Saturday, February 9, 2013


It's the second Saturday of the month y'all!
You know what that means: book review time!!

For the month of February I am reviewing a collection of short stories by horror author Christin Haws. It's titled Rejected: Nine Stories I Couldn't Get Published, and it's available for the Kindle and also for the Nook.

Before I even get to the stories--and I will, because I truly enjoyed them--I want to talk about the title of the collection, and the premise behind the whole endeavor. Because I think Christin Haws has produced something pretty goddamn clever here.

To be honest, when I first stumbled upon the collection, I found the title to be a little off-putting. As a self-published author, I just couldn't imagine drawing purposeful attention to the fact that one's stories had been rejected in the traditional publishing world. It seemed, I don't know, like asking for bad luck. Like walking into a room full of ladders and skipping merrily underneath each one in turn. Or like inviting all the black cats in the neighborhood over for tea. But I was intrigued, so I bought the collection for my Kindle, and there it languished for the next several months.

Then, thankfully, I dove in. The author addresses the collection's title and its origins right away, in the introduction. She explains that she has submitted each of these nine stories to various publications several times to no avail, but that she sincerely believes in them, so she decided to publish them herself. Further, she invites readers to weigh in on the stories' merit on her blog:

Give me your honest opinion. Leave a comment on the Rejected page on my blog ( I want to know what you think. Good, bad, and ugly. Bring it on.

It was that last sentence that really got me on board. Fuck yeah! I love ballsy people, especially ballsy women! BRING IT THE FUCK ON!

Here are the infamous nine rejected stories:

Customer Service
Bigger Than a Squirrel
Husband and Wife
Erin Go Bragh
Game Night
Such a Pretty Face

Let me emphasize that these are short stories. Some, Bigger Than a Squirrel comes to mind, are hardly more than a few pages long. Perhaps the stories' brevity played a role in their fate? I simply can't know. But I can tell you that these are GOOD short stories. They stand up on their own.

Of course I have favorites. The stand-outs for me are Spillway, Game Night, and Such a Pretty Face. But there is something for every kind of horror fan here. Revenge thrillers, ghost stories, monster stories, crime's all here, in this collection.

Did I mention that you can buy this collection for less than a dollar on both amazon and barnes and noble? What are you waiting for???

About the author

 Christin Haws can purportedly be found in a cornfield in Illinois. She tweets under the handle @Kikiwrites. She likes belly dancing. She can touch her tongue to her nose (ooh la la, boys!). She learned to read and write at the tender age of three. And she's owned 5 rats, all named after Monkees references: either songs or guest characters on the show. (I'm dying to know: was there a Sleepy Jean?)


  1. Thanks for the kind words! I never thought of admitting these stories had been rejected as being anything but honest. I couldn't get them traditionally published, and dammit, I was tired of looking at them. Here! You people look at them and tell me why no one wanted you to look at them. Maybe not the wisest move, but at least I'm not looking at them anymore. Heh.

    Also, the 5 rats were Zero (Mr. Zero in "The Devil and Peter Tork"), Frodis (Frodis Bush in "Mijacogeo"), Ditty Diego ("Ditty Diego War Chant" on the Head album), Shorty Blackwell ("Shorty Blackwell" on the Instant Replay album), and Frankie Frankenstein (a suggested showbiz name from "I Was a Teenage Monster"9).

    Now I kind of want another rat just to name it Sleepy Jean.

  2. You soooo should get another rat and name it Sleepy Jean! :)And thanks for the stories!