Tag Archives: zombies

Ritual of the Lost Lamb

Dark times are waiting for the champions in
RITUAL OF THE LOST LAMB!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Death is a blessing that the Baron is not ready to bestow upon his new toy.

In the chaos surrounding the Spirit Well, Luke Callindor has disappeared and the only clue the psychic scream of agony that Dariana cannot ignore. Knowing that a journey to Shayd will result in their ultimate battle, the champions have devised another way to rescue their friend. With permission from the gods, Nyx has begun the Ritual of the Lost Lamb. It is a long and exhausting spell, which is made even more difficult by a new threat that is out to make all of the Baron’s enemies suffer.

It is a race against time where every minute lost brings Luke Callindor one step closer to a fate worse than oblivion.

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Audience Granted

Having said her piece, Nyx gnaws on a hunk of jerky and sips at a waterskin while the others discuss her idea. She refuses to admit that she is having second thoughts about breaking a god seal even with permission. The last time she accomplished such a feat was by accident and resulted in her magic being sealed for days. Nyx shudders at the memory of feeling so many lives ending at her hands and takes a sloppy drink of leathery water to steady her nerves. The result is a full body convulsion of disgust and a hacking cough as the liquid goes down her windpipe. Flicking a green beetle off her shoulder, the channeler impatiently paces in a circle and wonders why the others are taking so long.

The hairs on the back of Nyx’s neck rise and her arms become covered in goosebumps as a pulse of energy ripples through the clearing. She is about to ask her friends if they feel anything, but stops when she sees that they are frozen in time. The half-elf’s heart pounds in her chest as she fears that the Baron is about to attack. More terror seeps into her mind when she expects to turn around and find Luke’s tortured body dangling before her eyes. Not wanting to be caught by surprise, a flaming disc appears in her palm and hums as she searches for the source of the powerful spell. The snap of a twig to her left causes Nyx to hurl the fiery circle, which splits into a swarm of deadly copies that would destroy any normal enemy. Against the ebony platemail of Gabriel, the discs puff into balls of harmless smoke that remain hovering in place.

“Your friends have agreed to your idea,” the Destiny God states, ignoring the mortal’s amusing attack. He removes his black cape, which becomes a vague chair for the nervously bowing channeler. “Now, this is unique. In fact, it is quite unheard of, which is why I am granting you an audience. The Law of Influence says I cannot get involved, but nobody has ever asked for permission to do something like this. Needless to say, all of us are very curious to see how all of this plays out.”

“I want to unseal the Ritual of the Lost Lamb,” Nyx politely requests while she takes a seat on the cape. An enchanting warmth rises from the cloth and she nearly falls asleep from the blissful energy that infects her body. “This is the only way to save Luke without marching into the Baron’s territory. We both know that is what he wants. With the forbidden ritual, I can gather my little brother’s residual energy and bring him home. None of us will be at risk since it’s a combination of a summoning and teleportation spell.”

“Strange that you know about a spell designed by channelers. Especially since it has not been used since the ancient Race War,” Gabriel says with a nod of his head. Urging voices in the back of his head causes the god to hum with his mouth closed, the spell jolting the sources of his rising irritation. “The Ritual of the Lost Lamb was taken from mortals before my time, but I understand the reason it made the gods worry. Such a thing could be the first step into summoning a deity against his or her will. Possibly even stealing immortality. Though I believe times have changed and we should reconsider the sealing.”

“Time is also running out,” the channeler replies, shying away when the powerful deity stares at her. A flickering realization that the Baron’s power might be on the same level of Gabriel gives her the courage to meet the man’s piercing eyes. “I apologize for sounding like I’m rushing you. Yet, it has been said that the gods and goddesses have no concept of time since you exist forever. That means I have to push even though I want to speak with respect.”

“In other words, you want a decision now.”

“That would be best, sir.”

“Sadly, I cannot agree to your terms.”

“I haven’t made any terms.”

“Exactly.”

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

 

Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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Last scoop of Macabre Macaroni this year

The Zombie Fighters

We stood back to back in the old basement. Joey held his sword off to his left, and I held mine up with the blade in front of my face. We made a deadly team, but the zombie horde upstairs would be the biggest one we’d ever faced.

Joey turned his San Diego Padres cap around backwards. “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.” I rushed the stairway with Joey at my heels.

The zombies almost looked surprised. I probably imagined it, because they don’t have any emotions or feelings. They’d already eaten half the families in town, and I recognized a few of them as having been local people. I stepped into the shell of the burned out house and made sure to move far enough that Joey could support me.

I lowered my sword and thrust through the face of the first one, making sure to slice on the draw so my blade wouldn’t get stuck. He fell in a heap of stinking rotten flesh, and I swung at one to my right.

Joey gave a masterful stroke, slicing completely through one Zombie and into the skull of the one beside it. “That was my Tony Gwynn swing, you bastards.”

“Looks like you hit a double. There’s home runs waiting in the other room.”

We worked our way through the sooty kitchen and into the living room. Seventeen of the damned things greeted us there.

The fight was long and bloody. Joey went to his knees, but I rescued him before he got bitten. That only left the upstairs bedrooms to clear. Should be a breeze after what we’d already accomplished.

Joey led the way up this staircase, and we took care to avoid the ledge. The fire destroyed the railing and it was a long drop.

We kicked open doors and slashed our way room by room until we were the only things left standing.

The last room looked like it must have been the master bedroom. The fire damaged it more than the others. Even the exterior wall and roof were gone.

I tested the floor with each step. No sense surviving the zombies and falling through a crumbling floor. I looked out towards town, and everything was quiet as the sun dipped behind a ridge. More zombies moved though the forest, and they were coming our way.

Joey grabbed a ruined pillowcase and hung it from a nail.

“What’s that for?”

“It’s our flag. This is where we make our stand. If we get split up, we meet back here.”

“Good idea. This can be our fort.” I dropped my stick-sword onto the sooty floor. “Only we’ll have to defend it tomorrow.”

“But they’re almost here.”

I wrapped an arm around my brother’s shoulder. “The street lights came on. You know how mom gets if we don’t go home right away. Schools out now, we have all summer to defend our fort.”

***

This is my reminder that I have two books of short stories and micro-fiction available. There are plenty of Halloween suitable stories among these pages.

The best news is they are only 99¢ each. If you enjoyed Macabre Macaroni this year, maybe these books are what you’re looking for.

Book one

Book two

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Filed under Short Stories & Vignettes

Fizzle the Drite, on Lisa Burton Radio

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're going to try something a little bit different today. There is a character I've been dying to interview, but he's kind of hard to catch up with.

Fizzle is a drite, and they can be kind of reclusive. If we don't find him, I may have to think on the fly here for something to broadcast. I have a secret weapon though. I bought a beautiful basket of organic apples the last time I was at Whole Foods.

<Pop>

“OH! You scared me. Are you Fizzle?”

“Fizzle is Fizzle. Told to speak of self here. Uh . . . Fizzle small dragon. Fizzle live in woods. Fizzle leave woods to help friends. Tradespeak hard. Fizzle learn from tiny human. Fizzle love apples. What organic?”

“Oh my gosh, you're so cute. For those listening, Fizzle looks like a dragonfly, in that he's a small dragon with dragonfly wings.”

“Fizzle called drite. Not like big dragons or fake dragons. Fizzle and kind dif . . diffe . . . other thing. Drites small with great magic. Fizzle hide easy and have spell called disin . . . dis . . . make bad things go poof. Friends like warning when Fizzle cast poof spell. Give time to be safe. Fizzle have great aim, so no worry. Oh, drites have long tails too.”

“Don't you guys usually protect a forest or something?”

“Many drites protect nature. Not all. Some lazy and some curious. Fizzle protect Visindor Forest and sword lady’s school. Fizzle there before school, but Betty make yummy apple pies. Betty not sword lady. She friend of sword lady. Fizzle leave home and job to cousin. Plimp odd, but strong and good. He planting pine trees. Says pinecones yummier than apples. Fizzle not agree.”

“So why would you leave that all behind? It must be pretty important.”

<smack, chomp, burp> “Fizzle’s friends need help. Luke get into trouble. He need guarding while part of prophecy. Other champions help, but Fizzle protect Luke first. Also, like Nyx smell and Delvin know how to make apple pie. Timoran fun to perch on too. Sari just fun. Fizzle like having friends. Fizzle make sure they stay safe. Gods tell Fizzle to keep them safe.”

“You're pretty small, what would you do if someone threatened your friends.”

“Fizzle say magic. Fizzle very fast and smart. Stay hidden until strike. Bad people never see Fizzle coming. Well, blue lady did once. Evil Man did too, but Fizzle smack him. Evil Man very scary. Fizzle friends all hurt by him. Fizzle too when caught by surprise. Fizzle no like Evil Man. Rather fight Lich, who is a rotting man. Make that one go poof, but he not stay poofed. Very frus . . . frustr . . . make Fizzle pout.”

“Sounds like they could use some protecting. Do you ever sleep?”

“Fizzle have regular sleep. Also have long sleep. Drites need growing sleep for month to get stronger. Fizzle do this and friends get in trouble. This why friends need Fizzle.”

“That has to be nerve wracking. Maybe they could get a fu dog or something to cover for that year.”

“Fizzle like dogs. Luke like dogs too. Fizzle think that hard topic. Luke miss big dog. Fizzle give many apples to cheer up. Fizzle not worry now. Nyx get stronger and other champions wiser. Only Luke and Sari cause trouble. Timoran say they too young for adult wisdom. Nyx say they need head smack. Fizzle think they hide hurt with fun. Oh! Maybe Fizzle take form of dog. Bad people not expect dog to cast poof spell. Can dogs fly?”

“You know what I think? If you protect the champions, that makes you a champion too.”

“Fizzle no champion. Fizzle protector of champions. Prophecy go on with or without Fizzle and other friends. Fizzle know champions need friends. Though champions do not know that champions need friends to win. Not sure how, but Fizzle feel that right. Old Evil have demons, so why not champions have friends?”

“The champion's mission sounds like a dangerous adventure, but Windemere sounds like it has beautiful places too. Do you ever think you might adopt a new forest once everything is sorted out?”

“Fizzle no know. May take Visindor back or stay with Nyx. Fizzle have strong bond with Nyx. Luke call her city rat. Not sure if Fizzle want stay in city. Depend on what around. Many forests without drites. Fizzle can make new home and new friends. Fizzle can travel and plant a forest of every apple tree in world. Call it Yummy Woods and protect it.”

“Thank you for being with is today, Fizzle. The sponsor of today's show is Charms of the Feykin, the newest entry in the Legends of Windemere series. Don't forget to tip your waitress by clicking on those sharing buttons at the end of the post.

***

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

 

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Calling all lovers of fantasy

Charles Yallowitz has a new entry into his long running Windemere series. This one promises tension galore. It sounds like there might be dissension amongst the troops. Here’s Charles to tell us about it.

 

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

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Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

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Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Note from Craig: Come back Thursday and check out Lisa Burton’s special guest, on Lisa Burton Radio.

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The Power of Six, on Lisa Burton Radio

Coming at you with one point twenty-one jigawatts of power, this is Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re having our first ever open-mike show.

I brought some old albums, like The Pretenders, and some Joan Jett if we run into a soft patch. So let’s get those phones ringing.

It looks like we have a caller already. “Hello caller, welcome to the show.”

“Show? What show?”

“This is Lisa Burton Radio. What’s your name, please?”

“I’m Mark, in Maintenance. Listen, I know this sounds crazy, but I’m trapped and need your help.”

“Shouldn’t you be calling emergency services? I’m just a radio host.”

“Don’t you think I tried that. The phones are out in the entire building. Maybe your broadcast will reach someone who can help me.”

“Where are you calling from?”

“I broke into the lab. There’s a box here, labeled Trans-Narrative Broadcast. No idea what it does. There’s only one button on it, I pressed it and somehow got you. Now can you help or not?”

“I’ll try. What seems to be the problem, Mark?”

“Please don’t think I’m crazy, but, but, the whole building is filled with these … Creatures.”

“Creatures. Like Aliens?”

“No, nothing like that. They were humans a moment ago. My colleagues. Then they started changing. They’re… Deformed. Like an amputated mass of flesh and metal.”

“Like cyborgs?”

“Yeah, like monsters.”

“Cyborgs aren’t monsters.”

“Well these are. They kill everyone they meet. Or change them into one of them. I used a maintenance shaft to flee to the lab. I hoped to meet someone, but the lab is empty.”

“Did the cyborgs kill them?”

“No idea. You know, maybe a virus got into the building. They work on some pretty weird stuff around here. Oh God, what do I do?”

“Okay, keep calm. Where are you?”

“Do you know the new AI-controlled building in the city center? The one that just opened up last month?”

“Sorry, haven’t heard of it.”

“Where the hell have you been living lady? Under a–”

“Hooking up my umbilical cable and tracing your call. Got you, the Internet says your building is entirely run by artificial intelligence. Have you tried talking to the building? Maybe it can show you a way out.”

“All the terminals here are busted. Perhaps there’s one outside. No way I’m heading out there, though.”

“The Internet site says the AI was programmed by someone named Nicholas Rossis, have you tried reaching him?”

“I already told you the phones are out. How about you dial the cops instead of asking all these questions? Or, better yet, the Army. Wait, hang on–”

“What? What’s happening, Mark?”

“It’s a chopper. Forget calling the cops. It looks like the entire Police Department is out there. Oh God, they can’t get in.”

“Stay with me. Craig’s texting me. He says your story sounds familiar, and you have to head out.”

“Are you nuts? I’m not leaving. Those things are everywhere.”

“Mark, listen to me. You have to go, right now. The corridor is empty. Head West. You’ll meet the Head of the medical sector and his secretary. You can all use the elevator to get out.”

“I’m not doing that. You’re supposed to use the stairs in case of an emergency.”

“Yeah, if the emergency is an earthquake or fire. The rules change in the case of a mutant hoard attack.”

“Elevator, then what?”

“It looks like the AI has control after that. Should be simple after you reach the elevator.”

“Fine, but if this thing has batteries, I’m taking you with me. I just have to unplug it, and then–”

“Mark? Are you still with us, Mark?”

“Mark?… Sorry listeners, we seem to have lost the connection. If you want to find out what happened to Mark, you can read the whole story over at Nicholas Rossis’ blog.”

***

Nicholas is a versatile author, and has written three books of short stories. I’ve read two of them and can vouch for them.

This is Nicholas’ newest book. He has it on sale until the end of the month for 99¢. Take advantage of this offer, and pick up your copy here, Honest Fibs.

This is Nicholas’ second book of short stories, and it’s a good one. Check out Infinite Waters.

 

 

The Power of Six is the one that’s on sale for 99¢. Don’t miss out on this promotion. This is where Mark’s story is, and after you read it on Nicholas’ blog, come back and pick up your copy.

 

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of his baby daughter and two silly cats, all of whom claim his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, has won the Gellett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on his blog: www.nicholasrossis.me or on:

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

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Crossing Bedlam

I’ve already downloaded my copy, and can’t wait to read this one, Craig.

The Rated-R Post-Apocalyptic Action Comedy Adventure is finally here!

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

The United States of America has been crippled. Violently contained by a global military force and left without its leaders, the country has become shattered and chaotic. A decade has passed since the first strike and a new landscape has emerged where survival is more important than anything else. Who will uncover the truth behind the attack and revive this once great nation?

It certainly won’t be Cassidy and Lloyd since they couldn’t care less about that stuff. She is a young woman on a mission to honor her mother’s dying wish, which is to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge. He is an infamous serial killer she broke out of Rikers Island since hiring a bodyguard wasn’t working out. Not the perfect plan, but having an insane, oddly charming murder-junkie on your side is a plus in the Shattered States.

Bullets and swear words are going to fly as Cassidy and Lloyd travel coast to coast, facing one challenge after another . . . including Nebraska.

Curious about this broken world & these two ‘not even close to being heroes’?

Then grab a copy for $2.99 on Amazon
&
Mark it as ‘To Read’ on Goodreads

Excerpt: A Relaxing Drive on the Parkway (Foul Language Warning)

The jeep hurtles through a large hole in the parkway divider, the threat of incoming traffic nothing more than a faded memory. Only three of their pursuers manage to follow with a fourth smashing into the gap and blocking the path. Not wanting to be an easy target, Cassidy keeps their vehicle swerving from one lane to another. She can hear bullets pinging off the asphalt and the abandoned cars that have been moved to the side of the road. There is another hole in the divider right before an overpass, so she drives through at the last second. Sliding into the tunnel, Cassidy watches the other vehicles pass the gap before making a tire-screeching U-turn to go in the opposite direction. Five motorcycles are heading toward them, but the heavy jeep and its driver’s refusal to get out of the way makes them an easily scattered threat. One of the bikers is unable to swerve to the side and he crashes onto the hood while his ride is sent spinning into an abandoned van.

“Get off my car!” Cassidy shouts as she reaches out the window. Grabbing the man by the ankle, she yanks him off the hood and lets him tumble into the concrete divider. “This is really going to cost me. Do you know what the penalty for your idiocy is? They kill you unless you escape to the mainland. Then you’re exiled until you find something that the Trade Barons want more than revenge. I don’t have time to go on a treasure hunt. Would you take off those sunglasses and stop humming car chase music?”

“I was only trying to complete the scene,” Lloyd argues as he calmly fires a pellet at a sedan driver. Having mixed the three types of ammo, he is happy to see a yellow orb burst on the woman’s mouth. “There’s the scratching. Now the nausea. We have a spinning and flipping car, folks. Oh, and there goes either the guy in the passenger seat or a really big ragdoll. You know, I’m starting to like what all of you have done with the place.”

“Stop killing people!” the blonde shouts, veering away from a large truck. She narrowly avoids slamming into a small car, the jeep moving off the road to complete the turn. “The more bodies we leave, the harder it will be to regain the Trade Barons’ favor. At least Neddy will send us what we need and . . . this is not the fucking time to change clothes!”

Lloyd stops with his head peeking out of his blood-covered shirt, which is high enough to reveal his scarred stomach. Figuring that he has come too far to stop, he yanks off the garment and hurls it out the window. He pouts when it flies over a car instead of covering the driver’s side of the windshield and causing a crash. Blindly reaching back, he takes a random shirt out of his bags and examines the black top in the side view mirror. The red and black mask of an old comic book character stares back at him, the face giving the illusion of grinning beneath the fabric.

“I remember reading this guy’s series before the Internet made him so popular and he turned up everywhere. Ugh, that sounded so pretentious that I’m tempted to stab myself. Hey, can we still see movies because I want to see his?” Lloyd asks while tying the laces of the black sneakers he hastily put on before making a mess at the Coliseum. “I really like t-shirts with pictures on them. They bring attention to what I’m wearing instead of my face. You can start a conversation about them too. Nice way to meet people and find out if they’re worth leaving alive or not. For example, I have a shirt with another hero and if somebody tells me that the bastard can defeat every other character then I know they have to die. I mean, he’s nothing more than a child-endangering bill-”

“Shut the fuck up, Lloyd!”

“Don’t be angry, kid. You’re doing great.”

“I can’t even figure out if we’re going in the right direction.”

“Turn around and start shooting at their tires.”

“I can’t because I need to save bullets.”

“For what?”

“Nebraska!”

Charles E YallowitzAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Want the same level of action with a lot of magic & no cursing?

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Click here for the $4.99 Bundle to start your journey into Windemere!

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I have a character crush

I don’t know what it is about Wednesday’s, but I’ve been posting authorly stuff on Wednesdays. This isn’t by design, it just seems to work out that way.

I’ve written a fair number of characters at this point in my career. I’m not claiming to be an expert at anything, but I get compliments on my characters. Part of my secret is observation. I observe not just real people, but characters of other writers too. This includes performances by actors. I admit to being a little bit jealous of Carol Peletier.

If you don’t know the character, it’s because her last name is never used. I had to Google it myself. This is Carol from The Walking Dead television show. The comic book version had a different arc, and she is dead now.

TWD is a love/hate show. People seem to fall into one camp or the other. I’m going to beg the indulgence of any who don’t like the show, particularly the writers among the crowd. Carol is one of the best characters of all time. Let’s meet her.

Here she is; mousy, weak, worst haircut of all time. She is an abused wife, and mother to a daughter who needs protecting from Carol’s husband. She is portrayed by a wonderful actress named Melissa McBride.

I think it’s really cool that she’s mid to late 40’s. This isn’t Scarlet Johannsen, or Milla Jovovich. Now I love those super babes from the movies, but Carol breaks that mold. (How old was Bilbo Baggins when he set out from the Shire?)

This is a good thing. It adds some believability to an unbelievable setting. I figured Carol was cast to be someone emotional and eventually to become meat for zombies. (What’s known as a redshirt.)

Carol starts off cooking, doing laundry, and being the mommie to the survivors. Nobody is safe on this show, and she lost her husband. This was a good thing. She also lost her daughter, and this was bad. So we started with an underdog and put her through the ringer.

Humans live an almost tribal existence. There are no hospitals, jails, fire departments, or nursing homes in this environment. Some groups of people are bad, and others are in a similar situation to the main cast. Any single mistake could be your last mistake post appocolypse.

When the main cast finds a friendly place, it’s Carol who becomes the welcoming committee. This is who she wants to be. Doesn’t she look sweet? Almost grandmotherly. (Thank God hair continues to grow during the Zombie appocolypse.)

She pitches right in with the new people and plans barbecues. She checks on the sick and serves as a liaison to new friendships.

But Carol has been through some crap. She’s seen her daughter become a zombie, and watched as a friend killed her. She’s been attacked and had to defend herself. She learned to use weapons, because she had to. She also learned what she could about medicines and treats the sick.

In one segment there was a disease going around. When it became obvious that two people were not going to survive, it was Carol who delivered the mercy killings. This was out of mercy, and out of caution for those who were not yet sick. It’s an impossible world, but Carol seems to be the one capable of making impossible decisions.

That’s a great character. She has an arc, and manages to change to survive in a world gone mad. She even manages to save a little bit of grandmotherly Carol in the process. Why I love her is that she’s an even bigger character than that. You see this is Carol too:

Carol is a killing machine. There is a bit of the psychotic in her makeup. She isn’t completely psycho, because she is emotional about it. She simply reserves those emotions until trouble has ended. There isn’t a bit of emotion when she’s killing zombies or humans who really deserve it.

There is one episode, called The Grove. It’s so powerful it spawned a thousand internet memes. At this point in the program, Carol had adopted two girls. The story line took a bit of an Of Mice and Men turn, only it was one of the girls who wasn’t right. (+/- 12 years old.)

The older girl, Lizzie, wasn’t right. She killed her younger sister and said it would be okay, because she would come back. (They always come back, but as zombies.) Carol and another character, Tyrese, we’re looking for the main group. They both have responsibilities, like finding food. Plus there was a baby to care for. Lizzie couldn’t be left alone with the baby, ever.

Carol decided that Lizzie couldn’t be around other people. Remember there are no counsellors, or care facilities available. Check it out for yourselves:

I think this is one of the most powerful bits of film I’ve ever seen. It ranks right up there with the burning of Atlanta, and the shower scene in psycho.

This program is full of testosterone driven moments, and there are plenty of macho characters too. For me, it’s Carol that is the standout character. She doesn’t want to be this person. Circumstances force her to be what she is. Even if you disagree with her decisions, she has a logic behind every action.

Carol continues to get stronger and stronger. She doesn’t do ninja backflips. She doesn’t high kick her way out of trouble, or play the sex kitten. She doesn’t have some asinine catchphrase. She doesn’t try to stand behind the throne and manipulate power. She’s just Carol, trying to survive and make sure her friends survive too.

This week during what amounted to a Viking style raid by some other group, it was Carol who found the weapons and protected the innocent while the main support was afield. And she did it all in about as cold blooded fashion as I’ve ever seen.

Carol has evolved from mousey redshirt into a capable, even dangerous, survivor. She’s capable of making decisions others cannot, and never once asked to be in charge. That’s a great character arc, and I wish I’d have invented her first.

Authors need to be creative thieves. Stock Carol in your memory. Maybe some small piece of her can help you with your next character.

 

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