Crystal Lake Publishing
Edited by Mercedes Yardley
In the midst of our very own strange reality and new (temporary) normal, I curled up with an *ARC of Arterial Bloom, which I received in exchange for an honest review. *
Most of us, especially those of us who love horror, concede that human beings are far more terrifying creatures than any demon, witch, or superstition. Many of the stories in this anthology showcase the evils of humanity. For me, that makes the horror more plausible and alarming.
The authors seemed to go deep into the dark recesses of their minds to find unique, imaginative, and macabre stories. None of the stories were predictable, which was refreshing, but not every story had a definitive conclusion. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. I usually like a clear, precise reason for the things that happen in a story and in the ending. But for the most part, it worked here. Some of the stories left me wondering, but if done right, not knowing can leave you more unsettled. And most of these were done right.
All the stories were well written and engaging. The editing allowed the author’s individual voices and writing styles to come alive in their characters and plots.
I’m not one to critique each story because reading is subjective and personal. I enjoyed them all but a few stood out for to me.
“Blue Was Her Favorite Color” by Dino Parenti – a somber tale of loss with a grim and startling twist.
“In The Loop” by Ken Liu – The reality of this one made it incredibly chilling.
“The Darker Side of Grief” by Naching T. Kassa – A young boy, simultaneously haunted by and grieving for his dead mother, gets help from an surprising place.
“Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog” by Grant Longstaff – an apocalyptic tale that pushes two friends to the brink.
Staying home and catching up on your reading? For fans of horror and dark fiction, Arterial Bloom is a great addition to your TBR pile.
To celebrate Women in Horror Month,
I'm happy to feature writer/director, Kristen Gorlitz and the first in her series of
the horror comic, The Empties.
What happens when love dies? Most of us have experienced the end of a relationship - even the best breakups aren't easy, but the worst ones are messy and leave us battered and bruised, or numb. The love we thought we would have forever is no longer. And something that was good leaves us rotten on the inside. Yeah, I've been there. So you can see why I thought that the messy side of relationships would be fertile grounds for a one of a kind horror story, The Empties. Because when love dies, something of us dies with it... and is reborn in a flesh-eating monster!
The Empties is 150+ page horror graphic novel with story by Kristen Renee Gorlitz and savage artwork by Eli Powell!
Kristen Renee Gorlitz graduated with honors from Grand Valley State University with a BA in narrative film. During college, she interned under Rebecca Green (Producer, It Follows) at Tic Toc Studios.
After graduating, she went on to work in the art department on films such as 30 Minutes or Less (Dir. Ruben Fleischer, Venom), Virginia (Dir. Dustin Lance Black, Milk), The Steam Experiment (Dir. Philippe Martinez, Game of Death), and Offspring (Dir. Andrew Van Den Houten, The Ranger). With this experience, Kristen moved to Los Angeles where she formed her own production company, Strange Worlds Production Studios.
In the beginning of 2017, Kristen joined the team at NBCUniversal as an assistant manager in TV distribution. In her spare time, she directs movies and comic books. Her horror story, The Empties, is an official selection of The Global Independent Film Awards and The Independent Horror Movie Awards and is now released as a graphic novel. Find it on Kickstarter here: http://www.horrorcomicbook.com.
Fan of the macabre and creepy?
Looking for something new to read?
February is a great time to check out all the
awesome and diverse women horror writers!!
The October Frights Blog Hop has come to an end - until next year.
Today's post is a shameful plug for my creepy anthology,
CURIOUSLY DARK TALES.
A spooky read for a spooky season.
And...I'm announcing the winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card.
Many thanks to Anita Stewart for all her hard work to make this hop each year.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented on my posts and to all the authors who participated in the hop.
Have a hauntingly happy Halloween!
I entered all the commenters names in to Random.org and
Randy picked the winner.
Congratulations to Stephanie Ayers!
You've the winner of the $10 Gift Card fromAmazon! I'll email you.
CURIOUSLY DARK TALES
Supernatural beings and the evils of humanity come alive
in these grim, dark tales with a twist.
16 + Adult content.
In the end, who’s the real demon?
THIRTEEN STEPS –
Watch your step.
THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN –
Sometimes when you help someone it comes back to bite you.
CHOOSE WISELY – Decisions, decisions.
PROFESSIONAL COURTESY –
Wayne was a successful serial killer. Then he took Charlotte.
THE CAB RIDE –
Be careful who hears you whisper that you’re willing to give your soul.
Only 99 cent on AMAZON
Today I'm sharing a horror flash fiction story. It came to me two nights ago, as most stories do, in the middle of the night. At 1:30 in the morning, I got up and opened my computer to write it down and
get it out of my head.
I don't usually post something this rough, with little time for editing and maybe another set of eyes
to take a look at it, but sometimes you have to take a chance and put something out there.
I think at some point, I'd like to turn this into a complete short story.
But I don't even have a title yet!! Do you have an idea? Leave a comment (and be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card) with a title suggestion or if you liked the story or not.
The ad read:
Spacious apartment, rent free, one condition.
Housekeep for the well-known woman upstairs and tell no one.
My experience and excellent references secure me the position.
I'm used to the lavish parties. Gatherings of like-minded individuals eager to partake in the most savage and primal instincts of human nature. But summer has cooled to autumn and her Halloween gala is a dark extravaganza of ghoulish indulgence.
I toss and turn as the festivities rage on above my bedroom. Something's burning. Again. I've warned her this is dangerous, but she won't listen. At some point, the repetitive beat of The Time Warp
lulls me to sleep, drowning out the holiday screams and laughter.
The next morning, bleary-eyed and coffee in hand, I get to work. I scrub the stained carpet, scour the walls and bleach the kitchen and bathroom.
I wipe the sweat from my brow and shake my head. In all my years, one thing never changes. No matter how famous they become, how many headlines they make, serial killers are by far the messiest people to work for.
Please hop around to the other horror and paranormal authors
to see what creepy things they have in store for you.