Thursday, January 31, 2013

Undead Thursdays - Guest Blogger - Georg Veramme




Hello! And welcome back to another edition of Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m having every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.


Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.

Today our journey into the realm of the undead will take us into space. My good friend, and fellow Marvel geek, Georg Veramme, has penned a gripping and unique story that he has agreed to share with us. Georg is a Belgian fellow who studied in England for his bachelors, then returned home for his masters. He also studied history and literature and is a huge zombie fan. You can find some of Georg`s work here-

 Mass Effect FanFic

Enjoy!

*~*~*






The Eye in the Sky on a Dead Earth




A story by Georg Veramme



***



Author notes: This story has taken some liberties with the workings of the ISS and the Tiangong station which is at this moment of writing not even build yet. Keep that in mind while reading the story, other than that, have fun.

***



30 November 2012

My name is unimportant, my occupation is unimportant. Why I got here will be unimportant to. If you really want to know, I am a rich business man who had a fascination to go to space. Not because I want to, but because I can. A status symbol of sorts to my peers. I have a fiancée, Rachel. We were expecting a child when I left for the ISS a few days ago. I promised her I would come back before the baby would be born. But that was before the outbreak happened, before the dead started walking again. We followed the news feeds from all over the world. It began in Asia as most other diseases do, then it swept over to Europe, Africa…the US. Thousands died and came back in hours. It was panic and chaos, the end of the world came 22 days to early. NASA promised they would send a shuttle to pick us up, but in the final transmission I heard Houston screaming, I heard Rachel screaming….then nothing. Silence. All we could do was watch the newsfeeds, and hope…

***

1 December 2012



I still had hope of us being rescued during the first few days. I actually felt safe up here between 330 and 410 kilometers above ground near the vast nothingness of space, trapped in a manmade construct where no man had a chance to survive on his own outside let alone have a right to be there and spit in the eye of god. Is that why it’s happening, is this retribution? It’s been three days since Houston contacted us before they shut off communications. I remember the shouts and screams in the background. They came and took over Cape Canaveral, and we are stranded here.

***

2 December 2012

It was a disease when we left Earth a week ago: some wanna-be bird flu virus some DJ on the radio said, trying to be funny. She’s probably one of them now, or dead if she’s lucky. I’m not even an astronaut; I just wanted to see our planet once, brag about it. Something to tell my baby boy when Rachel is due. She has to be alive, right? My friends said three hundred million was thrown away to be a mere tourist. My companions are working still, doing their best to keep this station in altitude. My God, Rachel, please be safe.

***

3 December 2012

We kept watching the TV broadcasts until they fell silent. We kept listening to any radio waves or anything resembling human activity until it stopped. We kept in touch with the men at the Tiangong station and ask them if they heard anything from China on their instruments. They have one broadcast still running on all official channels. “Keep heart in the party and the proud people of our Republic. Like Lenin before us, we will return stronger, harder and faster in the face of the dark night caused by the American West.” They asked us if we were indeed responsible for this, we asked them the same question. They haven’t responded for three hours now, I don’t think any of us know, or will ever know.

I saw many satellites swinging by; most of them weren’t even operated anymore. We used them to provide us with information on how to get somewhere, to see what our enemy was doing, to watch some athlete kick a ball in a goal and earn millions doing it while thousands starved.

Is this our legacy? If another species becomes the next dominant race on the Earth, what will they inherit? A planet full of empty buildings and empty metal eyes in orbit? Out here, in the cold dark of space you finally realize how fragile life is, how arrogant we were of our culture and our ignorance. We are animals, smart enough to use tools and dumb enough to believe in things that may or may not exist. I cannot believe in any loving god who allows this, even if mankind was responsible. I glance down on this dead earth and wonder how many people are still left down there. Are they moving from town to town looking for food? Did they run for the oceans in the hopes the dead do not swim and fish can sustain them? Is my Rachel one of these survivors? So many people are fighting for their lives down below and all I can do is watch….

***

4 December 2012

We calculated our food supplies and found out we have around one more month worth of food. Two if we ration it more along the six of us. They stare at me now, one useless mouth to feed. I’m no astronaut, just a filthy tourist stuck with them until the food runs out, or the oxygen…or both.

It’s been six days since Houston ceased all contact. We pick up the same repeating recorded message from China the Tiangong station told us about yesterday. One of us keeps hoping NASA will send a shuttle to pick us up, or even Russia. I know they won’t. The Earth belongs to the dead, where my beautiful Rachel is one of them now. Humanity is gone, and we are all what’s left.

***

5 December 2012

Karl killed himself last night, knife to the throat. At eleven pm we picked up a radio transmission from what is left of the EU which authorized the US for nuclear arms to be used on the cities of Berlin, Antwerp and Calais. We saw the three missiles, mere bright specks to our eyes, fly past us and went down toward the European continent. For five minutes three dots on the planet shined so brightly I almost thought they were stars. We believe Karl’s family must’ve been in Berlin, or he just gave up hope. We send his body out of the airlock and stared as it floated off into the cold, dark of space. For a moment I swore I saw him move….

***

6 December 2012

I don’t know if I have gone insane. Shortly after Karl’s funeral we received a message from the Russian Federal Space Agency that they will attempt to send out two shuttles to pick us up and the Chinese of Tiangong. They claim Russia has had an easier time repelling the living dead then other nations due to it’s colder climate and they have the resources to mount one attempt to get us out. Everyone was ecstatic; I even caught Chalmers and Richards having sex in the Leonardo Cargo bay. They both hated each other before the launch, before this started. But why am I not feeling anything? I don’t feel hope I might see Rachel again, no fear that the attempt might fail, and no suspicion why the RFSA would help us. Am I still human?

***

7 December 2012



Its official, they will pick us up in a week. The Russians secured a launch site and fortified it against the undead. It’s in the middle of nowhere so no horde of them would come running when the shuttle lifts off.

We found a couple of bags of champagne which we drank as a celebration. Chalmers contacted the Chinese who also seemed to be celebrating on their end. Tomorrow we'll prepare the final calculations. O'Neil and the Chinese commander, Hu Zhin I think his name was, are both suspicious though. I found O'Neil spending a lot of time in the Kibō lab despite the fact all experiments are put on hold....

***

8 December 2012

The Russians are sending us what Intel they can. The US has nearly gone completely dark save for some major cities on the West Coast and the North where the government is hiding in Alaska. My hope is that Rachel left Canaveral and went north though the chances are she and our unborn child are wandering those corridors along with the other dead now. Canada is in contact with us now and then and like Russia they seem to have used the cold against the hordes. Europe is a warzone still; nobody knows what's going on there except for flashes of radio messages in English, French and German. What is left of the English people has fled to the seas or the smaller islands around the larger island as predicted but only the future can tell how long they will last.

The Northern European nations are fighting off the horde still, but Iceland offered Keflavík International Airport as our landing strip back home. My suspicion grows every day. Russia, Europe and what’s left of the US are spending all their energy to get twel…no eleven people home, five of them Chinese. Why? I believe the Kibō lab is the answer…

***

9 December 2012

There is no god holy enough to grant us mercy for what we have done to ourselves. I snuck into the lab after O'Neil left for the bathroom; I had at least a 30 minute window because of the way the lack of gravity would make his visit longer. I looked all over, but it looked like any other lab except for one folder and a series of green tubes. They were labeled XR-5, a new sort of military drug. Guessing of the notes I found with them...the thing that created the dead down below. They couldn’t destroy it down on Earth. It was to contagious, airborne, clothing...it had to be kept here in space. But it got out. Jesus Christ, we opened Pandora's box.

***

10 December 2012

I'm being held at gunpoint by O'Neil. He says I wasn’t supposed to find the XR-5. It was a routine. Go to the ISS and keep the virus there so it can’t fall into enemy hands. Take the tourist with you so the media doesn’t draw attention to the secret package. He knew out of all of 'em if the virus wasn’t contained soon...it would be a one way ticket. It’s all the same he says, starving here in the cold vacuum of space or gnawed on by the dead below. I see Chalmers come in, O'Neil panics and fires....and all hell breaks loose.

***

11 December 2012

It's all gone to hell. Chalmers was hit in the neck and died choking in blood. Richard's shot a shocked O'Neil in turn before he went to hold a dying Chalmers in his arms...who then proceeded to bite him in the neck. O'Neil came back as well and tried to go for me. If it wasn’t for Lee who pulled me and locked the door to the lab, I would’ve been one of them. Lee asks me what happened in there and I replied. He is on the phone with Moscow right now....

***

12 December 2012

The cat is out of the bag. The Russians told us why they are sending a shuttle up to us. The virus needs to be brought back to Earth in the hopes an antidote might be found. Several American scientists are on site right now and made some progress…but they need the XR-5. This thing, this horrible….thing we made, spread all over the world. When somebody dies, they come back as one of them. Our only chance is to make the antidote airborne and wait until the last of those monsters are dead. We got two days to get that virus. Lee is sharpening whatever he can find to put O’Neil, Chalmers and Richard to rest. I’m looking forward to it. Down below millions are dying, hiding or surviving. It’s time I joined in their horrors and nightmares, it’s time I go home and see Rachel...one way or another.

***

13 December 2012

We drank the last bag of Dutch courage we had in our supplies before the final attack. It was us two against the three of them. Last night Lee told me he had two kids and an ex-wife at home. It was his fault he claimed, he spend too much time up here then down there where it mattered the most. I told him he would see them again and he appreciated my words, but deep down he knew i was lying. Even IF we made it of this station, who knew if they were still alive? Who knew how long WE would last? As he put his hand on the door he told a joke he used to tell his mates. A Customer in a restaurant goes Waiter, waiter! There is a frog in my soup!!! The Waiter replies Sorry, sir. The fly is on vacation. I gave a small smile as he snickered, I forgot how to laugh. We looked at each other one last time before we opened the door and leaped into the jaws of death.

***

14 December 2012

These are my last thoughts. First things first, I got the virus and I made sure when the Russians arrive, they will have it with them. I strapped myself to the chair, so when I come back I won’t go after them. The bite-mark on my arm is getting worse; it feels like it's on fire. We managed to kill Richards, but Chalmers and O'Neil got Lee. He did the honorable thing and threw himself with the two others in an escape pod and shot themself into Earth's orbit, burning as bright as star. I hope Lee was dead by then. Still, he didn’t know Chalmers bite me. I make no illusions; I’m on the way out.

The sun is rising and I see the Russian shuttle in the distance going for the Chinese first. I'll be dead by the time they get here. But its okay, I’m going to see Rachel now, and our baby boy. But for now, for these last few moments I am the eye in the sky on a dead Earth.

***

15 December 2012

The Chinese astronauts are secured and are on their way home now. HQ wanted us to save them and make sure the Chinese send their men to aid ours into driving the walking dead back from our cities. I don’t see why, our people fought off the French, the German and endured the harsh winters. I am not a man of politics, but I love my country and its people.

The Virus is now being worked on by every scientist humanity has left. Time will tell if they succeed.

We found only one American in the station where we found the XR-5. He turned but he strapped himself so we could end his suffering. He knew he was going to die and left a note in English. I could not read it but Dmitri claims it was addressed to us to tell what happened here. Mission said he was a rich man from Florida, paid big money for this trip so he could take a picture for his wife and son. We took the body with us and buried it in a place of honor in case the Canadians manage to find his wife in the refugees from America, he earned at least that much. Who knew one hundred years ago that the survival of humanity was to thank to the very embodiment of Capitalism? Lenin and Stalin must be spinning in their graves, poor choice of words. As I looked down from that window to our planet, I could not help but marvel at her beauty and think however foolishly...that there is hope for us.



Always.

*~*~*

Thank you so very much for sharing your work with us, Georg. It was a hell of a story!

I`d like to thank all of my guest bloggers for joining in on the fun of Undead Thursdays. Next week we`ll be returning to my regular rambling Thursday posts, so I hope to see you then!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Light




Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.


Libby, Ares, and the gang are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Light’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!



The Silver Box



*~*~*



“Let loose the Kraken!”

Fear rolled his horsey eyes at me. I stood on the shores of Attica, Poseidon’s majestic temple awaiting us, with my sword in the air and my fist on my hip. Shafts of light peeked through the clouds overhead. Harmonia was pacing at the water`s edge as if expecting something to rise up from the sea. I stared at Fear standing next to me.

“Okay, yes, I know the Kraken isn`t a Greek monster, it`s Norse,” I told the horse. He flicked an ear, which is an equine way of giving a person the bird I think. “No, I don`t know why filmmakers use it in Greek movies, maybe they figure it`s easier for the actors to yell ‘Let loose the Kraken!’ then it is for them to shout ‘Let loose Skylla and Akheilos!’”

Harmonia cleared her throat. I lowered my sword and met her confused gaze. “Why are you speaking to the horse?”

“He wanted to know about Harry Hamlin,” I said while walking over to join her nervous back-and-forth walk. “Is there a reason we`re wasting time here?”

“Aye, I am awaiting the arrival of Lamia.”

“Ah,” I said, mentally flipping through the vast books of Greek lore I had ingested since Ares tumbled bare-assed into my life. “Wait, I thought Lamia is a child-eating daemon,” I stopped pacing. My partner did as well. “Why would she come out of the ocean?”

“`Tis true, she is a monster that feeds on wee babes, but she is the daughter of Poseidon. Do you not recall her story? How she once dallied with my grandfather and was punished by a jealous Hera who stole away all of Lamia`s children.”

“Yeah, she then blinded herself in grief. Zeus then turned her into a monster so she could exact her revenge by hunting and eating the children of others. You know, I really think your grandfather needs to be neutered. I mean the man just cannot keep his pecker hidden in his chiton, you know?”

Harmonia`s green eyes widened at the dig against Zeus, but really, the truth is the truth.

“You are brazen,” she whispered in shock. I shrugged. I wasn`t scared of Zeus. I did glance skyward and secretly say I was kidding though. “Lamia is a giant shark that patrols her father`s temple.”

“When`s she`s not off eating kids that are playing in the surf,” I tacked on.

“Aye,” she replied, folding her arms over her silver chest plate. “So I thought `twould behoove us to wait for her to arrive and we would slay her.”

I coughed lightly. Harmonia looked from the white caps to me. “Wouldn`t it make more sense to just go to the temple and get the silver box? I mean, if she`s a shark she can`t come on the land, right? Maybe this is the easy part at the end of the quest?”

“Is there an easy part at the end of a quest?”

I shook my head. “Not usually, but let`s just pretend there is!” I smiled widely then sprinted off to find the temple of Poseidon. Fear whinnied then arrived beside me, sliding in front of me so quickly I bounced off his white side like a pinball.

“What the—Oh, do you think I should be riding? Is that it?”

He tossed his huge head then blew fiery horse snot all over my armor.

“Nice, thank you very much.” I patted the flaming boogers out then tried to mount. I did passably well and was sitting on Fear`s back looking around rather smugly. Harmonia ran at us, leapt into the air, planted her hands on the horse`s rump and nailed her landing.

“Show off,” I mumbled as she giggled like an imp.

With a touch of my heels to his sides, Fear cantered off, climbing the salty white cliffs. When we crested the top we all sat quietly and marveled at the sight. The sanctuary was a testament to a mighty sea god. Rows and rows of white marble columns sat behind statues of Poseidon that were forty feet high. Water surrounded the temple in deeply cut trenches lined with glistening white marble. Carved images of sea horses twenty feet tall reared up from the trenches that worshippers tossed drachma into.

“Holy Hannah,” I marveled, sliding off Fear`s sturdy back. People moved about us, curiously looking at two women in armor. I smiled at the onlookers then paraded straight to the temple, Harmonia at my side. Children ran past, dogs barked. The atmosphere was like a grand picnic. I removed my helm and sighed at the cooling sea breeze running through and around the Doric columns. The wind rippling up under my leather skirt didn`t feel half bad either. We had just about climbed the umpteen stairs leading to the heavy gilded doors when someone behind us screamed.

I huffed and screwed up my face. I knew it. Just for once could we simply walk inside, find the treasure and leave? Nope. That would have broken some stupid Indiana Jones rule about the worst battle coming before the hero saves the day, preferably with a whip in hand. Wanting to ignore the threat for just another moment, I pondered on why Indy had left Marion for that vapid blonde in the second movie. I much preferred Marion and was so glad when he married her at the end of the fourth film.

People were now running hither and yon, shrieking and grabbing up their children. Harmonia bellowed something in Greek. I tugged my sword from its scabbard and threw all thoughts of Dr. Jones aside. Whipping around ready for the fight I was in no way prepared for the monster coming at us.

It was a massive shark, easily as big as the one in Jaws but not as rubbery. It was undulating up the steps. When its black, soulless eyes found us it reared up, standing on its thickly muscled tail just like Jabberjaw used to. Dear Zeus, do not let that cartoon theme song—Damn it!

Lamia opened her mouth. What came out wasn`t exactly speech. It was this ear-splitting noise that in no way sounded like Chevy Chase`s Land Shark routine from SNL of old. Harmonia and Fear were charging at the shark. Knowing there was nothing for it, I too ran at the beast, that annoying cartoon theme stuck soundly in my frontal lobe.



*~*~*

For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales

See you next week for the conclusion of The Silver Box!





Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Book and a Cuppa - Somebody`s Baby



Have you ever come across a book that you find in a school/library sale, sitting innocently amid many others of its genre, whispering to you to purchase it? You grab the novel up, read the back, ponder for a moment, and then slide it into the huge stack you`re trying to balance. It is truly amazing what that fifty cent book can be when you finally open its pages. Do not ever judge a book by the price being asked for it. The book we`re chatting about today has been a double blessing for me. I`ll explain as we go, so let`s jump into my review!


Somebody`s Baby by Elaine Kagan is a riveting book that has me on the lookout for more of Ms. Kagan`s works. I love her style. Her characters speak the way people speak. They come alive from the very first page and keep you reading steadily until you reach the last page.



In Somebody`s Baby we meet Jenny Jaffe, a wealthy Jewish girl living in a rather affluent area of Kansas City in 1959. Gentile boys are a no-no. Gentile boys with tattoos, who had served time in jail, had drifted in from California, and are working at a gas station are so far off-limits they may as well be Martian`s. Jenny knows all those rules, but she first sets her sights on Will McDonald, everything she knows about right and wrong dissipates.

Jenny and Will become an inseparable, passionate, amazingly well written teen couple. By the end of her senior year, Jenny is pregnant. The two lovers make plans to run away and get married. She waits at the spot where Will is supposed to pick her up. He never shows.

What happens next is this incredible story about love, adoption, family, children, blood, and getting to know who and what you are. I won`t spoil anything because I want you to read this. I want you to get bound up in the heartbreak and the joy. I want you to shout and cry. I want you to read this book. I am positive you`ll come out of it with a glow of appreciation for your parents, and the love they gave you, be they biological or not.

I know I certainly was moved greatly by the novel, and, as an added bonus, I discovered a boarding pass in the book that someone must have used as a bookmark. That boarding pass is now hanging on my fridge and will be the basis for a future novel for me.

So thank you, Ms. Kagan, for the powerful book. And thank you, mysterious stranger, who shared this story with me so many years ago. I hope I can do your boarding pass justice.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Storytime Trysts - Wind in White Birch - Issue # 4



It`s time for another issue of my free contemporary romance read, Wind in White Birch. Head on over to Storytime Trysts to see how things are going for Dana and Jonah this week.

Thank you for reading along!


Storytime Trysts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Undead Thursdays -Guest Blogger - Elizabeth Brooks




Hello! And welcome back to another edition of Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m having every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.


Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written or worked on zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.

Today I`m very happy to have the lovely lady who edited the He Loves Me For My Brainsss anthology, Elizabeth Brooks. Liz will be talking about something nearly as frightening as zombies, trying to pick a title for your work or writing a blurb! *Shudders at the mention of a blurb*

Take it away, Liz!

*~*~*







I'm not going to talk about zombies, actually. If I could write coherently about zombies -- if I could be as eerie and elegant as Lynn was in last week's guest post, or as funny as V.L. is, in her story in He Loves Me For My Brainsss -- I'd have written a story about zombies, instead of deciding to edit an anthology about them. (I've written an erotica/horror story, but it's about succubi, not zombies. And "Dead On Her Feet" sounds like it should be a zombie story, but it's really just about a very tired soldier.)

I'm going to talk about blurbs and titles.

I've only been in the writing and editing business for a few years, so I don't claim to be an expert. And every author is different. Some like writing in the wee hours of morning; some stay up late. Some write in offices on computers; others scribble their ideas on notepads in coffee shops. Some stick to a rigid outline; others prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. They love men or they love women or both or neither. They are men or women. Or both. Or neither.

But in my (admittedly limited) experience, one thing is nearly universal: they hate writing blurbs. You know, those 1-2 paragraph descriptions that (on a physical book) go on the back to give you a hint of what the story is about and entice you to buy it?

Almost every author I've ever met hates writing them. Admittedly, they're tricky -- I've seen otherwise perfectly good stories panned in review simply because it wasn't the story the reviewer expected from reading the blurb. You have to capture the essence of the tale without giving too much away; you have to introduce at least one main character, offer up a thread of the plot, suggest the story's overall tone, and hook the reader's interest... and you have to do it in, usually, about 75 words.

I'm a bit of a novelty, in this respect; I quite enjoy writing my blurbs. Usually. Probably, I suspect, for the same reason that I like writing to prompts or doing flash-fiction -- the challenge of it appeals to me. In fact, one of my latest writing techniques when I'm stuck is to start with a blurb, and build outward from there.

No, the bit of writing administrivia that gives me the worst headache is the one that seems like it should be the easiest: the title.

I hate coming up with titles. Come to think of it, I hate coming up with names, too. Naming things seems to define them, to squash them into a box that I wasn't yet sure they were meant to fit into. I'll waffle longer over my protagonist's name than I will over the entire first chapter. And most of my publications were drafted entirely without titles. I referred to them with temporary names that couldn't possibly carry onward to publication: "That one about the telepaths." Or, "the re-write of that gaming story I wrote ten years ago." Or, "the one about that adorable twink I met that one time."

Sometimes, the title will make itself known to me while I'm still writing. That was the case for Of One Mind and "The Sinner's Star" and "Succubus, Inc". More often, I'll get to the end, go through a revision or two, and still not know the title, in which case I'll grumble and mutter and re-read until a phrase or a thought from the story pokes out and lets me know that it's significant enough to be worthy of the cover. Sometimes I feel pretty good about the title once I've found it, as I did for Safe Harbor (which had "Rising Dawn" as a working title), and sometimes I still hate it months after publication, when it's far too late to change (I'm looking at you, Assumption of Desire).

(Sometimes I long for the days when I was writing merely for my own amusement, and that of a few friends, and could get away with unhelpful titles like "[Protagonist]'s Story" or using resonant song lyrics.)

But every once in a very long while... a title will come to me out of the blue. The title spawns the story, so to speak. It's why He Loves Me For My Brainsss came to exist. I was thinking about the rise of zombies in popular culture, and I thought, "I don't really see that becoming a trend in the erotic romance genre. I mean... ew." And then I thought, "What would you call it, anyway? Heartsss? No, no one would get it. I Love You, But I Love Brainsss? Blah."

And then, like a bolt of out of the clear blue sky: He Loves Me... For My Brainsss.
Having achieved such a wonderful title, I obviously had to make it happen. That title could not exist merely in my head. I had to make it a real thing that people could actually own. And so it came to pass.

Privileged as I was to be working with such fantastic authors on the anthology, I only saw a little grumbling when it came time to do the blurbs. But I smiled right through it, knowing that my hardest task -- the title -- had been settled long since.



--Elizabeth L. Brooks



http://EveryWorldNeedsLove.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/EveryWorldNeedsLove


*~*~*

Thanks so much for guest blogging, Liz. I hope to be able to work with you again someday over at Torquere Press, you`re a great editor. Next Thursday Georg Veramme will wrap up our Undead Thursdays with a gripping story he wrote about watching a zombie outbreak overtake the planet from the confines of space. I know, it`s an awesome premise for an awesome work and I`m thrilled that he`s sharing it with us here next week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Package

Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.


Libby, Ares, and the gang are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Package’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!






The Silver Box



*~*~*





There are caves and then there are caves. I`ve been in a few caves in my life. Matt and I had taken a day trip the first year we were married to Crystal Cave in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It`s a gorgeous sight with all the stalactites and stalagmites, especially when you go through on the lantern tour like we did. But the glory of that cave in Pennsylvania did not compare to the sheer jaw-dropping grandeur of the sea nymph`s cave.

The walls were shimmering white rock magically illuminated from within. As you moved deeper inside the walls glowed with various rainbow shades. It was then that I realized that the entire massive cavern was crafted from mother of pearl. The touch of Poseidon was evident in this grotto, and why not? Probably his wife, Amphitrite, lounged here with the other nymphs. It would have to be worthy of a sea queen, would it not?

Harmonia crossed the ivory sand with purposeful steps. I was too gobsmacked to be resolute. I just stumbled along gawking like a kid in Willie Wonka`s candy factory. I had stepped to the edge of the dark blue pool when my partner in questing blew upon a large conch shell. I nearly came out of my skin.

“Warn a person before you go tooting your horn next time!” I gasped, heart thundering violently.

“My apologies, “the goddess blushed, placing the pink shell back on the jutting rock where it had hung.

“This place is amazing,” I said, crouching down to run my fingers over the water`s surface. “I recall reading that Achilles would visit his mother Thetis often. Do you think he came to this cave?”

“Nay, I think not,” Harmonia replied thoughtfully, “She would have gone to him wherever he was. Achilles is only half-god, so `twould be easier for her to journey to her son.”

“Good point,” I rose slowly, warm salty water dripping from my fingers. I walked over to sit on a long marble chaise, one of several that were placed near the sea. I drew in a deep breath of brine and wet sand. I could easily picture a slew of sea nymphs lounging here, brushing their hair and sharing tales of how easy mortal men are to befuddle and bewitch. A large splash tugged me from my daydreaming. I slid from the stone chaise to my knees. I didn`t have to ask if this were the queen of the seas, it was obvious in the way she rose from the depths.

The sea god had chosen well. Amphitrite was a lovely woman with dark hair to her waist, skin as pale as abalone, and eyes a deep, vibrant blue-green. She stepped from the waves wrapped in a gossamer chiton of palest green. Harmonia dropped to one knee, her chin on her chest. I quickly averted my eyes when her gaze moved to me.

“Rise consort and daughter of the war god,” she bid, her voice lilting and musical. I pushed to my feet just as Harmonia did. In the lagoon were many nymphs swimming cautiously in the dark water. Each one was beautiful and alluring as they sliced through the calm sea. “What brings you to our cavern?”

Harmonia had been chosen to speak. For some reason the gods didn`t quite seem to get me at times. I didn`t need to rile old Posie`s bride like I do Athena all the time. That I haven`t been smote by the goddess of wisdom is a pure miracle.

“Greetings Aunt, I am honored that `twas you that arrived to greet us. We come seeking a silver box that once belonged to golden-throned Hera, my grandmother. It was used by the gods to hold many evils and bestowed to Pandora.”

“Yes,” the queen of the sea said, studying me closely as she spoke, “I have heard the tale. Why do you come to us?” Amphitrite asked, waving a thin arm wrapped from wrist to elbow in pearls at the nymphs.

Splashes and sighs bounced off the mother-of-pearl walls. The sea sprites were bored it seemed.

“We believe that an Amazon may have given the box to one of your nymphs to secure passage to Troy,” Harmonia explained. “Perhaps it was given in payment, or as part of a larger package.”

Amphitrite`s delicate eyebrows puckered. “Which of mine do you think would have this package you seek?”

“We do not know, dear Aunt,” Harmonia replied with sadness.”We have been through many trials. As you can see my father`s consort is ragged and rumpled.”

I glanced down at myself. Okay, I was rather ragged but rumpled?! Damn goddesses with their magical waterproof makeup.

“She does seem rather abused,” the queen murmured, folding her arms over her ample breasts.
“Thank you for noticing,” I muttered under my breath. Harmonia hissed. The queen smiled and patted my head like I was an entertaining sea lion. Pity I didn`t have a ball to balance on my nose. Immortals, I tell you.

“You are most welcome.” She turned from us to summon the blasé nymphs to the water`s edge. Harmonia and I crept up to where the waves were gently lapping the sand.

The queen spoke to her attendants in Greek. I tried to follow things but my few scant words of Greek – Deeper, Slower, and Faster – weren`t much help here. Oh stop! If you had Ares in your bed you`d learn those words too.

“They tell me that the box you seek is in my husband`s sanctuary.”

“Please don`t say it`s at the bottom of the sea. I don`t have any gillyweed.”

The queen looked at me in befuddlement.

“No, Libby, Poseidon’s sanctuary is upon the cape of Sounion in Attica,” Harmonia explained.

“Oh well than, that`s do-able! We`ll just jump back on the fire-snorter, fly to the cape of Sounion and fetch the box!” I was getting excited now. The nymphs were staring at me openly as was the bride of the sea god.

“`Twould be an easy task if not for the guardian of the temple,” Harmonia sighed, shoving her helm back over her thick brown hair.

“Is there some law among you folks with golden blood that states every damned building has to be guarded by something nasty?! I mean, just once, can`t someone have a temple surrounded by butterflies or kittens?! Man, this is just so typically Greek!” I railed, stalking out of the cavern in a high holy snit.

I was nearly up to Fear when Harmonia appeared at my side. I threw her a heated look.

“I made apologies to my aunt for your rude behavior,” she said, her emerald eyes narrowed. “`Tis not the way of mortals to simply walk off without being dismissed, Libby. Surely father has explained that to you!”

“You father knows better than to even think he can dismiss me!” I spun around and shook a finger in her face. The dear thing actually drew back a step. My hand fell to my side. “I`m sorry,” I tugged her in for a hug. “I`m just tired and hungry and I want to get home and celebrate Thanksgiving. Is it too late? Did we miss it? I don`t know! I`m too busy bouncing around on a flatulent nag trying to find some stupid chest for your stupid-”

Harmonia kissed my cheek. Tranquility flowed from her lips to me. My spinal cord grew soft and pliable. The world was beautiful and this quest was beautiful. Even Fear was beautiful! I ran over to the horse to throw my arms around his thick white neck. Harmonia stopped me right before the nag kicked out with enough force to send a goatherder flying to Maine.

“Let us leave, Libby,” Harmonia said, lifting me onto the horse with ease. I lay across his back and sang the theme song from Spirit to him. His white ears flickered. “Before you do something foolish,” she added as the horse whispering continued.



*~*~*

For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales

See you next week for more of The Silver Box!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Storytime Trysts - Wind in White Birch - Issue # 3




It`s time to visit Storytime Trysts for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.


Enjoy!

Storytime Trysts

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Undead Thursdays - Guest Blogger - Lynn Townsend




Hello! And welcome back to another edition of Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m having every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my short story Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.


Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.

Today I`m pleased to have Lynn Townsend as our guest blogger. Lynn has been published several times, and is one of my fellow authors in the Brainssss anthology. Take it away, Lynn!



*~*~*





A Few Thoughts on Zombies


Zombies consume.

In the end, how they came about, who controls them, if they are nothing more than the over-booked guests of hell... they consume. Brains, flesh, shotgun shells.

Zombies eat.

They have an appetite that cannot be sated. There's no internal feeling in a zombie that tells it "well, that was a tasty brain, but I think I'm done now. Maybe I'll take a nap."

Zombies never stop.

Zombies don't starve to death; ever notice that? Even when there are millions of them, and the survivors are in small bands of twenty or thirty middle-class white Americans locked in shopping malls... the zombie horde doesn't die out. It's out there... just waiting. Chewing on the walls.

A zombie can be anyone.

Your mother. Your son. Your wife. The boss at your old job that you hate. You. No one is immune. No one is safe. And you're not safe, not from yourself, not from them, and not from the people you once loved. And on top of zombie hordes, you now have a lot of other problems. As Americans, especially, we're lacking in a great deal of useful skills. Very few of us know how to raise crops, skin an animal for food, what plants are edible, how to make clothing.

We become parasites.

We live off the decaying corpse of the society we once were. Old canned goods become our staple. You need a new pair of shoes? Drop into the local ruined wal-mart and grab a pair off the shelf. Clean watewon't be a problem for decades, with so few people left in the nation. Bottled water is everywhere.

Everything we wanted so badly becomes useless.

My dad was a nuclear engineer. He worked for decades at a nuclear power station. I asked him one time how long it would take, if the zombie Apocalypse happened, for the reactor to shut itself down. Not melt down, necessarily, but just shut itself down... stop running. "It's not the shutting down that's problematic with a nuclear power station, it's the keeping going..." Zombieland (as much fun as that movie is) and its amusement park that they can just jump start the generators? Not happening.

Zombies are the ultimate monsters.

Because in the end... they are us.

***

I am fascinated by zombies. I've got a ton of zombie-related paraphernalia; coffee cups, brain-shaped gelatin molds, bumper stickers. I've written two romance stories about zombies, and I'd probably write more if I saw more Submission Calls... My first zombie-themed romance was included in Sommer Marsden's Coming Together: Hungry for Love collection. And I'm pleased as heck that W.O.L. was included in Elizabeth L. Brooks' He Loves me For My Brainsss... The world W.O.L. takes place in has haunted me for several years. I expect we'll see more stories from the Knights of the Red Cross...

For more of my work, please see my Paid By the Weird Blog or my Facebook page...Lynn Townsend

And a final warning: Do not get between a writer and her coffee. Just sayin'.


*~*~*

Thanks so much for dropping in for a chat about the undead, Lynn. Next Thursday Elizabeth Brooks is slated to drop in for a discussion of things undead. See you next week zombie fans!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt

Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.


Today we have a picture prompt and the story is written to reflect the image and must be 300 words. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!



The Silver Box



*~*~*





It was a nice change of scenery.

Living in the mountains of Pennsylvania my feet don`t tread on sand often. Unless it`s at the swimming area at Lake Ironbottom.

I was taking a much needed break seated at the water line with the sea foam lapping over my toes. My arms dangled over my knees. I inhaled the smell of salt and seaweed.

All the while I was warming myself on the white sand I was thinking of the rolling mountains of my home state. There, tucked amid the majestic snow flocked pines, is a small stone cottage. Within that cottage is the man who holds my heart.

If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine the smell of wood smoke tickling the cold winds as they rustle through the naked oak and beech. If I forced myself to block out the roar of the surf I could almost feel his breath on my neck in the middle of a cold, dark night.

I inhaled sadly and rose.

The sooner we found that silver box the sooner I`d be home in Ares` arms.

“Ready?” I asked my wing-woman. Harmonia bobbed her head and we walked towards the mouth of the sea nymph`s cave.



*~*~*



For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales

See you next week for more of The Silver Box!













Saturday, January 12, 2013

Storytime Trysts - Wind in White Birch #2




It`s time to head over to Storytime Trysts for the second issue of Wind in White Birch, a free contemporary romance read.


Enjoy!


Storytime Trysts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Undead Thursday - Book Review - Alice in Zombieland







Hello! And welcome back to another edition of Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m having every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.


Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.

Today`s undead treat is my book review for Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook, with artwork Brent Cardillo. Lewis Carroll and Sir John Tenniel are also listed as writer and artist, and justly so for their touch is very heavy in this retelling of the classic tale.



Right off the bat we see that things are quite different in this upside-down world. Alice begins by following the Black Rat down the gaping mouth of an open grave where she tumbles and tumbles and falls and falls. Upon landing she finds herself in a rotten sort of undead nightmare filled with rotting flesh and craziness. As she ventures deeper into the land of zombies she comes across familiar yet very different characters. As an added problem, as Alice is adventuring in Zombieland she discovers that her hair is falling out, her skin is rotting, and she can`t stop thinking about nibbling on people she encounters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling. It was the small details that kept me so amused. The Mad Hatter`s tea party for instance is wickedly clever and filled with all the required things: Alice in a pinafore (Although it`s getting rather bloody and gory), an assortment of tea cups, and ample food to share. What the food is I`ll leave to your imagination.

If you`ve read the classic by Mr. Carroll and are looking for a darker, bloodier, zombie-filled version of the tale (who isn`t?) your book is here. A solid 4 star read for any fan of the undead and tea parties with insane hatters.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Gift

Welcome back and Happy New Year! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.

Since we`ve been gone for a few weeks, why don`t we recap? Hera asked Libby to find her chest, the same chest that was given to Pandora by the gods. Libby and Harmonia set off on one of Ares` war horses to the land of the Amazon`s. They encounter a tiger then meet the fabled warrior women. After being led to their city Libby`s relationship with Ares is discovered by the queen of the Amazon`s, Otrere. The queen wants to kill her rival. Harmonia argues and gets Otrere to agree to a fight to claim the war god and his attentions. And that`s where we`ll pick things up today!


Libby, Ares, and the gang are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Gift’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!





The Silver Box



*~*~*



You`d think a woman going into battle would at least cover her tuppie.

After being led into a round area behind the palace that greatly resembled the Coliseum only made of native material, I caught sight of the Amazon queen. Otrere obviously thought I would be a pushover, since she wore no armor of any kind. Her boob was bouncing about free and her tight dark rump was uncovered. She hadn`t even covered her lady parts. She stood about twenty feet away from me with nothing more than a very angry sneer. I adjusted my helm as the crowd of Amazon`s gathered in the seats surrounding us trilled.

That sound must be a starter`s gun in Amazonian culture. Otrere ran at me, her lips drawn back in a fearsome manner that made her look like an insane panther or Grace Jones, take your pick. Both are equally scary. She was fast, I`ll give her that. I danced aside to avoid her charge. Then I slapped her naked ass with my celestial bronze sword as her bare feet kicked up dust in an attempt to stop.

Oh the things she said. I didn`t need an English-Greek translator to know she took great offense at my playful swat. Okay, it wasn`t a playful swat. It was a shot hard enough to crack like a wet towel. The woman lost her mind (or what little she had left) at that moment. Her eyes grew wide, her nostrils flared, her body gleamed in the sun, and then she screamed like a drunken banshee and made another charge at me. I got my shield up. Her forearm slid under the circlet of silver. The heel of her hand clocked me under my jaw. I went down hard. My helm tumbled to the dirt. I nearly dropped my sword.

Otrere dove on me as if I were a pot roast and she hadn`t eaten in weeks. The first punch got me beside my left eye. It hurt like a bitch. I mean, it really rattled my cage. The women in attendance screamed in glee. I could just hear Harmonia shouting at me over the din the Amazon`s were causing. Tossing my arm up to block the next right, I jammed the hilt of my sword into her stomach. She snarled and clobbered me soundly with a left that opened up my lip while tossing my brain like an endive salad.

The woman shrieked in my face. “What did she say?!” I shouted.

Harmonia replied quickly. “She said you are not worthy of his spittle let alone his seed!”

That statement made me mad. I spit the blood pooling in my mouth into her leering face. She went totally berserk, which was a good thing for me. Ares once explained that there are two ways to hinder an opponent. One is brute strength and godly powers which he has but I do not. The other is to befuddle them by invoking their wrath. Once a warrior is beyond reason he – or she in this case- makes stupid mistakes.

In her bloodlust Otrere raised both arms over her head – her fingers woven together to make a huge fist – and I took the open shot she offered me. Using the hilt of my sword I lambasted that bitch right between her glowing golden eyes. I heard the crack of her nose breaking. It was still echoing around the palace walls when she toppled to the right, rich red blood streaming from her nostrils. I staggered to my feet and threw my sword arm into the air.

“I came, I saw, I kicked her ass!” I screamed like a wild woman. The Amazon`s were deathly still. Harmonia gathered me up from behind, her strong arms lifting my feet from the packed dirt. She swung me in circles until I begged for a respite. The goddess pecked both my cheeks then grabbed my hand and held it over our heads.

“You all have seen this woman defeat your queen. As daughter of the god of war, I pronounce that from this day forth no female shall claim to be property of Ares save this mortal!”

The Amazon`s, knowing they had best cheer or possibly invoke the wrath of a god, clapped politely. Otrere came around as Harmonia was lowering my arm.

“Now that you have been shown who has claim to my father, I would ask you a question. I warn you, Otrere, to reply truthfully. I am weary of your temper tantrums,” Harmonia warned the queen.

I would have called trying to kill me a wee bit more than a tantrum, but I wasn`t going to split hairs. Sorry, poor choice of words given the company we were keeping at the moment.

“Ask of me what you will, daughter of my beloved battle god,” Otrere mumbled contritely, her fingers dancing under her stately nose to catch the running blood.

Harmonia walked over to the queen, sharp green eyes boring into amber ones. “Where is the box of the all-gifted?”

Otrere`s finely plucked brows knotted.”We have not had possession of the silver box for many seasons. It disappeared at the same time Penthesilea left our ranks in shame. We assume she used the box to secure safe passage across the great sea.”

“Wait,” I interjected when Harmonia looked ready to slap the ruler of the Amazon`s into next week, “She might be telling the truth. I remember your father telling me about one of his daughters being cast out of the Amazon`s for killing her sister accidentally. Penthesilea left her country – this land and her people – and somehow ended up participating in the Trojan War. Trying to alleviate her sin, the Amazonian tried to kill Achilles while wearing a mask. Of course he easily defeated her and removed her mask. When he saw the beauty she possessed he instantly fell in love with her as she lay dying in his arms. To honor her beauty and courage he handed over her body to the Trojans and ordered she be buried with royal honors.”

“And this means what in relation to our quest?” Harmonia asked. Otrere had stalked off, her shame sending her into the arms of handmaidens. Most of the others who had come to see me get killed had shuffled off in disappointment.

“Achilles is the son of the sea nymph Thetis. It makes sense that if you were crossing an ocean you`d seek out the favor of the Nerieds, right? Maybe Hera`s box was given to the nymphs as payment for a safe trip.”

“Aye, perhaps.” Harmonia said thoughtfully, “`Twould be sensible to call upon those who include Amphitrite, the wife of my great-uncle Poseidon. If this is the case, we must journey to the silvery cave of the Nerieds and call forth the female spirits of the ocean. You are quite intelligent for a mortal woman, Libby! I can see why father is drawn to you!”

“Thanks,” I smiled then bent over to retrieve my helm. “I`m more than just a pretty face,” I said jokingly.

“Oh aye, father often says that he loves you not for your substantial breasts or rump, for you have none, but for your skills in cooking and banter.” She whistled loudly around two fingers. Fear came galloping into the open-air stadium, all white tail and mane and stinky horse cloud.

I thought about commenting but let the idea go. What was the point? “Okay, let`s go see if we can find a little mermaid! Think she has a hot crustacean band?”

Her bewildered expression was a gift that would keep me chuckling for hours.



*~*~*



For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-



Tuesday Tales



See you next week for more of The Silver Box!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Storytime Trysts - Wind in White Birch





I`m so excited to be kicking off 2013 as a member of two free reads groups. Today we`re heading over to Storytime Trysts to begin a new serialized story starring Dana Prescott and Jonah Big Deer. The response to those two new lovers was overwhelming and I couldn`t leave folks hanging. So all you fans of Jonah Big Deer, your man is back and ready for romance!



I hope you enjoy the premiere issue of Wind in White Birch. I apologize for the lack of a romantic picture with this post. Blogger is acting up and won`t allow me to insert an image.





Storytime Trysts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Undead Thursday - Guest Blogger - Kevin Coolidge



Hello! Today I`m very excited to kick-off Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m throwing every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.


Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.

To kick things off, today I`m thrilled to have a good friend of mine, and the co-owner of my beloved Indie bookstore From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Kevin Coolidge. Kevin`s article was published in the spring 2012 issue of Z Magazine,The First Magazine For Zombies By Zombies, and he was kind enough to share it – and a lovely image of himself in the final stages of the infection – with us.


*~*~*

It’s Not Awful; It’s Offal!

by Kevin J. Coolidge


“It’s a meat locker in here!” yells your wife from the kitchen. The very thought causes a little puddle of drool to run down your stubbled chin. You imagine the air filled with the savory smell of roast beef. Reality shatters your glorious repast. Your wife is just complaining about the low setting of the thermostat. You are out of work, out of luck, and out of TrueFlesh. Even when you are dead, you can’t seem to get ahead. You miss the daily grind, and the dead end job, complete with a crawling commute and bad office coffee, but for you the Recession isn’t over.


A lot of zombies, myself included, have sustained themselves for long periods of time with an extremely low food budget, and so can you! We both know that Top Ramen isn’t an option. You need your minimum daily requirement of protein, and that means sweet, succulent flesh. It doesn’t, however, have to be grade A prime rib. It doesn’t even have to be human.


You are no redneck, road-kill warrior waiting out your miserable existence in a trailer park. You don’t have to scrape your dinner off the interstate. You are a member of polite society, but you are feeling the pinch. What to do?


As a student of history, I looked to the natives of this great country, the American Indian. Native Americans utilized the entire deer—from the meat for eating, to the tendons and intestines for bowstrings, nothing was wasted. The modern American wastes too much and that includes your local butcher shop, ER, or morgue.


All those delicious innards—liver, kidney, intestines and yes, tasty, tasty brains—can be yours for the taking. For example, the average adult intestinal tract is 30 feet long. Life is so fragile, so fleeting, and no surgeon ever takes the time to put all 30 feet back into the abdominal cavity. If you don’t grab it, it’s just going to go to waste. All it’s going to take to appreciate nature’s fresh-slain bounty is a couple of great recipes.


Now, just because you are cooking with castoffs is no reason to skip the seasonings. Make life a fiesta, and get a little tripe for Mexican night. Tripe is used in Mexico for many dishes, but one of my favorites is Menudo, a soup that will get dinner started and your taste buds jumping.


If you are entertaining mixed couples, you may want to use the traditional cow’s stomach. I happen to be married to a beautiful breather, and love means sacrifice. But it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your primal hunger. Of course, sometimes you just have to have tea with your inner demons, or a beer with the beast within, so grab your scrubs and shamble to your local ER for a little something for you …  Thus, I present you a mixed recipe for mixed couples…



Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs honeycomb tripe (or 3 feet of salvaged intestine)
  • 2 lbs pigs’ feet (or human feet, any size, but toddlers are most tender. Hey, the corpses wear shoes, and no one checks, honest)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (just add zonions and it’s zesty)
  • 1 ancho chile, roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped (I use real chilies. No substitutes here for me. Sometimes, you just have to feel the burn)
  • 2 cups dried hominy (hominy, zominy)
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (they don’t call it the stinking rose for nothing)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (slows spoilage, and will add life to your death)
  • 5 peppercorns (I like to avoid sodium, but spice is nice)
  • water (you are going to boil it. So it doesn’t matter where you get it. Not like you have to worry about dysentery)


Preparation:


Cover intestines/tripe with water. Soak overnight. Place in a pot, cover with two to three inches of additional water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for two hours, adding more hot water as needed. Drain well; shred intestines into pot. Add feet, peppercorns, garlic, and oregano. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add hot peppers, and serve piping hot.


Serve this soup with tortillas and chopped onion and cilantro. Makes a great appetizer. Remember, recessions may be temporary, but hunger is forever. 


Kevin J. Coolidge is the owner of "From My Shelf", a proudly independent, eclectic bookstore in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania with its own zombie section of books and gifts. He writes a weekly column for the local newspaper, called “Cat Tales: Writing About Reading.” He’s the author of “Hobo Finds A Home”, a children’s book, and editor of the short story collection, “Of A Predatory Heart” which does not contain zombies.

From My Shelf Books & Gifts

*~*~*

Thank you so much Kevin for sharing your article and recipes with us. If I ever find myself a member of the undead army, I`ll know who to go to for new ways to prepare dinner!

I hope to see all you zombie fans next Thursday for my review of Alice in Zombieland by Nikolas Cook. Then we`ll have author K.T. Hicks here on 1/17, author and editor Liz Brooks on 1/24, and author Georg Veramme to finish our month of Undead Thursdays on 1/31.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It`s Release Day!



That`s right, you can get your copy of He Loves Me For My Brainsss today! Inside this compilation you`ll find many tales that give a twist to the conventional zombie romance story.

You`ll also discover my short Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse. A M/M romance starring Paul Cooke and Gordon Moretti, who face off against zombies with only cat named after a famous city, a senile neightbor with a love for Tennyson, thier love and killer wit

He Loves Me For My Brainssss

There are tales for every taste in this anthology, and I`m sure one will tickle your taste buds. Okay, I`ll stop, I promise. *Winks*





Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!!




May the new year bring many blessings to you and yours!



From all the goofy goatherders and critters here on the Hillside Farm.