My Year Not Writing

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This last year has been one of the craziest and best years of my life. So much has happened and I’m so grateful for everything- the good and the bad. Unfortunately, it forced me to take an extended vacation from writing books (which I was not a fan of!)

I won’t go into too much detail about why a year was needed to work on myself and my family, but I would like to share some of the experiences.

First off, I’d been learning how to be a single mom for about a year, and had been at my new job at a local auto dealership for about four months and doing well, so I decided it was time to venture out on my own with my toddler. We got an apartment nearby my folks and it took a lot of time, money, and effort to set the place up just how I wanted it.

I wouldn’t have been able to do that and keep my sanity without the newest person in my life. At the beginning of the year I started dating someone new (and that was a year after swearing off dating all together!) He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met and has helped me through so much this year. He’s an amazing man who my daughter and I love dearly.

My work has also taken some turns I wasn’t expecting. At the beginning of the year I went through a period of sexual harassment by my manager. It was an awful ordeal, but it ended well with him not working with us anymore. But once I moved past that, a woman I work with took to bullying me every chance she got. I endured it silently for months until I couldn’t take it anymore. Afterwards, I moved to another position in the dealership that is absolutely perfect for me. I couldn’t be happier (so, see! Great things can come from the horrendous.) I no longer sell cars, but do data entry and customer relations for the service department. I have a little office all to myself where I sit in silence on the computer and no one bugs me! (Every writer’s dream!)

Unexpectedly, my boyfriend won a trip to Cabo, Mexico at the end of the year. It was my first time out of the country and it was fabulous. But I was terribly sick for an entire week when I got back. Since then, the family has been passing around sickness. I just finished my second round of it and hope that it’s finally gone for good!

So, that’s been my 2017 in a nutshell. My New Year’s resolution for 2018 was to write more, and I’m sticking to it! Currently, I’m rereading/re-editing “Dead Soil” so that I can get started on the second book in the series “Dead Road”. I’m very excited to be back and I hope you all are excited too!

 

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Holiday $0.99 Kindle Sale!

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Announced in last Saturday’s newsletter, Alex Apostol has reduced all her eBooks to only $0.99 now through January 1, 2017! (Excluding book bundles) Pick one up (or all of them!) and curl up by the fire this holiday season. There’s something for everyone!

SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS:

THE ABSOLUTE FINAL BROKEN ANGEL KINDLE     earth-angel-kindle-final     ABSOLUTE FINAL HUNTED ANGEL KINDLE

  ZOMBIE NOVELS:

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WOMEN’S FICTION:

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NEW ZOMBIE BOOK RELEASE

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It’s an Undead Thing by Alex Apostol

Zooey Beckett isn’t like other girls. For starters, she’s a zombie!

This new release from Apostol is sure to keep you on your toes as you follow Zooey Beckett through her treatment at the Undead Ward. Thanks to Zombutexachlorepinol, or more commonly known as the Z-shot, zombies are cured and brought back to life. But all is not as it seems. The staff seems to recoil at the sight of her and the other Undead keep disappearing through a pair of black double doors, never to be seen again. Can Zooey make it through her three weeks of treatment at the hospital to get back home?

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READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS HERE FOR FREE!

 

CHAPTER ONE

            Three men in navy blue jumpsuits walked the Boston Common with animal control poles. The loops at the ends swayed with each cautious step they took, careful not to make a sound as they stalked through the trees. Everything was quiet. Even the birds held their breaths, not letting a single peep fall from their beaks. Every so often, a gentle summer breeze rustled through the branches, making the three men turn on their heels.

“Didn’t we clear this area two days ago?” the youngest man in the back whispered.

He was twenty-five-years-old and the newest member of the National Guard’s zombie division, a special unit meant to catch and cure walking corpses. A rush of adrenaline made the young man’s hands shake every time they were dispatched. Three men was not enough for the task in his opinion, but ever since the plague took a good chunk of the population the military had been left short-handed.

“And now we’re clearing it again,” the man closest to him hissed through his teeth.

Sergeant Stone’s name suited him as he was built like a solid wall of chimney. His lips were pursed so thinly, it was a wonder how they didn’t disappear altogether. He was tired of the newbie always questioning everything. It was their job to shut up and follow orders. If they didn’t, the zombies could very well take over again.

The reign hadn’t lasted long thanks to all the zombie lore from comic books, movies, and television. The CDC had even implemented a plan for if the zombie plague ever broke out due to the popularity of the monsters. No one ever thought it would really happen, until it did. And then, the government was quick to act. Sergeant Stone was one of the first to volunteer for the division.

He laughed when the Major told him a nineteen-year-old was joining the team that morning. He wasn’t laughing now that they were out in the field.

“Would you two shut your traps?” their commanding officer growled from the lead. “We’re looking for flesh-eating, organ-chewing, blood-drinking zombies, or have you forgotten why we’re here?”

He was a decorated war hero who served three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. His hair was silver and thinning, and his arms sagged with muscles that had been ignored over the years. It was the pins on his breast-pocket alone that commanded respect.

“No, sir,” they whispered in unison.

“Good, then come on.”

Together they walked in a U-shape, Major Jackson facing forward and leading the way while the newbie, Private First Class Goodman, faced the East and Sergeant Stone faced the West. There should have been someone watching their six, but they were told they would have to do without for a while.

The rustle of shambling footsteps sounded ahead.

The Major held up a fist, stopping the other two in their tacks.

A dull groan echoed off the trees.

Major Jackson pointed to Sergeant Stone and motioned for him to circle around and come up from behind. The Sergeant moved with stealth, his feet not making a sound on the plush grass. Goodman felt his knees knock together as he lost sight of his comrade. There were only two of them now.

Up ahead, a female limped slowly out into the open from behind a tree.

“Ma’am!” The Major called out with his catcher’s pole gripped in both hands.

He knew she wasn’t going to respond, but protocols had to be followed, even if they were stupid.

The young woman opened her mouth and let out a hiss before clacking her teeth together.

The two men nodded once to each other and watched as the dirtied woman moved toward them, her arms raising up in front of her. Her long brown hair was matted with twigs, dirt, and dried blood. A good shower would detangle that mess. Her pale face was scratched, but not so badly that she wouldn’t recover in time. The only substantial wound visible was the chunk that had been bitten from her trapezius, nothing that couldn’t be cleaned, stitched together, and grafted over.

“Let’s bring her in,” the Major declared.

They advanced on the pitiful zombie.

“Z-729657,” the Major said in an official tone, “you’re coming with us to the Massachusetts General Hospital where you will be admitted into the Undead Ward for treatment and—AHHH!”

A large male had wandered up soundlessly from behind and sunk his teeth into the Major’s arm. He munched relentlessly as screams pierced the air. His head was thrown around as the Major tried to shake his bloodied arm free.

Goodman stood frozen in horror. It was the first time he’d seen anyone attacked up close. Crimson spilled from the Major’s arm onto the green grass. His Commanding Officer was losing his pallor before his eyes. Though his legs were unable to move, his stomach gave a violent lurch.

“What are you doing?! Catch it!” Sergeant Stone’s gruff voice called as he ran up to them.

He didn’t wait for Goodman to snap out of it, but secured the female zombie by the neck with his own catcher’s pole. She struggled listlessly as he held her in place. Her growls echoed in the young Private’s ears, debilitating him further. His vision tunneled and all he could see were her bloodied, gnashing teeth with bits of the Major’s skin hanging from between.

“For fuck’s sake,” Sergeant Stone growled.

He shoved the catcher’s pole with the secured zombie into the petrified kid’s hands and snatched his away. With precision and ease, he slipped the loop around the male zombie’s neck and yanked him away from the shrieking Major, taking a chunk of arm with him.

Major Jackson dropped to his knees, howling. The blood flowed from the gaping wound like a raging river. He tried to stop the bleeding with his hand, but his life-force gushed between his fingers. With his free hand, the Sergeant pulled the Major up by the collar.

“You’ll be fine, Sir. They’ll get you fixed up with some of that Zombutexa-whatever-the-fuck it’s called, and you’ll be good to go.”

“I don’t want to become one of them,” the forty-eight-year-old man wept while clutching his arm.

The Sergeant rolled his eyes. “You’re not going to turn into one of them. Now, come on. Let’s get them in the van and get out of here before any more show up.” He snatched the other pole from the frightened kid and led both zombies across the park.

The corpses bumped into each other, hissing and clawing at the air for freedom, while the Major whimpered from behind. They left the Private dumbstruck in the blood-stained grass.

“Let’s go, fuck-shit, before we leave your ass here!”

Goodman snapped out of his horrified daze and jogged to catch up. He went to take one of the poles, but the Sergeant jerked it away. The two zombies stumbled sideways and let out a series of moans and growls.

“I don’t think so, newbie. Not after what you just pulled.”

“I didn’t mean to—” the copper-haired, wiry kid started to say.

“Save it. It’s not up to me what happens to you now.”

When they reached the Army-green van, Sergeant Stone ushered the dead up the ramp and into the back. He released the loops from the poles with the press of a button. Sensing their freedom, the two bodies lunged forward. Stone slammed the doors and peered in through the tiny window. He smiled with all his crooked teeth.

“Not today, motherfuckers!”

The Major groaned loudly from the other side of the van, as if death himself were approaching to take him away.

“All right, all right,” the Stone grumbled as he walked around to the driver’s side. “Let’s go.”

Goodman hopped in first and held a hand out. The Major, refusing to take it or possibly not seeing it through his blinding pain, inched his way through the passenger door and onto the seat. The smell of copper immediately overwhelmed everyone onboard.

The van lurched forward and a loud thud came from the back. Stone gave a satisfied chuckle as he turned onto Tremont Street. The Major let out another dramatic groan as Goodman stared at his wound with a gaping mouth. The kid nudged closer to Stone without realizing it. The Sergeant nudged him with his elbow.

“You wanna sit in my lap, Goodman?”

“Sorry,” he mumbled as he readjusted himself, and then he whispered, “do you think he’s going to be okay?”

The Major had leaned his head against the cool glass of the window. His eyes slowly closed as he struggled to breathe properly. He looked like he’d aged ten years in the last ten minutes.

“He’ll be fine. Takes a good twenty-four hours to zombify completely. They’ll give him the shot and that will be that.”

“That will be that,” Goodman repeated as he nodded his head.

He had no choice but to believe his Sergeant. After all, the hardened man had been on countless zombie hunts since hospitals all over the country opened the Undead Wards at the beginning of the year. He’d been through three Commanding Officers and eight teams of men. No one had ever died on a mission, though a good number had been bitten, infected for life with the zombie plague. But Stone believed it was all part of the job. The military had never been a safe career. This plague didn’t change that.

Goodman wondered if he stayed with the division if he would become callous like Sergeant Stone. The very thought sent a shiver down his spine. He tried to ignore the muffled groans and bangs from the back. No matter how many he came face-to-face with, he would never get used to the sight of a zombie hungry for his brains. When he decided to sign up for the division, all he thought about was the gratitude others would feel toward him for helping to make their city safe again. It wasn’t until today that he realized there was so much more to the job, like the zombies. He thought most of them had been cured already. If they allowed him to, he resolved to do better on the next mission.

 

 

In the back, the two zombies tried to stay standing as the van took sharp turns. The female moaned each time her head hit the hard metal side, but she didn’t feel any pain. She couldn’t feel anything but the overwhelming desire to sink her teeth into warm, flesh to get to the gooey brains underneath. The other zombie had been so close to securing their meal. If only they hadn’t been outnumbered, they would both be on cloud nine right now, riding a brain high for the rest of the day.

The mangled man she’d been picked up with looked at her. He parted his crusted lips as if he were going to speak, but all that came out was a deep groan. He continued to stare as the van rocked with each turn. His wobbly legs offered little help to keep him upright. With each fall, he turned away and grunted.

She’d seen this zombie before in the park. He was vicious and moved with an agility the rest had lost over time. When it came to brains, this guy wasn’t messing around. He wanted them bad and he would attack anyone to get them. A part of her felt scared to be alone with him, but then she remembered—zombies don’t eat other zombies. It’s rule number one.

 

Chapter Two

 

Zooey Beckett opened her eyes. The repetitive beep of the electrocardiograph machine seemed to grow louder with each ounce of consciousness she gained. Her head felt like it’d been hit with a sledgehammer, her face and shoulders stung and ached, but she was alive! At least, she thought she was.

She went to move her hand to touch it lightly to her throbbing cheek, but was stopped midway. A loud metallic clank echoed in the empty room.

“What the—” she said in a raspy voice unlike her own.

Metal handcuffs chained both her hands to each side of a hospital bedrail. Panic rose in her chest like a fire. Her heartbeat raced, sending the machine into a frenzy. She thrashed herself about, trying to get loose.

“Somebody get me out of here!” she yelled, not sure if there was anyone around to hear her.

She vaguely remembered someone telling her they were taking her to the hospital, but she wasn’t sure why. Her brain felt light and clouded over with fog.

“Help!” she cried out. “Please help!”

Finally, the door opened and a young male nurse in green scrubs with too much gel in his dark, straight hair strode in. He turned off the EKG and shoved a thermometer in her ear.

“Hold still,” he said dryly.

Every breath was shallow and painful, and she was still confused. She ignored the nurse’s demands and moved about as much as her restraints would allow.

“Why am I here? What’s going on? What did I do?”

Crusty-haired nurse ignored her and took the thermometer out when it beeped, though with as much as she moved the reading couldn’t have been accurate. He wrote on his notepad and moved around to the other side of the bed, removing his stethoscope from around his thin neck.

“Can you tell me what happened?” she urged again. “Please!”

He placed the cold metal to her chest and looked up at the ceiling to avoid her desperate gaze.

Just then, a tall slender man in a white labcoat walked in.

“Hello, I’m Doctor Evan Fullerton. I will be your resident doctor for the duration of your stay.”

Zooey’s eyes grew wide as tears gathered in them. “What do you mean? Tell me why I’m here!” Blind rage was creeping up in her. She needed answers.

The doctor removed his silver-rimmed glasses and placed them in his breast pocket. The nurse rolled a chair in from the hallway and placed it behind the doctor, who lowered himself without ever taking his eyes off Zooey.

“What’s the last thing you remember, Miss…?”

She looked from him to the nurse. Her mouth fell open in bewilderment. “Zooey Beckett,” she said harshly.

“Ah,” the doctor sighed while nodding his salt and peppered head. “Miss Beckett. As detailed as you can, please tell me the last thing you remember.”

Zooey stopped straining against her constraints and laid her head back against the lumpy pillow. It was becoming clear she wasn’t going to get any answers until she provided some for them. She held back her tears and swallowed the lump in her throat. With a pitiful attempt, she rubbed each cheek on her shoulder to dry them.

“I had just gotten off work—H&M—and I was walking to the train.” Her voice shook, but she pressed on for the sake of figuring things out. “It had to be about 10:30 at night. I’d had a rough day and was feeling a little stressed, so I decided at the last minute to take a lap around the Common first to clear my head.

“Talk of the cure and safer streets had been going around. I thought I would be okay.” Her vision blurred as tears collected in her eyes again. She could see her words played out like a movie in her head as she spoke. “I was attacked by the gazebo, bit on the shoulder. I didn’t see it coming, and I couldn’t get away…” she swallowed and her breath hitched in her chest. “And then everything went black. That’s all I can remember.”

The doctor didn’t write any of this down. He simply stared into Zooey’s dull-gray eyes as if she were the only other person on the planet at that moment, his head continually nodding like a bobble.

“And do you remember what the date was when this happened?”

Zooey’s eyes shifted from his to the nurse’s and back. Her stomach tightened. “Umm…” she sniffed to stay in control of herself. “May twenty-first,” she finally said. “Why? How long did it take for you to find me? My roommate must have called when I didn’t come home. Was it last night? Two nights ago?”

The doctor wiped his face with the palm of his hand, brushing back his short hair, and then leaned back in the chair. “It’s July seventeenth,” he said painfully. “You’ve been gone for almost two months.”

She felt like she’d been punched in the gut. Zooey tried to take in a breath, but it was nearly impossible. Her chest heaved violently as she wheezed. The machine next to her bed beeped wildly and the nurse leaned over to turn it off.

“How can I lose two months of my life and not remember anything?”

The doctor continued to explain the situation. “Even though the cure is out there, we have not been able to capture and treat every single zombie in the United States yet. This is an ongoing problem because as we cure a handful, another handful is created by the ones still out there, as in your case.”

Tears flooded Zooey’s eyes and cascaded down her pale cheeks. The salt stung at her wounds, but she couldn’t stop. She was one of them—a monster, a living nightmare, a cannibal!

“Does that mean I-I-I killed…people?” she sobbed, wanting desperately to cover her face with her hands as she struggled against the handcuffs again.

They dug into her flesh, tearing away at her already tender skin. She flung her head to the side in an attempt to hide her scrunched-up face.

“Now, now, we can’t be sure what happened,” Doctor Fullerton said in a soothing voice as he stroked her hair. “All we know is that you are human again and your life can be restored to what it once was with a little help. Would you like that?”

The sweet, placid tone of his voice seeped in through Zooey’s ears and calmed her firing nerves. Her chest slowly stopped racking as she looked up into his kind eyes. She sniffed back her tears and used her shoulders to wipe her cheeks again. As she brushed the right one, a sharp pain made her wince.

“What do I do now?” she asked, meek and defeated.

Doctor Fullerton sighed through his slim nose. “For starters, you’ll have to stay here for a total of three weeks, assuming nothing else comes up medically. We did have to stitch you up a bit due to some substantial lacerations on your face and shoulder. Luckily, none of it required any surgery or skin grafting.”

Zooey nodded delicately. All she wanted in that moment was a mirror. The pain in her face doubled as she wondered how closely she resembled Frankenstein’s monster. She didn’t notice the nurse, who moved like a ghost to stand next to her, an empty syringe in his hand.

The doctor continued to outline her stay as her thoughts drifted in and out. “You will have one more day in this room to sleep off the sedative. You have already been out for two days so one more should suffice. After that, you’ll be moved into the Adult Undead Ward. There you will attend group counseling and one-on-one sessions with me daily to make sure we are preparing you for the outside world again. How does that sound?”

Zooey sat in silence as she took it all in. Her head felt heavy, like a bowling ball on a stick. “And once I’m released? What happens then?” she managed to slur.

The doctor smiled with a row of straight white teeth beaming out to her. She flinched at the sight of them.

“Great question! Well, you will continue to see me every two weeks for your treatment and a thirty minute therapy session to make sure you’re acclimating okay. Those only last for the first year and then you can go to one of the many walk-in clinics that are being trained on how to administer the treatment on-site.”

Her eyes drifted over to the male nurse who now hovered in the corner behind the doctor. She looked to her left where he had been standing a moment ago in disbelief. She slowly moved her head to stare at him again. He folded his arms and tightened the muscles in his face. A chill ran down her spine and she shivered.

She let her eyes wander the room to avoid the nurse’s gaze. There were three white padded walls and one glass one. Outside the room, she saw someone in a blue jumpsuit sitting in a rolling chair identical to the doctor’s and another younger man in a blue jumpsuit with orange hair standing next to him. There was something familiar about those two, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.

“Does that sound good to you, Miss Beckett?”           She turned her gaze to the doctor again. He looked into her eyes deeply, as if in desperate anticipation of her agreement. His eyes briefly shifted to the nurse in the corner, whose jaw clenched in the heavy silence.

“Sure,” she said. “Sound good.”

“Excellent,” he breathed out with a smile. “Then all that’s left is the interview.” He pulled a small notebook out from his pocket, along with a ballpoint pen. “What is your full name?”

Her eyes closed in a slow blink, almost too heavy to open again. Whatever the nurse had given her was strong. “Zooey Marie Beckett.”

“And when is your birthdate?”

“December 1, 1990.”

The doctor nodded his head as his pen scribbled away. “So that makes you twenty-six now,” he said more to himself. “And what is your occupation? Retail, or did you hold other jobs aside from H&M?”

Zooey blinked slowly several more times. Her head was foggy as it adjusted from being dead to alive again, fighting through the sedative.

“I was supposed to start Grad School for psychology at Harvard, but the school closed after the outbreak. I was only working at H&M as a part-time job to make rent, well until the landlord disappeared. Then, I was working for food mostly.”

She could hear herself rambling, but her lips wouldn’t stop moving.

“Ah, Harvard!” the doctor bellowed as he uncrossed his legs to switch them. “You plan to finish your degree then?”

She readjusted herself to sit up as much as she could without disturbing the handcuffs. “I’m not sure. I’m not sure about anything really.” Her gaze glazed over as the weight of her new life crashed down on her.

Doctor Fullerton waved the question away with his pen. “Don’t worry about. That’s what the counseling sessions are for. Now, are you originally from Boston?”

“No. My family lives in…Walker’s Landing… Washington.” Her words stumbled over one another as her lips started to tingle.

There was no hint of recognition on the doctor’s face. She wasn’t surprised. Her hometown wasn’t close to any major cities. If he wasn’t big into fishing as a profession, it was unlikely he would have ever heard of the place.

“And tell me about your family.”

“Why?” she forced out harshly. “I haven’t lived with them in eight years. I barely speak to them.”

“Okay, tell me about who you do live with then,” the doctor said without missing a beat.

Zooey’s eyes finally closed for good as she thought about her roommate. A warmth spread through her chest as she pictured Elizabeth standing at the kitchen counter sipping from one of her oversized coffee mugs, tapping her foot. She was always tapping her foot.

“Her name is Elizabeth Wentworth. She graduated from Harvard with me and was supposed to begin Law School before all this.” Her voice was slow, calculated, and distant.

“Quite an ambitious pair you two make.”

Zooey smiled, feeling a sharp pinch in her right cheek. Instinct made her hand shoot up to touch it in comfort, yanking the handcuffs against the railing again. The nurse in the corner unfolded his arms and took a step forward, but Doctor Fullerton held a hand up.

“Can you loosen these?” Zooey asked. “Or take one off so I can scratch my nose if I want to?” One of her droopy eyes cracked open.

The doctor’s gaze softened on her. “I wish I could, but we have to keep them on for a full seventy-two hours. It’s hospital policy.”

Zooey let out a frustrated huff and let her eyes close again.

“Do you mind me asking why you don’t speak to your family anymore?”

Her dark brows pulled together as her forehead wrinkled. “I still talk to them, just not much,” she corrected him. “My parents are stuck in a loveless marriage and they feel they have to make life miserable for everyone around them. My younger brother is a drug addict, in and out of rehab.”

The doctor didn’t say anything. He wrote on his small pad of paper furiously with his own forehead wrinkled in concentration.

“I think I’ve got just about all I need,” he said with a smile, and he stood up. “You rest as best you can and tomorrow morning we will have you moved to a more permanent room.”

He laid a hand gently on her upper arm. Her first instinct was to shrink away. She didn’t know this man at all apart from his name and profession. But the longer his touch lingered, the more she relaxed into it. It’d been almost two months since she had any living human contact. Though her brain couldn’t remember this, her body seemed to. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly through her nostrils, relaxing her muscles and mind as she gave into the heavy sedative.

“Can I call Elizabeth and tell her I’m all right?” she forced out before unconsciousness took hold of her.

At this, the doctor removed his hand and placed it in the pocket of his jeans. “I’m afraid you’re not allowed to make any phone calls yet. We are still preparing you for rehabilitation, and we have to prepare your roommate as well.”

Her lids wrenched open and she stared into his baby blue eyes, hoping she could telepathically wear him down into breaking the rules just this once. It didn’t work. He simply stared back sympathetically, his eyes turned upward like a damaged puppy dog.

“It’ll get better, Miss Beckett. Just give it time,” he said as he turned for the door. “Everything will be back to normal before you know it.”

That was the first lie Doctor Fullerton told Zooey Beckett.

 

I hope you enjoyed this free preview of my latest book, It’s an Undead Thing (Zooey Zombie #1)! Read the rest on Kindle today! (Kindle Unlimited users read for free)

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Stephen King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf”

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I picked this one up to sell in my bookstore, and luckily someone was nice enough to wait until I was done reading it to purchase it (haha). This was going to be my last time giving old Stephen King a chance. I’ve read several of his novels, big famous ones too, and just could not ever get into his style of writing. Boy, was I glad I read this one!

The book is a slim novel, which more and more people seem to be getting into these days. (Pft, who has time to read a full novel anymore?) Its chapters were each month in the year, taking place in this sleepy little town where nothing ever happens. Long story short, something does happen each month when one of the town’s patrons starts turning into a werewolf every full moon. Each chapter usually ends in a new death, though one survivor eventually sets out to expose the person who is terrorizing his town.

I was really into the book and read almost the entire thing in one night. It was quick, action-filled, and simply written. I never lost interest and found myself wanting to read the next chapter just to see how the werewolf killed its next victim. It definitely satisfied my Halloween read desire and was a great way to kick off that reading list this season.

I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and would recommend it to anyone wanting a quick, scary read to fill their weekend.

 

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3 New Releases from Alex Apostol!

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Three New Titles Have Been Released Recently from Amazon Bestselling Author Alex Apostol!

 

Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman Part I is Apostol’s first book bundle release, containing Broken Angel, Earth Angel, and Hunted Angel (the first three books in her Supernatural Thriller series.)

“I liked that the story gets right to the action. My attention was grabbed quickly and my curiosity piqued from the beginning. There are no lagging ho-hum, hurry up and do something points in Broken Angel. I feel like there is so much more to Kamlyn that she doesn’t realize just yet. I’m on to book 2 now, so we can find out together what exactly lies beneath the surface of Kamlyn Page.”
– Marla, Amazon Five Star Review for Broken Angel

 

“Earth Angel is amazing! A heart wrenching, suspense filled novel. It made me laugh with the main character, and cry when she was put through all those horrible events. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one setting. Supernatural meets Buffy, I can’t wait to start the next one.”

– Courtney, Amazon Five Star Review for Earth Angel

 

“Phenomenal, I can’t seem to put it down. If I had more time i’d have it read in a day, i’m sure. The book is so capturing. I was especially in love with her creativity with Thaddeus, it was a different feel in a story i’ve not quite experienced before. I love how when I read from Kammy’s perspective, I feel as if I BECOME her. I feel the emotions that the author has instilled within the character. I absolutely love the Kamlyn Paige novels and can’t wait for more!”

-Kharla, Amazon Five Star Review for Hunted Angel

GET CHRONICLES OF A SUPERNATURAL HUNTSMAN IN KINDLE OR PAPERBACK TODAY!

 

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With the success of the original Novel Notes, which was an Amazon Bestseller for Authorship, Alex Apostol has released a new guided writing journal called Novel Notes: Series Edition. If you’re an author who likes to build worlds, dive deep into character backgrounds, and outline your entire series, this is the journal for you. It’s a great way to keep your series organized and in one place.

“Alex does a great job of guiding you through building a structure that will help flow and consistency. Even if you don’t fill the whole book out, it will make you think through things you might otherwise not have considered. Helps you incorporate details into your writing that take it to the next level. Would definitely recommend.”

– James, Five Star Amazon Review

GET NOVEL NOTES: SERIES EDITION IN KINDLE OR PAPERBACK TODAY!

 

 

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And finally, Dead Beginnings Volume 2 was released today! This zombie horror series can be read out of order, before or after its parent-novel Dead Soil. This volume follows Lee Hickey, the stoic and somewhat intimidating Irish nurse who has more knowledge of keeping people alive than he does words to say. Find out how he survived his first day in the zombie apocalypse. (Fair warning, it isn’t pretty! Prepare to sleep with the lights on.) Add this to your Halloween reading list this season!

“This book is one of the best zombie books I’ve found. I just want the sequel would come out sooner so I could read more of this AMAZING story!!!!!!!”

-Lois, Amazon Five Star Review of Dead Beginnings Volume 1

“I really enjoyed this story. Alex Apostol is a great up and coming talent everyone needs to keep an eye out for. I couldn’t put this book down and the only part that bothered me was I wanted more when it was done! I’d give it more stars if I could.”

– Five Star Amazon Customer Review of Dead Beginnings Volume 1

GET DEAD BEGINNINGS VOLUME 1 IN KINDLE OR PAPERBACK TODAY

 

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Author Alex Apostol Opens Used Bookstore!

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After years of planning, author Alex Apostol has finally launched a new business. (And of course, it has to do with books!) With nine published books out, it only felt natural for this Amazon author to expand her love of books with her own store. Currently, she sells used books for great prices online!

“If this takes off, then I will be able to save enough to open a brick and mortar store in my hometown’s bustling downtown area. It’s a great place to have one and I’m surprised at its lack of book retail. Being a college town, I would love to create a place for students, kids, and adults to relax, read a book, and drink a good cup of coffee that isn’t $5.00 a cup.”

With a sleek design and simple shopping, The Quivering Quill Bookshop is great for people wanting to browse for their next weekend read. If they have something specific in mind, the search bar at the top makes it easy to find any book by title or author.

Paired with her love of Halloween, Alex Apostol has gathered up her store’s spooky reads into one category. Get your ghost stories now before they’re all gone!

 

VISIT THE QUIVERING QUILL BOOKSHOP TODAY

“My love of books doesn’t end with writing them.”

-Alex Apostol

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Jay Bonansinga’s The Walking Dead: Descent

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I have been keeping up with everything Walking Dead related, and so reading the novel series was always a must for me. When the governor was running Woodbury, I felt like I was rereading the comic books again, but Descent is the first time I truly feel I am getting a secret, insider look at life beyond Rick Grimes. There are spoilers for those who have not kept up with the show or the comics. If that’s you, be aware!

 

Woodbury is now run by Lilly Caul, the woman who killed Rick Grime’s wife and daughter. She is a great and complex character because nothing in her life has been easy, and that doesn’t include surviving the zombie apocalypse. Though I think she dates a bit too much for the state of the world, the hopeless romantic in me can sympathize with that desire. I love that she is soft and feminine at times, while also running an entire city like a badass. She is the type of girl men want to date and girls want to emulate. (Not meant to be a rhyme, but it works.)

 

Lilly’s new love interest was a little perplexing to me. She doesn’t seem to be the type of girl who is super into religious folk, but none-the-less she fell for him. In my opinion, she is just looking for a happy escape from the world around her, but we can’t blame her for that.

 

Bob Stookey is in his element in this book. He has a keen sense of when someone is up to something no good, even if no one else can see it. His fatherly love for Lily tugs at my heartstrings every time he worries about her. He is the best thing in her life at the moment. Now that he’s sobered up, he is really on his game.

 

The Reverend…I hate this man. I did from the beginning. Everyone reading this knows he’s up to no good, but it’s the mystery of what that keeps us reading. What he really had planned for the people of Woodbury was worse than I thought. Thank God for Bob is all I can say.

 

The story is a good one that kept me interested because of its element of mystery surrounding the Reverand and his group of followers. For the first time in a few books in the series, I didn’t already know what was going to happen, because it was not in the comic books. (Though if you played the game on your phone, his future with the town was hinted at in a big way.) For anyone stuck in the rise or fall of the governor and considering giving up, don’t! It does get better. I’m excited to read the next book, as this one left off on a cliffhanger.

 

I gave Descent 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Categories: reading

Alex Apostol Opens Her Own Online Used Bookstore!

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Fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers, Amazon bestselling author Alex Apostol has taken the first step in owning her own bookshop by launching the store’s website this last weekend! The Quivering Quill Bookshop (if the name reminds you of Diagon Alley, that’s no coincidence. The witchy town was the inspiration!) buys its books from Northwest Indiana patrons (centered in Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton, and all its neighboring town) and sells them on Amazon and their website for unbeatable prices!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE QUIVERING QUILL BOOKSHOP

“Being an author was always my ultimate goal, the biggest dream I ever had, but I’m not the type of person to pick only one thing in life. It took me a long time, but I realized the only other job I would enjoy besides writing would be to own my own bookshop. Of course, debts need to be paid and money needs to be saved before I can open my own brick and mortar store, but launching the website is my first step there. And what a step! Business has been great!” – Alex Apostol

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The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

This play script in the form of a hardback book is a continuation of my favorite series of all time. Though it centers around Harry Potter’s son, Albus Severus Potter, Harry is still in the spotlight for much of the story. Since the book only came out a few days ago, I dont want to give too many spoilers, but I will say beloved characters are brought back (though sometimes they don’t talk the same as they used to.) And a few aspects are just downright strange…(Anything off the trolley, dears?) Here is a breakdown of the new characters and the old ones we know are in there.

ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER: This kid is very self-centered and likes to complain about things that don’t need complaining about. He reminds me greatly of Harry Potter, especially in the sense that he was my least favorite of the group of friends. On that note….

SCORPIUS MALFOY: I absolutely loved this kid! He was snarky, sarcastic, but not a downer. He was hopeful and optomistic and a loyal, sweet friend. Out of all the new characters I believe he goes through the biggest changes. Though he starts out as a scared, somewhat lonely boy, by the end he is a brave, happy kid who has found his place.

ROSE GRANGER-WEASLEY: We don’t see her that much, but she’s kind of mean, especially to the two boys. Though the story ends before we see how their relationship changes, I like to see Scorpius and Rose as the new Ron and Hermione.

HARRY POTTER: I think they got adult Harry right. I never liked him much in the books, though he was terribly flawed which made him realistic. I still didn’t like him much in this play. (The things he says! What a jerk. At least in Order of the Phoenix he had the ‘sharing a piece of Voldemort’ excuse.)

GINNY POTTER: I loved her in the series and in the play. As an adult she has a cool job, is a great mother, and keeps her jerky husband in check so they don’t lose their son forever.

HERMIONE GRANGER-WEASLEY: She has become Minister of Magic (at least in the normal realm, hehe). I love the many forms of of her we see in this play. Makes sense, because she was my favorite character in the books.

RON WEASLEY: I think they got Ron all wrong in this play! He was a bumbling fool who didn’t even know how to hold a wand, when in book seven he had become this brave, good wizard. It was all wrong and played into the American family thing where the dad is always an idiot.

DRACO MALFOY: It’s easier to sympathize with him in the play, even though he still holds a grudge against Harry Potter. Being a single dad, I can relate to his struggle to keep his son safe and the terror he feels when Scorpius and Albus go missing.
Okay, that’s as much as I can say without giving anything away. Most of the Harry Potter series receive a 4.5 or 5 out of 5 star reviews from me. Though I loved this play script and am dying to see it and read it in two days, I still am only giving it a 4 out of 5. It felt more like fanfiction than a story by J.K. Rowling, mainly because of how wrong some of the characters were.

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Harry! Celebrating the Boy Who Lived With the Best Quotes

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Diagon Alley from the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I wish I lived in an apartment above one of the stores!

There are so many things to love about the Harry Potter series that I can’t pick just one to celebrate his with. I think it is fitting to share my favorite quotes on this special day. Inspired by the Muggle Wall at last night’s midnight release of The Cursed Child at B&N, I’ve included what the quote means to me or my reaction to it. It just goes to show how powerful literature can be in one’s life. Enjoy!

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Sirius taught me that my dreams are worth going for, even if there’s not a guarantee that I will succeed.

 

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This one I have to remind myself of constantly. Sometimes you have that one friend that is loyal, true, and always there but dang they have some bite to their words.

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This reminds me that I have to stop worrying about the future and live for now.

 

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Everyone has the ability to change if they want to.

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A little humor to lighten the philosophical mood. This one is always true for me.

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I love this because it almost reminds me of Doctor Sues with the way it rhymes, but it has a very serious undertone.

 

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This applies to every single person’s life as some point. The choice is yours.

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I love this quote because it really makes you think. As a writer, I am inside my head more than I am focusing on the real world.

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Agreed!

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You said it, Sirius. He couldn’t be more right. Nobody is perfect, and nobody is completely evil. There’s a balance we all have to maintain.

 

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I love this quote only because it’s the one I’m not sure if I agree with or not. It keeps me thinking about my beliefs.

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A great motivational quote to push through the writing when the royalties are at their lowest.

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You never know what is going on inside someone else’s head, so don’t pretend like you know. (At least that’s how I take it from a muggle perspective.)

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Hermione not only taught me that reading is sexy and being smart is cool, but also that loyalty is one of the best qualities a person can have.

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I absolutely love this quote from Sirius. Someone who knocks others down to feel superior is not someone I want to have in my life.

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You might be the best at something, but if you make poor choices then none of that matters.

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Very true. I fear the unknown above all, but then I go back to Sirius’s quote about taking risks and all feels right in the world again.

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Hagrid is such a great character. I love this quote because it embodies how I would love to live my life, with no worry for the future. Why worry about what you can’t change?

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This one always makes me think of election time (in our muggle world)

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Ginny started off so quiet and shy and then she really came into her own. When the going got tough, she got tougher.

 

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I love Mr. Weasley’s cooky way of looking at things he does not understand. He’s so curious.

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A bit straightforward and blunt, but you gotta give it to Snape, he knew how to keep his emotions in check through everything. That’s a hard thing to achieve. 

 

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This is a fun quote, because it seems so simple. But when you think about it, these words can be awfully useful in dark “emotional” times.

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Luna is brilliant.

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Being a Ravenclaw, this is by far one of my favorite quotes.

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This one always makes me laugh.

 

And two that are funny, although they are not from the book.

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Categories: reading | Tags: , , ,

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