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Chicken Soup for the Soulless - A collection of morbid stories by Dominick Darkk

One thing everyone here knows is that I love dragons and dinosaurs and crazy twists on stories that make them outlandish, especially when the characters placed in those situations are developed in such a way that they behave realistically. (Read as: Dinos of the Old West... I'm still giggly over it and Kingdom of Links... were spiders! Why did it have to be spiders??)

I'm also not just a fan of epic length series with incredible amounts of content that go on and on that I can lose myself. What am I saying? I'm saying that there is also an art to short stories that can make them not only intriguing, but entirely satisfying.

Do you remember Are You Afraid of the Dark? on Nickelodeon or Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark published by Scholastic in three volumes? While geared towards younger audiences both shared a plethora of creeptastic stories that engaged the mined and even were made into movies which are now available on Amazon Prime. and inspired some of us to seek out additional horror novels that came in larger chunks like Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall.

It was the success and popularity of these franchises that lead to the popularity of other franchises including Nightmare Soup, Don't Scream, Harrowing Horrors and Goosebumps.

Hold on to thoughts about these amazing franchises while I introduce this week's review, Chicken Soup for the Soulless by Dominick Darkk.

Let's get started and dig in with the blurb:

A spine-chillingly delightful collection of morbid fiction to make your blood run cold. Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless steals you away on a dark journey through intriguing nightmares that underscore the depravity of the human mind. Are we afraid of monsters or the truths about our lives they represent? Terrify yourself as you dive into the pages of these haunting tales.

Now with all of this in mind, let's dig in!

Why did I discuss childhood memories while introducing Chicken Soup? Think of those amazing franchises that so many of us grew up with. Now, think about what it would be like if we had something like Tales from the Crypt, geared towards adult audiences, in print.

Do you have that image in your head?? Wait for it? Wait for it! Hold on to it! Because it's new, it's here and it's on Kindle Vella!

The long and the short of it is that this is the easiest way to explain what it is I've read this week without spoiling the episodes available to us. With the installments being individual short stories, it is really hard not to completely spoil what I've read.

What can I tell you about the stories themselves? Considering the limitations of length for each episode, Darkk's writing is well paced, in addition to the morbid arefilled with humor, and more than worth the tokens that were used to unlock and read the fourth episode (which happens to be my favorite so far).

Additionally, Darkk sets up each take with unique details that bring the worlds they create alive and I'm offering three examples that will not spoil any of these short stories. Some may find this unnecessary, but sometimes I like stepping away from a story that has sucked me in and enjoying a writers skillful craft.

Black 13:

How can I picture my mind in any other way as I grow older? Struggling - yet not - to remember and forget that which holds me to humanity.

Memories, sites, sounds, everything that I've ever experienced, drawing me right in at a place where I can't help but think those who will follow me do not deserve the world we fought so hard to keep alive.


While not necessarily intended, Black 13, sent us on a trip down memory lane. Instead of digging back into our memories Darkk engages our senses in a way that makes us almost taste what may or may not have been a fortune cookie and calls to mind the smells and tastes of 'fast' Chinese food.

The Others - Part 1

I can say what I like best about this short story is that there is a promise of more to come in future episodes of Chicken Soup.

One of the places I spent most of my young adult life in was the stacks located in the library basement of the university I attended. This one stands out the most due to how accurate the depictions of the world I lived in voluntarily were written. The only difference between Darkk's grey carpeted library and the stacks I hid away in happened to be the color of the carpet. Ours was a blue color that more readily hid the stains.

I have a yearning to tell you more about these stories, but the best thing that any of us could do is give them a chance. Considering that there are currently four episodes - with more promised - these stories are fantastic to consume one at a time or by burning you way through them without stopping.

These short tales are perfect for this time of year as they draw us back into the depths of our childhood with the quality of Scary Stories, but aimed right at the cold depths of our darkening adult hearts.

In the comments below, tell us what draws you into a short story, novel or serial work.

Don't want to take my word for it? Here are two additional reviews strait from Amazon:

As you all know, my favorite part of these reviews is the opportunity to get to know our author. I've sent the usual questions, and a few more off to Dominick and these are the responses that we received. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Kitty: First: What was your favorite book growing up? Has that changed as an adult?

Dominick: In all honesty, like most Millenials growing up, I always looked forward to the next Harry Potter book. That being said, I always felt a deeper connection to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn than I did to any other fiction or non-fictional character. When I was growing up, the pure independence that the tale of Huckleberry Finn so earnestly represented always stole my imagination away. Two completely different people running from a depressing, oppressive, and abusive life, took to one of the earth's natural highways. They were physically pulled toward the great promise of freedom by unpredictable waters. Simply put, it spoke to my soul. Not much has changed as an adult; I still consider it my favorite book though, freedom means something a little different to me now in my midlife.

Kitty: Who is your favorite author?

Dominick: Mark Twain, Michael Crichton, Niel Gaiman, and Stephen King.

Kitty: Have these books or this author influenced your writing style?

Dominick: I'm sure they have, if not in technical ways, then indeed I've gleaned some of my voice from these styles. I find that no matter what, if you read a book, you will always end up taking some part of it with you, whether you want to or not.

Kitty: Do you have a favorite serial that you would like to recommend to other authors?

Dominick: Don't cast me out for this, but I had no idea what serial fiction was before Kindle Vella. I understood the concept of an episodical, I just hadn't been exposed to this style of writing, and even now, I don't truly consider myself a writer of serial fiction. Sure, I use the same platform as many serial fiction authors; however, Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soulless is more a collection of short stories or multi-part shorts. I've even been accused of writing "TOO LONG" of chapters in my other Vella The Black Wolf Society. Lol. Which I guess there are worse things to be guilty of.

Kitty: What drew you to writing horror? Are there plans to continue this collection of short stories?

Dominick: I tend to write whatever genre tickles my fancy at the time. I have (maybe too many) interests and find myself wanting to write about them all. I don't think anything shows that more than the upcoming collaborative work I have with Illustrator C.C. Lynn coming out very soon to Amazon's Bookstore titled 'Mama Always Says.' It's a kid's picture book of simplified morals and values. Which as you can see is a far cry from 'Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless.'

'Chicken Noodle Soup for the soulless' allows me to get my darker side out onto paper without overwhelming myself with morbid thoughts or creepy feelings for too long. It's therapeutic, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite genre to write. Though I will tell you this, I have a giant backlog of edited stories that need one more pass over (to satisfy the O.C.D. monster inside my head) :) before they are ready to publish. So I hope people will forgive me for the random publishing times but know that I have no plans to stop adding stories to this Vella. My goal is to continue Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless my entire life and eventually publish it in volumes.

Kitty: Of the ones currently published, do you have a favorite?

Dominick: Although I write dark suspense, horror, action, and adventure, I have a great love for goofy humor or silly wild things that may not make sense. I love the humor and voice of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and hope to write a comedy for fun someday. So I have to shamefully admit that probably the silliest of my Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soulless stories, 'Misfortune,' is my favorite. I did spend a ton of time on Black 13, so there is a special place in my heart for that one as well. I enjoyed how it came out at the end since even I wasn't sure who I would turn the gun on by the conclusion. Even in my own mind, I'm still not sure who dies at the end of Black 13. Haha. I also have big plans for 'The Others', which will be a long-running, multi-part story within Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless.

Kitty: If you could change one thing about this current favorite, how would you change it?

Dominick: I don't think I would change it. Sometimes a story is just finished-- better to focus your effort and energy on a new journey.

Kitty: If you could tell your readers anything about these short stories, what would it be?

Dominick: Hang in there with me. Lol. I know that it can be hard to stick with a story, a collection, or an author when there is uncertainty in their publishing release dates, especially in a world of endless entertainment. We all have to begin somewhere, and unfortunately for me, I'm included in that. Since there is very little money in writing and even less for unestablished writers, it can be hard to stay on a schedule. Life can be costly. The goal, the dream, the endgame is to sit at this desk all day long and bring you story after story. Chapter after chapter. The more of you that stick with me, the faster we can make that happen together. I'd also like to thank all of those who have been supporting my writing in these early stages. It means the world to me, and I won't ever forget it.

Kitty: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything about becoming a writer and your writing career, what would it be?

Dominick: Start earlier. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. This is what I wanted, but I always gave myself an excuse. " There's no money in it," "You're just a kid," "No one will read your stuff," "It will take too long." There are always a million reasons to stop or never start at all, I wish I would have never listened to them. I think that goes for anything you love. Oh, and I most likely would have dropped the plot for Hunger Games on younger me's notebook. Lol.

Kitty: Finally, if you could tell your readers anything about yourself, what would it be?

Dominick: Oh, man. I'm not sure. I guess I just want everyone to know that my email is always open if people want to chat about my writing... Or anything at all, for that matter. Had a bad day? Send me a message. Maybe we can figure it out together. I've always got time for supporters of my writing.

You can find Dominick Darkk on Instagram. They can also be reached via and via the Black Wolf Society.

Amazon Kindle Vella: Chicken Noodle Soup For The Soulless and The Black Wolf Society.

Additional works include: Mama Always Says by C.C. Lynn and Dominick Darkk.

If you haven't noticed things have gotten a little exciting around here with our new website and trying to get caught back up with everything. I know I said there may not be a review this week, but we got it done! How amazing is that?

With all of that in mind, I wanted to announce our next review! Coming, November first. It's fan favorite Gifted Strangers by F.M. DiMeo.

I know, I get too excited about these reviews, but I can't help it. There's so much work that goes into these Vellas that I can't help but respect the work every author puts into their craft.

In other news, you may have noticed that there was a bonus episode of The Explorers today and that they'll be another on Saturday in addition to our regular episode on Monday, November 1st.

We're coming up on the Interludes that were earmarked as the end of the first season and the start of the second season. I was asked if I would be taking a break between these points, but the answer to that is no! Interlude I lands on November 1st and Interlude II lands on Veterans Day, November 11th, as a bonus episode.

We'll also see bonus episode of Exile on October 29th and November 11th.

On top of all of this, there will be an additional Kindle & Coffee Episode this week discussing Amazon Reviews, how they impact a Vella's ranking, and what can cause your reviews to be taken down. I'm aiming for Tuesday for this release as we'll be on the road Wednesday, traveling towards our wintering grounds.

Until next time, may your adventures be plentiful and exciting, just not as exciting as X's.

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