||Sep 1 2002
Dedicated to those addicted to excitement and the adrenaline it shoots, this highly acclaimed collection offers many different shades of the dark side. From mysteries and thrillers to the paranormal and gore, there is something for everyone… everyone but the weak at heart, that is.
Once again, veteran authors Victoria Valentine & Steven Manchester are pleased to drag their courageous readers into a world filled with strange occurrences and twisted fates…
a world of short stories where anything is possible and as in real life, not every story ends with a smile.
It’s too late for door bolts and bright lights! There's no escape…At The Stroke of Midnight casts a warlock’s spell of horror, mystery and supernatural thrills on those who dare to take a peak. Crammed into 24 tales of terror, page after page of raw excitement are sure to decimate the senses -- while dark, stimulating poetry (accompanying each tale) is guaranteed to spook the mind. 284 pages of excitement and thrills!
Valentine & Manchester will have you perched on the edge of your seat, anxiously devouring each story and poem. They will consume your mind, test your heart and cause goose bumps to cover your trembling flesh… But you’ll still crave more. They’ll tempt you, trick you, bring you to fear and tears -- a promise from two authors who are happy to escort you to the far sides of life and death, and those haunting places in between.
From flights to the unknown to horrid, stalking shadows, when you least expect it, the moon will disappear and you’ll wish you’d taken your mama’s advice!
Visit The Last Resort for a taste of gore -- definitely NOT for the squeamish. Take a step through The Red Door -- NOT recommended for the innocent. No matter where you turn, Monsters, Murderers, Ghosts, Demons, and Insanity await you!
If you’re hungry for the supernatural and scary, prepare to taste 24 different flavors of the macabre. Be ready to face hell, though, or worse -- At The Stroke Of Midnight.
And now, the clock begins to chime…
It could have been autumn’s chilly breath creating the sounds that froze our bones that night - throwing a ghost-like trance upon us four. Fear can do one of two things - make you run faster than the wind, never stopping to look back to see how close hell is to your heels, although you feel its hot breath singeing the tiny hairs on your neck. Or fear can stop you dead in your tracks, stiffened with panic – heart pounding – head spinning - gasping for breath - loss of sense fear. That is what I experienced.
The chain-like scraping on cold cement emanating from the basement – as if a heavy lid were being slowly slid from a concrete coffin. Tap tap tap upon only a few select windows in very darkened rooms. Possibly gnarled branches of oaks, elms and clawing hands of evergreens were the culprits? However, if that were the case, these things only added to the fright and confusion we experienced while encountering Smith’s cabin.
If so – if there was a plausible explanation for the sounds--the lights! What about the lights? What caused the lights to flicker and caress the dancing walls? And lights upon lights? Up high in corners. A light so bright it outshone the brilliance of a colonial chandelier with sixteen fancy bulbs plugged securely into sixteen beckoning arms. Then what came next – on that moonless night. I still feel the rash of horror creep across my skin and tingling spine, short of breath I tell myself, “it’s okay - you’re home and safe. IT could NOT have followed you back…” I burrow under the down of my bed covers and shiver alone, recalling that terrifying weekend – and the nightmare from which I may never awaken…
At The Stroke Of Midnight
At the Stroke of Midnight is a haunting collection of short stories and poems from the talented pens of Steven Manchester and Victoria Valentine. Together, these two have the power to thrill, scare and murder their way through delightfully old-fashioned 'tales of terror' a la Poe, until the reader doesn't know what to expect.
Eerily wicked tales of the macabre keep the reader turning the pages, waiting for the next thrill of sigh of relief, depending on which story is being read. Reading these tales reminded this reader/reviewer of nights spent anxiously watching episodes of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone and Night Gallery wanting to be scared and not quite certain you are happy about it when the time comes.
Well written short stories combined with wonderfully macabre poetry that somehow evokes memories of such masters as Shelly or Stoker provide hours of daytime reading enjoyment. A treat for the senses, At the Stroke of Midnight is a book that definitely must be read again and again.
Denise's Pieces Author Site & Book Reviews
At The Stroke Of Midnight
"Victoria Valentine & Steve Manchester have given us a haunting and
powerful collection of twenty-four stories -- stories that are eerie and
unforgettable and at times quirky and funny. But take my word, you will not
be smiling at the end. Take that to the bank !!!!
AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT is ambitious and should be read before and after
Halloween if one desires to be creeped. Do what I did: Turn off the
lights, burn some candles, and then sit and read. Be prepared for a scary
and strange trip.
What can I say about the short HOUSEGUEST ? It is one of the best short
stories I have ever read with its blend of sickness and humor. It's very
dark and before you know it you are swimming in a pool of bloody horror.
This book is excellent! It's suspenseful and the authors use very vivid
descriptions to build you up to the frightful moments. It was a very
interesting and entertaining read, and I would have liked to read more.
This book was a real page-turner. I would suggest this book to anybody who
likes October 31(superscript: st)."
Patrick J Barry, Film Editor- Los Angeles, California
At The Stroke Of Midnight
"Steven Manchester and Victoria Valentine's extroadinary use of verbiage has
created yet another remarkable and entertaining collection of stories --
with images that only Manchester and Valentine could paint. The enjoyment
of their dark and twisted tales runs deep. From detailed terrors to
unexpected thrills, both authors understand what it takes to be a horror
writer. An irresistable read!"
Filmmaker / Author
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