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I am an independent writer, artist, poet, and professional book critic. I’m also an advocate for mental health, human rights, and independent writing, and speak openly about my experiences with mental illness. In 2019, I won an award of recognition from Realistic Poetry International for my work with indie poets.
Growing up amidst a clash of urban fluorescence and city skylines squished between forests and nature, weird dichotomies have and always will colour my life and writing. I call my growing portfolio “dream horror” as a whole, but I like to dabble in most genres.

Some of my major influences are Junji Ito, Ryu Murakami, William Golding, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Maya Angelou, Bari Wood, Edward Gorey, Thomas Ligotti, A.G. Howard, Dan Wells, and Suehiro Maruo.


You can find both my self-published and traditionally published books on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other major online booksellers worldwide. I write and draw as a form of sacrament or therapy rather than professionally, so I often charge nothing for my eBooks but your time, but print versions are also available to buy. Consider a donation to my Ko-Fi page linked above if you want to help support my work!

Book reviewing is a hobby I picked up on whim. Being an avid reader I figured I may as well share what I thought about my books or else have the thoughts corrode, lost to the infinite. I stick to similar genres – horror, mystery, poetry, young adult, etc. – but love my books in neapolitan flavours, so am apt to pick up anything on sheer impulse. I occasionally review other media that tells a story in its own way, such as video games or movies.

*I no longer take ARC, book trade, or review requests from authors or publishers through Blood Red Velvet. Please do not send them here.*

I rate everything I review on a scale of 0 to 5. My reviews are foremost sketches of my personal interpretations, so sometimes a rating can be ill-matched or unfitting. They must be taken with some salt and thought, and I am always welcome to differing opinions.

0 – The literary equivalent of cannibalistic, chocolate-coated elephant vomit. Reserved for the worst of the worst.
1 to 1.5 – A festival of garbage. Inappropriate for most humans.
2 to 2.5 – A few chunks of good floating in a murky soup of bad.
3 to 3.5 – Decent to good. Has significant merits that outshine most faults, but may not have stood out to me or been developed very well.
4 to 4.5 – Fantastic! I would feel safe recommending this to most living souls.
5 – Heaven’s lyrics by a writer’s hand. Likely an all-time favourite, has endless potential for entertainment. Perfect, or close as you can get to it.
No Rating – Neutral. Does not get a star rating due to subject matter or personal feelings.

Professional ReaderReviews Published10 Book Reviews


Blood Red Velvet © SM Shuford 2017-2019 All reviews, artwork and writing is ownership of this blog and its creator, with the exception of certain book covers, as well as some book and media images used for review, education and entertainment purposes.