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: Matthew 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!


Rebecca Gransden
Cardboard Wall Empire
April 18, 2021
Reviewed by Brian “Skull” Lewis

Hello dear readers, it’s your old pal Skull getting back to you with the full review of Rebecca Gransden’s Creepy Sheen. I don’t want to put the hearse before the motorcade but, let me just say that lovers of speculative fiction are in for a real treat when they dive between the pages of this purple covered beauty! So, with further ado, let’s begin…

To those who were kind enough to read my previous post about Creepy Sheen, thank you! Here is your reward/answer to my riddle about the connection arcade crane machines and babies have to the end of the world. It’s in “Arcady”, a great example of Gransden’s work. She combines the known and comfortable with the unknown in a shocking way that keeps you turning pages. Missy Jackson is the typical teenage arcade rat. She plays the games until all her money is gone. Unfortunately, it’s just not her day to be a winner and that bad luck extends to using the arcade’s rest room. She’s locked in by a malfunctioning stall door and ends up falling asleep in the none too deluxe surroundings. Upon waking, it becomes clear through many of Missy’s observations that something is very wrong in her corner of the world. One of the indicators of that is a crying baby trapped inside the crane game with all the stuffed toys. Not to mention the creepy guys with the trucks, yikes! “Arcady” is a great story that will chill your blood.

“Liquid Crystal” is a cool piece about a guy who figured out how to take technology way too far, resulting in a prison life sentence. While “Hell Alley” shows us a dystopian future where Myra the city rat collector has a run in with some guys who are using the rats to create a super drug. And let’s not forget “The Future Is White” which has a ghostly Twilight Zone meets Ray Bradbury vibe presented in a script format. All of which brings us to the delightfully diseased diamond of the bunch…

Skull’s favorite story in all of Rebecca Gransden’s Creepy Sheen is “Night Drive Drifter In A Bad Dream.” This tale is smokin’ and I mean that literally! At the core of it is a man and a fast car always travelling at night and catching what little rest they can during daylight hours. Emilio takes on a unique job from his “friend” Dexter because of the huge payout and the chance to get out of a crummy town where he’s stuck in one dead end job after another. I mean, the dude is fighting bums for a package of stale rolls. Not exactly living the high life! But its nowhere as easy as Dexter makes it sound. After some truly creepy scenes, Emilio decides to make a run for it, only to find that the thing chasing him is tireless. So instead of jetting off to some exotic location with his loot from the job, Emilio is spending his money in grungy motels and gas station snack bars. But tonight seems a little different, who knows what’s up ahead? Smart investors make a bid for TV rights, now!

Overall, Damaged Skull Reviewer gives Creepy Sheen 5 STARS and a place on “The Wall of Fame”! The concept behind the book is echoes of transmissions sent into outer space during the 1980’s and indeed, these stories are like finding some lost episodes of the Twilight Zone or unfinished work from your favorite late science fiction writer after earth is just a memory. Rebecca Gransden writes like she is multiple authors and stretches simple scenes into terrifying scarescapes. Get this one, you won’t regret it!

Also, before I return to my nice dark cave, let me mention that Cardboard Wall Empire has many titles on offer including more from Rebecca Gransden, Leo X. Robertson, and others. Tell them Skull sent you!

Cover Reveal: And By Fire, Crime Mystery Debut by Evie Hawtrey


Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!

My friend Evie Hawtrey (aka historical novelist SophiePerinot – in a new, darker, incarnation) has recently revealed her cover for her crime mystery debut!AND BY FIRE is a dual timeline novel, pitting two extraordinary female detectives—tempered by fire and separated by more than three centuries—against a pair of murderous geniuses who will burn the world for their art.

Isn’t the cover cool? Check out the full book description below, and PRE-ORDER today for a Spring 2022 arrival.

About And By Fire

Nigella Parker, Detective Inspector with the City Police, has a deeply rooted fear of fire and a talent for solving deadly arson cases. When a charred figure is found curled beside Sir Christopher Wren’s Monument to the Great Fire of London, Nigella is dragged into a case pitting her against a murderous artist creating sculptures using burnt flesh.

Nigella partners with Colm O’Leary of Scotland Yard to track…

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