Author Archive

Magical Mystery Tour

Poet and writer Brian James Lewis has recently completed a very favourable review of ‘Parlour Tricks’, which you can read for yourselves over at both the Hellnotes and Horror Review websites.

I’ve added the full article to the Reviews tab here at Holeinthepage, as well as a few choice excerpts below, for those who want to see what Brian had to say about my debut collection.

You can catch up with Brian on Twitter @skullsnflames76 or on his WordPress blog




Excerpts from review:-

Wow! Talk about an interesting short story collection! Carl Barker’s Parlour Tricks is what you are looking for if you enjoy twisted speculative fiction with shocking endings. Not only does this book boast a highly divergent content level, it also ties the stories together by relating them to specific magic tricks in a section called The Inner Circle at the end of the book. At first, I was a little skeptical of that, but it works! The cover art by Luke Spooner draws you into Barker’s clutches and after that it’s time for the magic to begin. Kids, don’t try these at home!

Now it’s time for me to answer the big question. Would I purchase a copy of Parlour Tricks for myself or a friend? Indeed I would! Every book I’ve read from Parallel Universe Publications is better than the previous one. I’m not just saying that to be nice, either. There is definitely a positive evolution taking place as they grow their catalog of available works. As a reviewer, that is something enjoyable to watch. I totally encourage you to purchase a copy of Carl Barker’s Parlour Tricks in your favorite format today! Please keep in mind that this book is intended for adults and contains material best suited for them. As always, thanks for reading and remember: If you find yourself chained to a breakfast bar with no clothes on, it’s probably the work of a nutty ex-girlfriend. Good Luck!

Category: Reviews  Leave a Comment
Electronic Futures

The e-book version of the recent Issues Of Tomorrow anthology from Indie Authors Press is now available for download at both and

So if you haven’t yet had chance to check out this great collection of SF stories, why not head over to grab yourself a copy for the extremely reasonable present-day price of £2.99 / $4.16.



Fabulous prizes to be unearthed

There are some awesome prizes to win at our Mummy Knows Best ebook launch party

Main UK only prize:-
Our ‘Mummy’s Night In’ box open to UK mainland customers only includes;
* Our Mini Mummy Mascot – a cuddly orange mini mummy
* A golden chiffon bag of mixed Ferrero Rocher
* A paperback copy of The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May (@Gollancz) with bookmark
* A gold feather brooch (costume jewellery)
* A luxurious cedar and amber candle
* A tin of mulled wine flavour tea from Whittards

Other prizes

Amazon Voucher $10 or £10
Triple chilli powder pack
Mummy Knows Best paperback
Weird Ales ebook trilogy
EF Schraeder is giving away Hunger Tree – her poetry collection
I’m giving away a signed copy of Parlour Tricks


To win the above box buy Mummy Knows Best ebook before midnight 2nd Feb

The ebook link is here at a special launch price of 99p

The Future, today!

OUT TODAY is Indie Authors Press‘ future-themed anthology “Issues Of Tomorrow“, which includes my story ‘Broken Machines‘.

A second SF piece from me in the last few months, this one tells the tale of Soriah, an abused pleasure droid taken in by an ageing off-world tinkerer, who helps her to understand what it is to be truly alive.

Featuring a bumper collection of work from 19 different authors, all exploring the question of ‘What If?’, the book is available to purchase from both and

You can check out the contents list below:-

One Story Short  – Gustavo Bondoni
Wildtopia  – Michael W. Lucht
The Definition of Johnny  – Damien Krsteski
Broken Machines  – Carl Barker
Walking The Mile  – Wayne Faust
Blur  – Brandon McNulty
Blood Is Red  – Mileva Anastasiadou
Waiting for the Show  – John K. Webb
Hela’s Brain  – Juliana Rew
Living Space – Frank Roger
The Portrait  – Adjie Henderson
Moments In Time – Gerri Leen
Joshua Was The First  – Kevin Edwin Stadt
The Mail Order Bride – Nidhi Singh
The Singularity  – Leah Lederman
It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper  – Andrew Marinus
Birthday  – Dave de Burgh
A Communicator With Animate Objects  – Dennis Mombauer
My Trip to the Circus  – Jason Lairamore

Wrap Party

Following on from the print launch of Mummy Knows Best at the back end of last year, the e-book is going live at the end of this month, with a Facebook Launch Party happening on Friday 2nd February (19:00-21:00) to coincide with the release.

Several of the authors involved (including myself) will be attending the party to chat, answer questions and give away some funky prizes as well, so if you’re at a loose end on the first Friday night in February, why not pop along and see what’s hidden away beneath all those bandages.

You can find the Party page below or by running a Facebook search for ‘Mummy Knows Best’:-






UPDATE (2018-01-25):

The link to the ebook buy page is now live over at Amazon, available at the bargain price of £0.99 / $1.38 at the moment. Anyone purchasing the ebook between now and the FB Launch on Friday 2nd Feb will automatically be entered into the draw for a chance to win one of the fabulous prizes being given out at the party.

Blood from the Mummy’s Tome?

I’m pleased to announce that, after a brief revision, Terror Tree’s ‘Mummy Knows Best‘ anthology is no longer under wraps, having arisen once more on both and to terrorize the living.

Featuring brand new work from fifteen authors on a central theme, the book houses stories of mummies from around the globe, including Egypt, Latvia, Britain, Japan and Peru (as well as a couple of tales from outside of the box as well).

If you like new twists on a classic monster, then why not dig up a copy (just beware of the curse!).


From the Vault…

An in-depth review of all the stories collected in Parlour Tricks is currently in progress over at the Vault of Evil website, with eight of the fourteen tales covered so far.

A warning though, for those of you who haven’t yet read the book, as the review does contain some spoilers!

Category: Reviews  Leave a Comment
Tomorrow slightly delayed

Indie Authors Press have recently posted an update about their upcoming SF anthology, ‘Issues of Tomorrow‘, which will include my story ‘Broken Machines‘.

The book is now due for a slightly later release date in December, which makes it a great idea for an early stocking filler.

More news to follow as it develops.


Electronic Nightmares

As of this week, you’ll now be able to download a copy of Parlour Tricks on your kindle or equivalent device, meaning you can scare yourself silly for les than three quid without even leaving the comfort of your armchair, bed or wherever it is you tend to do your reading.

Links to the Amazon download pages below and on the Publications tab:-


A less expensive hat?

The paperback version of my first collection, ‘Parlour Tricks’, is now available and can be purchased through all the usual outlets, for those of you who prefer your fiction a little cheaper than the hardback version:- / / Parallel Universe Publications

If you’re wanting to get your copy delivered in short order, I’d recommend ordering direct from David @ Parallel Universe as, being the publisher, he’s carrying a greater stock and you’re less likely to have to wait for a printing.