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About Mark Allan Gunnells
Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig A. Metcalf.
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Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss.
“The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin root limen. It means ‘threshold.’ A liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space–a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not fully in something else. It’s a transition space.
“This is my favorite kind of horror and speculative fiction. Fiction which takes place in that ‘crossing over’ space. Stories about characters who have–wittingly or unwittingly–crossed a threshold. Those who have left something behind, yet are not quite somewhere or something else. They are in-between, and are neither one thing, nor another. Classic anthologies like Shadows, edited by Charles L. Grant epitomize these kinds of stories, as did Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, the work of Charles Beaumont and T. M Wright, Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson, and the ‘strange stories’ of Robert Aickman.”
-Kevin Lucia, Editor
With foreword by the Master of Horror, Ramsey Campbell
Edited by Lydia Prime
Featuring stories from:
Mark Allan Gunnells
There are monsters in this world.
And they used to be us.
Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.
Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.
Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.
Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.
This emotional novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.
It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the authors:
What makes Where the Dead Go to Die different than any other zombie novel out there?
Aaron Dries: The scabs of the zombie genre have been picked at for years. But here, we rip off the old flesh to make way for the new. But there's a lot of blood in between. We've done something different, something challenging, and honest. It's something I couldn't have done alone.
Mark Allan Gunnells: It's an original take on a standard horror trope. We approach the story from a much more emotional place, the horror coming less from the zombies themselves and more from a more personal horror of death and loss and guilt.
How did you experience the process of writing a novel with another author?
Aaron Dries: This was the first time I have collaborated, and I couldn't have asked for a better partner-in-crime than Mark. It took a lot of trust and honesty. I was constantly surprised by the process. Mark would write a sentence that would send my imagination reeling. It was such a fast, living process, ironic considering the undead subject material.
Mark Allan Gunnells: I love the art of collaboration. When it is done right, and I feel Aaron and I did it right, the result is a story that truly neither author could have written alone. It's a blending of our voices and talents to create something wholly unique.
Why should readers take a chance on your book?
Aaron Dries: Because this really is something different. It's a fiercely political work. It's about conservatism run amok, about humanity in an inhumane world. And considering the bureaucratic climate in which we currently live, I think it's rather timely.
Mark Allan Gunnells: Because we're offering a fresh and original take that is full of passion and emotion and suspense.
Bringing you festive treats and Yuletide chills:
Mark Tufo, Amy Cross, Mark Allan Gunnells, Mark Cassell, Lex H. Jones, Chris Miller, Steven Stacy, James Matthew Byers & Kevin J. Kennedy
We hope your Christmas is both wonderful and terrifying.
When two passionate lovers fall out, the results can be deadly.
“Berkley Simmons died … for five minutes.
Berkley woke up to find himself in the hospital. He discovered that his ex is dead after a failed murder/ suicide attempt. With nowhere else to go, Berkley must return to the apartment where it all happened. It doesn’t take long for Berkley to begin to suspect that his ex never left the apartment, and still wants him dead.”
He was my friend. My mentor. I would even go so far as to say I loved him, as I looked up to Mr. Martinsen the same way I had looked up to my maternal grandfather, who died from a heart attack when I was ten.
He was the best teacher I ever had. I will never forget him, or the knowledge he imparted to me, as long as I live.
But on that summer evening just several weeks before I began my freshman year of high school, he gave my friends and me no choice. Things had gone too far. We had put it off for too long.
We knew Mr. Martinsen had to die.
- a young woman who sits at the beach everyday dreaming of another world...
- an old man who attends the theatrical production of his lifetime...
- a couple who go on one final outing before tragedy strikes...
- a former child star on a holy mission to save Hollywood's children...
All these characters and more will strut across the stage for your entertainment before the lights dim and they make their final CURTAIN CALL.
Shallow Waters—where nothing stays buried.
With twenty-two dark tales diving beneath the surface of loss, love, and life.
Shallow Waters is the official monthly flash fiction challenge hosted by the award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing. Every month a new challenge is posted online, with authors submitting via email. The best submissions are then posted on Crystal Lake’s Patreon page, where patrons read daily entries and vote for the winner. What you’ll find in these Shallow Waters anthologies include the most popular of our finalists.
Stay tuned for more volumes in this series, or find Crystal Lake Publishing on Patreon to enter or vote on future challenges.
Volume one includes horror, thrillers, suspense, and stories of love lost, death, 2nd chances, the monsters within, and the beauty beneath it all.
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
“Closure on a Bed of Nails” by Chad Lutzke
“Fast Car” by Tracy Fahey
“Tears of Buddy” by Patrick R. McDonough
“Puzzle Pieces” by Armand Rosamilia
“Pretty Like Butterflies” by Tim Waggoner
“S1:E7” by Robert Ford
“Pain is Your Teacher” by Michael Harris Cohen
“Memory Lane” by Red Lagoe
“The Silence of the Sirens” by Loren Rhoads
“It’s Me Not You” by Jonathan Winn
“Sisters of Loss” by Mark Allan Gunnells
“Talisman” by Jezzy Wolfe
“The Melting of Your Gods” by Mercedes M. Yardley
“Charms” by Dino Parenti
“Not Your Average Monster” by Kenneth W. Cain
“Where the Children Run in Darkness” by Guy Medley
“Tunnels” by Tom Over (winner)
“The Truth about Dani” by Joe Mercer
“Baby Savannah” by M.J. Sydney
“Rats Scratched in the Linen Cupboard” by Dani Brown
“Raining” by John Boden
“The Death Experience” by L.A. Story
In this volume…
- Taunted by a cactus, a man copes with grief after the loss of his wife.
- Alondra DeCourval visits Franz Kafka’s grave to think about death.
- A lovestruck woman strives to connect with a man she’s convinced is The One.
- The perfect funeral for a child—all according to a Mother’s well-crafted plan. The exception is one small, unexpected development no one could have ever prepared for.
- A short meditation on the haunting nature of love and loss, and the aftermath of both.
- Victor’s sanity has been threaded together by the memory of his daughter’s voice, until now, when her laughter falls silent.
- An adrenaline junkie believes he can take on the ultimate challenge—coming back from the dead.
- Sisters share everything. The good...and the bad.
- Sometimes being a hoarder is dangerous...
- In our ever-changing world, what we view as a monster is constantly evolving…but at what cost?
- Buddy's heart aches for his family’s arrival.
- Bright colors may be beautiful, but sometimes they can be dangerous.
- Sometimes the darkness we harbor within is best left behind closed doors.
- Rats scratch in the children's ward.
Including tales from new horror standouts: Christy Aldridge, C.W. Blackwell, Jill Girardi, Mark Allan Gunnells, Sylvia Elven, A C Fraser, Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror), Michelle Renee Lane, Catherine McCarthy, Justin Montgomery, Ethan Pollard, and the Sisters of Slaughter.
As horror legend Stanley Wiater stated, "Go revel in their waking nightmares."