Woodcutter's Grim Series: Classic Tales of Horror Retold [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Karen Wiesner
eBook Category: Horror/Romance Dream Realm Award Finalist, Dream Realm Award Winner
eBook Description: For the ten generations since the evil first came to Woodcutter's Grim, the Guardians have sworn an oath to protect the town from the childhood horrors that lurk in the black woods. Without them, the town would be defenseless?and the terrors would escape to the world at large. Award-winning author Karen Wiesner is the founder of Jewels of the Quill, an award-winning group of authors in all genres banded together to promote their books. The group also does anthologies together. Woodcutter's Grim Series--Classic Tales of Horror Retold is a compilation of the first two novellas in the series that Karen contributed to Jewels of the Quill anthologies, plus two bonus stories in the series never before published!
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2008
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5 Reader Ratings:
"WOODCUTTER'S GRIM SERIES: CLASSIC TALES OF HORROR RETOLD by Karen Wiesner is a spooky read that will have you re-thinking classic fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. I was instantly sucked into this book from page one and spent my whole afternoon engrossed in this scary tale. I would like to applaud Mrs. Wiesner for her graphic imagination that had her intertwine romance and horror around every corner. One minute I was smiling because there was a bit of romance, then the next I was scared and had goose bumps! I hope she continues to write these types of stories because I would love to get my hands on another one of these books. I will recommend this book to everyone that I can."_Becky Gaede, Dark Angel Reviews, A Dark Angel Recommended Read!
"Papa": This story, like the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, has a macabre and disturbing undertone. The characters of Rand and Amy become unwitting pawns to his dead wife's deal with evil. This really makes you think twice about reading those innocent little fairy tales to your children. "Blood of Amethyst": Rumpelstiltskin comes to life and wants fresh blood in this story with a vampire flare. Gabe and Amethyst are both completely devoted to their respective lives, and this leads them on a path of pain and despair. I found this to be the saddest story of the series, but very poignant. "Dancing to the Grave": This story gives you one more reason to intensely dislike rodents, and is probably my favorite book in the series. Diana and Kurt are equally strong and interesting characters. Their story is one of love, and a devotion to fight together in order to save their marriage. "The Amethyst Tower": The weight of the world rests on one man's shoulders, and he is slowly crumbling. This tale is the last in a wonderfully spooky series, and it does not disappoint. Prince is pushed to the edge, and not knowing if he will survive keeps you guessing right up until the end. The Woodcutter's Grim Series takes childhood fairy tales to the extreme. They are all somewhat creepy if you really think about them. It is no wonder kids have nightmares after hearing them. I enjoyed them all, but Book 3 is my favorite with its equally strong characters. The ending ties them all together, and leaves just enough to the imagination. You are just waiting for the low eerie music to start playing before the curtains falls. Sleep tight!"_Reviewed by Lototy for Coffee Time Romance, 4 Cups!
"WOODCUTTER'S GRIM SERIES is a collection of classic horror stories retold with a modern flair. "Papa" ( Hansel and Gretel), "Blood of Amethyst" (Rumpelstiltskin), "Dancing to the Grave" (The Pied Piper of Hamlin) and "The Amethyst Tower" (Rapunzel) are classic fairy tales with a new twist. The entire anthology is set in present times as well as having elements of history thrown in. Woodcutter's Grim is a town that has been plagued by evil for ten generations. They have also been protected by the Guardians for just as long. Without the Guardians, the terrors found in the woods of Woodcutter's Grim would put the town and the world at risk. This anthology was very well put together and each story was like a book all by itself. The storyline was well developed and resolved at the end. The stories are definitely for adults, and were written in a way that made me care for all of the primary characters. The dialogue was realistic and I was entertained by each story. Some elements were a little harsh, but it set the tone of the story."_Reviewed by Breia Brickey for Paranormal Romance Reviews
"Papa" is the opening story in this book about Woodcutter's Grim. This story is based on the classic tale Hansel and Gretel. Instead of a story for children to teach them some morals, this is horror pure with a hint of romance. The suspense builds throughout the whole tale with every twist and is sure to give any reader more and more goosebumps as things unfold. It is already clear from this first story that Woodcutter's Grim is not a place where you can spend a nice quiet holiday. The second story the author offers up is called "Blood Amethyst". This story is similar to the tale of Rumplestiltskin with a horrible scary twist. After this second story, it is clear that the author has a knack for writing a good horror story with a pinch of romance that lightens the mood a little. "Dancing to the Grave" is the third story in the Woodcutter's Grim Series collection. This never before published tale is based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The characters were likable...and the storyline was clever and interesting... The last part in this collection is "The Amethyst Tower" and is based on the story of Rapunzel but it is set in the future...[with] some interesting pieces to add to the story of Woodcutter's Grim... All in all, this collection of stories about Woodcutter's Grim is a great set of stories. With every tale connected to each other and all set around Halloween, this was a scary piece of work. Paranormal romance and full of horror, this is a book that shouldn't be read late at night. Things that go bump in the night would be afraid of Woodcutter's Grim. The author can write a good story and, even though these tales are all part of a series, they also stand alone very well. If you like something unusual, love and little mystery, then this is something worth having a taste of."_Reviewed by Anne Marie Chalmers for Front Street Reviews
"Instead of spending your Halloween handing out Trick-or-Treat candy or watching reruns of classic horror movies, spend it with a fantastic novel of four romantic horror stories and a glass of mulled cider. Enjoy a spine tingling experience with the awesome genius of Karen Wiesner. She has taken four of the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales and rewritten them in her own unique style turning them into new modern horror tales. Each tale is terrifying and weaves perfectly into the next."_reviewed by Dawn Myers for Writers Unlimited
"Woodcutter's Grim is a collection of classic horror stories retold with a modern flair. Papa ( Hansel and Gretel), Blood of Amethyst (Rumpelstiltskin), Dancing to the Grave (The Pied Piper of Hamlin) and The Amethyst Tower (Rapunzel) are classic fairy tales with a new twist. The entire anthology is set in present times as well as having elements of history thrown in. Woodcutter's Grim is a town that has been plagued by evil for ten generations. They have also been protected by the Guardians for just as long. Without the Guardians the terrors found in the woods of Woodcutter's Grim would put the town and the world at risk. Author Karen Wiesner is the founder of Jewels of the Quill, an award-winning group of authors in all genres banded together to promote their work. The anthology was very well put together and each story was like a book all by itself. The storyline was well developed and resolved at the end. The stories are definitely for adults, and were written in a way that made me care for all of the primary characters. The dialogue was realistic and I was entertained by each story. Some elements were a little harsh, but it set the tone of the story."_Breia Brickey, Paranormal Romance Reviews
"In Wiesner's well-written stories, familiar fairy-tale characters come to life as horrific monsters in a fictional town with a terrifying life force of its own. Characters are well drawn, but beware the clever townspeople, because everyone is suspect. Although each delightfully haunting tale can be read as a stand-alone, they are interrelated. (Two of the stories, "Papa" and "Blood of Amethyst," were previously reviewed.)"_Donna M. Brown for Romantic Times BOOKreviews, 4 stars!
The apartment was silent as a tomb. The only sound came from somewhere else in the building. Crying. Even from a distance, the young girl's helpless sobbing triggered a pain so deep inside him, Randall Parker leaned heavily against the wall, closed his eyes and gritted his teeth to control it.
So many mistakes and memories, never far enough away. But would he want to forget?
His watch beeped to signal he had to leave for work in a few minutes or he'd be late.
He pushed himself into the bedroom where his wife still lay asleep. He sat beside her. Her form barely raised the covers. She'd become so slight these past few months.
Though she snuggled nearer to him when he bent to kiss her and hold her, she didn't respond to his whisper that he loved her and would see her later.
Unsmiling, he grabbed his worn leather jacket from the hook next to the front door and shrugged into it while walking down to his ten-year-old Chevy.
Amy wasn't getting any better, he acknowledged on the thirty-minute drive across the city to the multi-million dollar corporation he worked as head of security for. His wife had quit her job a month ago--just before the new school year began. He couldn't imagine Amy not teaching a passel of fresh-faced, elementary age children. She adored them; she truly believed them capable of magical feats.
Henry and Grace had loved her like a mother.
The unbidden reminder brought a sting of old tears to his eyes, but he pushed the agony away. She wouldn't get any better if he never did. All that mattered now was that Amy hadn't been right since his ex-wife and children died in that freak car accident six months earlier. Repeatedly, he'd asked himself who she blamed for that. Him? Or herself?
The question was only too valid. Since his divorce from Josephine--Joey--Amy had shouldered the weight of their actions like a cross she alone had to bear.
Sharing with Amy his devastation over the loss of his kids, Henry and Grace, hadn't been easy. For the most part, he kept his grief inside, where she couldn't see it. He'd probably never heal fully because of it, but he always managed to function no matter his circumstances. Excel is more like it, he heard Joey's bitter voice in his head and pushed that out ruthlessly, too.
Amy hadn't functioned, not since the divorce a year ago. But, since the accident, she rarely left the apartment, let alone their bed. Her depression had afflicted her physically as well. She'd lost more weight than she could afford to. His wife had become little more than a ghost of the woman he'd fallen for so irrevocably.
I'm losing her. Rand's fingers gripped the steering wheel in a stranglehold. When did I stop being able to meet all her needs? He still remembered poignantly a time when Amy hadn't seemed to need anything but him. For a morally pure person like Amy, that was really saying something.
He'd lost track of the number of times he went over the options of how to help her and ultimately discarded all of them. He had to do something to bring her out of the dark place she'd locked herself inside. What was the key? While he couldn't be sure it'd have any effect, he'd taken a week-long vacation from work--starting tomorrow--as the starting point to getting her the help she needed.
Inside the locker room at work, he put on his uniform and gun holster. An hour into his shift, he was called down to the main desk to take a call.
"Rand Parker," he said, his voice a monotone.
"Rand, Simon Wiley."
The lawyer who'd handled Joey's end of the divorce, the custody battle and the execution of Rand's ex-wife's will. "What can I do for you, Mr. Wiley?" he asked coolly.
"You'll recall I mentioned that as part of what you've inherited from Josephine's will, you'll receive a cabin she owned up north?"
Frowning, Rand turned toward the window in the small office. He still couldn't fathom why Joey hadn't changed her will after their divorce. He'd expected her to do it the second she was served with the papers. He'd gotten a call from Simon Wiley shortly after the funeral, basically saying he'd inherited everything since their children had perished with her and she'd wanted him to get everything when she first made the will after they married. Why hadn't she changed it?
Joey's own fortune, and the one she'd inherited upon her mother's death two years ago, had caused his personal worth to reach heights he never could have imagined even when he and Joey lived together as husband and wife. He'd suspected her worth was vast, of course, but he was a man who made his own way in the world. Even now, six months since he'd become filthy rich, he hadn't touched one red cent. For that reason, the mention of the cabin in the reading of the will hadn't done more than register in his consciousness.
Joey's parents owned the cabin in the northern part of Wisconsin, in a place called Woodcutter's Grim. He knew that much, and he knew her parents used it for "romantic getaways" when Joey was little ... before her father suffered that deadly accident with an axe in the woods behind the cabin.
He and Joey had never used the cabin after she inherited it. Their marriage had been in decline for so many years before the divorce, neither of them cared about getting counseling to repair the damage. A romantic getaway had been unimaginable.
"You can come by the law offices at any time to pick up the keys," Wiley offered in parting, and Rand hung up after a non-committal reply.
Wiley knew as well as he did that the mention of the cabin would bring back torment he didn't want to feel anymore. Joey had taken the children to the cabin last April for Easter vacation. The unfathomable car accident happened a quarter mile from Woodcutter's Grim. No one had been able to conclude what caused the car to flip and go over the bridge just outside the town's borders. The car had blown up on impact. In all the newspaper accounts of the tragedy, Woodcutter's Grim hadn't been mentioned. Rand only knew because Joey told him where she was going, and Wiley related the details afterward.
Once Rand went back to work, the cabin continued to intrude on his thoughts. Amy didn't know where the accident had taken place. She knew nothing about Joey's inherited cabin in Woodcutter's Grim. Certainly, she didn't need to know the details of either. If he could get her to go there with him, get her to leave this place where so much damage had been done, maybe he could save her. Maybe he could bring the woman he loved back from the brink.