• Tag Archives Missouri
  • EVENT: USE YOUR WORDS Friday, January 16

    Join me to tomorrow night in downtown Springfield with three local authors for a ridiculously fun night of romance books and improv. Improv actors will be using selections from Haunt My Heart among others to perform skits. It will be mortifyingly hilarious.

    Don’t miss it!

    Join the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE!

    Use Your Words Jan 16 (1)

    You can get your very own copy of Haunt My Heart here: Amazon Kindle     


    3D Haunt my HeartBook Description:

    A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

    Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

    Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

    Don’t miss a thing! Sign up for my NEW RELEASE NEWSLETTER.


  • Grave Discoveries: Old Masonic Cemetery aka St. James Cemetery

     

     

    The Old Masonic Cemetery aka St. James Cemetery is located in St. James, Missouri and has a beautiful entrance/exit. This is from the exit side. There are approximately 4,211 interments here. It’s quite massive. The oldest part, near the road and entrance. has some very interesting stones.IMG_7032 (1024x768) There are several stone foundation family plots in St. James Cemetery.  I couldn’t find any reason for this online other than to mark the actual plot boundaries.IMG_7030 (1024x768)

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    IMG_6997 (768x1024)It’s difficult to tell here but I think those are angel wings at the top?IMG_7029 (768x1024) A Mason’s grave.IMG_7028 (768x1024) Again, this stone is interesting but I can’t make out the design anymore. Thoughts?IMG_7027 (768x1024)

    A nautical theme here with the anchor.IMG_7026 (768x1024) IMG_7025 (768x1024) IMG_7024 (1024x768) A hand pointing to Heaven.IMG_7023 (768x1024) IMG_7022 (768x1024) I guess this was the winner of the coveted Death Cup.IMG_7021 (768x1024) IMG_7019 (768x1024) I love the gnarly old trees here in the oldest part of the cemetery.IMG_7018 (768x1024) Hand pointing to the Crown of Heaven. IMG_7016 (768x1024) IMG_7015 (768x1024) I love the patina on this stone and the floral design of the engraving. IMG_7014 (768x1024) These stones were tucked away on a shady edge of the cemetery, nearly overtaken.IMG_7013 (768x1024) IMG_7012 (768x1024) Nice patina and handshake engravings on these stones.IMG_7011 (768x1024) IMG_6998 (768x1024)Dove engraving.IMG_7010 (768x1024) I’ve found at least one Woodmen of the World stone in every graveyard I’ve visited so far in my travels. IMG_7009 (768x1024)  IMG_7007 (1024x768) IMG_7006 (768x1024) IMG_7005 (1024x768)   IMG_6996 (1024x768) IMG_6995 (768x1024) IMG_6994 (768x1024)Want to know where the bodies are buried? Check out FIND A GRAVE and you can see for yourself.

    Speaking of cemeteries. Did you know that reapers travel from consecrated ground to consecrated ground through and invisible network called the consecrated subway? It’s true. Just one of the amazing details of the the Reaper Series.

    Want to know more? There’s still plenty of time to read book one and join in on the fun. Reap & Repent is available now at all ebook retailers. 

    AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 

    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     


  • Interview with Zombie Apocalypse Writer Ben S. Reeder

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    You KNOW I love zombies. Know who loves them more?

    Ben S. Reeder.

    Welcome, Author Ben S. Reeder! You’ve just released Zompoc Survivor: Exodus.  Tell us a little bit about your story.  

    zompoc survivior

    ZS: Exodus starts off as your basic zombie story. Our hero, Dave Stewart is immediately faced with the challenge of getting himself and his loved ones home as chaos and death spreads throughout Springfield, Missouri. Nothing is ever simple, though, and Dave also finds himself on the wrong end of a mysterious conspiracy.

    Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    Well, Amazon considers it science fiction, since it technically falls under “post-apocalyptic” but since it involved zombies, I would say it was more paranormal with a touch of horror added in.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    Of course, there are zombies. In ZS: Exodus, we see three different kinds. Since I hate to limit my options, I have both fast AND slow zombies, along with reasons for why they are the way they are. I also have a completely new kind, what is labeled as Patient Zero. Patient Zero is unlike any zombie you’ve ever seen before, and all the more frightening because of the ways it’s different.

    Monsters of the paranormal kind are always fun, but I think the most frightening monsters are the ones inside us. In my book, it isn’t the scary looking, undead monster you have to fear, it’s the one that an otherwise ordinary person lets off the leash when the world goes crazy around them. That is the one that scares me the most.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    Zompoc Survivor is a series. I’m working on the second in the series, ZS: Odyssey, which picks up almost the same moment Exodus leaves off.  The Zompoc Survivor series is currently open ended, and it will see Dave focusing first on getting his family to safety, and then, discovering that there’s a bigger fight for him to be a part of. We’ll also discover the truth behind the zombie apocalypse, and who is actually behind it.

     What else are you working on?

    I have several projects right now. The one most likely to see print after the Zompoc Survivor series is a gritty superhero story, followed by a portal fantasy story. I have a dystopian novel that is stuck in limbo that might also see the light of day at some point, too.

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or two would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    In the Zompoc Survivor world, I’d obviously hang out with Dave over a weekend, because we share so many interests. We’d probably grill bratwursts and steak, and binge watch Dr. Who and a whole lot of sci-fi movies, game and try to outdo each other on the shooting range (Dave’s actually a better shot than I am.)

    It’s funny that you ask who would play Dave in a movie made from my books. Someone recently asked me if I had thought of having the book turned into a movie. Personally, I would want it to be a TV series, because you can do so much more in twenty episodes than you can in two to three hours. As to who I would want to play Dave, hands down it would be Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13. He has that everyman quality to him, but he can also go from light-hearted to dead serious in a heartbeat, and that is an important part of Dave’s character.

     Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    Truth is, I’ve become a plotter, at least mentally.  I may not have an outline written down, but I always have a general idea of how the story is going to end before I write the first word. I usually have the climactic scene in my head and a general structure of how things will get there. I also do a ton of research before I start writing. Locations, people, and because I’m writing zombie fiction, lots and lots of gear all get thoroughly looked up.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    It seems to get shorter every time. My first novel took me four years to write, my second just under one, and Zompoc Survivor was done in just under six months. ZS: Odyssey is looking like it will be ready in four to five months. I don’t think I’d want to do it much faster than that.

    As far as editing, I usually give a work three passes for content, and three for line editing. In the Zompoc Survivor, series, I actually have three beta readers. One for general plot, and two for technical read throughs. My general reader also runs it through for spelling and grammar.

    After that, it’s usually ready to go. I’ve learned that no matter how many times I go through a story, I’m never going to be completely satisfied with it. I’m always going to want to make changes. But, stories are like kids. At some point, you have to let them go out on their own.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Read like an addict, write like a lion, edit like a surgeon and never, ever give up.

    Reading is how we find our voice, by hearing those voices that resonate with our own and seeing how authors who are better than we are do what they do. Anyone who refuses to read because they don’t want to “contaminate their voice” or be “influenced by anyone else’s style” needs to remember how we learn to talk: by being exposed to other people talking. We learn to write the same way. If you limit your exposure to other writers, you limit yourself as a writer.

    Write boldly. Give yourself permission to write BADLY. Give yourself the order to edit LATER. And get outside your comfort zone.

    Edit afterward, and become a slave to the story. Operate without anesthesia, and be willing to get rid of stuff you might have liked when you wrote it.

    Finally, persist. It only took me twenty years to have my overnight success.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect?

    Here is a blurb from Zompoc Survivor: Exodus:

    Dave Stewart is a man with a plan for almost everything. But the zombie apocalypse taxes even his skills as he tries to get his family and friends out of Springfield, Missouri. Caught at work, all he has to help him survive is his normal “everyday carry” gear, the contents of his get-home bag and, most importantly, his wits to keep himself alive as chaos and death reign around him. As Dave struggles to reunite with his family and friends and fight his way clear of the city, he will discover that the dead aren’t the only enemies he will have to deal with. Some of the living are just as deadly, and he discovers that a sinister element in the US government may have a plan of its own for the zombie apocalypse, and that it includes the estranged wife and son of his friend and benefactor, Nathan Reid.

    As he makes his way to his homestead outside of town, Dave will see the best and worst of humanity, and will be pushed to his limits and beyond.

    Can Dave overcome the dangers posed by both the living and the dead, and survive his exodus from Springfield?

    Here is a blurb from my upcoming book Zompoc Survivor: Odyssey:

    In Zompoc Survivor: Odyssey, Dave must make his way out of the zombie filled hell that Kansas City has become in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. With two Marines and his girlfriend’s daughter at his side, he must overcome a power-mad zealot and face new and more terrifying zombies in his journey out of the city.

    Finally an excerpt from the upcoming book:

    I was awakened by a whimper in the darkness. Instantly, I came up on my right elbow and listened. Another soft mewl came from behind me, and I rolled to my other side and reached out in the darkness.

    “Amy,” I whispered. The whimpering stopped, and I felt Amy’s hand brush mine. As soon as her fingers touched my hand, she grabbed my arm and pulled herself to me.

    “I keep seeing him fall,” she whispered to me. “I try to hold onto him, but I can’t and he falls, he always falls.” The sobs came after that, quiet at first but hard enough to wrack her whole body. Finally, she couldn’t keep silent any more, and I felt my chest vibrate as she bawled into my shoulder.

    “I’m sorry, Amy,” I said to her, over and over again, wishing every time I knew something better to say, but never finding anything else to tell her. Eventually, even that faded, and she fell quiet again, and laid her head on my now damp shoulder. Her breathing became slow and even, and I held her quietly. It was all the comfort I could offer her, and even if my arms went numb and fell off, I’d give her every second of it she wanted. I wished for a thousand things in the indeterminate time that I held her, but it all kept coming back to two things, one I could never give her, and one I could only hope to. I wanted to give her Karl back, but in the end, my prayer was simple: let me be a good dad for her. Yeah, simple. Just not easy.

     

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    You can buy Zompoc Survivor: Exodus here.

    Facebook |Twitter | My website 

     

    Ben ReederI’ve been writing since high school, and reading since I could reach the bookshelf. I was born into a military family, spent four years in the Air Force after high school, and books have always been my friends, my escape and my window to other worlds. When I wasn’t exploring other worlds via words, I was exploring some of the more interesting nooks in the real world. I’ve been a gamer since D&D came in a cardboard box, played in the Society for Creative Anachronism on and off for two decades, and worked in everything from video game arcades to poultry farms to a New Age bookstore (best three years of my life).

    My own reading tastes run to urban fantasy and the occasional steampunk story.

    I love my readers, and extend my thanks to each of you. Every writer owes their success to their fans.


  • Interview with BACKWOODS ARMAGEDDON Author Paul Ross

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    BackwoodsEcover

     

    Welcome, Author Paul Ross! You’ve just released BACKWOODS ARMAGEDDON.  Tell us a little bit about your story.

    It’s about a group of Missouri hillbillies trying to outrun Armageddon. There’s adventure, danger, and a healthy dose of laughter, often accompanied by horrific, backwoods dialog.

    Do you consider your book urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    It’s a hillbilly thriller…. which I’m pretty sure is a new genre. I’m hoping to start a movement here. : P  My wife (coauthor) and I grew up spending summer weekends in the Missouri backwoods, around the Lake of the Ozarks. Add in my prepper disposition, and the genre just came naturally.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book?

    It’s a stand-alone, but we’re not completely tossing the idea of a sequel just yet. Although we plan on coauthoring another book in the distant future, we’re still discussing the story possibilities.

    What else are you working on?

    I’m in the beginning stages of a new project, but the genre hasn’t even been determined yet. I’m torn between conspiracy thriller and erotica… maybe I’ll merge the two.

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    I’d spend a weekend hunting with Lester Miller. I think Ed O-Niell, the guy who played Al Bundy in Married… with Children, would portray him nicely.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m more of a pantser… but don’t tell my wife. She eats outlines for breakfast. Before I write my next novel, I’m going to drink heavily, read a Tom Clancy for inspiration, watch a few episodes of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura so I’m good and freaked out, and have sex with my wife… in case I decide to add in that erotica.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel.  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    I’ve only written one novel, and it was coauthored… so in other words, I have no idea. Not a clue. Nada. Maybe I’ll write it in a weekend… or 312 weekends. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Don’t. I don’t need the competition. lol In all seriousness, surround yourself with supportive people. Also, write about something you’re seriously passionate about. This or that might be hot on the market right now, but if you’re not feeling it, it won’t be enjoyable to write, and readers won’t be fooled.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    Backwoods Armageddon blurb:

    The fit’s about to hit the shan…
    You won’t find zombies down around Ivy Mills, where the Miller family lives in the Missouri backwoods. What you will find is a tornader that puts Dorothy’s gale to shame, earthquakes, floods, vandals, terrorists, and a merry band of rednecks who brave the storm together in search of higher ground and the kind of freedom you have no choice but to give your life for.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter 

    Buy Backwoods Armageddon on KINDLE | NOOK | SMASHWORDS

     

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    PAUL ROSS is a hunting and prepper enthusiast. He knows what to do in a tornado and an earthquake, but he’s not so sure about alien invasions. He does have a pretty fancy foil hat though. Find him online at www.backwoodsarmageddon.blogspot.com where he likes to discuss the art of survival.

     

     

     

     


  • Front Page News in My Hometown Paper

    BHFP front page

    Made it full circle this week.

    When I was in high school, I wrote several columns for the Bolivar Herald Free Press, my hometown newspaper, and this week my novel writing efforts landed me on the front page. Below the fold of course. I think I’d have to actually kill someone to make it above the fold. Fictional mayhem only affords so much notoriety.

    Still it was a very cool moment.

    You can read it in all its glory here bhfp_a[1-1]web and here bhfp_a[2-2]web

    And then, if you are so inclined…you can pick up book one 😀

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)Reap & Repent blurb

    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

    AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO  

     


  • Grave Discoveries: Selby-Hall Cemetery

    20140409_180111000_iOS

    This is the second cemetery I ran across in my travels a few weeks ago. The Selby-Hall Cemetery is in Camden County, Missouri near Linn Creek.

    I love how it rambles up the hillside, and I especially admire its wrought-iron gate.

    Following are some gravestones of interest.

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    They just don’t make headstones like these anymore. The new ones have much less character, I think. If you’d like to know exactly who is buried in the Selby-Hall Cemetery, you can see the list here http://files.usgwarchives.net/mo/camden/cemeteries/hall.txt

    It looks like 1814 is the earliest birth date. That’s pretty impressive.

    What do you think? Are there still any uncollected souls wandering around this cemetery? Any sleepers? Perhaps my reaper, Deacon, should take a look?

    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)

    They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

    AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 

    Reap & Repent is an urban fantasy romance about reapers, the grim kind, falling in love and saving the world from the forces of evil  Available now at Amazon and all e-book retailers.