Guest Post: Eli Constant and B.V. Barr #SummerofZombie



Thousands upon thousands of articles have been written on the best equipment to buy for the up-coming apocalypse.  We have seen numerous heroes run into stores and fill their packs with equipment before the hoard arrives. But what really works? Hollywood has a unique way of taking the cheapest junk or the latest fade or the biggest backer and making it THE THING to use at the end of the world. But will whatever it is work? Probably not, but it looks sexy and that’s what counts right? WRONG!

The Z world requires equipment which is durable, reliable, and effective. This means that most of the stuff touted by Hollywood gets flushed down the toilet. In combat, a soldier has the ability, most of the time, to get re-supplied by the rear echelons. So running out of the essentials is academic. Only in extreme situations will a combat soldier actually run “dry” and have to throw rocks. In a real Zombie situation, however, running out of ammo is a real threat, so we will tackle that first.

Probably the most discussed and argued point by survivalists and Z preppers is what type of gun to carry. No one can argue that a firearm is the most effective weapon against the hoard or other baddies trying to take advantage of the situation. A gun allows a person to engage multiple targets at range and since the population of the US is around 350 million this attribute may come in handy when half begin turning into the stumbling dead!

Of the great survival weapons, the AR, AK, and Pump Shotgun reign supreme. Of the short guns (handguns), the Glock (along with all the other double stacks) and the venerable magnum revolver are at the top of the list. But are these the optimal choice in a Zombie end of times scenario? Well, it’s a little more complicated than yes or no.

Although no one knows exactly how it will go down when the Z’s finally arrive, we can all agree that the world as we know it will change dramatically and one of those changes will come in the form of power loss. Grids will go down in a cascade, like the one we experienced in the South West a few years ago leaving everyone in the dark and without power. Since the US has combined all the grids into one massive infrastructure, it’s improbable that one area or township will avoid this fate.

Without power, rapid transit will soon follow, then automobiles, and that’s when the real problems start. As portrayed in all the movies and written in all the books, most survivors eventually end up on foot and that means burden carrying. Here in lies the problem. Most people can comfortably carry between 45 and 65 pounds. Anything over that begins to decrease mobility and coordination. Weapons and ammo, you will find, weigh a lot and the bigger the round the heavier weight…simple math.

So what weapon(s) do you want to carry when the time comes to reduce these problems? What will combat the issue of a lot of targets vs. necessary weight restrictions? Well, for your rifle, you will want a high quality .22. Yep that’s right, the little .22 rifle. Long forgotten and set aside to bring home rabbits for stew. Loaded with the correct round, they can be devastating to the head of a Zombie and that’s the bull’s-eye point, right? Considering that the CCI stinger leaves the barrel at around 1600 feet per second and dumps 190(ish) foot pounds of energy into its target, it’s understandable how this little pea shooter can become a Z survival weapon!

Then there is the weight issue. A “brick” (five hundred rounds) is about the same size and weight as a full box of 3” 12 gauge OOO buck shot, which has only 25 rounds. You do the math- 500 rounds will last a lot longer than twenty five and carrying 4 bricks of .22 (2000 rounds) gives me a real chance of getting out alive. But only if the weapon is capable. This means it must be clip fed for rapid reload and, most importantly, reliable. With these two things as my guidelines- clip fed, reliable- then the Ruger 10/22 is the rifle for me!

As far as handguns are concerned, well that’s a little different. A pistol is a close in weapon, and basically one step up from you knife. Since they are close quarters weapons you may want a little more punch as you may not have a lot of time to aim and you want every “nick” to count! In addition the ammo for most defensive handguns weighs a lot more than the .22 so you will be taking less, or sacrificing something important like toilet paper! Also handguns tend to take a lot more abuse than their big brothers when in battle and may need replacement parts such as mainsprings, locking blocks, or even barrels. Yes, even barrels, if even a small amount of debris gets into the tight quarters of a handgun it can cause the barrel to “bulge” and that ain’t good in the long run.

So for this constant-carry weapon, you need to go one of two ways. Extremely durable or very common (something easily repaired, replaced) and that leaves you really only a few choices- to fill the common end of the spectrum the Glock 21 and the Beretta M9 (92) are your best choice. Why? Well the Beretta is the current military sidearm and the Glock 21 is the most common law enforcement sidearm- both give you access to ammo, magazines, and parts, from the deceased or recently undead. Both of these pistols are accurate and reliable and also where Hollywood got it right being seen in a lot of major productions.

In the durability category two weapons stand above the rest and their made entirely out of steel. They are the venerable 1911 and the little known Bersa Thunder 9 from Argentina. The 1911 has shown its worth on countless battlefields around the world and made famous by both its durability and its stopping power. If you question the 1911, then ask yourself one question. “If the 1911 isn’t as good as advertised, then why is a weapon that went into production in the early 1900’s still used on some missions by the special forces in the early 2000’s?” You’d think after 100+ years they would have found a better option, right?

As for the Bersa Thunder 9, it is a black sheep and little-known except by people who live and breathe firearms. The Thunder is the standard issue pistol of the Argentina military and police and is slowly vying for first place in the South American gun market against Taurus. It is an all-steel, Superman tough, ultra-reliable sidearm which merits praise. The design is basic with external safeties and slide release and is double-stacked with 17 rounds. However, don’t let this “standard” design fool you. The Bersa Thunder 9 is videotaped and recorded on YOUTUBE pumping out 1400 rounds non-stop without a jam or failure of any type. The barrel was so hot they had to pour water on it during the live fire to keep it cool! Now, that’s a Zombie Survival Tool!!

Outside protection with ballistic weapons, you need two reliable tools- an ax and a knife. Both of these can be pressed into the self-defense role when needed, but they are better designed for long term survival. The ax is simple. It has to be functional, transportable, and durable and the one which qualifies is the Estwing ¾ axe. It’s smaller than its big brother but bigger than a hatchet and indestructible, made entirely of tool steel. From the head down to the grip, it is one piece of Zombie slaughtering Iron!!

 Estwing is one of the oldest companies around which is all-American and still produces their products here and, although that may not mean much to some, it does show that their products are quality enough to maintain a price point without moving overseas. Quality COUNTS! However, quality doesn’t have to mean expensive. Although, the Estwing ax is made of tool steel (as good as it gets), made in America, and has a lifetime guarantee, they still can be found for under fifty bucks. To get a quality Apocalypse item for under fifty bucks is as simple as going to Home Depot. That’s Awesome.

The knife is a little more personal, but may be the most important tool you have. It stays with you 24/7 and will be required to do a myriad of things- from opening cans to building fires so it has to be high quality and tough. Never assume that a brand name company produces a quality product, so do the research and don’t think that a custom, handmade knife will cost you more than a big name brand one off the shelf will. If your knife fails you, then what? Guess you will be “procuring” or using granny’s kitchen knife. So choose wisely.

Knives are basically made up of two types of steel- stainless and non-stainless. Without boring you with details, stainless knives require less maintenance while carbon steel knives are tougher. Field-grade stainless knives didn’t even hit the shelves until the 80’s with the availability of 440 surgical steel. However they were brittle and prone to snapping. Since then, the knife industry has been trying to perfect stainless to increase its strength while maintaining its weather resistance. However, if the carbon knife is made of good steel such as D2 tool steel and forged correctly, it can be just as weather-resistant and infinitely tougher than its stainless brother. Although knives of this quality are more difficult to find, definitely not at a big box store, they are out there and not as expensive as you might think (especially for an item on which your life depends).

There are a few high-quality knife producers which do merit mention. First is Black Jack (only the ones made in the USA though), any design from this brand will serve you well in the upcoming disaster. Then there is Randal, known for their handmade quality and their associated high price tag! Finally, there is the USI CATS series in D2 tool steel. These are special order, handmade knives that take up to 6 weeks to get. However, they span the cost vs. quality gap by giving you a sexy, indestructible tool with a lifetime guarantee at an off the shelf cost. It is the first choice in Zombie survival!!

After you have your personal protection figured out- weapons, ammo, ax, knife- you need something to carry it all in and this is one of those NEVER LET HOLLYWOOD CHOOSE FOR YOU rules. Regardless of how many shows I watch or books I read, they never get into the meat of what it is going to take to truly survive. They always beat around the bush, sticking to the action (which is fine), but then ignoring the basics as if we all inherently know them. One of the basics which is commonly ignored within fiction, is the type of pack you will need for all your goodies. There really is only one criteria for selecting a survival pack and that is DURABILITY!

If your pack fails you when a hoard of Z children are chasing you, then you will either succumb to their vicious little bites or lose everything you own. Neither is advisable. So a quality, bomb-proof pack is a Z survival must. We all have the special operations units to thank for the super selection of indestructible packs designed/produced over the last few years. Companies like Blackhawk, Condor, 5.11, Mystery Ranch, and Maxpedition all make good quality items and have a great selection. Made from between 500 and 1000 weave denier nylon, these packs will survive anything Mother Nature (or un-nature) can throw at them.

A couple of things which makes these packs so good, besides the material, is the stitching. Most of them have between three and five lines of stitching (with two being the minimum) and all corners and stress points are boxed or row stitched for strength. In addition, many of the seams are glued for added strength. To increase the durability and limit the possibility of a “blow out,” most of these packs have buckled straps in place to take the load off the zippers. All in all you can’t beat an “operations” pack!

 From the expensive and amazing quality of the Mystery Ranch systems to the budget-minded Condor line, there is something for everyone in this list of companies. Just remember not to get caught up in the hype or fashion of retailers. Go tough, your life WILL depend on it!

For more information on how to survive look up Universal Survival Innovations and buy the book The Prior Preparation Planner available on Amazon and Kindle. Good luck and good Zombie hunting!

-B.V. Barr

 Dad Bio pic

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: John O’Brien #SummerofZombie


Zombie Fiction

Storm cover large5

Hello there. I’m John O’Brien and I write the series, A New World. My recent release was A New World: Storm.

What is it about zombie fiction that makes it so popular? I’ve pondered this question over and over. While not yet arriving at a definitive answer, I do have several ideas about it.

First of all, it’s one of the few situations that bring about a downfall of civilization and focuses on a post-apocalyptic world. There are other creatures ─ vampires, werewolves, etc ─ but none of them create quite the same conditions. There is a deep-seated fascination with the post apocalypse that offers the ultimate survival situation. And, it is one of the only ones that is survivable to us ordinary folks. Nuclear devastation and other similar types just aren’t. Each and every one of us can envision themselves in a world filled with roaming hordes of undead and, in that world, we have the capability of surviving.

Zombies don’t have the romantic nature inherent with vampires or werewolves. They are dismal creatures haunting the streets and countryside. I think one of the fascinations is thinking about how terrible it would be to become such a creature. That’s the greatest fear. There is also their relentless nature. They have no conscious, no awareness, no sense of morality. They exist for a single purpose…to feed on the living. And it’s not a one-off situation like with other creatures. They’re an unrelenting mass that takes down everything in their path.

Another aspect deals with our current environment. Every day we deal with the prospect of world-side catastrophes. From financial ruin, to a scarcity of resources, and a seemingly increase in nuclear proliferation. No one really wants to read about these in a fantasy. They’re too real within our consciousness. Thus, zombies allow for an escape into a post-apocalyptic world in a safe manner.

There are a thousand different reasons, put out by an equal number of folks, about why zombies are so popular. To be honest, the reason doesn’t really matter. They’re just fun, and as a writer, they allow for a wide range of scenarios. The slate is almost blank. In a zombie post-apocalypse, if you can envision it, it can be incorporated into a story.

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Author Bio:

John O’Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry in corporate management. Currently, John is writing full-time on the series, A New World.

As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Jaime Johnesee #SummerofZombie

I write this post for all those who have asked me if I think the “zombie craze” is over. I’ve been an avid zombie fan since I was a young kid. From Seabrook’s “The Magic Island” –and the movie based on it, “White Zombie”– to Romero’s redefinition of the monster, I love them all. The history of the creature is one that captivated and enchanted me from the age of nine.

Today zombies exist in so many different ways. Fast or slow, Romero type or voodoo, radiation or virus, sentient or vacant, humorous or terrifying each and every subgenre is covered. From Tonia Brown’s gripping zombie western “Skin Trade” to Jeffrey Kosh’s lush gothic tale “Revenant” there is a zombie tale for any reader.

Zompoc (Zombie Apocalypse) books like Mark Tufo’s addictive “Zombie Fallout” series, Maberry’s spectacular “Rot & Ruin” series, Armand Rosamilia’s engrossing “Dying Days” series, and Shawn Chesser’s engaging “Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse” series have kept the zombie genre relevant and interesting.

It is a great time to be a zombie fan. There are so many subgenres it’s downright awesome. Christine Verstraete’s “Girl Z” series puts the zombie in the forefront as a character. She offers a new take on zombies that I find especially interesting as I’m a fan of Zomedy aka ZomCom. If you’re not a fan of comedy or dystopian type zombie stories check out Dierdre Gould’s novel “After the Cure”. It’s about rebuilding society after the Z-pocalypse is over.

There really is something for everyone out there and I highly recommend trying all of it. Then again, I’m a fan of the monster itself in all of its incarnations. I even know a few folks that make their living off being zombies. They served as inspiration for my own zomedy series.

Zombies are out there in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. If you find yourself thinking you don’t like zombies try another subgenre before giving up on the creature altogether. You will no doubt find a style that suits you if you keep looking.


Jaime Johnesee is a mother, author, wife, and zoologist who loves zomedy. More about Jaime and her books can be found on her website at  Facebook at and on Twitter at

Jaime blue straight hair

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Greg P. Ferrell #SummerofZombie

In honor of being a part of this year’s Summer of Zombie blog tour here is a set of short stories written exclusively for the visitors to the tour. They’re from the perspective of one Tony the Zombie and his personal gripes against us humans. Typed out by Greg P. Ferrell because really have you ever seen a zombie use a keyboard, It’s not pretty.

A day in my dead life!

Chapter 2

By: Tony the zombie

Tony here again and since I’m still stuck inside this room I figured I would talk some more about things that annoy us undead types. Now before I continue I don’t want you to think that I’m just being whiney here. These are things that I think you living people just don’t understand about us. If we have a better understanding of each other than maybe our relationship can me a little better. Nah I’m just kidding we just want to eat you and if you could make it a little easier that would be great. So here we go.

Number 3: Moving hard shells with those round things under them. What the heck are those things anyway? Now I vaguely remember something from my living days when my dad would take me to a place and this guy would put this soft creamy stuff in an edible cone and then would dip it into a bowl and there would be this hard shell over the soft creamy stuff. That was good I remember. But these big hard shells that you surround yourself with aren’t. We’ve tried licking our way through them but seem to get nowhere. Plus the whole time you’re inside making those loud noises with your mouths and putting small metal things inside other metal things that you then hit us with. Which is a whole other subject that I will cover next. My point is if you were trying to give us an additional treat with the shell thing then you have failed miserably. We don’t mind a little extra work getting to the soft creamy middle but the outside should at least have some taste or at least give way to allow us inside. Then there are the times you take off inside while running over some of us in the process and we don’t even get the treat inside. That’s just rude.

Number 4: Those metal sticks that you use against us. What the hell man? Those things are really annoying. I’ve watched as you have pointed them at us and then make that loud noise with them and some of my friends fall over. Almost all of you have one and you don’t seem to be afraid of using them. Now as far as the loud noise is concerned we actually appreciate that part a little. Even though we don’t really get tired we do get annoyed looking for you. When one of those things go off it’s like a dinner bell for us. We all start running towards it since we know one of you is usually on the other end of the loud sound. What we don’t like is the little metal thing that comes out of the end of it. Now if the little metal thing strikes us in the body it just makes a hole and everything is good. However if it hits us in the head, well I don’t want to give away any secrets but I think you already know what happens to us. Now would you like it if we started doing that to you? I don’t think so. So think about that the next time you want to use one of those things against us.

That’s it for now since I just saw another of those magic portals on the wall and I have an idea. So while I run at the portal as hard as I can you think about what I said.

Read more Blogs by Greg P. Ferrell at

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Dave Lund #SummerofZombie

My Personal Favorite Zombie Apocalypse Books or Series

By Dave Lund author of the Winchester Undead series

This list is my own personal list of favorites.  If your favorite isn’t listed, comment below and tell me why it should have been, I really want to know what your favorite is and why.  Saying the Winchester Undead series is your favorite will result in a virtual high-five, but that the beautiful thing about the ZA genre:  there are a lot of incredible books and series by a large number of authors.  If one series doesn’t capture your imagination, there are many awesome and well written books by many different authors available.

Before I began writing in the zombie apocalypse genre I fell in love with the post-apocalypse genre.  Classics like Alas, Babylon, On the Beach and new classics like One Second After captured my imagination, which eventually made the transition to the ZA genre via a friend of mine who lent me Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht and then I was hooked.  After exhausting my local book store’s collection in the genre, I bought a Kindle and found a world of indie authors who were creating incredible stories.

This list covers some well-known traditionally published authors and some really awesome indie authors.  There are other ZA authors that I admire and respect that aren’t on this list; I have to tell you it was quite hard to narrow down the wide list of great work by many people into this small list.  Especially the authors I’ve become friends with via social media.

 5. Plague of the Dead (Morningstar Strain), Z.A. Recht. The whole series was enjoyable and a page turner.

4. White Flag of the Dead: Zombie Survival Series, Joseph Talluto. The characters have to overcome an interesting list of hurdles through their fight to survive.

3. Trudge (Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse), Shawn Chesser. You can’t help but get wrapped up in the characters and their fight to survive.  With eight books already published in the series, you’ll have at least a weekend of binge reading to get caught up.

2. Adrian’s Undead Diary, Chris Philbrook. I started reading this series when it was in it’s very raw form and free on the internet.  Since polished and published, the series is even better, you can’t help but cheer for the fairly unconventional main character.

1. Day by Day Armagedon, J.L Bourne. Before I began my own journey to create a novel, then a series, I must have read the DBDA series two or three times.  I can’t tell you if it was the writing approach or that much of the story takes place in Texas, places I was familiar with, but it really pulled me in and remains my own personal favorite.


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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Melanie Karsak #SummerofZombie

10 Tips on Finding Love during the Zombie Apocalypse

Finding love during a zombie apocalypse can be tricky, but with the right guidance, even you can find a way to make your heart soar while spattered in zombie goo. After all, Glenn and Maggie from “The Walking Dead” perfected the art. In my novel The Harvesting, Layla and Jamie find a way to make things work. What about you? When it all ends, could you find a new beginning? Maybe we can learn some lessons from these war-torn z-poc survivors. But how to you do it? Let’s take a look at 10 ways to find love during the zombie apocalypse:

10) Assume that Warm Bodies was a one-shot deal. Avoid coming on to the undead.

9) If you are lucky enough to find the right person, learn how to moan like a zombie. No more “to the heavens” chortles. If you learn to moan like a zombie, the undead are more likely to ignore you and you won’t get caught in any embarrassing positions. No one wants to run from zombies with their pants around their ankles.

8) Never miss an opportunity for a “safe sex zone.” You’ve just cleared out a bunker full of zombies and there is a really cozy closet down the hall away the rest of the group. What are you waiting for?

7) Reconsider your standards. Okay, maybe you didn’t love rednecks in your everyday life, but chances are that if there is a redneck about (male or female), they’ve got the chops to make it in the z-poc. It might be time to warm up. Git-r-done, y’all!

6) Get over hang-ups about hygiene: perfume, cologne, deodorant, a toothbrush, a shower . . . all things of the past. If you want to connect with someone over a can of dog food, you need to let go of your feelings about bad-breath.

5) You will likely be dead tomorrow. If you think he or she might be interested, just make a move.

4) Do not use protection (wait for it . . . ). Let’s set STDs aside for a moment and talk about pregnancy. Almost every movie and book assures us that if you get pregnant, your child will save humanity. The cure will be in their blood. While it would be very annoying to have a STD during the apocalypse, don’t let that crush the chance to save mankind. Don’t be selfish.

3) Examine your group. Are there any couples? No? Every story always depicts one “sweet” couple. If  your group is currently lacking this couple, you and your partner might be able to take over this stock-character/relational role. Your “too sweet to kill” love story might just save you come z-day. Go ahead and try to have a real relationship. On the other hand, if you see your partner making eyes at others in your group, run away! Getting involved in a love triangle almost certainly spells death.

2) The rules of Zombieland suggest double-tap . . . and so do I.

1) Learn how to make love with your boots on and the safety off.

I hope these 10 rules helped you get ready for all the zombie-lovin’ fun you can have. If you would like to learn more about how to survive during the zombie apocalypse, please check The Harvesting Series in Amazon!

About the Author:

Melanie Karsak is the best-selling author of the The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the Green Fairy), the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series, and The Saga of Lady Macbeth. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.


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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!