Happy New Year

Wow, where did 2011 go? I would categorize this year for me as a very interesting year. I attended the very first Intergalactic Sporkfest, and it was AMAZING. My daughter got married, I released my first novel, and I embraced new experiences, both personal and professional. I fell flat on my face a couple of times, but I just got up and kept on plugging. (Except I don’t drink or piss the night away.)

As I reflect a bit on 2011, the one thing that really stands out for me is how many amazing people I’ve met this year. People who have literally changed my life. Even the people who…let’s say, disappointed me, taught me valuable lessons about myself and my work. I’m really looking forward to what 2012 has in store.

Well, THAT'S a little disconcerting.


Source: DuBoixMorguefile

I try to express my appreciation for everyone and everything throughout the year, but this seems to be a good time to say it again, in case you missed it. Every one of you reading this, I am grateful for all of your support over the past year. Each and every comment, “like”, or follow; reader, reviewer, client, friend, lurker; all of you. Thank you, thank you. You have helped make this a wonderful year.

I hope this coming year brings an ease to the economic stresses; an improved political structure; less fucktardary all the way around for all of us. In the meantime, have fun but be safe tonight if you’re out and about.

Nothing but love for you, people. Nothing but love!

Photo by Dani Simmonds

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It’s The Debutante Ball!

First of all, thanks to Author Elizabeth Mueller for putting together this fun blog hop. This is a chance for me to introduce you to Athena’s Promise, my debut urban fantasy novel, and to offer two free e-copies. All you have to do is comment with your email address. The winners will be announced on January 1, 2012.

This is the first book in a trilogy about Pallas, the front desk manager of a very unusual hotel.

As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers. The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead. But that’s not her only problem.

A cop with an attitude – can he be trusted to be more than just a pain in her ass or does he have a more sinister agenda?

A new Guest Services Manager, out for her job and ready to sacrifice anyone in his way – what does he really want?

The attractive maintenance guy, endangering the promise she made out of necessity to the Goddess Athena – does he know more than he’s telling?

A mermaid diva, whose show at the Sparkling Butterfly must go on – or else.

Pallas needs to find the killer, and fast, or she’ll lose her job, her home, and the ragtag family she’s adopted out of her crew of “critters”.

In the course of the investigation Pallas uncovers connections to a nasty Oddities dealer deep in the heart of Zombietown, forcing her to expose a trauma from her past which could threaten her future. With everyone and everything she loves in danger, the promise made to the Goddess Athena may well damn her if she breaks it, but she is bound and determined to save her friends, her home, and everything she’s built.

No matter what it takes.

This book was funny, sassy, pro-woman, suspenseful, funny, and much more. I just had to find out what was on the next page until it was finished. I am thrilled to know it is a planned trilogy as I adore the characters and want to see more of them along with finding out if the promise prevails. ~B. Decker

Ribken’s writing is very strong, full of snarking sarcasm that made me snort and giggle while tearing my heart out with Pallas’ need to protect the vulnerable ones she calls friends. Awesome book–can’t wait for the sequel. ~Patti Larsen

The world created by Annetta Ribken is well-crafted, complex, and rich with memorable characters. The story is perfectly paced, at times “gigglesnort” hilarious, and at other times utterly terrifying. With the literary world overflowing with urban fantasy in recent years, it’s difficult to stand out or have any sort of original take on the genre, but this author scores big on both counts. The entire story is so well – and believably – told, the next time I check into a hotel, I almost expect to see a Gorgon, a pixie, or a mermaid roaming the halls. ~Lori Whitwam

If I were to be any character in “Athena’s Promise”, it would have to be Pallas herself. Far from perfect, she still manages to kick ass and take names.

The actress I’d choose to play her in a movie is Emily Browning (with red hair, of course). This young lady did a great job in Lemony Snickets, and I saw her in Sucker Punch. She looks like she could take on the role of Pallas and do her justice.

Oh yeah. She looks like she could put the smackdown on somebody. Heh.

All you have to do is comment with your email address (so I know where to send the prize) and you’ll be in the running to win a copy of the ebook in the format of your choice. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

Here is a list of the other fine authors dancing with me — take a moment and visit. Lots of free swag up for grabs!

12 r Elizabeth Muelle
13 Regan Guerra
14 Melissa Pearl
15 Claudia Lefeve
16 Joseph Beekman
17 Pendragon Innmen
19 Alex J. Cavanaugh
20 Gillian Schafer
21 Fiauna Lund
22 Anastasia V. Pergakis
23 H. Linn Murphy
26 Tanya Contois
27 Patti Larsen
28 Red Tash
29 Annetta Ribken
30 Cindy Hogan

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You Won, YOU WON!

This Creepfest Blog Hop was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I met some outstanding people who do the same thing I do, and I am really grateful to those who chose to come under the Netta Microscope, so to speak. Most notably, I’d like to thank:

Rebecca Treadway, for organizing and herding a bunch of writers (girl, you haz balls of steel!)

You just KNOW it had to feel like this!

Patti Larsen
Marissa Farrar
Stant Litore
Thea Gregory
Jessica McHugh
Lori Whitwam
Katie John
Jack Wallen
Red Tash
Kim Koning

and a special mention to Eden Baylee, the Queen of Twitter.

Much love and many thanks to you all!

You guys ROCK!

Now, on to the winners of my sweeps as chosen by Random.org….

The twelve winners of the e-copy of “Athena’s Promise” are:

Kim Koning
Georgina Morales
Jessica McHugh
Marissa Farrar
Nora Peevy
Ash Krafton
Stacey Stiferd
Mary Rajotte
Thea Gregory
Melissa Murphy
Stant Litore
Katie John

YAY!!

Wooohoo! This is FUN!

The winner of the signed print copy of “Athena’s Promise” is…

Marissa Farrar!

HOORAY!

Yeee haw!

And finally (and ironically!), the winner of the $20 Amazon gift card is….

Rebecca Treadway!

No, he doesn't come with it, but I though I'd give you some eye candy. Heh!

Congratulations to all winners. Please contact me for your prize and I will send them out ASAP.

Don’t forget, you can still visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs to discover some amazing writers!

Thanks so much for participating, and have a blessed and fun holiday season!

*MUAH*

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Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 11 – Who Is Red Tash?

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Red Tash is the author of This Brilliant Darkness and quite an intriguing woman. From her website:

Red Tash knows that all you really care about is that she writes good stories. She does that. Red’s books make you think, make you wonder, make you laugh, and keep you turning pages. They’ve been known to keep hardened readers up at night, racing to the end of the book.

Visit her at her website for a free sample of her brilliance, dark or not.

Who would you say is the one person who has had the most impact on your life?

I assume you mean to imply positive impact. I honestly don’t want to answer that, because of the super-corniness factor, but I will give you a hint. His birthday is coming up very soon, and it’s kind of a big deal.

Negative impact is a sad story. Not very holly jolly, but I would be lying if it I said it didn’t affect every longform fiction piece I’ve worked on so far.

Who is the one literary character you would date and why? Where do you go and what do you do?

There is no one I’d wish to date again in a million years. I am very happily married, and I’m a newlywed, and at my age, there is nothing appealing about dating whatsoever. I will say, though, that it would be super cool to hang out with Charles Simic, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, JK Rowling–these are my writing idols. Elizabeth Bishop. Mark Twain. Poe. Stop me! I like people, the stranger the better.

As far as completely fictional characters go, I used to say I didn’t understand why people ran off with the Doctor, on Dr. Who. But now, I think if the Doctor would have asked me when I was much, much younger like he did Amy Pond, I’d probably have gone.

Tell us what your writing process is like. Pantser or plotter?

A little of both. I’m down to the end of Troll or Derby, and I’ve got each of the last few chapters outlined. Scenes keep stretching themselves out, and that’s irritating me, so I’m having to kinda force some of that pantsing to fit my plotting. It’s okay. It’ll work out.

Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your five deepest desires for Christmas.

You really want to know this? You want me to break out into song doing My Grown Up Christmas List? Because I can.

There is truly nothing I desire for Christmas as a human errand. All those desires are on the shoulders of angels.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing writers today?

Deciphering the market. If you want to try and go indie, do you have a strong enough platform to support your sales? How many hours per day are you willing to promote, and will you be satisfied with the resulting sales? If you’re trying to be traditionally published, how long are you willing to let your story sit and bake in the sun, waiting for someone to buy it? Can you stand to watch indies with lesser stories become best-sellers, releasing book after book, while your masterpiece rakes in rejection after rejection?

I wrote to one of my former favorite agents last week. Got a nasty reply in response. Just, really, you know–uncalled for. Rude. I was considering querying for my upcoming novel. It’s so good, and I would really love to have that advance and that pre-release support. The prestige of being chosen, as lame as that sound to many, still exists in the eyes of most book-buyers. So, do I query or not, considering my favorite choice was a total bitch? How much of that do I feel like putting up with? It’s one thing to tell yourself that it doesn’t matter what people say, but the book I just published sat in a drawer for years because of what one unqualified reader decided about it. The power of “no” is huge, and I don’t know if I want to deal with that again.

How has your journalism background impacted your fiction writing?

Very, very much. I see the story unfold in my mind, and I report it expressly as it happens. My non-fiction is much more emotionally charged. All my writing benefits from snappier pacing, a distinct writerly voice, and well-researched background. Geez, let us not forget the virtues of writing in AP style. 😉

Tell us about your upcoming projects. Inquiring minds want to know.

Troll or Derby is a YA fantasy with a heavy dose of sex, drugs, rock & roll, and roller derby. It’s set in rural Indiana, in the realm of the evil troll overlord McJagger and his Fairy Godsmacker roller derby team, home court entertaiment at his illegal casino. Roller Deb, a teenager raised as a human, discovers she’s a fairy, and falls in league with McJagger’s rogue troll nephew, and the two of them create havoc everywhere from the flea market to the feed store. There’s a lot of magic, blood, fire, and a Thunderbird named Biggie Smalls. In other words, it’s a love story.

After that I might do the sequel to This Brilliant Darkness. There is also a line of folks asking for a non-fiction book I promised under my respectable journalism identity and all that. So, we’ll see. I might work on two books at once. Well, three. I already have a memoir half-written, as well.

When you are feeling at your lowest, what book or movie do you read/watch to make you feel better?

There are so many good ones, but my all time fall back is Harry Potter. I love the books and movies, but there is little to compare to the pure escapism of listening to Stephen Fry narrate the British audio versions. The American versions by Jim Dale are also nice, but Stephen Fry + J K Rowling is a home run.

I have also been known to watch Christmas movies year-round. Elf, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Love, Actually. If I someday write a Christmas book, it’ll be because of those.

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

Hopalong to the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and plenty of chances to win cool, free swag!

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Creepfest Blog Hop Day 10 – Meet Jack Wallen

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

1. Okay, about this zombie thing. What attracted you to write about the living dead?

I’ve always been a HUGE horror fan. Ever since I was a child. But ultimately the zombie fascination comes down to how the zombie can be used for such a powerful social, political, and emotional metaphor. This is especially true for the upcoming “meh” generation which really seems to have their heads so firmly planted in their smartphones, they are lost to everything around them.

But the impetus to write the I Zombie trilogy hit me hard one day when I asked myself the question: “What would it feel like to become a zombie?” I was so compelled by that question, I had to have an answer. I knew the only way to answer the question was to write the book myself. Thus was born I Zombie I.

2. What one thing scares you enough to wet your monkeypantz?

I’m one of those that isn’t scared by much. That’s a good thing, considering what I write (and that I write at night when the house is dark and quiet). The one thing that scares me enough to make me wet myself is obscurity. The idea that I (and everything I have worked so hard on) would fade away without anyone remembering, is that thing that makes me curl up inside of myself and wonder why someone hasn’t tightened down my straitjacket buckles.

3. Speaking of scary, sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your five fondest wishes for Christmas.

Well, Santa, here are my five wishes for Christmas: 1) I want my book sales to explode and my fans/readers to REALLY enjoy my work. 2) I want Clive Barker to finally get the Hellraiser reboot off the ground. 3) I want to walk into my day job, wearing a Vera Wang ball gown and heels, and hand the owners my letter of resignation. 4) I want my next two series (The Book of Jacob and Klockwerk Kabaret) to be met with wild abandon. 5) I want Rob Zombie to finally contact me to ask permission to film the I Zombie trilogy (Mr. Zombie, a heads up, the answer is an emphatic YES!)

4. Why do you think the horror genre is so popular with readers?

I don’t think the horror genre is popular as a whole. What I firmly believe is that horror has the most loyal fans of any genre. Why? Because for so long there was nothing for readers to sink their teeth into besides the old guard: King, Campell, Straub, Andrews, etc. Readers were desperate for something new and when they found that something new they were willing to cling to that author through thick and thin. And besides, people love to be frightened. They love to read a book, while tucked safely under the covers of their beds, that makes them wonder how or if they could survive. We are voyeurs by nature. We can’t help but look at the train wreck as we pass by. Being able to witness that train wreck, as it happens, knowing no one was hurt, is a huge attraction to human beings.

5. What is your writing process like and how many quarts of blood do you go through?

My writing process goes like this: I hand write my first draft in bed. Once that draft is done, I do the first rewrites as I transfer it to digital format. Once the first rewrites are done, I print that out and re-read, correcting issues and making sure the story is coherent. Once that is done, I send the story to beta readers and then on to editors.

As for blood? Well, let’s just say this: I am currently working on the third book in my Fringe Killer series. I wrote a kill scene and decided I wanted the discovery of the body to be when the reader discovered just what the killer did. But the more I thought about it, I realized I was cheating the reader from experiencing the blood bath from the killer’s perspective. So I went back and let the killer have her way with the victim. It was brutal.

6. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing writers today?

With the advent of the indie author scene, there is now an incredible amount of books out there. This is a GREAT time to be a writer and a reader. Problem is, how to you get your books seen when it sits in a pile that reaches the sky? You have to be clever in your marketing and, as far as I can tell, few of us authors are marketing professionals. We are artists, not business women and men. It’s the single biggest challenge we face and many fail. The most important thing to do is have patience and continue crafting. Eventually, if you do things right, your books will sell. If you lose patience you stand to make a mistake and lose major ground.

7. Not only do you write, but you also design book covers. What made you decide to take on book covers?

I knew what I wanted my covers to look like and no one was doing that kind of work. Yes, you can get some seriously wonderful covers if your books are of the Paranormal or YA genres, but so much of the horror covers were cliché and I didn’t want that. I had the skills and decided to put them to work. I think my horror covers really connect with the story. That’s very important to me, as I take the emotional kernel of a story and make it the core of the design for the cover.

8. You’re throwing a holiday party. What writers, either famous or not, would you invite and what would you serve?

My invite list would be pretty short: Clive Barker, Stephen King, Edward Lee, Max Barry, Neil Stephenson, Shea MacLeod, Heather Marie Adkins, M. Edward McNally, PJ Jones, Talia Jager, Alan Nayes, Lizzy Ford, Julia Crane, and Poppy Z. Brite.

9. Where is the safest place to wait out the Zombie Apocalypse?

With me. But honestly? There is no one safe place to wait it out. You’ll have to be on the move. Food and water could run out. Eventually enough noise will be made and the horde will find you. Moving about is the best option. But, if I did have to pick one singular location to wait it out, it would probably be the Center for Disease Control. Neither zombie or the infection that caused them will be getting into that building any time soon.

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I have quite a lot in the works. First and foremost is the third book in the Fringe Killer series, Endgame. Following that I will be completing the second Shero book (Shero II: Zombies and Bridesmaids) and then it’s on to some seriously exciting projects. I have a new zombie series planned, called The Book of Jacob. If you’ve read the I Zombie trilogy, the name will be familiar. This series will take place some thirty years after the I Zombie series and will be a much darker, bleaker series.

After “The Book of Jacob, Verse I” is finished, I will embark on what might be my most exciting project to date. I am going to venture into more steamy more punky worlds in a series called “Klockwerk Kabaret”. I can’t tell you how excited I am about starting that series – mostly because it will be a complete departure from my usual fare. But I do promise it will be quite different than the average steampunk novel. It will include my usual dark take on the world as well as plenty of corsets!

For more information on my upcoming works (and other fabulous things), check out my blog on monkeypantz.net.

BIO

Jack Wallen has a goal — to become the Zombie King. He won’t do that by dining on the brains of helpless victims. Instead he will write and write until his fingers and mind are nothing but meat for the beasts. During that time Jack will produce works of zombie fiction that are both enjoyable and cringe-worthy.

Of course, being of the insane writer clan, Jack isn’t just happy with the penning of zombie fiction. Oh no, the nightmare does not end there. Like the late, great Freddy Mercury, Jack wants it all — so, he will continue writing his Fringe Killer series as well as his joyous celebration of all things diverse — Shero.

For his inspiration to begin reading and writing, Jack thanks the ever-incredible Clive Barker for penning in a genre with words of grace and horror.

LINKS

I Zombie I
Amazon
Smashwords
Paperback

My Zombie My
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

A Blade Away
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Paperback

Gothica
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Paperback

Shero
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Paperback

Get Jack’d
Twitter: jlwallen
Facebook
Zombie Radio

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

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Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 7 – Introducing Jessica McHugh

Don’t forget to visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. She has had ten books published in three years, including “Rabbits in the Garden”, “The Sky: The World” and the first three installments in her “Tales of Dominhydor” series. More info on Jessica’s speculations and publications can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.

1. You’re quite a busy lady between working an outside job and penning multiple projects. How do you keep up with it all?

It’s a rough gig, that’s for sure. The most torturous part is being at my full time job when there’s a story I desperately want to write. I can fit in little writing spurts while at work, but it’s definitely not the same as being home.

But this is the life I chose. Dealing with this situation is like getting a tattoo. It hurts and it’s a lengthy process, but I’m not going to cry from the pain. I knew what I was getting into. I also know I always end up with something beautiful, something that makes it all worthwhile.

2. You write across a multitude of genres when many writers specialize in one. Which one is the easiest for you to write and why?

I’d say horror because it’s so much fun for me, but when I really think about it, suspense comes easiest to me. No matter what genre I write, there’s always some suspense, whether I originally intended on it or not. It just slips in, probably because I have so much fun with slow reveal of secrets, the misdirection, and the twists and turns of unraveling the characters’ capabilities.

3. Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your top five Christmas wishes.

1st off, I wish Santa didn’t smell like Doritos and Skoal. 2Nd, I wish I had a house with a patio where I could write during the summer. 3Rd, I wish one (or more) of my books would get super popular so I could ditch the day job. 4Th, I wish racism and homophobia would just disappear (although that might be a taller order than the day job-ditching). 5Th, I wish I didn’t have to exercise to be healthy. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it would be nice to devote that time to writing instead.

4. Out of all the imaginary worlds out there, which one would you chose to live on if you were banished from Earth and why?

I’d love to live in Dictionopolis from “The PhantomTollbooth”. There are lots of reasons, but mostly, I want to eat my words. “Turkey, pumpkin pie cheesecake, and pink champagne.” I’d be so happy right now if that worked.

5. What would you say are the biggest challenges to writers today?

I think there are so many talented self-published authors out there today and I respect so much of their work. However, the majority of the readers don’t understand that there are really remarkable authors available through those avenues. They think of self-published authors as people who CAN’T secure publishers, and that’s why I get frustrated when people just assume I’m self-published. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I’ve sent out the query letters and been accepted and published by several small presses. I’m extremely proud of those accomplishments and it really hurts my feelings when people dismiss my work, thinking I just uploaded it to some website and decided to call myself “published”. If the majority didn’t have such a disparaging attitude toward self-publishing, it wouldn’t be an issue, but unfortunately, being respected as self-published author, is a huge challenge writers face today. And being published by small presses isn’t too different.

6. If you could turn back the hands of time, like Cher, what would you do differently in your life if you could?

Any change I’d make might prevent me from meeting and marrying my husband, and I wouldn’t risk that for anything. His encouragement and support is what pushed me to try getting published in the first place. Plus, he’s pretty damn easy on the eyes.

7. What superhero would you chose to hang with?

I love Ozymandias from “The Watchmen”. Ozymandias (or Adrian Veidt) is the smartest man on the planet, after all. Plus, I love characters who help the world through what others perceive as villainy.

8. You’re at a dinner party and you see Stephen King sitting all alone. What do you do?

I certainly wouldn’t try to drug him, take him to my snowy mountain home, and break his ankles so he couldn’t escape. No, I certainly wouldn’t do that at all…

9. What is your writing process like? Pantser or plotter?

It depends on the story and any obstacles I face after diving in. I suppose I always start as a pantser, but after a bit of writing, I may stop and outline the story’s skeleton.

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I’m trying very hard to finish the revision process on three different novels. 1: “Telinhe”, the 4th and final book in my “Tales of Dominhydor” epic fantasy series. 2: “Verses of Villany”, a historical fiction about playwright Christopher Marlowe. 3: “Pins”, a horror novel set in a strip club/bowling alley.

You can find Jessica here:

Homepage
Facebook
Blog
Twitter: theJessMcHugh
Amazon

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and plenty of free swag!

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

Share

Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 6 – This Is Thea Gregory

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Thea writes zombie stories and science fiction. She was raised in rural Quebec, where her imagination was often her only friend, and this upbringing also engendered a fanatical love of reading and books.

Thea moved to the city at the tender age of 17 to study science, eventually majoring in physics, because physics is awesome. Her first love has always been science (fiction), and she maintains an unquenchable thirst for discovery and the unknown.

Hobbies: Reading, writing, cooking, gardening, yoga, cycling, gaming, anything Star Trek or Dune related, daydreaming, exploring, and trying new things.

Thea has two cats (Pip and Bonk), and one boyfriend (with two cats of his own), a former video game designer who moonlights as a cover artist.

1. Your premise for zombie stories as bedtime stories is very intriguing. What was your inspiration?

My inspiration came out of childhood for the first story. My mom used to tell me stories about people who comatose, but still able to hear/feel the world around them, but unable to interact. One day, I was pacing at home, and the idea that being a zombie could be a similar experience to being in that special kind of coma just clicked. I had other subsequent ideas for zombie stories after that, which I linked together to create the rest of the series. The overarching theme of the Zombie Bedtime Stories is that it’s about normal people in a bad situation—there are no super-prepared shotgun-chainsaw-machete wielding adrenaline junkies—just ordinary, scared people who want to escape with their lives.

2. You recently participated in the NaNo madness in November. How did that go, and what would you do differently?

NaNoWriMo went relatively well for me. I set the goal of finishing my 50000 words on the 25th, and I managed to do just that. The tough part for me was the face that I wasn’t in good health for that month, and the medication took a lot out of me when I needed to be at my most productive. Some days, I would sit at my screen for twelve hours trying to eke out my meager 2000 words, and on better days I would finish in two or three hours.
As for things I’d do differently, I think I’d make sure I was healthy this time, and do more character planning and outlining of the main plot.

3. Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your five most desired wishes for Christmas.

I’m a Christmas baby, and I think at this point all I want for Christmas is a nice dinner at a steakhouse. Even a pub would be nice. It’s a little scrooge-like, but my dream is to spend Christmas in a country with no Christmas.

A Kindle would be nice, too, if not a touch materialistic. The rest would be miscellaneous kitchen stuff: a pasta machine, a pressure canner and a food processor.

4. Why do you think the horror genre is so popular with people?

I think horror is popular because it appeals to that dark place inside a person that likes being traumatized. The best stories are the ones that stay with you and hide under the bed at night, and horror has a way of working itself inside your mind. Even the most mundane everyday object can become an instrument of terror, and the possibility for near endless stories and unique monsters means that it’s very hard to burn out on.

5. You’re going to dinner with five literary figures who are they and who do you want to sit next to?

I’d say: Frank Herbert, William Shakespeare, George Orwell, Mary Shelley and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’d want to sit next to Frank Herbert and George Orwell.

6. What would you say are the biggest challenges in publishing today?

I’d say the biggest challenge is the learning curve. Regardless of how you choose to get your material out into the world, you still need to do a ton of research. Even after you’ve chosen your path, you still have a lot more research and learning to do. I don’t see much of a way to circumvent this, but at least there is a vast online community of helpful writers and their blogs to assist newcomers.

7. If you could live in any fictional world, which one would you choose and why?

Most fictional worlds don’t appear to be great places to be a woman, which makes the decision pretty easy. I’d say the Star Trek universe is probably the friendliest—it’s full of cool technology, humans have “evolved” and you can do whatever you want in a perfect utopia. It’s not going to happen, but it sure would be sweet. Second place would be the Dr. Who universe; it seems dangerous, but cool.

8. What is it about zombies that you find so fascinating?

With zombies, I like that they look like us, but they’re not human. There’s some kind of existential terror when trying to understand what we have that they lack—a mind, empathy, compassion, a pulse—while realizing that they are very, very hungry. Any person can become a zombie, no matter how kind-hearted or otherwise domesticated.

9. What do you think is the biggest misconception about independent artists?

I think it’s the assumption that we are the lowest common denominator. It’s a problem that compounds obscurity with bad experiences and/or prejudice. It’s not an attitude that can be changed overnight, but we exist and we’re not going anywhere.

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I have a few projects on the horizon.

• I intend to continue with the Zombie Bedtime Stories series, part three just came out, and I have about fifteen total short stories and novellas planned for that series. I’m going to begin writing part 4, Bedlam, next week.
• During NaNoWriMo, I wrote a science fiction novel entitled Sanity Vacuum. I’m in the process of editing it, and I am really happy with how the story turned out. There’s big potential to expand on it, which is something I’m looking to begin planning out in the new year, in parallel to the Zombie Bedtime Stories.
• Once the Zombie Bedtime Stories are finished (I estimate mid-late 2013), I have a few dark epic fantasy books I’d like to write, as well as a very twisted paranormal romance.

Catch up with Thea at her blog, Nerdy Gnome, and you can find part one of the Zombie Bedtime stories here!

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and lots of free stuff!

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

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Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 5 – Stant Litore, King of Zombies

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Stant Litore writes about the restless dead, and the first volume in his series The Zombie Bible is now available at Amazon. It’s called Death Has Come Up into Our Windows and tells the story of a prophet imprisoned in a well in a dying city; each day, his gaolers toss one of the ravenous dead in after him. You should read it; the book will leave a mark on you. Stant lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters, and stays out of certain parts of the mountains during the dark of the moon.

1. What sparked your obsession / interest in writing about zombies?

Zombies look at your face and they see nothing. They don’t see a person. They don’t see a soul. They see food. I don’t think there’s anything more terrifying, or more resonant with the issues of injustice and lack of compassion in our world. To what extent do you see a human soul when you look into another’s face? I mean to what extent, really? Or do you see an object to maneuver around, or a being who can serve your purposes, whether for business or pleasure, who can (metaphorically) fill the hungers you have – the hunger for approval, or for affirmation, your hunger for a parent or your hunger for a child, your hunger for sex or your hunger for competition? To what extent are the acquaintances and coworkers in your life … food? That’s a question Father Polycarp asks in my second book,What Our Eyes Have Witnessed, and it is a question that an encounter with the ravenous dead demands of us. Faced with the ultimate incarnation of hunger, we have to deal with our own hunger. We have to rethink what other people actually are to us, and what it means to live and what it means to die, and what part justice or ethics has in that.

2. Sit on Santa’s lap and tell us your top five wishes for Christmas.

An excellent year of health for my wife and children. The opportunity to hunt for a house. Good sales and good readers. More awareness among my community of the poverty in the community, and of the growing issue of underground slavery and human trafficking right here in our own town. Four is all I can think of; I’m a cheap date.

3. As an indie artist, what would you say are your biggest challenges?

I suppose there are two. The first is honesty. It’s not challenging so much at this moment, but I could see it getting there. The problem is like this. When you are an indie without the surrounding apparatus of a publishing firm, it can be tempting to cut corners on your own work, to rush things, to make decisions that have a short-term payoff but will cause you trouble down the road. This is the case as long as you aren’t accountable to anyone else. In my case I’m with a small indie press, and I have one of the best editors I know. I sought him out. And I am committed to being honest with myself about what I need to work on in my art. My editor is both encouraging and ruthless.

The other challenge is credibility. Because of the ease of e-publishing on a budget, there are a lot of indie writers who are publishing work that a professional editor would tell them is a draft (don’t get me wrong, though; some of the best books I’ve read this year were both indie and polished). This has the effect of keeping many readers leery of indie publishing. I decided early that the marketing plan for my series would place a premium on setting the foundation for credibility first, before moving aggressively after sales.

4. Did you always want to be a writer? What set you on this path of storytelling?

Always. Before I could write, I drew pictures on paper. Telling stories is in my blood, and if I stop for a week, I become the most cranky, cantankerous person you can imagine. Some things you can’t hold in any more than a flower can stop from blooming at the touch of the sun.

5. What is your writing process like? Pantser or plotter and why?

It’s both. In a very basic sense, the outlines for my current stories are suggested by the biblical tales I’m retelling, but that’s too simple an answer. I usually start with a scene that is very dramatic to me – though in fact it might be a very quiet scene — say, a loving moment between a couple. But, for me, it’s a scene full of drama and human life. That’s usually where I discover my characters.

Then I start writing a character arc – a few scenes where my characters make significant choices. That becomes my outline; it grows organically. By then I’ve an idea of what’s happening with this plot and at least a little idea of who’s in the story and what their lives and their choices are about, and then I just start to tell the story. And about two thirds the way through it, I learn eight things about my characters I didn’t know before, and I learn what thematic questions this story is demanding of its readers, and then I just keep rewriting it until I have it right.

But the key is to learn early on what choices these characters have to make, and why those choices are important to them and to the world they live in. That’s an exciting process of discovery and a tremendous wrecker of outlines, if I were so foolish as to start with an outline. But once you know what five scenes are the defining choices for one of your main characters, you know what your outline looks like. Everything else that’s going to happen in your story is made necessary by those moments of choice.

6. Give us a list of five things you think would be the most useful in the Zombie Apocalypse.

A machete, a greenhouse in an inaccessible location, access to clean water, a good supply of toothpaste, and a good book, at least one. That last is to keep you sane.

7. What writers have inspired you?

So many. Neil Gaiman, Gene Wolfe, and C J Cherryh come readily to mind.

8. What is the one thing about the publishing industry that irritates you the most?

Nothing that I can think of. I’m currently an independent not because of any longstanding issues with the industry – I have none – but because I like to be at the helm, and because I get a thrill out of the process of publishing and marketing. I get energy from it and a bit of an adrenaline high, the kind that comes with facing almost insurmountable odds and still producing something beautiful.

9. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

For the next year or two, I am pretty wrapped up in The Zombie Bible. Today the first volume, Death Has Come Up into Our Windows, has hit #8 in the Amazon bestseller list for horror, and the second, What Our Eyes Have Witnessed , has just been released for Kindle and Nook. But there are a lot more stories waiting to be told. You can get a brief preview here . You will see zombies in the Old Testament and the New, and you’ll see men, women, and children making difficult choices in difficult times, and fighting to live lives that are about more than just surviving.

Don’t forget to visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and tons of free swag!

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

Share

Creepfest Blog Hop Day 4 – An Interview With Marissa Farrar

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

One of the most fun things about a blog hop for we writers is meeting other writers and picking their brain, not to mention adding substantially to our To Be Read pile! Get ready to add more. It is my pleasure to introduce Marissa Farrar.

1. You have a degree in Zoology, which is really cool! But what prompted you to give up that career to pursue writing?

I always wanted to write; I’d been coming up with stories since I was a kid. However, I’ve also always had a sensible head on my shoulders and I knew how hard it would be to earn decent money through my writing. I spent most of my degree writing instead of studying, so as soon as I graduated, I made the decision to follow my heart instead of my head.

2. How is zoology similar to being a parent of two children?

It’s not! Apart from perhaps needing a lot of patience (there is a lot of sitting around in Zoology studying animals that aren’t doing anything!).

3. What is your writing process like? Plotter or pantser?

I’m a total pantser! People who intricately plot out whole novels totally intimidate me. I always have a vague idea about what I want to happen in a novel, but normally it’s the characters that are most real in my head. I let them lead the way and just write down what they do. With my latest novel, ‘Buried’, I thought the story was going to end one way, but then one of the main characters did something I totally wasn’t expecting. The good thing is, because I wasn’t expecting it, my readers won’t be either!

4. You’re a published indie author. What would you say were the greatest challenges of going indie and why did you make that choice?

I was traditionally published for a couple of years before choosing the indie route. I became very frustrated because there were so many things I wanted to try out but couldn’t because the choices were being made by the publisher. In the end I was lucky enough to get my titles back so I had new covers done, had them re-edited and then re-launched the books. I’m happy to say it’s the best decision I made.

I’d say the biggest challenge is still around people taking indie’s seriously. There’s a lot of misconception that the only reason writers go indie is because they can’t find a publisher, but that simply isn’t the case. I’ve had a publisher and have turned down several offers from other publishers. I’d have to be offered a pretty damn good deal now to ever give up my digital rights.

5. What is it about the horror genre that attracts you?

I’ve always love horror. Even as a child, I used to sneak downstairs and read my mother’s horror novels by the light of the fish tank. I think it speaks to that dark and twisty side of me I normally have to keep under wraps.
6. Sit on Santa’s lap and tell us your top five wishes for Christmas.

(Other than wishing for world peace, etc. I really only have three…)

For my family to stay happy and healthy. For next year to be easier financially. And the big one… To get to the point in my career where people are talking about my name as the next big thing in the horror and dark fantasy genre.

7. “Alone” deals with the serious issue of domestic violence. Why did you choose this theme for your book?

I never wanted for the theme to be domestic violence; it just happened to fit the theme of empowerment I was going for. I wanted to show how one person can start off broken, fragile and terrified, but draw strength from someone else. However, I also didn’t want Serenity to lean on that other person. I wanted her to learn how to be strong enough to take care of herself. I hope that’s what I did.

8. What advice would you give to new writers?

Get involved with other writers and learn, learn, learn. I’ve learned so much from the other authors I’ve met blogging and social networking. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and above all, they’ve helped me learn my craft.

9. If you could sit down to tea with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’m going to be really unoriginal and say Stephen King. He’s always been a hero of mine!

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I’ve got so many! At the moment I’m just finishing edits for my novel, ‘The Dark Road’, which I hope to have out by the end of the year. I’m writing the third book in my ‘Serenity’ series. I also have another two completed manuscripts which are still in need of edits and will be out next year. Finally, I’m planning a YA spin-off from my ‘Serenity’ series, featuring one of the characters. I’ve never written YA before but I’m up for the challenge!

Thanks so much for hosting me, Annetta!

Alone

Caught in a violent and abusive relationship, Serenity thinks there is no escape.

Upon meeting a stranger, Sebastian, she is shown the possibility of a different future.

Only Sebastian has a dark secret; he is a vampire.

As Serenity’s life takes a terrifying turn, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed; one of murder, love and immortality. She is forced to confront her own weaknesses to save both her own life and that of the vampire she has come to love. But in the end all that matters is; can she find the strength to be Alone?

Book two in the ‘Serenity’ series, ‘Buried’ is also now available to buy from your favourite eBook store!

Author bio: Marissa Farrar is a multi-published horror and paranormal author. She was born in Devon, England, loves to travel and has lived in both Australia and Spain. She now resides in Devon with her husband, two children, a crazy Spanish rescue dog and four hens. She has a degree in Zoology, but her true love has always been writing.

Her dark take on a vampire romance, Alone, was first published in 2009 and has now been re-launched by Red Hot Publishing. The second book in the series, Buried, is now available to buy. The third in the series, Captured, will be published early 2012.
Her short stories have been accepted for a number of anthologies including, Their Dark Masters, Red Skies Press, Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t, Triskaideka Books; and 2013: The Aftermath, Pill Hill Press. Her own collection of paranormal short stories, Where the Dead Live, is also available.

If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com. You can also find her at her facebook page, Marissa Farrar, Author or follow her on twitter @marissafarrar.

She loves to hear from readers and can be emailed at marissafarrar@hotmail.co.uk.

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

Share

Creepfest Blog Hop Day 3 – An Excerpt From The Amazing Patti Larsen

Visit the Creepfest Blog Hop page for a complete listing of participating blogs and have fun!

Don’t forget to check at the bottom of this post for some crazy prizes you can win :)

Patti Larsen is one of the hardest working writers I know. The woman is quickly building an empire; she is legend. I interviewed her here, so I thought it might be fun to post an excerpt from the heart-pounding first novel in her The Hunted series. To reiterate from what I discussed on the first day of Creepfest, Run is the kind of horror that makes you hyperventilate and start at strange shadows in the corner. In this series, Patti takes you on a wild and amazing ride, so fasten your seat belts and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times. Enjoy!

The first book in Patti's series, "The Hunted". Get ready to Run!

Excerpt of RUN, book one of The Hunted series

From author Patti Larsen: I’m afraid of the dark. Mostly because of my overactive imagination. And while this is a truth in my life, for some reason my muse insists on sending me scary stuff to write.

The following is an excerpt taken from my young adult thriller series, The Hunted. In book one, RUN, sixteen-year-old Reid has been kidnapped and dumped in the wilderness. A foster kid with only his sister to miss him, he learns his purpose–he, and other kids like him, is prey. Reid must run or die.

Reid encounters a pair of normal men, hunters themselves, but oblivious to those who are trying to kill him. Unsure if they are friends or not, he tries to tell them what’s happening.

Reid is about to run off when he hears it. The howl dissolves his hope, strips away his new found plan of escape and reduces him to a tearful child all over again.

When the last echo of it fades, Reid can barely breathe or stand. His knees quiver so much he is sure he will collapse at any moment. He won’t survive another call, his heart will quit. He looks up and into Mustache’s face. The man is very pale, brown eyes almost blotted out by his pupils, swollen by his own fear.

“What the hell was that?”

“I told you,” Reid whispers. “The hunters.”

Scar is next to them in an instant, voice low and deep, his urgency a cloud that envelops them all. “I’ve never heard anything like that before.”

“Me either.” Mustache chews on his namesake, eyes scanning the trees. “Damn it, we can’t just leave.”

Scar nods. “I’m not running.”

Both men exchange a look before Mustache turns to Reid.
“Come on, kid,” he says. “Let’s go see what all the fuss is about.” His words are confident, but Reid hears the quaver in them. Both men move forward in the gloom.

He can’t go with them. It’s the last place on earth he can go. His feet are lead, legs locked in place. Every nerve and fiber of his body begs him to run the other way. But he only heard one howl, one voice. For all Reid knows, they are surrounded. If he runs, leaves the men with the guns, he could be heading right into a trap. At least with them he has their weapons to protect him.
Swallowing a giant ball of fear, Reid stumbles forward and goes with them.

“Tell us about them.” Scar stays close, eyes never resting anywhere for long.

“They’re fast,” Reid says, flinching from the memory of them.

“They move like ghosts. I’ve never seen anything so fast.”

“But they’re men,” Mustache says.

Reid’s breathing tightens, his chest constricting. “They look like men.”

Scar’s hands adjust on his gun. “Well, we’re ex special forces, kid,” he says. “And nothing is faster than us.”

Reid doesn’t say anything. He can’t. It won’t do any good anyway. They are wrong. He watches them move and he knows in his heart the hunters are faster. But are they quicker than a bullet? Reid does his best to ignore the fact both men are criminals, illegal game poachers. He doesn’t care. As long as they kill the hunters, they can shoot whatever the hell they want.

He considers asking them about rescuing the other kids and for the first time Reid actually lets himself wonder how many of them are out there and how many have already died at the hands of the black-dressed men. Lucy’s beautiful face flashes in his head, but he forces her aside. When the hunters are killed, when Mustache and Scar show him the black-clad men can die just like anyone else, Reid will worry about the rest. But not until then.

Yet again he thinks about running for the fence. But by then they are deep into the forest, almost to the clearing. Reid feels a chill run up his spine. He holds back a little as the two camo-clad men move ahead of him, rifles ready. They go quietly, smooth movers themselves, rubber-soled boots barely making a sound on the littered path. Scar is the deadlier of the two in Reid’s opinion, all sinew and cat-like grace. He feels his confidence rise. Maybe the men are right after all. They certainly look deadly to Reid.
Until he sees a flash of black in the trees and his heart stops beating. He can’t breathe or call out and can only watch in horror as the three hunters drift around his salvation like spiders on a web.

Reid knows it is a trap before the men even notice the hunters are there. But again he is unable to act. Words freeze to the inside of his throat, his blood sluggish in his veins as his whole body sinks into shock.

Mustache finally spots the first hunter and spins, weapon ready, but too late. Reid doesn’t even have the power to flinch as a shower of fine blood droplets arcs out from the man’s throat. Mustache gurgles, weapon dropping to his side, suspended from the thick leather strap, swinging like a pendulum. Both of his gloved hands clutching at the arterial spray coating the nearby trees with red.

Mustache half turns, knees buckling under him in a death dance, graceful as he falls. His eyes meet Reid’s, more blood squirting out between his desperate fingers. The second blow is even faster than the first. Bile surges to Reid’s throat when the hunter severs the man’s head and sends it flying, spinning, spraying blood in a colorful arc. It lands at Reid’s feet, sending more blood up and outward, the weight of the head rolling over to halt face up. Those brown eyes stare into his, the mustache dripping crimson into the dirt.

Scar has only a moment to shout, “Rich!” and raise his own rifle before his left leg is severed in one slice. His mouth gapes wide, the scar on his cheek pure white against his skin from the pressure of his fallen jaw as he looks down at his missing limb, nothing below his knee but air. The cut is so clean he is in perfect balance for a long moment, as though suspended by fine wire, a marionette gushing blood onto the ground. He topples in slow motion, gun swinging around. He fires one shot, another, but they go off into the forest, harmless.

A hunter appears at his side, oozing close as he hits the dirt. Scar is rolled over onto his back in one smooth motion. The hunter’s hand rises over the fallen man’s abdomen.

Reid’s sanity begs him to run, to get away and not watch, but he can’t help himself or them. The first hunter bends over Mustache and together they slice downward, gutting both of the men in synch.

This is enough at last. Reid’s feet are working again, his blood pumping. He turns and dashes into the forest, back on his original path, a new image there to replace the one of the dead boy.
Mustache gapes at Reid in his mind, the severed head his memory’s new companion as he runs for his life.

You can find RUN on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore and on Smashwords.

She looks like she means business, doesn't she?

About the Author: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Books one and two of The Hayle Coven series, Family Magic and Witch hunt are also out now, with the sequels, Demon Child and The Wild, due in December of this year. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

You can find her:

On her website: Patti Larsen
On Facebook: Patti Larsen, Author
Her writing blog: Patti Larsen Writes
Her book blog: Patti Larsen Books
On Twitter: Patti Tweets
On Amazon.com and Goodreads

Prizes!

Here’s the deal: At the end of the Blog Hop, on December 24th, I will give away twelve e-copies of “Athena’s Promise”, one for every day of Creepfest. But that’s not all! I will also give away one autographed print copy. WAIT! One more thing — I’m so excited about Creepfest, I will also give away one Amazon gift card in the amount of $20!

Since this is a sweepstakes and not a contest, entering is easy-peasy, and you can enter as many times as you like. Here’s how:

Leave a comment on any (or all) blog posts here during Creepfest.

Sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon Newsletter. (No spam, I swear.)

Like my Facebook Fan page.

Like “Athena’s Promise” on her Amazon page.

Tweet about this blog or AP and use the hashtag #AthenasPromise so I can track properly.

Mention this blog or AP on YOUR blog.

That’s it. You’ll get one entry apiece for each action – up to 17 entries if you do each of these things! Damn! I will tally the results from all twelve days and choose the winners via Random.org. Make sure you leave a comment that lets me know what you did and include a working email address so I can make an accurate count and contact you if you win.

Spread the word! The more the merrier :)

Share