“Nowhere to Hide” Super-Sale Excerpt #4

Since the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99 this month (go get it now!) I thought that I’d spend this week sharing excerpts from the book to entice you to buy it amuse you. ๐Ÿ˜€

image

Today is excerpt #4: in this scene Nancy and Greg go from the frying pan into the fire…

————————————————

Secure that they’d finally made it to safety, they sprinted for the main entrance to the hospital. Boards had been nailed horizontally across the door’s moldings, but they were ableto pry two off by jamming Nancy’s katana in behind them, making a hole just big enough for them to squeeze through and shove the door open. They burst into the main foyer with twin gasps of relief.

And found no fewer than ten guys being pointed directly at their heads.

“Who are you?” a man’s voice demanded. It was a gruff, angry voice.

Nancy didn’t know which gun to look at. Her vision began to swim in front of her eyes.

————————————————

What? I’m going to end it there? Yup! If you want to find out what happens next, you’ll have to head on over to the “Nowhere to Hide” Amazon page, where you can, if you so choose, support your favorite new indie author by picking up the e-book for only $0.99! ๐Ÿ˜€

“Nowhere to Hide” Super-Sale Excerpt #3

Since the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99 this month (go get it now!) I thought that I’d spend this week sharing excerpts from the book to entice you to buy it amuse you. ๐Ÿ˜€

image

Today is excerpt #3: in this scene Nancy and her comrades have just gotten themselves into a little accident…

————————————————

Nancy was only out for a few seconds, but it was enough to disorient her. Her vision was filled with whiteness and she felt as though she was being smothered. There was a loud, ceaseless horn screeching at her from somewhere nearby.

“Nancy?” a voice called. “Nancy, are you okay?” The voice sounded panicked. Nancy wondered what had upset him so much.

“Are you okay?” This was a different voice, older, calmer, but also with a note of concern.

“I’m fine,” the younger voice insisted. “I think I bruised a few ribs flying into the back of your seat, but I’ll be okay.”

“You should wear your seat belt, you know.”

For some reason that statement made Nancy burst into giggles.

————————————————

What? I’m going to end it there? Yup! If you want to find out what happens next, you’ll have to head on over to the “Nowhere to Hide” Amazon page, where you can, if you so choose, support your favorite new indie author by picking up the e-book for only $0.99! ๐Ÿ˜€

“Nowhere to Hide” Super-Sale Excerpt #2

Since the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99 this month (go get it now!) I thought that I’d spend this week sharing excerpts from the book to entice you to buy it amuse you. ๐Ÿ˜€

image

Today is excerpt #2: in this scene from the second chapter, Nancy has just seen her first zombie, and her world is starting to fall apart…

————————————————

Slowly, puppet-like, Nancy looked down at her friend, passed out on the burned section of the carpet and found a purpose amid the madness. While others screamed and ran for help, or entered the apartment only to get caught up in the bloody horror, Nancy hoisted Terri-Lynn up over her shoulder and began to drag her out of the apartment. People ran by, screaming, but she paid them no mind. It was slow going, but she breathed deeply and pressed on, one foot in front of the other.

At the bottom of the stairs little Jenny Jeffries was peering out her apartment door like a curious little kitten. When Nancy looked at her the girl’s eyes went wide and she pulled herself back inside with a slam of the door. Nancy stared after her for half a moment before pressing on.

Terri-Lynn’s feet dragged along the floor. Nancy’s strength was beginning to wane. She started, first, for her own apartment, before remembering that it was directly below the carnage that was going on upstairs. Instead she turned for Terri-Lynn’s. Two doors down on the right, she dragged Terri-Lynn to the living room couch, dropped her down, and stumbled back to the door to lock and bolt it.

There were more sirens now, of many different pitches. Ambulances, police, firemen, and possibly others as well.

————————————————

What? I’m going to end it there? Yup! If you want to find out what happens next, you’ll have to head on over to the “Nowhere to Hide” Amazon page, where you can, if you so choose, support your favorite new indie author by picking up the e-book for only $0.99! ๐Ÿ˜€

“Nowhere to Hide” Super-Sale Excerpt #1

Since the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99 this month (go get it now!) I thought that I’d spend this week sharing excerpts from the book to entice you to buy it amuse you. ๐Ÿ˜€

image

Today is excerpt #1: this scene is from the first chapter of the book, in which our protagonist, Nancy, watches a disturbing news report…

————————————————

The boys called out disparaging comments, much of which was being bleeped out by the news’ censor; so much was being edited out that it was barely possible to tell what they were saying. One boy threw an empty beer can at the woman. It hit her square on the top of her head, but she didn’t react with so much as a flinch. Laughing raucously, a black-haired boy stepped foward and leaned down beneath her so he could look up into her face. He made a scathing comment: “Are you even alive in there?”

The woman’s head moved upward, very slowly, and a pair of dark, empty eyes stared through the curtain of hair to look at the boy’s face. Nancy felt a chill go down her spine. Christ, she thought. Those eyes…

————————————————

What? I’m going to end it there? Yup! If you want to find out how the news story ends, head on over to the “Nowhere to Hide” Amazon page, where you can read the entire first chapter for free. And while you’re there, if you so choose, you can support your favorite new indie author by picking up the e-book for only $0.99! ๐Ÿ˜€

Rave Reviews (and a Book Sale!)

When I wrote and self-published “Nowhere to Hide”, I had very low expectations for any kind of success. After all, self-published books have a tough time being discovered in an over-saturated sea of options, and it’s my first book, making me an unknown that people might not be willing to take a chance on. And on top of that, it’s a zombie story, which definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Now, no, I’m not going to turn around and tell you that, despite my low expectations, the book had been a success. It definitely hasn’t. However, I’ve sold a number of copies, and to my pleasant surprise it has gotten excellent reviews. It hasn’t gotten anything lower than 4 out of 5 stars so far, and a common theme seems to be that you don’t have to be a zombie fan to enjoy the story. So today I thought I’d share the awesome reviews I’ve gotten on Amazon and GoodReads, because just reading them gives me the warm-and-fuzzies.

image

Sean P MacKinnon – 5 Stars
Great little zombie story, with a strong female lead and a lot of tense, nail-biting moments as she tries to survive. Really gets you thinking about what it’d be like if a zombie apocalypse really happened. If you’re into stories about zombies, complete with gory fight scenes, a good sense of humor, and a bit of romance mixed in, this is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Was definitely worth the read. Be warned though: There are some pretty violent scenes and harsh language within, so this book is not good for children or the faint-hearted!

Eric Wood – 5 Stars
Great read… couldn’t put it down!

Sandi Rapp – 5 Stars
Great read, with just the right amount of nightmare-inducing storyline!

Darren MacLellan – 5 Stars
Not quite finished the book yet but it is an exciting read so far. I would highly recommend this one. Especially if you are a fan of the Walking Dead.

Tammy Gracie – 5 Stars
Loved it!

Jackie Tobin – 4 Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought the ending was different and inventive. Read it over two days, kept wanting to see what happened next.

Jordan – 5 Stars
This quick read follows Nancy and a few fellow survivors as they fight for their lives and attempt to find shelter from the swarm. At first, Nowhere to Hide seems like a classic zombie tale: ordinary people in the modern world begin rising from the dead to munch on other ordinary people. It’s the unexpected twists to the undead themselves that make this zombie novel unique. (Especially toward the end!)

Dark and well-paced, mixing action and suspense with character and personal struggles, it’s a great read whether you’re looking for another zombie/apocalyptic story to add to your “read” list or just starting to checkout the genre. Recommended!

Melissa Vickers – 4 Stars
Although typically this is not my favorite genre of book I made a pledge to start supporting local authors and I am glad I came across this one! This book surprised me with many twists and I love when a book isn’t predictable! As a first time published author I look forward to reading more from Tracey.

Megan – 4 Stars
Have to say this genre is not really my usual read, it’s more my sister’s, but I loved the book and truly enjoyed the plot and the characters. With that being said I cannot wait to read more books by this author.

Victoria Haddon – 5 Stars
I don’t usually read books that are to do with zombies because I think they’ll be just too much blood and gore. But this book isn’t filled with too much blood and gore and was a really good read.

I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next whether the characters were going to survive and what was going to happen next. The ending of the book was really inventive and different.

I bought the paperback version of the book instead of the kindle just because I fancied a good paperback book to read, and this book was well worth the money.

—————————————————-

Pretty nice, right? I can’t tell you how happy it makes me every time I get a good review, especially when it’s coming from some random stranger around the world who took a chance on an unknown indie author.

So, because I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy today with the glow of good reviews, I’ve decided to put the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book on sale. From now until the end of June, the e-book will be a ridiculously-affordable $0.99. So hop on over to Amazon and Kindle and check it out…anything is worth trying out for a buck! ^_^

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for February 2015

In February I was horribly behind on everything and you guys didn’t see any of my unboxing videos until the first week of March, so this month I tried really hard to get everything out before the end of the month. Unfortunately, Horror Block is stymieing that effort because it is shipped at a different time from everything else I receive. Since I started on a slightly different schedule than my last job, I am now out West for only a day or two when Horror Block arrives, meaning I don’t get to even look at it until it’s been sitting around the house for over two weeks. That said, I would rather the one block be super-late than if everything I get showed up while I’m out West, which happened a couple of times last year.

And now that I’ve gotten that little babble out of the way, why not check out the unboxing video for February’s Horror Block:

It might come as no surprise to you guys that I was disappointed in this block, because it seems like I’ve been disappointed in everything lately. It’s just been a bad couple of months for subscription boxes, let me tell you. But let’s go ahead and look at the breakdown anyway.

Giant Microbe “Zombie Virus”: Though not exactly something I want a bunch of, I do have to admit that these giant microbes are kinda funny, and it’s somehow suitable that we got a “zombie virus” in our Horror Block. This is the only one of these little guys that I’ve seen that is actually a fictional virus, and I’m curious as to whether they entirely made him up, or if he’s based on something else. Either way, plushy, red-eyed zombie virus retails at $10.
Bride of Frankenstein t-shirt: A lot of the Horror Block t-shirts have been bordering on horrible, in my opinion. This one isn’t terrible, but it’s also nothing my husband or I would really wear. I believe this was a Shirt Punch shirt, so we’re going to go with $10 for the value.
Zombie Containment Unit: So, I couldn’t actually see anything inside when I was examining it during the video, but apparently this is one of those toys that has a little figure inside all the goop, and said figure is a glow-in-the-dark shambler. You can collect ’em all for $3 per containment unit.
Vampire Teeth slap watch: I get the feeling my daughter is going to wind up with a collection of watches, since my husband and I don’t really wear them. Not too much to say about this item; it’s a slap-bracelet watch with vampire teeth on the watch face. Kinda cute, and worth about $8.
Bitten novel by Kelley Armstrong: Now, the thing is, I’ll probably like this book well enough, because while I prefer the kinds of monsters that rip your guts out, I can also appreciate the “sexy supernatural” versions, so this is an okay item for me. But I hold to what I said in the video, which is that a lot of Horror Block subscribers were probably not impressed in the slightest by this item. My husband, for example, would probably have thrown it in the trash if it was his subscription box alone. Poor form, Horror Block. The book retails at about $10.
Rue Morgue magazine: And as always, we have the magazine, which I don’t usually read, therefore making it a bit of a wash item. It’s a good item for someone who likes reading these types of magazines; it’s just not an item for me. About $10 is what these magazines go for.

Total approximate value of box: $51
Total cost to me: $38

It’s getting difficult to keep track of the costs of these boxes since they keep changing lately, but I went back in my credit card charges to find that last month’s Horror Block cost me just shy of $38, and that alone frustrates me to no end, because I’ve been finding what’s been in the boxes has not been worth that. Yes, technically, the value is there, but most of the items we’ve been getting are things we don’t want. The zombie virus is probably the only item that will actually end up amongst our collectibles, and though I will read the book it feels more like a bonus item because I wouldn’t have ever purchased it myself.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with this box, and I’m definitely thinking about cancelling it since my husband hasn’t been particularly impressed either.

Did you receive Horror Block for the month of February? What did you think? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, โ€œNowhere to Hideโ€! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entryโ€ฆplay fair! And good luck! โค

The Deathbed Reveal

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.” This is such a random prompt suggestion that I just had to try it…turn to page 82 in the book nearest you, take the third full sentence, and work it into a post somehow. Very interesting. As it so happens, the nearest book to […]

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for November and December

I’ve had a busy month, but the business actually started all the way back in November, and that’s why I didn’t so much as glance at November’s Horror Block until I got home for Christmas break in December. But we can’t just skip one – that would be insanity! So today I’m going to do a double review of the Horror Blocks from November and December. First let’s check out the unboxing video for November:

And now let’s take a look at the breakdown:

“Hannibal” t-shirt: If I’m being completely honest, this may be the worst shirt I’ve gotten in a subscription box yet, not because it’s necessarily a bad shirt, but because it doesn’t appeal to either my husband or I at all. We haven’t watched Hannibal, so this one is a definite miss. That said, it’s still a shirt, so it gets the default value of $15.
“Godzilla” Scaler: These little Scaler dudes are actually adorable (we’ve got three now, since the hubby and I both bought each other one for Christmas) and it’s awesome that it’s Godzilla. These little dudes usually go for approximately $8, but this one is actually pretty hard to find and is therefore closer to $15.
Heart-shaped stress-ball: Dollar-Store fare right here. Kinda cute, but worth $1 at most.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie cell: This is pretty neat right here, and an interesting collectible to have. I’m assuming that it’s a Loot Crate exclusive because I can’t find anything like it online, but I did find a movie cell sheet with multiple cells and framed and everything, so based on that I’m assigning this a value of about $15.
“Tales from the Cryptkeeper” dvd: This is cute and nostalgic, but is also a dvd in a bluray world, and it’s worth approximately $10.
“Cthulhu on Board” sign: Funny, for sure, but certainly not something that I would personally use. Also, I can’t for the life of me find it online, so someone let me know if you know what the value is of it. Since I have to give it something for this post, we’ll say $5.
“Fangoria” magazine: As always, I’m not actually a huge fan of these magazines, but they make a bit jump in the value of the box, since they’re worth approximately $11.

Total approximate value of box: $72
Total cost to me: $33

Strangely enough, this box has a higher overall value than any of the Horror Blocks I’ve opened so far, and yet it wasn’t a huge hit with me. Mostly I just like the Godzilla Scaler and the Nightmare on Elm Street film cell. Everything else definitely bumped up the value, but it’s all stuff that is more or less useless to me.

So what about December’s box? Well check out that unboxing video:

Awesome, right? Let’s look at the breakdown:

“Dracula” Funko Pop figure: I love this little dude, I really do, and amazingly he’s a Funko that I don’t have (just wait…there’s another video coming on that topic). Funko Pop figs are a huge deal to get in a box for me, and this little guy is worth approximately $13.
“Overlook Hotel” t-shirt: Definitely a better t-shirt than November; at least it’s of something that is relevant to my husband and I. As usual, a value of about $15 goes to this item.
“Zomb-Ease” Antiseptic Hand Cleanser: This was a cute idea, and useful, technically, but this stuff also goes for about $2 at any Dollar Store or Walmart.
“Maggot-Eye Skeleton”: The grossest stress-ball I’ve ever seen right here. It’s kind of amusing and definitely different, but not a big hit with me. I can’t find it for sale online anyway, so I’m assuming that it’s worth about $5 max.
“Poltergeist” mousepad: Okay, first, I’ve gotta say…a mousepad? Seriously? Does anyone really use mousepads anymore? The fact that it has a Poltergeist picture on it doesn’t really save the fact that it’s an item that probably very few people would get any use out of these days. I’m not even going to look it up. I’m going to assign it a value of $2.
“Rue Morgue” magazine: And, as with the Fangoria mag above, this goes for about $11.

Total approximate value of box: $48
Total cost to me: $33

So as you can see, December’s box was actually way down on the value, but strangely I was happier with it. I guess that’s the power of a Funko Pop. But to be honest, now that I’m looking at them, neither of them was really that great. I think that if you combine the two, they’re pretty awesome, but all in all the big items were the Funko and the Scaler.

Do me better next month, Horror Block!

Accountability Wednesdays: The LAST ONE!

20140128-192236.jpg

Guys…guys…guys…can you believe that it’s almost the end of 2014? Like, seriously. I’m wigging out a bit.

And with that, you may have noticed that the next two Wednesdays are Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, which means that I definitely will not be writing accountability posts. Therefore this is going to be the last one! I’ll include other stats and whatnot into my “2015 Goals” post when I write it, but as far as 2014 is concerned this is the last of the accountability. Woo! I actually feel a bit liberated. So let’s get this over with!

Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.

This was not a good year for this goal. There were a lot of excuses (good and bad), a lot of roadblocks, and a lot of reasons to spend my time on anything other than exercising. In the end, not only did I not lose ten pounds, but I actually gained several. As of this date I’m weighing in at about 2 lbs higher than what I began with in January.

The upside of that is that, strangely, I feel a lot more comfortable in my skin now than I did at the beginning of the year. I have my trouble spots, I have my little bits that bother me, but all in all I’m happy with the way I look, which I think is much better than actually losing the weight.

In addition to that we have the health issues, which are slowly coming under control. I had a lot of tests done on my gastrointestinal track and was eventually given a medication that helps to stop the stomach spasms that plague me whenever I travel. Then I was later given a medication for the anxiety that no one really realized I had until I mentioned to my doctor that I was the kid who threw up on the first day of school every year. Said prescription is not something that I can take every day forever (the effects weaken as you take it too much), but at least it’s available for me when I need it, and knowing that it helps proves that it’s a treatable condition. Two thumbs up to that.

So all in all, I guess it was a good year for this goal. My original intentions for the goal were not realized, but I came out of it happier and healthier, if in different ways.

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my author platform.

I’m on the fence about the success of this goal. I definitely took a couple of steps in the direction by joining Self-Publisher’s Showcase, tweeting more often, and finally recently giving in to Instagram, but I don’t know that the results have been so great. Over the course of the year I think I gained something like 80 new followers on the blog, maybe 50 new followers on Twitter, and a whopping 10 subscribers on YouTube, and while that’s great, it doesn’t feel like a lot compared to the amount of work I put in. Then again, I have a full-time job, so maybe the work I put in just feels like more than it really was.

In the end, things have been pretty good, but I hope to expand upon this goal in the future by looking to gain more followers on all mediums, as well as more readers now that I’ve got something for sale for them to read.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

You all know how this goal went! Though it was stressful at times and I definitely wanted to give up more than once, I managed to slog through the editing process not once, but twice, and with the help of my wonderful beta-reader I think I wound up with a much better novel than I started with. I then scoured the depths of the internet to learn how to properly format a manuscript for self-publishing purposes, designed my own cover with the use of a photo taken by my very own father, and painstakingly slapped it all together on Create Space until the result looked correct. Then I ordered the first ever print copy of my first ever completed novel and just about cried on camera as I did an unboxing video of it.

Of course it hasn’t all be unicorn rides and fluffy kitten snuggles since then. I’ve sold approximately 30 print copies (mostly to family), and approximately 15 e-book copies (mostly to NaNoWriMo friends), and I gave away almost 200 e-book copies for free on Halloween, so all total I’ve made something like $60 or $70 on this book thus far. Marketing yourself is a difficult business, especially because you have to be careful not to be annoying, and zombie novels are not for everyone, so I’ve got a long road ahead of me. But in the end, I’m just so happy to have actually done it, to be able to say that I am a published author and that my book is available on Amazon and Kindle. That is super-cool, and it just motivates me to write more, to publish more, and to prove that I can be a professional fiction writer while also working a day job to support my family. Boo-ya.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

Well I’ve been very positive in this post up to now, but there’s not a lot good I can say about this goal. At the beginning of the year I reduced my previous year’s goal by half, thinking that surely I would be able to handle it, but there were many road-blocks in my way.

Now, mind you, most of those road-blocks were completely reasonable ones. For instance I spent several months putting writing aside in favor of editing so that I could publish the novel. I also had a hard go at NaNoWriMo this year because I was working and thus only able to do my daily writing by hand. In addition to those blocks the length of my blog posts went down this year as I struggled to schedule stuff in advance so that I could work on more important things. All in all, it just turned out to be a pretty stressful year for writing. But the good news is that I did manage to keep up with the blog, only missing three or four scheduled days the entire year, and I’m also coming out of the end of 2014 with a very-nearly completed first draft of Book One of my upcoming “Other World” series. So that is definitely something!

———-

In the end, the year was full of ups and downs, as is wont to happen, but it was a pretty good one overall. I have my (relative) health, my small group of followers, my awesome self-published book, and the makings of more books coming into the new year with me. I think all of that deserves a celebration, so I’m going to spend the last two weeks of this year not worrying about anything except Christmas and having an awesome time with my family. How does that sound? ^_~

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 49

20140128-192236.jpg

Is it Wednesday already? Yay! That means that I only have five more days of work, six days until I’m home, and fifteen days until Christmas! Woo hoo!

Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.

Let’s go ahead right now and skip the weight loss part since we all know that ain’t happening and that I can’t report anything right now anyway.

On the health side, however, things are looking up. My stomach has been surprisingly calm, and taking meds for anxiety has made me realize how many things were actually making me anxious. It’s not a strong medication, like the kinds that make you super-docile and zombie-like, but I find myself realizing throughout the day that stupid times that usually get me worked up are just totally bypassing my radar. I see this as a good thing.

Goal #2. Be more active on social media and work hard on my author platform.

It definitely hasn’t been my busiest week ever, but it has been a decent one for sure. I’ve been blogging, tweeting, sharing fun stuff on Facebook, and lately I’ve gotten into Instagram. I will never in a million years be the kind of person who Instagrams their food, but I needed the account in order to complete some of my Influenster and BzzAgent campaign tasks, so I figured I may as well have some fun with it while I’m at it. Check it out if you’re interested.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

Still done!

In related news, guys, I totally want to put on a Kindle Countdown Deal on “Nowhere to Hide” for Christmas, but I’m blocked from setting it up because I accidentally reset some settings and now I have to wait 30 days before I can put on any deals. Arg! But hey, if you’ve got a reader on your gift-giving list you can always buy them a hard-copy of the book! It’d be like giving me a Christmas present too!

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

I’m gonna be honest with you guys: I’m pretty depressed about this goal. Last year I aimed for a million words and didn’t quite reach half of that. This year I aimed for half a million and I don’t think I’m even going to hit 300,000. I’m regressing! On the upside, I did publish a book this year, but I am disappointed in myself for writing so little. Next year must be better.

That said, I don’t have an exact number, but I wrote somewhere in the ballpark of 4000 words this week.