Fighting for survival in a post-Civil War America overrun by zombies, Cyrus and Lucinda join a military group called the Odd Men Out, and together they face a terrorist army from the North in a showdown over a weapon of enormous power.
The Civil War went on far longer than anyone expected, prompting the North and South to call a truce to fight their common enemy: The Chewers—dead men come to life to attack the living. As a result, a peacekeeping force called the Office of Military Operations is created to watch over the tenuous peace.
Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. To escape a horrible tragedy, Cyrus and one of his wards, Lucinda, board a U.N. dirigible for safety. They quickly discover their situation has not improved as the U.N. team is chasing a group of rogue soldiers in hopes of stopping them from obtaining a terrible weapon.
They also have to contend with a larger threat—Drago del Vapore—a giant lizard attacking the West Coast and wreaking havoc on everything it encounters. As the two sides face off against each other and the huge beast, Cyrus feels more and more like an Odd Man Out and finds it harder and harder to stay out of the fight.
Matt Betts’ steampunk alternative history novel, ODD MEN OUT, is due for release from Dog Star Books this summer. Check out the fantastic cover art by Bradley Sharp.
Every story, no matter how long or short, begins with a kernel of an idea. I like to call it the What If? moment. With MIAMI SPY GAMES the basic idea presented to me was, “What if there was a weapon that could turn people into zombies?”
That was what was pretty much dropped into my lap when Hobbes End Publishing came to me with the idea to write this story. I love a challenge, and when they gave me the three main characters and not much about them, I was even happier. I was allowed to create the story as I wanted, and it wasn’t being treated as some kind of adaptation, where I’m given pages and pages of notes and storylines and forced to implement them.
It’s always fun when you’re given the keys to another kingdom, I suppose. But you know what ended up happening? MIAMI SPY GAMES became my world. I populated it with secondary characters, created all the bad guys and situations and settings, and The Powers That Be let me run with the ball.
The story progressed in ways I didn’t expect, like certain minor characters stepping up and moving the plot along in intelligent ways, and certain characters’ personalities having an effect on the people around them. The bad guys ceased to be one-dimensional cartoons and became real and suddenly more deadly, and the ACES team weren’t just three pumped up killing machines who made no mistakes and had no feelings.
There became several What If? moments during the writing, and each character had to find their path while bumping into the other people around them. Like in real life.
And the story kept progressing.
If you have any questions about the MIAMI SPY GAMES series, I’d love to hear them: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever notice how much alcohol is consumed in a zombie novel? Guest blogger, Armand Rosamilia, author of DARLENE BOBICH: ZOMBIE KILLER, DYING DAYS and DYING DAYS 2, muses about the relationship and turns a drinking game into an intoxicating giveaway—perfect for St. Patrick’s Day…
Have you ever heard that old line about writers and alcoholics being cut from the same cloth? It doesn’t hold true for me.
I currently have one bottle of rum in the house, which I bought about one year ago while on a cruise. I keep no beer in the house; I have no cool bar on the patio with tiki torches and a neon Budweiser sign flashing while I mix drinks. I’m going on a cruise again in a few days, and will buy my token bottle of rum from the Bahamas and add it to the other bottles collecting dust atop the fridge.
I’m not much of a drinker, preferring gallons of coffee as my poison. But I noticed after finishing my latest zombie book, DYING DAYS 2, that the survivors of the zombie apocalypse can last without good food, toilet paper or communication with others, as long as they have alcohol.
There’s even a bar that plays a huge part in the story (Kimberly Murphy’s Bar, in case you keep track of trivia), and I intended it to be a small, passing chapter. Except a strange thing happened. Most of the characters in the story hang out there. They want to be there when they aren’t, and seem to have the best time there after killing undead all day. Kimberly became as big a character as Darlene Bobich in the tale.
I took a quick glance through the three books in the series (DARLENE BOBICH: ZOMBIE KILLER, DYING DAYS and DYING DAYS 2) and noticed how much drinking I’d added. It’s an interesting observation, although I’m not sure what it means. Post a comment here and share your opinion.
For you zombiephiles, maybe there’s a drinking game in there somewhere: Every time a zombie dies, down a shot… every time a character drinks, take a shot… I don’t suggest drinking every time a character says the “F” word, though, because you’ll probably fall into an alcohol-induced coma, leaving you vulnerable to attack.
Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple—like a drinking game. E-mail me at armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com with DYING DAYS in the subject line, and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway. Also, post a comment here, and you get another chance to win. Follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply tweet DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot—nice and easy, right?
If I get enough people joining in the giveaway, I’ll give away a print book that day! Kind of makes you drunk with excitement, doesn’t it?
Vampires, beasties, zombies, and ghouls… NIGHT MONSTERS presents four stories to read with the lights on.
Wyatt is looking for a no-strings fling in “Savoir-Faire.” When he meets the beautiful and sexually voracious Natalie, all his fantasies come true… until he discovers that unseen strings are more entangling than he bargained for.
In “The Worst Thing,” Petie’s first sleepover seemed like a good idea in the daylight. But after dark at Nate’s house, he can’t fall asleep. Braving the terrors of the night to make it home, he finds he must face the worst thing that could happen—and sacrifice what he treasures most to save his parents from a horrible fate.
“Keeping Cool”: After a late night at work helping hospitals handle the strange flu sweeping Pittsburgh, Terry finds he’s run out of options to get himself home. Searching for a working phone to call his wife, he encounters a deserted diner—and another way to stem the tide of disease. Chilling!
Justin wants to be cool like Drew, so he tags along to throw corn at cars on Halloween night. When a 1970 GTO Judge stops on the country road and its ghastly occupants pursue them, he wishes he’d gone trick-or-treating instead. Pray the “GTO Judge” passes you by.