Tag Archives: Books

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.

Halloween = Horror Christmas

For horror authors and fans, Halloween equals Horror Christmas in that there are endless horror giveaways and events! We get to party in the scary world for a little while without people looking at us like we’re crazy.

As a horror author, I try to have sales and giveaways to contribute to the festive horror season. And I want to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I have to offer for Halloween!

Currently, both of my Undead Series Kindle ebooks are on sale, and they will be until the end of October.

undead-series-promo-2016

Undead Drive-Thru on Kindle ($0.99): https://www.amazon.com/Undead-Drive-Thru-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00PKK8INQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Undead Regeneration on Kindle ($1.99): https://www.amazon.com/Undead-Regeneration-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00WYGTNGA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

I’m taking part in the 13 Days of Hallowen #StrangeAuthors with Limitless Publishing.

14724431_1136667583049856_6055930690081615639_n

Nurse Blood will be on sale on the 28th, which is the day I’ll be featured in the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/275200906207115/

Nurse Blood by Rebecca Besser
Nurse Blood for Kindle will be on sale for $0.99 from Oct. 28th-Oct. 31st! Click on cover pic to visit Nurse Blood on Amazon!

I will also be interviewed on the Speculative Fiction Catina on October 28th: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writestream/2016/10/28/the-speculative-fiction-cantina-with-rebecca-besser-and-sf-edwards

My short story collection, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death, will be free for Kindle on Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st for #AllHallowsRead: https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Pathways-Murder-Rebecca-Besser-ebook/dp/B00E1LPQZS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death by Rebecca Besser

Then, for all of November, I will be on the Winter of Zombie 2016 (#WinterZombie) tour: https://www.facebook.com/events/1628937304088972/

I will be featuring a new zombie release for the tour that is available for preorder for Kindle. Re-Civilize: Chad: https://www.amazon.com/Re-Civilize-Chad-Zpoc-Exception-Book-ebook/dp/B01M0BG8QH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476997613&sr=8-1&keywords=re-civilize+rebecca+besser

Re-Civilize: Chad by Rebecca Besser

If you have any questions about what I have going on, let me know!

Happy Halloween (Horror Christmas!), everyone!

 

©Rebecca Besser, 2016. All rights reserved.

Undead Series Ebook Sale!

Undead Series Ebook Sale!

Undead Drive-Thru by Rebecca Besser
(Undead Series Book 1)

When Kyndra, Colleen, and Jose apply for jobs at a diner that has seen better days and is undergoing renovations, they have no idea what they’re in for.

Aunt-B and John have a horrible secret, and when it’s unleashed on the unsuspecting employees of the diner, things get . . . complicated.

Bloodthirsty and dangerous, a zombie awaits the opportunity to feast on them all. Who will be served first? Can any of them make it out of the Undead Drive-Thru alive?

Visit Undead Drive-Thru Kindle Ebook on Amazon!

Undead Regeneration by Rebecca Besser
(Undead Series Book 2)

The zombie is gone…finally and truly dead.

John and Ky try to get on with their lives, but they can’t. They are haunted by the past and it’s tearing apart their future.

With no other options, they go undercover where Sam had worked before he came home…undead: ReGen.

They struggle with their circumstances, their fears, and their relationship as they fight to tame their nightmares and create a happy and healthy future together.

Visit Undead Regeneration Kindle Ebook on Amazon!

Official Release Day – Nurse Blood by Rebecca Besser

It’s officially release day of Nurse Blood!

Nurse Blood by Rebecca Besser

Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…

Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…

Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.

One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?

Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

An excerpt from Nurse Blood:

Prologue

     The air inside the nightclub was hazy from smoke machines. Flashes of colored light cut through the swirls in beat with the pulsing music that shook the walls and the floor. The atmosphere was alive with movement―a mass of hot, swaying bodies bent on enjoying the moment. A monster waited in the depths of the darkness to bat her pretty eyes at someone and make them her prey.
     The door of the establishment swung open to give way to three eager young men looking to have a good time and celebrate. The trio was instantly surrounded by dancing women. They made their way through the press of bodies to reach the bar.
     Daniel forced himself not to scan the crowd for his ex-fiancée, April. But she was the least of his worries, as the real danger was a face he wouldn’t recognize.
     Roy got their drinks while Hank and Daniel stood at a balcony that overlooked an even larger dance floor below. The smoke was thicker down there, and there were more lights. The dancers looked like they were paying sensual homage to their deity. The air was tainted with the aroma of perfume and alcohol; it burned the men’s nostrils and fueled their excitement for the revelry to come.
     Daniel took a moment to text his twin brother, David, to let him know where they would be celebrating their shared birthday. He received a text back from David saying he was still an hour away.
     Roy joined them with three shots and three cold bottles of beer, passing one of each to his friends. They downed the shots in one swallow before turning their attention to their beers.
     “Dave will be here in an hour or so,” Daniel announced after downing his shot.
     “Awesome—we’re gonna have a great time!” Hank yelled over the music.
     As Roy took a drink of his beer, a petite, slim blonde grabbed his waist from behind. He jumped in surprise and turned, recognizing the young woman.
     She tucked a finger into the front of his jeans, smiled at him, and tugged him away from his friends toward a table with another girl.
     Roy looked back over his shoulder at his friends and shrugged.
     “That’s Lynn,” Hank yelled to Daniel. “They’ve been seeing each other for a while. And that’s her cousin Trisha—you don’t want to go there.”
     Daniel nodded and looked around. The warming effect of the shot was spreading through his body, relaxing him. He felt less paranoid about running into April.
     While he was looking over the crowd, a woman caught his eye. She was a tall, slim brunette, and she was beautiful. She was standing alone at the end of the bar. He watched her for a few moments, and when she looked around, their eyes met.
     He smiled and looked away.
     Hank noticed Daniel’s mild interest. He knew what his friend had been through recently and why he was gun-shy with women.
     “Go for it!” he yelled, nudging Daniel. “Have some fun!”
     Daniel looked at his friend, took another swallow of beer, glanced at the woman—noticing she was still alone—and shrugged.
     Hank laughed and gave Daniel a shove toward the bar, causing him to slam into two people who happened to be walking past. When he turned to them to apologize, he came face to face
with the very woman he was hoping not to run into: April. The man she was with was leaning on her with all his weight while she struggled to hold him up.
     Daniel’s heart clenched in his chest and his lungs seized up for a moment. He felt his hand tighten around the neck of his beer bottle. He wanted to slam it over the other man’s head, but he managed to restrain himself. He didn’t want her to know how much the sight of her with another man hurt him, so he put on a brave front.
     “Excuse the fuck out of me,” he said with a sadistic smile, raised the bottle in the air like he was toasting them, and then took a big swig of the brew. He was pleased with the shocked expression that spread across April’s face at his harsh greeting.
     They didn’t say anything to Daniel, but focused back on each other and moved around him and deeper into the establishment.
     Daniel glanced over to Hank, who was grinning from ear to ear.
     He smiled at his friend, nodded, and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other until he made it over to the woman at the bar. While he walked he pretended not to notice that April had glanced back at him several times as she guided her drunken man to a table where he could sit down. He was determined to show April she wasn’t the only woman in the world. He was going to prove to himself and her that he was over the breakup.
     “Hi, I’m Daniel!” he yelled when he reached the woman, leaning toward her a little so she could hear him as a new song started to play.
     “Grace!” she yelled back.
     They smiled at each other.
     The couple chatted for a while about nothing important, since it was too loud to carry on a serious conversation, and ordered drink after drink as they stood at the bar. Daniel’s emotional tension eased little by little with every drink. He became more and more relaxed, and friendlier and friendlier with Grace. Before he knew what was happening, they were pressed up against each other while they conversed so they could hear each other better.
     “Let’s get out of here,” Grace said. She kissed him and reached down between them to rub his crotch.
     Normally Daniel would be shocked and uneasy by such a gesture so soon after meeting a woman, but he’d had enough drinks not to care about how respectable she was or wasn’t being.
     He nodded in agreement and looked around for his friends, frowning.
     “I have to tell my friends I’m leaving,” he said, taking a step away from Grace.
     “Oh, don’t worry about it,” Grace said, rubbing his crotch again. “They’ll figure it out. Besides, you can call them later and they can pick you up from my place.”
     That sounded reasonable so he followed her out to the parking lot. The night was clear and felt cool after the heat from the population of patrons inside the nightclub.
     They stumbled together through the parking lot and paused to make out, pressed against the side of her car for a couple minutes before they finally separated their bodies to get in.
     Daniel had the passenger’s side door open and was about to climb inside when his cell phone beeped, notifying him of a text. He stopped, stood up straight beside the car, and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket by mistake. He reached into his other back pocket and extracted his cell phone. He frowned and squinted to focus on the tiny, bright screen that said David was only a block away.
     “What are you doing?” Grace asked.
     “I can’t go with you,” he said with a sigh. “Sorry. I—”
     He felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck. He reached up to figure out what had hurt him and spun around at the same time, dropping his cell phone and wallet to the asphalt parking lot.
     Grace was standing behind him holding an empty syringe.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but you have to come with me.”
     He tried to shove her away, but his limbs wouldn’t do what he wanted them to. His legs gave out from beneath him as the world blurred into a black blob of nothing.
***
     Grace shoved Daniel’s tall frame into the passenger seat when he started to fall, smacking his head on the door frame. She quickly picked his feet up from the ground and spun him so she could get him all the way into the car.
     She heard laughing as a couple made their way through the parking lot a few rows over, so she didn’t take the time to pick up what Daniel had dropped.
     Grace shut the passenger door and ran around to the driver’s side of her car. She scanned the parking lot as she pulled out, not seeing anyone close-by. She’d been careful, watching for people as they’d headed outside, but the distant couple had snuck up on them. Luckily they hadn’t come close enough to see what she was up to. She tensed slightly when she had to pass another vehicle as she pulled from the lot out onto the street, but the man was looking in the opposite direction and didn’t even glance their way.
     Once she was out of the parking lot and a couple blocks away, she pulled out her cell phone and called Roger.
     “Hey,” she said into the phone. “I have fresh meat…”
Nurse Blood is available at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

©Rebecca Besser and Limitless Publishing, 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.