Saturday, June 30, 2012

FOREVER FREE!

To celebrate the great success of 'Dead Men Tell No Tales' I want to offer my readers something for free.
BLACK BRIG is an edited, re-mastered, and corrected version of 'Black Schooner', my first 'public' tale.
I put it up at Smashwords for all of you. New cover, new title, and most of all, now set in the same universe of 'Dead Men Tell No Tales'.



Friday, June 29, 2012

FREE TRIP TO KAMP KOKO

Kamp Koko by Night will be free on June 29 - 30.
This is the same story from 'Spirits and Thought Forms: Tales from Prosperity Glades' but edited by Jaime Johnesee.




COMING SOON!


And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


Sunday, June 24, 2012

PIRATES BEING PIRATED



Today, I woke up, checked my e-mail, and found this 'Google Alert' warning me about one result on my pen-name. I checked it an found my Dead Men Tells No Tales was uploaded on a pirate site.
Guess what? I felt honored.
I know, that's unfair, it should be reported, and so on. But there is not much we can do about it.
Many of these sites are in far away countries who do not respect international laws. You can't go legal against a site in Russia or Ukraine, especially if you are a broken Indie like me.

However, I had to warn Amazon. Dead Men is enrolled on the KDP Select program and that means no one can sell, share, or re-distribute my story except Amazon - including me, the author.
Funny thing, of all my books these guys pirated my pirate story!
Just two days ago, 'Dead Men' reached a total of 1000 downloads. Mostly, come from the two times I put it on freebies, but 10% come from paying customers. It became my bestseller.
Would you believe the original story was completely different?
I wrote it under 'Curse of the Black Schooner' as a prequel of 'Black Schooner', my debut's first tale. It was released on Facebook for free as a six part weekly chiller.
Well, while I was writing 'Curse' I received a request from a small press asking me to write a short story set on an alternate historical reality with zombies. It had to concur with many others to get into an upcoming (?) anthology. So, I rewrote it completely, using the same characters, but in a different setting. The schooner became a brig, and Captain Red Leg became Admiral of the League. I assure you the story took a different direction from the original one, yet it kept its meaning; the origins of the Black Brig (Schooner).
Dead Men never make it into the anthology, but, ironically, became my greatest success.
There is a dark side to this story, too.
I'm an independent writer, doing this by less than nine months. I self published six books, until now, and planning to release a new novel in July (my first non horror story) and another short based on a real experience my wife had. I'm doing all of this by myself and keeping my budget as low as possible because I don't have an actual job. I want this to become my job, but it takes time, skills, marketing, and some luck.
So, I desperately need all cents I make with my books.
Do you want to get some free stuff? OK. Besides 'Dead Men' and 'The South Will Rise Again' went free for a total of 5 days each. I'll write more free stuff to let you enjoy my stories.
But please, do me a favor. If you enjoyed your free or pirated copy leave a line or two at Amazon. Tell people what you liked (or disliked) about my story. You'll help me get more visibility, because reviews sell.
It costs you nothing.
It's free.




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jeffrey Kosh's Prosperity Glades: My Graphic Art Services

Jeffrey Kosh's Prosperity Glades: My Graphic Art Services: I’m offering my graphic design expertise for authors at Euphoric Publishing & Design for a flat fee of $80. Included in the package are f...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Help Charles Day and Hidden Thoughts Press

You loved his 'Legend of the Pumpkin Thief'. Now, Charles Day needs your help for a good cause:

Chase is giving away grants to help small businesses grow, but in order to qualify, they need a minimum of 250 votes. HELP THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS.

HTP is a publishing house dedicated to producing quality books filled with real stories from people who are surviving and coping with mental illness. They’re dedicated to helping those with mental illness realize they aren’t alone through inspirational non-fiction anthologies and non-fiction novels. 

Their staff focuses on the theme of mental wellness throughout the works, offering sufferers, their families, and friends help, hope, and a place to share their stories, including failures, set-backs, and successes. 

Your vote will allow them to pay pro rates to our authors, give wider discounts for their books, including free books to consumers who would otherwise be unable to afford it. They will be able to reach out far beyond just NY. 

They will work with a major distributor who does print runs so they can get our inspirational books in libraries and bookstores throughout the country. They can pay for more ads, and in turn reach out to so many consumers who would be inspired to read true stories from survivors of mental illness. 

I know this for a fact because I see it every day. Agencies reading our books in groups, consumers sharing their positive feelings about being touched with a story they read. This grant will help them do so much more. 

Please vote!!! CLICK SUPPORT type in Hidden Thoughts Press and then RIDGE, NY!! There is less than 17 days to go. Please help our cause!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

DIGITAL NOMADISM

DEFINITION OF A DIGITAL NOMAD

Digital nomads are individuals that leverage digital technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner. Such workers typically work remotely—from home, coffee shops and public libraries to collaborate with teams across the globe.
Nomadic entrepreneurs and professionals often work as freelance writers, photographers, affiliate marketers, web designers, software developers, graphic designers, and other types of knowledge workers who can perform work duties irrespective of physical location. They often use new technologies like a smartphone, wifi, and web-based applications to enable their lifestyle, and earn an income wherever they live or travel. Digital nomads also often use coworking spaces and shared offices in major cities around the world.
Also referred to as location independent professionals (LIP) or entrepreneurs.

WHAT THEY DO 

Live, work, and travel.
The motto of modern nomads – professionals who, carrying a laptop and a mobile, can do their work from almost any place in the world.
It is a constant search for the ‘undiscovered country’ or … the future.
Places the others only dream about are suddenly and practically within reach of mobile professionals. Most nomads use a computer for their work: graphic and web designers, developers, copywriters, translators, etc. So thanks to globalization, cheap flights, and the Internet they can move from one country to another and yet continue working for their clients at home. A traveling professional may not get rich, but sees quite a bit of the world and all kinds of people out there. They are enriched by experience and new friendships. Freelancing may become the unique accelerator of one’s own growth, like it did for my writer career.
Nomadic life is not about money, but you must be in credit.

WHY AM I TURNING NOMAD?

After my last experience in Thailand, I saw all to pros and cons of trying to get roots. Countries, especially highly protectionist ones like Thailand, tend to be unsupportive to foreigners. You are as good as your money is good. They don’t care what you can share or add to the local culture, they don’t need your advice or experience; they just want your money.
As a tourist, you are pampered with all kind of opportunities to get lose of some weight from your wallet; visas are made easier and easier to gain. But think to actually go living inside somebody else territory and you find all kind of obstacles.
Foreigners can’t work in Thailand. Should you get a work permit you are limited to non-manual jobs – no, you can’t be a waiter here.
Nobody will rent a house to a foreigner in Malaysia or Italy.
Limits, corrals, fences. Made of paperwork, permits, forms, and credit ratings.
But if you turn independent, you can find the break in the wall, the missing palisade in the pen.
As an ‘Indie’ writer, I found enough courage and enlightenment to chug out six books; enough serenity to focus on my stories and think about what I really wanted from my life.
It ain’t easy, this kind of life is full of pitfalls and unexpected twists.
But I like it.

Look at the lama. Should it feel being roped, it kicks and pulls to get free. Once you remove the binding, it goes placid and sits down, no longer willing to flee…





Monday, June 11, 2012

AUTHOR GARY STARTA PRESENTS: DEMON INHIBITIONS

I'm honored to host one of the best authors in sci-fi out there. Gary Starta is best known for his Caitlin Diggs series.Novelist turned science fiction writer currently working on 12th novel. Plans to continue Caitlin Diggs series - first novel Blood Web published 2007 with Demon Inhibitions published 2012.
Crime/mystery novella ebook Murder By Association published November 2007 with Eternal Press. Now released in print form by Amazon.com. Catch the full length followup Kindred Killers published 2012.
Novella Alzabreah's Garden published March '08 from Eternal Press. Now available in print form from Amazon.com.
Short story "Growing Pains" now published in Silverlight robot anthology THANK YOU, DEATH ROBOT.
His latest work is a paranormal story: DEMON INHIBITIONS.


I tend to write mix genre, or, what I dub fiction on the fringe of genre.
My new release, Demon Inhibitions, threads sci fi, urban fantasy, suspense, romance, horror and mystery.
I usually anchor my novels in science fiction but find it fascinating and almost impossible not to blend these other genres into the mix. You could compare it to a meal. While there's nothing wrong with eating a piece of fish by itself day after day you might find it more tasty to add broccoli (horror), rice (mystery), salad (romance), bread(fantasy) and dessert (suspense). To be more precise, Demon Inhibitions consists of:
Sci fi: Agent Caitlin Diggs believes a genetically made soul stealer is responsible for recent murders.
Horror: The soul stealer has escaped custody and crosses a parallel universe dragging Diggs with him via wormhole.
Urban Fantasy: Diggs is assisted by a Wiccan investigator and a succubus. In her parallel universe, demons outnumber humans and a preternatural branch of the FBI deals with their crimes.<br>
Romance: Diggs enters an altered reality and a love triangle emerges. Her new boss Charles Grant is beyond handsome but the other version of her friend Stanford Carter is stirring feelings she never had for his alternate.
Hitches: Grant doesn't know 'his' Diggs has been killed by the soul stealer. 
Alternate Carter has been turned into a demon. Would romance with Carter change her as well?
Mystery: Why is the soul stealer hell bent on eradicating a teen whose singing voice inhibits demon violence?
Suspense: Diggs faces the prospect that conventional weapons will not subdue her fugitive. Can her newly acquired paranormal abilities give her a fighting chance?
I'm sure we've all read great stories that brought some or all of these elements together. They usually get boxed under one category for sales purposes. Maybe someday a multiple-genre tag will be born. After all, paranormal romance is still a fairly young genre and is ever growing.
Change does happen.

Please read on for an excerpt.
Demon Inhibitions is out in June. Please stop by my FB page for updates! http://www.facebook.com/GaryStartaSciFiFanPage<br>


Demon Inhibitions Excerpt

When she found I had visited Manners, Briana began scurrying about her house, scooping up a pair of scissors and a red candle. Before I could speak further, she came at me. I backed away from her in fright. Her placid face revealed nothing malevolent. But the shears were headed right for me. I tried to dive away from the contradiction. Who was the real Briana? The sweet woman who made cookies for me--or her shears wielding maniac counterpart now standing before me? She screamed not to worry. I heard a snip. I felt a strange sensation. Not pain. But something was no longer attached to me. It was a piece of my hair. She caught the floating lock in her hands as if it were a runaway feather.
“It is very important we get to work, Caitlin.” Too stunned to process the weird moment, I could barely utter a groan.
Then she explained how she must protect me. “He’ll surely make a visitation now that he has met you.”
I tried to explain it was a good thing. I would probably get a vision of him and then I could determine his part in the slayings.
She interrupted. “A visitation is what he’ll do to you. I don’t know how to break this to you but the cat judge is an incubus. He’ll surely come to you in your dreams. And in case he is our murderer, you’ll need a protection spell, pronto.”
I reminded her I carried a firearm. I had worked in the FBI.
“No earthbound weapons can harm the judge once he joins with you. An incubus enters your dream world.”
“How do you know this?” My tone grew edgy. She had obviously withheld knowledge of Manners. Maybe the two were friends or even lovers. And she just admitted an incubus could have committed these crimes without fear of being harmed or caught.
“I know things because I’m a witch, Caitlin. That explanation will have to suffice for now.”
“If you’re truly a witch, Briana, you must know he’s our best suspect.”
“I do not wish to make sentence of him, yet. He could very well be innocent, even though he is not human. You must not be quick to judge. Don’t forget you now have paranormal abilities. You wouldn’t want to be labeled guilty just because of who you are.”
She had me there.
I settled in for the spell.
“I will create a mind shield for you, Caitlin Diggs.”
She began to chant, inviting me to join her.
“I call upon the helpful powers of my ancestors. Please protect and shield me from harm. By the ancient ancestral power, blessed be!”
Briana played soft Celtic music for me as we waited for the spell to take effect. I tried to distract myself with the lovely dulcet tones of harps and violins. It almost worked until my stomach rumbled--again. We never had supper. Briana was too intent on saving my ass. For what seemed hours we held hands waiting for the candle to burn down. I had plenty of time to drink in the ambience of the McFadden household. Floral print furniture and lacy doilies surrounded me. But most disturbing, a poster of Cher is depicting the actress as a witch in the film Witches of Eastwick, hung right before my eyes. When the candle finally expired I yawned and thanked Briana.
“Don’t thank me yet. The night is now upon us. We must return to your house if we hope to engage the judge.”
“Won’t your presence discourage Manners from coming?”
“No.” She paused to smile. “You could have twenty police armed to the hilt and he’d still come. Nothing from the waking world can harm him.”
I muttered something unintelligible even to me.
“I’ll be in the next room to supervise so to speak. When he comes I’ll sense it. I will then cast a binding spell so he can’t attack you – or worse, drain you. Now the spell won’t last indefinitely so you won’t want to waste time with small talk. Hopefully you’ll be able to determine his innocence or guilt in your dream.”
I had once interrogated an evil man named Crowley in a dream state. It didn’t go so well. But at least he didn’t threaten to harm me. Maybe he couldn’t. I still don’t know; but I was sure of one thing if the judge threatened me in any way I would defend myself. I didn’t care what Briana said about the dream and waking worlds. I went to bed packing a handgun.
** **
A full moon bathed my bedroom in bluish haze. It kept my eyes from closing. Normally I would have drawn the curtains on the nocturnal intrusion, but tonight I was hosting so to speak. I felt I was setting a better trap or “invitation” to Manners if I left the light on. Briana would have probably scolded me if she were capable of listening to my silent ranting. She had explained to me several times Manners would not be traveling via car, plane or broom for that matter. His appearance would be completely ethereal to all waking humans. He would meet me via an altered state of mind, in a dream or alpha state, where his thoughts and presence could transcend any physical traps an overly anxious former FBI agent (me) might feel compelled to set. It wouldn’t matter if I shined a lantern in my window or posted Rottweillers on around-the-clock guard duty, Manners would be oblivious to it. Briana stated this very emphatically, employing wild gyrating arm movements that nearly had me fearing she would turn me into a rat if I didn’t give her my undivided attention. So I sat and listened to her for an hour after we completed the spell. When my eyelids began drooping, she ordered me to bed. She took up residence in the adjoining guest room with Celeste. With a click of a doorknob, Briana could be at my bedside in seconds. But when I finally began to absorb the notion that Manners would not be using the front door to meet me, fear began to take hold. How would her presence help me? She could monitor my dreams all she wanted, but ultimately it would be up to me to break free of Manner’s paranormal grip-provided one: he was an incubus and two: he would still deem an appearance necessary to either protest his innocence or quiet my suspicions of him once for and all. My mind finally began to drift into that sleepy state where your thoughts start running into one another. How would I converse with him in the dream world? And would my gun be at my bedside in this dream? My brain felt like rubber. My eyelids finally shut. A faint hint of blue light seeped through them and then the next thing I knew…
“Who, what…what do you want?” I sat straight up and stammered as a presence took shape over my brass four-post bed. At least I determined I could talk, albeit not very intelligently in my dream state. The shape continued to hover over me, within arm’s reach. I twisted in my covers, attempting to lunge towards my dresser drawer where I kept my gun. As my hand continued to fumble for the dresser knob, coldness brushed against my backside. At that instant, I gave up my hunt for the gun and reverted to my backside, hoping confrontation might keep the invading demon at bay. I shouted. “Back off and identify yourself.” I felt silly. I couldn’t very well command this thing to put its hands behind its back--if it had hands--let alone expect it to adhere to laws and protocols devised by those living in the real world.
The thing, best described as a floating transparent body of liquid, actually started to comply. It reversed itself away from me, about a yard or so. Now it hovered over my Victorian vanity chair. I seriously hoped its liquid makeup wouldn’t drip all over my prized antique. It began to glow blue, probably because it was in the direct path of a moonbeam.
“Now tell me who are you.” Hoarse and raspy, my voice no longer sounded like mine. I tried to recall my vision where I had been speaking to the spirit of Alastair Crowley. My voice had sounded like mine then. In fact, I’d felt no different in that dream state whatsoever; I had classified that experience as a vision. But now, as I sat cowering in my bed, I felt more as if in a dream. I willed my legs to move, but like in a dream, they were uncooperative as if an iron vise was keeping them in place. As I struggled to escape my covers, the thing spoke to me in a whispered voice. Whatever it was, it was now inside my head!

Author Gary Starta

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SUMMER OF ZOMBIE BLOG TOUR: IAN WOODHEAD


For the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour I'm glad to host a guest post from author Ian Woodhead.

Summer of Zombie

Ian Woodhead

As you’re reading this zombie blog, I’m guessing that you’re as geeky as I am. Unless, your idea of a great time would be to take down as many of those undead fuckers as possible, rescue the screaming blonde, load up the back of the pick-up with a crate of Kentucky Bourbon and get back to the fortified shelter to sharpen that machete.
 You are?
Oh, in that case, you go dig out that whetstone and move along.
Agent Smith told Morpheus that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world, where none suffered and everyone was happy. Apparently, it was a disaster. Our agent then told him that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering.
Our primitive cerebrums just aren’t wired to enjoy what life we’ve been given.
So, did our digital psycho just have a huge microchip on his shoulder or was it a case of fantasy imitating reality?
The facts tell me that we should be happy. Most of us have a fantastic life compared to say, a couple of generations ago. We are living longer, healthier and certainly more comfortable.
Now, go switch on the news, pick up a paper. What’s the ratio between joyous announcements to bad news?
We’re not on this planet for long, should we not embrace life instead of obsessing about death? Are we obsessed? Oh, I think so. Not just our own end but the whole shebang, because seeing our own threads cut just isn’t good enough for our primitive cerebrums.
Let’s go the full route and think about the Apocalypse, about Armageddon!
End of the world scenarios have been with us since the dawn of civilisation, from Ancient Sumer who prophesied that a planet called Nibiru is going to smash into our world in a few months time. (apparently) To the biblical book of revelation.
Let’s be honest here, our ancestors did have a shitty time, I mean no iphones, no Facebook, no Nandos or dial a take –out. No wonder they wanted to end it all1
So what’s our excuse then? I mean, we’re still obsessed, but now we come up with some cracking new methods of annihilating our species. You can keep your biblical fire and brimstone and world spanning floods and earthquakes, they are SO yesterday!
Even nuclear destruction has fallen by the wayside.
Let’s go back, for a moment to our agent Smith. Now this nutjob wouldn’t have even existed if it wasn’t for the concept of Digital Singularity.. Now, this is a beautiful theory. The bones of the idea is that our machines will someday become so advanced that they’ll be able to think for themselves, become self aware. They’ll eradicate hunger, cure all disease and halt war.
Yeah right.
Our primitive cerebrums are wired the wrong way, remember? So if this did ever happen, the machine would (Of course) turn against us, kick our arses and turn us all into a bunch of Duracell batteries. Ever that or they build a shitload of killer robots and send them back into the past looking for Sarah Conner.
Still obsessing about the dead coming back to life to feast on the living?

I’ll see your Zombie Armageddon and raise you a Digital Singularity.

Ian Woodhead is the author of several horror books including four zombie stories.


*   *   *   *   *

All six of us - Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O'Brien and Dave Jeffery - hope you'll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.

And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a Free eBook or Print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we'll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SURPRISE! REVENANT

It happened all of a sudden. I was stuck without power for 3 consecutive days, so couldn't work on my first non-horror story (Thrill of the Hunt) and my temper was flaring. Nothing to do, nothing to see, I and my wife found ourselves dusting out the ancient tradition of storytelling.
And REVENANT came out of the blue, or rather ... the black.
In the style of those 1970s horror comics, the tale is narrated in third person, present tense. Voodoo mixes with traditional European legends of the restless dead.
I enjoyed writing it so much, and also had the luck of finding an excellent editor for my story.
She's Jaime Johnesee, and I'm so honored to hire her services for this weird tale.
The novelette also includes an appendix with notes about the Revenant legend in various cultures.
I'll let you know more in the coming weeks.
 

Monday, June 4, 2012

DOORS by Jaime Johnesee

OK, let's suppose you can't (or you won't) to chug out 1.99 bucks for a whole anthology.
So, why don't get a single story from 'Oh, the Horror!' at $ 0.99?

Jaime Johnesee is releasing 'DOORS' for the Amazon Kindle.
Why am I so happy about this?

First, she's a great author and I really love her stories (many others can be found free on her website: http://www.jaimejohnesee.com/)
Second, I made the cover, and proud if it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Guest Post: Author Bryan Hall presents The Vagant



Author Bryan Hall

            First off, thanks to Jefferey for letting me hijack his blog for a day.  I guess the best thing to do here is to talk about just what my novellette The Vagrant is about.
            Before I get to The Vagrant, however, let me explain just what it's place in the Southern Hauntings Saga is.  The Saga will follow Crate Northgate, a guy who's dealing with more than most of us ever will.  He's on the run, from his past and from whatever lies back there behind him.  Just what that is won't be revealed until the Saga has run its course, but you'll get gradual reveals as it goes on. 
            Each story will be self contained, with Crate helping a different client in each.  The huge array of southern ghosts and legends out there has given me a very deep palette to work with, so I think they'll all be fresh and unique.  And all along the way, Crate's past and his mysteries will slowly be unveiled.
            I also want each story to focus on different themes, whether they're very broad ones like forgiveness or coping with loss, or very specific ones. 
            The Vagrant is a story of redemption, in a way. 
            Crate isn't a great man.  He's got his flaws.  He's not a fool, either, but faced with the chance to help someone who he sees himself in, he can't pass it by.  It won't rid him of his demons, but it may help absolve him, even if its in his own eyes. 
            Of course, it's a cruel world out there and some things are simply more complex than black and white.  By the end of The Vagrant, Crate will fully understand that.
            This story leads into the Southern Hauntings Saga, as kind of an intro piece.  It was only supposed to be a couple of thousand words, but it took on a life of its own.  I won't say where it fits into the timeline of the Saga.  It could occur years before the first novella in the series – The Girl – or it could occur days before it.  It may even occur after it.  But what it should do (I hope, anyways) is introduce you to a man struggling with his secrets even as he helps others to face theirs. 
            The south is filled with mysteries, some well-known and others only whispered about within the small towns that they occur in.  I've lived here for more than thirty years, and I've soaked up a lot of those tales throughout the years.  It's time they were told.
            Crate Northgate has a long road behind him, and an even longer one ahead of him.  I hope you'll join him for a few miles.