My Reading List 2018


I read quite a few books each week. I am a big fan of Kindle Unlimited and read a lot of nonfiction books through it. Biographies. History. Writing and podcasting help books. Occasionally fiction, too.

I’ve been inspired by a few people today, notably Tim Meyer and Ron Davis. Tim released his top books read of 2017 and Ron posted every book he’s read in 2017 (38 books, all of which I would love to read someday). It got me thinking… why not keep track of my own reading in 2018?

I keep track of my writing and my money in and out for my career. I keep track of anything to do with podcasting and Project Entertainment Network

I shall keep track of my reading this coming year!

But wait… there’s more!

I also see so many authors diving into the world of Stephen King and reading all of his books.

I was never a big King fan. 

I’m a Dean Koontz fan, so…

In 2018, besides continuing to read the books I would normally read, I’m going to go back through and read (or re-read) every Dean Koontz book I can get my hands on. Yep. 140+ books. 

I doubt I’ll get to read them all, but if I read one per week I could finish it in about three years. It should keep me busy. 

I’ll add a tab onto this website to keep track and keep me honest. Once again, this is more fun than anything else and to hold my feet to the fire to do it. 

My goal would be reading 50 Dean Koontz books and 50 other books this year. 

Let’s see if I can do it!

Here’s the page I’ll be posting the books to in 2018: https://armandrosamilia.com/armands-2018-reading-list/

Armand

 

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Guest Post: Maynard Blackoak


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Musical Inspiration for the Wild Weird West

Maynard Blackoak

 

Writing takes me down many paths through the tales I spin.  Each dusty trail taken was influenced in a different manner.  Sometimes, it is something as simple as a grouping of trees around a large sandstone boulder.  Other times, an old film sparks a flame of creativity.  Many things activate the part of my brain that manufactures the stories I write.  However, music is one of the most important tools used for inspiration.

A particular song can put me in the saddle in the middle of a cattle drive.  Often, a tune can make me smell the leather of the saddle beneath me and feel the sun on my forehead, or a cold rain slapping my face.  Music can remove my mind from my body and teleport it through space and time to an era when vigilante justice was meted out quickly with a gun or a noose.

In my collection of Wild West collides with horror tales, Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West, music was instrumental in nearly all my yarns.  Though most of the stories in this collection were not directly inspired by a particular song, listening to a special song put me in a proper frame of mind.  On some occasions, I listened to the same song repeatedly as I weaved the fabric of a tale.

Take the story, Willows of the Mourning Dove; I listened to Running Bear by Sonny James several times, as I penned the tale.  Though the character of Mourning Dove was very loosely based on the female love interest in the song, little else about the story resembles the tune.  Still, the music and lyrics inspired me as I wrote.  Had I listened to another song while I put words to page, the story would have most likely taken a different path.

While inking The Jonah Herd, there were two songs on my playlist, Stampede by Chris Ledoux and Rawhide by Frankie Laine.  Other than both using a cattle drive as the subject matter, nothing about the story suggests a tie to either tune.  Nonetheless, both kept my mind firmly planted on a trail drive.  Both brought me to a place where I could feel the mud from the hooves of horses and cattle hitting my face and see the rain as it dripped from the brim of my hat.

As I sat writing The Guns of Clay Allison, the tune Big Iron by Marty Robbins played almost exclusively.  There is absolutely no link between the song and tale, but I knew I needed to listen to it if I was to pen the story.  It gave me the sense of using a primitive six-shooter and filled my nose with the scent of spent gunpowder.

In the story Collateral Winds, the song Seven Spanish Angels by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles inspired and influenced the story.  A tale of a path taken leading to regret and remorse, the impact the tune had on the storyline is evident.  Sometimes, decisions made affect not only the people in our sight, but also others we fail to notice.  Both the story and song depict the ramifications of a life lived by the gun.

The Devil’s Herd was inspired by two songs, Ghost Riders in the Sky by Johnny Cash and to a lesser extent, El Paso by Marty Robbins.  Elements of this story are derived from the lyrics of both tunes.  Though I listened to the latter more often, the other had more influence on the path the story took.  The imagery created by both songs helped set the tone of a long ride across a barren landscape in brutal heat to an unknown destiny.

As you read the dusty tales in Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West, feel free to play the forementioned songs or create a playlist of your favorite cowboy tunes.  Let the music and the stories take you back in space and time to a rowdy era where vigilante justice was the law and guns ruled the land.

 

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Eerie Trailsof the Wild Weird West

In this collection of fourteen strange tales from the wild west, Cowboys and Indians face down supernatural beings of all varieties – from vampires and werewolves; to ghosts and vengeful spirits; to mythological creatures.

Saddle up cowboys and ladies alike, once the journey begins, Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West will take you down a strange and bizarre path though the old west that you’ve never been on before.

Available on:

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

The Netherlands

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

The Netherlands

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

CreateSpace (Print)

 

maynardblackoak

 

About the Author — Maynard Blackoak is a freelance writer living in the backwoods of Pawnee County, Oklahoma. He draws upon the sights of neglect and unusual sounds around him for inspiration. A bit of a recluse, he can often be found strolling through an old, forgotten cemetery or in the woods among the twisted black oaks and native elms under the light of the moon.

Twitter: @maynardblackoak

Facebook: Maynard Blackoak

Armand’s Summer Clearance Event! $5 Print Books!


I’ve just come back from back to back conventions, Scares That Care Weekend in VA and Authors After Dark in GA. Both events went well but I realized something. OK, let me back up a second and be honest… I always knew I had this problem but until the past few weeks I never realized how bad my problem was… I pack enough books for every author in the room to sell.

I lost count (and too lazy to look) but I believe I am well over 50 different print books with my name in there somewhere. No way I should be able to carry a few copies of each, yet every time I go to a con I bring 3 full crates and at least 2 full boxes with me. Insanity! 

So… I decided to do something drastic about it. Actually, my wife forced me to do something intelligent about it, especially since certain print books are out of print or have had an update, etc. 

I’m going to sell every book listed below for the earth-shattering low price of $5 each plus $4 shipping first book and $1 each additional. Sorry, only available for U.S. buyers  AND I’ll even sign them because I’m really a nice guy at heart. 

Here are the print books and the number next to each is how many are available, so get your orders in asap. I will update this page as books are sold:

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Highway To Hell (original naughty version) – 2 left

Highway To Hell 2 – 1

Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer (out of print) – 2

Dying Days 1 through 5 (original covers) – 1 of DD1, 8 of DD2, 16 of DD3, 9 of DD4 and 7 of DD5

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Dying Days: Siege of European Village – SOLD OUT

Dying Days: Siege 2 – 9

Undead Tales anthology – SOLD OUT

Undead Tales 2 anthology – 1

Dying Days: Origins – 2

Dying Days: Origins 2 – 3

Still Dying – 2

Still Dying 2 – SOLD OUT

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Zombie Writing! – 5

Creeping Death (out of print short story collection) – 5

Metal Queens: Models 2 – 6

Belford Stories (original version) – 10

Quick Bites of Flesh (out of print) – 1

Zombie Tea Party – SOLD OUT

Skeletal Remains anthology – 1

Rymfire Erotica anthology – 2

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There ya go! 24 different titles to choose from. When they’re gone they’re gone! I won’t be printing them again. Some are still available through Amazon but at the normal $9.99 – $12.99 price and those aren’t signed, either. 

How can you get your hands on these copies? Simple. Send me an email at  armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know which signed print books you’re interested in along with your PayPal address. I will send you an invoice and get your book(s) ready to ship. 

Any questions?

Armand