Tales in Sombre Tones – Sean Walter and Karen Ruffles

A horror anthology with plenty of creepy illustrations to go with them! Talk about an incredible combination. Nothing better than scary illustrations.

Thanks to the authors for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.



Book Description:

Lock the doors, close the blinds and settle in with this anthology of illustrated horror stories. Velvet dark imagery leads you into haunting tales that will stay with you long after the lights have gone out. Drawing on folklore and nightmares, exploring modern versions of classic stories and bringing original, inventive new horrors, this is a collection that takes the reader on a stunning journey into the world just behind the shadows.

Tales in Sombre Tones is a brand new horror anthology featuring short stories by American author Sean Walter and the work of British artist Karen Ruffles of Drawing in Dark. The book is a rare treat for adults – most illustrated collections are for a younger audience. Taking readers beyond the page, they have also created an Arts Council funded touring show that offers a wealth of sensory experiences, many of which will soon be available online as a virtual version accessible to everyone.


My Thoughts: 5/5 stars!

TALES IN SOMBRE TONES is a collection of 24 short stories – all are dark and creepy in their own way. The best part to help make these stories even creepier? The incredible illustrations that accompany each story just set the tone for them all. Kind of like the adult version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

We get an array of stories, creatures, situations, and eerie scenarios. As with all collections like this, there will always be standouts, but it’s really hard for me to pick just a couple that I loved the most. We get monsters, things that go bump in the night, being lost in the fog, and supernatural entities. The duo of Walter and Ruffles is perfect – the illustrations from Ruffles perfectly capture and set the tone for the story you’re about to read. I sat down to read just a couple, but ended up devouring the entire collection. It’s a book that sinks it’s teeth into you without you even realizing it.

Overall, if you’re a fan of horror then this is one that needs to be on that TBR. While the stories stand out on their own, I think that the illustrations brings this one to another level and adds something special to the reading experience. I hope to see more from this duo in the future – or at least some more creepy little stories.


About the Authors:

Sean Walter lives on the west coast of the United States, in the rainy city of Portland, Oregon. He’s been writing about all things strange and twisted as a hobby since he was eight years old, and professionally for the last decade or so. The myriad of jobs he’s had in his life, from manual labour jobs to EMT, bartender to bodyguard, lend realism and experience to his dark stories.

Karen Ruffles lives in Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast, a perfect location for an artist with a love for the gothic side of horror. She specialises in charcoal and carbon pencil drawings, covering a wide range of subjects but her first love is the monsters who wander into her studio and in some cases, take up permanent residence.

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