Title: When Blood Reigns
Author: Barbara CusterGenre: Horror / Science Fiction
Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?
In the gloom, her light cut jagged circles around three skeletal figures weaving through the door. Their bloated, pus-stained faces drooled blood and saliva, two of them bald, and the third with a hollowed-out skull. Two more figures lurched through, followed by others. All of them worked swollen, blistered jaws, their groans sounding like pebbles rattling in their windpipes.
She couldn’t kill them all, not with one hand carrying a flashlight. This was worse than the invasion at Jackson Hospital. Back there, she had daylight and the men with her. Now she only had her Maglite. She could pick them off with her thoughts, one by one, and maybe take out three, but the rest would be on her. Maybe she could sedate them with the blue ray. Then she’d step over them and run.
More walkers crowded the doorway. Alexis backed away from the door, step-by-step, stall after stall, firing the blue ray. The figures kept coming, their cadaverous faces relentless and hungry. Oh, God, the sedative’s not working! She ducked inside a stall and climbed onto the toilet seat, bracing herself against the partition panels. On the panel, her light revealed a double toilet paper holder with a shelf; above, the head rail, and then a thick pipe running along the ceiling. Her right foot went onto the toilet paper shelf. She grabbed the edge of the panel, screaming from the pain flashing through her hands, and then hooked her left elbow around the head rail. The right elbow followed, both feet on the shelf, the figures closing in on her.
Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.
To contact her, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The giveaway is for a $10 Starbucks gift card, copy of Night to Dawn Magazine, and a copy of Steel Rose, the first book in the series.