Friday, May 29, 2015

COLLAPSE: THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE - Brand New Graphic Style Project

COMING AUGUST 14th, 2015

Fight or die. Choose your side. 
Enter the world of Cassidy Hart, the fearless heroine of the post-apocalyptic Collapse Series, straight from the mind of its creator, #1 Bestselling Author Summer Lane. 

Explore designs from 20 of the most popular characters from the series, including concept art from some of the most famous scenes from Cassidy's adventures. 

Also included are three exclusive short stories from the viewpoints of Chris Young, Sophia Rodriguez and Harry Lydell. 

So here it is. This book has been a long time coming, and this August, you guys will get to see it brought to life, both in a beautiful color paper-bound edition, and an eBook version that will be available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

This collection will include concept art and designs from the world of Cassidy Hart. I was fortunate enough to work with a very talented artist, Oskari, and collaborate with him (as well as a talented design team) to create designs that portrayed what I thought the characters of the Collapse Series looked like. What's going to be great about this book is that it's concept art, which means that there is still plenty of room for the imagination to create its own version of that character. 

My vision for this publication was that it would be done in the graphic novel style, and I think we achieved that. There is a lot of little detail done with each character in the book that readers of the series will appreciate - and if you haven't read the series yet, it's a great way to get familiar with the main players. 

So. MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the release of this brand new project: AUGUST 14th, 2015. This is a huge release for me, personally. Combining the medium of the written word with the graphic novel format of character profiles was a big project, and I'm CAN'T WAIT to share it!! 

Until then, State of Vengeance releases on June 26th, 2015!! 

ALSO: This book includes a special announcement at the end, introducing a new stand-alone novel releasing in March 2016, centering on perhaps the most beloved character of the Collapse Series and Zero Trilogy. *wink*

Monday, May 25, 2015

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Bestselling Post-Apocalyptic Author G. Allen Mercer

The end of the world is now. G. Allen Mercer is the author Worst Case Scenario: The Series, the story of one family's fight to survive in a world that's gone insane after the apocalypse hits. As a lover (and writer) of post-apocalyptic and survivalist fiction myself, I was very interested in Mr. Mercer's story. Check out this interview with the author, and below that, my review of the first installment of the three-part series. 

Tell us about Worst Cast Scenario. 

Worst Case Scenario is a series of Ebooks that follow the Burrows family after America has been attacked with nuclear, biological and electromagnetic pulse weapons.

The ‘back jacket’ reads:

If disaster ever struck, everyone in the Burrows family knew the plan. They had prepped for disasters or terrorists situations for years by quietly training, stockpiling food, and educating themselves about the enemies of America.  It was a day that they hoped would never arrive.
But, hope was not enough. 

When a nuclear bomb detonates in Atlanta and the rest of the United States is paralyzed by an EMP attack, Ian, Leah and Grace realize something very important; planning and reality are two different things.

Faced with being separated on the day of the attack this family of preppers will need to find ways to get to each other in order to survive. But in order to make that happen each one will have to endure the societal fabric of the country ripping apart at the seams. They will have to evade the freakers, the rogue gangs that have taken the law into their own hands. But most importantly they will have to escape an invasion force intent on choking out those that resist.

Being prepared is only the beginning. Having to fight for survival is entirely something else.

Are you prepared…prepared to fight for your life? Are you prepared for the Worst Case Scenario?

Why do you write post-ap and survival fiction? How did you get started? 

I have been writing my entire life.  As a kid, I actually owned a mechanical typewriter, and wrote some of my first stories using a bottle of White-Out instead of a delete button. 
I wrote for the newspaper while at the University of Georgia and then copy for the largest advertising agency in the South.
I published my first book, Justin Flowers and the Orb of Time in 2003 and then took some time off to start a company that was outside of publishing.
A few years ago, I had an awakening of sorts and have rekindled my passion to write.  In 2014, I published Underlying Grace, which is a fiction book about man’s relationship with God.  The sequel, Mighty To Save is due out this summer.
But, to answer the question about post-apocalyptic writing:  To me, writing post-ap allows me to write action adventure in a world that is not too removed from current reality.  My readers don’t really have to take too large of a leap to land in the WCS world…it could really happen at any time. 
I also have to credit one of my friends for reengaging me into the genre.  I wrote sci-fi and post-ap during college, but never published the works.  Now that I’m back, I love it!

What is your favorite part about post-apocalyptic stories? Do you think there are any lessons to be learned in survivalist fiction? 

Some of the reviews of my work that gives me the greatest smiles are the ones where people say that they learned something.  I especially enjoy when I hear that something that I wrote made someone actually consider the ‘what if’ in life.
In the post-ap genre, there is a glorification of the breakdown of society and the very virtue of being human.  In my books, I try to maintain the semblance of normalcy…even though the world is spinning out of control.  Some people have said that kind of writing makes my stories ‘smaller,’ but I really see them as more focused on how people really feel and act.  
At the end of the day, why should someone in my story give up their ethics just because the world has changed…it changes every day, yet, we try to maintain who we are.  If we didn’t do that, we might have to shut the door on humanity.

What is your favorite post-apocalyptic movie or television show? What kinds of books inspire you? 

As far as modern writers go:  One of my favorite, and formative writers was Tom Clancy.  The Hunt For Red October almost made me join the CIA!  I am also a fan of the super rich writing of George R.R. Martin.  I picked up Game of Thrones in the Atlanta airport, when it first came out in paperback, and did not say a word to anyone on the plane ride to L.A.  J.K. Rowling rounds out my ‘modern’ writers.
As far as classical goes, H.G. Wells, The Time Machine and Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities might be my favorites.  Finally, I’d have to say, Robert Louis Stevenson and Treasure Island.
As far as television shows and movies go, it is all over the range, with a heavy dose of Sci-fi over post-apocalyptic:  Star Trek (Next Gen & Voyager), Star Wars, Terminator series, Battlestar Galactica.  Early Post-Ap movies would be Escape from New York, The Road Warrior (Mad Max), and Blade Runner.  World War Z is my only token zombie anything.  I don’t do zombie.

What is your advice to aspiring writers in this genre? 

My son is one of those aspiring young writers, and my advice seems to vary with each new book that I publish or with each new review, blog, tweet, you name it.  But, I do have a few, very clear and stable pieces of advice about writing in general and then one big one about writing in this genre:

1. Do not try to BS the reader.  They are smarter than you think and someone is going to call you out on it. 
2. Write what you know.  If you don’t know something, learn about it.
3. Make it fun and entertaining. 
4. Don’t assume that readers know what is in your head and how you got there…tell them. 
5. Be VERY passionate about writing.  When the creativity juices are flowing, don’t stop…when the juices have dried up, keep writing…that’s why we edit!

About writing in post-ap or dystopian: Humanity does not die just because a bomb dropped, or the grid is dead, or Facebook doesn’t work anymore.  Make your characters human; make your characters real and make them with emotion.  It is those types of qualities that will pull us all out of our Worst Case Scenario!

Any new projects coming up? 
Worst Case Scenario: Conclusion is book # 4 in the WCS series.  Due out in July.
Mighty To Save: part of the Underlying Grace series is also expected out in mid-summer.
I release a blog about every 2-3 weeks discussing how crazy society is…usually with an underlying tone of humanity or Godly grace.
Finally, I am working on a cross over project with my son, Justin A. Mercer.  He is a senior at Auburn University working on his second book.  We are collaborating on a series where his story line will intersect the story line of Worst Case Scenario…it’s cool stuff to work with your kid!

Connect with the Author

Worst Case Scenario:  Book One
Worst Case Scenario: Book Two Bug-OutBook Two 
Worst Case Scenario: Book Three Invasion: Book Three 
Worst Case Scenario: Book Four Conclusion: Coming July 2015

Underlying Grace:  Kindle 
Mighty To Save: Underlying Grace Series: Coming July 2015

Justin Flowers and the Orb of Time (Re-release, Winter 2015)

Summer's Review of Book One 
This is the story of one family versus an EMP. Because I write post-apocalyptic fiction, I appreciate the time and thought that the author obviously put into creating the story. The Burrows is a family that has put some major planning into their survival blueprint in the event of an earthquake, fire or....hey, the END OF THE WORLD!

I liked how the characters were bound by something more than mere survival; they were bound by a love for each other, which is always so refreshing to come across in survivalist fiction. It really gives the characters a stronger motivation than merely just "staying alive." I enjoyed this little adventure from beginning to end - there's really no wasted time at all!! Fun for anyone! 

Friday, May 22, 2015


Title: Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville 
Series: Jazz Age Mystery Series #4 
Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier 
Release Date: A Historical Jazz Age Mystery inspired by real-life Galveston gangs and local landmarks. Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville will be out in late Spring/Early Summer.

In 1920s Galveston, society reporter Jazz Cross is in for a surprise when she attends a traveling vaudeville show with her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, and sees an old flame in the production.  That night, they find a stabbing victim behind the Oasis — her half-brother Sammy’s speakeasy — who’s identified as an actor in the troupe. When the victim disappears and later turns up dead, Jazz must help prove that Sammy wasn’t the killer. After a second vaudeville actor is found dead, Jazz discovers that the events behind the scenes are much more interesting than the outdated acts onstage.

To make matters worse, Sammy’s old nemesis demands that he settles a score and forces him into yet another illegal scheme involving the troupe’s money-making ventures. Can Jazz help solve the murders and prove her brother’s innocence—so he can get away from the Downtown Gang for good? 

A historical Jazz Age mystery inspired by real-life Galveston gangs and local landmarks. Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville will be out in late spring/early summer.

Enter the giveaway to win the previous installment in this series, Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns!

Check out the first three installments in the Jazz Age Mystery Series! 

Get it on Kindle

Get it on Kindle

For Autographed Copies, check out Modern Millie on Etsy! Shoot Ellen a message through there and she'll get that to you!

About the Author 
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries. 

A flapper at heart, she's worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications). 

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns, the third book in the trilogy, came out in May 2014 and picks up right after BBB. 

Collier lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible. 
In her fantasy life, she’s a real-life flapper and journalist who splurges on Art Deco purses and compacts when she’s not investigating crime and corruption. 

Alternate Covers, shiny and new!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


It's not everyday you read about a character named Pandora Zwieback. Living in a community that is primarily dominated by German traditions and culture, my mind immediately flashed to zwieback, the hot bread roll that so many people pull out of the oven for special occasions. Steven Roman, however, has a different view of the subject. His paranormal thrillers, Blood Feud and Blood Reign follow the adventures and mishaps of a girl named Pandora and her fight with all things supernatural. In the spirit of things (there's no shame in cheesy puns around here!), here's Steven's guest post, a fictional look at Pandora and her story. 

Pandora Zwieback and the Bloggy Thing
A Gothy Tale of Self-Promotion by Steven A. Roman

“A guest post? I don’t know how to write one of those things!”

Pandora Zwieback crossed her arms and sat back as she stared in frustration at her laptop’s screen, as though the computer would have any better luck in coming up with the words that eluded her, but the machine only stared blankly back at her. It was so frustrating. Stupid computer.

Pan sighed. When Omaima Ramiya, the managing editor of the Society of Classic Monsters website, had first contacted her, she’d thought the woman really wanted to talk to her dad, David, who owned Renfield’s House of Horrors and Mystical Antiquities—after all, Renfield’s was the only horror-themed museum in the New York borough of Queens; wouldn’t it make sense to interview its director? He would’ve known what to write about. But no, Ms. Ramiya was more interested in learning about the teenaged Goth with the supernatural gift that allowed her to see through the human disguises worn by the creatures of the night that really existed in the world. Although initially shocked that anyone outside her parents and immediate circle of friends was even aware she possessed “monstervision” (as Pan called it), it all became clear when Ms. Ramiya explained that it was their mutual friend Annie who’d put her in touch, Annie suggesting that SoCM’s visitors might be interested in learning about her adventurous young friend.

Annie: otherwise known as Sebastienne Mazarin. An immortal, shape-shifting monster hunter who’d spent the last four hundred years protecting the world from the vampires, werewolves, and whatevers that stalked the shadows in search of human prey. Annie was currently acting as Pan’s mentor, helping the girl in trying to understand the strange powers she possessed.

Standing behind Pan, Sheena McCarthy leaned over to rest her chin on the top of her best friend’s head, and peered at the blank screen. “Y’know, if you’re waitin’ for that thing to write it for you, you’re gonna be waitin’ a looong time, Zee.”

Pan hmmf’d. “Well, it’s not like I can think of anything to say, Sheen. I mean, how do you tell the whole world that before Annie came along, I’d spent the last ten years being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic because I’ve been seeing monsters since I was six—and I don’t even know why I started seeing them in the first place? Or that Annie was the one who proved to me and my parents that I’d never had a mental illness to begin with, that this weird monstervision is some kinda superpower I’ve been gifted with for whatever reason—”

“Not to mention that other power, the one that lets you heal faster from wounds and stuff, like a gothy Wolverine from the X-Men.”

“Yeah, I don’t know where that’s coming from, either.” It was a pretty cool power, though—not only did it help her recover quickly from some of the scrapes she found herself in, but she could also use it to fix other people’s injuries. So, less like Wolverine and more like a walking first-aid kit. But it sure did come in handy—some of the damage she’d taken from monsters she’d faced could have turned out downright lethal without that healing factor.

“So just write all that stuff down,” Sheena said.  “I don’t see what’s the big deal. I thought you were supposed to be the big Renaissance woman: writer, artist, monster fighter”—she flashed a wicked little smile and wrapped her arms around Pan’s shoulders—“loooverrr…or at least that’s what I’m figurin’, what with you makin’ googly eyes at your boyfriend Javier all the time.” A tiny grunt of annoyance slid past her lips as she released her friend, before taking a seat on the corner of Pan’s bed. “Still don’t think it’s right, you datin’ a Yankees fan when you’re a die-hard Mets fan like me, but I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with that unholy alliance.” She sighed dramatically.

Pan frowned at Sheen’s reflection in the monitor. “Quiet, you. And yes, you will have to learn to live with it. Now shut up and help me write this thing.”

Sheen thought it over for a few seconds. “Okay, how about this? ‘My name is Pandora Zwieback. I’m a sixteen-year-old Goth chick with the power to see every monster and ghoul out to raise a little hell in my New York City hometown. But with the help of an immortal monster hunter named Annie, I’m gonna protect the city and the world from the forces of darkness…and maybe even have some fun doing it! This is…The Saga of Pandora Zwieback!’ Whattaya think?”

Pan made a gagging sound and rolled her eyes. “That is awful. It sounds like some kinda lame-ass TV show introduction.”

Sheen grinned. “I totally cribbed the style off’a The Flash and iZombie.”

Pan shrugged. “I’ll take it.” She scooted her chair up to her desk and started typing. “Should I work in that there’s a Saga of Pandora Zwieback young adult novel series about me, published by StarWarp Concepts? The one written by the guy who did those X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy and Final Destination novels?”

“What, that Steven A. Roman dude? Oh, hells, yes! I mean, you’re supposed to be gettin’ royalties from those things, aren’t you? ’Cause it’s your life he’s writin’ about.” Pan nodded. “So yeah, then do a little pimpin’ and let folks know there’re two books out already: Blood Feud and Blood Reign, and they’re about you and me and Annie and Javi and your mom and dad gettin’ pulled into that crazy vampire war, with all those clans from around the world that were lookin’ for some kinda secret weapon that would help ’em take over the world.”

“Uh-huh. Only it turned out the ‘secret weapon’ was really the skeleton of a fallen angel named Zaqiel who’d tried to wipe out humanity, like, a couple hundred years ago. And the one who’d stopped him back then was Annie. But eventually his skeleton wound up at my dad’s museum, where all the vampires showed up to fight over it.” Pan swallowed nervously. “And then things went…really bad…”

She shook her head to dispel the disturbing memories. “Should I put in that critics have been going crazy over the books?” That had surprised her even more than a publishing company making an offer to tell her story, that there were people who weren’t just interested in reading about her, but that their online reviews of both Blood Feud and Blood Reign had been so enthusiastic and full of praise. It was kind of embarrassing, in a way—especially when she’d learned that StarWarp Concepts had christened these readers “Panatics” (ugh)—but she had to admit the ego boost was pretty sweet. No one had ever considered her a role model before; hell, she’d never considered herself a role mode before. It was a…nice feeling.

“Rave reviews?” Sheen replied. “Sure. Throw it all in. Give ’em the hard sell, like my dad would say. Be totally shameless.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Pan said with a grin. Now that Sheen had given her a starting point, even if she had sort of swiped it from TV shows, and they’d talked it out, the writing was becoming a little easier. She still felt odd talking about herself this way, though. Pan chuckled. “Me, writing a guest post about a book series that’s about me. I don’t think you can get any more meta than that.”

“You could, if you were in a movie, writin’ a short story about how you were writin’ a guest post about a book series that’s about you. That would be, like, totally mind-blowin’.”

Not as mind-blowing as hunting monsters alongside her friends and an immortal shape-shifter, Pan thought with a smile. And her adventures were only beginning…

Written by Steven A. Roman and published by StarWarp Concepts, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 and Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 are currently available for order from online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, and in e-book formats from, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, and Oyster Books. For more information, as well as sample chapters and sales links, please visit

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback™ and © 1998, 2015 Steven A. Roman and Uriel Caton. “Pandora Zwieback and the Bloggy Thing” © 2015 Steven A. Roman.

About the Author 
STEVEN A. ROMAN made his professional writing debut in 1993 with the publication of his comic book horror series Lorelei. His writing has garnered praise from such authors as award-winning fantasy writer Charles de Lint, Bram Stoker Award-winner Elizabeth Massie, and crime fiction novelist Neal Barrett Jr., and from such magazines as Cemetery Danceand Severe.
In 1997, Steve was the “ghost” author of the Young Adult novel Spider-Man Super-Thriller: Warrior’s Revenge (the book was credited to Neal Barrett Jr.). He also contributed to the prose anthologies Untold Tales of Spider-Man and The Ultimate Hulk. In June 2000, his first credited novel was published: X-Men/Dr. Doom: The Chaos Engine, Book 1, the first in a trilogy of novels starring the popular Marvel Comics superhero team. It was followed by Book 2: X-Men/Magneto and Book 3: X-Men/Red Skull in 2002. All three novels were collected in a hardcover omnibus edition by the Science Fiction Book Club in 2004.
In addition to writing, Steve was a fiction editor for ten years, the last six of those spent as Editor-in-Chief of ibooks, inc., a New York–based publishing company. Among the many titles he edited were: original licensed novels based on Terminator 2The Transformers, Spider-Man, and Ghostbusters; the fantasies Dragonkin and Moebius’ Arzach; the science-fiction series Isaac Asimov’s Robot Mysteries; novelizations of the movies Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 and Dinocroc; and the Young Adult SF spoof Britney Spears is a Three-Headed Alien! 
Read the rest of Steven's bio at: Pandora Zwieback