We have moved!

Thank you for visiting!

Please note this blog is no longer in use.

Please visit Books Direct at http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com

"Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories" by Scarlette D’Noire and others

Vampires Romance to Rippers
an Anthology of Tasty Stories
by Scarlette D’Noire and others
Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories is on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today with a spotlight on three of the sixteen authors involved in this project. Be sure to visit all of the other tour stops as well.
You can also join the Facebook event for your chance to win ebooks or a $25 Amazon gift card.
Vampires! Sixteen authors give you a glimpse into the dark worlds of lost love, murderous rage, and undeniable sex appeal where deadly quests and blood lust spanning centuries of time reign supreme. Explore some of the most unique vampires to exist on this side of the grave.
Essays, excerpts, and short stories from award winning authors Karen Dales, Kurt Kamm, Bertena Varney, and more. They will entertain you, thrill you, and bewilder you as they reveal the dark secrets of the most beloved creatures of the night, including eleven times bestselling author Terri Reid, creator of the Mary O’Reilly Series.
So, which will it be: the romantic vampire, the revenant vampire, the elemental, the fanged vampire, or the mythological female vampire?  Begin reading and find out!
A delightful collection of stories that lets you sample the sweet, the conflicted and the menacing varieties of fanged night creatures. It is highly successful as an anthology. You’re sure to find some new and exciting writers as well as some favorites. The variety offered is sure to please, like all good Buffets, it offers something for everyone’s taste. After nibbling on these creative little offerings, you are sure to find some sweet surprises and some new favorites. An easy read that leaves you craving more.
Excerpt from “A Different Kind of Vampire” by Sherri Jordan-Asble

We descended into the darkness of the cave and came to the dead end, and an empty wall. A small fissure ran from floor to ceiling, and if you turned sideways, you could squeeze into the wall. The doors that had been there before no longer existed. Delaney looked at me with doubt. “I thought you said there were doors?”
“Uh-huh, there were.”
“Not now?”
I looked at her and shrugged, and then shined the light into the fissure. The saloon-like doors had disappeared, but there was a large hollow big enough to have held a saloon. “Come on,” I said as we slipped in. “Do you think you’ll be able to find this to get out by yourself?” I asked her.
“I’ll have to.”
I shined the light around. No balcony, no stairs, no piano, no bar, no broken glass on the floor. “This isn’t at all like you said, Summer.” I could feel her doubt, palpable on my skin.
“This thing inside me is a vampire. Don’t tempt it with emotion.” I swallowed back my own fear.
Delaney took a deep breath. “Okay. I’m just saying.”
“I know.” I did know. I didn’t understand it all myself.
I walked over to where the bar had been. My hiking boots crunched, but when I shined my light on the ground, it was pebbles I stepped on, not glass. I followed the wall around to where the door to the storage room should have been, and breathed a sigh of relief. “Delaney,” I called out, beckoning to her with my free arm. I pointed the flashlight on the door. It stood open and the bar unlatched. “This is it.”
“Thank God,” she whispered, then caught herself.
“No, you’re right.” I nodded. “I’m going in. Make sure I’m in and bar the door. Then, get the hell out of here and don’t look back.”
Delaney nodded. Her fear slowly started to rise and I could taste it like cotton candy on my tongue. I swallowed hard and ignored it. I knew I had to get in before the Thing could take over, but I couldn’t move. I felt It sliding uncomfortably around under my skin.
“Go, Summer. Do it.” Delaney said forcefully.
I felt the Thing trying to come up and out, and I screamed. A horrible screeching sound ripped out of my throat. “No! Run, Delaney! Get out!”
Interview With Author BellaDonna Drakul

What was your favorite experience working on the Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories? There were so many wonderful experiences I had while working on this anthology. I loved creating new vampire characters that my readers have never heard of. It’s been several months since I’ve written about vampires and bringing new ones to life was the breath of fresh air I needed. Oddly enough, the word limit was a real challenge but something I enjoyed as well.  But most of all, working with such great authors on  a brilliant anthology series was the best overall and I truly feel honored for being included on this project.
Why did you choose the excerpt for the anthology? In An Anthology of Tasty Stories, I chose my excerpt from my story, “Forgotten Immortal”, because it is the scene where my protagonist, Benedikt Emory, truly loses his mind and exposes the identity of the vampire who haunts him. It reflects different emotions from the character and shows the readers what true insanity is like. And believe me, there is nothing more enjoyable to read than when a character goes crazy! Also in An Anthology of Risqué Stories, I chose my excerpt from my story, “A Stroke of Death”, based on the scene where my protagonist, Monsieur Drago Xiomar, becomes truly depraved and designs his most vile painting. It is quite nauseating to read especially for those with vivid imaginations. The story itself is an excerpt from one of my future books so if the story sickens you now just wait until I write it in full.
Who is your most popular character and from which book? I’m not sure if he is my “most popular character”, but my personal favorite character would have to be the overly sadistic vampire child, Synto Mythonias, from my second, third, and fifth books. Each of my books are comprised of collections of first-person-based vampire short stories and novellas (except for my fifth book) and to tie them all together, I take certain characters and place them into the next book that eventually resulted in the concept for the fifth book. In my second book, The Immortal Memoirs, I first introduce Synto as a disturbed vampire youth at a Catholic school where he enjoys torturing a particular nun he sees as “unholy” and also wreaks havoc on anyone who stands in his way. In my third book, The Kindred Confessions, Synto comes back in another tale where I will not describe here, nor his reprise in my fifth book, Chronicles of the Ancients. I would love to describe the dastardly deeds of Synto, but I cannot. Not only does it give the stories’ details away, but you need to read about this devilish child first in order to understand how he jumped from a simple idea to someone who literally haunted my dreams for months telling me to finish his story. He is truly a horrid little boy and I love him to death!
Can you share your current work with us and links to purchase? I am currently working on two novels called A Stroke of Death (the story from An Anthology of Risqué Stories) and The Sanctuary which is based off of my own paranormal experiences inside of an actual haunted horror attraction. My five novels, dubbed The Drakul Diaries, can be purchased anywhere online, such as Barnes & Noble, or directly from my publisher. You can purchase them all separately or together but if you choose to pick a particular one, here are the titles: The Vampire Collection: Short Stories for the Vampire Enthusiast, The Immortal Memoirs, The Kindred Confessions, The Undead Journals, and Chronicles of the Ancients.
Where can we find you on the web? You can pretty much find me anywhere online (type my name into any search engine) including my profile on Amazon and I’m on Facebook.
About Author Scarlette D’Noire

Originally from Chicago, Scarlette D’Noire is an American author currently residing in Florida with her husband and two furry children.
A lover of all things vampire, Scarlette has published two books, Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories, and Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Risqué Stories with several outstanding authors. She is currently writing two books in the Vampire Historia a Series of Revelations collection: Nicolai’s Fate and Delano’s Undoing. Scarlette D’Noire is a nom de plume used to protect the true identity of the author so she may bring Vampire Historia a Series of Revelations to light without consequences.
Author Links
Book Links

"The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo’s Howliday" by C. L. Murphy

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo:
Lobo’s Howliday
by C. L. Murphy
The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo’s Howliday will be FREE to download from iTunes on 18 December only. You can also enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $100 iTunes gift card or PayPal cash! This book blast is brought to you by Mother Daughter Book Promotion Services.
It’s almost Christmas and Santa finds himself in quite the predicament due to unintended consequences as a result of trying something new. Lobo, and his raven sidekick, Roxy, travel to the North Pole to help the jolly ole’ one and are guided by the Arctic animals. The colors of the season delight along the way and make for a howling good holiday. Can you howl Ho Ho Ho?
Book Trailer
The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo’s Howliday is a children’s book written by C. L. Murphy. Lobo and his friend Roxy, the raven, are surprised when an owl comes to see Lobo with a special delivery. Within the bag is Arty, an Arctic mouse who has an urgent request from Santa. Santa needs Lobo’s help this year, and the three of them set off for the North Pole. Along the way, they meet an Arctic fox, who lets them stay the night in his den and a polar bear who transports them across icy water. An Arctic wolf accompanies them for the rest of the journey to Santa’s Village, where an Arctic hare is waiting for them. Santa has updated his method of delivering gifts on Christmas, but he’s got a problem that Lobo can help him with.
I was spellbound reading The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo’s Howliday. C.L. Murphy’s artwork is simply amazing. Each page is filled with images you can get lost in: lush green forests, sparkling night skies, snowy expanses, and the animals have personality and incredible appeal. If you’re lacking in Christmas spirit this year, no matter what your age, spending some time with Lobo, Roxy, and Arty will soon change your attitude. Lobo’s Howliday is also a great way to introduce a child to the Northern Lights, the Arctic, and the amazing animals that live there (see if you can find the Orca!). I’ve already recommended The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo’s Howliday to friends who have children or grandchildren. It’s a very special book. ~ 5 Star Review, Jack Magnus, Readers Favorite
About the Author
While new to the children’s book writing and illustrating scene, C. L. has been doodling her way through life since she won a school wide poster contest in the third grade. She’s had the pleasure of working as an artist in residence, creating cartoons and painting murals with the children at local elementary schools. She adores the wonder and curiosity of young children. For years, she filed picture book ideas away, until the reality of the empty nest syndrome sunk in and she decided to bring her favorite one to fruition.
She based the character Lovable Lobo on something very dear to her heart, a real wolf that she’s raised for the last 13 years. She’s felt the need to protect him his entire life, primarily due to the preconceived notions that wolves are to be feared.
She lives amongst the wildlife in an enchanted forest in the beautiful Oregon wilderness. She has always appreciated nature and animals have always played a major role in her life. She was that little girl who brought home the strays asking “Can we please keep it?” At an early age she realized her connection with animals by training a wild bluejay to appear on command to take food from her hand.
Check out her book series and discover that you, too, will find Lobo lovable.
Enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $100 iTunes gift card (or PayPal cash) and a wolf stuffie.

"Otherwise Unharmed: Evan Arden Trilogy #3" by Shay Savage

NOTE: This book is suitable for adults only.
Otherwise Unharmed:
Evan Arden Trilogy #3
by Shay Savage
Otherwise Unharmed is the final book in the Evan Arden Trilogy. Also available: Otherwise Alone, Otherwise Occupied, and Uncockblockable.


Otherwise Unharmed is currently on tour with MaE Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt. You can also enter the giveaway for your chance to win books Shay Savage books. Please visit all of the other tour stops as well.
After Evan Arden was imprisoned by the enemy for a year and a half, he returned from the desert as a military hero. He’d suffered some minor injuries during his captivity, was discharged from the Marines with a touch of shellshock, but was considered otherwise unharmed. Now he wonders how he ended up where he is – incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for using his sharpshooting expertise to take out the neighborhood park with a high-powered sniper rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition.
Lia Antonio, the woman he rescued from the desert heat the previous year, is the only person who can bring him out of his sleep-deprived psychosis and mounting PTSD. When she does, Evan knows he can’t just let her go again. He’s never considered leaving the business before – who retires from the mafia? – but he’s determined to get both Lia and himself out of harm’s way.
Evan faces overwhelming forces from multiple directions as a deal to get him out of jail turns more dangerous than he imagined. With a mob war on the horizon and the feds holding evidence over his head, Evan has no choice but to throw himself into the middle of another warzone.
In his efforts to make things right, Evan crosses the wrong man and finds himself on the business end of the crosshairs. With his acute perception and intelligence, he tries to stay a step ahead of his former co-workers, but this time, it isn’t just his own life on the line – he’s got to protect Lia from the man who once called him son.
I resisted the urge to pull out the Beretta and shove it in his face.
“I assume I have you to thank for all of this,” I muttered back.  “What the fuck do you want?”
“Just wanted to make sure you weren’t packing up to leave town or anything stupid like that,” Trent replied.  “I also wanted to make sure you realize I know exactly where you are and what you’re doing—at all times.”
I watched him closely.  He crossed his arms as he leaned casually against the door – too casually.  He was making a point of looking nonchalant, which meant he didn’t completely feel that way.  My eyes searched for other clues about him, but he was practiced in the art of being a complete and total asshole, which was throwing me off my game.
In an attempt to gain some ground, I snapped my fingers and pointed to Odin’s bed.  He quickly moved from my side and went to his place but continued to growl low at the federal agent.
“I told you I would take care of it all,” I reminded him.  “Fuck off and let me do it.”
“You’re quite the conversationalist,” he said with a snide laugh.
“I don’t converse with feds,” I snapped back.  I was immediately pissed off at myself for letting him get to me.
“Just don’t forget to take your dick out of your slut long enough to get your job done.”
I clenched my teeth and glared, trying to keep myself from just walking over and beating the living shit out of him.  I had no doubt that Johnson was nearby, and assaulting a fed in my apartment while I was out on bail wasn’t the very best idea.
“Are you going to spend a lot of time keeping me from getting shit done?” I asked through my teeth.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time making sure you are getting shit done,” Trent retorted.  “If I feel like you’re stalling, I’m going to take it out on her.  What do you think of that?”
“I think that’s an invitation to an underground party.”
We locked stares for a long moment.  Trent eventually cracked half of an insincere smile and then nodded.
“I’ll be seeing you around.”  He turned and walked out the door.
I dropped my ass on the couch and rubbed my temples.  Odin assumed he was free to leave his bed because he came up and leaned his fuzzy mug on my knee.  I rubbed at his head and tried to calm myself down a bit.
None of this was going to work.
Book Trailer
I just finished reading it. It’s one of those stories that really submerges you in its plot. It made me feel everything with its characters. I laughed, cried, it made me so angry at times and then happy again. It was a real roller-coaster and that’s what makes a good story, in my opinion. It’s a hard story to read at some points, but if you have read Savage’s stories before, you know that’s just how she rolls. I’m not a person that is easily surprised, yet she manages to do it with every single one of her stories. This story has action, love, sexy times, distrust, revenge; pair it with Evan’s psychological distress and this story blows up. If you read the other two books, you MUST read this one.
I couldn’t be happier with the conclusion of this series. It does feel final. The story comes to a full circle, but there is hope for Evan and Lia. I liked that given the circumstances, they manage and move forward. Evan even gets a treat at the end😉
About the Author
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for your chance to win Shay Savage books.

This Week on Books Direct – 15 December 2013

This Week on Books Direct –
15 December 2013
Here’s a list of the articles you may have missed this week:
“3 Simple Steps to Writing a Successful Screenplay” – Article by Robert Baer for Speed Screenwriting.
Writing a screenplay doesn’t have to be so difficult if you follow these three steps. These steps come right from the pros, Robert McKee, Syd Field and other successful screenwriters such as Mark Sanderson.
“How to Sell Your First eBook” – Article by Cosmin for Vivastart.
Vivastart takes you from the very beginning and teaches you how to properly market your eBook for a successful campaign.
“Why No One Is Paying Attention To You (And How to Change It)” – Article by Bryan Hutchinson for Positive Writer.
Everyone wants to know how to get more attention for their work, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes. The question you have to ask yourself is a simple one, and yet, it’s profound and can change everything. Are you willing to do what it takes?
When writers finish a book, they may think they’ve had the last word. But sometimes another writer will decide there’s more to the story. There is one thing no one will ever know about these books: Whether the original authors approve of what has happened to their creations – or not.
“How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Make?” – Article by Jeremy Greenfield for Forbes.
In short, not much.
“6 Grammar Points to Watch Out For in Christmas Songs” – Article by Arika Okrent for Mental Floss.
Understand the grammar in your favorite carols.
Wonderful libraries are everywhere, each one home to a unique collection of the world’s knowledge and history. The collections in these libraries, though, top the charts. Grab a bib, English majors – you’re about to drool.
“Have You Ever Considered Becoming A Pro Reviewer?” – Article by Charlotte for Thoughts and Pens.
What do you think of professional reviewers?
“12 Female Authors Every Woman (and Man) Must Know” – Article by Kara Nesvig for Thought Catalog.
Kara and a few friends put their heads together and made a list of the female authors that everyone needs to be aware of and the best places to start if you’d like to become more familiar with their work.
“In Defense of Crafting With Books” – Article by Amanda Nelson for Book Riot.
What do you think?
“How You May Be Sabotaging Your Gift to Write Words That Matter” – Article by Bryan Hutchinson for Positive Writer.
What if reverse psychology is one of the many tools doubt uses to cause you to stall, and even, give up? Let’s find out what you can do about it.
“The Rise and Fall of the Lowly Period” – Article by Kevin Drum for Mother Jones.
Texting culture is bringing about its demise.
“The Ultimate Writing Resource Masterlist” – Article by The Writers Archive.
This is an ultimate masterlist of many, many resources that could be helpful for writers/roleplayers.
“16 Fantastic Gifts For Lit Lovers Who Have Enough Books” – Article by Isaac Fitzgerald for BuzzFeed.
A book-free holiday gift guide for the book lover in your life.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the This Week page for links to more great articles.

"The Coming Storm" by Valerie Douglas

The Coming Storm
by Valerie Douglas
Spanning an epic series of books, The Coming Storm by Valerie Douglas takes you to the heart of a conflict between magic users, and those without magic, good and evil, love and loss. Join Ailith and Elon as they have to choose between love, duty, and everything they’ve battled for.
The Coming Storm is the first in the series. It is currently ON SALE via a Kindle Countdown Deal, so get it as quick as you can before the price starts going up. Also available: A Convocation of Kings, Not Magic Enough (ON SALE for $0.99), and Setting Boundaries (ON SALE for $0.99).

In January, Valerie is on tour with The Finishing Fairies and will be visiting blogs, talking books and sharing her experience. As author of more than twenty books, she’s got a lot to say about indie publishing and would love to visit with you. If you’d like to join in, you can sign up here.

Elon of Aerilann, Elven advisor to the High King of Men, helped negotiate the treaty between Elves, Dwarves and men. He suddenly finds that fragile truce threatened from without by an unknown enemy and from within by old hatreds and prejudice. With the aid of his true-friend Colath, the wizard Jareth and the Elven archer Jalila, he goes in search of the source of the threat.
Ailith, the Heir to Riverford, fights her own silent battle. Her father has changed, but her quest to discover what changed him puts her life and very soul in danger and leaves her only one direction in which to turn. Elon.
To preserve the alliance, though, Elon will have to choose between his honor, his duty and everything for which he fought.

Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors of almost every genre from Isaac Asimov to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V. J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road!
Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.

"The Borealis Genome" by Thomas P. Wise and Nancy Wise

The Borealis Genome
by Thomas P. Wise and Nancy Wise
The Borealis Genome is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt. Please visit the other tour stops as well.
The Borealis Genome addresses the issue of increased moral ambiguity as scientific technology advances and removes our sense of individuality. The married authors throw engaged characters Tim and Nora into a scientific nightmare where mind-uploading and a weaponized virus allow the minds of the few to control those of the masses. As the population starts turning into mental zombies can Tim and Nora find the source of this mayhem? And can their love persevere through these harrowing times?
The Borealis Genome was recently awarded as Finalist in the 2013 Best Book Awards, and Honorable Mention in the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival.
Stan woke feeling, “off,” is all that came to mind. He had returned to his high-rise apartment early last night from his lady friend’s home as he liked to refer to her, and had dropped into bed, clothes and all. He rolled to the side of the bed and sat with both feet pressed flat on the floor and slouched forward with his elbows on his knees trying to get his head to clear. Pressing his palms against his forehead, he rocked slowly forward testing his legs.
His eyes were blurry as he straightened, still pressing his palms to his head and turning toward the bathroom. “Shoot,” he cried out as his foot landed on something hard rolling his left ankle and spilling him hard against the wall. He landed on his shoulder against the wall wrenching his spine and twisting the large left muscle running from his shoulder to the lower back into a spasm of searing pain.
Pushing up from the floor with both hands as he moved onto all fours, the pain in his back and ankle was biting into the fog in his mind helping him to focus. Stan crawled to the nightstand muttering and breathless.
“Help me! Up!” he groaned and slapped around for something to grab. and reached out with his right hand to steady himself and gather his wits. He pulled hard to drag himself upright again, and fell with his back pressed flat against the wall to balance against the pain.
Out of breath, Stan rolled left pushing hard on the wall to stabilize his position as he turned and shoved with his left forearm out to hold himself while he tried to walk.
“Focus!” he belched as his ankle rolled. His weight landed hard on the bone at the base of the shin as he stumbled toward the bedroom door. With a staggered, slow gate, his ankle rolled out from under him with each step. The fog in his brain grew more dense, and the pain more distant as he moved toward the door of the apartment.
“Pull,” he burped at the front door.
The momentum of the door led him backward, dropped him hard on his tailbone and jarred his spine and splitting the fog in his brain for a moment. He reached for his mouth, “blood,” he thought as the new taste flooded his senses.
Stan rolled back to his knees and pulled on the doorknob bouncing the left side of his head against the edge of the door as he stood and stumbled forward into the hall, then into the elevator leading to the trolley below the building.
Riders gathered along the trolley platform, checked the time, hoping to beat the rush and have a seat for the trip. The trolley tunnel was musty, dark with 19th century lights and smoke clinging to the tunnel walls. Trash and grease coated the tracks. Men and women dressed in business casual yawned and sipped from steaming paper mugs of dark coffee, waiting impatiently, ignoring one another as well as the rats darting in and out of crevices along the tunnel wall. A woman of about 30 stood quietly trying to keep her with her three year old boy seated in his stroller and entertained, while her tween son hung alongside in anticipation of his first trolley ride into Center City.
“I think it’s coming,” Stephen said excited to be the first to announce the possible arrival. Stephen looked up at his mom to see if she had noticed that he knew the trolley was on the way, “It’s coming mom,” he announced again touching her arm and smiling with his big dark brown eyes. His light brown hair, bleached by long summer days in the sun, hung in his eyes.
“Honey,” he heard his mom’s response, ignoring his excitement, as she pushed the hair from his brow, “Will dropped his cup by the stairs. Back there,” she said pointing to the entrance at the bottom of the staircase. “See it?
A frown formed as he followed Mom’s gesture. “Will,” he groused, had tossed the cup as she had opened the stroller at the bottom of the staircase where they entered the trolley tunnel.
“Please?” she asked again.
“Why does she assume I’m not going to do it?” he grumped, and sulked away. “You get,” he muttered to himself disappointed his announcement was ignored, and at being the errand boy for the little darling sitting in the stroller watching as he fetched the Sippy-cup, and just as the trolley was coming. “That’s what I shoulda said!” he muttered. “Get your own sippy.”
A man sneered, “Stinkin drunk,” as he watched for the trolley.
Stan stumbled along the subway platform as his ankle rolled with each step and his back twisted to the left as his body tried to stabilize against the spasm in the left lattisimus dorsi. A long bruise crossed his left eyebrow where he had landed against the door, and blood trickled down his chin where he had bitten off the tip of his tongue when he landed on his tailbone. Stan could feel the rush of air as the underground trolley approached the bend up ahead. Little else could penetrate the fog in his head. There were shapes in front of him. He could just make out “ competition for his favorite seat,” through his blurred vision.
As he tried to pick up the pace to make the trolley, “gonna be late,” kept coming through the fog. Stan shoved past the first person as he approached the man from behind, and pushed hard with his shoulder to get past. The man turned, leading with his elbow as he came around to face the aggressor in the dim light, angry at being shoved. An elbow in the rib caused Stan to trip and fall to his knees as he over compensated to keep his balance. Stan’s eyes never left the grimy platform. It was steady and solid. He could see the dark concrete, stained by a hundred years of dirty feet and smoke, beneath his hands as he shoved himself up to get his right foot underneath him.
Stan’s bladder let go of its contents when his knees were bloodied as they cracked against the concrete. Still on his left knee he shoved hard to get his right foot under him. Stan lurched hard to his left as the foot collapsed under his weight. Falling! He grabbed and hugged the concrete pillar.
His eyes were round, propped open by fear; seeing shadows and shapes. He aimed for a large shape and pushed from the pillar stumbling toward a tall man like a large, grotesque baby on his first solo. Stan, unable to judge distance or trajectory slammed hard with his shoulder, hitting the shape square in the back driving him to the trolley tracks below, rebounded into a woman. She screamed as she pin wheeled frantically with her arms and dropped to her knees to keep from falling from the platform. The man to her left lunged toward the screaming woman in an attempt to grab her flailing left arm before she slipped.
Adrenaline jolts pounded Stan’s unguided reflexes. He retracted from the contact, jammed a shoulder against the man’s back sending them both rolling from the platform in a screaming heap.
Shock stopped the crowd.
Stephen spun at the scream to see the man and women drop off the side of the platform. He watched as the bloody creature lurched toward his mom and Will, and still no one moved.
Motion to his right drew his attention as an officer stepped off the staircase and took in the scene as if trying to get his bearings in the sparse light before moving onto the platform.
“Zombie,” Stephen screamed as he ran toward Will, “Mom.” Stephen’s mother turned when she heard his scream. He could see the panic register on her face as adrenaline hit her heart. She grabbed for Will sitting wide eyed and staring toward the bruised and bloodied face.
Hearing Stephen’s terrified scream the officer pulled his service pistol from his belt. Stephen saw him survey the platform in one quick sweep from behind the steel prison like bars separating the stair case from the platform, and moved to a position to confront Stan as he grabbed at Will’s stroller to steady himself against the rushing air pushed forward by the trolley’s approach, “freeze.”
Several onlookers screamed as they realized there were people on the tracks. “Help them,” he heard an elderly man yell as he rushed across the officer’s view.
“Don’t move,” he heard the officer bellow pushing through the cage like turnstile as he tried to get a clear view while taking in the panic.
“Zombies,” people began to shout as they frantically shoved toward the exits running past Stephen and obstructing the officer’s line of sight.
Stephen watched as the officer hollered again, “Don’t move,” followed with an angry, growled command, “don’t move.”
Stephen could see the zombie now had a grip on Will’s stroller handles as he fought to keep his balance. Stumbling toward the platform edge he lifted the stroller attempting to catch himself and slammed it back to the ground stunning Will and causing Stephen’s mom to belt out a screech of panic.
Stephen lunged toward Stan launching himself into Stan’s chest as the officer fired.
“Stephen,” his mother’s scream echoed in his ears. Terrified?
He landed against Stan’s chest. Weak.
The first bullet struck Stephen between the shoulder blades driving him into Stan as his legs let go. Stan grabbed Stephen dropping his hold on the stroller, and lurched backward toward the edge of the platform. The officer fired again slamming the lead into Stan’s forehead and driving him backward another step.
Can’t let go, Stephen thought. What happened?
Stan’s legs collapsed as he fell backward pulling Stephen along with him and dropped from the platform beneath the trolley rumbling around the corner. The sound of screeching steel upon steel filled the tunnel as the driver applied the brakes attempting to avoid slamming into the injured people scrambling to escape.
About the Authors
Thomas and Nancy come from very different backgrounds. Thomas was raised in a military family and lived through the separations of war and the challenges that a family faces when coming back together. Challenges such as injuries and the frailty of the body and shifts in the personality that war bring to a family can force everyone to redefine how they see the themselves and the world around them. Nancy was raised in a family challenged by severe injuries. Her father was paralyzed and could no longer work causing the family to reform around a new breadwinner when their mother had to take over.
“We chose to write a book shaped around these realities and the challenges that new technologies will force societies all over the world to deal with very soon. Mind uploading, neural networks, and human gene manipulation combined with new medical discoveries may become a new reality that we must all understand and learn what it means to our lives. These are realities today that were only science fiction just a few years ago that will soon have a real and direct effect on our lives.”
Tom earned his Ph.D. in Organization and Management in 2012 and has other books including Trust in Virtual Teams.