Our State of Horror journey has taken us from the Land of Lincoln to the Garden State to the Tar Heel State and now it brings us to the Bayou State- Louisiana! Home of Mardi Gras, Tabasco Sauce, food, music, folklore, Cajuns, Creoles, and wildlife, the state boasts a rich history and like most states has horrors lying beneath the surface.
This State of Horror entry is unique because there will be two visits to Lousiana, so now you don't have to choose between the Étouffée and beignets!
Goodie-Goodie- Our anthology kicks off with a story from Chad McKee about a man named Maxwell Tibbs. Max finds himself out of a job and blames his former friend for the loss of his job, especially since the order was handed down by someone other than his friend. In his anger, he summons an old evil. In his anger, he summons an angry mob. In his anger, he learns what happens when you don't stop to think things through.
Risen- Pamela Troy spins a tale about a plantation named Risen and the history behind it. The history is disguised in a story about Amy, a girl who is staying on the plantation with her family while their real home is being remodeled. Amy learns the evil wrought by the ancestor of the family friend, responsible for the death of so many people. The family is never there during Easter. It doesn't take long to learn why.
Stealing Sight- Tommy B. Smith lets us meet Tarantula. Tarantula seeks enlightenment via clear blue eyes. The truth of a soul. Tarantula's search leads her to Jocelyn, which doesn't go well. Seek the truth with the spirits of the river. Their truth may not be what you truly seek.
The Pea Farm- Amanda Hard introduces us to some ghost hunters on their way to see if a prison farm is truly haunted. Terrible things happened while the prison farm was open. We get glimpses of them while the ghost hunters are setting up their equipment before a storm moves in. Then history begins to repeat itself.
First, Make A Roux- Allie Marini Batts's tale is about Blanche, a divorcee who starts to remember how much she loved cooking. An ad brings her to an estate sale where she learns about Marigny, the late owner of the house. Blanche is given a special recipe to help in healing her heart (recipe included!) and soon not only is her heart healed, but her life begins to heal.
Voter Base- Sarah Glenn shows us what happens when you try to let greed get the better of you. Slick talking can help you get out situations, but when you have to own up to what you promise....can you?
Dying Days: Apple Bottom- Armand Rosamilla treats us to another chapter in zombocalypse. At a Klan rally of all things. Where the onset of the zombocalypse is starting. We meet Brett and Ellis in one of the strangest ways- ass ogling. Friendship via hatchback. Who knew?
Cajun Critter- Ethan Nahte shows us aliens can hide in hurricanes (whee!) while we watch a booze run (because bootleggers don't ID). Passwords, money, local folklore and bears aside, the booze is collected and it's back to the car. The return trip proves to be a little more flammable and full of death than the trip out.
Black Mud Curse- J. Jay Waller brings us a taste of some local folklore. While on a search for Civil War graves, some teens are caught up in the curse of a local witch. Some possession, some death, some mud and the lesson of don't scoff at stories that last for generations.
The Recycling of the Skin- Alexander S. Brown introduces us to Douglas Reynolds, a furrier, in Baton Rouge to visit his mother. After acting like a complete jackass to the cabbie, Douglas arrives at his mother's apartment building, where his mother cannot be found. Stench of death aside, Douglas settles in for his visit and contemplates what to see. Too bad all he sees is the local furrier....
Runner- Henry P. Gravelle drops us in on Georgie, who's on the run after stealing a coin from a witch and winding up with a demon on his back. Georgie manages to get rid of the coin on some unsuspecting teenagers. One winds up on the run, one winds up dead and the other winds up in the hospital. Your friend can stay.
Bayou Bites- Jay Seate introduces us to Dan, a private investigator. Dan's assignment is to follow the wife of rich man who believes she is debasing herself by messing around with transients. Dan finishes his assignment and, to an extent, the wife finishes him.
Changing Favors- The last helping in this volume of horror gumbo is brought to us by Margaret L. Colton. Margaret introduces us to Katie, during a terrible moment. The person she loves, who she thought loved her, is leaving and tells her to just move on. During a vacation to New Orleans, Katie does just that, she moves on. Did you just hear a shriek?
The State of Horror anthology series is seriously becoming one of my favorite book series to follow. It's not very often that I will spend an evening with a browser tab open hitting refresh until the new release is available.
Thank you to all the authors who provide a little fright in the night and now the waiting for Volume 2: Louisiana begins!