Tag Archives: Author

Indie Books are the Best Christmas Presents

Indie Books are the Best Christmas Presents

By Rebecca Besser

You’ll see many of us authors offering up our books as great Christmas gifts. And I know when you see us doing it, you’re thinking that you don’t know if the person you’re thinking about giving the book to will like it. So, I thought I’d write this article to help you pick the right book for the reader on your Christmas list!

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Reason #1 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is that they aren’t likely to already have the book.

Why? Does the book suck? No. Most Indie Authors are either new authors or authors that have been around for a couple years, but aren’t well-known yet. They generally have some really cool, interesting books that aren’t popular to the masses. This means that their writing and books haven’t reached that many hands yet. Usually each Indie Author has a small to medium pool of loyal readers, but they aren’t usually more than a couple hundred to a couple thousand of the millions of people on planet Earth. That’s not for a lack of trying or even because of low quality work, or anything like that. It’s just hard to get people to pay attention to your book that isn’t in a brick-and-mortar book store or on the shelf at the local grab-all store. They are, however, plentiful in online markets like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, etc. You can find a lot of ebooks and paperbacks from marginally well-known Indie Authors at those outlets.

Reason #2 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is that you’ll introduce them to a new author.

I know you’re thinking that new authors can be scary or uncertain. I mean, what if the person you buy the book for doesn’t like it? There are a few ways to kill that uncertainty and make you a great book gift giver.

If you know who the person’s favorite author(s) is, you are in for easy shopping. Find out what genre that author writes and then look for books in the same genre; it’s really easy to do on Amazon. Why Amazon? Because after you’ve found the genre you want (which is fairly easy on that site), you can then use the “Look Inside” feature to read the first couple chapters of the book to check for quality of writing. You can also read through the reviews left by people who have already read the book. (Note: When dealing with a lot of reviews, throw out the best review and the worst review and focus on the middle reviews. This is where you find the most truth. If most reviews are negative, pass on that book. Also note when the book was released. Sometimes newly released books have less reviews because people haven’t finished reading the title yet, so newer books may still be really good, but have less reviews. Then look at the quality of the reviews overall.) Once you’ve narrowed down a couple of titles, check out other books by that author to see if their other books are getting decent reviews. That should give you a good idea of what authors are worth checking into further.

Once you’ve found a couple of authors, check out all their books to see if they have a series, because if you decide to buy something buy that author as a gift, you don’t want to give the book that is in the middle of a series, you’ll want to start with book one. You’ll also want to see if the author has other books that will appeal to the person you have in mind, or a book you didn’t know about that might be liked more than the one(s) you’ve already researched.

Reason #3 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is that the storyline will more than likely be more original than mass market books.

Originality is a big thing with Indie Authors. Sometimes the reason an author is an Indie Author is because they can’t find a mass market press that’s publishing their subject matter. It is often because Indie Authors are trying to create something new in their genre of choice.

Usually this is true. I say usually because there are some writers who don’t have original ideas and just try to copy someone else’s story. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. So all that stuff you went through checking out authors in reason #2 comes in handy.

From reading the first chapter or so of a book with Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature, you should have a decent idea of whether the book is boring and unoriginal. The summary of the book will as well.

General rule, look for subject matter you haven’t seen much of before. Or something you have heard of before that’s looked at in a different way, or expressed from a different angle.

Reason #4 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is because you can often get a signed copy of the book by contacting the author directly.

Unlike mass market authors that don’t have any contact information easily found anywhere, Indie Authors have blogs, Facebook pages, and are easily found on social media or through their website. Often, if you contact them through one of these channels and ask to buy a signed copy of the authors’ work, they’re more than happy to provide that option.

This allows you to get a customized gift for the reader on your shopping list. You can have the book signed to them. Not only did you give them a book, but you gave them something special and personalized! That’s usually a huge thing for presents.

Reason #5 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is that you don’t have to give it to them directly.

That might seem confusing, but let me explain. Say you do all the research I suggested in reason #2 and you find a bunch of books you think the person might like. At that point you might be unsure of what to get and that’s understandable. There are a lot of options and you want to be a great gifter.

So, here’s how you can be a great gifter without actually giving a specific book: make a list of the authors and books you found that you think the reader would like and give them the list with a gift card!

This is a great option for a reader that has an e-reader. Why? Because they can get a few of the books you suggest instead of one. They will more than likely at least look into the Indie Authors you suggested. And, possibly, they could grab a paperback from one of the authors they already like and maybe an ebook from a new-to-them author from the list.

That makes the giving of a gift card personalized and it still gives them options, if you’re unsure.

Reason #6 to give an Indie Authors’ book to the reader on your list is that you’re helping out an author, not feeding the big publisher machine.

If you’re someone who likes to buy from local, privately owned shops, stores, or businesses, that’s what Indie Authors are in the publishing world. Most of the time, Indie Authors are making little to nothing off their work because they aren’t well-known by the masses. That’s right, not all authors are making big money. A lot of them have full-time day jobs, most of them have families, and a few depend on their writing to support those families if they’re lucky enough to make what they need.

What am I saying? You would be making a purchase that matters to a person. The sales Indie Authors get are a big deal. They are truly, deeply appreciated. So, not only are you buying a book that someone you love might enjoy, you’re helping support small business. You’re helping people and families.

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I hope this article has explained how and why to buy the reader on your Christmas list an Indie Authors’ book, and I hope if that reader enjoys dark fiction (zombies, creatures, horror, thrillers, suspence) that you’ll check me out as one of the authors you’d like to gift to that reader.

You can find me and my titles on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Besser/e/B004V3IIC4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1480606749&sr=8-1

If you have any questions about my books, please feel free to contact me (I have a few on-hand I can sign):

Rebeccabesser.com

Rebeccabesser.wordpress.com

Twitter & Instagram: @BeccaBesser

Facebook: Author/Editor Rebecca Besser

 

©Rebecca Besser, 2016. All rights reserved.

Book Signing at Harlem Days – Ohio Event

I will be teaming up with the lovely and talented, Author Courtney Rene on August 20, 2016 for Harlem Days!

If you’re in the area, please stop by, say hi, buy a signed copy(ies) of our books, and enjoy the fun, free festivities!

For information on what Harlem Days has to offer, and directions (address), visit this website: http://harlemtwpheritage.org/

Author Courtney Rene – A Howl In The Night

A Howl In The Night by Courtney Rene

Excerpt from A Howl In The Night by Courtney Rene:

Then a new thought crashed into my brain.  “Wait a sec.  If my father is a werewolf . . .,”

“Not a werewolf, just a wolf,” my mom said interrupting me.

“Okay fine,” I said.  If her story was true though, I had to wonder, what did that make me?  It was my turn to pop up off the bed and pace around.  What about me?  Was I going to grow hair and fangs and run around trying to bite people?  “Oh, God.”

It felt as if my life was over.  How was I supposed to finish school if I turned into a wolf every time the moon was full?

Would it hurt to change?  It always looked like it did in the movies.  I had seen that werewolf movie where the guy runs around London eating people.  The change was always accompanied with screaming and pain.  Was I going to hunt down my friends and family and eat them?

I didn’t know if that was really how it worked or not, but before I could work myself up into a real freak fest, my mom said, “I have watched you all your life Abby, and I have never seen anything wolf-like about of you.  I promise.  That worry has always been in the back of my mind, but nothing has ever come of it.  You’re fine.  Come on, you don’t even like meat.”

I had to admit, thankfully, that she did have a point there.

She gave me a sideways look then said, “How do you think I felt?  There were times that I was worried that I was going to give birth to a puppy.  How would I have explained that to my doctors?”  My mom said this with a raise of her eyebrows and a grin.

This threw me for a moment.  She was actually teasing me?  At a time like this, she was cracking jokes?  “That’s not funny,” I said.

“Oh, come on.  Yes it is.”

Maybe it was a little funny, but there was no way in the world I was going to admit it then.

“Whatever,” I said with a shake of my head.  “So, now what?”  I was still holding onto the hope that she had just hit her head that night and thought she saw what she saw.

“I don’t know, honey.  I just thought with your dad finally getting in contact with us well, that you should be prepared.  That it was time.  You know?”

No, I didn’t know.  In that moment, I felt a little lost.  That day was supposed to be a great day.  It was my sixteenth birthday.  My world was supposed to have been great.  Instead, I may have lost my best friend and found out that I not only had a father, but one who may or may not be a wolf.  It was not a fabulous day after all.  In fact, I decided that birthdays kinda sucked.  “No.  He may be my father, but he’s not my dad.”

“Abby.”

I shook my head at her and left to go to my own room.  I needed to think, and I couldn’t do that in her room with her looking at me with her sad eyes.

Mine was just your average teen room.  It had a bed, dresser, desk, and full mirror.  There were clothes thrown about, but that was to be expected.  I was a teenager, after all.

I dropped down on my bed with a huff.  I had so much swirling around in my head that I was getting a headache.  I felt it coming behind my eyes.  It figured.  It was just one more thing to go wrong that day.

I looked longingly out my window at Brian’s little yellow house and wished that I could go over and talk to him.  I could see that he was home.  The light from his room was spilling out into the night.  Maybe he would laugh at me and tell me I needed to go have my mom checked out.  I would have agreed.  Maybe he would just help me do some research and we could figure it out for ourselves.  Instead, I felt so alone and lost and overwhelmed.

My mom was not the loony type.  She always had her feet firmly on the ground.  She never lied to me and always tried to tell me the truth.  I didn’t know if I should believe her now or not.  I know I didn’t want to believe her.  Who would?

I looked down at my hands.  They looked like just normal hands.  No claws, or hair.  They were just small, thin, girly hands.

Author Courtney Rene
Author Courtney Rene

Courtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night, and new release, The Full Moon Rises, as well as the Shadow Dancer series (Shadow Dancer, Shadow Warrior, Shadow’s End, and a break away novel, Shadow Fire), published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com or feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

©Courtney Rene, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Monique Snyman – Multi Nation

Multi Nation by Monique Snyman

Every country has its secrets. Every culture has its taboos. Every house has its cross.

 When Esmé Snyders – a young occult-crime expert – investigates a grotesque muti-murder in Pretoria West, she doesn’t realise she’s become a player in the killer’s deadly game. Before long, more savagely mutilated corpses join the tally, proving that the evasive murderer is slipperier than what she’s used to when it comes to muti-killers. While searching for a monster capable of such heinous crimes, Esmé is thrust into a dangerous adventure of love, sex, death and the paranormal. Can she win a game she doesn’t know she’s playing?

Excerpt of Multi Nation by Monique Snyman:

Chapter 1

Too often people mistake monsters for gods.

The burnt orange skies illuminate the world in a warm glow as dusk comes to a close. Several stars already shine against the romantic evening backdrop, where orange turns to mauve and then to navy blue. Tonight the moon has a Cheshire cat quality to it, and I feel like Alice in Wonderland – or more accurately, like Esmé in Death Valley. Long yellow grass reaches up to my hips as I push my way through the open veld between WF Nkomo Street and the Magalies Freeway. Blue and red lights flash on top of the police cars at timed intervals where they are parked at the Sasol garage, on top of the hill. An eerie sound—a warped version of Mandoza’s up-beat hit Nkalakatha—drifts through the area as a taxi drives past the veld. Someone else honks in approval. Then there’s just the lull of traffic, the chirping crickets, and the rushing water of the swelled Skinnerspruit to drown out the silence.

Several uniformed police officers are standing ahead. Some look bored, but it’s a façade of bravado. Others wear a tinge of green around the cheeks, a perfectly normal response. A few are talking in hushed tones in languages I can’t understand. And then there are the two teenagers who’d called it in. The blonde girl is huddled up in the boy’s arms; she’s a blubbering mess. Tears and mucus streak her otherwise pretty face, knotted hair sticks to her skin where the day’s heat still clings against her small form. She’s trembling, but nobody can blame her. The boy looks in better shape, though not by much. He’s pale and staring into the distance, maybe wishing he could relive today. Perhaps he wishes he’d taken his girl to another secluded field for some “alone time” instead.

God knows this wouldn’t have been my choice of veld for an outdoor quickie.

Le parfum de la mort, the unforgettable fragrance of decay and faecal matter, wafts through the air like cheap perfume. My stomach churns in disagreement, but I keep my lunch down like a professional. The atmosphere is thick with despair, almost palpable, and even the least superstitious police officers can feel it. Something bad happened here. Something most South Africans, regardless of race, religion, intellect and profession don’t acknowledge out of fear.

“You again,” Detective Mosepi, a robust middle-aged man with a brusque temper, asks gruffly when I near him. He glances back to his notepad and scribbles something down. “Not wearing our Gucci heels today, hmm? Good thing, too. I know how women get when they ruin those expensive shoes.”

Detective Mosepi is good at his job. With a single glance, he can recount every detail of a person’s attire. He sees evidence when others deem the find inconsequential. His memory isn’t too bad either.

I’ve known him most of my life.

My father and he worked at the same precinct until Dad’s retirement from the force a few years ago. Back then Detective Mosepi was energetic and ready to change the world for the better, but the job ate away at his soul, like it does to most cops.

I give the scene a fleeting look, curious about what lies beyond the shrubbery and uniforms.

“How’s your pa?”

“Enjoying the new job, sir,” I answer. People always ask and the answer never changes. Dad’s more alive now in an accounting office than when he thought he had a calling at the South African Police Service. My Dad’s not that old, he’s only forty-six, so he’s not reached his golden years yet. The force didn’t agree with him, though.

A shadow of a smile crosses Detective Mosepi’s face, probably as he recalls fond memories of having my father as a partner.

“What’s the story here, Detective?” I ask to get the ball rolling.

“Those two,” he gestures to the teenagers a way away, “were up to no good in the grass when they found the victim about an hour ago. The victim is a black female in her mid-twenties.”

The vague explanation doesn’t help.

I raise an eyebrow in question, which makes him sigh in defeat.

“Possible rape, definite mutilation and murder. The usual stuff you’re called out for.”

Detective Mosepi is uncomfortable. I can see it in his body language and eyes. I don’t blame him or anyone else for feeling odd. These types of cases tend to make police curt and impolite. But then, I need more to go on if I’m going to do my job.

“Is the forensics unit coming?”

“Maybe, but don’t bet on them being any help. You know we don’t have the funding for fancy CSI gadgets.”

I nod because it’s true. The forensics team only comes out for prolific cases and this murder wouldn’t make the local newspaper’s headlines if reporters were informed of the true nature of the case. It’s much too sensitive for the media, the government, and the people.

“Have you found any identification for the victim?”

Detective Mosepi looks over his shoulder and barks out a command in isiZulu. An officer shouts something back, before the detective turns his attention to me again.

“They bagged a purse, which might’ve belonged to the victim. I’ll send you the details later, after processing,” he says.

“Thank you,” I say.

He huffs, pockets his notebook, and heads toward the shrubbery. “Come on, let’s get this over with.”

I’m already behind him, stepping where his feet have landed, and readying myself for the inevitable shock. Even though I’d seen dozens of homicide victims in the past few years, each one remains unique. Dad used to drag me along to his crime scenes when I was a kid, much to my grandfather’s dismay—so I know what’s coming once I’m past the shrubbery. I fish my cellphone out of my purse and search for the audio recording app I’ve downloaded to capture initial thoughts and ideas.

Detective Mosepi steps out of the way when we reach the taped-off area. The rest of the hovering officials clear out so I can do my quick investigation, and I’m left with the full, grotesque picture.

It takes me a moment to mentally shake myself into action.

“Esmé Snyders, Occult Crime Expert, Case Number 137. It is approximately 1800 hours on Friday, 4 September 2015,” I say to my phone as I move around the border of the crime scene. “The victim is a black female, aged between twenty-six and thirty years. Height is average, at around 1,70 meters, and weight is about 85 kilograms. Clothing includes a turquoise peplum top and matching pencil skirt—cut off and discarded roughly two metres from the body—as well as black underwear and a pair of black open-toe heels.”

The woman’s nude form looks like it’s been exposed to the elements for a couple of days judging by the insect activity surrounding the body; but I could be wrong. I’m not an entomologist. She’s sprawled on her back; the extent of misery she was forced to endure in those last few minutes—or hours—on display for all to see. And with those empty eye-sockets and her slack jaw, the woman’s expression is frozen in a silent scream. I can’t become too emotionally involved though, not if I want to stay sane. So I push away my emotions, however heartless it may seem, and continue in a monotonous voice.

“Breasts and genitals have been removed, presumably pre-mortem. Defensive lacerations on her palms may confirm theory. DNA evidence of assailant or assailants might be present underneath fingernails. Eyes, tongue and lips are also missing.”

I walk around the body again, studying the evidence as much as possible underneath the single spotlight, erected nearby.

“Further investigative information is required to determine whether the victim is, beyond a reasonable doubt, another muti-murder fatality. The preliminary evidence, however, is overwhelming.”

I stop my recording, take a few pictures of the scene as well as the victim for my records, and make my way back to where Detective Mosepi is waiting with the kids.

He gives me a worried look, but doesn’t ask the question I know he’s dying to ask: Are you okay?

Am I okay?

I don’t know. I’ve seen worse, but it doesn’t get easier. Every victim suffers in ways I can’t possibly comprehend. It is part of the ritual: the more they suffer, the more potent the ingredient will be for the witchdoctor’s magic. Of course, murder isn’t always the intended outcome, but the victims’ wounds are usually of such a nature that death is, more often than not, imminent.

“This is Mina van der Schyff and Adhir Ibrahim.” He introduces the teenagers who found the body when I reach their location.

They still look like their worlds have ended, but at least the girl has stopped crying.

“I’ve notified their parents of their whereabouts and we’ll take them in for questioning, but I don’t think we’ll get anything useful out of them tonight,” Detective Mosepi whispers to me.

I nod in agreement.

“Do you want to sit in on the interview?”

“It’s not necessary; just send me their details with the rest of the files,” I whisper back. “But I would like to read the victim’s family and friends’ statements. If you can arrange it for me, I’ll owe you one.”

The detective glances over my shoulder, looks back at me, and nods. “I’ll walk you back to your car.”

I begin to protest, but the look he gives me says not to bother. I swallow my words and make my way back to the Sasol garage where I’d parked alongside the police vehicles. We walk in silence until we’ve distanced ourselves from the activity.

He steals a look again. “It’s getting worse, isn’t it?”

“The ritual murder rate has risen, regardless of the official statements the government releases. Yes.”

“How bad?” Detective Mosepi asks.

I grit my teeth. The statistics aren’t pretty, not by a longshot. As I am one of the few occult experts on the continent, I get to see the majority of the violent crimes committed. It’s become a pandemic of sorts, and everyone is at risk, but nobody talks about it. My silence answers his question.

He seems to understand. “Do you have any leads as to whether this is an organised crime ring?”

“No, but I won’t be surprised if it is. Muti-murder cases are popping up more frequently in every corner of the world, so it’s plausible. Who knows, maybe the sex-trade rings have branched out.”

“That is not a comforting thought, Esmé.”

“Oh, believe me, I know.”

We make our way up the steep hill, past the blue devil’s fork fence surrounding the back of the Sasol garage.

Detective Mosepi—huffing and puffing from the exercise—leans against the side of my car to catch his breath. After a minute, he recomposes himself and looks around the busy petrol station, before his lips thin into a tight line and he shakes his head.

“Tell me why these things happen,” he says.

I’m surprised. He’s twenty years older than I am. Surely I’m supposed to ask him those types of questions, not the other way around.

“Murder?” I ask, unsure.

“Muti-murders,” he clarifies. “Why are those bastards almost never prosecuted when we catch them?”

I inhale deeply and configure my thoughts. Before I can answer, Detective Mosepi shakes his head again and puts up a hand to silence me. If he hadn’t, I would have told him how socio-economic circumstances play a huge role in the cultivation of superstitions. I would have gone on to say the feeling of hopelessness breeds fear, which often leads to violence or idleness, depending on the person. I could also have explained how humans, in general, want to believe in something greater than themselves; something to fix everything in a blink of an eye. I don’t say any of these things, though, because I suspect he has already contemplated and considered these points.

He fumbles in his breast pocket for a packet of Marlboros, takes a cigarette and holds the packet out towards me.

I decline.

“Aren’t you scared of these things?” Detective Mosepi grimaces and lights his cigarette. A cloud of smoke exits his lungs. “Don’t you believe in witchdoctors’ powers?”

I shrug. “I believe if a person believes hard enough in those sort of things, their beliefs might come back to bite them in the ass.”

Multi Nation is now available here:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Muti-Nation-Monique-Snyman-ebook/dp/B01H63QO1W/

Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Muti-Nation-Monique-Snyman/dp/0692741674/

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Muti-Nation-Monique-Snyman/9780692741672/a_aid=moniquesnyman

Author Monique Snyman

Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with an adorable Chihuahua that keeps her company and a bloodthirsty lawyer who keeps her sane. She is a full-time author, part-time editor and in-between reviewer of all things entertaining. Her short fiction has been published in a number of small press anthologies, the Charming Incantations Series is published by Rainstorm Press, and she’s working hard on a couple of other novels in her spare time.

Where you can find Monique Snyman online:

Twitter: @MoniqueSnyman 

Facebook: Facebook.com/MoniqueSnyman.author

Tumblr: killeraphrodite.tumblr.com

Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/5780347.Monique_Snyman

Pinterest: pinterest.com/killeraphrodite

©Monique Snyman, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Armand Rosamilia – Dying Days 6

Dying Days 6 by Armand Rosamilia

EXCERPT from Dying Days 6 by Armand Rosamilia:

Prologue

Her name had been Eve, which she thought fitting.

She loved watching football as a kid with her dad in Upstate New York. Dad was a Giants fan so she’d begun rooting for the rival Jets. Now, she wished she hadn’t been such a bad daughter.

“I need her to shut up,” Eve said quietly to the terrified man in chains.

The woman had been screaming for hours. At first Eve thought it amusing. How long could someone yell when they were slowly tortured?

Too long.

“Should we take her off the table?” the man in chains asked.

Eve moved with lightning speed and slapped the man across the face, driving his nose into his skull and killing him. Eve smiled and licked the trace of blood on her hand.

She no longer needed the blood or the violence but it came with the power. She needed more power. As a teen she’d read a book about Countess Bathory and thought it was very cool. Now Eve wanted to be the new Bathory. She needed a new subject to do her bidding now, too.

“Unchain this dead man and get his pitiful body out of my stadium,” Eve said.

Two servants ran and did her bidding as quickly as possible, never making eye contact.

Eve pointed at the woman, stretched on the table on the sideline below.

“I grow weary of her screams. If she isn’t going to tell what I need to know, hang her in the parking lot with the others,” Eve said.

Humans were so problematic but necessary right now. As much as she wished she could wipe them off the face of her earth, she needed them as she grew in power. She needed them to keep others away from this stadium, and rebuild it in her image.

The markings of the football team formerly housed here were now gone, a pile of broken teal, black and gold standards and banners either burned or piled on the practice field away from this spot. Eve didn’t want to see another jaguar or dumb football slogan, although the giant screens needed to be fixed and the markings taken from them at some point. She’d already lost three humans climbing to the top of the stadium without finishing the job.

Through the tunnel, she could see two small eyes watching. It was the little girl, so inquisitive and curious despite her mother’s fear that Eve would eat her.

“Come, little one,” Eve called out from across the stadium. She smiled and motioned with her hands.

The girl got six steps before her mother ran out and grabbed her roughly by the shoulders, steering her back.

“Let her go,” Eve yelled.

The woman took another step back, ignoring the command.

“I will not say it again,” she said. Eve was moving, already down the steps and onto the field.

The mother stopped, back rigid as she stood between Eve and her precious daughter, not looking back.

Eve lightly pushed the woman away, not even bothering to look at her. She wasn’t important. The mother was just another female to birth more children who would someday grow to help build an empire.

“What’s your name?” Eve asked, bending down and smiling.

“Are you a monster?” the little girl, maybe six years old, asked.

Eve laughed. “Is that what your mother’s been telling you?”

“No, ma’am,” the mother answered quickly. “I just… we need to get back inside. It is your law we don’t come out unless you call for us.”

“Maybe I did call for her. You didn’t tell me your name, honey,” Eve said. She smiled at the little girl again.

“Amber,” she said.

She laughed. “Amber is a fat girl name.” She had such pretty red hair.

The mother opened her mouth to say something really stupid but wisely turned away without a sound.

Eve put her hand out. “Come, Amber, we have much to discuss.”

The woman tried to step between her daughter and Eve again.

“You’re dismissed,” Eve said.

“My daughter…”

“No harm will come to the child. I just want to talk to someone so innocent for awhile. I grow so bored with adults who think they know what I want them to say.” Eve looked down at Amber. She was a skinny little thing. Unlike anyone she’d ever known named Amber. Including her own sister, Amber.

When the woman didn’t immediately back down, Eve grinned and leaned forward. The mother stared into her gray eyes, frightened but her maternal instinct overpowering reason and survival.

“Don’t let me slice your throat in front of your daughter. You cannot win this battle. The only thing you can do is put your trust in a monster like me and pray to your God I don’t do anything bad to your precious child,” Eve said. She patted Amber on the head and pointed. “Go run across the field as quickly as you can. I’ll wait for you on the other side.”

When Amber began to run, crossing the football field, Eve turned back to the mother.

“Are you not fed?”

“Ma’am?”

Eve raised her hands. “Do I not protect you from the zombies? Do I not get you food and drink, a bed to sleep in, and entertainment? Am I a bad ruler?”

The mother shook her head quickly.

“Then it makes me curious why you don’t trust me with Amber. Have I ever touched one of the children or said something inappropriate? Have you heard rumors from others in your group?”

“No.” The woman stared at Eve and she could see she was trying to keep her thoughts as hidden as she could, even though it wasn’t working.

“You’re worried about me hurting her. You should be more worried about yourself, especially if you can’t offer me what I want,” Eve said. “If I were you, I’d take this time alone and realize it’s a gift. Go back and find a mate, because barren females aren’t anything more than zombie bait.”

Eve was about to threaten her further when the images in her mind startled her.

She turned back to see Amber standing on the other sideline.

“Amber, I want you to run around the field. Play. Have fun. I’ll be right back. I’m going to talk with your mother and then you and I will eat M&M’s and drink soda,” Eve said.

She turned back to the mother and put a hand on her shoulder.

“Take me to the men who are forcing themselves on the women. These men will be dealt with severely so this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

The mother shook her head. “No. Please don’t do anything. I can handle it.”

Eve looked at Amber as she started running. “Eventually, once you’re all broken, they’ll start on the children. This is what men do. This is why I am here now. To cull the herd so we can find only the ones worth living.” She grabbed the woman roughly by the chin. “I am not asking you to tell me. I will eviscerate you in front of the flock to prove a point, do you understand? I am not your friend. I am not going to rip these men apart brutally because I love my followers and want to show them justice. I am doing it because you are my property and every dead woman means one less baby for me. I need a population to continue my work. Take me to them.”

She nodded her head slowly.

Eve grinned. She hadn’t had to kill anyone and make an example in too many weeks.

The Chosen One was coming right to her, drawn to the power, and she needed to stay sharp.

 

Author Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He runs two very successful podcasts on Project iRadio, too…

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast – with co-host Mark Tufo, the duo interview authors and filmmakers and anyone else they feel like talking to.

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com

 

©Armand Rosamilia, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

Author Armand Rosamilia – Dying Days 5

Dying Days 5 by Armand Rosamilia

EXCERPT  from Dying Days 5 by Armand Rosamilia:

Chapter One

Sally was bleeding out and all Mitchell could think about was if the zombies could smell it. He’d been covering her mouth for an hour, pushing down hard every time she tried to scream.

“You’re hurting her,” the little Puerto Rican bitch said for the fifth time in the last twenty minutes. Her New Yaw-Rican accent was getting on Mitchell’s nerves. If she wasn’t so damn hot, he would cover her mouth, too, but also her nose, until she died.

He hated having such vile thoughts. He was one of the good guys. “If she cries out, we’re dead. I heard noises outside.”

“There’s always noises outside,” the wimpy dude with the cracked glasses said. “The world moves around us.”

“Man, whatever drugs you’re taking, please share with me,” said the Puerto Rican chick. “Or else shut the fuck up with your Matthew McConaughey crazy talk. You’re not nearly as good looking.”

Mitchell put his hand up when he heard another noise. He was sure of it this time. Someone was right outside the door. Something…

There were seventeen people crammed into the bathroom of the Chinese restaurant, and it only had two stalls. Not nearly enough room to survive for long. With Sally sliced open and stinking like death it was only a matter of time before they were found out. Despite what Mitchell and a few of the more intelligent members of the group wanted, no one would let them toss Sally out into the restaurant or the street to be eaten. She hadn’t been bitten. She’d taken a nasty fall off a roof onto a wrought iron fence.

Sally was dying and she was going to get them all killed.

“Everyone please be quiet,” Mitchell said. He pointed at the door, which had no lock on it. They’d piled the garbage cans and wedged a chair under the door handle like someone had seen in a movie once, but Mitchell knew it wasn’t going to hold against anyone with a bit of intelligence. Like the fucking zombies roaming around lately.

Why had he joined with this sorry group of people anyway? Mitchell was doing just fine on his own. He had a little bit of food and water. He was sleeping on the roof of the Staples building across the street. He’d found two computer keyboards inside and he was keeping them as his weapons. So far he hadn’t had to use them. The break room vending machines were his source of food and drink. Until he’d emptied them.

There was a knock at the door.

One of the women went to go to the door, but two men held her down.

“Maybe it’s someone who needs help?” she asked, struggling to break free. “My poor son could be out there.”

“Or a zombie messing with us,” one of the men said. “I’ve been face to face with a smart one. They’ll screw with you, chase you down like an animal, and then bleed you out for hours. Stay away from the door.”

“You’re talking too loud,” Mitchell said. He waved his hands for everyone to back up into the far end of the bathroom.

There was a second knock. “Is everyone alright in there? I heard some talking. You people need any food or water? We set up a base camp just up the road.”

“We’re saved,” the woman said with a faint smile. “I knew my prayers would be answered.”

Mitchell shook his head. “No one speak.”

“Hello? This is the National Guard. We’re here to save you. The zombies are retreating back to Canada. Order will be restored. God has saved us all,” the voice said. “But we need to move fast. We’ll be heading out in a few hours.”

Now several people were coming forward, relief on their faces.

Mitchell knew it was all bullshit. He shook his head and put his arms up but no one was stopping. “It’s not real. There are zombies on the other side of the door. Don’t you get it? We’re being duped into opening up and letting them feed on us. All of us. I’m not going to do it.”

“Get out of the way,” a large man said, sweat streaking down his face. He’d been sitting against a sink since Mitchell had gotten here, and he hadn’t said a word. Now he was coming at Mitchell and gaining momentum. “I’m getting rescued.”

“Seriously, this is a mistake,” Mitchell said before the man pushed him out of the way. “We’re all going to die.”

“This isn’t a trick, is it?” an elderly woman was shouting.

As if they’d tell you the truth, Mitchell thought. No, we’re lying. This really is a trick. Haha. He moved to the back of the bathroom as the people scrambled to open the door and invite death inside.

Just as the door was cleared, something heavy slammed against it from the other side and everyone surged back.

People murmured and the large man put both hands up and tried to hush the crowd. It didn’t work.

“Open the door already. I’m having an episode,” a woman said. “I don’t like cramped spaces.”

“You’ve been here for three days without complaint,” someone else said.

Mitchell tried to blend into the wall, knowing there was something really bad about to go down.

“Please don’t open the door,” someone else said but they were drowned out by murmuring. “This isn’t going to end well.”

Another knock at the door and everyone fell silent.

Mitchell slumped down to the floor. He didn’t want to see people getting ripped apart, and it was going to happen.

“Hello?” a deep male voice said from the other side of the door. “Can I have your attention, please and thank you?”

It wasn’t the same voice as before. Whoever was talking had a bigger presence to Mitchell. An authority figure. Trouble.

“I can hear you in there. At least a dozen, maybe more. I have good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first?”

“Good news,” the big man finally said when no one answered. He’d stepped up to become their leader, and Mitchell was fine with it.

I should’ve stayed on the roof across the street, Mitchell thought.

“Alright. First, the good news… you didn’t open the door. Smart move. There were three zombies out here, ready to kill everyone in the bathroom. It would’ve been really bloody and quite the mess. So… you’re welcome. I wiped them out. But watch where you step when you exit the john because there might be a few puddles and limbs on the floor.”

Mitchell covered his head with his hands and pulled his knees close to his body. Could this get any worse? He knew it was about to.

No one made a sound, staring at the door.

“Hello? You still in there? Someone needs to ask about the bad news now,” the voice said.

“What’s the bad news?” Mitchell heard the big man say.

“Well, here’s the kicker. I’m also considered a zombie, except I’m more powerful than the ones bothering you. So powerful, in fact, I dispatched them with ease. Which was good short-term for you. Long-term? That would be up to you.”

“Don’t… open… the… door,” Mitchell yelled hysterically.

“Before everyone freaks out and tries something ridiculously stupid like attacking me, there are a couple of things you need to know. I’m not here to kill you. I’m actually here to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Interested in hearing my sales pitch?”

Mitchell stood up. Had he heard right? Was the fucker playing with them now?

“What do you think?” the big man asked and shrugged his shoulders.

“I’d rather not destroy the door, to be honest. But I will if you make me count to three,” the voice said. “Regardless, I’m going to chat with you for a bit.”

Mitchell pushed through the crowd. His hands were shaking. He couldn’t take this anymore. If they were going to die, so be it. But this teasing was literally going to kill him.

He was expecting someone to stop him as he put a hand to the door, but everyone was busy holding their breaths. Mitchell glanced around before turning the knob and pushing open the door.

It was a sharp-dressed man in the hallway. Not a bloody monster, although he did have some crimson spots on his royal navy suit. His dress shoes were covered in gore and the bottom of his pant legs was ruined. But he was smiling.

“Hey, thanks for opening the door. I really do appreciate it.” The man motioned, with his hand, for Mitchell to come out. “Let’s talk in the main room. Away from the smell of the hallway and the bathroom. I have a proposition, like I said.”

Mitchell stepped over what could be an arm but he didn’t want to spend too much time staring at it. He was afraid he’d pass out and fall face down in a pool of blood while the rest of his companions stepped over him.

The group was led into the restaurant, the man going to where the front doors used to be. He stood in the entryway in the darkness and now Mitchell could see his glowing red eyes. “I’ll get right to the point. I was like the mindless zombies and then I smartened up. Quicker than the rest. It was beneficial to me. I spend my nights roaming the area. I search out the zombies and destroy them.”

“Why?” Mitchell asked skeptically. He figured he had nothing to lose and no one else was stepping up to ask any questions. He wanted the guy to get to the point.

“Because I’m no longer a mere zombie. I’m so much more. I have powers you can only imagine. I can sense things. I can control things. Read minds. Manipulate the world around me. Understand more than the human brain could ever hope to learn and process. I have become the evolution of the race, and there can only be one of me.”

“You sound more like a vampire than a zombie,” Mitchell said.

The man smiled. “If it helps you by putting a label on me, so be it. It doesn’t really mean anything. I am what I am. And I am offering you all a chance to live.”

“Keep talking,” a woman said.

“I am building a new life. A safe haven where the zombies won’t be able to touch us. A place with food and water and electricity. Somewhere you can raise your children without worry,” the man said. “And in return I ask for your loyalty. Nothing more.”

“Nothing more?” Mitchell asked. “Then what’s in it for you?”

“A community to help protect me, of course. There are millions of zombies and they’re all heading to Florida. I can’t destroy them all myself. I need people on the walls of the compound to keep them at bay. I need help in keeping the human race alive.”

“To what end?” a woman asked.

The man chuckled. “I no longer need human flesh to live. I no longer have the horrible sexual urges of my lesser brethren. But I do need the blood. I won’t die without it, but I will survive longer with it.”

“You are a fucking vampire,” Mitchell said. “Holy shit.”

“If you come with me tonight, I offer safe passage to Daytona Beach to live and flourish. I won’t force you. If you choose to stay, I have no problem with it. But then you will become an ongoing source of blood for me. I hope you understand. Our human numbers are dwindling and I have so many big plans to expand where we live. We have a garden but need more people to help with crops and to gather supplies. Does anyone have any construction experience?”

Three men held up their hands.

“Excellent. We’ll be starting expansion in the next week. We’d love to have you be a part of the team. I will protect you.  Will feed and clothe you. In return, you will help me. Any questions, or shall we go? I have a team waiting for you outside in a school bus to transport you to Main Street.”

“Who are you?” Mitchell asked.

“I am The Lich Lord.”

 

Author Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He runs two very successful podcasts on Project iRadio, too…

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast – with co-host Mark Tufo, the duo interview authors and filmmakers and anyone else they feel like talking to.

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com

 

©Armand Rosamilia, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Armand Rosamilia – Dying Days 4

Dying Days 4 by Armand Rosamilia

EXCERPT from Dying Days 4 by Armand Rosamilia:

Chapter One

There were two of the rotting fuckers, set on either side of abandoned cars with their backs to the dunes, waiting to ambush whoever came down the road. The only weapons they carried were their natural ones: teeth and fingers, but they were in the advanced stages and they wore clean clothes and the bloodstains had been washed away.

And they were whispering back and forth across the stretch of open road between them, joking and laughing like there was nothing wrong in the world. One of them, the larger of the two, was scratching something into the sand with a small stick. They looked bored.

Tosha Shorb noticed the chain running across the road between the cars. She’d been on this stretch of A1A for hours without a car coming by. What were they waiting for?

She heard the engine the same time her two new friends did. They gave a quick thumbs up before squatting behind the cars. Tosha got comfortable in the dunes with her Bushmaster M16 A2 Carbine and was about to take both zombies out when she saw movement in the dunes on the opposite side, closer to the beach. At least four zombies were getting into position and two of them carried rifles.

“Motherfuckers,” she growled quietly. Now they were arming themselves. This was getting worse and worse each day. She’d had to abandon the tour bus when zombies began setting up road blocks like this. And about half of them were banding with others to hunt the living while the other half wanted to destroy both the undead and those still breathing. And there weren’t many left still breathing.

Three vehicles were coming down the road: a custom van with a hole cut out of the roof to allow the two gunmen easy access, a pickup truck with a dozen armed people piled in the back, and a black SUV in the rear.

They were driving right into an ambush but Tosha moved her finger from the trigger. This wasn’t her fight. She wasn’t going to leave just yet, though. There might be food and supplies left over after the massacre. Luckily the zombies didn’t worry about eating (except breathing people) or drinking. They also never seemed to tire and never slept. She’d observed some becoming inactive, just leaning against a wall or even sitting and staring into space. But their eyes didn’t close. Ever.

And they were healing.  The gunshot wounds, severed limbs and stilted walk were going away, slowly but surely.

There were a half a dozen zombies creeping down the dunes, from her side, in anticipation of the ambush and she instinctively put her finger back on the trigger. But pulling the trigger would alert every zombie in the area to her presence, and she didn’t feel like dying today. Or any day soon.

The other unnerving thing with these zombies was the fact they could sense people. She remembered being in a McDonald’s storage room and two of them coming in, talking about her smell and trying to find her. They had but she had put a metal bar between both their eyes and crushed their skulls in for good measure. What was most disturbing were the smiles they wore as they attacked. They were showing emotions… except for pain. Tosha remembered the confusion on their faces as they were being killed yet again. As if they believed in their immortality.

There were too many of them in the area and it didn’t matter how armed these people were because they’d be ambushed any second.

“It’s not your fight,” Tosha whispered to herself, but she kept her finger on the trigger and looked through the scope at each zombie as it got into position.

Her red hair was tied back and she’d tossed off her shoes a few miles ago because they were ripped and it hurt worse than bare feet to walk in them. Her jeans were ripped in several places (luckily not in the crotch since she’d stopped wearing undies a few days ago) and so was her shirt. Her pale skin was burnt and she’d give anything for some makeup, a pair of sunglasses and a cold beer right now.

Maybe these people had clothing. A pair of shades. A pair of thongs for her ass, which was getting rubbed raw by the jeans right now. Not your fight, she thought once again. Just fade away and go find a spot to sleep tonight.

The convoy was getting closer to the chain and the car pileup and they were slowing down. She heard someone in the SUV yelling something and the SUV stopped.

Tosha used the scope to look at the people in the SUV but she couldn’t get a good look at any of them. There were at least four occupants but they had the windows up.

As she watched, they began to back up, away from the cars in front of them, just as zombies swarmed over the dunes like ants.

Shots were fired on either side and a man pitched off the back of the pickup truck and hit the ground. Everyone else leapt out and tried to take cover on either side, but there was nothing to hide under or behind, and the zombies began firing at them like fish in a barrel, while at least a dozen zombies ran down the sand and jumped onto the pinned down living.

Tosha watched as the van tried to drive through the trap, but the chain was hit at about thirty miles per hour and slowed the van down, pulling the two cars on either side against it. The two original zombies scrambled onto the top of the van as it tried to back up, and both zombies fell into the open pit on the roof.

The SUV kept backing away without anyone stopping to help or fire a shot.

The living, from the pickup, put up a good fight, shooting at zombies and getting many headshots. The driver of the pickup managed to turn it around, doing a U turn on the soft shoulder of the road and running down two zombies.

Just when it looked like they’d escape, a zombie shot the front tires and they both deflated, forcing the driver to overcorrect and end up smashing into a dune on the side of the road.

Zombies shooting guns, Tosha thought. What is this dead world coming to now?

She was once again reminded of ants because so many zombies appeared from over the dunes and she shuddered when she realized at least twenty had been hiding, buried in the sand on either side of the road, and now popped up, swiped sand from their bodies, and joined the attack.

The people in the pickup truck didn’t stand a chance. Another three shots were fired before the zombies dragged everyone out of the truck and rounded up the survivors in the road, ripping them apart and stripping them of their flesh.

Tosha turned away when she saw bloated sexual organs. These motherfuckers were sick. She wished she had a bazooka to blow up the entire lot of them in one fell swoop.

The ocean was rough today despite it being so warm and not many clouds in the sky. She’d been working on her tan for too long and now she was burnt. She wondered if she’d ever just tan without it feeling like she was on fire.

This beats the snow of Pennsylvania, she thought. She had no idea what month it was and Tosha had lost track of time since running from her home. All she knew was it was warmer here but filled with zombies, all seeming to march to the sea for whatever reason.

If she could figure out what time of year it was, she could maybe head back north and arrive during the summer so it wouldn’t be too bad. But she doubted a thousand mile trip back, after all the shit she’d had to endure getting to Florida, was in her future.

A stray zombie appeared in the surf, one of the mindless ones. Tosha didn’t remember the last time she’d seen a ‘newer’ zombie. As they’d matured and became cognizant, the zombies had taken to killing not only the living but the newer zombies as well.

The horde of zombies on A1A was a rarity, and for that she was relieved. If they decided to stop killing one another and march across the country, the living would be killed quickly.

A zombie appeared from the dunes not too far from where she was hiding and jogged down the beach, angling toward the new zombie.

Seeing it run was jarring, as was the fact the zombie wasn’t bloody, with gaping gunshot wounds and stringy hair or a missing jaw. It looked like a normal living and breathing person, jogging happily down the beach. Except… it wasn’t breathing, and the zombies had an odd malevolent look in their gray eyes, another way to see they were really undead.

But, from a distance, with zombies walking and talking like normal people, wearing nice clothes, driving cars and using weapons, opening doors and waving at you like they were friends, the danger was worse than ever. Even with so many older zombies eliminating the newer members of their sick society, it was worse.

The zombie walked right up to the one coming out of the surf. Newer zombies couldn’t sense anything but living, breathing people, and it did what they always do: walked right past the older zombie, who stepped behind and grabbed it by the neck.

Tosha didn’t want to see another massacre and had nowhere to turn her head without seeing death and decay.

She closed her eyes.

 

Author Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He runs two very successful podcasts on Project iRadio, too…

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast – with co-host Mark Tufo, the duo interview authors and filmmakers and anyone else they feel like talking to.

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com

 

©Armand Rosamilia, 2016. All rights reserved.