“Malignant”

“Malignant” tagline (Co-authored with Steve Thompson):
A man fleeing a creature of pure evil gets unexpected help from a brave knight looking for redemption.

Where to read this story:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Joe Mynhardt

“Standing Tall”

“Standing Tall” tagline:
An ancient soul finds himself and his people threatened by an ever-growing hostile race.

Where to read this story:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Joe Mynhardt

 

“Not Your Average Monster”

“Not Your Average Monster” tagline:
In our ever-changing world, what we view as a monster is constantly evolving but at what cost?

Where to read this story:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Joe Mynhardt

From reviews:
“Kenneth W. Cain never fails. He does not fail here.” – Amazon

Mark Allan Gunnells: For The Love of Collections

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK NOW

I’ve always been a lover of short story collections. Even more so than novels perhaps. I find something infinitely satisfying about the short form, and I think a single author collection is a great way to introduce yourself to a writer, the range of which he or she is capable. Multiple author anthologies can provide of smorgasbord of different talent, introducing me to writers I may have missed otherwise.

The first short story collection that really grabbed my attention was The Twilight Zone. I know what you’re thinking – that wasn’t a collection but a television show. Well, yes, but it was an anthologytelevision show. Instead of providing one continuous story with recurring characters, instead it offered the TV equivalent of short stories. Each episode was a self-contained tale with a beginning, middle, and end. One week I might get science fiction, another suspense, another horror. It was my first experience with that sort of storytelling, and I instantly fell in love with it.

So when I got older and became a voracious reader, it is not at all surprising that I would be drawn to short story collections. One of the first books I ever read by Stephen King was his first collection Night Shift, and I delighted in all the different tales I found between the covers. To this day, I get excited when I find out a writer I like is coming out with a new collection. And I love writers who release multiple collections. King, Gaiman, Lansdale, Hodge, etc.

I also became a huge fan of anthologies. In my formative years, I remember devouring anthologies with titles like Under the Fang, Prime Evil, Book of the Dead, Shock Rock…eclectic collections of stories by some of the top talent in the horror genre of the day. Every new anthology was like a trip to heaven for me. So much treasure in one book.

As a writer, I enjoy writing novellas and novels and even the occasional poem, but short fiction has always been my truest love and greatest passion. And I dreamed of having multiple collections out there, just like my favorite writers.

And I’m thrilled that I have made that dream come true. I’ve been lucky enough to have had the privilege of working with a myriad of wonderful publishers who also believe in the power of short fiction.

My latest collection is BOOK HAVEN AND OTHER CURIOSITIES (April 26th) from Crystal Lake Publishing. I published a previous collection with them, and what really impressed me about them is that they promote a collection as hard as a novel. BOOK HAVEN contains the title novella as well as 20 short stories of various lengths. I touch on different subjects, different tones and themes. A lot of horror, some straight dramatic pieces, and even a few poems. The reader will definitely see the Twilight Zoneinfluence in a couple of the pieces.

I am beyond ecstatic to have a new collection coming out into the world. I think this is an assembly of strong stories, and I look forward to getting feedback from writers.

*   *   *   *   *

Stop by Mark’s Amazon page and keep an eye out for the book: https://amzn.to/2OCdVva

Darker Days

Darker Days tagline:
Now that you’ve warmed by the embers, submerse in darker days.

Where to read this book:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Blurbs:
“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

“His prose is precise, his plotting and pace move seamlessly and quickly, and his stories are compelling.” — Gene O’Neill, The White Plague Chronicles

“A feast for the senses no matter your tastes!” — Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls

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.” — JG Faherty, author of The Cure, Carnival of Fear, and The Burning Time

From reviews:
“Cain pulls it off with style.  His influences are apparent on every page.  When the mundane is combined with the supernatural, magic can happen, and Cain is a sorcerer.” — Signal Horizon

“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

a great collection of tales that any fan of horror fiction would enjoy. There’s something in this book for everyone.” — 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

 

Tales From The Lake Volume 5

Tales From The Lake Volume 5 tagline:
Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.

Where to read this book:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Kenneth W. Cain

Blurbs:
“If you’re a short story reader, this is an absolute must-read. Volume five is even better than the four preceding volumes, which is a very hard bar to hit. Go buy this!” — John R. Little, author of The Memory Tree, Miranda, and Soul Mates

From reviews:
“…not a “look under the bed for monsters” volume, but one that has a pensive chill. The stories are like a tap on the shoulder; a reminder that good days end and that no one is protected from anguish.” – Hellnotes

“…an absolute triumph, a wonderfully inclusive celebration of the best that the Horror genre can produce, unhindered by the constraints of themes or specific topics. The individual stories within the collection are uniformly of a very high quality, and have been expertly brought together and edited by Kenneth W. Cain and Crystal Lake Publishing.” – Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“…edited by Kenneth Cain, one of the as yet unsung heroes of dark horror fiction–an author in his own right who deserves much more attention and spotlighting.” – The Haunted Reading Room

“…by far the best volume yet in the Tales from the Lake series!” – Amazon review

“Though the stories in Tales from the Lake Volume 5 are not themed in the traditional sense, they form a cohesive unit. Threads connect each to the others as if the authors had conspired to give the anthology its unique flavor.” — HorrorAddicts.net

“The most terrifying thing in the world is not a vampire or zombie, it is mankind and what we are capable of doing to each other. This collection from editor Kenneth W. Cain will eat at you for a long time. Horrifying, haunting, and unforgettable!” – Goodreads review

“I’ve been a fan of the Tales From The Lake anthology since the first volume and it’s amazing to see how much it has evolved over the years. Volume 5 is quite possibly the best yet.” – Goodreads review

“Kenneth W. Cain did an excellent job of weaving the stories together and they flow from one to another leaving the reader on a journey of terror and entertainment.” – Goodreads review

“…this one has some seriously fantastic offerings.” – A.E. Siraki

“Over the years I’ve read enough anthologies, short story collections and fiction magazines to refine my expectations for what comprises a premium horror story. So when I declare that I thoroughly enjoyed two-thirds of the fiction in TALES FROM THE LAKE VOLUME 5 – – that says a lot about the high quality of the contents.” – Pop Culture Podium

 

Embers

Embers tagline:
Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.

Where to read this book:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Kenneth W. Cain

Blurbs:
“Not a squall, not a blizzard … It’s a pulp horror AVALANCHE!” — Mort Castle, Bram Stoker Award® winner

From reviews:
“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

 

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