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About Mercedes M. Yardley
Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of many diverse works, including Beautiful Sorrows, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, and the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.
She recently won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for her realistic horror story Little Dead Red and was a Bram Stoker finalist for her short story "Loving You Darkly." Mercedes lives and creates in Las Vegas with her family and menagerie of battle-scarred, rescued animal familiars. She is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin and Fountain Literary Management.
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A disturbing journey into the beauty that rests inside the very heart of darkness.
From the Bram Stoker Award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing and the editing duo who brought you the critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian horror anthology Shadows Over Main Street, comes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories.
Terror becomes transcendence.
Regret gives way to rebirth.
Fifteen short stories and one poem span nearly every twisted corner of the horror and dark fiction genres:
- A woman experiences an emotional reckoning inside a haunted house.
- A father sees his daughter rescued after a cold case is solved, only to learn the tragic limits of his love.
- A man awakens a vengeful spirit and learns the terrible price of settling scores.
- A boy comes of age into awareness of a secret universe of Lovecraftian scale.
- A young woman confronts the deathly price of existence inside a German concentration camp during the Holocaust.
- And much, much more…
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents:
Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward.
With a foreword from Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the Authors:
So what makes Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories so special?
John F.D. Taff: Usually, horror stories tell us the dark side of dark stories, the bad stuff that happens during bad times. It's expected that there will be horrors in the kinds of stories horror generally tells. But Gutted explores the other side of things, the darkness that's there in moments you might not otherwise expect; those moments that touch our hearts or resonate more strongly with our other emotions. It's that beauty—that unexpected emotional resonance that can reside comfortably, side by side with fear, in a good horror story—that separates the stories in Gutted and makes them quite unique.
Tell us more about your story.
Ramsey Campbell: Occasionally I try to repay my debt to specific writers. Midnight Sun was my attempt to scale the awesome peak of Algernon Blackwood’s achievement, while The Darkest Part of the Woods clambered the Lovecraftian. “The Place of Revelation” goes for another giant of the field. If anybody guesses which one, I’ll count the tale some kind of a success. The naïve voice can be a highly effective way to tell a tale of terror, creating a tension between what’s told and how.
John F.D. Taff: My story is a distillation of my childhood. I grew up in the '70s, and I wanted to capture that time period as much as anything else. I also wanted to explore one moment during my childhood, when I got my first 10-speed bike—the freedom that bought a kid like me. It opened so many doors, the ability to go out on my own, far beyond my neighborhood. To explore the world, to discover new things.
Shirley Jackson Award Nominee for Best Anthology of the Year
'This Is Horror Award' Nominee for Best Anthology of the Year
Includes the Bram Stoker Award Finalist story: 'Beyond the Reef'
Addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible.
Yet soon enough, this warm state of bliss becomes a cold shiver, the ecstasy and dreams become nightmares, yet we can't stop listening to the lullaby. We crave to hear the siren song as it rips us apart.
A powerful list of talent has woven tales featuring the insidious nature of addiction--damaged humans craving for highs and wholeness but finding something more tragic and horrific on the other side. You're invited to listen to these Lullabies for Suffering.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Kealan Patrick Burke: "Sometimes They See Me"
Caroline Kepnes: "Monsters"
Mark Matthews: "Lizard"
John FD Taff: "The Melting Point of Meat"
Gabino Iglesias: "Beyond the Reef"
Mercedes M. Yardley: "Love Is A Crematorium"
*Look for the third and final fix, Orphans of Bliss, in May of 2022!
Book one in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series...
Where Nightmares Come From focuses on the art of storytelling in the Horror genre, taking an idea from conception to reality—whether you prefer short stories, novels, films, or comics.
Featuring in-depth articles and interviews by Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard series), Clive Barker (Books of Blood), John Connolly (Charlie Parker series), Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King (IT), Christopher Golden (Ararat), Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger series), Kevin J. Anderson (Tales of Dune), Craig Engler (Z Nation), and many more.
The full non-fiction anthology lineup includes:
- Introduction by William F. Nolan
- IT’S THE STORY TELLER by Joe R. Lansdale
- A-Z OF HORROR of Clive Barker
- WHY HORROR? by Mark Alan Miller
- PIXELATED SHADOWS by Michael Paul Gonzalez
- LIKE CURSES by Ray Garton
- HOW TO GET YOUR SCARE ON by S.G. Browne
- STORYTELLING TECHNIQUES by Richard Thomas
- HORROR IS A STATE OF MIND by Tim Waggoner
- BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE by Mercedes M. Yardley
- THE PROCESS OF A TALE by Ramsey Campbell
- GREAT HORROR IS SOMETHING ALIEN by Michael Bailey
- A HORRIFICALLY HAPPY MEDIUM by Taylor Grant
- INTERVIEW WITH JOHN CONNOLLY by Marie O’Regan
- THE STORY OF A STORY by Mort Castle
- WRITING ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW with Christopher Golden, Kevin J. Anderson, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- HOW I SPENT MY CHILDHOOD LOOKING FOR MONSTERS AND FOUND POETRY INSTEAD by Stephanie M. Wytovich
- BITS AND PIECES INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN MABERRY by Eugene Johnson
- THE REEL CREEPS by Lisa Morton
- THE MONSTER SQUAD by Jess Landry
- WHAT SCARES YOU by Marv Wolfman
- PLAYING IN SOMEONE ELSE’S HAUNTED HOUSE by Elizabeth Massie
- CREATING MAGIC FROM A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER: Del Howison interviews Tom Holland, Amber Benson, Fred Dekker, and Kevin Tenney
- Z NATION: HOW SYFY’S HIT SHOW CAME TO LIFE by Craig Engler
- LIFE IMITATING ART IMITATING LIFE: FILM AND ITS INFLUENCE ON REALITY by Jason V Brock
- WHERE NIGHTMARES COME FROM by Paul Moore
- STEPHEN KING AND RICHARD CHIZMAR DISCUSS COLLABORATING by Bev Vincent
- CHARLAINE HARRIS DISCUSSES STORYTELLING by Eugene Johnson
- WHAT NOW? by John Palisano
This collection is perfect for…
- writers of all genres
- authors looking for motivation and/or inspiration
- authors seeking guidance
- struggling authors searching for career advice
- authors interested in improving their craft
- writers interested in comics
- authors looking into screenwriting and films
- horror fans in general
- those looking to better understand the different story formats
- authors planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
- artists trying to establish a name brand
- authors looking to get published
What happens when we make monsters? What happens when we make monsters of ourselves? Grotesque beings lurch from our darkest dreams. Vicious beasts stalk our twisted pasts. Lost souls haunt our deepest regrets. They are the blood on our hands. They are the obsessions in our heads. They are the vengeance in our hearts. They are Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors. Edited by Bram Stoker Award-winning editors Doug Murano and Michael Bailey. Featuring a foreword by Alma Katsu, and illustrations throughout by HagCult.
Ancient peoples knew there were lands given over to shadow and spirit. The world is full of haunted places that exact a terrible toll on trespassers. Our forebears paid a heavy price to earn the wisdom and the warning they bequeathed to future generations.
Time transformed their precious knowledge into superstition, but there are those whose hearts beat in rhythm with the past and whose vision is not clouded by modernity. Seeking to reclaim humanity’s early secrets, the Umbra Arca Society was forged. For centuries, this private league of explorers dedicated their lives to uncovering the oldest mysteries of the Americas. Armed with boldness and guile, and equipped with only a compass, a journal, and devotion to truth, these adventurers braved cursed landscapes, dared unnatural adversaries, and exposed hidden civilizations.
Many did not survive.
None were forgotten.
Their stories are maps revealing the topography and contours of landscapes unimaginable and dark. The Shadow Atlas collects their adventures.
With Fiction and Poetry by:
Mario Acevedo • Colleen Anderson • Kay Chronister • Sara Cleto • David Davies • Sean Eads • Anastasia Garcia • Owl Goingback • Maxwell I. Gold • Warren Hammond • Angie Hodapp • Jimena Jurado • Starlene Justice • Gwendolyn Kiste • Gerri Leen • Josh Malerman • Juliana Spink Mills • Tiffany Morris • Lee Murray • Annie Neugebauer • Gerardo Horacio Porcayo • Cameron E. Quinn • Sarah Read • Kathryn Reilly • Julia Rios • Betty Rocksteady • Marge Simon • Angela Yuriko Smith • Christina Sng • Jeanne C. Stein • Tim Waggoner • Brittany Warman • Christa Wojciechowski • Stephanie M. Wytovich • Mercedes M. Yardley • Jane Yolen • E. Lily Yu • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Edited by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge and Joshua Viola
Cover and interior art by Aaron Lovett
“Shadow Atlas is a rare, beguiling treat, a collective fantasy with teeth, vision, and grounded in urgent, ancient truths.” --BOOKLIFE by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Editor's Pick)
"A host of sublime writers and settings create an entertainingly macabre collection." --KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Shadow Atlas is a top recommendation for horror, fantasy, and literary short story readers seeking diversity in voices and visions. Its collaborative intersection of different worlds thoroughly delights." --MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Bram Stoker Award-winner for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction!
Nightmares come to life in this comprehensive how-to guide for new and established authors…
Book two in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series picks up where the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Where Nightmares Come From left off.
It’s Alive focuses on learning the craft in order to take your story from concept to completion.
With an introduction by Richard Chizmar and cover art by Luke Spooner. Featuring interior artwork from horror master Clive Barker!
Table of Contents:
- Introduction by Richard Chizmar
- Confessions of a Professional Day Dreamer by Jonathan Maberry
- What is Writing and Why Write Horror by John Skipp
- Tribal Layers by Gene O’Neill
- Bake That Cake: One Writer’s Method by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale
- Ah-Ha: Beginning to End with Chuck Palahniuk and Michael Bailey (Discussing the Spark of Creativity)
- They Grow in the Shadows: Exploring the Roots of a Horror Story by Todd Keisling
- Sell Your Script, Keep Your Soul and Beware of Sheep in Wolves' Clothing by Paul Moore
- The Cult of Constraint (or To Outline or Not) by Yvonne Navarro
- Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires─Oh My! by Kelli Owen
- The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques by Richard Thomas
- Giving Meaning to the Macabre by Rachel Autumn Deering
- The Horror Writer’s Ultimate Toolbox by Tim Waggoner
- Sarah Pinborough Interview by Marie O’Regan
- Conveying Character by F. Paul Wilson
- Sympathetic Characters Taste Better: Creating Empathy in Horror Fiction by Brian Kirk
- Virtue & Villainy: The Importance of Character by Kealan Patrick Burke
- How to write Descriptions in a story by Mercedes Yardley
- “Don’t Look Now, There’s a Head in That Box!” She Ejaculated Loudly (or Creating Effective Dialogue in Horror Fiction) by Elizabeth Massie
- Point of View by Lisa Mannetti
- What Came First the Monster or the Plot? In Conversation with Stephen Graham Jones by Vince A. Liaguno
- Building Suspense by David Wellington
- Conveying Horror by Ramsey Campbell
- Unveiling Theme Through Plot: An Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” by Stephanie M. Wytovich
- Interview with Clive Barker by Tim Chizmar
- World Building (Building a terrifying world) by Kevin J. Anderson
- Speak Up: The Writer’s Voice by Robert Ford
- Writing for a Better World by Christopher Golden
- Shaping the Ideas: Getting Things from Your Head to the Paper or on Screen. Interview with Steve Niles, Mick Garris, Heather Graham, Mark Savage, and Maria Alexander by Del Howison
- On Research by Bev Vincent
- Editing Through Fear: Cutting and Stitching Stories by Jessica Marie Baumgartner
- Leaping into the Abyss by Greg Chapman
- Edit Your Anthology in Your Basement for Fun and Profit! . . . or Not by Tom Monteleone
- When It’s Their World: Writing for the Themed Anthology by Lisa Morton
- Roundtable Interview by John Palisano
- The Tale of the Perfect Submissions by Jess Landry
- Turning the Next Page: Getting Started with the Business of Wri
What happens when emotions like love and friendship span vast distances — in space, in time, and in the heart?
Science fiction often focuses on future technology and science without considering the ways social structures will change as tech changes — or not. What will relationships look like in a complicated future of clones, uploaded intelligences, artificial brains, or body augmentation? What stories emerge when we acknowledge possibilities of new genders and ways of thinking about them?
The Reinvented Heart presents stories that complicate sex and gender by showing how shifting technology may affect social attitudes and practices, stories that include relationships with communities and social groups, stories that reinvent traditional romance tropes and recast them for the 21st century, and above all, stories that experiment, astonish, and entertain.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Cat Rambo
Poem: They: A Grammar Lesson by Jane Yolen
Retrospect by Seanan McGuire
Lockpick, Locked Heart by AnaMaria Curtis
Touch Has a Memory by Lisa Morton
Ping-Pong Dysphoria by Madeline Pine
In Our Masks, the Shadows by Sam Fleming
Ships of Theseus by Felicity Drake
With All Souls Still Aboard by Premee Mohamed
More than Nine by Beth Cato
Poem: There Is a Hand by Jane Yolen
The Shape of the Particle by Naomi Kritzer
No Want to Spend by Sophie Giroir
Little Deaths and Missed Connections by Maria Dong
Sincerely Yours by Lyda Morehouse
Photosynthesis, Growth by Devin Miller
No Pain but That of Memory by Aimee Ogden
Go Where the Heart Takes You by Anita Ensal
Poem: Mars Conquest by Jane Yolen
The Star-Crossed Horoscope for Interstellar Travelers by Fran Wilde
Canvas of Sins by Mercedes M. Yardley
If My Body Is a Temple, Raze It to the Ground by Lauren Ring
PerfectMate™ by Xander Odell
Etruscan Afterlife by Rosemary Claire Smith
Our Savage Heart Calls to Itself (Across the Endless Tides) by Justina Robson
Afterword by Jennifer Brozek
“Run, Star Girl.”
Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny.
Mercedes M. Yardley’s Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy is a dark, lovely fairy tale with lyrical language and a high body count, and features a cover by Hugo award-winner Galen Dara. Pretty Little Dead Girls carries on the proud tradition of Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, and Aimee Bender
Includes “Oliver Bloom” by Ryan Johnson, a short story featuring characters from Pretty Little Dead Girls.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the Author:
How did you come up with such a unique character?
Mercedes: There’s a story to this. I was in line at a bank several years ago and a stranger grabbed my hand. He had tears in his eyes and said, “You’re the type of girl who gets murdered.”
Well. Well. I didn’t quite know what to say to that. I’m not certain there really is anything to say. I answered, “Yes, I know,” and to this day I’m not sure why.
That was the beginnings of Bryony Adams, a girl who is marked for murder. I wondered how a woman meant to die would choose to live. Would she regret it? Fear it? Would she take her own life because the waiting would drive her crazy? I very much wanted to explore her, and discovered a beautiful, caring girl. She’s quite a delight.
Are there more books in the Pretty Little Dead Girls universe?
Mercedes: Actually, there are! I love this world and the hungry, prowling desert so much that I have several stories that take place here. “Cactus Flowers and Bone Flutes” is a short story that takes place prior to Pretty Little Dead Girls. I have a short story called “The Container of Sorrows” that is an Easter Egg having to do with the serial killer. A spin-off of that, concerning the girl who never looks at him, is called “Black Eyes Broken.” One of the characters from Bryony’s high school makes a brief cameo in the second book in the Bone Angel Trilogy. And we meet Detective Ryan Bridger as a younger man in a book I have coming out titled Stormlight. These are fun things I do for me. I find a character and want them to live on. They have lives that continue outside of the original story and I want to explore that.
Why should readers give Pretty Little Dead Girls a shot?
Mercedes: Pretty Little Dead Girls is exceptionally unique. It’s a thriller/romance/horror/magical realism/lyrical story that breaks most literary rules. I usually explain it was a fairytale with a high body count. The prose is exceptionally lush, there’s a serial killer most people seem to be charmed by, and even though it’s about murder and loss, there’s something very innocent about it. It’s a book that makes you want to be a better friend. I recommend it when you want to read something that will make you feel better about society.
This is Writers On Writing – An Author’s Guide, where your favorite authors share their secrets in the ultimate guide to becoming – and being – an author.
In this first volume you’ll find in-depth essays from authors such as Jack Ketchum, Brian Hodge, Mercedes M. Yardley, Tim Waggoner, Jasper Bark, Kevin Lucia, Monique Snyman, Todd Keisling, and Dave-Brendon de Burgh. Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning Joe Mynhardt:
- “The Infrastructure of the Gods: 11 Signposts for Going all the Way” by Brian Hodge
- “The Writer’s Purgatory: Between Finishing the First Draft and Submitting the Manuscript” by Monique Snyman
- “Why Rejection is Still Important” by Kevin Lucia
- “Real Writers Steal Time” by Mercedes M. Yardley
- “What Right Do I Have to Write” by Jasper Bark
- “Go Pace Yourself” by Jack Ketchum
- “A Little Infusion of Magic” by Dave-Brendon de Burgh
- “Never Look Away: Confronting Your Fears in Fiction” by Todd Keisling
- “Once More With Feeling” by Tim Waggoner
Writers On Writing give young authors the guidance they need, but has advice for all authors, from the interested newbie to the seasoned veteran (sounds delicious, right?).
Are you ready to be an author?
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing - Tales from The Darkest Depths
Interview with the Authors:
So what makes Writers on Writing so special?
Todd Keisling: Writers On Writing is unique in that it provides a collection of essays from both newcomers and established professionals, providing a wide range of perspectives on the art and craft of writing.
Tell us more about you essay in Writers on Writing.
Todd Keisling: My essay “Never Look Away: Confront Your Fears in Fiction” is an anecdotal look at an important lesson I learned early on in my writing career: That you shouldn’t look away from your subject matter, no matter how disturbing it is to you. Looking away does a disservice to your story, and by proxy, your reader.
Why should authors read Writers on Writing?
Jack Ketchum: It's rich in the variety of subjects discussed, written by people who know whereof they speak.
Todd Keisling: There are decades of experience contained within the book’s pages, covering multiple genres. I can’t think of a more diverse collection for the established—or aspiring—writing professional.
Do you have other non-fiction books authors should try out?
Jack Ketchum: Stephen King's ON WRITING and DANSE MACABRE. William Goldman's ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE. Syd Field's SCREENPLAY.
Todd Keisling: A few come to mind: Stephen King’s On Writing, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and Ariel Gore’s How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.
On the night that a vicious sandstorm closes the roads and seals the doors, a plague of madness spreads through the hospital. Two staff members try desperately to hold onto their sanity while searching for the cause – and, hopefully, the cure – of the outbreak.
But they’re not alone. In this shared world anthology edited by Brad C. Hodson and Bram Stoker Award® winner Benjamin Kane Ethridge, some of the genre’s most talented authors present their own sanity shattering tales. With fiction by John Skipp, Jeff Strand, Scott Nicholson, Lisa Morton, John Palisano, and many others, the horrible truth is revealed bit by awful bit. Step inside and find out what it’s truly like in the MADHOUSE.
If purchased through the SurvivingTomorrowAnthology.com website, you can earmark the profits for one of several charities. Available in a limited, numbered, gold-leaf embossed collector’s edition as well as hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook, Surviving Tomorrow will provide hours of enjoyment even as it contributes to a charitable cause.
Contributing authors: Claire Ashgrove, Roshni “Rush” Bhatia, Livia Blackburne, Orson Scott Card, Beth Cato, Brenda Cooper, A.C. Crispin, Cory Doctorow, Raymund Eich, Tori Eldridge, Alan Dean Foster, Julie C. Frost, Neil Gaiman, C. Stuart Hardwick, J. Kent Holloway, Jonathan Maberry, Andrew Mayne, K.D. McEntire, Seanan McGuire, Jody Lynn Nye, Kathleen O’Malley, Kristine Katherine Rusch, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Ken Scholes, Martin L. Shoemaker, Scott Sigler, Robert Silverberg, John Skipp, Peter J. Wacks, Jay Werkheiser, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Mercedes M. Yardley.
The story of Jack the Ripper captured lurid headlines and the public's imagination, and the first fictionalization of the Ripper killings, John Francis Brewer's The Curse Upon Mitre Square appeared in October of 1888, mere weeks after the discovery of Jack's first victim. Since then, hundreds of stories have been written about Bloody Jack, his victims, and his legacy. Authors ranging from Marie Belloc Lowndes to Robert Bloch; from Harlan Ellison to Maureen Johnson; from Roger Zelazny to Alan Moore have added their own tales to the Ripper myth. Now, as we arrive at the quasquicentennial of the murders, we bring you a few tales more.
From the editor who brought you The Book of Cthulhu comes Tales of Jack the Ripper, featuring new fiction by many of today's darkest dreamers, including Laird Barron, Walter Greatshell, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ed Kurtz, Joseph S. Pulver Sr., Stanley C. Sargent, E. Catherine Tobler, and many more.