Crystal Lake Publishing Presents: Arterial Bloom

Arterial BloomLush, Brutal.

Beautiful, Visceral.

Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents Arterial Bloom an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.

Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring 16 stories from some of the most compelling dark authors writing today.

Arterial Bloom boasts a foreword by HWA Lifetime Achievement Recipient Linda D. Addison. You are invited to step inside and let the grim flowers wind themselves comfortably around your bones.

The line-up includes:
The Stone Door by Jimmy Bernard
Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog by Grant Longstaff
Kudzu Stories by Linda J. Marshall
Dead Letters by Christopher Barzak
The Darker Side of Grief by Naching T. Kassa
Welcome to My Autumn by Daniel Crow
Still Life by Kelli Owen
Three Masks by Armand Rosamilia
Doodlebug by John Boden
Happy Pills by Todd Keisling
What Remained of Her by Jennifer Loring
Blue Was Her Favorite Color by Dino Parenti
In the Loop by Ken Liu
The Making of Mary by Steven Pirie
Mouths Filled with Sea Water by Jonathan Cosgrove
Rotten by Carina Bissett

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

“Yardley’s debut anthology floored me. An incredible cocktail of poetic darkness, fueled by some of the best names working today. A must-have for any horror fan.”–Matt Hayward, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of What Do Monsters Fear? and A Penny For Your Thoughts
“The stories in Arterial Bloom work in tandem, enticing the reader into rapturous melancholia. The end result is both comforting and unsettling, my favorite way to feel.“–Sadie Hartmann, Cemetery Dance

“For a horror anthology that represents back-to-back literary prowess and diversity, filled with stories that are brooding and beautiful, Arterial Bloom more than fits the bill.”D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

“It starts with the title, Arterial Bloom–a release of crimson power, turning into something else entirely–blossoming and expanding, changing shape. These stories are transformative, mixing horror and wonder, in equal amounts. Mercedes Yardley, and Crystal Lake, have an aesthetic that haunts the reader, getting under your skin, burrowing in, and calling you home. Always lyrical, always powerful, this anthology will shine some light into the darkness, but beware the moment the beam starts to flicker.”Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration and Breaker, past Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Thriller award nominee

“Arterial Bloom is an anthology which is hard to pick flaws in. Each of its sixteen stories contributes to the whole, in both subject matter and depth of feeling. The way the table of contents has been crafted together delivers an ideal ebb and flow of pace, length and tone. Following on from Crystal Lake Publishing’s hugely successful Tales From The Lake series, Arterial Bloom will sit proudly alongside those tomes and, undoubtedly, the best anthologies that 2020 has to offer.”This Is Horror

An Interview with Mercedes Yardley

Mercedes M. Yardley is our featured author for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast. Mercedes has written several essays, short stories, poems and novels. She said her writing specializes in the dark and beautiful. Recently Mercedes answered a few questions about her writing for us:

When did you start writing?

Beautiful_Sorrows_-_Mercedes_M._YardleyMMY: I’ve always been writing. I was writing and reading stories aloud to my classmates when I was about eight years old. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I loved telling stories. I especially loved telling ghost stories and seeing the other children’s eyes widen. There’s something so elegant about darkness.

What do you like to write about?

MMY: I’m a bit schizophrenic in my subject matter and style. I use writing as a way to process, and sometimes I really don’t know how I feel about something until I’ve written about it. Some of my themes include monsters who love and broken people who have shine. Flowers, stars, and water turn up quite a bit. I write about pretty, deadly things.

Who are some of your influences?

MMY: I was heavily influenced by Erma Bombeck and Elizabeth Berg. Erma Bombeck because she was funny and wrote about everyday things. I loved that she made these common experiences fascinating and meaningful. Elizabeth Berg wrote a book called “Pull of the Moon” that had such a feminine style. It was full of mystery and unabashedly womanly. Up until that point, most women I read sounded stereotypically male, so Berg’s work impacted me.

 What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

MMY: I adore the emotion of it. I love that the horror genre can pull fears and thoughts and sorrowspldg out of readers. It’s a safe place to let those anxieties run free and hopefully get them out of the reader’s mind and soul. I think it’s healthy. I also think there’s something that bonds horror lovers together. We just shared this amazing experience that made you feel things. There’s something so personal about that. Being afraid? Catching your breath? That’s what being alive feels like.

What are some of the books you have out?

MMY: My first book was a collection of short stories called Beautiful Sorrows. It’s 27 different tales ranging from sweet to quite dark. I’m also in an anthology called Grimm Mistresses with my darkest work in there, called “Little Dead Red.”  I have a novella called Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, a novel called Nameless (Book 1 of the Bone Angel Trilogy), and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote. Unfortunately, Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and Pretty Little Dead Girls are temporarily out of print since the grimmbeginning of July. I split with the publishers, which was a very tough decision. But another publishing house seems interested in acquiring and releasing all three, so they’ll be out again very soon. Meanwhile, all three books are available as audiobooks on Audible, if somebody would like to experience them aurally. The narrators did a wonderful job.

 Publishing is a tricky business and things like this happen. I think the important part is to be happy and keep writing. Writing is one of my biggest sources of joy, and if it isn’t working with one place, it’s time to come at it from a different angle. If I lose the passion to write, then something is drastically wrong and it’s time for change.

What will you be reading for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast?

MMY: I’m so excited for this reading! This is an excerpt from Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. The setup is that Bryony, the girl, is destined to be murdered, and since Peter, the runner, is a serial killer, he’s delighted to help her out. But then somebody else trespasses on his territory. The scene starts with Peter hiding in the blackberry bushes while Bryony jogs down a popular running trail. Then she begins to scream.

 Where can you we find you online?

MMY: I’m all over the place online! You can find me on my blog at I’m also on Twitter as @mercedesmy, and Facebook under Mercedes M. Yardley. Please stop by and say hi! I’d love that. Thank you so much for the interview! It was great fun.