Very impressive for a debut collection. A wide variety of tales, each entertaining in its own way.
The title, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, is apropos to a comment the author makes in her acknowledgments...
"Something borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked represents both my life and my writing post-recovery from addiction."
Thirsty Creatures - The first story in this collection certainly lived up to the "blood-soaked" part of the title.
Red Room - This story alone is worth the purchase price. Ever been so drunk you don't recall taking the last pictures on your cell phone? Have those photos ever been of a room covered in blood? This is one of the best shorts I've read this year.
Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked - A title story that doesn't disappoint.
Souls, Dark and Deep - Another chilling tale. This one of a babysitter with magical powers. Think of her as Mary Poppins with a dark side.
All Souls of Eve - This homage to Dicken's A Christmas Carol was bloody brilliant. So much fun.
Liquid Handcuffs - Another wonderful tale with a twist you'll never see coming. One of my favorite stories in a collection filled with amazing tales.
Lady of the Flies - A girl with severe mental health issues is included in the crew for a haunted corn maze. What could possibly go wrong? An extreme tale of horror with a wicked ending.
The Girl Who Loved Bruce Cambell - If you're still going through withdrawal over Starz canceling Ash Vs. the Evil Dead (stupid bastards), you're gonna love this bloodbath of a story.
"Kartya recalled the catchphrase of the popular children’s toy that refused to be bowled over: 'Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.' With dark amusement, she wondered if anyone had tried to knock a Weeble down with a double-barrel shotgun."
A Fairy Plant In Grief - Touching and sad simultaneously.
Wolves at the Door and Bears In the Forest - Drug addiction and recovery as a single parent. Such a tragic tale, but compelling nonetheless.
This is Our Angry Train - A strange and winding story of a train named "The End of the World."
The One Who Answers the Door - A Halloween treat is conjured up for this, the penultimate story in this excellent collection.
Flowers from Amaryllis - A wonderful tale to wrap up this collection from a terrific new voice in genre fiction. Filled with beautiful prose...
"You trudge into the office with the enthusiasm of a cat before a bath." and "Clicking like the sound of toenails on linoleum."
This short has a beautifully hopeful ending.
I can't recommend this enough. Crista Carmen is a gifted storyteller and I look forward to many more tales from her wonderful imagination. Go buy it now, you won't regret it.
Published by Unnerving Press, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
From the author's bio - Christa Carmen is a writer of dark fiction, and her short stories have appeared in places like Fireside Fiction Company, Unnerving Magazine, Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Outpost 28, DarkFuse Magazine, and Tales to Terrify, to name a few. She has additional work forthcoming from Lycan Valley Press Publications' all-female horror anthology, Dark Voices, and her debut fiction collection, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, was released in August 2018 by Unnerving.