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Shadows of the Rose
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ISBN-10: 1-89484-180-8
Genre: Supernatural/Horror
eBook Length: 134 Pages
Published: September 2002

From inside the flap

Shadows of the Rose is a varied collection of short stories, but all have one thing in common, an ending with a twist. They take place in various times, various places, from medieval witch trials, to the far reaches of space and future.

Here is just a taste:
In The Witch Hunter, a young girl is accused of sorcery and the witch hunter sent to condemn her is not as he seems...

Baby Blues is set in a future where family planning is controlled by the state and it is illegal to make love...

Free Falling is set in space, where some friendly aliens have found the cure for most of human diseases, except for one - the one you have...

Shadows of the Rose, tells the story of a lover's tryst in a ruined abbey, but there is something not quite right...

In The Glass Guitar, Meg thinks a haunted guitar might be just the present for her boyfriend's birthday...

Reviews and Awards

"Shadows of the Rose is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining collection that I highly recommend!" -
reviewed by Karen Mueller Bryson, author of Hey Dorothy, You're Not in Kansas Anymore.

"I'm not fond of short stories, but every now and then I come across a writer who handles this format so well
that my enjoyment surprises me.  Annette Gisby is such a writer, because her soon-to-be-released collection
of suspense tales (whose endings I could NOT see coming the proverbial "mile away") had me gulping it down in a single evening." - reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of Rough Rider, Mistworld and more.

"Although the stories may be short, Ms. Gisby's characters are exquisitely created and fully developed to the point that you could imagine inviting some of the more sympathetic characters over for dinner." - reviewed by Lori Enos, author of The Portable Coach.

"While this collection does feature plenty of interesting characters and strong writing, it also does feature mature content and is definitely not suitable for non-adults. Many of the stories, while dealing with adult themes, offer somewhat graphic descriptions of human relations with little left to the imagination. Clearly such scenes are not gratuitous or added to shock the reader when the story is taken in context, but serve to further detail the actions of the characters.

All in all, while often not light reading, this is an interesting work. The characters are complex and human, the predicaments all to real in many cases, and the writing is well done. With a combination of themes and issues, this is an intriguing collection and well worth your time as a reader." - reviewed by Kevin Tipple, on

Shadows of the Rose (Excerpt)



The plaque on the wall identified the building as a hospital, but from the barbed wire fence and lookout towers, it screamed prison. A prison holding the criminally insane and he was here to meet with one of them. Peter glanced down at the file on the passenger seat in his car. Eve Smith, convicted of murdering her parents and brother. She kept writing notes proclaiming her innocence and maybe someone noticed, because this time they'd brought him in for a second opinion.

He rifled through the case notes and shuddered. He had no love of snakes himself and so he could well understand her revulsion. What he couldn't understand was why it was so bad that Eve was spending time in an institution for a crime that he was almost sure she didn't actually commit. She'd had a bad experience with snakes when she was fourteen years old, but other than that the notes didn't elaborate. Eve hadn't spoken since her incarceration ten years ago and Peter wondered why they thought he would have better luck in getting her to talk. He was a psychologist, not a miracle worker.

Eve was already there, seated in one of the hard plastic orange chairs that seemed to proliferate in any public institution. The grey hospital robes she wore seemed to drain any colour from her face. Her long black hair was shining and tied back with a blue ribbon. Behind her was a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the snake on Eve's shoulder. Eve was proffering Adam a shiny red apple.

Peter made a mental note, although there were two chairs in the room, Eve always picked the one facing away from the picture, the one where she wouldn't have to look at the snake. As Peter sat down and shuffled his papers on the desk, she pulled her chair out from under the table so that she was as far away from him as the layout of the small room would allow.

"So, Eve," began Peter. "Why don't you tell me about the snake?"

She shook her head violently and tugged out her ribbon, letting her hair fall around her face. Hiding behind it. Peter glanced at the doctor's notes again. Every time the snake was mentioned, Eve always undid her hair. None of them could figure out why.

"Do you want to talk about your parents?"

Another shake of the head.

"What about Adam?" asked Peter.