Fallback ( The Dead Survive Book 2 ), by Lori Whitwam, is out today! Lori is a Woman In Horror and I know you will love this great tale. Read the free sample of this great book and get caught up in the action. I'm a sucker for action, and this story has plenty.
Get it now, my friends!
After being rescued from a brutal band of marauders, Ellen Hale rebuilt
her life in the fortified neighborhood that became her home. A
heartbreaking decision and devastating loss pushed her to become a
fierce fighter, because weakness only got you and those you loved
Now her community is facing a deadly threat, and Ellen has another choice to make.
Ellen volunteers as a member of fallback team three, tasked with
establishing a temporary refuge for their citizens in the event their
community is overrun by the enemy. As the danger intensifies, she and
her adopted sister, Melissa, set off with the rest of their team on the
road trip from hell.
Their mission is cloaked in secrecy, but suspicions of a traitor arise.
Something is affecting the zombies’ migration patterns, and when
blacksmith Tyler Garrett is discovered trapped in a farmhouse, the team
refuses to trust him. But Ellen believes his story, and it’s not just
because of his rugged, blond good looks and soft-spoken manner—his
skills can greatly benefit their team.
As the team struggles to reach the fallback, previously secure
locations are overrun, and their chances of success seem remote. With
the likelihood of a traitor nearly certain, and the lives of everyone
she loves at risk, Ellen must figure out who to trust before the
traitor—or the zombies—destroy them all.
Is there a spy among the fallback team,
or is there another threat lurking in the Kentucky hills?
continues the story of Ellen Hale who we met in the first book, The
Dead Survive. Ellen faced more than just the Zombie invasion, she faced
the monster that man can be. But she prevailed, and joined a new
community, gained a new 'sister', and found that wounds can heal and you
can learn to live again.
Now that community is threatened. Not
just by zombies, but by a rival community; human marauders who will stop
at nothing to take what others have built from the ruins of society.
Ellen's new existence and purpose is threatened once again. And the
central question is, can one afford to become too comfortable. Have they
really built a safety net, or are they sitting ducks?
response to that, Ellen joins Fallback team 3, a team charged with
forging a new safe house, a refuge if the zombies can no longer be held
back. As they prepare to leave the community they have called home, safe
behind their concrete walls, Ellen questions if it's the right choice.
And, faces the possibility of a trader within their ranks. The journey
proves to be anything but easy, and the questions are many. Have the
two other teams made their destinations? Are those back in the compound
safe? Have their been other traitors in the fold?
All I can say
is wow. As much as I would have liked to been privy to the fate of the
other fallback teams, I was too engrossed in the world of Ellen. I was
happy to see her grow more as a character, forge more relationships, and
even, very possibly, find love again. What I love about Whiwam's series
is the reality she creates for her characters. They not only survive,
they forge out communities with purpose and structure. They don't know
what lies outside their walls, but in them, they are forming a pretty
compact unit, and I was sad to see that threatened. Her books are not
just straight zombie gore, they are social commentaries. (Re: the way
Ellen's life was threatened by remaining human's in The Dead Survive)
line; this book is perfect for fans of the Walking Dead, urban fantasy,
and just someone who wants a damn good book. You will do better is you
have read the first book in the series; The Dead Survive, a lot of
things are explained in that first book. But you won't go wrong, this
book is a fast, engrossing read. One that leaves you breathless, and
hoping for a third book.
I was given this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. **
Fallback is the epitome of life after the ZomPoc. Not everything is
easy. Everyone isn't friendly. And not all monsters are Zombies. Add
that to the action, excitement and apprehension of that world and you
have a survivor's future.
Catch SUB - TerraneanS, by Robert W. Walker, the fifth book in The Bloodscreams Series! Abe Stroud must fight horrible monsters once again. When I picture these books about Abe Stroud in my head, I think of a demon-fighting Indiana Jones.
Get charged up and settle in for a wild ride!
* * * *
Archaeologist Dr. Abraham Stroud has faced off against vampire colonies,
werewolf packs, and zombie hordes,in previous digs. Abe now faces the
worst monsters in his experience -- The SubterraneanS: creatures
straight out of the earth, cemeteries to be exact, but now they are
expanding and are the root cause of sinkholes. They are tired of feeding
on the dead in cemeteries and are now coming after you and me. This is a
creature like nothing seen before, and it threatens all of mankind.
Once again Abe Stroud goes to war with the supernatural. Previous titles
in the series in order are Vampire Dreams, Werewolf's Grief, Zombie
Eyes, and Bayou Wulf.
Helplessly Above It All, by Jon Olson, is this week's Scary Saturday Tale! The darkest side of this story by Jon is the reality that this could actually happen. Scary stuff in an unstable world. Jon has given all of us a fantastic tale within the space of a few words. This is a hard-thinking, shot-to-the gut story. A wake up call if you might. Go to the link above and read it in its entirety. I have only included a few words below.
While you're at the Pen Of The Damned website, read more of Jon's great stories, all for the price of free, and all of them great.
Helplessly Above It All
I’m fourteen days, three hours and twenty seconds
into the mission. So far the spacecraft has performed flawlessly,
surpassing all expectations. It’s been rather comfortable as the capsule
was designed with more room for the occupant than previous spacecraft.
When I was selected to be the commander of this mission, my wife got
the biggest kick out of watching me jump around our little apartment
with a big shit eating grin on my face. She said that…
…she said… why am I even bothering to mention her? She’s dead.
So is everybody else . . .
This is my Friday Frights for this week. The theme this month is Poltergeists. These nasty critters come in all shapes and sizes . . .
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover
A gentle creaking comes from the roll top part of the ancient desk as it slides upwards. All the little compartment cubbies are still filled with my writing tools and implements. Paper notes, pens, paper clips: everything has its place. Nothing has been changed.
No one dares to alter anything.
My writing platform is worn but prominent. No computers have ever taken hold of the valued space here. Everything . . . everything I have ever written has been on notebooks. Why tamper with success? Typists can type. I wrote.
Tapping on the top of my desk, I ponder my next move and plan who is next on my list. My bookcase sits just to the right of my desk, and I take a weathered book from the top shelf and place it carefully in the middle of my writing station. Love Thy Enemies stares back at me in gold-gilded letters. Smiling as I gently open the leather bound volume, I wait for the joy to embrace me.
Cold rips through my office as ashes slide out of the hollowed-out book and trace a path down my legs, reaching my feet before spiraling upwards to encapsulate my spirit form. I shake in pleasure, embracing the return of the physical part of me stolen from my pain-racked body as I lay in my hospital bed those many years ago. None of that now. Nirvana spreads through every pore of the spiritual and physical reunion, the cellular reconstruction intensifying to new highs, ones I never experienced before when I was still alive.
Death means nothing anymore. Not to me. I have passed beyond pain and no longer feel angst or uncertainty.
Revenge is what drives me now. And the drive talks to me, in a loud clear voice.
Peals of laughter permeate every inch of my office. Yes, I'm laughing! Why not? The moment is at hand. My modest library needs some new volumes on the shelves.
I grab my cane, my grip strong and true; I no longer need it in this enhanced state I am in now, but it was a part of me in my last incarnate. Yet, my last incarnate and my present one share the same embodiments, the same shared memories and intelligence. I had the choice to move on to the Light, but I refused. I was not ready then and I'm not ready now. As if the offer would still be on the table. I think not.
My image bounces off the mirror in my hallway, showing me to be as dapper and youthful as I was before my untimely demise. I straighten my tie and adjust my hat and I'm out the door, locking it securely behind me.
The hospital is only a half mile from my home, and I arrive in no time. At this time of night, the level of staff is low and I have no problem gaining passage to the second floor. Waiting until the nurse at the desk leaves, I slip around the corner, finding my way to room 208. I have been here many times before. The path is second nature now.
John looks peaceful, far more than he should. His system will shut down tonight for sure. There is nothing anyone can do.
"Hello, John, my old friend. Thought I'd drop by and say hello before you pass. I sure am sorry you had to put up with the pain I had to endure before I died. Well, actually that's a lie. I'm glad you did. You see, since George is the one who administered the poison to me, you had no idea what was happening to you. Hurts like hell now, doesn't it?" I say.
John's eyes open. Barely. Fright registers on his face as he recognizes me for who I am.
"Yes, John. It's me. Bob. You know, I never could figure out why the three of you killed me. I know my next book was supposed to have been on the fast track to success, but there are never any guarantees of that happening. My agent, editor, and publisher: the three of you wanted to steal it from me. It must have been quite a joke on you when you couldn't find the manuscript in my office.
"It probably never occurred to you that my typist had it and was still working on it. Herman should have known about that, the dumb shit. For an editor, he was somewhat of an idiot."
John's color fades even more, my disposition souring. I'm pissed that I can't take his scrawny fucking neck into my hands and squeeze the life out of him: slowly, watching his life force ebb and flow before my eyes, watching his veins and arteries expand and contract in direct contradiction with each other.
Maybe just a little. I deserve this.
But wait! His eyes turn glassy as the machines he is tied to send off sounds of alarm, alerting the staff. In mere seconds, the sound of many feet pound down the hallways. His bladder empties onto the sheets, followed by the flow of anal effluent, as John gulps his last breath and his body systems shut down.
Nurses and doctors rush into the room, staring at me,wondering who I am and what I'm doing here. The force of my fury is unleashed. The bed flips over, chairs pound down on the nurses, and the restroom door comes off its hinges and catches a doctor square in his carotid artery, sending blood over everyone. Shoving them all to the side, I storm out of the room and into the hallway where I am confronted by a security guard.He's unsure of what's going on and doesn't know what to do. It is only when I'm almost to the elevator that he finally shouts out to me.
"You . . . you with the cane. Stop now!"
Fluorescent light tubes fall from the ballasts in the fixtures above, slamming into the guard's eyes. Deep rivers of blood rush down his face as he stumbles around, unable to find his way in the hallway. As if that would matter now. In less than a minute he tumbles to the floor, his Glock falling beside him, the trusty weapon having been of no use to him.
I exit the building and walk back to my house, impervious to all but that voice in my head. Two down, Bob. One to go.
My office waits, the gilded book still open, waiting patiently. Walking to the desk, I stop and allow my ashes to spiral downwards, the procedure opposite that of earlier. Once they are back in my book, I close it and put it on the shelf.
My mental faculties become sharper now. I'm not sure why this happens, and it doesn't really matter, I suppose, but without my physical embodiment, the spiritual side of me has much greater power. Yet, my rage remains unabated.
I walk to the other end of my bookshelf and take down the volume labeled Editing Fiction: Helpful Hints.
I open it and stare at the ashes inside.
"Herman, me lad," I say, "pretty soon you will have company. John will be joining you. You'll like that, won't you? Two thirds of the motley band of murderers will be sitting side by side."
In disgust, I place the tome back on the shelf and go to my window, overlooking the street below. Sirens are blaring all over the place, and police bubble lights flash their chaotic red, blue, and white lights.
How fitting. A visual homage paid to me.
Two books remain to be completed. John's will be ready in a week when his ashes are scooped into an urn. An urn which will be empty soon after. And George's book will take its place on the shelf shortly. Already, the dimethylmercury is wreaking havoc on his system. Strange that he is unaware of the reason for his pain. Perhaps the years have caused his mind to push things back into the recesses of the gray matter. I always suspected that dementia would attack him. No problem. It works in my favor. No one would believe the ramblings coming forth from him.
My fingers tap a joyful tune upon the desk top . . .
* * * *
The crematorium will rock today. Two services are being held at the Bates Funeral Home, in adjoining rooms. John's and George's. I didn't get to torment poor George at the very end of his existence. The bastard went and died on me. That's taking the coward's way out.
I'm wearing my fancy duds today: black tux, vest, and frilly white shirt. My silver-tipped cane, bowler hat, and polished wing-tips add to the aura of a true gentleman. Fancy that concept! These bastards deserved what they got. I'm not paying my respects; I'm merely fitting in with the rest of the high-nosed scum they had for friends. Anything less and I would be viewed in a suspicious manner.
I traipse back and forth between the two viewing rooms, wanting so much to wreak havoc on the proceedings for both of them, but I'm not here for that. The ashes . . . the ashes are what I came for. Without them, my books will not be complete.
Peels of thunder ring the building, and the power goes out. Damn, this isn't good! How can the bodies be burned with no power? Patiently, I wait for the return of the electricity, but it doesn't happen. How come this damn place has no backup power?
I'm in John's viewing room now and the people assembled there are restless. They're milling about in the dark, attempting to find a way out. Claustrophobia attacks some of them, aggravated by the increased closeness of the crowd pushing them towards the exits, the red light on the signs being all that's left to guide them anywhere.
My patience comes to an end. This cannot continue! The ashes. I need the fucking ashes!
The exit lights shatter as my control extends throughout the room. Screams come from George's viewing room as well now, and my lips curl up in sadistic pleasure. Fuck these people!
Furniture flies about the room, cutting, gouging, and bruising the unfortunate people in the way. Tension . . . sweet tension rises as panic ensues. Blood flows as bodies tumble to the ground and get trampled. Sweet crimson stares at me from the floors and walls and mingles with the nervous sweat of those attacked. My favorite color: more so since my untimely demise.
Yes. This is what these people deserve for being here to see the scum off on their voyage to their next incarnate, one taking a fast track to Hell.
I know what must be done. Plan B, one made necessary by Mother Nature fouling up my well thought out agenda.
My clothes fall from my body as the ashes take a downward spiral and hover around my ankles. I toss everything into John's open viewing casket. "There is more than one way for you to fry, John," I say.
Gathering the broken furniture from around the room, I toss the assemblage into and around the coffin. Finding a lighter on the floor, I use it to ignite my home-made wick stuffed into a champagne bottle. "Cheers, John! Roast in Hell."A hearty fire erupts and flames fly high into the room as I fling it at the center of John's temporary resting place.
The crowd finally opens some exit doors and runs out into the night. Those who are still alive, anyway. A number of them have rather misshapen heads and limbs from being stomped on. Tsk, tsk. Too bad for them.
I do the same in George's viewing room. The poor unfortunates trapped in here have yet to find their way out yet. Sucks for them. Perhaps a little heat will force them to move faster.
Back and forth I go, keeping the fires going, needing heat, a lot of heat, to get the deed done. Fire engines arrive on the scene to put the fire out, but I can't allow that to happen. I cut through the hoses with their own axes and watch the water merely pool on the streets. Five engines on the scene now, and not a one of them is able to function. All they are able to do is release the people from George's room. some of them anyway.
Moving swiftly to the adjoining crematory, I find a couple urns and return to the scene of destruction. a little more . . . just a little more, and all will be ready.
I work fast in the rubble and ashes, filling the urns with the ashes of my antagonists, able to tell what belongs to them. For years, I have readied myself for this moment, and my senses are well tuned to the nuances of odor, touch, and more from my visits to them, at their homes, and later in the hospital. I didn't waste a single trip, always taking mental notes on everything. Only at John's demise did I go in my physical uniting. The sweet joy of spiritual power never steered me wrong.
No one notices as the urns move on their own through the night air. There is far too much discord to notice such a minute happening.
My house beckons.Hurry. Your study is ready. Your books need finishing. Ah, what a sweet song.
I rush upstairs and place the ashes on the floor as I retrieve the hollowed out books from their positions on the shelves. Placing them on the table specially set up for them, I pour the ashes into the books. Why You Need An Agent and Who To Publish With wait patiently for the final touches. Hemingway always said the first draft of anything is shit. This is the final, perfected draft for both these books. The books are placed next to Editing Fiction: Helpful Hints.
My ashes encircle me once more and I feel the need to take a stroll. Too bad I had to leave my clothing at the funeral home. I loved that cane; I have more, however.
Once I dress, I head out into the night and walk towards the crematorium. I need to see my handicraft at work . . .
A Throwback Thursday tale from a few years ago. Hope you enjoy it . . .
The old back-roads bar is packed. Huge doings tonight. Hunters from
all around have come for the big hunt. From midnight June 31st ‘till
2:00 A.M., it’s jackalope season.
Yes, there are not thirty one days in the month of June, but that
means nothing to the assembled revelers. For a small fee, they purchased
hunting licenses: adornments for their homes. The jackalopes? They’re
not real, are they?
This place is big as far as beer joints go, and mounted jackalope
heads adorn the walls. There’s hardly a space which doesn’t have one,
other than the spots occupied by an entire body mount. In this neck of
the woods, they are a mythological creature, a cross between a deer and a
jack rabbit, named after an antelope because of their speed. To look at
the mounted heads almost makes one laugh: a rabbit’s head with deer
antlers sitting on top. A true taxidermy joke on the gullible.
At midnight the gang will meet outside and stomp around in the
dark, laughing their heads off, carrying weapons which are never used:
other than some idiots from time to time who are so drunk they shoot at
their buddies. Pals no more after a 22 bullet gets removed from
A strange un-easiness, carried on the mist forming outside, filters
into the bar through the open double doors. The once hot air has a nip
to it now, a surreal chill crawling up the backs of patrons, wreaking
havoc with the hairs on the back of their necks.
“Close those fucking doors, Fred!” John, a ranch owner from just
down the road, hollers out. “We don’t need that damned fog in here.
Jesus, the weather changed in a hurry!”
Fred meanders over to the doors and steps outside for a little
look-see. He’s been tending bar here for many years now and has never
seen such an eerie landscape surrounding the joint. Chest high fog
everywhere with wisps rising up in the gentle breeze, looking like
flames of vapor dancing about, taunting him.
Enough of that shit! He goes back inside and slams the doors shut, shivering as he does so.
“What’s out there, Fred?” John asks.
“The spookiest fucking picture I’ve ever seen,” Fred says. “I hope
that weird-ass fog rolls out of here by the time we close the place
down. Gonna be tough to drive in that crap!”
He gets halfway back to the bar when the sound of the bolt sliding between the two doors makes him turn.
“What the . . . ?!
No one is near the door. Fred shakes his head and hustles back to
work. If anyone else comes they can just knock on the damn things.
“Hey, barkeep,” some of the guys ask, “what’s going on outside?”
“Just some weird fog. Don’t worry about it. Drink up.”
They shake their heads and do as Fred suggested. After all, this is a gin-mill and one is supposed to drink.
“I would be afraid.”
A voice: from where? The patrons stare at each other, wondering who spoke. No one acknowledges it was them.
“Midnight is minutes away. The fun begins then.”
This time the same words are spoken by multiple voices, from different parts of the room.
“This isn’t funny!” Fred shouts. “What’s going on?”
“Look at the calendar, Fred.”
Not only Fred but a bunch of the others look at the calendar as well. It shows thirty one days in June.
“Is this some sort of a joke, Fred?” John asks. “You got some kind
of speakers set up around here with these voices we’re hearing? I don’t
take too kindly to it.”
Fred shakes his head violently. “No, it’s not me! I swear it. And this calendar wasn’t here when I started work tonight.
“It wasn’t there before, Fred. How do you like it?”
The room gets quiet and the lights dim as the clock shows midnight.
In the pale light that is left, shapes and shadows flit around the not
so merry crowd. Antlers are everywhere, slicing into the throng, showing
themselves as gigantic silhouettes on the walls. Blood rains down onto
the hardwood floor, creating slick spots, causing the customers to lose
balance and fall as they run for the doors.
Their attempts at escape are short lived as they are mercilessly
torn apart by the sharp tines. Faces are the primary target, and the
antlers gouge out the eyes of the unfortunates. The luckier ones have
their throats slit and die faster, bleeding out before any more pain can
The ones who make it to the doors to escape are thwarted: the bolt
won’t budge. They are cut down from behind, the antlers doing a nice job
of separating the men from their manhood. Doubled over in pain, they
are jumped on and shoved to the floor. The ones lying on their bellies
have their backs torn apart and spinal columns sliced through. Those who
roll over are quickly disemboweled.
Carnage is everywhere with guts, hearts, lungs, and other body parts littering the floors, tables, and chairs.
Fred reaches for his .38, but long, sharp teeth remove his hand
from his arm. As the gun within the severed appendage falls to the
floor, the beast leaps at him and impales his head to the wall behind
the bar, twisting until Fred’s body moves no more. The creature releases
him and the lifeless body falls to the floor.
Every single patron is slaughtered, and the joint becomes silent
again: other than the sounds of the conquerors gathering at the doors.
The bolt disengages and they all venture out into the fog.
* * * *
Sheriff Johnson surveys the horrors the next morning, disgusted with what he sees, almost throwing up.
“What band of cretins would do something like this?” he says to
himself. “And why would they remove every jackalope from the walls?”
My friend Rebecca Treadway, who is a writer, artist, and photographer, also puts out a daily paper called Creepy Walkers: Ink.This is under the paper. li banner. Rebecca covers many items: stories, art, entertainment news, world, crime, environment, and more. Busy lady. Every now and then she will share one of my posts or links I have shared. Some of you know I'm a rather opinionated guy. I'm rather proud of that.
Go to Rebecca's twitter link above and click on to her paper's site. I subscribe to it. I believe you will too once you see the great things she has there.
Tell her Blaze sent you. Hey! I know all the cool people!
Slayful Stories, by Melanie McCurdie, is now out! This is one Dark tome. Let there be no doubt about it. Melanie has bared her soul. This super collection is Melanie's first Amazon book. Explore and get a glimpse into the world that belongs to my friend.
Volume 1, it says on the cover. I say, "Yay!"
In these pages, death lays in wait. The killers you will find here are a
wily bunch as beautiful as they are lethal. Beginning with the epic
poem Swing, a story of a woman scorned, each journey takes you deeper
into the mind of a murderer, a victim, or a survivor of lost love,
untold horrors, and unnatural phenomenon. Won't you join us as we
wander along the twisted corridors of the human psyche.
The next installment of the State of Horror Anthologies from Charon Coin Press is the state of Missouri. State of Horror editor, Jerry E. Benns began accepting stories based on Missouri June 1, 2015.
* * * *
Charon Coin Press has another anthology coming up. Submissions are now open for the State Of Horror: Missouri anthology. Jerry E. Benns, owner of Charon Coin Press, does a great job! Hit the above link and get all the information you need.
Become a part of a great Press. I have a story in the State Of Horror: New Jersey anthology and really enjoy working with Jerry Benns and Margie Colton, a great lady who is a huge asset to Charon Coin Press. She works at everything.
Don't miss out, folks. There are many horrors lurking within the state of Missouri.