Alice Cooper once sang, “Only woman bleed…” Maybe he meant that only woman can make you bleed…by cutting out your damn heart or your carotid artery!
February is Woman in Horror Month. I just happened to receive an advanced reader’s copy of a terrific anthology celebrating this occasion. Ragnarok Publications is releasing GRIMM MISTRESSES (Feb. 23rd)
Remember the Grimm Brothers? Those dark fairy tales that made you leave the light on long before Disney went and sanitized them? Well, we do! Now the MISTRESSES GRIMM take back the night, five female authors who will leave you shuddering deliciously. Get ready to leave the lights on again with four pieces of short fiction bringing the Grimm Brother’s tales into the present. Be advised: these aren’t your children’s fairy tales!
This collection features the talents of Mercedes M. Yardley, C.W. LaSart, S.R. Cambridge, Stacey Turner, and Allison M. Dickson. The standouts for me were “Little Dead Red” by Yardley, “The Leopard’s Pelt” by Cambridge, and “Hazing Cinderella” by LaSart.
“Little Dead Red” is easily one of the best pieces I’ve read in recent times. I was already a fan of Yardley’s writing, but this story oozes with a darkness only hinted at in her earlier works. It is terrific take on Little Red Riding Hood. Yardley manages to spin this brutal tale, leveling you with the spaces in between rather than the blunt vocab. What “Grimm” Marie goes through will haunt you well after you’ve finished the reading. An amazing achievement by a writer who is only getting better.
“The Leopard’s Pelt” while not as scary is a wonderful piece of fiction. The story of a man who is stranded on an uninhabited island during the Second World War, a chance to survive is presented. The cost? Seven years of selfless living or his soul. Cambridge takes us through a few different spots during his seven year challenge, perfectly weaving in a great love story as we follow along. The writing in this one is also top notch. I couldn’t stop.
“Hazing Cinderella” is another favorite. LaSart, as an author, is as upfront and unapologetic as they come. I knew from some of her previous works what I was in for and got every bit of rough and ready horror I expected. It’s always awesome when an author delivers on their promise. What could go wrong when a new step-mom and her daughter move in? Jamie and her father are about to find out. This one is for anyone looking for a horror story that will punch you in the teeth, and maybe turn you on, if you’re into that sort of thing. Of all the stories in this collection, I hope this one will be developed into a full length novel. I’d love to find out more about these devilish ladies.
The other two stories, “Nectar” by Dickson, and “The Night Air” by Turner, also had their chilling or grotesque moments, and were worth the read, they just didn’t stand out as well against my favorites.
This book will be released for public consumption of FEBRUARY 23rd! And it features a fan-fucking-tastic cover done by Brittany Smith. Mark your calendars and get ready to go steady with these Horror fiends.
Grab your copy now at Amazon: Grim Mistresses
Suggested reading by these authors: (click the book covers to order or read more)
NAMELESS: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M. Yardley (Ragnarok Publications, 2014)
Ad Nauseam by C.W. LaSart (Dark Moon Book, 2012)