Monthly Archives: December 2015

Armand’s 2015 Year In Review

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2015 was another solid year for me when it came to releases. While the amount of new product slowed, the same amount of words was released in my estimation. My goal each year is to hit 400,000 words written and except for a couple of short stories currently awaiting publication, everything else was released via self publishing or through a small press in 2015.

I had 30 releases, which was less than the 45 a year average I’ve done the last two years. I also went through my works and eliminated all of the serialized stories that made it into complete collections as well as redundant releases I did myself.

Box sets were still a big deal for me in 2015. A lot of my secondary sales through them as well as key Amazon ranking came because of the box sets and I hope to continue to be involved in a few more in the future.

OK, time for the breakdown by month for me and 2015…

 

January

Ultimate Undead Box

Ultimate Undead Collection: The Zombie Apocalypse Best Sellers Boxed Set (10 Books)

The last day in January Dying Days was published in this box set along with notables Joe McKinney, Bobby Adair, TW Piperbrook, Michaelbrent Collings, Sarah Lyons Fleming, Shawn Chesser, Rachel Aukes, David Moody, Timothy W Long and Eric A Shelman. The best part? it’s still only 99 cents!

February

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State of Horror: North Carolina

February 8th I was in another State of Horror anthology (you already know my initial involvement in the franchise, so I won’t digress) which featured some really cool stories by  Nathanael Gass, Frank Larnerd, Randal Keith Jackson, Kathryn M. Hearst, Spencer Carvalho, Kenneth W. Cain, Frank J. Edler, Stuart Conover/Kerry Lipp, Susan Hicks Wong, Matt Andrew, L.J. Heydorn andMargaret L. Colton

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State of Horror: Illinois

The audiobook for State of Horror: Illinois came out on February 20th (narrated by the wonderful Jack Wallen)

March

Dying Days: Origins by Armand Rosamilia

Dying Days: Origins

The audiobook for Dying Days: Origins came out on March 3rd, narrated by Jack Wallen. Obviously I enjoy working with Jack on these audiobooks.

CJB Complete AUDIOBOOK

Change Jar Books Complete

March 13th the audiobook version of this came out, narrated by Jack Di Golia, who did the entire seven book run for me. I couldn’t be happier working with him, either.

Hollywood Hellmouth

Hollywood Hellmouth

Also on the 13th, the first part of a trilogy came out, a horror humor tale written with Jack Wallen, Jay Wilburn and Brent Abell. This was fun to write. We debuted this at Mid South Con in Memphis to rousing success. Fine, we sold 5 copies.

State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I available March 17th, 2015

State of Horror: Louisiana I

March 16th State of Horror: Louisiana I debuted, with more great stories, this time from Chad McKee, Pamela Troy, Tommy B. Smith, Amanda Hard, Allie Marini Batts, Sarah Glenn, Armand Rosamilia, Ethan Nahte, J. Jay Waller, Alexander S. Brown, Henry P. Gravelle, Jay Seate, and Margaret L. Colton.

SoH LA2

State of Horror: Louisiana II

March 30th saw the second part of LA being released, this time with stories by Stuart Conover, Herika R. Raymer, Teresa Bergen, J. Lamm, Nathan Pettigrew, Armand Rosamilia, Ambrose Stolliker, B.A. Sans, Edward Moore, Anthony Watson, Jonathan S. Pembroke, J.M. Lawrence, and Melodie Romeo.

April

Fairly Wicked Cover

Fairly Wicked Tales: Dark Fantasy Anthology

April 19th Fairly Wicked Tales: Dark Fantasy Anthology was re-released and featured one of my short stories, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.” Over 20 great stories are in this one, so buy it. Now.

May

anything but zombies

Anything but Zombies: A Short Story Anthology

On the 26th of May my short story “Down In A Hole” was featured in this Simon and Schuster release. Tim Curran, Jeff Strand, Rebecca Besser, MontiLee Stormer, Lee Moan, Tonia Brown, Jake Bible, Faye McCray, and Jimmy Pudge were all involved as well. Get it.

June

Tales of Magic

Tales of Magic and Misery: A Collection of Short Stories by Tim Marquitz

Tim put 19 of his stories together in this fine collection, and had other authors (such as myself) give him one of our stories to promote. He’s a swell guy. This came out June 6th. I had “Dying Days: Noah Stern” short in there.

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State of Horror: New Jersey

This audiobook came out on the 10th. Narrated once again by Jack Wallen and once again featuring a Dying Days short from me in it.

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Dying Days 5

June 16th Dying Days 5 was released. Putting this together I realize its my first self published full release for the year, as everything else was an anthology or audiobook previously out. I’d been writing up a storm up to this point in the year but most of it would be released later (as you’ll see) or written for the movie team and those books sometimes come out months in the future. Anyhoo… this is part 5 and it was released right in the midst of my annual #SummerofZombie blog tour.

July

This month saw the two year anniversary of Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast as well as the debut of Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast, co-hosted by Mark Tufo. Both on Project iRadio.

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Hoboken Hellmouth

The second book in our trilogy was released on the 21st. Another fun time was had by all: me, Brent Abell, Jay Wilburn and Jack Wallen.

August

Bite Sized

Bite-Sized Offerings: Tales & Legends of the Zombie Apocalypse

This was a really cool charity anthology to help a friend in need who is such a big supporter of zombie authors. Over 30 authors contributed a YA zombie story, including my first-ever, a Dying Days story featuring the children of the family. It will definitely lead into my first-ever Dying Days YA novella in late 2016, too.

highway

Highway To Hell

This is the updated version. I changed the crazy sex parts and over the top violence and made it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days books. So far people have enjoyed the less intense version, although it still isn’t for the kids. I’d give it a solid R rating instead of the NC17 it used to be.

September

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Children of The Grave

September 4th this cool anthology came out. It’s a shared world anthology and written by Joe McKinney, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Joe Mynhardt, Aurelio Lopez III, and Alex Laybourne. You don’t get any cooler than that group. Am I right?

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Honolulu Hellmouth

On the 8th, right in time for the Imaginarium convention on Kentucky, we released the third and final part. Single digits of people flocked to our signing tables, creating such a noise the car alarms went off in the parking lot.

Dying Days 4 Audio

Dying Days 4

On the 17th Dying Days 4 audiobook (narrated once again by Amanda Lehman) was released.

The Louisiana Incident: Former Navy SEALs Vs Zombies

I wrote this novella based on a movie that was filmed but some people weren’t happy with it. So (because it is Hollywood and beyond me) I was listed as editor, the cover is just words and it has distanced itself from the movie by changing the title. The book is much better than the movie, by the way. Much.

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Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol 1

October 14th saw this extensive collection released. Nonfiction essays and interviews by film legends and authors such as Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ed Naha, Patrick Lussier, Stephen Volk, Nancy Holder, Tom Holland, John Shirley, William Stout, and John Russo. For some crazy reason they thought I had something to say on the subject, too.

Chelsea Avenue

Chelsea Avenue: A Supernatural Thriller

On the 30th Devil Dog Press re-released this book, one of my favorites and my first real full-length novel. Look for longer books from me in 2016, and most of them more thriller and less horror as I change things up a bit. This book is one of my favorites I’ve ever written, and you need to read it and tell me I’m right or wrong. As long as you read it.

October

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Paying The Ferryman

On the 18th this anthology was released. My short story, “Black Tooth Grin,” joined  Melodie Romeo, Rick Scabrous, Silas Green, D. S. Ullery, Brian W. Taylor, Diane Arrelle, Bryan Best, Tanya Nehmelman, Mariesa Inez, Rachel Hogan, S. H. Roddey, Jenner Michaud, Scott McCloskey, Heidi Lane, Brian Fatah Steele, Eric I. Dean, Herika R. Raymer, Lee Pletzers, and Jerry E. Benns writing fun stories about death.

Bahama Complete Cover

Bahama Mama’s Complete

The seventh and final release in the contemporary fiction Flagler Beach Fiction Series was out on the 20th. The audiobook followed in November, too, once again narrated by the great Jack Di Golia. This wraps up the series although I have a feeling we’ll see some of these characters again in the future.

Middletown

Middletown Apocalypse

Halloween saw the release of this cool anthology, where eleven authors took the kernel of the same basic story and made it our own. Hi-jinx ensued. Abel, Chesser, Evans, McKinney, O’Brien, Rosamilia, Shelman, Stallcup, Tufo, Wallen, Wilburn. So cool you don’t need first names.

November

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Highway To Hell 2

November 3rd, at the basic start of my annual #WinterofZombie tour I always release a new Dying Days book. I still technically did, and it nicely combines characters from the first Highway To Hell as well as Dying Days: Origins.

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Dying Days Ultimate Box Set 1

Four novellas set in the Dying Days world are included in this massive box set: Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, Still Dying 2, Dying Days: The Siege of European Village and Dying Days: Siege 2
Plus… the two-story Dying Shortly set (now out of print except here) and 2 short stories previously only available on a website: “Dying Days: Downtown From Hell” and “Dying Days: The Scorpion”… Over 500 pages and more than 174,000 words in all! This special box set will only be available for a limited time at a special price of $9.99 but right now its only $3.49, so get a copy. Look for the second one in early 2016, too.

Hellmouth Box

Hellmouth Trilogy

November 23rd I released all three of these glorious books Jack, Brent and Jay and I had written in a convenient box set. Now you have no excuse not to read them. And its priced right now for only $3.49, so you really have no excuse at all.

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Flagler Beach Fiction Series Complete

I told you I liked box sets this year. On the 30th I put all 7 of the Flagler Beach Fiction Series books together in one massive 190,000+ word ebook collection and priced it at only $3.99. You’re welcome.

December

GreenRiverBlend

Green River Blend: A Supernatural Thriller

My last release of 2015 and one of my favorite stories. I liken it to a Bentley Little weird tale and so far readers have agreed. A little different from my traditional horror work, which I will be getting slightly away from in 2016. I’ll still have many horror releases and more Dying Days but this book (as well as Chelsea Avenue, both released by Devil Dog Press) will further expand what I’m doing.

Also look for my Kindle Scout-winning Dirty Deeds crime thriller in early 2016, too! Mark Tufo and I wrote an apocalyptic tale together (no zombies!) featuring Darlene Bobich and Mike Talbot. Look for that in 2016 as well… big things on the horizon for me in 2016.

Armand

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Guest Post: John Mc Caffrey

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The Mechanics of My Writing Style

John Mc Caffrey

As far as I know, writing style isn’t taught in school. I’ve read of the various writing styles some writers utilize, but that was after I had already come up with my own. Mine seems to be a loosely based form of organized confusion. Typically, I get an idea and jot it down on a small notepad I carry with me. Later, I’ll transfer it to a spiral notebook and elaborate for a page or two and then leave it for anywhere from a week to as long as a year. The initial concept however, is never far from my thoughts, and I will pull out the spiral notebook jotting down more ideas. Some of these concepts never get written, but for the ones that do, I’ll sit at the computer and begin an outline. I try to break the outline up into scenes, much like a movie, and when I feel I have a good outline, I’ll once again, leave it for a while, working on something else. It’s only after I’ve separated myself from the initial idea that I will start writing in earnest. I don’t have a time frame, or some type of internal deadline I force upon myself. If the story isn’t working for whatever reason, I allow it to sit. I have one piece that I have been working on for seven years that I can neither walk completely away from, or approach it the way I want to. But when everything comes together, I’ll take the story to completion. This is what becomes my first draft.

Depending on the length of my first draft, I either start right away with the initial editing or wait for a few weeks. I’ll go through a manuscript numerous times, always finding something that needs to be changed, revised, or deleted. When I’m satisfied with what I have, (and I’m never truly satisfied—even after things are in print, I see what I could have done differently), I load it up on a Kindle and leave it with my wife, Karen, for proofreading.

She is amazing. She proofreads and edits what I was absolutely positive was an almost flawless piece of work and finds everything from punctuation mistakes to problems with syntax and continuity. I go back to the computer and once again revise, upload it to her Kindle, and only when I receive her thumbs up, do I consider it finished. Her support and continued eye for detail has been instrumental in the development of my writing. If not for her, it’s unlikely Nora’s Wish would have ever been published. After writing it, I was certain that it was too far outside my usual genre, and was uncertain there was a market for it. I loved the story, but it went into a folder where it sat for a few months. It was her continual urging, and in the end, outright demands that it needed to be published that I finally submitted it to the fine folks at Sirens Call Publications.

Nora’s Wish began with a conversation I had with my father, about how he wished he was able to change certain decisions he’d made when he was younger. That, and the thought that there are probably many elderly people who shared the same sentiment, and how awesome it would be if they all could magically have that ability, was the beginning of the story. The character of Ben emerged almost immediately, Nora soon after. It was their friendship, and shared forgotten isolation in Willow Manor that became the nucleus of exploring the possibility of changing their destinies. My father passed away before he could see how his simple comments to me grew into the published book, but I’m sure he would approve.

 

Nora’s Wish

John Mc Caffrey

 

Ben Jameson is a bitter retiree residing at Willow Manor, a home for the aged or those in need of care, and has nothing more to do than await the inevitable conclusion of a life wasted. Forgotten by his family, his days are marked by the solitary existence of books, loneliness, and regret.

A chance meeting with a terminally ill resident named Nora, and her unshakeable optimism in the face of her eventual demise, rekindles emotions he was certain were gone forever. Nora reawakens his ability to love, and with her compassion and her companionship, he comes to realize that even a life as wasted as his own can be salvaged and, given the right incentive, is still worth living.

As Nora’s health declines, they both dare to hope that the magic of a strange pendant Ben purchased from an antique shop as a gift for Nora will overcome the odds, offering them more time with one another.

 

Nora’s Wish is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil| India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR — John Mc Caffrey writes tales of horror, the supernatural, science fiction, and fantasy. He was born in Illinois and grew up on the south side of Chicago. While still in grade school, he developed a passion for reading through the works of Tolkien, Poe, and Lovecraft as well as being addicted to watching Hammer Film’s at the local Saturday matinee. Today he lives in Northern Indiana with his wife where he writes in his spare time.

Guest Post: Mark Allan Gunnells

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Flowers in a Dumpster

THE BOY WHO KILLED SANTA CLAUS

 

Seven year old Henry Childers crawled reluctantly under the covers of his bed. “But, Mom,” he whined, “I’m not sleepy. Can’t I stay up a few more hours?”

“It’s almost ten already,” his mother Tonya said with an indulgent smile. “If you don’t get to sleep, Santa won’t stop here tonight.”

“Do you think Santa got my letter this year?” Henry asked, sitting up against the headboard.

“I’m sure he did, honey.”

“’Cause I don’t want it to be like last year.”

Tonya sighed heavily and rubbed at her temples. She’d been hearing this same tirade from her son for an entire year now. “Henry, there was nothing wrong with what you got from Santa last year.”

“I asked for an XBox, and he gave me a Playstation. It’s not the same.”

“As I’ve told you a hundred times, maybe Santa was all out of XBoxes,” Tonya said, pulling the covers up to just under Henry’s chin. She and her husband had gone to every store in the city looking for an XBox last year, but they’d all been sold out. It had been a Playstation or nothing, but still it hadn’t satisfied Henry.

“I mailed my letter in October last year,” Henry said. “That gave him plenty of time to have his elves whip me up an XBox.”

“Henry,” Tonya said, a little more sharply than she’d intended, “you’re being awfully ungrateful. There are children in the world who have nothing. If you don’t start being more appreciative, Santa may decide to just skip our house altogether.”

“Okay,” Henry said, his lower lip poked out like a shelf. “I’m sorry.”

“Just get to sleep,” Tonya said, leaning over and kissing her son on the forehead. “When you wake up in the morning, you just might find that bike you’ve been wanting waiting under the tree.”

“You think Santa will like the cookies and milk we left for him?” Henry asked.

“I’m sure he’ll think they’re delicious. I’ll see you in the morning, sweetie.”

Tonya turned off the light, the small nightlight plugged into the electrical socket by the closet throwing a muted yellow glow throughout the room. She eased the door closed, leaving Henry to dream of Christmas morning.

* * *

“Do you think it’s safe to start?” Jonas Childers asked his wife. They were sitting in the living room, watching a SciFi channel marathon of the Silent Night Deadly Night films.

Tonya glanced at the clock, saw that it was just past one o’clock in the morning. “He should be sound asleep by now,” she said. “I think we can get started.”

“Good,” Jonas said. “It’ll probably take me ‘til dawn to get that bike put together.”

They went up to the attic, careful to avoid all the squeakiest boards, and brought down all of Henry’s presents. Tonya began arranging all the smaller gifts around the tree while Jonas unfolded the instructions for the bike and began assembling it.

“Shit,” Jonas cursed under his breath, trying to fit together two pieces that simply refused to fit together. “As much trouble as this is, Henry better like this damn bike.”

Tonya knelt next to her husband, took the uncooperative pieces and easily snapped them together. “Are you kidding? He’ll absolutely love it.”

“He better. I don’t want to have to go through another year hearing him bitch and moan like he did about that damn Playstation.”

“It did get a bit tiresome,” Tonya said with a giggle. “But Henry just wants what he wants, and he won’t settle for anything else.”

“Like mother, like son.”

Tonya swatted her husband on the arm. “That’s not true. I settled for you, after all.”

“Very funny,” Jonas said. “How about you settle for passing me those cookies.”

Tonya had baked a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, half of which her family had eaten, the other half of which had been placed on a plate for Santa. She took the plate and handed it to her husband, who immediately scarfed down two of the cookies.

“Careful,” Tonya said, reading over the instructions. “You keep that up, you’ll soon be fat as Santa.”

“This isn’t for me,” Jonas said around a mouthful of cookie, spewing crumbs like a fine mist. “It’s for Henry. Think how disappointed he’d be if he woke up and saw that Santa hadn’t eaten the cookies he left for him.”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Tonya said with a smile.

“Hand me the milk, please.”

They did not leave out a glass of milk for Santa since that would curdle, but they placed it in a thermos to keep it cold. Tonya passed the thermos to her husband.

Jonas popped the top of the thermos and gulped down several swallows of the milk. Suddenly he retched, spitting milk into the air like a geyser, the thermos dropping from his hand and leaking its contents onto the carpet. Jonas clutched at his throat, making strangled gagging noises as milk and blood dribbled down his chin.

Tonya screamed and grabbed her husband as he collapsed onto her lap. His body was jerking with violent spasms, his eyes rolled up to the whites. He coughed violently, and more frothy blood sprayed Tonya’s arms, and she thought there were chunks of tissue mixed with it.

“Oh God, Jonas,” she screamed, crying. “What’s wrong? What should I do?”

“What’s going on?” Henry said, stepping into the room wearing his pajamas, rubbing the sleep dust from his eyes. “I heard screaming.”

“Henry, get the phone and call 911,” Tonya yelled frantically. “Something is wrong with your father; he needs an ambulance right away.”

“What is it?” Henry asked, wide-eyed, stepping further into the room.

“Henry, call 911 NOW!”

Henry started to turn toward the phone, but then he spotted the spilled thermos of milk and froze. “Did Dad drink the milk?” he asked, snatching up the thermos and waving it at his mother.

“What?” Tonya said, feeling her husband’s spasms tapering off, afraid to contemplate what that might mean.  “Your father needs help.”

“Did Dad drink the milk?” Henry said again, his old stubborn self. “This milk was for Santa Claus, not for Dad.”

“Henry!” Tonya screamed, desperate tears of frustration and helplessness streaking her face. “This isn’t the time—”

“THIS MILK WAS FOR SANTA CLAUS, NOT FOR DAD!” Henry roared, throwing the thermos across the room.

A numbness began to spread throughout Tonya’s body, starting in her chest and reaching out through her limbs. Comprehension came slowly, and it made her feel cold inside. Cold and empty.

“What did you do?” she croaked, her voice raw and raspy. “Henry, what did you do to the milk?”

“I poured Drain-O in it,” he said matter-of-factly, as if stating that he’d brushed his teeth.

Tonya was on her feet in an instant, the still form of her husband stretched out on the floor. She grabbed Henry by the shoulders and shook him, shook him hard. “Why would you do such a thing?” she shouted into his face. “Why in the name of God would you do such a thing?”

“I wanted an XBox!” Henry shouted back, wrenching out of his mother’s grasp. “Not a Playstation, an XBox, and Santa knew that. He knew that, and he gave me the wrong thing anyway. I wanted to teach him a lesson, make him pay for giving me the wrong gift last year.”

Tonya stumbled back, hands to her mouth, and watched as her son turned and ran back to his room, slamming the door behind him. She snatched up the phone and quickly dialed 911 while Santa chopped up a topless teenager on the television behind her.

© Mark Allan Gunnells

5/26/06

If you enjoyed Mark’s story, be sure to grab a paperback or Kindle copy (available in Kindle Unlimited, as well) of his Flowers in a Dumpster short story collection – out now from Crystal Lake Publishing:

With the link to Crystal Lake, as well, please: www.crystallakepub.com

Guest Post: Richard Schiver

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All Roads Lead to Terror (synopsis)

 

The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present.

Four boys strengthen the bonds of their friendship, while taking their first hesitant steps into adulthood, as they face the brutality of an old, new world. They will be tested at every step in their journey, as they travel through a blasted land where the only hope is for a swift death followed by an endless sleep. Survival lay in the firepower they carried, coupled with their willingness to use it, and their ability to trust each other with their own lives.

The world had become a wild place filled with wild things, and into this new reality each of them had been born. Coming of age at the end of days, where savagery was the norm, and man’s inhumanity to man was on daily display. Where the only law was the firepower one carried and the only hope was for a swift death followed by an endless sleep.

Meat was born at the height of the Zombie apocalypse, upon his birth his mother took one look at him and pronounced him meat. He grew up in a reality where they were all nothing more than walking bags of meat, so in his mind the name fit perfectly.

Window, his best friend, is very quiet, and ever watchful with a quick hand. To him friendship was the most important thing in the world. His family had perished in the ruthless times after the awakening and his temperament had been forged in the fire that took them from him. His friends were all he had left so he watched over them with a jealously protective nature strengthened by that sense of invulnerability all boys his age embraced. Further backed up by a quick hand with the .44 he’d used to kill the men who had raped his mother.

The remaining members of this quartet are Einstein who had been born within the compound at Bremo Bluff after the apocalypse. Having spent his life behind the fence he had no first hand knowledge of how brutal the world has become. As his name implies he’s the smartest in the group, as well the most innocent. While that innocence helps to soften the ruthlessness of the other three, it will serve to drive a wedge into their friendship. On this trip he will discover just how terrifying the world beyond the fence has become.

The final member is Billie-Bob, one half of a set of twins who appeared outside the fence several years earlier. Your typical class clown whose mouth runs a mile a minute, if he isn’t sharing overused jokes about Zombies, he’s whispering the passages from a book his mother used to read to him when he was younger, a chant that provides him with a degree of comfort. Billie-Bob is unique in that at the tender age of eleven he has proven himself to be a natural born sniper with a willingness to use his special talent to protect his friends.

The trail they follow leads them East, into the Dreadlands, a mysterious land from which those who dared to venture in the past, never returned. For there are places where the fabric of reality is at its thinnest. Where nightmare creatures roam the shadowy corners of a well lit world. Having existed at the edge of man consciousness since the dawn of time, an indistinct blur briefly glimpsed in our peripheral vision. Their presence felt on a primitive emotional level that reached our consciousness as a faint whisper in the night. Their touch the soft caress of chilled fingers dancing along the spine like the half remembered terrors lurking within the childhood memories of every person who had ever feared the night.

In Richmond they will be confronted by a savage cult of children who worship a creature of the night. A creature that until the apocalypse had existed in the shadowy corners of a well lit world A beast of nightmares that feasted upon the fear of its victims, delving into their innermost secrets, revealing half forgotten terrors that lay like a rotting carcass at the heart of their souls. For these creatures, that were once considered nightmare imaginings, are now awake in a world where the population has been reduced.

Awake and very, very, hungry.

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016MLXM32

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B016MLXM32

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-roads-lead-to-terror-richard-schiver/1123014703?ean=2940152477603

Itunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/all-roads-lead-to-terror/id1061157501?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/all-roads-lead-to-terror

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/593434

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Richard was born in Frostburg, Maryland, in the winter of ’58’ and currently lives eight miles away. A five-year stint with the military allowed him to see what he wanted of the world. Married with four grown children and eight grandchildren, he and his wife provide a home to four pets that are spoiled beyond rotten.

In addition to writing daily he works a full time job in retail, and piddles around in his wood-shop making one mess after another when time permits.

Richard can be found online at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook/RichardSchiver

Follow Richard on Twitter: @RichardSchiver

Written in Blood is Richard’s personal blog where he shares his thoughts on writing, and whatever else might strike his fancy. http://www.richardschiver.com

He can be contacted directly at rschiver@gmail.com and would be delighted to hear from you.

Sign up to be notified of publishing updates and new releases as they become available. He promises to never share your contact info, nor will he swamp your inbox with unnecessary crap. He’ll also toss in a free copy of White Walker when you sign up.

http://www.eepurl.com/2bYSf

 

 

 

Guest Post: T. Eric Bakutis

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Writing The Sequel: Demonkin

 

“How could the same [stuff] happen to the same guy twice?”

Somewhere during Die Hard 2, scrappy underdog John McClane delivers the (censored) line above as a wink to the audience. Yes, he says, we know this is the same story, but we hope you’ll like it anyway. That’s one method of writing a sequel. As much as I enjoyed Die Hard 2, I decided to go a different way.

When it came time to start Demonkin, the sequel to my first book, Glyphbinder, I wasn’t sure where I wanted it to go. My first book tells a complete story, and I debated how I wanted to develop a follow up. Characters must return and stakes must be raised, but how best to go about doing that?

Die Hard 2 knows exactly what it’s doing. It’s a decent action movie that takes the scenario from Die Hard, changes the location (an airport instead of a skyscraper) and raises the stakes. Rather than a single building of hostages, we have multiple airplanes full of them. It’s a fun movie, but it plays out just like the first Die Hard. Our scrappy hero wins, the bad guys lose, and McClane reunites with his gutsy wife.

As I went back over sequels to movies I’d enjoyed, I kept coming back to the same sequel over and over: The Empire Strikes Back. In my opinion, it’s a perfect follow up to Star Wars, building on the first movie while taking the series and characters in a completely new direction. ESB does everything I want in a sequel, so as an author, I decided to dissect what it was about ESB that I liked so much.

ESB expands the universe, changes the characters in permanent ways, and reveals the cost of earlier mistakes. ESB’s ending is bittersweet at best and sets up a third movie where I know many pieces will collide in a final battle — and I’m okay with that, because ESB understands what it is. It’s the second act of a three act play, rising conflict that sets up the climax of a trilogy. A complete story, if a brutal one.

ESB also refocuses on underdeveloped characters from the first movie. In Star Wars, Luke is the hero and the story revolves around him. Han and Leia support Luke and don’t change very much. In ESB, we go another way. Han and Leia have significant character arcs and while Luke’s still in the movie, he’s off learning from a Muppet in a swamp. Luke had his story. Focusing on Han and Leia kept me hooked.

ESB also doesn’t limit itself to the same cast. It’s not afraid to introduce new characters (like Lando and Yoda) who have roles equal to the original cast. Rather than raising the stakes by rehashing the first movie (what if the Empire fielded multiple Death Stars?) ESB raises the stakes by flipping the script.

The Rebellion fights the Empire (like at Yavin) but at Hoth, the Empire wins. Risky decisions that went fine in the first movie (like Han’s decision not to pay off Jabba so he could help Luke) become huge problems. Our heroes unite to rescue Han (like they rescued Princess Leia from the Death Star) but this time, our heroes fail. Luke arrives at Cloud City to save everyone (just like he blew up the Death Star) and this time, Vader defeats him. We see our heroes savaged and forever changed.

ESB ends with one hero captive and all the others battered by huge losses and costly victories. They’re safe, for the moment, but facing even bigger challenges. It’s because ESB resolves most but not all of its threads that it works as a middle movie. It’s a soft cliffhanger. The bad guys landed some big hits, and now our battered heroes must fight even harder to recover. I’m hungry to see them redeem themselves and finally defeat the Empire, which is right where I want to be after the second volume of any trilogy.

Once I figured all that out, I was ready to write my second book. If Glyphbinder was my Star Wars, then Demonkin is my Empire Strikes Back. It’s a complete story, just like my first book, but new characters take the lead, heroes fall, survivors are traumatized, and bad guys strike mortal blows. I tried to write an exciting yet brutal story that I hope satisfies readers of my first book and gets them excited for my third.

If you enjoy darker stories where the heroes might not always win, I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

 

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Eric Bakutis is an author and professional videogame designer based in Maryland. The staff of Balticon selected his debut adventure fantasy novel, Glyphbinder, as one of eight finalists for the 2014 Compton Crook Award. Glyphbinder has since received positive reviews from Kirkus and other review sites.

Eric’s dark fantasy short story, Hunted, recently won second place in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s 2015 short story contest. Eric’s short fiction has also appeared in various markets and anthologies including Fairly Wicked Tales (from Ragnarok Publications) Superhero Monster Hunter (from Emby Press) and The Ways of Magic (from Deepwood Publishing).

You can read the first five chapters of Glyphbinder for free at Eric’s WordPress site, Tales of the Five Provinces, along with sample chapters of Demonkin (so long as you don’t mind spoilers). Glyphbinder is now available on Amazon Kindle (and compatible platforms) for $0.99, and Demonkin will be available on December 18, 2015. For the latest news, including pre-orders, please check out Eric’s Twitter feed.

Guest Post: Thomas S Flowers

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From Combat Veteran to Horror Writer

By: Thomas S. Flowers

Before we start, there’s a quote from Michael Herr in his book, Dispatches that I’d like to share. It’s a long quote, so bear with me. Herr says, “I keep thinking about all the kids who got wiped out by seventeen years of war movies before coming to Vietnam to get wiped out for good. You don’t know what a media freak is until you’ve seen the way a few of those grunts would run around during a fight when they knew that there was a television crew nearby; they were actually making war movies in their heads, doing little guts-and-glory Leatherneck tap dances under fire, getting their pimples shot off for the networks. They were insane, but the war hadn’t done that to them. Most combat troops stopped thinking of the war as an adventure after their first few firefights, but there were always the ones who couldn’t let that go, these few who were up there doing numbers for the cameras… We’d all seen too many movies, stayed too long in Television City, years of media glut had made certain connections difficult” (Dispatches, 1977). My reasoning for sharing this quote from Herr is because, in more ways than one, it seems to sum up my feelings regarding my own experience in the Iraq War, OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and writing/living with those memories today. Allow me to explain.

 

There seems to be a surge of “war stories” finding their way into the media nowadays. I’m in no way saying this is a bad thing; I wish there were more veteran writers. However, I have to be somewhat suspicious when I see books marketed as “another action-packed heroic tale of contemporary military service.” Such as from a Navy Seal’s perspective or some high ranked officer sharing their “retelling” of command with low fidelity storytelling. I’m not trying to be quip here, nor am I trying to call out any one individual. What I am trying to call out is similar to what Herr stated in the quote shared above. There seems to be this carnivorous appetite for war stories, but not war as it really is, rather war from a heroic narrative, or worse, war where soldiers are nothing more than pawns in a Mad Hatter’s political chess game. I feel these kinds of stories are for people who do not have a genuine interest in the reality of war from the perspective of, say, Joe-Shmoe from Littlerock, Arkansas. These kinds of stories are for people who want to be entertained, not enlighten to the cruel banality of combat.

 

For a long time, I didn’t write much about anything. A few poems, here and there, but nothing I was willing to share with anyone, under any circumstance. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

 

I signed up for the U.S. Army in Sept 2001 and was honorably discharged in February 2008. Roughly seven years of service, including three tours in Iraq, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, and finally 2006-2007. The last tour was probably the hardest, not only was my deployment extended for the great 2007 Iraq War troop surge (Operation Arrowhead, I think), but we took more hits than in any of my previous two tours, and on top of that, I had someone other than my parents waiting for me at home. My wife and I had just met a few months before I deployed. She stayed with me the entire deployment. We wrote dozens of letters to each other, we chatted on the phone and on the internet, if either were available. She supported me, on and off the field. Being away from her was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. For the first time I couldn’t imagine myself dying and not being afraid. Not just for the circumstance (bodily suffering) but for the recompense of leaving her behind (emotional suffering). I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want to be robbed of this imagined life we could’ve had together. I didn’t want to lose that. And I didn’t want her to suffer for my loss.

 

In 2008, after being hounded by family to get into college, I finally agreed. I’m glad I did. Slowly, through the course from 2008-2014, I began to “open up.” Soon, I started writing again. I didn’t really want to at first, again, back to the “glamorization of war,” I feared any attempt to recount my experience would be a cheapening of it, a cheapening of other veteran’s experiences by attempting to sale my own. I didn’t want to do that, but I felt drawn to write something. My first attempt was a short narrative story. For this assignment I wrote, “There will be Ghosts,” which was my ode to both my experiences and the movie, “Born of the Fourth of July.” From there I dove head first into fiction-writing. I began a little science-fiction piece which never came to fruition, and probably never will. I consider these first works to be a learning curve, not something I’d want published. A dabbling, if you will, in the creative cosmos.  When I left community college to enter the university (University of Houston-Clear Lake), I had to put my fictional writing on the back burner and focus almost exclusively on my history studies. While this may seem like a setback, I do not see it that way. My studies focused on 20th century Germany, namely the Weimar Republic and Nazi eras. I also took classes on the Vietnam War, Texas history, and the Civil Rights Movement, each class taught from the ground-up. This is a somewhat relative new way of teaching history. Traditionally, history is taught from the top, that is, from famous generals and presidents or other such impressive folk. From the bottom-up, history is taught from the Joe- Shmoe perspective, the everyday lives of everyday people. It was fantastic. A new way of looking at our world and the people that fill it by giving them relevance. In 2014 I graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Arts in History… so now what?

 

Finally, I was able to get back to writing for myself and not just for, say, a term paper. I wrote two short stories soon after graduating. “Hobo,” and “Are you hungry, dear?” Both are horror in genre. And before you ask, “why horror,” let me be brief and just say that I’ve always been a fan of horror fiction, ever since my big sister let me watch “Night of the Living Dead” one Friday night. It made sense for me to gravitate to the genre that I felt more akin to. And besides, horror gives us the most honest and straightforward morsels of social commentary.

 

Reinheit was my first novel, published under the Booktrope imprint Forsaken. While penning Reinheit, I was able to develop my, what authors call, “writers voice.” When you read a lot, which is a must if you want to write, you kind of take on the voice of the authors you are reading. You need to write to chisel away all those voices, and hopefully find your own in the process. The more you chisel, the more defined your voice becomes, until maybe reaching some point when your aged and withered and giving lectures to a new generation of writers. Obviously, I haven’t reach this milestone yet. I’m still having fun with everything. Needless-to-say, Reinheit helped define my own voice and gave me the necessary encouragement to take the next step, writing my “war story.”

 

Again, I couldn’t write something heroic, though I know a lot of whom I consider to be heroic. I didn’t want to pass the war off as some grand adventure. I wanted to rip the decorum off war, the shininess of it. I wanted to bring audiences into the preverbal trenches of “All Quiet on the Western Front.” I wanted to bring an air of hardnosed poetry as Philip Larkin had done for his own generation with his masterpiece, “MCMXIV.” And above all this, I wanted to be direct and honest, no matter how hard or depressing that may be. With my pile of one-subject notebooks (yes, I write everything longhand before MS Word), a set out on this endeavor. Dwelling and Emerging were inked in about nine months, from paper to MS Word, and has recently been picked up by my new publisher, Limitless Publishing, LLC, who has brought those pages to life in a full length series called, “The Subdue Series.” Within the story is something real, raw, and utterly difficult. While hopefully still entertaining, because of the relationships between the characters, it was not written to entertain, it was written to discuss the reality of war and living with the memory of war, I wanted to talk about PTSD, anger, war-guilt, and suicide because these are discussions that need to happen by getting away from the myth and disconnect of combat and focusing on the naked ugliness of it and how we can live with those memories through expression.

While there will always be “those” books that do not give much substance to the echoes of war, I’ve been seeing more and more veteran writers coming forward from the trenches. There was a recent Vanity Fair article called, “The Words of War” that included a few of these up and coming writers of poetry, novels, and screenplays. I felt encouraged reading it. Seeing fellow veterans picking up the pen and expressing themselves. I’m proud to be part of this “Lost Generation,” as Elliot Ackerman, one of the veteran writers mentioned above, put it, “it might have been better to be part of the ‘Lost Generation’ than the lost part of a generation.”

 

DWELLING by Thomas S. Flowers

Subdue Series, Book 1

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Release Date: Dec. 8, 2015

: : : SYNOPSIS : : :

 

A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war…

 

A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls.

 

Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away…

 

Jonathan was wounded in that fateful battle and now suffers from PTSD. He wants to put the nightmare behind him, but when Ricky’s ghost appears with cryptic warnings about Maggie’s house, he begins to question his sanity.

 

Bobby Weeks is a homeless veteran struggling with a lycanthropic curse…

 

Afraid of bringing harm, Bobby stays far away from those he loves. But after a full moon, a mysterious woman approaches him and reveals a vision about a house with a sinister presence, and he realizes staying away might no longer be an option.

 

Minister Jake Williams lost his faith on the battlefield…

 

While Jake will do anything to reconnect with God, he turns to vices to fill the religious void. But a church elder urges him to take a sabbatical, and a ghost tells him to quit the ministry, and his life is more out of control than ever.

 

When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny her home harbors dark secrets. Desperate, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, and events conspire to draw them all to the house…unaware of the danger awaiting them.

 

The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1lVX86K

PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/1YFDjP5

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Thomas S. Flowers is the published author of several character driven stories of fright. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter. His first novel, Reinheit, was published by Forsaken. He also has a short story, “Lanmò,” in The Sinister Horror Company’s horror anthology The Black Room Manuscripts. In 2008, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served for seven years, with three tours serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in History. He blogs at machinemean.org, where he does author interviews and reviews on a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics.

 

LIMITLESS PUBLISHING: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/thomas-flowers/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ThomasSFlowers

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/machinemeannow

WEBSITE: http://machinemean.org/

Guest Post: Ela Lourenco

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What is Creative Writing?

Ela Lourenco

Aside from writing books for both adults (the Essence series) and young adults (the Dragon Born series), I also run creative writing workshops for children. I myself was lucky enough to be exposed to the wonderful world of writing from a young age, both in and out of school. I wanted to give that same opportunity back to others, who like me when I was much younger, have found that same passion for telling a tale. I must be honest and admit that I get as much (or maybe even more!) out of my workshops than the children do. The enjoyment and renewed inspiration I get each time a child reads out their latest wonderful story or poem or article, that same glint of excitement in their eyes, is immeasurable. And the questions they ask… oh the questions! There is no one more direct and to the point than a child! Just yesterday a new girl in my workshop asked me “What are we here to do? What is creative writing?”  And just like that the entire classroom came to a standstill, pens that had been frantically writing stilled and a sea of puzzled faces looked at the newest addition to the group.

You know a question is brilliant when it makes everyone stop and think – to look behind the ‘we’re here to write stories and stuff’ or ‘I’m here because my mommy made me’ (don’t worry, I always manage to infect them with the joys of writing until they no longer remember that they didn’t want to be there initially!).

So what is creative writing? It is something different for everyone, but for me it is the freedom to write anything you want with no limits, rules or restrictions – to take an idea, a feeling, and run with it until your story takes on a life of its own. The new girl could not get over her shock that when she was with me she could tell whatever story took her fancy. She couldn’t believe that I was not going to dictate a topic for her to write about or tell her that yes she could write a poem but only if it rhymed and was in iambic pentameter. ‘There really aren’t any rules?” she whispered in disbelief, “and you don’t mind if I write a comic strip?” I told her that I only had one rule – make sure you write what you enjoy, write to please yourself.

I use this advice when it comes to my own writing. When writing my first YA book Dragon Born I let my imagination run wild. No magical ritual or character was too fantastical – there were no limits to what races and worlds I could cook up. I stayed true to writing what I enjoyed myself and the story just flowed, the characters taking on a life of their own.

True creativity is born when limits are cast aside.

 

Dragon Born

Ela Lourenco

Far in the distant reaches of the universe is a world called Azmantium. A planet with lilac skies, jade green seas and fiery red suns. A planet where everything, from the tides of the sea to life itself, is rooted in magic. Children are assessed at an early age and trained according to their unique magical talents.

Lara, an orphan who has no memory of her true origins, is unaware that she has a vital role to play in the ancient prophesies that are about to begin coming true. Older than most who are just beginning their magical training, Lara will soon find out that destiny waits for no one, especially when the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

With the help of her new friends, Lara will learn that in order to save the future, she must journey into the past – to a time when Dragons ruled the world!

 

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Dragon Born is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

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About the Author — Ela Lourenco lives in Scotland with her two daughters and husband. She has been an avid reader since childhood and has long enjoyed mysteries, mythology and anything related to the paranormal/supernatural/mystical/science fiction. She loves nothing more than making up stories about faraway people and places (helped somewhat by a mind that just won’t grow up!). When she isn’t nose deep in a book or writing herself she can be found dancing around the kitchen whilst baking. Her biggest wish in life is to infect others with a passion for reading.

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2016 #ASOT2016

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January 1st 2016 kicks off the third Authors Supporting Our Troops event, and we’re hoping it will be the biggest year yet to collect author-signed books! #ASOT2016 has a modest goal: beat the 3,000 books we shipped in 2014 and the nearly 3,500 books we shipped in 2015.

Let me explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books. Whereas, in 2014, I had a definite end date in mind, in 2015 I just kept collecting books thanks to the permanent Facebook group. This year I won’t be doing an event page because it becomes too much work and it also becomes redundant once interested parties join the permanent group, where I happily post the pictures of the signed books as they arrive, post pictures of the boxes as they are shipped and update news about where we stand on the event.

So, what are we looking for?

Author-signed books.

YOUR books. If you’re in an anthology and want to sign your story, we’ll take it. If you put out a release, sign it and we’ll take it. We don’t want you sending us your dog-eared copies of Stephen King. We don’t want books you weren’t involved in unless you’re the publisher or collecting other author’s books to ship to us at once.

Books ready for shipping.

Books only. 

While we know troops overseas could use new toothbrushes and soap and Dorito’s, we aren’t collecting them. Neither are we collecting eBooks and e-readers. Print books only. There are many other organizations who collect necessities for the troops, but we aren’t one of them. Our modest goal is to put 3,500+ print books into the hands of soldiers in remote areas of the world like Kuwait and Afghanistan. If a soldier is stationed in Germany or San Diego, they can easily buy a book or have access to TV, games, e-readers, etc. This event is for the men and women of the military who don’t have easy access to read. It’s something for their downtime between hostile situations.

What genre(s) do you accept?

Everything but blatant porn. Nothing taboo or racist, nothing pushing the envelope. Anti-military books might not be so popular. Last year many authors didn’t think their romance books would fit, but they did. Soldiers will read anything if its the only book around. There are also many women in the military. They like to read a good paranormal romance, you know.

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We ship through USPS.

We have a nice and easy system setup for us through Craig and Suzanne at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida. It gives them some business and they do all of the hard work by setting the boxes with tags and mailing stickers, etc. Last year so many people tried to be helpful and let us know about alternate ways to send books. None of them were as cheap or easy as the USPS. No carrier ships boxes for free. No carrier can get close to the cost we send them through the mail for and the ease we can ship them.  For a box of books (about 50 books per box) it costs us about $25.00 to ship. Add in the ease to ship for me and there is no alternative that makes sense.

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Donations are accepted and welcome.

I am not a non-profit and we are not a business. We are a couple of people who want to help soldiers. We don’t go through the USO or have contact with military groups. I’ve never served in the military but my wife Shelly (the other half of the team) has a Godson, James, who is serving. it started because she wanted to send him books. This all comes out of our pocket less donations and sales of t-shirts (more on that below). As an example: 3,000 books shipped means about 60 boxes. At $25.00 each to ship. So about $1,500.00 is needed. That doesn’t include buying the shipping boxes and the stickers to place on the boxes. Any monetary donation is accepted and welcomed. We really do appreciate it.

James graduation from boot camp

ASOT2016 T-shirts.

Yes, we will be doing the shirts again in 2016. The first one will kick off on January 1st 2016. We’ll have several colors this year. We try to keep the price as low as we can so more people will buy them and represent. The small profit from the shirt sales goes towards the shipping cost. Last year over half of the shipping was paid for thanks to the shirt sales. We’ll also do like we did last year and post your picture in the shirt and probably do some prizes and whatnot for those helping us out like give away bumper stickers or a new bookmark we’ll have in 2016.

Can you send books and/or donations now?

Of course. But the real fun will begin on January 1st 2016 when the event is officially open. Just send me an e-mail with ASOT2016 or something similar in the subject line asking about the information. I will not be putting my home address on this post or on Facebook. But I will respond as quickly as I can to any queries. if you have questions, contact me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com

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How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last two years (about 650 or so) that is such a small blip of the writers and publishers out there. If you belong to an organization, let them know about it. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books last year, which was great.

What branch of the military do you send to?

We’ve shipped to all of them. If a soldier is in a remote area, we want to reach out and hand him/her a book. We find one contact soldier in the unit and ask them to hand out the books when two boxes arrive. We also hope they can take time to send us pictures of the troops holding some books. That is one of the best parts to me. The smiles on their faces holding an author-signed book. Be aware in 2015 almost no pictures we able to be published on social media because of the security needed to keep our troops safe, but I will get e-mails from time to time thanking us for what we are doing.

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How do you get the soldier’s addresses?

From you. Like we said, we don’t work with a company or the military. We rely on family and friends of soldiers overseas to get in touch with them to make sure they’re interested in handing out the books. Then we need their COMPLETE address (including their name and APO/FPO) to ship to them. That’s it. The goal is 35 soldiers in 2016 or more.

What’s the Facebook address to stay in touch and see all the pictures?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/ and also friend me on Facebook so I can tag you in any pictures we post anywhere on Facebook, too!

We’re hoping the Authors Supporting Our Troops 2016 blows away all estimates. Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia