Haunted Holidays

3 Short Tales of Terror

by Carolyn Haines, Laura Benedict, Lisa Morton

Gallowstree Press

Anthology, Horror

November 28, 2014

Available in: e-Book

Haunted Holidays
by Carolyn Haines, Laura Benedict, Lisa Morton

Haunted Holidays: 3 Short Tales of Terror

Looking for a little fright to go with your fa-la-la? Three thrilling horror writers—Lisa Morton, Carolyn Haines (aka R.B. Chesterton), and Laura Benedict—bring you three short, sharp tales of terror to liven up your holiday fireside reading.

The Christmas Spirit by Lisa Morton
In a last-ditch effort to save their troubled marriage, Elise and Ray decide to get out of London for Christmas and spend time together at the tatty, atmospheric Yorkshire cottage Elise has inherited from her Aunt Priscilla. When Ray surprises Elise with The Christmas Spirit, an old book he’s bought in the village, Elise reads it aloud, anxious to make their stay a success. But the tale of murder and violence transcends time, reaching out for Elise and Ray, threatening not just their marriage, but their lives.

The Christmas Ornament by Carolyn Haines (aka R.B.Chesterton)
Homesick and stuck at Cornell University over the Christmas holidays, Clair and four of her fellow grad students accept Carlos Ard’s invitation to spend Christmas at his great-uncle’s isolated Victorian summer home deep in the woods. After a Christmas Eve feast, everyone settles in to hear ghost stories, but after Carlos brings out a box containing a family heirloom from Romania—a Christmas ornament that’s so cursed that it cannot even safely be seen—the adventure becomes a nightmare from which Clair may never wake.

The Christmas Gnome by Laura Benedict
Venus Hansen has a perfect face, a perfect house, a perfect husband and two perfect children. When her mother-in-law in Norway sends them a shabby wooden Christmas gnome, Venus’s perfect husband, Steffan, insists on surprising the children each morning before Christmas with some holiday-themed mischief that the gnome has gotten into, just like a certain elf that lives on a shelf. Venus doesn’t want to have anything to do with it, but when Steffan’s pranks go awry, and the gnome starts telling Venus vicious secrets, Christmas turns deadly, and her perfect life will never be the same.

Stick around after the end of the stories, if you dare. Lisa, Laura, and Carolyn have all included thrilling samples from their other, current books as a special treat.



Carolyn Haines' Bio

USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Haines grew up with both parents working as journalists, and she was bitten by the writing bug at a very young age. Her three ambitions were to be a cowgirl, a mystery-solving sleuth like Nancy Drew, and a writer. Today, she has basically accomplished them all. She is the author of the acclaimed Bones mystery series and in addition, she works as an advocate for humane treatment for animals and operates a small rescue on her farm (7 horses, 9 cats and 6 dogs).

Haines claims to have had “the last golden childhood of the South.” She grew up in Lucedale, Mississippi, a town of 3,000 in the Southeastern Pine Barrens. She rode her bicycle all over the county with her wonderful dog Venus and employed her imagination to create adventures with her friends.

Her first job in journalism was at the local weekly, The George County Times, when she was in high school. She went on to work as a photojournalist at the Hattiesburg American while attending the University of Southern Mississippi to earn a B.S. in journalism.

She worked for nearly a decade in the news business, covering local politics, the state legislatures in Alabama and Mississippi, spot news, writing a personal column and her favorite—writing features and using photography to illustrate the story. With her mother, she ran a statewide bureau in Mississippi for the Mobile Register and the Mississippi Press. As part of her journalistic adventures, Haines covered an armed robbery on horseback, hopped a freight train, and rescued a young, injured bald eagle from certain death. She was the first female reporter hired on the news side of the Huntsville Times.

At the same time, she began writing short fiction for personal satisfaction. Under the sway of Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Doris Betts, and Lee Smith, Haines wrote about the landscape and the people she knew. The end result was being accepted by an agent who urged her to “write a novel.”

Another huge influence was Harper Lee and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Haines’s first novel was SUMMER OF THE REDEEMERS, a coming of age story set in 1963 rural Mississippi and published in 1994. Haines was honored in 2010 with the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing.

In 2009, Haines was named the recipient of the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

From general fiction, Haines drifted into mysteries, and THEM BONES, a humorous mystery with a wise-cracking ghost, was bought at auction. The stories center around Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends. The fourteenth book in the series, BOOTY BONES, was published May 20, 2014, by St. Martin’s Minotaur.

While writing the lighter mysteries, Haines has continued to write in the darker terrain of the crime novel. PENUMBRA and FEVER MOON (both St. Martin’s Minotaur) are historical crime novels.

In May 2010, an anthology she edited, DELTA BLUES, was released to critical acclaim.

Along with writing, Haines is the fiction coordinator at the University of South Alabama where she teaches graduate and undergraduate fiction writing. And she is president of Good Fortune Farm Refuge, an organization dedicated to helping animals and to educating the public on the need to spay and neuter.

She lives on a farm with her “critters.” They are the terror of the neighborhood.