Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post and Book Spotlight: The Caldecott Chronicles by R.G. Bullet

Please join me today in welcoming author, R.G. Bullet. (be sure to read to the end to see a special offer on the books)

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for inviting me here today.

I was watching The Walking Dead the other day and it triggered a thought: that when an outbreak occurs, slaying Zombies could be turned into an art-form. I drew a rudimentary diagram but I am sure it's food for thought for your readers.

When you're defending yourself from within a ranch or shopping mall surely you would start inventing ways of mass slaughter? Perhaps you'd come up with an effective trap like a converted slaughter-house that has the living frolicking near the entrance as a lure--just enough to sucker the Zombies in. You know, like a Tupperware Party... 

Saffy the teenage girl in The Caldecott Chronicles comes up with some seriously disturbing methods to wipe out the undead--they don't always succeed but it is a testament to her ingenuity. I would like to invite your readers to participate in inventing a few traps. Someone must be able to better my idea? Feel free to send them along and I'll post them up.

Thanks for inviting me over. Stay vigilant!

Short excerpts from The Caldecott Chronicles No.1:

Why burning you may ask? In his frantic ef forts to ward off these undead, your Uncle Charles spent most of the week blasting away from the roof. No bloody good that did. The only thing he devastated was the munitions supply, and then he twisted his ankle leaping over one of the gargoyles. As if my hands weren’t full enough.

You’ll be glad to know I didn't waste ammu nition; I simply lured Wiggins and his entourage into the pit using Charles and myself as bait. Ac tually Charles didn’t even know he was being use ful, as he was simply resting his foot, playing that awful violin of his and utterly intoxicated on brandy. 

Quite a scene in the quadrant, I can tell you. Not sure who screamed at me more—Charles for wasting a half-gallon of his precious petroleum spirit, or the pit full of burning ‘help’. I will detail the account of your Uncle Charles and the ammu nition later—right now I still find it too stirring to elaborate further. 

Seconds after the demise of her husband, Mrs. Simmons (or at least I think it was Mrs. Simmons) came to the window of the top floor. She drooled something green over the white curtains and ma naged to open the window to step out, as if it there were an imaginary stair down to the garden. Ex cept there wasn't, obviously. What shred of intelli gence is left in these creatures seems easily squan dered. She hit the earth with a sickening crack. I thought that would hinder her efforts to eat me alive, but even with one leg trailing behind and both broken hands flapping loose in front like greyish-green gloves she still managed get up speed. She must have been famished, poor wretch.

I wish I’d had one of those camera thinga majigs to take a photographic remembrance, Al bert. I could have captured a great shot (pun in tended) for The Windsor Times, I can tell you. This Simmons woman was quite a sight—tangled and matted hair, and maggots falling from her right eye socket like yellowy tears. I let her have one blast. She’d earned that. Her plunge from the window gave me a quite a chuckle.

About the author:
R. G. Bullet was born in Berkshire, UK. After living in nine different countries he has finally settled in Miami Beach, USA. He is addicted to tea, reading, writing, motorbikes and shamefully, Call of Duty. His middle grade debut novel: The 58th Keeper and The Caldecott Chronicles have just been released.

Follow him on Twitter:!/RGBullet58 and join the FB page for the latest updates and fun competitions

During this tour, R.G. has lowered the price of Book 1 and 2 to 99 cents, available now (see link above).  Books 3, 4 and 5 will be released shortly (date TBA).


Thursday, May 17, 2012

{Book Tour} Guest Post--Gregory Lamberson, author of Carnage Road

Writing by the Seat of Your Pants
By Gregory Lamberson

I prefer not to work from an outline when writing a novel, and when I’m required to submit a detailed outline to a publisher to land a contract I procrastinate when the time comes to write the actual book. If the story has already been written as either a synopsis or an outline, then the act of creation has already occurred, and when I dive into a novel, I want to discover the story with my protagonists; I want their actions and reactions to dictates of the story to me, not the other way around. In other words, I want to surprise myself, and an outline works against surprise.

As an independent filmmaker who’s written many screenplays, structuring a story comes to me pretty easily regardless of which medium I’m writing for. The most important thing I need to know is who my protagonist is and what his goals are. I like to know what the opening scene of a novel is, and what the climax of the first act is. Beyond that, I might like to know what my second act climax is, and I may want to have a loose idea of what the conflict in my ending will be. Beyond these points, I don’t want to know anything that happens – until I reach that point in the story. In many cases, a supporting character’s sudden demise in one of my novels surprises me just as much as it does my readers.

For my new novella Carnage Road, I tried a different approach. The story concerns a cross country motorcycle trip taken by two bikers during the zombie apocalypse; in essence, Easy Rider via George A. Romero. I wanted to begin my story in Buffalo, New York (where I live) and end it in Texas, but I had no idea where my antiheroes would stop along the way. I opened some maps online and plotted their course, with each location stop serving as the setting for a different horrifying episode. Their roadmap became mine.

During their travels, Boone makes Walker promise that if he gets bitten by a zombie, Walker will put him down. I knew I wanted the climax to occur at the Alamo, with Boone in his death throes, ala Colonel Travis, and a horde of zombies threatening to enter the historic mission. Walker would have only one bullet in his gun, putting him in a moral dilemma: should he spare himself an agonizing death, or keep his promise to his friend? In the actual novella, the suspense is compounded when Walker becomes attached to an orphaned girl. The little girl did not exist until I reached my last chapter, and then suddenly there she was, adding an additional layer of resonance to my coda. This happy accident never would have happened if I had written an outline and adhered to it. 

About the author:
Gregory Lamberson is the author of five published horror novels and one nonfiction book on independent filmmaking. A two-time winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror for his novels Johnny Gruesome and Personal Demons, and a three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist, he has three books scheduled for 2012: his zombie novella Carnage Road, from Creeping Hemlock Press; The Frenzy War, Book Two in his werewolf series “The Frenzy Cycle” from Medallion Press; and Tortured Spirits, Book Four in his occult detective series “The Jake Helman Files,” also from Medallion. An Active member of International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association, Lamberson also has a following as a cult horror film director and is best known for "Slime City" and "Slime City Massacre."

Visit him at his website,

Read my REVIEW of Carnage Road.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Tour: Review--Carnage Road by Gregory Lamberson

My thoughts:
This is more of a short story or a novella than a novel, but it packs a lot of punch.  Anyone who loves zombies will enjoy this little book.  I'm a big fan of the AMC television series, The Walking Dead, and this book reminded me of it in some ways.  However, Lamberson cleverly added some elements to the story that make it even more frightening.

After our heroes, Walker and Boone, lose their crew, they set off on their own.  They decide to head to Hollywood because Boone, "wants to see America."  The idea is against Walker's judgement, who would much rather go to Canada.  Along the way, they meet a preacher who is still tending to his flock...of ghouls.  Oh yeah, their called ghouls in this story, not zombies.  They are warned that the left over police forces have probably formed militia or something to that effect and that they should avoid them, if at all possible.  It turns out that they're not so easy to avoid.  They find themselves in the midst of the Founding Fathers' Order lead by a woman that evokes thoughts of Sarah Palin (yikes!).  Some of her new world order consists of making abortion illegal and rewriting textbooks to eliminate evolution in favor of creationism.  Yikes again! As Walker reflects later on, "With the human race the minority group among biped, we needed to stick together, but the same old differences kept us apart:  sexual politics and politics of power.  It must have been November already."  Frankly, I find this element of the story even more scary than the zombies ghouls.

Carnage Road is a quick, entertaining read.  I really recommend it to anyone who likes zombie stories and especially to anyone who might be afraid of what our world would be like if there was a zombie apocalypse.

About the book:
Boone and Walker, the last two members of the Floating Dragons motorcycle gang in Buffalo, set out to re-discover America during the zombie apocalypse. Their odyssey takes them to Ohio, Kansas, Hollywood, and a last stand in Texas. Along the way they learn just what happens when the federal government ceases to exist, and it isn’t pretty.

A tale of friendship and loyalty, Carnage Road is author Gregory Lamberson’s unforgettable ode to westerns, biker pictures, and the cinema of the living dead.

About the author:
Gregory Lamberson is the author of five published horror novels and one nonfiction book on independent filmmaking. A two-time winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror for his novels Johnny Gruesome and Personal Demons, and a three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist, he has three books scheduled for 2012: his zombie novella Carnage Road, from Creeping Hemlock Press; The Frenzy War, Book Two in his werewolf series “The Frenzy Cycle” from Medallion Press; and Tortured Spirits, Book Four in his occult detective series “The Jake Helman Files,” also from Medallion. An Active member of International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association, Lamberson also has a following as a cult horror film director and is best known for "Slime City" and "Slime City Massacre."

Visit him at his website,

Thank you to Pump Up Your Book book publicity tours for having me on this tour.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: Ghost Story by Peter Straub

My thoughts:
I loved this book! I can easily see why Straub and Stephen King have collaborated because the feelings this book evoked in me are very similar to what I have felt while reading some of King's works.  King and Straub are definitely kindred spirits.  I just love the creepy and this book delivers big time in that regard.  It's really hard to believe (well, not really) that the 1981 film based on this book is from this book at all.  There is so much here that would have made the film better, but I digress.  Straub takes his ghost story and turns it outside, inside, upside down.  We have ghosts that are 'werewolves' and 'vampires', figuratively.  It is alluded to in the book that perhaps ghosts such as these are where the old legends come from.  We have mutilated livestock/horses drained of all blood...and humans too.  Then there are seemingly benign girls and women who, with a certain knowing smile or look, give the chills as well.   It's the subtlety of the writing, I think, that makes what would not normally be scary really damn scary.  I think the tenets of this story are 1) if you do something bad, it will come back to haunt you and 2) don't sit around telling ghost stories.  You just might find yourself in one.

I can't believe this is the first Peter Straub book I've ever read.  It certainly will not be my last (since I own all/most of his books, reading them won't be a problem).  If you haven't read Ghost Story, I recommend that you do posthaste!

About the book:
In life, not every sin goes unpunished.

For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder.

Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time -- and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

Reading Challenges


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unspent Time Launch Party

Unspent Time Launch Party

Get free books and win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch

Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive to the opposite sex and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%*
(* These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)

From the award winning author of ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ comes a collection of impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time; time that was allotted but never spent. This is where we find the stories that could have been true.

Such as the story of Kiala, whose caretaker disappears one day, leaving her as the sole Huntress to battle the giant octopi to feed her village. Or the revealing tale of Goki Feng Ho, the ancient Chinese art of decoding the meaning of car license plates. And the heartbreaking story of the man responsible for choosing the colors of the insides of your shoes. And let’s not forget the story behind Unspent Time itself, the metaphysical ramifications of which will leave the scientific community feeling mostly indifferent about it for decades to come…

For the launch of the new novel I decided to discount it to $0.99 for today (PC and eBook), give away some exclusive content, and raffle off two Kindles. All entrants will get:

  • An exclusive spin-off novelette (not available for purchase anywhere!)
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signature for their paperback or kindle edition
  • Chance to win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch

(Prizes can be traded for Amazon gift certificates if you already own them.)
Just email your receipt to to enter.
Each purchase counts, so stock up on birthday presents (for people you don't like that much, for instance) The discount ends today, but be sure to send the receipts no later than June 1st.

(Or order the books from any bookstore.)
Coupon code for today: ZB77D

And then get by tweeting about your purchase:

Sound bites from Unspent Time:

“I'm looking into my past lives. I'm convinced some of them still owe me money.”

“I'm very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences.”

“I didn’t actually want to do it,” Kiala told the boy. “The universe just kind of conspired to force me to make a fool of myself. It does that quite a lot, actually.”

“Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.”

Here's what reviewers had to say:

"A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!" -- Reader Views
"An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers' film in book form." --
“Extremely witty and clever writing.” -- California Chronicle
"A Party for your Brain!" -- Warren Baxter

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

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