Blackberry Blood: A Dark Selection of Poetry and Fiction Paperback – October 23, 2021
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Blackberry Blood is the debut anthology from LGBTQA+ run publisher Snow-Capped Press, edited by Aiden Merchant (author of Sickness is in Season and Horrific Holidays) and Julia Lewis (Curiosity Bought the Book). It features a dark selection of short stories and poems from writers you need to know in the genre of emotional turmoil and horror. The cover art was done by the brilliant Gemma Amor (author of White Pines and Dear Laura), and the Foreword was written by Mother Horror herself, Sadie Hartmann.
Foreword by Sadie Hartmann
The Trunk by Scott Cole
Bird Brother by Tabatha Wood
My Abby by Kathleen Palm
Pumpkin Mom by Daniel Barnett
Soul to Keep by Emily Ruth Verona
Victor II by Marisca Pichette
What You Never Wanted by G. A. Link
Piece by Piece by Brennan LaFaro
Pests by Matthew Brady
Night Hunters by Julia Lewis
Though This Feelin' I Can't Change by Janine Pipe
The Greater Secrets of Carbocations by Arasibo Campeche
Occulta Gravis by Juleigh Howard-Hobson
Aftershock by Tabatha Wood
Dinner Guest by Jay Alexander
Sympathetic Cells by Matt Holder
IX by Marisca Pichette
Revive by Tabatha Wood
Fear of Myself by G. A. Link
The Ones In Between by Heinrich von Wolfcastle
Beyond Shadow by Benjamin Vandersluis
Pillow Thoughts by Julia Lewis
★ Plus interviews w/ Erica Robyn, Andrew Post, Daniel Barnett, and Jayson Robert Ducharme
Mature Rated: This anthology includes violence, language, grief, gore, paranoia, and more. The book's interior includes a detailed list of trigger warnings in the back. However, if you would like to know them prior to purchase, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- ASIN : B09K26J1M9
- Publisher : Independently published (October 23, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 215 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8479696596
- Item Weight : 7.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.49 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,172,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This is Snow Capped Presses first anthology and I think they’ve done a decent job with it, especially the editing by Merchant and Lewis. I’m intrigued to see what the press comes out with next after this success publication.
What follows are twenty-two short stories and poems, all of varying length and laden with their own dark juiciness, plus four in-depth interviews offering peeks behind the curtain to where the magic happens for those of us who like to know how authors go about their business.
First up is Scott Cole’s “The Trunk,” which has the satisfying feel of a classic horror comic or Twilight Zone episode, where someone gets what they deserve even though they should have seen it coming, with a gooshier and nastier edge.
From there, we’re treated to a range of differing experiences, be they collecting random body parts or tracking serial killers, making demonic deals with dreadful costs, protecting family by any and all means, savage hungers, transformations, the clash between science and the occult, grim decisions, paranoia, doomed love and loss, and more.
My personal faves of the batch would have to include:
Jay Alexander’s “Dinner Guests,” as a dutiful daughter tries very hard to help her mother prepare and serve a feast to Daddy’s boorish, ill-mannered guests;
“Pests” by Matthew Brady, a strange-noises-in-the-old-house affair, its style fussy and quaint, not quite Victorian, with a delightfully twisted turn;
Speaking of fussy and quaint styles, shout out to Tabatha Wood’s “Bird Brother,” reminiscent of Poe in more ways than the obvious;
And “Beyond Shadow” by Benjamin Vandersluis, because I always appreciate speculations on unusual doomsday scenarios and the determination to survive.
I was drawn to Blackberry Blood by the title and the cover. Blackberries remind me of summer and also thorny brambles. So a mix of sweet and painful. These stories have sweetness, humor and pain, but they all share a nostalgic feeling of loss. And a hope that you’ll maybe feel that feeling of sweetness again.
A few of my favorites:
My Abby by Kathleen Palm was devastating. It pulls you in to a mother’s pain and her desperation to keep her child with her, no matter what.
Dinner Guests by Jay Alexander had some lovecraftian vibes straight from Innsmouth. Creepy sailors making even creepier and disgusting eating noises from the dining room. Made all the more harrowing by the poor innocent child who just wants to help her mother in the kitchen.
The poem, Revive, by Tabatha Wood was short and lovely. I associated this with an abused, gaslit woman pulling herself from the ashes and becoming something new.
The series commences with the Trunk by Cole, a pretty good evil curiosity-killed-the-cat type version. Satisfied the anarchist in me who loves seeing an authority figure perish.
Bird Brother by Wood: once you see him...and more importantly once he sees you...there's no escape. Think Slenderman meets The Birds. Fun lil romp of a thing and...
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