Life is full of surprises. Some are the frosting on the cake, some challenge us to the very marrow of our beings. With the birth of their daughter, Ireland, Carl Hose and his wife, Marcee, faced a challenge that could have easily been tragic. Out of this challenge, came the rise of Dark Light, a charity anthology with contributions from 42 horror authors. Here’s how it all began…

by Carl Hose

Okay, we weren’t actually living with Ronald McDonald, but he did visit the Ronald McDonald House while my wife Marcee and I were there.

Our daughter Ireland was born six weeks premature and had to spend time in the NICU. Marcee and I wanted to be by her side day and night, and thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, we were able to do just that.

The Ronald McDonald House provide a home away from home, literally, by giving families with medical emergencies a warm, comfortable place to hang their hats. Marcee and I started out in a beautiful house with 30 plus rooms, an inviting family room, a fully stocked kitchen that was open around the clock (not to mention the staff that prepares three huge meals a day), and a massive library.

Because Marcee had been through pretty extensive surgery after giving birth to Ireland, we were moved to a larger facility (there were three on the campus of the hospital where our daughter was). This one was more a hotel than the bed-and-breakfast model we started out in, and with its elevators, the RMH staff felt it would be easier for Marcee to get around.

There was nothing for Marcee and me to do-nothing except spend time walking back and forth between the Ronald McDonald House (just one block) and the hospital to feed and hold Ireland, which I’m sure contributed to her fast development.

We missed our boys, Seth, Ethan, and Caleb, but they were in the care of their grandparents, so again, our focus could be on Ireland. All Ronald McDonald Houses have a playground, so the boys could visit anytime. It wasn’t the same as being home with them, but at least we could see them.

The house we were in was full of people who started out as strangers. It wasn’t long before all of us became friends, with the commonality of a sick child among us, sharing our stories and comforting one another.

Ronald McDonald House put a roof over our head, fed us, and took care of all the daily necessities of living. I wanted to return the favor in a big way – much bigger than I could ever do on my own.

And so was born Dark Light, an anthology to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I reached out to some of the biggest names in horror and they responded in a loud, positive way. Each of them contributed an amazing story to this effort – a couple of them contributed two (42 authors, 44 stories).

Now all we need are the readers.

[Editor’s Note: Here’s the book trailer. Below the trailer is a link where you can pick up your copy of Dark Light today and help contribute to this wonderful cause. The digital edition hits the market today.]

Description: “Dark Light” is the light that shines through when some of the finest writers in horror use the power of their dark words for a bright cause. That’s the case with this anthology — 42 writers coming together to help support the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the good the organization does for families year round.

Make no mistake, though. These are horror writers and the stories they’ve written are not pretty. Traditional and non-traditional horror, dark humor, ghosts, serial killers, alternate universes, magic, zombies, and other creatures of the night hide between these pages. Shadows move and dead fingers stroke unsuspecting flesh, razor sharp knives shimmer in the moonlight, and unknown things hide in closets and under the bed. The stories here are as varied as the writers themselves. If you’re a fan of horror, you will not be let down.

Despite the horrific nature of these tales, however, their very existence in “Dark Light” stands as proof there will always be a light at the end of every tunnel.

Features stories by horror legend Graham Masterton, Bram Stoker winner Joe McKinney, John Shirley, author of the “Crow” screenplay, Ray Garton, Wrath James White, William Todd Rose, Scott Nicholson, Tim Lebbon, Deborah LeBlanc, Tim Curran, Nancy Kilpatrick, Stephen Graham Jones, Angeline Hawkes, Christopher Fulbright, Jeffrey Thomas, Lisa Morton, and many more.

Here’s where you can pick up your Kindle copy: Dark Light

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