Five Best Zombie Series You Already Know About (And A Bonus One)

Guest Post Time! I reached out to Armand Rosamilia asking him, almost begged which isn’t pretty, to visit Trip Through My Mind for a guest post. After some negotiations, bribes of M&Ms, and my agreement to make a public statement here, “Armand it the greatest guy in the world.” (Now, I have said it so I have paid my dues) he agreed to visit us today.

You have heard the name before on Trip Through My Mind as I have featured an interview (Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Armand Rosamilia Interview), a guest book review from Margaret Colton for Armand’s Dying Days 4 release (Reader’s Retreat: Dying Days 4), and featured his website as part of the Weekly Spotlight (Weekly Spotlight: Today, I wanted to get his insight– the Five Best Zombie Series according to Armand Rosamilia. I will step aside now and give the podium to Mr. Armand Rosamilia.

Five Best Zombie Series You Already Know About (And A Bonus One)

Armand Rosamilia

First off, I need to thank Jerry Benns for letting me stop by and chat a little bit… I have a new book out, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is to point out a few zombie series I like and you should, too… and this is posted not for the veteran zombie fan out there (who already owns all these books, I’m sure) but for the newbies coming into the zombie book world who are looking for a great jump off starting point.

Five authors who write what I believe are the books you need to read, in no real order (although they are numbered, so technically that is an order):

1. Brian KeeneThe Rising is the book that started it all for me when it came to zombies. All of his zombie books are loosely connected (indeed, all of his books are in one way or another) and with each slightly different change the books get better and better. Highly recommended.

2. Joe McKinney – I saw Dead City on the shelf at the local Barnes & Noble a few years ago, saw it was zombies and the cover looked cool. Why not? From the first page it hooked me and I’ve waited for each and every new zombie book from Joe. He’s another writer that doesn’t technically write it as one series, but they can be read as a broader sense of his amazing zombie stories.

3. Mark Tufo – I’d like to think (and brag) I got Tufo really started in zombie stories when I published his “My Name Is Riley” short story in the Undead Tales anthology, which he launched into a great set of zombie books. Of course, you need to read his Zombie Fallout series. The guy knows how to write a story that is terrifying, funny and realistic all at once.

4. John O’Brien – If you’re into realistic military zombie stories (whatever that really means, I guess), Mr. O’Brien has you covered. A New World series showcases his military background without trying to show how intelligent the author is and what he knows. He presents his situations so the casual reader of zombie fiction can keep along without having to relate or know all of the jargon. And he succeeds in pulling you in and keeping you reading.

5. Shawn Chesser – His Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse series is tightly written and jammed with memorable characters and scenes, and he’s another author (like everyone on the list) with a rabid fan base. It’s been earned, because Mr. Chesser keeps you reading until the end and then wishing you had another book. And the way he writes (and writes well) another zombie book is right around the corner.

Super Bonus Pick…

Armand Rosamilia – Hey, why not? My Dying Days extreme zombie series is easily my biggest seller and readers really respond to the rawness of the characters and the zombies, who sometimes take a backseat to the carnage the survivors, put you through.

I may be partial, but I’m still going to recommend it. Dying Days 4 just came out, too… so hurry and catch up.

Oh, and you have to read the short story “Dead Like Me” from Adam-Troy Castro. An extra bonus pick. It is my favorite zombie short story of all time, and you’ll love it, too…

I’ve given you enough homework to last awhile.

Armand Rosamilia

Armand PicArmand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he exacts revenge on his enemies and neighbors alike by writing them into his Dying Days zombie series. And not in good ways. He has over 120 releases to date, with more coming. He is also a radio and internet DJ and runs Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, with interviews from the best authors, etc. in horror. He loves talking in third person. and if you want to chat.

Check out Armand Rosamilia’s 120+ releases on Amazon and pick up your copy of Dying Days 4.

Meet Armand Rosamilia in person at the Imaginarium Conventions 2014 where he will be a guest panelist, signing books, and hanging out with fans. For more information on Imaginarium, see below.

 Imaginarium Con 2014

September 19-21, 2014
Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel
Louisville, Kentucky

Imaginarium 2014 is a three-day creative writing convention and book fair suitable for attendees of all ages! With over 140 panels spread across twelve programming tracks, after-hours events, and a full vendor hall, it’s the place where ideas transcend imagination, where authors and readers can come together, and where new writers can learn tricks of the trade from more than 130 of today’s best independent publishing professionals. In addition to the literary programming, Imaginarium also features world-class workshops, an art show, film festival, gaming room, and more.


Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Books, Horror, zombies


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Trip Into Imaginarium: Stephen Zimmer Shares All

Imaginarium Con 2014I will start today by saying I am excited. Yep, pretty excited to introduce a new feature, Trip Into Imagineering. This new feature will be focusing on some of the guests and events happening around the first annual Imaginarium Con 2014. What is an Imaginarium, you ask? Once again, I am so proud of my reader’s inquisitive natures. Imaginarium Con is an epic event which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky September 19-21, 2014. In order to clarify how cool Imaginarium is, I went to the source, Stephen Zimmer. I met Stephen Zimmer earlier this year at another event, MidSouth Con 32. As you may notice by how many times I mention meeting people at a particular Con, they are great places to network and build one of the things I hold dear–community. In September, I will once again seek out like minded individuals at the gathering, Imaginarium Convention 2014. At the end of the interview will be links directing you to the registration and information. Now it is time to learn a little more about the event and meet Stephen Zimmer.

Trip Through My Mind: I would like to welcome, Stephen Zimmer to Trip Through My Mind. This is your first visit to our little venue. I want to start by saying, I cannot wait to attend the Imaginarium Con in September. When I first heard about the con, I marked it on my calendar. Could you give us a little info on what to expect at Imaginarium for both veteran con-goers and newbies?


Stephen Zimmer

Stephen Zimmer the man behind Imaginarium

Stephen Zimmer: All conventions have themes or a focus of some sort and Imaginarium is no different. In a nutshell, Imaginarium is a convention that is centered upon creative writing. I say it like that because I do not refer to books alone, but all forms of creative writing, including screenwriting, writing for games, stage and song, and even poetry. Our programming is extensive, with over 125 panels in twelve categories, featuring over 130 professional panelist guests coming from all across the book industry, and the worlds of gaming, comics, and movies. We also feature a number of dedicated workshops too.

While there is a richness of content, Imaginarium is set in a fun convention environment, with a vendor hall, masquerade, art show, gaming room, film festival and other activities .   I see Imaginarium as a prime place for writers, editors, publishers, cover artists, comic artists, filmmakers, screenwriters, game designers, poets, songwriters, and readers to come together for a great weekend of networking, learning and fun. We have worked hard to make it as affordable and accessible as possible, even offering special group rates to enable student groups to participate. We want Imaginarium to work for everyone at many levels.

TTMM: I cannot wait to be one of those 130 panelists. It will be my first time as a panelist and I am beside myself with excitement. I first heard of it through the podcast you are involved in, The Star Chamber Show. When we met in Memphis, your excitement for Imaginarium was contagious. What I have wanted to ask you is, what inspired the creation of the Imaginarium Con?

SZ: I am around a lot of conventions and literary events, many of which I absolutely love such as MidSouth Con, which you mentioned, but I really wanted to see an event that made the creative writer and storyteller the focus of the entire event. I did not see that as limited to only the short story, novel and novella realms, hence the areas of the event catering to gaming, screenwriting, comics and graphic novels, and more.

At the same time, I did not want it to be overly formal. I wanted an environment that is comfortable for newcomers, those just getting into the industry, unpublished authors and readers too. So, I felt that this should be done in a convention-style environment, with a lot of the things that those who go to mixed media or fandom cons tend to enjoy, such as a masquerade, an art show, or a nice vendors hall.

We are trying to make sure we don’t spread too thin in year one, but I do feel we have all the elements in place to have a really nice event.

TTMM: From your website, I get the feeling you are building a community of writers, publishers, artists, instead of fostering competition. We have had this conversation before, but I think we have very similar ideas on the subject. Could you share with everyone why building up the writing community is important to you?

SZ: Our competition is with ourselves, to push ourselves to produce better and better material with every new release. The competition is not with fellow authors and publishers. This might sound counterintuitive at first, but truly the authors that have noticed who tend to progress the fastest are the ones who have a win-win philosophy. Mainly, they are supportive and willing to help other authors and publishers.

Being mutually supportive really does create a stronger environment which is much more suited to attract a greater number of readers and cross-pollinate among the various authors and publishers. A reader who discovers Seventh Star Press will be exposed to and discover authors with Charon Coin Press, or Blackwyrm Publishing, or Apex Book Company. Same dynamic for individual authors. It really does work like that when you have a cohesive, friendly, mutually supportive community.

This kind of positive-driven environment also has the effect of encouraging everyone to put out quality work. None of us want to be a turnoff that sends a reader running. All of us want to be a beacon and bring more and more readers into a love and embrace of indie books, whether by small presses or self-published authors. We really are in this together. The sooner everyone figures that out the better, in my view, especially with the mounting challenges we continue to face in the industry itself.

TTMM: I remember back a couple of months ago when you were so excited you almost could not wait to make the announcement for the Guest of Honor. We were chatting the day you received the confirmation and you were almost bursting with the news. Could you share a little insight about Rose Pressey, the guest of honor at this year’s Imaginarium?

SZ: Rose is extremely talented and she also happens to be a very gracious and kind-hearted individual. We thought it would be wonderful to have a big success story from the home state for Imaginarium be our guest of honor in year one and I could not be happier with having Rose as our first author given this designation.

She does embody what is possible as an indie author in this day and age. She is a wonderful success story herself and having her at Imaginarium will be an inspiration for the attendees. I am confident that everyone will walk away with the same high esteem that I hold for her, once they have had the pleasure of interacting with her.

TTMM: I am looking forward to sitting in on some of her panels and events. I saw this on the site and I have to ask. What is an Imaginator and what will they be doing at the con?

SZ: An Imaginator is a very special designation. Our policy is to name one Guest of Honor for the event, but the Imaginators are a spotlighted, select type of guest and we aim for having representation of different creative writing areas. They will receive special Q and A sessions and will be placed in some very carefully targeted programming areas. They will also receive special recognition at our awards banquet on the 21st.

This year, we have three, Jeffrey Reddick, Maurice Broaddus and Dan Jolley. Jeffrey Reddick is a fantastic screenwriter who was the creator of the Final Destination franchise. Maurice Broaddus is a truly exceptional author whose Knights of Breton Court series from Angry Robot is well loved by a great many urban fantasy readers. Dan Jolley represents the game-design and comic worlds, in addition to being an author too! Dan provided game-design and dialogue support for Transformers video games and has multiple projects with the renowned Dark Horse Comics.

I feel this trio embodies what our Imaginators are about; individuals who have made a real mark in their fields and who also happen to be wonderful people to work and interact with. To me, the latter aspect is very important too and I think our attendees are going to absolutely love these three great fellows.

TTMM: The programming is very eclectic with everything from blogging, editing, graphic novels, romance, mystery, speculative fiction and even poetry. How hard was it to get experts from all of those different areas to participate in the con?

SZ: It isn’t easy to assemble a group of over 130 professional guests, but over the past few years I’ve built a network and gotten to know quite a few great individuals and for Imaginarium I wanted to bring as many of them together as I could. I think it is important to have this mix, as there are fantasy novels with romance elements, moments for poetry in a mystery novel, and blogging effects all types of writers, for example, so even the things that might seem eclectic on the surface can also be useful to the savvy attendee!

I’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm for the concept too. The event is not a clone of something else, it has its own kind of focus and it fits a niche, I believe. I think a lot of our guests recognize this and want to see something like this take hold.

TTMM: There are several publishers sponsoring Imaginarium: First Page Last Page, Hekate Press, Hydra Publications, Fates Press. Do you feel the con is a good way to bring writers and publishers together?

SZ:  Absolutely. This is going to be a friendly environment for both published and self-published authors, and writers exploring both options. I should also mention that Blackwyrm Publishing just came aboard as a sponsor too. But this group of sponsors and the involvement of Seventh Star Press in the organization of Imaginarium reflects the win-win environment I spoke of earlier. It sets a tone of us coming together in mutual support and camaraderie.

There are also a number of other publishers who will be vendors. I feel that the combination of rich content and a relaxed atmosphere is going to make this a bonanza for writers and publishers to interact and hopefully it will lead to all kinds of new projects, from anthologies, to publishing contracts, to many other things.

TTMM: Are there vendor tables still available? If someone wanted to find out more about being a vendor, where can they go to get information?

SZ: We still have a few tables left and we do have a nice range of hours for the vendor hall. Our price is nice too at just $75 bucks for the weekend and that includes the table and a badge for the vendor.   The link for that is Imaginarium Vendor Restration.

TTMM: I agree with you and can see several projects coming out of the great networking opportunities you have created at Imaginarium. I know the company I am associated with, Charon Coin Press, is really looking forward to not only being a vendor but also sharing ideas with the different groups of people. Putting something this large together requires a large team. I know you are one of the busiest people I know but, not even you can do this all on your own. Are you looking for volunteers for Imaginarium and what would volunteering entail?

Yes, we do need volunteers. We exchange a badge to the event in exchange for 8 hours of volunteering during the Friday to Sunday period, which will be broken up into two four hour blocks. Volunteers will help us watch over the panel rooms and signal moderators on time, others will help people get information and get their badges at the registration counter, and others will watch over events like the awards banquet and masquerade. Nothing will be overly strenuous, pretty straightforward stuff. Definitely visit our site and fill out the volunteer form if interested. Imaginarium Volunteers.

TTMM: I know I am a little over-excited for this event but, what are you most looking forward to at this year’s Imaginarium?

SZ: Seeing this group come together, of attendees and guests. There is a method to the madness of picking the kind of panelists we have and I really think this group is going to gel wonderfully and really get along. Going to be a lot of positive energy in the air and I think people will see what we want to do with this event.

TTMM: What do you hope attendees will take away from Imaginarium this year?

SZ: I hope that they both have fun and find great value in their experience, whether that comes in the form of new contacts, projects, skills learned, or resources accessed. I believe strongly that all of that is there to be had for everyone. I want every person attending to come away on Sunday more empowered than they were when they arrived on Friday (or possibly Thursday night!).

TTMM: I was planning on attending with my family. My youngest daughter, who is an aspiring book reviewer, will be accompanying me. Will there be events for the younger attendees?

SZ: Imaginarium is designed to be family friendly. Most all of the programming is accessible to younger attendees and those few that involve more adult themes such as in the romance/erotica area will have an age restriction. Our Harassment Policy on our site also clearly spells out the kind of environment that will be in place and enforced, if need be. From gaming to the film festival, there definitely will be things that younger attendees will find enjoyable.

TTMM: One of Charon Coin Press’ editors, Margaret Colton, will be attending her first Con. We will be popping her “con cherry” with Imaginarium Con 2014. What could you share with her or someone attending their first con? What tips could you give them to get the most out of their experience and want to come back for more?

SZ: Our full schedule will be available for download online before the event and I advise reading through it and marking down things that are of interest, so you have a few things in mind to attend once you arrive. The atmosphere itself will be a relaxed and non-hostile once, which I think will clear up a lot of worries that some first time con goers might have. Stroll around the vendor hall and meet a few of the attendees early. Go to a few programming sessions and get a sense of some of the panelists. Often that provides a good way to break the ice, when you tell a panelist that you enjoyed their panel and introduce yourself. Also, attend some of the more social activity Friday evening after programming ends. Those are some good ways to ease into things.

I’m sure a few attendees will host room parties later at night and there is no need to be too scared of those! Those are great ways to stop in and introduce yourself to a few fellow attendees without any pressure at all. Just remember that a lot of people at Imaginarium will be newcomers.

TTMM: Thank you, Stephen, for being a guest on the initial issue of Trip Into Imagineering. It is only fitting with the launch to bring you in to give readers an overview of the event. In the weeks leading up to the Imaginarium, we will be working to highlight some of the guests and their craft. For more information on Imaginarium Con and details of all the things mentioned above, follow the links and information below.

Until next time…

jerry b.

© 2014

Imaginarium Con 2014

September 19-21, 2014
Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel
Louisville, Kentucky

Imaginarium 2014 is a three-day creative writing convention and book fair suitable for attendees of all ages! With over 140 panels spread across twelve programming tracks, after-hours events, and a full vendor hall, it’s the place where ideas transcend imagination, where authors and readers can come together, and where new writers can learn tricks of the trade from more than 130 of today’s best independent publishing professionals. In addition to the literary programming, Imaginarium also features world-class workshops, an art show, film festival, gaming room, and more.




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Reader’s Retreat: Interview with Alexander S. Brown

Today on the Reader’s Retreat, it is my great pleasure to share an interview with author and editor, Alexander S. Brown. Many of you know his name and have read the anthology he co-edits entitled Southern Haunts. We will talk about Southern Haunts, The Star Chamber Show, and his new release, Syrenthia Falls. I had the enjoyable opportunity of meeting Brown earlier this year at MidSouth Con 32. His excitement for the craft of writing, as well as the writing community drew me and many others into really interesting conversations. Let’s not waste more time with my ramblings, it is time to get to know our guest, Alexander S. Brown.

Southern Haunts Volume 1TripThroughMyMind: Alexander, it is great having you here at on the Reader’s Retreat feature of Trip Through My Mind. We first met at MidSouth Con 32 in March. After talking with you, I had to purchase a new bag to carry all the books I purchased. You introduced me to the Southern Haunts anthology in which you are a co-editor. Could you tell us a little about Southern Haunts?

Alexander Brown: Southern Haunts is an anthology based in the south and southwest. All stories are loosely inspired by actual places, persons, and events. The goal of Southern Haunts is to consider a nonfictional subject and fictionalize it by your characters interacting with the subject.

TTMM: How many Southern Haunts books are out currently?

AB: Currently, we have vol. 1: Spirits that Walk Among Us and vol. 2: Devils in the Darkness. Vol. 1 is mostly ghost story inspired and vol. 2 is demon inspired.

Southern Haunts Volume 2TTMM: As I go through the process of editing and putting anthologies together, I have been discovering many different areas in the process. Some I like some I do not. What is your favorite part about editing for Southern Haunts?

AB: That moment when I have read all the stories and know which ones are going to make the cut.   It is a feeling of accomplishment and excitement when I realize who I will be working with.

TTMM: Now let’s talk about your big news. You recently had a new book released Syrenthia Falls. Tell us a little about this book.

AB: Syrenthia Falls is a coming of age novel intended for adults. This book is a mixture of action, adventure, drama, romance, suspense, and most of all – horror. In Syrenthia Falls, I take a different approach to the werewolf fandom. I’m not going to release any spoilers; you have to read for yourself.

TTMM: I looked you up on Amazon to see some of the other books you are involved in. You write in many different genres from steampunk to horror and both YA to adult. What audience are you hoping to capture with Syrenthia Falls?

AB: Syrenthia Falls is intended for the adult horror lover. One who enjoys strong characters, complex plots, and splatterpunk.

TTMM: The main character, Syrenthia, seems like the outcast and has trouble finding acceptance. What would you say about the different relationships and the part they play in Syrenthia Falls?

Syrenthia Falls cover artAB: The picture I tried to paint with Syrenthia Falls is how an outcast can be made into a monster by those who bully her. The characters interact the way they do so the reader can see how cliques band together while in high school, regardless of if they are good or bad. I chose high school as the setting because it is a complex time for most young adults, one that I feel needs greater observance for their safety.

TTMM: As a writer, I tend to pull character traits from the people around me as well as internal personality traits. Where do you pull your inspiration?

AB: I am inspired by friends, family, enemies, and strangers. I am a people watcher, not a stalker, but a watcher, who can gain inspiration by observation.

TTMM: I thought I was busy, but from following your social media, it looks like you are all over the place these days. I see your updates on writing, book signings, editing as well as being one of the hosts on the Star Chamber Show. I have been wondering, how did you get involved in the show?

AB: Stephen Zimmer, who is a publisher with Seventh Star Press, invited me to be a co-host on the show. He felt I could offer contributions to the podcast. I hope I haven’t let him down LOL.

TTMM: I am proud to say I was a guest recently on Star Chamber Show and found the experience very enjoyable. We had to be reeled in; otherwise we would have chatted all night. What do you enjoy most about hosting Star Chamber Show?

AB: I enjoy asking complex questions. I try to ask questions that I feel could empower and improve the life of those who are listening.

TTMM: I noticed in 2014 you undertook a project of releasing one short story in eBook format per month. That seems like a tall undertaking. What prompted that project and where can we find these stories?

AB: This project is known as Single Shots and it was presented to me by Pro Se Press, a pulp publisher. When I was asked to participate, I was concerned how much I could actually contribute. Then, Pro Se inquired about my Halloween stories I had yet to publish. I mulled over the idea and thought, Wow, a year’s worth of Halloween stories. How awesome would that be? My Halloween stories can now be found via,, and Just type in Alexander S. Brown and I should come up. The reader will receive a new story monthly.

TTMM: I will have to admit, my first introduction to the steampunk culture was at MidSouth Con. Before then, I saw movies in this vein but did not know it was a whole subculture. Now, I am exploring the genre as often as possible. You have quite a few young adult steampunk stories out there in several anthologies. What is it that draws you to that genre?

AB: The ability to imagine inventions in the Victorian era is my main love for writing steampunk. Although I’m not a sci-fi person and most people write steampunk as Victorian sci-fi, I mostly write steampunk murder mystery, horror, and superheroes.

TTMM: The setting for your stories are in the South and with Southern Haunts focusing on southern states, could you tell us why the South seems to be a good place for scary stories?

AB: I believe it’s the culture and history of the south that provides us with a good scare. Also, southerners have always been known to spin tall tales.

TTMM: Ok, I am always curious on why authors pick and choose certain stories to write. When you are looking for anthologies to write and submit a story for, what do you look for in the anthology? What draws you to a particular anthology collection?

AB: I am driven to an anthology if it provides enough versatility for me to be creative and honor the genres of suspense and horror.

TTMM: As we wrap up, I would like to come back to your book Syrenthia Falls. Characters become real to the author as they write their stories. If Syrenthia was one of your friends what would you like best about her and what do you like least about her?

AB: I can’t say that I dislike anything about her. A few of her actions sadden me. I guess what I like about her the most is her potential.

TTMM: Finally, any parting words for the readers and where can they get your books?

AB: Never stop reading and always support your local bookstore whenever possible. Ebook when there is no other option. Bookstores need our support, we do not need to make them a dying breed. My books can be ordered through any bookstore, or you can contact me personally for a signed copy. For those who may not be able to access local bookstores, you may purchase my work on,, and My Halloween ebooks are available wherever ebook downloads are sold. For signed copies, contact me at Subject head your email, Signed Edition.

Find me on Facebook at: Alexander S. Brown Facebook Page

Meet Alexander S. Brown

5Alexander S. Brown is a Mississippi author who was published in 2008 with his first book Traumatized. Reviews for this short story collection were so favorable that it is being released as a special edition by Pro Se Publishing. Brown is currently one of the co-editors/coordinators with the Southern Haunts Anthologies published by Seventh Star Press. His horror novel Syrenthia Falls is represented by Dark Oak Press.

He is also the author of multiple young adult steampunk stories found in the Dreams of Steam Anthologies and the anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. His more extreme works can be found in the upcoming anthology Luna’s Children published by Dark Oak Press.

Visit,, and to download his monthly short stories known as Single Shots. These are represented by Pro Se Press and the first available story is The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out.

Imaginarium Con 2014Alexander Brown is one of many guests who will appear at the first annual, Imaginarium Con in Louisville, Kentucky. Imaginarium Con is centered upon creative writing. Imaginarium is the place to be to discuss and learn about all forms of creative writing all forms of creative writing including books, publishing, screenwriting, writing for games, stage and song, and even poetry all wrapped up in one great event. It will include 125 panels in twelve categories, featuring 130 professional panelist guests. Come meet Alexander Brown, and yours truly, on September 19-21. Visit for more details.

Until next time…

jerry b.



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Reader’s Retreat: Ken MacGregor’s An Aberrant Mind

AnAberrantMind_KenMacGregor_FrontCoverPromoSome of my first forays into reading horror was the discovery of short story collections. As a young boy, I would put aside the longer novels and explore the concise tales of Stephen King, Robert R. McCammon, and Clive Barker. The short story collections guided me through the many facets of the authors’ storytelling abilities in a collective format. Many nights were spent working myself up into a state of fear only a good story could evoke. When the opportunity to be a part of Sirens Call Publication’s blog tour for Ken MacGregor’s short story collection An Aberrant Mind, I jumped at the chance to relive the old, cherished feeling of fear brought on by well crafted stories. I purchased the book, dimmed the light, pour myself a cool beverage, and dove in to MacGregor’s world hoping he would take me on a wild journey. First I had to answer the question– what is An Aberrant Mind? I will say, for all my reading, I had to look up the word ‘aberrant’.

ab·er·rant- adjective 1. departing from the right, normal, or usual course. 2. deviating from the ordinary, usual, or normal type; exceptional; abnormal.

MacGregor delivers on the title’s promise. The collection of twenty stories takes a departure from the normal horror stories found in many books these days. Out of the gate, he grabbed my attention with A Creature Stirring. I will never discount the sounds coming from my vent as the house settling again. When I was halfway through A Lesson Learned from Archie, my mind kept whispering “no way he is going there” only to shout out loud “OH, he did go there”—much to my sleeping wife’s dismay. Killer Bagel, will remind me to skip my morning routine in favor of something less deadly. Disaster Blanket and Tom’s Personal Demons both made me look around the room when I turned off the lights. Protégé was well-crafted and reminiscent of a classic tale Rod Serling would give an approving nod to. Story after story, MacGregor led me through places I have not traveled often. He brought back memories of why I was first drawn to the early short story horror collection. An Aberrant Mind is one of those books I will find myself picking up over and over.

Somewhere, I heard it said, fear is more frightening when it is seasoned with humor. The moments of laughter make the drop into terror so much deeper. Ken MacGregor’s writing will have you recoiling one moment, repulsed the next, and chuckling as he take the reader out of the normal, deviating from the ordinary, and through his own trip through An Aberrant Mind.

Available for purchase at:


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



KenMacGregorABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway information:

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGreogor



Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Books, Horror, Reader's Retreat, Review, Writing


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Reader’s Retreat: Dying Days 4

Reader’s Retreat: Dying Days 4

Once again, we have guest editor/author Margaret L. Colton joining us at TripThroughMyMind with a new review. This time she takes on Armand Rosamilia’s Dying Days 4, which was recently released. I must admit, I am a little jealous that Colton had the opportunity to read this book so quickly. I have been a fan of the series, as you might have guessed, since my discovery in October 2013. After reading the below review, I am looking forward to seeing what comes next in Rosamilia’s Dying Days world. However, don’t take my word for it, let’s hear what Margaret L. Colton has to say in this week’s review of Dying Days 4.

Dying Days 4 Cover with BlurbsDying Days 4

Dying Days 4 by author Armand Rosamillia is my first foray into the Dying Days world. It was quite the trip. I had no problem picking up the story. In fact, the story pulled me in and I found myself coming back to it to see what would happen, even when there were other things I needed to be doing. Finding myself entertained and caught up in the characters, looking around the next corner to see where the story would lead next I quickly finished the story. I really enjoyed how the zombies were not just mindless munching machines. They were intrinsic to the plot, but not just as a typical zombie. Some of the Dying Days zombies actually have a personality and not only a personality but real depth and some scheming going on. I was pleasantly surprised, expecting hordes of senseless zombies chasing people around then finding something different. Dying Days 4 took several twists around that kept me fully engaged in the story and wanting to keep reading, so much so I was stunned when I reached the end.

In addition to the good story Dying Days 4 is, I also became invested in the characters. I know that there is back-story in the previous books which would add to the nuances in Dying Days 4, but I found it easy to connect with the characters in this book. Some I liked and rooted for immediately and others- well if they were to be eaten or eviscerated by a zombie I would be fine with it. Still other characters I would have liked to have personally fed to a zombie, but that might just be me. There was a wide range of humanity portrayed in Dying Days 4 from the dead and the humans. There is an underlying commentary on the human condition within the Dying Days world, disturbing at times. So even being late to the party, I care about these characters and not only want to know what happens to them, but also how they got here.

I would highly recommend Dying Days 4. It was a very entertaining read. Whether you start with DD4 or have been following the Dying Days world it is definitely worth your time. Dying Days 4 will not only keep your attention but, also keep you entertained until the very last page. So now I’m headed out to dive deeper into the Dying Days world by picking up the previous three books and other places Dying Days can be found.

M.L. Colton

Armand PicDying Days 4 is available at most online retailers. Pick up your copy today. For more information on the Dying Days world, book order and spin-off series visit:

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music… and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he’s pretty good at watching! He’s written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:

Check out Armand Rosamilia’s new podcast– Arm Cast Podcast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast featuring some guest from all around the horror genre.

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool. He’s a proud Active member of HWA as well. You can find him at for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:



Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Books, Horror, Review, Writing, zombies


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: Armand Rosamilia Interview

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014Armand Pic


Sometime last year, I came across Armand Rosamilia after asking author Mark Tufo who was responsible for this really cool Zombie Blog Tour that I had found. After directing me over to Rosamilia, I reached out and started to chat with him, as I tend to do, and got to know him over the few months which remained of the year. Armand Rosamilia is someone I would call a friend, just not to his face. We have that kind of friendship, he IS from New Jersey and all.

Today, I finally have the opportunity to do something I had planned on doing for a while, but was waiting for just the right moment — I get to interview Armand Rosamilia on TTMM. Take a moment, get to know Armand, and see what he has in store for us in the coming year.

TTMM: I want to start by saying thank you for doing the interview. You are involved in so many different things, I can just imagine what a challenge it is for you to keep up with all your activities. I am really glad to have you here on TTMM at this point in your career. You recently concluded the 2014 Authors Supporting Our Troops book drive. Can you explain more about this event and the response you received?

Picture from troops receiving books.

Picture from troops receiving books.

ARMAND: The response as better than I could have ever hoped for. We collected 2,500 author-signed books for soldiers in remote parts of the world and shipped boxes of books. Because it was taking so much of my time and space in the house, we finally stopped ‘officially’ collecting books, although I received another package today… we’ll keep sending books as long as authors keep sending them to us, and we’ll start up the event again on January 1st 2015 and run it for 4 months again. We’re hoping it is a yearly thing and can grow each time.

TTMM: I was following the Authors Supporting Our Troops event. I also saw many people helping out with the cost of shipping by purchasing one of the many t-shirts (I have mine as well) and some fund raisers. The support for your cause was amazing. Around the time this concluded, you went straight into the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, which you organize each year. How many years have you been doing these Zombie Blog Tours and tell us a little about how they started?

ARMAND: They started 3 years ago, when Mark Tufo and I noticed the worst month for sales was June. So I created a small tour for zombie authors and it has grown each year. This year it was 30+ authors, and I did all the behind-the-scenes work. For some crazy reason I like to tackle giant projects. Next year will be smaller. I don’t want to do 50+ authors, and a small Winter of Zombies event will be run in November again, as well.

TTMM: I was excited to be on the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 with this interview with a tour stop earlier this month. TTMM featured author Peggy Martinez. What surprised me is the response from the tour. I had people send me messages saying they purchased the books from not only the post here, but also the ones shared throughout social media. If 30+ authors received exposure to new audiences and had the same results, you are responsible for connecting an unfathomable number of readers to new books. Let’s move on to another aspect of the Armand world. You are also a radio personality and launching your podcast this summer. Want to share some of the information on your radio shows? What will be expected with the podcast?

ARMAND: I am still doing Mando’s Manic Melodies on Friday nights from 10 til midnight EST on 97.3 FM The Surf ( and Mando’s Metal Covers on Monday nights from 6-8 pm EST ( It allows me to play the songs I grew up on and have some fun interacting with listeners.

The podcast is coming at some point in July. It is called Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast. Each weekly episode will be about an hour and include 1-3 interviews with not just fellow horror authors, but film makers, publishers, horror clothing lines, editors and artists.

TTMM: Once you told me about the broad spectrum of potential guests for Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, I have been eagerly awaiting its launch. The show will be right up my alley and has definitely peaked my interest. Looking back, I first discovered you through one of your Zombie Blog tours and your series, Dying Days. Before we dive into the Dying Days series, what are some of the other book series and stand-alone books you have out there? Can you share a little about each?

ARMAND: If you have all day, haha. I have over 120 releases to my credit so far, and not all of them are zombies and/or horror. Hmm, where to start? My contemporary fiction releases, Flagler Beach Fiction Series, is quite popular. I also have a thriller, Death Metal, awaiting a sequel. I did a non-fiction series called Metal Queens, interviewing females into Metal, but had to stop because I got too busy. I’ll have a horror novel or two coming out from publishers this year as well, and some movies… I’m busy.

TTMM: Recently, you released Dying Days 4. Over the series, we have met many characters in this world but, the main arc seems to be based around Darlene Bobich. Before we get into this specific book, let’s discuss the series a little. Dying Days is not your typical zombie story. How would you describe the world of Dying Days?

ARMAND: Brutal. It’s not a fun place to be living in. Not only do the zombies want to bite you, they want to sexually violate you. And now they are gaining their intelligence back to do even worse things to you. Throw in many of the living being selfish and nasty, and you have a really screwed up world to survive in.

Dying Days 4 Cover with BlurbsTTMM: Hence the term “Extreme Horror” which is attached to the books. These are not for the faint of heart. The first scene of Highway to Hell, which is the first book in the Dying Days series, gives you the setup for what it to come. I have wondered what was the inspiration behind your main character, Darlene Bobich? She isn’t your typical heroine and we have come to know her throughout the series.

ARMAND: I was sick of Resident Evil and Tomb Raider heroines. Women who showed up the men and had no fear, killing thanks to military training and nerves of steel. Darlene started as a chubby plain-looking woman who worked behind the makeup counter at the mall. She knew how to shoot thanks to her dad, but she wasn’t ever a marksman. She cries and has panic attacks. She worries about the little things. She is one of us.

TTMM:That is a great summary of Darlene and one of the qualities that makes Dying Days so popular. The characters feel real. Not the over-the-top-action hero. Many in the story could be people the readers could see as their neighbors or family members. I have recently finished Dying Days 3 in preparation for the upcoming release. The story took an unexpected turn for me. What can we expect in the latest release, Dying Days 4?

ARMAND: Even more unexpected turns. The series is going in a direction no one will expect, and it is going to be a fun ride for me as the author. An advance reader told me I was insane once they realized the big twist in Dying Days 4, and couldn’t wait for the next one.

TTMM: I have read Dying Days: Origins and really enjoyed the back story. Will there be more origin stories coming for other characters?

ARMAND: Yes. Dying Days: Origins 2 is already about 20% done, featuring David Monsour from Dying Days 2. It actually begins in his prequel story from Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, fleshing out the character as they move between that point A and point B of Florida and Dying Days 2.

TTMM: Where do you see the Dying Days world going? Do you have a vision of the future?

ARMAND: I have a definite vision for the future. I’ve already left Easter egg hints as far back as Dying Days. There is an ongoing story to be told, whether or not Darlene is part of it… who can say?

TTMM: What can we look forward to coming out this year? Any more releases planned for 2014?

ARMAND: Quite a few. The sixth and seventh books in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series. Dying Days: Origins 2 in November, right in time for the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour. Several anthology releases with my stories in them. My Chelsea Avenue horror novel from Ragnorak Publications. A couple of movies I had a part in. Whatever else I have time to write.

TTMM: I have had this conversation with a few authors and wanted to get your take on the subject. With all the titles you have out and the fan base you have built over the years, many people have enjoyed your stories. How important is it for them to go back to the site where they purchased the book and leave a review?

ARMAND: It is probably the most important thing a reader can do for an author. Reviews are the lifeline on Amazon and Goodreads and other sites. It helps other potential readers make a decision (good or bad) and helps with author rankings and visibility. As an author it also helps to see what readers think of your work.

TTMM: I could talk with you for hours and many of your fans do just that. I will have some links to your social media sites below for those who want to stay up-to-date on the world of Armand Rosamilia. Besides “Buy Dying Days 4” is there anything you would like to share before we wrap up?

ARMAND: Thanks for the opportunity to chat. I do enjoy talking to people about horror and writing and publishing. I was lucky enough back in the day to have gotten some advice from author Scott Nicholson about being available and not looking at other writers as competition, and reading JA Konrath’s blog as he transitioned from traditional publishing to self-publishing. I feel it is good karma to keep helping others who are in spots I used to be in. Thanks, Jerry!

TTMM: Thank you for taking the time to share will us today, for putting together the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, and the advice you have shared over the past year with me. I purchased my copy of Dying Days 4 this week and I am looking forward to seeing your stories coming out later this summer in State of Horror: Illinois and State of Horror: New Jersey.

Want to learn more about Armand Rosamilia and his world of Dying Days? Check out these great links below.

Armand Rosamilia

Armand Rosamilia with Joe McKinney

Armand Rosamilia with Joe McKinney

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music… and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he’s pretty good at watching!
He’s written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:
Dying Days” extreme zombie series
Keyport Cthulhu” horror series
Flagler Beach Fiction Series” contemporary fiction
Metal Queens” non-fiction music series

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool. He’s a proud Active member of HWA as well. You can find him at for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal:

Until next time…

jerry b

© 2014



Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Books, Fiction, Horror, Reader's Retreat, Writing, zombies


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour: “State of Decay” by Author Peggy Martinez

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014

The Summer of Zombie Blog Tour kicked off this month and today, TripThroughMyMind becomes one of the tour stops featuring author Peggy Martinez and her book, State of Decay. Martinez is giving fans a little taste of her book as part of the Zombie Blog tour.

What is State of Decay about? Martinez sums it up pretty well on the on her website,

State of Decay

“Despite what you’ve been told, the Apocalypse doesn’t begin with fire raining down from the heavens, nor does it begin with the human race falling down on their faces in supplication before a triumphant god. No, the sounds of the Apocalypse are much more terrifying than that, and I should know … I’ve heard them, and hearing the world tumble into chaos around me is not something I’ll ever forget. My name is Melody Carter. A Boeing 767 fell from the sky and wiped out most of my neighborhood. But, that’s the least of my worries. My list of “Things I’m Most Worried About” shifted dramatically when my dad told me that charred corpses tried to make a meal out of their rescuers … I’m thinking yours would too.

This is my story.

It’s not for the faint of heart.”

Get to know Peggy Martinez at her website: and look for this title and more at Peggy Martinez Amazon page

Let’s dive right in to Martinez’s gift to us today with an extended sample of the State of Decay.



Prelude graphic

Despite what you’ve been told, the Apocalypse doesn’t begin with fire raining down from the heavens, nor does it begin with the human race falling down on their faces in supplication before a triumphant god. No, the sounds of the Apocalypse are much more terrifying than that, and I should know … I’ve heard them, and hearing the world tumble into chaos around me is not something I’ll ever forget.

The first sounds were just a buzzing really, a buzzing of television newscast in the background of our house, like so many other homes in America … just the news playing in another room while we all went on about our day-to-day lives. The reports were of something happening far off—not to us—so it didn’t worry anyone all that much. The sound of reporters and main stream media feeding us all a bunch of hoopla to keep the masses entertained and calm when they should have been telling everyone what was really going on and how to protect themselves and their families. And my family, just like most others in the world, fed into their lies and sat idly by while an epidemic swept through the world when we were all sleeping in our beds, assured of one thing … we were too advanced a people, too evolved a species to ever tumble into a dark age of death, destruction, and chaos. Oh, how the mighty and powerful fall.

Have you ever heard the sounds of mass hysteria or the sounds of a Boeing 767 plummeting from the sky to land in your neighborhood? It isn’t a pleasant sound. There is a deafening roar as the plane falls from the sky and lands on top of houses you had walked past just the afternoon before, an explosion so loud, you swear you’d never hear again … and then the screaming. Dear God, sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still hear the screaming. Even to this day, when my adrenaline’s pumping, when I find myself in a tight spot, or I just know I’m this close to dying, there is a flash back of that sound … a sadistic mix of tearing, screeching metal, and gut-wrenching screams that make me dizzy from the high pitch wail echoing inside my skull.

And then there are the sounds that don’t make sense to you, the ones you can’t place … the ones that your brain can’t seem to comprehend even if everything is playing out right before your eyes, in all its technicolor glory.

The First Day Graphic

GO GET THE HANDGUN. Go get the handgun. Go get the handgun. What my dad had said as he ran through our front door was playing over and over again inside my head, like a scratched up CD that couldn’t get past the deep gouge in its surface.

My dad was rushing through the house, hollering for me to get a bag together and to be ready to leave when he gave the word. I watched him as he ran out the front door, toward the wreckage to search for survivors. That’s who my dad was … a hero. I could hear my own labored breathing—harsh to my own ears—as I hurried to my room and grabbed my beat up, army green back pack and shoved random stuff inside of it, not really seeing what I was doing, not really paying attention to whatever crap I was packing. I threw a black tank top over the blue one I was already wearing, discarded my cookie monster pajama bottoms in favor of black cargo pants, and made sure to yank on my most worn-in black combat boots, lacing them up quickly.

“I’ll be right back, don’t worry. Everything will be fine, Mel. Go get the handgun and bullets and put them in your bag.” That’s what he had said. Did he know something was going to happen or was he just taking a precaution with all the chaos surrounding us at that moment? Didn’t matter. I ran to my dad’s room and unlocked the gun case, stowed in his closet, and made sure to do exactly as he told me. My dad had been an officer in the army for over twenty-five years and I knew he wouldn’t have told me to get the gun if he didn’t honestly believe there was some kind of threat looming. I found a camouflage rucksack, what my dad referred to as his “bug out bag”, in the bottom of his closet. After making sure the safety was on and the gun was loaded, I stuffed it and all the ammo I could find in the bag and then headed to the kitchen.

I grabbed everything I thought that my dad would have told me to. Bottles of water, beef jerky, granola bars, cracker packs, a bag of apples, and a pack we always had ready in a closet for when we went camping, which was often. The screams from outside seemed to be getting louder, which only intensified the ache pounding through my head. I stood in the middle of our living room with no idea what to do next … I wanted to just drop everything and run to help my dad, but I knew that wasn’t the smart thing to do. I stood rooted to the spot I was standing in, listening to screams and the sound of sirens in the distance.

I’m not sure how long I stood in the living room, wondering if I should go in search of my dad or just hang tight like he’d told me to. I quite clearly remember the uneasiness worming its way into the pit of my stomach, the prickly sensation at the back of my neck, and the sense of dread settling around me like a thick fog. When my mother was alive, she used to tell me that I had a sixth sense about me, that all the women in her family did, but I never really put any real stock into what she was saying. After all, what good is it to have any extra “senses” if they didn’t help you out in anyway? But regardless, I felt something shimmering just out of focus, something niggling in the back of my mind that things were never going to be the same, that after that night my world would forever be changed. I can see that now … but back then, I was still a naïve teenager, not realizing things bigger than the plane crash were happening, not understanding that I should have been wondering why the plane had crashed in the first place. Instead, I was too busy wondering how long it would take for everything to get cleaned up, how my neighbors were, and when things would be getting back to normal.

When my dad swung open the front door early in the morning, I had dozed off on the couch with my backpack still on and the rucksack sitting on the coffee table in front of me. My dad looked around the house, his eyes slightly out of focus, as if he wasn’t really seeing anything around him.

“Dad?” I whispered gently. His head swung around and his eyes met mine and I knew right then that he’d seen some horrific things through the night. I just didn’t know how horrific.

“Mel, get the keys to the jeep and put your bags inside. Get in and wait for me, I’m going to grab my gun and then we’ll leave.” His jaw clenched and his hand balled tightly into a fist.

“I’ve got the gun, Dad, it’s in my bag … just like you told me.” I picked up the rucksack and walked around the coffee table to stand in front of him. His eyes hardened and he strode past me, toward the back of the house.

“Not that gun, baby girl.” I heard him murmur harshly under his breath. I knew my dad owned other guns … guns he didn’t normally use for protection. He collected guns and used them at shooting ranges and for hunting, and some he still had from his Army days. I knew those days haunted him and I knew he wouldn’t be bringing those guns out unless something was seriously wrong. I wiped my damp palms on my pants and ran to the kitchen to grab the keys out of the cookie jar and then went into the garage to put the bags in the backseat. When my dad came back out he was wearing full Army camo and was carrying a very large duffel bag and his sniper rifle over his shoulder. I swallowed back the fear and apprehension clawing its way up my throat and climbed into the passenger seat of our jeep. My dad put his bag in the backseat, but brought his rifle in the front with him. He started up the vehicle and then just sat there, staring blankly into the windshield for a few seconds before he spoke.

“There’s something going on, I’m not sure what exactly, but it’s serious, Melody.” He glanced over at me. I swallowed and licked my suddenly dry lips. I could see the fear behind his eyes and if my dad was scared …. I really didn’t want to contemplate what could be happening. “Where’s the gun I told you to grab?” he asked gruffly.

“In the back,” I answered. He reached into the backseat and pulled the rucksack onto his lap. When he pulled out the handgun his face was a mask of stone, his years of Army training taking over, and I was actually relieved to see it. This was the version of my dad I could handle in the face of whatever was going on. His finger clicked off the safety and he checked the gun over, nodding in approval that it was loaded. He pulled two extra magazines out of the bag and handed them to me. After he threw the bag back into the back of the jeep, he clenched his jaw and turned to me.

“Keep the safety off. Keep your gun where you can have easy access to it, and … be careful. You’ve been handling guns for a long time and I know you’ll act responsibly. I just can’t take you out of this house without knowing you are fully armed … that if anything were to happen to me …”

“Daddy …” He held up hand and turned to face me. His face was granite, his eyes hard and unyielding.

“If anything were to happen to me, you’d have a good chance to survive. I’ve taught you how to shoot, how to take care of yourself … everything I know. Don’t trust anyone and always remember … survival means being smart. Acting rashly is what gets people killed.” I blinked furiously, trying to keep the threatening tears from spilling over. What was he saying? What was going on beyond the plane crash in our neighborhood? I swallowed hard and nodded my head sharply as I looked my father in the eye.

“I’ll remember, Daddy,” I promised softly. My dad’s eyes softened a fraction and his hand cupped my cheek gently before he handed me the Colt 1911 handgun and a simple, black leg holster. I took the gun with a shaking hand and attached it to my right leg as my dad backed the jeep out of the garage. As soon as we pulled out onto our cul-de-sac, I was immediately, unequivocally sure that my life as I knew it was over.


Pick up your copy of State of Decay today. BUY STATE OF DECAY

Until next time…

jerry b

© 2014


Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Books, Fiction, Horror, zombies


Tags: , , , , , , ,

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