Monthly Archives: October 2013

Dad Cries After Kid Passes Math |

Okay, this one made me a little weepy.

Once upon a time, there was a young British kid who had a hard time with math.

Then he studied hard for his exam and got a C, and his father was so impressed with this earth-shattering feat of averageness that he wept like a baby.

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Another Review for “The Best Night of the Year” #amreading #horror #bynr

I’ll let this one speak for itself. Download a copy if you’re looking for a good #Halloween read.

 I stumbled onto Gerald Dean Rice on Facebook and saw the new cover for this book and thought I’d give it a shot. Three stories just 37 pages and it’s less than a dollar.

This is a very short collection but it does make for a good introduction to Rice’s work. Each story is solid and while they aren’t gory they are in a style that reminds me of The Twilight Zone, or even Night Gallery. This is classic horror and done well.

I’m glad I stumbled onto Rice and plan on reading as much as I can from this guy. He knows how to craft a story and after I read the last one in this collection I was upset because it was over. If you love classic horror that relies more on story telling than violence and gore pick this up. You won’t be dissapointed

Read the first review here.

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The Reviews are Coming in for The Best Night of the Year

This is a long one, but a good one. Thanks, Chuck Briggs! Download a copy– only 99¢!

I first encountered Gerald Dean Rice while slogging through some freebie zombie epics. As a rule, I don’t care for the genre – although I was a huge fan of George R. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” and even the Zack Snyder remake. Most of the zombie books I’ve encountered so far are just so much macho swaggering, damn the liberals, survivalist wet-dream fantasy. Not all of it, certainly. Who doesn’t like “The Walking Dead,” “World War Z” and “Sean of the Dead?” Anyway, in Gerald’s case, I came across his free read “The Thirty Minute Plan” (recommended) on Goodreads. I liked it. Sure, there was some tough guy, macho swaggering, but the macho types weren’t “told-ya-so” survivalists. They were prisoners pressed into the military by a panicked and faltering government. These were the guys marked “expendable” who somehow managed to keep their swagger and self-respect even though they’re literally at the bottom of the food chain. ” The Thirty Minute Plan” was a fast, intense and thought provoking, grim but defiant read. Not perfect, but damned good and with an unusual after resonance.

So, I made a note to keep an eye on this writer.

A couple of free reads and some flash fiction on Facebook later, my suspicions were confirmed. Gerald Dean Rice has the chops. His prose, although clean and unpretentious (the model obviously being Stephan King’s “Big Mac and Fries” metaphor. In horror, that’s GOOD. If the horror is presented in straightforward, almost documentary style, it is much more believable. That’s why Rod Serling was such a great narrator for the Twilight Zone and Orson Welles, one of the greatest figures of theatrical and cinematic history, failed at the job. Serling played it straight making what followed seem so much more real.)

Gerald is not afraid to write for popular tastes and follow trends, as witnessed by his love for zombie stories, but there is much more going on here. He ably shifts his voice and writing style to match whichever era he’s working in with his current flash fiction, “Historical Zombie” incidents. He’s also written some excellent, non-zombie dark fantasy, or as he calls it “weird fiction.” Well, as Billy Joel put it : “Dark Fantasy, Weird fiction, Quiet Horror, Splatterpunk, it’s all rock and roll to me.”

A 99 cent “dollar baby,” “The Best Night of the Year” is a collection of three of Gerald’s stories. The first one, “Mona” is a straight forward, old fashioned, hick cops in a witch house story. This looks like an earlier effort with a little bit of sloppy writing and a few too many clichés. Some of these, rightly, come from the mouths of the characters and are forgivable (people actually talk like that,) but some of it spills into the descriptive writing and should be cut back. Two or three of these are all you really need to establish character. However, the story itself is very good. You just KNOW this is going to get nasty when the redneck cops check out the suspect’s bathroom. NO problem with the descriptions here! And so, this story, although not as polished as a lot of Gerald’s work still keeps you reading and comes to a satisfying if not appetizing conclusion. Very good, old school, “Creepshow” style horror. Four stars.

The next story, the main attraction, “The Best Night of the Year” is superb. I love this kind story. The scares, weirdness and growing dread are perfectly executed, but more important is the subtext of what is going between the characters, A young father takes his kid out “trick or treating” on Halloween and allows the inevitable, weird kid/outcast/loner to tag along — in spite of his awful costume and just plain creepy personality. Anyone who has ever tried to do “the right thing” and had it blow up in his face can relate to this. Highly recommended! “The Best Night of the Year” deserves to be a classic. It sticks with you hours after you read it because the characters, the horror payoff and the underlying sense of decent humanism that somehow survives the encounter not only frightens but, oddly, uplifts. Five stars. Well done!

The final story, “Do Not Dig” is a zombie story but seems to fall outside of the whole “zombie apocalypse” sub-genre. Although it raises more questions than it answers, maybe not a bad thing, “Do Not Dig” is actually pretty good. Take a couple of gravediggers, a funeral for a very, very rich man who had a bit of a reputation for dabbling in the occult, shake well and serve chilled in an empty cemetery. Four stars.

For a buck, you can do a lot worse.

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#Call for Manuscripts (Another Shark in the Water)

It’s been a while since I found one of these guys who promise to take your manuscript and publish it in eBook form.


X Publishing is requesting proposals for books to be published on iPad, Kindle, and Nook. eBook technology is changing the publishing world. iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Sony Reader created profitable mass markets for eBooks. We at X Publishing are here to help you take advantage of that.

We invite you to submit a query letter or manuscript for consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I retain the rights to my book?
Yes. You retain all print rights, which means that when your eBook gets discovered by a big publishing company, you’ll receive 100% of those royalties.

How much will you edit my manuscript?
Not too much. If your manuscript needs major edits, it probably will be rejected. We will edit for clarity and concision. You will have the opportunity to approve or reject all edits.

Do I have to pay anything?
No. If your manuscript is selected, you will pay nothing to have your book published.

How much do you sell your eBooks for?
We prefer to sell eBooks at low prices with the goal of stimulating more sales volume, profits, and royalties. We default to charging $2.99 per eBook, but are open to your preferences on pricing, especially if you have already built a target audience with which you are familiar.

How much will I earn in royalties?
The fortunate few chosen to write for traditional publishers receive around $2 in royalties for each $20 hardcover book sold, according to the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, an agent that represents writers. Your royalties will be 230% higher than that. You’ll receive $1 for each $2.99 eBook sold.

I’m not sure if my manuscript is good enough. Should I submit?
If you’re on the fence, we suggest submitting. X Publishing can often say yes to manuscripts that traditional publishers will reject because our costs are lower.

I took out the name because I don’t want to give these guys any more press than this. Let’s break this down piece by piece. Notice at the very beginning how they are only publishing your manuscript as an eBook? That should be a warning flag right there. ePublishing is something that is super easy that anyone can do. I even wrote a book about it that retails for $2.99. Now that’s not just a plug (well, it is a plug, but I’ll come back to it in a moment).

You might be saying at this point, ‘hey, so what it’s only electronic where they publish, they’re not charging me anything’. This is very true if you mean there’s no upfront cost. But what they are charging you on the back end. Their price-point is $2.99. Now on Amazon (just about everyone follows closely what Amazon pays) the publisher will earn $2.05 per unit sold. They are pocketing 51% of that and paying you a buck. Now you may be thinking, hey, that’s actually a pretty good deal, if my book were published by a traditional publisher, I’d be making way less than that (which is true and is pointed out by these guys). But what a real publisher is giving you outweighs anything these guys have said they’d do for you.

Notice nothing is said about the creation of a cover, extensive editing services, advertising of your book, book tours, etc. All these things are what the big boys do to promote your book so it can sell. So what you are giving up in royalty percentage, you are more than gaining in units sold (ideally). But these guys are getting you on the cheap. They make no mention of promoting you, which means you are left to promote yourself. They make no mention of creating a cover for you, which means you either are going to create your own cover, pay them to create your cover, or pay someone else to create your cover. Now, there are some places you can have a cover made without spending a lot of dough (again, you can read about that in my $2.99 book) or you can wait until you’ve signed the bottom line with these guys to see which option you are left with.

Next! You do retain the rights to your work. Of course you do. You just are signing away your right to publish it yourself for a term of service. Something between 3 to 5 years. And by them saying they’ll be your publisher until an actual publisher comes along to buy the rights, that big publisher is buying the rights from them, not you. You’ve already handed over the rights to publish (you can never surrender ownership of your story–it’s a semantics trick).

The reason they don’t want to edit your manuscript is because they are looking for people to hand over their work so they can publish right now. They herd you in the right direction to get  cover created and they can have your book on e-shelves in a few days time with little to no financial investment on their part.

Again, self-publishing an eBook is very simple and super-easy. I take you through the whole process in my book, and instead of paying them $1.05 per book, you can buy mine for a one-time charge of $2.99. But you can always buy anyone’s book on self-publishing in the digital age and come out way cheaper than anything these guys can do for you.

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#Review of @JimmyPudge ‘s The Booty Goblin #amreading

There’s a new little monster everyone should be afraid of. The Booty Goblin is a little demon that has the strangest means of killing his victims. I love the mythos Pudge creates around this character. I love how the only thing it can say is ‘booty booty booty’. And per usual, Pudge’s easy style makes reading this story a breeze. I bought this book 2 days ago and barely read any of it the first day. One of the things I love most is the complete impossibility of predicting who is going to make it to the end of the story. Once again, I was wrong. Pudge isn’t afraid to kill major characters before the third act. Ramps up the tension, leaving the reader wondering whom to hang his hopes on. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who has ever read and enjoyed a book by Jimmy Pudge.

Download a copy here. Only $0.99.

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At the #Read Book Fair with My Table Mate @CarolTeegardin


Locked and loaded, I even brought my ebooks with me!

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Z-Flash #3 #amreading #free

Don’t forget to download a copy of The Best Night of the Year.

Flint, MI – June 23, 2010

An earthquake in central Canada was felt across the border in states such as New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  In Flint, a city approximately sixty miles northwest of Detroit, the seismic activity was also felt when a two mile stretch of land cracked open.

 “We were on our way to the bowling alley when it happened,” Jim Butcher, a resident of Mt. Morris stated.  “Everything just shook and we just stopped right where we was and just looked at it.”

 The ‘it’ Jim referred to was the two mile stretch of land that had just cracked open.  The devastation churned up earth and street alike, including a large section or Corunna Road and cutting through Glennak Cemetery which is located there.

 “A man climbed out,” 87 year old Betty Harvest stated.  “He was covered head to foot in dirt.  I don’t know, but he seemed upset.”

 Even though Chief of Police Montalvo Keye has stated there were no reported injuries or deaths as a result of the natural disaster, the unidentified disheveled man had been seen by several people.

 “Yeah, Dirty Man was in there,” a resident who wished to remain anonymous stated, referring to an abandoned home on Asylum Street, just north of Court.  “We came home one night and saw him going in.  A couple kids already went missing that week so my husband called the police.  But nobody ever came, so a group of guys got together and went in.  My husband said he was in there and tried to bite him.  They beat on him, but they left after my husband fainted.  At the hospital, nobody would tell us anything.  That was a month ago.  Now the doctors won’t even return my phone calls.  And the police still never came to take a statement.”

 “Dirty Man killed my best friend,” Ron Johnson, a teenager out of Grand Blanc stated.  “We were urbexing one of the old GM plants over on Van Slyke.  It wasn’t even real in there.  Maybe the plant had been closed a few months.  We were about to leave when we saw him.  He looked sick—I mean like dying.  Bones and stuff were hanging out of his face.  The back of his suit was split up the middle in the back.  Weird.  But my friend wanted to call 911 for him before we broke out.  That was when he grabbed me.  He was real strong.  If you look at my wrist you can see the scar from when he broke it.  Compound fracture.  Pete got him off, but then I couldn’t help him.  Dirty Man started biting him… and then he started eating him.  It was all I could do just to run away.”

 The last sighting of ‘Dirty Man’ was verified on August 3, 2010.  Glenn Beckitt was driving west on Miller Road, a main street through Flint when he struck a man he described as disheveled and filthy.  EMS was quick to respond after he called 911 and the man bit off the finger of one paramedic before being subdued.

 “They didn’t know what they was doing,” Pat Logue stated.  “I mean, I been to the hospital before.  I OD’d twice and I struggled both times.  You don’t punch the patient.  That’s how he got his finger bit off, he hit him.  That’s what he get.”

 All three local hospitals had no reports of anyone fitting ‘Dirty Man’s’ description being admitted or of an injured EMS worker.

Have you read Z-Flash #2?


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#ComingSoon Z-Flash #3 #Friday

If you’ve been enjoying my Z-Flash stories, stop by tomorrow for the third installment. I actually wrote these things about 2 years ago and did nothing with them. In my minor amount of research I’ve learned that duels were actually a popular way of settling disputes in the land of ago and that fascinates me. I may just write a ton of zombie stories based on that alone.

In the meantime, have you checked out the new cover to The Best Night of the Year?

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Got My Copies, #Book Fair, Here I Come!


I got these in the mail today. Then I went rummaging through boxes in the garage and found two remaining copies of The Ghost Toucher. So I’ll be pretty well-armed for the book fair this Saturday.

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The Best Night of the Year is #96 in the #Kindle Store

no 96

If you haven’t gotten a copy, download yours here. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy! I had no idea how this relaunch would go, but it has been a fantastic experience so far. A lot of people are responding to the new cover and I couldn’t be happier with it. Now if we could just do something about that 47,700 number. My next goal is to crack the top 100 in Kindle sales.

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