Book Recommendations for Your Holiday Gift List

2014 Book Recommendations

Looking for some great books to give someone special on your list this holiday? Or did you get a new eReader you need to fill up? I have a few suggestions for you. And if you want to try them out first — many of them offer the first one free or are available as part of Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe. They’d be great to pre-download on a Kindle you’re giving to a loved one. You can even give a subscription to Kindle Unlimited. And most of the books I’m recommending also come in print for those that prefer it.



Horror/Paranormal 

My very favorite author in the zombie genre, TW Brown, has two great zombie series – DEAD and ZOMBLOG. Brown does so much more with his books than just adding in flesh-eating monsters. He takes the time to explore human nature…the good, the bad, and the downright evil. And he pulls no punches. No one, not even favorite characters, are safe. You never know what will happen next. I can’t recommend these series enough. Mr. Brown also has a really cool series about a female ghoul named Ava. It’s full of humor and great characters.


That Ghoul AvaZomblog

Dead Ugly Beginning

 

 










One of my favorite books of all time is CADES COVE by Aiden James. If the person on your list likes ghost stories, this is the one to get. I’ve been endoctinated in the genre so long that it’s really tough to scare me. But this one did. Unlike any in a long time or since. I recommend it all the time. Mr. James has many other great reads as well — another of my favorite authors!

 

Cades Cove












I love the HAUNTED series by Alexie Aaron. These books center around Mia, a young woman who can see the paranormal and her friends from PEEPs (Paranormal Entity Exposure Partners), a professional ghost hunting group. They even have their own axe-weilding spirit on the team. Murphy is a hoot! The characters are so skillfully developed they feel like old friends. Each story is stand alone, but to get the full affect, I’d start with the first — THE HAUNTINGS OF COLD CREEK HOLLOW — and work forward. Ms. Aaron integrates humor with some really great skin-tingling, chill-inducing fear. (Don’t let the covers deter you — this is a really great series!)


The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow












Dean Koontz is my favorite author and I have loved most all of his books. But my favorite is his ODD THOMAS series. Odd is a quirky character with lots of charm and the ability to see the lingering dead. If I started telling you everything I love about these books, I wouldn’t have time to tell you about any others. So, I’ll just say — these are well worth the read and I can’t recommend them enough.


Odd Thomas














Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction

If epic fantasy is what you or your giftee would like, then Anna Erishkigal’s SWORD OF THE GODS SAGA series is the way to go. The first in the series is SWORD OF THE GODS: CHOSEN ONE and is FREE. An amazing deal for nearly 500 pages of extraordinary characters and world-building. I was spell-bound as I read this one.


Sword of the Gods Chosen One












Cate Dean’s CLAIRE WICHE CHRONICLES and the spin-offs, THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF ZACH WICHE and ALEX FINCH, MONSTER HUNTER are great for those who enjoy fantasy. Zach and Alex will appeal to young adults as well as those who are fans of the Claire Wiche Chronicles. I adore these characters. Ms. Dean has the ability to pull you right into the story and keep you there, turning the pages.


Rest for the Wicked

Once Fallen Zach WicheAlex Finch Monster Hunter












I am also enjoying the HAEDYN CHRONICLES by Jennifer L. Oliver. She currently has one book and two short stories in this series. The two short stories are FREE and Haedyn’s Choice is part of Kindle Unlimited, so if you subscribe you can also read it for free. Haedyn is a complex character and I can’t wait to see what happens next with her.


Unnamed Haedyn Chronicles












Gregory Carrico’s CHILDREN OF THE PLAGUE, is a unique post-apocalyptic science fiction novel. I don’t think I’ve read anything that comes close to this one. It’s full of action, great scenes, and characters that are also unique. I love the relationship between Lannie and her brother, Alex. This is one not to be missed.


Children of the Plague












THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins is one of my favorite series. I don’t think I need to go into details on this one. With the popularity of not only the books, but the movies, I think most people have heard of
it. I’ll just say that it’s one that I can read multiple times and not get bored.


The Hunger Games














Middle Grade

Nicole Storey has a wonderful fantasy series, GRIMSLEY HOLLOW, that is a great read for middle graders and even adults. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main character, Gage, is an eleven-year-old boy with autism and Ms. Storey shows that everyone can make a difference in the world around them regardless of their personal challenges. The characters are wonderfully developed and the world-building is excellent. I was totally immersed in the story.

 

Grimsley Hollow The Chosen One

 

 

 

 

 





THE LEGEND OF BUTTERFIELD FARM by D.D. Larsen is another great fantasy/action adventure for middle graders. I loved the characters and the non-stop action. And the world-building is also skillfully developed in this book. Kids, as well as their parents, are sure to love this one.

 

The Legend of Butterfield Farm












Make a Difference

You can help make a difference in the fight to cure cancer by purchasing copies of LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH. All proceeds for this anthology go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The first of my zombie apocalypse series, SURVIVAL, is included.

 

Let's Scare Cancer Cover

 










My Books

And of course, I’d be honored if you’d share something of mine that you’ve enjoyed with someone or try them out for the first time yourself.

 

 

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

The GiftTales_From_the_Mist_cover - final (1)

 

 

 

 

 



Before I forget — I’m having a giveaway for the holidays! Just click on the image below and it’ll take you to the post. Enter through Dec. 31st for a chance to win and enjoy some of my favorite Christmas music while you’re there.

 

2014 Holiday Promo
















Romance and More

You can’t go wrong with any of the authors over at ADDICTIVE READS. There are books in just about every genre. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list, including every variation of romance you can think of.

In fact — while you’re there — the Addictive Reads Authors are having a holiday event and giveaway, so enter through Dec 31st for a chance to win some great prizes. Just click on the image and it will take you to the event page.

 

AR 2014 Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 


 

Reviews

If you get any of the books I’ve recommended for yourself, then please remember to leave a review — good, bad, or mediocre — where you purchased it and at Goodreads. Authors and other readers will appreciate that you did so. You may even bring a new author and reader together!

 

You’re Recommendations

I hope you’ll share your recommendations in the comment section below. What books would you recommend as gifts? Or drop a hint to someone for yourself. (Personally — I’d LOVE an autographed copy of any of the books above.) ;-) You can list however many you like, but I’m pretty sure more than one link will get your comment sent to my spam folder. So if you use links, please use them judiciously. :-) Tell us the genre and what makes it such a great read!



As always — thanks for reading. I hope you have a fantastic holiday with family and friends! 
Rhonda

 

P.S.  That’s a lot of links!  Phew!  ;-) Please let me know in the comments if you find a link not working and I’ll get it fixed asap. Thanks! :-)

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A Few of My Favorite Things: Event & Giveaway!

Happy Holidays!

2014 Holiday Promo

 

 

To celebrate the holidays, I’ve joined with my fellow Addictive Reads Authors to host a blog hop and GIVEAWAY! Here I’ll be offering up a eCopy of my newest release, THE GIFT and a eCopy of SURVIVAL. Enter below. But I hope you’ll read all about a few of my favorite things before you go. :-)

 

The GiftTHE GIFT
Contemporary Holiday Short

Sometimes, the best gifts are unexpected…

When workaholic Robert Chalmer’s wife leaves to take care of her sick mother for two weeks, he is left with all the responsibility… including his seven-year-old daughter. With Christmas fast approaching, Robert must find a way to reconnect with what is most important in his life, or risk losing it forever.

THE GIFT is a 7300 word heart-warming short story set in Fort Worth, TX about family, love, and second chances.

 

AMAZON

Add to Your Goodreads Shelf

The Gift)

 

Survival - Rhonda HopkinsSURVIVAL (Survival Series #1)
Horror

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

SURVIVAL is a 14,000 word short story – the first in a new zombie apocalypse series. It was originally published in the Let’s Scare Cancer to Death Anthology.

“FANTASTIC story.”  “Short story or not, this tale will stick with you. This story opens with a punch in the throat and has you gasping until the last words on the page fade as you turn off your Kindle…It matters very little if you are a fan of the zombie genre, this is a story that will pull you in and refuse to let go…This was my favorite read of the year.” ~~ TW Brown, Author of the DEAD and ZOMBLOG series.

 

Amazon     B&N     KOBO     Smashwords     iBooks

Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU

 Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Survival (Survival Series #1)

 

______________________________________________________________

Over at ADDICTIVE READS, we’re giving away a Kindle Fire HD 7 with over 3o of our novels, novellas, and short stories preloaded – including my two above, along with $50, $20, and $15 gift cards. 

______________________________________________________________

 

But first…

I’d like to tell you about some of my favorite holiday things. Of course, sharing the holidays with family and friends is absolutely THE BEST thing in the world. And I found that trying to pick among my favorite memories was just too hard — I’m fortunate to have been blessed with an awesome family and great friends. So I’ve decided to share my top Christmas songs with you.

I’m a little bit traditional when it comes to my Christmas songs. The same way I am with most Gospel songs. But I also like the modern approach. Hopefully you’ll find the music as beautiful as I do.

 

O Holy Night
I really enjoy this version by Mariah Carey.

 

The Little Drummer Boy
This version by Pentatonix is awesome.

 

 

Angels We Have Heard on High
I absolutely adore Pentatonix in case you can’t tell. :-)

 

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
I really like the one by Michael Bublé and Carly Rae Jepsen, but Brenda Lee is the one my sister and I danced to along with my parents during the holidays as kids. :-) Great memories!

 

It Wasn’t His Child
This is Tim McGraw’s version. There are others just as well done, but who can resist Tim? :-)

 

 

Mary Did You Know
While I didn’t put a numbered list on the others because it’s just so hard to choose among them, I think this song has to be my favorite. It’s the whole reason we celebrate Christmas to begin with. And this by Pentatonix (yes again — I told you I adore them) is absolutely my favorite version.

 

And here’s a bonus for you. I just had the pleasure of hearing it while working on this post — a new release from…you guessed it!…Penatatonix. :-) It’s fantabulous! Every time I think they can’t possibly top what they’ve done before…they do. ;-)
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

 

 Okay, I know you’re eager to get to the giveaway, so here’s the rafflecopter for THE GIFT and SURVIVAL. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

And to get the info on the ADDICTIVE READS HOLIDAY EVENT AND GIVEAWAY, just click on the image!

AR 2014 Giveaway

 

 

Good luck and I hope you all have a very happy holiday no matter what you celebrate. 

As always — thanks for reading! 
Rhonda

Posted in Books, Events, Holidays, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Spontaneous Multi-Author Flash Fiction

The other day on Facebook, I posted a simple status:

It was a dark and stormy morning….How glorious! Love the rain. :-)

Photo by Osalenko at DepostPhotos.com

Photo by Osalenko at DepostPhotos.com

I had no idea that one of my friends and fellow Addictive Reads‘ Authors, Jennifer L. Oliver, would take that and run with it. She started a spontaneous round robin story (where several people add a little to the work — also known as tandem writing). We took turns tagging fellow authors and this is the result. I thought you all might enjoy the spontaneity of the piece.

TAKING CARE OF JOE

Jennifer L. Oliver: It was a dark and stormy morning, the kind that makes you want to stay in bed all day. But I couldn’t indulge myself, at least not today. It was time to deal with Joe, and I was the only one left to do it.

Rhonda (Me): I put the last row of seats down in the SUV, and put some gloves on. The black tarp spread out across the back flooring like an angry sea. I smoothed it out, making sure it covered every inch, and placed a shovel on top. It was time to go. I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Claire C. Riley: I trudged back inside, the angry thumps coming from the basement loud and obnoxious to my sensitive ears. Mama always told me that was why I was so good at playing the guitar. My hearing was so well attuned to the little noise discrepancies of each string. I sigh, heavy, heartfelt, and pick up the hammer from the counter top.

Eli Constant: The hammer felt heavy and ominous in my hands, a long put-off task finally realized. The basement door was to the right of the small kitchen pantry. I approached it and slowly began unlocking the vertical line of six serious-looking deadbolts. I didn’t bother with the small sliding lock that kept the little floor-level peep-hole closed. That was only for feeding Joe… for shoving in the bits of rotten cow flesh that kept him sated. But the cows were gone, everyone else was gone. I was about to be gone. I couldn’t drive away from the house though, not with him forever trapped as a monster in the basement.

Wulf Francu Godgluck: My heart is a racehorse against my ribs, at any second the organ will crack bone. I’m sure of it. I reach out, my fingers numb gripping the door knob, numb around the handle of the hammer. I can’t do this. I have to, but I can’t! I close my eyes, turn the knob and push open the door. It launches back at me, fast, screeching on its hinges and slams me in the face. I stumble backwards, landing on my back. The Hammar slipped and fell, sliding off across the kitchen floor. The door screeches again, opening to the endless pit of black darkness. And the darkness snarls at me…

Jennifer: My eyes rounded and for a split second I froze. My brain screamed at me to move, to run, but I couldn’t. Another snarl and shuffling of unsteady feet kicked my body into action. I scrambled backwards, and turned to push up on my hands and knees. The hammer was just a few feet away. If I could only reach it…

Rhonda: I hurled myself sideways just as Joe pounced. My hand gripped the hammer and before I could even think about what I was doing, I made contact with Joe’s head. The sickening crunch invaded my numbness, but he still fought his way toward me, teeth gnashing. I had no choice. I pulled the hammer back, blood and gore dripping from the metal. The sucking sound it made as I pulled nearly worse than the crunch. I hit him again. This time, the claw penetrated his brain and all movement ceased. I’d killed my husband.

No that wasn’t right. I couldn’t think of this creature that way. My husband died two weeks ago. This thing was not Joe. A tear trickled down my cheek. But there was still no time to mourn. I had miles to go.

I made a few trips between the patio and my SUV, putting containers of plants in the back. Hopefully, they’d help to start a garden somewhere. Maybe Fort Worth. I’d heard there was a community of survivors there. Better than here where there was no one but the dead. And me.

THE END

So what do you think? Not bad for a lazy afternoon, no planning, no rules, no editing, and off the top of our heads, right? I want to thank my fellow authors for being such a good sport and playing along. And thanks to Jennifer for getting us started. This was fun! :-)

I’ve linked to the participating authors’ websites above. I hope you’ll visit them and maybe give their work a try.

Both Eli Constant and Claire C. Riley have stories in the LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH ANTHOLOGY, where my short, SURVIVAL, made its debut. The great thing about this anthology (besides all the fantastic stories and authors) is that ALL the proceeds go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. So yes – it’s an awesome thing and deserves (in my opinion) another plug. At this posting, it’s only 99 cents for the ebook and the paperback is on sale for only $12.56. It has some fantastic reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. You can also find it on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

 

Want to see how one of these multi-author stories evolve in real time? Some of the Addictive Reads authors will be releasing a short paragraph (or more) each day on our facebook page until we have a completed story. Our project will begin September 1st. So if you want to be witness to a story in the making, “like” our page now. I’d tell you what to expect if I knew myself. But no clue. We’re a multi-genre group, so anything is possible! It should be fun, so I hope you’ll join us. :-)

As always — thanks for reading! And if you’d like to be among the first to know about my new releases, contests, giveaways, and other events, sign up for my newsletter below. I don’t send them out very often (usually about once a month) and you can unsubscribe at any time. And I never give your info out to anyone. You’ll just get important announcements about my books and events, and occasionally a surprise for only those who subscribe. You can also follow my blog post by subscribing in the right sidebar. My social media links can be found there as well. I love connecting with my readers – so please join me there, too!

Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival Series. She writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.
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Get Survival And A Lot Of Other eBooks Free!

Digital Book Day Banner

 

Have you read SURVIVAL yet? If not, you can get the first of my new zombie apocalypse series absolutely FREE today at Smashwords. No coupon code required. And you can get whichever format works best for you – .mobi for Kindle, .epub, or even .pdf.

Just click here to get your copy now!

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

Add to Goodreads
Survival (Survival Series #1)

Check out this great review for SURVIVAL from Nicole Storey, Author of Blind Sight (The Celadon Circle)

Other Reviews

“FANTASTIC story. Truly one of the best shorts that I have read this year!” ~~ TW Brown, Author of the DEAD and ZOMBLOG series.

“Rhonda Hopkins’ Survival series reminds me of TWD – and she’s totally hooked me with the great character and story development in this beginning ‘episode.’ I can’t wait for the next one to see where she takes everything and how the world progresses as I and the zombies follow the characters she’s fleshed out.” ~~ Stacey Joy Netzel, Author of The Still Waters Series

“Her character development is superb. The twins are true-to-life and there is a fascinating relationship with a co-worker which adds a great sub-plot . . . . If zombies are your thing…and maybe if they are not…you will love this book. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. It promises to be a wild ride.” ~~Amazon Reviewer

“Totally hooked me. The characters are believable and the events are realistic. Hopkins provides enough intrigue and action to make you keep turning the pages.” ~~ Jennifer L. Oliver, Author of The Haedyn Chronicles

“I found Rhonda Hopkins’ Survival to be a gripping story. As in, if I hadn’t kept a grip on my pants she would have scared them off of me.” ~~ D.D. Larsen, Author of The Legend of Butterfield Farm

Yeah, that last one made me laugh. :-D

~~~

Today is Digital Book Day

Thanks to CJ Lyons, a lot of your favorite authors have gotten together to show appreciation for our readers. You’ll find a ton of great books in different genres for FREE (Today Only!) over at the DIGITAL BOOK DAY site.

This is a great time to try out a new author with no risk or stock up on some by your faves as Authors Give Back.

Want another FREE one from me? Just sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you the password to get a .pdf copy of THE CONSUMING.

 

You can subscribe to my blog posts over in the right side-bar. And I hope you’ll connect with me at the following:

 Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Google+     Pinterest  

Don’t forget — if you enjoy a book, then help out the author and other readers by leaving a review. :-)

As always – thanks for reading!
Rhonda

Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival Series. She writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.
Posted in Authors Give Back, Events, Indie Authors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Interview with Author TW Brown and a Giveaway!

WINNERS UPDATE: Todd has generously agreed to provide everyone who commented by the time of this update with your choice (SPRING or UGLY BEGINNING). I’ve sent him the email addresses. You’ll just need to make sure that you tell him which ebook you’d like in which format (.mobi for Kindle or .epub). Thanks to everyone who read and commented!)

Rugged Maniac 5K run

Rugged Maniac 5K run

I’m so excited to have a special guest interview today. TW (Todd) Brown is one of my favorite authors and the author of two of my favorite zombie series – DEAD and ZOMBLOG.

Todd also writes the THAT GHOUL AVA series. I haven’t had the chance to get into that one yet, but have read the intro story and loved it. It’s fun and quirky and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Todd just has this wonderful ability to suck you right into a story. If you haven’t read him yet, you’re really missing out on a great reading experience. He’s able to put you right in the scene – in the middle of the action. And he makes the characters feel like real people, complete with strengths and weaknesses, good and evil.

Todd’s also very generously agreed to give away three ecopies of either DEAD:SPRING or the first in the series, DEAD: UGLY BEGINNING (for those new to the series) in .mobi (Kindle) or .epub formats – winner’s choice. Enter by leaving a comment below.Winners will be chosen at random.  Tell us what you enjoy about this series, or zombie lit in general. Also please tell us which format and which book you’d like just in case you’re chosen as a winner.

I’m going to get out of the way now and introduce you to TW Brown. Thanks for being here today, Todd!

~~~

New Release!

Tell us what about your latest release, DEAD: SPRING (Book 9):

With it being the 9th book, I wanted to really reward those who have stuck with me this long. Also, since this series proper only has three more volumes before it wraps up, I needed to set up for the final push. While I do have the DEAD: Snapshot {insert town} series coming on line, the characters who have been the center of things will be put to rest or at least retired.

This is the longest book to date in the series. While the previous ones have come in around 100,000 words, this one comes in at over 174,000. There is a lot going on and I believe that this is my best work to date in the series.

I can’t wait to get into it. :-) What can we expect from the rest of the series?

Closure. Some sad farewells. (You know nobody is safe in my world.) And even a few happy endings. Also, there will be a dramatic shift between books 9 and 10, but that is a surprise.

Surprise, hmmm??? Such a tease! Guess we’ll just have to wait. So, I know why I think DEAD is one of the best series in the genre. What do you think makes DEAD different from other zombie series?

I think that it is more about people than about zombies. I catch a lot of flak for having some pretty vile characters, but if you stripped away law and order, I think some very bad types would rise and crawl out from under their rocks. Also, I have had some people get very upset when central characters have died, but this is a zombie apocalypse, not a trip to Disneyland.

And I won’t claim it as fact, but I think that I was one of the first to explore the possibility of immunity. That really tilts some lives upside down when they realize they may have “mercy killed” people who might have survived.

dead logo white

Yeah – that really threw some of them and us, but it’s a very cool adaptation. You’re a mentor to many writers, Todd. Who do you consider a mentor or influence?

Influence is easy. I love the classic King. The Stand was life changing. I can’t ignore Romero, but I also drew from George R. R. Martin (Song of Ice and Fire—Game of Thrones). I had to re-read the death of Eddard Stark to convince myself that it actually happened. Also, my three rotating storyline chapters is a nod to his book being told from the perspective of its different characters.

As far as a mentor, I learn from everybody that I read and share ideas with. Lately I have been on a “Female Horror Author” splurge. Women can have some very dark works that I think catch people by surprise. Some of the most frightening things that I have read are from women like (you), Claire Riley, Eli Constant, and a few others.

That’s so sweet of you! See that’s one of the many reasons I count you as a mentor, Todd. Thank you! And yes, THE STAND is just epic. Definitely one that stands out in any list. So tell us, what do you think is the best thing about the horror genre?

It lets us explore what really scares us. Every element of horror touches on basic fears and insecurities that we have as a species.

Your least favorite thing about the genre?

It can get tired and repetitious. I think you have to sift through a lot of weeds to reach the wheat. There are some amazingly talented people who go largely unnoticed. Also, horror is sort of to literature what comedy is to The Oscars. Nobody takes it serious. When I get asked what I write, the faces that I get when I mention horror, and more specifically zombies, are priceless.

You’ve killed off some really great characters. I’ve shed tears for some of them and even sobbed over one. Yet I, and countless others, have stayed for the journey in both the DEAD and the ZOMBLOG series. Besides the great writing (which is a given at this point) why do you think that is?

I hope that it is because there is an attachment to that entire universe. {SPOILER ALERT} When Steve died and the torch was passed, I had to really ponder who could pick up the narration. I think that Billy was the right choice. He gives you a new peek at Steve’s gang because you are seeing these people through his eyes.

Also, my hope from the gate was that this was a character-driven story with depth and a sense of realism. There are people to love and hate. And I think that people who made it past book three of the DEAD series are vested in it. It is more about the entire world than just a few people.

Oh, poor Steve. He was the one I sobbed over. I had to take a break from reading that book for a couple of hours at that point and ended up writing this. I really miss him, but yes – Billy is also a great character. There was one character though that I cheered aloud for when he was killed. I’ll bet you can guess which one that was. :-)

Who are some of your favorite authors outside the zombie realm?

Besides early King (everything from It and back); Kim Harrison (the Rachel Morgan series); Patrick O’ Brian (the Master & Commander series)

I haven’t read O’Brian yet. I’ll have to give his books a try. What are you working on now and when will it be available?

Lots. I have the next That Ghoul Ava coming at the end of the month (hopefully). The 10th DEAD is slated for Halloween. Also, I have the second and third volumes of the DEAD: Special Edition series where I compile three books worth of the three rotating chapters into one book (Geeks, Vignettes, and Perspectives—Steve/Billy’s story) and add some bonus material. Those should be out in August and October respectively. Toss in a few editing jobs and the fact that I just bought a new house on three-quarters of an acre that I am trying to slowly convert into a sustainable source of food…I am staying busy.

Todd's DEAD Tattoo

Congrats on the new home! You are definitely a busy man. What advice would you give to a beginning writer?

Write every single day. Do it because you love it and not because you think it will make you rich and famous. Read everything you write out loud. You would be surprised at how much you can clean up that way. Writers can get repetitious and lock onto a certain word. Reading it out loud shines a light on that. Also, find an editor. It is an expense that will pay off in the long run…and this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Great advice! Reading aloud is one of the best things I do for my own work. As we’re coming to a close – if you could say anything at all to your readers, what would you say?

Thank you. Your reading my books have allowed me to pursue my lifelong dream.

~~~

Thank you so much for the interview, Todd. I can’t wait to read DEAD: SPRING.

If you haven’t read this series yet, you can start with DEAD: THE UGLY BEGINNING and it’s a steal at only 99 cents!

Dead The Ugly Beginning

Want to connect with Todd? You can do it here:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Google+     Goodreads    Amazon Author Page

So, have you read any of Todd’s books yet? Tell us what you think in the comment section. Don’t forget — you can win a copy of one of Todd’s books by leaving a comment below. Just follow the instructions at the beginning of this post. Thanks again, Todd!

~~~

Want to get notice when I post something new? Just subscribe to my blog posts in the right sidebar. And you can sign up for my newsletter to get first notice of any new releases, sales, giveaways and other exciting events. I love connecting with my readers, so please follow me at the social media links in the right side-bar as well.

As always — thanks for reading!
Rhonda

~~~

Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival Series. She writes Horror, Suspense, Paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.

Posted in Author Interviews, Books, Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

My Fantasy Vacation #AReads Blog Hop + Giveaway

The Addictive Reads Authors (of whom I’m proud to be one) is having an eBook sales event and blog hop from Friday through Monday.

AddictiveSummerReadsBanner

There are a lot of great books on sale and even some for FREE.  AND we’re having a giveaway!

I’m sure you’ll find something for your summer reading pleasure during the event. You might even like my new release – SURVIVAL. It’s the first in my zombie apocalypse series and is only 99 cents! You can find out more about it here.

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

Amazon     B&N     KOBO     Smashwords     iBooks     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU

Stay tuned for more details about the Addictive Reads’ Event and Giveaway below.

In the meantime, I want to tell you about my ideal summer vacation. Okay. It’s a fantasy, but I can hope. Right?

~~~

The boat docks at a private island in the Pacific. As I step out onto the wooden decking, I’m met by the resort staff, one who looks suspiciously like Mr. Rourke. (If you’re too young to know who he is, google Fantasy Island.) My luggage is whisked away to my own private oasis for my month-long stay.

I’m shown the amenities – all the wonderful food and drink I want. An incredible library holds any book I might want to read. (Hey – it’s my fantasy and I love to read!) All sorts of amazing comforts are mine for the asking: massages, mani/pedis, facials, and just whatever my heart desires.

The clear blue water and white sand beaches stretch out before me. I’d planned to spend a lot of my time relaxing here, doing some snorkeling or even some diving. But there are 5 other guests on the island. They’re friendly and interesting from different backgrounds. I’m already having fun. Especially with the Dean Winchester look-alike. Could it be him? (Ahem – my fantasy, remember.)

Although bright sunshine encompasses most of the island, there is a part of it that seems a little sinister. And even though I haven’t been here long, there’s already talk of some supernatural activity. Maybe I’ll get to do a little ghost hunting or monster tracking. (Oh come on. You know you’d like to be in on a hunt with Dean.) It’s definitely not going to be a boring vacation.  :-)

~~~

Okay, so maybe that isn’t your fantasy vacation – but what did you expect from an author who enjoys reading and writing paranormal and horror? ;-)

Check out the blogs for the other Addictive Reads Authors – some of them are giving away some cool prizes!




So, tell me below in the comments where you’d go for your fantasy vacation. I’m giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card and you’ll get an extra entry in the rafflecopter below.

 Just enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And over at the Addictive Reads Event we’re giving away over $100 in prizes! Up for grabs are:

One $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash – Winners Choice
One $15 Amazon Gift Card
Five $10 Amazon Gift Cards

The Addictive Reads Authors have a lot of eBooks on sale (and some new releases) – in just about every genre. Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, and more. There’s something for everyone!

Check out all the great books and enter via the Rafflecopter HERE

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below, so you’ll be among the first to find out about any new releases, special pricing, giveaways, and other great happenings like the Addictive Summer Reads Event. You can also follow my blog post by subscribing in the right sidebar. My social media links can be found there as well. I love connecting with my readers – so please join me there, too!

 

As always — thanks for reading!

Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival Series. She writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.
Posted in Addictive Reads, Books, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

New Release: Survival

I’m excited to announce the release of SURVIVAL, the first in my zombie apocalypse series. 

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

 

SURVIVAL is a 14,000 word short story and was originally published in the LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH ANTHOLOGY.

 

SURVIVAL is now available for only .99 cents at:

Amazon     B&N     KOBO     Smashwords     iBooks     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU

 

Add to your Goodreads Shelf
Survival (Survival Series #1)

I originally wrote SURVIVAL as a one-time short story. But, I had so much fun writing it that I decided to continue the saga of Sarah, her twin Dana, and their group of survivors. There’s a lot more ahead for them in their new reality. I hope you’ll come along for the adventure.

 

Here’s what early reviewers are saying about SURVIVAL:

“FANTASTIC story. Truly one of the best shorts that I have read this year!” ~~ TW Brown, Author of the DEAD and ZOMBLOG series.

“Rhonda Hopkins’ Survival series reminds me of TWD – and she’s totally hooked me with the great character and story development in this beginning ‘episode.’ I can’t wait for the next one to see where she takes everything and how the world progresses as I and the zombies follow the characters she’s fleshed out.” ~~ Stacey Joy Netzel, Author of The Still Waters Series

“Her character development is superb. The twins are true-to-life and there is a fascinating relationship with a co-worker which adds a great sub-plot . . . . If zombies are your thing…and maybe if they are not…you will love this book. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. It promises to be a wild ride.” ~~Amazon Reviewer

“Totally hooked me. The characters are believable and the events are realistic. Hopkins provides enough intrigue and action to make you keep turning the pages.” ~~ Jennifer L. Oliver, Author of The Haedyn Chronicles

~~~

Excerpt

     Sarah Jamison’s gaze met her twin’s fear-filled blue eyes. “I—”
     “It’s no use. The cuff is too tight. You’re going to have to leave me.” Dana put her free hand on Sarah’s, stilling their frantic motions.
     “No. I won’t leave you. Maybe I can . . .” She turned, taking in the empty basement—the cement walls, exposed pipes, and her sister handcuffed to one of the metal cylinders. A small amount of light trickled in through the one lone window, but there was nothing she could use as a weapon. Unless . . . .
     She strode over to the dangling pipe from which she had managed to extricate herself earlier. Grabbing the unattached end, she tried wresting it clear of its fittings, her own wrist dangling handcuffs which clinked against the metal with each pull. Rust and time made it impossible to remove.
     “Sarah—”
     “No.” Tears ran down her face. “I can’t leave you, Dana.”
     “You have to. It’s the only way we’re both getting out of here. You have to go for help.”
     Sarah knelt beside her sister who reached out and wiped her thumb across her cheek, brushing the tears aside.
     “I’ll be okay until you get back. I won’t give them any excuse to throw me out to those . . . .” Dana choked back the word they had both been avoiding, choosing another instead. “Creatures.”
     Realizing there was no way she could take on all three kidnappers without a weapon, Sarah accepted she had to have assistance to save Dana. Hugging her sister, Sarah kissed her cheek. “I love you, Dana. Be strong. I’ll be back just as soon as possible.”
     Heavy footsteps reverberated on the stairs. Dana pushed Sarah away. “Go now. Before it’s too late.”
     Stretching upwards, she tried to raise the window, but it wouldn’t budge. She took off her T-shirt, wrapped her hand, and knocked out the glass, ducking as shards rained down on her. Pain shot through her palm all the way to her shoulder, but adrenaline fueled her and minimized the hurt. She unwound the red fabric and smoothed it hurriedly across the sill.
     The door crashed inward as one of the men who had captured them ran into the room. “What’s going on here?” He took in the situation and bee-lined for Sarah, grabbed her legs and pulled her down from the window. Grasping one arm, he backhanded her across the face. The edge of his ring ripped across her forehead; the pain almost blinding. Blood gushed from the wound.
     She jerked away from him and took on the fighting stance she had been taught, feet set apart at shoulder width. Sarah grabbed the dangling cuff in her hand and put all her force in the punch to the man’s jaw. His head snapped backwards. Before he could react, she stepped back and struck out with her right foot, making contact with his left knee.            The crunch of breaking bone and his scream told her she had done some major damage even before he fell to the floor.
     The other two kidnappers pounded down the stairs.
     “Sarah! Go!” Dana screamed.
     She grabbed the window sill and pulled herself upward and through the opening; glass slivers cutting her where the shirt didn’t cover. She yanked her legs through, turned and gave one last look at her sister and saw her mouth, “I love you.”
     Two men crashed through the open doorway. One ran for the window as the other stopped to check out their injured friend.
     Sarah took off running around the abandoned building to the parking lot in front. Her black Expedition was one of three cars parked there. The abductors had taken their keys and cellphones, so she fell to her knees on the pavement beside the left rear tire and reached into the wheel well. Her fingers fumbled for the magnetic box and she issued a silent prayer of thanks when she found it. She got in the car and hit the locks just as the man they called Ron sprinted around the side of the building. The inside light illuminated the car’s interior, giving away her location.
     Her shaking fingers pulled the key from its container. She managed to insert it and start the car in one try. Ron banged on the passenger window with one hand, the other pulling on the handle. He yelled and hurled obscenities as she squealed away from him and onto the street.

~~~

As I said earlier, SURVIVAL was originally published in the  LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH Anthology. All proceeds from the book go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  So, I would encourage you to buy the anthology. It’s for a very worthy cause and has 15 other great stories by some of my favorite authors.  You can find out more about it on my Anthologies & Box Sets page.

Thank you so much for joining me for the release of SURVIVAL. As always — thanks for reading!
Rhonda

Posted in Books, Horror, My Books, Survival Series | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Cover Reveal: Survival

I’m very excited to announce the upcoming release of SURVIVAL, the first in my new zombie apocalypse series. SURVIVAL will be available as a single in June 2014.

Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

You can add it to your Goodreads shelf so you don’t forget:

Survival (Survival Series #1)

Isn’t that cover awesome? Well, I might be a tad biased, but I LOVE it! The amazing Jeffrey Kosh designed it for me. All my books in this series will have the Fort Worth background, with the center image changing for each.

Survival Background Image

Jeffrey Kosh is awesome to work with. He’s fast, efficient, and doesn’t get irritated with my stupid questions or suggestions. And he quickly hones in on what I’m looking for in a cover – even with my VERY non-artistic descriptions. He also did THE CONSUMING cover for me. I think he rocks! You can check out more of his work here.

Here’s the blurb for SURVIVAL:

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

SURVIVAL was originally published in the LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH anthology. Even though you’ll be able to get SURVIVAL separately, I would still encourage you to buy the anthology instead because cancer research is very personal and important to me. ALL proceeds from that go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. It’s a great cause and you’ll get fifteen additional horror shorts from some amazing authors.  I’m only doing this separate edition because I know there are some (like me) that like complete sets.

I’ll be giving away copies of SURVIVAL two days before the official release. Winners will be chosen from my newsletter subscribers. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up below so you have a chance of getting one of the first copies!

As always — thanks for reading! You can also follow my blog posts by subscribing in the right sidebar. My social media links can be found there as well. I love connecting with my readers – so please join me there, too!

Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival. She writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.
Posted in Books, Cover Reveals, My Books, Survival Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Writing Process Blog Tour

I was actually supposed to post this on March 24th. But the server my website was previously hosted on was hacked and my site was down for over a week. (No worries – all my files have been vetted by an expert and they’re clean.) So, I’m late with my post. I decided to go ahead and post off day, so that those I’ve tagged can get back on track next Monday.

So…what is this? This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. I was invited to this event by Meredith Bond. She’s a real sweetheart and fantastic author. You can check out Meredith’s Writing Process here. It’s interesting to me to see how other writers do the deed.

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on two more episodes for my brand new SURVIVAL series. I wrote the original short story for a charity anthology, LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH. All proceeds for this go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. (You can read more about it and my inspiration here.) I hope you’ll join us so we can SCARE CANCER TO DEATH.

I thought the story would be a one time thing, but I enjoyed spending time with these characters and writing about zombies (who knew? LOL) so much, I decided to make it a serial. I absolutely love my cover and will be revealing it soon!

Here’s the blurb for SURVIVAL:

When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s a really good question. I guess you could say I put my own spin on things. I spent a lot of years working within the court system, working with families, and seeing the good, the bad, and the funny. So I have a lot of experience in human nature and I hope I express those attributes and complexities in my writing.

Imagine knocking on someone’s door only to have it answered by someone with no clothes on? Nude, naked, NEKKID. Yeah – investigation had its moments. LOL The first time that happened to me, I was a greenhorn. And completely shocked. But you’d be surprised (or maybe not) how many people I’ve actually seen answer the door in the buff over twenty years.

So, I try to put the unexpected in my work.

Why do I write what I do?
Basically because it’s what comes to me. I’m sure what I write has been molded through the years by the television/movies I’ve watched and the books I’ve read. I write what I enjoy reading. I love the tension, the suspense of action, horror, and mystery. There’s nothing quite like feeling your heart race, your nerves tingling, and your senses heighten – feeling the fear, the anxiety; yet, knowing in the back of your mind you’re still safe in your home.

I read a lot of genres, and I write a lot of different genres as well. But regardless of genre, they usually all have a dark side. Yet, they also have a hopefulness about them. As much as I like the macabre, I also love a happy ending. Because down deep, I still believe in the goodness of people.

How does your writing process work? 
I tried. I really did. But there is just no way I can plot, outline, plan. I’m definitely a pantser by nature. My characters tend to be a little stubborn, and they don’t always do what I tell them. They insist that they know better and reluctantly, I have to agree — they usually do.

When I start writing, I mostly have a beginning in mind, somewhat of an ending, and the middle….well, that’s what makes it fun for me. I have no idea what happens and I enjoy finding out as I write. Sometimes the beginning will get scrapped in the rewrite when I figure out I should have started elsewhere. And sometimes the bad guy isn’t who I thought it was. I figure if it’s a surprise for me, hopefully it will be a surprise for my readers as well.

NEXT WEEK

Next Monday, April 7, 2014, you can find out about the writing processes of three of my friends. They’re all pretty awesome!

Claire C Riley is a writer of dark paranormal romances and zombie horror, plus a ton of other things to give you chills! She lives in the United Kingdom with her three young daughters, husband and one scruffy dog! Claire has written several books including ‘Limerence,’ ‘Odium.The Dead Saga,’ and ‘Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella Part one.’ She is also a proud contributor to several anthologies and is one of my co-authors in the ‘Let’s Scare Cancer to Death’ anthology. 

In 2014  she shall be releasing, amongst many other things, ‘Odium II. The Dead Saga,’ ‘Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella Part Two.’ and ‘Limerence II.Mia’. Odium was listed as a top #100 dystopian book on Amazon for 2013 and has also won the Indie Book of the Day Award. You’ll be able to check out Claire’s writing process here on the 7th.

Eli Constant lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. She is surrounded by battlefield country, farmland and lakes. Currently, she spends her days being a devoted mother and, of course, writing. Eli feels fortunate that her marriage is one of real love and she thinks her children are the coolest people in the world. She also feels so lucky to have an extended family that is ever present with encouragement and kind words.

Eli will soon release her DEAD TREES 2, the follow up to DEAD, her debut horror novel. She most recently released MASTIC, an urban thriller with a touch of fantasy. And she’s another of my Let’s Scare Cancer to Death co-authors. You’ll be able to read about Eli’s writing process here on the 7th.

Kiru Taye is the award-winning and best-selling author of His Treasure. As a young adult, she read a lot of books. Mostly, she loved the romantic stories for the fantasy of being swept away by dashing heroes to exotic locations. Though her reading tastes have matured since then, she still loves reading romance novels. Having always dreamt of writing novels, she finally ‘bit the bullet’ in 2010 and wrote her first contemporary romance novel which she submitted the first chapter as an entry to New Voices writing contest in September 2010. It was shortlisted for ‘call-back’.

She writes historical, contemporary and paranormal romance. Her stories are sensual and steamy, her characters passionate and sassy and her settings, atmospheric and exotic. Kiru has written several books/series including the Men of Valor series and Challenge series. Her most recent release — A Valentine Challenge. You can read about Kiru’s writing process here on the 7th.

As always — thanks for reading! And please consider signing up for my newsletter to be among the first to hear about new releases, special events, and giveaways!

 

 

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Addictive Reads Launch & Giveaway!

 

AR Launch Banner - smaller

I just want to take a quick minute and tell you about a fantastic group, I’m a member of. I’ve  joined forces with 22 other award-winning and bestselling (some NYT & USA Today Bestselling) authors to bring you well-written and entertaining reads. Quality is important to the ADDICTIVE READSauthors. Today we’re launching our new website and social media platforms

Take a few minutes to look around the site. Each author has an individual page with all of their books listed, along with their social media links. They also have genre pages where you can find books in just about any genre you enjoy. (See the menu guide links at the top of the page.)

And there are FREE ebooks for you, as well as collections at great prices (anthologies and box sets) from Addictive Reads authors.

As a thank you for checking out our group & books, the Addictive Reads’ authors are hosting a giveaway. You can enter through Friday, April 4, 2014. Winners will be announced, Saturday, April 5th.

We’re giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card, one $20 Amazon Gift Card, and one bundle of eBooks from Addictive Reads Authors including:

To enter the giveaway, just go to the ADDICTIVE READS site and follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter near the bottom of the post for your chance to win one of the prizes!

While you’re here, sign up for my mailing list/newsletter to be one of the first to find out about my new releases, specials, giveaways, and other events.

As always – thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Addictive Reads, Books, Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments