Book Release! Climbing Out of the Ruins
I'm excited to announce the release of Book Five in The Zombie Terror War Series! It is out now, just in time for Black Friday. This exciting set of novels will keep you on the edge of your seat and will make great Christmas presents for everyone on your Christmas list. Here's an excerpt to give you a taste of the action. Climbing Out of the Ruins is available in both paperback and as an ebook!
The roadblock looked formidable, he realized, continuing to stare through the binos. There! He could see a small opening on the left side, next to the median. A police car sat twenty feet behind the barrier, the driver’s door standing open and a body, or what was left of one, lying on the pavement beside the vehicle. It looked to McCain like the officer had been filling a spot in the roadblock but had tried to make a run for it. He didn’t get very far before the zombies managed to grab and devour him. I wish I could see behind that row of vehicles, Chuck thought. There’s no telling what might be waiting back there.
“There’s an opening on the far left, next to the center guardrail,” he told her, climbing into the backseat. “Looks like a police officer tried to escape but didn’t make it. I can’t see anything behind the barricade but there’s plenty of movement up on that bridge. As soon as we get through the roadblock, punch it and let’s get on down the road.”
Elizabeth took a deep, cleansing breath and nodded, putting the truck into drive and giving it some gas. As they got closer to the long line of vehicles, Chuck realized that there was plenty of room for them to get past it. Beth steered to the left, maneuvering around a red Dodge Ram that straddled two lanes, just twenty feet from the barrier. The front of the Ram had been shot up, the windshield shattered, and McCain saw a figure slumped behind the steering wheel.
Beth aimed their truck for the opening in the roadblock, both of the Tundra’s two left tires now on the small grassy strip next to the iron guardrail. The police car had been parked next to a yellow DOT dump truck.
Suddenly, a loud hissing erupted from outside, causing Chuck to swing his rifle to the driver’s side. The pickup truck shifted and quickly became sluggish.
“What happened?” Beth asked, feeling the truck pulling to the left.
McCain glanced out his open window to the ground and shook his head in disbelief.
“Spike strips. The police put them out to puncture a bad guy’s tires. They were in the grass and now we’ve got two flats.”
Another sound quickly overshadowed the hissing. The growling of hungry zombies was getting closer and louder. McCain scanned the area but didn’t see anything. They have to be on the opposite side of the roadblock, he realized.
“Back up!” he told Elizabeth. “Those Zs are on the other side.”
Beth immediately slammed on the brakes, shoved the gearshift lever into reverse, and accelerated. Just as the Tundra started reversing with two flat tires, twenty zombies burst through the hole that they had been about to drive through. A crash jolted both of them as the Toyota slammed into the shot-up Dodge pickup, Beth looking at the oncoming zombies and not watching behind them as she reversed. McCain was thrown into the back of the driver’s seat, his backpack knocked onto the floorboard by the impact. He quickly recovered, though, knowing that the menacing figures were marching straight for them.
“Sorry!” Elizabeth said, pulling up slightly and quickly steering wheel to the left so she could get around the other big pickup and put some distance between them and the zombies.
Chuck was already firing on full-auto out the window towards the advancing group. These were so close and moving faster than any he had seen in a while. Normally he would engage in the ‘Semi-Auto’ mode on his rifle. Not now. He needed to take control and fast. He slowly swept the muzzle at head height and fired short bursts, taking down several zombies at a time.
Beth continued backing for another fifty feet before jerking the steering wheel counter-clockwise so she could turn them around and go the other way. A metal-on-metal crunching sound let them know that she had backed into the guardrail. Elizabeth turned back to the right and accelerated. Nothing happened. The fender covering the flat rear tire was hung up on the metal barrier, holding them in place, the tires spinning but not taking them anywhere.
“We’re stuck!” Beth yelled, seeing the bloody figures surging towards what they hoped would be an easy meal. “What do we do?”
McCain’s accurate fire had taken down sixteen of the tightly packed group before his rifle ran dry. He pushed the door open and exited the pickup, grabbing his pistol.
“Out!” he ordered. “Grab your weapons and your backpack and let’s go.” He pointed to their right.
He took down the remaining five Zs, only firing seven shots from the Glock. More zombies rushed through the opening in the barricade, drawn to the gunshots. Elizabeth threw on her equipment as Chuck reloaded his rifle and continued dropping the approaching flesh-eaters.
The big man glanced back into the Tundra. His backpack containing extra ammo, food, and water was in the floorboard on the far side. The zombies were just thirty feet away, though, their snarling intensifying as they got closer. He put the pack out of his mind, knowing that their immediate survival was the most important thing.
“Run!” McCain told his wife, pointing to the right.
Elizabeth started sprinting while Chuck paused to give her a head start, firing a long burst into the snarling group before running after her. There were still at least thirty infected following them, most of these shuffling slowly. That’s good, McCain thought. He figured that most of the Zs on the interstate had come from the many abandoned vehicles, but now he could also clearly see agitated zombies on the bridge in front of them. Some of their pursuers had probably been up there and had made their way down to the highway, attacking motorists who were trying to escape or the police who had been manning the roadblock. Now, if we can just find another vehicle.
The police officer paused for a moment, halfway across the interstate, and made a headshot on a muscular zombie who looked like he had just worked out, his muscles bulging under his black tank top and shorts. He looks and moves like he just got infected, the CDC agent noted surprisingly. Both arms showed open wounds, and his face was covered with blood. Muscles was just fifteen feet away when a 5.56mm round punched through his left eye and pitching him face-first onto the asphalt.
Chuck started sprinting again, trying to catch up with Elizabeth. She was a real runner, having participated in several half-marathons. The CDC officer pushed himself, glancing over his shoulder as the Zs continued after their prey. Even as a part-time professional MMA fighter, the big man had hated to run in training. At this moment, though, he was wishing that he’d put in a few more miles.
Beth had already climbed over the guardrail and turned to check on him. McCain saw her watching him sprint, her eyes wide with fear, as the large group of infected closed in on the couple. He motioned for her to keep going. Instead, she raised her rifle and started shooting their pursuers, dropping four before he joined her.
Chuck jumped the metal barrier and spun around, raising his M4. He pushed the selector to semi-auto and took down five of the closest creatures before the bolt locked open. He hit the magazine release, dropping the empty and grabbing a fresh one from his plate carrier. His gun was ready to go again but they needed to keep moving and create some distance. There were still at least fifteen zombies closing on them.
Elizabeth fired three more shots, her last bullet sending a heavyset man wearing a jogging suit crashing to the pavement. Chuck tapped her on the shoulder.
“Let’s go,” he said, pointing in the direction of Upward Road. “Climb that fence and head towards the main road.”
A three-foot high, chain-link fence ran along the top of a small rise, ten yards off the highway, adjacent to their location. On the opposite side, a narrow street ran parallel to the interstate and appeared to dead-end into Upward Road. Chuck sent Elizabeth ahead while he turned to check on the Zs, dropping two that had closed to within fifteen yards. The growls and snarls that filled the air sent a chill down the police officer’s spine.
By the time he joined Beth, she had managed to get over the fence. Chuck climbed the obstacle and paused, glancing back at their pursuers. The Zs had been slowed at the guardrail, unable to climb over it. The first few bounced off, while their zombie comrades kept pushing forward, knocking several over the barrier. After these managed to get to their feet, they continued up the hill, towards the fence. Additional Zs had stumbled down the exit ramps from Upward Road, following the sound of the gunshots and growls, moving towards the smell of living flesh.
Look for Climbing Out of the Ruins later this week. Here are the links for the other books in the series. Check them all out!