To Have or To Haunt by Ishabelle Torry

To Have or To Haunt by Ishabelle Torry
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery, Historical, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Can Melanie’s Halloween bash survive Leah’s ghostly tricks?

Melanie Fyre is a passionate teacher determined to raise funds for the town’s school. What better way to do it than by expanding the local businesses? All she needs is land. Untouched for years thanks to a local superstition, the Crowe property is perfect. If Melanie can debunk the myth, she can get the use of those 600 beautiful acres. She just has to prove to the town that Leah’s ghost is not haunting the mansion, even on Samhain night.

Burned to death and proclaimed a witch, Leah Crowe’s soul has been cursed to an eternity of loneliness, all because she dared to love a woman. When the saucy Melanie arrives at her home to throw a costume party that mocks Leah’s very existence, the bitter ghost resolves to renew the town’s fear of her name. Will Leah’s ghost ruin all of Melanie’s plans?

Sometimes the past bleeds into the present.

One of the things I enjoy the most about ghost stories is exploring what it was that caused the deceased to become trapped between this life and the next one. After all, most people don’t stick around to haunt the places they knew well when they were alive! It’s hard to discuss Leah’s reasons for haunting her old home without wandering into spoiler territory, but I was deeply satisfied with how that part of her past was explained. It worked well for her personality and history.

It would have been nice to see more of a difference between Melanie and Leah’s use of the English language. Despite growing up and living hundreds of years apart, their vocabularies and speaking styles were incredibly similar. I was a little confused about why this might be the case and briefly wondered if it was a clue of some sort or if their voices should have been more distinct.

Blending so many different genres into one short tale isn’t an easy task, but Ms. Torry did a good job mixing them all together. The romantic and science fiction elements were slightly stronger than the mystery ones. It wouldn’t have been the same without all three of them, though, so this is something that I think will appeal to anyone who enjoys any or all of them.

I’d recommend To Have or To Haunt to anyone who is interested in dipping their toes into a new genre. It covers so many of them that it’s an easy place to try something new.

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