Posts Tagged ‘Skullvines Press’

Here’s your chance to win a $10 Amazon digital card! Entering is pretty simple, just read my novella Barbed Wire Kisses (either Kindle or Nook), leave a review, leave a link to it here and we’ll pick a winner. Whether the review is good or bad, won’t make a difference as it will be completely random.

Contest will be open from 7/3/12 until 8/10/12, with a winner being determined by 8/15/12.

You can leave a review either on the Amazon website or the Barnes and Noble website only.


For those who are interested, the guys at Skullvines Press were kind enough to give me my own board on their forum! Come join the probably x-rated fun at It’s the internet’s only drama free board, and a great place to let your hair down.

for those of a sensitive nature, some of the topics elsewhere may be crude and unseemly, but that’s half the fun!

I edited this as the previous board went to hell during an upgrade. I deleted the old link and put in the new one.

There are few universal truths that ring as loudly as this one: create a forum or messageboard and it will attract nitwits and douchebags in untold numbers. This idiom began as far back as the messageboards on Prodigy when I joined that back in 1990.  Create a thoughtful, well written post about something you find important, and within five minutes someone will post a reply calling you an idiot, communistic, faggot, shoe sniffer. Then IRC came into being, and the insults were flung in real time chat.

Sometimes it seemed the fun never stopped.  Between the flame wars on Prodigy, Compuserve, AOL, IRC, et al, it seemed a cottage industry of douche bags was born. Sadly, some things never change and it doesn’t seem to matter what the forum is about.

I frequent boards about horror, writing, ipod iTouch games and apps, prisoners rights,  and my World of Warcraft guild.  Each and every one of them has their trolls, lunatics and nitwits to varying degrees.  some are easy to ignore, and others require an act of God to keep me from barbecuing over an open pit of snark.

That was true until I joined Skullvines Press forum. From the moment I signed up, I felt at home there, more than most places. I can truly say there’s not a douchebag in the bunch over there. Sure S.D. keep pestering me for close up pics of my ass, but he does that to everyone. And while I don’t always want to hear about the frequency of Jerrod masturbating (mostly to thise pics S.D> asks for, I assume), he’s a great guy. I also say that as one of the only writers there without their own forum spot. That’s how much I love the place.

That’s how much I love these guys (in a non gay, gay way of course).  so do yourself a favor, if you’re looking for a nice little patch of filth and profanity, check out the Skullvines forums. Just don’t fuck it up, my barbecue pit is always at the ready.

One of the reasons I decided to join Rich Ristow in his venture known as Bandersnatch Books, was his novella “Into the Cruel Sea”. Known for his stunning poetry, and excellence as an editor, Rich’s fiction is certainly nothing to sneeze at either.

When a novellette  opens with someone having just sawed their parents heads off, you want to read more. No, you’re compelled to read more. In doing so you meet a cast of characters, that in lesser hands could be nothing more than caricatures, yet in Ristow’s hands, they all seem vibrant, alive and all too real. You have your maladjusted teen; the abusive alcoholic father; co-dependent mother; adoring younger brother; party girl best friend; and of course sea creatures with sharp teeth.

ItCS is relatively simple in its plot. That’s by no means a criticism, as there’s not much you can fit in 54 pages or so; yet what’s there resonates with you, and leaves you thinking about it long after you finish the tale. In fact, if I had a criticism for it, it would simply be it’s too damn short. I wanted to know more about the sea creatures, what they are, where they live and how they survive.  Yet that weakness, is in certain aspects a strength. Too often writers overly explain things, and in this case, I think Rich hit the amount of monster appearances given the shortness of the tale.

Here’s hoping the creatures make an appearance in a future work by the talented Mr. Ristow.

Horror: What’s the Big Deal?

by Michele Lee

Has there ever been a genre more dismissed and disrespected than horror? Perhaps romance, but even that one has been accepted into the mainstream, if only in part.

But horror, even we can’t decide exactly what it is. Is it Stephen King and Dean Koontz? Or Wrath James White and Brian Keene? Is it the drop of your stomach when you hear a sound from outside which definitely should not be there? Or the beauty of a splash of blood on a black and white photo of a happy couple? Or is it the classic moment, when the killer peels the last bit of skin from their sexy young victim then slips his own mutilated body inside?

Even authors shy away from admitting they’re a little bit horror. Amazing isn’t it, all the outrage and offense over a little sex and gore?

But while the religious and secular alike herald horror as one of the worst influences on the human mind they’re also embracing it. Bemusing to fans, we see the same people who refuse to acknowledge us as members of the literocracy embrace A Christmas Carol at Christmas time. Or they rave about Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which any horror fan will recognize as a post-apocalyptic road trip book spiced with cannibals. They even worship with an eye for horror, celebrating what could be seen as the horrific torture and slow execution of a pure, good man. Not to mention the beheadings, the plagues and religious wars that continue to this day…

But perhaps it’s better to steer clear of that particular kind of horror.

So then, why is it such a big deal? That one’s easy–Horror threatens us. That’s the point, to make us jump at shadows that were innocent the night before. To make us look twice at a person we’d ignore under normal circumstances. To wonder what if. What if things went really, really wrong?

The core of horror is fear. The point, even with the most incredulous scenarios, is to bridge the chasm of the fantastic and make the viewer jump and squeal and turn away but have to look back. It challenges our perceptions of safety and health, of normalcy and sanity. It brings the beasties from the darkest recesses of our mind triumphantly into the light.

But the most important factor in the love of horror is–it’s fiction. We can turn it off, unlike the horrors in our real lives. We can put the book down, leave the theater, change the channel or pause the movie. We can explore all the things that terrify us, yet we retain control of the situation, which makes it safe.

So what’s the big deal about horror? Horror offers us a safe place to explore our limits. A safe playground for the wicked little child in our mind who’s just begging to come out and play.

Michele Lee is the author of “Rot” from Skullvines Press.