October 31, 2013

No Angels Release Day!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen...the time has come for the release of Undead America: No Angels!!

cue bells, whistles and a really loud kazoo

I'm super-thrilled to share this book with you...and also super-nervous. I think there's ground for controversy, and I'm curious to see what you all think!!

Be that as it may - if you want to read No Angels, here's how you can get it.

1. If you want it TODAY...order direct from my MuseItUp Publishing. Here's the link. Remember...you can order it in a format to work with any e-reader. Just choose your option when you order, and all will be well.

***NOTE: If you pre-ordered, I believe your files will be emailed to you later today. If you don't get them, let me know!! I will make sure you do!****

2. If you're a loyal Amazon/Barnes & Noble/other retailer consumer and would like to wait, No Angels will be popping up in those locations in upcoming days/weeks. Amazon should be up by early next week; Barnes & Noble and other retailers may take a little longer. I'll post links here, on Twitter, and on my Facebook page as they arrive.

Regardless, like I said...I'm really excited. I can't thank you all enough for all the love and support and friendship you show me day in and day out. A book is only as cool as it's readers, and I truly believe I've got the world's coolest readers.

So...someone pop the champagne! It's time for a mimosa!!!

October 27, 2013

rUNdead Recap

Yesterday was a good day. A VERY good day.

It started with Zoe's final soccer game of the fall season, and it was a nail-biter! Didn't help that I was a great big bundle of stress and nerves, but seriously - the game was tied until two final-minute goals by Zoe's team clinched the win...and their winning season.

So I got to be a VERY proud mom.

Then Zoe went home with my parents and aunt, and Charles and I rushed away to pack up the car and drive to North Charleston for the rUNdead 5k race, where I, for the first time EVER, was a vendor. I was to sell (and hopefully sign) some paperback copies of Zombie Days, Campfire Nights.

Whew, I was nervous. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, this wasn't a life and death situation or anything. If no one bought any books, I'd have survived. But still. I was nervous. I'm socially awkward at best, and talking about my book makes me tongue-tied, so this was almost a recipe for disaster.


But you know what? It was AMAZING!

This is me, at my both. I think the table looked SO cute!
And the weather was amazing...60s and sunny.

This is Charles, my lovely assistant. He was amazing.
He helped set everything up, handled all the money,
and was supportive and wonderful
all through the day

My good friend Marissa Virtuoso came by and hung out.
Not only is she a great writer (buy her book - The Indigo Bunting)
but she had a great idea. She took copies of Zombie Days
around to a handful of zombies and took their picture!

The day only got better from there. 

More friends came by to hang out and be amazingly supportive. Some brought snacks, many brought children. The kids all ran around and played at the Kid Center and stared at zombies and generally had fun. I felt SO loved, I can't even tell you how awesome it was.

My parents and aunt were there. They hung out, played with Zoe, took her home, and it was fabulous to be able to have them there.

And....you'll never believe it....but people bought books! All the ones I brought, in fact!! And I got to sign them, and a few people even asked to get their picture taken with me! 

Now THAT was trippy. Me? You want your picture with ME??? So odd, and I only hope I didn't break their cameras...I'm not exactly photogenic. So...fingers crossed they're pleased with the results. 

I also got to meet some new friends - the owners of a food truck here in Charleston, Little Star of the Caribbean, follow me on Twitter, and Elizabeth came by to say hi. It was SO nice to meet her and chat for a while. 

We got to watch the race start (yay runners!) and the race end, and let me tell you - as a runner, it was HARD to not run!! But still. SUCH a great event.

I have to say... Ben-Jamin Toy and the other people of On Purpose Adventures really know how to put on a fantastic event. I'm happy to be able to call Ben a friend by now, and look forward to what the next year brings.

So to my friends and family who came out and supported me yesterday - thank you SO MUCH. You're amazing.

To the new friends I made - so nice to meet you! 

And to everyone who bought a copy of my book yesterday - THANK YOU. I really, truly hope you love it, and I hope to hear from you again!

October 21, 2013

rUNdead 5k This Weekend!!!!

Y'all! The rUNdead Charleston 5k zombie race is THIS WEEKEND! Saturday night, to be exact! And I will be there, selling paperback copies of Undead America: Zombie Days, Campfire Nights, and signing just about anything anyone might want signed! (Except private bits. Please. No private bits. This is a family friendly event.)

BUT....here's the skinny on the race, for those interested in attending.
  • The rUNdead Charleston 5k race will take place at the beautiful Wannamaker Park in North Charleston on Saturday, October 26th. "Gates" for the race will open around 2 (though the park's open all day), and the race will start at 5:00.
  • The race itself is a 5k (3.1 miles) over semi-rugged terrain, with zombies on the course to steal runners' flags. Runners get three flags to start. If they finish with a flag, they're eligible for timed awards; if all their flags are taken, they're not. Runners can get an additional flag with the contribution of some canned goods.
  • The race will benefit the Lowcountry Food Bank, which is about as good as it gets, cause-wise. 
  • There will be a "spectator fee" of $5 for those who want to watch, but if you bring 2 canned goods, that fee is waived. 
  • There's a zombie-station to fulfill your dreams of getting zombie-fied. I think they charge $5 for zombie-fication. Other costumes are also welcomed and encouraged.
  • For more info on the race itself, check out the Quarantine Protocol on the rUNdead web site.
AND...here's the skinny on my participation at the race, for those interested in hanging out with me.
  • I will have a booth set up at which I'll be selling my books, giving away post cards and bookmarks, and generally having fun. Some friends may stop by with their own books if they like, which would be VERY cool. I may also have yummy treats up for grabs...I DO love to bake!
  • I'll be there early (probably around 2) and do plan to stay late. Please drop by and say hi!
  • I won't be zombie-fied...not this time. Maybe next time. This time I want to meet people as myself, if that makes sense.
  • Zoe will be there, zombie-fied, and she'll hopefully be scaring up some business. Hahahahaha. I kill me.
OH! And after the race, they'll be showing World War Z on the big Cinebarre blow-up screen. We plan to stick around for that, too, so I hope to see you there!! Don't worry - we're sending Zoe home with her grandparents before the movie. :)

P.S. It looks like it's going to be chilly that night, so don't forget to bundle up!

P.S.S. The final installment of my rUNdead Origins piece on their blog will be up later this week! Don't forget to check it out!!

P.S.S. S. Hope to see you Saturday night! 

October 16, 2013

Undead America: No Angels Release Date

Guess what! We have a release date for Undead America: No Angels!!

I've been purposely vague about the date as we've been working through final edits, file formatting and such, and now...I'm happy to announce...in a move sure to keep things moving along in a lovely, balancing way....

The release date of Undead America: No Angels is....


So on October 31st (a little over 2 weeks from now) Undead America: No Angels will be available for download directly from MuseItUp Publishing! Soon after that it'll be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  Remember: all e-reader formats are available at MuseItUp, and if you pre-order No Angels, you get a little discount. 

For those of you who tell me you've been waiting for part 2, I hope this is exciting news!! And when you read it, I hope you love it. And until then, thank you all so much for your continued support!!

October 14, 2013

Feast of the Dead Anthology

Gah, I feel like this blog is all ME ME ME lately, and I apologize. There's just been...news? Lately? Sure, let's go with that. I'm not actually always a self-centered narcissist. 

BUT, while I was all busy working on Undead America, I was also writing short stories and occasionally sending them out to publishers. Turns out, one of my stories (another zombie one, but I SWEAR I write about other stuff, too!!) was picked up to be used in an anthology of the undead. Such an fun thing to see my name on a Table of Contents page, I have to say!

Feast of the Dead was released by Source Point Press earlier this month, and it's chock-full of zombie tales for lovers of the walking, chomping, biting ones. If you have a hankering for more blood, guts, and gore, please do check it out. My story is called The Beginning and...well, it was a little hard to write.  A sad one. Maybe even a heartbreaker.

If you read it, let me know what you think! I'd love to hear!

And anyway...with a cover like this....you can't go wrong, right? Isn't it beautiful? (Ick!!!)

October 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: World of Ash by Shauna Granger

I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again and again). One of my favorite parts of being a writer has been getting to know other writers. There are amazing communities out there for us, and it's been my experience that most writers truly want to help each other. And most writers? Yeah, they're pretty cool.

Shauna Granger is no exception. We met after a mutual friend introduced us in an internet-y way, and now we blog together, we tweet together, and I'm so glad for it. Shauna was a participant in my recent cover reveal for Undead America: No Angels, and today I'm so excited to return the favor! Her new book, World of Ash, is coming soon, and trust me...it's a way-fun read! And the cover? Well, the cover speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Isn't it pretty?

So...here's what this book is all about:

There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world. When it mutates and becomes airborne, Kat is desperate to avoid people because staying alone might be her only chance to stay alive.

That is, until she meets Dylan. Dylan, with his easy smile and dark, curly hair, has nowhere to go and no one to live for. He convinces Kat there can be safety in numbers, that they can watch out for each other. So the unlikely couple set off together through the barren wasteland to find a new life – if they can survive the roaming Pestas, bands of wild, gun-toting children, and piles of burning, pox-ridden bodies.

And here's what Shauna's all about: 

Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.

Feel free to say hi to Shauna at any of these fine locations:

Cover Reveal Organized by:

October 9, 2013

Book Day & Giveaway!! Undead America in print NOW!

Wow, you guys. Just wow. You know that feeling you had as a kid on Christmas Eve (or the day of the first night of Hanukkah, too, if you lived in my house)? When you know something big is coming and you can barely stand it?

That was me today.

Because I knew...ALL DAY...that it was coming! That's right! Zombie Days, Campfire Nights was delivered to my house TODAY, just a little over an hour ago, and I knew it was coming and I was way super crazy excited all day!

Ok, ok, I'm a little dramatic today, it's true. But I'm giving myself a pass. Because honestly, I think it's ok. Today's quite literally the day when a three-year-long journey comes to a head. This crazy little book I started on a whim - that met with awesomely fun reader feedback when it released as an ebook last year - became, today, something I can hold in my hands. I can touch the cover. I can turn the pages. I can dog-ear them if I so choose. Because it's a physical, real, paperback book, and it is mine.

Ok, I know I look really calm.
Trust me. I'm not.

Heh. I feel a little Dr. Frankenstein-y. "It's alive! It's alive!" Here I go with the dramatics again, but remember: I gave myself a pass.

I'm so utterly grateful that today is here.

And so to share my gratitude with YOU, the family/friends/faithful readers who've already shared so much of this journey with me...a little contest. A fun one. Why not! And in this fun world of crowd-sourcing, I'm going to let the winner decide the prize.

Here are the rules:

1. Comment on this post. That's all. At the end of the day on Sunday, October 13th, I'll pick a winner. A random winner. Here's how I do this -- I assign everyone a number, and ask Zoe to pick a number within the range. That's it.

2. The winner gets to choose a prize from these three options:
  • A beautiful paperback copy of Undead America: Zombie Days, Campfire Nights - I'll sign it and mail it to you.
  • Your name gets used for a character in Book 3 (not yet written or titled) in the Undead America series.
  • A preview e-copy of Undead America: No Angels, to be delivered at least a week before the release date.
That's it. You tell me. We're celebrating here, so let's have some fun!!


Sunday Night Update

And the winner is....Pat Frame!! Zoe picked number 3! So let me know what prize you want and I'll make it so! Thank you all so much for playing!!! Yippeeeee!

October 4, 2013

Zombie Girl Finally Saw World War Z...

....and holy good God, it was insane!!!

Ok, yeah, I just started a blog post in the title, AND I spoke about myself using a weird third-person persona. Sue me.

Anyway, Zoe's over at my mother-in-law's, Charles has a new Playstation to make up for the one that exploded two weeks ago, and we have the house to ourselves. So of course, we watched a zombie flick.

Of course.

And I have to say....overall, 100%, it just might displace Dawn of the Dead as my all-time favorite zombie movie! I...I just can't believe it.

To be fair, not all of it was believable (and I approach all zombie entertainment with a great many grains of salt). Brad Pitt is beautiful as the One Fella Who Can Save Them All, but some of his escapes are a bit much even for me. Jerusalem in particular was a pain point for me - why is everyone risking everything for HIM? (Other than his obviously amazing Brad Pitt-ness?) 

There was also a distinct lack of animals that surprised me. I, of the zombie cows, expected at least a few animal interactions. German shepherds patrolling city gates, chocolate Labs sniffing airline passengers, whatever. Just something to add a little more depth. I guess I'm just not satisfied with wiping out humanity....I want to see what happens to the animal kingdom as well. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.

But on to the good stuff.

The opening scenes with Brad (ok, Gerry, but he's just so Brad in the movie, it's hard to call him anything else...)...the opening scenes with Gerry desperate to save his wife and two girls absolutely killed me. They ripped out my soul, stomped on it about a thousand times, and left it there, a withered-up, rippling pile of goo on the floor at my feet. Seriously. Ever since Zoe was born, I have a MUCH harder time watching bad things happening to little girls. It's only natural, I suppose. I can't help but imagine what I would do if it were Charles, Zoe and me in those scenes. Would I be able to save her? Keep her safe? Get her out of Jersey? God only knows, and it's that exact unknown that gets me. 

I cried as the initial cities fell. 

Yes. Total dork. That's me.

The pace of WWZ was what I like to call "an anxiety attack on a silver platter." I don't think my heart-rate ever dropped. But I like that. It's the constant assault on my senses that takes me so completely out of my world and drops me right into their's. 

I love that the movie diverges completely from the book, really only sharing a title with Max Brooks' bestseller. Between you and me, I didn't like the book. My friend Charlie is probably going to argue with me - he and I have gotten into it over the book before - but the lack of an overarching character-anchored storyline in the novel was something I couldn't overcome. It's a matter of taste, that's all. I prefer to know my characters, to move with them through time and space to see how they all come out in the end. In that respect the book had too many characters in too many directions. I was never connected to anyone.

So having a family to root for - and then a random bad-ass girl soldier from Jerusalem - was key for me to making the movie a success. 

And finally, I learned something very important about myself tonight. I...like having control of the action. I like creating my own little worlds, and manipulating them how I want. It's part of why I write....it's a great way to gain control over my fears, to put them to bed with a single well-placed swing of a Louisville slugger. 

World War Z might be the first zombie movie I've watched since writing the first Undead America novel. Relinquishing control over a world so similar to the one I've inhabited for months at a time wasn't easy. But after a while - once the girls were safe and I could focus on Brad Pitt - Gerry - most of the time, I was able to let it sweep me away. To frighten me. To carry me on its back through hell and back again. 

And I liked it.

P.S. Thanks to a freak case of viral meningitis when I was six weeks old, I now feel immune to the zombie apocalypse. Watch the movie to find out why.