New book release: Reunion

My first release of 2015 is here, and it’s a good one. Coauthored with Jack Wallen, Reunion is an ongoing serial novella set in Jack’s I Zombie universe.

Reunion

Here comes the synopsis:

Ripped from the pages of Jack Wallen’s I Zombie series, Reunion follows two lovers, separated by thousands of miles and millions of the undead, as they attempt to reunite in a world devastated by the Mengele Virus.

Love is hope.

The apocalypse will do everything in its power to keep both love and hope at bay. Rock star, Trey Hawkins and his fiance, physicist Erica Fulton, fight the undead, the elements, and a rising tide of suffering in this exciting new serial by Jack Wallen and Thea Gregory.

The first part is now live only on Amazon for the moment. We’re hoping to release one every 2-3 months, as our schedules permit.

#Zombie Bedtime Stories: Bedlam excerpt!

Hello world! I’ve been working diligently on polishing my latest offering — Bedlam. I’m very excited to finally be ready to share a short excerpt. If you like what you read, please consider joining my mailing list. I’ll be sharing members-only coupons, promotions, contests, and (especially) first dibs on my works post-release. Let’s roll the cover again:

Bedlam cover

Bedlam cover

 

“I want my Mommy.” The girl clinging to Corporal Samantha Henderson’s hand choked back sobs, and looked up at her. She couldn’t be more than seven, and her pale blue eyes were bloodshot and brimming with tears. Samantha had been part of a squad assigned to evacuate this large inner city elementary school. She didn’t know if they were going to escape before the rioters closed in, but Samantha was determined to do her duty and get as many kids out as possible. The school was a decaying, squalid building—a leftover relic of the baby boom nearly a century before. The grey hallway dragged on ahead of them, only punctuated by the shadows of closed classroom doors and the occasional splash of children’s art projects. Samantha sucked in a deep breath as she enjoyed hearing the pounding of her boots on the cold granite floor. The echoes gave her the illusion of power and control, when in reality her stomach gnawed around the chill of uncertainty.

 

Like it? Want another teaser? Let me know in the comments. Your command is my wish, dear reader!

Video book review: Book 2 of The Zombie Bible

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the second book of The Zombie Bible, What Our Eyes Have Witnessed. The story takes place in ancient Rome, and focuses on the events leading up to the martyrdom of St-Polycarp.

Head on over to The Zombie Bible’s website, and tell Stant I say hi. Or, better yet, pick up this great read. Treat yourself. It’s a couple of months until the next Zombie Bedtime Story, after all.

The Zombie Response Team did an awesome podcast

The Zombie Response Team did a wonderful podcast today, focusing on an aspect of zombie defense that is very dear to me–defending my kitchen against zombie intruders. I hate it when they come barging into my kitchen, making all kinds of noise. It causes my rising bread to fail, and makes food burn.

Fortunately, they were kind enough to answer my questions about how to fight zombies using cookware.

Enjoy the podcast, and say hi to them. They’re such a lovely, well-informed team. I also totally dig their decals.

Deadlocked is coming soon, and I’ve entered a contest!

I know, I should update more, and with less topics. I hate 100-word updates, what can I say?

I can say with some authority that Deadlocked will be gracing your Internet as of Friday, for your weekend dose of zombies. Trust me, you need zombies every weekend, it’s vitamin Z, and totally not me trying to get you to read my (and other great) stories. Sadly, continuous annoying pneumonia complications keep creating unexpected delays, but I’m 95% certain that I’ll be able to make my latest self-imposed deadline.

As for the contest, I got wind that the fine folks at Curiosity Quills were holding a contest for books written specifically during NaNoWriMo, so I threw my science fiction novel, Sanity Vacuum (link will show the first three pages of my draft), into the pot. I’m currently in fourth place, and I need to stay in the top ten to move on to the next round. Please vote for me, or a number of the other fine contestants, or both!

Coming soon: Deadlocked Chapter 1 sneak peek, and Christmas Blog Hop madness!

 

 

The Making of a Zombie Bedtime Story

I’m pleased to announce that Deadlocked is nearing completion. After marathon NaNoWriMo writing sessions, I managed to squeeze in the editing time I missed out on while I was sick, and finally, Deadlocked is off to the beta readers. This is an exciting time for me, I use an opinionated mix of people who don’t really know me, people who know me and are highly critical and opinionated, people who like zombies, people who don’t like zombies but like a good story and two people who do not speak English as a first language (If they have trouble understanding a sentence, or find it unclear, then it’s probably not a good sentence. They are both fluent and enjoy reading English books.)

However, this is the end of the production for a Zombie Bedtime Story. Let’s switch to the beginning, because I am going to be restarting the cycle very soon:

I have a list of ideas, and a rough order that I want the series to follow. I’ve shuffled some ideas and events around, but the series itself has a definite beginning, middle and end.

I take the idea I want to work on, and flesh it out into a story. This story will have a beginning, middle and a conclusion. In my opinion (probably the only one that matters), each story needs to stand on its own. I leave Easter Eggs and tie-ins to future story lines, but nothing as overt as a “true” cliffhanger.

I’ve had good results both with and without outlines, but I usually have a good idea of what the main and side conflicts are, who the characters need to be and what particular flavor of gore I’m going to use. I have a notepad on my desk labeled “squick,” if I’m stuck for something extra gross I refer to it.

Once actual writing starts, the story grows organically, and new characters evolve or appear, buildings, extra character development and back story occur at this stage. I didn’t just sit down at the drawing board and decide what my characters hopes, habits and phobias are. They evolve out of my own sadistic desire to torture them, or because I want to get to know them better. Also, something about character development should go here.

Eventually, I finish writing, and get to editing. Here’s where I add extra details, ramp up the gore and make my characters swear more. I’ll usually flesh out the ending, for that final blaze of glory. If you’ve read Locked In, you know what I’m talking about.

I’ll edit again, especially around where I added new content. Then I send it off to be edited by a very patient person with an encyclopedic knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and a strong stomach. Once I get it back, I adjust my manuscript accordingly, learn to use a damn em-dash and then, I am at the stage where I sent it off to many proof-readers.

Why did I make this post? I’m not sure. I wanted to write about Deadlocked‘s impending release, in a different kind of light. (It will be after US Thanksgiving, that much I know. I am tentatively hoping for the first week of December.)

What is Deadlocked about already, Thea?

That is an excellent question. Deadlocked is the third part of the Zombie Bedtime Stories, and it flows mid-way out of part #1.

Deadlocked follows Haley’s partner, Frank, as he comes to the realization that something is very wrong. All of his questions and concerns are ignored and he finds himself silenced at every turn. He is determined to save his partner and his friends. However, Frank is no hero, and finds himself fighting for his life as his efforts to do the right thing go horribly wrong.

Stay tuned for excerpts!

This post brought to you by the fact that I didn’t realize I was wearing a hat for the majority of the day.

NaNoWriMo word count: 12,125. There’s a space station in the story, and space stations are cool.

 

A new review, Deadlocked off to the editor, and Bedlam begins

What a title. I’m saving the best for last, though.

I needed to rework Deadlocked‘s ending. The previous one didn’t feel perfect, which simply will not do at all. I may play with the order the stories come in, after Bedlam. Speaking of Bedlam, I just finished its outline. It certainly lives up to the name, lets just say that.

In news that is awesome, The Zombie’s Bride just got a review from Double Shot Reviews. Head on over and check out what they’re saying, then download the story for free!