Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties by Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani #HauntedHistory #TrueCrime

1. Why did you decide to write this?

I love ghost stories and history, Joe loves true crime- he’s really into researching the murders and weird deaths. 

This combo made Haunted Flint an Amazon #1 New Release in multiple categories and an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories…twice. First when it was released in September 2019 then again this past March when the ebook was on sale.

It is one of the bestselling Haunted America books so it was one of the first to be made into a Spooky America book for kids. They took our info from Haunted Flint and made it kid friendly for a young audience, The Ghostly Tales of Flint.

So after that success, we knew we wanted to write another book and there were more stories to tell in the Flint and Genesee county area.

Together we have created books where history, true crime, and the paranormal intersect. 

2. What can you tell us about the ghosts?

There are so many…in Haunted Flint we covered over 30 locations just in Flint, most of them right downtown. 

In Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties we found stories in rural corners of the counties and on historic main streets. In Lapeer County I love the Bruce Mansion. Its vibe is totally like something from the Munster’s. In Genesee County I loved the old Fenton Seminary it was so very terrifying. I was really sad when it was torn down.

3. What has been your favorite part about writing this book?

It’s like finding buried treasure when you come across something in the archives that connects the ghost story to something that happened at the location like a murder, accident, or unsolved disappearance.

4. Where can people purchase the book?
The book is available for pre-order At Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all major online book retailers. Locally the book will be at R&B Books in Grand Blanc and at Walgreens. Readers can also order signed copies directly from us. Reach out on Facebook or visit us at Haunted-Flint.com 

Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties 
Haunted America Series 
Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani 

Release Date: August 29, 2022 

Book Description: 

Ghost stories and urban legends lurk throughout Genesee and Lapeer counties. 

A Clio man's spirit is thought to still reside in the junkyard office where he was murdered. For almost two centuries, the Flushing area has been fascinated by tales of the wealthy Brent family whose land is connected to numerous tales of murder, mystery, and ghosts. 

In Lapeer County, the Bruce Mansion's unnerving façade hints at the specters inside, and the land and buildings once belonging to the Lapeer State Home are plagued by haunting cries and ghostly activity. 

Join the authors of Haunted Flint, Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani, as they take you on a tour of Genesee and Lapeer counties’ most haunted locations. 

Amazon      Arcadia Publishing      Walmart     BN     ThriftBooks   


Excerpt - Intro:

Spooky stories and terrifying tales lurk in dark rural corners and on historic main streets throughout Genesee and Lapeer counties. Hospitals, cemeteries, and historic homes have numerous ghosts attached to them.

The secrets of the dead can be buried in history, but we like to dig into the archives and coax the stories back to life, if only for a fleeting moment with words on the page. 

Several chapters in this book feature locations where history, true crime, and the paranormal intersect. These sinister tales of murder have led to locations full of paranormal activity. A Clio man’s spirit is thought to still reside in the junkyard office where he was murdered. The incident was billed as the internet’s first murder case and made nationwide headlines as the Instant Message Murder.  

For almost two centuries the Flushing area has been fascinated by tales of the wealthy Brent family whose land is connected to numerous tales of murder, mystery, and ghosts. The land may also have ties to the brutal 1928 murder of 5 year old Dorothy Schneider. 

The Lapeer State Home has ties to unethical medical practices, eugenics, and murder. The land and remaining buildings that once belonged to the home are considered to be extremely haunted. 

We dive into the history and uncover the dark truths that have lead to such haunting tales. We hope you enjoy this tour of Genesee and Lapeer counties’ most haunted locations.

Roxanne Rhoads
is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky. Her books include Haunted Flint and Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life. She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company and she operates a Halloween blog- A Bewitching Guide to Halloween. She sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through her Etsy store The Bewitching Cauldron. When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to craft, plan Halloween adventures, and search for unique vintage finds.







Joe Schipani
is an integral part of Flint’s art community, with ties to local artists, galleries, bookstores, and the Flint Cultural Center.

As the executive director of Flint Public Art Project, he has curated an outdoor mural gallery in the City of Flint, with over 200 murals from artist all around the world. He also serves as the one of Flint’s Historic District Commissioners and loves learning about the history of old buildings. In 2019 he co-authored Haunted Flint with Roxanne Rhoads.



 Heard rumors about a haunted location? 

Stories about weird creatures? 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse is Possible - Here is Your Strategy with Natalie Zeigler #YAFantasy

Surviving a zombie apocalypse is possible. The key to survival is preparedness, communication, resources, and goodwill. If a zombie apocalypse is happening right now as you read this post—no, you’re not reading it because you’re dead.

Physical Preparation 

I have limited knowledge regarding the science of zombies. However, if we consider “zombies” as the undead or walking dead, a zombie roaming for more than a few days has probably experienced muscle decomposition. So, it’s essential to work on yours. You need to be able to outrun and fight a zombie should the need arise. So, get in your cardiovascular exercise and strength training—and start now. Training for a 5k is much less enjoyable with the undead roaming around. Some self-defense classes wouldn’t hurt either.

Mental Preparation

During a zombie apocalypse, it’s imperative to stay calm. When you’re hiding from a zombie, you don’t want your leg twitching or your breath beleaguered. The stress that comes with a zombie apocalypse could also affect your health. I recommend getting into meditation and finding activities that help you manage your stress (without putting you at risk of a zombie attack).


A common problem during a zombie apocalypse is not having a way to communicate with your family, friends, or emergency services…because you left your phone on 5% battery, and now you’re running for your life and don’t have time to charge it. Rookie mistake.

Plan ahead. Pick an emergency meeting place ahead of time if you cannot use your phone. If you were smart enough to keep your phone charged, use text messaging or social media (like Twitter – follow me @NerdyNatWrites) so you can communicate and share the news.

Managing Your Resources

Have supplies ready—flashlight, water, shelf-stable food, crank or battery-powered radio, two-way radios, first aid kit, extra cash, medications, sleeping bags, change of clothes, personal items, and a flashlight (and lots of extra batteries). Fill your gas tank (or charge your EV car) and make sure you have a map (and can read a map).

Be prepared to shelter in place for quite some time and plan accordingly. Do you think you have enough supplies? You don’t. Double it.


Don’t be stingy or selfish. If someone (living; bite-free) arrives on your doorstep and needs help or shelter, help them out. It’s the right thing to do—and in your best interest. They could be the next zombie groaning at your front door if you leave them out there. Or you could be leaving the person who could help you in the future out in the cold.


Eventually, a zombie apocalypse will come to an end. Maybe some brilliant scientist (or likely a team) will find a cure, the military will intervene, or the zombies themselves decompose beyond being a credible threat. You'll be alive if you’ve prepared well and made good decisions. If you haven’t…

What are you waiting for? Prepare your strategy.

~Natalie Zeigler

Book One
Natalie Zeigler

Genre: YA Fantasy 
Publisher: Black Glory Publishing House
Date of Publication:  January 3, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-7356641-4-9
Number of pages: 294 
Word Count: 97,833
Character Art by Diletta De Santis 
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Tagline: In a kingdom terrified of magic, the Chieftain’s daughter must face her growing power…

Book Description: 

Mäzzikim (Maze) is the youngest daughter of a powerful chieftain, but beneath her obedient façade she’s haunted by disturbing necromantic visions—a rare power bestowed by the gods. With her ruling father vowing to destroy magic in all its forms, Maze languishes under the weight of her heavy secret.

But as her power grows, Maze’s ability to speak to the dead draws her closer to the truth behind the realm’s mysterious past. Struggling to find the truth while navigating volatile family tensions and clan politics, Maze has no idea that an evil threat lurks where she least expects it.
Maze’s gift could prove to be the salvation of her people, or the ultimate proof that magic corrupts everything it touches. Either way, the destiny she faces will change her and the realm, forever.
Haunted is book one of a gripping YA fantasy series of the same name.

About the Author: 

Natalie Zeigler studied journalism and English literature at Loyola University Maryland and health communications at American University. By day, she is a communications director at a federal agency. By night, she is an author of YA
fantasy series. She lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children, which whom she enjoys epic dance parties.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Supernatural Dating Tips with Violette L. Meier #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy #Horror

Finding love is hard, especially in the time of internet dating, COVID, andgaslighting.Just trying to find someone you can still talk to after a late night of Netflix and chilling is a struggle. But there is hope. The world is becoming more open minded and welcoming of other mores. You don’t have to limit yourself to only humans. There is a whole gamut of supernatural hotties that would be happy to take you out for a night on the town. There’s no need to fear that bump in the night, those glowing eyes in the woods, or the shifting shadow in the corner. Your soulmate may be only afull moon away.

Here are six dating tips for dating the monstrous and mysterious.

1. Ghosts
If you like spontaneous entities, ghosts are the ones for you. They pop in and out unexpectantly and love to surprise their partners. Be careful not to slip if they sneak up on you in the shower. Fun and good-humored, they love playing pranks by rattling doorknobs and stomping through the hallway in the middle of the night. They’re quite romantic. They love to whisper in your ear and pull down your covers while you’re sleeping. Your relationship will never be boring because they keep you on edge. 
The best tip to having a successful relationship with a ghost is to keep an open mind so they can penetrate your thoughts and make sure you’re honest because you never know when they’ll pop in on you.

2. Vampires
Sexy and seductive, these lip biters are all about commitment. So much so, they’ll promise you forever and deliver if you let them. Although a bit aggressive with the neck biting, they are all about cuddling (mainly because their cold dead skin needs your bodily warmth). They are usually filthy rich. Lurking on the earth for hundreds of years makes it impossible to be broke. They’re always good for conversations under the stars. 

The best tip for dating a vampire is to work at a blood bank so they can suck the bag instead of your neck. Be careful. Vampires have the power of mind control. They are the masters of gaslighting. Also, no matter how romantic the night, they always disappear before morning, and they can be very sacrilegious.

3. Werewolves
These wild hairy bad boys/girls are all about raw, hot passion. They are free-spirited nature lovers who will chase you through the woods and lick your armpits dry when you get too sweaty. Although they can have anger issues, they are all bark and no bite (unless it’s a full moon) and respond well to heavy petting, tummy rubs, ear-tickling, and playing frisbee. Werewolves don’t mind hairy legs or straggly beards. They have a true appreciation for natural beauty.

The best tip for dating a werewolf is to be aware of the moon cycle. Dates under the new moon are when they are at their best but invest in some heavy chains for your basement for when they stay over during a full moon.

4. Zombies
Not very talkative or intellectually stimulating, zombies are easygoing, accommodating, and quiet. They’re simple creatures; expecting nothing and willing to go with the flow. Feed them rare meat or hold their hand during an ultraslow stroll down the street and they are completely satisfied. If looks and body odor aren’t that important to you, you won’t mind missing limbs and a little decaying flesh. 
The best tip for dating a zombie is to never lean your head on its shoulder, the temptation to bite your skull may be too much to handle.

5. Witches/Wizards
Forget a leather jacket and a motorcycle, there is nothing more exhilarating than riding on the back of a broom belonging to a dark cloaked prestidigitator. These magic makers know how to conjure up all kinds of adventures. Besides being fashion forward in timeless black and the occasional pointy hat, they are amazing in the kitchen. With cauldrons full of hot stews and bubbling potions, you’ll never go hungry dating them.

Dating tips: If you are allergic to cats or don’t like your date walking around with a staff, they are not for you. Also, beware. Break their heart and you’ll be the secret ingredient in their next potion.

6. Mummies
If you’re into mature partners, mummies have thousands of years of wisdom under their bandages and firsthand knowledge of life after death. They are highly cultured with a love of antiques and ancient relics. Museums are some of their favorite places. Dragging one leg behind, their distinctive strut is eye-catching and their lean physiques and high cheekbones are to die for.

The best tips for dating mummies are to give them lots of milk and calcium supplements to help strengthen their fragile bones and to keep lots of fresh bandages and a vat of lotion nearby to help keep their dry skin from flaking off all over the floor.

Now that you have the tea on the paranormal, hopefully, these tips will help you find your new supernatural bae. Go get ‘em before they get you!

Violette L. Meier

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Viori Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: June 5, 2022
ISBN-10: ‎0991343298
ISBN-13:  978-0991343294
Number of pages: 234
Cover Artist: Violette L. Meier

Tagline: A spiritually intuitive woman shares her life story with her family on her 101st birthday as a strange shadowy entity makes its presence known.

Book Description:

It’s Ma Lily’s 101st birthday and her family is helping her celebrate as she tries fruitlessly to ignore a shadowy entity lurking nearby. Her family sits at her feet drinking in the story of an extraordinary woman recounting her extraordinary life.

Oracles is jam-packed with paranormal thrills, miracles and magic, and a rich family history filled with love and life lessons.


It’s February 12th and I’ve made my one hundred and first circle around the sun. I was hoping, when I opened my eyes this morning, to be in the bosom of Abraham or to be trying to possess the body of a newborn baby, or at least be sunbathing in a flowery field in another dimension; but I’m still here on earth celebrating another birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful. I am able-bodied and in my right mind. I can still dance when I hear a song that takes me back to times when the winding of my hips could hypnotize any onlooker into a helpless trance. Now the winding of my hips sounds like a twentieth-century watch being wound. My lined face is but a shadow of the woman I used to be. The mirror lies; showing me crow’s feet and laugh lines as deep as canyons; muddy eyes and a turkey neck. When I close my eyes, I see taut skin, gypsy eyes, voluptuous lips, and a neck like a swan’s. I am still that woman inside.

My health is good. Well, most of the time anyway. My blood pressure gets a bit high when I eat too many potato chips or take a week off from walking. My knee gets a little stiff at times and occasionally low energy levels force my bedtime to start with the evening news.

I could do the average old lady thing and offer a list of my ailments, but I won’t because for the most part, I’m healthy and happy.  I’m surrounded by my family, who loves me. I live in a cozy home that I share with my eldest granddaughter, Saige, and her family. Saige and her husband Kevin have been good to me.  Life is pleasant.

Sadness creeps upon me from time to time because my heart still yearns for my husband. It has been ten years since Josiah transitioned. According to him, he’s probably in a new body trying to learn the lessons he missed his last lifetime. I never believed much in reincarnation, but he did, and I am sure that he lives on somewhere in the world. Josiah had a knack for being right or so he claimed. My luck, he’s right about reincarnation and I’ll have to come back to this godforsaken planet. Not that I do not love living, but I have been on this earth a long time and I am ready to be gathered to my people. The ancestors are calling me. Their beckoning plays in my ears like a song stuck on repeat, fluttering in the distance but growing louder each day. I can hear them calling my name; a melodic whisper that never stops humming day or night.

“Ma Lily!” my ten-year-old great grandchild yells from the other side of the door.

Violet is a loud one. Her voiceis deep and full sounding like a chorus harmonizing every note. It would be perfect for the voice of God in a movie.

“Ma Lily, can I come in?” she asks as she taps the door like her finger is vibrating. I see the shadow of her toes dancing underneath the door.

I tell her to come in and Violet pushes open the door like she is trying to test her strength; causing it to fly open like a tornado is spinning in the hallway. Every time I see her, which is every single day, I laugh inside. She brings me delight in the richest form. Violet looks the most like me out of all my great grandchildren, light brown with freckles. A cloud of thick black hair sits on the top of her head like a beach ball which is held in place by a giant purple ribbon tied into a perfect bow with its ends framing the sides of her face. She has the most intoxicating smile on this side of the world. She is radical, nonconforming, fearless and ostentatious like a ten-year-old should be.  

“Whatchadoin’?” Violet asks plopping down in my rocking chair as I push myself up into a sitting position. I pull the covers off my legs and toss my legs off the side of the bed. I look down at my ashy feet as my toenails scrape the floor. My toenails look like talons. One day, I will take the time to clip them. Maybe I was turning into a wild thing like a creature in one of Violet’s story books. I voice activate the lamp and instruct Violet to open the curtains by pushing a button on the nightstand.
Sunlight changes the entire energy of the room. It instantly renews every cell in my body. Suddenly, a new birthday didn’t seem so annoying.

“Just waking up,” I answer looking at the digital holographic clock hovering over my nightstand. It was 7:59 a.m. “Why are you up so early?” I ask her as she rocks back and forth swinging her legs like she is on a playground swing. The chair groans like an old man. “It’s Wednesday. Why aren’t you in school?”

“Because it’s your birthday!” Violet exclaims. “Mama says that turning one hundred and one is a big deal. Aunt Cleo once told me that one hundred and one was the angel number for happiness and prosperity. Do you believe that?”

“Could be. Anything is possible,” I reply with a yawn.

“She also said that today we’re gonna party like it’s 1999!” Violet says scratching her head confused about what that meant. That song is nearly a century old. I am surprised her mother knew the lyrics, but then again, Prince is and will always be my favorite musical artist of all time. My children grew up on his music and when my grandchildren and great grandchildren visit me, they too became familiar with his ear-piercing falsetto and his sacrosanct sexuality. I love everything about that little musical mastermind. If I had any musical ability, Prince is who I would channel. For a moment, I consider placing my music microchip into my ear and playing Prince’s greatest hits, but I’m sure Violet will not let me listen in peace. Per her request, I would have to blast it loud through the ceiling speakers and frankly, it is way too early in the morning for that kind of noise. Way too early for any type.

“What does your mama have planned?” I ask, a little anxious about Saige’s plans.

Saige always went over and beyond what was humanly necessary to do. She is a perfectionist in the worst way and habitually slunk away from gratification like it was the plague. Watching her frown and fret over every single detail was torture. Saige could make a person feel guilty about having a birthday because of all the trouble that celebrating it would cause her. I’m glad I won’t be around to see her plans for my funeral.

When I turned one hundred, she made a movie about my life consisting of old videos and photographs. It was a nice sentiment until she rented out a local theater to show it and invited everyone in town. I had to wait in line for thirty minutes to see my own movie and she stressed herself out over cold popcorn and incorrect digital tickets until she fainted and had to be fanned back to consciousness.

“I can’t tell you,” Violet says as she hops off the rocking chair onto my bed.

The bounce nearly catapults me across the room. I grip the mattress to balance myself and exhale.

“Can I do your hair?” she asksas she twists my silver dreadlocks into loops and pin them to the top of my head. I lift myself so she can pullthe ones free that I am sitting on, and I sit back on the bed.

“Looks like you’re already doing it,” I retort while yawning. I sit as still as I can as my great granddaughter styles my hair. My dreadlocks are floor length. It amazes me how she effortlessly gathers my big blue-gray ropes of hair and turns them into flower petals. She pulls the last bobby pin from her pocket and places it in my hair.

“Done!” she exclaims and bolts back over to the rocking chair.

I stand up and walk over to the cherry wood vanity that sits in the corner of my room, pull the emerald cushioned seat out and sit down. I look in the mirror and smile. Violet does exquisite hair just like her grandmother, my daughter, Chloe.

“Thank you, baby,” I reply as I put on a thin coat of pink lip gloss and give myself an air kiss in the mirror. I swear the lip gloss and hairstyle takes twenty years off my face. I don’t look a day over eighty.

“You’re welcome Ma Lily,” Violet replies as she rocks like a mad woman in the chair.

“Bring me my owls,” I instruct while admiring my hair in the mirror.

Violet hops off the chair and crosses the room and opens the top drawer of my jewelry armoire. She pulls out two sterling silver necklaces, both with large owls hanging from them, and a matching pair of earrings. After she hands them to me, I put on both necklaces, one owl hanging lower than the other and put on the dangling earrings.

I look at myself once again in the mirror and smile, extremely pleased with Violet’s handy work. I feel beautiful.

A shadow moves on the opposite side of the room, its dark reflection appearing like a man made of smoke. My chest constricts as I gasp aloud. I spin around.  Nothing is there.

The room falls silent. The screeching rocker squeals no more. Violet sits in the rocking chair as if time has stopped; her small face flushes red and her back is as stiff as a board.

“You okay baby?” I ask her as a shiny tear makes its way down her cheek.

“Did you see it?” she whimpers.

“I saw it,” I confess. I want to deny it, but it is no use. Violet and I both were born with a veil; born with two crowns on our heads like the ancestors used to say. It was one of the things that helped us forge such an intimate relationship. Her mother cannot see, but her grandmother Chloe can and so can Violet’s older brother Uriah.

“It’s coming to get you Ma Lily. I saw it,” Violet whines. “I don’t want you to go.”

I stand up and walk over to my great grandchild. I instruct her to stand up so I can sit down. My knee is hurting a little. Rain must be coming. Violet sits on my good knee. She feels heavier than she did yesterday.

“There is a season for everything under heaven,” I reply. “A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to live and a time to die.”

About the Author: 

Violette Meier is a happily married mother, writer, folk artist, poet, and native of Atlanta, Georgia, who earned her B.A. in English at Clark Atlanta University and a MDiv at the Interdenominational Theological Center. She is also a certified herbalist, a life coach, and an educator. 

The great-granddaughter of a dream interpreter, Violette is a lover of all things supernatural and loves to write paranormal, fantasy, and horror. She is always working on something new.

Her books include: Out of Night, Angel Crush, Son of the Rock, Archfiend, Ruah the Immortal, Oracles, Tales of a Numinous Nature, Hags, Haints and Hoodoo, Loving and Living Life One Day at aTime, Violette Ardor: A Volume of Poetry, This Sickness We Call Love: Poems of Love, Lust, and Lamentation, and two children's books. 

To learn more about Violette and her eerie antics, visit her online:

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Enter the Rare Finds #Giveaway from Cornelia Amiri #EnterToWin

Is archeology the sexiest profession in the universe? 
Just ask the Irish Goddess of Beauty and Brightness—Niamh.

Rare Finds
Cornelia Amiri

Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Date of Publication: June 29, 2022

Book Description:

Earthman, Robbie McGreggor, eager to get down and dirty on digs at the far corners of outer space, lands on a remote planet, and is shocked by the alien culture he encounters—the gods of Irish mythology.

When the chief god, Dagda, uses his powerful magic to hold Robbie at his mercy, Niamh helps him escape. She makes her getaway by jumping aboard the shuttle with Robbie. But not before Dagda puts a curse on the immortal beauty.

What’s a cursed goddess to do?

Team up with the mortal nerd, of course. And heat up the galaxy—uncovering alien artifacts as well as a passionate allure for Robbie…while she tries to answer the big questions:

What dangers await?

Can she break the curse?

And will they survive?

If a helping of original Star Trek meets Merlin plus a pinch of comedy and generous dashes of spice whets your appetite, then click take a ride on the Starship Celestial with Niamh and Robbie. 

#romcom #scifiromance #spaceoperaromance #oppositesattract #SFR #funnyscifi #sexyscifi

BN     Amazon      Kobo     Apple 

Rare Finds Giveaway:

Good Luck Socks, Women's Space & NASA Socks  

Siver-toned metal  Irish Celtic Knotwork designed bookmark

Ice -Planet Barbarian-inspired soy vegan candle 

Silver Toned Goddess Pendant on chain

Siver Toned metal Star Trek Starfleet Divison Badge – Engineering

Autographed copy of Rare Finds

Enter Here: 


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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse with Author Kristina Streva #YAFantasy

Step 1: Calculate Your Odds

In order to calculate your odds, you have to determine which zombies you are dealing with. For instance, there is a much higher chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse if you are dealing with slow-moving zombies, similar to those in the popular TV series The Walking Dead. However, if you find yourself facing zombies with supernatural powers or strength, like those in 28 Days Later you might want to follow these instructions: 

Bend forward so your head hangs between your legs
Kiss your ass goodbye

For the sake of this article, let’s assume that we are dealing with basic humans who have risen from the dead and not the scientifically enhanced super dead. 

Step 2: Free Pass to Vengeance

The world is in chaos! This can be both frightening but also a great opportunity to finally do something about the bullies in your life! Perhaps, you have a bad, micro-managing boss, or a co-working who constantly lets you take the blame for something they did. Who’s going to notice if they go missing when people are being eaten on the streets by flesh-hungry zombies? Hell, that sounds like a good alibi to me! 

Did Courtney from accounting steal your favorite stapler? Sacrifice her to the zombie gods! Om nom nom, brains! 

(I’m obviously just joking…don’t murder anyone.) 

Step 3: Gather Your Supplies

You will need food, despite what the Kardashians tell you.  It’s important to have enough food and water for at least a week of travel. This means you will need to empty your cabinets or potentially risk your life in a supermarket raid. Either way, you are looking for high-protein food that is easy to make and won’t expire quickly. Here’s what I would pack inside my backpack: 

Lighter or box of matches 
small pot
bag of rice
bag of beans
cans of tuna
bag of jerky 
Muli-tool army knife kit (if you have one)
First aid kit

Step 4: Find Your Crew

Along the way, you will come across other people. Most you will want to avoid as they will probably kill you for your resources and maybe potentially eat you as well. However, it is beneficial to be part of a group for survival. 

Tips and tricks: 
Start with reliable people that you know then move on to strangers
Focus on people who are alone – they are more likely to need you as well, and if things go amiss, you won’t have to fight off an entire group 
Build your crew one person at a time
Come up with a list of screener questions to evaluate each person
Look for people who have skill sets that you need

Step 5: Plan

People aren’t built to be nomads anymore. Your crew doesn’t want to drift aimlessly through countless terrors. Is anyone even fit enough these days to walk more than ten miles? You need to come up with a plan. Where will you go? 

There’s one solution in my mind I can think of…

Hijack a cruise ship.

Zombies can’t swim…it’s the perfect plan!

Let’s say you’ve gathered a group of ten people. Cruise boats are filled with enough food for thousands. Sure, some things might expire, but there are also a lot of canned foods, and rice on these huge boats. Sail that baby out into the ocean and anchor down. You don’t even necessarily have to go too far away from land.

Also, think of the perks! Cruise ships are built for entertainment. Imagine watching a zombie drown but also being able to see the sunset from a pool slide. Win-Win. 

The Inked 
The Inked Series
Book One
Kristina Streva 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5092-4381-5
Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 75,290
Cover Artist: Diana Carlile 

Tagline: She’d been love struck… poisoned by his venomous charm. 

Book Description:

Yuri and her sisters, Britt and Tanis, were born with eight long tentacles instead of beautifully jeweled and sequined fishtails. Banned from Atlantis because of their deformity, they live hidden away and are forbidden from entering Merfolk territory. 

Britt unknowingly crosses over the ocean's divide and leads her sisters into a sea of trouble. A flesh-hungry beast is hunting them while something much more foreboding is hunting the beast-Kaleb and Neo, the Princes of Atlantis, who are competing for the throne. Whoever kills the beast first becomes the rightful heir, but fate holds other plans. 

Can the three sisters survive a torrent of danger, desire, and deceit?

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Kaleb, the son of King Oasis, sat on his red and gold chariot. Large black seahorses adorned with golden paint pulled it forward as his army followed behind, saddled on their seahorse steeds. With each command from the King’s son, they drummed their fists on their armor made from reinforced turtle shells, all stunningly painted and garnished in sequins and gold.

A few days ago, King Oasis had proudly declared that there would be a competition between him and his twin brother, Neo. A beast had been terrorizing Atlantis, and whoever brought him the head of this creature would take the throne and the enormous bounty that came with it.

“Forward! We can’t afford to lose the trail of this beast!” Kaleb shouted as he lifted a long golden horn to his lips and blew.

His army moved forward in unison. He trailed behind them in his chariot, gripping his long-pronged golden trident in one hand and horn in the other. Kaleb was on the hunt, much like the monster who had hunted the occupants of Atlantis. Just last week, two more children had gone missing, and now that his troop had moved forward, he could search the area for survivors.

His eyes carefully scanned side to side, above, and then finally to the bottom of the seabed. To his left, he spotted a damaged boat flipped upside down with a large, jagged hole in one side. He tightened his grip on the trident, swimming down toward the dilapidated rowboat. Silver strands of hair stuck out of the damage in the boat’s side, looking like kelp waving in the current.

“Hello?” His body crept forward hesitantly as he cleared his throat. “By order of the King Oasis, reveal yourself!” Kaleb’s voice bellowed through the water.

The rowboat stirred as the head of a young girl tentatively made its way out of the hole. Her pale body followed, embellished in a purple laced corset that ended where her long black tentacles protruded.

Kaleb’s mouth dropped open. Now, Yuri swayed before him. His wide eyes traced her body up and down.

What…what is this girl doing here? Oh!

“Do you mean to harm me?” Yuri asked, cutting through the silence, her tone sharp as a blade.

Kaleb’s mouth curved into an amused smile. She’s bold. He had not seen her kind very often—they stayed hidden. This was new to him.

It was for a fair reason they hid away since his people hated hers, after all. Despised them with great passion. He ran his hands through his light-brown hair and then down to his chiseled jawline.

What if my father had found her? He shook his head, refocusing mossy green eyes on Yuri as he studied her.

Her hair was beautiful, and much like that of the mermaids he had grown up with, it was long and flowed behind her in the water as she moved. Yuri’s eyes met his, and he held her gaze, staring at the stunning icy-blue that looked back at him. He traced her pale complexion from her face down to her skinny arms, now held bent and stiff against her hips.

“Do you not know who I am?” He wore a cocky smile that hollowed into dimples at his cheeks.

Yuri’s brows furrowed. Her sharp glare stabbed at his ego, causing his dimpled smirk to retreat from his face like a wounded soldier. “Honestly, I don’t care who you are. Answer the question.

Are your intentions to harm me?” Her eyes darted to his pronged trident.

Kaleb’s grip loosened on his weapon as he stooped toward the seabed, his eyes remaining focused on Yuri’s icy-blue scowl. He opened his palms, letting the trident roll out of his hands and onto the sandy seafloor.

Inching back, he straightened his arms, outstretching his hands high over his head. “No, I don’t wish to harm you. Do you wish to harm me?” He wiggled the fingers of his empty hands.

Yuri crossed her arms over her puffed-out chest.

“That entirely depends on you,” she sneered. Her nostrils flared.

The once-retreated smirk returned to Kaleb’s face. How could such a small and petite girl have so much attitude? This girl is feisty! As his heavy trident sank deeper into the ocean floor, he lowered his hands and tapped awkwardly at his sides. His armor clung to his broad, muscular chest as he gestured in a proper bow. I might as well introduce myself properly.

“I’m Kaleb. My father is King Oasis of Atlantis. My troops and I came out here to hunt the beast that terrorizes these waters.” Kaleb paused for a response that didn’t come. He waited.

His stomach knotted at Yuri’s silence. It twisted like the ends of a fishing net. Her deep-blue eyes stared off to the rowboat in which she had emerged. “And you are…”

About the Author: 

Kristina Streva grew up in Rockland County, New York. As a chronic daydreamer, she took up writing as a hobby and soon realized the magic in creating fantastical worlds. She loves museums, thrifting, movies, art, crafting, reading, and all things creative.

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