Hey Everybody! It’s Thirsty… Wednesday?

2017-1427 Josiah Upton B02

Witches. Leprechauns. Ghosts. Vampires. Nazis. This book has it all. The Thirst Eternal has finally arrived (and despite my doubts, on schedule!). This blood-soaked bad-boy is the second installment in my teen paranormal fantasy series Fort Weird – but in reality, its conceptual roots started long before I even brainstormed Book 1.

While working on my last series, I had the idea for a short story about a concentration camp inmate who becomes a vampire by tragic circumstance, then rips into a bunch of evil Nazis and frees everyone else. The narrative was to be told by the sole surviving SS officer explaining the violent events to the American soldiers arriving to liberate the empty camp, only to reveal at the end that the Nazi was the vampire prisoner in disguise, sticking around to make sure his story was told. The idea was spurred on by my love of supernatural horror and my fascination with the European theater in WWII. A sort of Rob Zombie-esque mash-up, like his Werewolf Women of the SS trailer – but in written form (and minus all the sexploitation!). I never actually wrote the thing, and nearly forgot about it.

Fast-forward to when I’m working on The Hold Intangible and trying to line up ducks for the sequel. Since ghosts were the focus of that book, I decided to shift to vampires for the next. And then the light bulb came on: “Hey, I can use that Nazi vampire thingy!” The result is the story of Eugene Blumbaum, a young Fort Worth pilot shot down and taken captive in a Nazi labor camp hidden in the Transylvanian woods. It was little bit of a challenge marrying that to the present-day story where The Hold Intangible left off, but I cooked up some ideas and Frankenstein’d the two narratives together… (Hmm, Frankenstein – the focus for a future book?)

If you can dig all that, then I highly suggest snagging this tale and putting it in your virtual library. But you’ll have to have read the first book in the series, right? Right now The Hold Intangible is on sale for only 99 cents! Get it, read it, then grab her brother The Thirst Eternal by the fangs.

Both books are free to read in the Kindle Unlimited program as well.

Postmortem Anomalies Now In Paperback

For thousands of years, when someone wanted to hear a story, they would gather around the fire and listen to the elder spin his yarn, or exchange fantastic tales as they tended the field or hunted game. Then someone got the bright idea to transport these stories to paper – first, only for the eyes of the elite few, then mass produced for the common man. Books were a staple of humanity for centuries.

Then technology pushed it further, publishing the ideas of creative minds into digital form. Strings of code rearranged to paint epic quests, tragic romances, pertinent research, or simple banal correspondence, onto bright screens big and small. It’s happening right now as you read this.

100 years from now, who knows what form storytelling will take: direct neural connection? Digital films auto-generated from a manuscript and an algorithm? What about 1,000 years after that? A connected, immersive consciousness, humanity sharing in an ever-changing landscape of fiction and education? The possibilities are endless.

But sometimes, it’s good to take a step back. Maybe we won’t sit around the tribal fire to hear the elder’s saga again (though swapping stories around a campfire still sounds sublime), but I believe there’s still a place in this world for inked words on slices of dead tree.

So why, you ask, did I just run you through that bloated, pretentious history of storytelling? To let you know that all three books in my self-published teen zombie trilogy are now available in print from Amazon!

If you want to read the complete story of an undead boy finding his place in humanity, but don’t want to sacrifice the sensation of physically holding a book, your anxieties can be put to rest. Plus, they make great gifts – or at the very least a good set of coasters. Here you go:

Sons of Sludge

Daughters of Death

Offspring of The End


Happy V-Day, everyone!

In honor of St. Valentine, I’m going to share with you something that I absolutely love… The brand new cover for The Hold Intangible!

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Kicking off my brand new YA urban fantasy series Fort WeirdThe Hold Intangible will be dropping on June 6th. Wanna know what it’s about?

“A girl’s high school prom should be an evening filled with glamour, excitement and possibilities – and definitely not murder.

Morgan Moon was having the time of her young life. Surrounded by her friends, her sister, and the guy she loved, she was finally coming out of her shell, and ready to take her relationship to the next level. The moment never came. Instead, she was stabbed to death in the stairwell of the historic Fort Worth Diamond Hotel, the identity of her attacker a complete mystery.

But for Morgan, death is not the end.

When some people die, they come back as a Wraith, an immaterial being trapped to the location of their demise and seen only by a few. Over time, a Wraith will descend into cold despair, fading out until they disappear completely. The only way to stop the fade is to find purpose beyond death. For Morgan, that purpose is simple:

Who killed me?

Aided by an amulet-wielding witch, an old friend with an uncanny amount of luck, and a devilishly cute Wraith named Oscar, Morgan must put the pieces together and find her killer before he strikes again.”

And you’d better believe it’ll be at a killer sales price when it arrives, so make sure you stick around.

Thanks for taking a minute to let me gush about this exciting new development! Have a lovely day!

New Year, New Story

Happy New Year! It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, but I haven’t been idle…

Okay, I’ve been a little idle. When you’re stuck in the house with three young boys for 19 days, your energy to squeeze some writing in at night is rarely there. On the plus side, I’ve played lots of video games with my kids. That’s gotta count for something, right?

But now that the winter break is over and my chickens are back to school, it’s back to work for me. One of my resolutions this year is to release the first three books of my new series, Fort Weird. Considering my smallest gap between releases is just shy of one year, this undertaking is huge for me. And while it may be months before I have anything solid to offer, I do have an update: The first draft for The Hold Intangible is complete!

Set in my hometown of Fort Worth, it’s the story of high school junior Morgan Moon, who is tragically murdered on prom night – but that’s just the beginning. Morgan comes back as a Wraith, a ghost only seen by a select few. With the help of a witch, a leprechaun (yeah, you read that right!) and other Wraiths, she embarks on a dangerous mission to find the one who killed her, and stop them before they claim any more victims.

To be honest, this rough draft is a mess. I have a lot of work to do, and for the first time ever I don’t have to cut my word count, but must actually increase it. At just over 61,000 words, it could use another 20K to really flesh the story and characters out. Plus I have to dive a little bit into books 2 and 3 for the series, to make sure everything in the first one clicks with those. But fear not! Before you know it, I’ll be assaulting you with excerpts, synopses, and a beautiful cover that’s being worked up as we speak. And if you want a chance at reading The Hold Intangible before everyone else, sign up to my newsletter, where you’ll also get the scoop on deals and giveaways, both from myself and other YA authors.

In other news, I had a great free promotion for Sons of Sludge just after Christmas, which yielded a few Amazon reviews from satisfied readers. Here’s some highlights:

“A must-read, because you’ll never guess what’s going to happen next!! I can’t wait to read the next book – so I wont!”

“I did not think for a second that I could care about a Zombie Hybrid but by the end I was all team Zaul!”

And it wasn’t just the first book. Regarding the entire series, one reader wrote:

“Heroes? Check. Villains? Triple check. Love, friendship, loyalty, intrigue, deception, analysis, complications. This series has it all. Read it. Then share it with others. Then read it again. You will never forget Zaul, Genny, and more of the wonderful characters in this series. It is like a cross-breed or hybrid of The Walking Dead meets The Planet of the Apes, only better. Well worth reading.”

The story of a boy finding his place in the world is finished, but it isn’t dead. If you haven’t started the Postmortem Anomalies series, what are you waiting for?

Until next time!

The End is Here

Happy Halloween!

I love this holiday – the costumes, the decorations, the movies, the falling temperatures… and getting fatter off of candy, of course. And being a dad has made it even more fun. This year my kiddos dressed up as Jack Sparrow, Mario and a Zombie Doctor, while my wife and I transformed into Tinkerbell and Mr. Smee. But this All Hallows’ Eve, there’s something else I get to celebrate…

Offspring of The End has arrived! This book marks the last chapter in my Postmortem Anomalies series, and it’s been quite a journey. I began writing Sons of Sludge in 2012, fresh off the release of my starter novel Float (only true fans will know what that is!). The idea came when I realized that all zombie books and movies were also apocalyptic, featuring a small band of human survivors fighting off the living dead as the world collapsed around them. I thought, “What if it wasn’t? What if zombies were an accepted reality of a functioning society?”

While I’m sure I’m not the first one to think of this, the idea seemed fresh enough to give it a shot, and I started building a world of flesh-cravers regulated by a post-dystopian American government. The undead wasn’t just the surrounding conflict – they themselves endured it.

Three years, three books, and 340,000+ words (And a shitload of blood and bullets) later, here we are. I want to say thank you to everyone who’s taken the ride with Zaul, Genny, and every other member – both living and undead – of New America. Through your imagination, these stories live on.

To start the final course, go here.

Offspring of The End

It’s been over five years since I started writing Sons of Sludge, and now the conclusion to Postmortem Anomalies is finally in sight. On October 31st (New Independence Day Eve!), the Kindle edition for Offspring of The End will be dressed, chopped, and ready for consumption. However, to all the hungry officers in the Hybrid Army, it’s available for pre-order right now!

Thank you to everyone who’s taken the journey with me, Zaul and Genny. I promise, you will not be disappointed with this heart-thumping conclusion! But here’s what a few early readers have had to say:

“I just finished the ARC (advance review copy) and I am here to tell you this is one AWESOME book!!!”

“I was very happy at the end of the book because it gave some closure… [Offspring of The End] is an amazing story that brings humans and Hybrids together in moments of need.”

“Well done!”

Also, what do you think about this amazing new cover?

Book 3C

Welcome To My New And Improved Hub!

Sometimes you choose to expand, and other times you’re forced to. With an uptick in newsletter subscriber numbers (have you signed up yet?), I needed a different mailing service, which required a new domain name, which required a new site, and so on…

Anyway, from now on this will be the base of operations for everything going on with my journeys in writing. And what exactly am I up to these days? I’m glad I asked.

I’ve been working with some wonderful fellow authors to build my previously mentioned subscriber list, using giveaways. This approach was rather foreign to me, but I’m glad I took the plunge because the results have been great. Expect more opportunities for free book stuff in the future!

Also, I’m about 75% done with Offspring of the End, the third and final chapter in my Postmortem Anomalies series. It’s been quite a ride, but the train is coming back to the station. Of course that train has smashed and mangled a few bodies – both living and undead – under its wheels along the way. And don’t worry, I won’t pull a Lost on you. All mysteries will be revealed! Tentative release will be sometime this summer, and you don’t want to miss it, so check back here often. Or, sign up for the newsletter (have I mentioned that yet?) and I’ll send the updates straight to your inbox.

While I wrap up this series that has been over 5 years in the making, I must inevitably look forward to the future. Even as I finish up OoTE, my mind is already scheming my next young adult series, which will span beyond the traditional trilogy format to a full-blown epic saga, rich with world building and charismatic characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will provide three word clues: Vigilante, Dystopia, and Bible. I am very excited about this one.

That’s it for now, but it won’t be long before I’m back with new details or another chance to win some cool stuff. Thanks for sharing the journey with me!