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Publisher's Summary

Ask yourself - is this mere fiction?

That’s what 27 writers want you to consider, here in this collection of the strange and terrible, the shocking and amazing, the frightening and awe-inspiring. Assembled here for easy perusal are some of the finest tales of ghosts, zombies, witches, cryptozoological freaks, monsters, and aliens of the past year.

Lock the doors, latch the windows, draw the shades, and dig in.

©2018 Roma Gray (P)2019 Roma Gray

What listeners say about Trick-or-Treat Thrillers

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  • norman
  • 22-12-2019

An excellent collection of short mixed fantasy

The short stories in this collection range from good to outstanding. Although all can be labeled as fantasy, some are horror, some are more science fiction, and a few are pure fantasy. Although only a few are “ scary”, they are all good stories. I enjoyed the little biographies that accompany each story. J D Kelly did an excellent job with the many voices needed with this collection and was never distracting.

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  • Geoff
  • 14-12-2019

Good spooky indie stories

Enjoyable shorts from a whole bunch of authors. I liked the addition of little interviews at the end of each story. Good, bite-sized stories for the commute. Well done by J.D. Kelly. Good stuff!

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  • Paul
  • 13-12-2019

Lots of good stories

I enjoyed the book and performance overall. Kelly has a great narration voice and does a good job with adjusting for dialogue. His style was better for some stories than others, but overall nothing distracting. If you enjoy the paranormal this is a good collection for you.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Blackeagle
  • 11-12-2019

Tales of horror

This book has many short horror tales that are sure to give you quite a scare. The tales are very descriptive and well written. I highly recommend this book for tales to scare your friends. I received this book at my request. I am leaving my honest review here of my own volition.

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  • Pheobe Petenstein Jackson
  • 15-02-2020

Something for everyone.

I enjoyed this collection, as in most Anthologies, there are a few stories that stand out from the pack. All the short stories were good in their own way, this is an impressive group of Authors many are "New to me."
Here are my top three favorites from the collection. 1) Scarecrow By David A Simpson. Here we have Jessie who was getting restless once the immediate threat died down after the initial Zompoc. He leaves the safety of the walled community that is trying to rebuild a civilized county. Jessie becomes a "Retriever", for excitement, they always have the best stories. It had been years since the world fell apart. Jessie retrieves those memento's people were forced to leave behind when they first fled to survive, for a price of course.
On one of these trips, he comes across a young child on the roof of an RV. Things get more exciting after their chance encounter. A stroke of genius is where this story had to have come from.
2) Trap door by Roma Gray. People freak over a tiny house spider, could you imagine the stark terror of having huge trap door spiders living on your land where you look like a nat to them? I know several people who would not have been able to entertain the notion of this. It would be too much for them. I enjoyed the imagery that she pained in this story and I could only imagine the stark terror.
3)Cold hands warm hearts. By Mark Woods. The moral I took away from this story is that Adults should tell children the truth. Had the children been told the truth of their school friend dying the following tragedy could have been avoided. This was an interesting twist on the innocents of children.
The Narrator didn't have a wide range of voices which would be fine for a single story, but when there is an anthology with many stories it would be nice if they took on the characters, Instead, the voices in the stories all ran together. If you were not paying attention it would be easy to miss the transition into a new story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa and Josh
  • 08-01-2020

Some good, some not so good

As soon as I saw that author Roma Gray was offering a new anthology audiobook, I was all eager to listen. My expectations were way too high for this batch of stories, especially with the story chosen for the #1 stop. A question to whoever wrote the blurb/author’s names on Goodreads… Why didn’t you list ALL the authors? That made no sense to me and came across, in my opinion, as being disrespectful to those unlisted.

The narrator… What can I say about him? Positives: he did great female voices, I loved when he said the word “anything” because it sounded fancy. And…? That’s it. Negatives: all the male voices sounded pretty much the same, he does not have a natural reading/narrating voice at all. There were SO MANY words that he’d say and it left me wondering if he’d ever said the word prior. And I’m talking about common words, for example, “secured” was pronounced “sa-curd.” Listen for the word “condoms!” I found it very strange.

My biggest question involving the narrator is why he was chosen to narrator American stories (at least the majority took place in the US)? On that note, in “Immemorial,” the story about the graveyard, he kept his English accent (even though the story was in the US). It was funny because the writer had the character as a country/hill billy type; so hearing the English narrator saying “ain’t” and other country slang was hilarious. I doubt the author was going for a funny story. Why he didn’t do an American accent, I have no clue.

Comments/ratings per story:

“The Halloween Girl” by J. Todzelli -10/5
Where was the author going with this story? What age group? Tiny kids who didn’t have commons sense and critical thinking skills? This was a very poor choice for the #1 spot. After listening to this story which was probably one of the cheesiest pieces of…insert negative word here…that I’ve ever listened to, any high expectations went down the toilet. Was the author purposely (for whatever reason) trying to make the characters idiots? They compare the ghost girl to Jesus (insert rolling eye emoji), make no connection between her and the bad stuff that happens when she arrives (people dying, bleeding neck wounds!), and refer to her as an angel. I don’t get it. How did the author (anyone!) think this was going to be a good story? I think the best scene/line was after the bus accident in which lots of elementary kids die and the author says: “they quickly forget about it.” LOL Wow!

“Trap Door” by Roma Gray 5/5
This short story had been released in a Christmas anthology (I think) last Christmas, so I was very disappointed there wasn’t a new story in this batch by her, given she was the reason I asked for a code.

“Tea at Midnight” by William Bove 0/5
The main character sees the pig’s head. Why did it seem like there was such a long pause before she screamed? Yet, no one heard her screaming. What had been the point of the pig’s head? That was lost on me. Best line: “She was humming the same tune from when she was young that she’d picked up in childhood.” Can anyone scream redundant!

“The Acadian Vessel” by Christopher Artinian 2/5
I felt a little lost toward the end of this story. When the main character finds the excavator? and stares into his eyes – eyes spoken in the universal tongue. The author does know you can’t have the main character go on a rant for a few years and expect the non-English-speaking character to have any clue what the main guy was thinking based on eye contact. There was no way he would have guessed the main character was thinking about finding the guy’s family, raping his wife, and killing his children. I didn’t even understand why he was so mad at this guy. Then at the very end, the reader learns the main guy is “Evil.” Um…okay.

“Lucy” by Brian Wemesfelder 2/5
I didn’t really get this story either.

“Out of the Darkness Come Light” by Michael Fisher 3/5
I was lost at the beginning of this story. So the Ripper takes Gutter back to his place. For whatever reason, Gutter automatically wants to go to sleep (it’s not even nighttime as he tries to avoid the sunlight shining in). There was mention of how Gutter had followed the Ripper back into the living. Huh? What had been the point of the supernatural lady at the train station? Obviously, I figured she would defeat the Ripper, so her death was somewhat surprising. But again, why not just make her a tough woman? Why was her character so detailed? Her threat to the Ripper that her family would kill him. How? Wasn’t her family normal? How would they ever find out what even happened to her?

“Superstitious” by Kat Gracie 2/5
Why did the narrator do an American accent for these characters? I mean…American’s don’t typically eat pickle and cheese sandwiches…

“The People in the Pool” by G.R. Jordan 1/5
Just a note: I’m not a fan of authors that write really short stories yet include chapters (chapter titles). I mean, why? It’s a short story! There was so much confusion for me. There’s the part when (I don’t even remember what was going on) but the main guy thought how he hadn’t seen anything weird yet. Even though Calandra had shown him…herself…as well as the pool with lights. Nothing weird there. How did he know that she was hundreds of years old? At first, I thought he was just joking with her, but that didn’t seem to be the case. I don’t know what type of military setting this was to where the main guy could tell the man in charge of the base what to do but…No. So he couldn’t even look away while the nurse helped Calandra undress and redress? Why? Even better, why did he never say anything to her about her freaking wings! ‘Nothing strange there.’ Why had Calandra been in the tank? That was never explained. The aliens were all about helping humans, which I didn’t really understand how they were doing that?! Very strange story here!

“Cold Hands Warm Heart” by Mark Woods 2/5
This was a very predictable story. BUT, on a positive note (not that it affects my rating), the story made sense!

“Scarecrows” by David A. Simpson 5/5 I LOVE ZOMBIES!

“Fugacious Penumbra” by Essal Pratt 0/5
I haven’t had much luck with this author in regard to liking his stories. Sorry. I found this one boring.

“Immemorum” by Brian James Lane 2/5
If the ghost guy didn’t want to be remembered as a bad guy, why in the world did he become a spy? How had no one known he was bad? Like the soldiers during his battle, who came forward to tell everyone. Or the fact anyone studying him died. I didn’t get it. At the end, when they’re heading to the gate to leave the cemetery, why didn’t the guy just ram the gate? I mean seriously! And he was so eager to sacrifice those kids.

“God’s Teeth” by Lucraious van Hope 3/5

“What a Little Moonlight Can Do” by Adrian W. Lilly 3/5
The part when the main guy is confronted about having killed a kid. Why did he act as though he had never done it or couldn’t remember? Yet! “He felt deep empathy and regret.” Huh? Contradiction much?

“Satchel’s Escape” by Joseph Cortilli and wife 1/5
This story didn’t work for me as I felt it was the middle of a novel. Like there was so much going on at the beginning that I felt like I’d skipped ahead. So he wanted to get his “family members” to safety…keep in mind he was only with his brother-in-law when he thought this. His wife as yellow-brown skin. Why not just tan? I mean seriously! I found it questionable that both parents only seemed to care that there would be a significant other for their son once they arrived on the new planet. The kid is a baby! A “dead carcass.” 1. A carcass is something dead. So redundancy there. 2. Who would refer to their mate as a carcass?

“Christ on a Bike” By D.J. Doyle 4/5

“After the Fall” by Donna Fox 3/5
Best line: “I grabbed the desk. Holding onto my desk and looking at the surface of my desk.” Was there a purpose to repeating “desk” so many times?

“Finders Keepers” by Joanne van ...? 4/5

“The Night has a Thousand Wings” by Kevin Candella 4/5

“The Wildfire Virus” by Howard Carlyle 4/5
Again, I love zombies! There was some funny dialogue. I just didn’t get why they wouldn’t have waited until nighttime before heading back to the house. I mean, if the zombies are there and it’s bright out, they’re going to follow you. Right to your house. That didn’t make sense to me.

“October’s Children” by Carrie Allen Denny? 3/5
“The Darkness” by T.D. Ricketts 3/5
“Forever Made” by Jeremy Mack 3/5
“Deadly Cavern” by John T.M. Harris 4/5

“Changes in the Night” by Tobias F. Cabrall? 3/5
Why did I imagine the female character was named Adrian even though the narrator pronounced it as “Add-re-ann?”

“Reaper’s Folly” by Nicky Landis -5/5
I did not like this story. I’ve read so much about “Death” aka the “Grim Reaper.” I’m all for authors incorporating their own little details to common characters but this author went a little too far in my opinion. 1. The Grim Reaper is neutral. 2. No he or she, it’s an It. 3. It does not get bloodlust or become bloodthirsty. 4. It doesn’t have a boss, much less report to Lucifer/Satan. 5. Its role/job is to collect souls and take them to purgatory. It doesn’t send them to Heaven or Hell itself. When the bank robber is taken by the dark shadows (redundancy there), I automatically thought to the movie “Ghost.” I couldn’t even finish this story.

“The Banshee and the Witch” by Catherine Meyer Griffith 5/5
Why would a banshee, if she’d been a witch, come for a witch when it was time for her to die/move on? I didn’t get that.

I received a free audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Neesie315
  • 03-02-2020

A Mixed Bag

As with most Anthologies, this collection had some really good, scary tales and some that just didn't mesh for me. The stories were actually in several genres, such as horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. I was expecting more horror and less "other", but most were still entertaining.

The stories included several different villains: zombies (YEAH!), huge spiders, demons, ghosts, vampires, aliens, gargoyles, the Grim Reaper, and some other unknown monsters. My favorites in this collection were by the authors that I have read before, namely Roma Gray, Christopher Artinian, Dona Fox, David Simpson, and Kerry Allan Denny. These authors did their usual great job at drawing in the reader and giving them a chill.

Several of the stories will definitely stay with me a while. The zombie tales were great and the huge spiders were creepy enough to make me afraid to walk outside without thinking about trap doors. Some of the stories were a little long and didn't hold my attention as well as the shorter ones, but that might just be my own opinion. I did enjoy the autobiography and author questions that were included at the end of each story. It is always fascinating to hear what the authors have to say about their work.

I always know that when I pick up a collection offered by Roma Gray that I will be entertained. I would recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys short stories in the horror/paranormal genre. The narrator, J.D. Kelly, did a good job and his pacing and voices were spot on, keeping the listener's attention throughout. I was given the chance to listen to the audiobook version of this book by the publisher and chose to review it.

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