Actually, the title is slightly misleading. Some of your ZSC commanders are always on the road. Traveling from city to city to touch base with brigadiers not only across the United States, but world-wide at numerous conventions. This time around, four of us are converging on Phoenix, Arizona for Phoenix Comicon. The event begins on Thursday, June 5th at 4:00 PM inside the Phoenix Convention Center.
Yellow Brigade commander Jinxie G and Orange Brigade commander R.C. Murphy will be in attendance Thursday through Sunday for the event. You can find them at booth 793 throughout the weekend (coffee runs are one of a few exceptions to this). Red Brigade commander Juliette Terzieff and Special Forces Commander Michael Rooker plan to roll into Phoenix for Sunday only. Keep an eye out for them. Shouldn’t be too hard to find those two, right?
This is a huge event, and a first-time trip for some of us. If you plan to attend, make sure to come find us. Even if it’s to say hi. Mostly, we want to make sure everyone survives the insanity sure to follow once the convention doors open. Kinda like when someone opened a certain barn we all remember from that one show. You know, the one with the staggering, rotting folks on it. Catch our drift?
Mason Jones is a good, strong character, and as the story progresses, we learn a little here and there about the Army Ranger. His development is paced nicely, and the story has enough action to keep one reading. When all hell breaks loose in the zombie testing facility, the action is non-stop, edge of your seat to the end.
Though I did the copy edit on this novella, I am always about giving honest reviews, and Better Hero Army asked if I would do so. I would definitely recommend this novella and its prequel if you’re into action-packed zombie stories. I look forward to working with Better Hero Army again and to see where he takes this story line. Even though I received this story as work, I did purchase the novella.
I give this novella 5 Jinxes (stars) per my star rating system: 1=hated it, 2=disliked it, 3=liked it, 4=really liked it, and 5=loved it.
You can grab a copy of the book by clicking on the cover photo above or by clicking HERE.
You’ll need a pot to cook over a fire, tongs, gloves, a bowl and an instrument to mash like a potato masher.
Pick fruit with gloves and tongs. You don’t want to prick yourself with those needles! There’s a reason it’s called Prickly Pear.
While holding the fruit under running water with the tongs, brush off the needles with a wire brush. Yes, a wire brush.
Place them in a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender (about 1 hour). Cut them in half after cooking, as they will mash easier. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Strain with double thickness cheesecloth (juice should be clear, no needles, etc.). Put pulp in garbage, not disposal (if indoors).
Measure 2 cups prickly pear juice with 1 ¾ oz. pkg. pectin, assuming you’ve got some with you. If not, raid a local grocery store because let’s face it, no one’s going to be yanking pectin off the shelves during an apocalypse. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
Add 3 ½ cups sugar and 3 Tbsp. lemon juice. Boil—rolling boil—for 3 minutes . . . stir constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Pour into glass jars and seal.
Mmm mmm good! Now you have jelly to go with whatever your apocalypse breakfast will be!
PS: Jinxie would like to thank her wonderful Aunt Pat for this recipe! =)
Plagued: The MidAmerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment
When Tom, the son of a powerful Senator, becomes stranded in the Plagued States of America while searching for his lost sister, his only hope of survival rests in the hands of a few grizzled veteran zombie hunters and a mysterious half-breed zombie woman he thinks may know where to find his sister.
I was asked to review this book, and chose to purchase it myself rather than receive a review copy.
One can’t say this book by Better Hero Army lacks action. In fact, it’s full of enough action and detail to really keep you reading. The first three chapters move quickly and are very well-written. Beginning with chapter four, however, the editing errors creep in and take over, though the action and detail never stop.
I was impressed with the detail throughout the novella. Better Hero Army does an excellent job in describing the people and surroundings, giving a good layout of the land, enough to give the reader a good visual. Logistically, I had a few issues, but other than that, it was well done.
Tom is the main character, of course, and I’d consider Penelope—the half-breed zombie—the other main character, as Tom grows quite attached to her and the story centers around the two of them. The only part that bothers me with Penelope is that a certain thing I can’t discuss here because it’ll be a spoiler doesn’t get explained in the end. Cliffhangers are one thing; leaving the reader hanging without an explanation is another.
Tom is desperately trying to find his sister for penance, for the mistake of a scared twelve-year-old boy. There is a good plot to this story, background is well thought out, but it doesn’t wrap up everything at the end. I know there will be other books to follow, so I’m hoping this isn’t one of those ‘let’s split one book up into five’ deals. As much as I enjoyed the story—though not totally enthusiastic about it—it drives me bonkers when an author splits a story like that.
Plagued is in need of a good copy edit by an experienced editor. I’m rating the book 3 stars (my star rating system: 1=hated it, 2=disliked it, 3=liked it, 4=really liked it, and 5=loved it) because while I enjoyed the story overall, there were a lot of distractions with misspelled words, lack of punctuation, passive voice, and formatting, etc.
I wish Better Hero Army the best of luck with the series and future endeavors.
In Mary’s world, there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover: (March, 2009), ISBN-13: 978-0385736817
Paperback: (February, 2010) ISBN-13: 978-0385736824
Debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a compelling action-packed story filled with the horrors of a world succumbed to zombies and is the first of a series.
Mary’s life within the village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth is too secluded for her after growing up listening to her mother’s stories of the ocean and what the world was like before the Return. She dreams of leaving the village one day to see the ocean for herself, and after a breach threatens her home, it looks like she’ll get her wish as she and her closest friends take a journey that leads them into an unknown world.
While Mary is torn between the boy she loves and the boy who loves her, she never loses faith in her mother’s stories and strives forward in their journey to see that what her mother said was true.
This book is captivating, compelling, and a fast-paced zombie thriller that will have you turning page after page and sitting on the edge of your seat until finished. Never have I been so pulled into a book, wrought with emotion, and nearly screaming out loud as things went bump in the night in the story and in reality. It pulls you in, holds you within its pages as you make your way through with Mary’s narration and intense internal dialog that has you feeling every emotion, every fear, and hearing every sound—especially those ongoing moans of the Unconsecrated.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a top-notch YA book that carries a lot of praise with it, which can be found on Carrie Ryan’s website: http://www.carrieryan.com.
Kudos to Carrie Ryan for writing such a brilliant piece of work and for coming up with a title that literally jumped off the shelf at me. It was the reason I bought the book!
As part of our collective efforts to prepare for the z-poc, ZSC command has undertaken a mission to bring you a series of recipes to keep the body strong and the spirit lifted during dark times. Now, don’t go thinking you’ll be cooking these up in the early days of the infection. You’ll be too busy slaying walkers on the move for this kind of fare. But once the initial dust settles and you’re in the fight for the long haul, you’re going to want something other than the beef jerky, energy bars and chocolate you’ve got stashed in your Go Bag.
Being on the run from the shambling horde doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking every day, so a good way to get that protein you’ll need is to make some jerky out of whatever large game is in your area when you can’t loot any from surrounding stores any longer. Heck, you could probably even use this for javelina (native to the Southwest and quite the nasty beast in temperament).
Most people don’t realize that Arizona and the Southwest have deer and elk, along with the mountain lions and javelina, so this very basic recipe really goes a long way. I haven’t tried this using javelina, and that’s a different type of meat, but hey, it’s worth a shot. Either way, the meat from a javelina is good to eat. Have a pig roast, if anything.
We’ll just go with the deer/elk/buffalo recipe. I’m also assuming you know how to skin these animals. If you don’t, that should be on your “Top 10 Things I Need to Know for the Zombiepocalypse” list.
First, you’ll want to trim off all visible fat from the meat because it becomes rancid. Cut the flank steak lengthwise with the grain into long thin strips no more than ¼ inch thick. Rub it aggressively with salt cover for 10 to 12 hours so it’ll absorb the salt and release some of its natural juices. At this time, you can add additional spices, fruits, liquids, etc. This is why I require spices in the Yellow Brigade Go Bag (you’ll have to be logged in to view that link).
Next, you’ll need to build a scaffold to support the meat over a slow fire beneath it; the heat and the smoke completes the process in half a day, and with an occasional sunning, the meat will keep for months.
Not too hard, right? Just get yourself somewhere safe for a couple of days so you can do this and you’ll have that protein you need for a good long while, depending on the size of the animal, of course.
I’d like to thank my ex-husband, the bow hunter from Wyoming, for helping me with this.
Normally we’re all about the undead, but so many of our ZSC commanders have been busy working on awesome projects of their own, we just have to share. Today we’re proud to announce the release of Orange Brigade Commander R.C. Murphy’s novel, Enslaved.
There aren’t man-eating corpses in this book, but it isn’t fluffy like Commander RC’s zombie bunnies, either. Take a look:
The gods are flawed . . . and they make awful parents.
Deryck knows first-hand the cruelty of the gods. Three thousand years after his birth, he is still trapped, forced to service humans as an Incubus—unable to choose who he sleeps with, and living a life completely devoid of love. There is no out for him. No hope. Or so he thought.
Shayla McIntire spent five years getting her life back on track after the accident claiming her husband’s life. She is content to a nice, boring, subdued life free of the abuse she suffered before. Her friends are worried. They want her to find the man of her dreams and move on.
Little do they know, the Powers That Be have decided the man of Shayla’s dreams for her. There’s just one hitch, he’s enslaved to the gods and it will take power she doesn’t know she has to free him. Deryck isn’t the only one hoping Shayla will free him, though.
Click on the cover to grab your copy of Enslaved today!
In this final installment, be prepared for death to come knocking, as the apocalypse and monsters stretch the bonds of love and friendship, demanding a reckoning of those who are willing to do what they must to survive.
When “I Am Legend” meets “Resident Evil,” the Nevermores in this trilogy are similar to the “vampires” in I Am Legend with their feral pack mentality, and the cause of the change in humans is because of a supposed cure-all drug, similar to the toxin in Resident Evil. The Nevermores aren’t quite zombies, in that they aren’t dead, but they will eat anything and everything.
Dauntless picks up after Bound, continuing Mara’s and Sebastian’s story of love and survival even when everything on the planet is stacked against you. It begins in the mad scientist’s compound, follows their escape, and Mara’s struggle to fight for Sebastian and their child, even when he doesn’t want to continue on. Did Donovan’s cure work? For a good amount of time, Sebastian is sick as hell and on the verge of death. Throughout the trilogy, Mara makes some pretty stupid decisions, which someone points out to her, and yet, she somehow manages to make it. How, we’ll never quite know.
Scout, Mara’s loyal Nevermore, returns to help and in the end, gives his life to save his alphas’ lives. He was a very likable character; one that was written well enough to be remembered for a long time.
The trilogy is essentially one book split into three. There is also a short story, first published in Forever Nocturne e-zine, that goes with the trilogy, centered on two other characters. The entire Nevermore trilogy is a quick and easy read, though it could have used a better copy edit. Some of the mistakes were a little distracting, but the average reader likely won’t notice most of them.
Dauntless was definitely the “love will conquer all” happy ending. I won’t, however, tell you where they’re heading or the surprise that waits.
Thank you, Ms. Mayer, for such an entertaining series. I look forward to your Celtic Legacy series next.
Kylie O’Rourke has unwittingly walked into the path of two vampyres—one who wants to use her as a sacrifice, and one who only wishes to win her heart. As she is pulled into their clandestine world, she learns more about her history and the reason behind her horrible nightmares.
Master vampyre Cianán searches for the one woman who could take his immortality to the next level—godhood. But, when he finds his Chosen One, his progeny Grantlund stumbles onto the Master’s plan . . . again. As if losing his first sacrifice to the bastard wasn’t enough, the Fates were to torment him with a second time.
The act never changes, only its players over thousands of years.
When Kylie is taken for use as a sacrifice in an ancient ritual, Grantlund races to save her life, but he has to wait for that perfect moment or all will be lost. Not only does he have to go up against his former Master, Cianán, one of the oldest and most powerful vampyres on Earth, but now the gods are involved, and Cianán has a very prominent one in his corner.
Grant will do anything to stop Cianán from destroying his lover and this world, but what price is he willing to pay? Death at the hands of the woman he loves?
An epic battle is about to begin, and not even the gods know who will come out the victor.
Click on the images for direct links to the books. This promotion has already started, so share, share, share, folks! Word of mouth is an author’s best advertising!
Jinxie plans to work hard to get the next Prophecy series book out—Gemini – Book III of the Prophecy series. She says it needs some editing, and perhaps some dissection, where a novella may come of it.
Also, don’t forget to check the Just Ink Press website for Special Content.