Author: C. A. Verstraete
Cover Artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Buy Page: MuseItUpPublishing
Warning: Light gore
A party at a day camp; a blind date on Valentine's Day. Can you say loser?, Jess thinks. But this is no ordinary party. The Killer Valentine Ball has more thrills than Jess ever expected--or will ever forget.
The Killer Valentine Ball
Will Keep the Kids Entertained
For the bargain price of $.99
Bio: I grew up with my nose always in a book, so it seemed a natural progression that I wanted to be a writer. A prophetic wish, it seems, judging from my favorite baby photo as seen on my website of me with a newspaper and a pencil behind my ear. I studied journalism and continue to do freelance writing for newspapers.
I also enjoy writing all kinds of fiction, with stories appearing in several anthologies including the recent Steampunk'd from DAW Books (coming out Nov. 2).
My kid's mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, was #1 on Kindle for Miniatures books and was a 2009 EPPIE Award finalist for best YA/children's ebook by the Epic Foundation.
As they walked into the shadows, Jess noticed that things weren't quite as they appeared. Sections of the room lightened for a moment before being cast again in deep shadow. What Jess thought she saw in that split second made her heart race. On the dance floor, the same three couples stood, clasped to each other. Jess stared. She swore they never moved.
The music played quietly in the background. When the shadows brightened, Jess caught a quick glimpse of one of the couples. The young man's mouth gaped open. His partner's gown glistened with streams of dark ribbons. The light flashed again and Jess gasped. Those weren't ribbons! The girl's dress shone with dark glimmers. Like-like blood, she thought. No, it can't be! She looked back at Dylan, who shook his head and urged her on.
"Light tricks," he whispered. "It's not real. It's Halloween stuff, like the movie. Don't worry."
The Killer Valentine Ball
Halloween is over, but a crafty horror tale is good any time of the year. The story is short which will cause the reluctant reading teenager to be more open to the idea of sitting and reading . From the opening paragraph the reader empathizes with the main character.
Roped into a blind date as a favor to her mom, she resolves to pour herself into a short and tight skirt. Dylan and Jess arrive at the sedate ball. It seems awfully quiet for a party. They settle into their seats. The evening appears to have all of the ingredients to be a snooze fest. Jess decides to give it a chance. Ixt wouldn't kill her or would it?
Surprised by the escalating hints of danger, Dylan attempts to assuage Jessica's fear. Firmly set behind Jessica's eyes the reader is given a taste of her mounting dread. The horror builds. Verstraete layers each horror's description carefully atop each other. The story concludes in a crescendo of horror. In the style of Poe, Verstraete winds an artful tale that will be enjoyed in every season. I highly recommend the short story asthe perfect read on a stormy night to set your nerves on edge.☻☻☻☻1/2