“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want,” I said as I lifted a curved sword off the table in front of me. “We’ve been practicing épée and foil so far, but tonight I want to introduce you to the sabre.” The practice sabre’s curved blade reflected the orange streetlight shining in through the window. A grant from the Smithsonian where I worked allowed me to teach my two passions: ancient weapons and their arts. “The sabre is a slashing weapon,” I continued and then lunged, showing the wide-eyed and excited students a few moves. “And in general, it’s my favorite,” I admitted with a grin.
The students laughed.
“Is that why you have it tattooed on your arm?” Tyler, one of my best fencers, asked.
My hand went unconsciously toward the tattoo. The ink was a sword interlaced with other once-meaningful symbols. “That’s not just any sabre,” I said, mildly embarrassed. “Here, let me show you. I brought something special tonight.” Setting the training sabre down, I lifted a rolled bundle. I laid it down on the table and unrolled it to reveal weapons in various elaborate scabbards.
“Some are épée, foils—you can tell by the hilt—a broadsword, a claymore, a katana, a scimitar, throwing daggers,” I said, pointing, “but this, this is a Russian shashka.” I pulled the shashka from the bundle. “It’s like a traditional sabre, but has no guard. She’s light, single-edged, wielded with one hand, and good for stabbing or slashing. Not awkward in close quarters like a Scottish claymore, but it will kill you just as dead,” I said with a smile. I unsheathed the weapon and gave it an under-and over-hand spin around my head, shoulders, and back.
The students grinned from ear to ear.
I put it back in its scabbard and handed the shashka to them. “Pass it around, but keep in mind it is sharp enough to cut a blade of hair in half.” I then turned my attention to Tyler. “Now, since you’re so interested, let’s see how you do with the sabre.” I tossed one of the training swords to him.
Tyler, already in his gear, jumped up and lowered his fencing mask. “But you’re not in gear,” he said.
I shrugged. “Hit me, if you can.”
We stood at the ready, made the ceremonial bow, and began. Tyler was not overly aggressive, which is partially why he was so successful. He waited for me, moving slowly. He was smart, quick, and often tried to over-tire his opponent.
I waited, dropped my sword a bit, and let him make the lunge. He took the bait.
The swords clanged together, and we clashed back and forth across the strip. He lunged and slashed while I dodged and blocked. He was fast. I was faster. When he lunged again, I ducked. With an upward movement, I went in.
“A hit,” Kasey called.
“Man, that’s what you get for taking on a former state champ—and the teacher,” Trey told Tyler with a laugh.
Tyler pulled off the mask and smiled at me.
Just then, my cell rang. I would usually ignore it, but something told me to answer.
“Everyone pair up and start working with the training sabers,” I said and pointed to the sword rack. I went to my bag and grabbed my cell.
Before I could say hello, she spoke.
“Layla, Grandma needs you to come home,” my grandmother’s voice, thick with Russian accent, came across through static. I was silent for a moment. My grandmother lived 500 miles away, and she never used her telephone. With the exception of her T.V., she hated technology. She’d cried and begged me to take away the microwave I’d purchased for her one Mother’s Day.
“Grandma? What’s wrong?”
“Come home now. Be here tomorrow,” she said. She hung up.
I lowered my cell and stared at it. Confused and worried, I dialed her back. The phone rang, but she did not answer. I had obligations: practice, bills to pay, groceries to buy, tons of work to do, and a date for god-sakes. But my grandmother was the only one I had left in the world.
“Sorry, guys. Emergency,” I called to my students.
Disappointed, they groaned.
“Sorry. Let’s pack it up for the night.” My hands shaking, I slid the shashka back into the bundle and rolled up the weapons. What had happened? Maybe Grandma was sick. Maybe she had some problem. Or maybe she had seen something.
Happy reading my little book whores!
*waves* Happy Friday!!
Just dropping in to let you know that the latest book in the bestselling Dead Saga Series - ODIUM III THE DEAD SAGA - is now live in audiobook! *throws glitter*
Audible UK - http://adbl.co/2bmCUA7
Audible US - http://adbl.co/2bo487E
'The apocalypse never sounded so good'
#audiobook #audible #horror #dystopian #postapocalyptic #zompoc #bestsellingseries
Have a zomberific weekend!
Hurray, Odium has been nominated for a dystopian book award!
Check out the Facebook page and get voting from September 1st, and thank you to those of you who nominated it, and me, in the first place!
The cold of winter is setting in, at least for those of us in the northern Hemisphere of the world. But we at Metamorph Publishing aren’t letting that get us down! We’re already looking forward to a sizzling summer, and we’re here to announce our first annual Indie Book Awards! You heard that right, a summer book awards! The event officially begins on January 1st of each year, and nominations will be accepted through midnight CST on August 31st each year. Voting will begin on September 1st and end on September 10th each year.
“What’s the big deal,” you ask? “There are all kinds of contests out there.” And you’re right, there are hundreds, probably thousands of book awards. But many of them are only for unpublished authors, or authors who only write in certain narrow genres, or for authors who have never published before in a particular genre. Plus, there are plenty of them that charge an entry fee, some of which are prohibitive to authors who publish independently, without the backing of a large and powerful publishing house.
So, we’re hoping to do something different with the Summer Indie Book Awards! Entry is free, and nominations will be accepted from any indie or small-press author, regardless of their current published or non-published state, or what genre they write in.
We are accepting donations of print or e-books, author swag or novelty items (bookmarks, pens, keychains, etc.), but donation is not required for nomination. We’re taking nominations from authors as well as from readers, and authors can nominate their own books; we only ask that authors who do so also nominate a fellow indie author. Nominations can be made using this form: http://goo.gl/forms/T1L8sQJGVx, while donations can be made at: http://goo.gl/forms/6DkAK4MeqI. Feel free to join up with the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1099924726693772, and like the official Facebook page of the Summer Indie Book Awards at https://www.facebook.com/summerindiebookawards. You can also sign up for the newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bL43cf so you can stay up to date with all the latest news! In the pinned post of the Facebook event, you’ll find these links, along with links to a Google Drive folder where you can look and see who’s already been nominated! And any author who is nominated will have access to an official contest nominee badge, that they can use on their book covers or any promotional media, if they so desire.
Winners in each genre will receive a prize (hopefully we’ll get enough donations for this), beginning with the 1st place winners. If we get enough prizes donated, we’ll go next to 2nd place winners, and then to 3rd place. Regardless of the prizes, winners will get a high-quality winner badge, stating their place and the genre of the book. These will be of high enough resolution for authors to use on their print books, if they want to!
But it’s not only the winners that will benefit from the Summer Indie Book Awards! All nominated authors will have the potential to reach hundreds, if not more, of new readers (readers often have a preferred genre, and while they’re voting for their favorite author, will come across others they may not have tried yet), and reach a huge new audience through the social media forums! And best of all, it’s meant to have fun, to reach out and network with other authors, potentially forming long-lasting relationships. And readers will benefit from having a wealth of new books in front of them, as well as a vast amount of new stories to immerse themselves in.
Though we’re using Facebook and other social media as a platform to reach more authors and readers, none of these social media outlets are affiliated with the awards. They are hosted strictly by Metamorph Publishing.
For more information, please visit Metamorph Publishing at https://metamorphpublishing.com.
Happy reading my little book whores!
Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.
To learn more about Rebecca visit her Website, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and/or follow her Blog!
Nurse Blood Blurb, Cover, Excerpt & Purchase Links
Nurse Blood Summary (Limitless Publishing):
Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…
Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.
Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…
Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.
One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…
A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?
Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.
(Nurse Blood goes up on the Limitless website for pre-order Aug 13th and officially releases Aug 23rd.)
Limitless Publishing "Coming Soon"
Nurse Blood On Amazon
The air inside the nightclub was hazy from smoke machines. Flashes of colored light cut through the swirls in beat with the pulsing music that shook the walls and the floor. The atmosphere was alive with movement―a mass of hot, swaying bodies bent on enjoying the moment. A monster waited in the depths of the darkness to bat her pretty eyes at someone and make them her prey.
The door of the establishment swung open to give way to three eager young men looking to have a good time and celebrate. The trio was instantly surrounded by dancing women. They made their way through the press of bodies to reach the bar.
Daniel forced himself not to scan the crowd for his ex-fiancée, April. But she was the least of his worries, as the real danger was a face he wouldn’t recognize.
Roy got their drinks while Hank and Daniel stood at a balcony that overlooked an even larger dance floor below. The smoke was thicker down there, and there were more lights. The dancers looked like they were paying sensual homage to their deity. The air was tainted with the aroma of perfume and alcohol; it burned the men’s nostrils and fueled their excitement for the revelry to come.
Daniel took a moment to text his twin brother, David, to let him know where they would be celebrating their shared birthday. He received a text back from David saying he was still an hour away.
Roy joined them with three shots and three cold bottles of beer, passing one of each to his friends. They downed the shots in one swallow before turning their attention to their beers.
“Dave will be here in an hour or so,” Daniel announced after downing his shot.
“Awesome—we’re gonna have a great time!” Hank yelled over the music.
As Roy took a drink of his beer, a petite, slim blonde grabbed his waist from behind. He jumped in surprise and turned, recognizing the young woman.
She tucked a finger into the front of his jeans, smiled at him, and tugged him away from his friends toward a table with another girl.
Roy looked back over his shoulder at his friends and shrugged.
“That’s Lynn,” Hank yelled to Daniel. “They’ve been seeing each other for a while. And that’s her cousin Trisha—you don’t want to go there.”
Daniel nodded and looked around. The warming effect of the shot was spreading through his body, relaxing him. He felt less paranoid about running into April.
While he was looking over the crowd, a woman caught his eye. She was a tall, slim brunette, and she was beautiful. She was standing alone at the end of the bar. He watched her for a few moments, and when she looked around, their eyes met.
He smiled and looked away.
Hank noticed Daniel’s mild interest. He knew what his friend had been through recently and why he was gun-shy with women.
“Go for it!” he yelled, nudging Daniel. “Have some fun!”
Daniel looked at his friend, took another swallow of beer, glanced at the woman—noticing she was still alone—and shrugged.
Hank laughed and gave Daniel a shove toward the bar, causing him to slam into two people who happened to be walking past. When he turned to them to apologize, he came face to face
with the very woman he was hoping not to run into: April. The man she was with was leaning on her with all his weight while she struggled to hold him up.
Daniel’s heart clenched in his chest and his lungs seized up for a moment. He felt his hand tighten around the neck of his beer bottle. He wanted to slam it over the other man’s head, but he managed to restrain himself. He didn’t want her to know how much the sight of her with another man hurt him, so he put on a brave front.
“Excuse the fuck out of me,” he said with a sadistic smile, raised the bottle in the air like he was toasting them, and then took a big swig of the brew. He was pleased with the shocked expression that spread across April’s face at his harsh greeting.
They didn’t say anything to Daniel, but focused back on each other and moved around him and deeper into the establishment.
Daniel glanced over to Hank, who was grinning from ear to ear.
He smiled at his friend, nodded, and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other until he made it over to the woman at the bar. While he walked he pretended not to notice that April had glanced back at him several times as she guided her drunken man to a table where he could sit down. He was determined to show April she wasn’t the only woman in the world. He was going to prove to himself and her that he was over the breakup.
“Hi, I’m Daniel!” he yelled when he reached the woman, leaning toward her a little so she could hear him as a new song started to play.
“Grace!” she yelled back.
They smiled at each other.
The couple chatted for a while about nothing important, since it was too loud to carry on a serious conversation, and ordered drink after drink as they stood at the bar. Daniel’s emotional tension eased little by little with every drink. He became more and more relaxed, and friendlier and friendlier with Grace. Before he knew what was happening, they were pressed up against each other while they conversed so they could hear each other better.
“Let’s get out of here,” Grace said. She kissed him and reached down between them to rub his crotch.
Normally Daniel would be shocked and uneasy by such a gesture so soon after meeting a woman, but he’d had enough drinks not to care about how respectable she was or wasn’t being.
He nodded in agreement and looked around for his friends, frowning.
“I have to tell my friends I’m leaving,” he said, taking a step away from Grace.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Grace said, rubbing his crotch again. “They’ll figure it out. Besides, you can call them later and they can pick you up from my place.”
That sounded reasonable so he followed her out to the parking lot. The night was clear and felt cool after the heat from the population of patrons inside the nightclub.
They stumbled together through the parking lot and paused to make out, pressed against the side of her car for a couple minutes before they finally separated their bodies to get in.
Daniel had the passenger’s side door open and was about to climb inside when his cell phone beeped, notifying him of a text. He stopped, stood up straight beside the car, and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket by mistake. He reached into his other back pocket and extracted his cell phone. He frowned and squinted to focus on the tiny, bright screen that said David was only a block away.
“What are you doing?” Grace asked.
“I can’t go with you,” he said with a sigh. “Sorry. I—”
He felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck. He reached up to figure out what had hurt him and spun around at the same time, dropping his cell phone and wallet to the asphalt parking lot.
Grace was standing behind him holding an empty syringe.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but you have to come with me.”
He tried to shove her away, but his limbs wouldn’t do what he wanted them to. His legs gave out from beneath him as the world blurred into a black blob of nothing.
Grace shoved Daniel’s tall frame into the passenger seat when he started to fall, smacking his head on the door frame. She quickly picked his feet up from the ground and spun him so she could get him all the way into the car.
She heard laughing as a couple made their way through the parking lot a few rows over, so she didn’t take the time to pick up what Daniel had dropped.
Grace shut the passenger door and ran around to the driver’s side of her car. She scanned the parking lot as she pulled out, not seeing anyone close-by. She’d been careful, watching for people as they’d headed outside, but the distant couple had snuck up on them. Luckily they hadn’t come close enough to see what she was up to. She tensed slightly when she had to pass another vehicle as she pulled from the lot out onto the street, but the man was looking in the opposite direction and didn’t even glance their way.
Once she was out of the parking lot and a couple blocks away, she pulled out her cell phone and called Roger.
“Hey,” she said into the phone. “I have fresh meat…”
©Rebecca Besser & Limitless Publishing, 2016. All rights reserved.
Happy reading my little book whores!
What do I love more than finding one great book? Finding a bunch of great books to fuel my reading appetite for more than a few days. I love finding new authors who are similar enough to authors I already like, but different enough that I’m not just reading the same story over and over again. There is really nothing worse than finishing a book you loved only for the next book you read to be utterly terrible.
But there is a solution!
Nine authors (R. L. Blalock, Armand Rosamilia, Claire C. Riley, Jay Wilburn, T. W. Piperwood, Bobby Adair, Eric Shelman, Adrienne Lecter, and Mark P. DeBryan) have teamed up to bring readers some of the best books of the zombie genre. The Zombie Book Buzz is a cooperative newsletter aimed at bringing readers all the stuff they want to know about their favorite zombie authors without all the extra fluff they don’t want. The newsletter includes information on new releases, sales, and contests and giveaways. That’s it!
You’ll only receive the email once a month.
If you sign up before SEPTEMBER 1ST, you’ll be entered to win The Ultimate Zombie Book Box. Nine fantastic zombie books. Just for signing up!
Happy reading my little book whores!
Eli is the author of Dead Trees, Dead Trees 2, Mastic, DRAG.N, The Water is Sweeter, Z-Children Awakening, and is a contributor to the following anthologies: Let’s Scare Cancer to Death, benefitting the V Foundation, State of Horror: New Jersey, State of Horror: Illinois, & Fading Hope. Her books are available in eBook, paperback, & audio formats.
Eli lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters.
Over the past decade, Eli attended several universities- USC-L, Columbia College, Texas A&M, George Mason U- and studied everything from Mariculture to Material Science to Differential Equations. Settling on Biology, Eli participated in research fellowships in Texas and at NIH in Maryland until she finally settled into a lab in Sterling, VA where she focused herself on mastering diagnosis procedures and implementations of histology and pathology.
Stalk Eli on social media:
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Ben has been teaching Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) continually since 1981 when he joined the USAF as a “Survival Instructor”.
Members of the Rangers, Green Berets, Para-rescue, Combat Control, Navy SEALs, Air Force Crew Members and MARSOC have all been his students. Outside the military, he has taught people from the DEA, Local Law Enforcement, Department of Natural Resources, the FBI, and other Federal Agencies. With over 12 years in the disaster mitigation and security fields, his advice on the development of advanced survival systems is irreplaceable and his knowledge of the physical and psychological aspects of both manmade and natural disasters is unparalleled in the survival world.
Check out Ben’s survival company:
Cover & Blurb
Focusing on the terminal building instead of the lonely plane and tents, I saw them. They were near the concourse of the tarmac. They seemed to be…
I had to swallow, wet my suddenly dry throat, but I could not because there was no moisture left in my mouth; just the desert, just the discomfort. They seemed to be playing some kind of game. The Nikons were good, but not powerful enough to make out the details of their movements.
There was a lot of them—running, opening and closing their mouths as if they were shouting. I saw it then, the pale orb that bounced about on the ground, rolling quickly from beast to beast, routinely being punted in the opposite direction. Each kick seemed deliberate, not just for sport, but also with the aim of hitting another of the Z kids. Each time it struck one of the monsters, it seemed to leave a splash of fluid behind.
A soccer ball. That had to be what it was. The dark coloring I was seeing against the pale expanse was the telltale decoration of your average, everyday soccer ball.
Soccer meant to hurt, the ball meant to slam into shoulders and faces.
But still a game.
Still a damn game. Still something a human child would be doing.
Looking out the driver’s side window, my gaze went to the clouds in the sky; they were slowly rolling by like pale honey across an uneven countertop. They were so normal, like the child’s play, so unobtrusively reminiscent of what it would be like to have a calm day with everything operating as it should. They were unassuming, wispy things that made me hate the world as it was now so much more than I had just seconds before staring at their movement against the pale blue.
I set the binoculars on the dash of the truck, looked around, and rolled down the window. I needed to see closer. I needed more detail.
Carefully, I lifted the .06 from the floorboards and rested it on the half-down glass. The old gun was now sporting a very powerful variable scope, one of those that I never could have afforded before the world went to shit. Couldn’t afford it now—except through the generosity of Jesse. I spun the scope’s dial up to its maximum 24 power and looked through the eyeglass. I had bore-sighted it with a laser while I was in the shop, but until I pulled the trigger, I wouldn’t know exactly where the round would land. I only knew that the end game of its journey would be damn close to the bullseye.
I had to take a few moments to get it sharply focused, but soon my prey became realized in crystal clarity. They were still playing their monstrous amalgam of dodge ball and soccer. There were adults wandering closer to the game now, and when one ventured too near the sport, a Z kid seemed to take great delight in knocking them to the ground and trampling across their bodies.
There were so many things I wanted to know watching the scene. Where did they get the ball? Could things get anymore fucked up? I tried to focus on the actual ball, but it was going by so fast now—a blur of black and white becoming gray—like the tiny orb in a pinball machine.
That’s what it was.
It was zombie pinball.
I started to imagine the dinging as the ball was launched to and fro. Ding. Ding. Ding. Waiting for one of them to miss or waiting for the ball to disappear into some unseen hole and then magically reappear.
So messed up.
I blinked, prepared to give up on following the ball’s movement.
Then it rolled to a stop.
I stared at it, blinked again, and took a mental breath that did nothing to steady me.
*Can you guess what the ‘ball’ is? Not some black and white orb pumped up with air (unless the original owner of the ‘ball’ was decidedly empty-headed)… Got the mental picture now? Yes? Can we say that maybe my dad and I are totally twisted? Yes. Yes, I think we can.*
To further solidify how very fucked-up in the head we are, let’s go on to the second excerpt:
Refocusing my gaze and my weapon, I saw, in morbid clarity, what I was facing. And it was a nightmare. A Cirque du Freak that overshadowed any horror I’d yet seen. It was an apparition straight out of a filmmaker’s most bizarre and unsettling dream. The most disturbing film come to life to haunt the living.
Not just a Z kid, but a Siamese twin Z.
They were conjoined at the hip and, in unison, both heads turned and snarled at me; the sounds the twins made were identical, a chorus of hunger and predatory excitement. One head let out a gut-wrenching cry that rocked me to my core and the second focused on me with murder in its eyes. Then it leaped, leaving the two by four window barrier in an arc that was amazingly graceful and coordinated despite its four legs. Its mouths opened and closed. Opened. Closed. The teeth were stained crimson and black. The eyes were pale, catching flashes of light that turned them glossy white as it sailed towards me in a death flight.
This time I was ready, and I did not miss.
The gun barked three times, the open slide working flawlessly as it fed one round after another into the chamber. The right head of the creature exploded in an obsidian spray of fluid and gray matter. The second and third rounds burrowed into the conjoined Z’s chest, leaving small, but no-less damning wounds.
Unceremoniously, the creature fell to the ground. The uninjured head, like a fish out of water, gasped and clung to life with ferocity.
Yeah… not just zombie children, but conjoined twins. CONJOINED TWINS... I will have nightmares later. Better find your nightlight before you begin reading this one!
Happy reading my little book whores!
Happy Monday...wait, what? ;-)
I recently got to interview the very awesome Bobby Akart and talk prepping and writing. Have a read and then head over to Amazon to pick up a new great read. I can assure you that you will not be dissapointed!
AUTHOR BOBBY AKART
So, tomorrow is THE day!
*runs around waving hands in the air*
Are you ready?
Have you got the tissues to hand and the phone off the hook? Is your comfy reading chair all ready? Are the kids off out for the day?
Only a few more hours to go. Once again I want to tell you how excited I am for you to read this book, and I truly, truly hope that you enjoy it.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1TixYuO
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1OuSzYJ
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