Category Archives: Horror Stories

Recommendation: DOLL CRIMES, by Karen Runge

Cover of Doll Crimes by Karen Runge (Crystal Lake Publishing)

If you’ve read my novel Bad Apple and enjoyed it, then don’t miss out on Karen Runge’s Doll Crimes.

This is a gorgeously written, terrifying examination of the complicated mother-daughter relationship; how they love and respect each other despite flaws; how they can damage each other no matter the depth of that love. This is real-life horror that reaches into the very bones of any woman who has loved her mother or daughter despite emotional crimes, big or small. Rife with sharp, stunning details and strong internal narrative, it’s possibly one of the most moving, visually beautiful–and yet accessible–books I’ve ever read, fraught with tension, sadness–and a strange kind of joy, because no matter where we are in our relationships with our mothers or daughters, their men, and the people who have done them wrong, we know that we are not alone. If you love dark fiction and are a mother, daughter, or both; or, if you have struggled with that emotionally fragile, yet seemingly unbreakable, bond between you, then this book is for you. High recommend.

Doll Crimes is published by Crystal Lake Publishing. It’s available everywhere, but here’s the Amazon link for ease: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1646693140/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_aRO5DbJF27VPK

Still haven’t read my book Bad Apple? You can get it here: http://bit.ly/BadAppleKPS

Mom and I 1978 -- 2019

My mother (left) and I didn’t have the easiest relationship. She died when she was 39 and I was 15. DOLL CRIMES really spoke to me.

Read “Wrecking Malcolm” now at HALFWAY DOWN THE STAIRS!

Wrecking Malcolm Promotional Screenshot

My New Year’s Eve-set ghost story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” is now available to read–for free–in the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. The December 2019 issue is themed “The Calling.”

The issue is stunning, but I have to say — I cried when I saw the artwork they chose. Honestly, it’s what I saw in my head when I was writing this, just over a year ago. It’s almost like they were reading my mind.

You can read it here:

https://halfwaydownthestairs.net/2019/12/01/wrecking-malcolm-by-kristi-petersen-schoonover/

“Wrecking Malcolm” was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. I learned about it last year at an archaeology lecture at my local community college, and was lucky enough to be able to visit, as it’s not far from where one of my friends lives.

Here are a few photographs of the actual graveyard.

“Wrecking Malcolm” accepted at HALFWAY DOWN THE STAIRS

Remains at shipwreck graveyard

The remains of sidewheelers the Bay Queen and the Mount Hope rest in peace at the shipwreck graveyard in Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI, June, 2019.

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” has been accepted by the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs for its upcoming issue, themed “The Calling.”

The issue is due to release on December 1–that’s Sunday!

“Wrecking Malcolm” is a personal favorite of mine, and I’m glad it found a good home. It was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. There is much work being done to preserve the historic structures … and yes, I’ve visited it more than a few times.

I’ll post when it’s available to read. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

 

“Last Christmas” posted!

Crystal Lake Logo

My story “Last Christmas” –a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–is up today for Patreon Supporters of Crystal Lake Publishing! If you’d like to check it out, you can make a $5/month Fans of Fiction pledge (you can change this at any time) and vote. The first two stories posted were really good stuff, and I’m sure the remaining 10 are going to be great, too. Here’s where you can sign up, read, and vote if you like:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/31736315

I’m celebrating: “Last Christmas” a finalist!

This is my favorite Christmas wine glass.

This is my favorite Christmas wine glass. I think I got it at Christmas Tree Shops, but it always comes out when I want to celebrate something holiday-related–even if it isn’t that time of year!

I’m pleased to announce that “Last Christmas”–a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–has made the final round! This month’s challenge was “creepy stories with a twist ending that take place in a graveyard.” My story shares the list with thirteen others.

Normally, I don’t announce when a piece is a finalist or is shortlisted–I consider that bad luck. However, this contest is a different animal. The winner will be selected based on the votes of the publication’s Patreon supporters, and so in that case, it truly is a crap shoot. I’m just happy I made it to the finals.

I had a wonderful time writing this piece–I’ve always loved a theme challenge. I’m hoping to do more in the future. It forces me to think outside the box as well as practice word economy and other skills. But mostly? Yeah, it’s just FUN!

I’ll be back Thursday with the link to my story.

Short Story Sunday: Yellow Smoke, Scott Thomas

Urn and Willow Cover

While every story in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow—a collection of ghostly tales set in 18th and 19th century New England—is great, “Yellow Smoke” is a standout for its genuine mastery at inducing absolute terror; few short stories scare me into sleeping with the lights on like this one does.

This is due to its Read the rest of this entry

Malicious Monsters: The Jackalope

Jackalope Real

This jackalope may look adorable, but according to legend, it’s a vicious beast.

In the summer of 2011, I needed an escape. I ended up going to see my sister, who lived in Austin, in my first-ever trip to the state of Texas.

Long story short? I fell in love with Texas. In an absolute, complete, I-see-no-wrong kind of love. The smell of burnt asphalt and cactus blossom laced with a kiss of mesquite. In Hill Country, woods and mountains not much different from Connecticut, but with the occasional surprise of a cactus thrusting from a blanket of past autumn leaves. The joy of watching over a half a million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The 108 degree heat, hot glazed pecans at the HEB, and people who will absolutely talk to a total stranger without looking at him like he has five heads.

Austin Jackalope

Me at The Jackalope, a dive bar with incredible burgers on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. There’s a challenge associated with the giant jackalope that stares at you the second you walk in—you have to have a drink in your hand to climb on. It’s not easy. Trust me! To visit The Jackalope’s website, visit here: https://www.jackalopebar.com/downtown To read about my adventures at the bar when I visited in 2016, visit here: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2016/05/23/i-met-a-real-jackalope/

But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry

Photos from THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to celebrate the release of my short story collection, The Shadows Behind, with a party at my house. Here are photos from the event!

SETTING UP

THE CAKE Read the rest of this entry

It’s release day! Special preview of THE SHADOWS BEHIND

 

Cutting the cake at THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party

Man, I did NOT want to cut this gorgeous cake! It was worth it, though: a thick layer of cream cheese frosting sandwiched inside yellow cake, smothered in butter creme icing! YUM! Photo by Tom Libonate.

It seemed like it would never come, but it’s here: release day for my short story collection, The Shadows Behind! Want a preview? Here’s a reading of the first half of the short story, “Roots,” at the release party this past weekend.

You can get your copies where books are sold or through Amazon here: http://bit.ly/shadowsbehind

If you’d like a signed copy shipped directly to you instead, drop me a line through my contact page with your email and we can make arrangements.

 

I have a talented sister-in-law…

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery Petersen, spent countless hours making me these special cookies for THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party.

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery-Petersen, spent countless hours making me these special cookies for THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party.

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery-Petersen, loves to bake, and is really good at at it (much like my late mom). One day a few weeks ago, she messaged me and said she’d been playing around with doing something out of her comfort zone with her sugar cookies: my book cover.

If you’ve seen the book cover for The Shadows Behind, you know this is not a small undertaking. I really loved them, and she then volunteered to send me a few dozen for my release event this weekend.

I had to share, because she’s amazing. That’s a pretty cool person who just volunteers to take on that kind of thing out of pure love and passion. And suffice it to say the only thing I can bake is the stuff that comes out of those round tubes!

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