Friday, 23 February 2018

Zombie Turkeys: A #Fantasy by Andy Zach

With his first book, "Zombie Turkeys" Andy blazed new ground in paranormal humor. The second book in his Life After Life Chronicles, "My Undead Mother-in-law" is now on sale for Amazon Kindle and Createspace print edition.

Andy Zach was born Anastasius Zacharias, in Greece. His parents were both zombies. Growing up, he loved animals of all kinds. After moving to the United States as a child, in high school, he won a science fair by bringing toads back from suspended animation. Before turning to fiction, Andy published his Ph.D. thesis "Methods of Revivification for Various Species of the Kingdom Animalia" in the prestigious JAPM, Journal of Paranormal Medicine. Andy, in addition to being the foremost expert on paranormal animals, enjoys breeding phoenixes. He lives in Illinois with his five phoenixes.

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About the Book

Sam Melvin, an underachieving e-reporter from a small town, changes forever when he meets turkeys that won't stay dead. You can shoot 'em, chop 'em, burn 'em—they come back stronger. The undead plague of poultry spreads uncontrollably, rocking the whole country. As Sam tracks down the zombie turkeys and how to eradicate them, his editor, Lisa Kambacher, nags him to turn his stories and expenses in on time. During their years of working together, Lisa has mellowed into an irascible pinchpenny.

Lisa snipes at Sam for plebeian writing but uses her intelligence to pursue the lucrative carnivorous turkey story. Sam and Lisa ricochet across the landscape, tracking turkeys and fleeing the bloodthirsty hordes. Careening from shell-shocked grocery store owners fighting turkeys crawling out of refrigerators, to machine-gunning turkey farmers, to secret militia, Sam and Lisa doggedly report. Throughout the turkey apocalypse, they dare ravaged cities, plow knee deep in gore and corpses, and upload streams of zombie turkey video news to the world.

With paranoid militias clashing with the federal government and unkillable turkeys, Sam and Lisa doubt their ability to survive. Sam and Lisa have no superpowers. If you have a heart condition or lack humor, you should not read Zombie Turkeys, no matter how much you want to find out what happens.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

Bill Westcot, the coroner of Midley, Illinois (population 512), had seen his share of grisly deaths, but this one took the cake. Two hunters apparently pecked to death by turkeys. How could this be? Wild turkeys were normally shy and secretive, not even as aggressive as geese. Bill looked up as a man came in—average height, maybe five nine, medium build, not fat, not skinny, roundish face, hazel eyes, and brown hair. He would be hard to remember. But Bill had known him all his life.

Sam Melvin, the reporter for Midley Beacon, dropped in for his daily chat. Sam and Bill had been friends since elementary school, and they had both stayed around Midley all their lives. Bill, a short, stocky guy with blondish hair, had gone off to school and become a coroner.

Sam had stayed in Midley after high school, doing odd jobs, until he got on with the Midley Beacon. As a reporter and blogger for a small-town weekly paper, Sam wasn't especially busy, and he liked to socialize.

When he saw what remained of the corpses on the mortuary slabs, Sam exclaimed, "Gowlurp! Gaawka-urop!" He ran to the bathroom and puked. After washing out his mouth, he returned, eyes averted.

"Who in the hell were those poor bastards?"

"Peter James and Robert Smithville, according to their drivers' licenses and their shooting permits."

"They look like someone went at them with a thousand pickaxes."

"Yup. Pretty gruesome, even for me."

"What in the world happened?"

"As far as I can tell, they were pecked to death by a flock of wild turkeys."

"I've never heard of anything like that!"

"Yeah, that's not really normal turkey behavior."

"Could they be rabid?"

"Turkeys don't get rabid, Sam."

"They don't attack hunters either. Is 'death by wild turkey' what you'll put on their death certificates?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Well, that's what I'll put as my story headline then. It'll be in tomorrow's paper."

"Make sure when you write it up, people know that 'wild turkey' is a bird and not liquor."

"How can you joke when you have these poor fellows on the slab over there?"

"It's a job. You get used to it."

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Godwine Kingmaker: A General #Fiction #Novel by Mercedes Rochelle

Born and raised in St. Louis MO, Mercedes Rochelle graduated with a BA in Literature from the University of Missouri. She learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. Her first four books are historical novels about 11th century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest. Mercedes now lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.

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About the Book

Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask.

He was befriended by the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children, among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine's best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn.

Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.

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Canute's housecarls—his personal fighting force—had eventually settled into their own section of London, near the king's residence, complete with barracks, brothels, and alehouses. It was to one of the latter that Ulf directed Godwine, to celebrate his good fortune.

But the Saxon had something on his mind that was more important than celebrating. With his new status came an elevation in rank that placed him almost on a level with a Jarl. Surely this must bring him closer to wedding the woman of his choice. He tried to drink the ale that Ulf shoved into his hand, but the liquid tasted bitter to him. Godwine was not really thirsty; it was time to screw up his courage now before his companion was too far gone in drink.

"Ulf," he said earnestly, putting a hand on the Jarl's arm. Jesting with an old acquaintance, it was a moment before Ulf gave Godwine his full attention.

"Eh? What is it?"

"Ulf, there is something I must ask you."

"Well, out with it lad. We have some heavy drinking to do."

"It is about your sister."

Grimly, Ulf put down his mug. "I hoped I was imagining things. Godwine, do not press me on this."

"Ulf, if I am to be an Earl, does that not make me worthy of her suit?"

The Jarl slapped his hand on the table. "Curse you, man, are you mad?"

Godwine's eyes flashed. "I have never been more serious in my life. I love her."

"Godwine, you are my friend. Else I would throttle you for your insolence. Mind your place. Earl or not, you are the son of a Thegn, and son of a Thegn you will remain. She is not for you."

Ulf did not seem to notice he had attracted an audience. But Godwine did and pushed the mug back into Ulf's hand. "I understand you all too well, Ulf. I am good enough to be your friend, but not your brother-in-law."

"Now, do not take it that way. I am very fond of you and wish you well. How does my sister take your suit?"

Frowning, Godwine did not answer.

"I thought so. Forget about her, lad. She is too proud, too haughty. Why do you think I have not married her off yet? She has not found a man good enough for her."

Thinking the issue closed, Ulf ordered more ale. He was soon so immersed in conversation with the others, that he didn't notice Godwine slip out the door.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Atlantis: A #Fantasy Novel by Carol Roberts

Carol Roberts is a freelance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man. 'Atlantis' is her first full-length novel; speculating on concepts of the human condition, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the choices within that.

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When Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman's life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control.

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

Time shifted as he carefully turned and dug his heels into the horse’s side. A good horse, a strong horse, just like the old man’s had been. The shade of the trees embraced him, and the sound of the water came closer. Would he still find the track? Was there a track? Time shifted further, and he felt an eerie sensation between his shoulder blades. The forest was too quiet, the water overly loud. Gideon started to slip, and he reined the stallion in even further.

The filtered light threw strange patterns onto the ground, and when the moment came he let go of the reins and let Gideon run. Leaves slapped him in the face, and as the noise became deafening he could see the glistening spray which lay like a shimmering web ahead of him. Gideon shied but could not stop. They raced on until the tree-line opened up, and he could see the gorge falling away in front of him like a black, open mouth.

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