Summary:

On the ski slopes of Montana, deception turns deadly and seduction becomes more hypnotic than jewels.

Reagan McKinney is on a mission to discover more about a deceased uncle who mysteriously left her a sizable inheritance, a condo in the mountains, and a stash of stolen jewels.  With both her graphic design career and her love life in shambles, the opportunity to begin a new life couldn’t have come at a better time.  When she becomes involved with the sexy FBI agent next door, she finds her struggle is not only to keep her heart intact, but her life.
          

Grief stricken after an undercover investigation ends in the tragic death of his partner, FBI Agent Garret Chambers goes home to find solace in the arms of his mountain home.  That is, until his boss assigns him to investigate the spirited brunette staying in the condo next door.  He is assigned to investigate Reagan’s involvement with a large jewel fencing organization, but his investigation becomes comprised when his attraction to her heats up.  Will his discovery destroy everything he has come to love, including Reagan?



Excerpt:

“Wait,” he said, settling his hand over hers. He didn’t know what he would say to keep her here, didn’t know if he should kiss her again. Had he insulted her in some way? “Do you have a boyfriend back home?” he asked. A stupid question at a time like this, but he had to know. For Buchanan, who would call sometime tonight, and for himself. 

Silence stretched among them. He fought to soften his breathing, but his heart only pounded harder as he tried to convince himself she was not his to possess. 

When she looked at him, dead in the eye, she didn’t flicker. The strength she’d shown on the mountain today, pushing herself when most women would have cried and complained, and the snappy comeback with Tanner made Garret realize she was the kind of woman who could stand up to a man like Javier Mass. The type of woman Javier—or Nelson, either one—would prize. Garret’s world capsized. 


Shaking her hand from his, she said, “Shouldn’t you have asked me that before you kissed me?”


About the author:


During my senior year in high school, I was dubbed most likely to write a novel because I always had my nose stuck in a book.   I would hide my romance novels under my history book until my teacher called me out on it.  Writing has been my dream ever since my mother read Brer Rabbit to my sister and me so often that we were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read.  I love reading about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed my love of suspense. I believe love is a mystery that most people have trouble resolving.  While I don’t expect we’ll ever solve that mystery, I love to read and write about characters who work to solve their love’s mystery.







** Angela will be awarding one of three prizes: a car mirror hanger or key chain (a seashell as a tie-in to her book), an mp3 album by Pretty Little Blisters, a $10 Amazon gift card, to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour





Summary:


After a tragic loss five years ago, Sally Overby becomes an Attorney in Atlanta. She convinces herself that all she'll ever need again is her young son, David, and her life as an attorney. Until one day, Colin Dean barges back into her life and promptly blows her safe world apart, driving her crazy as only a guy she'd had a "school girl crush" on can. 

Sally is wary to love deeply. Only, with every loving look Colin gives her plus every sweet kiss, as the attraction between them sparks, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the one she should be with. And although Colin didn’t realize his life was going to change so quickly, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether. The one for Sally’s heart.

Will Colin be able to convince her that's it safe to love him... and that forever isn't really out of reach?



The Eyes of Love is a novella… so you can enjoy it in just one day!


Buy this book:

Excerpt:

A hush fell over the room for a moment as Stephanie appeared with Jazz trailing behind her. She was wearing a skin tight black dress with stiletto heels which was typical Stephanie fashion. She wanted nothing more than to be the center of attention like she always had been.

Without missing a beat, Stephanie walked straight over to Colin. Sally was shocked.

"Hello, Colin..." she purred as she ignored Sally completely. "You look sexy tonight, as always." She smiled seductively as Colin looked away. "Who's your friend?"

"None of your business, Steph. Leave me alone."

"Oohhh.... Did I touch a nerve, sweetie?" she asked as she reached out to touch his chest.

"Don't touch me, Stephanie. I'm warning you. Why don't you go back to Jazz?"

"Oh. Jazz. Boring..." she sang. "We're not together anymore, just so you know..." she whispered in a husky voice. Colin held onto Sally's hand for dear life. She had to do something.

"Stephanie, don't you remember me?" she asked grinning from ear to ear as she slid into Colin's side. He put his arm around her and stared down in shock at what she was about to say.

"I don't know you," Stephanie said looking her up and down.

"Wow. Age is really doing a number on your brain," Sally said.

"Who are you?" Stephanie snapped. Jazz stood a few feet back obviously trying to hear the conversation.



"I'm your worst nightmare," Sally growled as she came almost nose to nose with Stephanie, her attorney public speaking skills getting ready to display themselves. She pulled the name tag from her purse without breaking eye contact and held it up. "You see, I'm the nerd that you and your cronies bullied through high school."


About the author:


Angelina Rose has wanted to write ever since she could hold a pencil. The first daughter of immigrant parents, Angelina had her head buried in books, lost in a world of heroes, heroines and exotic places.

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Angelina's author career.

"I awoke in the ICU... I had been unconscious for several days," Angelina says.

In 2010, Angelina had a long stint in hospital following her involvement in a motor vehicle accident: the longest time off work (as a Registered Nurse), she'd ever had in her life!

It was then she took up pen and paper and started to write again, just as she had done when she was a child. She wrote four short fiction stories for young adults, entered them in several competitions, and managed to win three first prizes!

After happily dipping her toes into writing those short fiction stories for young adults, Angelina has now authored four books in a new "Mill Creek Crossing Romance" series... contemporary romance intended for adults.

The "Starting Over Series" is another contemporary romance series she wrote about a subject she knows well... nurses and their love life. At a recent reunion of her graduating class, she could not help but notice how the same girls would group together and laugh, chat, and even shed some tears over their lives since graduating. Many of the girls had divorced... so Angelina thought "what if a group of the nurses came up with a plan to meet in two years and have a new love story to share?" Then the first story in the series was born.

There is always a story running around in her head. A man with thick dark hair, gray-blue eyes, with an engaging smile and a quick wit... or a girl crying over a broken relationship. She finds herself talking to these characters during her day: when she's doing dishes, or bathing babies at the hospital. These characters crop up on days at the beach or on walks through the neighborhood. This is how the stories start to grow.

Angelina's mother was an author, so Angelina grew up with a love of words and stories. If she wasn't writing a short story about something that took her fancy, her head was buried in books... reading, reading, reading, as her brother constantly told her...

When she's not spending time with her goodlooking man, or quality time with her laptop, she's working at the hospital, hanging out with her family and friends, or walking her two dogs around the neighborhood. Angelina spends as much time as she can traveling, then coming home and including some of those adventures in her stories.

Angelina really loves to hear from her readers and she invites you to connect with her on Facebook as she interacts daily with her readers there!



Title: DiSemblance
Author: Shanae Branham
Genre:  Techno-thriller

Synopsis:

Jason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real. 

As a computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door. 


An exciting, action-packed ride to a future happening today, Shanae Branham's modern techno thriller is the perfect exhilarating adrenaline rush for a technosavvy generation. Expertly weaving cutting-edge technology with almost unbearable suspense, she crafts a wild, white-knuckled thriller that pushes the boundaries of science. Full of intensity and extraordinary vision, DiSemblance attacks the senses as it challenges the mind and imagination.

“Branham does a brilliant job creating suspense….She ramps up the tension by keeping readers guessing over the identities of Jason’s foes and about how Jason’s situation ties in with the hunt for the killer.”

“Jason’s love for his father and his motivation to find out what happened to him are particularly refreshing.”

“The characters of Jason and Isaac are … cool enough to rise to the occasion … making readers feel like they are rooting for real young men.”~  Jill Allen, Clarion Review (4 Stars)



Excerpt:


The lines between reality and virtual reality are about to blur—and the result is murder.
Lloyd Tanner is a former MIT computer physics genius turned private sector visionary: he has created a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. This revolutionary technology is both a blessing and a curse. There are many who would steal the technology, and Lloyd’s family has had to live secluded from the world. But no matter how careful you are, there is no such thing as a well-kept secret, and there are those who will stop at nothing to get their hands on Lloyd’s.

Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he abducts terminally ill patients and returns their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. Picking up the trail, Durante finds it leading straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner.

When Jason Tanner’s father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason destroys all of the evidence in an attempt to save his father’s name. Trouble is, now Jason is in the crosshairs to become the fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run for real if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac, Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance. 



Author Interview (This is an interview with the author regarding the hologram machine.)

1.  What are the two ways to enter the hologram machine?

The first way to enter the hologram machine is by physically walking through a door inside it. The second way to enter the hologram machine is by lying inside an energy stabilizer. The energy stabilizer interfaces your consciousness with the computer and digitally transfers your essence inside the hologram machine.

2.  Why did you create more than one way to enter the hologram machine?

If a person’s essence is digitally transferred into the machine, that person is then able to change the computer’s programming from inside the machine. This ability expanded what I could do with the story’s plot.

3.  What is a digital copy?

A digital copy is a computer copy of a real person that a programmer has created to be inside the computer.

Jason looked at his brother. Isaac was seated at the computer terminal working on a digital copy of his own. The center monitor was split into six sections. The new DC’s head and torso hung in the two center sections, while her legs and arms rotated separately off to the sides.
“You’re sick, dude,” Jason said as he realized that Isaac was making a digital copy of the girl across the street, Boston Komen.

4.  Why did you add digital copies to the story?

The theme of DiSemblance centers on what happens when people replace computer technology for real life experiences. Creating computer copies of people in my characters’ lives seemed to be a natural extension of this theme.  


About the Author:

I am a professional writer with a bachelor's degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer's Expo.

I love suspense thrillers and am a master at plot and character development. I enjoy stories with happy endings. I promise all my readers that when they put one of my books down or walk away from one of my movies, they will be enthused with excitement and joy. This does not mean there will not be some sad parts, because you have to feel the bitter in order to understand the sweet.

I was born and raised in a small town in Idaho. I am the second out of six children. When I was in my early 20's my mother was killed by a drunk driver. This one incident drastically changed my life. I have always had a passion for reading and writing fiction. Owing to a life long struggle with Dyslexia, early teachers discouraged me from pursuing a career in writing.

As I have spent over twenty years wrestling with my language disabilities-turning them into professional writing skills, God has honed my insatiable passion into an incredible vision.

My Christian upbringing has instilled within me the belief that "...with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). This has sustained me through the hard times. Because of my language disability, I have had to learn the structure of the English language like other people learn math - building block upon building block.

I am grateful for this experience because it developed in me a skill and love for diagramming sentences, which unfortunately is becoming a lost art.

I want my life to be a living testament that with God's help anyone can achieve their worthwhile dreams. What God requires is the humility to change, a childlike teach-ability to learn, and the patience and persistence to practice and work until their weaknesses are transformed into strengths.


Find her:




Title: The Guardian of Bastet
Author: Jacqueline Battisti
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Carina Press

Book Description

Cat-shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine has discovered a demon is killing supernaturals. Magically challenged, she has every intention of letting handsome Alpha werewolf Gordon Barnes handle it. But after a dying vampire gifts Trinity a mystical amulet, she is drawn into the fray as the legendary Guardian of Bastet, a warrior born when the need arises.
Though Trinity initially rejects the role, she warms to the idea when Gordon agrees to train her—and their passion for each other grows as he teaches her to embrace her animal instincts.
As she begins to accept her destiny and believe in her growing powers, Trinity realizes the danger is even closer to home than she ever imagined—and she and Gordon are going to have to face the demon in a fight to the death...




Excerpt:

What’s it like being a house cat once a month?

Other than the whole litter box thing, it could actually be kind of cool at times. I could run around like crazy – doing mad dashes around the house, and then when I got tired, I could just find a nice warm sunny spot and curl up to sleep. There were plenty of toys to play with around my house and Bronwyn (Trinity’s cat) was a pretty cool companion. We played chased, we wrestled and bitch slapped each other, we knocked mice around and did I mention the catnip? It was legal too! Damn that was good stuff.

There were a few downsides to being a cat. One was the grooming, or should I say the after effects of it. While I was a cat, I couldn’t help but groom myself and it was comforting at the time. Unfortunately, when I turned back to human form, I still ended up with occasional residual hairballs. That part was damn disgusting.

Then there was the hated litter box. Just knowing it was not only Bronwyn’s fault it needed cleaning, grossed me out a little. Being a cat also meant I ate mice and bugs like any other cat in the universe. Try keeping your breakfast down after realizing you’ve done that the night before. It makes the day after a hangover seem like child’s play. I didn’t even want to think about what dad ingested in his puma form. Double yuck. I still had a hard time with that aspect of my life. All I knew was there were some mornings after the full moon when Bronwyn was too excessively proud of my hunting skills for my comfort.




About the Author:

Jacqueline Battisti was raised in Little Falls, New York where she met and married her high school sweetheart. They have two children and live near Rochester, New York where she is a stay at home mom and writer of the paranormal and urban fantasy of her vivid imagination.
Her first novel, The Guardian of Bastet, was published by Carina Press August 20, 2012. She is currently working on a sequel as well as a dystopian paranormal.
Her life has taken her from the trials and tribulations of working as an administrative assistant at various companies, back to college as an adult student, and then into the adventurous world of motherhood. 
Jacqueline began writing seriously in 2007 after attempting NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was the first time she had disciplined herself to finish a novel. From there, her supportive critique group was formed and attended, and then she attended RT Booklovers Convention in 2009. Jacqueline attended their aspiring authors workshops and met with many talented writers who inspired her to continue writing. 

Flash forward to today: Jacqueline has two children who are very outgoing and keep her on her toes. Cub Scouts, Daisy Scouts, play dates, school activities for the kids...then writing, reading current authors, following blogs, facebook, household chores, gardening and exhaustion for mom. Add in a new puppy, two furry feline children and fish and you have the craziness that is the Battisti household.

Find her:




a Rafflecopter giveaway




Summary:

RELIGION AND MORALITY. For far too long, religion has been considered to be a pre-condition of morality and many still believe you could not have one without the other. But what would this mean for atheists, if this were true? What exactly is preventing atheists from going on a murderous rampage? Can atheists be moral?

This short concise book aims to tackle the common misconceptions regarding morality, atheism and religion using reasoned argument and a refreshing slice of humour.











Interview:


1. What inspired you to write this book?
I'm always having these philosophical debates with people and someone joked that I should write a book and the idea stayed with me.

2. What does the word "religion" mean to you?
Religion is a strong belief in the supernatural.

3. How has religion impacted your life?
I was raised Roman Catholic and was a very keen churchgoer until my late teens. It has certainly had a big impact on my life but I have a completely different philosophy now than I did as a child. Atheism suits me much better. I'm less judgemental nowadays and life makes more sense to me.

4. To people, religion is organized. Do you believe this is true for atheism?
Not at all. Atheism is not a religion and is unlike religion. Atheists have no figure-head like the Pope or Dalai Lama and we have no texts like the Bible or the Koran.

5. I've heard people say that atheism is a new "fad". Thoughts?
I don't know why people say such things. It makes me sad. Historically, atheism predates religion and it's not likely that it's just going to disappear. That's not my bias, its fact.

6. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
Oh, that's a good question! Hollywood has ruined some perfectly good novels in the last few years, however I do love me some Harry Potter. I also like Sherlock.

7. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
I'm working on another book regarding agnosticism/atheism but it's still a work in progress.

8. What do you do in your spare time?
I love the outdoors. I walk, surf, climb, swim and cycle as much as I can. When I feel lazy I like to watch rubbish tv shows with friends.

9. Who's your inspiration?
Lots of people inspire me but lately it been Christopher Hitchens and Malorie Blackman.

10. What are you reading now?

I just finished The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood




About the Author:

Hi, I'm Mary-Louise Adams. Sometimes I write stuff down and sometimes it makes people laugh. My life goals include getting a bigger place so I can adopt two Great Pyrenees or Bernese Mountain puppies (aww, puppies!) and getting over my fear of pigeons. Thank you.




Title: Death to the Undead - Book 2
Author: Pembroke Sinclair
Genre:  YA horror
Publisher:  eTreasures Publishing
Cover Artist:  Jerrod Brown

Book Description:  

The battle that began in Life After the Undead continues.

Zombies changed her life completely...

Tough teenager Krista escaped to the safety of Florida after her parents were killed by the zombie horde. She united with General Liet, a distant cousin, and moved with him to North Platte to help build a wall to keep the zombies in the West. Krista fell in love with Quinn, a survivor and fighter from the zombie-infested wildlands of the West, and together they freed the garrison at North Platte from the power-hungry Liet.

But zombies aren’t the only enemy they have to face...

Now, North Platte is free, but Liet was not the only one using the zombie apocalypse to control their people. Florida is ruled by five ruthless Families, who use intimidation and the threat of the zombie horde to coerce their populace. Krista and Quinn hatch a desperate plan to run guns into the state and help the people revolt. Krista and Quinn, labeled as rebels run for their lives when the Families attack North Platte. The Families want them captured, the zombies want to eat them, and other survivors want them dead. Caught in between powerful forces, they must survive long enough to devise a new plan and put it into action, all while trying to solidify their new relationship and trying not to self-destruct in the meantime.





Title: Life After the Undead - Book One
Author:
Pembroke Sinclair
Genre: YA Horror
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing
Cover Artist: Jerrod Brown
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/hrgv7W9A_7w 

Book Description:  

The world has come to an end. It doesn’t go out with a bang, or even a whimper. It goes out in an orgy of blood and the dead rising from their graves to feast on living flesh. As democracy crumples and the world melts into anarchy, five families in the U.S. rise to protect the survivors. 

The undead hate a humid environment, so they are migrating westward to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors are constructing a wall in North Platte to keep the zombie threat to the west, while tyranny rules among the humans to the east. 

Capable but naïve Krista is 15 when the first attacks occur, and she loses her family and barely escapes with her life. She makes her way to the wall and begins a new life. But, as the undead threat grows and dictators brainwash those she cares about, Krista must fight not only to survive but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately those she loves.


Chapter 1 - Death to the Undead

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” God, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that cliché. Dad was particularly fond of it when I had issues with homework or a dilemma in my personal life. I knew what his point was. He was telling me to be patient, to let things progress the way they were supposed to. But, I wasn’t good at that. I never had a lot of patience. I imagined my Dad reiterating the cliché after the North Platte takeover, wondering what he would think of what I’d done. What we’d done. We liberated Nebraska, but we still had a long road ahead of us. I knew Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I was pretty sure the zombies could destroy it in one.

I stood in the guard tower, overlooking the field. My body pressed against the railing. Corpses still littered the ground, but there weren’t as many as when I first came to North Platte. The crews had done a great job of cleaning up, though there was little they could do about the atrocious smell.

The sun sank beneath the horizon, casting hues of orange, pink, and purple onto the silhouettes of the undead. A bullet was chambered into a gun behind me. Quinn had been sitting in a chair behind me in the tower the whole time.

“Quinn, what happened to your parents?” I turned so I faced him.

Quinn rested the butt of his gun on the deck and wrapped his arms around the barrel. He sighed. “My mom died about seven years ago from cancer. I don’t know what happened to my dad.”

I furrowed my brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, when we heard about the first zombie attacks, Dad wanted to help. Most of the neighbors lived within a few miles, so it didn’t take too long for him to move them onto the ranch. One morning, him and a few of the others decided to venture a little further, see who else might need some help, and he never came back.”

My stomach felt queasy. I averted my gaze to the floor, then glanced back at Quinn. “Did you go look for him?”

Quinn shook his head. “He told me not to. He said no matter what happens, I was to stay at the ranch and take care of the people.”

“Yeah, but you must have been curious what happened to him.”

Quinn nodded and stood from his chair. “Of course, but I did as I was told.” He shouldered the rifle and lined up his sights. He fired.

I moved so I stood next to him. “Do you think he’s out there somewhere?”

Quinn glanced at me. “Probably. But I doubt he’s anything like I remember.”

“Doesn’t that make you sad?”

He returned his attention to the sight. “Every day. But there’s nothing I can do to change it now.” He fired another round.

I slumped against the rail. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I averted my gaze back to the field. I rubbed my sore shoulder. A breeze picked up, bringing a chill and the smoke from the funeral pyre. I wrinkled my nose.

“We need to do something about that.”

Quinn straightened. “Like what?”

I shrugged the good shoulder. “I don’t know. Maybe we could put a building around it. It might help contain some of the smoke and smell.”

Quinn nodded. “You should suggest it at the next meeting.”

I opened my mouth to speak, but the sound of footsteps on the stairs interrupted me. It was Pam. She still wore her old guard uniform, a relic from Liet’s reign, but it was obvious whose side she was on. Thank goodness she was on our side. She trained me; I knew how tough and skilled she was. It would’ve been a battle to take her down.

“Krista,” Pam said. “There’s someone who needs to see you.”

I pushed myself away from the rail. “Who?”

Pam motioned toward the courthouse. “I think it’s best if you just head over there.”
I looked at Quinn, who shrugged, then the three of us headed to the courthouse.

My stomach fluttered as I pushed opened the door. Visions of Mrs. Johnson’s bodyguard flooded my mind, and I didn’t think I could stand another visit like that. I held my breath as I opened the door. The person stood at the end of the room, her head down as she chewed on her thumb nail. Excitement rose in my chest and relief loosened my shoulders. A smile crossed my lips. I held out my good arm and hurried across the room. Normally, I wasn’t one for hugs, but anyone besides guards from Florida in the office was a welcome relief.

“Tanya! What are you doing here?”

Tanya looked up. She balled her hand into a fist and swung it over her head. I flinched, and the blow hit me on the bicep. Tanya lunged forward, flailing her arms. I crouched and covered my head. I didn’t know what else to do. I was so shocked, I froze. I couldn’t react. Several more hits landed on my back and head before someone pulled Tanya away.

“How could you?” Tanya yelled. “HOW COULD YOU?” She kicked and caught me on the knee.

Pain radiated through my leg, and I rubbed at the minor injury. Anger replaced the shock. Who did she think she was coming into my courtroom and attacking me?

“What are you talking about?” I tried to keep my emotions in check, common sense told me I needed to know what was going on.

 “Don’t play dumb with me! You know what you did.” She jerked her arms out of Quinn and Pam’s grasp.

Really? Was she mad that we liberated Nebraska before we helped Florida? I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I guess it upset her.

“I’m sorry, Tanya. We had to move quickly. We had to set the people of North Platte free.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I’m not talking about the attack.”

I stared at her for a moment. “Then what are you talking about?”

“You sent zombies down in the truck of supplies! You figured if you couldn’t overthrow The Families, you’d overrun the state with the undead!” Tanya yelled, then attempted to attack again. Pam and Quinn restrained her and stared at me.

I picked myself off the floor, staring at Tanya wide eyed. Zombies in the truck? What? When? Why would I have done that? I hate those things! I would have to get pretty close to put those in the truck, and I wasn’t willing to do that. But someone must have. Who would be stupid and conniving enough to do that?

“Tanya, honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe you should fill us in on some details.”

Tanya snarled. “The truck showed up a few weeks ago, with Mrs. Johnson’s bodyguard behind the wheel. He said it had come from North Platte, and I assumed it had another shipment of guns. As usual, I was going to wait until night to collect the weapons. My father took the vehicle to the storage yard, like he always did. I was done working at the coffee shop, so I decided to see what you guys sent. I stood at the chain link fence, watching the guys work, when I heard my father scream from the trailer. The others ran to see what was going on, and a zombie lurched out of the vehicle. They ran.”

Tanya continued her story, and I pictured the whole scenario in my mind. She was a bit lacking on details, so I filled in the blanks with my own imagination. It wasn’t hard, especially when you’ve seen as many zombies as I have. There were three creatures, buried under crates. Two men, newly turned with just the slightest hint of yellowed skin. Their clothes were dirty but not yet torn. The third, a woman, she had been a zombie for a while. Her stringy blonde hair was knotted, caked in mud, and falling out of her head, only wisps remained on the bottom and right side. Her clothes had almost completely decayed, tatters of a floral print dress clung to her the bones exposed in her chest and legs. Her gray, wrinkled skin looked like leather. They hid in the shadows, hard to see, and for some reason, they didn’t moan like the others when food was near. The workers didn’t know they were there and had unloaded almost the entire truck. They were almost finished when the attack started. Tanya ran through the gate, making her way to the back of the truck, just in time to see her father beating one of the creatures with a tire iron. The third one was still pinned behind a crate. Her breath caught as she watched the creature’s mouth snap for her dad. Her dad panted with exhaustion. He leaned against the side of the truck for support. Blood, brain matter, and bits of skull were everywhere, and the smell was overpowering. Tanya was about to climb in, find out if her dad was all right, but he told her to stop. He collapsed onto the floor, sliding down the wall. He cradled his hand. The zombie had bitten him.

Tanya set her jaw. “The other one that got out of the truck attacked several of the workers before it was put down. I don’t know how many of them got bit, but within a few days, we had an epidemic on our hands. They got it under control, but thirty people got infected.”

Pam and Quinn released her, and she pointed a finger in my direction.

“You just couldn’t wait, could you? You just had to make all of us pay.”

My throat felt tight and a knot developed in my stomach. I swallowed hard. “What happened to your dad?”

Tanya snarled. “Instead of waiting for the plague to take its toll, he took care of himself.”

I lowered my gaze to the floor. My stomach lurched, bile rose into my throat. I took several deep breaths, but the feeling never abated.

“I’m sorry, Tanya.” I looked into her face. “I really, truly am. But I did not put zombies in the back of the truck. Why would I harm the people I’m trying to help?”

Tanya shook her head and opened her mouth to speak.

“Think about it,” Quinn interrupted her. “The Families were afraid of losing control. They knew about the rebellion here in North Platte, and they knew the people would soon hear about it. They had to do something to ensure the people wouldn’t revolt, so they planted zombies.”

Tanya stared at him for a moment, letting the information sink in. “Maybe,” she spoke softly.

I stepped closer to her. “Tanya, please, you have to believe us, we would never do anything like that. Smuggle guns to kill the regime, yeah, but we wouldn’t infect Florida with zombies.”

Tanya took a deep breath. “Maybe.”

“Didn’t Bill and Kyle tell you what was going on?” Quinn asked.
Tanya faced him. “They did.”

“What happened to them?”

She took a deep breath and averted her gaze to the floor. “After the attack and my dad’s suicide, guards, um, did random house searches and they were arrested.”

Pam’s, Quinn’s, and my eyes grew wide.

“What?” Quinn glanced from Tanya to me. “Arrested? Why?”

“They were outsiders.” she responded. “I guess they felt they were a threat to The Families and Florida.”

“Did they find out about the guns?” I stammered out the question.

Tanya looked at me. “No. Those are still safe.”

“How did you get here?” Pam chimed in.

“After everything calmed down, I took the boat Bill and Kyle came in on and found their vehicle in Texas. I made my way up here to you.”

“Do you know what happened to them?” Worry coated Quinn’s eyes.

“I’m sure they’re not dead. I’m sure The Families kept them for interrogation.”

Quinn rubbed his hand over his mouth, staring at me. “What are we going to do? Everything is ruined. I told you we had to attack simultaneously.”
Confusion and anger coursed through my body. “It’s a moot point now. We’ll figure it out. It’ll be fine.” What did he expect me to do? I couldn’t change the past.

The room was silent for a long moment. The group glanced at each other out of the corners’ of their eyes, then averted their gazes to the floor. My head spun. When we first took over North Platte and found out there had been a spy, I felt like I was losing control then, but after Tanya arrived, I knew I lost my grip. An all-out attack on Florida was out of the question. They would know what was coming. Plus, we were grossly outnumbered by Floridian soldiers. Despite the tragic nature of the event, a zombie attack wasn’t a half bad idea. It would keep the soldiers busy long enough for our people to get in and take control. There would be some collateral damage, but in the long run, it would lead to the liberation of the people of Florida.

I shook the idea out of my head. How could I even think of that? There were innocent people down there. Children. It wouldn’t work. Besides, three zombies had already done enough damage. I couldn’t believe Tanya thought we sent the attack.

Quinn grabbed my arm and directed me away from Tanya and Pam.

“We’ve got to evacuate the city.”

“Why?”

“Don’t you see what’s going on? Florida sent men up here to investigate what happened. They planted zombies in the back of the truck and blamed it on us. They are trying to rally the masses against us.”

“Yeah? So what else is new?”

“The people they sent here were the dregs of society. They were causing problems in Florida. They are still causing problems. This is the perfect excuse to wipe us off the planet.”

My stomach knotted. The color drained from my face. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew Quinn was right. They were probably on their way to level the city.

“There are two thousand and eleven people in North Platte.” I couldn’t raise my voice over a whisper. “Where are they going to go?”

Quinn pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger and shook his head. “I don’t know. All I know is they can’t stay here.”

“What about Liet? What are we going to do with him?”

Quinn didn’t have the opportunity to answer.

“Everything all right over there?” Pam asked.

We faced her.

“No. I don’t think it is,” Quinn responded.

“Well, maybe you’d like to fill the rest of us in.”

Quinn glanced at me for a second, then back at Pam. “I think you need to call a town meeting.”

“For what?”

“Just do it!” I didn’t mean to yell at her, but I had no control over my emotions. The room spun and breathing was difficult, it just slipped out.

Pam hurried out of the room, and I sank to my knees. I lowered my head and closed my eyes. I felt light-headed and nauseous. I couldn’t believe it was this hard. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. I felt Quinn’s hand on my back.
“You all right?”

I looked up at him. “I’ll be fine. Just give me a second.”

Tanya moved so she stood in front of me. Her knees popped as she knelt down.

“What are we going to do now? Everything has been ruined.” She lowered her gaze. “I ruined it. I can’t believe I was so stupid to believe you would have sent zombies!”

I took a deep breath and stared at her face for several moments. Anger clenched my chest. I wanted to tell her it was her fault, that she should have known we would never do anything so devious, but it wouldn’t get us anywhere. Her eyes were red rimmed and her shoulders slumped forward. She probably didn’t stop traveling until she made it to the city. Rage kept her moving. Her desire to see me dead or maimed fueled her journey. After she found out the truth, rage was replaced with sheer exhaustion. Sadly, her journey wasn’t even close to being over.

Besides, I wasn’t mad at her, I was angry at the universe. I was upset that my luck had run out. The same rage that kept her moving was going to have to sustain me. We still had a job to do, we just had to rethink it.

“You didn’t ruin it,” I told her. “You were just reacting to a situation you thought we created. It’s understandable.”

She placed her hands on the floor and leaned forward. “I want to help you fix it. Please tell me what I can do.”

“First of all, we’ve got to get the people to safety. Then, we’re going to disappear.”

“And go where?”

“The only place we have left. The West.”


About the Author:  

I write fiction under the pen name Pembroke Sinclair, and I have had several short stories published.  My story, “Sohei,” was named one of the Best Stories of 2008 by The Cynic Online Magazine.  I have novellas and a short story collection forthcoming from Musa Publishing and eTreasures Publishing.  I have two novels, Coming from Nowhere (adult, sci fi) and Life After the Undead (YA, horror), that are available from eTreasures Publishing, as well as Death to the Undead (YA, sequel to Life After the Undead), which is forthcoming.  Life After the Undead was a Top Ten Finisher in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in the YA category and the cover art category.

Under my real name, from March 2008 to January 2011, I wrote scientific articles for Western Farmer-Stockman.  I have a nonfiction book, Life Lessons from Slasher Films, scheduled for release in July 2012 from Scarecrow Publishing (an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield).

I have my Master’s in English, and I am a freelance content editor for Musa Publishing, as well as a former content and line editor for eTreasures Publishing.

Find her:





What is Twilight?

twi·light

/ˈtwīˌlīt/
Noun
  1. The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.
  2. The period of the evening during which this takes place, between daylight and darkness.
Synonyms
dusk - gloaming - nightfall

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