adrienne was charmed by his modest demeanor and courtly chivalry. Weeks passed and their odd friendship grew. Simon always hid in the shadows and yet, still, Adrienne felt increasingly drawn to Simon in spite of his mysterious habits until one Halloween night the terrible secret is revealed.
I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet, romantic tale about the dreadful consequences of a mistake made long-ago that ultimately, though, is a spooky story of the redemptive power of love.
It’s 1879 and Halloween in Haleyville, Texas is anything but ordinary when the town drunk witnesses a murder on Boot Hill. The sheriff, Joe, is faced with an unwelcome ethical dilemma. This time, he risks his future happiness but justice must be served.
The town’s leading citizen, Mr. Newman, thought the conspiracy would protect his only daughter and that the unsavory insanity from his past could finally be over. Little did he know that old man Clooney, the town drunk, would witness his actions in the cemetery.
As Joe investigates the murder, lines up the evidence, and prepares the witness affidavits, the mystery unfolds and a haunting past is brought to light. Finally, punishment is meted out to the guilty. But still the question remains, will Joe and Elizabeth reconcile and find the happiness they desire?
This sweet tale set in the American Old West was an engaging story of ethical conduct even in the face of personal disaster.
The Memory Charmer and the Boy Next Door
James Star needs to find a wife. If a new Queen Night is not found soon all the stars will disappear. James and two other stars come to earth so that the heavens may be rescued.
Elissa longs to escape from the evil Incubus who keeps her captive and feeds off her life force.
Guarded by Nargog, a monstrous spider, escaping will be nigh to impossible. Lured by his fearless kindness and sweet kisses, Elissa hurriedly makes plans to elude the Incubus and fly away with James on Halloween.
The mythological aspect was expressed well and in a sweet manner. Still, I felt this story was darker in tone than the others in this anthology. The description of Elissa’s torment caused me to cringe. It was quite terrifying, really.
I Love Pie!
Tony Gullo found himself going on a spur of the moment vacation with his friend Frank Petrone. Gangsters are coming after Frank because he has racked up some gambling debts he is unable to repay. The two men end up at a small Bed and Breakfast in the small community of Saranac Lake.
Marla is married to a well-respected doctor, has a vivacious, lovely young daughter and lives on secluded acreage a ways from the town of Saranac Lake. The previous year, Marla’s good friend Elizabeth was lost in an accident that was Marla’s fault. Marla continues to be depressed, has horrible nightmares, and cannot truly accept that her friend is gone.
Tony and Marla meet by chance and there is magic between them. Tony accepts a job delivering pies so that he has a reason to stay closer to Marla. Tony makes her laugh and treats Marla with respect, so unlike her cold and sometimes abusive husband. Courageously, Marla begins to disobey many of her husband’s strict and oppressive rules. As Halloween nears, Tony and Marla fall in love, the thugs arrive, and Dr. Charles becomes incensed. He will stop at nothing to get Marla back under his domination where she belongs.
A lovely damsel in distress and a gallant knight to the rescue, this story is a sweet retelling of the old favorite, but with several other engaging sub-plots and a modern day setting and twist.
I found each story in this collection engaging. All had a haunting Halloween theme that I thought was quite well done for such a diverse set. My favorite story was Honor Café. The story was beautifully laid-out, eerie, yet at the same time I found it especially heart-warming.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More