- Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions
In this anthology born out of a tour featuring multiple female authors (Smart Chicks Kick It), sixteen fantastical stories treat journeys of various forms. In “Giovanni’s Farewell,” the journey is both literal and emotional, as a teen on a school trip to Italy experiences her first kiss and realizes that it was with a ghost only she can see. Carrie Ryan’s “Scenic Route” explores how the whisper of escape, the focus on planning for an unlikely trip, can keep hope alive even when you are one of few survivors of an all-out zombie apocalypse. In one of the more unusual outings, Jackson Pearce, in “Things about Love,” presents a genie who is determined to learn about human love, even if it means setting herself up for the almost inevitable equally human feelings of disappointment and heartbreak (it doesn’t help that her chosen subject is gay, not to mention deeply wary of genies and not interested in taking her on any voyage through love). Vampires, zombies, ghosts, and supernatural abilities all make appearances; horror, supernatural, and fantasy fans should all find plenty of authors they know and love, and they will also likely find a few newcomers or writers outside of their fave genres who they’ll find worth checking out elsewhere. Snappy author bios, the inclusion of all new stories, and the sheer enthusiasm and cool factor of the tour itself (now an annual event) make this a standout among the many paranormal-themed anthologies.