7 Questions with Stuart Conover (@StuartConover)

Today on the FlipSide, I have the distinct pleasure of presenting an interview with author and friend Stuart Conover. For those of you who haven’t gotten acquainted with Stuart yet, here’s a little more information about him…

stubwStuart Conover is a father, husband, rescue dog lover, blogger, published author, geek, entrepreneur, and horror fanatic. He works IT during the day and tries to battle the urge to sleep with a healthy consumption of caffeine.

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Google+ | Website | LinkedIn

Welcome Stuart! Now let’s delve into the questions… Using ten words or less, tell me about your work.

My work revolves around adding new spins to classic concepts.

Well isn’t that intriguing… What song would you want to play during the opening credits of your book were it made into a movie? Why?

‘The Catalyst’ by Linkin Park or ‘Endgame’ by Rise Against

Both great songs! Who would you want to direct the story of your life? Is there anyone specific you’d like to play you?

As a geek I love everything by Joss Whedon though I don’t think the story of my life would be his type of film. Though if we’re having exceptions made, absolutely him! To play me? I’d go with Matt Damon just because he can pull off a good smile and a squinty look.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you prefer to hand write your works or type them directly into your word processor?

Well I have two writing processes. For short stories I write them out by hand on the train and later on type them up. After they are typed I’ll print it up double spaced and edit by hand, update, and shoot them off! For novels they are completely type up initially. To continue I’ll also add in that I am a pantser for novels or joint work where I value an outline to work off of above everything else. The outline may constantly change as things progress but to keep things in order I find that they are invaluable.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself: something you wish you knew then that you know now?

Start writing sooner and make a point to write every day!

Writing every day is important! What are the three books that really inspired you to become a writer?

‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

‘Good Omens’ by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

‘The Stand’ by Stephen King

Now it’s time for the Rapid. Fire. Questions.

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee
  • Cats or dogs? Dogs
  • Snow or sun? Sun
  • Print books or eReader? Both
  • Nachos or potato chips? Nachos
  • Baked or fried? Baked
  • Candy or chocolate? Neither
  • Comedy, Romance, or Horror? Horror
  • Action, Science Fiction, or Animated? Science Fiction
  • Classics or Modern? Modern
  • Old World or New World? New World
  • Sweet or spicy? Spicy
  • Comfort or Speed? Comfort

Thank you Stuart! Now let’s take a look at State of Horror: Illinois in which both Stuart and I have stories! Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you straight to Amazon.

StateofHorror_ILWHAT IS YOUR STATE OF HORROR?

Come take a unique tour of the state of Illinois. Visit a little known pizza place where the deep-dish pizza is to die for. Spend the night in a haunted house or explore an abandoned resort town. What happens when you disturb the sanctity of an ancient deity? Swim with us in a lake where fish are not the only creatures under the water’s surface. Ghosts, mobsters, and zombies all provide thrills as we explore the Land of Lincoln.

The number 13 is often viewed as an unlucky, even evil number. However , here it is only fitting we traverse the horrors of Illinois through 13 tales to make the heart beat just a little faster. Join us if you dare.

Stories by: Stuart Conover, Eric I. Dean, DJ Tyrer, Della West, Claire C. Riley, Herika R. Raymer, Frank J. Edler, Julianne Snow, A. Lopez, Jr., Armand Rosamilia, Eli Constant, P. David Puffinburger, and Jay Seate

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stuartconovercover

A Monday for Anything: Guest Post with Belinda Frisch #BlogTour #TheMissingYear

The-Missing-Year-Tour-Banner

Today on the FlipSide, I have the pleasure of presenting a guest post from the fabulous Belinda Frisch. For those of you unacquainted with Belinda, let’s take a moment to get to know her a little better…

Belinda-FrischAfter fifteen years of working in healthcare, Belinda Frisch’s stories can’t help being medicine influenced. A writer of dark tales in the horror, mystery, and thriller genres, Belinda tells the stories she’d like to read. Her fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine, Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of the Zombie War. She is the author of Cure, Afterbirth, Fatal Reaction, Better Left Buried, and The Missing Year. She resides in upstate New York with her husband and a small menagerie of beloved animals.

*Runner-up Halloween Book Festival 2012 and optioned for film, Cure

*Honorable Mention New York Book Festival 2014, Better Left Buried

*Amazon Top 100 Medical Thriller, Fatal Reaction

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

And without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Belinda…

The Similarities between the Genres

What happens when you let a horror writer dabble in the romance genre? The Missing Year, which isn’t as far away from home as you’d think for this would-be death dealer. I’ve been asked to write a little bit about the similar elements in the horror and romance genres.

Stakes: Whether the joining of a couple in a traditional romance, or someone risking their life to save another’s, both scenarios come with some kind of threat of failure. There has to be something at stake in order for there to be conflict.

Obstacles: What’s keeping the couple apart? What’s keeping the couple alive? Obstacles are universal. In romance versus horror, it’s the end result that makes the difference.

Resolution: Motivations revealed, obstacles overcome, there has to be some kind of resolution. In romance, it’s more often happy.

Love and romance are often at the heart of good horror story. Crazy, right? Romance humanizes characters, drives them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and sometimes makes them act rashly. It also gives meaning to their deaths. Horror should still make the reader feel something.

In my Strandville novels, Zach Keller, my Nixon Center guard, has allied himself with Dr. Howard Nixon, the devil incarnate, in exchange for medical treatment meant to save his wife’s life. Scott faces certain death for Miranda, despite their tenuous relationship. In Better Left Buried the love between Adam and Harmony is what gives value to her otherwise troubled life. His feelings for her increase the stakes for the reader. Someone will notice if this girl doesn’t survive.

In The Missing Year, horror dresses as misfortune—as death come too early and the inescapable fate of terminal illness—as loss explored as one’s single greatest fear. While there is no gore, there is finality and an inescapable tragic consequence. There’s nothing more terrible than that.

Thank you Belinda! Now let’s take a look at The Missing Year… Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you Amazon!

The-Missing-YearThirty-four-year-old Blake Wheeler was everything Lila had ever wanted. A rising-star surgeon with his whole life ahead of him, Blake gave Lila ten perfect years of marriage before plunging her into the hardest year of their lives.

When a late night shooting leaves Blake in a coma, Lila is faced with a difficult decision: continue life support or let him go.

One year later, Lila remains unwilling to speak, in a private mental health facility where she refuses to move on.

Dr. Ross Reeves knows firsthand about loss, having spent the better part of five years burying himself in his work. Tasked with the challenge of breaking Lila’s silence, Ross investigates Lila’s past and her husband’s death, finding more to Blake’s murder than meets the eye. A series of mysterious coincidences has Ross wondering if Lila is acting out of grief … or guilt.

Amazon | GoodReads

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And there’re a #GIVEAWAY!!

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • 10 Kindle copies of Fatal Reaction or The Missing Year (winner’s choice)
  • 10 ACX audiobook codes for Fatal Reaction or Cure (winner’s choice)
  • A $25.00 Amazon gift card

Giveaway is International. Just click on the Rafflecopter logo!!

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7 Questions with Carson Buckingham: Gothic Revival Blog Tour (@59CarsonBuck)

Today on the FlipSide, I’m helping Carson Buckingham get the word out about her novel Gothic Revival. For those of you unacquainted with Carson, let’s take a moment to get to know her…

CarsonBuckingham_PhotoCarson Buckingham knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer, and began, at age six, by writing books of her own, hand-drawing covers, and selling them to any family member who would pay (usually a gum ball) for what she referred to as “classic literature.” When she ran out of relatives, she came to the conclusion that there was no real money to be made in self-publishing, so she studied writing and read voraciously for the next eighteen years, while simultaneously collecting enough rejection slips to re-paper her living room… twice.

When her landlord chucked her out for, in his words, “making the apartment into one hell of a downer,” she redoubled her efforts and collected four times the rejection slips in half the time, single-handedly causing the first paper shortage in U.S. history.

But she persevered, improved greatly over the years, and here we are.

Carson Buckingham has been a professional proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter, copywriter, technical writer, comedy writer, humorist, and fiction author. Besides writing, she loves to read and work in her vegetable garden. She lives in the United States in the state of Arizona.

Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Welcome Carson, let’s delve into the questions… Using ten words or less, tell me about your book.

Gothic Revival is a paranormal thriller set in Connecticut.

What song would you want to play during the opening credits of your book were it made into a movie? Why?

John Fogarty’s ‘Haunted House.’ I like it for Gothic Revival because it is a deceptively upbeat toe-tapper for a song about a haunted house.

Who would you want to direct the story of your life? Is there anyone specific you’d like to play you?

Tim Burton. Jamie Lee Curtis.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you prefer to hand write your works or type them directly into your word processor?

All I know for sure before I sit down at the computer is how I want the story to end, then I write to that ending. I will also write up short biographies of each main character detailing not only their physical appearances, but what their motivations are, and how they relate to the other characters. As to hand writing—I do a bit of that. I enjoy writing in the bath tub, and my husband has built me a tub desk that fits perfectly across the tub. I have been known to spend hours writing that way. When you write in the tub, you are a captive audience, so to speak. You can’t get up and get something to eat easily, etc., so you focus more on the task at hand. I also think better in water. As to the computer—if I type anything in directly, I autosave every two minutes and I print out a hard copy after every session. This is because I lost an entire short story one time when the power went out just after I had typed ‘The End,’ but just before I saved it. Never again.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself: something you wish you knew then that you know now?

I would tell myself to start writing seriously much younger than I actually did.

What are the three books that really inspired you to become a writer?

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Now it’s time for the Rapid. Fire. Questions.

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee
  • Cats or dogs? Dogs
  • Snow or sun? Snow
  • Print books or eReader? Print
  • Nachos or potato chips? Potato chips
  • Baked or fried? Baked
  • Candy or chocolate? Candy
  • Comedy, Romance, or Horror? Horror
  • Action, Science Fiction, or Animated? Animated
  • Classics or Modern? Classics
  • Old World or New World? Old World
  • Sweet or spicy? Spicy
  • Comfort or Speed? Comfort

Thank you Carson! Now let’s take a look at Gothic Revival…

CarsonBuckingham_GothicRevival_front_cover_forpublicityAlex and Leo Renfield are a husband and wife contractor team who’ve recently moved to the village of Woodhaven, Connecticut to escape the chaos of life in New York. Pretty close to broke, they meet Theodora Hamilton, a somewhat unsavory and odd individual, who offers them an astronomical amount of money to repaint the first floor of her family home.

But along with the huge paycheck comes a set of unsettling rules that must be followed explicitly if they are to accept the offer; one of which is they must reside on the property having no direct contact with the outside world until the job is complete.

Is Theodora Hamilton just an eccentric woman with a peculiar way of doing things, or is there a more sinister agenda that Alex and Leo are unaware of? What exactly does she have in store for this down-on-their-luck couple who have no choice but to accept the offer and the strange requirements that come along with it?

Gothic Revival can be found online at major retailers including:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Amazon Print

iTunes

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There’s also a tour wide giveaway!

You could win 1 of 5 digital copies of Gothic Revival by Carson Buckingham!

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A Monday for Anything: Review of Linda LaForge’s ‘Ashes’

To give you a little bit of background, I met Linda at FanExpo 2014 when we ended up side by side, sharing a table edge. We were both there to sell our books and talk about great Indie fiction with the masses of soon-to-be adoring fans.

I will admit the tagline of her book caught my attention and I gladly shelled out my hard earned dollars to buy a copy. That tagline is:

A Girl.

A Baby.

A Mass Extermination.

Who wouldn’t get drawn in by such intrigue? The imagery alone that ran through by brain at that moment is hard to quantify and yet, I knew that was I was thinking was likely to match what the plot line actually entailed. It’s a book with themes of dystopia, science fiction, fantasy, and horror all melding together seamlessly. It’s an interesting premise and LaForge’s take on what souls and their origins is something I have not encountered, making it wholly unique.

When I cracked open the spine a few days after Fan Expo was over, I was immediately drawn into the tale. Told in the first person, it draws you in and you begin to feel like you know Emily. You feel her pain at what she’s gone through and there’s a part of you that genuinely wants to help her find answers.

All of the characters are believable and while it may be a book told from the first person perspective, it’s not missing the character development that you normally see in a book told from the third person POV. If I had to pick a favourite, it’s a toss up between Emily and Dr. Norell who is painted in such a way that you truly felt his social awkwardness.

If you’re looking for something different that melds a few genres together, I wholehearted recommend Ashes. It’s got an interesting and eclectic set of characters that ring true to life and a plot that will leave you wanting more once the book is finished—I sincerely hope LaForge is working on a sequel!

4.5 stars out of 5 (rounded to 5 stars on all sites)

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Ashes-cover-1200ABOUT THE BOOK – Emily Baker wakes in the hospital after miraculously surviving a bizarre car accident to discover she’s lost everything, including the love of her life. She meets Dr. Norrell, an odd scientist with personal hygiene issues and severe social impairment, who shows a strange interest in her. While facing the stresses of recuperation and financial burden, she discovers she’s pregnant and the sinister being is growing way too quickly. The only thing she is certain of – the doctor is connected. His story calls into question her spiritual and religious beliefs while her strangely vivid dreams all warn her of the dangerous and untouchable Dr. Norrell.

LindaABOUT THE AUTHOR – When I was in grade 2 and 3 I wrote short stories, illustrated them and created little books to give to my Mom. In one way or another, I’ve been doing the same ever since. I’ve been told that I write from a uniquely entertaining point of view. My fictional writing is usually filled with dark subject matter, twists and turns delivered with casual humour. I like the classic but unpredictable mystery with a little mysticism. All of my stories come from dreams I’ve had. They usually also end up being a tool to deal with some life issue I’m working through. I’m a writer and visual artist living in Ontario Canada.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

A Drabble for Saturday: Pom-Poms

This drabble was featured on Days with the Undead during the 2014 Coffin Hop. Enjoy!

Pom-poms

It still held the pom-poms in its undead fingers, the yellow and white strips pocked with darkening blood. It belonged to the once beautiful blonds who’d cheered so loudly for her team—before the opposing team’s quarterback took a chuck out of her throat.

PomPomThere were only screams after that.

As she fell, the heavily-padded zombie fell with her, consuming her flesh until someone pulled him off. Not that it would matter—she was already dead; the virus now working its way through her system.

It got to its feet, new eyes open to the surrounding world. Then it lunged.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2014 Julianne Snow

FIVE LINE FRIDAY: ‘Bernard’ from #DragonsofFaith

Dragons of Faith is a round robin novel from 7DS books. My contribution was Bernard and the first five lines follow…

Ever been hit by an airplane and lived to tell the tale? Bernard had. It was 1907 and Bernard, a guardian dragon from the celestial heavens, was travelling back to his mountaintop home in China from one of his favourite places in the world – Italy. His mind was on the Aria he had just heard, replaying the melody in his head over and over again and he didn’t see the painted wooden body with wings slicing through the clouds until it was too late.

The impact sent him spiralling down to earth, able to slow his descent only marginally with his outstretched wings…

Here’s a little more information about the book:

DragonsCoverChristianity | Hinduism | Judaism | Atheist | Satanism | Confucianism | Buddhism.

A keeper for them all. Seven Dragons must join together in order to open the ring of Heavens and stop mankind from continuing its own demise.

With contributions from Michelle Anderson Picarella, Sean Hayden, Julianne Snow, Frantiska Oliver, Marc Quaranta, Richard Graham, and Daniel Picarella, and narrated by Valarie Savage Kinney, Dragons of Faith is a fantasy journey through faith and humanity. Click on the cover if you’re interested in learning more!!

7 Questions with Tabitha Thompson

Today on the FlipSide I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with author Tabitha Thompson. If you’re not yet familiar with Tabitha, let’s give her a moment to introduce herself…

CYMERA_20140819_130845[1]My name is Tabitha Thompson who resides in south Florida with a very loving family. I’m a devoted word nerd who has been writing horror stories for 7 years. By day I’m a college student who studies for computers and who’s a loyal employee for my day job but I churn out horror stories by night. In my life, many things have come and gone but writing was one of the few things that stuck around and became a great positive outlet since I can remember. Despite being very young and feeding off of different genres to figure out who I was, by the age of 16 I had found my calling in horror. Of course, none of my stories were good and were just plain embarrassing to read but I knew I could only get better if I continued. Ideas were never a huge issue for me as I would also get inspired by everyday people and no matter where I would be, my creative wheels would always turn.  After getting my feet wet with short stories published by Sirens Call Publications, it’s now given me the ultimate confidence to now aim higher with anthologies, novellas and possibly a novel by the end of the year which is still a work in progress.

Using ten words or less, tell me about your work.

West Nile is a story about mosquito bites gone wrong.

What song would you want to play during the opening credits of your book were it made into a movie? Why?

I have a bunch! But one I would choose is Never Surrender by Straight Line Stitch. Being a personal fan of this band and song, I felt that it also I’m a huge fan of the band personally but it resonates with West Nile as to fighting the good fight in a time of crisis.

Who would you want to direct the story of your life? Is there anyone specific you’d like to play you?

Interesting question. Being a huge fan of his I would get Ron Howard and I would get Nia Long to play me because she’s feisty, funny and awesome.

What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you prefer to hand write your works or type them directly into your word processor?

I’m a pantser definitely. I always handwrite first and then go to Word processor for the final draft. Most times I’ll have fragments of a story that will suddenly pop up in my head then I’ll try to write them down as quickly as possible and then I’ll go from there. It sounds hippie-ish of me but my stories after that usually write themselves.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself: something you wish you knew then that you know now?

I’d tell myself to be more of a risk taker when it comes to my creativity. Although I started writing horror stories when I was 16, I felt that I wasn’t confident enough to put my work out there until I was 20 and got published in Sirens Call Publication’s online horror magazine at 23. So now if I had the chance to go back I would tell myself to grab life by the balls and just go for it.

What are the three books that really inspired you to become a writer?

3 books that had a huge impact on me to write were The Chosen by Edward Lee, On Writing by Stephen King and Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. Even though writing has grabbed me by the chest from an early age and has never let me go during my teen years these authors helped shape my stories a lot better.

Now it’s time for the Rapid. Fire. Questions.

  • Coffee or tea? Both
  • Cats or dogs? Both
  • Snow or sun? Although I live in South Florida I’ve seen snow in other states and it’s nice but so not down for subzero weather.
  • Print books or eReader? Print
  • Nachos or potato chips? Potato Chips
  • Baked or fried? Fried
  • Candy or chocolate? chocolate girl’s best friend 🙂
  • Comedy, Romance, or Horror? All 3
  • Action, Science Fiction, or Animated? Action and animated
  • Classics or Modern? Both
  • Old World or New World? New World
  • Sweet or spicy? Sweet
  • Comfort or Speed? Both

Thank you Tabitha for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to keep up with what Tabitha is doing, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog, or Tumblr.

And if you’d like to read Tabitha’s short story West Nile. You can download the 16th issue of The Sirens Call full of Apocalyptic fiction for FREE ! Just click on the cover!

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A MONDAY FOR ANYTHING: Guest Post by John O’Brien – #WinterofZombie2014

Today on the FlipSide I have the pleasure of presenting a guest post by John O’Brien. If you haven’t been acquainted with John yet, let’s take a moment to introduce him…

IMG_00301John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry in corporate management. Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World.

As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Website

So without further ado…

Zombies You Say

John O’Brien

Hello there. I’m John O’Brien and I write the series, A New World. I just released a companion book to the series titled, A New World: Storm.
I’ve been asked more than a few times why I write about zombies or in this genre. Okay, I guess I should mention first off that the creatures in the series aren’t technically zombies, so I just close my eyes and nod. The post-apocalyptic world creates the ultimate survival situation. Or not, depending on your point of view. It’s in this world that I would spend most of my time daydreaming. The various situations, things that would arise, items I would need, how to gather supplies, and set up for long-term survival. In the midst of these wanderings, a story was born. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the zombie genre that I began to incorporate them into my ‘stories’. They threw an extra element of survival and danger into the mix. So, I pondered the slow-moving zombie hordes. Then, the idea of fast moving creatures entered and the story was born, itching to get out. Several of the situations I envisioned merged into one larger story. The more I delved along this line, the more it wanted to be told until I just had to sit down and begin.

Storm cover large5It is not about someone with super hero powers, but just a normal person having to deal with the sudden demise of the civilized world as we know it. Facing the situation with what he has at hand, and having to learn about everything that happened as he goes along. I wrote it in the first person so the reader could track along with his thoughts, the reasoning behind his actions, what he saw and reacted to, both in the physical world and inside of his head. The reader could trek along with him as he journeys through a post-apocalyptic world. And thus, Jack Walker was created. The thoughts that I have running in my head fused with Jack, but he also became his own person who surprised me at times. Okay, maybe not that much, but the other characters sure did. I like them and they all live within me. Jack, Lynn, Robert, Bri, Gonzalez, McCafferty, Bannerman, Frank, the lot of them. I still think about them often.

I generally try to stay away from reading within the genre as I don’t want to subconsciously take anyone else’s ideas. However, with that said, you can’t go wrong with stories written by Mark Tufo, Shawn Chesser, Armand Rosamilia, James Cook, Joe McKinney, Heath Stallcup, and a host of others.

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The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/

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#CoffinHop2014: Announcing The Winners of the Giveaway!

Thank you to all of the readers who visited the blog over the last week and entered the giveaway from the authors! And a huge thank you to the authors—Brent Abell, Linda LaForge, Anne Michaud, A.F. Stewart, Doug Rinaldi, Richard Shiver, James Garcia Jr., and D. Alexander Ward—for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer my questions and help me out!

Now the lucky winners of the digital prizes are:

Catherine Goldfinch (Julianne Snow)

Becky Stephens (Brent Abell)

Johanna Pitcairn (D. Alexander Ward)

Mary Rajotte (Doug Rinaldi)

Shah Wharton (Linda LaForge)

Christine Verstraete (Richard Shiver)

James Garcia Jr. (A.F. Stewart)

Kim Koning (James Garcia Jr.)

Lori Joyce Parker (Anne Michaud)

And the Grand Prize winner of a Signed Print copy of Glimpses of the Undead is:

Rachelle Reese

I’ll be sending out your emails to the respective authors whose prize you’ve won (they are responsible for getting it to you)! Congratulations to all and thank you for visiting!!

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