Monthly Archives: October 2012

Guest Post – S.B. Knight

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The Undead Connection

A vampire and a zombie walk into a bar…. Okay so that’s the makings for a bad joke but it does combine two interesting creatures. Vampires and Zombies, the undead creatures, are similar in many aspects. Some would stand up and walk out right about now as many think zombies are merely reanimated flesh but I would argue that the flesh would need to be dead first in order to be reanimated. That, of course, is another post altogether. I do find it interesting that we don’t see a large number of novels with both creatures stalking their prey. Oh, there are some novels recently released that crosses this line in a grand way but I have heard little about them. Is it possible that their similarities are the main reason why they are kept apart?

You think I’m crazy don’t you? Well, that is debatable as well. No, I don’t think I am. Zombies and Vampires, they both died as some point in time and were revived. They both prey on humans. They both prefer the darkness of night or, now-a-days, the low sunlight. They can be killed in similar ways, for example, if you remove the head the fight is usually over.

What is the major difference? You would think the physical appearance right? I’m not so sure. I’ve seen vampires that were more monster than anything else. No, I believe it is the intellect. You see the biggest difference between vampires and zombies is intelligence. Real vampires, not the moody ones, are both cunning and intelligent. Zombies are primal creatures that think very little. They react and move on the need to feed their hunger for flesh. Here is a question for you – if a zombie was given or gained intelligence what would it be? That’s something to think about.

Why did I bring this up? What does this have to do with my upcoming novel, Drago’s Revenge? Drago is a vampire. A wicked, cunning, intelligent, and brutal vampire set on one thing….to attain permanent immortality. What about the zombie? I have wrestled with this one. You see there is a character in my first novel, Born of Blood, that plays a part in Drago’s Revenge by the name of Charles. He is very intelligent, can eat food, drink blood and is extremely powerful but he is not a vampire. He doesn’t fit the mold of a zombie either…he is somewhere in between.

Drago’s Revenge Excerpt – Reba threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, the taste of their tears bold between their lips. Sam helped Reba to her feet, and with bags in hand, they walked down the hall toward the elevator. Sam pushed the button and turned to Reba.

“I’m going to the nursery to get Christian and make sure he is all right. I need you to go to the front desk and finish the paperwork.”

Reba chewed her lip. “Okay, but don’t take too long…and be careful.”

“I will. You be careful, and stay around people until I get there.”

The elevator doors opened, and Reba stepped in. Sam made his way to the nursery. He approached the doors and slowed as the babies inside cried in unison.

The double doors swung shut behind him, and he looked around. The lights were dim except for the lone desk lamp that rested on its side. Sam stepped over to the desk and found the first nurse on the floor. A pool of blood expanded from the gash ripped in her throat.

Damn it. We got to go now.

 

About the author – Drago’s Revenge is the next step as SB Knight continues to pursue his passion for writing novels that deliver both thrills and chills. His desire is to improve the craft he loves with each novel he writes. He strives to deliver fresh, new ideas and stories in the Dark Fantasy genre. Currently he is writing the third novel of The Blood Chronicles.

When not writing, SB Knight enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors. During a normal week he can be found on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and his blog The New Author. Easily approached, SB Knight enjoys chatting with readers and fans alike. Information about SB Knight, his books, and upcoming projects can be found at http://www.sb-knight.com.

Born of Blood, released in March of 2012
Drago’s Revenge, releases in October 2012
Demathia Rising, releases in March 2013

“Writing novels that inject new blood into the world of Dark Fantasy is my true passion. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies…you only know what you’ve read.”


Special – From now until October 30 you can PRE-ORDER Drago’s Revenge for $4.76 (that’s 20% off retail price). PLUS, when you pre-order you get Born of Blood for free! That’s right, save 20% AND get a free ebook! Pre-order Drago’s Revenge today!

Links – website – http://www.sb-knight.com/

Blog – http://www.sbkdarkfantasy.blogspot.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/FansofSBK
Twitter – http://twitter.com/authorsbknight

MuseItUp – https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=506&category_id=58&manufacturer_id=144&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

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Guest Post – Paula Stiles

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One of my favorite films of all time is Casablanca. It’s not just the witty dialogue, or the setting (I love stories set in Africa, especially the old-time ones), or the acting, or the cinematography, or the historical serendipity of Operation Torch a few months after the film opened. Or the fact that Humphrey Bogart is my favorite actor, ever, since I watched The African Queen at age of four.

Despite being filmed on a sound set, as one of the many films-that-took-a-week during that period, the film feels real. It tells you something about the world, a truth, that is unique to it. I think this truth is best summed up in the most famous scene from the film, when freedom fighter, Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid), gets all the expats to stand up and defiantly sing “La Marseillaise” to drown out the arrogant Nazis singing “Die Wacht am Rhein.”

It’s a beautiful, stirring scene made especially poignant by the strange factoid that most of the extras were, themselves, refugees from Europe and that many of them had survived the Casablanca route to America and freedom. To them, this moment was real and a beautiful lie they desperately wanted to believe, all at the same time, and that ghostly image of true emotion is captured on film like the zombie soldiers in the late-WWI silent film, J’Accuse, played by real soldiers who died before the film ever reached the theaters.

In horror, I see this kind of truth revealed in the sense of what scares the person writing (or directing, or even acting, in the case of film and TV) the story. You can make me jump or gross me out all you want, but if you don’t Show me what scares you—in a way that I can feel—I won’t be scared.

For example, when I watch the episode, “Scarecrow,” on the show, Supernatural, there’s a scene in there where one of the brothers, Dean, is sitting in a small-town diner, trying to warn an oblivious young couple against becoming a human sacrifice for the shady townspeople to their god, without becoming a victim, too. The way he is filmed, he is portrayed as the monster, but the way he is treated, he is portrayed as the misunderstood, cassandra-like victim of human evil.

What I get from that scene is that the actor who plays Dean, Jensen Ackles, and the director of the episode, Kim Manners, are both afraid of people. That is to say, they are both afraid of the pitchfork-wielding mob, the witchburners, the lynchers, the posse—the idea of human beings confronting the unknown in an unthinking group, angry and scared. “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,” as Shakespeare puts it in Julius Caesar. The human mob is a terrifying thing.

Alfred Hitchcock edited a creepy-as-all-get-out anthology, decades ago, called Stories That Scared Even Me. In the introduction, he admitted that he had originally wanted to title it just “Stories That Scared Me,” because the point of the anthology was not to show how tough and difficult he was to scare. Quite the opposite. According to him, he was a total wuss. He liked being scared and put himself in a position to be scared a lot—then he’d turn around and do it to his audience in his movies. Rumor has it he also liked to do it to his cast.

You can even see this principle in a drama like Casablanca. In the bar scene, we find out what frightens the refugees—the Nazis—by seeing them stand up to the Gestapo officers. Being brave for a brief moment exposes what they are really afraid of. We also find out what frightens the Gestapo—Europe uniting and standing up to Germany, with support from America represented by Rick tacitly allowing it. Their fears are what the audience connects to in that scene.

That makes sense. Fear is a very strong emotion and it’s not only used in horror. But the attraction of horror is that it’s the one genre where fear appears most naked and is exploited the most. Great horror taps primal truths and lets them burst out in an arterial spray. Some people think that’s sick and crude. Others of us think it’s a mighty fine genre to write and read. You can consider me in the latter group.

 

Bio: Possessing a quixotic fondness for difficult careers, Paula Stiles has driven ambulances, taught fish farming for the Peace Corps in West Africa and earned a Scottish PhD in medieval history, studying Templars and non-Christians in Spain. She is the author of horror novel, “The Mighty Quinn,[http://www.amazon.com/The-Mighty-Quinn-ebook/dp/B009IB98C8/]” co-written supernatural mystery novels, “Fraterfamilias [http://www.amazon.com/Fraterfamilias-ebook/dp/B004FV501Y/]” and the upcoming “Confraternitas,” and non-fiction medieval history book, “Templar Convivencia: Templars and Their Associates in 12th and 13th Century Iberia [http://www.amazon.com/Templar-Convivencia-Templars-Associates-ebook/dp/B008CXB038/].” She is Editor in Chief of the Lovecraft/Mythos ‘zine/micropress Innsmouth Free Press [www.innsmouthfreepress.com]. You can find her at: http://thesnowleopard.net.

 

Guest Post – Lyra Mcken

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Vital Signs

A Horror Short

Emily Walker

Releasing – October 31st, 2012

 

The harvester is coming…

A stranger to the country, free from his chains. Money is his goal, and he takes from the living to make his way. Death doesn’t phase him as it’s just a means to an end.

What happens when your rescuer becomes your worst nightmare?

  

About  the Author

Emily Walker

 

Emily Walker resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel. In addition to horror she writes paranormal fiction, paranormal romance, science fiction, and adult fiction.

 

Twitter – @authorewalker
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authoremilywalker

Websites – www.selfpublishordie.com and www.lyramcken.com

 

For those of you who can’t wait to read Vital Signs then you can get it before Halloween. It is here early, get it and get scared! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/247065

Zomblog: Snoe Teaser from TW Brown

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I hope you enjoyed the guest blog with TW Brown yesterday about his newest release, Zomblog: Snoe. Today he was kind enough to offer a small sample of the story for you! And if you like what you read, you can grab yourself a Kindle copy!

 

 

Friday, June 1st

 

Five years ago, I received my mother’s journal. Now, at age nineteen, I think I have the discipline to begin one myself. Sure, I tried a few times in the past, but it just never took. I would forget, and then, once I remembered, so much time had passed that I would just give up and say why bother.

A few days ago, Mama Lindsay came back from her unit’s escort of the Rose Colony’s president out to the Ten Pacific Nations Confederated tribal lands, something to do with a renewal of a bunch of treaties.

Anyways, she sent a messenger for me to pick her up after her DECON certification. (Everybody who ventures out of the confines of a Safe Zone has to be tested before they are allowed in general population.) It seems she found all my old failed attempts at starting a journal when she was loading out for her trip. She didn’t want to bring it up until she got back just in case we had a blow up over it.

I should probably come clean with the fact that I supposedly have a hot temper. Mama Lindsay says it is proof of genetic influence on personality.

So I guess she decided to wait until she got home to have the big conversation about me keeping a journal. I think she was being a little silly. After all, it was just a little scribbling on paper. We have a rule…no arguing before a patrol. Nobody wants to have their last memories of a loved one be of some fight over something stupid. We started that rule after Mama Janie and her entire farming group were wiped out by a Mega Herd—some reports claim there were over twenty thousand undead that day. I was only five or six at the time, but I think Mama Lindsay and Mama Janie had gotten into it over something like taking out the trash or sorting the compost; basically they had an argument over something mundane. To this day, I’ve never had the heart to ask what exactly they had quarreled over.

Mama Lindsay says the only reason she didn’t kill herself in those rough days that followed was because of me. She said I was her sole reason to live for almost two years after Mama Janie died. A few days later, Mama Lindsay sat me on her lap and we made a pinky promise to never let ourselves separate if we are angry at each other. I am proud to say we kept that promise all these years,

When I met her at the DECON station, I could tell she’d had a tough run. Half of her weapons were either missing from their sheathes, or visibly damaged. Her eyes had dark circles under them and her forehead had those two deep creases that it gets when she is either exhausted or pissed.

I took her field pack and we headed to the supply depot for groceries. At first, she didn’t say a word. Since she had called for me, I knew she would get to it when she was ready. Finally she just stopped walking and turned to look me in the eye.

“Are you leaving?”

When Mama Lindsay asked me that question, I guess I was shocked. More than that, I realized that I guess I’d known for a long time that anybody who knew me, or better yet, knew my birth mother, waited to see if I would leave on some crazy journey.

That is the price you pay when your birth mother is famous for being a Traveller. By the way, that’s as close to an insult here as you can get. Here in the Rose Colony, a ‘Traveller’ is somebody who refuses to be a part of the community.

In the world we live in, not being a part of a community carries the same stigma as the Old World welfare whore. I learned in one of my history classes that there was a small sub-culture of women who had babies, lots of times by different men, and lived off of checks they got from the government. I came home from school with a lot of questions that day.

The problem with Travellers is that they don’t even try to help anybody but themselves. They scavenge the Old World and sell anything worthwhile to the highest bidder. Sure, they risk their lives—not many Travellers live past twenty-five according to the statistics—and usually have some amazing artifacts to show for it, but it all self-centered.

It hurt me a little that, after all these years, Mama Lindsay could think I would do anything like that. I was raised to be a part of the community effort. I can’t really remember much about Mama Janie, but the images I do have are one of a person who always helped others and worked very hard. I have one clear memory about how when she would come in from the fields, she would always have something from the garden hidden in one of her pockets for me to find when I helped take them for washing.

It is sad that I know more about the father who died before I was born and the mother who abandoned me than I do about a woman who loved me, told me bedtime stories, and taught me to read and write.

Seeing how worried Mama Lindsay was at that moment made it that much more nerve-wracking about what I had to say. When the words came out of my mouth, I was not sure how she would react.

“I want to join the Escort and Expedition Force.”

Mama Lindsay has been the commander of the EEF for three years. I still remember how proud I was the day that the colony president handed her the sword and crossbow. I knew on that day that I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I also knew that she wanted me to choose a safer profession.

I honestly believe that one of her biggest concerns over me was that I would get outside the walls and feel drawn to explore the world. After all, it is what made my birth mother famous.

That brings me to my birth mother. Meredith Gainey. She and my birth father, Samuel Todd, have the three best selling books of all time in the ZE (Zombie Era). You might think it is neat to be the daughter of two celebrities.

No. It’s not.

You see, there are a few different sorts when it comes to people and my parents. With Sam, it goes one of two ways; there are the creepy ones who see my father as some sort of demi-god, they get all weird when they meet me and it is actually kinda scary. And then there are the ones who have basically memorized his writings and feel the need to tell me about how “deep and philosophical” my father was as a writer.

The reactions about my mother are, shall we say, a bit different. There are some who see her as this avenging warrior. Her battle with The Genesis Brotherhood is a very popular story. There are some who see her as one of the early pioneers who blazed some sort of trail. There are others who see her as a selfish woman who stands as a reminder for a lot of what was wrong with the pre-ZE society.

I just see her as the person who abandoned me right after I was born. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful. I had two amazing mothers who loved me and devoted their lives to making me a good person.

I can still see the look on Mama Lindsay’s face. All of that relief that came first…then the typical “motherly” concern. No, her baby was not going to follow in her birth-mother’s footsteps. Yay! Instead, she was choosing the most dangerous profession in the colony. Crap.

Saturday, June 2nd

 

Jenifer came over today. I guess Mama Lindsay told her about my decision. Jenifer travelled with Meredith for quite a while. She got burned up real bad during the battle with The Genesis Brotherhood.

I guess it is okay to call her “Jenifer” in my journal. Everybody else calls her “Madame President.”

She wanted to congratulate me on my decision to join the EEF. By the big deal she made of it, I could tell she was enjoying Mama Lindsay’s annoyance.

Jenifer used to be the person Mama Janie and Mama Lindsay called when they needed somebody to watch me. I guess they went through a few sitters when I was two or three because I was “a hellion” according to the stories. In an act of desperation, they called Jenifer. I guess they thought a half-burnt young woman with most of her head unable to grow hair because of all of the scars, coupled with her shriveled raisin of a left eye, would scare me straight. Instead, it seems that I formed quite a bond with her.

I was with ‘Aunt’ Jeni when I killed my first zombie. We were out picking wild blueberries when one came out of the tall grass. Creepers are the worst. Missing their lower half, they get through the picket lines more often than a walker. This one had an even bigger advantage: it was a child.

He couldn’t have been any older than six—my age at the time. His clothing had long since deteriorated, and the years had taken their toll on the belly of the wretched thing.

I remember every detail about that boy. The way you could tell his hair had been curly, even though it was so caked and matted with filth, the piece of bone that stuck out from what remained of the left leg—which was missing from just above the knee. The fact that the entire right leg stayed intact and still had a leather boot practically grafted to the foot.

Jenifer gave me a spear and told me it was time that I learned how to put one down. I thought it would be easy. You hear about it or read my birth parent’s journals and think there is nothing to it. Pop it in the head and it’s done.

It took me three tries. The first time, I jabbed and my spear scraped down one side of its face. The second time, I stabbed it through the neck. I got so mad that I kicked it onto its back and stabbed it through the eye.

I remember staring at it for what felt like just a few seconds, but it was noticeably darker when Jenifer took my hand and led me home. I must have counted each of the nine remaining ribs a couple hundred times.

Anyways, it was sweet of Jenifer to come over and wish me luck. I am pretty sure she doesn’t do that for every single person who enlists in the EEF.

Sunday, June 3rd

 

My last day as a civilian—so to speak. I met with a few of my friends. (It is a bit creepy with how many ‘Sams’ and ‘Merediths’ I know.) We all went out to the corridor with crossbows, sat up on the barricades, and passed around a bottle of homemade blackberry wine while we took turns dropping shamblers with the crossbow.

The parents all hate it when we do it, but kids have been doing this for years. It is some sort of ritual. Nobody knows who started it, but for some reason, if you join the EEF, you come out here on the last day. You and a few friends drink a bottle and shoot the crossbow. The winner is the person who loses the fewest bolts. I remember something in my mom’s journal about her crossbow being fitted with the retriever reel. Of course, that is standard issue now. Nobody has bolts to waste.

I do have a guy that I like…but we already talked it over and decided that we will hold off getting serious until I finish my first tour. We almost ‘did the deed’ a few nights ago, but he was super sweet and it was actually Tim who put a halt to things.

That brings me to my sweetie, Tim Coatney. He was one of the kids rescued from that mansion where The Genesis Brotherhood had their base. He works the farms and is a very BIG boy. He has this baby fine blonde hair that I love to run my fingers through and arms that make the world disappear. I know that I am going to miss him, and I know that it is possible that some other girl will scoop him up when I leave on my first run.

As I lie in bed with my candle and this silly little book, I wonder if I will be able to keep it up. I actually lost it today…it was in the dining hall at the table where I ate breakfast. I am already wondering how my birth parents carried those damn things through all the crap they went through.

Guest Post – TW Brown

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It has been a crazy road when I look over my shoulder at the Zomblog series. Considering that the very first book was never intended to be published, I would have to say that I have very little to complain about. For those who didn’t know, I actually began work on Zomblog as a daily writing exercise that was supposed to get me warmed up for writing my first real zombie novel—Dead: The Ugly Beginning. When a small publisher found it (as an actual blog), I was asked if I had considered publication. Long story short, a last minute email with a “deal change” that meant less money for me and more for the publisher brought the whole thing to a screeching halt. That year, my wife Denise presented me with the physical copy of Zomblog.

As time went on, due to the ledge that I left readers on with Zomblog, I wrote a second book, creatively titled Zomblog II. Since trilogies are fairly common, I eventually penned Zomblog: The Final Entry. In my heart and head, I was satisfied with the series and prepared to put it to rest. Some of my readers were not exactly happy with that decision. I’ve always claimed that I am in this for the readers and see them almost as my boss. After a few very adamant “requests” from some very dedicated readers, I agreed to return to the Zomblog universe. The question I had for myself was this: What the heck are you going to do now?

Fans of the series know (and many asked) about Sam and Meredith’s daughter. So it seemed logical that Snoe be the central figure for the new book. To that end, I had to put the world on fast forward and then introduce the readers to a world almost twenty years after the first zombie got up and took a bite out of some poor unfortunate individual. Snoe grew up in a world where zombies are a way of life.

The biggest challenge was getting inside the mind of an eighteen-year-old girl; being a forty-seven-year-old man…that was quite a task. I had to go back to all of those excellent History Channel shows, Life After People, to get my brain around how the landscape would be changed. Also, I wanted this to be something different. I did not want it to be “just another zombie story.” Also, I had to take into account that some folks may pick this book up without having read any of the others in the series. I had to balance giving new readers a good story with rewarding the fans of Zomblog. One thing I have learned when it comes to a world that you create…your readers know it far better than you ever will.

I guess if you take anything away from this before you set off on your little adventure with Snoe, it is that this is NOT a “zombie” book. Yes, there are a few zombie appearances, but after twenty years, they really have been managed as far as being a threat. I don’t delve into biology, so just assume that whatever freakish event (like those giant rat-type animals discovered in Indonesia back when I wrote the original Zomblog) that has turned people to zombies is also keeping them from all turning into decomposed piles of goo. What I want to do over this three book story arc (and them I am OFFICIALLY done with Zomblog) is delve into the people. What makes us tick?

I’m no shrink, but I have studied people. I catch some flack about how negative I can sometimes portray humanity. The thing is, if something like this were to happen, it would devastate our infrastructure. First responders would be decimated and hospitals would be a nightmare. Those who are always the first to offer help would also be the first to fall. What would that leave? Cowards? Those people who tend to look the other way? The bad guys? Would some decent folks survive? Sure…but just pick up your paper or watch the evening news if you don’t think there is some legitimate evil right in your own back yard. People out for themselves would outnumber the rest. And with nobody to enforce the rules…have you ever been in a citywide blackout? How about watching some footage of the Los Angeles riots? How much worse would it get if ALL law and order were wiped out? These are the things I considered when I sat down to write Zomblog: Snoe.

Above anything else, I hope I entertain you. When it all comes down to the bottom line…a story should entertain. If I accomplished that one task, then I have succeeded in my ultimate goal. I don’t have any lofty ideals that I am trying to push…I am not into being symbolic or trying to make some grand statement. When I sit down to write, I have one goal: entertain you.

Look for a Sample of this Amazing Book tomorrow!

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Interview with Tonia Brown and Armand Rosamilia by Mandy DeGeit

I was recently asked to be part of the Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I love to be part of things, so it was no surprise I said yes. I had the choice to either host a blog or interview. I picked the latter, mostly because I always have something to ask someone.

The recievers of said questioning were none other than:

Armand Rosamilia:

and

Tonia Brown

(Now you know what they look like… Just in case.)

I suppose I should be fair (and conceited)… This is me:

Alright, enough wasting time with pictures… Let’s get on with this interview!

Hi! *shakes hands* I’d like to first start off by saying thanks for asking me to be part of this.

Now, I’m not going to guarantee my questions are “normal” but I’ll try to keep them as sensical as possible. I’m going to start with…

View original post 1,289 more words

Interview with Brent Abell

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Was the original idea for the story (even the original short story it is based on) so controversial a subject matter?
     -Not as much so.  In the first drafts, Andi was not new to the clinic and I made a comment about ‘getting in the stirrups to ride the death ride again and again’.  She wasn’t a very sympathetic character.  In the end of the first version, I almost cheered at the end.  The abortion angle always existed in the story, but most of the other things were added in later versions. 
 
Did you do any research about the pros and cons of abortions for the story?
     -I researched the protests, different proceedures, and I used some of my views in the book.  I’m not saying which ones are mine, but everyone needs to read it with an open mind.
 
Do you think the timing of the novella’s release, so close to the Presidential elections, will help or hurt book sales?
     -I don’t think it will have much of an impact.  Right now, a few weeks away from the election, most of the focus is on the economy, jobs, and our lack of foreign policy.  Since most other domestic policy issues have taken a backseat, a bump in sales would be a welcome surprise.
 
The story hints at a much bigger world you have yet to explore. Can we expect to see more of these characters in the future?
     -White Creek is a cursed town on cursed soil.  Something that transpiered when the town was founded set the stage for it to become a beacon for evil.  Chris and Roy will appear again and the good Father Dunhill is going to have a large role in the town’s future.  The three people targeted in the book were not by accident, he has a plan and is setting in motion events that will bring the town to the brink.
 
I got nothing. Add another question.
     -When will you finish “Southern Devils” and the other two novellas and one novel you have started?
     -Well, I’ll have more time in the next few months to pound the stories out.  I have a few shorts I’m looking at and putting together a short story collection proposal, but I really want to knock the novel out in November as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I hope some big things are coming so stay tuned at http://brentabell.wordpress.com!

Guest Post – Brent Abell

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I never intended “In Memoriam” to be the way it turned out.  When the story started to flow through my fingers, through the keyboard, and onto the screen, it changed.  The issues raised in the book are very divisive in this country right now.  Running with a story that features abortion as the centerpiece scared me.  How would a story with it as a backdrop and my depiction of religious protesters be viewed?  I took some liberties with the protesters and based them more on a certain church that thinks being at soldier’s funerals and protesting them is a good idea.  
 
In the first drafts, the group is very rude and scary.  I toned them down and focused more on the leader of the group.  There were some things I looked at to prepare for the story.  I watched some videos of different protests, some peaceful and others not so peaceful.  I never could quite find what I wanted until I remembered a church group from the news that made their name by being a general pain in the ass during their protesting.  I also reshaped the story and needed a person behind the scenes pulling the strings and the good Father Dunhill stood out as the perfect candidate.  Not every tie is revealed in the book, but soon the rest of the story will play out.
 
Overall, I’m not saying what I believe in the book.  Some parts I agree with and others not, or do I?  It was never my intention to preach for either the pro or against side.  The religious overtones are mostly window dressing for the struggle one woman has with making her choice and how what we choose can have a ripple effect across different people’s lives.  The story is also a tale of supernatural revenge in a way I thought was new and disturbing.  I wanted to explore the possiblity that a unborn child would want revenge and justice for what happened to them.  People won’t agree with the way I portrayed the spirits, but it was the story that wanted told.
And look for an Interview with Brent Abell tomorrow morning as well!

The Week Ahead In Mando World

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I’m going to forget about last week… as far as writing went, it was a total bust. 1,500 words written on the upcoming Dying Days: The Siege of European Village, a collaboration with author Tim Baker. That’s it.

But as far as me and personal growth, it was a week of eye-openers. If you follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you’ve marveled at the many (many) daily check-ins at local eateries, drinking establishments and random places. I think the awesome Adeline Westerman summed it up when she asked ‘Don’t you ever eat at home?’. Not last week.

I started my journey on Thursday October 11th, celebrated the belated birthday of author Tim Baker, and then never stopped celebrating. Every night after was spent out in local Flagler County bars and restaurants, and crawling home at 2 am, getting up at 6 am to get my son to school, and then spending the day going to Palm Coast Power Lunches with friends and never writing. Having Biketoberfest the last few days here didn’t help, either. I simply hit the biker bars and drank, drank, drank.

As I drag myself out of bed today, and before the coffee has had time to rip through my system, I realize it was fun (it was awesome!) and I had such great company with me this week, but I need to get back to the proverbial grind. The reason I had so much spending money these last 10 days is because of my writing career. Time to refill the coffers.

With an announcement for Miami Spy Games and the scheduling of parts 2 – 5 coming soon, I need to focus on keeping the momentum rolling for the rest of the series and parts 6 – 13.

I also need to keep pace with Tim Baker and our aforementioned Dying Days: The Siege of European Village story (more details coming this week on it), and we have a book signing coming to Europa in Palm Coast this coming Tuesday night that should be awesome.

I also know I am way behind on delivering “Cabal”, the third Keyport Cthulhu story, as well as a ton of other ones. I have interview and blurb requests piling up, and the last 10 days of the Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012 I’m doing with authors Tonia Brown, Mark Tufo, James N. Cook and John O’Brien to do.

This coming week ahead is all about the writing, though. The goal is 2,000 words a day, no looking back on the wonderful week past and the drinking, eating and meeting of awesome new people in my life, and just focusing on the thing that got me here: the writing.

I hope you have a productive week ahead in whatever you do!

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Brent Abell talks about his latest, the controversial horror novella “In Memoriam”

Our Darkest Fears

Here we are friends.  We have arrived at the end of the journey for my first novella, In Memoriam.  The writing and re-writing have been completed.  The edits are finished and the formatting is done.  Now, ready for the world to read is my tale of love, revenge, and hate.

Being done is really bittersweet.  Getting this story finished and out there has consumed two years of my life and countless hours behind my keyboard pounding away on Andi’s story.  Looking back, it was worth every moment.  I have prepared myself for some negative comments and the such from the book however.  One does not simply write a book about abortion and vengeance minded fetus spirits without expecting some outrage.  It was how the story came out and for that I make no apologies.  If you get offended by the book, please stick around.  I’ve gotten the controversial book out…

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Guest Blog – Douglas Vance Castagna

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From the back cover of the paperback:

Before Eve, there was Lillith…

Adam’s first wife was not created from his rib but from the muck and mire of the earth. She soon wore out her welcome when she refused to allow herself to be subjugated by any one or anything. After leaving the Garden she gave birth to both the Incubus and Succubus.
Before art, there is inspiration…
Whispering into the ears of artists throughout the ages have been the Muses. Their benevolent guidance has helped their beneficiaries create some of the most enduring pieces of art in the world. For one artist though, his Muse is something far worse. She is guiding to creating a portrait of herself in perfect effigy. When the painting is complete, she will live again. The artist and mankind may not be so lucky this time.
Before the rise, there must be the fall…

Lillith is back and wants it all this time She is not happy with merely being reborn. She wants total control and has a problem with being bound to anyone or anything. She is the total embodiment of physical perfection and wanton sexuality. Men throughout the ages have killed for her and died for her. Pray she doesn’t set her sights on you.
Before Life, before love, before death, there is…

LUST

Reviews:

“Ultimately, Lust works because it combines sex, death, mystery, and gruesome acts of violence in a very reduced space. Since the author had a lot to tell in a little over 100 pages, there’s no superfluous writing anywhere and the narrative moves along at breakneck speed.” – Gabino Iglesias, HorrorTalk.com

“Electric. Brutal. Seductive. Not for the faint of heart. Castagna’s ‘Lust’ packs one Hell of a punch. Highly recommended for horror lovers on a time-budget. Lust has it all.” – DA Chaney, author of Cryptic

“Lust is a mile a minute thrill ride, filled with brutal sex and shocking horror only a splatter punk master is capable of delivering. Castagna’s latest does not disappoint. If you love twists and turns and being on the edge of your seat during a read, then “Lust” is a book for you.” – Wally World, Amazon Reviewer

Purchase as Kindle Download

http://www.amazon.com/Lust-ebook/dp/B009879QFQ

Purchase as Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Lust-Douglas-Vance-Castagna/dp/0957103395

Purchase as Paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lust-douglas-vance-castagna/1112896784?ean=9780957103399

About The Author

The author and his wife, Rafaela.

I was born in BrooklynNew York and lived there until I was 34. I spent a few years in Pennsylvania, and ultimately settled in New Jersey where I currently reside with my awesome wife, Rafaela. I have been a teacher for the past twenty years, and sadly have put writing on the back burner for many of those years.

I first started writing in High School, mostly poetry back then, and in college I wrote plays and screenplays and the like. I tried to get published, or produced, but it never happened. Then, as it has a habit of doing, life crept in, and I got lazy and stopped writing. Flash forward to last year, and I got the bug again. This time I tried my hand at horror, and it took. My novella is now out, just a year after I started writing again, in a new genre.

I have a few new ideas that I will be developing and hope to publish in 2013. Along with that, I plan on turning Lust into a screenplay.

I have been previously published in the anthologies, Wake Up Dead, and Ten Silver Bullets. Issue 2 of the Sirens Call Ezine featured my story, Electric Eye. In October, another story of mine will appear in the Crowded Quarantine anthology, Tales For The Toilet. I will also have a drabble in the upcoming Knightwatch Press’ Little Stories For The Smallest Room.

Feel free to contact me at douglasvancecastagna@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/DouglasVanceCastagna

Or follow me on twitter @cisthebigdog

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A Guest Post of Armand Rosamilia on Erik Gustafson’s Blog!

The Darkness Goes 'Round

Armand is one cool dude and a very talented horror writer. He has been here before and I still get hits on his blog post almost every week. This time he is part of the Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012. I am one just one stop of many…hope you visit every blog on the hop! The link is at the end of his blog.

Crack a beer and read on:

I Have Ideas… Trust Me!

Armand Rosamilia

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​I was at Sea World last Friday with my daughter, who turned twelve that day. I’m sitting at the buffet place (gotta get my money’s worth!) and talking to another guy next to me about stupid crap like being too old to go on rides, it’s too damn hot in Florida, my legs hurt, wah wah wah…
​Then he asked what I did for a living and I proudly told him I was…

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Guest Blog – Jaime Johnesee

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First off, I’d like to thank Armand for letting me hijack his blog for the day, it was awfully kind of him and I promise to clean up before I leave. *Stares at a pile of dirty dishes in the sink* It’s the least I can do. *Hopes my insurance is up to date*

 

Those who know me know I spent a good part of my life as a zookeeper. I hold a degree in zoology and spent fourteen years working as a keeper in various zoos. I spent my life from the age of seven studying animals (and writing) and I have accrued an expansive almost encyclopedic knowledge of animals, their behavior, and anatomy.

 

With that in mind is it any wonder I really enjoy my horror books to have animals in them? From King’s brilliantly done ‘Cujo’ to Lori R Lopez’s ‘Unleashed’ I adore a story where the animals are the focus. I was blessed enough to be included in an anthology titled ‘Spiders’ and as I read it my smile grew and grew. The other authors included in that collection are downright amazing and even managed to creep me out quite a bit.

 

Animals have been prevalent in horror stories since the dawn of man. There are cave paintings of mammoths attacking the hunters who were tracking them and I can only imagine the stories people told to go with those paintings. I can picture them sitting around a fire and telling about killer mammoths that, in Jaws-like fashion, hunted down and killed people for their own amusement. I can imagine the eyes of the children growing wide with fear and their gasps of terror.

 

That’s what we horror writers live for, those gasps. The greatest compliments I have ever received were the following; once a woman told me I had scared the heck out of her with just one sentence on a social networking site, she picked up a copy of one of my books because of it. The second being a woman who read my story in the above mentioned anthology and said she was now terrified to go into her cellar. This sort of praise is like music to my ears.

 

Comedians live to make their audiences laugh but we live to make you gasp. One of the ways we can do it effectively is through the use of animals. If I told you a story of how fifty hungry, badly abused cats turned on their owner and ate her to death you might be horrified, or you might think “Good for them!” Either way, if I do my job right the next time you encounter a cat that story will worm its way from the recesses of your mind and make you wonder about that animal. Is it looking at you like that because he wants you to pet him or is he thinking of how tasty you look?

 

‘Cujo’ and ‘Jaws’ are some of my favorite pieces of creature horror as they really set the beast as the main character in the stories. Peter Benchley’s novel and subsequent movie terrified people so badly that the summer the movie premiered beach attendance dropped drastically and shark hunting trips tripled. In the latter half of his career he was so ashamed by how he had portrayed these creatures that he made it his mission to present sharks in the light of which they are now seen. Not that of mindless predators out to kill everyone, but just another animal trying to survive. He published a non-fiction book called ‘Shark Trouble’ and tried his best to erase the fear of sharks he felt he helped to grow. We humans have been terrified of sharks since the first time we encountered them and regardless of what we know if most of us encounter a shark in the wild we’d be bound to soil ourselves from fear, so he doesn’t hold all the blame. Regardless I think it’s wonderful that he cared enough to try and undo the fear he incited.

 

With ‘Cujo’ Stephen King took something as innocuous as the family pet and turned it into a vicious murderer via a deadly virus. Now, while animals with rabies can be aggressive they aren’t exactly as single minded and demonic as Cujo was. That said however; I have a St Bernard (named Bigs) myself and I can say honestly there are times he bounds around the yard that I shudder to think of my family were he to snap and turn into a murderous beast. I owe that thought and fear to King. He did an amazing job to inspire such fright within me and countless others.

 

It’s not just the modern storytellers that have written some amazing creature pieces. Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Black Cat’ is another brilliant story where an animal features prominently. This time the critter is not the villain but the key to the murderer’s undoing. I know I silently cheered when the cat’s meowing led detectives to break open the wall and find the remains of the axed wife.

 

Even when the animal isn’t the main character in the story and has a small part to play (think the cat who leaps into our hero’s view causing him to jump or even scream) horror writing is full of critters great and small. Why even Armand’s zombie ridden world contains seagulls. Readers may not notice them at the time but authors use animals to both terrify and to normalize our stories. In the case of Armand’s stories the seagulls go to show us that though the world may have come to an end for the humans animal life will continue regardless.

 

As for me; I’m currently writing a series about a melanistic werejaguar (black panther) named Samatha Reece, who just happens to be an FBI agent. The beginning book in the series is a novelette called ‘Shifters’ and I am working on the sequel right now. I’m really enjoying using my background in zoology to create a world filled with amazing scientific advancement and horror. Hopefully the next time you pick up a book, you’ll try and look for an animal or two encompassed within. Well folks, I will leave off here; my demon dog and killer cat want to go play fetch in the backyard. Thanks again to Armand for letting me visit and thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope to see you all again sometime *looks at the slavering jowls of Bigs and wonders if that’s his normal drool or if he’s gone rabid.*

 

If you’d like to learn more about me you can visit me at the following places:

www.JaimeJohnesee.com 

www.Amazon.com/JaimeJohnesee 

www.Facebook.com/JaimeJohnesee

www.Twitter.com/JaimeJohnesee

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Tonia Brown guest blog on Brent Abell’s page for Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012

Our Darkest Fears

Today I bring you a special guest who wants to scare the pants off you this Halloween.  I will stand aside from my duties on the Hoosier Horror Blog Hop to welcome my special guest, Tonia Brown…

 

Halloween Memories

From Tonia Brown

Hello there! My name is Tonia Brown and I am the author of several novels ranging from humor to horror to steampunk. My latest novel, Sundowners, just hit the interwebs. It’s a backwoods southern horror, all about the importance of family, the dangers of gossip and the nature of the artistic muse.

Halloween has always been a special time for my twin sister and me. Heck, the whole month of October all but belongs to us. Our friends, our employers and both of our husbands know better than to schedule anything for us during October without asking first. Aside from the fact that our birthday falls in…

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Mark Tufo Guest Blog for Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012

Swamp Dweller Book Reviews

Hi my name is Mark Tufo. I am the author of the Zombie Fallout series. My newest Zombie fallout 6: ‘Til Death Do Us Part, was just released on October 1st. I do hope you enjoy the story and thank you for allowing me to be a guest on your blog.

 

 

I really started to hunker down into my series and truly contemplate the bazillion things that could go wrong at any moment. Having no food, worse having no ammunition, worrying about my family and friends safety 24/7. Not having any power to play my Wii or refrigeration to keep my beer cold. Having to smell the dead all around…Have you ever stepped in dog crap and you’ve had the smell linger in your nostril for a couple of minutes?

 

It’s coming up on Halloween–arguably my favorite time of the year. Some folks have asked me…

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Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012 Kickoff Party

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Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012 Kickoff Party

 

It isn’t too often I’m able to put together a month-long party featuring some great horror writers, but that is what October is going to be. In the next 31 days you’ll get to meet all five of the authors, read interviews with them individually and in groups, and read about their latest projects, what they have coming up, and what makes them tick as horror writers.

 

Please allow me to introduce you to the five great horror authors who will be taking part in this monumental extravaganza (yeah, I know, I love hyperbole), and I hope you will be following along each and every post:

 

Tonia Brown’s short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and she has managed to crank out several books, including THE COLD BENEATH, BADASS ZOMBIE ROAD TRIP and SUNDOWNERS. Tonia lives in North Carolina with her genius husband and an ever fluctuating number of cats. When not writing she raises unicorns and fights crime with her husband under the code names Dr. Weird and his sexy sidekick Butternut. http://www.thebackseatwriter.com/

 

 

James N Cook is a martial arts enthusiast, six-year veteran of the United States Navy, and a self-avowed literature addict. He enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, and anything involving travel. He has visited more than a dozen countries, and has called Chicago, San Diego, and Charlotte NC home. He is the author of the Surviving the Dead series, and is currently working on the upcoming Jeremiah Cain: Vampire Hunter urban fantasy series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, son, two dogs, and a cat that is barely aware of his existence. http://www.jamesncook.blogspot.com/

 

 

John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry starting two large casinos in Washington as the Information Technology Manager and becoming the Network Manager for the Washington State Legislature, the Northwest Information Technology Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Network Systems Manager for Hollywood Video. Currently, John is self employed with his own Information Technology consulting company consulting and managing various businesses with their information technology needs. He also volunteers for a local youth center managing their computer lab. As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the CapitalForest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads. http://anewworldseries.com/ 

 

 

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music… “Highway To Hell” and “Dying Days” extreme zombie novellas are part of the growing Extreme Undead series of books/stories created by Armand… You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com

 

 

Mark Tufo was born in BostonMassachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris IslandSC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe BayHawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters. He wrote the first installment of the Indian Hill trilogy in college, it sat in his garage until July 2009 when he published it on Kindle. He has since written the Zombie Fallout series and is working on a new zombie book.
He lives in Maine with his wife, three kids and two English bulldogs. http://www.marktufo.com

 

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All five of us – Tonia Brown, James N Cook, John O’ Brien, Armand Rosamilia and Mark Tufo – hope you have been following along on the Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012. We love to see comments after the posts, and we also love to pick a random commenter and give away a free eBook or even a signed print book, so maybe you’ll get lucky!

 

We have centralized all the upcoming dates and blog posts on a Facebook event page. Feel free to join us there and see what is coming up next!

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/211796112284317/