Author and editor Lucy A. Snyder collects four disturbing short stories into a collection to keep you company during the lengthening cold nights. Join four characters, willing to plunge into the abyss in their search for the one thing that will make sense of their mad lives. "The Dogs of Summer" -- Betty McCoy is looking for her place in the world, whether that is next to her abusive husband, who once saved her life, or with Ian Dando, the old man she's brings meals to and who shares a history with Betty that she can't even guess at. "Flesh and Blood" -- Mike has found his place, in the bed of Olivia, an elder vampire with an insatiable appetite. But just as he's settling into his new life, a woman from his past appears with an unexpected problem. But she just might hold the key to Mike's salvation. ". . . And her Shadow" -- Eleven-year-old Charlotte faces her oncoming adolescence and her uncaring parents with dread. And then comes a creature that exacts a promise from Charlie, power beyond imagining, as long as Charlie goes along with the creatures plans. If Charlie tires of the plans, though, can she escape her dark shadow? "Soul Searching" -- "I want what everybody wants . . . that special someone who’ll make me . . . complete. I feel so alone, and I think you do too. Are you the man I’m looking for? I said yesterday that you’re a part of things, but I’ve got to make sure . . ." Miko tells Henry. After Miko steps into Henry's bookstore, his whole life changes and nightmares that he hasn't had in forty years return to remind him what he's tried like hell to forget.