Category Archives: Horror Stories

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

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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!

Happy Easter! Easter decorations can be terrifying…

How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Bunny - similar to mine

This isn’t the electric bunny my family had when I was a kid, but it’s similar.

Whether or not you celebrate this holiday, I don’t think any of us can deny that sometimes, Easter decorations—especially vintage ones—can be creepy.

Growing up, we had a rather freaky plastic Easter Bunny that lit up. I have no Read the rest of this entry

THE SHADOWS BEHIND: copies are here; Amazon pre-order

THE SHADOWS BEHIND book delivery

It’s been an exciting few days! The first shipment of copies of my new short story collection, The Shadows Behind, arrived on Wednesday. I’ve also received many requests for signed copies and have shipped them or am in the process of shipping them out!

In other news, Amazon now has the paperback available for pre-order (the Kindle edition will be available for pre-order shortly). Both will ship/deliver on April 30, Books and Boos Press’ official release date. You can check that out 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.

 

Sinister Settings: FORDLANDIA

Fordlandia Riverside near Tapajos River

Riverside Avenue in Fordlandia, which was near the Tapajos River. This image was printed in Grandin’s 2010 book, FORDLANDIA.

If you’ve read my work, you know that settings are something about which I’m passionate. A unique, vibrant setting always makes for a more interesting piece.

I’d always wanted to write a story involving a place called Fordlandia—a city Henry Ford built in Brazil in the late 1920s so he could have his own supply of rubber for his manufacturing; a place that is now abandoned and overgrown. I finally got the chance when I wrote “Attempted Delivery,” which appears in my forthcoming collection, The Shadows Behind.

Never heard of Fordlandia? Lots of people haven’t (when I mention it I usually get “what the hell is that?”) There’s a reason for that. The experiment in a utopia, meant to mirror a factory town in the Midwest—complete with a school, movie theatre, dance hall, church, modern hospital and paved roads (but no alcohol or tobacco)—was an unmitigated disaster.

“The houses sucked for the environment, the food made people sick, the rubber trees wouldn’t grow or just plain died of a strange blight,” notes the marine biologist, Juliane, in my short story “Attempted Delivery.”

That’s the short version. The land was infertile, cargo had trouble reaching the city unless it was the rainy season, and Amazon wood—which Ford had hoped to sell in order to cover costs until rubber trees took hold—had no value. At one point the workers rioted. By 1945, Fordlandia was abandoned, nothing more than a broken dream.

Fordlandia house ruins

One of the houses that remains in Fordlandia today. This is a screenshot from a 2008 Spanish documentary on the subject.

Today, there are people living in Fordlandia, Read the rest of this entry

THE SHADOWS BEHIND cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to show off the cover for my forthcoming short story collection, The Shadows Behind, coming from Books and Boos Press on April 30, 2019! The cover’s art is by A.L. Cortez, who had some interesting things to say about its creation. You can read that on the press’ website here: https://booksandboospress.com/2019/03/21/the-shadows-behind-cover-reveal/

The Shadows Behind Final Cover

This collection, which is foreworded by Damnation Island author Stacy Horn, contains six long out-of-print favorites, among them “Doors” (Carpe Articulum, 2010), as well as four featured in various, esoterically-themed anthologies (which, if you didn’t buy those anthologies, you probably haven’t read).

What’s most exciting are the seven new Read the rest of this entry

“Splendid Chyna” on Black Friday sale for a whole week!

Nothing says Black Friday like a ghost story, right? If you missed the opportunity to read my novella “Splendid Chyna” – perfect if you like Asian Horror (i.e., The Ring, for those of you not familiar) and abandoned theme parks – the Kindle version is on sale for 99 cents through Thursday, November 29!

“Splendid Chyna” appears in the collection Three on a Match with two other novellas, “All’s Well that Ends” by G. Elmer Munson, and “Thicker than Water” by Melissa Crandall. These shorts are just the thing to be reading in between season busy-ness.

You can get it here, and happy holiday shopping!

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