Free Read Friday: Alone Pt 3

You know how sometimes you're working on a story you think is headed in one direction, and it suddenly decides to go off in another. Well that's what has happened with the continuing saga of our hapless miner.

If you're new, here's a link to part one so you can start at the beginning of the story. Part 1
There will be a link for part two at the end of part one so you can follow along.





Alone Part III




He struggled against the panic threatening to overwhelm him, taking in slow steady breaths after coming to a stop. He didn’t want to get turned around in the dark. After a few moments the panic passed and he continued on his hands and knees, the sharp edges of loose stone cutting into the flesh of his palms as he carefully worked his way across the stony ground.

He’d been less than twenty feet away from his tool bag and the spare battery when his light went out. An area that could be covered in just a few steps if he could see. Less than the distance across the front porch of his house where his wife and daughter had surely heard the news of he the cave in.

Would they know he was trapped?

Surely they’d figured that out by now and had told his wife. She would be waiting by the phone for any news while his daughter, Becky played nearby, blissfully unaware of the danger he was in. Later, after it was all said and done, maybe they would tell her. Of course that would depend on whether he survived or not. If he didn’t… He let that thought die the quiet death it deserved. As long as he was still breathing he would do everything in his power to get home to his family.

Without ventilation how long would that be? The question rose up in his mind and he quickly squashed it with a stubbornness born from years of hard work, and doing the right thing.

Carefully he reached into the emptiness ahead of him. His fingers splayed out as he slowly moved his hand back and forth across the space in front of him, searching for the familiar shape of his tool bag. In addition to a spare battery it contained his water as well. Another essential to his survival.

He had to find that bag!

Without light he was unable to see the landmarks that would help keep him straight. Making it possible he could crawl around in circles for hours as his panic grew to envelope him, driving him to run around blindly as he bounced off the walls, increasing the likelihood of another cave in that could bury him beneath tons of unrelenting earth.

Maybe that would be for the best, a quick death beneath the falling ceiling was preferable to the agonizing demise that awaited him if he didn’t find his water. Already his mouth was becoming parched, and the air around him was growing stale.

How long did he have?

He moved another few feet forward, the loose stone rattling beneath his knees as he searched the emptiness in front of him. Perspiration sheathed his body beneath the heavy coveralls he wore. It would be much cooler to shed them, but at the same time he would have only a thin layer of clothing to protect him from the sharp edges of the stone that surrounded him.

A mine was not a place to go without some form of protection. The stone had been shattered by explosions and drilling as miners worked to extract the treasures it contained. Unlike natural caves formed over the millennia’s by the carving action of running water, mines were places of jagged stone faces ready to exact their revenge for man’s intrusion.

His fingers brushed against coarse fabric and he grasped at it as a whimper of relief sounded in his throat. Stretching out his arm he searched wit his fingers for the familiar shape of a battery or his water bottle. What he found instead made little sense in the dark. The fabric ended in a hem, and beneath that was an object that felt familiar, yet alien. It wasn’t his bag and as he worked his hand along the fabric he realized it was half buried beneath the stony ground.

There was something solid, yet yielding on the other side of the fabric and beneath the hem lay a cris-crossed pattern that was achingly familiar. His fingers traced the coarse fabric that made up the pattern to one side, finding a metal hole through which the  fabric passed.

What was it?


To be continued!

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Monday Motivation

I'm late as usual. Always working, and always behind. I don't think I'll ever catch up.

I'm sure by now you've noticed that I've updated the blog. I'm also raising the stakes on my mailing list. Instead of only one book when you sign up, I'm now giving away three full length novels to get you started. An introductory library if you will.

It's right over there, on the right, you know you want to click on the link, go ahead, I'll still be here when you get back.

You know it's really tough at times staying motivated. Being a writer is one of those jobs that's better performed alone. Sure, once the writing part is done there's a whole slew of other people who get involved in getting the story out. But in the beginning it's just the writer and the blank page, and one word after the next as we string together sentences we hope will enlighten, inspire, and maybe send a chill down the reader's spine.


Everyone draws inspiration from something, for me it's the readers response to my work, their reviews, good or bad, are what drive me to continue to create. To push the bar just a little higher with each completed project.

What inspires you in your work? What is it beside fame and fortune that compels you to climb out of bed each morning and do your thing?


Free read Friday: Alone Pt 2

Final edits are finished for Legion of the Damned. They have been formatted and uploaded to Amazon and Smashwords for distribution. I still have to format for the print version and that is the next project on my to do list. But before I move onto that I want to share the next part of my story in progress with you.

If you haven't read part one yet, here's a link to get caught up, there is a link to get back. Part 1


Alone

It was as silent as a tomb, and he shuddered at the thought that this might very well become his grave. In a perfect world they would do everything in their power to rescue him, working around the clock if necessary, unfortunately Tredwell was not known for expanding any more effort than necessary to protect its miners.


If the cave in wasn’t too bad they would put forth an effort to rescue him, on the other hand, and here he stopped this line of reasoning before it got too far ahead and the discomfort he felt blossomed into a full blown panic. There was nothing he could do but wait.


Turning off his light to conserve the battery he rested his head on his arms that he’d crossed over his knees, and listened to the earth around him as it slowly settled. The temperature was climbing, wrapping him in a suffocating cocoon of warmth.


Shaft 17C was so deep it was rumored that one had to be careful where they swung their pick for fear of knocking on the devil’s doorway. 


Without ventilation the temperature hovered around one hundred and five. With the shaft blocked it was anybody’s guess how hot it would get. As the heat seeped through his heavy work coat he reached for his water. Luckily he’d brought several bottles, but he only took a small sip. As much as it pained him to do so, he knew it would be best to conserve every drop of water he could.


Turning on his light he looked around to take stock of his situation. The dust had settled as much as it was likely to, and he found he was at the face of the mine. The deepest part they had worked to, the stone around him scarred by the marks of their passage. Gouged out lines from the drills that bored into solid stone to set explosives for blasting.


Pushing himself to his feet he crossed to the collapsed section of the roof. Here a pile of stones blocked the entrance, filling the opening completely. Taking his hammer from the loop on his pants he beat on the face of the largest boulder. He stopped, and leaned in close, pressing his ear against the silent face.


Was that knocking? He wondered, or just an echo of his own pounding. He was certain he’d heard an answering knock on the stone, faint, almost imperceptible, he was sure it was there. It had to be there, to believe otherwise would lead only to death.


He knocked again, leaning in close to listen, and once more was certain he heard a faint knock answering his own.


They were coming. How long it would take was anybody’s guess, but they were coming to get him. He turned back to where he’d left his tool bag, and was halfway to it when the light on his helmet flickered briefly before going out completely.


The battery was dead.


He stopped, and tried to recall how close he had been to his tool bag. There was another battery in it, If he could get to it he could replace the dead battery. Carefully he dropped to his hands and knees, his eyes wide open, yet completely blind, as he carefully worked his way forward, reaching out with one hand to feel for his tool bag.


A thought emerged at the edge of his consciousness and he struggled to keep it at bay. Yet it persisted, blossoming into his mind like a deadly flower, with a cold clarity that made his knees weak and turned his bowels to ice water.


So this is what it was like to be buried alive.

To be continued.

Link for part three: PART 3


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Legion of the Damned: Excerpt #3

My goal had been to post another portion of the story I started last week, unfortunately the need to finish the final edits on Legion of the Damned, ate up much of the time I have available for writing. With that behind me now I can focus on finishing the story.

In the interim, here's another little taste of Legion of the Damned, coming May 31, 2017. Currently available as a pre-order at a special price of $.99 that will go up to the regular price of $2.99 the day of release. Reserve your copy today. Stay turned to the end of the post for a special offer.

I hope you enjoy it.

Reserve your copy HERE!

Excerpt

“Please,” he moaned as a solitary tear slid from the corner of his eye to trace a wet path down his cheek. As a child, he’d needed a night light to keep the creatures lurking in the shadows at bay, and as he had grown older, he thought he had been done with such childish things. Now, as he stood alone against the emptiness, he wished he could have that small light once again.

He shuddered at the thought as another emerged, sending a slow chill winding its way down his spine. With a light, he would be able to see what hid in the shadows and he realized then that sometimes it was better not to be able to see what waited in the dark.

He focused his attention on that single point of light, struggling to ignore the vast emptiness that stood behind him, and the denizens of the dark who sought the comfort his warmth could provide. Shadows passed across the face of that distant light as the steady sound of footsteps echoed through the emptiness. They faded in and out of focus, and he was reminded of what he’d seen when he crossed over.

He had returned to the interior of that cooler at the supermarket, Maria resting on his outstretched legs, but they were not alone. There was something else with them, something as old as the emptiness that shrouded them. Kneeling beside them as he comforted Maria in her final hours that ticked down with resolute steadiness. He had felt it as it caressed her battered and bleeding body, and the chill it awakened within him had taken root in the heart of his soul.

Those steady footsteps moved around him, circling him as the denizens of the dark backed away, and a single thought whispered through his mind.

Welcome home!

Around him, it was as silent as a tomb, the only sound that of his heavy breathing, and the whine of terror whispering softly in his throat.

“I’m sorry,” he whimpered as the light faded from view and the emptiness behind him reached out to wrap him in its chilled embrace. The loss of sight served to heighten his other senses, and he heard something slithering through the emptiness behind him. His sense of touch and smell exploded, and he felt the chilled caresses of those nameless things that stirred the hairs on his arms causing them to stand on end. The odors of ozone and excrement combined to create a noxious smell that set his teeth on edge and left a metallic tang in his mouth.

As the darkness filled the void around him his emotional sense of empathy was double, tripled, until he was overcome by a primitive terror that let him feel their pain. They were the creatures of the night, forever imprisoned in the shadowy corners of a well-lit world, fated to a bleak future. 

End Excerpt
Synopsis:

Hell was coming to Paradise!


In a remote desert world that bore little semblance to their own, the boys corner and kill Nickoli. Unfortunately the act fails to release Window from his curse, and they discover that a much higher price must be paid to free him.

Struggling to silence the voices from his past, Billie-Bob’s drinking results in his capture by the family of cannibals he once escaped from. This time he is taken to Paradise, a small compound along one of the many tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay. For those who lived there it was truly a paradise on earth, for its captives it was a different story as they were reduced to nothing more than livestock to feed a growing population.

While following the trail left by Billie-Bob’s captors, Meat, Window and Einstein come upon the shattered remnants of the church that had given them shelter on their trek north. Many of the church’s inhabitants had perished in the attack, but most of the children had been able to escape. They join the boys on their journey south to rescue Billie-Bob, and exact their vengeance on those who had shattered their peaceful existence.

Hell was coming to Paradise, and there would be no denying its vengeance.


Special Offer

Get all three books, over 550 pages of post apocalyptic adventure for less than the regular price of one. Order books one and two for only $0.99 each, and reserve book 3 for the same low price.


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Dreadland Chronicles

Fourteen years ago a cataclysm shook the realms of multiple universes as a rising tide of evil rose up to battle those in power. Many worlds ceased to exist in the blink of an eye. On our world the dead walked, bringing society to its knees. The technology we had taken for granted stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death followed by a dreamless sleep. 

It is into this world they have bee born. 

Four boys who have grown up knowing the brutality of a society teetering on the brink of extinction. Each of them alone is but a boy, however, together they are a force capable of defeating the evil that is slowly spreading across the land.


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Free read Friday: Alone

As promised in my last post I offer you a brief detour through the landscape of my mind. My intent is to weave a tale about superstition, and who would be more superstitious than a miner, after all these men who toil beneath the ground face death almost daily. When they climb onto the car for the trip down, I'm sure they wonder if this will  be the last time they see the sky.

This is a work in progress. Next Friday I'll add to the story, possibly finish it, maybe not as I work to uncover the fossil of the story that lies buried in my mind. Thanks for stopping by and don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments.

So without further adieu, I give you:



ALONE

It felt as if the weight of the world was resting on his shoulders, and in a sense, it was, as a thousand feet of the earth stood between him and the sunlight bathing the ground above in a soft yellow light. Even with his kerchief pressed against his nose and mouth the dust that filled the air around him managed to find a way in, coating his teeth and tongue with a gritty film. He’d made the mistake of opening his eyes as he tried to assess his situation, and a piece of the grit had gotten into his right eye. Though it was tiny, it felt like a pebble had become lodged beneath his eyelid.

Given the circumstances, he did the only thing he could do, withdraw within himself, and wait for the dust to settle. Turning off the light on his hardhat, after all, he didn’t know how long he was going to be down here, he sat down and waited with his head resting on his knees.

An electrician with the Treadwell mine Pete and his crew had been removing the last of the lighting from shaft 17C in preparation for closing it permanently. Structural problems had been recently uncovered, and though the shaft was likely to produce for another six months, it would have been foolish to continue operations.

Did the others get out? He wondered.

They should have, all of them had reached the vertical shaft that would take them up to the next level when he realized he had forgotten his tool bag. Had it not been for that he’d be on the other side with the rest of them.

It was only a hundred dollars worth of tools, but hey, a hundred bucks was a hundred bucks. He dropped his hand to the tool bag next to him, comforted by its familiar shape. It was his link to who he was, and what lay beyond the plug of jumbled boulders that blocked his way out.

They should be working on it soon, he thought as a stream of pebbles cascaded down the stone on his right. 

A third generation miner who had gotten the education his father and grandfather lacked. He had not followed the path they wanted. They wanted him to become a doctor, or a  lawyer, anything but a miner who spent the better part of their life beneath the ground. But he had been drawn to the job by their stories of the deep mines, and the men who toiled in them. He wanted to belong to that select brotherhood who every day walked into harm's way to eek out a living and drive a nation.

After what felt like an hour he turned on his lamp, lifted his head, and slowly opened his eyes.  The beam of his light pierced the darkness that surrounded him, illuminating the wall of the tunnel across from him that carried the scars of their digging. Long narrow gouges marred the face of the stone. They looked like the claw marks of some ancient beast, and a chill ran the length of his spine as he turned his head to the right to illuminate the pile of boulders that blocked the tunnel.

He was alone. The realization hit him with the force of a physical blow, and though he had never been one to chatter, he now realized just how important the background noise of daily life could be.

To be continued!

Here's a link to Part 2

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Creativity and being out of touch.

It's been a little more than two weeks since I last wrote on this page, my plan had been to start writing a short story every week, starting it on Monday, and sharing whatever progress I had made here on the following Friday.

But you know what they say about best laid plans.

In addition to the sciatica that has been making it difficult for me to sit and concentrate on any one thing I got hit with a late winter bug that pretty much put me in bed for three days. I'm feeling much better now but the sciatica is still nagging at me, though not near as bad as when it first flared up. I've gone through MRI's and X-Rays only to be told that this is something I'm going to have to deal with.

When I remember to, I do my exercises. There is so much on my plate right now.  Dreadland chronicles book III, Legion of the Damned is in its final stages as we prepare it for a May 31 release date.

A Father's Love is pretty much finished but I haven't made the final decision yet as to whether I want to publish it myself or send it to a publisher. I know JournalStone is open right now and the story would dovetail perfectly into their line. The questions is am I willing to give up the control? Not to mention the potential earnings were it to take off.

I'm also working on the outlines for books four and five of the Dreadland Chronicles as well as a World War Two horror novella that I've yet to work out a title for.

If you'd liker to keep abreast of my releases you can sign up for my mailing list here.

I'll even throw in a free copy of White Walker.

I want to get back into the story a week idea I originally had a couple of weeks ago. This week I want to tackle superstition. Check back Friday to see what I come up with.

Recently on The Passive Voice I saw a story about renting Emily Dickinson's room for an hour. The first question that came to mind was, who would do that? And why? I can understand a fan wanting to visit the place where the work they've enjoyed was created. After all anyone can visit the cafĂ© in Edinburgh where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter, or tour Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West.

Who out there believes that staying in a room where a favorite story was created will somehow allow that same spark of creativity to rub off on them? I don't believe that's how creativity works. Or am I missing the point entirely?

The story about Emily Dickinson reminded me of the Stanley hotel writers retreat that was being hyped several years ago. Stay in the same room where Stephen King came up with the idea for The Shining. Did these writers believe that by paying an outrageous sum to stay in a room where a story was created would expand the horizons of their own creativity? That the same spark that inspired SK would somehow rub off on them?

What do you think?


Free Read Friday: Assimilation

For some time I've wanted to post short stories I've recently written, but held off on doing so. I think part of the reason for my hesitation is my fear that some won't like what I've written.

I know, that makes no sense.

There's also the issue that once I've posted the story here it is then classified as a reprint were I to submit it elsewhere. Recently I've come to the conclusion that these are just excuses. To be honest, while my goal is to make a living from writing, I know I'm not going to achieve that through short stories so why not give them away.

And what better place to do that than on my blog?

If all goes well every Friday I will be sharing a short story that I've recently written right here on these pages, along with a little background to show how the story came about.

First up is Assimilation (this is also the title of the as yet written third part of my Shadows of the Past series)

Do you remember the final scene in John Carpenter's The Thing?



Childs (Keith David) and McReady (Kurt Russell) are sitting amid the destruction of the camp sharing a final drink before the cold takes them.


 It is considered one of the most controversial movie endings of all time. I've seen ideas floated about for a sequel to the story, some involving a crew trapped on a submarine carrying the bodies back to the states. To me this made little sense. Why a sub when a C-130 could get them back to civilization faster? And what happened in those final moments before sleep claimed them.

Assimilation is my take on this.

I hope you enjoy it.

Assimilation

It watched from the burning rubble as the two men huddled together for warmth against the plunging temperatures. It felt no remorse, no anger, no fear. It knew only the need to survive, to expand its reach, to assimilate its enemies. It had no concept of love, nor the loneliness it entailed. It only knew the physical sensations that drove it onward, that need to feed, to propagate, to overwhelm all it confronted. 

It felt ragged, taxed to its limits. It had surrendered parts of the whole to keep that central core intact. The essence that made it what it was. That gave it the ability to become whatever it touched. It had tried to pass itself off as one of them, to blend into their tribe, so it could escape this desolate landscape that had been its prison for so long.

Upon first contact, it had marveled at the emotions of these creatures, the raw power that propelled them forward, but at the same time hindered them.

One of them had figured it out. Coming upon it before it could complete its transformation, and the battle of wits had been joined. It had endured this creature's attacks, confident in its ability to tolerate anything it threw at it, until its opponent had discovered the cleansing properties of fire.

Fire was the only thing it could not counter. Fire was a wild thing that consumed all it touched, no matter what it became, or how hard it tried to endure its relentless attack, fire was all consuming. It disrupted its cellular structure, boiling away the protective enzymes, and exposing its essence to the raw agony of its all-consuming embrace.

It would have to move soon. The fires of their last battle were quickly dwindling, the warmth it provided in sharp contrast to the pain it could inflict. It would soon be a memory as the endless winter of this desolate place invaded its essence, forcing it into another prolonged sleep.

It was amazed at the resourcefulness of its opponent, its willingness to surrender its own life to stop its encroachment. But in the end, all things would fall under its influence. Whether it took two thousand years or two million, it would prevail as it had prevailed on countless other worlds before this one.

As the cold penetrated it moved from the shadowy crevice it had inhabited as it watched the two men sharing a final drink. They spoke in soft tones, their words slurred by the advancing cold.

It would have to act now if it wanted to survive, and it moved across the ice that reflected the dwindling flames of the structure that once stood there. A structure that once provided warmth to its inhabitants and the possibility of survival to a species this world had never known before.

They became aware of its presence but it was too late for all of them. Time had dwindled and it had to act now or face another long sleep. They tried to escape but the cold had robbed them of the ability to move and their attempts were feeble at best.

Settling into its new home it waited as the cold seeped in. It would sleep now, but it knew it would be a short nap, as others would come in an attempt to rescue what remained of this outpost at the edge of a vast ice cap.

Awareness dawned and it moved sluggishly as the last of the freezing cold slowly faded away. There was no real warmth, just an absence of the cold that had kept it in a suspended state, not even dreams could intrude upon this little death, that period of unconsciousness that stretched into the shadowy past. It had no sense of the passing time and as it explored its new surroundings it became aware of a bright white light above.

Suddenly it was infused with a burning sensation that was like the fire it had faced before, yet not of the same origin. It retreated from the encroaching sensation, drawing back within itself as it cowered in a shadowy chamber.

It waited.

Time passed, how much was anyone’s guess as there were no devices to measure the passage of the seconds piling into minutes that slowly unfolded into years. Time meant little to a creature that could sleep for millions of years and awaken into a new dawn.

It reached out, sensing that burning sensation again, yet not as powerful as before, a faint tingling that added some discomfort, nothing like the wild panic that had gripped it when originally introduced to the greedy hunger of the flames.

It infused its host with its essence, withdrawing immediately when that burning sensation overwhelmed it, retreating to the solitary chamber it inhabited.

It reached beyond the boundaries of its host, unable to open the eyes, it was forced to evacuate and it probed the perimeter of what confined it.

What it found was a metal chamber, long and narrow, draped in soft fabric. There was a lid, but it was locked, and it probed the corners of its prison as it sought to escape.

It would have to feed soon.

Finding an unfinished weld it forced itself through, emerging into another rectangular chamber, the walls of which were coarse and pitted. Probing the perimeter it soon found a seam between two pieces of the material used to construct the chamber and forced its way through into rocky soil.


Searching its vast memory it found what it sought and became what it imagined, transforming into a burrowing rodent. Powerful claws parted the earth before it as it pushed itself forward beneath the surface of the ground. It came to another of those oblong chambers and slipped around to the right as it burrowed through the loose earth.

Coming to another structure, this one much larger than the others, it probed along the wall, locating a crack that offered access into a large space shrouded in thick shadows. Sunlight came through several openings high in the walls, painting the floor with yellow rectangles of light. In one a furry creature lay sleeping.

Its hunger stirred at the sight.

Keeping to the shadows it flowed along the corner where floor and wall met until it was nearly on top of the sleeping creature. The animal stirred, lifting its head, and yawning to expose sharp fangs. It stretched out one leg, spreading its paw to reveal curved claws protruding from the tip of each toe.

As the creature lay its head back down it struck, immediately wrapping both sets of paws in a tight cocoon that would prevent the creature from lashing out at it.

The creature cried out in a shrieking voice as it invaded its body and began the process of assimilation. As it did it became aware of the creatures purpose, its past interactions with members of the same tribe it had confronted in that desolate place at the end of the world.

They were the masters of the flame, they controlled the fires that were its only weakness.

Footsteps sounded from above as it quickly infused the  creature with its essence, drawing much-needed strength from its new host. A door opened at the top of the steps and an old woman carefully took the steps one at a time as she came down into that shadowy place.


“How’s my little baby,” she said as she approached and bent down to pet the cat it was in the process of taking over. 

It lashed out, latching onto the flesh of the old woman's hand, the lined features of her face smoothing out in terror as she backpedaled. It slithered the length of her arm, around her shoulder, emerging from the collar of her shirt to wrap itself around her face, slipping into her mouth and nose as it invaded her body.


She fell back, hitting the floor hard enough to crack her skull, and she lay there helplessly as it fed upon her essence and took control of her body. No longer locked in a struggle to survive it learned more about this creature that could control the fires as it invaded its thoughts and memories and all it had learned over a lifetime.


For the first time, it experienced emotions beyond the primitive need to eat, sleep, and propagate. It felt fear tinged by a note of sadness that the end was to be in such a lonely manner. There had been hope to be surrounded by those she loved as death placed its claim upon her soul. Children who had long since fled the nest, starting families of their own, visiting only around the holidays, and never for very long as her partner had become verbally abusive to anyone who dared stray within range.


At one time they had loved one another with a passion that surprised this creature as it assimilated the old woman's memories into its own. Fear, anger and a growing need for vengeance washed through the creature as it explored every delicious sensation that presented itself.

Vengeance, the need to strike back, to take a pound of flesh for any slight. It was an emotion it had never encountered before, that need to strike out at one who has harmed them, burning with a shining light in the soul of this creature.

It fed upon this need, finding nourishment in a growing anger that reached far beyond the need to propagate, eat, and sleep like its other victims. It felt renewed, refreshed, as it embraced that churning rage.

“Hey, bring me up a beer, will ya?” A man shouted through the open door.

The old woman pushed herself to her feet and crossed to the steps. Her movements more assured than before, more graceful, almost predatory as she glided up the stairs with a renewed spring in her step.

She’d suffered years of abuse at the hands of the man who inhabited the house with her. There had been a time when she referred to him as a husband, but that had been long before the first punch was thrown, before the love that once blossomed between them was poisoned by his indifference.

He was sitting in his favorite chair when she crossed behind him and dropped a cold beer into his lap. He jumped, his bald head rising as he tried to push himself to his feet, and she clamped her hand onto the crown of his head. Driving him back into his seat as her fingers grew to invade his nose and mouth as it extended its influence in this brave new world.

It would bide its time, wait patiently for opportunities to present themselves. Given time it would establish a foothold on this planet, one individual at a time, spreading like a stain across the surface of the globe until it was too late for those who inhabited this place to stop it.

THE END

So what do you think?


Don't forget I'm running a special sale for my post apocalyptic coming of age series Dreadland Chronicles. Book three, Legion of the Damned that is currently in pre-order. Get the first two books in the series and reserve your copy of the third for only $0.99 ea. That's three books for less than the regular price of one. Over 550 pages of post apocalyptic action for only $2.97.

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Freebie Alert The Zee Brothers Zombie Exterminators

Grab this one fast it will only be free for a short time.

Click on cover to order!

Synopsis:

Orgasms, Chocolate & Zombies? Just an average day for Jonah, Judas & JJ.

The Zee Brothers have a strange and dangerous vocation. While some hunt rodents or pests in the dark, Jonah and Judas tackle much larger prey… Zombies. Equipped with a well-loved artillery gun, DeeDee, and a much used and somewhat abused pickup truck called Sasha, the duo clear the night of undead pests, keeping the ever present threat of a Zombie Apocalypse at bay.

When the slap happy pair receives an after hours call for extermination that ends in a gurgle, they head out, guns locked and catch pole loaded. It seems that an incredibly foolish developer built a high cost, gated community atop an old indian Reservation – a Reservation that soon became a graveyard and home to magic much older than the flimsy walled homes that tried to take over. Lost in this sea of new houses, an ancient artifact lay buried till the obnoxious Home Owners Association President disturbed it – and awakened the Zombies from their slumber to retrieve it.

Now it’s up to the Brothers to find it and lay the walking dead to rest. Along the way they meet the woman of their dreams, JJ, her magical and disco imbued dog, Xanadu, a denture wearing Zombie and a High Priest that offers a bit more danger than DeeDee can handle.

Filled with pop culture nods and heroes that just don’t know when to quit, it’s a slap happy, blood filled adventure, as the trio fights off zombies and the brothers fight each other for JJ’s affection.

If you like Ash Vs Evil Dead, Army of Darkness and Scooby Doo, you’ll want to buy this action packed romp and dive into The Zee Brother’s adventures today!

About the Author

I take a look at ideas from different angles and write tales that I find interesting. What the heck is a zombie omelet? I didn't know either, until I started writing The Zee Brothers!

My characters tend to banter like eighties super-heroes, a sign of my childhood influence of comic books.

I tend to look for humor even when writing on a serious subject. Did someone just lose their arm? Perhaps we can use it as a weapon on the next page or maybe we try and put it back on because one of the characters once played a doctor during sexy time roll play!

Yes, sometimes its absurd humor, but if it gets you laughing than I've done my job!

My stories are often influenced by my real life events. The old axiom, "Write what you know" manifests to fill the pages. 

Legion of the Damned Excerpt

Just another little taste to whet your appetite. I hope you enjoy it.

Click on the cover to reserve your copy today!

Excerpt:

Falling to his hands and knees he struggled to catch his breath as the cold that had invaded him drained away into the concrete floor beneath him. The image of the stranger was still fixed in his mind as Window became aware of his surroundings, starting with the ever present stench of death that seemed to permeate everything. The floor beneath his hands was coarse, filthy, stained with a dark substance, a black splotch in the faint light filtering through the slats of the building around him.

To his right was a table, half hidden in shadows, cobwebs gathered among the legs, moving gently in a soft breeze coming from somewhere on his left. Crawling to the table he reached up with one hand to pull himself up, but he jerked his hand back when it came into contact with a cold, gelatinous, substance that stained his flesh black. Instead he used the legs to pull himself to his feet, and stood unsteadily for a moment as his head throbbed. From the shadows around him came the faint sound of distant footsteps that sparked a momentary panic. Like the sound of a stone skipping across the surface of a silent pond, the footsteps faded in and out of focus in the deep shadows that surrounded him.

He was right there, on the other side of that thin veil separating mankind from the insanity that waited just beyond view. He felt his presence, and all he had to do was reach through to pull him back across.

The thought sent Window staggering back. He stumbled into something hanging from the ceiling that moved in response to his touch. It bumped into his back as the soft sound of steel rubbing against steel came form the darkness above his head.  He spun around and saw the torso of a body hanging from a steel hook. 

End Excerpt

Synopsis:

Hell was coming to Paradise!


In a remote desert world that bore little semblance to their own, the boys corner and kill Nickoli. Unfortunately the act fails to release Window from his curse, and they discover that a much higher price must be paid to free him.

Struggling to silence the voices from his past, Billie-Bob’s drinking results in his capture by the family of cannibals he once escaped from. This time he is taken to Paradise, a small compound along one of the many tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay. For those who lived there it was truly a paradise on earth, for its captives it was a different story as they were reduced to nothing more than livestock to feed a growing population.

While following the trail left by Billie-Bob’s captors, Meat, Window and Einstein come upon the shattered remnants of the church that had given them shelter on their trek north. Many of the church’s inhabitants had perished in the attack, but most of the children had been able to escape. They join the boys on their journey south to rescue Billie-Bob, and exact their vengeance on those who had shattered their peaceful existence.

Hell was coming to Paradise, and there would be no denying its vengeance.


Special Offer

Get all three books, over 550 pages of post apocalyptic adventure for less than the regular price of one. Order books one and two for only $0.99 each, and reserve book 3 for the same low price.


But you better hurry!
This deal won't last forever!


Click on the image above to order!



Dreadland Chronicles

There are worlds beyond our own, existing for purposes outside of our understanding, where gods roam unfettered by the earthly restraints placed upon us. Where right is wrong, where the laws of physics have been turned upon their ear, and not everything that goes up, comes back down. Places where magic rules, and technology is but a faint memory from a distant past.

Fourteen years ago a cataclysm shook the realms of this multiverse as a rising tide of evil rose up to battle those in power. Many of the worlds ceased to exist in the blink of an eye. On our world the dead walked, bringing society to its knees. The technology we had taken for granted stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death followed by a dreamless sleep.


While you're here, don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list.
Every month I give away a personally autographed print copy of one of my books to one person chosen at random from my subscribers.

I'll also give you a free copy of my novel White Walker just for signing up, follow the link below.

http://www.eepurl.com/2bYSf


Legion of the Damned Excerpt


Excerpt!

As the stranger lifted his head a pointed beard emerged, carefully groomed, hanging like a pendulum beneath the thin line of his narrow lips. Ever so slowly his lips spread into a wide smile that covered the lower portion of his face, threatening to split his head in half. Window formed a brief mental image of that smile spreading all the way around until the strangers head tilted back. As if it were hinged in the back, the top part of his head flopping over to reveal what lay at the heart of his dark, and sinister soul.

He didn’t want to see what might emerge if the stranger’s head did flip all the way open, and he was relieved when the smile remained bound to the strangers face. Above that emotionless smile, situated on either side of a slender nose, the strangers eyes sparkled with a dim light that were like distant stars shrouded in the mists of time.

“You’ve come home to me,” the stranger whispered, the words distorted, ricocheting through Windows mind like a mad pinball banking crazily from one bumper to the next, gaining speed with every change in direction, awakening memories that emerged from the rocky soil of his soul.

He saw his mother on the day of her death, that electric cord twisted tightly about her neck, reaching for him with claw like hands as her mouth opened and closed in greedy anticipation. He saw his father staggering towards him, groping through the twilight of his death, destined to be trapped for eternity in that shadowy place between life and the peace of the grave.

As the words echoed through Window’s mind, the timber of the stranger's voice like that of two boulders grinding against one another in the bowels of the earth. Window understood with a clarity that had so far been absent, that he was gazing into the face of eternity, a manifestation of something far greater than anything he could possibly put his mind around. He was without a beginning, or an end, one that has just, always been.

“No,” Window shouted, clamping his hands over his ears as he took another step back, the images of everyone he had ever loved filling his thoughts, their faces cast in the shadow of death, their eyes alight, begging for an end to their misery.

“Leave me alone,” Window said as he staggered another step back.

Was that nine or eight?

He had lost track.

End Excerpt!

Synopsis:

Hell was coming to Paradise!


In a remote desert world that bore little semblance to their own, the boys corner and kill Nickoli. Unfortunately the act fails to release Window from his curse, and they discover that a much higher price must be paid to free him.

Struggling to silence the voices from his past, Billie-Bob’s drinking results in his capture by the family of cannibals he once escaped from. This time he is taken to Paradise, a small compound along one of the many tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay. For those who lived there it was truly a paradise on earth, for its captives it was a different story as they were reduced to nothing more than livestock to feed a growing population.

While following the trail left by Billie-Bob’s captors, Meat, Window and Einstein come upon the shattered remnants of the church that had given them shelter on their trek north. Many of the church’s inhabitants had perished in the attack, but most of the children had been able to escape. They join the boys on their journey south to rescue Billie-Bob, and exact their vengeance on those who had shattered their peaceful existence.

Hell was coming to Paradise, and there would be no denying its vengeance.


Special Offer

Get all three books, over 550 pages of post apocalyptic adventure for less than the regular price of one. Order books one and two for only $0.99 each, and reserve book 3 for the same low price.


But you better hurry!
This deal won't last forever!


Click on the image above to order!



Dreadland Chronicles

There are worlds beyond our own, existing for purposes outside of our understanding, where gods roam unfettered by the earthly restraints placed upon us. Where right is wrong, where the laws of physics have been turned upon their ear, and not everything that goes up, comes back down. Places where magic rules, and technology is but a faint memory from a distant past.

Fourteen years ago a cataclysm shook the realms of this multiverse as a rising tide of evil rose up to battle those in power. Many of the worlds ceased to exist in the blink of an eye. On our world the dead walked, bringing society to its knees. The technology we had taken for granted stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death followed by a dreamless sleep.


While you're here, don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list.
Every month I give away a personally autographed print copy of one of my books to one person chosen at random from my subscribers.

I'll also give you a free copy of my novel White Walker just for signing up, follow the link below.

http://www.eepurl.com/2bYSf

Post-Apoc Wednesday

I'm starting a new feature I like to call Post-Aapoc Wednesday, I know real inventive I am.

I've been writing for nearly twenty years but I've only recently started writing in the post apocalyptic genre. When I was younger I read Stephen King's The Stand, Robert McCammon's Swan Song, Lucifer's Hammer by Jerry Pournelle, and Larry Niven, and On The Beach, by Nevil Shute. I've always been intrigued by the concept of a world after. 

For me post apocalyptic fiction is one area of speculative fiction that carries the potential that what one is reading could really happen, from nuclear war to genetic mutations creating an epidemic that wipes out a larger portion of humanity as we know it.

Every Wednesday I plan to feature post apocalyptic fiction as either a general info post about a book, a brief interview with an author working in the post apocalyptic genre, or I'll invite several post apocalyptic authors to answer a single questions. You can help me out by responding to each post with questions and comments of your own. I may even select one of your questions to feature. If I do I'll throw in the first three parts of The Dreadland Chronicles in the ebook format of your choice..

This week authors Valerie and Jessica have agreed to answer a question, and that question is.


Outside of shooting and hunting what skill set do you believe would be most valuable in a post apocalyptic world where the technology we have today is no longer working?

Valerie 

When speaking in the long term survival, I really believe that the ability to read will be the most important skill we can have and teach to others. Technology may disappear, but there are books available on every subject imaginable. I know I can not retain all the knowledge needed to survive after the collapse of society, since I live in a world where none of that is used on a daily basis, and no amount of camping or outdoor training is going to cover everything needed to keep my sorry ass alive. You want to know what will though? That book in my library about poisonous plants, farming techniques, dressing a kill, or the farmer's almanac. I can hold some knowledge, and that is why I do my best to learn new skills, but in the end learning from the experts of the past is a much more efficient way to stay alive. I am pretty sure my trial and error would kill me.

Valerie Lioudis is New Jersey born and bred. This has means that while she speaks English as her first language, and sarcasm as a close second. This year she has three projects in the works; Book two of her zombie series Aftershock, an anthology about insanity, and a solo novel about a man who keeps dying and ending up in new afterlives.




https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Lioudis/e/B00U7NLLH6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1




Jessica

When I read this question, the answer popped right into my head.

Adaptation.

You yourself must adapt to many surroundings. Some are simple and surrounded with love, while others are vile and stench of death. In a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll eventually encounter one of these types, and you’ll require a way to adapt. If you can’t do that, then you’re probably not going to live long.

You’ve got to learn to read people, know what they’re going to do before they make their move. When you misjudge a situation, you place yourself in unthinkable positions, learning how to blend is imperative to your survival. It’s not a question of whether you’ll do something that you deem as unthinkable, but the when you’ll do it. Finding a way to avoid that situation is always top priority.

Not only do you have to adapt to people, but nature as well. Reading about living in the wilderness is overwhelming, imagine doing it with nothing but the shirt on your back, or the meager supplies you’ve managed to collect on your escape. Water, shelter, food, and survival. Four things will become your lifeline and adapting your body and mind to survive withdrawals of these basic needs is crucial.

There are a multitude of ways you’ll be required to adapt to your new surroundings, these mentions are only the tip of the iceberg. In a post-apocalyptic world, somethings going to have to give… and it’s not going to be Mother Nature.

Jessica Gomez writes in multiple genres such as: New Adult, Apocalyptic, Paranormal, Suspense, Bi-lingual, and Romance. Her titles are the After series, After the Before & Slipped Away, and her Flash series, INFECTED, IMMUNE, and (soon to be released) Evolved. Jessica lives in Oregon with her husband, and two children. To find out more, check out my link!

http://jgome3281.wixsite.com/author


Legion of the Damned Preorder

It's here! It's here!

Well not really, not quite yet, but Legion of the Damned is available for pre order at a special low price. I've also lowered the prices of All Roads Lead to Terror and The Reaping. Grab all three for less than the regular price of one. Over five hundred pages of post apocalyptic, coming of age, horror for less than three bucks. But you better hurry because this deal won't last long.

Click on the cover for more info or to order!

Synopsis:

In a remote desert world that bore little semblance to their own, the boys corner and kill Nickoli. Unfortunately the act fails to release Window from his curse, and they discover that a much higher price must be paid to free him.

Struggling to silence the voices from his past, Billie-Bob’s drinking results in his capture by the family of cannibals he once escaped from. This time he is taken to Paradise, a small compound along one of the many tributaries leading to the Chesapeake Bay. For those who lived there it was truly a paradise on earth, for its captives it was a different story as they were reduced to nothing more than livestock to feed a growing population.

While following the trail left by Billie-Bob’s captors, Meat, Window and Einstein come upon the shattered remnants of the church that had given them shelter on their trek north. Many of the church’s inhabitants had perished in the attack, but most of the children had been able to escape. They join the boys on their journey south to rescue Billie-Bob, and exact their vengeance on those who had shattered their peaceful existence.

Hell was coming to Paradise, and there would be no denying its vengeance.

Click on cover for more info or to order!

All Roads Lead to Terror is also an audiobook.
Check it out HERE.

Click on cover for more info or to order! 


     
      

The Dreadlands

 There are worlds beyond our own, existing for purposes outside of our understanding, where gods roam unfettered by the earthly restraints placed upon us. Where right is wrong, where the laws of physics have been turned upon their ear, and not everything that goes up, comes back down. Places where magic rules, and technology is but a faint memory from a distant past.

Fourteen years ago a cataclysm shook the realms of this multiverse as a rising tide of evil rose up to battle those in power. Many of the worlds ceased to exist in the blink of an eye. On our world the dead walked, bringing society to its knees. The technology we had taken for granted stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death followed by a dreamless sleep.

It is into this old new world these boys have been born. Coming together in a friendship that will be tested as they experience the brutality of a time that has lost all hope for the future. 

March Free Book Giveaway

This month I will be giving away one personally autographed print copy of book one in the Dreadland Chronicles, All Roads Lead to Terror: Coming of age in a post apocalyptic world.

February's winner has been selected and contacted.

The only way to enter is to join my mailing list. So sign up today and on April first I might be contacting you. And even if I don't win this month, you still get a free ebook just for signing up and you're automatically entered for every subsequent drawing.


All Roads Lead to Terror Cover

Synopsis:

The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present.

There are worlds beyond our own, existing for purposes outside of our understanding, where gods roam unfettered by the earthly restraints placed upon us. Where right is wrong, where the laws of physics have been turned upon their ear, and not everything that goes up, comes back down. Places where magic rules, and technology is but a faint memory from a distant past.

Fourteen years ago a cataclysm shook the realms of this multiverse as a rising tide of evil rose up to battle those in power. Many of the worlds ceased to exist in the blink of an eye. On our world the dead walked, bringing society to its knees. The technology we had taken for granted stopped working as a new dark age filtered across the land. An age of unrestrained brutality where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a quick death followed by a dreamless sleep. 

On the day of his birth the dead walked and society crumbled. His mother took one look at him and pronounced him Meat. He survived, she didn't.

Fourteen years have passed and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a savage band abducts a group of children from the compound.

Accompanied by his three friends Window, Einstein, and Billie-Bob, Meat embarks on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands, as they confront the harsh reality of a brutal world beyond the barriers that had served to protect them.

In the dead city of Richmond Meat and his friends will confront a savage cult of children who worship a creature of the night. These creatures, once considered the nightmare imaginings of a fevered mind, are now awake in a world where the population that once served as their food source has been severely reduced.

Awake and very, very, hungry. 

Zombie Road by David A. Simpson.

The people that tried to kill the world were fiendishly clever.

 
Click on cover for more info or to order!

Synopsis:

After decades of planning, the contagion was unleashed and overnight hundreds of millions died and came back as rampaging, undead monsters. The living that had been lucky enough to survive the first day of carnage, lucky enough to be in the right place and lucky enough that some of them had the skills they needed, soon found out there was much more to worry about than just zombies. 

In the high desert on the outskirts of Reno, there is an old truck stop frequented by a mix of hard caliber truckers, day tourists, musicians and travelers. They have survived the chaotic first hours of contact with the undead and now must make their way across the country to a location they believe is safe. 

Zombies are only the beginning of their troubles as they try to cover the thousands of miles of open road with their hastily armored 18-wheelers. Gunny, a long haul trucker doing one of the few jobs available to him as a disgraced soldier, is unwillingly saddled with the job of getting these survivors to the safe zone. 

With a motley crew of truck drivers, college kids, veterans, a drug dealer and a rock star, they are racing the clock to make it before time runs out. The last text he had received from his wife before the cell towers went down told him she was trapped in a high-rise in downtown Atlanta and their son was in detention, stranded in the basement of the school he attended. Gunny just wanted to drop the hammer, steal some guns and blast his way in to rescue them but duty called. 

He had to get these people to safety first, then he could recruit the best of this crew to help him save his family. If they survived the journey. 


About the Author!

Hey Ya'll:
 
Hold my beer and watch this....
 
Wait a minute. That's for when I'm doing something stupid. Amazon suggests I write a little something about me but it's not that interesting. If you are reading this, it probably means you are a 
Zombie Road reader, maybe even a fan.
 
Book 2 is about 1/2 finished (as of February 2017) and the Three Flags Crew have reached Lakota, although not without losses.
 
What I would like is feedback from you guys. PM me or I'm on Facebook
or just google "Facebook David A. Simpson Zombie Road" and it should come up.
 
  • Who needs to die?
  • Should Gunny find his family?
  • What do you think should happen to the Middle East?
  • Should Jessie and his friends stay put waiting for rescue or venture out?

Do you want to be written into the book and then die a horrible death? I'm thinking about running a contest, maybe having the winner write their own small story of their character to be added into the book. Yes? No? Good idea? Dumb idea?
 
By the way, if anyone is a Cannonball Run fan, (the race, not the movie) there are a few obscure nods to some of those asphalt heroes of yesteryear. I wonder if anyone caught them. Or if you are an Eric Shelman fan (the guy that did the narration for the audio book and is an accomplished author himself) did you catch his untimely demise? It's kind of running joke that his author friends kill him off in our books.
 
Let me know your ideas. The trilogy is outlined but there is always room for new characters, new adventures and new ideas. 

Lergion of the Damned: Excerpt

Legion of the Damned

Dreadland Chronicles Book III


The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present as four young 
boys come of age while exploring a post apocalyptic world.




There should be others with him, he thought as he rolled over onto his back to find three women cowering in the opposite corner of the cage. Their clothes were torn and dirty, the result of the celebration his captors had thrown the night before, coming to the cage sitting far from the warming flames of the fire, taking each woman in turn back to the group where their screams vocalized the brutality that was visited upon them.

He had watched helplessly as each of the women was taken from the cage, powerless to do anything to help, consoling himself with the lone bottle of whiskey he’d found in his pack. 

One of them whimpered as Billie-Bob tried to sit up, fireworks of pain igniting within his head as his hand slipped in the liquid covering the floor of the cage. They were moving south as the morning sun breached the eastern horizon, spreading its warming glow across the countryside. His teeth chattered as he sat up, and he hugged himself to conserve what warmth remained in his body.

It was then he spotted the forth woman lying on her belly beside him. Her dress was torn, her bare back exposed to the elements as it rose and fell with shallow breaths. Her head was turned towards him, one arm covering half of her face as she chewed at her wrist. Blood stained her cheeks, crusting the tip of her nose as she worked diligently, gnawing at her own flesh. Her eyes burned with despair, unseeing, focused on a point somewhere that existed only in her mind. Blood flowed from beneath her arm, and Billie-Bob realized then that it was her blood that covered parts of his body.

He looked down at his blood covered arms, the shoulder of his shirt soaked through. He reached for her, wanting to stop her, but she shrank away from his hand as her gnawing intensified.

A gout of blood splattered against the wooden front of their prison, she had succeeded in severing the main artery in her wrist, enduring a pain he could only begin to imagine as she sought out the comfort death could provide. Her wrist fell away from her blood crusted lips as the waning light of her life fled from her eyes.

She had escaped the despair that awaited all of them, but in so doing had placed them in mortal danger. Billie-Bob had never been this close to someone when they died, and he watched in fascinated horror as a mottled gray color quickly spread across her exposed flesh. A growl came from deep within her chest as she pulled her arms under her body, and struggled to lift herself from the floor. Fabric tore as she pushed herself up, and her dress fell away from the mottled flesh of her body. He felt no desire at her nakedness, only revulsion, tempered with fear.

Ever so slowly she turned her head to look at him, her blood crusted lips pulled back to reveal bloodied teeth as she ran her tongue along them. The women in the corner behind him whined as the woman pushed herself up to her knees and turned to face them with cataract coated eyes.

To be continued! 

Read the first book in the series.

All Roads Lead To Terror

Click on cover for more info or to order!

Synopsis:

The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present as four young boys come of age while exploring a post apocalyptic world.

On the day of his birth the dead walked and society crumbled. His mother took one look at him and pronounced him Meat. He survived, she didn't.

Fourteen years have passed and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a savage band abducts a group of children from the compound.

Accompanied by his three friends Window, Einstein, and Billie-Bob, Meat embarks on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands, as they confront the harsh reality of a brutal world beyond the barriers that had served to protect them.

In the dead city of Richmond Meat and his friends will confront a savage cult of children who worship a creature of the night. These creatures, once considered the nightmare imaginings of a fevered mind, are now awake in a world where the population that once served as their food source has been severely reduced.

Awake and very, very, hungry.


Legion of the Damned will be available for pre-order 
beginning March 1st with a special pre-order price. 

Sign up to be notified when I release a new book
 and receive a free copy of my novel
White Walker

When she was ten she made a promise to that which inhabits the winter storm. Now she's twenty six and pregnant, and the White Walker has returned to collect his due.

You will also be automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a personally autographed print copy of one of my books each month you remain.

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