On Reading Your Work Aloud

Sooner or later, all writers are told that it’s a good idea to read your work aloud; it makes it easier to pick up on overused phrases and find sentences that are clunky. What’s even better is to have someone read your work to you. However, not everyone has their own own personal book reader at their beck and call. So the next best thing is to have your computer or Kindle read to you.

I started using the Text To Speech feature on my Kindle for this very reason. It sounds terrible, but it forces you to hear every word. And unlike reading it aloud yourself, the Kindle will never insert a word you’ve forgotten. Case in point, I’d written the sentence “the device was size of a paperback book.” I’d proofed the draft several times, but my brain always stuck the word “the” in there for me between “was” and “size”. When the Kindle read the sentence, I realized I’d missed the word and was able to fix it.

Granted, the Text To Speech feature sounds like an old fashioned Speak and Spell, so I just pretend that Stephen Hawking agreed to narrate my work. 🙂

How about you? Any other proofreading tips you’ve discovered? Sound off in the comments.

Gearstripper’s Hot Chocolate

In KRAMPUSNACHT, Gearstripper is given a thermos full of some very special hot chocolate. Regular folks like us can’t get hot chocolate like that, but the recipe below comes about as close as you can get outside of the North Pole.

  • 6 oz shaved milk chocolate (I recommend Callebaut)
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Whipped cream

To prepare:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Slowly stir in the cream.  Heat the cream until warm, stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon and top with the whipped cream. Put a candy cane in for good measure.

Warning: This is extremely rich. You may not be able to drink a mug all by yourself, so snuggle up with someone to share it.

Enjoy!

KRAMPUSNACHT Now Available!

KRAMPUSNACHT is now available from Amazon and B&N!

As an added bonus, if you purchase Krampusnacht between now and 12/3, I’ll give you a free virtual autograph. And you’ll also be entered in a drawing to win an autographed paperback copy of my debut urban fantasy novel, IMPERIUM! Just forward your Amazon or B&N receipt to cpg@nicholasolivo.com. I’ll send out the autographs and announce the winner on 12/4.

Enjoy!

Thoughts on Getting Reviews

OK, so you’ve finished your novel. You’ve polished it until it gleams. You’ve had it professionally edited. You sprung for professional artwork. You’ve just posted it to Amazon. And now…

Now your book is up there with hundreds of thousands of others, and no one knows about it.

There are a bunch of things you can do to market your book, but one of the most effective is getting a review on a book blogger’s site. That puts you smack dab in front of your target audience and encourages them to buy your book. So here are some tips to land that review.

1 – Locate your target blogs. I used the Book Blogger Directory to find as many urban fantasy blogs as I could. Once you’ve found a bunch of sites, move on to step 2.

2 – Run recon. Make sure that the site accepts self-published books. Look for a link on the site called Review Policy (sometimes it’s in the About section as well). The Review Policy tells you what sort of books the blogger likes, if there are any genres they’re not accepting, and if they take self-pubbed books. If they say they don’t accept self-pubbed novels, then move on. Do not be “That Guy” who thinks he’s special and the rules don’t apply to him. Trust me, they do. If the reviewer doesn’t specify whether or not they take self-pubbed books it’s probably safe to pitch them.

2a – Assuming the site takes self-published books, have a look at some of the reviews that have already been posted. You’re looking for two things here. First, does the blogger like authors who write with your particular style? For example, my novel IMPERIUM is a lot closer to Jim Butcher than it is to Stephenie Meyer. Make sure that the reviewer goes for your type of book. Second, do you like the reviewer’s style? Some reviewers give lots of spoilers, others speak in generalities. Make sure you’re comfortable with how they work.

3 – Send a polite note to the reviewer. Address them by name, provide them with your book’s blurb and ask if they’d be interested in reviewing your book. Also provide your email and website (or blog address). Erika over at Badass Book Reviews has an entire post dedicated to just this point.

4 – Wait patiently. Some bloggers say that if you haven’t heard back from them in a week, they aren’t interested. Respect that. If you get no response, let it go and move on.

Alright, so let’s say you hear back and the reviewer is interested in your book. Yay! But now there’s one last step. You have to be prepared for whatever rating the reviewer gives you. The reviewer may not like your book. They may think your precious novel is a steaming pile of dog feces. Or worse, they may brand your novel with the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish). In that case, what do you do?

5 – Accept it. You don’t argue with the reviewer. You asked for their opinion, remember? It’s OK to be disappointed, upset or even mad. But you do that offline. Fire up an FPS and imagine fragging the reviewer. Take out your frustrations on a punching bag. Gripe to your significant other or your best friend, but do NOT do it in any kind of an online forum. Chalk it up to experience and move on.

However, assuming you have written a good book and you’ve done your homework so it’s in front of the right reviewer, you should receive a good review. And let me tell you, seeing 5 stars next to your book’s name is one heck of a feeling.

KRAMPUSNACHT Cover Art & Blurb

I’m very excited to reveal my secret holiday project! So here it is: KRAMPUSNACHT!

An 8,000 word collection of short stories, featuring:

Krampusnacht:
Santa’s been kidnapped by his demonic ex-partner, Krampus! Can Gearstripper the gremlin and Jake the security guard free St. Nick in time for Christmas?

Pause:
Time’s been frozen on Christmas eve and two Chroniclers are dispatched to investigate. Find out what happens when they encounter someone dressed as super-hero Commander Courageous!

Fulfillment:
A mysterious figure known as Stranger Wolfram prepares to summon a creature from the pits of Hell on Christmas Eve. Will fortune teller Mrs. Rita stop him?

Want to be the first to know when KRAMPUSNACHT is available? Sign up for my newsletter via the sidebar!

Rebooting Heroes

I’m thinking of a superhero. See if you can guess who it is.

  • He’s super strong
  • He’s nearly invulnerable
  • He has telepathic powers
  • He’s a king who renounced his throne

Did you guess yet? I mean, someone like that sounds pretty cool, and I guarantee you’ve heard of him.

Give up?

Aquaman.

Yeah, that’s right. Aquaman. Everyone knows Aquaman as the “guy who talks to fish.” Sure he can breathe  under water and that’s kind of cool, but what sort of a superpower is talking to fish? Lame. And when I was a kid, he couldn’t be out of water for more than an hour or he’d weaken. That later got amended so as long as he got a glass of water or was near a humidifier, he’d be ok. That was lame too. It seemed that Aquaman would always be the laughing stock of the Justice League.

And then I read the rebooted Aquaman #1 that DC recently put out and everything changed.

I never thought I’d say this, but Aquaman is pretty kickass. This issue highlights all his strengths; Aquaman’s super strong and durable, which makes complete sense if you think about it. In order for someone to withstand the pressure at the bottom of the ocean floor, you’d have to be tough. Within the first couple of pages, Aquaman has lifted an armored car, withstood a hail of bullets and leaped to the tops of buildings from street level.

The other thing that this issue did well was directly confronting all the Aquaman hate out there. Someone asks him about talking to fish, and he responds with the following. “Fish don’t talk. Their brains are too primitive to carry on a conversation. I reach into their midbrains and telepathically push them to help me out.”

Wow. That’s a much more scientific explanation than I would’ve expected from Aquaman, which means he’s also a lot smarter than people give him credit for. When someone else asks him what it’s like “to be no one’s favorite super-hero,” Aquaman gives a very menacing glare, brandishes his trident and then walks away. The guy who was giving Aquaman crap genuinely looks rattled.

So Aquaman’s really not someone you should mess with. I never considered him like that, but I certainly do now, and I’ve added this to my list of titles that I’ll pick up each month. Maybe my kids will grow up with a lot more respect for Aquaman. I can safely say that anyone who grew up with Batman: The Animated Series has a much different take on the Dark Knight than the people who grew up with Adam West’s portrayal of Batman. (Bat-Shark Repellent? Come on, people).

Have you checked out the new Aquaman or any of DC’s other New 52? Let me know in the comments.

Halloween Blog Hop: Lisa McCourt Hollar

Today’s Halloween, and my final guest on the Halloween Blog hop is Lisa McCourt Hollar, author of the short story collection, HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS.

Nicholas: So Lisa, here we are on Halloween, one of the scariest days of the year. What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Lisa: A kid ran out into the road and I hit him. He is okay today, but it is THE SCARIEST thing ever, especially when you realize you are going to hit him. I just sat in the car and screamed, “OH MY GOD,” over and over again and my daughter had to tell me to get out of the car. He was under it and when I saw him I lost it. His family told me later they were just as scared for me as they were for him. Then when he got out of the hospital…broken arm, ruptured spleen, ribs busted up, I went to see him and they made him apologize to me for running into the road. That made me feel worse because he could have died and he’s telling me sorry.

Nicholas: Wow, that is scary. I’m glad both of you were okay. So what would you do if some of the things we pretend to be on Halloween were real?

Lisa: Strap on a gun and go hunting.

Nicholas: I like the way you think. So tell me, do you think silver is truly lethal to werewolves and vampires ?

Lisa: I don’t think so. I think if I were a werewolf or a vampire, the first thing I would want to do is put out false information so that vampire or werewolf hunters wouldn’t know what to do. It’s a dangerous world for monsters. You can’t be too careful you know.

Nicholas: Hmm. Never thought of it like that… So speaking of monsters, what fictitious creature or monster do you fear the most?

Lisa: Zombies because they just don’t stop. One or two I could handle, but eventually they would overwhelm me.

Nicholas: I hate zombies. Since everyone’s talking about the zombie apocalypse right now, are You Prepared for the End of the World as We Know It?

Lisa: Yes and the way it is going, I welcome it.

And now a bit about HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS:

Halloween Frights is a collection of Halloween and ghost stories. The following is an excerpt from Happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween
Covered in mud, Sandra trudged down the road, the hazard lights from her car blinking through the dark behind her. She didn’t turn to look at their mocking blink, imagining each flicker of light a laugh from the car that had mocked her, before sputtering and coughing its last breath out there in the middle of bum fucked Egypt. She had cursed at it, the rain pouring down and thought she could hear the engine, as it cranked trying to start, whirring, “April Fools, April fools,” at her. She’d gotten out in the rain, kicked the side of the car and was rewarded when her foot slipped on the wet pavement, causing her to land on her back. “Happy effin Halloween to me,” she thought, refusing to give into the huge joke the galaxy was playing on her.

Pushing herself to her feet, she slogged to the back of the car, lifted the trunk and looked down at George. The hole in his head had made a mess of the sheet she’d wrapped him in and she was glad she’d chosen the one his mother had given them for their wedding night. They were an ugly, unromantic shade of putrid green and Sandra imagined that was why the old bitch had bought them. She’d always hated Sandra and when George had proposed, his fat, pig-eyed mother had the freakin’ nerve to have a heart attack. Three months later and a triple bi-pass surgery, she was dressed in black as Sandra walked down the aisle. That was five years ago and George was still a mama’s boy.

“Well, not anymore,” Sandra had thought, looking down at his bloody head. “Dick head may not have a spine, but he certainly had a brain. God, that’s gross.”

Trying to avoid getting grey matter on her, Sandra pulled him from the car and shrieked when his body fell out of the sheet, landing in the mud and splattering it all over her. “Just great George,” she snapped, kicking him in the side and rolling him back onto the sheet. “Always got to make a mess for me to clean up. Fuckin’ pig.”

Reaching back into the trunk, Sandra pulled out the shovel and laid it on top of her dead husband. Taking hold of the corners, she dragged him off the side of the road and into the woods. She wasn’t worried about anyone coming along and finding her car, one of the reasons she had chosen this route was because of how secluded it was.

You can buy HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS at Amazon and Smashwords.

Connect with Lisa:

Blog: http://www.lisamccourthollar.com
Twitter handle: @jezri1

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! Remember, you can enter to win a copy of HALLOWEEN FRIGHTS over on Angel Haze’s blog. Just head on over here and leave a comment – http://angel-haze.blogspot.com/2011/09/halloween-blog-hop.html  

Halloween Blog Hop: Weston Kincade, Part Deux

Today we’re continuing the Halloween Blog hop, and author Weston Kincade has come back for round 2! In addition to writing urban fantasy, Weston also writes YA fantasy. If you missed my interview with him earlier this month, check it out here. Today we’re going to learn a bit about his novel, INVISIBLE DAWN.

 

INVISIBLE DAWN Blurb

To keep a promise and save his long-lost goddaughter, computer programmer Jedd Altran sacrificed everything, including his wife and newborn son. Now, they must pass through worlds far different than their own to escape the clutches of government killers.

In a world where rare individuals have evolved, the government kidnaps specific children to study and utilize their abilities. Madelin has been imprisoned in such a facility for thirteen years and suffers from medically induced amnesia. Facing a hopeless future, haunted dreams, and an invisible past, each morning is an Invisible Dawn and life holds no meaning, until she meets Jedd. Her newly discovered godfather becomes her beacon in tumultuous seas as they strive to find answers and allies.

Excerpt

Chapter – Prologue: Questionable Sanity

For the first few seconds of consciousness, Daniel Robertson sat on the edge of his bed staring at a ghastly image in the full length mirror. A child stared back through eyeless sockets, its skin seared to a charred remnant of its former self. Even in his waking moments, he saw the same nightmarish memory. It was as though sleep had not found him.

His digital clock glowed red, 5:04 a.m. The nightmares never let him sleep through the night. He groped for the most recent bottle he had haphazardly tossed aside the night before, but gave up when he spotted it on the floor.

His eyes returned to the wooden stand, but the phantom child was nowhere to be seen. Instead, his own depressed reflection peered back through aged eyes. A large X marred his cheek, long ago healed, but it was a reminder of his inescapable past. Sweat swelled from nowhere and grudgingly streamed down his forty-three-year-old, leathered face. At each wrinkle there was a split-second hesitation.

Fragments of his past flickered through his mind in a jumbled mess. Piecing them together while semi-conscious was like constructing a jigsaw puzzle. But suddenly the sequence of horrific events snapped into place like snapshots from someone else’s travels. Glimpses of unwanted memories returned that even alcohol could not drive away.

“As though I could ever forget,” he muttered, thinking back to the horrifying visage.

The dim glow of a streetlamp streamed through the window and cast tall shadows across the room. His yellow complexion melded with the aged bed sheets like a sickly chameleon. Even in El Paso, a heat wave like this was unusual.

A slight breeze startled the curtains to life and newspaper clippings fluttered on the wall before resigning to the push pins’ insistence. The sound drew his attention and he flicked on the nearest table lamp. It did little to illuminate the room, but was enough to see by. The victims stared out at him, their lives amounting to a small blurb. Above their heads, the articles announced, ‘Man Found Dead in Car Explosion’, and ‘Woman Killed in Foiled Carjacking’, among others.

He knew them by heart. Each represented a failed attempt to save his ex-employer’s targets. They were all that remained of his recent pursuit for salvation. He sniffed at the stale tobacco odor that permeated the apartment. It was as though the small space could never get clean; a feeling he was quite familiar with.

Lifting himself from the bed, he straightened and listened to the crack of his joints. He stretched his arms and crept over to the open window, his dark skin masking the muscular build beneath. With each footstep, the floor announced to his neighbors that he was awake. It was a reminder of the innocent lives he put in jeopardy by staying here for two months. Black Force was after him, and they were just as well trained as he. His old mercenary friends would not take hostages, and they had no qualms with eliminating witnesses.

He needed to move on before he was found, but it was difficult to give up such an ideal location. One reason he chose this dilapidated part of the city was the unfriendliness of the people. His weathered complexion helped him to blend in, and the fact that he spoke not a word of Spanish afforded him his solitude.

Daniel smiled as another faint breeze drifted through the window. Seeing an oncoming car, he stepped out of the moonlight and alongside the curtains. There was no need to broadcast his presence. Watching the sidewalk below, his attention was drawn to an interesting individual.

The man was different from other street inhabitants headed to work. He casually strode under the streetlamps holding an AK-47, but no one took notice. It was like the armed man was invisible. He passed the taco vendor Daniel frequented and even Marco failed to greet him. The old food salesman greeted everyone while grilling his morning breakfast burritos, but somehow he overlooked this man.

The oddity was barely visible at this distance, but the early risers on the streets should have spotted the gun. His clothes made him stand out like a leopard at a zebra party. Through the sporadic flow of traffic, Daniel watched the man’s russet coat and fedora bob behind passing cars. His checkered golf pants shone under the streetlamps and he walked with a slight spring in his step. He was like an armed ostrich bobbing down the city street, ready to go hunting.

Could he be with Black Force?

He doubted it, but what if his old employer had hired someone new? It was odd for a mercenary group to hire out to a competitor, but he might have eluded them too many times. Either way he needed answers to his questions, and this guy might be his key. They were questions that had plagued him for years, like ‘What could he do to stop Black Force or at least get them off his back?’ He just wanted a chance at redemption before he died. The pain he had caused was unforgettable, especially in his dreams.

His hand unconsciously went to the three scars crisscrossing his large bicep. He ran calloused fingers along the smooth skin. It was not until the last few years that he came to care about others. Up to then, he did what he wanted and what he was told without question. The scars were just a reminder of one of his father’s early lessons on obedience; something his old boss and good-old dad had in common. They did not take ‘no’ for an answer.

Losing sight of the man behind a group of chatting women, Daniel was startled into action. He needed answers, and this guy was his best chance. He searched the sidewalk for the bounding pedestrian. Seconds later, the man appeared without having lost a step. Anticipating another disappearance, Daniel gave the street a cursory glance.

Satisfied, he threw a blue button-up over his sweat-stained undershirt. It trailed behind him like a cape as he crossed the room. His hand automatically grabbed his 9-millimeter off the end-table and tucked it into his pants before bringing the door to a close. He had to catch up before the guy vanished again.

Taking the stairs two at a time, he swept through the first floor foyer and onto the sidewalk. He searched the opposing walkway for the brown fedora. The hat materialized over a taxicab, and the yellow lamplight overhead illuminated its creases like the golden eyes of an animal peering through the shadows.

Daniel bolted across the busy road and narrowly avoided a rusted-out farm truck. The only warning of its approach was a deep, male voice crooning through its open windows “… oh, mi amor,” while a salsa melody plucked along in the background.

At least I won’t be the latest obituary in the Sun Herald, he thought as the guitar melody faded.

He leapt over the last car-length of asphalt and rushed up the sidewalk. Sidestepping the barrage of pedestrians, he weaved through more oncoming groups and attempted to gain on the odd man. Daniel pumped his muscled legs harder. He threaded his way through the sporadic traffic while keeping the man in sight. It still surprised him how many people walked to work on this side of town. He felt like a running-back for the local Panthers football team, dodging moving targets. Unfortunately, he could not remember a game they had won, and his progress was worthy of the same praise. Somehow, the bobbing fedora was still drifting further away. Daniel broke into a run. Passing men and women gave him sidelong glances. A few locals cursed as he shoved them aside, attempting to close the gap with his prey.

The loud shouts did not bother the man in the fedora. He never turned or glanced back. He just continued down the packed street, his dark hat bobbing over-top the crowd. As Daniel closed the distance, the unusual man walked directly into a father and daughter walking hand-in-hand. The stranger faded into a misty existence and phased through them. Without anyone realizing, the anomaly solidified on the other side and continued as though nothing had happened.

Daniel halted mid-step as his heart skipped a beat. “Whoa, this guy can’t be Black Force,” he muttered. “He’s like their hopped-up crooked cousin.”

The possibilities tumbled through his mind. Either way, this guy’s looking for trouble.

He was tired of waiting for them to find him. He had to act. “There’s no such thing as coincidence,” he whispered with renewed confidence.

The retired mercenary redoubled his pace and began gaining on the fedora. The old courthouse was around the next bend, and the sidewalk grew more congested. His broad shoulders cowed some people, but others he cast aside like scattered chess pieces. Faces whizzed by in a blur, man … man … woman … man … child, but his attention remained on the armed stranger.

Daniel made his way to the corner, but was unable to reach his prey before the man entered the busy street. Stepping out of the packed sidewalk, the ex-mercenary stopped at the curb edge to watch the man cross. The armed apparition passed through cars undetected, heading for the municipal building. The muzzle of his rapid-fire gun came up as he approached the building front, but still no one reacted.

The veteran’s gaze followed the apparition across as the sun peaked over the mountainous horizon. But his eyes stopped abruptly when the courthouse came into view. Around it was a dimly outlined building, much larger than the courthouse of his reality. It stood over-top the historic building like a spectral shadow. He tilted his head, attempting to find the pinnacle, but its towering peak disappeared into the dawn sky. The building was enormous, like those in larger cities. It was a phantom skyscraper attempting to exist in an already occupied space. Its edges stood out against the stone structure of the courthouse, glistening blue like the threads of shimmering spider webs.

He stood motionless, in awe of the sight. Much like the man he had followed, it gave no one else reason for pause. He looked around, but even the fedora in the distance did not break its casual stride. A moment later, the man disappeared into the miasmic building.

“How could such a thing exist?”

At the base of one luminescent thread appeared a woman dressed in an outlandish, white-belted kimono. She finished thumbing the wall before turning around. Daniel peered at the block wall, searching for what she had been holding, but nothing was there. He could have sworn something had moved under her hand, but it was gone. Unlike the man in the fedora and the spectral building, her presence did not go unnoticed. She stood out in her tattered, oriental gown. The shredded kimono swirled about her with every intention of hiding her graceful curves, but failed utterly.

Her auburn hair shone in the sun’s morning rays, framing a pale face and wild eyes. Over the years, Daniel had come to know the look of fear in others. Judging by her face and the way people avoided her, she was in full flight. His brain went into overdrive as he remembered that people were looking for him. He had made a huge display and left disgruntled pedestrians in his wake. They would have no problem identifying him now.

“Dammit!” he spat. He had to do something … He had to move. And right now, this woman needed his help.

Entering the road, Daniel allowed morality to guide his search for redemption.

 

* * * * *

Here’s a bit  about Weston

Creative writing has always been a passion, and I have helped invest in future writers throughout my teaching career at the middle and high school level. In my spare time I write poetry, short stories, and have completed two novels: A Life of Death and Invisible Dawn: Book One of Altered Realities. I am currently working on the sequel in the Altered Realities Series and am about to complete a short story anthology of twisted tales and flash fiction in cooperation with two other authors. Look for the anthology titled Strange Circumstances in early 2012. I also edit novels and technical documents for those interested in my services.

As the wordsmithing process continues, I find great ideas in the oddities of mundane life and take them to new heights.

Stalk Weston on:

Blogspothttp://authorwakincade.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @WestonKincade

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/WAKincade

GoodReadshttp://www.goodreads.com/wakincade

Wattpadhttp://www.wattpad.com/user/WestonKincade

Authonomyhttp://ow.ly/6B20h

Buy INVISIBLE DAWN at these locations:

Amazon – http://ow.ly/6B2Am

Barnes & Noble – http://ow.ly/6B2XM

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48842

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/InvisibleDawn

Remember, you can enter to win a copy of INVISIBLE DAWN over on Angel Haze’s blog. Just head on over here and leave a comment – http://angel-haze.blogspot.com/2011/09/halloween-blog-hop.html  

Free Virtual Autographs!

Hi Everyone

You might have noticed a newsletter sign up form in the blog’s sidebar. When you sign up, I’ll be able to notify you when I release new works, and I’ll also do special subscriber-only giveaways. For everyone who signs up between now and 10/31, I’ll give you a personalized virtual autograph, like this:

If you want a custom message, I’ll be glad to do that too. Just say what you want in the comments!

 

Halloween Blog Hop: JL Murphey

Today we’re continuing with the Halloween Blog Hop, and J.L. Murphey, author of the horror novel Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption. J.L. was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:

Nicholas: So your novel deals with a zombie apocalypse. When that apocalypse comes, how will the zombies move?

JL: Just like in my novels. They will move fast when newly dead or have have kept themselves rejuvenated by eating brains.

Nicholas: [shivers] I hate fast zombies. So let’s say the apocalypse has hit, and your household has been infected. Could you decapitate your zombified spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend?

JL: You betcha! In my mind they are already dead so killing them again wouldn’t be murder. Besides if I don’t kill them they will kill me…survival of the fittest!

Nicholas: Darwinism at its best right there. So let’s lighten things up a bit. Halloween’s just around the corner. What’s your favorite candy? Do you give that out on Halloween or do you keep it for yourself?

JL: Peanut M&M’s it’s brain food for me. I actually do give it out at Halloween so when Halloween is over any leftovers are MINE.

Nicholas: That’s only fair. And which Halloween creature would you most like to be?

JL: To actually be or dress up as? To actually be, I think a werewolf. Werewolves can live normal lives unless there is a full moon. This year, I’m officiating at a zombie wedding so I’ll be a zombie minister.

Nicholas: That sounds like fun! So you seem to have a pretty good handle on dealing with shapeshifters and the undead. What fictitious creature or monster do you fear the most?

JL: You mean they are all fictitious? I remember a “Twilight Zone” episode with William Shatner with a creature on the wing of his airplane which only he could see. That episode still haunted me in nightmares 30+ years later.

Nicholas: Ah yes, Nightmare at 20,000 feet. That was a classic. The creature, a gremlin, certainly had an impact on me, too. Plus it’s Shatner. I mean, that right there makes it awesome.

And now, a bit about Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

Blurb:

Dr. Donna Cairn is a genetics researcher for the Center of Disease Control. When the CDC issued the Zombie Apocalypse Alert, she discounted it as a way of advertising hurricane preparedness. When a conspiracy buff working with her in the silo speaks to her about the debunked Hapgood theory of Earth Crust Displacement, she again discounts it as just that some wacko, paranoid rambling. But when radiation levels after the Japanese earthquakes starting rising, all bets were off.

Simple dog bite patients are dying from a mysterious fever. Bodies start coming up missing from the morgues across the globe. When the death count reaches over one quarter of the world’s population dying due to this new plague, the CDC sends their best virologist, Kit Seger, to help Donna in her quest of finding the virus in her converted missile silo laboratory in Nebraska.

The dead have risen and hunger for human flesh. She never believed in zombies before, but now she believes in them. Can she and Kit find the cure before mankind becomes extinct? How do you cure people who are already dead? And better yet, how do you kill the dead?

Can it be that Donna’s unborn niece and nephew are the answer? With the earthquakes rumbling, zombies at the gate, and time running out will they find what they are looking for? Man can only hope.

Excerpt:

The night was cooler than Eckerd remembered reinforcing the chill down to his bones. In his mind he tried rationalizing the idea of summer being cold, but gave up. It took too much effort to think. At this point, he wasn’t even sure where he was or where he was going. All he knew was he needed to get warm. His rage did little in helping him achieve his goal. He buried his head deeper into his jacket and continued walking.

A man bumped into him as he passed him and Eckerd’s temper erupted. Dummkopf! Why don’t you watch where you are going? He thought the words because his mouth wouldn’t form the words. All that came out was an intelligible grunting growl of raging fury.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” The man said.

Eckerd grabbed the man by the collar and they scuffled until both were rolling on the ground. Somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, his fighting skills came into play as he pummeled the man with his fists. A couple of blows to his kidneys and groin sent the man into agony, but when the blows were returned, he was surprised he felt no physical pain. It felt good releasing some of his hostile feelings. The man put his hand over Eckerd’s mouth and tried shoving him away. Eckerd bit the hand and was rewarded by the yelp of pain coming from the other man.

The sensation of warmth flooded his mouth and he bit down harder tearing a chunk of flesh from the hand.

“Verdammt!” The man cursed and pulled his hand away from Eckerd trying to break his grip on him.

The need for warmth and a growing hunger filled Eckerd’s mind as he grabbed the other man’s head and beat it on the pavement until the other man lost consciousness. He tore another piece of flesh from the man’s bare arm and swallowed. Warmth flooded his stomach and spread outwards. The man’s blood spurted and splattered his clothes and exposed parts of his body, but he was beyond caring. He sighed in relief when he found the man’s entrails held the most warmth. Too soon the temperature of the body fell and no longer gave the warmth Eckerd’s body craved. He rose from his crouched position, left the body where it was, and continued on down the street.
Where to buy Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79723
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Apocalypse-Redemption-J-Murphey/dp/1463781466/
Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/3663514
Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byUpPnOxm50

About JL
I live in the Golden Isles of Georgia and married to my soul mate. I have been an author and free lance journalist of nonfictioin for thirty years. I threw my hat into the e-marketplace and self-publishing earlier this year. To date, my novel writing credits include:

Under J.L. Murphey

  • Escape from Second Eden (espionage suspense)
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

Under Jolee Morris

  • The Sacrificial Lamb (southern suspense)

Under Grandma Jam

  • Who Stole Baby Ruth (children’s)

Thanks for  stopping by, JL!

Remember, you can enter to win a copy of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption over on Angel Haze’s blog. Just head on over here and leave a comment – http://angel-haze.blogspot.com/2011/09/halloween-blog-hop.html