About / Press
- Des Lewis reviews Vastarien, Vol 6, Issue 1, including Christa Carmen’s contribution, “Echoes of a Former You”: “… fraught with a woman’s nightmare in her own home after the horror performed on her outside it—to describe which nightmare would ‘spoil’ it. Suffice to say, it’s a painfully heartfelt attritional journey of windows and doors in a world that is stitched with Ligotti.”
- Christa Carmen blurbs Tony LaMalfa’s debut: "With Forbidden Knowledge, Tony LaMalfa has crafted a pair of novellas so well-versed in the oeuvre of Lovecraft, he had me convinced—at times—I was reading an undiscovered work by Lovecraft himself. But Forbidden Knowledge is far too dynamic, unsettling, and utterly original to be anything other than the work of an explosive new talent, a talent whose prose burns like a white-hot star from beyond the fourth dimension. Lovecraft scholars and general horror fans alike will delight in this magnetic, magical tome."
- Gwendolyn Kiste is back at The Line Up with “5 Horror Books to Match with Your Favorite Tarot Cards,” and includes Orphans of Bliss (“Christa Carmen’s Bram Stoker Award-nominated novelette, ‘Through the Looking Glass and Straight Into Hell,’ is worth the price of admission alone.”) along with The Devil card!
- Jo Kaplan blurbs Christa Carmen’s debut novel, The Daughters of Block Island: “Christa Carmen’s The Daughters of Block Island is a tantalizing love letter to gothic fiction, imbued with rain-soaked atmosphere and scandal-ridden mysteries that unravel to reveal the dark beating heart at the center of a mysterious island mansion. Readers of gothic novels will delight in nods to classic works and the way the past continues to haunt the present in White Hall. Filled with intrigue, this book is the perfect addition to your bookshelf, tucked in beside Radcliffe and du Maurier!”
- Christa Carmen is now cohost of Murder Coaster, along with award-winning crime and horror writer Matthew Brockmeyer! Murder Coaster is a weekly true crime podcast, delving deep into the stories and psychology surrounding the world’s most bizarre and brutal crimes. Listen to Season 2 now, wherever you get your podcasts!
- “Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell,” from Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror (Wicked Run Press), has been nominated for the 2022 Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction!
- We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State (Weird House Press) has been nominated for the 2022 Aurealis Award for Best Anthology!
- COVER REVEAL THE DAUGHTERS OF BLOCK ISLAND, Christa Carmen’s “ingenious and subversive twist on the classic gothic novel,” in which the mysterious past of an island mansion lures two sisters into a spiderweb of scandal, secrets, and murder, is available for pre-order now (and will be released on October 10th)! The book’s page is also live at Goodreads, and can be added to readers’ ‘want to read’ lists. A huge thank-you to designer Caroline Johnson at Thomas & Mercer for the gorgeous artwork.
- Gwendolyn Kiste is back at The Lineup, spotlighting 5 Simple Ways to Support Women Writers All Year Long—And Really Make a Difference.
- Christa Carmen has two works on the Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot for 2022: "Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell," published by Wicked Run Press/Mark Matthews in Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror, for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State, long with co-editor L.E. Daniels, published by Joe Morey at Weird House Press, in Superior Achievement in an Anthology.
- Gwendolyn Kiste highlights We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State as part of her Tor Nightfire article, “Short, Not Sweet: Five of the Creepiest Themed Anthologies of 2022”: “From ghosts to the gothic, this is one deliriously spooky anthology you don’t want to miss.”
A few Goodreads reader reviews for
We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State...
Alexander Charles: “The stories inside are not hamstrung by Rhode Island being a common thread, many of them are very different, and run a wide variety of sub genres within horror…Standout stories in my opinion, include Testing A Horrible Superstition by Christa Carmen… Highly recommend this anthology, it's one of the best I've read in a long time..”
Badseedgirl: “All the stories were well written and I enjoyed them all. I have many new authors to add to my list.”
Elizabeth Devecchi: “We are Providence... reaches out its skeletal hand to pull its readers through a series of shadowy, twisted paths, subjecting them to emotions spanning from fear and sorrow to rage and elation. This book truly does have something for every reader, from every background.”
- Christa Carmen, L.E. Daniels, and the rest of the contributors to We Are Providence are the “bright stars in the movement” to unite the weird in Providence, according to Providence Monthly’s recap of NecronomiCon 2022!
- We Are Providence is featured as one of “six tales of Rhode Island haunted houses and horrors perfect for Halloween” in Providence Monthly’s October Rhody Reads column! “These authors are your friends and neighbors. Doesn’t that send a chill down your spine?” Hugh Minor writes.
- Reviewing for Dead Headspace Podcast, Brennan LaFaro calls We Are Providence, “…a diverse showcase for just how big the stories from the smallest state can be… Co-editor Christa Carmen contributes… a poignant piece about a mother-daughter relationship and the first story to focus in on the vampire epidemic of the 1800s.”
- Award-winning writer and editor Gene Flynn calls We Are Providence: Tales of Horror from the Ocean State “a brilliant collection shaped by forces both human and inhuman,” and states that the “twenty-two stories and poems draw inspiration from the weird and the horrific, the haunting and the bizarre; they also clearly ring with a New England sense of place, history, and people.” With regards to Christa Carmen’s “Testing a Horrible Superstition,” Gene felt the tale “spoke so earnestly to the weird little girl in [her.]”
- A starred review from Library Journal for Orphans of Bliss, and an amazing shoutout for “Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell”: “…it is Christa Carmen’s heartbreakingly honest look at “recovery” that is the star here, a story that is sure to end up on many speculative fiction year-end award lists.”
- Booklist has given Orphans of Bliss a starred review! “The stories included here do not shy away from the ugliest parts of addiction...“Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell,” by Christa Carmen, vibrantly focuses on a woman who returns to a recovery center to undergo virtual-reality therapy…Overall, Orphans of Bliss is a strong anthology with memorable, visceral, cutting stories that will resonate with horror fans.” Thank you, A. E. Siraki!
- Orphans of Bliss highlighted by EIN Newsdesk’s Book Publishing Industry news! Check out the write-up here.
- Of “Through the Looking Glass…”, Kendall Reviews’ Steve Stred says: “Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell” by Christa Carmen is “A really unique Sci-Fi mash-up, we get a VR set up to help with addicts and some interesting ramifications from there.”
- The Scary Reviews calls “Through the Looking Glass” a “fantastic tale! The future is now, and scary as ever. In this story we get an addict wondering if she can finally stay clean. I loved the way this story flips from then to now, and back until the conclusion. At times it’s a struggle to keep what’s real from imagined. Props and well done! This was my favorite short, and a stand out piece of writing.”
Goodreads reader reviews for “Through the Looking Glass and
Straight into Hell,” Christa Carmen’s contribution to
Orphans of Bliss: Tales of
Addiction Horror, edited by Mark Matthews...
Steph: “Some of my favorites: ‘Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell’ by Christa Carmen was a futuristic look at rehab. It reminded me of a Black Mirror episode. What would you do if you could see what life could be like without your addiction? And not just see it, but live it. Would you have a new found sense of purpose? What if the life without addiction was worse? All questions in this thought-provoking short story.”
Kelly | Just Another Horror Reader: “This story was one of the most intriguing and heartbreaking.”
Michela: “All the stories are beautifully written: I don't know if the authors have/had direct experiences with the different addictions they wrote about, but they felt so real and painful and truly horrific. As with most collections, I didn't *love* all the stories but, out of 10 stories, I found these 5 absolutely incredible: [including] - Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell, by Christa Carmen
Mona Kabbani: “My top three tales from this anthology [include]: ...‘Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell’ by Christa Carmen... If you can handle the triggers that come with addiction horror, I highly suggest this anthology. It’s filled with amazing stories, there wasn’t one I disliked, and it drowns you in goopy, black dread.”
Eva: “Carmen focuses on an addict who returns to a recovery center to undergo virtual reality therapy. Readers who have had their own struggles with addictions and relapses will find Carmen’s story harder to take. Nonetheless, the prose is vibrant.”
Brittney: “This has to be one of my favorite books this year and I will definitely be reading more by the contributing authors in this anthology! Top 3 favorites: [include] ...Through the Looking Glass and Straight to Hell by Christa Carmen”
Kristina: “My personal favorite is 'Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell' by Christa Carmen. I was shocked at the ending. I loved all the other stories but that one personally left a mark on me.”
- Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked was featured by Gwendolyn Kiste in her article for The Lineup: “5 Reimagined Gothic Books to Give You the Creeps.” “These stories run the gamut from quiet horror to all-out blood and guts, but at their heart, there’s always a true and abiding love for the gothic epicenter of the genre.”
- Publisher’s Weekly has called Orphans of Bliss a “powerhouse anthology” that includes a “star-studded lineup of authors” and “immersive and imaginative tales [that] will be worthwhile for horror lovers.”
- Check it out! FREE copies! Wicked Run Press is giving away 25 kindle copies of ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR to the first 25 readers who email proof of purchase of any title from one of the authors on the TOC to WickedRunPress@gmail. Put "Orphans" in the subject line. You'll receive a voucher for a free download on publication day, 5/4/22 (date of purchase can be anytime within the past 6 months… must have an Amazon account, and sorry—US Only).”
- Night Worms has revealed the cover for Orphans of Bliss (“Readers are in for a shock when they follow an addict trying to get clean in [Christa Carmen’s] “Through the Looking Glass and Straight into Hell.” A jaw dropping final scene and one of the best stories of the series.”).
A fantastic early Goodreads review for Orphans of Bliss / Christa Carmen’s
story, “Through the Looking Glass and Straight Into Hell...
Nina The Wandering Reader: "‘Addiction is horror, and the history of horror is incomplete without addiction.’ Never have I picked up a horror anthology and finished it in one sitting. Never. But there’s a first time for everything and... [w]hile I loved every story in this collection, my favorites [included]: Through the Looking Glass and Straight Into Hell by Christa Carmen...”
A few Goodreads reader reviews for “Vulture Eyes,” Christa Carmen’s
contribution to Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 4 Issue 2 (Fall
2021), edited by Jon Padgett...
Paul L. Bates: “…an intense tale of postpartum psychosis. Iris, at once overjoyed by the presence of her new baby daughter and the company of her loyal Weimaraner, is at the same time haunted by the specters of another baby, another dog, both of whom she obsessively believes herself to have severely wronged. She struggles to keep her life from unraveling completely as her guilt gradually usurps her reason...”
Jessica_Peter: “Dark and haunting, about the sins of your past haunting you (but, like literally). Wonderful juxtaposition between past and present.”
- A Mighty Word author Joshua Rex reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked for Meghan’s House of Books: “There are bones, blood-covered blades, black-eyed dolls, snatches of hair, dried grave flowers. Crypts. Corn Mazes. Masks that might not be masks. There are dubious babysitters, the phantoms of dead ex-boyfriends, people trying to recover and people who will not recover. It is visceral, but it is also poignant, and the language in the collection is exquisite.”
- Mark Matthews, editor of the upcoming Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror, has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson award for Lullabies for Suffering! Congratulations, Mark, and best of luck!
- Christa Carmen will have a story in Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror, coming in the spring of 2022 from Wicked Run Press. Mark Matthews' Garden of Fiends and Lullabies for Suffering are counted among Christa's favorite horror anthologies ever, and the TOC for this last installment is an unbelievable curation of talent. Thanks to Mark, and congrats to fellow contributors Cassandra Khaw, Josh Malerman, Sam Kolesnik, Shawn A. Cosby, John FD Taff, & Kealan Patrick Burke!!
- Christa Carmen has been appointed coordinator of the new Horror Writers Association Rhode Island Chapter! Visit the HWA RI Facebook page if you are a RI-connected horror writer interested in knowing more!
A few Goodreads reader reviews for Christa Carmen’s
contribution to the Bram Stoker-nominated Not All
Monsters anthology, edited by Sara Tantlinger...
Frazer Lee: “Christa Carmen’s ‘And Sweetest in the Gale is Heard’ transcends even Jack Ketchum’s mantra that for the horror to feel authentic the pain must be all too real. Carmen’s writing here completely floored me, and is a dazzling standout in this outstanding anthology.”
Erica Robyn Metcalf: “My favorite stories from this anthology include: ... - And Sweetest in the Gale is Heard by Christa Carmen... a terrifying and heartbreaking tale! This one is a must read.”
- Amy Grech (@amy_grech) included Christa Carmen in her Crimson Screams blog: Dangerous Dames: Women Who Write Horror.
- Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror and The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaption have advanced to the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology and Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction, respectively. Huge congratulations to editors Sara Tantlinger and Kevin J. Wemore, Jr.!
- The fantastic Gwendolyn Kiste includes Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, along with several amazing horror works, on her recommended reading list during an interview with Lou Pendergrast | More2Read.
- Both Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror and The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Adaption have made the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology and Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction, respectively. Congrats to editors Sara Tantlinger and Kevin J. Wemore, Jr.!
- Horrorbound.net calls Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked "Matrimony, Addiction, Feminism in a Package!" Read the full review here.
- Christa Carmen will be performing the voice of Abigail Somberlain for the audiobook adaptation of Dean Kuhta's epic fantasy novel Silvarum.
New Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something
Kathryn: “Christa Carmen spins a beautiful web of stories in this collection, many with a feminist edge. Carmen doesn't just tap into the emotion of fear with her stories either; many of the stories are rife with longing, sadness, despair, but also, hope.”
Zachary Todd Vance: “[M]ultiple stories are well worth reading multiple times. Keep on keeping on!”
Wayne Fenlon: "Giving this one a solid 4 stars. Don't put it off. Pick it up now. You'll enjoy it."
Samantha: "...Christa Carmen has got a knack for horror, the knowledge behind psychology and addiction that makes these stories extra-poignant, and poetic writing that jumps off the page."
Keary Birch: "Great fun. Some excellent horror stories and some that really make you think."
- Christa Carmen blurbs All the Dead Men by Errick Nunnally: "Errick Nunnally's Alexander Smith novels expertly blend several genres to deliver the perfect concoction of supernatural noir, shapeshifting intrigue, and gripping horror. The events of All the Dead Men will leave you feeling as if you're passing through the "membrane of [a] nightmare," a nightmare replete with bloodthirsty monsters and other agents of chaos; here, the howling werewolves and hungry vampires are strikingly realized characters you won't soon forget, and the breakneck plot will have you reading long into the night."
- Horror in the Eye of the Beholder is now available, featuring new and exclusive interviews with 21 modern authors of horror fiction discussing their cinematic influences and obsessions. Every interview is accompanied by a terrifying eye portrait of the writer.
- Link to purchase The Big Book of Horror Authors coloring and activity book here!
New Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something
Kittens Review Books: Heart: "A few personal favorite stories for me are 'The Girl Who Loved Bruce Campbell' 'Thirsty Creatures' 'All Souls Of Eve'." Deathwish: "They were so good! It's definitely a three paw book."
Stefani: "I read this book in less than 48 hours... The stories here feel empowering, and like a love song to the genre of horror itself."
- Christa Carmen blurbs Nest of Salt by Matthew Brockmeyer: "Like the blood-soaked, LSD-fueled love child of Maurice Sendak and H.P. Lovecraft, Matthew Brockmeyer's Nest of Salt does not shy away from where the wild things are. It's a mad circus, a spiked ambrosia, a frenzied cacophony of heavy metal, demented Christmas carols, and chants to summon cosmic horrors in the dark."
- The Kickstarter for the beautifully crafted hard-and softcover third edition of Silvarum, the epic fantasy novel created, written, and illustrated by Dean Kuhta and with an introduction by Christa Carmen, is now live.
- The Big Book of Horror Authors, a Coloring & Activity Book created by Cassie Lola Daley of Let’s Get Galactic, is coming August 2020, featuring Christa Carmen, Adam Cesare, Alan Baxter, Calvin Demmer, Chad Lutzke, David Sodergren, Gabino Iglesias, Gemma Amor, Gwendolyn Kiste, Hailey Piper, Jeremy Hepler, Jonathan Janz, Kealan Patrick Burke, Michelle R. Lane, Sara Tantlinger, Sarah Read, Scott Thomas, Sonora Taylor, Stephanie M. Wytovich, & V. Castro.
- Sadie Hartmann provides book recommendations from her favorite women in horror fiction for Book Shop.
- Silent Motorist asked a selection of authors about their favorite horror/weird fiction collections...find out what book Gwendolyn Kiste chose!
- Christa Carmen reviews Brookelynne Warra's Luminous Body, published by Dim Shores and now nominated for a 2020 Shirley Jackson Award.
- Sadie Hartmann pens “This Genre is on Fire! 13 Fiesty Females Fanning Fear into Flame!” for LitReactor, including Christa Carmen.
New Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked!
Joseph VanBuren: “This collection was every bit as good as I expected. She does a great job of taking old school horror tropes & even older school gothic conventions, placing them in scary modern settings, then subverting half of them and embracing the rest... If you like mess-with-your-head horror that is just as poetic as it is disturbing, read this book.”
Becca: “... right off the bat, I could tell she has a lyrical-style when it comes to words... a well-written collection and a fantastic introduction to Christa Carmen.”
Raina Madison: “After reading countless horror anthologies for the course of my entire life it's refreshing to see a sole woman's name under the title... Give us more, Christa! Red Room & This Our Angry Train were my favorites of the bunch.”
- Christa Carmen blurbs Dark Celebrations by Calvin Demmer: “Calvin Demmer's latest is true to its name: a dark celebration of the classic horror monsters that have stalked the annals of the genre for the past two hundred years; Demmer leaves an indelible mark on those histories with each tale in this collection, and his words will lull you into submission so that you don't see the explosive (and interconnected!) ending coming.”
- The Westerly Sun's “The Week Ahead” features Kelly Braffet (The Unwilling) Q&A and Book Signing. Braffet will be in conversation with Christa Carmen at Savoy Bookshop and Café.
- Christa Carmen will be part of Marta Oliehoek-Samitowska's HORROR IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER! The book will feature interviews conducted exclusively for this project, in which the authors (Christa Carmen, Gwendolyn Kiste, Gemma Files, Thana Niveau, Lisa Morton, Paul Tremblay, Ramsey Campbell, Adam Nevill, Orrin Grey, Adam Cesare, John Llewellyn Probert, Aliya Whiteley, Brian Evenson, Tim Lucas, Gary McMahon, Claire C. Holland, A.C. Wise, & Nina Allan) talk about their cinematic influences and horror films in general, alongside gorgeously rendered eye portraits! Marta is currently crowdfunding for the full-color print edition!!!
- Cassie Daley’s Let’s Get Galactic! blog, THURSDAY 10: LADIES WRITING HORROR FICTION YOU NEED TO READ ASAP, features Christa Carmen’s Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked alongside other amazing #WIH: “These short stories are packed with all kinds of horror – from spooky stuff to real life addiction – and it’s not difficult to get sucked into these pages as soon as you open the book."
New Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked!
Elina: “Definitely unexpected and very different from other haunting story books I've ever read. I would describe this as the "dark web" of books or "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" for adults... This book was pretty dark.”
Robi A: “Spooky well created short stories abounding in bizarre and absurd; yet, horrifically terrifying concepts; that mostly, have satisfyingly strange endings.”
- Book Riot’s list of 15 AUTHORS LIKE STEPHEN KING YOU NEED TO ADD TO YOUR TBR includes Christa Carmen’s Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked for encompassing “the perfect blend of psychological and unearthly horror.”
- The Ladies of Horror Fiction dish up their 8 Days of Halloween: Short Stories recommendations!
Christa Carmen provided blurbs for two new horror releases:
- “A surreal journey through an apocalyptic wasteland, a world that is terrifyingly reminiscent of our own even as the blare of evacuation alarms drowns out the sizzle of acid rain, smiling mannequins bear witness to a hundred thousand deaths, and "the forest floor grows femurs in the light of a skeletal moon." Stephanie M. Wytovich's The Apocalyptic Mannequin is as unsettling as it is lovely, as grotesque as it is exquisite.”
- “Mark Matthews' Garden of Fiends sparked new energy into the addiction horror subgenre when it was published in 2017, and Lullabies for Suffering will undoubtedly continue in this tradition. These six stories are brimming with sobering revelations and heinous aberrations. If you like a side of realism and discomfort with your afternoon horror, then this is your cup of (incredibly noxious) tea.”
- Of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, Steven Gomzi raves: “My favorite short story collection of the year! I was blown away by this book. Christa Carmen is a future horror superstar. Gorgeous writing, beautifully written characters, and scary as fuck situations make up one of the finest author debuts I have ever read.”
- Kim Napolitano marks her completion of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked with a glowing review on Goodreads: “Beautiful prose, stark and brutal description of opioid addicts’ personal hell makes these amazing collection of short stories stand out... Every story is memorable and rich. I look forward to more stories from Ms. Carmen. I recommend you read immediately!”
- Mother Horror lists the 20 Scariest Books of All Time (...that you might not have heard of) and Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked makes the cut!
Even more Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked!
Reggie: “This book was a 4.75 for me. This collection had a little bit of everything. Some stories were short, some ended in vapor, some tugged on my insides, no joke I cried on a few, some kinda freaked me out. This was equal parts that scary ride you get on or haunted house you go through and laugh about afterwards and equal parts the real horror of life that can keep you down. I look forward to reading more from Christa Carmen. A Halloween worthy pick!”
Michael: “This is a hell of a debut collection. There are some tremendous stories in here. The tone and the type of scare vary greatly between the tales, which really gets me excited for what Christa Carmen will do going forward. Unlike a lot of collections, I would say you can't go wrong with any of the stories in here. But there is a four-story streak (Souls, Dark and Deep; All Souls of Eve; Liquid Handcuffs; and Lady of the Flies) that is among the most consistently excellent of any collection I can remember reading. But Red Room is also so great. You know what, just read this book. You won't regret it. Definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.”
- Fellow Stonecoaster Lauren Andrea takes some precious time away from prose packets and workshop submissions to read and review Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “... I loved that the stories weren't all about traditional horror subjects like gore and ghosts (not that there was a lack of gore or ghosts by any means). Many of them were about real-life, heart-wrenching horrors like addiction and sexual assault. These tales will sit with me for a long time, eating away at my soul (to my encouragement). Am I a horror fan now? What have you done to me?!”
- Curtis M. Lawson’s Black Heart Boys’ Choir is available now as a Kindle ebook and Christa Carmen provided the following blurb: “An utterly original story that succeeds on the micro level with Curtis M. Lawson's expertly realized Swift River High, and on the macro level in the same vein of Lovecraft's most dread-inspiring tales of cosmic horror, Black Heart Boys' Choir is razor-sharp, relentlessly chilling, and will cut you like the abruptly-severed string of a fiendishly-played violin.”
- Coral posts a Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked review to Goodreads: “There were SO MANY good stories here... Christa really knocked this out of the park,” Matt writes that “These are very good, very scary short stories... I really enjoyed Christa Carmen's writing style and will be looking for more from her,” and tightrope.to.the.sun exclaims: “... the stories were a lot of fun and played with a number of different horror tropes/elements. Some of my favorites included a Halloween version of 'A Christmas Carol,' a kidnapper who is striving to make his victim a drug addict, and a girl defending her home against human-esque creatures who feel no pain and are bent on death and destruction. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys horror fiction.”
- Christine Morgan reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked for The Horror Fiction Review: "Set in a shared universe, with recurring characters and places, and events seen from different points of view, they work together to bring forth a journey through addiction and recovery that must’ve been very difficult to write at all … let alone write so well."
- Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is now available as an audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Rebekah Tyler! There is a limited number of promotional codes available for those interested in listening for free to provide a review, so use the Contact Form here to submit a request and get yours now! Otherwise, head on over to Audible to purchase the Indie Horror Book Award Winner for Best Debut Collection!
- Night Worms reviewer Cassie (@holo.reader) pens ‘10 Short Story Collections That Are Next On My TBR’ for her ‘Let’s Get Galactic’ blog, and Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked makes the cut.
- Brian’s Book Blog features 15 audiobooks for the week of June 22nd, and includes Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked.
- The Bram Stoker Award winning author of The Devil's Dreamland has her debut novella available now from Unnerving, and Christa Carmen provided the following blurb: "Sara Tantlinger's To Be Devoured capitalizes on our macabre preoccupation with the uglier side of nature, with love that topples into obsession, and with madness that is strangely beautiful in its barbarity. Her writing is equivalent to those unremitting avian beings her protagonist is so enamored of: It will hook its talons through your flesh, sink its neck into the ribboned edges of your wounds, and only relinquish your blighted body when it has swallowed your very soul."
- Massive Dark Fiction Book Bundle! Sign up for these twenty-four authors’ mailing lists (with one click!) and win twenty-four print copies of each author’s latest release!
- Unnerving Women Book Bundle! Get 7 paperbacks for $70 + free shipping to CA, US, & UK: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked by Christa Carmen, Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun, The Maiden Voyage and Other Departures by Jessica McHugh, Licking the Devil's Horn by Renee Miller, Breathe. Breathe. by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and includes pre-orders of Howl by Renee Miller and To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger.
- The Elvelon Press Team welcomes a new head of Media Relations, Helena! You can read more about Helena in Issue #2 of Outpost 28 via Christa Carmen’s short story "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge," but just to give you a taste for who Helena is, this restless spirit enjoys terrorizing adolescents through the medium of a Ouija board, shape-shifting, and speaking in tongues. Let's give Helena a nice, warm human heart, err, welcome to Elvelon Press!!!
- The Haunted Fae Reviews’ Suzy Michael provides her commentary on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “In her debut collection, Christa Carmen brings together supernatural, otherworldly horrors and blends them with real life horrors to give you this devilishly titled compilation... As entertaining as it is creepy, Carmen shows off her Horror chops, while also showcasing her compassion and empathy for people. But don't let her soft side fool you, there's plenty of blood, so heads up!”
More Goodreads reader reviews for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked!
Michael: “ For me, a five star review is usually linked to how re-readable a book is. I look forward to reading SBSB again.”
Shawna: “...my favorites were: Red Room, Something Borrowed Something Blood-soaked, Lady of the Flies... I favored those just because I like gore and body horror.”
Jenna Moquin: “I had the privilege of not only meeting the author but hearing her read the best story in this collection, Red Room, at the Wyrd: Horror and Dark Fiction readings event in Salem, MA. She is a great writer, with a wonderfully macabre imagination.”
Alyssa: “Thanks to being a giveaway winner for this book, I had the pleasure of reading this book and finally discovering this author which I didn’t know of before...Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked gets 5 stars from me...”
Margaret Bechtol: “I enjoyed this book overall... I liked Red Room the most... I would read this author again.”
Mark: “Overall there is a nice dark vibe running through.”
- April is #NationalPoetryMonth and the 6th installment of the HWA Poetry Showcase is now live and open for submissions. Stephanie M. Wytovich will be editing this year’s showcase and judging alongside Cynthia Pelayo & Christa Carmen! Submit your best horror poetry HERE.
- The revised edition of Dean Kuhta’s Silvarum will be released at the end of April 2019 and will feature a foreword by Christa Carmen. Check out Dean’s previously published work, as well as his mesmerizing artwork, at his website.
- Matthew Brockmeyer’s short story collection, Under Rotting Sky, will be available April 20, 2019, and Christa Carmen provided the following blurb: "Brockmeyer reels you in with addictive prose and unforgettable characters, only to reach down your throat and pull your guts out from between your teeth. An intense collection of hardcore horror, chock full of murderous children, lost souls, deranged fairy tales, and punk-rock ghosts."
- “Eerily sinister collection of shorts. A lot of real life horror stuff here – addiction, suicide, terrorism – all twisted up into perfectly wrapped horrific gifts. My favorites were Liquid Handcuffs and Lady of the Flies.” This, a review of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked from Well Read Beard (@KevinWhitten62).
- Heather Grove reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked for Errant Dreams: “These are dark tales, with blood, gore, and some adult content. The content is well-balanced and fun to read!”
- Bruce Baugh takes on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked on Gwendolyn Kiste’s recommendation: “What really strikes me about this volume is how much the stories aren't like each other - Carmen is trying lots of things, looking in lots of directions, approaching many subjects in many different ways. I like that!”
- For Part 3 of Gallows Hill’s celebration of Women in Horror Month, Brian James Lewis expounds on his original review of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked in a feature post that also gives a nod to publisher Unnerving.
- Five stars for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked from Morgan K. Tanner: “There's a great unnerving presence in the writing here, at times I was getting so washed away with the descriptions and similes that I had to stop and re-read certain passages...”
- J.B. leaves a review for Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked on Goodreads: “Carmen clearly shines in the more realistic stories focused on addiction, recovery, and treatment, and weaves that horror and feeling of "can I trust anyone or anything?" in well with the supernatural horror stories.”
- Kevin L. says that Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is “... an excellent collection of short stories and novellas. Christa Carmen has a unique and strong voice that shines through in each story.”
- Of Christa Carmen, and Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, Dustin Frueh states that “Her often lyrical prose was beautiful, and consistently awe-inspiring. I can easily see myself reading these stories again and again.”
- #WiHMX starts with an excerpt from Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked’s closing story, “Flowers from Amaryllis, featured by Ink Heist (#SomethingBorrowed #Unnerving #PsychologicalHorror).
- When asked if he’d like to post an excerpt from Something Borrowed, Something Blood Soaked, his reply was one word: "Send." Read a portion of "Thirsty Creatures” at Frank Michaels Errington's Horrible Book Reviews (#SomethingBorrowed #Unnerving #PsychologicalHorror).
- Gavin Kendall calls Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, ‘brilliant,’ and showcases an excerpt of “Lady of the Flies” at Kendall Reviews (#SomethingBorrowed #Unnerving #PsychologicalHorror).
- Utilizing the following hashtags: #SomethingBorrowed #Unnerving #PsychologicalHorror, Horror DNA kicks off a tour of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked with an excerpt from "Wolves at the Door and Bears in the Forest."
- This Is Horror's Thomas Joyce writes an in-depth review of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, describing each story from a plot, theme, and characterization standpoint: “As far as debut collections go, this offers so much and delivers it all...Carmen handles it with the assured touch of a seasoned storyteller.”
- High Fever Books features Mother Horror’s ‘Most Loved Books of 2018,’ and Christa Carmen’s Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked represents #WIH on a list that includes Calvin Demmer, Chad Lutzke, John Boden, Tim Meyer, Michael Patrick Hicks, Mike Thorn, Andrew Cull, Tim McWhorter, & John F.D. Taff.
- Self-professed bookworm and ‘horror, thriller and good story admirer’ Rafael Milos @sea_bookworm proclaims Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked “has it all...this book is terrifying, gruesome, gory and thrilling it is also my first book from Christa Carmen...I love closing the year challenge with a 5 star Book...!”
- Tim Meyer’s picks are in... the Top 10 Horror Novels of 2018 (a hint, Meyer breaks his own rules in order to include Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked)!
- Author of ‘There is Darkness in Every Room’ and ‘Your Arms Around Entropy,’ Brian Fatah Steele contributes his Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked review to Goodreads: “Carmen gives us some of the most personal and heart-wrenching horror stories to be collected in a long time, wonderfully character-driven. It’s rare to find intimate and exquisite horror like this, tales so terribly relatable in their honesty. No doubt an important new voice in the genre.”
- “Quiet, powerful, serious, sometimes witty, but also downright terrifying...Yep, I’m talking about Christa Carmen!” Brian James Lewis (@skullsnflames76) blogs about Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked on his ‘Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer’ website: “FIVE BIG STARS and Wall of Fame inductee! ... These stories present female characters who have no interest in waiting for a man to come fix a problem that they can handle just as well... grab yourself a copy of this snouted beauty today!”
- Reviewer Cody Tidwell (@CodyTidwell_14) adds Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked to his bookshelf: “Christa Carmen. Carmen, though a relative newbie to the world of horror, has some chops. She doesn’t fall prey to traps many other small-press horror writers do... She obviously has talent.”
- Nightworm Ashley Saywers (@bookish_mommy) gives her take on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: "... this collection was AWESOME. I loved the variety of horror... It was so raw and gritty... So gruesome!!"
- Red Lace Reviews shares 2018 in Review: ‘Top 10 Pics of 2018,’ and Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, along with fellow Unnerving author Calvin Demmer’s The Sea Was a Fair Master, made the cut!
- Nightworms’ reviewer Alex Pearson (@finding_montauk) administers the following SBSB review: “One of the best features of this book is how Carmen just writes. I want to have a conversation with her. The words and the sentences that come out of her mouth are just pure dark poetry... I found myself getting lost in the prose and I really feel it helps this collection stand out from others I have read.”
- Sara Tantlinger, author of the dark poetry collections LOVE FOR SLAUGHTER and THE DEVIL'S DREAMLAND, provides her thoughts on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: "The protagonists of these stories go through some dark, torturous journeys, and I really appreciated the rawness in which Carmen handles these tales. A solid collection through and through!"
- 2018 Indie Horror Book Awards judge Valerie Dorsey (@ValerieLeeD) comments that "Christa Carmen is a new author for me, & I will follow her wherever she wants to lead me! Here is a collection filled with horror, suspense, murder, addiction, want, sinister ideas...Loved [Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked]!"
- Horror and dramedy writer and author of "The Crow's Gift and Other Tales," Sonora Taylor finds Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked to be ”[a]n impressive debut. Carmen's writing is ripe with vivid and visceral detail. You find yourself hearing and smelling as well as seeing the horror that unfolds across thirteen chilling tales.”
- Mindi Snyder (@gowsy33) says that Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is "a fantastic book of deeply disturbing and thought provoking horror stories. Christa Carmen is definitely not afraid to take a story all the way. This collection is one of my favorites of 2018, and I cannot wait to read more from Carmen.”
- Audra Figgins (@ouija.doodle.reads) thanks Unnerving for the chance to review Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: "This one needs to be added to the list for anyone who is looking for new and interesting voices in horror fiction... Overall, it is a heartfelt, dark, striking, and original collection."
- Horror Writer of dark urban fantasy & horror and author of ‘Maria The Wanted,’ V. Castro (@vlatinalondon) declares of Christa Carmen’s debut collection that, "[e]very story is a bloody, emotional, weird and wonderful journey that will make you think and feel...Buy this book and tell your friends to read it!"
- New Goodreads reader reviews! Diamond Kennedy’s take on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “I really loved this collection & it felt perfect for the Halloween season! Some [of the stories] were bloody and brutal, some were sad & beautiful..." Lindsay Poisson feels that, "What makes this collection stand out was the way each story stuck with me... I look forward to more compelling stories from this author."
- Emily Reed (@BookHappy08) reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: "A few of the stories are linked, and it's fun to see the connections. I enjoyed seeing characters from early stories mentioned in later ones... I truly admire the boldness and honesty of [Christa Carmen’s] writing.”
- This is Horror lists Gwendolyn Kiste’s blog, featuring “part one of a round table with eight fantastic authors,” of which Christa Carmen was a part, in their 5 Must Read Horror Articles – 15-Oct-2018!
- What Are the Night Worms Reading in November? Click here to find out (hint: a pig woman in a red dress makes an appearance!).
- William C. Bitner’s Book Review Village on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “I couldn’t help but have an urge to go on a hayride through a scarecrow infested cornfield, or have a craving to open that bag of Brach’s Autumn Mix/Candy Corn whilst reading this wonderful collection... a vast range of stories, all of which are thought provoking and powerful bits of prose.”
- Red Lace Reviews calls the prose in Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, “unequivocally beautiful,” and got “lost in several tales, some of which brought along some deeper meaning about the unpleasant struggles of life... Carmen has successfully made her way onto my radar.”
- Carissa Lynn Reads asks readers to excuse her language, but states of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked that, “this book of thirteen stories is fucking beautiful! Christa's writing style has got me hooked! I loved every story in this collection... I even loved reading the acknowledgements.”
- A 4.5-star review from Tim Meyer, who states that Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is a, “wonderful collection of short stories, one of the best I've read in quite some time. Highly recommend it, especially to set that October mood!”
- Reviewing Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked for Reads & Reels’ #Blogtober, Theresa Braun posits: “Can we escape our fate, or our choices? Can we maintain sanity? Most of the time Carmen paints a grim picture of the human plight, so if you prefer your horror with a side of death, doom, and destruction, you’ve come to the right place. You won’t regret it.”
- Sadie Hartmann, aka Mother Horror, would “definitely add [Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked] to any October TBR or for solid horror fans, your everyday library... you need it. This author is one to watch.”
- Ginger Nuts of Horror review: “In the debut collection “Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked,” Christa Carmen presents us with a collection of short horror stories that are nothing short of unique.”
- Over at Gwendolyn Kiste’s blog, her October Author Roundtable Series is coming soon! Featuring eight authors—Christa Carmen, Gemma Files, Calvin Demmer, doungjai gam, Lee Forman, Lori Titus, Michael Griffin, & Anya Martin—all of whom have new releases out this year!
- The Ladies of Horror Fiction have created a directory of female authors in horror. Find their ever-growing list, including Christa Carmen, here.
- Howling Libraries Book Reviews has released a list of horror recommendations, and Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, a “collection of horror with a feminist twist,” registered on the skull emoji scary scale, along with Carmen Maria Machado, Seanan McGuire, Joe Hill, Grady Hendrix, Amy Lukavics & Kristi DeMeester.
- Cats Like Cream author Renee Miller believes that the stories in Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked “...will resonate with any reader, as long as they enjoy an author with a fantastic imagination and a knack for the art of storytelling.”
- A Goodreads reader review asserts that Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is “Powerful and horrifying. These stories carry pain and terror, but also hope.”
- Law and Order Party’s Matthew Lawrence highlights the launch of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked at Savoy Bookshop & Café: “...this book release party should appeal to lovers of anything dark.”
- The Day reminds New London residents that Westerly horror writer Christa Carmen signs Tuesday, August 28th, at Savoy Bookshop: “As you read this, it's only 64 days until Trick or Treat…It's not too early to get your Spook on...”
- Hellnotes reviewer Gordon B. White pens a sweeping review of Christa Carmen’s debut collection: “Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked showcases the emergence of a passionate, entertaining, and absolutely necessary voice in the horror genre.”
- Robin Amstutz states, of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “Bloody, creepy, and often really beautiful, Christa Carmen’s work is gorgeous and so much fun to read.”
- Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews bestows upon Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked another five-star review: “Carmen’s writing is intense and has an almost poetic quality to it. I could not help but to be sucked in to her well-crafted stories... Carmen is...going to take the horror genre to a completely new level of spook.”
- Reading Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked prompted The Haunted Reading Room to observe that “Ms. Carmen possesses both an extensive imagination, and the sensory capacity of an artist or poet.”
- Horror After Dark on Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “A remarkable collection from a new-to-me author. There's something for all kinds of horror enthusiasts in here. I'm looking forward to seeing what Christa Carmen comes out with in the future.”
- Howling Libraries’ Reviews says of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “There are definitely a few gems in the collection, such as: Red Room...All Souls of Eve...Lady of the Flies. All in all, if you’re looking for a unique and vaguely feminist collection of indie horror, go ahead and give this one a try. I’m definitely willing to check out more of this author’s work in the future...”
- The Horror Club reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “Carmen offers us thirteen different stories, ranging from Supernatural to Occult to Bizzaro, each with unique ideas interrogated into them. It’s clear that Carmen backs her ideas, and has a certain writing style that allows her to get the best out of them.”
- Down in a Book reviews Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: “I kept thinking that [“Souls, Dark and Deep”] should be turned into a movie. I’d totally watch this in the dark and try not to be creeped out by it. So, so creative. I had fun imagining the magic going on there. “Lady of the Flies” is a story where my heart broke for the main character over how she’s treated, then became delightfully horrified in what she does in revenge. This one would be a cool flick, too.”
- Michael Upstill gives Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked a five-star review: "...dark, witty, quirky...clearly aimed at inviting the reader to completely immerse in the offered slices of the lives of her relatable and sometimes all too familiar characters."
- Of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, the Scary Reviews says: "From the initial story, Thirsty Creatures, Christa Carmen put a cool twist on a classic Greek mythology tale, and turned it upside-down. The story was a fun read."
- The Kickstarter campaign for Chilling Tales for Dark Nights raised $18,045 via 326 backers, an amount that resulted in two stretch goals reached and the project being funded at 360%! The first installment of the illustrated horror anthology will be released in September, just in time for Halloween!
- Christa Carmen's "Shark Minute" will be included in the Chilling Tales for Dark Nights illustrated horror anthology, an eBook, print, and audiobook compilation of original, folklore-inspired short scary stories, due out just in time for Halloween 2018. Contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, and help turn this book into a trilogy!
- S.J. Budd delivers the first review of Christa Carmen's debut fiction collection, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked: "Each of these stories...made for uncomfortable reading with their darkness but it's a collection I really love. I can't wait for more from Christa Carmen. This is a really exciting time for Women in Horror!"
- Bark’s Book Nonsense has identified Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked as one of the Hottest Horror Books of the Summer, along with Foe, by Iain Reid, Unbury Carol, by Josh Malerman, Providence, by Caroline Kepnes, and The Hunger, by Alma Katsu.”
- Read an excerpt from "Lady of the Flies," one of thirteen tales comprising Christa Carmen’s Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked, at Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
- Fireside Magazine is a finalist for the 2018 Best Semiprozine Hugo Award! Fireside is edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini. They’ve published a list of their 2017 contributors, including Christa Carmen, here.
- Sci-Fi & Scary reviews Outpost 28 #2, edited by Dean Kuhta: “I was pulled in from the first story: ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,’ by Christa Carmen. It was also one of my favorites and I have to say that the title gave me a dark chuckle when paired with the band mentioned in the story.”
Unnerving 2018 Sale Announcement
Preorder the 2018 Unnerving publishing schedule at a bulk price: 2018 Unnerving eBook Bundle: $40, includes Christa Carmen's "Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked." Add a four-issue subscription to Unnerving Magazine: $50, includes Christa Carmen's "Red Room," featured in Unnerving Issue #5.
- The Grim Reader reviews Unnerving Magazine Issue #5: "Christa Carmen’s 'Red Room' is a different beast altogether. This story has some wicked imagery, a sinister and brooding atmosphere and a terrific ending. I’d go as far to say that this is one of the best short stories Unnerving has published in the magazine."
- Peculiar Publications Perusal: Ben Walker reviews Unnerving Magazine Issue #5.
- Tales to Terrify podcast is nominated for a This is Horror Award! Vote for Tales to Terrify, which showcased “Liquid Handcuffs” by Christa Carmen in Episode 291, for Fiction Podcast of the Year, here.
- Charles Payseur reviews October's Fireside Fiction offerings at his website, Quick Sips Reviews, including “Banshee” by Cherrelle Shelton, “Geppetto” by Carlos Hernandez, “Discovery” and “Storm” (Fisher of Bones, chapters 6 & 7) by Sarah Gailey, “River Boy” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo, “H&D Plumbing” by Courtney Floyd, and "Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked" by Christa Carmen.
- Victoria Silverwolf reviews Strange Beasties for Tangent: “‘Thirsty Creatures’ by Christa Carmen is a surrealistic account of an unexplained disaster that changes water into a deadly substance. A woman ventures out into the ruined world. This brief story creates an eerie mood.”
- Unnerving Magazine's Eddie Generous reviews Episodes 253, 268, & 291 of Tales to Terrify, including "The Undertaker" by John C. Foster, "Black Door" by Gwendolyn Kiste, "Harvest Moon" by Ray Kolb, "The Kids Have to Eat" by Tim Stevens, and "Liquid Handcuffs" by Christa Carmen.
- Elena Dosil reviews Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 2 at Lomeraniel Audiobook Reviews.
- Snakebite Reviews covers Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 2.
- Publisher's Weekly reviews Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 2.