THE CLOCK IS TICKING! EASTER IS APPROACHING QUICKLY AND THE ENTRANCE WINDOW TO ENTER THE DAMAGED SKULL WRITER AND REVIEWER NPM GIVEAWAY IS NEARLY CLOSED. HURRY IN FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Nothing says Easter like some festive Damaged Skull Eggs! But even more special is the fact that we’re in the middle of National Poetry Month. In this case we’re looking at some excellent dark poetry from Lucy A. Snyder that you can win a paperback copy of right here. But, you gotta hurry, because when the sun rises on Easter Morn it’ll be time for your old pal Skull to collect all the entries in his hat, give ’em a whirl and pick a winner. Then I’ll reach out to them so I can ship a copy of EXPOSED NERVES to their door. Thank you to Raw Dog Screaming Press.

All you have to do, is like, leave a comment, and follow Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer. Yes, you have to enter your information to leave a comment for security purposes, but nobody except the WordPress security people get to see it. No one will send you spam or those weird phone calls telling you that your car’s warranty has run out. I tried to get them to fix my 87 Dodge Ram and they declined. Good Luck!

ENTER DAMAGED SKULL WRITER AND REVIEWER’S GIVEAWAY OF LUCY A. SNYDER’S POWERFUL POETRY COLLECTION “EXPOSED NERVES” TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!

Hello friends, it’s your old pal Skull with some exciting news. To celebrate National Poetry Month Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer is giving away a paperback copy of Lucy A. Snyder’s recent poetry collection Exposed Nerves. Published by the rapidly growing Raw Dog Screaming Press, this collection of poetry runs deep and strong.

I’ll have a review up a bit later this week, but for now I encourage you to enter this completely free, no strings attached giveaway. Just like, comment, and share this post with your friends, so we can support independent authors and presses. Your old pal Skull would also appreciate it if you’d follow this blog as well. The deadline for entries is 6 pm EST on Good Friday and I will announce the winner on Easter Sunday. Best of luck to all!

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH TO ONE AND ALL! HERE’S WHAT’S COMING THIS MONTH FROM DAMAGED SKULL WRITER & REVIEWER

April is always one of your old pal Skull’s favorite months. Yes, there’s the possibility we in the northeastern portion of the U.S. might actually get some warm weather, but the real exciting thing is that it’s NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! Over the past decade or so, I’ve come to realize that poetry is a lot more exciting than the overly sweet, must rhyme at any cost stuff that appears in greeting cards. In fact, I’m a little bit proud of turning some of my friends onto poetry. A big reason that poetry is cool? Independent Presses! In the picture above, four cool presses are represented:

RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS: Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder
Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe http://www.RawDogScreaming.com

HIPPOCAMPUS PRESS: Tenebrae in Aeternum by Benjamin Blake http://www.hippocampuspress.com

INDEPENDENT LEGIONS: Whitechapel Rhapsody by Alessandro Manzetti http://www.independentlegion.com

HELLBOUND BOOKS: Beautiful Tragedies 2 http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com

There’ll also be some other interesting posts, maybe even a few about yours truly. But the priority will be on promoting works of poetry, with maybe a few side excursions along the way. Until then, be sure to immerse yourself in the kinds of poetry that appeal to you. Take a trip to your local bookseller, check out the presses above, and/or hit the library to fuel your journey of discovery. We may not always be able to depend on the weather, but poetry is guaranteed to touch your soul.

ON APRIL 26, THE CLI-FI SPECULATIVE FICTION NOVELLA “RESEMBLING LEPUS” BY AMANDA KOOL KICKS OFF THE NEW EMERGENT EXPRESSIONS SERIES FROM GREY MATTER PRESS!

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/.

SYNOPSIS OF RESEMBLING LEPUS

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?

* * *

ABOUT AMANDA KOOL

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.

ABOUT GREY MATTER PRESS

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.

FILTHY LOOT ARRIVES AT THE SKULLCAVE! BOSS STICKERS AND STORIES BY FRIENDS INCLUDED

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

DAEMON MANX AND LAST WALTZ PUBLISHING BRING READERS A SPECULATIVE OUIJA BOARD MYSTERY WHERE CLUES ARE REVEALED “PIECE BY PIECE”

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:
www.daemonmanx.com
Daemon Manx/Facebook
author@daemonmanx.com
www.lastwaltzpublishing.com
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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WELCOME TO THE LONELY HOTEL, DUNCAN RALSTON WILL SHOW YOU TO YOUR “WOOM’

WOOM
Duncan Ralston
Shadow Work Publishing
August 6, 2016
Reviewed by Brian “Skull” Lewis

Howdy horror readers, it’s your old pal Skull with a quick and dirty review of an extreme horror novella by Duncan Ralston. WOOM is an intense epic that occurs entirely in one room, Room 6 at the Lonely Motel which is not the place to be if you’re happy and you know it. Please note: this is a work of EXTREME HORROR in which a lot of heavy duty shit happens. If you’re easily triggered, this isn’t for you and it’s not for kids. And now back to our show!

The story begins with a man named Angel checking into room 6 at The Lonely Motel and calling a service for a very specific kind of prostitute. Not unexpected, given the aura of the place, but what happens when she arrives is. Instead of a mad, sexual orgy it seems that Angel has hired Shyla so that he can tell her stories. But you’ll soon see the common thread running through each one. No fairy tales happen at The Lonely Motel, instead there are backstreet abortions, drug smuggling gone way wrong, rapes, personal devastation, and rebirth.

Rebirth? Yep, Angel needs a reboot, a fresh start, a chance to re-enter the world in hopes that maybe his luck will change. He knows it will, especially after his strange experience in a creeper van full of “helpers” He just needs Shyla to do her part in this thing and maybe everyone will get something they want. Or they might die horribly painful deaths…The only way to find out what happens is to pay a visit to room 6 at the Lonely Motel Yourself, vermillion key fob in hand…

Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer gives WOOM 5 STARS, but cautions readers to keep an open mind. Sometimes things are so ugly and painful that they become beautiful in a dark way. Is it possible that Angel’s life has been leading up to this moment or is he a dangerous madman? You can’t look away once you start this journey, but you probably won’t want to. Skull says, “Get it!”

For more info about Duncan Ralston and Shadow Work Publishing go to: www.DuncanRalston.com and www.ShadowWorkPublishing.com  If you’ve got a minute, Damaged Skull Writer and Reviewer would appreciate more followers at www.damagedskullwriterandreviewer.com Thanks for stopping by the Skull Cave!

SOMETHING NEW THIS WAY COMES FROM DAEMON MANX AND LAST WALTZ PUBLISHING!

Hello fans of speculative fiction, it’s your old pal Skull with a cool new release from Last Waltz Publishing! For many of us, the Ouija Board was our first connection the spirit world. Often it’s just a bit of harmless fun in which the other people at the table move the planchette around while pretending to be ghosts. But the unknown world is real and their messages shouldn’t be taken lightly…

“Piece by Piece” will be the second work from Daemon Manx reviewed by yours truly, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. Stay tuned to find out more

GREAT NEWS! WE HAVE A WINNER OF THE “DREAMS FOR THE DYING” BOOK GIVEAWAY!

I know that the hour is late, but I just couldn’t wait to share this great news. After collecting up all the entries in Damaged Skull Writer & Reviewer’s first giveaway, Anita Nelson Westbrook is the WINNER!!! I’ll be getting in touch with her shortly to find out where to send her prize, In the meantime dear readers please stay tuned for the next review and future chances to win some groovy stuff. A big thank you to everyone who was kind enough to share my posts. I sincerely appreciate YOU!