Monday, August 19, 2013

Barely Alive By Bonnie R. Paulson Book Excerpt

Barely Alive (book #1)

In twelve weeks, seventeen-year-old Paul Ledger will be dead. At least he hopes so. Paul is trapped in the worst cult the United States has ever seen. Infected with a zombie virus, symptoms culminate in a dead body but thriving mind over a course of twelve weeks. If he doesn’t earn the final death he longs for, he’ll be chained in a basement facility, moaning for human flesh for eternity. Sent out to kidnap girls for food, toys, or whatever the boss wants, Paul nabs Heather McCain. He’s not a fan of humans as a general rule, but even his graying skin and insatiable hunger for her flesh don’t stop her from reaching out to him. Give him the second chance he doesn’t know he needs. Overcome by his cravings, Paul bites her delectable skin. Amazingly, she doesn’t develop the zombie-like side effects. When the boss discovers Heather’s immunity, he gives Paul an ultimatum – deliver up Heather and her family to continue the research or watch as Paul’s brother suffers the zombie fate. Paul has a chance to endure his short zombie existence knowing his brother is safe. But he’ll have to sacrifice Heather to do it.

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She ran her fingers through her platinum bleached hair and sneered. “You have plenty of money, Dominic. Get him into a nursing home already.”
Dominic set the lighter tray on the counter and braced his arms on the sides of the sink. The view outside lacked more than beauty. Nevada desert matched his dad’s skin – dry, cracked, and colorless. Looking any longer would just drive him into one of his depressions. His gaze angled down and he tried ignoring her exaggeration of his wealth.
Envelopes piled on the counter marked “final notice” and “past due” didn’t exactly scream rich.
He bit his tongue. Nothing he said or did would make a difference. The bitch got meaner and meaner toward the end of each month. She didn’t get her allowance from Dominic until the first. Dominic sighed in defeat and put the dishes in the sink. “What do you want, Mother?”
Hair hanging down her back and wrinkled breasts pushed upward, she pressed her hand to her chest. “I don’t know what you mean. Why can’t I visit my only son without a guilt trip?” A bit of outraged spittle flecked to her chin.
Dominic turned to face her and crossed his arms. She wouldn’t stop there. She never did. He hid his cringe behind a sarcastic smirk. And waited. She’d never changed. She’d been selfish and cruel as long as he could remember.
She didn’t make him wait long and dropped her hand to her side. No humility or grace colored her skin, no, she sneered when she should’ve plead. “I could use a little extra money.”
I don’t have extra.” He chewed the inside of his lip. A Pavlovian-style fear built inside him. Even as a grown man, he didn’t have the balls to face her. Please. Please don’t demand it. Please.

His mother stepped close to him and traced his arm with her blood red nail. Lips painted to match the talons drew tight. Lipstick bled through the tiny cracks and up close gave her the look of a creepy clown. She looked at him from under thin lashes. “You’ll get me money, Dominic. Or you know what I’ll do.”

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