Last call for SKIN JOB – and can you give me some advice/opinion?

if any blogger wants a copy of my novelette SKIN JOB for review, let me know…
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Last call for SKIN JOB

I’ve gotten some great support from the blogger community for my first stand alone ebook in the horror fiction genre. I really want to thank you all for your enthusiasm and help (especially those from the Long Time Bloggers Club). I asked the bloggers that I felt closest to and bloggers I knew the longest (only 5 – ones that I felt a bit of kinship and friendship with) if they would like to review my release. Then a few more expressed interest and I sent some more off into the blogger community for reviews.
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If any blogger that I haven’t asked, wants to review the book, I’ll be happy to send one over to you. You can leave a comment here or go to my contact page and email me.
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And now, on to the next….
I think that the novelette or novella is the way for me to move forward.

Can I get your opinion on these?

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Let me know which book sounds most appealing. Let me know which one you would want to read, which you think should be me next release. They are all written and would have to go through the next six months of editing processes. I’d love if you guys could help me make this decision…
Here are my choices for my next book release:
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Renfield’s Carnival (style: modern/monsters)
Julie, a young woman on the run from her abusive boyfriend collides with a rogue band of carnival of freaks. Led by the deformed snake-charmer, Renfield, the carny folk are attempting to resurrect an historical carnival in the Arizona desert despite opposition from the nearby townsfolk. The town had burnt down the carnival forty years ago when a local girl had gone missing. Now Julie has to fight her abuser while navigating her way through the age-old melee, and rebirth of Renfield’s Carnival.
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Shroud of the Crimson Queen (style: era late 1800’s/Hammer Films style)
London in 1885 is once again the scene for a string of horrific murders, but this time evidence points to a wild animal as the culprit. Doctor Edwin McKee, a pioneer in forensic investigation, teams up with Detective White, Scottland Yard’s top cop to hunt down clues and solve the mystery of these grisly murders as rumors and sightings of a gray lion within the city confines mount. Is it a man or a wild cat, or something even more sinister? This tale combines the crytozoology of Great Britain’s legendary gray lion and the detective partnership reminiscent of Holmes and Watson in the Hound of the Baskervilles to bring readers on a thrilling ride combining horror, mystery and action.
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Three Witches – (style: era late 1800’s) this would be three different olden tales about Witches, however the main novelette is about a cursed sea vessel, The Angel Witch, so it’s not actually a witch. The Angel-Witch – Set in the early 20th Century, Captain Ryan and his crew find themselves stuck in the windless doldrums after capturing a mythological fish for their client, the Countess Bisselle. To make matters worse, they spot a man on a raft who sleeps by day and walks at night. As his raft inches closer to the ship Captain Ryan decides to bring the man aboard to save him, but soon realizes he may be the one in need of saving as his crew plans a mutiny, and a larger evil looms.
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Stormbringer – (style: modern/monster) The novelette Stormbringer and two other tales. Lovecraftian.
As Hurricane Jehovah devastates the east coast, Matt Hoffman works to secure his family’s Connecticut mansion and keep it from ripping apart at the seams. However he will soon have to fight for his life and save his loved ones from a hidden danger. Under cover of the storm something has slithered out of the ocean and made claim to the ancient land where the mansion sits.
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So, vote below for the story you find most interesting:

Of Foster Homes and Flies – Chad Lutzke – book review

Quiet horror in this coming of age story…

 Chad Lutzke - of foster homes and flies

Of Foster Homes and Flies – Chad Lutzke

We have a genuine masterpiece here and I’m so glad I’ve had the pleasure to read the work of this very talented author.

(There are slight spoilers though this whole review, but I have to convince you why you should read this book)

If you want to be blessed by an emotional moving story, you have to read the tale of a young boy whose hopes and dreams are about to be dashed by a non-loving, alcoholic mother and the intervening finger of fate. The 12-year-old boy, Denny, lost his father several years ago, left to be raised by his neglectful and perpetually boozed up mother. Denny’s dad had one time won a ‘spelling bee’ at his hometown school and Denny cherished thspelling bee postere ribbon award as a great memory from his father. Denny had never entered the spelling bee because of lack of confidence and drive. However, this year was supposed to be different. Denny had studied since the beginning of the school year, practicing, rehearsing the spellings, and preparing himself to do good in his father’s eyes and follow in his footsteps. With the Spelling Bee fast approaching there was nothing that was going to stop him from paying this ultimate homage to his dad. Then a few days before the big event, his mother dies overnight on the living room couch. In the first few minutes of this event, Denny makes a big decision. He is not going to miss the spelling bee. His mom was dead; calling the police now or at the end of the week was not going to change that. Now Denny just has to bluff his way through a few days, foiling his neighbors, ducking friends, and keeping his dog out of trouble. Throughout the tale young Denny comes to terms with the strained relationship he had with his alcoholic mother, bringing tears to my eyes several times.

It’s not straight up horror but shades of King abound with the dead body of Denny’s mom doing what dead bodies do best, being creepy.

(spoilers ahead)

To show you how the depth of a story affects the variant of horror, the scariest part of the book is the night before the spelling bee, when Denny has made it almost to his goal. His mother’s boozer, card playing girlfriends come by for their weekly card game ringing the bell and twisting the door knob ready to expose his mother’s rotting maggot infested body to the world. Only seconds before this Denny had caught sight of hundreds of squirming maggots devouring her forehead. He threw up on himself and had to answer the door that way, covered in puke. It probably doesn’t sound like much here but in context, this scene really made me tense.

(end of spoilers)

of flies

The story built such density that it made the spelling bee seem as exciting as being chased by velociraptors or being in a car chase and gun fight with a serial killer. The outcome is fantastic.

The final few pages when Denny calls the police and they arrive to the scene of the ‘crime’ are incredibly written and pulled on my heart-strings the way few stories have in a long time. It was gut-wrenching sadness and happiness at once; a strange combination. My chest was tight and I felt for Denny like a real person would feel for a neighbor or friend.

You may ask why a story such as this would make me feel so good? Because life is a struggle and not always a nice place, but we have to move through our darkest days to find better ones ahead. That is what Denny did in this story and against all odds found those brighter days on the other side of death.  I want to tell everyone that reads to get a copy of this; I want to yell from a mountain top with a bull horn, it’s just that damn good!

Get it now@ Of Foster Homes and Flies – Chad Lutzke on Amazon.com

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recommended if you like:

Stephen King’ s The Body/ Stand by Me, Robert McCammons’s Boys Life, William Goldman’s Temple of Gold, James Newman’s Midnight Rain, and movies such as The Rivers Edge, Bottle Rocket, and Ghost World. Also a touch of them old classics; Tom Sawyer, Catcher in the Rye, and even Stephen King’s, Silver Bullet (movie).


Chad Lutzke

 

Darker Tales from the Den – Dona Fox – Book review

Darker Tales from the Den - Dona Fox

Darker Tales from the Den – Dona Fox – Book review

JWK Fiction

Dona Fox has a certain style to her stories that can catch you by surprise. There comes a point when you realize what is going on, but it’s too late to brace yourself or to look away. These are dark, macabre stories about people in bad situations that only seem to get worse as the night goes on. The top tales in the collection leave a lasting sting or dull thud of heartache, either way a welcome experience for the horror reader. I picked a few of my favorite tales here to say a few words about.

Something bad crawls out of the dark attic in The Chill and Willey Snake dragging long forgotten family secrets in tow.

Bruised Cardamom begins with a poignant description on the death watch of a woman, Mrs. Macy, true in its words and gut wrenching to anyone that has watched a loved one die.  The description of the woman shredding tissues and curling them into little balls as she’s waiting in fear for death is unsettling. A line that struck me… “How many boxes of tissue does it take to die? How meaningless are paper tears?” The volunteer stays with her into the night learning a deep dark secret in this outstanding tale.

In One Historic Night, one friend invites another into his twisted Nazi fanatic world and drags him down to the depths of madness.

Shypoke’s Tears, which I had read before in the anthology, Ghosts Revenge, (JWK Fiction) is a short piece with a big punch. From the first paragraph a transgressiodona foxn is taking place in the characters and it’s a thrill to see the outcome.

In The Calais Curse, we visit the French Resistance of the German occupancy. This tale is a haunting centerpiece of the collection as a young woman begins a process too free her grandmother from her nightmares. The story started out a little loose and all over the place but stick with it and it settles into streamline tale where a tragic, moving ending is revealed.

Li Gran Toy Zombi is a creepy tale I first read in the Toys in the Attic anthology and was happy to revisit here. It takes place in New Orleans, 1977, and if you’re thinking Voodoo Curses you are correct and in for a devilish treat.

Crystal Bones on Gossamer Wings is a fitting finale for the collection as the tale is written in deep first-person as were the earlier stories in the book. Dona’ s greatest storytelling aspect is when she immerses the reader in that strong character voice. Those stories are distinctly superior to the more standard narrated tales. There are shades of Joe R. Lansdale in those stories where the reader shares each thought, vision, and reaction as it happens in the character’s head. When she combines that voice with her astute perception of life, death, and human suffering, she delivers haunting horror fiction.

Darker Tales From The Den – Dona Fox – Paperback and Kindle

 

crows by Favim

 

Stephen King – Bazaar of Bad Dreams – Book review

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Stephen King – Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Stephen King finds cars to be very scary. It’s almost like he had been run over by a car himself…oh wait, I forgot about that. Well, he wrote stories about scary cars before he got run over, it’s almost like he had a precognitive awareness of his own future danger…now that’s scary! Anyways, in Mile 81, he finds a way to make you feel his fear of the automobile. I do think this is one of his scariest cars to date. Alone at a closed highway truck stop the car in question sits, waiting for victims.

In Batman and Robin Have an Altercation, we meet Sanders and his pop, who he picks up at ‘the home’ on Sunday to go out for lunch. His pop has Alzheimer’s and his memories are scrambled at best. It’s a wonderful tale because a chance memory of father and son surfaces of a Halloween when they had dressed as the dynamic duo for trick or treat. This surfaced memory reminds pops that he loves his son and saves a bad incident from concluding in the worst possible way.

The Dune has an elderly gentleman contemplating his own old age and mortality. He’s a retired Judge that lives on the gulf coast Florida where he’d been living since he was a boy. Within kayak distance of his home is a small sandy island that nobody knows about, or cares about, that seems to hold special powers.

From a very young age, George has seen an evil red-haired, freckled-faced boy cause violent accidents involving people he loves. Speaking to his lawyer from death row, he tells the tale that led him to killing a child in Bad Little Kid. Is he crazy or is there something more to his tall tale?

Blockade Billy is a great story about old time baseball with a wonderful character voice by a one time manager of the NJ Titans. It brought the real excitement of the sport to light while twisting it into a King style deranged knot.

Each story has an introduction about its origin which I find as entertaining as the stories themselves. Having grown up and grown older reading King, it is fitting that his stories now reflect the problems, concerns and dealings of older persons. In this book it’s about wills, sickness, the aged body, and taking care of your elderly parents…and the fear of scary young people. There’s a few stories for the younger gens here too, a particularly good one about a trash culture news site whose obit columns lead to a difficult decisions, an entertaining tale for all.

The short story is an art form like know other. You have to sink your teeth into the reader, engage them with an interesting character, turn a situation on its ear and leave them a satisfying conclusion, all within a short span of time. Sometimes you have to do these things simultaneously. King is a master at this craft and Bazaar is another testament to his prowess.


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Stephen King pic Stephen King - Blockade Billy

My Short story, “Gray is a Life” published in new anthology

Gray is a Life published in Ugly Babies 3/ Ghosts Redemption

I have a short story that was just published in the anthology Ugly Babies 3/ Ghosts Redemption.

I submitted to Ghosts Redemption anthology because I had a good story that fit that theme. Then the publisher decided to combine the two anthologies into one release. I don’t usually like when they do this because I like themes and I usually try to get people into the theme….this book has some great ghost stories if you care to pick it up. That way it’s not just about my story, but a lot of great reading.  Now my story is buried in the middle of 70 stories and people that like the graphic violence of the Ugly Babies series, are probably not going to like the cerebral context and atmosphere of ghost stories. So it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me.

 

However, perhaps readers like it…what do you think? Would you like one book with two different themes?

ugly babies 3 ghosts redemption

If you’d like to get an anthology with many stories in it, it’s a lot of bang for the buck, check out the Ugly Babies 3/ Ghosts Revenge Anthology. On Amazon.com


I’ve been getting a little more selective with where I send my stories and I’m going to tighten that up even more. I think I may be at the stage where I can release my own collection and have some success with it.

I’ve sent a few stories to pro-paying markets but haven’t had any success. I have been paid for my writing before but not at the professional level. It’s a finicky, literary market and I’m more like a pulp writer. There aren’t many pulp magazines and zines left out there.


 

 

Skin Job – Now Available on Amazon.com

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Skin Job
Sex, drugs, tattoos and mad monster violence!

 

My novelette, Skin Job, is now available on Amazon.com, for those of you that have been following my writing news and wish to give it a shot.dragon tat 1

 

There’s a real life struggle that unfolds in the story, not just with the monster, but with a situation that many, if not all of us, have to deal with at some point in our lives.

There is also a monster, a demon that takes pleasure in ripping lives and people apart. In my incarnation, the Car Nex Demon is a giant shape-shifter with some Lovecraftian monster qualities.


 

I’m hoping that some of you that I have met here in the past few years will download the story from Amazon and give it a read. It would mean a lot to me to hear your opinions and read your reviews (if you are so inclined).

I’m a horror fan just like you and I strived to put forth something that I would have liked to read. I think I’ve reached my objective. I’m hoping you will enjoy it too.

Thanks for your support, it will help me to move forward with my writing.

Skin Job
by Michael Thomas-Knight
on Amazon.com

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“Everyone makes mistakes; that is how we learn. You just have to hope that the mistakes you make in life don’t cost you everything.” MK


Skin Job is a novelette by the author/owner of this blog, Michael Thomas-Knight

Parlor of Horror – Horror Books

Skin Job – sex, drugs, tattoos and mad monster violence!

wingsofdarkness

There’s only 2 weeks until the release of my novelette, Skin Job

 

More than a horror story, Skin Job is a story about failing at something big in life… It reflects a personal experience, but one that I think a lot of us go through at one point in our lives. Hopefully, most people deal with failure better than the character in my book.

I’ll explain more soon, for now I’d like to invite you to my

SKIN JOB page at Parlor of Horror

Please take a look and leave comments about what you like, what you think I should add, and what you think I should change. The big question is,

Does this sound like a book you’d be interested in reading?

I respect your opinions fellow bloggers, so tell it to me straight.

SKIN JOB page at Parlor of Horror

skin job cover art

Skin Job
by Michael Thomas-Knight

A Car Nex Tale (Terry M West)
Pleasant Storm Entertainment