Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tale
LGBTQ+ Category: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian
Reviewer: Linda, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
Enter if you’re daring and feel these tales raise goosebumps along your arms as they take you from modern New Jersey to fairytale lands and back again. From witches to werecats and spirits to surgeries, this collection puts queer women front and center in some of the most popular subgenres of speculative fiction. Horror, dark fantasy, and magical realism coalesce in this stunning collection of all things dark and divergent.
This book is filled with all kinds of speculative fiction short stories, and there are guaranteed to be some you will love, some like, but none that you will hate.
My review of each of the stories:
The Witch of the Woods: Prudence is a young girl who happens to be in love with her best friend Abigail, and she dares to make a visit to the Witch of the Woods for something to ensure that Abigail will return her love. Nothing good can ever come from visiting evil, a lesson Prudence will learn firsthand.
My New Gown: In a courtesan’s heart, her old red dress tells everyone what she is, but her new dress finally gives her courage to be who she really is.
A Necessary Procedure: Rachel is determined to change. Her jealousy and anger must go, and she is willing to undergo a questionable procedure to keep her girlfriend. What would you would be willing to do for love?
Comatose Beauty: A car crash leaves a young woman in a coma. She is visited by a boy who talks to her. Is it true that talking to a comatose patient may be the link to waking them up?
A Killer Brunch Special: Sadie has finally run out of reasons for not showing up for brunch with the women from work, and unfortunately the one time she agree, she faces a nightmare.
Eviscerate: Day after day a man writes, and day after day a woman succeeds in knocking him down. Now, pen to paper, he is determined to eviscerate her with his words, only he should be careful lest it come back to haunt him.
Lips as Red as Blood: A fable reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty: evil stepmother, dwarves, and escaping evil. The difference is that this one makes Sleeping Beauty seem like a sweet, loving story. A tale of good over evil, and boy is it bloody.
Personal Demons: A famous sculptor accepts the fact that he is going to die soon, and believes the demon he keeps seeing is just a byproduct of his illness. But is it?
Consume: Cronos, ruler of the Titans and King of Kings, has done everything he can to eliminate any threat to his rule, including swallowing each of his children at birth, but he has a fight before him, because it will take evil to destroy evil.
The Abandoned Princess: Bellamy is the youngest princess. Unlike her sisters, she doesn’t try to gain men’s attention. She only has eyes for a servant named Violet. When she is caught kissing Violet, her parents disown her and make her live on the lowest floors of the castle – until they need her. They are sick and need medicine that can only be obtained beyond the walls of the castle, where there is poverty, darkness and crime. She has no idea what she will find. Will it change her life for the better, or worse?
The Crukker: A group of college friends are at a Fall Festival on Halloween. They are ready for some holiday fun and scares but when a local New Jersey legend, The Crukker, shows up.
Orca: About Makana, an Orca, and the man who cares for her at Ocean Planet. He loves Makana and knows he has made his life better in captivity than in the open ocean. When arole reversal occurs, the question of whether captivity is better than freedom is explored.
The Devil Down in Jersey: Mia Brown is doing research on traditions and folklore in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. She is planning on camping out for two nights. At a visit to Batsto Nature Center, she sees a huge sign: WANTED: JERSEY DEVIL, 250,000 reward. With her camera in hand, she sets out to find people in the area who could give her firsthand information, but people are not what she discovers.
Salt: Exorcising spirits is dangerous, but salt is the weapon that can keep them away. Throw some salt and wait for the sizzle.
Green Forest, White Snow: An illness is killing the town’s children, and then they disappear. Alyy and her sister Belizna are healthy, so the town’s people are sure their mother, who makes potions, is responsible. Desperate to save their mother and find the children, they are confronted by a bear advising them to go to see the White Witch.
Conversations in the Back of an Uber: Two women in love are in the back of an Uber, and they know that the end of the trip will be the end of their relationship.
She Has a Cake and Eats it Too: Another birthday celebration in the office and another depressing moment in Carrie’s life. Carrie has been dieting, but she never loses weight, just gets fatter. Her coworker Zaralena eats anything and everything she wants and stays the same weight. Carrie believes something is wrong, and when she sneaks into Zaralena’s computer she discovers why. She finds a way to deal with what she discovers, and it is not what you would expect.
Bride in the Shadows: A bride left at the altar finds the thought of death or Hell the perfect remedy for the heartache she is suffering.
Cat Scratch Fever: Missy and Angie are in the market for a new cat, and they go to a cat café searching for the perfect one. While looking at pictures of all the cats available for adoption, Missy pets a cat that scratches her. Worried about infection, Missy and Angie leave without a cat and head home to disinfect the bite. Over time Missy begins to act differently – things she hated eating she now wants, and she has trouble sleeping. Angie goes to a witch shop hoping for answers, but the answers are crazy and hard to believe, until it becomes apparent that what you think is crazy might just be the only thing you can count on.
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