Hello there readers, it’s your old pal Skull with some great news from Grey Matter Press! After ten years of doing great things in the Horror Community, editor and publisher Anthony Rivera is bringing forth the Emergent Expressions imprint to provide new opportunities for emerging authors. He also wants to widen the scope of what readers can expect from Grey Matter Press in the very near future. Please check out the press release below and consider pre-ordering your copy of Amanda Kool’s novella Resembling Lepus by clicking their link. If you order before the release date, you’ll save 28 percent off the cover price! There’s also a super Kindle offer as well.

Earth’s sixth mass extinction has ended, and survivors who have struggled with unhealthy air, food rations and regimented energy consumption are now faced with disturbing new challenges when a detective leads an investigation into a string of inconceivable murders that have rocked her city. This is the futuristic urban setting for Resembling Lepus, the new dark speculative fiction novella by Amanda Kool that becomes the inaugural release in the Emergent Expressions imprint from Grey Matter Press (GMP) when the title publishes on April 26.

Kool’s Resembling Lepus is a tautly written, multi-layered crime mystery set amidst a post-dystopian urban landscape at the end of the current Holocene Era after humans have caused irreversible damage to the planet. Citizens of this surveillance state now required to live with a higher reverence for all life are horrified by a series of murders in this cli-fi dark thriller that investigates the repercussions of man playing god.

“I’m thankful that GMP chose this story,” said Kool, the Melbourne-based author.  “And being the first cab off the rank for the Emergent Expressions imprint is an incredible honour. What an exciting line to be a part of.”

Resembling Lepus is the first of four titles to be published by GMP during the 2022 calendar year in its Emergent Expressions line that features genre novellas by the ascending voices of modern fiction writing in the thriller, horror, science fiction, crime/noir, horror, speculative fiction, fantasy and other dark genres.

“Amanda Kool’s Resembling Lepus is our first stand-alone, long-format speculative fiction title in ten years, and because of that it’s the perfect novella to kick off Emergent Expressions,” said Anthony Rivera, editor and publisher at GMP. “Kool’s impressive imagination, remarkable world-building and straightforward approach to complex storytelling combine to create this evocative and captivating story, made even more so due to tackling some disturbing moral concepts. Resembling Lepus proves she’s an ascending voice and one I guarantee readers will be hearing a lot more from in the future.”

The company’s Emergent Expressions imprint seeks to elevate the fiction of emerging authors by offering a viable, collaborative and professional publishing outlet committed to highlighting exceptional talent and generating greater awareness for their work under the banner of Grey Matter Press.

When Resembling Lepus is released on April 26th, it will be available in both trade paperback and electronic formats at bookstores worldwide.

Paperback copies of Resembling Lepus are currently available for pre-order exclusively at the GMP Bookstore. More information can be found at http://greymatterpress.com/product/resembling-lepus-amanda-kool/.


Earth’s sixth mass extinction has ended, and in its wake a post-dystopian civilization has struggled to rebuild after a global cataclysm shattered its ecosystems and propelled all life to the brink of eradication.

In a world where the air is unhealthy, food is strictly rationed, and the energy consumption that triggered the destruction is highly regimented, scientists experiment with artificial biospheres to secure survival and techno-mimicry to breathe life into long-dead species. It’s an unavoidable surveillance state where every living thing is tracked, numbered, and categorized.

In this fledgling society born out of catastrophic loss and now challenged with a new reverence for all life, a lone detective is haunted by a series of murders traumatizing the populace. Assisted by a medical colleague, she finds herself entangled in a crisis with far-reaching consequences and dangerous repercussions that threaten the fragile balance of all existence.

What is the impact on humanity when mankind is required to play god to the creatures they have all but destroyed?

* * *


Amanda Kool has been writing for most of her life, starting on her mother’s typewriter. Employed as a technical/proposal writer, she hones her fiction skill authoring crime, speculative, and science fiction. Kool co-authored 1000 Mettle Folds with horror author Steve Gerlach, and she wrote the children’s book The Paper Fox with her brother, Jeremy Kool, as illustrator. More information about Kool is available at http://www.amandakool.net.


Grey Matter Press is a Chicago-based publisher whose mission it is to discover and cultivate the best voices working in the dark fiction genre. The company is committed to producing only the finest quality volumes of fiction containing exceptional tales from the suspense-thriller, crime-noir, dark fantasy, literary fiction, horror, and speculative genres. More information about Grey Matter Press is available at http://www.greymatterpress.com.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to visit Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer! It’s exciting to be involved with the inaugural release of Emergent Expressions-an imprint that will show readers a whole new side of Grey Matter Press. Please consider following my blog and stay tuned for my upcoming review of Resembling Lepus.


Hello friends, it’s your old pal Skull with some groovy book mail from a cool independent press called Filthy Loot. Like many of my fellow writers and book reviewers, I dig stickers big time. There’s nothing in the world that can’t be improved by a sticker! From weddings to funerals and everything in between. So, when I saw that Filthy Loot was offering a special pack of them I had to have one. I mean, how genius to put them in a library card holder with those exciting words “withdrawn” on it. I also decided to get F*CKED UP STORIES Vols 2 & 3 that include stories by Madeleine Swann and many others that I look forward to reading. “Happy Suit” (Vol 3) is definitely a reflection of modern big biz and political practices. I recommend it! I also dig editor in chief Ira Rat’s mixed media art book “I’m Sorry Mom” Overall, a total win! So what are you waiting for? Head on over to http://www.filthyloot.com and http://www.irarat.com and warp your brain today! Tell ’em Damaged Skull Writer & Reviewer sent ya.

***The “I love big books and cannot lie” tote bag is an old gem of mine used for modeling purposes only


Piece By Piece
Daemon Manx
Last Waltz Publishing
February 14, 2022
Reviewed by: Brian “Skull” Lewis

Hello dear readers, it’s your old pal Skull! Today’s featured author is the one and only Daemon Manx. In 2021, he wowed us with Abigail, a great speculative novella about raising a unique child, coming to grips with one’s identity, and the healing of power of love. Not only did the surprise ending touch many readers deeply, but the story shone positive light on the LGTBQ community. It puts you in the shoes of a gay man who’s looking for real love after a difficult early life of discrimination. The author makes us feel the pain, fear, and longing for a solid partner in a very relatable way. If you haven’t yet read Abigail, I heartily encourage you to do so! And now in 2022, we have a new novella to enjoy from the man who writes with his heart. Piece By Piece, is even more gripping than its predecessor and delivers a huge emotional payoff to readers at its conclusion. It begins by totally mystifying readers, then slowly revealing small clues to the mystery as the story unfolds. Check it out.

Bobby Canfield is zooming along on his too cool for school Mongoose BMX bike and enjoying the summer of 1988 when three sisters in their pajamas encourage him to join them for a Ouija reading. Initially he resists but ends up sitting with them It doesn’t take him long to regret his choice though. A spirit named “Mac” informs Bobby that he will die an early death, gives him the exact date even. Not only that, but he’s supposed to save some people before he eats a dirt sandwich. Whoa…this is big stuff to put on an 11year old’s plate!

Manx then makes us a fly on the wall for important moments in Bobby’s life, dropping subtle clues along the way. For the most part, Bobby Canfield has a pretty sweet life, but as the years roll by, he realizes that time is growing short. Who is he supposed to save? He’s got to find out soon or risk leaving without fulfilling his destiny! Mac, the spirit of the girls’ grandfather steers the ship now and then, but Bobby’s still not exactly sure until the night of the fire. The word Now appears on the Ouija board and Bobby rockets into action. Daemon Manx writes a mighty gripping fire scene that you’re going to want to read for yourself. Nor am I going to reveal the way the story wraps up at the end. Oh, and it’ll be up to you to decide if this conclusion is an end or possibly…something else.

Damaged Skull Writer & Reviewer gives Piece by Piece a hearty 5 STAR RATING! Get this book from your favorite bookseller now, then get ready for a most excellent ride. Fans of Richard Matheson’s work will find a lot to enjoy here. If you’ve ever doubted the power of a properly connected Ouija board, the existence of spirits, and the whole Time-Space Continuum, wonder no more! This great novella from Daemon Manx and Last Waltz Publishing should set you straight. But don’t leave the party yet, horror fans. There’s a bonus story included in this fine publication. The Widower is a whole different kettle of spiders that will chill you to the bone. This is the “Holy Crap” story and the one you won’t want to go to sleep after reading because there might be something big and hairy coming up from the basement to touch your skin. Why? Because it loves you. Thanks for visiting the Skullcave again. It’s been a pleasure having you here, but now you must leave because I’m getting very…hungry. For more information about Daemon Manx and Last Waltz Publishing dig the following links below:
Daemon Manx/Facebook
As always, I’m your old pal, Skull and I look forward to seeing you again very soon…

International Women’s Day 2022: Supporting and Fighting for a Gender Equal World #BreakTheBias #IWD2022

Great Post From Erin Al-Mehairi, Author, Editor, Mom, and Fighter For Gender Equality. Let’s Break The Bias Against Women In The World and Support The Fight By Purchasing a Copy of “We Are Wolves” To Celebrate IWD22 and Women’s History Month

Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!

It’s #InternationalWomensDay, or #IWD2022, and people around the world are celebrating women and the unique and important gifts they give this world. I’ve been proud to promote this day for about fifteen years in some shape or form, and each year builds momentum as it’s utilized as a catalyst for change year round instead of only awareness. However, I’ve been a supporter of women’s issues in various ways for even longer.

In essence,International Women’s Dayis the marker to honor the Women’s Rights Movement and all those who came before us who were spit on, jailed, starved, ridiculed, and more as they fought for women to have the rights to vote, own land, have a bank account, and not be locked away in asylums. I was humbled and astounded when I was able to experience the “Rightfully Hers” 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Suffrage Movement exhibit…

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