This novelette is a perfect example of why I started BBB, and why I’m so passionate about supporting indie writers. It also reminds me that I need to thank the person who invented the e-reader, because without my Kindle I would have never found all the amazing books that I’ve read, or met the talent & hearts behind the writing.
(My awesome idea to thank the inventor of the e-reader is posted at the bottom).
OF LONE HEADSTONES combines all 4 verses of the previously published Headstone Sonata, and is the first volume in a series written by new-to-me author Jorge Bocanegra.
“What’s worse, the monsters crawling out of their graves or the ones that we can’t keep buried in our minds?
Joel has long been a victim to the viscous teeth of the assumptions and misconceptions conjured in his own mind concerning his relationship with his girlfriend, Alex. After three years together, things just haven’t been the same. But now, those monstrous doubts in his head will become personified in the form of risen corpses in the city of Orchard.
Will Joel and Alex be able to put aside their differences and survive together? Or will this apocalyptic event spell the perfect opportunity for the couple to go their separate ways?”
OF LONE HEADSTONES chronicles Joel’s experiences during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Surrounded by monsters, each new obstacle he faces triggers inner demons that he has to fight, making survival doubly difficult.
This is a very emotional story. I had tears in my eyes more than once, feeling literal heart-ache for the characters. There is a scene where Joel finds a boy (named Jorge) hiding from the zombies in a bathroom stall, and that encounter broke my heart in 27 different ways.
I can’t say if these situations are written from a deeply raw & painful place, or if Jorge is just a kick ass writer, but it’s definitely a hard journey to take, and I can’t wait to read more!
I’ll be reading this whole series, so plan on hearing more about Joel.
Awesome Idea #1572:
I’m going to send an impassioned letter to Anheuser-Busch requesting a ‘Real Men Of Genius’ Bud Light ad dedicated to “Mr. e-reader inventor guy” 🙂
“…so here’s to you, Mr. E-reader Inventor Guy, [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘we love your night reading mode’ ♪ ♫ ♩ ]. Maker of the electronic device that continues to connect lives through blood, guts, and zombies [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘oh no, zombie apocalypse’ ♪ ♫ ♩]… A toast to you! A cold Bud-Light, and our thanks. We couldn’t have done it without you. [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘Mr. E-Reader Inventor Guy’ ♪ ♫ ♩ ]
Warning: This book contains – A sadistic mortician, demonic teddies, murderous sparrows, sentient robots, scenes of the apocalypse, feeders, lycanthropes, serial-killers, war, jealous housewives, cannibalism, creepy-ass neighbours, suicide, flesh-eating parasites, zombies, cowboys, mothmen, Nyogtha, Appalachian folklore, cancer, asteroids, invisible crocodiles, and voodoo. A collection of previously published and brand new macabre and weird tales from bestselling British author, Adam Millard.
Putting warning labels on books can be better than recommendations. (rawr!)
This anthology contains a wide variety of horrors told in 25 short stories. Some shorts are new to this collection, with additional shorts having been seen previously in different publications. (They were all new to me this time. Bonus.)
Cuddly & creepy stuffed animals, ancient legends re-imagined, and even some disturbing stories of love. In Can You Read That Asteroid from Here? I learned some important tips to follow if I ever get my interstellar drivers license, (‘lefty brakey, righty speedy.’) When I started reading Hair, I thought that Joy Killar had secretly gotten to Adam and had him write about the horrors of finding my stray hairs EVERYWHERE, and about them secretly plotting her imminent demise. But, it was a story about a serial killer who might have appreciated my shedding. Stories like Bug Boy, and 7:17 From Suicide Station didn’t hold back on the ‘bum me out’ vibes, but there were plenty of giggles to even things out. When Gladys confronted her husband about his mistress, her question was ‘What’s She Got That I Haven’t?’, you can imagine the multiple replies that could have fit. But, in the end, there was only one answer. If you’ve read Adam Millard before, you know to expect some dark humor peppered throughout his work. What surprised, (and delighted), me were the Easter Eggs hidden within. I love when authors slyly reference their other works, or revisit characters from other stories. I’m sure that if I had read more of the Adam’s work prior to reading this – I’d have found more. But, that just makes me look forward to reading this again in the future.
Gristle & Bone ~ 7 Delectable Tales of Terror from Duncan Ralston
When successful restaurant owners Jim and Leanne Taymor confess to a grisly series of small town murders, their neighbor learns the gruesome truth that led them to kill. A young couple discovers the secret of a tourist town’s prosperity may lie in its sinfully delicious cuisine. Gonzo pornographers learn a brutal lesson following a tragedy they caused when life imitated “art.” Disgraced soldier Dean Vogel returns to his hometown and confronts the bullies, and a traumatic event, from his past. A reporter uncovers what really happened to the latest internet sensation, a troubled girl who disappeared on camera.
Gristle & Bone includes the novella, Scavengers, 4 novelettes, and 2 short stories.
Cannibalism, monsters, vengeful spirits, the apocalypse–chock-full of blood, mayhem, psychological horror, and good old fashioned gross-outs, Gristle & Bone is a tasty treat for horror fans!
LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE A HAPPY ENDING
I cannot praise this book highly enough.
Each short story pulled me into Duncan Ralston’s world a little bit further, and his world is a scary place to be. Not in the gross out and gory way that I’m usually going on about, but on a psychological level that is terrifying. BABY TEETH:
Candace and Joel McMurray have fallen into a joyless routine, living more like a brother and sister than husband and wife. The doctor informed the couple that they would never be able to have a baby. He literally called Candace ‘barren’, and said that it was most likely caused by years of taking childhood antidepressants. Not caring how callous she sounded, Candace said that she wanted her own children – not someone else’s.
As determined as she was to not let the news affect their sex life, the depression and despair wouldn’t stay outside of the bedroom. They crept in when she wasn’t paying attention, and within a month even Joel stopped trying to initiate sex. They developed individual hobbies to keep them occupied. Candice started scrapbooking, and Joel started masturbating. Little did they know that by summertime, they’d be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet in their home.
FAT OF THE LAND:
June hated the temper tantrums that that her husband threw. When one of her girlfriends asked her if she and her husband ever wanted to have kids, she was only partially joking when she replied with “I’ve already got one kid to worry about, thanks”. They’re multi-tasking a vacation this weekend – attending the wedding/union of their friends Max & Darrin, June’s photo shoot to help scout locations for an upcoming movie, and the annual 4th of July party held in a multi-million dollar mansion in the same town. Today’s tantrum was brought on when David couldn’t find the letter inviting them to the ultra-exclusive Independence Day party.
June was only trying to calm her husband down and pacify him by saying that perhaps the maid had mistaken the letter for trash, and accidently threw it away. David jumped on the opportunity to place the blame on anyone other than on himself, and promptly complained to the front desk. Again, trying to keep any semblance of peace, June jumped in when the clerk asked how the hotel could make up for the negligence of one of their employees. She asked the clerk if she could recommend a restaurant – the couple referred to themselves as Foodies, and were always on the lookout for something special – a diamond in the rough.
Whatever the reason – the staff at the Seaside Inn directed the couple to Ambrosia. The smells and the atmosphere pulled them in immediately, and they fell into a kind of trance while listening to the Chef prepare their meals – only coming back to their senses when they were back in their car and David was vomiting up his spleen.
Something had come over them while they were in that restaurant, and when June returned to Ambrosia unannounced the next day – the nightmare truely began.
BEWARE OF DOG:
Dean Vogel returned to his hometown after being dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
He has been placed in the care of his aging parents, and is about to start his court ordered therapy. Therapy that he had no intention of finishing. By his fourth session, Dean was on the verge of a major breakthrough.
With help from Dr. Baswell, the skeletons that have been hiding away in Dean’s subconscious have started moving again – and they were ready to come out once and for all. Dean is about to remember the truth behind the incident from his childhood, and the truth doesn’t always set you free.
Mason Adler is a paranoid man, he can be summed up pretty neatly by the t-shirts that read “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me”. The relationship that develops between Mason and Jenna, (his CPU), started out like the relationship that Joaquin Phoenix had with Scarlett Johansson in the movie HER, but it took a left turn at Albuquerque – and things got really messed up from there!
If forced to choose a favorite from Gristle & Bone, VIRAL would be it. It centers around a fourteen year old girl, and a video that was uploaded on YouTube moments before she disappeared.
Daria Walker’s story isn’t a new one, she is picked on at school, and feels invisible in her home. She started cutting when she was twelve, and she used it as a way to deal with her depression. It was never about wanting attention, or crying out for help or sympathy. What sets Daria’s video apart from others like it, is the same thing that caught the attention of reporter Tara Maxwell – the teenager didn’t just end up missing, she literally disappeared – right in front of the camera.
Most of the people who have seen the video call it a hoax. But, Tara sees something else. She can see the pain in Daria’s eyes, and can hear the desperation in her voice. She sees herself at that age, and that is what is pulling her into the story. Tara knows what it is like to feel invisible at home, and wish to become invisible at school. She knows each and every one of those feels. That is what is driving Tara to find out exactly what happened to Daria.
If she can help Daria, will she be able to save herself in the process? ARTIFACT (#37):
ILEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM
This SS has the feel of a Girls Gone Wild video, with a little bit of Boogie Nights sprinkled on top. Throw in a vengeful spirit, and let the fun begin!! It’s hard to talk about each story individually when they’re all so damn good!
I started this story, and fell into a Grant Mazzy trance…
Grant Mazzy: Mrs. French’s cat is missing. The signs are posted all over town. “Have you seen Honey?” We’ve all seen the posters, but nobody has seen Honey the cat. Nobody. Until last Thursday morning, when Miss Colette Piscine swerved her car to miss Honey the cat as she drove across a bridge. Well this bridge, now slightly damaged, is a bit of a local treasure and even has its own fancy name; Pont de Flaque. Now Collette, that sounds like Culotte. That’s Panty in French. And Piscine means Pool. Panty pool. Flaque also means pool in French, so Colete Piscine, in French Panty Pool, drives over the Pont de Flaque, the Pont de Pool if you will, to avoid hitting Mrs. French’s cat that has been missing in Pontypool. Pontypool. Pontypool. Panty pool. Pont de Flaque. What does it mean? Well, Norman Mailer, he had an interesting theory that he used to explain the strange coincidences in the aftermath of the JFK assasination. In the wake of huge events, after them and before them, physical details they spasm for a moment; they sort of unlock and when they come back into focus they suddenly coincide in a weird way. Street names and birthdates and middle names, all kind of superfluous things appear related to eachother. It’s a ripple effect. So, what does it mean? Well… it means something’s going to happen. Something big. But then, something’s always about to happen.
But this isn’t Pontypool, and these Scavengers are more the LURKER type.
(If you don’t know Pontypool – yes, this is a huge compliment)
Survivalists / Preppers are people who have prepared to ensure their safety and continued existence in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse is something that everyone should think about. When TSHTF, and it’s the end of the world as we know it – zombies may or may not be the cause. It could be war, it could be disease, or even Mother Nature. Whatever the cause, if you’ve prepared for zombies – any other disaster will seem easy to handle.
Next comes the hard part.
Will you help those who have mocked you? Are you ready to defend everything that you’ve worked so hard to establish? What will you do as the government tries to interfere? These are all important decisions that will have to be made!
When the time comes, will you survive – or be caught unprepared?
“DOIN’ WHAT I CAN, WITH WHAT I GOT”
With all due respect to Bowie V. Ibarra, I disagree with you on the most hysterical part of any movie in the TREMORS franchise. What we have in common is that both of our moments include Michael Gross.
My *PMPL moment is when Burt declares – “I’m out of ammo.” At the time, that struck me as the funniest thing EVER.
The sad part is – Burt Gummer SHOULD be the second most quoted movie character of all time – (next to Sir Bruce). If we’re in the same bunker when TSHTF, that will become ‘our thing’. Deal?
The stories in this collection are all centered on survival in the apocalypse. Some people thrive, while others try to survive by force – stealing what they can, and turning against their fellow man.
One woman does what is necessary to survive on her own, while another woman tries to lure her friend over under false pretenses. Relationships are strained as friends turn against friends, and others are saved when couples realize that family comes first.
One man finds the love of his life – 33 minutes before she dies, while another man turns his back on his family to take care of the only thing of importance to him – Himself. Zombies are not the only monsters in this collection, and definitely not the only thing to worry about. These stories show that mankind is usually the worst monster of them all.
Here are a few highlights from this amazing collection –
THE BEGINNING is the first story in the collection, and it sets a tone for the entire book. Sara Gray paints a picture with colors that I never knew existed – and parts of it had a bigger impact on me than I’d thought possible. I don’t want to post spoilers, so I’ll keep this brief… This story of one woman’s survival begins the moment the SHTF, and follows her throughout the z-poc. At one point during this ss, I wanted to curl into a fetal position, cover my head, and cry. Very powerful, and the perfect story to begin this collection.
Alan Dale’s contribution – EAT ME, BITE ME; JUST DON’T IGNORE ME! is another stand out story in F/F. Two survivors in a city over run by the dead look for a way to connect. The distance that separates them could practically be measured by saliva, (spitting distance), but it might as well be miles.
Rick Restucci’s THE HUMAN RACE could easily be made into a movie – probably not as good as the one that played out in my head while reading it, but a good movie nonetheless. A very wealthy survivor finds a way to bring entertainment back to television – in the form of a new reality show.
BRINGING IN THE HARVEST is a unique and enjoyable story. By Introducing new elements into the zombie genre, Carl Fox is a name I’m going to keep an eye on.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is a story that I’d contact Bowie about, if he wasn’t already a part of this anthology. Grizz needs to read it for sure!
Jamall K. Luckett ties the zombie story in with with the male soap opera world of wrestling. This ss is going to make a lot of people I know giddy with delight!
The epilogue is from UP FROM THE DEPTHS author J.R. Jackson. I’ve learned more from him than from all those tv survivalists combined! He’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the field. He gives you tips that are usable by the everyday person, and you don’t need a million dollars to get the supplies you need. He also advocates the use of water purification tablets, rather than drinking your own urine, so… BONUS!
When the weekly Survival Chat starts up again, I’ll make an announcement. Until then, you can join in on group discussions at Zombie Fiend.
There are stories of greed, and stories of compassion. Family turning against family, and people trying to make it alone. Each is different, but it’s all about survival. This anthology will make you think. When the shit hits the fan, how will you end up? Feast, or famine?
I realized that I didn’t have anything here about HUNGER PANGS, (the cannibalistic anthology that started at ZF, and was completed at MDC). I cannot find any of my old notes or files, so it was the perfect opportunity to read it again!
❝From the ravenous Donner Party expedition to the twisted mind of Albert Fish, and verily even the fictitious Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs to the recent rampage of carnage spawned by the Florida Face Eater, fascination with cannibalism has always been intense. How hungry do you have to be…or how sick to eat another human? You are cordially invited to dine with some of the finest authors in the horror genre as we savor the delights of these tales; dress code is relaxed, bring a friend, regrets only, RSVP not required.❞
FOR ELISE by Evan Roy
After a seemingly never-ending series of tragedies, finding the broken fuselage of what was once a military aircraft felt like a miracle to Eric. He knows that they wouldn’t have survived the winter without it’s shelter, and the meager supplies found inside. But, the supplies didn’t last. As spring approaches, Eric knows what has to be done to keep his daughter alive. While he mentally prepares for the task, he remembers the days, and the events that led them here.
FOR ELISE is a heartbreaking story. While Eric defends his family from the things that are hunting them, he learns that humans can be the most frightening monsters of them all.
MEAT DOCTOR by Cal Miller
When times are hard, and the food is scarce, you need to be able to use every bit of the meat that comes from your livestock. So, if the animal died on it’s own, and wasn’t butchered for it’s meat, you called your local vet to tell you if the meat was infected or good to eat. Hence the nickname ‘The Meat Doctor’. But, these days are harder than ever before, livestock isn’t as easy to come by, people are getting hungry. Behind closed doors, you call on the Meat Doctor to look at your dead family member. Meat is meat, and, you need to eat to survive. It didn’t take long for people to start nudging the sick or the elderly toward the Meat Doctor, or his cleaver, one less mouth to feed is also protein for the rest of the family.
This particular case that the doctor is called to… this one is a little different…
END OF TRADITION by Trevor Smith
Silent rage & sweet revenge.
This story, told in verse, is about the brave man who rebels against tradition, in his own way.
STILL LIFE by Dave Jeffery
A highly secretive scientific experiment [‘Project’] gone wrong, leaving a city full of human statues in it’s wake. One man awakes to find his town utterly still. While trying to make sense of the surreal scene before him, he feels the beginnings of the changes within him.
THE SMOKEHOUSE by Kim Krodel
Ellie gazes longingly at the empty smokehouse while trying to nurse her babies. Her husband, Kenny, is basically useless is this new world. The only bacon he manages to bring home these days is his own inadequate member, and Ellie has begun to find that thing just as useless as the rest of him. When he forcefully planted another seed in her belly, she makes a decision; one way or another, he WILL provide the meat to place in the smokehouse.
COMPROMISED MORALS by Rebecca Besser
William was brought-up with beliefs that he never thought to question – until now. Raised from birth to think one way, challenging these ideas was an alien concept to him. Now he’s forced to rethink everything he has ever known to be the truth, and more than just life & death hang in the balance of his decision.
JUST ONE DAY by TL Decay
Sometimes, just one day makes all the difference in the world.
This piece of poetry from TL is very unsettling.
Needless to say… I love it ❣
RUMP ROAST WITH A SIDE OF THIGH by S.P. Durnin
Freelance Zombie Eradicator & Death Dealer, Van, has more to deal with than just maggot heads on this job in Reeves Crossing!
This ss by S.P. Durnin, (KEEP YOUR CROWBAR HANDY), is pretty damn witty, and I appreciate the originality of the outbreak.
PREY by Shaun Phelps
There are tales of a world where humans are not hunted, nor are they hunters. A place of hope, not of despair. Talks or questions of Pilgrimage were forbidden while growing up, thus making it even more desirable.
If Pilgrimage were real, would it be the utopia that you so desire, or would it be an unimaginable nightmare with no escape?
MR. PAKOOL’s SPICE by JZ Murdock
Jake is an amazing father. On the run in the woods of Oregon, he is keeping his son & daughter safe, and teaching them the skills to survive in this new, post apocalyptic world. While they try to search for a new place to call home, and avoid the *PUDS, they cross paths with another survivor. He has a name that’s hard to pronounce, and they start referring to him as Mr. Pakool, because of his odd cranial accessory – his pakool hat.
When Jake is able to fit the pieces together, he realizes that he knows who this man is. The PUDS aren’t the only things he needs to protect his family from. *Poor Unfortunately Dangerous Suckers
SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Alan Wismer
It’s hard to survive on your own. After a while, though, ‘on your own’ is all you know.
Readapting to NOT being alone is difficult, but it’s harder for Cal because he cannot speak. He couldn’t decide whether his uneasiness in this new camp of survivors was due to his lengthy period of solitude, or if there was something more sinister afoot.
Safety in numbers comes with a price, and he’ll soon realize it’s a price he’s not willing to pay.
DEEPLY DISTURBED by Jeremy Peterson
This is the journal of Sidney Stout.
35 years old, and the manager of the meat department, aka The Butcher, at The SuperSave Mart in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He started keeping the journal while hiding in the basement after the weirdest lightening storm he’d ever seen. As you read his thoughts, you’ll see that Stanley The Butcher is a Deeply Disturbed man.
FINE DINING WITH OSCAR by Jennily French
This is Alyssa’s account of her time in the Z-Poc.
After leaving the city with her roommate, Waylon, and their friend, Oscar, things quickly went to Hell. Oscar was on a lot of prescription meds, and even with cutting his doses in half, they didn’t last long.
Alyssa is worried about finding food, and Waylon’s increasingly strange behavior. She needs to keep a close eye on him!
THE HUNGER by Scott M. Baker “THIS IS HOW THE WORLD ENDS. NOT WITH A BANG, BUT WITH A MOAN.”
Sure, eating human flesh may be gross the first couple of times – you’ll probably puke. But, after a while… you acquire a taste for it. Janet tries to explain this to Buford, but, he’s being so pissy about it!
You’ll recognize a few of the authors taking part in this event, I’ve reviewed some, chatted with others… But now’s your chance to meet these authors online❣ You can win prizes, and get some awesome books on sale. More authors, more zombies, post-apocalyptic, and spine-tingling tales all coming to your door Feb.14th❣
♡ These are the 30 authors in this extravaganza ♡
Rachel Aukes:100 Days in Deadland A. Carina Barry: The Under-Circus and Other Tales Owen Baillie: Aftermath (Invasion of the Dead, Book 1) Jake Bible: Z-Burbia Tonia Brown: Devouring Milo Jason Christie: Zombie Killa Joseph A. Coley: Six Feet From Hell: Crisis Eli Constant: Dead Trees Ricky Cooper: Designated Infected Katie Cord: Stamps, Vamps, & Tramps Craig DiLouie: The Retreat, Episode #1: Pandemic Jackie Druga: Zombie Battle: Complete (5 books) Dan Eagles: The Last Venture Capitalist Kurt Fawver: Forever, In Pieces Sarah Lyons Fleming: Until the End of the World Rhiannon Frater: The Untold Tales Omnibus:
– Zombie Stories From the As The World Dies Universe (3 volumes) Michael S Gardner: Downfall Josh Hilden-The Shores of the Dead Book 1: The Rising Michelle Kilmer: When the Dead & The Spread (2 books) Eloise J. Knapp: Pulse Sb Knight: Game of Straws, Game of Straws Origins,
– and Volume One of the Saga of Straws (trilogy) Timothy Long: At the Behest of the Dead Keith Milstead: Fish To Die For Ripley Patton: Ghost Hold Claire C. Riley-Odium: The Dead Saga Damir Salkovic: The Black Ziggurat Double Feature Randy Spears: Forget the Alamo: A Zombie Novella Rachel Tsoumbakos: Emeline and the Mutants Jack Wallen: I Zombie I Darren Wearmouth: First Activation
The guest list is growing- additional authors are joining & extra books are being added, so keep checking back – you don’t want to miss out on any heart eating goodness❣ Ian Woodhead recently added all 6 of his Zombie books:
The Unwashed Dead
Walking with Zombies
All discounted to 99¢
But, that’s not the best part! He’s releasing them as double-book packs, for the same price. You’ll be getting TWO books for 99c.
He’s throwing in free hugs, too ~ after all… it is Valentine’s Day❣
This video trailer previews zombie stories from thirty-two of your favorite female authors in one, big Bestselling Zombie Anthology!
Tamara Rose Blodgett
Lori R. Lopez
With over 325,000 words and featuring some of Amazon’s Best Selling Female Authors of Horror, this is certainly not your typical anthology book!
Sit back as your favorite authors of zombie lit take you on a wild, horrifying ride that will leave you breathless. Come and meet the women who love to entertain you with their own unique versions of the zombie apocalypse
As of right now, 8/22, for a limited time, the Kindle edition of Darlings of Decay is on sale! #Free Download
His time spent attached to Britain’s S.A.S. still gives him nightmares, his social life is in the toilet, and his best friend is an unrepentant adrenaline junkie.
Unfortunately, just as things finally seem to go his way, decomposing corpses of the recently dead begin rising to gnaw on the living. Now the streets are filled with mindless creatures hungering for only one thing: human flesh. Jake’s unlikely group of survivors needs to make for some kind of refuge, and not get zombified along the way. One question looms large on all their minds however: how to do that without being turned into drooling maggot-heads themselves? Psychopaths, escaped criminals, and para-military, white-supremacists all stand in their way; not to mention an ever-growing threat from the slowly rotting hordes. If Jake doesn’t want to end up as one of the mobile dead, he’ll need to keep his whits about him.
And his crowbar handy…
Well, here it is. The “Keep Your Crowbar Handy…” book trailer!
The zombie apocalypse like you’veneverseen it before! Sound effects/music are all public domain, along with military footage. All other photos/video were taken at the Columbus Zombie Walk this year. Enjoy!!!