A HALLOWEEN COLLECTION, ANTHOLOGY-STIMULATING
KAREN MICHELLE NUTT, CHERYL PIERSON, LAURA SHINN, REBECCA J. VICKERY
September 23, 2010
Victory Tales Press
Rating: 2 cups
The Curse of Tempest Gate
Clarity Shaw goes to a small town to research her first story for the paranormal magazine, Unbelievable Finds. Heading to the cemetery, after some preliminary conversations with the locals, she finds the devil’s chair that is said to be haunted, as well as, the Adonis like statue of the Angel. When both come alive to reveal stunning men determined to have her break an ancient curse, she finds that leaving may be impossible as one of the two has captured her heart.
Michael has stood sentry over the Devil’s Chair and his arch nemesis, Samael, since they were cursed by the witch so long ago. When Clarity awakens him and he can finally break the curse, he is driven by his feelings for her to try to protect her by his feelings for the fiery reporter. Accepting of an eternity of his imprisoned existence, he attempts to sacrifice himself to protect her.
Together they will battle an evil as old as the curse itself. Selflessness, the only thing that the lovers when the curse had been cast had lacked, will break the curse. But will they save each other or be overwhelmed by Samael and his desire to be free?
A well wrought ghost story, this tale of angels and demons trapped in a cemetery to battle for all time will have the reader flipping the pages to see if the curse is broken. Although the connection with Michael is fast and hot, the passion between these two characters is believable and wrapped up nicely. I would love to read more of these characters as the author left it open in a way that suggests other stories about the writers of Unbelievable Finds.
Always and Forever
When Cindy is told by the fortune teller that she will find new love, she is doubtful at best. After the loss of her child and his spouse, Cindy is the oldest ‘mother’ at school events… as a grandparent raising her grandchild. When the handsome younger man offers help with her mutilated pumpkin, passion stirs. Immediately the pair are wrapped in a whirlwind romance that will change the course of their lives forever.
Gage swore off women two years before. Upon meeting Cindy, he is immediately drawn to this extraordinary woman. Caught up in his feelings for her, will he cling to the hurts of the past or grasp the chance at future happiness?
Will these two take the second chance at love that is offered or will they shy at the gate, once burned and afraid of their feelings for each other? Is the future what they make of it or is it fate that brings them together?
A story of second loves and second chances, this story has potential to be a passionate and heart wrenching tale that ends with a new belief in fortune come true. However the only thing paranormal about the story is the fortune teller and the relationship feels rushed and unrealistic. That the two fall so heedlessly in love after ‘being burned’ in the past to the point of jumping into wedlock shattered the realism and made this story fantasy… if only so far as human nature suggests that their reactions would have been more hesitant.
Conceived in Darkness
Kathryn has lived a life with one passion, her music. When the strange man in the corridor makes her body sing, she is swept away into a romance that is out of this world… in more ways than one. Could the mysterious stranger take her places she never imagined?
Prince Orekon has a deadline to find his mate or the entire social structure of his world is in danger. To search for his mate, he travels across the galaxy to a little blue planet to find musician Kathryn. Finding her, he thinks he may have found a love of body and soul and heart.
Once they have established their relationship in a passionate night of loving, these two travel to Orekon’s home planet to begin their lives together. When some in his world rise up against the idea of their monarch with an alien, will their love survive or will they be torn apart before they can begin?
A world that has it’s own rules is brought to life by Shinn’s creative pen. However a virginal musician falling into the arms of a man who she can’t even see seemed a stretch that was hard to swallow. Her strange understanding of everything that was presented seems somewhat gullible and the fact that the story was an erotic alien story which managed to work in religious overtones suggest an entirely new genre… but the characters need more development to present this as the heroine seemed somewhat unformed.
A Haunting Love
Trudy agreed to housesit over Halloween for friends. However things take a turn for the strange when lights start going off and strange noises are heard in the darkness. Calling in the local police, she meets Simon, cop and comforter; he is the only one who believes her tales of things going bump in the night.
Simon is getting some playful ribbing from his co-workers at the multiple calls out to the house that Trudy is house-sitting. He doesn’t mind. He is attracted to the feisty little business owner. When her secret comes out, has his life up to this point made him the one person who will accept her for who she is?
But will his acceptance is put to the test when he learns of a curse that has separated ghostly lovers… that only Trudy has a chance to break. Will they rescue the cursed lovers and find a love in the present or will the strange circumstances tear them apart?
A fascinating tale of ghosts and witches that could have been much more with character development. Mina, the assistant at the shop, had the most personality out of the cast and she played a secondary role in the plot. Trudy is interesting and bumbling, which we find out is due to circumstances out of her control but is unable to have a solid personality due to her flip-flopping from flaky to strong within the turn of a page. Simon, the hero, is never fleshed out as an independent character, instead staying tall, strong and supportive but never really having life breathed into him. When the story ends, I was left feeling rushed, incomplete and not satisfied.
A Halloween Collection is an interesting anthology of stories based around paranormal elements and happily ever afters with wedding bells ringing. I enjoyed the three stories but wanted most of them to be fully realized ideas rather than stories with much potential. A fun romp but the afterglow was dim.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More