Tag Archives: review


I recently won a copy of Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, a horror anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. I’ve been interested in reading this anthology since the World Fantasy convention in Calgary where I was lucky enough to be sitting with someone with an anthology on the ballot for best anthology (which is not the official title for the category, but you get the idea). He was a wonderful guy who was hopeful for a win, but not optimistic. He figured Inferno would win and had nothing but good things to say about it. If Ellen’s competition only had good things to say about the book (which did win), how could I not want to read it?

The only catch to winning the book was that I had to blog about it — whether I liked it or not. This caused me a bit of stress because I’m not very good at writing book reviews and so I don’t like doing them. I was also concerned that I wouldn’t like it and then would be in the somewhat awkward position of writing bad things about a book I didn’t pay for.

I needn’t have worried.

While every story in Inferno wasn’t to my liking, the  majority were and they spanned a vast spectrum of subjects. It was an unthemed anthology, in order to be included a story had to “provide the reader with a frisson of shock, or a moment of dead so powerful it might cause the reader outright physical discomfort; or a sensation of fear so palpable that the reader feels impelled to turn up the lights very bright and play music or seek the company of others to dispel the fear; or to linger in the reader’s consciousness for a long, long time after the final word is read.”

I have yet to ever find a book that affected me in the first two ways and the stories in this collection were no exception, however, there were a great many which lingered in my consciousness for a very long time. Many times after reading a story I would need to close the book and walk away, to savor the piece I’d just read before going on to the next. Sometimes pieces of the text itself would be stuck in my mind, a line here or there, or a snippet of description so evocative it wouldn’t leave me alone.

I think my favorite story from the collection is The Keeper by P.D. Cacek. It’s a beautifully-written piece about the child survivor of a real-life horror. It is well worth reading and  has tear-stained pages in my copy of the book. Hushabye by Simon Bestwick teased my imagination. What I originally thought was simply going to be a simple story taking an abstract idea and making it literal, turned out to be that and so much more. Very much a page-turner and a story I enjoyed immensely. An Apiary of White Bees by Lee Thomas is, in my opinion, one of the most unique stories in the collection and certainly lingered (and lingers still) in the corner of my mind long after I finished it. Pat Cadigan’s Stilled Life is another story I won’t soon forget and which was told with a finesse I greatly admire and envy.

In short, if you love scary short stories Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural is a book you should consider picking up. You may not be blown away by every story within its covers, but it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll find more than enough to make it worth your investment of both time and money. I know my copy is going to get read over and over again.

Four Fang Review

I’ve never actually met Roxanne Rhoads of Fang-tastic Books but I may love her. She just posted a review of Sister Margaret today in which she gave it four fangs (out of five) and said:

Rhonda Parrish delivers a wonderfully written concise story that will grip you with anticipation. Her characters are strong along with a hidden depth to their personalities. I was surprised at how short the story was but Ms. Parrish wrote it in such a way that there is magic in every word. I am impressed at her ability to pull you in and deliver a satisfying ending. An entertaining story that is wickedly clever!

Is it any wonder I adore her? You can read the full review here if you’re interested. Actually, if you like vampire stories at all it’s well worth checking out her site. She has book reviews (obviously), interviews and giveaways all the time.

In other news, I’m still struggling to keep myself focused for long enough to work on the first draft of any of my big projects these days, so I’ve shifted my focus for a little bit. I’ll be revising my novella THERE in order to send it out to publishers. Hopefully once I get back into the groove of writing every day it will be less painful and I’ll be able to get those first drafts done.

I’ve also just had the full manuscript of one of my Aphanasian novellas requested by the first publisher I queried about it. Keep your fingers crossed for me on this one please.

Lots of News

I have loads of news today. I like it when that happens.

Firstly, Sister Margaret is now available from Fictionwise. That means you can pick it up for less than two bucks. This makes me very happy. >> Sister Margaret on Fictionwise <<

Also, I finally sent out the newsletter for April. It’s late but I’ve often heard ‘better late than never’, so I’m not putting this in the loss column 😉

I’m guest blogging over at The World Can Wait about motivation today.

There is also a new review of Sister Margaret over at Imperfect Clarity today that says, in part:

Rhonda shows her ability as a true wordsmith in this story.  As a fledgling writer myself, while reading this piece, it was as though each word was carefully measured and painstakingly chosen because it was the exact word needed to make the story flow.

The choice of details and description within the story truly bring out the richness that she has wrought.

I think she’s being far too nice, LoL but how could I not adore being called a wordsmith? I do, I love it. I admit it. Even if I’m not sure it’s deserved LOL

Included with the review is a guest blog I wrote about inspiration. Mostly about the inspiration for Sister Margaret, but not exclusively.

I think that’s it for today.

Pretty exciting to be me this Tuesday, lemme tell you 😉

Sister Margaret Reviews

The reviews for Sister Margaret are starting to come in, and they are making me very happy. Yay!

The most recent review was by Puss Reboots and she said, in part, “The vampires therefore are just one of many different species living in the city and are not presented as the mysterious lust-worthy nobility with a dark side as they so often are these days.”

That makes me very happy because I don’t want the vampires in this story to be smooth sex symbols. She also said ““Sister Margaret” reminded me favorably of any number of fantasy short stories I’ve read in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.” Which is flattering just no matter how you look at it.

If you’d like to read the full review you can check it out >> here <<.

Release day is drawing closer. Sister Margaret is being released by Eternal Press on April 7th. If you are subscribed to my Newsletter you can expect a short special announcement to remind you on that day LoL Also, I will be giving a copy away to one random subscriber, I’ll make that announcement on the 7th as well.

Yay for good reviews! They totally make my day 🙂