Threat of the Half-Deads

Darkman

Darkman

This is a piece of the Shattered States that came about early and caused a slight headache for me.  I imagined a terrifying being hunting Cassidy and Lloyd after they did something to make it mad.  Then I came up with a better idea.  They were going to be tracked down by an inhuman assassin.  Pretty simple way to fit that in since Lloyd was an escaped prisoner and the warden wasn’t fed his own spleen.  In fact, the warden is still dining on the finer foods while his prisoners suffer.

I came up with a figure who was covered in rags, had blister-covered skin, above average strength, and felt no pain.  Of course I called it . . . absolutely nothing for two weeks.  I had to figure out where this thing came from because the Plague Bogs didn’t make sense and nothing else was that destructive.  Not even Nebraska.  Then I remembered that I nuked Washington D.C. before the story starts to remove the federal government from play and plunge the country into more chaos.  (This is fiction, NSA.  Or is it NASA that spies on people?)  Anyway, I thought it would be interesting if a new threat emerged from this disaster.

Enter the Half-Deads!  These are people who didn’t die immediately from the bombing and radiation.  They had a bizarre natural resistance that didn’t keep them healthy, but led to a slow demise.  Half-Deads take assassination jobs for the medicines that will keep them alive and numb the pain they feel every minute of the day.  Their touch is radioactive and their medications give them an almost invulnerability to minor damage.  Guns are the best bet for them, but they still have a working mind and will strike from the dark or in areas where you’re vulnerable.  Also they don’t really care about getting shot in the limbs since they never notice.  These really are the most fantastical of the creatures in Crossing Bedlam.

I did put a little more into them that may play a factor in future stories.  For nothing other than supporting character backgrounds.  Half-Deads have a 5-7 year lifespan, so you would think they’d be gone by the time the story starts.  Well the originals are probably long dead, but they are known to kidnap innocent people.  Their victims are brought to D.C. where they are turned into Half-Deads and released into the world.  Nobody knows for sure because the area is plain lethal.  Some studies have shown that Half-Deads are able to sense when someone has enough radiation resistance to survive the transformation.  This comes from how a person reacts to their touch or bite, which is why they don’t always kill on the first strike.

Honestly, I don’t know how often they’re going to appear in the other books.  The main purpose for the Half-Dead in Crossing Bedlam was to have something preventing Cassidy and Lloyd from turning back.  They have to keep moving and this thing can’t be easily killed.  For Cassidy it’s because she’s terrified of the thing like everyone else in the Shattered States.  Lloyd is different in that he can’t get close to it and has to think of a way around its lethal touch.  Yes, it’s kind of like a monster vs monster thing.

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Want to be on the Cover of a Romance Novel? Enter to Win Today! @shailstock #MFRWAuthor #Contest

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

How many romance novels have you read? For me, it’s been thousands. Before I began writing, I was a 20-book a month reader. Now, I spend time writing, reading and promoting my romance novels.  I’ve written over thirty-five novels and novellas and have a wealth of ideas for books still to write.

There are several questions always asked of writers. One of the most common has to do with the cover of the book. Who’s the model? Did you (me, the author) choose the model? And the one question I love; Did you pose for the cover? (Answer: no.)

However, this last question sparked an interest for me and I came up with a promotional idea that would make that dream a reality for one lucky winner.

At this moment, I’m promoting a contest that will garner the winner a place on the cover of one of my romance novels…

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Charity Anthology in aid of Alzheimer’s Disease – Tales of Fantasy and Magic by Julie Ann Bowmaker

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Today’s featured book is an anthology of poetry Tales of Fantasy and Magic by Julie Ann Bowmaker. The collection is a tribute to a very special man, Julie’s dad, Graham Charles French who passed away in May 2012 from Lewy body dementia. Like other books that donate proceeds to charity you will not find this anthology on Amazon, as to lose a large proportion in commission would defeat the object.

What is Lewy Body Dementia?

Lewy bodies are clumps of specific proteins in the neurons of the brain. In the past I have posted on the two main types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia and Lewy body type dementia is the second or third most common variant of the disease depending on which country you live in. Very similar in symptoms to Parkinson’s disease, the person suffers from a decline in mental and physical function accompanied by visual…

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Last Call for Bedlam Volunteers

Red Panda at Bronx Zoo

Red Panda at Bronx Zoo

The plan is to release Crossing Bedlam on Saturday or at least hit publish that day.  So this is my last request to see if anyone wants to help announce the book when it’s finally gone live.

Yup . . . That’s about it.  Thanks.

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Questions 3: Planning to Survive the Apocalypse

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

First, I just want to say finding any ‘apocalypse survival’ pictures is a pain if you’re avoiding zombie stuff.  At this point, I think we’re so prepared for zombies that their attack be over in minutes.  Not with them winning, but humans would simply pulverize the first zombie and then several innocent people who simply woke up groggy that morning.  What was this post about?

Oh yeah!  Crossing Bedlam is almost here, so we’re sticking with the post-apocalyptic/disaster topic.  It takes a lot to survive the Shattered States, so let’s toss a trio of questions to see what you’d do.  Maybe you’ll even end up in Nebraska . . . To find out if that’s a good or bad thing, you’ll have to read the book when it comes out.  ;)

  1. Where in the country would you try to survive or would you wander?
  2. What would you do for supplies? (Work, rob, scavenge, etc.)
  3. What thought would keep you going through the hardest times?
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Five Star Treatment – Atto Run – The First Level of Hell by Joelle LeGendre

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

five-star25

Today’s featured book is Atto Run – The First Level of Hell and is the first in a 15 book Sci-fi series with book two in the final stages of editing. Author Joelle LeGendre is also well known to us as Floridaborne at her blog Ranting Along

51SIqIb3wvL._UY250_About the book

A SciFi Cinderella comedy-romance that pokes fun at the craziness of life on Earth,
and possibly elsewhere.

All that stands between Earth and Ri-Atto turning into asteroid belts are the bored preteen with a high-tech orb who rules Earth, a former beautician from a small Florida town,
and a very frightened Ri-Atton illegal alien.

They’re about to find out that the universe has a sick sense of humor.

Some of the reviews for Atto Run – The First Level of Hell

Atto Run is a Good, Intriguing, and Fun Read By Ronald Murphy on March 3, 2014 Format: Paperback

As…

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Animals of the Shattered States

For those who can’t watch the scene, it’s when Will Smith is hunting at the beginning of ‘I AM LEGEND’.  He finds a deer, stalks it, and a lion takes it out before he can shoot.  This scene has managed to stick with me for years because I found it to be more telling than a lot of the movie.  Mostly, it touches on how we have a bunch of non-native animals in zoos that could play a factor in an anarchist country.  As long as they are released, which I’d say is more likely to happen than them being left to rot.  At least the big ones even though I’ve got no idea how you’d get an elephant over the moat.

Animals will occasionally play a major role in Crossing Bedlam as obstacles.  There is a loosely organized group that calls themselves Guardians.  Cassidy and Lloyd run into a few of them, but not the sane kinds.  These people care about the wild animals that are trapped in the Shattered States along with humanity.  So they freed all of the animals and do one of two things.  Some united to create havens for animals that require certain environments like tropical animals going to Florida and arctic ones going to Maine.  These aren’t zoos, but preserves because they are huge.  These Guardians aren’t encountered very often because they stick to themselves.  You may run into an agent in the wild, but they’ve become very good at hiding from strangers.

The other type of Guardian is more dangerous in that they let their charges roam through the country.  Many of these people love animals, but know very little about them.  This puts them at odds with the Haven type.  This isn’t the dangerous part either.  Some of these Guardians are so obsessed with protecting their charges, they kill any human that gets too close.  Men, women, children, elderly, and sick could be killed if they inadvertently move too close to these animals, which range from elephants to butterflies.  Needless to say, they give all Guardians a bad name and have even been known to kill the Haven types.  Doesn’t help that these people are more inclined to be snipers than any other type of killer, which means a person won’t even see them near the animals.

There is a third type of animal that I couldn’t put into Crossing Bedlam, but will be appearing other stories.  These are the Carrier Beasts, which sounds pretty scary.  Good news!  They are pretty scary.  Honestly, it’s easy to figure out what a Carrier Beast does.  These are animals that can transfer diseases, but show very few signs of being sick.  Many of these diseases are new and stem from the Plague Bogs.  Guardians and other groups try to locate these animals or simply keep an eye out for them.  It is agreed that they should be destroyed since they can infect humans and their species entire population if left unchecked.  Thankfully, Carrier Beasts are rarely found near areas of civilization, so only those on the open road and in the wild have to worry.

It’s going to be fun to see what else comes up in the animal world of Shattered States.

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