Book Review: Rust, Gore, and the Junkyard Zombie

I love a good zombie story. I also enjoy short, easy reads. This title is the perfect combination of those two things.

The story is told from the perspective of multiple characters in the form of journal entries. The characters are all family members that own and operate a junkyard in West Virginia. They all have unique and useful backgrounds, making them a perfect team to survive and find answers for why everything went wrong. The story takes you from the junkyard in West Virginia, to Fort Belvoir outside of Washington D.C., to a third destination that I won’t name to avoid spoiler territory.

While you get a sense of the rural, small town mentality, there is a level of eloquence from the characters that wouldn’t seem typical from that area, and the local dialect is missing from the dialogue.

The story tends to focus on the humanity aspect during a zombie apocalypse, and what people are capable of when push comes to shove. Zombies were present in the background of the story, but rarely provided much threat to the group of heroes. Most of the conflict came between the survivors and how they interacted with one another.

My biggest piece of critical feedback would pertain to formatting issues. There were several odd spacing issues and paragraph breaks, but that’s just nitpicking. In terms of the actual plot, I would have liked to see the zombies serve a more imposing threat. There was also travel over some lengthy distances, and the difficulty that would come along with that could have used more focus to challenge the group as well. The structure is solid, I just would have liked to see some topics and scenes expanded a bit more.

Overall, as mentioned, this was a short, easy read. If you can get past the formatting issues (which are just distracting, but don’t detract from the story itself), this is a fun zompoc that you should certainly check out. The resolution was an interesting one, and was satisfactory to boot. I give it three broken down tanks out of five.

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Literary Listening: Cutters Notch Podcast Multi-Author Interview

Recently, as mentioned previously, I participated in my first author event in over a year. It was a great event, and I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on the Cutters Notch podcast. The host, Michael DeCamp, was one of the organizers for the event, and he did brief interviews with most, if not all, of the attending authors. It was a fun experience and Mike is an excellent host. Give it a listen to learn about several new authors, and if you want to hear me make a fool of myself, my segment begins just before the fifty minute mark.

Happy listening!

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What’s Up(date)?

The past year has taken it’s toll on my writing. I’ve been idle for quite some time for various reasons, and I don’t like it. I have the inspiration. The thoughts are there. It’s the motivation that’s been MIA. Whether it’s been the demands of my day job, more of a focus on my health and exercise, or just fatigue and exhaustion from chasing two small humans around and the requirements of caring for a growing family, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where all my energy goes. Now that it seems the Coronavirus pandemic is beginning to wind down, I’m trying to work my way back into writing.

Recently, I participated in my first signing event in over a year. (Thanks a lot COVID.) Getting to meet new readers and sign copies of my books for them was so needed and energizing. I was curious about how I would handle interacting with so many people after the isolation of the past year. To be honest, I was a little worried and hesitant, but it was such a fun event and had a great turnout. I have a couple more tentatively planned for later this summer and fall, and I’m very much looking forward to them.

Currently, I’m helping a couple friends edit their latest novels. First is the latest installment in Christian Scully’s Chronicles of Erika Lorenz series. This one seems to be somewhat of a spin-off, as the main character is Erika’s daughter, Sasha. The story is brutal, and Chris spares his characters no misery. It’ll be a great read once it’s finished, just like his first two books in the series.

After that, I have Christopher Clouser’s latest Marco Flynn mystery novel. I helped review his first book in the series, As the City Burns, and it was incredible. I have high hopes for book two.

After I get that done, I am excited to get back to work on some of my own writing. I have a few ideas for some new upcoming blogs. I would really like to have more in the pipeline for my website, but that well seems to have run mostly dry for the time being. Hopefully as I get back into the swing of things, some good new ideas will come to me.

Lastly, I’m looking forward to getting back to book four in the Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club series. I was off to a pretty decent start early in the pandemic last year, but then as that drug on, my priorities shifted. Book four is approximately a quarter finished, so hopefully there will be a good setup for me to get up to speed and back into a good rhythm to wrap up that story.

Beyond that, I have plenty of other ideas for my next project(s), I just have to get back into writing before I get too far ahead of myself. And I’m happy to report, that I’m pumped about the possibilities.

Thank you, that is all.

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Book Review: Die by Proxy

Hey there! It’s been awhile, huh? I’m going to blame it on life and leave out the specifics. Now that we have that agreed on, let me share my latest reading conquest with you!

Die by Proxy is the second book in Ben Oneal’s Benjamin Kroh series. The first book was a fun read that left me ready for the sequel. Book two did not disappoint.

FBI Agent Kroh gets called back to his home area when a mysterious vigilante, known only as Mr. Smith, leaves a trail of bodies along Interstate-69 throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. Mr. Smith becomes something of a folk hero, as his victims are all discovered to be violent, sexual predators. What Kroh doesn’t know, is that Mr. Smith has a grudge and a personal vendetta against him. Once Kroh and his team become the primary targets, the race is on for Kroh to connect the seemingly non-existent dots to protect himself and his loved ones.

The story is well-crafted, and the clues leave you guessing well into the third act. Like the first book, Die by Proxy is told in first-person from the perspective of Benjamin Kroh, with some chapters being third-person when Kroh isn’t involved. The dialogue can get downright corny at times, but in a fun, light-hearted way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Benjamin Kroh series so far, and am looking forward to book three, Die by Vengeance. I give Die by Proxy five severed hands out of five.

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An Absurd Apocalypse Available Now!

Circle City Publishing’s second anthology is now available! This quirky collection features unique perspectives on various scenarios for the end of the world. Scroll down for the link to order this compact, handy guide.

The end of the world has become a romanticized topic thanks to the numerous books, television shows, and movies on the subject. But what about all the times when things don’t go according to plan? Zombies roam the planet. Basic survival necessities become scarce. Behavioral patterns are thrown into chaos. Zombies. The world itself revolts against its oppressors. Survivors are forced to come together, whether they like it or not. And, of course, did we mention zombies?

An Absurd Apocalypse explores all of these ideas, while begging the question – What does happen when the end of the world doesn’t go according to plan? Seven authors contribute their unique ideas to answer that very question. Get ready for some of the unluckiest survivors in uncomfortable conditions.

Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

Order paperback copies for you and everyone you want in your survival party here.

Ebooks are available here.

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An Absurd Apocalypse Author Feature: Charles Kelley

This marks the last post in our author feature series for the upcoming Absurd Apocalypse anthology. Last, and mostly least, is CCP co-founder Charles Kelley. Kelley has two stories featured in the anthology, focusing on two very different apocalyptic situations.

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

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An Absurd Apocalypse Author Feature: Jonathan Degler

Something we’ve been excited to see with this second anthology is the mixture of familiar faces, along with fresh new voices. Last week, we announced another familiar face in the CCP world, Katheryn Schwarz.

This week is our last first-time CCP contributor, although we were fortunate enough to help him edit his amazing fantasy tale, Princess Olive, in 2019. Jonathan Degler has been a friend and mentor in our writing endeavors, and we’re elated to be able to include a story from him in our upcoming second anthology.

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

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An Absurd Apocalypse Author Feature: Katheryn Schwarz

Something we’ve been excited to see with this second anthology is the mixture of familiar faces, along with fresh new voices. Last week, we announced a familiar face in the CCP world, Patrick J. O’Brian.

This week we get another familiar face. Katheryn submitted a companion story to her Dragon’s Ascent series for our first anthology, Fun Size. She’s back this time with a great story about a serial killer stuck in a pandemic.

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An Absurd Apocalypse Cover Reveal

It’s cover reveal day! While I’m excited to share the cover art for Circle City Publishing’s second anthology, I’m even more excited for you to see the stories within. But first, the cover:

The end of the world has become a romanticized topic thanks to the numerous books, television shows, and movies on the subject.  But what about all the times when things don’t go according to plan?  Zombies roam the planet.  Basic survival necessities become scarce.  Behavioral patterns are thrown into chaos.  Zombies.  The world itself revolts against its oppressors.  Survivors are forced to come together, whether they like it or not.  And, of course, did we mention zombies?  

An Absurd Apocalypse explores all of these ideas, while begging the question – What happens when the end of the world doesn’t go according to plan?  Seven authors contribute their unique ideas to answer that very question.  Get ready for some of the unluckiest survivors in uncomfortable conditions.  

Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

Release date TBD

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An Absurd Apocalypse Author Feature: Patrick J. O’Brian

Something we’ve been excited to see with this second anthology is the mixture of familiar faces, along with fresh new voices. Last week, we introduced a first-time CCP contributor, Serena Mossgraves.

Today, we have the pleasure of announcing another familiar face to CCP readers. O’Brian also submitted a story to our Fun Size anthology, and we were very excited to see his submission for the Absurd Apocalypse anthology. 

While zombies are undeniably an abomination, if you keep your faith during a crisis, God will provide. “Holy Undead” is a textbook example of that.

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

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