Dying For An Invitation – Theresa Braun
Reviewed By Steve Stred
“Be careful. They will glamour you.”
I was introduced to Theresa Braun’s work recently when I read her release Fountain Dead, and while it wasn’t completely my cup of tea, the book had a ton of positives and it showed that Theresa had some amazing writing chops.
Her writing was solid enough that I jumped on snagging Dying For an Invitation when it was offered up as an Amazon freebie. The synopsis intrigued me and the cover art was stellar. Truthfully the page count had me a bit nervous. 44 pages. This was marketed as a novelette. So I went in with this mentality; you can’t expect movie length plot happening in a sitcom length show. This was going to be fast, a bit rushed and with a jarring ending, and I think overall that nails this story perfectly.
Dying For an Invitation follows Dacie, as she returns to visit her mother at her childhood home in Romania. She’s mourning the breakup with her and her boyfriend and decided to come visit her mother.
We learn that the family and the area is located near Bran Castle and that the community still believes in protecting themselves from Vampires and that Vampire folklore is a big part of their lives. To the point that certain burial rights must be followed to ensure that the dead don’t come back.
We also learn that when Dacie was a young girl she had an imaginary friend, a supernatural entity that she was forbidden from playing with.
From there secrets unravel, decisions are made and ultimately a grand seduction. I hated the ending and loved the ending. When it happened I scowled and smiled almost at the same time. It was so picture perfect but so infuriating, but man alive – did Theresa Braun prove my initial sentiments about her writing correct. She can write and she brings the goods.
The funny thing for me regarding this entire story was that I actually found the inclusion of Bran Castle and Vlad Tepes to be a bit of a cop-out for the Vampire lore. I loved the Romania setting but I personally would have preferred it was a passing mention, instead of part of the plot. But that’s me and for many folks it may enhance the story tenfold.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4.5*
Dying For An Invitation
Dacie returns to Romania where she’s ready to coax her invisible childhood playmate to reveal himself to her. Tension and passion fire up between them. Dacie’s mother spouts cautionary advice regarding the supernatural; however, Dacie shirks the warning as nonsense born from local legends. A lost letter lands in Dacie’s hands, suggesting the powers of the undead might have a grip on the family lineage. When her mother dies, so do the answers. And, Dacie needs the comfort of her unseen companion more than ever…
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.