Sunday, October 26, 2014

WAKE THE DEAD 2, Chapter 1




Hello all! I am excited to remind you that Wake the Dead 2 is available right now for pre-order and will be released on Halloween, this coming Friday,October 31st.

Please stop on over to WattPad to read WAKE THE DEAD, Chapter 1 in its entirety. It's free and you don't need to sign up for anything to read it, but if you do, please feel free to vote for my works.

(If you haven't read the epilogue to Wake the Dead, it can be found right here.)

Have a safe and happy Halloween this year and happy reading!






Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WAKE THE DEAD 2 PRE-RELEASE!


It's been awhile since my last post, and that is due to real life getting in the way of my writing. But it's mostly because of my complete immersion back into the lives of Alex, Shadow and company at the Renaissance Faire in the land of The Dead Series! That's right, Wake the Dead 2 is available for Pre-Order right now & will go live on October 31, 2014!

It can be pre-ordered right here:
Wake the Dead 2

As for a special treat, I wanted to show everyone the full wrap-around cover art that Carlos Cara provided me...this is how it will be seen in its full glory on the paperback version of CreateSpace/Amazon.






Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wade Garret Interview


I know it's been a while since I have had any fresh content here, but I have a good excuse...I've been writing! I've got three books going at once, the one that is taking the most time being Wake the Dead 2!

Now, that being said, I have met Wade Garret on social media and he was more than happy to share his information with the readers of Eye on Ashenclaw!

Tell us about your book/What genre do you consider your books?
The True Test for Man, is if he can stand naked before himself without blinking.
The same trail of existence for a God, however, even one created, is if when he blinks, will he change or the world?
Back Blurb: After a year of laborious solitude and a conflict brought to the doorstep of his father's house, Jak, a Southlander of meek circumstance, will come to accept the future isn't set. Through abilities unnerving to any Areht, against enemies rising in every corner of the planet, he’ll be forced to resolve his destiny as One of Five that can change the world. Such selfless transcendence isn’t easy, nor simply the heroic result of dark revelations shielded from him since childhood now exposed; rather, it's because of what’s undeniable, even to him. As all great forces collect at the spear’s tip, the truth of his purpose and the price of his existence has a cost and there's no getting around paying it.
 Overall Blurb: Jak Hartlen, 19, the son of William and Mary, will face many thresholds of flesh and mind on his road to reaping the Whirl Wind; seeds of grief and guilt only now coming to fruition.
If only they’d know what they were doing...
The Gan and their Areht who shape the world behind the scenes will hate him, because he's a threat they're not sure can be chained.
The Pillars and their Faithful who spread the world's leading religion will fear him, because his existence, once known, will challenge Ages of dogma and accepted history.
The Crimson King and its Servants who seek to return to power, destroying all that remains of The White, will hunt him, because even in death, they're not sure he'll ever bow to the Dark.
—They All Should.
For as One of Five with the power to shake the world, they’ll hollow his heart and mind through countless sacrifice and vengeful selfishness.

Now, all that said, to simplify: Genesis and The Kingdom Come Series as a whole, is my take on the Hero/AntiHero's Journey. It's a work of Speculative Fiction: gritty Steam/Dieselpunk blended with realistic, sometimes brutal Dark Fantasy—splashes of Cyberpunk and the Strange here’n’there for flavor. If you’re not a F/SF aficionado, plz visit my blog where I elaborated on definitions and how/why they work together for me and my series http://wjgarret.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-sorta-fiction-is-this.html

When did you start writing? Sometime in Middle School. I did a little more in High School as I took my writing assignments more seriously. I really began to build my voice when I came back from college. I was Role Playing before and after this time, so I’d say I was also writing then, though I didn’t always consider torn jot-lists, flow-charts and streams of character details lost to binders I have no idea where, writing.

Why do you write? Because I have to. I know nothing else I want to do. Trust me, as a writer, I think you often wonder if it’d be easier or better to do something else; most writers are qualified to do other things. The pay’s a hundred times better with a “normal” career and there’s likely benefits, but that’s the not the point. You write because you have a story to tell. You tell it because it has to be told and your hope is people want to hear it. 

What would be your choice for a superpower? It’s a tossup between immortality and to see Time/Space without limit, forward and backward seamlessly.

Who is your favorite author? This is a trick question to ask. I don’t have one, however, I do have a list of authors, besides the Classics—which Everyone Should Know and if you don’t, google Classic F/SF and get reading—and they are: Mark Hodder, Chris Wooding, Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence, Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore; not including a dozen or more movie and comic writers who I also admire.

What are you reading now? Comics: Manhattan Project, Saga and Original Sin, though I tend to not read many Superhero comics, because, sadly enough, I have neither the time or wallet to get caught up in them. Finally, anything Jae Lee is working on. His art is amazing.
Books: King of Thorns, Odd Men Out, Night Shall Overtake, The Return of The Discontinued Man...then some history and political books.

Who is your favorite character to write? I have to break this down into two parts: Villains and Heroes.
Heroes: The Main Character, but often when Jak’s dialogue is balanced with characters with greater presence. The best part of the first book for me was learning the world as Jak did, seeing it through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know.
Villains: Honestly, any of them and oddly enough it's because their words and motives come so easy. Is that wrong? 

Do you have a writing process? Yes. It’s called Hack’n’Slash. I don’t recommend it to the tame of heart. “If not for the damn trees you’d see the forest,” or so the saying goes. At times the path is clear. Other times, not so much. You backtrack. Reread. Erase. But then there are stents of perfect clarity. No matter what though, I love every moment my fingers are touching keys.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? As I’ve said before. DO YOU. I don’t want to read you trying to be like someone else and you shouldn’t want to write that way; it’s not interesting and it’s being done way too much.

What inspired you to pursue writing? It was never really an inspiration. It was a gradual progression of events that led me to the fact that this is the only thing I want to do. I’m a storyteller. Part of it started with jokes, old jokes, the ones that take forever and ever to get to the punchline. Later, it moved into mimicking the fantasies I knew and loved. Later still, when gaming, I was creating my own stories....Do that enough, you eventually have to put them on paper. Boom! You’ve become a writer. It also helps if you've always loved the smell of pencils. :)

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? Well, I’m a News junkie. But when I’m not watching the news, I devour almost anything on HBO. I watch a lot of Law and Order. I like Reality Cooking shows. Of course, I record a lot of great cartoons to watch late at night: Legend of Korra; Samurai Jak and others. Movies, I tend to be really picky about the movies I watch unless they’re just hands-down awesome: If it’s a Marvel Movie, I’m seeing it and likely the Midnight Showing.

What are your current projects? Book 2 of The Kingdom Come Series and several shorts which I’m trying to figure my way through.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
If you’re reading my book. Thank you. If you’re not, well, maybe you’ll check it out after reading this interview. To readers as a whole, just keep reading but also try something new. Don’t just read the names you know, at one time, the famous were nobodies.

Quick Fire: Cats or dogs? Dogs
Coffee or tea? Coffee, though I have a favorite energy drink that’s Tea flavored....
Favorite food?  Steak and Potatoes *I can hear the onslaught of Irish Jokes coming*
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?  Chocolate. Anyone who says Vanilla is lying or was brainwashed as a child.
What are 3 things you never leave home without?  Wallet. Hat. Keys.
Laptop or desktop?  Desktop. Last laptop fragged out on me after a few months. No thank you.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?  1) Any author previously mentioned 2) Neil deGrasse Tyson 3) J.J Abrams
TV or Movies? I refuse to answer. I have to have both. 




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

 



Sunday, June 22, 2014

CAGE THE DEAD Chapter 1!


A good portion of CAGE THE DEAD, Chapter 1 to whet your appetite. I am planning on releasing this book by end of June if all goes according to plan! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Now, back to editing....

Gaia and Solomon

As Gaia arrives to work that fateful day to a zoo full of visitors, including students from a nearby school, strange things begin to happen. After hearing rumors of a deadly virus being released and then news of a terrifying broadcast, she begins to witness both zoo employees and patrons dying and coming back from the dead as flesh-eating zombies. Will Gaia be able to survive the chaotic environment created by both the wild predators and the living dead?


Warning:

This book contains graphic sexual content, strong language, and violence. It is intended for mature audiences. 

Chapter 1


The taste of a French vanilla cappuccino was fresh on Gaia’s lips as she peered out the window of the café, whipped cream on her nose and a smile on her face.  She squinted against the sun despite the sunglasses on her face. It was November and not the slightest chill was in the air. That alone was the reason she moved to this clime many years ago, to enjoy the year-round sun. And she didn’t mind seeing the hard bodies that accompanied the sunny weather—both men and women alike. She admitted on more than one occasion, and to Adam’s delight, that the female body was slightly more appealing to observe, what with its curves and soft edges. She wasn’t a prude, she would often say to him and he would flash her that beautiful smile that she fell in love with those many years ago.
She and Adam had just arrived to share a cup of coffee and enjoy an hour of comfort before his job took her away from him again for four consecutive days. She did not enjoy the shift work that he did, but the three-day weekends were certainly nice, even if they were Monday through Wednesday, especially in the summer months when she had coverage at the zoo and they could enjoy the beach that was less than an hour away.
In addition, she had the flexibility of seeing him at her job, where she performed her main function there as a primate specialist, and where she was pretty much left alone to do her thing, not having to report to anyone, especially on the weekends. The zoo had one or two supervisors there on Saturdays, and she and Adam would often share a romantic lunch in the reptile house since he didn’t particularly relish the smells of the primate enclosure. Or they might visit Sal’s Safari to see what specials he was running, and since the zoo wasn’t always busy those days, they did have some free time to enjoy. Gaia’s employer, Kristen, was very understanding of the visits and never gave her any grief about them. The zoo was where they spent most of their time, other than their apartment whenever they were both off, which was a rarity.
As she caught her reflection in the mirror, she brushed a hand through her short blonde locks and grimaced, believing she wasn’t at her best today, but Adam never voiced any such concerns from the time they had first started dating until now.
And neither did the animals.
She sat in silent appreciation of the wonderful animals that she had come to know these past few years. There was Rocky, the seven hundred pound grizzly; a pair of male tigers, Theo and Buster, whom she was just getting to know; Luna the Jaguar and a recent mother to a litter of three. But what made her smile most, was Molly, her mama gorilla and her babies whom they had yet to name, despite the passing of five months; and Solomon, the huge silverback papa with which she’d developed a special bond. And there was always her best girlfriend, Maye, a white-headed capuchin monkey.
The zoo was a bit on the small side, but that was the way she liked it. She had a natural affinity toward animals, which far surpassed by comparison, her comfort level when dealing with her own species.
You know where you stand with an animal, she often said to Adam, who would shake his head knowingly. Humans were less predictable and quick to disappoint.
This was her experience, being a woman of twenty-four years and never married. Adam was the last in a short line of people that understood her, through and through, and that took some time.
She sipped her hot drink and gave thought to that notion until Adam returned from the restrooms, wiping his hands on his jeans. “No paper towels in there…again,” he said with a smile. It was an ongoing joke that they shared, Gaia poking fun that they lived in a one horse town, and they would often tease Maria, the owner of the café, about just such things.
“Though the coffee is excellent,” Gaia countered. Adam pulled her in close and kissed her deeply, her eyes closing, enjoying the taste of his lips on hers.
There was hardly anyone else in the café today, except for a man that appeared to be passing through, dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. He had been on the phone for the past hour, and Gaia had overheard him talking about directions out of town. There was also a woman and her children enjoying breakfast, dressed in clothing that might suggest that they were headed to the beach. It was an unusually warm day today, and so they were probably taking advantage of the nice weather.
“It’s about that time,” Adam said, pointing to his watch and tapping its face. It was close to starting time for her shift at the zoo, and he was going to drive her in today as her vehicle—an old rust colored jeep that must have had every part replaced by now, and which Adam constantly begged her to sell—was in the shop getting work done…again.
She stood, finished the coffee and tossed the empty container in the trashcan, waved goodbye to Maria and followed Adam to his prized toy, a 2006 Mustang GT, all in black with leather interior.
It wasn’t ten minutes before they arrived at the gates of the zoo, Gaia opening the door and staring out at the beautiful scene.
The zoo was busy this morning, passersby coming and going, bringing their excitable children in to observe and interact with the wildlife. The grounds were very open, atypical of a standard zoo, but more resembling a huge land with enclosures for all the animals and a staff of approximately twenty to care for it.
And take care of it they did, often sacrificing personal time and money to do whatever had to be done to keep the zoo open and profitable.
Kristen, the owner, was a very generous woman who inherited the zoo from her father, Charles, who passed away less than three months ago. And Kristen vowed to keep the place running with the help of her son and the rest of the staff, always giving of themselves early and often when it came to the animals’ welfare.
Sal’s Safari, the famous and sole restaurant on the grounds, was famous for its hearty breakfasts, soy burgers and vegetarian style platters, as well as many other dishes that might satisfy the tourists. The zoo also sported a petting zoo for children, which were the closest things resembling a traditional zoo, and a place in which she frequented.
“Gaia?”
“Sorry, hon, was just thinking of Kristen’s dad,” Gaia said as she kissed Adam gently, standing on her tiptoes and giving him a hug. “I’ll see you a bit later. I gotta go home, wash up and I’ll bring you lunch,” Adam said, smacking her on the butt as she turned around.
“You got it. See you soon,” she called over her shoulder, heading to the changing room attached to the house located near the far western side of the zoo, where she dressed into her uniform. A few moments later, she was on her way to check in Maye and gather her up for company on her shift, as she did each and every day for the past few years now, when she heard a familiar voice call to her.
“Hey, Gaia,” called Aubrey, one of the pair who watered and fed the animals. Gaia waved back and strode right past her and everyone else toward the monkey pens to get Maye.
“Looking for her?” Aubrey asked, pointing to the rather large windowpane of the restaurant. Inside, she could see the capuchin in between the glass and the draperies.
“How did she get over there?” Gaia asked, hands on hips and shaking her head at Maye.
“Well, Sal asked for her this morning. I guess he has grown fond of the little rascal,” Aubrey said with a chuckle.
“So she watches him cook breakfast for everyone, eh?”
“Well, he does feed her a ton of bananas, ya know,” Aubrey clarified, following Gaia to the restaurant that was populated with some guests as well as a portion of the staff who hadn’t started their shifts just yet.
“Heya, sweetie,” Gaia said, as the monkey hopped over to the entrance of the restaurant to meet her. And as was typical, Maye swiftly made it to her standard perch upon Gaia’s shoulder. “High five,” she added as Maye slapped her outstretched hand.
“We do have time for breakfast, I hope?” Aubrey asked, gesturing toward an open table.
“I kind of already ate,” Gaia said, drawing a narrow eyed look from Aubrey.
“And by eat, you mean, you watched Adam eat and you sipped cappuccino?”
“Ummm….”
“What’ll it be, girls?” Sal said, interrupting Gaia’s stammering response and standing over the pair proudly wearing his soiled apron.
“Right. Okay, I will get some pancakes.” As Sal began to walk away, she corrected, “A short stack, Sal!”
“What are you getting? He didn’t even ask,” Gaia said, giggling as they both knew that Aubrey got the same thing every day—a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of buttered toast.
“There’s been some weird things going on in the news today, Gaia. Have you seen it?”
“No, I haven’t had any contact with the media today, just the way I like it!” Gaia said enthusiastically, never being one to listen to the news and its numerous reports of people dying, companies going belly up, and the general malaise of society that is described all too frequently.
“It’s kind of been going on all around,” Aubrey said in a hushed tone as the food arrived.
“This is for Maye,” Sal said, handing the capuchin a pair of bananas that seemed to quiet her. “Thanks, Sal!”
“Anything for Miss Maye,”” he said with a smile as he disappeared behind the counter.
“Gaia, I’m serious! There’s something—“
“Can we maybe talk about something else? Or at least let me finish my pancakes that you made me order?” Gaia added with a brief chuckle in an attempt to defuse her curt response. Aubrey returned a forced smile and the pair ate their breakfast in relative silence.
Gaia could not help but overhear a few discussions about the sickness going around, and how the chaperones from the school were trying to keep the children focused on their fun day at the zoo instead. As Gaia listened to the conversations around her, she focused on one particular young girl talking about how excited she was to be at the zoo. It reminded Gaia of herself as a child.
Soon after the uncomfortably silent breakfast, Gaia stopped as they were exiting and grabbed Aubrey by the hand. “I’m sorry. That was really shitty of me.”
“It’s okay, Gee. I know you’ve got a lot going on with the babies. Molly and Solomon are proud parents right? Have you named ‘em yet?”
“No, I haven’t yet. Not sure what to name them yet. Waiting for inspiration, you know? Anyway, what is going on around here?” Gaia said, running after Maye, who hopped along in front of her without a care in the world.
“We’ve got a sick lion,” Aubrey called from behind Gaia, pulling her attention to regard the older woman. Aubrey had worked here for several years prior to Gaia’s hiring, and she knew both the animals and the grounds very well.
“Isn’t Doctor Friedman here?” Gaia asked incredulously, wondering where their almost-twenty-four-hour-a-day veterinarian was this day. Doctor Nancy Friedman was a wonderful doctor who lived nearby and loved animals so much that she would often spend a good portion of her free time here at the zoo. Kristen had even extended her an invitation to stay at the house, but Nancy refused each time, citing that she was more comfortable in her own lab.
The lab was set up with multiple operating rooms, with one in particular which Nancy had converted into makeshift living quarters. Doctor Freidman was a bit obsessive with regards to her lab running properly and had even had a generator put in directly beneath her lab. She was quite obsessive about her own supplies and whatnot, Gaia knew, and often heard comments within the zoo regarding opinions on how O.C.D. doctors were the ‘best ones’. It was a well-known fact that Nancy was a bit obsessive-compulsive, which had its boons and banes just like anything else. But, Nancy was fanatical about making sure that every contingency was taken into consideration.
“She is actually quite sick,” Aubrey replied, wiping sweat from her head, and replacing her hat back on her head. There was a bit more concern than usual in Aubrey’s brown eyes and Gaia could not ignore it.
“What’s going on?” she asked, continuing her journey toward the cats, specifically, the jaguar pens, to see Luna and her litter of three, the first such litter for the jaguars to date. Aubrey followed closely behind and ran ahead of Gaia to get in front of her. Nick was very excited about it and took everyone out for drinks a few days ago, which was a blast, Gaia recalled.
“Listen, something’s going on. Eddie and Kim are out sick today, and some others are working under the weather. And like I said, forty five minutes ago or so, I heard something on the news that scared the shit out of me.” Gaia stopped and stared at her, eyes widening with expectancy of said news. “What is it?! What is it that everyone is so freaked out about?”
“There are reports of people…getting sick…and well…it mentioned something about people dying.”
“That’s most definitely sad,” Gaia said, rerouting herself into a circuitous path around Aubrey.
“That’s not the worrisome part. Reports are saying that after they die…they are coming back to life.” Gaia stopped and turned on Aubrey with skepticism laced upon her features, tilting her head to the side, as she remained silent for a moment, staring at her and all around them.
“You’re shitting me, right?”
“I wish I were,” Aubrey said with a frown
“What the hell channel were you watching?!”
“Mainstream news, Gaia. It’s why I want you to come back and check in on Dr. Friedman with me,” Aubrey stated more than asked. “Gaia! I’m not kidding!”
Just then, Gaia turned to take note of a rather large crowd of people as they began running past them in a panic toward the exit. People were being trampled; both women and children alike, and the sight gave Gaia pause. She could not believe what was happening.
“Are there animals loose?” she asked, wondering what was happening.
Another crazed man ran past the two of them, “the dead are alive!”
“They must have just heard the news report. It’s on in the restaurant,” Aubrey said. “And to be honest, I’m not feeling too well either. And I’m scared.”
“It’s probably psychosomatic.”
“I appreciate that you studied psychology, but you don’t have a degree. I can do without the analysis,” Aubrey said, wiping more sweat from her brow. Gaia looked at her more closely, seeing that she did look a bit pale. “And what I'm feelin’ is real.”
 “Are you talkin’ about people dying and then coming back to life!? Are you serious?! “ Aubrey nodded her agreement and looked expectantly at Gaia “Like in the fuckin’ movies?!”
But before Aubrey could answer, she caught sight of something like what Aubrey was discussing. It was something that at one time may have been a woman—an adult woman with dark hair tied up in a bun—but was now vomiting blood. Whatever it was, it wasn’t human anymore. That much Gaia could tell.
It chased down and easily overtook an older man, tackling him and leaning over him. And then it did the unthinkable: it began tearing flesh from the man’s shoulder and neck.
“What the fuck is that?!” Gaia asked in disbelief.
It was very primal and reminded Gaia of a predator in the wild, only much more…profane. The crazed woman ran at such a swift speed that Gaia couldn’t believe it was bipedal. She became immediately sick to her stomach and felt the pancakes in her stomach making their way back up.
Aubrey pulled a pistol, aimed it and fired it at the creature as it continued to rip flesh from the elderly man pinned helplessly beneath it. A dart hit the thing in the side of the head and it turned to regard the pair of zookeepers and the monkey, and then it stood looking away from its current victim to regard them, and then ran after them with terrifying speed.
“Holy shit!” Gaia said as she ran, pulling Aubrey along with her. It was suddenly clear that tranquilizer darts had no effect on the thing, whatever it was.
“What the hell is that?!” Gaia asked, scooping up Maye and scanning the nearby area for a place to seek shelter from the insanity erupting around her. She saw a nearby washroom and decided that it was as good a place as any in which to hide.
“It looks like…a zombie,” Aubrey suggested as she ran away from it, Gaia following closely behind. Another few of the things emerged from the ticket kiosks to their left. Gaia, a bike rider and a daily visitor to the gym up until about two months ago, outpaced Aubrey quickly. Suddenly, this newest group of zombies was in between the two and Aubrey freaked. There was nowhere for her to go.
“I gotta find Adam!” Gaia yelled in a panic.
The three zombies, two in front and the one chasing behind, converged on Aubrey swiftly. But, before they got to her, a shot rang out from behind them and the trailing one fell to the earth.
The pair of women looked back to see Kristen’s son, Nick, rifle in hand, waving her toward him. He had a safari jacket on and his beard was visibly soaked.
“Oh thank God!” Aubrey yelled, making her way toward him. The two zombies, seeing Gaia now, suddenly ran toward her. She spun and raced toward the bathroom, Maye hanging desperately onto her neck, arriving at the washroom door seconds before the zombies and slamming the door shut on them. It all happened so fast that she hadn’t even gotten a chance to see where Nick and Aubrey were headed.
“Shit, Maye! What are we gonna do?” she asked rhetorically, as Maye steadied herself once more on Gaia’s shoulder. She heard the banging of hands against the door and leaned against it. The door gave slightly under their assault and seconds later, a pale hand was reaching for her. She leaned against it hard and slammed it shut on fingers, which fell to the ceramic floor. Gaia’s gaze went from the severed digits to surveying her surroundings, seeing a window on the opposite side of the room.
She had to make a break for it. She panicked, knowing that this was her only shot of getting out alive. It was a tight fit, but if she dove headfirst, she could break the glass and make it through. It would have to be perfect.
“Maye, you go!” Gaia instructed, and the monkey made its way reluctantly to the window. “Go! I’m coming!” Maye easily climbed through the window and disappeared.
“She’ll be fine,” Gaia told herself and steadied her breathing as best she could.

She released her hand from the door and her heart thundered in her chest. And then it almost stopped entirely as she felt the cold grip of a lifeless hand grasp her arm. She whipped her head round to see the gray, wide and crazed eyes of her imminent killer, and she felt her bowels wanting to give way under the fear. The zombie shoved the door wide and pulled her toward its snapping jaws.

I hope you enjoyed the sample! More later!




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!


Best-selling author of Wake the Dead!  On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cover Reveal!


This is the cover to my next zombie novel, of which I am still working on a title. The artwork, however, is spectacular! Carlos has outdone himself again.


This book, which will be released in the next few weeks, takes the POV of a primate expert at a local zoo, named Gaia, who must endure the utter chaos that ensues when the apocalyptic event happens while she is at work. to add to the chaos, there is a school trip that same day with three school buses worth of children, parents and teachers on hand...

Enjoy the cover and look for this on sale on Amazon, aiming for June 27th!







Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!


Best-selling author of Wake the Dead!  On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Wake The Dead Sale!

This Memorial Day weekend, I am lowering the price of my zombie thriller, Wake the Dead, to $2.99 for the entire weekend! If you haven't picked it up yet, now's the time!

Here's what the readers are saying...



"This is the first book I've read by Gary Vanucci, definitely not the last. Gary gets straight into the story and keeps you gripped. It`s a very similar story to The Walking Dead which I love. I can`t wait to see if there is going to be a sequel. Buy it and you won`t be disappointed."

"This book was a fun read, couldn't put it down. When I first got it, I read till 4 am. I love everything about this book and can't wait to read another from this author. All I have to say is Sex and Zombies, what else can a zombie addict ask for? Buy this book, you won't be disappointed!!"

"This is a very good read, every time you get comfortable, there is another twist or bump in the story line. You start to just hope that our hero is going to find some peace but then ... Good story line and character development. I really haven't like the living dead stories but this one is the exception - well done. And best of all, this book has an ending! Read, enjoy and store some food."

"If your a true fan of zombie eating plots. Then yes read this book. It had enough action and steamy scenes to keep me up at night. Well written, enough to give you a sense of what it would be like to live in these times. Can't wait for book 2."

"Mr. Vanucci's foray into the post-apocalyptic/zombie genre sucked me in from the first chapter. I seriously couldn't put it down. Actually, I didn't put it down until I finished it. I highly recommend this juicy, sexy, violent (it's zombies, OK?), scary, sometimes sad, and greatly entertaining story. What a great escape for an afternoon! Hoping a sequel is in the works....."





Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!


Best-selling author of Wake the Dead!  On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Wake the Dead: The Epilogue


You asked for it; you got it! Here is the Epilogue from Wake the Dead, hot off the presses...*Warning* Contains spoilers and strong language!


Wake
the
Dead
Epilogue



“Park it over there,” Nick said from the back of the van as Alex gazed through the windshield and eased the vehicle to a stop. The parking lot was littered with corpses and they would soon enough need to move those bodies—especially before they started to reek in this heat, Alex understood, wincing at the familiar and awful smell that would begin to permeate the air.
This was their third trip back to the hardware store today. It was starting to get cooler and the sun dipped slightly in the sky, leaning westward. Bryan, Nick, Liz and Selina all took turns removing supplies from the back of the van as Alex removed the tools from the front seat.
He watched as Shadow burst right past him as soon as he opened the front door and watched after the wolf as it went about marking its territory and generally sniffing around.
He remembered Jerry and his family suddenly and hoped that they had gotten home safely.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Nick said as he took the bag of tools from Alex.
“Just thinking about Jerry and his family, you know…Just hope that they’re okay.” Alex found himself staring at the scene around him, taking in the odd fact that the zombies had simply fallen over dead without warning, Nick following his line of sight. “Kind of weird that they all just keeled over, eh?”
“Weird, sure. But we don’t know the first thing about these things,” he said, slapping Alex on the back. “Hopefully, they starved to death.”
“That makes the most sense,” called the sweet and soothing voice of Selina. Alex peered over Nick’s shoulder to the see the beautiful vision standing with a 2x4 propped over her shoulder.
“I guess,” Alex said. “But shouldn’t we be piling up these bodies and burnin’ ‘em? Or something?”
“You know the plan, Alex,” called another voice. Bryan stared at him with hands on hips. The man was clearly exhausted from the exercise today, sweat pouring profusely down his forehead and his unbuttoned shirt was soaked with sweat. Oddly enough, he had a cigarette hanging from his lips, which seemed to Alex as counterproductive with regards to the workout. But, what the hell, he thought, it was a strange new world and he couldn’t blame folks for doing what they had to in order to get by…even for just one minute.  
I sure do, Alex admitted, climbing back into the van. This new world had its share of challenges. Alex chuckled to himself at the absurdity of that understatement.
Suddenly Liz was at the side of the door, which startled him. Once Alex regained his composure, he stared back at her again.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to…never mind. Nick wants that fence up first, and then we’ll worry about the bodies, right?”
“I know, and I’ve made my arguments against, so…whatever. We’ll do it his way.”
“You know the stench is gonna be just as bad if we burn them than as if we let them sit out here for another day, right? Probably worse?”
“Can’t wait,” Alex said a bit too sharply as he started the engine and pulled the van away from the staging area.
“That was a dick move,” he mumbled as he drove the van away. The vehicle came to a rest under a tree he had visited a few times this day, and kicked the same zombie corpse that sat against the tree’s base as he had each and every time before.
It was dressed in medieval garb, soiled and stained, and had a name tag on the front, which seemed totally out of place on the zombie corpse.
The name-tag read: Fred.
“Screw you, Fred,” Alex said, running a hand through his black locks, trying in vain to wipe the moisture away. It had become a running joke for the day to ‘kick Fred’ as they passed it simply to get out some frustration. He smiled and shook his head at their juvenile behavior and picked up his pace down the hill to join the others. Alex wanted to get things done in a hurry.

The others were assembling the framework for the repairs, Kelly joining them and assisting them to get it done both quickly and accurately. Between him and Kelly, they had drawn up a plan mid-day and it took about twenty minutes.
And now they were executing that plan. Alex watched Shadow, as he hammered in a nail, the wolf growling uncharacteristically and biting at the legs of one of the zombies.
And then it twitched.
“What the f—?” he mumbled and stopped mid-curse.
Gotta be the heat messin’ with me, he reflected, as he finished assembling his part of the frame. He stopped his toiling for a few long minutes, sipped water from his canteen and then felt the soft and reassuring touch of what he had come to know as Selina’s on his shoulders, rubbing them gently. He immediately relaxed under her touch.
He could not believe the calming effect that this wonderful woman had on him. It was intoxicating to say the least.
“You okay,” she asked him, slapping his rear-end playfully.
“I guess. Think I’m seein’ things, though.”
“Why don’t you take a break, Alex? Seriously. You need it.” He was about to argue when she planted a kiss on him, stopping his protests before they escaped his lips. She kept that kiss there for a good long while, further soothing him.
“Fine then. I’ll go clean my gun,” he said, playfully pushing her away. “It’s in the van. I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Yeah,go! Get outta here,” Nick called playfully in the distance, taking a long swig of water. “You stayed your hour.”
Alex thought again of how lucky he was to have found Selina in this apocalyptic setting into which they had been unceremoniously cast. He smirked as he recalled that when they first met, he had no intentions of becoming intimate with her at all, and as a matter of fact, he remembered that for a brief instant, he thought long and hard about leaving her up there on that rooftop. Funny how things change, he supposed, as he reached for the door handle.
Suddenly, his heart skipped a beat and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He swallowed hard and he felt sick to his stomach as he slowly cast his gaze down to the base of the tree.
Fred was gone.
Alex found himself running down the hill as fast as his tired legs could carry him.
“What’s wrong!?” Selina called, racing up to meet him. “Are you all right?!” Alex slammed into her and almost knocked her over, catching her and holding her at arm’s length just as he caught sight of the others standing in a semi-circle around him.
“What, man?!” Nick said, striding up to stand right next to Alex.
“It’s Fred. He’s not there anymore!”
“What the hell are you talking about, man?” asked Bryan incredulously, lighting another cigarette and taking a long drag.
‘I mean, the dead zombie that was sitting there under the goddamn tree isn’t there anymore. That’s what I mean!”
Nick and the others ran past him and Selina pulled him in closer, hugging him tightly. “It’s gonna be okay, Alex,” she whispered to him in an unconvincing tone.
The others ran back down the hill again quickly, Nick barking orders and the group responding in kind.
“Pull the van inside the gate, man. I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but it ain’t good.”
“Right. I’m on it.” Alex called Shadow to him and Alex saw Nick speaking with Alexis and Hannah, who showed up with sandwiches for the group, and all Alex heard was the tail end of their conversation before they all turned and made their way back to the castle gates.
As Alex got shadow into the van and drove off around the corner to the front gates, Nick’s words kept repeating in his head: “Seems like the dead ain’t dead after all.”





Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!


Best-selling author of Wake the Dead!  On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.


Monday, April 28, 2014

James Vernon Interview


I am very happy to say that new Fantasy author, James Vernon, is my latest interview. James has been a supporter of my work since day one, is a fellow-Pennsylvanian, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the man as a person and a writer. 
James is a fantastic writer with an excellent imagination and you should absolutely check out his first novel, Bound to the Abyss!

Artwork from Bound to the Abyss
First off, tell us a little bit about you, James... First, thanks for having me! I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where I currently live with my family. I grew up with books by David Eddings and Terry Brooks always by my side, although I loved any book with a great world with a lot of detail to culture, races, and magic. I'm a full-time mathematics teacher and fuller time father, but I can always find time to write (usually when my family is asleep, since I'm a night owl).

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?My first book, Bound to the Abyss, is a fantasy story set in a world that I've spent over three years creating. It follows a young man, Ean Sangrave, who is the village pariah and apprentice to the local healer. When a monster invades the village mine, Ean finds himself dragged on an adventure to find a way to battle the beast. But little does everyone know, but Ean has a connection to the Abyss, a seperate world host to countless monsters and ruled by a dark god. Ean struggles to understand his growing power while trying to determine if he wants to be the village hero or live up to the stigmas placed on him.

When did you start writing?I started writing around three years ago, although I've had stories bouncing around in my head for much longer then that. This world just really spoke to me and I had to get it down on paper and explore it further.

Why do you write?For the pure fun of it. I love reading interesting stories with deep characters and I'm striving to be an author that writes stories that people can really get into. Of course, if I can make enough money to continue to fund the books I write and a web site and illustrations to go with them, that's just the icing on the cake. Sweet, thick icing.

What would be your choice for a superpower?Recently I would have to say the ability to fly. The past few years I've had about an hour commute to work, sometimes longer depending on when I hit traffic. As great as an opportunity to brainstorm about stories and world-build while I'm sitting in traffic, there are certainly some days where I would love to be able to fly home in a matter of moments.

Who is your favorite author?I would have to say at the moment it is the late Robert Jordan. The world he created for the Wheel of Time series was incredible and humbling for a new author like myself. The different characters, how they developed, and the intertwined story lines of all of the characters is a level of planning I don't think I could every achieve. As great of a series Game of Thrones is, it has nothing compared to the intrigue and plot twists in the Wheel of Time series (hope I don't anger Game of Thrones fans, I like that series too!)

What are you reading now?

 I haven't been able to read as much as I used to or would like to, but at the moment I'm working on John Sprunk's Shadow's Son. Its the first in a series, and even though I've only read a few chapters, the setting and main character Caim are really pulling me into the story.

Who is your favorite character to write? Zin the imp, Ean's companion. He is both a bit of sarcastic comic relief to my main character Ean and creates a little mystery. Does he really have Ean's best intentions at heart or does he have ulterior motives? His well thought-out actions and advice are a nice contrast to Ean's young and impulsive nature.

Do you have a writing process?Not really, but it usually does involve a can of red bull. My main writing time is at night when my family is asleep, but if I can squeeze in an hour or so at different points of the day I take advantage of it. Other then that, its random. I might sit down in front of the TV and write with the background noise of Hell's Kitchen, Survivor, or Agents of Shield in the background, or I might lock myself in my office where I'm surrounded by pictures and posters of my own novel or others that I've enjoyed.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Be open to constructive criticism. Your story at time certainly feels like your own child, and its hard to hear when people punch holes in the plot or find the story/world uninteresting. But that doesn't mean you should disregard what you hear or go the other direction and give up on the story. It just means you have to work on it more. My novel certainly was improved by the no-holds-barred criticism I received from my beta reader and editor.
Also seek out people that don't usually read your genre to beta read your story. If a person isn't into the type of work you write, but finds themselves getting through to the end of your novel and wanting more, you know you've put together an interesting and enjoyable story.

What inspired you to pursue writing?Just a basic desire to have my story out there. I can't wait for the day my son is old enough to start reading my stories. I hope by then I have a few nice, long series for him to enjoy.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?Anything with interesting characters and not a predictable plot. Hannibal and The Following have certainly been recent favorites. Agents of Shield started strong, turned into filler for a bit, but have really found their stride after what happened in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A little reality tv isn't that bad for you either; Hell's Kitchen, Survivor, and Face Off and Creature Shop on SciFi are very interesting. If you want a good basis to see how people really act towards each other, reality tv is a good place to see how a person's character can change.

What are your current projects?I have a few things I'm working on at the same time. Main focus is still on my first release, Bound to the Abyss. I have its sequal currently in the beta reading process and I just started the first draft of the third book in that series. I've also finished the first book in a new series set in the same world and time period, following a new cast of characters. The plan is to release the squeal to Bound of the Abyss by the end of the summer, then the first book in the new series before releasing the third book in the first series. If I don't confuse myself too much in the process.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Review the books of authors you like! Even if its a few sentences on why you liked/disliked it really helps the author out. Like I said earlier, constructive criticism can really help an author grow as a writer. And hearing positive things is always helpful too!

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs?
Dogs. I'm horribly allergic to cats.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I rarely drink it, but I always have to get a Snapple Peach Tea when I buy a hoagie from Wawa.
Favorite food?
A well-cooked steak.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Vanilla.
What are 3 things you never leave home without?
Keys, cell phone, and wallet. I always check to make sure I have them.
Laptop or desktop?
For writing, laptop. For video games, the most powerful Desktop I can afford on a teacher's salary.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
The three that popped into my head right away were: Joss Whedon(a master story teller in my opinion), Patrick Stewart(who wouldn't want to hang with a star trek captain/professor x), Mark Hamill(for Star Wars alone, but he has also done so much in the industry that not many people talk about. He was the voice of The Joker for how long?).
TV or Movies?
TV. I love a good movie but it always leaves me wanting more. A nice 20-some episode series always keeps me interested and provides satisfying results.







Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!


Best-selling author of Wake the Dead!  On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.