“A collection of short horror stories and poems resurrect the spirit of the Gothic Blue Book. Gothic Blue Books were short Gothic fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century.“
That’s a description that really caught my eye, so when I was offered an ARC, I jumped on the chance and here we are. This anthology has something for everyone, but the connecting thread is Krampus. Who knew these authors could come up with such a variety of stories around this theme? Following are just a few that stood out for me:
THE ASPIRANT HEIRESS by Deanna Baran. A nasty little tale about a wicked stepmother.
A CREATURE WAS STIRRING by Samson Stormcrow Hayes. A tale about a naughty little boy and his cereal.
BLACK LACE BINDING by Laurel Hightower. What reader doesn’t love a story about a book?
LETTERS TO KRAMPUS by Matt Jean. You can’t trust a little boy to do the right thing when presents are involved!
ALL QUIET ON THE NORTHERN FRONT by Kara Race-Moore. Two sets of soldiers meet Krampus in a bombed out convent. (Krampus is everywhere!)
CHRISTMAS EVE by K.R. Smith. A sad tale about a woman traveling alone with her child through the ice and snow….to a convent.
KRAMPUS by Austrian Spencer. Swipe left for NICE!
HERE WE COME A-CAROLING by Angela Sylvaine. Don’t let them hear you sing. This tale knocked me out!
There are several other stories here and some poems as well, featuring WHEN SHE VISITS by Cindy O’Quinn, I AM A FORTRESS by Shane Douglas Keene, and Sara Tatlinger’s THE YULE CAT among others, all of them varying degrees of good and great.
I see no way for any fan of dark fiction to dislike this widely varied collection. There truly is something here for everyone! Cheers to Cynthia and Gerald Pelayo, who curated this volume. It features authors both known and novices, and tales both naughty and nice.
I received a paperback ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!