Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ZOMBIES!...Post 5: The Walking Dead, FREE books, and Skip

The Walking Dead premiered on AMC this past Sunday to 7.6 million viewers, which is one of the highest ratings for a regular season show ever. Ever. It broke records for the number of viewers tuned in to a cable program. The first season, which ended in December of last year, averaged nearly 5 million viewers per episode. That’s not regular, free TV. That’s cable. Cable doesn’t get those kinds of numbers. Horror doesn’t get those kinds of numbers.
It does now.
First a hit comic series that that has spawned graphic novels and books, and now a hit TV series on AMC The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors trying to stay alive after the zombie apocalypse. A sheriff and his family, his deputy, two sisters, a retired man, two rednecks, the token black guy, an Asian kid, an abused wife and her daughter. Not the paramilitary group you would think of as survivors. Season one killed off a sister, disappeared a redneck, and killed a black woman, to name a few. The season two premier lost us a little girl and got a little boy shot. Shocking, and not the kind of thing you would see on network TV.
Drama abounds. The deputy was having an affair with the Sheriff’s wife, but to be fair they thought he was dead. The surviving sister only wants to die, and tried to kill herself once but was tricked out of it by the old man. The abused wife is dealing with the guilt of what she has lived through and the hell her daughter went through Now that she is finally free of the abusive douche, her daughter goes missing.
And then Carl gets shot.
This scene raised the question "Do ZOMBIES digest?"
And then there are these little things called zombies, and they are walking around in herds culling the living, always growing, never tired, always hungry.
Food is an issue. So is water, medicine, supplies, gas. The damn Winnebago keeps breaking down. No one knows why there are zombies, or how to stop them. There is no government and no help.
If you think things are bad now, just wait.

Sunday night at 9 PM 7.6 million people tuned in to see The Walking Dead, shattering records and proving that America loves Zombies. Placing it around Halloween is a brilliant idea, but one more thing increased their success; it’s debut was the same weekend as the first book in my zombie series ZOMBIES!…The beginning of the END. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Or, maybe I strategically put the first book of my Zombie series out on the same weekend as the Walking Dead. I will never tell which came first, choosing instead to let you, my dear and faithful readers, make that judgment.
“Note: In no way would anyone believe that The Walking Dead chose to open the same weekend as my book, so I regress. Obviously I jumped on their bandwagon, and to great success. Hundreds of people have been enjoying my book, which is on sale for the Nook, Kindle, and on Smashwords for only $0.99. If you haven’t bought it, I hope you do so now.
As a bit of incentive I am offering the following deal:

1.            Buy a copy of my book ZOMBIES!…The beginning of the END on Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords, by clicking the appropriate link to the right, under my book cover for ZOMBIES!
2.            Read it
3.            Review it
4.            Send an E-mail to mssproductions@verizon.net with your name, email address, and where the review is (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords)

When you have done those 4 things I will send you a FREE book. Not just any book, but The Bitch, my five star reviewed first novel. You will get a FREE .PDF version mailed to your in-box as soon as I substantiate your review.
Already own The BITCH? Pick any of my other novels and receive it for FREE.
        If you run another blog or review site and chose to review ZOMBIES!… let me know and I will send you The first three books in the Witches House series; The Bitch, Stanley, and The Evil Breed. All FREE, all via .PDF to your email address.
        And WAIT! It gets better! This special deal runs from now till the end of OCTOBER! On November 1st I will take all the people that reviewed my book and place their name in a hat, get one of my kids incredibly drunk, spin him around the room until he vomits, and then have him pick a name out of the hat.
        That person gets the first print copy of ALL 3 Witches House books, The Bitch, Stanley, and The Evil Breed sent to their door. PLUS the very first print copy of the Witches House Collection, complete with edited scenes, deleted chapters, and the first three chapters of the 4th book in the series; Phoenix.

So get busy. Spend $0.99 and receive a FREE book and a chance to win over $35 in more FREE books.

Now because I am awesome and it IS ZOMBIE month I asked several of my friends to write short ZOMBIE stories. Today’s short is from the twisted mind of Skip Novak.

        Skip Novak is a contributing author to the recent zombie anthology named “Death, Be Not Proud” edited by Thomas A. Erb and published by Dark Quest books. The full line up of authors is quite impressive and features original tales from Gord Rollo, Joseph Mulak, Joe McKinney, Gregory Hall, Lucy Snyder, Rick Hautala, Steven Shrewsbury, Scott Christian Carr, David Dunwoody, Sheldon Higdon, Dave Brockie, Jonathan Maberry.
        This tome of delicious indulgence can be purchased from http://www.amazon.com/ and http://BarnesandNoble.com/ now go forth and purchase books and leave reviews. Starving writers and their families everywhere need your input!

Pat Tries
By Skip Novak

        Pat looked out the bedroom window of her three story town home and into her neighbor’s back yard. The sun was gleaming off the swimming pool and she was aching to get in the water and let the cool, soothing water wash away the stress of the work week.  Carl and Davie, her neighbors whom she’d had the honor of being the matron of honor at their wedding two weeks ago, were both lying in chaise lounges sipping cocktails. She could hear the sound of Beethoven’s ninth symphony blasting out of the pool speakers and she quickly started to change out of her work clothes and into her bathing suit.
        All three of them had been following the same Friday night routine for almost three years:
1.   Get home from work.
2.   Change into bathing attire.
3.   Lounge by the pool sipping wine or cocktails.
4.   Order Chinese food.
5.   Talk until one or two in the morning.
6.   Pass out.
        Every now and again Davey would invite a gentleman from work over to try and set Pat up on a blind date but those dates rarely lasted through the evening. Once though, one gentleman actually had tried to build a relationship with her. The affair lasted four weeks and they had actually talked about a future together, that is until she brought him to work. Then one of her subordinates, Eddie, had ruined the relationship for her.  God how she hated Eddie, she wished everyday she could have him fired. But, he had seniority over her and tenure with the academy.  It didn’t help either that Eddie had been employee of the month four times and employee of the year once. He was almost untouchable. And she hated how smug he was, and how he walked around joking and laughing with everyone… except her. He never joked with her and that pissed her off.
        Don’t let him get to you. She said to herself as she finished putting on her one piece bathing suit. She took one last peak out the window and saw Carl’s tall form standing by the bar mixing up a batch of margaritas. Perfect, she couldn’t wait to have three or four of those frozen concoctions in her stomach.
        “GENTLEMEN! START YOUR ENGINES!” her phones ringtone screamed into her bedroom. She walked over to the bed, picked it up and looked at the caller id. It was her brother, Tim.
        She pressed the talk button “Hi Tim! What’s going on?”
        “Listen Sis, I can’t talk long, I’ve got orders to get my plane in the air. Get out of town. NOW!” He said hurriedly.
        “What? What’s wrong?”
        “Just get out of town. Pack up some shit and leave. NOW. There is no time to waste. I’ve got to go. I shouldn’t even have called you.”
        “Where do you want me to go? What is going on? Is this a joke?”
        “Not a joke. Just leave. Jesus FUCKING CHRIST! Pack some shit, get in your car and head for the mountains! Don’t stop for anyone, don’t talk to anyone. Just leave!”
        “Ok, but why?”
        “Because I said so! Damn, ok… look… there’s been an outbreak that makes people eat other people. The doctors don’t know what it is and we can’t contain it. I’m flying half of congress to some fucking island. Now get the fuck out of town!”
        The line went dead. Pat’s knees gave away and she landed on her rump on her bed. She just stared at the phone in her hand. She didn’t know what to do. She had always listened to Tim, sure he was her younger brother but he had always been the most stable and sensible person she knew. She always sought out his advice and did everything he told her to do. But this… this was madness. People eating people? Some sort of outbreak? Why wasn’t it on the news or radio?
        She stood up and walked over to her window and looked down at the swimming pool, Carl and Davie were laughing about something and Beethoven symphony sounded so inviting. She was getting a headache trying to figure out what she should do. Should she tell her friends, try to convince them to go with her? Leave? Stay? She turned and looked around her room, walked over to her closet, grabbed an overnight bag and threw some clothes, shoes, her purse and the gun her brother had given her on her last birthday. Then she headed downstairs.
        She loaded her stuff in her car and was about to drive away when she had an idea. She got out of her car and headed to her neighbors backyard.
        “Pat! You’re here! Now the party can get started!” Davie exclaimed as she came down the cobblestone pathway.
        “Hey guys, I have to run up to the store for some things. You two want to come with me?” she said nervously.
        “Nah, we are in no condition to go anywhere. Carl started making margaritas around three this afternoon and he’s been making them pretty strong.“ Davie answered
        “We could use some more tequila though.” Carl answered as he got up to walk towards the blender. “Everything ok? You look terrible Pat.”
        “Um, yeah, I’m ok.  Just been a rough week.”
        “Eddie still giving you a fit at work?” Davie asked
        “Yeah, he doesn’t even talk to me unless he has to. I hate that. Look, I’m gonna go. I’ll talk to….”
        WHHHHHEEEEEE WHHHEEEEEEE WHHHEEEEEE!!!!! The afternoons peace was interrupted by air raid sirens.
        “What the hell!” Carl shouted as he dropped the pitcher of margaritas.
        “Shit!” Pat said and turned to run for her car
        “Where are you going?” Davie shouted after her.
        By the time Pat got to her car, she saw her tranquil neighborhood had become a slaughterhouse. Her neighbors were outside screaming at each other, people were attacking each other, gun shots filled the air drowning out the sirens and standing in front of her car was Peter, her lawn boy. His face was covered with blood and he held what looked like a severed leg in his right hand. He was grinning at her and gurgling up blood.
        “You… you stay away from me Peter…” She stammered.
        Peter answered by slamming the severed leg against her Blue HHR and growling at her. The leg left a splatter of gore on the hood and Pat knew she was in trouble. She slowly reached for the door handle as Peter started to lumber towards her. She felt the hard plastic handle in her hand but her sweat soaked hand slid right off. She tried to grasp the handle again while watching Peter, he was getting closer and his mouth was mimicking eating motions while an unearthly guttural noise came non-stop from his throat.
        “Ppppetttterr… you just stop rrrriigght there.” She stammered and finally felt the door handle in her grip and she pulled it as hard as she could. The door opened quickly and hit her in her left hip sending her sprawling on the ground.
        “uuuuhhhhhnnnnnn….uuuuuhhhhnnnn….” she heard over her head from where shy lay. She glanced over her right shoulder and saw Peter was only a couple feet away leaning towards her. She tried to roll under her car but hit her temple against the sharp edge of the door and passed out.
        Pat woke up for a split second and realized she was being drug into her neighbor’s back yard, she could see Carl’s thin, pasty, hairy leg and she could smell the Bullfrog sun block…
        Carl smelled delicious.

As always please leave comments, let me know what you think, say hi, tell me i suck, or that i don't suck, whatever. Just please tell me something.


  1. Nice little story, could either end it right there (I'm assuming it does) with nothing else needing to be said or switch to a different perspective and go on with it.

    Bit too much like the 'Dawn of the Dead' remake opening though which is a bit of a draw back but the touch of black comedy at the ending makes up for it.

  2. C.H., Thank you, and you are correct in linking it to the DotD remake. But, as we all know, no one gets out of life alive.