This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Books, Beer and Blogshit: Winter of Zombie 2015: Brice J Chandler

Books, Beer and Blogshit: Winter of Zombie 2015: Brice J Chandler:



Winter of Zombie 2015: Brice J Chandler

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! Its the only blog on the internet that is ludacris enough to ride this blog tour out for the whole ride! I am your sore fingered host, Mr. Frank!

This, the next-to-last interview for the Winter of Zombie 2015 Blog Tour, features Brice J Chandler. He's quite handsome. Unless he is a she, in which case, she's quite pretty. But if she is a he well I mean he could be pretty too, you know? I've heard men labeled as pretty before. They are the type of men who are extremely secure in their masculinity too. Unless of course their masculinity is a farce and they are totally feminine, in which case it would be wholely appropriate to call them pretty as well.

Wait, what's going on? Oh ya! Interview with Brice J Chandler! Read his/her interview now!



The Blogshit: Let’s cut to the chase, what are you promoting for the Winter of Zombie?

Brice J Chandler:  I’m promoting alcohol, violence, and tearing shit up… wait, sorry, I thought you meant what kind of writing process do I promote/use. I’m here to promote my novel Whiskey Jack, which has many of the previously mentioned qualities. 

The Blogshit: It’s rarely ever talked about, but how do you envision the outcome of the zombie world you have created? Is there hope? Will humanity succumb to the new world order? What is the outcome of all this horrible zombie business?

Brice J Chandler:   The zombies in my story are probably not going to decompose, at least not any time soon. So the outcome doesn’t look good for humanity.
Even with that bleak forecast, there’s always hope. Without hope, there’s no reason to have a story because no one is going to care about the outcome. If the reader doesn’t think that the protagonists have a shot at making it, then they won’t want to keep reading to see what happens in the end. Besides who the hell wants to read a story where the zombies walk around moaning and grunting because there aren’t any humans to eat.
As far as the outcome for humanity in Whiskey Jack, I’ve contemplated a sequel to the book where I would explore the world after the apocalypse (maybe 25-50 years later). I think humans will still be around, but they’ll need new heroes to help reestablish their place in that world. I might have a returning protagonist, but it’s tough to bring back my heavy drinking, main character from the first novel 25 years later. I’m a writer and a factory worker, and I can barely get up some mornings because my knees, back, or some new pain is killing me. Forget going on a drunken zombie killing spree.

The Blogshit: As a writer of zombie fiction, do you feel you can sustain your career writing about zombies only or do you feel you will need to write outside the sub-genre to continue? What avenues will you branch out to if you do feel a need to expand?

Brice J Chandler:   I initially started writing Whiskey Jack in 2001, when I was on a deployment with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. So, the zombie sub-genre is where I started my career and my first love, but I’ve already branched out into other genres.
I don’t think that all of my writing will be in the genre. I really love the zombie genre, but I have a lot of other worlds I’d like to explore. I’ve had a couple literary short stories published in different places, and I’m currently working on a cross genre zombie/literary and also a post-apocalyptic series with a sci-fi/steampunk basis.



The Blogshit: What is more important to the story: A sympathetic human survivor or a zombie with an interesting storyline?

Brice J Chandler:   That’s an interesting question. Normally, I’d say a sympathetic human, because I think readers will better relate to another human.
As a writer, I’m interested in the zombie’s point of view, especially if they have an interesting story. Like, what if the culprit of the zombie apocalypse – the person who started it (assuming that it was some kind of biological weapon… something like that) – thought that they were doing something to better humanity.
What if that that zombie could tell its story? It might not be much as far as dialogue (some moans and clacking of teeth). Unless they could speak. I think that would make for an interesting story.
What would be really interesting is if such a zombie came face to face with a sympathetic human. How could that zombie justify being the catalyst of the apocalypse to a guy or gal who was forced to kill their loved ones because they turned? That would be really interesting. I’m sure it’s been done. I briefly touched on that idea in Whiskey Jack.  

The Blogshit: For you, who are the most important writers in zombie fiction at this moment?

Brice J Chandler:   The political answer would be to say, “all of the authors on the Winter of Zombie blog tour,” or better, “Armand Rosamilla,” but that really isn’t trying to stay on everyone’s good side or kissing ass. It’s the truth. The indie authors are the people out there fighting in the trenches for readers’ attention. They’re out there saying “hey check this book out. Please give it a chance.” That’s really hard to do as a writer in any genre, but the amazing thing about zompoc authors (and a lot of indie authors in general) is that they work together as a group so that everyone benefits. Armand goes out of his way to help promote the genre and indie authors. There’s also a lot of Facebook groups such as All Things Zombie and Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans that are making huge strives for authors. It’s pretty cool to be a part of that. It’s too bad that I’m sort of a social media introvert, but I’m going to try my best to pull my weight.

The Blogshit: Is there room for sex in the zombie apocalypse?

Brice J Chandler:  Gotta repopulate the Earth somehow. Look back at human history and you’ll find that even in our darkest points of despair there was room for sex. Wars, disease, depression, famine… doesn’t matter. Somewhere in the midst of it all, people were having consensual sex. Why should the zombie apocalypse be any different?



The Blogshit:  How much consideration do you give to the seasons in your zombie stories?

Brice J Chandler:  I’ve written zombie stories set in every season, and I make sure to consider the effects of season on the survivors and the zombies. I’ve been that guy out running around in the desert in summer in full gear with weapons and a heavy pack. Even when you’re in pretty good shape, running a hundred yards in the heat isn’t easy. You have to consider how people are going to operate in the different weather extremes. You also have to consider if a zombie’s brain will freeze in below freezing temps.
Although, to be fair, the seasons and weather are not my number one priorities when I write. I’m generally too focused on trying to create a story I think kicks ass and that my small fan base will love. I think that if I can entertain one reader then I’ve succeeded, regardless if something defies logic and science. It’s the zombie apocalypse after all.

The Blogshit: Our final question always revolves around zombie themed food. This Winter of Zombie, Books, Beer and BLOGshit wants you to consider setting up a food truck to cater to a zombie clientele. What would you name your Zombie Food Truck?


Brice J Chandler:  Brice’s Bloody Burritos and Body Shots. I can make a pretty mean burrito, and I’ve made too many trips to Chipotle or Moe’s where I could barely walk after eating so much. I figure that if I can entice the zombies to eat to the point of being bloated, it’ll make escaping easier after I’ve run out of food. Also every food truck needs to serve alcohol. What zombie wouldn’t love a body shot where they can take a chunk out of a body, just as long as it’s not mine.    


Brice J Chandler on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thewritebrice

Books, Beer and Blogshit: Winter of Zombie 2015: P. Mark DeBryan

Books, Beer and Blogshit: Winter of Zombie 2015: P. Mark DeBryan:



Winter of Zombie 2015: P. Mark DeBryan

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! Its the only blog on the internet that believes all the writers on the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015 deserve all the recognition this tour can possibly muster for them. I am your decidedly unsuccessful host, Mr. Frank. 

As we wind down here on The BLOGshit on the eve of the final day of the tour I'd like to extend my hope to every writer whose participated in these interview, the very best of luck. The indie zombie market is crowded and its a large crowd in a larger sea of saturated independent authors. Making an name in this world and getting your books out there is a daunting task. We at The BLOGshit sincerely hope we have helped in some small way help put your work in front of a few more eyes that may not have seen you otherwise.

And with that sappy stuff out of the way, we present the Books, Beer and BLOGshit Winter of Zombie interview of P. Mark DeBryan. Happy reading.




The Blogshit: Let’s cut to the chase, what are you promoting for the Winter of Zombie?

P. Mark DeBryan:  My novel Family Reunion! It has quite the backstory and as a matter of fact it was originally a short story. It started its life as In For A Dollar In For A Dime, a short story that I wrote for John O’Brien’s Untold Stories. John was gracious and allowed me to take the story and expand it to a full length novel. Basically it’s about a large family spread out across the U.S. who are all on their way to the Pacific Northwest to attend a long overdue family reunion when a pandemic breaks out. Then a vaccine causes millions to turn into crazed, blood thirsty creatures that live only to feed on you!

The Blogshit: It’s rarely ever talked about, but how do you envision the outcome of the zombie world you have created? Is there hope? Will humanity succumb to the new world order? What is the outcome of all this horrible zombie business?

P. Mark DeBryan:  Well, there is always hope, or there would be no reason to go on. I think humanity creates these crises in order give us something to fight back against. Of course we will eventually either overcome the crisis or we won’t; by that time I guess we won’t be worried about it. We will all be gone!

The Blogshit: As a writer of zombie fiction, do you feel you can sustain your career writing about zombies only or do you feel you will need to write outside the sub-genre to continue? What avenues will you branch out to if you do feel a need to expand?

P. Mark DeBryan:  I love this sub-genre! It give us a great opportunity to create hope, by making us face the overwhelming odds of not making it. It also speaks to the underlying fear that many feel these days of an uncertain future. We all think “Oh crap, at least we aren’t living in a zombie apocalypse… we really don’t have that much to fear!” = Hope
I have read voraciously since learning how in my second time around in the second grade. I was “held back” because I couldn’t read. My mother began reading to me every day, and I became a book junkie. I read in all genre. I would list them but… let’s just say there are not many that I don’t like or haven’t read. I only say this to point out that I do not fear “having to” write outside the genre. I look forward to it daily. I think of about six book ideas in as many genre every day, but right now I am happy that I get to play in this niche’.



The Blogshit: What is more important to the story: A sympathetic human survivor or a zombie with an interesting storyline?

P. Mark DeBryan:  Hmmm… That’s a loaded question. I think the human survivor is key because I believe that most, if not all, good stories revolve around relationships. The human condition is only relatable when there are more than one of us around to relate too. You can have a sole survivor, but he/she is always relating to that one fact; he/she is all alone. What does that one survivor do that makes us want to read about him/her?  They survive, but their main goal is to find another human or group of humans. You can insert sentient being in place of human, but the zombie no matter how interesting, by its very definition doesn’t care about anything but its next meal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the zombie’s storyline can be disregarded, but I feel it is only as important to the story as it relates to the human counterpart(s). Although, I have been wrong about much less complex queries. Like, does this dress make me look fat?

The Blogshit: For you, who are the most important writers in zombie fiction at this moment?

P. Mark DeBryan:  John O’Brien, Joe Mckinney, Tufo, Chesser, oh crap, this could go on and on… there are just too many to list. I think any of them that put together an entertaining story are important to me as a reader. As a writer I learn something every time I pick up a well written story. Whether it is format, style, creativity, or the business end of being an author. David P. Forsyth has given me award winning advice on “how to” while John O’Brien is the one responsible for unleashing the beast inside me.

The Blogshit: Is there room for sex in the zombie apocalypse?

P. Mark DeBryan:  Not for me, I’ve been married for 28 years.

The Blogshit:  How much consideration do you give to the seasons in your zombie stories?

P. Mark DeBryan:  Well, I have only written my first book, and it only takes place over a couple of weeks. So, no, not yet. I will however (hopefully) be writing for the foreseeable future, and I will take care to make each story follow the laws of physics and the changing of seasons.



The Blogshit: Our final question always revolves around zombie themed food. This Winter of Zombie, Books, Beer and BLOGshit wants you to consider setting up a food truck to cater to a zombie clientele. What would you name your Zombie Food Truck?

P. Mark DeBryan:  Oh my! This is actually right up my alley. I love to cook, and every cook I know wants to please those that they are cooking for. That being said, brains will have to play a major part in the name, however, as the genre has evolved the zombies have become much less picky and are into fast food now. Intestines and internal organs are more often the first choice of the zombies as the buffet gets picked over. This is really an important question and I don’t want to give it short shrift, but I procrastinated until 10 pm the night of your deadline for getting this in, so… Brains Intestines Organs NOW! The design of the logo would be key. The acronym would be BIO NOW!


P. Mark DeBryan on the Web: http://pmarkdebryan.com/

'Caldera' teaser from Heath Stallcup #WinterofZombie

Teaser: Heath Stallcup #WinterofZombie

Caldera resized
Bob Jennings followed the trail of blood splatters as best he could. He cursed himself for not being more of an outdoorsman. He did take a lot of pride in his son, though. More often than not, when Bob missed a sign, Buck would pick up on it and get them both headed back in the right direction. He was amazed at just how adept Buck had become to the outdoors and when the two stopped to catch their breath and get a drink from their canteen, he had to ask him where he had picked up on these tricks. One can only imagine his shock when Buck replied, “The internet.” Bob chuckled to himself as he kept replaying that in his head. Buck looking up on the internet how to track, how to hunt, how to fish, even survival tips, all at your fingertips…because you never know when you might find yourself at Mother Nature’s mercy.
It became obvious after the first couple of miles that Lucky was making her way back down the mountain and toward the large source of noise. As the two approached the formal campgrounds, Bob slowed and turned to Buck, “You might want to put the crossbow away.”
“What if we run into more of those things?”
“You mean, what if we run into Mom?”
Buck paused and considered the question. “No, I don’t think I could shoot Mom. I mean, what if she bit someone and…you know, turned them.”
“What if you run into a ranger and he takes it away from you?” Bob asked. “Then what do you do?”
“Good point.” Buck pulled his backpack around and unzipped it. He shoved the pistol crossbow into it and zipped it back. “But first sign of someone being bit and I’m pulling it back out.”
“Your choice,” Bob said.
The two quietly made their way into the campgrounds and was shocked at how quiet the camps were considering the noise from the concert over the next hill. “How can anybody sleep with all that noise?” Bob asked.
“Are you kidding?” Buck said excitedly. “That sounds like Skinned Cats to me.”
“Me too.” Bob wrinkled his nose.
“You listen to them?” Buck was surprised his dad was into the same music.
Bob looked at him as if he’d lost his damned mind. “Seriously? That’s the name of a band? I thought you meant it sounded like someone skinning cats.”
“You’re not funny, Dad.”
“Neither are you.”
The two made their way through the different camps when they heard a scream and a multitude of curse words. Bob shot Buck a quick glance then the two took off in the general direction of the disturbance.
“Sounded like it came from over here.” Buck pointed as he ran.
Bob ran between two large tents and stopped to gather his bearings. He heard mumbled cursing coming from a tent and slowly approached the large canvas dwelling. “Hello?”
“What the…” a voice called and a haggard looking man crawled out. “What the hell do you want?”
“We heard someone scream,” Bob said.
“You heard right.” The man snapped at him. “You heard me!” He thrust out his bloody hand with a rag wrapped around it.
“Holy shit, mister!” Buck shouted. “Did she bite you?”
“What?” The man gave him a confounded look. “Hell no. My buddy fucking bit me!”
Bob and Buck both shot him a surprised look and the man finished crawling out from his tent. “Some crazy naked bitch came out of the woods and attacked him, then a little bit later, he went crazy and fucking bit me!”
“Oh no,” Buck groaned as he pulled his backpack from his shoulder. He began unzipping it.
Bob placed a hand on his shoulder and shook his head. “The crazy naked chick,” he asked the man, “what did she look like?”
“Huh?” He was confused. “What do you mean, what did she look like? She was naked and dirty. Like she had been stomping around in the woods.”
“No, I mean…” Bob searched for the best way to describe Lucky, “…what did she look like?”
The man sat back and studied him a moment. “What’s it to you?”
“My mom is missing.” Buck’s face turned hard.
The man cocked his head to the side and an evil grin spread across his face. “So you figure you’d just pick up the first crazy chick you see, clean her up, call her mom, and be done with it?” he chuckled.
Bob squared his chest and set his jaw. He was about to yell at the man when Buck pulled the crossbow out and pointed it at the man’s chest. “Just answer the goddamn question!” he yelled.
“Whoa! Easy there, squirt!”
“What did she look like?” Buck narrowed his eyes.
The man’s lip started to quiver into a snarl, but he held himself. “Stringy blonde hair, all dirty like. Big tits. Shaved snatch. Nice ass, though. Might make a nice piece if you cleaned her up and taught her not to bite!”
Bob placed his hand on top of the crossbow and gently pushed it down. “Yeah, that’s your mom,” he said quietly. “Which way did she go?”
The man tilted his head slightly and studied the two. He could feel his anger growing, but he wasn’t sure exactly why. He stared at the crossbow one more time then jerked his arm out, pointing down the hill. “She went that way.”
“Thank you.” Bob pulled Buck after him.
“If you catch up with that crazy bitch, kick her in the cooch for me!” the man yelled after the two.

*****

Dwayne slowly rolled the four-wheeler to a stop and pulled his flashlight from his belt. Clicking it on, he swung it in a slow arc and studied the ground in front and beside him. He could see where there had been a lot of foot traffic, but he’d lost the tracks he’d been following, and the blood smears had lessened to such a degree that he wasn’t sure which way the woman might have went. He shifted his large mass on the machine’s seat and looked behind him. Nothing looked different than what lay before him.
He turned off the four-wheeler, letting his ears adjust to the silence. He held his nose and pushed air slightly to force them to pop, allowing his hearing to be slightly more sensitive. He listened intently and could hear the music and the cheering crowd over the next rise. He allowed his mind to mentally block that like a white noise and concentrated on the other noises in the area. He could hear the sounds of the ambulance as it rolled through the campgrounds, the EMTs slamming doors and busying themselves with their job. He tried to force himself to block that noise as well.
Fisher stepped away from the ticking of the engine as it cooled and listened for noises from the woods. He could hear something moving through the brush and dense foliage but he knew that it could be anything or anybody. The number of campers in this area was high and many would be preparing to settle in for the night once the noise from the concert died down.
He heard a quick rustling in the brush behind him and he spun the flashlight as he ducked low, peering deep into the dark and hidden world that lay beyond the walking paths. He thought he could see movement through the trees, but he also knew that in the dark of the night, the mind played tricks on you. He took a tentative step toward the thicket and reached out with his left hand to move a limb from his view. His hand brushed the dry wood and swept it slowly aside to reveal…nothing. He peered deeper into the darkness and saw nothing but more trees and brush on the other side. He stepped back and shook his head.
“This shit is starting to get to you,” he mumbled.
The sound of running feet through low limbs and leaves caught his attention. He snap-turned and brought the beam of the light low in hopes of catching the runner in action. He heard the snap of a twig just ahead and he adjusted his aim once more. Fisher stepped toward the noise when it stopped and paused in front of the four-wheeler, the heat from the engine rising up like a welcoming blanket in the quickly chilling night air.
“Hello?” he called out carefully. “I’m here to help you.”
The feet shifted in the woods but refused to come out. Fisher stepped to the side and flashed the light deeper into the darkness, hoping to catch a glimpse of who or what was out there. He knew that these woods were full of numerous nocturnal creatures and that just about any of them could be making the noise, but he also knew that most of Yellowstone’s nocturnal wildlife took off when faced with humans.
He stepped gingerly toward the source of the noise and lifted the light higher, hoping to bring it over the top of the brush this time. He peered through the dense foliage and thought he caught a glimpse of something moving, but it quickly passed from view. He grunted and shoved his hand into the bush and pulled the limb aside to get a better view. The light fell from above and illuminated the area below to reveal nothing but more brush and rocks. Fisher slowly let the limb slide back when the light reflected off something wet. He pulled the limb back again and angled the beam to the left to catch the reflection once more. He let his eyes linger on a cluster of leaves, a dark smear of reddish brown liquid pooled and dripped from them.
Dwayne leaned into the brush and ran his finger along the leaf, drawing it back and pulling his fingers to his nose. With a slight sniff he confirmed it as blood. He checked the viscosity by running his other finger across it to tell if it had begun to congeal. It was still runny and thin. Fresh.
His ears heard a pitter and patter and he quickly turned the light back to the cluster of leaves. More leaves were covered with the blood and he saw yet another leaf become covered, the blood splattering as it hit. His eyes scanned the area, then, slowly it dawned on him. Up. His eyes slowly rose with the light as it lit up the large tree behind the bush. He followed it up and into the branches. He saw not just one, but two branches with blood running across it and dripping down to the cluster of leaves below.
Fisher flashed the light higher into the tree and saw a slight movement…a shift of…something. He squinted in the darkness as he tried to make out just what he was looking at. As his eyes tried to make out what he was staring at, something launched itself with a hair-raising scream. Fisher jerked backwards as he startled and collapsed to the ground as he was tackled by a naked, filth-covered woman, her teeth clacking as she snapped and bit at him.
Dwayne’s arm came up automatically in a defensive move to ward off his attacker, his knee finding her softer middle. Her quick attack had knocked the wind from him, but the adrenaline pumping through his system was making for a quick recovery as his mind raced through possible actions. Fisher reached for his dropped flashlight, and his hand wrapped around the heavy barrel of the Maglite. With one hand braced against the woman’s throat and his knee pushing her further away, he kept her from reaching him with her bloody mouth. Her arms kept swishing at his face in angry swipes and he could feel the wind from each swing as she scratched for his face.
Dwayne brought the flashlight up as hard as he could and connected with the side of her head, at the same time pushing her as hard as he could with his legs, launching her to the side and away from him. Fisher rolled to the side and away from the crazed woman and got to his knees, sucking in air as he tried to recover from her surprise attack. As he sat there on the back of his heels, resting the majority of his weight on his knees, he studied the woman lying in the dirt. Her breathing came in quick and rapid pants, her fingers twitching as if she were somehow short circuiting.
He crawled to his feet and coughed, hacking the dust and dirt from the forest floor from his throat. Leaning against a tree, he forced himself to stand erect and cautiously approached the filthy woman sprawled across the pine needle strewn ground. He clicked his light a few more times and beat it against the palm of his hand until the light flickered back on. He flashed the beam toward her and assessed her as she lay prone.
She was covered in both fresh and dried blood, numerous scratches and abrasions covered her arms and legs and her exposed abdomen. She had very large breasts, and Fisher had to admit, had she been scrubbed clean, she would probably be very attractive. He noted a wedding ring on her left hand and somehow that struck him as odd. He moved closer and pulled a strand of muddy and matted hair from her face. He could tell that, even with all of the blood and dirt on her face, she had been quite the looker before she took her trip down acid lane.
As Dwayne’s hand hovered near her face, he could feel the heat radiating from her and he cautiously touched the back of two fingers to her forehead. My God, she’s burning up. He sat back a moment and wondered if possibly she was delirious from some kind of fever…when she stirred. Fisher felt panic start to rise in his chest and he reached for his flex cuffs. Better to keep her subdued than risk her getting away again…the cuffs weren’t on his belt!
His eyes scanned the area where they scuffled and couldn’t see the white plastic cuffs anywhere. He glanced to the four-wheeler and the black plastic saddle bags attached to the rear. He quickly got to his feet and made for the all-terrain vehicle. He shoved the flashlight under his arm and lifted the lid on the nearest bag. Rifling through the plastic container he found some fishing line, some light twine and pliers. He made for the other side and quickly double-checked the naked woman lying on the ground. She still appeared out of it, and he quickly lifted the lid on the other bag. Digging through the contents, he pulled out a first aid kit, a rain poncho, and assorted odds and ends. He couldn’t find any flex cuffs.
Dwayne sighed and quickly went back to the site of the scuffle. He searched the area in and around where he found the blood but the cuffs weren’t to be found.
“Dammit,” he muttered. “I’ll just have to use twine or—”
A shuffling sound cut him off mid-thought. He turned quickly to find the woman standing right behind him. Her blood red eyes staring directly at his throat. Fisher’s eyes settled on her face and he couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing when he gazed at her eyes. She opened her mouth, and the primitive scream that erupted sent the hair on the back of his neck on end. His hand went to his holster just as she launched herself for his neck.

*****

“Understood,” Hatcher said into his radio. He waved his arm to direct the other EMS unit around some of the parked cars and helped them to navigate through the cramped parking areas in order to assist the first unit sent to the campgrounds. As the second unit rolled off scene, Hatcher turned to Shelly, “I don’t know if all those campers were hurt by the same person or a group of people, but this is getting out of hand.”
“Didn’t Fisher go after her?” Shelly asked.
“Yeah, but I haven’t heard from him.” Hatcher marched toward the vehicle lockup. “He’s not answering his radio either.”
Shelly stepped ahead of Hatcher and stood in front of the locked gate. “Hold on, Hatch.” She held him short of the locked gate. “Tell me you aren’t leaving this fuster cluck to go look for Dwayne?”
“Somebody or a group of somebodies is out there hurting campers, Shell. We’ve got two groups of EMTs up there trying to help them, and that still may not be enough.” He pointed to the concert. “These idiots are either too drunk or too stoned to cause much more trouble, and we have enough support from the other stations and the county boys to make sure it’s in hand.” He turned back to face her and caught her eye, “Mitch is here, and he can handle anything this crowd can throw at him. Besides, nobody knows those woods like I do.”
She studied him for a moment before sighing and stepping aside. “I’m coming with you.” she drawled as she pulled out her own keys to unlock the padlock to the vehicles. “If it’s a crowd, you may need backup.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“Famous last words.” Shelly swung the gate open. “You said Fisher didn’t answer the radio, and we both know that he’s too anal and eager to please to let anything with his gear go wrong. He’s either in trouble, or his gear failed.” She turned and hiked a brow at him. “And our gear doesn’t fail.”
Hatcher considered her logic and then nodded. “Okay, but stay on my tail. The way we’re going, it will be too easy to get lost if we’re separated.”
They both mounted their ATVs and pulled them from the lockup. Hatcher shut the gate and locked it to prevent any of the passersby from getting the wild idea to go for a joyride in the wild. He mounted again and pulled his gloves on, staring one last time at the crowd and the mix of law enforcement patrolling the perimeter.
He turned to Shelly once more, “Remember, stay on my tail. If you lose sight of me, lay on the horn or something to get my attention. The trail we’re taking isn’t easy, and it isn’t marked well. There are spots where…well, just stay close.”
“Got it.” She nodded and revved her engine.
Hatcher kicked the ATV into gear and turned along the backside of the buildings, cutting through the woods in a way that Shelly had never gone. She had always wondered how he could simply appear and then disappear on them when they were in different areas of the park. She had often joked that he was like a ghost, he could simply show up without a sound, then disappear again without notice. Rumors had been whispered among the other rangers that he had once been a special forces operative or that he had special training with the CIA, but she was now beginning to think that he had just been at the park so long and had been so bored that he had explored every inch of it that he could, discovering shortcuts through the place to different areas that he could use to maximize his energy and time.
True to her word, she stayed on his tail and, within heartbeats, they emerged through the thick woods on the lower end of the campground. As he pulled his ATV through the brush, he slowed and pulled to the side of what was obviously a clearing beyond the edge of the campsites. Shelly pulled alongside and they drove side by side, using their mounted lights to search for the injured and for any sign of the attackers.
Hatcher rolled forward and slowed when he saw two people approaching. “Have there been any campers injured down this way?” he asked.
The two looked at each other and shrugged. “Not that I know of, Ranger,” the taller man said, shifting firewood in his arms.
The shorter man hooked his jaw behind them, “I thought I saw some flashing lights up the hill a bit. Maybe there was trouble up that way.”
Hatcher nodded to the two and mumbled a ‘thanks’ as he thumbed the accelerator. Shelly fell in behind him and came up along his side.
“The road branches up here,” Hatcher yelled above the sound of the engines. “Take the fork to the right and run it about a quarter mile. If you see anything, radio me.”
Shelly gave him a curt nod and accelerated past him, veering off at the fork. Hatcher watched her lights fade for a moment then continued up the path. As he slowly approached the next set of campers he could make out the red and blue lights reflecting off the trees and tents as he slowed the ATV. He continued to search the area and looked for any signs of more injured.
Hatcher stopped the ATV and dismounted at the ambulance. He peeked inside the tent next to the rig and saw a body sprawled across the floor and blood sprayed across the interior of the tent. He quickly pulled his head back and stifled the bile that rose in the back of his throat. He leaned over and spit, pulling air through his nostrils to clear the smell of blood and death. When he felt that he had control again, he slowly rose up and nearly stumbled as he stepped to the rear of the ambulance.
“What the hell happened back…”
His eyes settled on a scene of gore in the rear of the ambulance that left him speechless. One of the EMTs had obviously been torn apart, the dark blue jumpsuit-covered body lay broken and twisted, hanging out the rear of the ambulance, blood dripping from the stainless steel step bumper. Hatcher stepped back and drew his weapon as his eyes scanned the surrounding area. He quickly scanned the tents and the campsites and only then realized the lack of people at the sites.
Daniel slowly worked his way to the front of the ambulance and checked the inside of the unit. Empty. He gingerly stepped back toward the ATV and kept slowly making circles as his eyes scanned the surrounding woods.
“Where are all the people?” he muttered to himself.
His radio hissed to life and he jumped. “Hatch, come in!” Shelly’s voice barked urgently.
He pulled the radio up and keyed the mic, “Go for Hatcher.”
“You better get over here quick.” There was a touch of panic in her voice. “I found Fisher’s four-wheeler, but he’s nowhere to be found.”
Hatcher moved toward the ATV and mounted it, “Are there tracks? Maybe he went out on foot?” He started the ATV again.
“There’s too much blood, Hatch.” Shelly sounded like she was about to lose it as Hatcher kicked the ATV into gear and spun the machine around.
“I’m on my way, Shell. Hold tight.”
Hatcher clipped his radio back on his belt then paused, glancing back at the ambulance. Shaking his head at the memory of the carnage, he pulled his radio once more and switched frequencies, calling for the sheriff’s deputies. He waited for a callback that didn’t come. He assumed they would have earbuds in place to compensate for the noise of the concert and muttered a curse when they didn’t respond.
Hatcher changed frequencies once more and keyed the radio, “County Mobile Unit, come in,” he called and waited, hoping for a response.
A static-filled hiss keyed up and a female voice responded. Hatcher sighed and quickly filled the dispatcher in on what he discovered with the ambulance and requested that a deputy be dispatched to the location while he went in search of his missing ranger. After receiving an affirmative, Hatcher started the ATV again and pushed the unit to its limit as he slid across the rocks and gravel back to the fork in the road. He slid the little all-terrain vehicle around the corner and opened it back up full throttle, jumping small hills and sliding through curves until he saw the light from Shelly’s ATV ahead. He kept the throttle wide open until he knew he’d have to start braking or risk shooting past her. He slid the ATV to a stop and was off the machine before the engine even came to a complete stop.
“Show me!” he barked as he brought his flashlight to bear.
Shelly waved him over to where Fisher’s four-wheeler sat idle and illuminated the area with her own flashlight. “This is what freaked me out,” she said softly.
Daniel hunkered low and used a stick to stir through the blood, trying to gauge the amount by how thick it soaked into the earth. Shelly stood behind him and observed. “It looks like a lot, Hatch.”
Hatcher nodded. “It is.” He rested his arm across his knee and stared at the ground surrounding the large blood stain. “Looks like there was a hell of a struggle, or a fight or…”
He squinted in the low light and brought his flashlight back up. He stood up and walked around the blood pool to the other side. Using his toe, he poked at something just under the dead pine needles, then bent down and picked up a pistol.
“Is this Fisher’s?” he asked disbelievingly.
Shelly gasped as he lifted it into the air and blew the dirt and pine needles away from it. Hatcher lifted it to his nose and sniffed. No smell of burnt powder, so it hadn’t been fired. “He didn’t shoot it if it’s his.”
“It’s his,” she said softly. “He carries a 1911. I’ve admired it more than once.” She turned away and stepped back to the four-wheelers, visibly shaken.
“Just because his gun is out here doesn’t mean this blood is his.” Hatcher tried to put her at ease.
Shelly turned and set a stern gaze at him. “Don’t,” she said bluntly. “Just…don’t.”
“Shelly, I—”
“Hatch, he was very proud of that weapon, and he’d never let it stay if he…” Her eyes drifted back to the dark spot on the ground. “If he were able, he’d still have it on him.”
Hatcher knew she was right, he just didn’t know how else to put her mind at ease. He pulled the magazine from the weapon and put it in his pocket, then cleared the chamber. “Well, I’m not giving up on him just yet.” He set his jaw firmly. “Fish is a good ranger and a savvy fella. Just because we found his weapon doesn’t mean that he’s out of the picture.” He flipped open the plastic hard case on the back of his ATV and set the weapon in it. “When he shows up looking all ragged and worn out, he’ll be happy we found this.”
Shelly lowered her eyes to the ground and fought not to cry. Dwayne was a friend and a coworker. She’d known that he had a crush on her, but she just wouldn’t allow him to get that close. She had other interests that prevented her from allowing him to get close to her. She glanced at Hatcher and reminded herself why.
“So what do we do now?”
Hatcher glanced back at the dark spot, then at her. “We stick to the plan. We have to find whoever it is that is attacking the campers and get them into custody.”
Shelly paused at her ATV and looked back at Hatcher. “Do you think that she might be the one who attacked Fisher?”
Hatcher climbed back onto his ATV and turned the key. “Do you really think that a naked woman…any naked woman could get the best of Fisher? Dwayne Fisher? OUR Dwayne Fisher?” he asked almost jokingly, hoping to ease her mind slightly. “The man is a walking mountain. The only person I know bigger than Fisher is Mitch Richardson, and he’s just a freak of nature.” He chuckled. “That guy should have been a linebacker with the NFL, but they wouldn’t take him. He kept scaring the other players!” he joked as he started the ATV.

*****

“I think we missed something,” Bill said as he stopped and looked back where they had just come. They had passed at least seven tents and four RVs, and none had seen or heard anything from the woman, nor had they any clue what he was talking about when he asked if anyone was hurt. “I think she must have cut through the woods or something.”
Richard glanced back at the woods and shook his head. “I don’t know, Bill. Those woods are pretty thick with underbrush.” He scratched at his chin and glanced ahead. “She’d have sliced herself to ribbons if she tried something like that. And with no clothes? I just don’t see it.”
Bill set down the first aid kit and stretched his back. The case was starting to get too heavy on him, and the pain in his knees let him know that he wasn’t a young man anymore. He stared down the path they were on and shook his head.
“There’s just too many side paths and…” he paused and looked toward the large hill where the noise from the concert was still playing, “…noise going on.”
Richard patted his shoulder. “I know, it’s frustrating,” he sighed. “Look, why don’t we work our way back up toward your camp. If we can pick up her trail again, we go after her, if not, then we sit tight at your camp. I’ll contact the ranger station and see if maybe they can send someone to search for her? They have all kinds of specialized gear just for finding lost people.”
Bill considered what he was saying and finally nodded. He had to quit this. He wasn’t a lawman anymore, and he wasn’t a first responder either. He was RETIRED. He had to quit fooling himself. Finally he snorted a short laugh. “You’re right.” He bent to retrieve the kit. “This is work for younger men.”
“There ya go,” Richard said as the two turned back and headed back toward Bill’s camp. “I think if we take this Y up here, we can make it back to your camp quicker.”
“You sure?” Bill studied him. “I’d really rather not get lost out here at night.”
“Pretty sure.” Richard smiled and patted his shoulder. “Brought my grandson camping up here a couple times. We camped right over that way and used to cut across over there to get to the lake faster.”
“Lead the way.” Bill extended an arm and let Rich take the lead.
The two made off through the woods and cut back at the Y that Richard mentioned. The path was a bit steeper, but Bill soon recognized some of the RVs and a few of the more colorful tents that were his ‘view’ as they crested the hill. He shook his head as his Jeep and tent came into view.
“Who’d have thought we were that close?” Bill panted as the road leveled out.
Richard chuckled. “They twist and turn and cut back on themselves so much, it’s easy to get turned around.”
Although Bill could see his campsite, it was still a bit further away than he thought. He was winded from the climb by the time they arrived and he tucked away the first aid kit. He knew he would sleep well tonight if that blasted noise would ever end.
The two assumed their positions around the dying campfire and Bill exhaled hard. “What a night, eh?”
“Oh yeah,” Richard agreed as he stole a glance at his watch. “In all the excitement, I’d about forgotten about Harriet and Jake coming back.”
Bill’s face dropped for just a fleeting moment, but he masked it quickly. “I guess you have to go.”
Richard stared off toward the hill where the concert still went on and shook his head. “I don’t know if I could get out through all of that.”
“Well, you’re more than welcome to stay the night here,” Bill offered. “It is a seven-man tent.” He shrugged when Richard’s brows went up. “What can I say? I like my room. Besides, it was on sale.”
Rich smiled and pulled his phone out. “Let me text Harriet and let her know I’ll be late. And why. Wouldn’t want her to think I was out dancing with another woman.”
“I’m a terrible dancer.” Bill stretched and yawned.
“So am I,” Richard said, “But then, so is Harriet, so she thinks I’m a good dancer.” He grinned. As soon as he sent the text, he looked up the number for the ranger station. “I’ll give the rangers a call and let them know about the woman…” He trailed off as he listened to the phone ring. After a while, he punched the end call button and simply stared at Bill. “No answer.”
“They probably couldn’t hear it for all of that.” He hooked a thumb toward the concert.
Richard simply nodded, but still found it odd that somebody wasn’t manning the station. They normally kept someone near the phones in case of emergency at all hours. “It could be possible that they are already tied up…what, with the ambulances being out.” He stared out at the other campsites.
“You don’t look convinced,” Bill said.
Richard smirked and shook his head. “I’m not.” He continued to stare out into the darkness and both men turned when a scream echoed in the distance.
“That didn’t sound good.” Bill muttered.
Richard’s eyes reflected his concern. “That didn’t sound human.”
bulldog writer
*   *   *   *   *
The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
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!
#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Full Wolf Moon by K.L. Nappier

Full Wolf Moon is a part of The Book Review Club.

Fans of grimdark tales, "Hemlock Grove," "The Walking Dead" or "The Strain" will want to sink their teeth into this thought-provoking thriller in werewolf's clothing.

Tulenar Japanese Internment Camp, 1942

In the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, no one believes a greater evil stalks Japanese nationals and their American born children than what they are already suffering.

Forced from their homes along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, placed into internment camps for the duration of the war, no one believes a werewolf is behind the grisly deaths plaguing the residents of the camp. Not Capt. Max Pierce, nor politico Doris Tebbe. Only Navajo healer David Alma Curar believes. And he has his own reasons for following the beast's bloody trail to Tulenar.
Review: Full Wolf Moon really stands out among the werewolf books for the way that it's written, the characters and the fast paced plot that had me guessing until the very last page. I loved the unusual setting of World War 2, which added another exciting dimension to the plot. I was over the moon to realise that the story doesn't end with this book - there are 2 more in the trilogy, which I need to read right away! 

'The Alpha Plague' teaser by Michael Robertson #WinterofZombie

Teaser: Michael Robertson #WinterofZombie

alpha_plague_cover_art_revised_ebook
The Alpha Plague – Teaser

Chapter One



Alice pressed her fork down on her steak. The soft meat leaked a pool of blood that spread over her white plate. It soaked into the potatoes and broccoli.
A slow heave lifted in her throat, and she gulped several times to combat the excess saliva that gushed into her mouth. She could almost taste the metallic tang of blood. “How was the–” another heave rose up and she cleared it with a cough that echoed through the sparse room. She tried again. “How was the lab today, John?”
A thick frown furrowed John’s brow. This was his usual response to most questions. Everything was an irritation. Such banal conversations couldn’t hold a flame to his vast intellect. He ejected the word as if giving a reply was below him. “Stressful.”
The rejection sent a sharp stab through Alice’s stomach. It didn’t matter how many times he knocked her down, she got back up and continued to look for his approval. Fire spread beneath her cheeks and she chewed on her bottom lip.
John flashed a grin of wonky teeth. It took all of Alice’s strength not to flinch at the ghastly sight. “I must say though, it’s been made a little easier by Wilfred having to make me this meal.”
A deep breath filled Alice’s sinuses with the smell of disinfectant; the smell she associated with John. Decades immersed in the study of bacteria and disease had driven his level of cleanliness to the point where it bordered on obsessive-compulsive. A frown darkened her view of the room. “What did you say the bet was?”
“I didn’t.”
Alice looked into his sharp blue eyes and waited for him to say more.
He didn’t.
A look first at the man, dressed in his white lab coat, she then looked around at his white, minimalist penthouse apartment. Everything had a place, and everything was necessary. Beakers and test tubes littered the sides like ornaments. She hadn’t ever seen a photograph on display, despite this being his personal space… no room for sentimentality here.
Alice squirmed in her seat as the silence swelled.
John watched her.
No matter how long she’d known the man for, John always made her itch in her own skin. As if pressured to break the overwhelming void between them, she said, “So, what was the bet about?”
“An experiment. I predicted the correct result.”
A machine would have been better company. Alice frowned at him again and sighed.
“Oh, do pull yourself together, woman,” John said. “You’ve got to learn to stop being so bloody sensitive.”
Despite his obnoxious behaviour, the man did have redeeming qualities. When he worked, his creativity and passion flowed from him. Science drove him like a heartbeat, but Alice couldn’t excuse him time and again. She couldn’t ignore every time he’d humiliated her during a lecture; every time he’d not let her finish her point; every time he’d selected her to clean the lab at the end of the day while he let his other students leave. “How about you learn to stop being so bloody insensitive?”
A flick of his bony hand at her and he said, “This is what I mean. It’s these emotional fluctuations that take away your ability to be objective. That’s why men make better scientists.”
“And terrible companions.”
He lowered his head and peered over his glasses at her. “We can leave our baggage at the door,” he continued.
For the second time, her face smouldered. “You left your baggage in the delivery ward, John. Maybe your sociopathic detachment serves you well in the world of science, but it doesn’t equip you to deal with the real world. Without science, you’d be stranded.” Her vision blurred. Great! Tears again. They only strengthened the man’s argument.
John sighed and shook his head.
A glance down at her dinner, and Alice prodded the soft steak. Maybe a scalpel would be more appropriate than the wooden-handled knife in her hand. In the bright glare of John’s scrutiny, Alice cut into the steak and lifted a piece to her mouth.
The soft meat sat like jelly on her tongue. Unable to chew it, she took a deep gulp and tried to swallow. The piece of steak stuck in her throat like it was barbed. Her heart raced as a metallic rush of juices slithered down her oesophagus and clogged her throat.
John watched on, his expression unchanged. The cold detachment of a scientist rather than the compassion of a human being stared through his beady eyes.
Alice’s pulse boomed inside her skull. She held her neck and wheezed, “Help me.”
He didn’t. He believed in natural selection. Sink or swim. How many cavemen had choked on their dinner? The ones who had been saved only weakened the gene pool. Weakness should never be rewarded.
After several heavy gulps, Alice swallowed the meat, leaned on the table, and gasped. Adrenaline surged through her. Her pulse pounded in her ears. She dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand to stop her mascara from running and looked up to see John watching her with his usual blank expression. A barrage of abuse rose and died on her tongue; there was no point.
Alice retuned her focus to her dinner and flinched every time her cutlery hit the porcelain plate. The sharp chinks bounced around the quiet room. After she’d cut everything up, she stared at her food. A tightness remained in her throat from when she’d choked; another sip of warm red wine did little to ease her trepidation.
When she looked back up, John still watched her.
She cleared her throat. “So, when will you tell me about your work, John?”
His dinner remained untouched; his scrawny frame and pallid skin served as a visual representation of his poor diet. Thirty years her senior at sixty-three, he looked fifty years older. He consulted his wristwatch as if their meal had a deadline and sighed. “I can’t. You know that.”

To read more of The Alpha Plague follow this link – http://smarturl.it/thealphaplague
Author Profile Photo
*   *   *   *   *
The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
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!
#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!