Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rebecca Besser takes over

Hey folks, today I am turning my blog over to one of the first people that had faith in me as an author. Without further ado I give to you the amazing, inspiring, and absolutely awesome Rebecca Besser.





Out of the Box Zombies
By Rebecca Besser

            Zombie culture has taken the world by storm. We have everything from cell phone commercials to The Walking Dead (the main cultural phenomenon that has everyone at the edge of their seats asking for more – if they’re a fan, that is).
            But, with this surge of interest in zombies comes a problem. What is it? Well, I’m going to tell you.
            The problem is that the reader/watcher gets the same scenario over and over again in almost every zombie story.
            The people in zombie stories seem to always be trying to fight the horde of the undead while they are scraping by day to day just to survive. The survival is what keeps people captivated (and the gore!). If you’re anything like me, you put yourself in the character’s shoes and see if you could do better. You’re in awe of some of the character’s survival knowledge, which actually comes from the author; these are the things that make each author and story just a little bit different. It’s all in the perspective.
            The problem with the plot repetition though, as far as commonality, is that it’s easy to get bored with the same regurgitate plot over and over again. Especially when there’s no new survival info introduced. This gives zombie writers, like myself, a real challenge. Those of us who have been writing about zombies and want to hold our own in the genre need to think outside the normal zombie box, so to speak, and come up with something new to “Wow!” our audience. We need to give the readers new angles…new stories.
            And that’s what I strive to do in my books.
            In my book, Undead Drive-Thru, there is one zombie. Yes, you heard me, one zombie. The story is about a man who comes home to his wife as a zombie, and she loves him too much to kill him, or let anyone else kill him. What does she do? She keeps him like a pet until things get out of hand and others get involved. The book is more about the story of a human heart dealing with the change of a loved one and the dangers that could bring, than the classic “survival” zombie tale.
            Another of my books, Cursed Bounty (a novella available for Kindle), is about one zombie as well… Or it is to start out. There are more by the end. But, in this case, I give you a voodoo zombie who is being used by a politician for personal gain, set in the Old Wild West.
            So…if you’re interested in some zombie tales that are out of the box, you should check out my books.
            Now, when it comes to short stories… I stay old school and go with the hordes of zombies and people trying to survive. There’s still fun to be had there, it’s just harder to be original. In my story, To Walk the Halls (now available to read on my blog), in the Code Z anthology, I take the hospital outbreak scenario on a whole new journey of horrific and wrong. It’s sure to…er…turn your stomach (pun from the story).
            But, even if the stories are something from outside the zombie box, or old school survival, keep reading zombie fiction! Zombies are always fun, right?


Excerpt from Undead Drive-Thru:
PROLOGUE - TWO YEARS AGO . . .
Betty Jones was setting the table for supper when her husband, Sam, stumbled through their apartment’s door. His clothes were torn and duct tape was hanging from his wrists, knees, and ankles. After only five steps through the doorway, he fell hard onto the floor with a grunt.
“Sam!” Betty screamed and ran down the hall, dropping to her knees beside him. She lifted his head and cradled it in her left arm, stroking his cheek tenderly with her right hand. “What happened?”
His eyes fluttered open and he looked up at his wife with pain etched across his face. “Betty . . .” he breathed and then passed out, his head lulling to the side.
Betty shook him and yelled, “Sam! Wake up!”
He didn’t respond. As she moved to lay his head gently on the floor so she could call 9-1-1, she noticed two things: 1) The tape that had apparently been used to bind him, had been cut and not ripped; and 2) There was a small red circle on the side of his neck. On closer inspection, she noted that there was a tiny hole in the center, reminding her of an injection site.
Without thinking on these discoveries for any longer than a split second, she pulled herself to her feet with the help of a small table set in the hallway and rushed to the phone to call for emergency assistance. She’d just gotten through to an operator when Sam suddenly woke up with a loud, startling moan.
Betty dropped the phone into its cradle and darted back into the hall to help Sam to his feet, because his movements were slow and awkward.
She gasped when he was finally standing and she could look up into his face. His eyes were glazed and cloudy – almost completely white – and slobber was running down his chin, dripping onto his shirt.
“Sam, what happened to you?” she asked on a gasping sob. “Please, tell me!”
He leaned closer to her and sniffed loudly before a crooked grin spread across his face, the drool increasing in volume. Without warning he lunged forward and tried to pin her to the wall as his jaws snapped open and shut, seeking flesh.
She spun slightly when he tried to attack her and broke free of his strong grasp, falling to the floor between the hall and the bathroom. The strength of his forward advance flung him headfirst into the bathroom, leaving him sprawled on the tile floor. Quickly, Betty rose up on her knees and gripped the doorknob, yanking the door shut as the phone began to ring, trapping him.
She was sobbing uncontrollably and leaned back against the door for support; she was shaking too badly to hold herself up on her own. She screamed every time he slammed against the solid wood with the entire weight of his body, hissing and moaning.
Slowly, she crawled over to the phone and answered it; the emergency dispatcher was on the line. Betty fought for composer and forced her mind to work. She knew if she told them about Sam, they would come and take him away. After all, she’d seen enough zombie movies to know what he’d become. They would either use him as an experiment – which she thought someone already had because of the tape and the wound on his neck – or they would simply kill him.
In the most controlled, assured voice she could manage, she told the operator that she’d accidentally dialed the wrong number and apologized.
After hanging up the phone, Betty let the sobs she was holding back break forth again.
Once she again regained some composure, she stood and walked shakily back to the bathroom door where the banging continued. She placed her palms flat on the smooth, white, painted surface of the wood and rested her forehead between them.
“Sam,” she called out, “I don’t know what has happened to you, but I’ll be here for you forever. I love you . . .” She paused as her voice caught on a sob. “. . . so much. I’ll take care of you as long as I live, and won’t let anything or anyone hurt you. I promise!”
On the other side of the door, the hungry zombie who’d once been her husband continued to try to get the food he knew was just out of reach; pounding, moaning, clawing, hissing, wanting . . .
Continue reading Undead Drive-Thru by purchasing your ebook copy here:


Find out how to use your purchase of the ebook to be entered to win two signed paperbacks of Undead Drive-Thru:
Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

Find out more about her:

© Rebecca Besser, 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A dash of gratitude





I am a very lucky person. I know, those of you aware of the hell I have been through this year (Here's a LINK to the blog post I made about it) are probably scratching your heads about now, but the reality is --as difficult as things have been-- I have had good friends and family there to help me through the rough spots.



With your support I've forged my way through the worst year of my life. You've helped me to get back up, brushed me off, given me band-aids for my various metaphoric skinned knees, and kept me going down the right path.


I couldn't have gotten through this year without you folks and I honestly just want to say thank you. There have been so many amazing people in my life this year helping me and I feel so lucky for it. Because of that, I wanted to take a moment and just let you all know how grateful I am for everything. Thanks for listening to and, of course, for helping me. You all rock.




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mark Tufo takes over with Part One of 'Through My Baby's Eyes'.

I am excited, honored, and very proud to host Part One of a short story written by the ever awesome Mark Tufo for the Winter of Zombie 2014 blog tour . Without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you the Czar of Zombies, Mark Tufo.






Through My Baby’s Eyes

Mark Tufo


Part One


My name is Mercury Jones. One would guess that I was a professional athlete and I had given myself a flashy nickname. That wasn’t the case. Nor was I slippery in any way. My name was given to me by my asinine father, who stayed around just long enough to saddle me with that moniker. The ink wasn’t dry on the birth certificate before he bolted for parts unknown. Now the question you may have is why. Why did he name me this? Because his friends which were marginally less stupid than him bet 27 dollars and three lines of coke that he wouldn’t take a drink from a thermometer. He did. The comedy of errors didn’t stop there, he drank, snorted, got up and meandered to his then girlfriend’s, my future mother’s house. She snuck him in and before he almost died from heavy-metal poisoning they had a booty call, where I was conceived, lucky me.
Not two seconds after the deed was completed, my father John Jones, his eyes crossed, his skin turned the color of a fire engine then he fell off the bed onto the floor where he began having convulsions. My mother the naive brain-child that she was before heroin became her substance of choice thought he was being funny and that somehow having sex with her had blown his mind. That was of course until my grandfather, retired US Army, Gunnery Sergeant Matt McCoy ran into the room to discover what all the noise was about.
“What the hell is going on Deirdre?” His daughter had her nightgown hiked up past her thighs and the little scumbag he couldn’t stand John, was completely naked. “Did you poison him?”
“Poison? No daddy.” Deirdre quickly pulled her gown down.
“Betsy call 911!” Matt shouted out the door. “John is here!”
“Did you kill him?” His wife shouted back in question.
“I would have, but he seems to have done the hard part himself. Help me turn him on his side Deirdre.”
Deirdre didn’t move. She was looking down on John who was turning all manner of colors. Her fear now was that she may have caught whatever was ailing her boyfriend.
“Now Deirdre! This is the time you chose not to touch him? Might as well, this will be the last time in a very long time you are going to be able to see him. That’s provided he makes it through the night.”
The ambulance was in the affluent neighborhood in less than four minutes. “Where’s the patient?” One of the EMT’s asked as he came in through the front door. “Any idea what’s wrong with him?” He asked when Matt escorted the two of them upstairs.
“Beats me, knowing this jack-hole he probably snorted cyanide.”
The two EMT’s looked at each other.
“Listen I don’t know what’s wrong with him, he snuck in here, diddled around with my daughter then fell off the bed and there he lies.”
“Daddy!” Deirdre cried embarrassed.
“Miss do you have any information that could help?”
She shook her head. “He came from his friend’s house, that’s all I know. Is he contagious?”
“Yeah we wouldn’t want you to catch stupid.” Her dad chimed in.
“Tough to say what is going on without a toxicology report, my guess is poisoning of some kind.” The first EMT said as he took a quick set of vitals. “Harold let’s get an IV in him and we need to transport right away.”

***

My father was in the hospital for three days, it appeared that the cocaine may have actually saved his life. Sped up his system to remove the mercury or something like that. Who would have thought cocaine could have medicinal properties? My grandfather had my mother in a virtual lockdown, he barely gave her enough alone time to take a shower. How she’d managed to get a hold of a pregnancy test was a mystery that she had yet to reveal, and with her now drug-addled mind, chances were she didn’t remember anyway. She somehow got the test yet didn’t have the foresight to dispose of it properly, left it on the vanity. The blue ‘plus’ sign must have given her such a shock she had not been able to think clearly.
Good old Matt was a through and through Catholic and could not see his way for his daughter to terminate the pregnancy, so he did the next best thing and dragged John’s ass to the altar. A shotgun was not visible but it was definitely implied. Yeah all good marriages start off when a 17 year old pregnant girl is forced to marry her 17 year old jobless boyfriend. As soon as I was born, like I said ‘dad’ split, mom was right behind him. Not physically, he didn’t leave a forwarding address, no she found heroin and so enjoyed chasing the dragon, most times she didn’t come home for days. Luckily for me she had moved back in with my grandparents or I would have been another casualty.
I was two, when Matt and Betty had had enough and kicked their daughter to the curb. They raised me as best they could, which given the circumstances was pretty good. I have no complaints, my childhood was decent, I didn’t grow up wanting to shoot up my high school or light cats on fire. I just wanted to marry my girlfriend Rachel, who just happened to be my best friend and raise a family the way it was supposed to be done. We waited until we both finished college before we got hitched. Then waited until we had our careers going before we decided on having a child. I won’t lie, I was scared. Scared I might have more of my father or mother in me than I dared to acknowledge. Would I flee upon his arrival? Or would I drown out reality in a haze of drugs?
Neither, the day my son was born, I fell deeply in love with him. I could not imagine any existence that did not involve him. He was three weeks old when things began to round a dark corner and travel off into the abyss of insanity.


*   *   *   *   *
You can find out more about Mark Tufo by checking him out at these links:

Click HERE to be taken to the Amazon page for this book.
Click the picture to see the book in store.



The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1

AND so you don't miss any of the posts in November, here's the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/


Emerian Rich teases us with Dusk's Warriors

Ladies and Gents,  Today I turn my blog over to the talented and amazing Emerian Rich. Enjoy!  JJ  There’s nothing as horrifyin...