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Arterial Bloom

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Lush. Brutal.

Beautiful. Visceral.

Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents Arterial Bloom, an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.

Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring 16 stories
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published April 3rd 2020 by Crystal Lake Publishing (first published March 22nd 2020)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Sadie Hartmann
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The stories in Arterial Bloom work in tandem, enticing the reader into rapturous melancholia. The end result is both comforting and unsettling, my favorite way to feel."--Sadie Hartmann, Cemetery Dance


Review coming for Cemetery Dance soon
Debbie Christiana
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Arterial Bloom
Crystal Lake Publishing
Edited by Mercedes Yardley

In the midst of our very own strange reality and new (temporary) normal, I curled up with an *ARC of Arterial Bloom, which I received in exchange for an honest review. *

Most of us, especially those of us who love horror, concede that human beings are far more terrifying creatures than any demon, witch, or superstition. Many of the stories in this anthology showcase the evils of humanity. For me, that makes the horror more plausible
Kev Harrison
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the introduction by the ever-eloquent Linda D. Addison, the Stoker award-winning author and poet touches on the bravery in editor Mercedes M. Yardley’s decision to curate her first anthology without a theme. She goes on, though, to touch on a strand that ties these collected tales together, that being a sort of dark poetry. A beautiful darkness. Reading this assembled cast of tales, it’s difficult to think of a better way to describe what draws these disparate tales of monsters, apocalypses, ...more
Michael J.
When I want to read an above average anthology of short stories, Crystal Lake Publishing rarely disappoints. ARTERIAL BLOOM is no exception.
I was equally pleased to see that ARTERIAL BLOOM is edited by Mercedes M. Yardley, an impressive author I've made a mental note to read more of. However, I was a little apprehensive to read in Linda D. Addison's forward that this was Yardley's first attempt at editing and also the book has no defined theme. Very brave to make that choice on your first attem
Michael Hicks
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review of ARTERIAL BLOOM can be found at High Fever Books.

It took me a little while to find my footing and come around to Crystal Lake Publishing's latest anthology, Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley. Once I did, though, I found myself pretty well rewarded by the stories and authors gathered here.

A number of the writers included in Arterial Bloom were new to me, but others, like Kelli Owen, Armand Rosamilia, John Boden, Todd Keisling, and Jennifer Loring were known quantities tha
Bruce Blanchard
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was suggested there was no distinct theme for Arterial Bloom so I am going give it a try: From the arterial blood comes blooms, flowers of life and death and every combination thereof. We are talking of life and death. In this book of 16 stories edited by the talented Mercedes M. Yardley and published by Crystal Lake Publishing with a foreward by Linda D. Addison you will find stories that speak to all of us. The true mark of a short story is the feeling woven into it using words and yet goin ...more
Kris Kinsella
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can horror be beautiful? Based on the stories featured in this anthology, that is a resounding yes! The stories are unconnected in theme but each one presents horror in a way that feels almost like a dream or fairy tale. KUDZU STORIES by Linda J. Marshall gives us one dreamy southern fried night of horror, THREE MASKS by Armand Rosamilia feels like poem with a a Twilight Zone ending, and THE DARKER SIDE OF GRIEF by Natching T. Kassa is exactly the kind of monster story that sticks with you, play ...more
Richard Martin
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arterial Bloom, the Mercedes M. Yardley edited anthology out now from Crystal Lake Publishing, is something of an anomaly as modern anthologies go, as it doesn’t adhere to any particular theme or sub-genre, and has no real glue to hold these stories together other than Yardley herself. This could have resulted in anything from a creative triumph of conflicting styles and voices that work as a cohesive whole, to a disjointed mess that feels jarring and disorganised. I’m happy to note that Arteria ...more
The Grim Reader
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life is but a series of peaks and troughs much like anthologies. Crystal Lake Publishing has a pretty great track record with anthologies and Arterial Bloom is another fine addition to their blossoming catalogue of dark fiction (see what I did there?). The peaks and troughs I speak of come in the shape of the stories. Not everything smells of a freshly mowed lawn and sometimes weeds are to be found. The anthology begins well with strong opening stories; Grant Longstaff's Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog b ...more
Jonathan Cosgrove
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
There is zero bias in this five star review.
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i’m sorry to the decent stories in this collection (‘in the loop’ was a standout for me) but some were so awful i can’t give more than a 2 overall. how three masks got past the editing process as it is, i will never understand
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing, disturbing, eye opening. This collection of short stories by incredibly talented authors makes you think and will make you look at the normal, mundane parts of life in a way that makes you question things you thought were true. Is something innocent really sinister? Do good intentions balance out horrific results? If you could wake up tomorrow not worrying about anything in life but no longer being in control of it either, would you?

All of these stories were well written and compell
Joseph VanBuren
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic Crystal Lake Publishing anthology! This collection of dark fiction short stories is in the same vein as Gutted. All of the tales within have either beautiful writing, an interesting twist, or something to say about our shared humanity - many of the stories contain all three. Every story is well-written, and a few are quite creepy and/or disturbing. My only single complaint is that a few stories pile on the emotional descriptions a little too heavily for my tastes. I'd rather ha ...more
Hernan Salvarezza
Great stories, wonderful authors. Crystal Lake Publishing has done it again. Great work!
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, physical, howls
Read on my Kindle. I was very excited to read this collection of weird fiction/horror short stories, and the book ended up falling a little flat for me. Overall, I thought most of the stories were just ok, not necessarily bad, but nothing that would stick with me. I rated each story individually and averaged the scores to get my rating for the whole book - this resulted in a perfect 3 stars, no rounding required!

A few standouts:

- Kudzu Stories was dark, gritty, and filled with pain. Pain both in
Gene Stewart
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Arterial Bloom Dazzles

A Review of
Arterial Bloom, edited by
Mercedes Murdock Yardley

Here is a book of sixteen distinct tales each of which splashes the reader to the widened eyes. A mixed garden of wild, even feral flowerings.

Have your expectations and tastes surprised by these quirky, dsrk blossoms of arterial blooming.

Chosen for quality of voice, tone, and originality of approach, these stories are linked by Miss Murder’s discerning, unflinching gaze, her command of dark beauty, and a heart fe
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting anthology and I wasn't even sure about anthologies in general but this one really caught my attention (not gonna lie, the cover and title are captivating). It wasn't exactly what I thought it would be but everyone seems to really have worked for this book, from the cover and artwork, to the stories included and notes. Get ready for some cliffhangers though and probably to find a few stories boring. I don't regret buying it whatsoever!
P.S. I want to add that the cover in pers
For this and other reviews, check out my blog!

Arterial Bloom is nothing if not ambitious, and offers something to fit all tastes—which is its greatest weakness. There are wonderful, stand-out stories in this collection, including “Kudzu Stories” by Linda J. Marshall, “Welcome to Autumn” by Daniel Crow, and “In the Loop” by Ken Liu, but I found that the primary reason I enjoyed them was usually the atmosphere they created, and upon finishing the anthology I don’t know how I would feel about them
Alex Wolfgang
Anthologies are hard to rate. There are stories in this book that blew me away (Happy Pills, In the Loop) and stories that did absolutely nothing for me (The Stone Door, Mouths Filled With Sea Water). Most were somewhere in the middle.

Overall, its a competent collection with plenty of skilled writers, but I found that many of the stories started off strong and then collapsed in on themselves by the end. Even in the stories I didn't end up caring for, though, there were moments of excellence.
Molly Ison
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Disappointingly mediocre. Most of the stories were well-written, though several tended toward purple prose and cliches, but I rarely felt like I was reading anything I hadn't basically seen before. ...more
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Dino Parenti
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and Nameless. She won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red and was a Bram Stoker Award nominee for her short story “Loving You Da ...more

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