Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Runaway Character


Episode 4 of Jude Nerdworthy, Teenage Monster Fighter, in One Bad Bite Deserves Another

Scroll down or click here to read from the beginning.

A late model Ford Pinto showed up (I said it was late) and double parked. Local Warrenville author Marvin Bloodleder climbed out of the ripped and torn vinyl and cloth seat. “Okay, hand over my runaway character. She will be severely punished. I hope she hasn't turned anyone into a werewoman or anything nasty like that.”

Marvin gazed about our little crowd. His eyes stopped on Phil in his hairy legs and micro mini. “Oh, sorry about that. Marianna Bucket will receive an extreme reprimand for this.”

“Ahem,” I said because there’s really not much else to say at a time like this while pointing to a dead body on the street.

“Oh my,” said Marvin. “You’ve killed off my character. You can’t murder someone else’s character. That’s my job. How am I supposed to write a novel with one of my characters dead?”

I shook my head as I stated the obvious. “As a writer, Marvin, you can resurrect a character. Just rewrite the chapter where she died.”

“But she’s dead,” Marvin protested. “How am I going to put her back in my novel with her laying here dead?”

“Shouldn’t that be lying here dead?” Marylou asked despite having flunked English last term.

“What’s the difference, she’s dead, ain’t she?” asked Marvin.

“You’re the writer. I thought you’d want to get it right. Lay requires a direct object,” said Marylou who obviously studied her grammar over the summer or started visiting Grammar Girl online.

“Nevermind about that, Marvin. Lay your laptop down next to Marianna Bucket’s bullet riddled body and open your DVD drive.” I said.

“Don’t forget to return my silver bullet,” Albert said.

Marvin opened his laptop, entered his password and brought it up. Next, he opened his DVD drive so the little tray slid out. “Now what?”

“Park Marianna Bucket’s dead butt on the DVD tray and your PC should do the rest,” I said.

“Yeah, try to do this with a Mac,” said Albert.

Meanwhile, those two large red eyes continued to stare our way from across the street.

Please click here to continue.

NEW NOVEL

From where she stood at the foot of my bed, fifteen-year-old Jennifer Hawkins couldn’t miss, but would this sweet girl shoot me? 


Snipgrdxz and the Time Monsters features Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Hormones fly in this madcap misadventure. Is Bryan totally insane or is there a part of him that can still fall in love with one of the many versions of his time-traveling girlfriend? Find out when you read this love-crazed tale of friends who become stuck between the wrong time on earth and an underworld inhabited by an evil daemon, werewolves, nosferatu, trolls and more. Learn more by clicking here.



HAGS SPECIAL OFFER: Only 99 cents US today for your Amazon Kindle

From the mattress on the floor of the back bedroom of his antique Victorian fixer-upper, Micah Probert heard a far off scream.

After 15 years in prison, Micah Probert returns to Naperville, Illinois, where he discovers a human-sized faerie flitting about in his backyard, a dead body behind his house, a pesky ghost in his kitchen, and a local coffee shop serving the darkest roast this side of hades. And that's just for openers as Micah learns his young girlfriend is a hag as wicked as any from medieval times. A demon, a secret second hag, and an ex-girlfriend out for blood enliven the action.  Will Micah learn the powerful secret to defeating the evil mounted against him in time to save Naperville while also clearing his name and convincing his ex-girlfriend he didn't rape her little sister? Learn more by clicking here.

"It's like stepping into a Peretti novel, where the characters of the book are joined by the unseen characters - angels and demons.” – Becky Davis

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Permanent Fix in Silver


Episode 3 of Jude Nerdworthy, Teenage Monster Fighter, in One Bad Bite Deserves Another

Scroll down or click here to read from the beginning.

At six-four, Philomena was a curvaceous beauty unlike her usual situation as Phil the six-four, 275-pound left tackle. It’s what happens when you become a teenage weregirl.

“I can’t play football like this.” Philomena moaned.

“Of course you can play football,” said Marylou. “They can’t stop you just because you’re a girl sometimes. You’re only a girl at night during the full moon. How many times does the team play under the full moon during the season? Not many, I can tell you that. Besides, the guys might like having a girl player in the locker room once in a while. Wait. That didn’t come out right.”

I bailed my girlfriend out of the corner she talked herself into. “I can fix you permanently with a silver bullet. My friend Albert Bringlebaum usually carries at least one gun with silver bullets. He keeps wooden bullets in another. And he has several of your basic lead bullet automatics in his backpack. They really need to install metal detectors at school.”

“Don’t you have anything that can reverse the spell?” Phil or Philomena asked.

“I’m a monster fighter, not a creature repairman. What else were you ladies expecting from me?”

“I’m not a lady,” shouted Phil or Philomena.

“What were you sluts expecting from me?” I repeated.

“Why don’t you not kill us like you did my brother Ferdy?” Dorothy asked. 

“Cousin Ferdy asked for it when he decided to suck blood in Warrenville, Illinois,” Marylou said.

“Tell you what,” I said. “Refrain from sucking, biting, scratching or in any way devouring the citizens of Warrenville and I’ll let you live. You’ll continue in your undead mode. But at the first sign of trouble, you’ll deal with me.”

“But what about my girliness?” Phil or Philomena moaned.

“I’m sorry, but I already have a girlfriend,” I said.

“So do I,” said Phil or Philomena. “She doesn’t need a girlfriend. She wants me, the real masculine me.”

“Well, now that you mention it, Philomena, I’m a vampire. I make no distinction between boys and girls. It’s all the same to me,” said Dorothy.

“Really?” asked Philomena. “Let’s go back to your house so we can talk alone.”

Phil or Philomena embraced Dorothy, but at that moment, the smaller pair of eyes across the street floated in our direction until we could make out Marianna Bucket as she charged at us. She snagged Phil or Philomena and bit him or her on the neck nearly taking his or her head off, but not enough to kill him or her, just enough to cause a big blood flow.

“Oh, how lovely!” Dorothy licked up the werewoman blood while Phil's or Philomena’s neck healed at werecreature speed.

“Look, I’m all better,” said Phil. Philomena was no longer present. Instead she was past if not tense. Unfortunately, Phil was still dressed in Philomena’s tiny dress. It helped that it was dark out, but not enough to hide his hairy legs, and he still better not bend over.

“And I’m well-fed,” said Dorothy.

“No, I’m all better now. By biting me a second time, that werewoman cured me.”

“You mean the cure for werewomanry is a second bite from the same werewoman?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Phil.

“Well, what have we here?” a voice asked out of the darkness.

“You’re here,” said Marylou.

Albert Bringlebaum approached us with more weapons than a wealthy insurgent. “Yes, darling.” Albert planted a huge one right on Marylou’s luscious lips. I mean a kiss, not a gun. Regarding whether my girlfriend Marylou’s lips are luscious, trust me, I know. But when did Albert find out about Marylou’s lips?

Albert backed away from Marylou as he pulled a gun from his belt.

“I don’t like the looks of this,” said Marianna Bucket.

“Neither do I. Why’d you kiss him like that, Marylou?” I asked.

Albert shot Marianna between the eyes. Her eyes, not his.

Across the street, the giant pair of red eyes blinked.

Click here to continue...


NEW NOVEL

From where she stood at the foot of my bed, fifteen-year-old Jennifer Hawkins couldn’t miss, but would this sweet girl shoot me? 

Snipgrdxz and the Time Monsters features Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Hormones fly in this madcap misadventure. Is Bryan totally insane or is there a part of him that can still fall in love with one of the many versions of his time-traveling girlfriend? Find out when you read this love-crazed tale of friends who become stuck between the wrong time on earth and an underworld inhabited by an evil daemon, werewolves, nosferatu, trolls and more. Learn more by clicking here.



HAGS SPECIAL OFFER: Only 99 cents US today for your Amazon Kindle

From the mattress on the floor of the back bedroom of his antique Victorian fixer-upper, Micah Probert heard a far off scream.

After 15 years in prison, Micah Probert returns to Naperville, Illinois, where he discovers a human-sized faerie flitting about in his backyard, a dead body behind his house, a pesky ghost in his kitchen, and a local coffee shop serving the darkest roast this side of hades. And that's just for openers as Micah learns his young girlfriend is a hag as wicked as any from medieval times. A demon, a secret second hag, and an ex-girlfriend out for blood enliven the action.  Will Micah learn the powerful secret to defeating the evil mounted against him in time to save Naperville while also clearing his name and convincing his ex-girlfriend he didn't rape her little sister? Learn more by clicking here.

"It's like stepping into a Peretti novel, where the characters of the book are joined by the unseen characters - angels and demons.” – Becky Davis



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Who You Gonna Call?


Episode 2 of Jude Nerdworthy, Teenage Monster Fighter, in One Bad Bite Deserves Another

Scroll down or click here to read from the beginning.

Marylou ignored the four red eyes hiding in the bushes across the street. She turned away from me to speak into her cell. “Albert, can you bring your gun collection to my house right away. Sure, six should be enough if they’re fully loaded. Great. See you.”

“Since when do you have Albert Bringlebaum on your direct dial?” I asked.

“Pay attention to your clients,” Marylou said.

“I don’t have clients. I have friends in trouble.”

“Help that friend in trouble,” Marylou said.

I turned to the tall girl. “What happened to you?”

“Marianna Bucket,” the tall girl said.

“But she’s a fiction character in Marvin Bloodleder’s novel series Dawn of the Dimwits.” I knew I made a mistake as soon as I spoke.

Marianna Bucket escaped from the first draft of Bloodleder’s latest in the series, The Bitcoin Conspiracy, about a vampire who sucked money and invested it in the illicit drug industry.

“After you helped Mr. Bloodleder capture Marianna Bucket, he rewrote her part to make her a guy turned into werewoman. It was his way of punishing her for running away. But the guy character he wrote was gay and his big thing in the novel was to come out during the high school prom.”

Marylou played with the speed dial on her cell again. “Marianna didn’t like the idea of playing a gay male character with a big thing at the prom. If she was going to be a guy, she wanted to be a hunk who liked girls.”

“Who are you calling this time?” I asked.

Ignoring me, she spoke to her cell. “Marvin, we’ve got your runaway character. Yes, again. Come and get her. It doesn’t matter if she’s supposed to be gay and a he.”

“What are you doing with Marvin Bloodleder on your direct call?” I asked.

Marylou ignored me again. “Just get to the point, Phil or whoever you are.”

“I’m thinking of going by Philomena. That way I won’t have to get a new driver’s license.” The tall girl crossed her legs at the ankles despite her standing position.

“And the point is?” Marylou asked.

“Marianna escaped from Mr. Bloodleder’s novel again. She fooled me into thinking she was an Ebola nurse escaped from Dallas who needed a hug. That’s when she bit me.  Now, look what happens to me when the moon is full.” Phil or Philomena gestured to indicate her lovely self.

“What? You look great to me,” I said as Marylou punched my sore left ribs.

“I can’t play football like this?”

“And why are those four red eyes staring at us in the bushes across the street. I’m especially curious about the really big pair of eyes,” I said.

Click here to continue...



Tuesday, October 27! Whoa, Paul, That's a long wait. 

No worries, mate. It'll be here by next Tuesday. In the meantime, you can enjoy more monstrous fun, by downloading Egbert, a tale of vampires in Chicago. It's a best seller for Kindle vampire stories on Amazon this week (free category -- go figure) Click over to Amazon for the free download.






NOVEL FOCUS: Snipgrdxz and the Time Monsters, features Bryan Ganarski, Jennifer Hawkins, Gilbert Armstrong, and of course, Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Hormones fly in this madcap misadventure. Is Bryan totally insane or is there a part of him that can still fall in love with one of the many versions of his time-traveling girlfriend? Find out when you read this love-crazed tale of friends who become stuck between the wrong time on earth and an underworld inhabited by an evil daemon, werewolves, nosferatu, trolls and more. Learn more by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Weregirl of Warrenville


Episode 1 of Jude Nerdworthy, Teenage Monster Fighter, in One Bad Bite Deserves Another

Phil Nimmocker found out what happens when a teenage weregirl bites you. His other problem was he didn’t have a sister to borrow a dress from whenever the moon went full. And we’re not even going to think about the dress size his mom wears now that menopause has kicked in.

Phil played left tackle for the Wheaton Warrenville South High School Tigers so as you can imagine he was a big guy even as a sophomore. Six-four, 275 about covers his height and weight. He dated Dorothy Minglebocker despite the difference in their age and cuspid size.

Dorothy had no problem fitting into the sophomore class again this year. She’s been an on-again, off-again cheerleader for the high school team since the mid-eighties when she first began to twinkle and prefer rainy, overcast skies during the day.

The trouble began the night of the full moon last month. My girlfriend, Marylou Brombach, and I occupied the living room couch at her house while her mom changed the oil on my car out in the garage. We were in the midst of typical Friday night boy-girl tongue-related activities when Gloria Beeswax burst in without so much as a doorbell ring. Gloria was the cheerleader who calculated that one cheerleader plus one high school football team added up to a good time was had by all.

“Oh, I like where your hand is headed, Jude,” said Gloria.

“You better be interested in Jude Nerdworthy’s monster fighting skills rather than his digital dexterity while rounding my third base. Besides, the sliding position of Jude Nerdworthy’s hand is not the reason you barged into my house, is it, Gloria?” Marylou asked.

“You guys have to see this. Come.” Gloria spun on her well-formed heels and returned to Marylou’s front porch.

Marylou sighed. I removed my hand and together we followed Gloria who led us down to the sidewalk where we spotted Dorothy Minglebocker holding hands with an attractive, six-four teenage girl who looked like she could be Phil Nimmocker’s sister if he had one. Unlike Phil, this girl was curvaceous in a near perfect way. The new girl wore a lacy black dress that would have qualified as a short skirt on a girl a foot shorter than her six-four height. On the new girl, we were talking sexy t-shirt and better not bend over.

“Jude, you have to help me,” Dorothy said.

“I have a stake in the kitchen and a large wooden mallet,” I suggested.

“Not me, silly. My boyfriend needs your help.” Dorothy retracted her fangs along with her smile.

“Where is he?” I asked.

“Right here. Say hello, Phil.” Dorothy leaned in close to her lofty friend.

The towering girl holding Dorothy’s hand said, “Hello, Jude.” Her soft, sultry voice stirred more than my imagination.

Marylou elbowed me in the ribs as my imagination shrunk down to normal size. She yanked her cell out of a pocket in her skirt.

“Who are you calling?” I asked. “And what are those four pairs of red eyes across the street in the bushes. I’m especially curious about those two really big eyes.”

Click here to continue reading...




For more monstrous fun, download Egbert, a tale of vampires in Chicago. It's number 10 on the US best seller list for Kindle vampire stories today on Amazon (free category -- go figure) Click over to Amazon for the free download.





NOVEL FOCUS: Snipgrdxz and the Time Monsters, features Bryan Ganarski, Jennifer Hawkins, Gilbert Armstrong, and of course, Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Hormones fly in this madcap misadventure. Is Bryan totally insane or is there a part of him that can still fall in love with one of the many versions of his time-traveling girlfriend? Find out when you read this love-crazed tale of friends who become stuck between the wrong time on earth and an underworld inhabited by an evil daemon, werewolves, nosferatu, trolls and more. Learn more by clicking here.


Friday, October 10, 2014

How to Take Your Dialogue to the Next Level


Yesterday, I wrote about how to enhance the dialogue you write by thinking more about how people often only half listen in a conversation. I suggested asking leading questions to force the other person to more fully participate in the conversation. Last night at my writer’s group, I gave an exercise in three parts. In part one, we wrote a monologue. In part two we revised the monologue as a dialogue with two speakers. The third part of the exercise was to revise the dialogue to indicate that the second person was only half listening. The first speaker was permitted to ask leading questions. The prompt for the exercise was: I won’t see you until…

It was a timed exercise so I skipped the quote marks and tags. Here is my result for part three.

I won’t see you until Danny comes back from that Jupiter trip –

Wait. Danny went to Jupitor?

Yeah.

What’s he doing on Jupitor?

I don’t know. Something about picking up crops or plants or trees or whatever they grow up there these days.

Oh, that reminds me. Mom picked up the coolest oak cabinets for the kitchen at ISOGS.

No, no, you’re missing the point.

What? You said trees. Naturally I assumed you meant oak. They’re the only ones that grow in outer space.

Wait. I wanted to tell you I love you.

You what? This isn’t about my mother’s kitchen, is it?

You’re spoiling the moment, darling. Don’t you feel what I feel?

Did you say you wanted to tell me something about loving me? No, that couldn’t be right? What were you saying?

I wanted to tell you I love you because, frankly, that’s the way they do it in vampire  movies, and well, I have a little confession to make.

Vampire movies? Oh, that reminds me. Did you see Dawn of Dead Blood Suckers yet?

You watch vampire movies?

Yeah, you knew that, right?

Noooo. Since when?

Last Saturday. George Nipster took me.

Wait, you went out with George?

Yeah.

I thought we were dating?

We are? Oh, I thought we were just friends.

Well, I am a vampire. We don’t do friends. Well, we do friends, but we don't have any.

I thought you were a werewolf. Danny said to watch out because you’re a real wolf.

Yes, I know you think I’m a werewolf, and I am. But then Gilrod bit me the other week, and now I have to leave for Space Station Alpha. I think I’ll always be under a full moon up there –

Hold on. You’re going to the moon?

No, Space Station Alpha.

When did you become a space junkie?

When I became a werewolf I got that free scholarship to NIU where all the animals go.

So are you a vampire or a werewolf?

So yeah, exacty. I’ll be a blood sucking werewolf in space. Or I’ll bite all their heads off and then suck their blood, but either way it won’t be pretty when Danny returns from Jupitor with that cargo ship load of wolfsbane and oak stakes.

Aren’t you allergic to that stuff?

Sure, but I can avoid the wolfsbane. All I have to do is not drink any poisoned Tang. But the oak stakes? One or two I can catch but a cargo ship loaded with them?

***

Did you download your $0.99 copy of Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters yet? Today on Amazon for your Kindle. Click here and be sure to pass the link on to your friends.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why Do Characters Ask Questions?


On the surface, you may be wondering why I would even ask a question about questions. Characters ask questions because they need an answer from another character in the story. Pretty simple, right?

Not.

Consider when a sales person or teacher asks you a question. By sales person I’m not thinking of those pesky telemarketers that call you in the middle of your dinner. I’m thinking about professional business development people who are tasked with finding new customers and serving existing customers for your company or any company for that matter.

The sales rep needs information to guide you to make the best decision about a purchase for the needs of your business. The sales rep asks a lot of questions about those needs. But if you listen closely to the conversation, there is something else going on. The sales person has to be a good listener and asking a question forces the sales person to listen to you instead of “selling” you.

But it works the other way around. If the sales person tries to tell you or “sell” you on a product, you’ll only half listen. You have better things to think about then listening to some sales rep natter on about a product you’re only half interested in, in the first place. The smart sales rep asks instead of tells. You’ll hear questions like:
  • How would it feel to never have to worry about digital security breaches again?
  • How would a new digital security breakthrough fit into your network?
Such questions are conversation starters. When a sales rep opens a dialogue, the customer listens and responds. The exchange will be in the form of brief statements and more questions. For the sales person, this dialogue will guide the customer in making an informed choice about their purchase.

BTW, the questions above are the type we ask at FXX Enterprises about our new digital security solution, DVNC, which prevents the kind of security breaches you hear about every day in the news. This, of course, raises another question: Why aren’t more of those big box retailers, restaurant chains, banks and medical offices calling us yet? Learn more by visiting our FXX website by clicking here.

The same thing applies to a teacher or college professor. If your instructor drones on with a lecture for the whole class period, you’re likely to be found among those students snoring away in the back of the room or among the note exchanging lovers. Either way, you’re not going to ace that next exam. But if the teacher asks leading questions, you are more likely to become engaged in the topic leading to that A. (They still give As, don’t they?) 

Let’s bring this Q&A back to writing dialogue in fiction. If people only half listen, then how realistic is it for your characters to have a lovely conversation as though they have nothing else on their minds to distract them? Instead of trading facts and opinions in a nonstop back and forth of data dumping, have your characters raise leading questions that force the other character to respond.

Your characters, like people everywhere, have to focus to answer a question. If a character isn’t focused on the conversation, asking a question will make this obvious and help restore the listener’s focus.

To add realism to your dialogue, have a distracted character not listen. Have the other character call out the non-listening one. While you’re engaged in writing realistic dialogue, avoid long lectures by your character by breaking the information up into a back and forth conversation. (There are exceptions of course, but in general, short and spiffy is better than long and “Oops, I fell asleep. What were we talking about?”)

Why haven’t you downloaded Snpgrdxz yet?
My full-length new novel, Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters, is going for less than a buck for your Kindle this week on Amazon. You only have today and tomorrow. So what gives? Why wouldn’t you click on over to Amazon right now and check this deal out?



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Get to Know Your Characters


The Write Time Writer’s Group in Geneva, Illinois, discussed ways to get to know a character in preparation for writing a novel. With Nanowrimo coming up in November, these ideas may help you prepare to write a novel in a month.

Here’s our list:
  1. Give them their own goals.
  2. Identify personal theme songs for each character.
  3. Write a voice summary for each character. As an author, you have a voice. Your characters need their own voice to help you distinguish them from each other.
  4. Interview your characters. This is one of my favorites. As my character answers a series of questions, her personality, mannerisms and speech patterns emerge.
  5. Rewrite the Gettysburg Address as the character. This gets at the character’s voice and personality.
  6. Diagnostic – Use DSM for mental disorders – working reference for physicians, psychologists, social workers, attorneys, etc.
  7. What else is going on in your character’s life? This is the backstory that doesn’t make it into your novel, but helps you get to know the character.
  8. Which Hollywood actor would play your character? Basing your character on an actor provides a built-in character description.
  9. Write the story and the characters will reveal themselves. At the end of first draft, you will know your characters. Make adjustments as part of the editing.
Explore the characters in my new horror humor novel, Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters, today for less than a buck for your Amazon Kindle. It’s nonstop action, nonstop monsters and nonstop laughter when you visit the crazy world of Snpgrdxz, the teenaged alien shape shifter, and his high school buddy Bryan Ganarski. And don’t forget Jennifer Hawkins. A guy has to have someone to fall in love with even if she does shoot at you, right? Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Curse of Dracula


Grummuglefix.

That’s what I say when I’m angry like when some smart alec stakes my heart while I’m dead. But you didn’t stop by to hear me curse. I am Dracula, Count of Transylvania. My people hate me because I charge high taxes. The town councils complain.

“What do you think?” they ask. “Do you expect blood from a stone?”

But I say, “Of course not. I have you for that. I don’t take all of your blood, just a little to pay for my many services to you like keeping out barbarian invaders from the north and civilized invaders from the south. And west? Don’t even ask about the west.”

Things run great in my country. People are happy once their bite marks heal up. I only take a little bit. It’s good for them. They make new, healthy blood.

Things went bad for a while when the Communists took over, and I was no longer Count Dracula. Instead, I became Comrade Dracula, Commissar of Transylvania.

But the people hated me because I charged high taxes. Comrades from Moscow said I had to share my castle with the workers. “It’s too big for one man with only three living dead wives,” they said.

I offered the villagers the opportunity to spend their nights in Dracula’s castle. Villagers all said, “No thank you. Your castle is too far from the factory.”

So the Communists fell after only 75 years in power. That’s like a long lunch break for me. I went into exile like all good former commissars. By the way, there’s no such thing as a “good” commissar. This explains why communism failed.

I moved to England and married the daughter of an earl. We were happy until she wanted a baby. I found a teenage baby for her. She became a nice daughter for Dracula and his lovely bride.

Grummuglefix.

She found out about boys.

Maybe you have seen her at the high school dance. She’s the one with the two big teeth up front. No braces.

My wife likes our teenager but wishes for a real baby still. I explained how vampires can’t have babies. You have to be human. Instead, please enjoy our teenage daughter. See she’s having nice romances with teenage boys and werewolves.

Our daughter is a nice girl. She brings her girlfriends home for a pajama party. We serve them snacks, sodas, booze and drugs. Then we suck their blood.

Before dawn, we send our daughter’s friends home happy. Later they make their mothers and fathers happy. Unfortunately, the authorities don’t like too much happiness, especially amongst their vampire neighbors. So as the police pound stakes during the day, I move the family back home to Transylvania.

Grummuglefix.

My three old wives do not like my new family, but I tell them we are one big happy family whether they like it or not. I remind them that Count Dracula can pound a few stakes just like Englishmen.

My teenage daughter adapts quickly to Transylvania. She loves dating the local boys at night.

Meanwhile, I am no longer Commissar as I said. Instead, I am Count Dracula again except now we have democracy. I am a very democratic count. I tax everyone equally. It’s only fair. Oh wait. I am progressive democrat. I tax rich people more equally than poor people. And I support health care plan because we need a nice hospital with a big blood bank.

***

Speaking of vampires…
Did you know that my new novel, Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters, is chock full of vampires? It’s loaded with trolls and a wide range of other strange monsters. It’s a horror story blended into a time travel journey. Snpgrdxz is pronounced as if spelled snip-grid-ix. Begin by reading the free chunk you can access by clicking on the book cover on Amazon by clicking here.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Snpgrdxz and the Discount Offer



Purchase Snpgrdxz for just 99 cents today.

The modern novel is about two things: action and emotion. Action moves the story along so that you can’t put it down because of the nonstop forward motion. Emotion is about laughter, joy, excitement. It’s about anger, fear and angst. It’s about the exhilaration of needing to know what will happen next. Above all, it’s about falling in love with one person in one place, and with one book, one author. For love conquers everything including the monsters who’d love to kill us, eat us, or transform us into something unspeakable in the world of Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters.

What if one night that teenage girl you have a crush on appears at the foot of your bed, pistol in hand, and threatens to shoot you? But your best friend and a terrorist burst into your bedroom and kill her in the nick of time? But the next night this same girl shows up in your bed again? This time she’s ready for love. When did your dead crush become your girlfriend? Wild dreams? Since when did your nightmares leave actual bullet holes and blood stains behind?

Join the crazy journey of Bryan Ganarski, Jennifer Hawkins, Gilbert Armstrong, and of course, Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Hormones fly, earther and other, in this madcap misadventure.

Is Bryan totally insane or is there a part of him that can still fall in love with one of the many versions of his time-traveling girlfriend? And will Bryan work up the gumption to kiss Jennifer in front of the whole sophomore class like she asked him to? She did ask him, didn’t she?

This love-crazed tale of time travel features a group of friends who become stuck between the wrong time on earth and a troll world filled with monsters far worse than those pesky tiny bridge trolls and the really tall, hairy mountain trolls. An evil daemon, werewolves, nosferatu, and a few ghosts are among the many monsters waiting for you in Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters. It’s the first novel in my new sci-fi/fantasy horror series.

Enjoying a great read begins with action and emotion. Act now to purchase Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters on Kindle today for only $0.99 US. Save $2 US and pay less than a buck. Such a deal! Don’t miss out on it. Click here now.

You can get all emotional later as you read Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters.


In case you missed it, here’s the link to my new novel on Amazon: Click here.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Modern Warrior Woman


Jennifer Hawkins discovers her role as the warrior attracted to a cowardly boyfriend in Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters. Jennifer protects and lifts up her boyfriend while displaying the courage to become the only female member of the time travelling team searching for the lost Maria Gonzalez. She serves as the conscience of the group while retaining her nickname of Wild Thing. It’s Jennifer who dispatches two of the mobsters who attack in 1923, and she is the one who serves as nurse to a wounded Bryan Ganarski. (BTW, you’ll want to check out this scene as described in a first-person point of view by Bryan after he is wounded in the head. It makes for an interesting Tour de Force.)

Jennifer meets herself on her time journey and the two Jennifers travel together without having the time-space continuum collapse. Apparently the universe can abide a paradox. 

One of the things to watch for as you read my Snpgrdxz (pronounced like it's spelled Snip-grid-ix) series of novels is the way the two main Jennifers (there are others that pop in from time to time) grow in two different directions with one becoming a strong female warrior while the other descends into evil.

By having two versions of the same strong female character, I’m able to explore the way any of us can choose evil or good actions. Snpgrdxz also provides a humorous way to examine the theme of good and evil in our modern culture which dismisses this kind of contrast as primitive Bronze Age thinking. In a world that approves of our actions as “lifestyle choices,” the Snpgrdxz novels show that not all choices are for the good and not all actions give life.

Read the free portion of the first novel in the Snpgrdxz series, Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters, by clicking here for the book on Amazon.

And while you’re on Amazon, be sure to download the Kindle version of my most downloaded short story Little Miss Forgotten. It reached number 33 on Amazon this morning and today is the last day it's free.

Today’s Nostalgia Post: How can a Christian write a story where a character commits a murder? Take a deep dive into a philosophical issue. Click here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Girl with the Killer Kiss


You have to be realistic. Like all other organizations, whether for profit or not for profit, the idea is to promote your services in the most attractive way. For example, would you voluntarily kiss a monster in a floor-length hoodie? Or allow the same monster to kiss you full on the lips?

When it comes to applying the kiss of death, wouldn’t the victim be more likely to respond to the advances of an attractive young person?

What we have here is the basis for my short story, Little Miss Forgotten, a tale about a death angel who takes her vacation in the real world where you and I live. The story is set during the Vietnam War era when death angels were especially busy and their vacations well-earned. What happens when a vacationing death angel meets a regular guy in search of love?

Find out by reading Little Miss Forgotten. It’s available today free on Amazon. Download your free copy by clicking here.

Today’s Nostalgia Post: Mosquitoes. The season isn’t over yet, so let’s take a quick look at mosquito prevention humor from August 2009. Click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Death Takes a Vacation


We often think of death as an angel sent to take away your soul to judgment, leaving your body as an empty shell for the fire pit or burial ground. But the world is so overrun by people that one angel simply can’t snatch all the souls fast enough, especially in a war zone. So what’s Death to do?

It turns out the Death Department operates a whole cadre of death angels, each assigned to its own territory and given a quota to  meet. Death angels, known in the Vatican archives as Deathabus, circle about their area of responsibility to snag those souls ready for the great beyond.

On occasion, the Deathabus is authorized to take a vacation. Now, you may be picturing the agent of Death as this mysterious skeletal creature wrapped inside a floor length hoodie, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The angels of death, all of them, are either handsome young men in appearance or attractive, well-figured females. The one who kisses you depends on your preference. Death knows your secret desires to be sure.

Learn more about the deathly kiss of greeting by reading Little Miss Forgotten. It’s available today free on Amazon. Download your free copy by clicking here.

Today’s nostalgia post: Day 1 describes the first day of a road trip taken by my adult son Joseph and me back in 2009. In this post, I channel Robert M. Pirsig despite my then desire to wax Hemingway-esque. Click here to read.