OCTOBER IS A GREAT MONTH THAT WE HORROR WRITERS ARE ESPECIALLY FOND OF BECAUSE IT ENDS WITH OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY, HALLOWEEN. THIS OCTOBER IS ESPECIALLY SWEET FOR MYSELF AND ALL THE AUTHORS FEATURED IN “RELEASED: A HORROR SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY” EDITED BY S. FAXON & THERESA HALVORSEN OF NO BAD BOOKS PRESS. WHILE I’VE BEEN ON THE HORROR SCENE SINCE 2016, I’M STILL EMERGING AND WORKING ON MY VOICE. BUT I MAY HAVE FOUND IT WITH “JUNIOR” THE NARRATOR OF MY SHORT STORY “HELL TO THE HOLLER.” LIKE MYSELF, JUNIOR HAS BEEN “FACED” WITH SOME MAJOR ROADBLOCKS. UNLIKE MYSELF, HIS TROUBLES HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY AN EVIL WITCH AND IF HE CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO OVERCOME THEM, IT’S ENDSVILLE FOR HIM. INTRIGUED? I HOPE SO! AND I’M ONLY ONE OF THE 19 GREAT WRITERS INCLUDED IN “RELEASED!” THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN THIS GREAT ANTHOLOGY AND WHAT BETTER TIME TO READ IT THAN HALLOWEEN? PLEASE SUPPORT THIS COOL INDY PRESS THAT HAS A SOLID 5 YEAR PLAN TO HELP INDY WRITERS GET PUBLISHED. GET YOUR COPY HERE: https://books2read.com/u/bwax19
Hello Horror Fans, I’m pretty damn excited to have a story included in the No Bad Books Press Horror Anthology “RELEASED” If that’s not exciting enough, this book is currently listed as being the #1 Release in American Horror. Wow! Congratulations to our editors S. Faxon & Theresa Halvorsen and every contributing author!
ABIGAIL Daemon Manx July 24, 2021 Terror Tract Reviewed by Brian “Skull” Lewis
Hello frequent readers, it’s your old pal Skull with a great FIVE STAR read that I’m just dying to tell you about! Of course, that’s going to be one hell of a nifty trick, since I’m already a member of the undead community, but I think you get where I’m coming from. Abigail written by the one and only Daemon Manx is a beautiful shape-shifting novella that calls the speculative fiction genre home. Readers will feel the full range of emotions as they peruse this big little book that seems tiny on the outside but is bursting with so much energy on the inside. Terror Tract made a most excellent choice in publishing this baby!
Abigail opens at the Del Monico where Adrian is sitting at the bar feeling bummed out because his date is a no show. His ex-boyfriend and bartender, Gabe tries to cheer him up to no avail. Then Michael shows up and…zowie! The sparks do indeed fly. After a wonderful evening, Adrian floats home to something unusual on his front stoop. It’s scary, horrible, and…kind of cute? Abigail has arrived.
Suddenly bachelor Adrian is in charge of a baby and it’s not an easy job in the least. Manx has a great eye for detail and puts in the perfect mix of humor and fear. And there definitely is fear because Abigail is different from her skin to her eyeballs, and are those horns? Oh my! But nothing is going to stop him from taking the very best care of Abigail. Adrian isn’t sure why, but he loves this child.
What about that handsome date he had? Doctor Michael seemed so perfect. Still, Adrian can’t let anyone see Abigail, not even a pediatrician. Nope, nopity, nope. He’s only too aware of what happens to people that are different. Growing up gay in the deep south was a horrible experience that scarred Adrian for life. It wasn’t his fault that he was different! Their violence wasn’t necessary, and Adrian vows to protect Abigail to the death if need be.
His commitment to her is wonderful. But after some odd experiences and definite difficulties, Adrian realizes that book learning and the internet only take you so far. Sooner or later great, expert help is required. In fact, Adrian knows a great pediatrician. Calling Dr. Mike! But will the doctor agree to see him after being ignored for months? What will he think of Abigail? Is there a chance that Adrian will have to give her up? Find out the whole story when you pick up a copy of Abigail by Daemon Manx from your favorite bookseller! If you’re an Amazon shopper, the paperback is currently listed for a great price, and the kindle version is even less expensive.
As I said in the beginning, Damaged Skull Reviewer rates Abigail a BIG FIVE STARS! This book is downright magical for its ability to tackle topics some might not agree with and to show that love does not discriminate. Rod Serling would enjoy reading this story because of the journey Adrian takes through Abigail. We readers go with him and learn some things, too. What constitutes “normal” and why do people think it’s such a good thing? Seems to me that those who are unique can open our eyes to new worlds, but only if we let them. I really enjoyed all of Daemon Manx’s little touches in the book, such as creating fictional names for places and things. A few examples of that are the “Fritz Carlson”, packages arriving from “Feral Express” and using the dating site “Cinder.” Clever!
I could ramble on all night about this novella, but now it’s your turn to enjoy this great read from Daemon Manx and Terror Tract. For more information about the publisher, go to: https://terrortract.net or visit them on Twitter @terrortract. For more information about Daemon Manx go to: email@example.com or visit him on Twitter @daemonmanx He also uses the handle Daemon Manx on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for checking out another review from your old pal, Skull. See you soon!
As you all know, Skull is not a fan of sunlight. He swears that it will make him crumble to dust if he’s out too long, not to mention destroy his eyesight. But who did I see sneaking around town today in MY car? Why Skull of course! He thought I wouldn’t recognize him with those sunglasses on…Hummph! Looks like somebody owes me some damn gas money! And, he better get his butt behind the Damaged Skull Reviewer desk pronto, or else The Skullcave might just get some windows installed in it!
Whenever I read a good book from an indie press, I try to drop a review. These book reviews are long overdue, but I hope you enjoy them.
Black Heart Boys’ Choir by Curtis M. Lawson is a pitch-black story that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s sharply written and rich with menacing character. A bitter teenager aims to end the world by performing a supernatural “cursed” song. The story is told with musical prose and an ambiguous plot structure that raises questions about the reliability of our psychopathic anti-hero’s first-person perspective. Despite its pervasive bleakness, the book kept my interest until the inevitable Grand Guignol conclusion foreshadowed in the prologue. Black Heart Boys’ Choir is bold enough to take risks as only indie press can in today’s overly cautious publishing climate, so give it a shot if you like your horror fiction grim and unflinching.
Wow! Talk about excitement. This anthology is going to be a great addition to any Horror fan’s bookshelf. Chock full of great reading, an awesome cover, and a story by yours truly. Available now at: https://books2read.com/u/bwax19
Happy second day of Halloween Month! I’ve just finished reading the speculative fiction novella “Abigail” by Daemon Manx, and it’s great. The full review will be available next week and I’m excited to share this fine story with you. “Abigail” is from independent publisher Terror Tract which is run by Becky Narron, a person who really cares about her writers. You can check them out at: https://terrortract.net Until then, enjoy the weekend and keep reading horror!
Happy October everyone! For fans of speculative fiction and dark poetry, this month is kind of a big deal. One of the best ways to celebrate “Halloween Month” is to read some dark poetry and Raw Dog Screaming Press has a couple of awesome choices. “Monstrum Poetica” by Jezzy Wolfe and “Exposed Nerves” by the amazing Lucy A. Snyder! Your old pal, Skull, will be reviewing them soon! For more info, go to: http://www.RawDogScreaming.com
BOBCATS Matthew Weber June 25, 2021 Pint Bottle Press Reviewed by Brian “Skull” Lewis
Hello frequent readers, it’s your old pal, Skull with one hell of an excellent read to tell you about. Bobcats by Matthew Weber is without a doubt, a 5 Star read that fans of adventure and excitement will want to add to their libraries. So, if that’s all you wanted to know, Damaged Skull Reviewer highly encourages you to purchase this recent release from Pint Bottle Press. For more details, stick around!
Still here? Great! Here we go. Bobcats brings together opposite sides of the spectrum: A group of seventh grade boys who call themselves the Bobcats are planning an important camping trip. Actually, this is the trip of a lifetime, something they’ve wanted to do since their group was formed by Joey Kilgore and his late father, who was the group’s role model. Paul, Joey, Trainwreck, Clarence, and Davey. Clean livers, all-American boys ready to do good stuff like hike up Black Oak Mountain.
On the other side of town, some very unwholesome adults are meeting up as well, but their activities are not about character building in the least. Well, unless you think killing people is a positive activity. C.D. is on the hook for some missing narcotics he was supposed to pay the big boss for, but he got ripped off. His punishment? Picking up a freaky dude named The Cleaver and driving the guy to his next murder job. The Cleaver is huge, scary, and very smelly, so transporting him is no picnic.
After the boys figure out a sneaky plan to get parental permission, they are off into the wild! But not without some major complications like arguing over a gun, accepting each other’s shortcomings, and a big thunderstorm. The trail is old and unused, but there is a creepy presence that hangs over Black Oak Mountian like a shroud. Still the boys keep on truckin’ with hopes of fulfilling this challenge and earning their way into manhood. But when the criminals also show up on Black Oak Mountain, all bets are off.
The Cleaver’s got some mighty odd ways and C.D. is stuck doing his bidding until the job is complete. Unfortunately, that requires going up the same mountain the Bobcats are on. Things go from looking gloomy to being downright scary fast, forcing the kids to retreat as the killers go into pursuit mode. Having the Cleaver on your tail isn’t something to wish on your worst enemy. The guy is a killing machine that’ll stop at nothing to finish his jobs. He may be gross and weird, but he’s got supernatural strength and the hunting skills of an animal. The only thing that’s going to slow him down is an army or some really determined Bobcats!
Damaged Skull Reviewer gives Bobcats 5 BIG STARS and a hearty recommendation to ALL READERS! This is a damn fine book about coming of age, facing your fears, and standing your ground no matter what. Trainwreck, Paul, Davey, Clarence, and Joey are all great characters and the best part of this book is what Stephen King fans keep coming back to the well for. The humanity, the human spirit, and ultimately love. Despite the horrible things that happen and ordeal the characters must face, hope remains shining through like a beacon in the night. No matter how bad and scary they are, no one is completely bad and likewise, even the good guys have a few secrets because in the real world, who doesn’t? It’s when shit gets crazy that you see the truest form of a person. Trainwreck elects to stand and fight while the others retreat. Clarence and Joey elect to rescue a hurt comrade, even though it may cost them their lives. Evil is out there, no matter what form it takes and things do happen for a reason. The surprise conclusion is a perfect way to end the book because without friends, we’re nobody.
Thanks for stopping by Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer, for more into on this fantastic read go to: www.pintbottlepress.comMatthew Weber is one heck of a horror writer, who’s also the publisher of some great anthologies. Check out the Double Barrel Horror series along with Pint Bottle Press’ other selections. I found Weber’s previous short horror collection Teeth Marks to be great reading. Whatever you do, check them both out!