In her debut collection, Theresa Braun explores the inner workings of the human heart and what it is we most desire-forgiveness, acceptance, love, fame, or merely to escape who we really are. Whether we are battling ghosts, demons, mythical monsters, the past, or other dimensions, we are really facing the deepest parts of ourselves. These thirteen tales of horror and dark fantasy may appear to be a matter of good versus evil, but they are all a reflection of the hidden corners of the soul that are often shades of broken darkness. The characters in these stories must face their inner and outer terrors, or else suffer the consequences.
“Dead over Heels”
“The Celestial Assignment”
“Guilty As Cell”
“Dying for an Invitation”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Before I began the horror anthology, I noticed that I’d read and reviewed about half of them in the past. I will briefly summarize a few before pushing forward with the new reads.
“Dead over Heels” – As a fan of science fiction/paranormal shows, I love storylines that tap into the unknown. In “Dead over Heels,” we watch as the past meets the present in the forms of spirits reliving traumatic moments, aka their deaths by the same murderer.
As you can imagine, the living playing unwilling bystanders to this horrific scene is one thing — the victims being someone near and dear to their heart is another matter entirely. It amplifies the experience 1000%.
For fans of the ghosts/spirits, I assure you this ending was perfection. It wasn’t your typical ending to a ghostly tale, and I like my plot twists.
“Stillborn” combined science fiction, mystery, suspense, gore, and shock. I didn’t want the story to end!
“Legend Trippers” had gore, blood, and moments where I was happy I wasn’t reading this short story after sundown.
There were six short stories in the horror collection that I hadn’t read in the past: “Collecting Empties,” “Guilty As Cell,” “Lost Time,” “Heathen,” “Stay Tunes,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Half of those scored five stars because they each possessed unique qualities that had me cringing, contained a fascinating turn of events, or possessed a plot that stood out from other stories in the horror genre.
“Stay Tuned” had vigilante justice served that would make the most vial and evil psychopath stand up, clap, and say, “Well done.”
“Guilty As Cell” had me giving my cell the side-eye. It had a vengeful spirit, a possessed cell phone, and an ending that might be a trigger scene for some readers. Not the ghost, but, heck, maybe that too. Who am I to know who believes in the supernatural world and who might’ve seen a less-than-friendly spirit?
I thought I knew the path “Heathen” was taking, and then Theresa wrote an enlightening scene that changed everything. I love Theresa’s plot twists!
Theresa’s works have always impressed me. She thinks outside the horror box and always leaves me wanting more.
I recommend you pick up this collection!
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Meet the Author
Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.