A Holiday Zombie Story

Hello all! I was asked to write for an upcoming holiday horror book that collects zombie short stories that take place during Christmas. Fun, huh? It’s about my favorite zombie killer, Zachary Ward (recurring character in The Z Word), who is chased into a building in the city by zombies only to discover a school in the distance decorated for Christmas. He heads towards the survivors, gets to know them and celebrates Christmas like only a true zombie apocalypse hero can…by saving the day and killing zombies!

Here is a schematic for the school where he makes new friends and helps them out a bit:

Image

I was having trouble picturing the property, so I drew one up as a rough sketch. It really helped move the story from building to building. I may have to do this more often!

Anyway, the book won’t be out until closer to the holidays, so keep an eye out for it! And if you haven’t read The Z Word, check it out!

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Albert’s Arc

John was trying to communicate but just couldn’t get anyone to assist him. “Excuse eh mwa,” he said to a man who ignored him and continued through the Jardin de Petit Palais.
A tall thin man passing by overheard his struggles and approached.
“Bonjour, madame, monsieur,” he said in a thick French accent. He spoke in his native tongue to the man who nodded and walked away.
“Well, it’s nice to know not all Frenchmen are rude,” John said to the stranger. “I’m John, this is my wife, Mabel. Won’t you join us?” The man adjusted his glasses and sat down with them on a park bench.
“I’m Albert. First time in Paris?”
This time Mabel spoke. “Bon-joor, Al-bear,” she exaggerated his French name, trying her best. “Yes, it’s our first time. And we love it. Dja adoor,” she said with a smile. He smiled back, appreciative of her attempt.
“Don’t judge Paris on this man. Not all Parisians are like him. Where are you from?”
“New York City,” John said with pride.
“Ah, yes, ze big pomme…er…apple, yes? I’ve been zere once. I loved it. Very fast. What have you zeen zo far in Paris?”
“We climbed that tower of yours. It’s no Empire State, that’s for sure,” John responded.
“But beautiful and very romantic,” added Mabel. She adjusted her jacket and fixed her white hat.
“Ah, been to ze famous Parisian stores, hmm?” Albert asked her, regarding her hat. She giggled and blushed a bit. “It is very…you – as you Americans say. Where are you headed now?”
John pulled out a small travel guide and flipped to a specific page. “The Arch De Triumph.”
“Say it like ze Noah’s Ark. Ark.”
“Aha! The Arc de Triumph. Got it. Thanks, Al-bert,” he said, forgetting not to say the final t of his name. “Er…Al-bear.” Albert nodded in appreciation.
“I am heading that way, would you like me to show you?”
Mabel giggled again. “Oh, yes, please do join us! Is it okay Johnny? Imagine being shown around by a true-blue Frenchman!” John nodded and they were off.
The café was just three short blocks from the arc, so they barely had time to chat before they came upon the street they had to cross to get there. “Be careful crossing here, it is a very busy street and Parisians don’t always stop.” He laughed as Mabel looked nervous. “I kid, I kid. Come.”
As they approached, another man in some sort of uniform saw them approaching the building and headed for them. He spoke French to Albert, who responded quickly as if the two were great friends.
“Zis is my friend, Francoise, and he has agreed to let us go up to the top. Would you like zis?”
“Oh yes! Of course we would!” Mabel said. Francoise led them to a door and unlocked it with a smile.
“Bon journee!” he said to them after shaking Albert’s hand.
After many stone steps, they made it to the roof. Mabel ran to the stone wall that surrounded the top and pulled out her camera to take a shot of the Eiffel Tower.

“Look at this view!” she said with a gasp. “John! Look at Paris from up here! This is better than from the tower!” She snapped a few shots while John and Albert watched.
“We really appreciate this, Al-bear,” he said. “Mabel sure loves it up here.” She ran from side to side snapping shots and advancing the film in her camera as the two men watched on.
Albert walked to the wall facing the tower and sat. “You can see all of the arrondisements, from here. I am from the 4th, which is just zere,” he said, pointing. “And I work in the 11th, as a professor, that way,” he pointed again. “I’ve fallen in love in each of ze arrondisements except the 12th. No luck there, yet.” Mabel sighed and leaned into John, taking his hand. He was startled just the smallest bit because he wasn’t aware she was there listening.
“You’ve fallen in love that many times?”
“Oui. How many times pour vous?”
“Just the once…John!”
Albert sighed. “Perhaps I should be in ze twelfth.”
Mabel smiled. “Oh yes! That’s probably where she is! Waiting for you!”
Albert leaned back and let the sun warm his face. “I have a…friend there. Geraldine. She is lovely. I adore her. But…she is just a friend. She does not see me zees way.”
“Nonsense! You’ve got a stable profession, you’re good looking, what else could a woman want?”
He stood and placed his hands in his pockets, looking over the city in the direction of the twelfth.
“You should ask her on a date. Why not? She’d be crazy not to fall for you lickety-split, I tell you. Tell him!” she said, nudging her husband. He just stood looking toward the tower, pretending not to hear.
Albert’s eyes looked distant as he continued to stare into the twelfth arrondisement. “Perhaps,” he whispered.

Inheritance

Hello all! My new book is out and is called Inheritance. It’s a memoir of time I spent interviewing my grandfather about his life. I learned so much and highly recommend that everyone take the time to sit down and talk to their elders, before it’s too late. Read the description below.

It was published by the awesome guys over at WragsInk. I cannot thank them enough.

Here’s an excerpt:

My grandparents were always fun to be around. Even when I was little, they used to fight all the time.
    “Let me try some of that cake.”
    “You’ve had enough of the cake!”
    “I want some more!”
    “Fine. Someone pass him the cake.”
    This all transpired in loud voices, sometimes switching over to Italian that I can only assume was to disguise the cursing from our young ears. But the thing was, I always knew they loved each other. The bickering, the fighting, the complaining, it was all out of love. Not once as a child did I ever think it meant anything else. Only someone there could fully understand how we all knew. Maybe it was just something we inherited from our parents because they knew. Or, possibly, it was just something we felt in our guts.
    It’s funny, but every time I watch Seinfeld and the Costanzas, George’s parents, start fighting, I can’t help but think of my grandparents.
    They lived. Even as they became senior citizens, they were always out and enjoying life. They were in clubs, they went to dances, they attended weekly concerts on the boardwalk whenever there was one. They were always out visiting friends, going to dinners, enjoying themselves. I always looked up to them for that, and hoped that when I reached their age, I would be the same way.

I’ve also gotten an official Facebook page here. Please stop by and like it.

Here’s a description of the book as well:

On the day author Dennis Finocchiaro sat and started interviewing his grandfather for a graduate school project, he never knew how far into the past he would travel or the range of emotions he would feel. This is the story of Rosario “Charlie” Finocchiaro through the eyes of his grandson Dennis, throughout his childhood in 1920s Philadelphia to war in Italy all the way up to his retirement in Havertown; Inheritance introduces the reader to the life of an everyday man, a soldier, contractor and patriarch. Experience childhood in 1920s Philly, wartime Italy during World War II, the Jersey Shore throughout many decades, and contemporary suburban Philadelphia in a memoir that jumps through the last one hundred years and introduces the journey of a grandson getting to know his grandfather thanks to an assignment. Humor, romance and even a few bootleggers make this nonfiction account of one man’s life both heartwarming and informative. Travel through time with a grandson as he learns his family’s history, heritage, and ultimately, his greatest inheritance.

A Moment at a Sigur Ros Concert

As Sigur Ros played melodically on the stage, a Chinese paper lantern gently rose, lifted higher, and disappeared on the horizon, creating a moment of pure magic.

Mo, and My Take on Bullying

I’ve always been against bullies, ever since that gargantuan down the street would terrorize everyone at our bus stop in elementary school. Mo, my newest kid’s book, reflects my feelings on bullies.

On a planet quite far from us lives a civilization of monsters with superpowers. It is a sad place, very brown and dead, and looks like this:

Mo

Mo, our protagonist, is a bit smaller than his classmates and has yet to discover his power. The others pick on him in various ways until one day, his teacher gives him a magic key that helps him find his power and become a hero. And, of course, the bullies get their just desserts.

Here is an image of Mo on the cover.

Isn’t he cute? Artist Christina Paul  did an excellent job visualizing the story and all of the little creatures. I love her work.

So, if you want to check out the ebook, it’s available on Kindle and Nook so far. If you check it out, I would love to hear your thoughts on it! Make sure you check out my other ebooks as well…there are a few. Thanks for stopping by!

The Princess of the Land of Black

As some of you may know, I have delved into the world of juvenile fiction, AKA kid’s books. Right now they are in ebook format, so if you have one, I would love if you would check it out. I’m going to do a few small features on them in the upcoming days.

The Princess of the Land of Black was inspired by my new wife’s niece, who pretty much demanded I write one about a princess. I never saw myself writing about female royalty, but when I really thought about it, I came up with the character Onyx, a princess in a kingdom where they only wear shades of black. She goes on a quest to find out what else there is in the world, and discovers all of the other colors by visiting princesses and castles.

What’s it really about? Opening your mind to new things. Going outside your comfort zone and coming out on top. Living life. You name it.

The artwork is by Lyndsaye Greke, a Canadian artist, poet and jaqueline-of-all-trades, so to speak. Her work is fantastic. When we started preliminary discussions, I said I would love something that’s “Disney” plus “Tim Burton” and I think she did a great job. It’s cute, but just a bit dark as well.

It’s available on Nook, Kindle and in the iTunes store. I hope you enjoy it, and if you check it out please feel free to comment here on what you thought.

Denial

Flash fiction typed onto a vintage photograph using an antique typewriter. A collection of similar pieces is available here for Kindle and here for paperback.

Long Lost William from Coney Island

They all gathered to hear the letter from their long-missing relative, William, Junior. His mother Betty called to her sisters from her alley window, who called their children from slumber, and they all met on the community patio outside of Betty’s home to hear the news. Frank, a second cousin, had secretly been taking bets that young Will had been killed in a bar fight, while his sister Evangeline insisted he had joined the Peace Corps and was saving the world.

Betty didn’t even change from the robe she wore around the house; as a matter of fact, she hadn’t even bothered putting on shoes or slippers. The others, some of whom took the time to get dressed in their day suits, some still in pajamas, all congregated around the family matriarch, whispering at the possibilities of what the letter might contain as she carefully pulled at the envelope. The markings on the postage said California, which was quite a long trip from William’s hometown of Coney Island.

They were waiting for Will’s youngest brother, Peter, who had run into town to get his father, only to have the elder William return before him. Moments later, Peter ran up to the group, panting. Nobody bothered to ask what had taken him so long as Betty pulled the three pages out and started skimming the letter before her public reading. A single tear ran down her cheek as she cleared her throat and prepared to read aloud.

Deliverance

Another piece of flash fiction typed onto a vintage photograph using my antique typewriter. And of course, my shameless plug for the book.

All In One Night

My first new flash fiction on a vintage photograph using an antique typewriter in months. If you like it, you can order Capturing a Moment, a collection of similar works or order an original by visiting my Etsy.