Category Archives: apocalyptic fiction

This Plague of Days: Writer’s Digest Ebook Awards and what’s next!

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This series presents a fascinating and original take on the zombie apocalypse story. I was drawn in from the opening scene…and I found myself instantly connecting with the fate of the Spencer family. The writer did an excellent job interspersing the family’s story with details about the broader world. Every time it seemed that something was understood or under control in that sphere, the story would shift to reveal a new wrinkle in the plot.

~ Judge, 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

The TPOD Omnibus won honorable mention in Genre for these awards in 2014.

This Plague of Days OMNIBUS (Large)Next month, the second book in the Ghosts & Demons Series will launch. In the meantime, get in on the ground floor of this really cool series with The Haunting Lessons. It’s a little bit Buffy and a whole lot of fun.

NEW THL COVER JAN 2015 COMPLETE

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This Plague of Days: Something happened (plus new stuff you need to see)

This Plague of Days OMNIBUS (Large)

Hi everybody! I got this letter today:

Congratulations! Your e-book, This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition was awarded an Honorable Mention for Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published e-Book Awards in Genre.

So there’s that. But, you’ve probably already read TPOD.

No worries. I’ve got you covered.

If you liked This Plague of Days, you might even love this. I have a new book that’s the beginning of a series and, though it’s a fast and fun dark fantasy, there are elements of it that remind me of This Plague of Days. There’s horror here, but the tone is surprising and quirky.

The Haunting Lessons is about a girl from Iowa who has the perfect life planned out. When tragedy strikes, her world is upended and she discovers she has capabilities she never suspected. The world is a far more dangerous place than she imagined and now she’s thrown into a secret war in the Secret City of the Unseen: New York City. Expect swordplay, jokes, holy gunfire and instructions on how to survive the coming Armageddon.

Click it to get it now!

Click it to get it now!

And while you’re at it, check out my coauthor’s novella. My friend Holly Pop had a real experience that will freak you out. She and a couple of friends messed around with a Ouija board. Read this story and you’ll need a night-light to fall asleep. It’s creepy and compelling and worrying and a necessary read: to pick it up, click the cover image below.

It's been in the Top 100 Kindle Short Reads list since its release!

It’s been in the Top 100 Kindle Short Reads list since its release!

More developments, as they happen, reported here. Film at 11. Merry Christmas!

~ Chazz

 


Have you picked up the TPOD Omnibus to get a free book yet?

Several times a day, new readers get a free book because they read This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition.

I’m still offering the Omnibus (that’s three full novels of the complete trilogy) listed at the low price of just $4.99.

To claim the free book, readers go to a secret YouTube link at the back of the book, answer a simple question and send me an email address. I haven’t asked anyone to sign up for a newsletter or anything. Readers get the new book delivered to them immediately via Amazon. Easy-peasy.

But you know what the best part of the giveaway is?

Hearing directly from happy readers! I need reviews of my books, of course, but it’s also been truly wonderful and educational. It’s wonderful to hear how readers engaged with a mystery that is sifted through the story. I’ve got so much feedback now that I can say with confidence that the plot worked effectively the way I hoped it would. It’s also educational in that, with a little pull and a push, I’ve hearing from a lot of readers who wouldn’t ordinarily leave a review. (Again, I need those happy reviews and encourage them but the comments I’m getting are fun, too.)

It’s also fun to reward new readers with something unexpected, both in the major plot twist of This Plague of Days and in my latest thriller, Intense Violence, Bizarre Themes. (There are only three reviews of that one as I write this, but they are three of my favorite reviews of all time! Check them out here.)

I hope new readers will dig what I’m doing with my books and, heads up, if you liked This Plague of Days, you’re going to love my next book.

The truth is, I had a time travel book in the editorial pipeline, but, to be honest, it’s not ready for primetime yet. The time travel novel is a very complicated story and I can’t let anything come farther down the editorial pipe until I’m satisfied with it. It’s on hold for now until I can rework it. So let me tell you something about my next book, The Haunting Lessons.

A publisher approached me about contributing to an anthology. I was interested, but I wasn’t sure about the subject matter. It had a supernatural theme that I did not groove on. Still, it kept me awake nights in much the same way This Plague of Days did. How could I take the familiar and give it a nipple twist to make it work? I never want to do the expected. When I figured it out, I couldn’t wait to get the first draft down. 

This one is a lot of fun. It has a strong female protagonist with a quirky sense of humor. Here’s the deal:

The Haunting Lessons is about a girl from Iowa named Tamara Smythe. After a shocking and tragic accident, she discovers she has acquired supernatural powers. She reveals the truth which, of course, lands her in a mental hospital. Not for long. Soon she moves to New York to begin a new, better life and to forget the past. Instead, she runs straight into a supernatural war.

The hook is ghosts. The twist is demons. The Haunting Lessons is a heartfelt and funny training manual for any who would join the fight to save the future for humanity. Forget winter. Armageddon is coming and it’s Hell hot.

This one is shorter and has a faster pace than This Plague of Days. I love TPOD, of course. Remember, I don’t let anything out of the bunker unless I love it. But the jokes and action in The Haunting Lessons come faster and are packed tighter. This Plague of Days was, in part, an homage to Stephen King’s The StandI don’t know what to compare The Haunting Lessons to, though there is a tiny influence of Harry Potter and not a little Hunger Games in there, I suppose. But with more jokes. And swords. Lots of swords! This is apocalyptic fiction with a paranormal twist that takes the story in a fun and funny direction (with just enough tragedy to make it matter.)

You’re really going to like Tamara Smythe. I’m hoping to have it ready in time for Christmas.

In the meantime, be sure to finish the Omnibus before New Year’s Eve when the offer of the gift of Intense Violence, Bizarre Themes runs its course. (Sorry, can’t give a novel away free forever!)

 

 


This Plague of Days Omnibus Edition: The Trilogy is #Free on Amazon today

This Plague of Days OMNIBUS (Large)

 

Hi, TPOD readers! As I write this, the TPOD Omnibus is #1 in free Science Fiction on Amazon.

I haven’t posted here in a while. I’ve been very busy getting the next book ready and fighting a sleep disorder that’s really been kicking my ass. My brain is a little too busy at night for me to be healthy during the day. However, I got some help and today is the first day in a long time where I don’t feel terrible as soon as I get out of bed.

I had planned a time travel novel for Christmas. However, I’ve decided not to release that one until 2015. I need more time with it to get it right. I’m not happy with it yet and I never put out any book I’m unhappy with.

Fortunately, I have another book coming down the pipe that I am ecstatic about. I hope to have a new fantasy thriller ready in time for Christmas. 

I mention it because, if you liked TPOD, you might like the next one even more.

It’s shorter, has a faster pace and ventures into Buffy the Vampire Slayer territory. I loved that series and I wanted to do something along those lines mixed with some Harry Potter elements. It’s not a knock off of anything, though. I don’t believe in that. In all my books, I strive to do something different with the story elements. Whatever genre I write, I strive to take it in unexpected directions.

The next one is an urban fantasy featuring Tamara Smythe, a protagonist with a tragic past. She’s funny and charming and, to her surprise, dangerous. The heroine is from Iowa and, after her first romance takes an unfortunate turn, she’s a fish out of water in New York City. Expect ghosts, secret societies, hidden fortresses and, of course, Niceness versus Evil. To paraphrase Roadhouse, Tamara will be nice until it’s time not to be nice.

I’ll post more when I’m closer to publication. I’m working with a new co-author on this one. More on that later, too.

In the meantime, the TPOD Omnibus is free today.

If you haven’t picked up a copy already (Oh! Horrors!), go pick it up for free. If you’ve already got it, the ebook would make a fine Christmas gift for your mom, if she isn’t put off by a little gore and likes post-apocalyptic plague stories with a fun and thoughtful autistic twist. 

 


No spoilers. It’s important. If you review without spoiling, thank you.

Just posted this on Facebook because I’m fed up:

Just read my second review of This Plague of Days that contains a spoiler or a strong hint of a spoiler. A movie reviewer ruined Jacob’s Ladder for me the same way.

So, in summary, WTF is WRONG with people?!

I’m going back in the cave because obviously I’ve come out too early to deal with this BS.

Thank you to all the kind reviewers who can express themselves without resorting to spoiling the reading experience for others. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

(It’s been a tough week on the personal side, folks, so excuse my angst. What’s that about? Here’s what that’s about.) You know…I think I’m past the weeping stage and I’ve found my anger at The Way of Things again. So there’s that.


Book Launch Bargain: #Videos, Secrets and This Plague of Days Deals

 

The official launch of This Plague of Days, Season Three and the TPOD Omnibus is Father’s Day, but here you are so, scroll down see the clickable covers (linked to Amazon.com.) Have a look and pick up a book, but, before you go…

The big book launch deal

If you’re new to my autistic zombie apocalypse, Season One is marked down to 99 cents! Season Two is marked down to $2.99!

But there are more ways to save you cash below, and get an extra book!

If you haven’t read any of This Plague of Days or if you prefer to read it all in one huge ebook, you’ll save a couple of bucks with your purchase of the This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition (which delivers all three seasons back to back to back.) So, you’ve got several options, all designed to save you some bucks and finally find out what happens to Jaimie, the Spencer family, the European refugees, Shiva, Misericordia and…well…all of us, actually. The end of the world gets weird and scary and…well, you see.

There’s a bonus offer, exclusive to those who purchase the TPOD Omnibus Edition: another free thriller!

A secret is buried in This Plague of Days, from Season One all the way to Season Three. That secret will finally be revealed. (Please, no spoilers in the reviews! Thanks!)

Here’s the kicker for you:

For those who purchase the Omnibus Edition, there’s a private link to a video. I chat a little about the journey, but I also have a question for you.

Answer that question in the comments thread of the video and I’ll send you my next thriller (coming this summer) for FREE, my gift to readers.

So, for six bucks, you’re actually going to get four books and save even more dough if you get the This Plague of Days Omnibus Edition.

I’m so grateful to TPOD readers for their support and enthusiasm for the saga. Sincerely, thank you for digging  This Plague of Days. It’s been quite a ride and I’m very happy with how the finale has turned out. I think you’re going to like it, too. TPOD3 goes big and wide.

~ Chazz

UPDATE: Since Season One is now just 99 cents for the entire thing (which includes all five episodes), the individual episodes for Season One are disappearing from the Amazon store. This is an effort to avoid people paying for each episodes when they can get all of Season One for one incredibly low price. Yep! 99 cents! Pick up the first book in the series here. 

 

This Plague of Days S3 (2)

 

 

TPOD OMNIBUS 3D

 

 

 

 


This Plague of Days: Did I mention one random commenter will win the ebook of Seasons 1, 2 AND 3?

UPDATE: Thank you for your feedback so far. Here’s another cover to consider. This is #6:

How's this? A little classier with an added tagline?

How’s this? A little classier with an added tagline?

It’s cover choosing time!

Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com has created the cover for Season 3 of This Plague of Days and it is wonderful. I have no doubt you’ll be impressed. I’ll leave that awesome reveal for later. It’s different from the other covers, but, given where Season 3 takes us, that’s appropriate. It gets weird. I’m aiming for Strangest Zombie Apocalypse Series Ever Award. It’s given out by the Nobel committee each year, but the competition is stiff and those nerdy Nobel chemists grab all the glory.

Season 3 is due out on Father’s Day.

You can pick up Seasons One and Two through the affiliate link at AllThatChazz.com if you’re so inclined (and if you like autistic heroes trying to save the world from several kinds of monsters, including humans.) There are a couple of sneak peeks below this post, too, if you’re looking for more of a taste.

About that prize for a random assist: the compendium of Seasons 1, 2 and the finale in 3 will launch on Father’s Day, too.

In addition, I’m taking care of the cover for the Plague of Days compendium myself. About that, I have many doubts. Which cover do you prefer?

Please let me know which one you like best in the comments, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5? A combination of several elements? None?

Thanks for helping me out with these heavy decisions as the big day approaches! And by “big day” I’m referring, of course, to the release of the pandemic flu virus that will kill most of us, turn a bunch more into zombies and…well…it gets worse as the virus mutates. Have a great day!

1.TPOD COMPENDIUM

 

 

2.

 

 

 

 

TPOD COMPENDIUM2

3.

 

TPOD Compendium3

 

4.

TPOD COMPENDIUM 5

 

 

 

5.

TPOD 123 COVER


Sneak Peek: From the prelude to This Plague of Days, Season 3

In the last of the old days, while the virus still incubated small and soft, we went about our lives. We went to work. We bought and sold and ate and slept. Distracted by the little things, we somehow forgot big dreams.

We wished we lived where we vacationed, but we did not move. We acted like our time was not finite. We fell in and out of love, heedless of the larger dramas at the edges of vision.

Before the pandemic wound around the Earth and began to squeeze, we did not connect cause and consequence. We were actors on the stage of our imaginations, improvising our lines, unaware the theater was on fire.

Those who did not believe in higher powers? They still believed in the illusion of tomorrow. We all thought the future would somehow be better, or at least no worse. We were blind to Entropy’s rising storm.

Nature’s hammer blows were theoretical for most of us then. We did not believe in death until the hurricane made landfall. Until that nice receptionist from the doctor’s office called about a surprise, and very urgent, follow-up appointment, the threats were not personal. Danger was for other people.

We didn’t know complacency was slavery. We were fairly happy in our blindness, but we didn’t even appreciate that.

The Sutr plagues made us honest. We began to talk about suffering and loss and what we believed. Disease taught us compassion. Fear reminded us we were still animals, part of the food chain. We learned we are all, without exception, Time’s target.

These are the lessons of the pandemic. This is your plague of days.

~ This Plague of Days 3 launches on Father’s Day, as does This Plague of Days, The Complete Series.


This Plague of Days: Houston, start the countdown…

In case you’ve been wondering, no, I haven’t forgotten about you.

As I write this, Kid #1’s sleepover party is wrapping up. Kid #2 is sleeping off an all-night relay for a charity against cancer. (Isn’t it strange that when you ask what the charity is for, often people say they’re running “for cancer”? Call me crazy, but I support charities against cancer.) Oh yeah, and This Plague of Days 3 (the grand finale) and TPOD The Complete Series is coming out in about a week. I’ve spent years with these characters, so it’s something of a big deal. Everybody loves Jaimie, but my personal favorite is Desi Walsh. I hear his Irish lilt in my head when I write him.

I’m finishing up some tweaks to TPOD2. Some typos snuck in with a production problem so we’re reformatting the paperbacks and reloading everything. In the coming week I’m going through the last of the beta suggestions for final tweaks. The only thing that might be a snag is my graphic designer has been sick so we don’t have a finalized cover yet. I’ll talk to him tomorrow and let you know if there will be any delays. However, I’m optimistic we’ll go on time. Kit, of KitFosterDesign.com, is the best, but alas, he’s human and I wish my great friend a quick recovery (from illness, not from being human.)

It’s been a lot of long days and sleepless nights and I’m not complaining. I’ll be very interested to see how readers respond to the finale. The beta readers who got a sneak peek are happy.

The secret I’ve frequently alluded to will soon be revealed.

In your reviews, please no spoilers for those who don’t read as fast as you do. Thanks! The story started off a little slow in Season One but builds and builds to a fast pace through Season 2. And things get weird. Very weird.

What’s next for Ex Parte Press?

TPOD took years to write through its various stages. The next book is an odd thriller and it could release as early as the end of July or early August. Why? Because publishing each book is stressful and I suffer a touch of postpartum depression with each book. I wrote a fast-paced thriller in about four weeks, just to clear out the cobwebs. If you’re a fan of my crime novel Bigger Than Jesus, you’ll love the next one. More on that later this month. For now, all the focus is on This Plague of Days.

In TPOD3, sorry about what I did in Wilmington, Vermont. Apologies about killing off the characters you loved. And all the tricks and smoke and mirrors?

Nope. I don’t apologize for that at all. See you in a week with the grand announcement. Barring sickness and the unforeseen, we’re still aiming for the launch to proceed on Father’s Day, June 15, as I add to my list of children.

 

 

 


This Plague of Days: The No Spoilers Edition

Two beta readers, advanced scouts in the dark land of Editoria, are back with reports from the third book in the This Plague of Days serial. Well, now it’s a series and, perhaps someday, a television series or a movie. (More on that another time.)

Early returns on Season 3 are very good. “Cerebral, but with enough rip and chew to balance out all the existential questions about the universe.” All your questions are answered (and you’ll have a few more of your own to ponder after you close the book.)

Generally, what should I expect?

It’s action, take a breath, action, take one quick breath, action, action, ooh, creepy!,  action, here’s the secret God kept from Himself, tears, action, action, tears, gnashing of teeth, action, mirrors, action…

So, let’s tackle some issues up front:

1. If you’re new to the story…

This Plague of Days is three books/seasons (because it’s written like a television serial, cliffhangers and all.) Seasons One and Two are already out there and it’s going groovy. People love Jaimie Spencer and his family.

Our hero is on the autistic spectrum. Jaimie’s mother Jack (short for Jacqueline), father Theo and sister Anna are all in grave danger as three plagues tear down the world. Wicked bio-terrorists scheme and cavort, the killer virus constantly mutates and a hardy band from Europe try to make it to America to fight the invasion. It’s a zombie apocalypse, but it’s also a lot more than that.

2. This Plague of Days was originally published as a serial with five episodes per season.

The idea was to give readers a very inexpensive story they could bail out of at any time, or opt in and buy the whole darn book for less than the cost of five episodes. Each ep is 15-20,000 words, so I wasn’t scrimping. (Usually episodes are sold in 10,000-word instalments.)

3. Season 3 will hit in June.

It will be sold as one book (ebook and print.)

Why no more episodes?

By now, people who were going to buy in aren’t purchasing episodes anymore. They may have dabbled their way through Season One and got it piecemeal. However, by now those readers are all the way in. You can see what’s happening with the episodes because Season One has 80 reviews, Season 2 has 37 and the later episodes have none. Rather than sell to readers who aren’t there, there will be another new aspect to the finale. And that is…

4. Seasons One, Two and Three of This Plague of Days, revamped and re-edited…

will be sold as one huge ebook.

Sorry, I looked into printing it as one big, dead tree book, but it would be so huge my regular printer couldn’t handle the order. Also, a book over 1,000 pages is quite pricey and is really only for collectors and the die-hard fans. I’ll continue to try to figure a way to do it as a printed book and keep the price reasonable. For now, that’s not apparent. I’m not out to gouge anybody, so that’s tabled for now. (In America, that means it’s not being considered. In the UK, “tabled” means it is being considered. Or is that the other way around? Hm. Weird.) 

5. How is Season 3 different from Seasons One and Two?

The three books travel quite an arc. There are things that are set up in the first book that pay off much later. A huge secret lurks just beneath the surface of This Plague of Days. I held a contest and a lot of people looked for that secret. Some searched really hard and called me names. They didn’t find it.

And now?

What I hear from the beta readers is, “OH!” And, “AH!” and “AGH!” The clues become apparent, but only in hindsight. I’m pretty happy about that.

The thing about everything I do is, I want to write something you haven’t seen before. I don’t want my zombie apocalypse to be like any other. That’s one of the reasons the virus keeps evolving. My zombies aren’t supernatural zombies, but the ordinary humans might be.

Things changed drastically in Season Two. The pace changed. In Season 3, the stakes are upped again. It’s a chance to explore some interesting ideas along the way. You’ll love it or you’ll hate it, but you won’t forget it. And no, the story does not end with, “And it was all a dream.” NO. It does NOT end that way! Just FYI.

Also, yes, those Europeans who survive the fall of civilization will finally get to meet whoever gets to survive America’s zombie apocalypse. Heh. You’ll see. YOU’LL ALL SEE! (Sorry. That was my villainous, And-they-laughed-at-me-in-the-Academy Moment.)

6. Any other hints at what’s to come?

Without spoiling anything? Someone who’s appeared to be a minor character in the past will step forward in a big way. There’s some gore, but it’s parcelled out judiciously. Not everyone you love will make it to the end, but for those who do, there’s a huge reward no one saw coming. Well, no human, anyway.

Season One was The Running Dead (with Autism.)

Season Two was The Stand (complicated by a very selective mute.)

Season Three is Stranger in a Strange Land. 

The stranger is You, Faithful Reader.

(Yes, that’s a clue. No, it won’t help a bit.)

 

 

 


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