As for my contest results, the two winners were latishajean and Mary Jo Burke. Congratulations! Like I mentioned before, each of you gets a free copy of one of my books, either "Dead Reckoning" or "Kaishaku"-- it's up to you. Please contact me at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the ebook of your choice.
To help you decide, I've reprinted both book's blurbs and excerpts below.
After receiving a DUI, Dustin Dempster is working off some community service hours at a hospital. While there he’s asked to do some amateur counseling of sometimes difficult patients. He thinks this a waste of time, but he reluctantly agrees.
One of these difficult patients is Levon Howard, a man paralyzed from the neck down because of a car accident. He’s initially uncooperative, but after being charmed by Dustin’s brutal honesty and willingness to break some small hospital rules, he agrees to participate. Soon he’s revealing his biggest secrets to Dustin…
For Levon is an obsessed and unrepentant killer of the worst sort, only with a personal quirk. Despite his revulsion, Dustin finds himself intrigued by Levon’s story. Soon he finds himself doing what was once unthinkable, and realizes that he’s being affected by what he’s learned. Will Howard’s madness claim yet another victim, or even another perpetuator?
Dustin pulled up his chair, and listened intently.
“For starters, my name is Levon, so call me that. Not big on ‘Mr. Howard.’ Fort is right in a way—I do want to talk. Just not to someone like him, or his flunkies, or a nurse. What I’m going to tell you I’ve never told anyone—but I figure, why not? My life—my real life—is over.
“You never told anyone? Why not?”
“Shut up and listen! You’ll see. But anyway, the most important thing in my life is that I’m obsessed with killing. With a catch—I’m not a murderer. I’ve never been arrested, never went to jail, and never even broke the law.”
Levon paused to catch his breath, and Dustin just stared at him, and resisted the urge to laugh. Come on! This guy’s gotta be fucking with me! Or was he? He looked pretty sincere—could he be serious? Maybe he would have been better off not talking to him. But, on the other hand, Levon could hardly attack him even if he wanted to, and besides, Dustin was a little curious. So he waited for the paralyzed man to resume.
Dead Reckoning blurb:
Kurt Minnifield is a fledging actor playing a zombie in a low budget horror movie. The director and crew decide to move their shooting to lovely and isolated
… only they don’t get proper permission. Watkins State Park
Victor Newsome is a thirteen year old trying to both shed his nerdy image and learn outdoor skills at a special survival camp. After teaching the boys how to make shelter and kill their own food, the counselors decide to take a day trip to the neighboring state park—Watkins.
A series of ethical lapses, poor decisions, and bad luck lead to a colossal misunderstanding. Violence erupts as both sides fight desperately against a dangerous set of foes. Who will be more savage—the literal “monsters,” or the boys equipped with deadly weapons, and the knowledge of how to use them?
Dead Reckoning excerpt:
Kurt struggled to catch up as the unknown actor continued to track the other zombies. Now he saw that the other actors must have seen or heard the guy—they’d turned around and were advancing on him. The guy wasn’t Chris, or Rickey, or Gene, either, this was definitely some new actor. So what happens now? No one had any special effects things on that he could see, so unless this man ran away the unscripted, natural shooting was over.
The actor wasn’t fleeing. He raised his gun and aimed it at the zombie in front, Will. His hand shook for a second, and then he fired.
The crack of the shot was loud, and Kurt nearly fell over in shock. That was no blank! That sounded real! What the fuck? And then he turned his head to look at Will. Blood was running from a hole in his chest. Kurt gasped. Will had been the last zombie to be made up before Kurt—he was positive that T.J. hadn’t put any squibs on him.
Will had stopped, and his zombie claws went to the wound, and he stared at the hole wonderingly. The zombies nearest him—Tabby, Henry, and Ed, all dropped their arms down and were staring at Will too, and then back at the mystery man with astonished expressions on their faces.
The guy hesitated, and then raised his gun a little, and fired again. There was a second boom, and then Will’s eye broke up, followed almost immediately by the back of his head. Blood, and pieces of whitish skull and grayish brains splattered out, onto the forest floor, and even slightly on Tabby’s arm. Will fell on his side with a strange gurgling sound.
Holy Shit! thought Kurt. That was no squib either. This was real! This guy is psycho! He watched as Tabby took off, into the bushes to the side of the clearing. Henry and Ed crouched by Will’s body, and struggled to communicate with the alien assassin. They waved their arms wildly, trying to signal “Stop” with their palms held up. Their grunting was noticeably louder, but still inarticulate. Kurt started to walk across the clearing to join the group.
The armed man paused a moment more, and then aimed once again. The two zombies tried to duck behind Will’s slumped corpse. Two shots whined past, and then a third hit Henry in the shoulder. Just then he whirled in Kurt’s direction and fired again, just as Kurt threw up his hands. As soon as the gunman turned, Ed and Henry were in the bushes right behind Tabby.
Fire rushed through Kurt’s left hand, just above the wrist. He groaned as he saw blood, and tendons, and even bone through the hole in his mangled hand. He dove to the ground, just as another bullet hit a tree right where his head had been. And then he was gone, tearing through the bushes and trees almost without looking.
The man trotted up to Will’s body, and kicked at it curiously. He looked briefly at the spot where the hand-shot zombie had disappeared, and then he turned back and went after the first three zombies.
It hadn’t been thirty seconds when the first fly landed on Will’s destroyed head, took off, and then landed again. Soon a large crowd of them was jockeying for a prime position.