Witches, Stitches, & Bitches, a short story collection edited by Shannon Page, is one of Evil Girlfriend Media’s “Three Little Words” Anthologies, meaning that each story contains those three rhyming words. (Look for Roms, Bombs, & Zoms and Stamps, Vamps, & Tramps coming soon.) If this sounds gimmicky to you, well, yeah, it is. But it’s also a lot of fun.
Because, let’s face it, witches are entertaining, and this book has every kind of witch you might enjoy – the Grimm’s Brother variety, the New England-y Salem Witchcraft sort, the hot, bad-ass type, as well as your average high school witch with a Ouija board. The sixteen stories range from quietly disturbing to sassy and sensational. Some of the authors employ humor, while others go for horror, but the thread that weaves them all together, well…it’s witchcraft.
I feel a little strange reviewing this collection, actually, since I wrote one of the stories in it. All I will say is that my story is called “The Three Gateways,” and I’ll let you make your own decision about it.
As for the others, I liked some of them more than others, which is to be expected, given a collection of so many different authors. I was particularly enchanted by the reimagined fairy tales, such as the Cinderella-inspired “Forgetting Tomorrow” by Bob Brown, and the haunting “Not Even If I Wanted To” by Kodiak Julian, in which a woman happens upon a candy cottage while searching for her lost stepchildren.
Along a similar vein, I enjoyed “The Secret Life of Dreams” by Tom Howard and “The Knitted Man” by Bo Blader, both of which are short, intriguing fables that left me with the feeling that I’d gotten a glimpse into a mysterious and magical world.
I was also drawn to the YA stories. “Yes, I’m a Witch” by Julie McGalliard, a coming-of-age story set in 1981, is both fresh and familiar, although it grows a bit too cloyingly sweet at the very end. And I thoroughly enjoyed “Blood Magic,” an elegantly written tale about a virgin princess trying to escape the horrible man to whom she is betrothed.
The humorous “Frogsong” by Kate Brandt and “For Want of a Unicorn” by Camille Griep could have used deeper character development, but they are both charming nonetheless. The first is narrated by a man who has been turned into a toad by a sexy witch, and in the other a bitchy fairy godmother schemes to get her way.
Some stories are somber while others read like magical soap operas. “The Far, Far Horizon” by J.H. Fleming is the story of a forest witch who tries to bring her lover back to life, and the unforgettable “Spare Parts” by Stephanie Bissette-Roark, stars a zombie-like assassin, revenge on an ex, and several surprising plot twists.
Many of the stories are short, which makes for a fast, fun read, but you may find yourself wishing the stories were longer. Sometimes it seemed like I was just getting to know the characters and their magical world when the story was over. In some ways, I wished that all the stories were short fables and fairy tales, but of course, those are the types of stories I gravitate towards, and one of the best things about this collection is the variety. These are sixteen very different stories, which basically guarantees that you will like some and dislike others, and that, hopefully, there will be a few you really love. The magic of this book is that it has something for everyone, and at only $3.99 for the Kindle version, you really have nothing to lose.
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Check out Eva’s reading on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m98cDLO-c3A&feature=youtu.be