Monday, October 26, 2015

Hellscapes II Now Available on eBook Format, Plus New Contest and Blog Activities!

Hellscapes, Volume II is now available in eBook format. here are some direct links to the Kindle, Kobo, and iTunes versions, Nook should be live shortly.

You can get Hellscapes, Volume II for $2.99 at the following links:

Nook version will be live shortly.

Also, there's a big blog tour underway! here are some links to some of the early posts and activities, some of which include the brand new contest featuring a Fire HD 8 as a grand prize! :)

Beauty in Ruins: Guest Post from me about writing horror and how it has helped me grow and expand my literary horizons

Kentucky Geek Girl: Brand new interview talking about my favorite horror movie, music, and themes in Hellscapes II

Shells Interviews: A guest post from me about the concept of levels or dimensions of Hell and personal hells, and how that applies to the new book.

Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn: Guest post about my favorite childhood Halloweens.

Check them out and be sure to leave a comment at the places you visit! :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cover Art Reveal for My Latest, Hellscapes, Volume II

Really excited to share this, the cover art by Aaron Drown of Aaron Drown Design for Hellscapes, Volume II.  The eBook arrives on Monday, to coincide with a big blog tour that includes a contest featuring a Kindle Fire HD8 as a grand prize.  Going to be a lot of fun, I'm working up some good posts for many stops, doing interviews on others, and there will be several reviews.   Definitely looking to be a busy week.  But hope you all find this cover cool! I feel very strongly about this latest installment, as does my editor on this one, Scott Sandridge, and I'll be looking forward to hearing what the readers think! :)

Synopsis: Return to the nightmarish, shadowy realms of Hell in the latest installment of the Hellscapes series by Stephen Zimmer. Six brand new, macabre tales of the infernal await you … but be that you only visit these realms, you do not want to share the fates of the inhabitants you will encounter!

Included in the pages of Hellscapes, Volume II:

In “The Cavern”, a man finds his way into a nightmare, subterranean world that leads to an even greater, and more devastating, revelation.

A police officer takes pleasure in violently executing his duties and it appears to be open season in “The Riot” when he is part of an operation sent to crack down on a gathering of people protesting an economic summit nearby. But this is an operation that is going to take a very different kind of turn, one that opens his eyes to a new reality.

A woman finds herself stranded on a high, rocky ledge, along with many other men and women, surrounded by a frothing sea in “Above as Below”. Shadows glide beneath the surface and soon she will discover what lurks within the depths.

“Spots Do Not Change” tells the story of a man who has never had any qualms lying, cheating, or deceiving the women in his life. A reckoning day looms as he comes to understand that his actions have harmed the lives of many others, actions that in the realms of Hell take on forms of their own.

Having spun webs of intrigue and personal destruction at the heights of national politics throughout his life, a man finds webs of another sort to present grave danger when he finds himself lost within a strange wilderness in “Weaving Webs”.

Many are drawn to “The Club” in the heart of the decaying, shadow-filled city of Malizia, hoping for some entertainment and release, or even safety from the monstrous dangers lurking in the darkness. One man struggling against amnesia finds his way to the seemingly popular establishment and its confines give him momentary hope; until he discovers the nature of this night club and those who run it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Philosophy of Krav Maga's Retzev and Daily Life.

The core of my martial arts training these days centers on Krav Maga, an amazing system that I have come to love due to the no-nonsense approach it embraces.  Everything resonates with a vibe of practicality, and the workouts are very intensive.

It is not a system that involves memorization of long katas, but instead focuses on an array of core building blocks that are under constant scrutiny and evolution based on outcomes in real-life encounters and situations. I've found it to suit my own mindset very well and look forward to my daily workouts.

Martial arts offers a path that brings together a focus of mind, body and spirit in a disciplined manner, and I often find myself making observations and recognizing areas where martial arts ideas and principles can be applied to many other areas of life.

Within the heart of Krav Maga is the principle of  retzev, which is a Hebrew term that essentially means "continuous motion".   Retzev is seen all throughout the practice of Krav Maga in a seamless integration of defensive and offensive techniques.  In a nutshell, it results in eliminating "dead space", in reacting to an attack, counterattacking and continuing (appropriate levels) of physical combat techniques to subdue the threat.

With retzev, you find yourself entering a flow of movement, where you aren't "thinking" about the next move as much as you are executing a continuum that is honed from a foundation of hard training and drilling in an array of combatives.

I have given a lot of thought to the idea of retzev and what it means on deeper levels.  Life has dealt me quite a few trials along the way, and I find myself in a few at the moment.

The questions facing all of us in times of trial is how to react.  When bad things happen, I like the idea that retzev brings to mind.  One must "defend", "counterattack" and continue on the offensive, and keep in a mode of continuous motion.  Staying inert is the only sure way to be overcome in life.  Reaction and forward action gives you the fighting chance to overcome life's hurdles.  

To overcome personal hardships, one must go into a mode of positive action in a flow gleaned from one's personal foundation and values.  This, in many ways, reflects the idea of retzev, only applied to the combat of life, an arena that is not fair, often is filled with ambushes and things that come at you, and must be reacted to and dealt with.

When life comes at you, you must act in response and keep moving forward, which gets at the idea of continuous motion as understood in retzev.  Martial arts truly does offer a mindset that can be applied across all spheres and I am very grateful for the practice of Krav Maga for keeping the idea of retzev forefront in my own mind when navigating the rougher patches of life.

Monday, October 5, 2015

How About a Rayden Valkyrie TV Show?

Why not?

She's got an honor code that is worth taking a look at, there would be loads of action, some steamy scenes, and far more than a few cool SFX/monster elements.  I think audiences would embrace and love Rayden not demonstrate how she would make a fantastic central character for an episodic TV series?

I've been looking for a project to get back into movie-making and the answer has been staring me in the face. This amazing character has called out to me once more.  I have heard many times from readers how strongly Rayden has connected with them after they have read Heart of a Lion, and I've commented often how strongly Rayden has connected with me.

The content is strong. The message is strong.  It has mainstream appeal.  So why not?

It's not going to be easy.  It will involve a Kickstarter campaign, most likely, and an ensuing production that has to attain a high production value worthy of the content.  But I know of many exceptionally talented folks who I can bring into the project to reach the level that it needs to be.

I've waited for awhile to find the right movie project to get back into, as I want to be sure it's done right.  With a Rayden Valkyrie pilot episode, there is a lot to draw from story-wise that would not require massive scale ala "Game of Thrones." There are a lot of wilderness-based options with Rayden that would not require casts of thousands or massive sets.

Do a few things exceptionally well.  That would be the key.  Bringing across her character in a high production value episode.

It is VERY doable. We would have to be very diligent in who took on the role of Rayden, as there is a lot of dimension to her, but I know we could find the right individual.  I feel that to the core.

It's going to get very interesting and I hope that everyone who has read Heart of a Lion and loved Rayden will help us get the word out on the Kickstarter that is forthcoming.

Stay tuned.... ;)