Amok is a finalist for the 2014 Aurealis Awards

Hey! What’s up? So it’s officially summertime here and I had a really awesome day. I visited my cousins in the country. Chickens, pigs, cornfields, rice fields, lemon trees and all that… and fresh air and super clean water and playing cards on the porch while sipping on the BEST. LEMONADE. EVER. I had a really wonderful time. 🙂

Also, it is with great joy that I announce the inclusion of Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction in the list of finalists for the 2014 Aurealis Awards under the Best Anthology category. Yay!!! 🙂

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My story, “Kitsune” is a part of the stellar collection and WOW this book just never ceases to make me proud!

Congratulations to all the talented authors involved and to our fantastic editor, Dominica Malcolm. ❤

xox

K.Z.

Achievement

I consider seeing my stories in print as some sort of achievement. 🙂

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Amok: an Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction and the story that I wrote showed up in the paper and got a positive review <3

Amok: an Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction and the story that I wrote showed up in the paper and got a positive review ❤

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I never expected that my first solo e-book would get this much love but I'm glad and thankful. <3

100 Nightmares is #5 in Amazon Top Rated Horror Anthologies. I never expected that my first solo e-book would get this much love but I’m glad and thankful. ❤

An Eclectic Eccentric Reading List

Hi everyone! Prepare yourselves because the purpose of this post is to pimp other people’s published works. 🙂
So, I decided to self-publish my book 100 Nightmares and learned one very important thing… Marketing is a bitch.
Most indie writers don’t have a dedicated team of professionals to advertise their published works but we do have something better… we have each other.
Through this post, I would like to share the latest releases from friends and from authors that I admire.
Over the past few months, I was able to meet a lot of wonderful people. I became acquainted with some really great writers and even had the privilege of sharing anthologies with some of these fine authors.
While some of the authors on this list happen to be well-known names in the industry, some are emerging writers with books published by small presses/ self-published writers, just like me. 🙂 All of these authors are very talented and have gained my respect over the past few months. So check it out… there’s a little something for everyone. 🙂

1) Lori R. Lopez
Are you a fan of poetry?
Watch out for Lori Lopez’s second volume of verse, POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS. It has everything from dark verse to humorous pieces to serious themes.
It will also include some of Ms. Lopez’s special artwork for the Illustrated Print Edition. (Yes, she’s THAT talented) I was able to have a sneak preview of some of the illustrations. I was amazed, really. The drawings had a dark fairytale-like quality to them and reminded me a lot of Alice and Wonderland. This book is coming very soon so watch out for the release.
Meanwhile, why not grab a copy of one of her latest books “Beauty”. It is a humorous horror tale inspired by the classic, Sleeping Beauty.

I’ve always been a fan of Ms. Lopez’s bizarre mind and gorgeous poetic prose!

lori lopez

2) Terry M. West
Mr. West’s latest book Heroin in the Magic Now is now available at http://www.amazon.com/Heroin-Magic-Now-Terry-West-ebook/dp/B00MQC0A1E

“HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW is a nightmare on acid. It is beautiful, deep and sad…”-Heather Omen, THE HORROR NATION

Mr. West has a very interesting past and this book is a dark and personal story by the author. I’ve read some of Mr. West’s works and I can honestly say that his stories are truly dark, demented, disturbing and deep. He understands both horror and pain very well.

terry west

3) Aurelio Rico Lopez III
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you a fellow Filipino horror author and an excellent storyteller. I was able to read one of his story collections, Nothing’s Fine. The collection contains everything from tales of deranged characters to zombie stories with a fascinating twist.
Also, if you’re a huge fan of werewolves, be sure to check out one of his books, Cry Wolf.

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4) Essel Pratt is awesome and very prolific. I feel fortunate to share several horror anthologies with him, including Vignettes from the End of the World by Apokrupha and JWK Fiction Best of Horror 2013

But if you’re a fan of fantasy, here’s the good news: Scott has a recently released Fantasy novel, Final Reverie, set in a world after the downfall of technology and the rise of magic. Imagine a world where animals are able to think and speak and do things at the same level as human beings. You can get the book at Amazon

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5) Alex S. Johnson
Are you a fan of Bizarro Horror? Check out Alex S. Johnson’s latest release, Doctor Flesh: Director’s Cut

“Will make you feel as if you’ve just eaten 8 Percocets and washed ’em down with a bottle of moonshine,” – Necro Stein of Texas Terror Entertainment.

Alex Johnson is bold and original. He pushes boundaries and is known for writing some really disturbing stuff. This book is definitely not for everyone. Enter these waters forewarned. Also, I feel very lucky to be included in a forthcoming extreme Horror Bizarro anthology edited by Mr. Johnson and Mr. John Ledger. It’s coming very very soon. Writing for this antho enabled me to explore new territories. It’s just so out of this world!

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6) Riya Anne Polcastro
Fellow blogger Riya Anne Polcastro of Serrated Roses released her first novel, Suicide in Tiny Increments.

I was given an advanced copy of the book and I was pleasantly surprised. This book may not be for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it! Suicide in Tiny Increments definitely took me for a wild ride. I felt like a voyeur taking a peek at the lives of pathetic, twisted, demented, and very interesting characters. It was like watching a tragicomedy film.

riya polcastro

7) Jim Goforth’s latest book, Plebs by J.Ellington Ashton Press is outstanding and very well-reviewed. Many people describe it as “Laymonesque”… a book that doesn’t shy away from sex and gore and carnage. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Plebs. Just check it out and see what the fans, reviewers and readers have to say http://www.amazon.com/dp/1495240398

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8) JWK Fiction Best of Horror 2013 – compiled by James Ward Kirk, featuring the works of fantastic writers such as Dona Fox, Essel Pratt, Paula D. Ashe, Michael Randolph, K.Z. Morano 🙂 and others…
A curious character writing under the name of Mary Poppins described the book as: “Mostly sick… has part porn and very cruel stories…”
Be warned, this book is NOT FOR EVERYONE. Those with more delicate sensibilities should definitely stay away because these writers don’t sugarcoat shit just to entertain. Instead, they challenge readers to stare at the monster right in the face.
If you think you can handle the horror, get the book at http://www.amazon.com/JWK-Fiction-Best-Horror-2013-ebook/dp/B00MFOGJR2

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I’m very proud to be a part of this collection!

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9) Versatile English author Gary Murphy compiled 10 of his scary stories and published Black River: an Anthology. The book is available at Amazon.com

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10) Just found out that Lisa Dabrowski has a new book! This one definitely looks interesting! 😉 DR SADISTIC’S HOUSE OF WHORRORS consists of piquant little fables and anecdotes from the documents of Mistress Rosie, dominatrix, sexual terrorist and demi Goddess. Poignant accounts of male correction that are both arousing and politically subversive. Ooohh… and there are some illustrations inside the book that are both beautiful and grotesque.

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And last but not the least:

11) A collaborative novella from Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author, Charles Day, and the acclaimed author of Shutter Speed, Mark Taylor. Redemption (published by Black Bed Sheet Books) is supernatural horror at its finest.
I’m a huge fan of Charles Day (the author AND the person). Grab a copy at http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Charles-Day/dp/0692240446

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I encourage everyone to visit the links and read some fresh fiction… discover a new author… hell, maybe even step out of your comfort zone and explore a new genre! And if you like the book, please don’t forget to leave a review. 🙂

xoxo
K.Z. ❤

For Fans of Western YA Horror

Hi everyone! Just wanted to spread the word about my favorite YA horror author and friend, Charles Day. The first book of his western horror-fantasy-adventure series, The Adventures of Kyle McGerrt: Hunt for The Ghoulish Bartender will be available on Amazon for the reduced price of 0.99 cents. (for one week only) This is part of the Summer Reading Program by Blood Bound Books. hunt for the ghoulish bartender Magic, adventure, the undead… it’s all in this book. Join sixteen-year-old Kyle McGerrt as he goes after the diabolical Bart Shires and his ghoulish soldiers. Having read two novels from Bram Stoker Award Nominated Author Charles Day, I can honestly say that he has a knack for creating characters that the readers will love and care about! The Hunt for The Ghoulish Bartender has been described by many as fun, fast-paced… a fascinating mix of genres and interesting creatures and characters. If you like YA horror, Western tales with magic, humor and lots of adventure, then you should add this one to your reading list. Get the book HERE 🙂

Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction, Now Available in Paperback!

I can’t believe it! I’ve been so busy with 100 NIGHTMARES that I failed to update everyone on this awesome anthology. Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and pre-ordered. It was a success. 🙂

I’ve started reading my contributor’s copy and I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite collections. Seriously– forget my little story– the authors here are incredibly talented and the stories are so imaginative and well-written. The first few stories wowed me and I can’t wait to read all of them. If you like sci-fi, dystopian futures and fantasy with heart, do grab a copy. Each of the stories are set in various Asia-Pacific countries– Japan, the Philippines, China, Hawaii, Malaysia, Australia, India, South Korea and so much more.

My story in this book is entitled “Kitsune” (yes, it’s the one on the lovely cover by Jun Hun Yap) and it’s actually a simple love story and a re-imagined fantasy/mythology. 🙂

The paperback version is now available on Amazon. Watch out for the Kindle version as well. xo

http://www.amazon.com/Amok-Anthology-Asia-Pacific-Speculative-Fiction/dp/0980508444/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395911685&sr=1-2&keywords=Amok

Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction

GORGEOUS. It’s gorgeous!! Check out the cover of Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction designed by Jun Hun Yap

What if a man marries a vixen?

My story, “Kitsune” is included in this collection edited by Dominica Malcolm.

Amok is a compilation of speculative fiction set in various Asia-Pacific countries. Definitely an anthology to look out for!

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TO GET AMOK BEFORE ITS OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE IN APRIL CLICK HERE

my author bio @ the solarwyrm press site

Hey everyone!

Check out my new author bio @ the Solarwyrm Press Site

My story, “Kitsune” will be featured in “Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction”. It’s a dark fantasy piece set in Japan.

The book will be released this 2014. I’m very much looking forward to this collection. 🙂

10 BOOKS THAT ROCKED MY 2013

Um OK… how do I do this… I don’t normally write book reviews because honestly, I’m not very good at writing them. 🙂 Still, I can’t help but share with you the 10 books that rocked my 2013. (Yes, this post is long overdue.)

Of course this list doesn’t include the anthologies that feature my own stories, silly 🙂 But it’d be awesome if you’d also check them out. They’re under the Published Works page. I have quite a few. I’m not as prolific as I should be because I’m well… for lack of a better word, lazy. In fact, I’m probably not going to bother proofreading this post before I hit publish. 🙂 🙂

Aaanyway, I’ve received some acceptances this January, so expect a few more stories. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been focusing on horror lately. I’m still trying to find my genre. I haven’t been writing that long and you know that since you follow my blog and have been with me through this whole journey. Thank you for the support and the encouragement. And remember that if it doesn’t work out, it’s totally your fault because you filled my head with ridiculous totally unattainable dreams. lol 🙂
But seriously, my taste in books is pretty eclectic. So I’m sure you’re bound to find a gem or two on this list.

10 books that rocked my 2013 – January 2014

FANTASY

1) The Witcher: Times of contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski/ The Time of Contempt
Do you like political fantasy? Do you like monsters and mythical creatures? Action? Blood?
The Witcher Saga has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve waited patiently for YEARS for the original version to be translated to English. Dear God, FINALLY!

I love LOOOVE Geralt of Rivia.

It’s the second novel in the Witcher Saga so obviously, the story starts where the first book left off. Quality of prose may sometimes differ from the original Polish version but this one seems pretty good to me. Besides, the plot is just too damn fantastic that I don’t really care that much. Anyway, if you wanna read this, start with Blood of Elves. Or better yet, read The Last Wish first. The Last Wish is a collection of shorter stories.

HORROR

2) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (the sequel to The Shining) but of course if you’re a horror fan, I bet you’ve already grabbed a copy.

3) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!!!! And I promise you Christmas will never be the same again.


FANTASY HORROR

4) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman’s style truly resonates with me. I’d read anything that’s written by Neil Gaiman.

YA HORROR

5) The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief by Charles Day– Here’s the awesome thing, I got a free copy of this book from the author himself! I also won a copy of his latest novel Deep Within. Yes, Charles Day is a great guy who also happens to be a terrific writer and a Bram Stoker Award nominated author. He totally changed my mind about YA novels. Hmmn I never really liked YA. I mean, I’m an adult, right? But did I like The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief? Loved it! It was easy to read and very entertaining. Nick, the main character, was a very likeable kid. Actually, I liked all the kids in this book even the bullies and especially Nick’s sister , Samantha. They felt like real kids to me. I had the pleasure of reading this book during Halloween. This story proved to me that small-town urban legends will never die. That kind of horror is not something that one simply outgrows.

VINTAGE HORROR

6) Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – Yeah I’ve seen the film. You know I’m a fan of old Hollywood movies. But I didn’t bother picking up the book until 2013. Even if you’ve seen the film, still, I recommend that you grab a copy of the book and experience the different kind of horror offered by reading the words from the pages.

NOIR HORROR

7) Roman Dalton Werewolf PI by Paul D. Brazill – “Roman Dalton is undoubtedly one of the coolest characters ever created! Love Paul D. Brazill’s writing. The language is gorgeous and the atmosphere is just perfect.” – that’s my goodreads review. I also recommend reading other books from this author because he’s really great at creating kick-ass protagonists! I also really love the humor injected in his writing. Truly brilliant.

BIZZARRO FICTION

8) Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp – “Jeremy C. Shipp is awesome. Each piece in this collection is sooo good! I like his writing style and the genre is pretty hard to classify… all i know is that the stories are all highly entertaining. My favorite is “Clown Hands” – he did something with clowns that’s so original and bizarre that I ended up being fascinated by them (though i still fear them, eek.) After reading this collection, I feel like I NEED to read every story written by this author. :)” – that’s my goodreads review. It’s like when you read one story and you just know that you’re going to forever be a fan of that author.

DYSTOPIAN

9) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – you’re probably like, “whuuut, you’ve just found out about this novel?” I know right, I could kick myself! To my defense, I wasn’t even born yet when this book was first published. But my god, it was disturbing! And so beautifully written. Read it if you haven’t already.

SCIENCE FICTION

10) Giselle a short story by David Stewart , one of my blog buddies from FF- I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few stories from this author before, so I expected no less than quality content. And guess what, Giselle did not disappoint! The plot was very engaging (Seriously, who doesn’t like time travel? Especially if it’s well explained) I finished the story in one sitting. Definitely worth reading.

umm that’s it. the truth is i’ve bought a lot of books last year and read like less than 1/2 of those books.also, i’ve read a few that were…well… rubbish. i really don’t bother reviewing those books or even listing them on my goodreads/amazon. anyway, i hope you find a book that you love from this list xoxo ❤

Ligo haibun Special

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“There was a time when we need not cultivate the earth. We loved her and she loved us. We spoke to her and she spoke to us. And that was enough. She bloomed for us like a flower and we partook of her gifts.”

“What happened, grandfather?”

“They came… Oh how they raped the earth! Prodded and slashed at her with their hoes and ploughs until she yielded. Ah yes, the earth gives and she gives but no longer can one call it a gift, but a bloody sacrifice.”

“Some said we were here first… That we must attack their villages instead of retreating to the mountains.”

“Hush, child! Speak no more of such things.” he admonished tenderly. “We aren’t like them. And though the earth has changed, remember that it loved us once. We shan’t spill blood upon her.”

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Tiny violet eyes peered from behind the viridian tangle. The elf elders said that their people were facing ani… he searched for the word. Annihilation.

He watched as the humans sang and danced around the hissing burst of flames praying to their gods for rain. They looked like him, only without his pointy ears. As he walked back to his beloved woodland, he whispered to a tree. ‘Shhh… Don’t worry. They seem like good people… They’ll take care of you.’

Trees rustle
With the mournful song
Of love lost

Ligo Haibun Challenge

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