I am thrilled to by joining in with the fabulous blog tour for Afraid Of The Light!



Afraid Of The Light

(Review written 27th April 2020)


Afraid Of The Light is an excellent collection of short stories written by some extremely talented authors who have donated their talent in aid of The Samaritans.

Many thanks to Jo Furniss who invited me onto the blog tour and to Dominic Nolan for providing all the necessary information. A big thank you also to the authors and publisher for my ARC.

Afraid Of The Light starts with a meaningful, from the heart forward by Alex North which highlights the invaluable work of The Samaritans during these unprecedented times, and always. A lovely introduction.

As I often do with short story collections, I will be sharing my thoughts on the individual stories which I wrote as soon as I had finished each one. I read them all over the course of today and thoroughly enjoyed the entire collection.


Are You Listening?

Adam Southward

Wow! What an excellent start!

Are You Listening tells the terrifying story of seven year old Ava. Ava begins to behave very oddly. Her parents are understandably disturbed, as I would be. Ava insists her behaviour is due to instructions from the home’s listening device, which highlights many people’s concerns about such devices. However, there is much more to this story than meets the eye. It made my blood run cold!


Daddy Dearest

Dominic Nolan

A seemingly tragic tale with a short, sharp, shock at the end which made me free quite queasy, and not much shocks me these days.

Very clever writing.


Deathbed, Beth Dead

Elle Croft

So much emotion and grief in so few words. Talk about having your life turned upside down in more than one devastating way. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would react. My heart went out to Miss Peters.


Loveable Alan Atcliffe

SR Masters

The saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” sprung to mind when I read this story. I think it can also be applied to people. Some are not at all who they seem to be and you never know what sinister secrets they might be hiding behind closed doors.


Sleep Time

Phoebe Morgan

Oooo, this is a terrifying tale. It made my heart race and gave me serious goosebumps! I’m giving nothing else away!


Coming Home

N J Mackay

A heart-breaking story of grief and PTSD but also one of hope. It brought a tear to my eye.


Sausage Fingers

Victoria Selman

Woah! Deliciously dark and disturbing. I have no other words!!


Just A Game

Rachael Blok

A chilling tale of a sinister game with murderous consequences.


Drowning in Debt

Heather Critchlow

Lucy and Paul are desperate. They have years of mounting debt and seemingly no long-term escape from the bailiffs.

Desperate times lead to desperate measures.

They devise an elaborate plan which seems foolproof to Paul but Lucy has her reservations. Paul is a controlling influence though and Lucy gives in. When she gets cold feet along the way Paul forces her into a split second decision that will change her life forever. Possibly for the better!


To Evil Or Not To Evil

Jo Furniss

Well, this was just terrifying!

Anything involving robots freaks me out. It scares me how easily AI could dominate our lives if allowed.

This story certainly left me with the chills and panicking about what the future could look like!


Sheep’s Clothing

Robert Scragg

My heart was almost hammering out of my chest throughout this story!

I felt quite disturbed by the deceit and secrecy. The insinuations made me feel quite sick, but all is not as it seems. The conclusion was quite a relief despite the heart-breaking circumstances. Very clever writing. For such a short story it certainly packs an emotional punch.



Clare Empson

This is indeed a frantic tale and I found myself easily swept along. Thinking the grass might be greener is a common mistake made by many. It rarely ends well. One woman’s lustful lapse in judgement threatens to collapse the life she knows around her. The ending was not at all what I expected.


Planting Nan

James Delargy

This is a sinister story which is oddly amusing as we see it through the innocent eyes of a child.

Very entertaining!



Kate Simants

A truly chilling tale of obsession and revenge.


These stories set a very high standard. All are coffee break length and each one is unique, similar only in quality. I think any reader will appreciate such clever, often hard-hitting and compelling writing.

Why not treat yourself to a copy and help to raise funds for The Samaritans at the same time as enjoying a good read.

Afraid Of The Light cover

Some people are scared of the dark. But it’s the light that exposes the secrets.

A young boy with nightmares faces up to his demons. A deathbed confession turns the world on its axis. A five-year-old watches his parents bury a body in the garden. A soldier returns from the war to find the horror isn’t yet over.

Afraid Of The Light brings the imagination of fourteen bestselling crime writers together in a collection that will keep you up all night. From a deadly campfire game to a holiday gone wrong, to an AI assistant with a motive and a love affair that can only end in murder, this is a gripping, twisty set of stories to send a shiver down your spine.

“The stories are wildly entertaining in their own right, but they also address the concerns and fears we all feel: isolation and loneliness; guilt and grief; justice and punishment. And perhaps most importantly of all: redemption and hope.” — Alex North

Are you Listening? – Adam Southward
Daddy Dearest – Dominic Nolan
Deathbed, Beth Dead – Elle Croft
Loveable Alan Atcliffe – S R Masters
Sleep Time – Phoebe Morgan
Coming Home – N J Mackay
Sausage Fingers – Victoria Selman
Just a Game – Rachael Blok
Drowning in Debt – Heather Critchlow
To Evil or Not to Evil – Jo Furniss
Sheep’s Clothing – Robert Scragg
Frantic – Clare Empson
Planting Nan – James Delargy
Shadow – Kate Simants

All author royalties from the sale of this anthology will be donated to the Samaritans.

Samaritans is a charity working across the UK and Ireland to reduce the number of people who take their own lives and help people who are struggling to cope with how they’re feeling or with life’s challenges. When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year.

You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit http://www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

happy reading 🙂

This collection has introduced me to some new-to-me authors. I have many more books on my TBR list now!


4 thoughts on “#AfraidOfTheLight #Anthology #BlogTour #CrimeFiction #ShortStories #Reviews #Samaritans

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