“Wildly varied and always surprising, Darker Days is a fantastic collection of dark wonders. Cain is a gifted storyteller and a writer to watch.” — Jonathan Janz
“I’ve said before that the way to assess the health of a genre is to look at the number of excellent young writers it attracts. There is a new wave of excellent writers showing up in Horror. Kenneth W. Cain is one of these very good writers. His prose is precise, his plotting and pace move seamlessly and quickly, and his stories are compelling. Darker Days is a good example of some of his best work—highly recommended.” — Gene O’Neill, The White Plague Chronicles
“A feast for the senses no matter your tastes! Kenneth W. Cain does it again with Darker Days: A Collection of Dark Fiction.” — Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls
“Darker Days, the latest collection of short stories by Kenneth W. Cain, delivers on its title’s promise. From the very first story readers are dragged into seemingly ordinary situations that serve as cover for dark secrets. Ranging from subtle horror to downright terror, from science fiction to weird fantasy, Cain demonstrates a breadth of styles that keeps you off balance as you move from one story to the next. There is something for everyone in this collection—as long as you don’t want to sleep at night!” — JG Faherty, author of The Cure, Carnival of Fear, and The Burning Time
Reviews for Darker Days:
“Kenneth Cain has the ability to bring up hard topics without driving them into the ground or beating you over the head with them.” — SciFi & Scary
“There’s a lot of interesting content in DARKER DAYS. What makes this twenty-six story collection memorable is the diversity of genres and the variety of themes.” — Pop Culture Podium
“Darker Days, by Kenneth Cain, is a great collection of tales that any fan of horror fiction would enjoy. There’s something in this book for everyone. The subject matter of the tales therein includes ghosts, cosmic horror, zombies, vampires, weird creatures, aliens, kaiju, and demons. While there were stories I enjoyed more than others, there wasn’t a single dud in this collection.” — HorrorAddicts.net
“Kenneth W. Cain is an exceptional writer. His stories never fail to provide the chills and thrills you want from a horror anthology. Highly recommended.” — Goodreads review
Now that you’ve warmed by the embers, submerse in darker days.
The author of the short story collections These Old Tales, Fresh Cut Tales, and Embers presents Darker Days: 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 26 short speculative stories arise from a void, escaping shadows that ebb and weave through minds like worms, planting the larvae that live just under the skin, thriving upon fear. These are Cain’s darker days.
In this collection, Cain features stories from the Old West, of past lives and future days, the living and the dead, new and unique monsters as well as fresh takes on those of lore. Once more he tackles themes of loss and grief and the afterlife, always exploring the greater unknown. In “The Sanguine Wars,” Cain takes us to a future where soldiers are made to endure the horrors of war. He explores the complexities of global warming and what lengths men and women alike sink to in “The Reassignment Project.” And, as often is the case, he ends on a lighter note, with “Lenny’s New Eyes” and “A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse.”
When the darkness comes, embrace it. Let it wrap you up in cold. Don’t worry, it’s not your time…yet.
Includes the following stories:
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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:
“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
“Expect the unexpected in this macabre and thoroughly entertaining collection.” — Mike Davis, The Lovecraft Ezine
“Twisted tales that are guaranteed to keep you up at night.” — Michael McCarty, author of I Kissed a Ghoul
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: