Of Witches…: Steve Stred
Reviewed By Miranda Crites
The first thing that I need to say about Steve Stred’s latest collection, Of Witches…, is that I wasn’t sure how to go about writing a review for this book at first because my name is on the front cover too. I wrote the foreword, and there are fifteen pieces of my artwork inside. I guess I can say the book is like a Trick-or-Treat bag. We go out on Halloween night to collect treats. Steve’s stories are the prized chocolate bars in the treat bag. You see those golden wrappers? During the night, we’ve collected temporary tattoos. They’re not the main goal of the night, but they get in the bag, and they complement the candy, the bag in its entirety, and get enjoyed. (I hope. Ha ha.)
But I’m here to review Steve’s stories, the candy.
It felt important to me that I should mention that.
KR: Miranda and I discussed this, as integrity is key here at Kendall Reviews. I didn’t see any issue in Miranda reviewing Of Witches… I essentially saw this as an extension of the Foreword Miranda had written for the book and was more than happy to share her thoughts with you.
Now, with that little bit out of the way, let me tell you why I knew I was going to love this book before I ever opened my kindle:
1. It’s by Steve Stred.
2. It’s about witches.
Was I wrong? I absolutely was not wrong.
I first started reading Steve’s work in 2018. I was instantly a fan of his work, but the man just keeps getting better and better.
I’m only going to touch briefly on each story because we don’t need an entire summary; only a snippet should do the trick.
1. In Waves
There’s nothing like a day at the beach… Sadness, love, and loss.
2. A Cave, In the Woods
Siblings speak with an old drunk in a bar for their podcast. Things don’t go as planned. Do they ever?
3. Grandma’s Letters
Tommy’s grandmother dies, but what he inherits is simultaneously more and less than what he imagined. Brutal.
4. Three Words
During a camping trip, a couple discovers something much scarier than a wild animal in the woods. Something wicked is out there…
5. The Witch
The Witch was the single story that I’d already read as it was previously published. I enjoyed this story about the sisters just as much as the first time I read it. This is one of my favorites by Steve.
6. The Tree (The Witch Part 2)
I was more than happy to see that Steve had revisited The Witch! I was extremely pleased how this story turned out, even though the ending is a heart-squeezer. Beautiful. I guess I asked for it.
7. Won’t You Open the Door?
Another brutal story that stems from loss and is quite creepy.
8. The Assistant
Young Kyle wants to start working at the family business, which happens to be a funeral home, but exploring some noises in the night reveals a seemingly impossible situation.
I fell in love with witches when I was a small child. Local folklore, movies and cartoons, Halloween costumes, books, those things always intrigued me. When I found out Steve was putting together Of Witches…, I couldn’t have been happier!
Know that this cauldron is filled to the brim and bubbling over with tales gone wrong of people camping, exploring, or trying to live or work peacefully.
There’s revenge, karma, and flat-out sadness.
I especially enjoy the camping/cabin/outdoor themes of Steve’s stories. I spend a lot of time in these settings, so it enhances the experience for me.
Steve’s biography doesn’t say that he “writes dark, bleak horror fiction” for no reason.
You don’t want to miss this especially since it’s “witch season.” Just kidding! It’s witch season all year! If you like witchy tales, I think this will help satiate your appetite; I know it did mine.
Excellent collection! I love these stories!
“Of Witches…” the newest collection by dark fiction author, Steve Stred, brings together eight stories all revolving around one of history’s great curiosities – the witch.
Steve Stred will once again take you into the deepest, darkest places.
Accompanied by fifteen stunning photographs/illustrations, as well as an amazing foreword from Miranda Crites, this collection is sure to quench your crone thirst.
Within this collection you’ll find tales about;
– A watery reunion
– A story shared in a bar
– Letters left after a family member dies
– A chance encounter while camping
– Three sisters who live on the outskirts of town
– The events that follow the loss of a loved one
– Strange occurrences at a property
– A teenager starting to work at the family business
“Of Witches…” is sure to become both a Halloween classic as well as a collection classic.
Miranda Crites is a reader, writer, book reviewer, photographer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia.
The writing bug bit Miranda at a very early age. She was pretty much born with a pen and a camera in her hands. She won the young writers’ contest in first grade and received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old.
When not writing, Miranda enjoys spending time with her family. She and her family spend a lot of time off the grid where they are building a cabin in the supposedly haunted woods.
Miranda is self-employed. She and her husband create large and small vinyl decals, t-shirts, signs, and a plethora of creative customized items.
Some of her many hobbies when time allows are: making unique crafts and artwork, painting, hiking, and, of course, photography.
She has a diploma for Writing for Children and Teenagers although most of her current work is horror fiction and poetry.
Miranda is a member of Team Kendall Reviews at www.KendallReviews.com where you can find her horror book reviews and her monthly feature, Miranda Snaps, which generally contains horror fiction and photography.
Miranda is one of “The Thirty,” which is a group of thirty authors who are each taking a turn in writing a chapter of an in-progress horror novel.
You can follow Miranda on Instagram Miranda_C_rites
Follow Miranda on Twitter @Miranda_C_rites
You can find out more about Miranda via her website www.mirandacritesreadsandwrites.com