Marcela Bolivar’s amazing artworks are popping more and more on book covers and it is only for the best, after all she is a tremendously talented artist and with imagination aplenty. Take only the last year or so and I can recall off the top of my head the covers of Eric Schaller’s “Meet Me in the Middle of the Air”, Sunny Moraine’s “Singing With All My Skin and Bone”, Kristi DeMeester’s “Beneath” or the May 2017 issue of Apex Magazine. There is another coming in the near future, this one for Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s collection of tales, “Little Dead Read and Other Stories”, brought in limited edition by Vault Books. Mercedes M. Yardley’s “Little Dead Red” is one of the best stories I’ve ever read, one of my all-time favorites. I had the chance to read the story when it was published in the “Grimm Mistresses” anthology and as I said at the time it really shook my ground.
Marie’s daughter, Aleta, goes to visit her grandmother at the hospital but on her way there she meets a terrifying end. Marie tries to exact revenge on the creature responsible for the terrible deed. “Little Dead Red” is a tremendous opener for this little anthology. Mercedes M. Yardley spins a dark story, the darker you can find, to bone chilling precision. All the set of emotions Marie experience are sent in an unsettling correspondence across to the reader, her suffering, desperation, loss, longing, and unrelenting determination to find vengeance are brought to palpable extent, whirled with great talent by Mercedes M. Yardley through haunting scenes. There is a lushness of language within this story, but its beauty has on the other side of its coin an oppressing atmosphere, an event that breathes so much dread. The terrible event at the core of the plot is not the only one contributing to the very dark setting of Mercedes M. Yardley’s story, because unlike the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, where this tale has its roots, here the wolf is not the only dangerous creature living in the forest and not as easily recognizable, hiding not among the trees of the forest but blending in the city landscape. “Little Dead Red” is a harrowing, deeply emotional story, one that shook my ground and chased away my sleep long into the night. It is also one of the very best I ever read.
And now I find Marcela Bolivar’s stunning artwork the perfect companion to Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red”. As a matter of fact, the artwork and the story are so well matched that I cannot shake their connection from my mind, they’ll always be linked together for me whenever I’ll set my eyes on one or the other. Of course, there is more to this collection published by Vault Books, more stories (two of them previously unpublished) and essays by Mercedes M. Yardley and additional interior illustrations by Marcela Bolivar that make this gorgeous book extremely tempting for me, although the financial effort has to be taken into consideration. But a potential strain on the budget is to be expected since Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red and Other Stories” is only released in two editions, the numbered edition, limited to up to 500 copies and with a price of 40$, and the lettered edition, limited to up to 52 copies and with a price of 125$. I’m not sure if this collection ends up on my bookshelves eventually, but for certain I would be very happy to see a copy of Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red and Other Stories”, beautifully adorned by Marcela Bolivar’s artwork, in my personal library.
You can find all the details regarding the 2 editions of the book, as well as a pre-order link, on Vault Books website.