Sunday, July 29, 2012

Experience the Joy of Knowing Me.

Yeah, I figured that would grab your attention but don’t run away just because I suckered you in. First, let me tell you why I brought you here.
Here’s the deal. At the end of August my latest novel, Noon 2: The Resurgence will be released. It is the sequel to my very popular novel, Noon: The Rise to Power.
Now the question I’m sure many of you are asking is “Why would I read the sequel when I haven’t read the original, and why would I read the original when I have no idea if you have any talent. Frankly, a lot of the indie books I’ve read weren’t very good; in fact, some of them were downright terrible. Why, I remember downloading this book about…”
I get it! I get it! Yes, there are a lot of stinkers out there. Believe me I know. I’m a publisher and wouldn’t believe some of the crap that I had to…
But I digress.
Back to topic. Like any intelligent consumer, you need to be convinced that what I’m selling is worth having.
Fair enough.
Up here in the North Country we have this annual festival where all the restaurants in the area come together at one location and set up tents where they sell samples of their food. All the profits go to charity and many a good restaurant is discovered for only a pittance of what it would usually cost to dine there.
This is a pretty good business case. I have eaten at several of these restaurants and probably never would have, had I not sampled their product beforehand.
So here’s my sample. I have a book of my short stories titled ‘Storytime”. Its received several glowing reviews and has become quite popular. I believe its popularity is due to the wide variety of stories featured. There are Thrillers, Sci-Fi, Erotic horror, Comedy, Crime drama, Suspense, Fantasy and Romance. Plus a whole lot more. 23 in all so you’re bound to find a favorite among them.
Click here to see the reviews.   
And I’m giving it away for FREE starting July 30, 2012.
“So what’s the catch?” you ask.
Here’s the answer. Once you download and read Storytime, (which is DRM free so it can be downloaded to any electronic device) you’ll soon realize that my writing is engaging and my stories worth reading. And having established that, you’ll likely be open to reading Noon: The Rise to Power and, with its $2.99 price tag and 30 day money back guarantee (USA residents only), what’s there to lose?
Click here to download FREE 'Storytime.'
Then when Noon 2: The Resurgence is released at the end of August, you, like all the others who have read the original will be clamoring for a copy which will make the sequel’s launch a memorable success.
So you see, everybody wins!
“But what if I don’t own a Kindle or Nook or Ipad or Smartphone?” you ask.  “What if it’s just me and my computer?”
Well, you’re in luck. Amazon provides a FREE download of their Kindle Reader app which makes it possible to read the stories you download from Kindle right there on your computer!
Just click here to get the FREE download. 
“But Zackary, what if I’ve already read and enjoyed Storytime?” you ask. “What am I to do?”
Good question. The answer is to download and read Noon: The Rise to Power.
Why? Well because even though you may not be a fan of political thrillers, having read ‘Storytime’ you know I don’t write like other authors and so you already know Noon will be considerably different, besides there is that 30 day money back guarantee. So, c’mon (wink) admit it, I’ve piqued your curiosity so why not click here.  and download it and if you’re not completely dazzled, I will give you your money back and never darken your door again!
And seriously, who, in their right mind would turn down that offer?

Monday, July 23, 2012


I need to ring in on this bastard who murdered those 12 people in Aurora Colorado.
The fact is, we have brought this on ourselves.
Why? Because we have gone from being a country that acts, to a country that reacts. Every time something like this happens, everyone starts wringing their hands and asking, “How could this have happened?  All the talking heads start in on how we need to understand why this happened.
No we don’t.
We simply need to stop it from happening.
How do we do this? Simple, we make it real. Since these young lunatics can’t seem to differentiate between a video game murder and an actual murder, we show them the difference.
Right after the shooting, Holmes should have been dragged into court, 12 jurors assembled and tried right there and then. Since there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he is guilty, he should be sentenced to hang.
That’s right, HANG. No lethal injection, no appeals, no technicalities, no delays.
No excuses.
Immediately after sentencing, he is taken outside the courtroom and while the televisions cameras are recording and broadcasting, a rope is thrown over a lamppost. A noose is fashioned.
It is then, the realization that this is not a game becomes clear, not only to him but also to the people who are watching. This is not his 15 minutes of fame. This is the monkey’s paw of attention. He will be famous all right, but not for killing those 12 people. He’ll be famous for being the first murderer executed on national television in Hi-Def.
And as that reality sets in, as his slow death looms before him, as he panics and cries and begs and pleads and swears that’s he’s sorry and that it was all just a terrible mistake and that he didn’t mean it and…and…and…
He will be dragged kicking and screaming to the center of the street where the rope hangs from over the streetlamp. The noose is pulled over his head and tightened around his neck. While handcuffed he is pulled into the air ten feet above the ground.
The camera’s zoom in on his wildly kicking feet, then pans on his face as it slowly turns blue, then on his eyes as they bulge from his head, then on his tongue as it falls from his mouth. And we watch for minute after minute after minute as he desperately fights for survival, as he struggles to draw just another breath.
After 15 minutes or so of televised agony, he finally succumbs.
Immediately afterward, the President appears on the screen and announces that this is to be the fate of every mass murderer.
There will be those who will protest this policy. Plead for mercy and understanding. Perhaps he was mentally unbalanced. Perhaps he was abused. Perhaps he had a brain injury.
Doesn’t matter.
Regardless of the reason those 12 people are still dead.
Our problem is that we have become a nation of philosophers and intellectuals, of ponderers and questioners.
“Where,” they will ask, “is our compassion?”
To which I will answer, “Where is your sense of responsibility?”  
Nearly every day there’s another incident where some mental patient, or gangbanger or disgruntled loser decides to take their problems out on the world. And why not? In New York a life sentence is often drastically reduced to where the murderer spends less than a decade in prison, or pleads down to a lesser charge in a deal with the D.A. to save time and money.
David Hickley, the man who shot President Reagan and James Brady, is permitted unsupervised excursions from the mental facility.
Our ancestors never put up with this. John Dillinger was shot in the back as he ran from police and rightly so. Bonnie and Clyde were mowed down with over 100 bullets without warning. Again, rightly so.
Nowadays, a police officer would be jailed for murder if he shot Holmes in the back if he ran from the theater.  
So for those of you who call for understanding and compassion it’s time to admit your way has failed and to stop endangering the rest of us with your pleas for leniency.
Because you’re getting us killed.
I could have been a victim of that madman. I was at a midnight showing of  “The Dark Night Rises,” fortunately, I wasn’t in Aurora.
Ever notice that this never happens in an area where the law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry a concealed weapon?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm Holding Auditions!

As most of you know, I’ve been in the process of completing Noon 2 The Resurgence, which is the sequel to Noon The Rise to Power. Well, I’m happy to say it’s done and off to the editor for a final tightening up.
I had planned to take some time off, hang with my musician friends for a change but Nooooo! I had just finished dotting the final i and crossing the final t when a crowd of imaginary characters gathered outside the doorstep of my imagination.
Apparently word had gotten out that I felt I hadn’t finished telling the story of Micah Sabbathiel, one of the main characters of an earlier novel, The Messiah Complex. I was barely considering it when two other characters from that novel, Chief Detective Angelo Pastafanni and Lieutenant Walter Richardson showed up. Angelo looked healthier and slimmer than when I last saw him but poor Walter has been stricken by some neuro-muscular disease that has left him seriously limited.
Two new villainous characters have arrived and both have won a part. The first is a powerful black man named Caiaphas Jones and the other is nick-named Baloonhead (don’t ever let him hear you call him that!) Not quite sure of the size of their parts. For example, in the Messiah Complex, Angelo was supposed to track down Sabbathiel. In the conclusion, it turned out to be Richardson.
Hadn’t seen that coming.
The working title for the novel is SABBATHIEL.
Sometimes friends ask me to make them a character in my book. I usually refuse because I don’t want to limit the character to avoid making a friend look bad.
I have made exceptions.
A good buddy of mine, Jimmy Sullivan asked if he could be in Noon The Rise to Power. I said yes because Jimmy is a remarkable character and as a writer, he understood the risks.
Jimmy in real life is a slim, wiry guy with a soft voice and easy manner. This makes him deceptively dangerous because he is fearless, hangs out with former navy SEALS and is one of those guys who can rip out your still beating heart and show it to you before you die.
In Noon I changed Jimmy Sullivan’s name to Oloki Sullivan but kept nearly everything else. Like Jimmy, Oloki wears a Boston Red Sox cap, is wiry, intelligent and deceptively dangerous.
Oloki may have started off as Jimmy but somewhere along the road they parted company. In the beginning you’re led to believe that Oloki is a regular guy in troubled times. But as the story unfolds, Oloki reveals a single-minded zealotry that permits him to rationalize acts of violence that the real Jimmy would never consider.
The Noon series is set in a not-to-distance future where New York and the rest of the USA is ruled by a ruthless consortium of multinational business firms. The plot was to have a genius scientist gather a specialized group to expel the corporate overlords and return the government to the people.
To make things right again.
Yay me and my heady idealism.
My characters however were not so ideological and not so subtly reminded me that all revolutions are birthed in blood.
In Noon The Rise to Power, class warfare deteriorates into actual physical battle. Tens of thousands are killed by a masked vigilante group led by a brilliant sociopath known only as Madalone. Amid the horror a homeless teenage boy falls in love with a homeless teenage girl unaware she is being pursued by an organization of sexual predators. A video hustler is challenged to a high-stakes game called Electrocutioner only to discover too late that the loser is electrocuted. An associate called the I-Man displays abilities disturbingly beyond what human beings are capable of. A captured government agent defiantly challenges his pretty, blond captor to ‘do her worst’ unaware that this young geneticist has every intention of releasing him from his physical prison and placing him in a psychological hell of unimaginable horror.
Noon 2 The Resurgence picks up right where Noon The Rise to Power left off. Now in power, Noon institutes Marshall Law and makes trade agreements with a powerful Asian Alliance of nations known as ‘The Gang of Four’. The I-Man’s origin is revealed. Oloki is ordered to poison legal recreational drugs ‘for the greater good”. And as the federal government prepares to invade New York, the Scarecrows reunite. What follows is a climax that left me unsure as to who the actual heroes are.
 Noon The Rise to Power has become very popular with seven 5 star-reviews, a number of glowing e-mails and not one single dislike. It will undoubtedly become more popular with the release of Noon 2 The Resurgence next month. So why not get in on the action now and download Noon The Rise to Power for only $2.99 ($16.95 for the paperback so this is one hell of a deal) and find out what happens to Oloki Sullivan, the Doctor, the I-Man and the others. It even comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee (Sorry USA residents only.) It’s perfect summer reading!  
Here’s the link:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dog Killer

Recently I read a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in my local newspaper. In it a woman said as she was approaching her home she was horrified to see her little dog, obviously dead from being struck by a car, in a pile on the side of the street.
She immediately went into an hysterical tirade accusing the driver of being an heartless monster . ‘How could you run over my sweet little dog and just leave her there to die? I can’t stop crying when I think of how my beautiful little pet was so badly hurt and the pain she must have been feeling. You could have at least stopped and took her to a vet, or tried to contact me. That’s what I would have done. But then again I am a human being who cares about God’s creatures while you must be some sort of psycho who runs over little dogs and leaves them there to suffer and die.’
On and on she goes. Bewailing the death of her pooch and spitting venom at the person who ran her over.
Now you probably would expect me to feel sorry for her loss but the more I read, the angrier I got at the dog owner.
Because I ran over and killed a dog once.
It was many years ago. I was working for a campground way out in the boonies and traveled through miles and miles of farmland to get there.
On my way to work one morning, on one of those long stretches of empty road, a little dog bolts out from the brush, faces my car head-on and begins to bark as if challenging it.
I slam on the brakes.
I’m doing the speed limit but there is no way the car can stop in time.
My heart jumps into my throat. I know that dog won’t survive unless he has the sense to lay down and let the car pass over him.
No such luck.
The car stops, I open the door, hear a gurgling moan. I run to where the dog lies. He shudders momentarily and dies in a pool of blood.
I can’t begin to describe how terrible I felt as I looked down at the poor, little foolish dog. I searched for the dog’s owner. There is no one around. The only structure is a barn about 1/4 mile inside the farm land with no road access.
So I pull the dog to the side of the road and notice he has a collar but no tags or license. I head off for the barn and when I reach it notice that it’s closed and locked. There are no other nearby structures, just farmland and the buildings of the campground where I work. It’s off season so I know the dog doesn’t belong to a camper.
I get back in my car and drive to work. When I arrive I go to my office and phone the Department of Public Works and advise them that there is a dead dog on the side of the road.
I don’t mention that I was the one who ran him over.
I continued to feel terrible then stopped when I realized that dog’s owner was the one responsible for that dog’s death. Not me. I was driving the speed limit, my car had been inspected and passed. My driver’s license was current and had no points. Plus, I had a dog of my own that I kept in an enclosed fenced area. My dog had a license, name, up to date med tags and my address. My dog was leashed when I let him outside.
So as I continued to read this woman’s rant about the driver who hit her dog, I was sorely tempted to look her up, call her and ask her why was the dog in the street in the first place? How did he get out of the house or back yard? Did you let him out to do his business and forget to let him back in before you left? And how do you know the driver didn’t try to contact you? Or that the dog suffered and hadn’t been killed instantly, you weren’t there.
But I didn’t do it. I’m not the type to rub salt into someone’s wounds
Here’s a note to anybody who owns a pet. If you let you pet have free reign to come and go as he or she pleases, REMEMBER, once your pet is out in the wild, the laws of the jungle apply. How many squirrels, woodchucks, raccoons, skunks, deer and even moose are killed by cars every day? How many are killed by predators? Shot by hunters? Get caught in traps? Get attacked by rabid animals? Fall off cliffs, drown?
You see them on the side of the road all the time.
So I propose a pact between car drivers and pet owners. You keep your pets off the streets and we won’t drive our cars in your enclosed back yards. 

Sorry that I haven't been posting twice a week as I usually do but I have been very busy getting the sequel, Noon 2 The Resurgence ready for publication. In the meantime, why not download the original, Noon The Rise to Power to your electronic device? It's received eight 5 star reviews, is only $2.99 (less than the cost of a Big Mac) and comes with a money back guarantee if you don't like it (Sorry, US residents only) It's Ari Publishing's best seller and there's just enough time left to read it before the sequel is released. So why not give it a try? Click on the cover on the slide show above and download. Seriously, you will not be disappointed.   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Adventures with Negroes!

When I was a kid that was the term I was taught to properly address black people. Now they are African-American’s unless they are from Jamaica or Madagascar, then the proper terminology is…
Oh hell, I don’t know and am too old to care.
I grew up in the Bronx in a high rise apartment building, filled with families of all nationalities and we all hung out in the 60X40 ‘playground’ alongside the building.
My friends were Jewish, Polish, Black, Puerto Rican, Irish, Chech, French Canadian and an assortment of mixed breeds. We all got along probably because we didn’t know we weren’t supposed to. We all had nicknames which had nothing to do with our ethic background.  Lenny the black kid got christened  ‘Lemon Pie’ which got shortened to ‘PIE’ The Puerto Rican kid, Charlie Hey, named Chocolate Chips which got shortened to Chips’.  I got christened ‘Chang’ because one of the Jewish girls had some kind of sing-song thing that took a person’s name and converted it to a Jewish name. (like the song the ‘Name Game’ if you’re old enough to remember what that was)
I mentioned in earlier blogs that in my teens I spend my summers working for a Head Start Program. Well, after my adventure with the Mother Bunny at the Playboy Club, (go to the archives for the actual story) my boss thought a two person team was a better idea for the weekly excursion into Manhattan, so each week me and Janet, a black girl co-worker my age, would take the bus and the subway into the City.
Teenage boys and teenage girls really don’t see color. They either fall in with each other or they don’t. I fell in with Janet because she was a kind and fun girl and we had a great time comparing notes about how different our lives were. 
Back then the races rarely mingled socially.
We didn’t know that and enjoyed arguing over our tastes in music, movies, television and everything else that was going on in the sixties. I told her I liked the song ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ by Donovan and she said she wasn’t a fan of songs where the guy sang under water.  I remember one time when we were getting on a bus together and this old woman gave me this ‘shame on you’ look.
It’s been nearly forty years and I still remember that look.
Hateful old bitch.
Anyway, I never saw Janet after that summer. I hope she had a wonderful life.
Kind, thoughtful people deserve a wonderful life.
Comedian Chris Rock once said that there isn’t anyone as racist as an old black man. He’s missing the point. It isn’t the color, it’s the age. As a person grows older, their brain shrinks causing irritation and short-temperedness. I suppose I’m not immune but I hope that when I reach that age I will remember this.
As a struggling musician I had many different jobs to pay the bills while I pursued my musical career. One was making toilet paper on an assembly line in a company whose employees were 98% black and Hispanic. I was desperate and needed the money to pay the rent on my Manhattan apartment and was so broke my lunch was coffee and cigarettes.
I was 5’10” and 130 pounds.
After a week or so, my black and Hispanic co-workers noticed that I wasn’t eating and was losing weight. When they commented on it I said as a ‘Rock and Roller” I needed to stay slim.
People who have been down on their luck recognize other people down on their luck.
At lunchtime, when we would gather and I would pour a cup of coffee and light up a cigarette, my co-workers would come up with schemes to provide me with food while letting me keep what little there was left of my pride.
“Oh man!” one of my co-workers would say as he looked inside his lunch bag. “My old women done gave me a second sandwich when she knows I’m trying to lose weight. Probably jealous cause the ladies been checking me out. Help a brother out and eat this for me”, he’d say sliding a chicken salad sandwich toward me, ‘If I bring it home, she’ll think I’m cheating on her.
If I refused, he’d act like I was insulting him.
This went on for a couple of weeks with my co-workers coming up with new and inventive way to slip me food until I scored a touring gig that paid enough to pay off my bills.
You know those groups at work that pool their money, buy Lotto tickets and then win millions of dollars?
I hope the people from that toilet paper company did that, won and lived happily ever after.
Because kind, thoughtful people deserve a wonderful life.  

While you’re here, why not read a sample of my books by clicking on the covers in the slideshow above. If you find something you like you can download it to your electronic device and within 30 days, if you decide you don’t like it I’ll send you your money back (USA resident only). It’s a better deal than you’ll get from any book store and you might just find yourself a new favorite author. So why not give one a try. Only $2.99 each!