Desolate

READ IT FOR FREE!

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

Advertisements

Embers

“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:
“I think I can safely say that this collection is one of my all-time favourites.” — Confessions of a reviewer

“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:

  • “The Chamber”
  • “Valerie’s Window”
  • “A Window to Dream By”
  • “Each New Day Unknown”
  • “Gone”
  • “Under the Drift of Snow is Another World”
  • “Blackbird’s Breath”
  • “Desolate”
  • “Lost in the Woods”
  • “Final Breaths”
  • “Closer”
  • “Flocking Birds”
  • “Pirouette”
  • “To Save One Life”
  • “Of Both Worlds”
  • “Breathing Cave”
  • “Soul Tapped”
  • “The Water People”
  • “Water Snake”
  • “Evolved”
  • “Buried Beneath the Old Chicago Swamps”
  • “The Bad Men”
  • “Parasite”
  • “Strip Poker, Crabs, and Blue Women”
  • “The Benefit of Being Weighty”

LIKE my book on the Bookmaester Top 100

Lifeblood

Follow the tale of Lara as she transitions from a shy young woman to a shameless vampire, empowering her need for love. Lara’s passion is soon tested when a strange man confronts her. Her every thought is of being in his arms, as his woman, but Lowell is strong-willed and knows much of what their union means.

Lara’s world is further shaken when a young girl named Millicent enters her life and helps her rediscover and understand the woman she once was. Everything Lara once believed of herself is turned upside down. With love blooming, Lara discovers she is unwilling to fully break with her humanity. This unexpected passion forces her to cling to it with every fiber of her being.

But all love comes at a price, and Lara soon realizes that even with her newfound powers, she can still be hurt. All can be taken from her at any time. Together with Lowell they must fight for their relationship, and battle strange enemies to protect their unusual family from dangers Lara does not yet fully comprehend. This woman who once struggled to fit in is now forced to face a reality where her emotions will define her future. Find out what mysteries lay ahead for Lara.

Jade

When Earth falls victim to a horde of zombies, bloodthirsty aliens, and a landslide of deceit only one young woman can save them. In the not so distant future, Earth suffers a devastating blow when a space freighter returns with a strange virus. With much of humanity turned, those inhabitants who endure this affliction find themselves a dying breed, near extinction. They must fight the zombie apocalypse or mankind will cease to exist.

When matters seem dire apparent salvation comes in the form of an extraterrestrial race. While these peculiar aliens appear humanoid at first glance, their true intentions are to protect the primary resource by which they sustain their own lives. As survivors learn this truth, they find themselves caught between the hardships of two ravenous foes.

But there are secrets to ensure the people of Earth will continue to thrive. Deceptive vampires plot against their kind to ensure this end, by creating a special breed of warrior. All of this leads our young heroine, Jade, to embark on an epic journey.

Join as she battle zombies, vampires, and evil twisted humans. Can humanity survive these horrors? What must they do to free themselves, so they can begin to rebuild? And what role will young Jade play in this future?

The Adventures of Alexin

Sometimes, those you trust most are the ones prone to stab you in the back. Alexin has no choice but to fight, to protect the world she lives in from the unseen evils. But there is a core that would see her world burned down. And because of this, Alexin is thrown into a role she has not yet fully embraced.

Evil lurks around every corner. It hides behind each and every wall, always waiting. She must remain vigilant, ready when called into action, for her life is but an adventure and she must use whatever means possible to achieve her goals. While the mysteries of life have never frightened her, she is haunted by the choices she must make. She is left uncertain of love and friendship, and yet there is always the job.

But things are not always as they seem for our young adventurer. Alexin must discover for herself who can be trusted. And when she does it will shake the foundation of her world, testing her will to survive.

Fresh Cut Tales

“Solid combination from a writer to watch.” — Mort Castle, Bram Stoker Award winning author of New Moon on the Water

From the author of the short story collection These Old Tales comes Fresh Cut Tales: 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 sixteen short speculative stories are a winding road of pain where each curve may not be seen. These are the freshest cuts from Cain’s mind.

“Enthralling, eclectic collection of unputdownable speculative fiction.” — Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Black & Orange and Bottled Abyss

  • Of Shadows – Somewhere beyond this world are places where the innocent are tested. This story is about such a place. Can Ellen escape her reality?
  • Avenged – Life doesn’t matter when it comes to avenging death. Cole Stryder tries to account for the murder of his men, but matters unfold unexpectedly.
  • Ordering Out – A troubled bloodsucker has difficulty obtaining sustenance.
  • Perfect Little Hands – Dallas faces the truth about his relationship to his stepdaughter at her funeral.
  • Inside Out – Richie Harden tells his story to a local reporter, detailing facts about a handicapped boy who isn’t as bad off as he seems.

“Expect the unexpected in this macabre and thoroughly entertaining collection.” — Mike Davis, The Lovecraft Ezine

  • Shards – Gerald, a man who has long avoided children, must now face the reality of his demented nature.
  • Twist of Pain – A short, troubling journey home is enough to break young Sarah.
  • Old Habits – A man and wife find their marriage split by an undead situation.
  • In the Shadow of the Equine – Finding themselves trapped on a scenic island with a mob of mind~controlled zealots, a man desperately tries to protect his son.
  • Split Ends – A bizarre hair disease follows a woman’s family history, but can her daughter escape the infliction?

“Twisted tales that are guaranteed to keep you up at night.” — Michael McCarty, author of I Kissed a Ghoul

  • Spaceship Earth – A hiking trip reveals unexplained mysteries that endanger Earth. Some places aren’t meant to be discovered.
  • Warmth Within They Depths – In the vast unwater world, exploration reveals unexpected horrors.
  • Never Free – Small towns fables are often shared among children, but none so harrowing as that of the Easton Park Statue.
  • Ahote’s Spirit – A Native~American discovers a creature unlike any other.
  • Rebirth – A scientist attempts to soothe his daughter about the loss of her mother.
  • Redpath, Stu – A classic themed horror story finds Steven in an isolated diner, enjoying the company of old~timers.

Draw up the covers and turn on the lights. Prepare for a journey into the weird, wild, and creepy in this collection of dark fiction stories.

Reviews for FRESH CUT TALES:


 

United States of the Dead: Civil War, Zombies, and the End of America

New edition forthcoming.

Originally released as:

“Think Patrick Henry goes to Zombieland” — Joe McKinney, author of Mutated and Inheritance

The United States of the Dead immerses the reader in post-apocalyptic America where survivors struggle against extreme odds. They battle mutated creatures, many of which seem more like animals than humans. Once men and women, these infected creatures run in packs and attack as a horde. Relying on her intuition and the sharp edge of her sword, Sydney Forrester leads a small group of survivors. Their mission: to uncover the mystery of how this affliction started and determine whether it’s possible to put an end to the contamination. Expect a post-apocalyptic USA, treachery, mutated undead, and various plot twists in this action-packed dystopian thriller that will feed any undead hunger.

This author was featured on bargainbooksy.com