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Zombie Anothology Worth Reading

Here’s a zombie anthology worth checking out.  With authors like Mark Tufo and Armand Rosamilia, you know this anthology is going to be a knockout.

Nine different authors come together to deliver an anthology you won’t soon forget.

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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Want to Win an Autographed Copy of Whispers?

This post will be short and sweet.  If you’d like a chance to win one of two autographed copies of Whispers, signed, sealed and delivered to you, simply look to your right and scroll down a little.  If you’re reading this on a mobile device, good luck.  I have no idea how it might populate on your screen.  But if you’re on a computer, you’ll see a small ‘Goodreads Book Giveaway’ offer next to the cover of Whispers.  Right underneath that is the hyperlink you click that will take you to the Goodreads website where you can enter to win!

It’s really that simple.

Why give away a paperback free of charge?  The hope is to generate interest and possibly drum up a few reviews.  Remember my previous post about ‘live and die’ by reviews?  Yeah…they’re that important.  So why are you still reading this?  Scroll down, click the hyperlink and ENTER TO WIN.

Tell your friends to enter, too.  The more the merrier.  Let’s spread the word and see if we can’t put this one out there.

Oh yeah…one teensy-tiny little caveat.  You have to a U.S. resident to win.  Sorry.

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Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Things In a Box and Other Musings

Those of you who follow my ramblings on Facebook are already aware that the first Monster Squad book, Return of the Phoenix, has been included in a truly awesome boxed set along with five other authors.  Whoever decides to take advantage of this offer will be picking up over a half million written words of some of the best horror on the market.

Awesome boxed set2

For those of you who haven’t already experienced the wit and wisdom of Mark Tufo, here’s your chance to dive into the first of his Zombie Fallout series.  You also get to sink your teeth into John O’Brien and the first of his zombie series, Chaos.  Expose yourself to the inner workings of the twisted mind of Armand Rosamilia with Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer.  You can dive into Trudge from Shawn Chesser, probably one of his best works.  And one of my personal favorites is James Cook’s offering of No Easy Hope.

These are all full length works to keep you busy through the Halloween season…but there’s a catch.  We’ve included a teaser from Joe McKinney’s The Dead Wait.  If you’ve never read Joe’s writings, you’re not doing yourself any favors.  He has a way of sucking the reader into the story and putting you on edge throughout the entire ordeal.

Now for the ‘spiel’.  You get the entire boxed set for the price of a single e-book.  WHY would we do this, you might ask?  Where’s the catch?  Are we only putting in HALF the story?  No, these are the complete first books.  If you ordered each of the books off of Amazon, this is what you’d get.  The catch is, we’re trying to EXPOSE all of these writers to YOU the reading public.  That’s why we make offers like this.

You may recall a while back when I mentioned that I ‘fell into’ a wonderful situation with a group of other authors that help promote each others work…this is that group.  A mish-mash of authors from all over the country with one thing in mind…to put our stories into the hands of as many readers as we can.  So, with that, I present to you, the readers, Epic Apocalypse, A Boxed Set of Apocalyptic Horror.

Read, enjoy, review!

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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One Week To Release!



Yes, I know I’ve been rather excited about the release of Whispers, and now the countdown has begun.  One week from today, it will be released for public availability.  Originally, my plan was to release it on my wife’s birthday (October 20th), but since that falls on a Sunday and people who get a new book like to enjoy the weekend reading it, I figure a Midnight Friday release might be more appropriate.  Still, I’m going to call it her birthday since we’ll be celebrating it all weekend.  Hopefully, I can coordinate everything with my publisher so that she can ‘push the button’ at exactly midnight CST Friday and have it ready for everybody to enjoy.

You might wonder why I’m so excited about this particular release.  Well, it’s not exactly something I can put my finger on.  It’s not part of my signature series, the Monster Squad, but it is one of my favorite stories to date.  My missus has read everything I’ve written so far and she has other favorites, but this one is closest to my heart.  I can’t explain why.  Perhaps because I dedicated it to both of my dads?  Maybe.  My father passed in ’88 to cancer and my father in law has done his level best to be there for me even though I know filling those shoes isn’t possible.  Maybe it’s because it has small town law enforcement as the central characters…people I can relate to.  Maybe it’s because it deals with a love that runs so deep that even in death it can’t be denied.  Oh, wait.  I better not say much more.  I don’t want to give anything away.

If you’ve been one to search Amazon in anticipation, you’ll note that Whispers sits on their website but it says, Out of Print–Limited Availability.  That’s sort of a teaser.  It’s populated to Amazon and simply waiting for the publisher to ‘press the button’.  So…why wait?  Well, if you’ve followed any of my posts on Facebook, then you know that the grand majority of the characters are real people who donated their names to be used in the story.  I knew that the body count would be high in a story like this.  Rather than sit and pull out the last three or four hairs that I had left trying to think of names that sounded real, I asked for volunteers.  I posted in the thread that I would only use their names, not their likeness.  I couldn’t guarantee what would happen to them or what character they might be.  I literally printed out names, cut them out, folded them in half and put them in a hat.  As I made the list, I pulled out names and filled the list.  The Fates decided who went where.  Then I decided that those who volunteered their names should get a free autographed paperback for their trouble.  By coordinating with my publisher, she pre-ordered the books so that we could get them to folks BEFORE the book was available to the general public.  Factor in shipping to me, labeling and shipping out to them and we still had plenty of time to make it available before Halloween.

I owe a big debt of gratitude to my editor Todd Brown for getting this done in time and to my publisher Denise for having everything ready to do the pre-order and having the patience to let it sit while we wait for folks to get their copies.  I know this was no easy task.  The book was written in ‘Okie’ and spell check does NOT like southern speak.  At all.  Neither does grammar checkers.  Nope.  Not one bit.  This is one he had to do line by line, word by word.  And it is not a short story.  At over 150K words, this is a long story.

So, with all of that said, I hope that those of you who enjoy a good ghost story will give this one a shot.  It may or may not be up your alley, but it was certainly a joy to create.

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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Promote Yourself

Todays post ties in to my last one.  Promoting yourself and your work.
How do you reach the most people, the most effectively, with the least amount of effort?
Well, if this were Amway, we’d recruit three people and they’d recruit three people and then they’d recruit three people.  We’d all save money buying products we were going to buy anyway and maybe sell a few things to our friends and neighbors.  But, this isn’t that.  This is selling ourselves.  And for someone who isn’t used to doing that, I did what I do best.
I freaked out.
Actually, I turned to the pros.
I’ve been really fortunate to fall in with some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.  They’re always super busy, so any time they offer their advice, you better believe I listen.  Sometimes the advice they give isn’t what I want to hear, but so far in life, I’ve yet to have anybody tell me that there truly is a magic pill for weight loss, a secret elixir for gaining wealth or a holy relic that will be bring me all the knowledge of the universe.  And if you think about it, if anybody had any of those things, human nature being what it is, would they really share it?  So, with honest advice shared, the next step is to take that advice and apply it.
How to promote oneself.
There are many different ways to do this.  There are also many ways NOT to do this.  So far, all the ways NOT to do this can be summed up thusly: “If it sounds too easy, don’t waste your time.”  It’s either a scam to separate you from your money or it’s ineffective.  I’ve yet to have any of the pros tell me, “Yes, sign up with such and such website to promote you.  They’re great!”  In fact, of all the businesses that bombard you with their ads begging you to do just that, I actually did a wee bit of legwork and researched them myself.  It wasn’t hard.  Just go to their ‘Testimonials’ page.  Look at the names of all the authors that tout their great work.  Copy their names and then go to Amazon and paste that name.  Look at the number of reviews they have.  Is it less than five?  How long has their work been available?  Some had NO reviews.  If you ask me, I wouldn’t post that authors testimonial on my website.  It did more harm than good.
So, what do the pros say?  Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, AboutMe, MySpace, Blogs, websites…use them all and use them smartly.  There is a fine line between promoting yourself and becoming a nuisance.  Navigating that fine line is YOUR job.  I primarily use Facebook as it helps me to stay in touch with family and friends as well.  It also helps me to NETWORK.  Something learned way back in my Amway days (yes, I was a distributor, and no…I’m not going to try to sell you soap).  Networking helps you to reach people outside your sphere of influence.  I reach out to my family members.  Say my sisters.  They have completely different spheres of influence than I do.  When they reach out to their sphere of influence on my behalf and help to promote my work, my sphere of influence grows, as does my debt of gratitude.  They help me to reach new people and my readership grows.  If one of those new readers enjoys my work enough to share with one more reader…word of mouth.
Another way to promote yourself is to make yourself KNOWN.  Advertising.  Now, this is where it can get tricky and expensive.  Where do you advertise?  WHEN do you advertise?  What media is best to advertise?  I’ve yet to meet one of the pros that has said, “Take out an ad in the Social Section of the New York Times and…”  or “Pay for a radio spot on your local radio station”…  If they don’t tell me they’ve tried it and it worked, I’m not doing it.  It might work for the big name guys with the Big 6 publishing houses pushing people like Stephen King but I have no illusions.  Nor do I have that kind of cash flow.
Conventions.  Yes, HorrorCons, SciFiCons, MonsterCons.  They’re ALL over the place.  Don’t believe me?  Google it!  I did.  I was blown away.  A friend convinced me that these were the places to be.  It gives you the opportunity to rub elbows with others in your trade and let people get to meet you.  It gives you the chance to meet and interact in a way that the internet simply does not allow.  You can hand out business cards, swag, copies of books, coupons for free downloads…whatever, and you can meet others that you may have only met online before.  It’s a whole new experience.  For those who aren’t familiar, ‘swag’ = ‘freebie stuff’ like bookmarks, bumper stickers, buttons and whatnot.  Take custom t-shirts and let other people advertise FOR you!
There’s a lot to remember in the whole ‘promoting’ game.  And truly, there isn’t a right or wrong answer for each person, business or situation.  Each one is unique.  What works for me may not work for you.  What works for you may not work for me.  But what works for ‘like situations’ is probably a good bet to work for each other.  So, if you are a writer, emulate a writer.  If you own a coffee shop, find out what other successful coffee shops have done and emulate those.  If you run a flower shop, find out how other more successful flower shops have promoted themselves and see if you can’t employ some of those ideas.  Common sense applies.
As for me?  I plan to be at the Underground Monster Carnival in Oklahoma City in March 2014.  True, there are other Cons before then, but I’m just getting started in this whole ‘promotion’ game.  I need to properly prepare in order to be ready.  I had hoped to go to Austin to the WizardCon in November, but alas, I couldn’t get my ducks in a row.  So, OKC it is.
I even plan to bring some swag to give away.
If you want some…come by and see me.
Until then, just drop by here.


Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


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