REAPERLANDS Pt.2: Los Muertos Trail

REAPERLANDS Pt.2: Los Muertos Trail

Hey Everyone, I’m back with REAPERLANDS Pt.2: Los Muertos Trail — Gus and Oscar’s adventure continues. Took me a little longer than expected. I was trying to get it out before the new addition to our family arrived in July, but alas, the editing process cannot be rushed, and James Mark Burdine got here first!

I’m running a launch deal on Kindle for the next five days — And with the Labor Day weekend here, it’s perfect timing — REAPERLANDS Part 1: Runner is available for free. Perfect time to jump onboard with the adventure! Download the opening chapter for free then get the newest installment for ¢0.99. Click HERE to get your copy.

So what’s Los Muertos Trail all about? Well, for starters I’m calling this one a Post-Apocalyptic Western because of the influences on me in the writing and telling of the story. Gus and Oscar travel across the desert to the fort city of Los Muertos, and the plains of the Reaper’s time seemed to me much like the tales of the desert southwest found in the great novels of Louis L’amour and Zane Grey, albeit minus the Viral hordes of mutated Wolves and other flesh-eating creatures. Here’s the full synopsis:

Gus and Oscar are back! After a successful Reaping run to the Los Angeles ruins, they set out to bring their scavenger spoils to market, a journey that takes them across the desert plains of the post zombie apocalypse future, and pits them against the mutant hordes of the animal kingdom, and the worst of their own kind, those who would prey on the survivors of a world gone to hell.

For Gus, this mission has a special purpose beyond just the monetary riches of his trade – To deliver a cargo of classic books to the library he is building in the fort city of Los Muertos in an effort to preserve the culture of a civilization that once was.

Get it HERE

What’s next?

The first two volumes of REAPERLANDS are the opening chapters in a larger, more complex tale awaiting Gus and Oscar, sort of setting up the world in which they exist. Let’s just say, the real story begins when they reach Los Muertos. Not sure yet whether I’ll wait and present the next installment when the full novel length adventure is complete, or if I’ll put it up in volumes as I go. I’ll keep you posted.

But first up — I’m hammering away at the next volume of my middle grade fantasy-adventure MEGAN’s BROOD — my goal is to have MEGAN’S Brood and the OLD ONE out by November in times for several shows I’ll be attending. Stay tuned.


NEW REAPERLANDS Part One Cover by Stephan Martiniere

NEW REAPERLANDS Part One Cover by Stephan Martiniere

Cool News! Just got a fantastic new cover for REAPERLANDS Part One by the amazing Stephan Martiniere. Take a gander and if you haven’t read Part One yet, now’s a great time to jump on. Part Two is just about ready to go! Click to buy

Here’s a short (unedited) preview of REAPERLANDS: LOS MUERTOS TRAIL  (Reaperlands Part Two):

Hooves beat the earth in a race with the falling orb in the west. Gus cracked the reins wildly, pushing the beasts to their limits.

Oscar scanned the horizon to either side of the darkness chasing them from the east.


A black streak on the plains.

Before he could raise his voice in warning, Oscar felt the thump at the wheels.

Panicked wails erupted from the horses.

Another black streak shot forward from the shadows, grazing the already strained hind cannon of the steed to Oscars fore, causing it to lurch in toward its companion, swinging the harness, and causing the entire wagon to swerve.

Gus strained against the bridal, forcing the frightened animals back on course.

Oscar drew up a gas filled bottle with a rag jammed into the opening from the supply pack he kept at the ready. Flicked the lighter from his pocket and lit the cloth. Flame flickered in the cold air.

He chucked the bottle to the ground alongside the vehicle. The exploding flash revealed the monstrously deformed bodies of a coyote swarm racing alongside them for a brief moment before the shadows swallowed them up again. He counted somewhere between five to ten.

The horses lurched once more at the explosion and Gus held them to their task.

“We’ve got visitors. Coyotes. Viral. Ugly motherfuckers.” Oscar called to Gus as he clutched his machete and swung his boot down to steady himself on the runner alongside the vehicle.

His eyes focused against the darkness.

A black streak shot out from the streaming abyss. He swung his blade. Contact. He felt the weight of the mass split, a heavy thump against the hummer door, a smaller mass, the head most likely, bounced across the hood and disappeared back into the receding gloom on the other side.

Oscars’ arm was still extended from the arc of his swing as another streak flew out from the black. He flung the blade back up, but only the broad side of his arm reached his attacker. It wasn’t enough to prevent the weight of the beast from slamming directly into him, crushing him against the vehicle and causing him to lose his footing on the runner, his grip on the luggage rack the only thing keeping him from slipping away into the darkness of the desert beating past below.

He kicked until his heel found the footing and steadied himself once more on the runner.

A fevered gaggle of yips and growls flew up from the breach. He felt the sudden beating of feet against the earth. A mass of phantom forms gained out from the shadows, keeping pace, the powerful snapping of anxious jaws.

Oscar raised a leg and kicked. Steel toes connected with flesh. Then a vice grip of teeth clinched the fabric of his cammos, snagging and pulling at him, the sudden weight dragging him down again.

He swung the machete at the black weight. Blade sliced to a hard stop against bone. He tugged, wresting the blade back up over his head and then swept down again, back to the bone. He repeated the process over and over, hacking away until the sudden release of weight at his leg. Bodiless jaws held their grip, teeth still snagged in the fabric.

Gus held his gaze to the horizon, Oscar’s struggles in his ears. Nothing to do but drive the stallions hard toward the abandoning sun in hopes they might reach the Salas outpost before being consumed by their numbers.

There was a loud clanging and the scrambling of paws from the rear. Gus recognized the sound immediately — one of the beasts had made it up onto the trailer.

He heard the scratching of claws as it steadied itself over the packed contents of the trailer, followed by the hard thud of its weight against the rear door panel directly behind him. Claws scratching desperately for a hold as it pushed itself up to the roof.

A chainsaw growl burned in the air.

Instinctively, Gus reached down and grabbed the lantern hanging from the rear view mirror. Raised it up with a wide stroke to meet the cranium of the charging Viral. Flame exploded, igniting the rotted flesh and mangy hair of the beast.

It writhed and howled, shaking madly until it lost its footing and tumbled off the roof like a comet to the abyss.

One lantern, one shot. Nothing left if another made its way up.

Oscar vaulted back up to the drivers box, chest heaving, blood flowing from a gash above his left eye. The truck lurched left then right, Oscar gripped the bar to prevent himself from going back over the side. “Too many – they keep coming.” He swallowed a deep breath. “Overwhelming me.”




Hey Everyone! The gorgeous paperback edition of MEGAN’S BROOD is now available in the Amazon store! It’s a PRIME offering, so order now and receive your copy with TWO-DAY FREE SHIPPING. Click the link below and grab one now:




I love reading short stories on Kindle so I wrote one. I hope you’ll check out REAPERLANDS, a nail-biting adventure set in a post apocalyptic hell with a twist. This is a stand alone story, but I had such a good time with Gus and Oscar that I’m midway through a follow up adventure, so I slapped a part one on it. The following will fill you in on the details of the story, and here’s the link:

After apocalypse, there’s a whole world to reclaim…

It’s been a decade since the Viral plague that brought the dead back to life with a hunger for living flesh. The survivors have long since fled the big cities and resettled in the countryside, mountains, and plains, building a network of fortresses and cavernous sanctuaries.

As civilization rebuilt and reshaped itself in this nightmarish new world, there arose an overwhelming demand for the supplies and riches left behind in the remains of the old one.

A system of trade and barter formed around the market of these goods, a macabre economy for a dead world. Those brave or foolish enough to seek out treasure among the wastelands became known as the Reapers.

Gus and Oscar are a two-man reaping crew, facing down the horrors of a shattered world in search of its hidden wealth. But more dangerous than the undead Virals, and their various deadly strains, are the others like themselves, cutthroat scavengers bent on plundering the riches of the Reaperlands…

Reaperlands template V5

MEGAN’S BROOD Tucson Festival of Books – NEXT WEEK!

MEGAN’S BROOD Tucson Festival of Books – NEXT WEEK!

Hi All,

Exciting announcement, we’ll be at the TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS next weekend – MARCH 12-13th on the University of Arizona Campus. I’ll be there selling copies of the NEW EXPANDED EDITION of MEGAN’S BROOD, so if you’re in the area please stop by and say Hi.

AND, if you can’t make it to the show, you can easily order them on AMAZON right now:




Tuscon BoofFest Booth


ANNOUNCING a new print run of MEGAN’S BROOD! We sold out all of our limited edition 100 signed and numbered print run, so I’ve ordered a new printing — AND, in order to make this new edition special, we’ve added 6 BRAND NEW FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS by SHAWN McMANUS to the book! I’ve also added some fancy new text dividers along with an entirely new formatting by Polgarus Studio who handle all my digital formatting.  It’s a beautiful new expanded edition that I think you’re going to love. The new edition is now available digitally on KINDLE  and print in the Amazon Bookstore. Here’s a look at one of Shawn’s stunning new illustrations.  CLICK THE IMAGE to go to Amazon’s order  5  #40  b&w copy 2