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You Only Get One Shot

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
What would you do if someone demanded you write the best story of your life, to be judged online? That your life depended on it.
Four well-known authors receive an email telling them they are responsible for a suicide. Their antagonist makes it clear she is out for revenge and they have no option but to comply. Their task is to post the best story they can imagine online
Kindle Edition, 134 pages
Published July 17th 2017 by Kevin J. Kennedy
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Janie C.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four authors receive an email from an anonymous source. A fifth author is dead, and the sender claims to have killed her. According to the sender, all five authors are guilty of committing the same devastating action. For personal reasons, the killer is eager to strike again. Each writer must write and publicly post a story by that very evening. Failure to do so will result in death. The author of the best story will be allowed to live. Each of the four "contestants" commits to writing and posti ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Fun concept. I was a little let down by the stories but the ending had an excellent twist. My full review is here --->
July Is The Shadow Out of Time The Haunted Reading Room
REVIEW: YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT by Kevin J. Kennedy and J. C. Michael

YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT is a delightfully creative, engagingly constructed horror novel. It's also a mystery, almost of locked-room stature, as if Agatha Christie had partnered with Edward Lee. The engrossed reader gets more than one shot: counting the Epilogue, there are actually five discrete stories! Someone has lost a loved one to apparent suicide--but that someone blames four popular authors for the death. Allegedly each of th
Lisa Lee
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of Creepshow, Trick R Treat, and Heavy Metal, Kennedy and Michael give us 4 horror stories within a horror thriller. This cleverly executed nod to the old cinemati treats is centered around writers and writing as the authors write for their very lives.

The stories by the writers/characters vary one from another so much in style and content, it is easy to believe they were really written by different people. Read them all. Which is your favorite? Read the whole story. Who would yo
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So imagine getting an email, reminding you of a past sin, informing you that you need to write a story, the best story you have ever written, or face certain death. Well this is the situation forced upon four authors. Produce or die.
This book is very unique, with different stories within the main story line. Very enjoyable read with a great outcome. Highly recommend this novella, along with the authors. I'll definitely be reading more of their work, oh no... I've just received an email....
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was fabulous, a highly enjoyable read!
It was like a really clever collection of shorts disguised as a novella, it's basically four short stories with a wrap-around/weaved-through tale, for a total of five stories.
A unique approach with an original backdrop, I was impressed by how they arranged it all out.
Yea, the set-up, lay-up, and execution of this was spot-on, I just loooved the whole concept.

We open up with a mysterious gal at a coffee house, compiling a special email for a group of f
Nicole (TheBookWormDrinketh)
“So, do you think you wrote a winning story?”

The answer is, yes. Yes they did.

This short story had a FANTASTIC concept!! 4 Authors are contacted via email and informed that they must write and post a short horror story before 8pm, or their lives are forfeit. Out of the 4, only the writer of the best story will survive, but the others will not know where their swift punishment is coming from… or when. The characters are:

“She couldn’t remember giving any upcoming authors a hard time. She was
Erica Hatch
You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael is a fast paced horror novella filled with violence and suspense, sprinkled with the paranormal and other bizarre elements. Of course, I really enjoyed it!! And phew, what an interesting plot!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.

WOW! What an intense beginning! I knew right from chapter one that this was going to be a nov
Dez Nemec
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Four authors are required to write a story to atone for a sin in their past. They all receive the same email demanding that they write a story by 8pm that evening. The author of the best of the 4 gets to live. The rest…

The reader is grabbed immediately, drawn into “her” pain and anger (whomever “she” may be). What follows are 4 stories written for the author’s lives. Finally, after all 4 stories are written and posted per the email's instructions, the authors are "notified" of the results. An in
P.J. Blakey-Novis
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable, original story. A clever way of bringing a group of short stories together and adding a frightening connection between them all. A real pleasure to read.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four writers receive an anonymous email telling them they are responsible for a suicide. As a consequence, each must submit a short story for judgement online. Little information is given except that this is a competition with a difference - the three losing writers will die. Non-compliance is not an option.

At first they wonder if it's some kind of unfunny joke, but each comes to the conclusion that they may as well enter... just in case. They submit their stories and they await their fate. Was
Yvonne Davies
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When 4 Indie authors receive an email, write the best story of your life and I will decide which one will live. Is it serious or is it a prank? Not wanting to risk it they all write what they think is their best story.
The sender of the email, was very sure that the authors would write their story and that just showed how confident she was with herself. At the start of the story I did feel that she was getting revenge for her loss. As the main story progressed you could sense how sadistic she was
Elizabeth Cash
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, this one right here, is exactly why Kennedy is one of my favorite authors. He gives a tale so chilling that it leaves you terrified. Of course, he was not alone in the making of this haunting read, J. C. Michael played a part and these two created a masterpiece. The sickening charm this novella gives will make you question why you love reading the content within so much. The only answer I can give to that question: your just as sick and twisted as the authors who wrote it. I know I am ...more
Robin Goodfellow
-I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You Only Get One Shot, by Kevin J. Kennedy and J.C. Michael, is a horrific account involving four unfortunate authors who were subjected to a competition to see who can write the best story, all the while determining who lives and who dies.

The book begins with a mysterious woman, who is enraged by these authors that, she believed, drove her friend to suicide. She sends out four emails, saying that if they do not write and pos
William Bitner Jr.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, horror
Genre - Horror/Novella
Pages - 134
Publication Info - Kevin J. Kennedy, July 17, 2017
Format - Kindle
Stars - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“You Only Get One Shot: A Horror Novella” by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael is to die for (in more ways than one)! This novella is jam-packed with some original and cleverly scripted and laid-out short stories that are skillfully woven together to climax into one stellar novella. The fact that this book was written by two different authors only adds to its authenticity and genius a
J.A. Sullivan
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
What if your life depended on the next story you wrote? Would you be able to create something worthy of being pardoned by your executioner? That’s the task faced by Fiona, Diane, Drexl, and Simon when they receive an email by an anonymous woman threatening their lives. If they don’t submit a story, they die. If the story isn’t good enough, they die. And to top it off, they only get one shot to get it right.

Within the larger story, ‘You Only Get One Shot’ gives the reader four terrifically grueso
Linda Watkins
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novella was intriguing. A tale about writers, it actually contains four different stories which are an integral part of the one larger tale.

The story starts with an email, written to four authors who apparently attended a writer’s conference with the email writer’s lover. The lover, a novice at the writing game, presented his work to the four and was belittled and ridiculed. As a result, the lover committed suicide.

Thus, authors Kennedy and Michael have set up a revenge scenario. The angry
Christina Bergling
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You Only Get One Shot cleverly combines the appeal of an anthology into a single story. When four horror authors are compelled to draft new works as part of a sick game, the story then includes the base narration as well as the four individual writings of the authors. The premise is unique and provides the appeal of multiple stories while still remaining encapsulated in one. I enjoyed taking the detour into each sub-story then returning to the larger narrative. I think the story would have benef ...more
Lydian Faust
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novella centers around the conceit that four (technically five) indie horror authors have done a grievous wrong to the loved one of an anonymous blackmailer. The framework of "You Only Get One Shot" is that each indie horror author is challenged to write their best short story... or else. This framework requires a great suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader, but I found the concept intriguing. The submitted challenge stories of the "authors" were all fairly good (again, it is th ...more
Lesley Short
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I review books I mainly look at the enjoyment factor, as I'm not a writer myself but an avid reader of many years. Wow, this is the first book that I've read by this author and found it to be addictive reading yet chilling at the same time. Four authors with all differing characters have been requested to write a story that will enable them to live or be killed. I was totally gripped throughout the book to the point where I read the whole book in one sitting, ignoring all around me, compell ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not one to generally write reviews, but this one compelled me to pen a few words. 'You Only Get One Shot' is, on the surface, a collection of interwoven short stories with a narrative that ties them all together, but if you look closer, you begin seeing amazing little details that turn this into something much more. Cleverly written and professionally executed, the book takes you through a range of emotions. You're going to love some of these characters, and likely hate some of them equally ...more
Becky Stephens
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
You Only Get One Shot was intriguing and cleverly written, with a collection of four short horror stories woven into a larger, deranged tale, tying them together.

Four authors receive an email from an anonymous source demanding that they write and post a horror story with a hard and fast deadline. Ignoring her email or contacting the police will result in death. The author whom she deems the winner will be allowed to live. So, we get four short horror stories within another horror story. It's a
Andretta Schellinger
This was really interesting, not only in format, but in story. I liked it :)
Nia Ireland
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it

This was an incredibly fun and original book - with four completely distinct short stories set within one larger story.

I imagine that this book is a lot scarier if you're an author - having the quality of your writing measured directly up against others', knowing that losing will cost you your life. There are some fun nods towards short story anthology writers (I know Kennedy for one is involved in collecting and producing short story anthologies), and the insecurities that authors feel - I'm ju
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five different stories in one volume. The overarching one involves a game that a shady woman plays with four writers who allegedly caused someone to kill himself due to their harsh criticism. Said authors need to write a story and whoever writes the best one gets to live. Is this a joke? Just in case, all four comply. The tales they produce are part of this novella. It's impressive how each story could have been written by a different person - even to the point where you forget that these are fi ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found the conceit of the main story line to essentially create a short story collection wrapped in a larger narrative was quite clever. I liked the short stories within to varying degrees, but that also served the main plot nicely. It was a short, but fun read.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the cover for You Only Get One Shot. Even though none of the writers use a typewriter it's far more creepy looking than a picture of a computer monitor would have been. The title is nice and clear and the author's names don't take up an abnormally large space.

Horror movie anthologies generally have a unifying wrap-around story that the smaller stories fit into. You don't see this very often with anthology novels. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. This is one of the cases where
Sandra Lopez
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Four writers. One test. And a fatal judgment call. Remember, YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT.

The task is to write the best story ever. Those deemed that write a good story will live and those that don’t will die. Oooh, chilling!

This was an interesting premise. I mean, you’re basically writing under duress—practically with a gun to your temple the whole time. Forget writer’s block; try writer’s impotence.
We begin with Fiona, who writes a story about a kidnapped girl. Readers have the opportunity to read
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018

I received this book to give an honest review.

I loved how fast-paced and full of detail this book was. So four authors have to write a story or they die not too much pressure, right?

There can only be one person who writes the best story and that person gets to live. With these four authors that are in the story, we get to get into their horror-filled mind with the stories they will produce. I think one of the writers is a really messed up individual and wa
Cyrene Olson
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an intriguing novella this, and you get the benefit of extra short stories within the novella, that the authors that are targeted have to write. Four authors recieve a letter, letting them know they will die if they don’t post a short story online, if the killer likes the story, the author will live. The anxiety levels are high - will their story make the cut and keep them alive?

A short, on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller - that is short enough to read in one sitting, and just long enough to
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Kevin J Kennedy is an author/editor from Scotland. He is the co-author of You Only Get One Shot, and the man behind the best-selling Collected Horror Shorts anthologies and 100 Word Horrors. His stories have featured in many other notable anthologies in the horror genre and he has recently become a guest editor for several publishers. He is an active member of the Horror Writers Association.

He li
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