HALLOWEEN NEVER LEAVES OUR HEARTS-A Love Poem to Our Favorite Time of Year!

HALLOWEEN NEVER LEAVES OUR HEARTS

A love poem by Brian James Lewis

As November starts
Some may say that it’s gotten its due
But Halloween never leaves our hearts
the whole year through!

That monster sitting on my porch?
It will stay there for Christmas
even if the lights scorch
the fabric of its tattered jacket

See those skulls perched
high above my door?
Rest assured that they’ll
nest up there for “evermore!”

Halloween stirs in the blood
of every writer, artist, and thespian
No one creative is spared
the pull of a force so antiquarian

But, just because it’s ancient
don’t mistake that for weak
The power still is growing
and it will never peak

So scream it loud, with feeling
“Halloween Never Dies!”
What candy? Hey, I wasn’t stealing!
Just ask the scarecrow-It never lies

 

Big Damaged Skull

Pleased To Announce That I’m Included in HAUNTED ARE THESE HOUSES!

Haunted are these Houses w Owl

HAUNTED ARE THESE HOUSES is a collection of Gothic Poetry and Short Fiction from Unnerving. Selections were made by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Eddie Generous. Christina Sng, Sara Tantlinger, and Bruce Boston are just a few of the greats included. So I’m proud to have my poem “Home Sweet Hideaway” alongside their work. I mean, WOW! Thanks everyone! Hopefully this will be a recurring trend and you’ll see more of my work here in the future. Until then, check out “Home Sweet Hideaway” it’s very creepy!

DOORBELLS AT DUSK From Corpus Press is just what you need to have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Doorbells at Dusk covershot

Doorbells At Dusk
Edited by Evans Light
Corpus Press
August 21, 2018
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

It’s almost HALLOWEEN! Yeah, yeah, YEAH! Some people are all ga-ga about Christmas, Easter, family birthdays, or the 4th of July. But for the faithful and true lovers of Horror, the big day on our list is October 31. Can I get an “Amen” on that brothers and sisters? Whooo Yeahhh! Well friends, the Damaged Skull Writer has something very cool to tell you about. Something that is going to make this year’s Halloween about 500 percent better. So grab yourself a pumpkin spice ale, coffee, or hard cider and let’s get down to business!

What I want to tell you about is a frighteningly beautiful anthology all about our favorite day Doorbells At Dusk! The chilling cover art by Mikio Murakami is worth the asking price all by itself, but the creative crew at Corpus Press has put together nearly 300 pages of awesome for a very easy on the wallet price of $14.99. Tax extra, your mileage may vary, no warrantee implied or given by this agreement. Just dig a few of the names included therein: Josh Malerman, Chad Lutzke, Evans Light, Jason Parent, and Thomas Vaughn. Yep! This is the good stuff.

Things kick off with, what else? Monsters ringing doorbells in A Plague of Monsters by Charles Gramlich. Poor Gus Krebs just wanted to enjoy a pleasant evening of watching the Wheel Of Fortune but, no! Instead he finds himself harassed by small monsters. Hell, it’s not even Halloween for Pete’s sake! What’s a man to do when faced with monsters and the police? Well, the best he can, of course! But, this story is an excellent bunch of twists and turns that will make you laugh…And scream.

Amber Fallon contributes The Day of the Dead to the party. Well, it actually includes a party at one of those rinky dink bars that always seem to be near large office buildings. Cheap booze and friends to commiserate with can make the workday fly by. Except when said bar holds a very special party to celebrate the Day of the Dead and costumes are required. But instead of a booze-filled good time, the party quickly turns into something very bad. The kicker? It’s not just restricted to the bar…

Whatever date your town deems the appropriate Trick or Treat night, two things are always true. Regardless of the weather, there will always be kids stumbling onto your porch in hilarious costumes and asking for candy. Most neighborhoods also have one house that is always deemed the scariest. No Dollar Store danglers and decals for these folks! They are dedicated to maintaining their title and put in a lot of hard work making things just right. If at least one person runs away screaming, they are happy. Doorbells At Dusk features two stories about places like this. The Friendly Man by Thomas Vaughn has the most gruesome house and he is very proud of it. There is nothing fake in his amazing display, especially the main attraction. But, there is something poking a hole in his armor. Evans Light contributes Rusty Husk to the lineup and it is a great tale about scarecrows and retribution that will blow the hay out of your shorts. Maybe Rusty should’ve quit the scarecrow business a few years earlier? You won’t forget this one.

It seems like Halloween is custom made for mischief makers of all kinds. Some neighborhoods have a specified mischief nights in hopes of separating the rabble rousers from the peaceful families doing the rounds to neighbors’ homes. As mentioned in Offerings by Joanna Koch, Detroit has something called Devils Night which is of questionable fun value. It’s a dangerous combination of violence and pranking usually carried out by gang members. I’m sure the Devil smiles with each new soul he retrieves from that night. Besides that, Halloween has often been used to commit robbery. I mean, why wouldn’t a criminal take advantage of it being normal to wear a mask and go calling on rich folks you don’t know? In Keeping Up Appearances by Jason Parent, a group of four creeps go from house to house in search of money and valuables. Things are going pretty nicely until they hit one super nice house…

This is just a taste of all the great stories that Doorbells At Dusk is full of. With a numerical rating of 5 out of 5 stars, this reviewer heartily encourages you to grab a copy as soon as possible! All the writing is on point and honed to razor sharpness. Corpus Press also offers many more excellent titles for avid Horror readers to enjoy. Check them out at corpuspress.com and Amazon.com for speedy delivery. Happy Halloween!

EAT THE RICH from Renee Miller and Hindered Souls Press is Available NOW!

Eat the Rich covershot

Eat The Rich
Renee Miller
Hindered Souls Press
July 13, 2018
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Hey, it’s time for another cool release from Hindered Souls Press! With each new title, this independent publisher keeps improving and growing an impressive roster of artists. Friends, this is what it’s all about! Real people making dreams come true. Renee Miller steps up to the plate (har!) with her latest and greatest EAT THE RICH! The favorite item on the menu? Humans! No wonder Ben Franklin looks so worried on the inside of the cover. For anyone concerned that they might be reading another Zombie tale…Relax! You’re not even close. Miller is a writer who enjoys driving us off the beaten path, and we’re glad that she did. Let’s dig this freaky fine folio!

Things start off in a disarmingly funny way. A couple of dudes walking down the street in blue bathrobes ask a tough detective for a little help. The result? Both parties end up getting more than they bargained for. An unhappy insurance claims adjuster named Ed wants to get away from the rat race and chill. The homeless population of the city just wants a sandwich. Then there are the city’s rich who want every single luxury and to treat everyone like toilet scum. By using a well done POV style Eat The Rich keeps us informed of what the characters are feeling and doing as the apocalyptic events unfold. Seamless!

Unlike the average struggling writer, who usually calculates their net worth in the highly valuable currency of Pop Tarts and coffee, Ed is a dude with a lot to walk away from. He has it all: house in rich neighborhood, nice car, and a nagging wife. But his heart isn’t happy and he is super stressed. So one day he just walks away and joins the homeless. Simple, right? Not even a little bit. Within 24 hours, the city’s homeless population goes from being a small group of panhandlers, alcoholics, and mentally ill folk, to a big force to be reckoned with. WTF?

So instead of enjoying a fairly quiet cessation of his previous duties, Ed finds himself in the middle of a major shit storm. The grass always looker greener on the other side, but not this time! If Ed had stayed where he was, not only would he be stuck with his cranky wife, but he’d likely be alien chow. Wait, what? These new homeless folks are actually aliens that eat rich people. Crazy, huh? Just imagine what the cops think when poor Ed attempts to save others by sharing this information with them. Not a good plan!

The aliens claim that they’re terrorizing humans in order to create a Utopian society. Maybe that’s true, but the way they go about it is far, far away from ideal. Once they get cooking, things escalate in a quick and ugly fashion. Those who refuse to follow the new plan are dealt with severely. Forced equality? What could go wrong with that? How about, I don’t know…Plenty? I could tell you more, but it will be so much better to read Renee Miller’s words instead of mine. She will amaze you with how she keeps everything rolling at a steady pace. No loose ends. All killer and no filler.

Eat The Rich is an awesome reading experience and rates 5 STARS with this reviewer! There is so much to like here that I am predicting you will feel the same when reading this cool book. Miller is an amazingly prolific writer who crafts stories that say a lot without being cluttered. She interweaves her horror with important stuff, such as how we earthlings see each other and muck up our own lives. Once again showing that Horror is not just blood and screams. Hindered Souls Press is growing and getting better with every book. They have  consistently provided readers with full spectrum horror that is not afraid to tackle difficult topics such as social media overload. The Die-Fi Experiment  is an excellent example of this. Be sure to check out all their available titles at http://www.hinderedsoulspress.com and learn more about Renee Miller at www.authorreneemiller.com.

DRAGONWATCH II WRATH OF THE DRAGON KING from Brandon Mull and Shadow Mountain Comes Out October 23! Made for younger readers, but powerful enough for adults. Taking Pre-Orders Now!

Dragonwatch 2 covershot

Dragonwatch Book 2-Wrath of The Dragon King
Brandon Mull
Shadow Mountain Publishing
October 23, 2018
reviewed by Brian James Lewis

This month, in just a few weeks, Shadow Mountain Publishing is going to be releasing the second book in the Dragonwatch saga by New York Times bestselling author, Brandon Mull, who is also the dynamo behind the Fablehaven series and the Beyonders. This reviewer is new to the author, but you can’t miss his energy and the ability to provide intricate details in a way that will entertain readers of all ages. Remember how parents were so happy when Harry Potter came into existence? Why was that? Well a big reason was that suddenly, children who never read anything, were tackling thick books full of big words and loving it. Not only that, but the stories were powerful and captivating. Good triumphed over evil and showed that it isn’t wise to judge folks or books by their covers.

Dragonwatch is the sequel and continuance of the Fablehaven series of books written by Brandon Mull. In these stories, Kendra and Seth are the new caretakers of the Wyrmroost sanctuary of magical creatures. One might think that inheriting these positions from their grandparents would make for an easy transition, but this is no gravy job. There is a lot to learn, new creatures to meet and then there’s this whole thing about a dragon war. Celebrant, the current king of all the dragons within the preserve of Wyrmroost, has decided to take over the land. To do that, he’ll have to destroy all his opposition, including Kendra and Seth. But he better be ready for a fight! With their crew of allies and their own magical powers, these young caretakers are not going to just cut and run.

While this is very different territory for someone who spends a lot of time reviewing speculative fiction and dark poetry, I found myself getting caught up in the excitement and feeling concerned when we left the good guys in a tenuous state. Instead of safely flying home, they are forced to take a road that is hiding myriad threats that they’re not prepared for. What will happen next? The only way to find out is to pre-order your copy of Dragonwatch Book 2 Wrath of the Dragon King today! These books may be aimed at younger readers, but much like the Harry Potter books I can see adults really digging this. If you like Tolkien, and his Middle Earth, you are very likely to enjoy the Dragonwatch series! FIVE STARS.

Author, Brandon Mull tours schools around the country promoting literacy and sharing his message that “imagination can take you places.” Books are journeys we can take to other lands without ever leaving our hometown. As we head towards the holidays, his books will make great gifts. Especially for the growing number of families who are backing off on Halloween candy to save young teeth. Inspiring children to read is super important. It’s like handing them the keys to the brain gym. Plus, when they’re sleeping, you can sneak in a little reading of Dragonwatch 2. Brandon Mull’s books are available from Amazon.com, where you can also follow him. You can also keep up with the author at BrandonMull.com. Tell him you read about his latest on Damaged Skull Writer, then get ready for some quality reading time!

Made by Women Giveaway – Happy October!

This is great chance to win some very cool stuff that is MADE BY WOMEN. Enter today!

Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!

I know I have followers of all tastes on Oh, for the Hook of a Book! This promotion (and post) is for fans of horror, or honestly, more appropriately and importantly, fans of kick-butt women. Claire Holland published a book of poetry shortly after mine called I Am Not Your Final Girl, in which she wrote poems about final girls from slasher movies. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s the women in movies that make it to the end after an horrific ordeal and often earn retribution and find empowerment, much like the women fighting for so much today!! I really loved this collection!

Now, Claire is hosting a giveaway featuring my own dark poetry and short story collection, BREATHE. BREATHE., which also features strong women, Sara Tantlinger’s LOVE FOR SLAUGHTER, which takes a look at the horrors of love, and her own, I AM NOT YOUR…

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New #horror ebook release, Beyoncé style

Timothy G. Huguenin knows how to write great stories full of humanity that make you shiver! Check out this reasonably priced brand new release on Amazon Kindle!

Timothy G. Huguenin

Surprise! Today you can buy my new Kindle-only novelette, “Antique Bed” for only $0.99! Tell your friends, your enemies, your pets…

Antique Bed - small

As kids we always used to say that the old hardware building was haunted. I don’t believe it no more—at least I don’t think so.

In desperate need of housing after her boyfriend dumps her, Sandy finds an apartment in Augustus Valley for a price she can hardly believe. There are rumors that the place is haunted, but she knows that’s all nonsense. Sure, the building is old and has its quirks—but it’s a killer deal.

“Antique Bed: A Horror Novelette” is a shorter work that should take between thirty and forty minutes to read… But this disturbing tale will stick with you long after.

Click here to buy for $0.99

PS: If you were subscribed to my newsletter, you would have heard about this early! But hey…

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LET THERE BE DARK by Tim McWhorter and Hydra Publications, Brings The Fear In Eight Artfully Written Horror Shorts!

Let There Be Dark covershot

 

Let There Be Dark
Tim McWhorter
Hydra Publications
August 21, 2018
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Hello friends and fans out there in Reader Land! I’ve got a book here that I’m really excited to tell you about. Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter is a seriously badass collection of short horror fiction that will rock your world! Hydra Publications has put together a fierce looking book from the author of Bone White and Blackened that delivers the goods. Just look at that evil raven on the cover! All ready? Good, because we’re diving in!

One of the most impressive powers great writers have, is to turn everyday things into shit your pants nightmares. Tim McWhorter does it with the first sentence of Rope Burns.                                                                                                                                                    “A fucking Walgreens? Are you kidding me right now?”
Nicely done. So we walk into one of the most familiar places in the U.S of A and smack into the Salem Witch Trials. Well, the location of them anyway. John and his girlfriend are on a research trip to check out the sites of horrible doings to the witches of Salem, Mass. Unfortunately, things have not been going to plan, or meeting expectations. That is, until John uses the rest room and undergoes a trial of his own…

How about a nice tale about a blue ribbon creeper? Would that shake your moneymaker? Better get ready, because it’s time for No Saints Here. I think a lot of people worry about what home improvement contractors do in your house besides knocking down walls. Are your possessions safe? What about your family? Especially if you’re blessed with a highly attractive mate. I mean, you can’t watch the workers all the time. Clancy is a creepy contractor who makes the best out of life’s opportunities. He likes to make it sound a little nicer, by calling what he does surprise dates. You get where things are going? Yeah, yuck city. But when Clancy stalks his latest target, nobody follows the script. Way too many people show up at this little get together. Until the biggest question is: Will there be any survivors?

One more peek inside? Okay, but this time we’re going into The Dark Side! It’s one of those cool new attractions that are sweeping the nation, blackout houses. First it was over the top haunted houses, but now you go into a completely dark place and have to find your way out, in complete darkness. Sounds fun, huh? Then you step right on in there! I’ll wait outside, thank you very much. This is the same thought Sky is having when her boyfriend Brent drags her off to one of these places. She suffers from high anxiety and in all honesty should NOT be going to this attraction. But she does so to please her dorky boyfriend. That’s nice of her and all, but not wise. Her reward is a terrifying end. Or is it?

More frightening tales await you inside Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter. Just released from Hydra Publications and chilling realistic. These things could happen to YOU! In fact I’ve had an experience that shares some parallels with The Dark Side. True story: Some friends of mine thought it would be fun to take me to a haunted house. Unfortunately they didn’t know about my anxiety disorders. So, in the middle of a haunted house I totally locked up. Closed my eyes, couldn’t move a step more. I had to be dragged out of the building by two men dressed as clowns. I didn’t regain full bodily control until I was outside and my emergency meds kicked in. What I’m saying is that Tim McWhorter knows people very well. It’s one big thing that makes him a great writer. He knows what’s going to whip us off our feet. Every one of the stories in Let There Be Dark happens in a different place with unique characters. My favorite thing is how twisted the stories are by the time you reach the end. Take note: The ending you expect to happen is not what you’re going to read! This beauty gets FIVE STARS all day, every day. Whether you’re familiar with Tim’s previous work or not, make sure to grab a copy of Let There Be Dark! It’ll scare you in a whole new way! Available NOW from Barnes & Noble (free shipping for members!) and Amazon.

Welcome to ‘Jubilee’!

I saw a little peek of this frightening book and I think it’s going to be a home run! Oh, and if you smell peppermint? BEWARE!

Pint Bottle Press Blog

The new novel Jubileeby Vic Kerry is available now from Pint Bottle Press!

Jubilee coverBirmingham, Al, 9/12/18 — There’s a killer on the prowl in rural Alabama where secrets are buried deeper than the bodies. Vic Kerry’s latest novel Jubilee, out now from Pint Bottle Press, blends wry Southern charm with suspense and intrigue wrapped in a plot full of candy-cane twists.

Synopsis: In a small Southern town, a father desperate to find his prodigal daughter meets three cash-strapped old maids with something to hide, and a mysterious man driven by an insatiable lust to kill. Welcome to Jubilee, Alabama, where death comes to stay for a spell.

“A thriller that simmers to a satisfying, explosive boil!”

– Russell James, author of The Playing Card Killer.

Jubilee is the kind of story that grabs the readers and shakes them like a rabid dog. Kerry does an excellent…

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Cover Reveal – Dead of Night 2018

Looks like a Cool Read!

cmsaunders

Well, hello!

I have a brief announcement.

More than eight years on from it’s original release on Damnation Books, my novella Dead of Night will soon see the light of day once more. Completely re-edited and re-vamped, it features new and exclusive cover art by none other than the Dark Scrybe himself, Greg Chapman.

And here we are.

dead-of-night-reissue

Dead of Night is available for pre-order now on ebook and paperback.

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