The gems shine again in this Jewels of the Quill Halloween anthology. Their award-winning talent in this potpourri offers a variety of treats -- and possibly a trick or two.

Her dead daughter's reappearing shawl has Alice confused and her friend doubting her sanity in Margaret L. Carter's tale of horror, "The Unvanished Hitchhiker." Christine DeSmet's romantic paranormal mystery, "When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass," is a beautiful but unusual love story about John and Alyssa. She's alive and he's not quite.

Derrick doesn't want to babysit, but he and his 6-year-old sister have an incredible adventure on Halloween. Carrie S. Masek paints a spooky tale for young adults in "Trick or Treat." The ghost of his wife and a mysterious cat conspire to match Judge Jake with Mary, a widow he's known for 25 years, in "Ghost of a Chance," a romance by Karen Woods.

C.J. Winters describes a home demolition with surprises and precocious 8-year-old Tobias with a bag of bones in "White Elephants." "Papa" is a chilling interpretation of Hansel and Gretel in the romantic horror novella by Karen Wiesner, where Randall and new bride Amy are haunted by specters of his deceased children.

"The Beast," a horror story by Jane Toombs, is best told at midnight around a campfire. Who is the Beast Man, and why is someone afraid of him? (Whiskey Creek, Sep., 281 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Donna M. Brown