It’s October, and that means I’m starting to think about Halloween.

First up, pumpkins. I always go to the pumpkin patch the first weekend or so in October to pick them out. A couple for decoration, a couple for eventual carving. Now that I have a child, that adventure also includes things like apple cider and hayrides and corn mazes and the like.

The thing about hayrides and corn mazes is that there are two kinds: kid-friendly and haunted. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one for the haunted kind. I think it has something to do with a childhood experience in which my sister and I went to a haunted corn maze. Some guy (a teenager most likely) jumped out to scare us (his job) and scared the living daylights out of my sister, who burst into tears. Well, I tend to be pretty protective of those I care about, so I told the guy off and got her out of there. I haven’t been to one since.

But my daughter loves scary things. She keeps begging to watch The Haunting Hour (um, no) and pleading to watch the “girl Ghostbusters” (sadly, no because of its rating). So, I’m clearly going to have to get on board with the scary stuff.

fr-19-haunted-ebook-cover-web-284Good thing I have lots of great fiction for inspiration, including our most recent Fiction River volume, Haunted.

Here’s the synopsis:

Nothing compares to a good ghost story. And in Haunted, some of the best short fiction writers in the business explore the many different ways to haunt someone: literally, figuratively, happily, angrily… From a man haunted by his wife’s favorite appliance to a possessed building protective of its new family to a chilling twist on the modern practice of ghosting, the thirteen authors of Fiction River’s latest volume provide unforgettable stories that will haunt the reader for years to come.

Table of Contents
“She’s No Shimmer” by David H. Hendrickson
“Land of the Living” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Clean” by Michael Kowal
“The Ghost of Station Four” by Angela Penrose
“The Clockwork Harp” by Anthea Sharp
“Christmas Ghosts in Silver Chains” by Dave Raines
“Hoarding” by Thea Hutcheson
“Machowski’s Watch” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“The Crow War of Willows Beach” by Brenda Carre
“Mother Daughter” by Brigid Collins
“The Ribbon Tree” by Leah Cutter
“Holly Hock” by Kerrie L. Hughes
“Ghosting” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Edited by the incomparable Kerrie L. Hughes, this volume marks our second featuring ghosts. The first, Christmas Ghosts, had happy endings (as romances are wont to do). This volume will give you chills, perfect for this haunting time of year.

I hope you enjoy it. I know my daughter will in a couple of years.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.