The Horror Writers Association
“Kenneth W. Cain takes timely social topics and explores them against the backdrop of America’s pastime. What begins as a baseball story quickly delves into something rich, deep, and dark.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls
Reviews for A Season in Hell:
“Kenneth was in great form here, like a virtuoso who hits every note. A Season In Hell is a powerful short which affected me greatly. Even brought a tear to my eye. Just wow..” – Frank Michaels Errington’s Horrible Book Reviews
“I know zilch about baseball, but I know about racism, bigotry, sexism, abuse, and violence. I also know about the human tendencies to blame, to ignore, and to think violence is an appropriate tool. I am aware of all that, and so is author Kenneth W. Cain, who created a novella that made me cry, copiously. Then, his brilliant, incisive, Afterword made me weep all over again.” – The Haunted Reading Room
“A very quick read that will break into your very soul, and maybe change it a little.” – Goodreads review
“…both thought-provoking and haunting, in the sense that the story will stay with me for a very long time.” – Goodreads review
“Keisha’s story is narrated so realistically that it read like a true story. This intensified the suffering that Keisha is subjected to, making it raw, easy to imagine and full of anguish. Though this is a short novella, it evoked very strong emotion in me.” – Banshee Irish Horror Blog
“…a powerful story, and not at all what I thought it was going to be. This is fiction but it feels so real and given the history of misogyny in sports and the current struggles for women it is a different kind of horror story. Anyone who has been bullied or unfairly treated can relate to A Season in Hell. I think it would make a great teaching tool in high schools.” – I Smell Sheep
“…a powerful read, there are lessons to be learned. You know, when you pick up a horror book it usually because you want to be entertained, escaping reality for a while but real horror is much darker than that. Real horror is the reality of how and what man can do to another. The pain inflicted might not show on the surface but it’s there… deeply ingrained in your psyche for all eternity.” – Horror Novel reviews
When Dillon Peterson is honored for his baseball career, he must face a ghost that has long haunted him. He is transported back through his memories to a single season in the nineties that broke his heart. That was the season he met Keisha Green, the first and only woman to play baseball in the minor leagues. He sees what she goes through, what she must endure just to play the game both of them love, and this struggle leads to their friendship. As matters escalate, Dillon finds himself regretting his role in it all, as well as his career in baseball.
“A Season in Hell is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking story. You won’t soon forget Dillon or Keisha. Her struggle is as timely today as ever. A Season in Hell is also a love letter to baseball and how, despite everything, the game can still heal and bring people together who seemed impossibly far apart, and can do so through intimidating odds. A timeless story of true humanity.” —John Palisano, Vice President of the Horror Writers Association and Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Night of 1,000 Beasts
“Kenneth W. Cain hits a grand slam with this tragic tale of baseball. As a fan of the game and also such a heart-breaking story I can’t wait to see what’s next from the author!” – Armand Rosamilia, author of A View From My Seat: My Baseball Season With the Jumbo Shrimp
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A horrible infection has fallen over a desolate town in this short horror story.
The townsfolk are forced into action to protect themselves from further outbreaks caused by an addicting berry that grows amongst the base of large boulders.
When Emmie returns home to find one of The Lost in her backyard, she suspects the strange berries have grown back, but confronting this horrible human creature unfolds a great realization—one that would challenge her beliefs of The Lost.
This story is merely a glimpse of Kenneth W. Cain’s work, so if you enjoy “Desolate,” be sure to pick up Kenneth’s Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction, available from Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Also available on other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/38gKgL
“Not a squall, not a blizzard … It’s a pulp horror AVALANCHE! That’s Kenneth W. Cain’s new collection, Embers.” — Mort Castle, Bram Stoker Award winner
Reviews for Embers:
“Cain’s characters are anything but black and white. They are as multi-faceted as any real person you know. They are presented with difficult decisions and even worse situations, and they do the best that they can. Monster and man both are tested relentlessly, Cain never taking the easy way out. Some of the stories are predominately scary, some are predominately sad. All of them will evoke a range of emotions while you read and long after you’ve finished.” — Charnel House Reviews
“Prepare for the stretching of your mind and the expansion of your imagination as Kenneth W. Cain boldly goes into unexplored territory, sometimes speculative, other times horrific, but always enlightening.” — Mallory Heart Reviews
“Some of these tales take on a poe-esque quality, while others a more Lovecraftian tone, and then we find those that bestow upon us the moral musings of Rod Serling. Yeah, these stories are good!” — Horror Novel Reviews
“If you enjoy your horror with a touch of Lovecraft, I believe you’ll appreciate this body of work from Kenneth W. Cain more than you would otherwise.” — Cemetery Dance (Frank Michaels Errington)
“The market is flooded with short story collections and I sincerely hope that Cain’s Embers finds an audience as he has a strong voice and an obvious writing ability. A really good collection overall” — The Grim Reader
“Each story is connected by a little thread to the next one. Kenneth created a web of weird, sometimes gory, sometimes psychological and always scary threads.” — Banshee Irish Horror Blog
“Embers is a collection that strolls into every corner of horror to gather bits before running them through the spin cycle, dial set to dread.” — Unnerving Magazine
“…from page 1 I enjoyed reading each and every word.” — Terror-Tree
“Books like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark were always a fun read as a child right before bed. Cain’s Embers is like an adult version of those novels.” — The Horrific Network
“What makes his work scary is that he takes normal everyday situations with characters just like you and me and twists them into something horrific. These are tales that really could happen to anyone.” — S.J. Budd
“Overall, Embers is a well-constructed and put together collection of horror stories from Kenneth W. Cain that marks another quality release from Crystal Lake Publishing.” — A.E. Siraki
“I thought it was a great collection.” — Sci-Fi and Scary
From the author of the short story collections These Old Tales and Fresh Cut Tales comes his latest effort, Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction. In his youth Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing. There’s a little something for every reader within this collection. These 25 short speculative stories represent the smoldering remains of a blaze, the fiery bits meant to ignite the mind with slow-burning imagery and smoky twists and turns. These are the very embers of Cain’s soul.
In this collection, Cain features stories of troubled men and women, both living and dead. Themes of loss and the afterlife take on many forms, as he explores the unknown. For instance, “The Chamber” focuses on a hardened veteran of World War II who has committed heinous crimes. He seeks only to find peace from his conscience, but sometimes that comes at a great loss. “Valerie’s Window” visits a small town amid a tragic end to humanity. Only things are not as they seem, and the more Valerie comes to know herself, the more her reality is revealed. “The Benefit of Being Weighty” has a humorous side, but the theme of this story revolves around fat shaming and the price one must pay for being so ignorant. Hopefully, these three short descriptions have increased your curiosity to read the book.
When the dark comes, light a match. Let the fire burn bright and hot. So that when it dies the embers warm you.
Includes the following stories: