Today, I’m pleased to spotlight a new anthology featuring some fabulous authors. These gothic romance short stories will have you quivering (in whichever way you choose to interpret the phrase) in your hot apple cider!

For Love the Bell TollsABOUT THE BOOK

Six haunting stories of love with a paranormal twist, including a traditional nineteenth century possessed house, lycanthropy and voodoo, zombies, a soul-stealing journal, a reaper for death, and a bargain with the fey folk. This book will tempt you to give in to your darkest desires.

Featuring Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Serena Jayne, Read Gallo, Kylie Weisenborn, and Heather Sheldon.

Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

I asked the For Love the Bell Tolls authors to tell us about the characters in their story, particularly their favorites and least favorites. I also asked them about coming up with the character’s names and the title for the story. That can be a difficult process sometimes. 

Read Gallo | “Blood and Petals”

There’re really only three characters in the story, and I enjoy spending time with all of them. My favorite is the main character because she/he’s a bit of wish fulfillment for me. The way she dresses as a girl is the way I would dress if I had style and I’ve always imagined I’d be that type of woman is I lived in the ‘50s. I suppose my least favorite is Annie. I’m too much of a “nasty woman” to relate to a shy, passive girl who would rather disappear than fight for herself, but it made for a compelling and tragic love interest.

I’m no good at titles, whenever you see two nouns squished together in my title it’s usually something from the first interesting image that I remembered from the draft. Annie’s name came from the Dessa song that inspired the story. Paul/Pauline’s was a female version of a male name that was essential to the story. So those two were particularly easy for me. The most thought went into Mrs. Bestpatikos’ name. I wanted something that was old and something that had that buzzing noise about it. I ended up combining Bes (an ancient Egyptian household protector god) and Pataikos (God of dwarves, who is a pregnant male) and combining them to make a sound I liked.

Serena Jayne | “Kiss Me Dead”

Simon is my favorite character, because he’s an antihero. His addiction makes him do a ton of questionable things, but he’s a good guy at heart. I also adore Hildie. She was super fun to write. My least favorite is Nurse Bonnie, because she’s such a bully.

This story had several titles. The one I used most frequently was “Kiss of Death,” but I liked the sound of “Kiss Me Dead” better, because it had more of a tragic romantic feel. Names just come to me sometimes while I’m developing the characters and that was the case with this story. Lila has a softness to it, that felt perfect for the character, while Simon seemed a bit formal. Hildie’s name fit her bubbly personality.

Cara McKinnon | “The Doors Between”

My favorite character is definitely Fiona. I like Alec, too, but Fiona wins, hands-down. She knows what she wants, and doesn’t take shit from anyone, even Alec. I don’t really have a least favorite character. Even the big bad is more of a nebulous presence than anything else.

I’m still not happy with my title. If I could come up with a better one, I would. But absolutely nothing seemed to gel. For the longest time, I just called it “the gothic story,” and then I tried “A Violent Wonder,” and that sorta worked, but was never quite right. “The Doors Between” still isn’t perfect, but it’s better. When the rights revert to me, I might end up renaming it. The character names were a lot easier. I just scanned through Scottish names in the period and picked ones that felt right. I took some leeway with Melissande, but I feel like her mother is the dramatic sort who would give a daughter that sort of name.

Sheri Queen | “The Circus Train”

I love my three main characters — Lily, Justin, and Junior the elephant. It’s the relationship between Lily and Junior that is so endearing to me. Justin’s tortured soul and his love for Lily makes me angry on his behalf for the curse that the voodoo queen inflicted upon him.

That would probably make the voodoo queen my least favorite character for her selfish and mean nature.

“The Circus Train” was an easy title because that’s exactly what I was writing about, and the life of those traversing the rails. History dictated some of the names, such as P. T. Barnum and Jenny Lind. The others just came as I thought about the character.

Heather Sheldon | “Lost Love Found”

I usually choose names that I don’t know anyone very well that shares the name. That leaves it open to form my character with no thoughts of someone else interfering. Occasionally names get changed as the story unfolds. Names are one of the more enjoyable aspects of story development for me.

Kylie Weisenborn | “Undead Men”

Obviously, I love Camilla and Gideon equally. Camilla’s dad is the bad guy, so I don’t like him, but I also don’t care for her mother’s complacency with the situation.

Someone from school who critiqued this story (titled “Untitled Gothic Short Story” at the time) suggested the title. Character names were pretty easy; I wanted them to sound somewhat accurate for second- or third-generation immigrants from Europe.

The anthology authors will be answering more questions on this blog tour! To check out all of the stops, visit:

You can also find more information about the anthology at the links below:

Stars and Stones Books | Goodreads | Facebook Release Party (10/30/2018) | Twitter | Anthology Website

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.