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SHORE HAVEN

A ZOMBIE-APOCALYPSE NOVEL

The citizens of America know life in a post-apocalyptic world isn’t easy and leaves little reason to rejoice. Therefore, when Samantha’s baby sister graduates from college, a trip to Liberty Island seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. Nothing could have been more wrong.

Shore Haven, a newly built, self-contained refuge, was meant to be a source of security for what was left of America’s future. The compound’s founders, Jason and his uncle, Jasper, are shocked when a second, even more destructive event arises, causing them to open the facilities doors to the populace sooner than planned.

Samantha, Jason, and those few who survive soon discover they have more to fear than the dead rising, as the rest of the planet is determined to keep the turned from reaching their shores…no matter the price.

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15 

Chapter One

~~Samantha~~

 

 

“She’s turned,” a male voice behind me said.

My body wanted to sag in relief at hearing a human voice attached to the movement behind me that I’d been trying to ignore. It didn’t, though. It couldn’t and stay alive. I hadn’t heard any moans aside from those that were coming from the body in front of me, but that didn’t mean the dead wasn’t creeping up on me.

“I fucking know she has,” I said with a snarl.

I put a little more force behind the grip I had on the shopping cart in front of me, as my sister jerked, spasmed, and lunged for the newcomer and me from the other side of it. I’d had her pinned in the corner of the shopping center with the cart for a while, not knowing what my next move was going to be, but knowing that in that position one of the dead could easily sneak up behind me.

If I were honest, though, I’d much rather one of them kill me than my baby sister. The logical part of my brain knew she wasn’t my sister anymore, but that didn’t stop me from seeing her as such.

“Then kill her already,” the man said. His voice wasn’t as harsh as it had been at first. “Or I will.”

“The fuck you will. That’s my sister,” I said in a louder voice than I knew was wise.

The longer I stayed the way I was, the higher the chance I had of bringing more down on us, and shouting wouldn’t help matters.

“Shit,” he muttered. “Fine. Then we’re leaving you here with that thing.”

We? There was a “we.” I didn’t dare turn around to see for sure, but the mere thought that I wasn’t alone in the world was a relief.

“I can’t kill her, you asshole,” I said, surprising myself at the anger in my tone. I took a deep breath and continued. “I don’t have a weapon. I’m out of ammo, and I dropped my sword out there somewhere trying to get her away from the horde. She had a bat, but I don’t know where it is now. If I let her go, she’s going to come after me. I’m also aware of the fact that if I stay here like this one of them will find me and kill me. So, if you’ll be so kind as to hand me a weapon, I’ll put her down.”

I didn’t take my eyes off my baby sister as I spoke. Bile rose in my throat at the sight of her dead eyes and gray skin. My head spun a little at the thought of having to kill her.

Until that moment, I hadn’t encountered anyone I knew. Maddie and I had been on the island alone, playing tourists when the shit had hit the fan. She’d graduated from college in May, and the trip to the island was a graduation present from me to her. Some fucking present. If my parents were still alive whenever I made it back home, they were going to kill me for getting her eaten by a zombie.

“Don’t you dare give her a gun. She could have set a trap for us,” another male voice said from behind me. That person sounded big and young—a college football player or frat boy. The voice confirmed that the first man hadn’t been lying about the “we.”

“Yes, I’m risking my life to trap you, whoever and however many of you there are. You, whom I didn’t even know was coming,” I said. The last came out in a grunt as I shoved harder on the shopping cart to pin Maddie more firmly to the corner. The two men were distracting me, and my grip had slackened. I still didn’t dare to turn to look at them.

“Don’t be an ass, Russ. Why would she be trying to trap us? Here. Do you know how to fire a gun?” the first man asked me.

“Not well, but yeah,” I said, cutting my eyes to the man who had stepped up beside me and was handing me what I would find out later was a Ruger SR9c.

“I’ll hold the cart, and you point and shoot,” he said, placing the hand not holding the gun out to me on the handle of the cart.

I took the gun from him but didn’t trust him to hold the buggy, so I leaned forward, putting all of my weight into it. With two hands, I aimed the best I could with my sisterpushing from the other side to get to me and pulled the trigger. My arm jerked, and the shot went to the right of Maddie’s head. The bullet didn’t faze her. I took a deep breath and tried again. That time I got her in the shoulder.

“Jason, man, kill that thing and let’s go. We’ll be here all night attracting more of them if she keeps going on that way,” Russ said.

“He’s right,” Jason, who was the man who’d handed me the gun, said in my ear, and I jerked at how close he’d gotten to me. “You’ve got one more chance to take her down yourself. If you miss that time, that’s it. I’ll have to do it so that we can move on.”

I nodded, conceding their point. I took another breath, aimed, and fired. That time I hit my sister in the forehead. The second her brain matter splattered the concrete wall behind her I turned and vomited. The cart rolled a few inches away from me and toward the body.

The people behind me didn’t say a word for a long time.

Russ finally said, “Jesus, you act as if you’re new to the apocalypse. Where have you been hiding since the shit hit the fan?”

“Shut up, Russ,” Jason said.

Looking at them from around my legs, I saw the one that I hoped was Jason take a step toward me.

“I’m all right,” I said, righting myself and turning awkwardly to face them. In the adrenaline rush of trying to fend off my sister, I’d forgotten about the gash in my right thigh. I stumbled a bit in my movements from the pain, and the four people who had been standing behind me went on alert. Two women had been with the two men, but they hadn’t said a word or made any noise until they saw my wound. All four, even Jason, began shouting and pointing their guns at me.

“Fuck, man, she’s been bitten,” Russ shouted.

I shook my head and grabbed the cart for support.

“We should shoot her now before she turns,” Russ said, taking a step forward.

“I don’t have a bite,” I said, between breaths. “I cut my leg on a broken cart trying to get to my sister when one of them attacked her. The wound is fresh and hasn’t been in contact with any of them.”

“Why should we believe you?” Russ asked.

“I don’t fucking know,” I said, resigning myself to the man getting trigger-happy and shooting me.

“Stand down, Russ,” Jason said.

“But…” Russ stammered.

“I said, stand down. You and Tera, see if any of the dead have followed us in here. Kayla and I will check her wound.”

“But…” Russ said again.

“Stop being argumentative,” the woman I assumed was Tera said, placing a steadying hand on the young man’s shoulder. Tera was about my age, early thirties. She had night black hair and beautiful mocha skin. She was about my height five foot six or so, but much thinner. At that moment, a month or more—I couldn’t be sure about time anymore—into the zombie apocalypse, I probably weighed in at two hundred pounds and dropping daily. I’d been a bit heavier than that before it all started. She couldn’t have weighed more than one-twenty-five/one-thirty. Too skinny, I thought, for her height, but at the rate we were going, we were all going to be too thin soon.

Russ muttered something incoherent but followed the woman out of my line of sight.

I slumped a bit more onto the cart, slowly, second-by-second, losing my strength, as the two left the area of the store in which we resided.

“Shit,” Jason said, rushing to my side. “Kayla, push that shit out of the way so that we can lay her down away from her sister and her vomit.”

The shit he was referring to was an overturned clothes rack. Kayla drug it out of the way, looked at me, then to the items hanging from the stand. She righted it, flipped through what remained, and snatched a few garments off hangers.

“Your jeans will have to come off,” she said, showing me the pair she’d selected to replace my current pair. I didn’t dare ask her the size of the pants only prayed they’d fit.

Jason removed my shoes while Kayla helped me peel off the jeans. The gash ran from just below my hip to my knee. The cut wasn’t bone-deep, but it was disgusting, and I was losing too much blood.

“We don’t have what we’ll need to take proper care of that cut with us,” Jason said, looking from the girl to my leg. His dark brown eyes showed his worry over the situation, but he also appeared determined to do what he could for me. I was just glad the man was keeping his eyes on my leg. I’d hate to have to brain him for looking where he shouldn’t.

“Will Jasper let us bring her to the compound in this condition?” Kayla asked, helping him clean and wrap my wound.

“He won’t have a choice if we show up with her. Besides, he sent us out here to find survivors, didn’t he?”

“I don’t think this is what he meant,” Kayla said.

“I’m sure it wasn’t.”

I tuned out their conversation and tried to ignore what they were doing. I searched the area for something to take my mind off the pain. My eyes kept wandering to my sister’s body. Resignedly, I focused my attention on their appearance rather than their voices.

Kayla was young—sixteen maybe—with short, curly brown hair and tanned skin. Jason was also my age, around six foot, thick, but not overweight. He had short, cropped brown hair streaked with gray. All four of them, I realized, were dressed alike in the black and gray coverall suits that were a cross between military garb and something the C.D.C. would wear when entering a highly infectious zone. They were loaded down with weapons. They looked like professional zombie killers and as if they belonged to an organization of some kind, but not any of which I’d heard. I couldn’t see any names or any insignia on their suits, but I wasn’t caring at the moment where they were from or who sent them.

“All right, miss, you’re going to have to lift your butt so that we can pull these jeans up,” Kayla said.

“My name is Samantha,” I said and lifted my ass to pull on the jeans. To my surprise, they were a bit too big. Thank God. If they had been too small, I would have feltmortified. I know…I know, lying in the middle of a destroyed department store floor with zombies wandering around outside the building and an open wound in my leg was not the place to be self-conscious, but I couldn’t help it. Jason, being as attractive as he was, and Kayla, being as young and firm as she was, wasn’t helping me be rational.

“We gotta go, guys,” Tera said, rushing back to us. “We have a horde heading this way.”

“Shit.” Jason spat the words as he grabbed my underarm. “Can you stand?” he asked me.

“I think so,” I said, allowing him and Kayla to pull me to my feet. I was a bit wobbly. When I walked, I limped, but I could move. I would have to if I wanted to avoid what was heading our way.

“Where are we going?” I asked as they steered me toward the back of the store. I heard Russ’ boots pounding the hard floor of the store. The sound made my heart race. Kayla’s hand on me shook, but she didn’t make a noise.

“The place we’re staying at is about three blocks south,” Jason said, pulling me faster alongside him.

“If we can get into the alley around back we might be able to sneak past them,” Russ said, passing us without a look back to see if we were following him.

“My hero,” I said mockingly at his disappearing back.

“It’s an every-person-for-themselves’ type of world now,” Tera said, though I noticed that she kept pace with us.

“If that’s the case, you guys should go on without me. I’m the injured, slow one, and the one not part of your group. I don’t matter,” I said through ragged breaths.

Looking at my physical state at the time, I wasn’t the most fit person on the planet. I could walk at a good pace without losing my breath but wasn’t ready for the near running shit we’d have to do daily to survive. Honestly, I was surprised I’d lasted as long as I had.

“I’m not leaving you behind,” Jason said, “but you’re right. Tera, Kayla, go on ahead with Russ. Help him clear our way. Samantha, was it?”

I nodded.

“Do you still have that Ruger I gave you?” Jason asked.

I looked at him quizzically. I had no idea what a Ruger was.

“Do you still have the gun I gave you?” he asked, barely concealing his annoyance.

I nodded and held up the gun.

“I’m not leaving you,” Kayla cut in, looking scared at the suggestion.

“You have to,” he said, as we exited through the bay doors.

Tera didn’t argue with him. She grabbed Kayla and pulled her toward the sound of Russ’s gun. Reluctantly, Kayla let go of me. When she turned toward Russ, she didn’t look back.

Jason pulled me to a stop behind a row of dumpsters to allow me a breather, and so that he could check my bandages. The smell of blood would attract any stragglers not caught up in the horde.

“You don’t have to do this,” I told him.

Despite the situation, I couldn’t help but look down to where he was kneeling in front of me and wrapping more gauze around my pants leg.

“I know I don’t. But I choose to. There aren’t many of us left…the uninfected I mean. If I left even one person alone to die, I’d be helping them kill us off. You’ll live if I can get you stitched up.”

“That’s a big if. Too big of one for you to risk your life. Go. Leave me. The place my sister and I were staying at isn’t but a few blocks that way.” I pointed in the opposite direction of where Jason and his people were going.

“You can keep telling me to go, but I’m not leaving you. Now, is that too tight?” Jason asked, patting the inside thigh of the leg he’d just wrapped.

“No.”

“Can you move forward for a bit? I think the others have moved the horde further south. We should be able to make it nearly to Shore Haven without much trouble if we go now.”

“Shore Haven? I’m not going to Shore Haven. They say that’s where all this shit started. Where the virus started. Why would you want to go there?”

“This didn’t start at Shore Haven. I don’t know who created the virus, but it wasn’t my uncle.”

“Your uncle?”

“Never mind that for now. We have to move.”

I reached out and grabbed his hand. I was shaking—more scared of going to that monstrosity of a complex than facing the horde.

“Jason,” I said, letting my fear seep into my words. “Are you sure it’s safe?”

He reached up with his free hand, cupped my face as a lover would, and said, “I’m sure. I helped design it. Now run.”

The second the words were out of his mouth, one of the infected rounded the corner of the building, seeming to sniff the air. Jason gripped the hand I was holding a bit tighter, and we took off in the best example of a run I could manage.

We made it one block from one of the complex’s many entrances where we could see Kayla standing with a door open, picking off those that were in our way when a group ambushed us. I was able to make two kill shots before one tackled me to the ground. My head hit the concrete with a crack, and I was out, thanking God for the quick death or at the least unconsciousness so that I wouldn’t feel the bite or suffer through the change.

Coming Soon!

Leaving Liberty_Reynolds_with Text _1-4-2018.jpgSadie refuses to be trapped on a zombie-infested island for the rest of her life. Every day she leaves the safety of the hotel she’d holed up in when the outbreak began to kill the turned and to find a way off the island. Every day she finds nothing but death and destruction…until one day she doesn’t. 

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hostage cover.jpgAll Jason and his people wanted to do was get proof that they have a vaccine against the zombie virus to those threatening to destroy their world to keep the outbreak from spreading. But nothing ever works out as planned.

Add to Goodreads TBR

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Contact and follow Jennifer Reynolds

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Sweet Temptations and Confessions…

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Release Date: 25/11/2016
 
Genre: Erotica/Drama
 
Word Count:15,903

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There were times Richard Martin loved his life. He had everything most men nearing middle age could want. A beautiful wife. A young son. All his hair.
He still has his hair, but not all is at it seems. His idyllic life was turned upside down when he and his family were forced to move from their home in Bristol to a small Gloucester flat because of Richard’s new job and now he finds himself beset on all sides. However that is not the sum of his problems. When his new supervisor, a promiscuous bombshell more than ten years his junior, sets her sights on him, she is by no means subtle about her interest in him, no matter who might be watching.
But temptation comes in many forms, and Richard has recently found his eyes lingering on the woman from down stairs who babysits for them. Was it his imagination, or were her skirts getting shorter?
In this first volume in L.M. Mountford’s sizzling debut series: Sweet Temptations, A naughty babysitter sets out to seduce her man. No matter what his wife might think, this tempting little wench is determined to rock his world…
 

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*Review*

Written in the British style and very descriptive. Richard is a married man, whose wife is very much the jealous type and maybe with reason? His boss’s hot daughter has no problem flirting with him in front of his wife and the sexy, young babysitter has the hots for him… and vise versa. This is a short story that will leave you hot and bothered.

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Links: 
 
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Author: L.M. Mountford
 
Genre: Erotica/Menage/Taboo/Dark Romance
 
Pairings: M/F/M, M/F, M/F/M/M/M

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Sylvia Day meets Colleen Masters in this sizzling erotic thrill ride of lust and sex and self-discovery that will leave readers wanting more. 
What is the measure of love? How far would you go to save the one you want but know you can never truly have? 
Mina Carring is a woman that has given up on love. A rising star in the bright lights of Hollywood, men come and go from her life, passing like ships in the night, yet there is only one for her, the one she’d let slip away because she shouldn’t want her stepbrother that way. But is it really so wrong to want someone, just because her father married his mother? However, when he is filmed in a compromising position that could ruin his life, Mina must step in. Now, powerless to escape as she heads down this path of lust and desire, torn between the dark delights of the handsome bad boy down the street and her adorable stepbrother who has always been there for her, she must confront the truth she has long tried to bury… 
A full length, 40,000+ word novel, Confessions is the stand-alone erotic drama from the Author of the sinfully delicious, Sweet Temptations Trilogy. Warning! It contains adult themes, harsh language, and graphic content and descriptions that might be disturbing to some readers.

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*REVIEW*

From the writer of Sweet Temptations: The Babysitter comes another hot erotica.
Sexy and fast paced, Confessions has a little something for most everyone. Multiple partners, M/F, M/M, Step-siblings…
L.M. Mountford has put his best work yet into this story, providing enough detail to give the book flow without taking away from the heat.

Mina discovers things about herself that shocked her… are you ready to witness her evolution?

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Secondary Colors

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Blurb:

Love is weakness.
Love is unkind.
Love is selfish.

BlackandWhite.jpg I know better than anyone else. Having made the mistake once before, I refuse to give myself to anyone, body or mind. My heart isn’t even an option. Fresh out of college, I plan to spend my final summer home in the small town of Aurora, New Hampshire with my loving, flighty mother and old friends, my eyes set on the future. That’s before I’m welcomed home by a beautifully flawed drifter, in search of his own. It’s hardly love at first sight. More like loathe. He creeps under my skin from the moment he refuses to acknowledge my existence.
But, it’s hard to deny there’s something in the way he watches me, the way his presence calms and electrifies me, bringing something dead inside to life again. He’s been jaded by his own loss and heartache. It’s burned into his very being.

I want to know Holt Turner—and that terrifies me to death.

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Universal buy link:

http://mybook.to/SecondaryColors

Social media links:

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32595673-secondary-colors
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/AUTHORAUBREYBRENNER/
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/Aubrey_Brenner
Author bio:

Aubrey Brenner is a native Californian who enjoys spending time with her fiancé and their four-legged children. She always had a passion for story-telling and visual artistry. Through her writing, she’s able to showcase both.

*****Now Available for Pre-Order*****

*****On Sale May 28, 2016*****

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Outcast, Supernaturals Book 2, a paranormal romance.

Leigh Alexander has lived every day of her life feeling like an outcast amongst her family and the small-minded people of Pine Hollow, a secretive community to which her parents belong. When Danielle, Leigh’s younger sister, asks Leigh to come home for her wedding, Leigh’s torn between wanting to be there for her sister and saving herself from people who’ve despised her all of her life.
Knowing she’ll regret her decision, Leigh gives into her sister and goes home for what she hopes is the last time. Leigh was prepared for people to ignore her, for them to shun her, for them to point out all the ways she didn’t belong all because she wasn’t a size perfect, but what she hadn’t been prepared for was falling for Ryan Hart, a man who she will soon learn knows all of the secrets her family and the town of Pine Hollow refuse to tell her.
Revealing the truth about Pine Hollow and the rest of the supernatural world might be forbidden, but to save Leigh’s life, Ryan will tell her everything about who she is, or more importantly who she isn’t, even if it will forever change her life and the lives of every person in Pine Hollow.
#outcast #jenniferreynolds #paranormalromance #wip
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Chapter 1 ~ Waiting

 ~~Ryan~~

Thanking the gods that I wasn’t Dave’s best man and the one having to deal with my friend’s nervousness right that second, I paced the hall outside the wedding chapel located inside the hotel, dealing with my own jittering nerves. I’m sure those who saw me wondered why I was anxious. I wasn’t the one getting married after all. I won’t lie; a part of me was strung tight in anticipation for the event on Dave’s behalf. He and I had been friends since birth, and this was a big deal for him. We had gone through every life-changing event imaginable together, but this one was a big one, and with all of the upheaval surrounding it, I was terrified something would go wrong at the last minute.

I had heard of little else but Dave’s plans to marry his bride-to-be since he met Danielle a little over four years ago, not that I minded listening to my friend’s happy chatter. I was ecstatic for the man. If anyone deserved happiness it was him, and Danielle was a sweet girl. A bit shy and boney for my taste, but her mellow, easy going yet confident temperament was a relief in comparison to other women we knew. Most women in our pack were weak and submissive in the extreme. Danielle’s demeanor probably had to do with the fact that her parents were raising her and her siblings outside of pack territory and not under the strict rules of the Council, of tradition, and of the supernatural world in general.  

We—by we, I mean the males of our world—have a tendency to be overprotective and misogynistic. Most of this has to do with the fact that our men outnumber the women four to one in most species. In the past, those numbers were even higher, but in the last hundred years or so, they’ve evened out. Some of our women are taking on more roles in our world, but a lot of our older men still treat them as if they should be locked up in their homes birthing babies and nothing else, and without question the women submit to their will.

Thinking of Danielle’s differences turned my thoughts to why she was different and to why she lived in the human world and not in the supernatural one, and thinking of that person brought on an entirely new wave of nerves, as I anticipated seeing that particular female again, which made me pace faster. She was the real reason my wolf was about to jump out of my human skin, if the truth be told.

Danielle’s sister, Leigh, was human, voluptuous, delectable, and if I had my say, would be mine before the night was over. Despite the need for her coursing through my veins, the mere thought of her put me on edge. The jitters didn’t necessarily come from the way I felt about her, but from the way the rest of my pack felt about humans. Every conversation I had or had overheard the two days we were at the hotel revolved around how angry, revolted, annoyed the person or persons were that she was there. I kept my mouth shut for fear of causing the poor woman and her family any more trouble, but I had a hard time doing so. My family and pack weren’t mean people to each other, but to outsiders, they could be outright vicious. The Council trained them to be. To survive in our pack, you had to hate anyone who wasn’t pack, or the Council would be displeased, and it was dangerous to go against the Council.

I had only caught a few glimpses of Leigh over the last year as Danielle’s and Dave’s family planned the wedding. For reasons that pissed me off, a fact I had voiced many times to Dave but to no one else, Dave’s family had insisted that Leigh not be in the wedding. The pack Council had insisted that she not be there at all. Danielle fluctuated between begging them to let her come and threatening to leave the pack if they didn’t. Her persistence made them come to a compromise to allow her to come to the actual event as long as she stayed in the shadows. Up until then, her family had had to make excuses and be downright mean to their eldest daughter to keep her out of the preparations and town as much as possible.

I could tell that this had hurt Leigh but, at the same time, relieved her. She seemed to want to be on the outside of things. I had an idea why, and that pissed me off more. She didn’t see herself as worthy or beautiful enough to stand up in front of the chapel with her sister and all of the rest of the women in the wedding party. That view of herself came from the snide comments pack members have made in her vicinity over the years.

Shapeshifter genetics and metabolisms ensure that most shapeshifters keep a fairly trim and muscular figure. That doesn’t, however, mean that every one of our kind is physically beautiful or good-looking. In many cases, their personalities make them hideous, despite their outward appearance.

Everything about Leigh was beautiful. Anyone who could smile through all of what she has had to deal with has to have a strong soul. Anyone who could love their family after all said family has put her through has to have a beautiful heart. Her physical appearance was stunning as well. She had the most luscious breasts, a soft oval face, and sexy curves. The thought of her full body brought a low growl to my throat that I was thankful no one was around to hear.

Thinking of her voluptuous body shifted my emotions, but not in the right direction. I was no longer nervous about the wedding or of seeing her, but greedy to have her. If Dave hadn’t needed me there, I would have sought her out, offered to escort her to the chapel or to my room. I held myself back, though, knowing that that simple act would draw unwanted attention to her and cause problems for her and her family. Besides, by that time she would already be heading to the chapel if she wanted to see her sister get married.

Ten minutes before the wedding, she turned down the hall wearing a calf length, sleeveless black dress with a lace shawl. The sight of her bare legs and arms stopped my pacing and took my breath away. She had to be the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. If only she had looked up at that moment to see me staring at her, she would have seen the raw need I had for her burning in my eyes.

She didn’t look up though. She kept her head down until she reached the door I was blocking. I startled her by asking if I could escort her to her seat before she could walk into me.

“Huh…what…” she asked, jerking her head up to look at me.

I stuck out my arm and asked again, “May I take you to your seat?” There were ushers inside the chapel, but I was sure one of Dave’s parents had issued orders for them to ignore her, and as snobbish as most of them were, they would obey said orders. Besides, with the way I felt, I’d kill any other man for touching her.

“I… Oh, no. That isn’t necessary. I’m sure I can find a place on my own.” She moved to sidestep me, but I was faster. I moved in front of her, grabbed the door handle with one hand, and placed my other on the small of her back to gently guide her into the chapel. The electrical jolt that ran through my body at that contact shook me and caused us both to pause for a fraction of a second. She gasped, then the heady scent of her arousal hit me, and I had to suppress a growl. I did slide my hand to her waist and grip her tightly, trying to tamp down my urge to bend her over a pew and take her.

The lustful feeling didn’t last long, fortunately. The noise inside the chapel dampened our emotions an instant later. She moved first, but my hand never left her body. If so many people hadn’t surrounded us—some were even the human hotel staff—the scent of our lust would have gotten the attention of the supernaturals closest to us.

I started to take her to the front where most of Danielle’s family was already sitting, but Leigh moved out of my grasp and to a seat in the back right corner mere seconds after we entered the room. I glowered at her but followed her to where she sat.

“Miss,” I said, purposefully not saying her name, because simply thinking it and watching her ass move in that dress made me harder than I’ve ever been before. “The rest of your family is up there.” I pointed to the first two rows.

Sighing deeply, she turned to me. A lifetime of anger, despair, hatred, and pain crossed her eyes. For a second, I thought she was going to spill those emotions, but in a blink, the tears cleared, and she smiled brightly, falsely up at me.

“That’s all right. I want to sit here. My family won’t mind. I won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings. Now, I’m sure Dave and the rest of the wedding party will be looking for you. Thank you.” She cut her eyes to someone behind me as she spoke and flinched.

“Please, you should go,” she said, when I didn’t move. Her eyes never shifted back to me.

Leaving was impossible at that moment. I was too angry to walk away. If I opened my mouth, did anything, said anything, I was going to ruin this day for my best friend. Despite how horrible his parents were, Dave deserved to have a wonderful wedding. I held my ground for a long moment, breathing in and out slowly, trying not to attack those who were causing the scent of fear and sadness that was emanating from her.

She cut her eyes back over my shoulder, sighed again, and took her seat, purposefully not looking at me. I looked to where her gaze had been and saw Dave’s mother and older brother glaring daggers at me. I smiled brightly as if I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on, then turned back to her, and said, “As you wish.”

I left the chapel quickly, needing some way of venting my anger and frustration and needing something to keep me from returning, snatching her up, and carrying her out of the room, this hotel, and this city. From the first time I set eyes on her, I’d wanted to shelter her, shield her, but those emotions paled in comparison to the new need that had overcome me the second I touched her. The one that told me to protect her with my life, to pull her against me and ensure that she was never outside arm’s reach again.

Something had happened to me when I placed my hand on her back, something magical…something I didn’t want to explore at that moment. Over the years, I had felt drawn to her when we were near one another, but I had thought it was mere curiosity of the unknown, but yesterday, things had changed. Being so near to her in the lobby, the elevator, her room, had intensified that pull. None of that compared to what I felt right then, though. My wolf kept screaming, mine, mine, mine, repeatedly in my head. He had never done that before with any woman.

I couldn’t think about any of that right then, I reminded myself. I just had to get through the day. When everything was over and Dave and Danielle were on their honeymoon, I would investigate those feelings.

Having said that, I couldn’t help stewing over the fact that Leigh hadn’t deserved to be treated the way my pack had treated her. By the look in her eyes, she needed someone to love her, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to hide my feelings for her from her or my pack for too much longer.

Hearing one of Dave’s brothers call my name from the hall, I rushed to where the wedding procession was lining up. I stood behind Allen, Dave’s brother and best man, my arm locked with Tiffany, a tall redheaded bridesmaid with no hips, small breasts, and cute freckles. She was Danielle’s cousin. Tiffany was adorable, and at one time, I had contemplated asking her out, but then she spoke, showing me who she truly was, and that thought had dissipated.

We had been at a birthday party for Danielle when I had talked to Tiffany for the first time. A minute after I thought of asking the girl out, Leigh had walked into the room, and she had been all I could think about the rest of the day. Even though she has never spoken more than a few words to me in all the years I’d known her, she has stayed on my mind.

Tiffany’s comment, the one that had made me instantly dislike her, had been about Leigh. That comment had been my first glimpse at what Leigh’s life was like amongst my people. I had been so shocked by what Tiffany had said that I hadn’t been able to respond to it in time. Danielle had told her to shut her mouth, then she had left the group to meet Leigh to keep her away from us. I barely had time to make eye contact with Danielle’s beautiful sister before Danielle had steered the woman away, looking back at us with a snarl.

Tiffany had turned her appalled look my way as if I shared her outrage, but I turned from the girl in disgust. I hadn’t known then who Leigh was. I had seen glimpses of her a time or two at different social events, but she hadn’t stayed long enough for me to inquire about her. That night, I had turned to Dave and asked all about her as if I hadn’t a clue who she was, so that he wouldn’t sense my interest in her.

“That’s Danielle’s sister,” he had said in a low whisper even though we were already out of earshot of most of the supernatural beings in the room.

“Why haven’t I seen her around all that much?” I asked.

“Danielle says that even though they haven’t told her our secret or hers, she knows she isn’t one of us, so she usually only pops in at family functions for a second to say hello to her family, then heads back to wherever she lives,” Dave said.

“Just because she isn’t one of us doesn’t mean she can’t spend her sister’s birthday with her,” I said, scowling.

“No, but who wants to be somewhere they aren’t wanted?”

“Why would she not be wanted? Because she isn’t pack doesn’t mean she isn’t loved and wanted by her family.”

“Look, I don’t know how they feel. I assume they love her or they wouldn’t have kept her, but you have to admit she’s different, and having her around is a bit inconvenient, and, well, look at her.”

“What do you mean, ‘look at her?’ I am looking at her. She’s beautiful. Outwardly, she doesn’t look any different than the rest of us.”

“Yes, she does. Look at her.”

“What? Just because she isn’t stick-figure Barbie, like those girls,” I pointed to Tiffany and a group of other girls gathered around a table talking, “doesn’t make her different.”

“Man, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but let it go. She’s of no consequence to us, and in a few years, she’ll be little more than a faded memory to everyone in this room.”

Not believing that my best friend could be such an ass, I turned from him and went in search of Danielle and her sister. I hadn’t known it at the time, but Dave had been playing a part, pretending to go along with the status quo, to keep the peace. I had every intention of introducing myself to the girl and doing my best to prove to her that we weren’t all so hard to like. My search proved fruitless though. By the time I caught up with Danielle, her sister had left, but not before giving her the birthday present she had brought.

“Happy birthday, birthday girl,” I said, giving the love of my best friend’s life a one-armed hug. “Whatcha got there?”

“A present from Leigh.” My heart broke at the sight of the tears that were flowing down her cheeks.

“Your sister’s here. Where is she? I haven’t officially met her yet,” I said, all but cutting off the rest of her sentence, wanting to jump right to the Danielle introducing me to her sister part of this conversation.

“She left,” she said, looking down at the gift in her hand so that I couldn’t see the tears in her eyes. “She couldn’t stay long. She only wanted to give me her gift.”

“Doesn’t she have to fly into town? Could she not find an earlier flight so that she could spend more time with you?” Danielle didn’t react to my judgmental tone. She simply looked at the lilac-colored paper, sighed, and tucked the gift away to presumably open later before going to find Dave.

 

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Outcast (Supernaturals Book 2)Outcast by Jennifer Lynn Reynolds

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another fabulous read from Jennifer Reynolds!
Outcast is a great story, part two of the series, it touches base with characters from the first book enough to give fans a glimpse of how their lives are going without delving so deep that you absolutely have to have read the other, although I do suggest it because it adds to the experience and is also a fantastic book.
The journey that Leigh travels in Outcast is heartwarming, the tale of a young woman finding herself and of course, falling in love with a sexy shifter.
A sweet, hot and fun read, I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances.
View all my reviews

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Jennifer Reynolds is a native of North Alabama. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.

She is a multi-genre author who focuses mostly on post-apocalyptic novels and paranormal romances. She’s released four novels (Alone, a post-apocalyptic novel, Shifter, a paranormal romance, HIM, a suspense thriller, and Resistant, a zombie-apocalypse romance), one novella (Saying Goodbye, a paranormal love story), and two short stories (Charles Wallace’s Favorite Toy, a general fiction piece, and In the Dark, a horror piece) and has two more novels (Marked and Destined, both are paranormal romances) scheduled for release in the next year.

Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she’s a stained glass hobbyist.

Jennifer can be followed on any of the websites below.

Jenniferlynnreynolds.com Goodreads ~ Smashwords ~ Amazon ~ Twitter

Pinterest ~ TSU ~ Tumblr ~ Instagram

Coming Soon!

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Outcast by Jennifer Lynn Reynolds

Leigh Alexander has lived every day of her life feeling like an outcast amongst her family and the small-minded people of Pine Hollow, a secretive community to which her parents belong. When Danielle, Leigh’s younger sister, asks Leigh to come home for her wedding, Leigh’s torn between wanting to be there for her sister and saving herself from people who’ve despised her all of her life.

Knowing she’ll regret her decision, Leigh gives into her sister and goes home for what she hopes is the last time. Leigh was prepared for people to ignore her, for them to shun her, for them to point out all the ways she didn’t belong all because she wasn’t a size perfect, but what she hadn’t been prepared for was falling for Ryan Hart, a man who she will soon learn knows all of the secrets her family and the town of Pine Hollow refuse to tell her.

Revealing the truth about Pine Hollow and the rest of the supernatural world might be forbidden, but to save Leigh’s life, Ryan will tell her everything about who she is, or more importantly who she isn’t, even if it will forever change her life and the lives of every person in Pine Hollow.

Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another fabulous read from Jennifer Reynolds!
Outcast is a great story, part two of the series, it touches base with characters from the first book enough to give fans a glimpse of how their lives are going without delving so deep that you absolutely have to have read the other, although I do suggest it because it adds to the experience and is also a fantastic book.
The journey that Leigh travels in Outcast is heartwarming, the tale of a young woman finding herself and of course, falling in love with a sexy shifter.
A sweet, hot and fun read, I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances.

View all my reviews

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Shelly Santiago and Grant Alexander have known one another for years. Nothing ever more than friends, and sometimes not even that since they are complete opposites. But what happens when they start to realize the building attraction they feel for one another? Will Grant be able to keep his promise to his late wife? Will Shelly get what she’s always wished for?

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The Irrevocable Series Sale
 
March 11th – 13th
 
Only 99 cents
 
Sci-Fi/New Adult
 
Samantha Jacobey
 
 

Bailey Dewitt is
on a crash course with Armageddon. Orphaned, she and her young brothers find
themselves living with their renegade uncle. Part of a group of survivalists,
she is terrified to discover they are preparing for the end of the world! Could
they be right – is mankind headed for a global disaster of his own making?
While Bailey
struggles with that question and what she should do about it, Caleb, a man from
the group, becomes her dearest friend and the one person she can trust to love
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An End of the World adventure… 
 
 
 
BOXED SET – http://amzn.to/1OYVzuW
 

 

 

 

 
 
Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations any where at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night. 
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well. 
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Saying Goodbye by Jennifer Reynolds

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Childhood sweethearts, Michael and Erica, thought they would have the prefect life together—the career, the house, the kids, the grandkids, the dying old holding each other’s hands. What they hadn’t planned for was for a car accident to take Michael’s life and leave Erica to face her future alone.
However, after discovering that Michael’s spirit has the ability to occasionally interact with the human world, they begin to wonder if they can’t make his presence on Earth permanent.
Although, with so many years gone by, can they reignite the flame that had fueled their teenage romance and more importantly can they live with the sacrifices they must make in order get back the future they lost?

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Facebook Party

First Chapter 

“Do we really have to go to this stupid party?” Erica asked loud enough for her boyfriend, Michael, to hear on the other side of the door. She was unable to keep the whine out of her voice.

Standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom of Michael’s tiny apartment, Erica looked questioningly down at her Pirates of the Caribbean costume. She tugged on different sections of the outfit, trying to cover certain parts of her body without revealing others. Of course, Michael would have picked out the sexiest version of the costume he could find. Realizing that all of his frat brothers would be ogling her because of how much skin she was showing, she groaned.
Erica was supposed to be dressed as Elizabeth Swan, and surprisingly, she thought she pulled off the look. She didn’t think she would have worn anything like the outfit if Michael, her loving, doting, and sometimes piggish boyfriend, hadn’t picked it out for her. Michael was supposed to be in the other room putting on his Captain Jack costume.
“He had better be wearing the costume,” she muttered to herself. “If I leave this bathroom and he hasn’t changed, I’m going to strangle him.” The dressing up for the party had been Michael’s idea not hers. She had suggested they stay home and veg that Halloween, but her words had fallen on deaf ears. Despite her annoyance with the costume, she had to admit, she looked good even if she felt like a fool.
The costumes had cost a pretty penny to rent, and she had protested getting them; even more so when he told her he wanted the two of them to wear them to the frat party where they would definitely get stained or ripped or something worse. They would end up having to pay even more money for them, which was a whole other reason she didn’t want to wear the thing.
“My house is throwing the party, I have to go,” Michael said from the other room. His tone showed his annoyance at having to have the conversation again. He loved her, she knew he did, and she could tell she was hurting him by not wanting to go, but she didn’t think she could wear the outfit in public.
“But you don’t live with them,” she said, not at all helping her case. “I bet they won’t even notice we aren’t there.”
On that Halloween, Michael was a senior at the local university and majoring in business. His parents owned a small chain of pizza and sub shops spanning the northwest corner of the state. He had split his senior year, taking only half the classes he would have normally taken that semester, and taking the other classes the next semester, so that he could help with his parents’ newest restaurant. Because he spent so much time there, he had gotten his own apartment close to it, so that he could walk home from the restaurant after they closed to clean up and crash or study.
“All of them may not, but I promised Kevin and Travis I would be there, so I have to show. Come on, Erica, it won’t be that bad.” They both knew it would be…for her at least. She loathed such situations and gatherings, and he knew it and only asked her to attend a few a year. She loved him more than she hated them, so she went to make him happy.
Kevin and Travis were his childhood best friends. Erica had grown up with the boys as well, but they were his friends not hers. They were second in line under Erica on Michael’s “most important people in his life beside his parents and younger sister” list. Erica was first, of course. She had known him as long as Kevin and Travis, but when she and Michael had started dating in the tenth grade, she surpassed them in importance.
“Yes, it will, but fine, we’ll go, but can we please leave before midnight? I have to open the drive-thru window in the morning,” she begged while arranging and rearranging her outfit, and procrastinating about leaving the bathroom.
The bank she worked at was a decent place to work, and she wanted to stay in their good graces. She wasn’t one of those people who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. She’d thought about a number of different occupations, even tried a few of them, but nothing seemed right for her. When her mom saw that she was excelling in all of her math classes at the university and had a healthy understanding of computers, she called her best friend, Stacy, the bank manager at First Union, and asked if she had a position open.
Stacy said she did, but it was only part time and the shifts were the ones that no one wanted. The bank was trying out some new things. One of which was staying open later on weekdays. This meant that Erica worked the four to eight shift four days a week and the eight to noon shift on Saturdays, giving her nineteen hours a week at minimum wage with a possible raise in six months and full time employment the next time a position became available. She’d been there for three months at that time, and Stacy seemed happy with her work, though no one appeared to be leaving anytime soon, to Erica’s dismay.
Erica was still taking classes, but only until Stacy hired her on full time and a bigger raise went into effect. College wasn’t for her, and her parents knew it. The only reason they were continuing to pay her tuition was because they wanted her to have as much of an education as possible, and they knew she would put forth as much effort as she could into the math, English, and art classes she was taking. If she actually graduated before a full-time position became available, then so be it.
Michael growled at her request to leave early, but didn’t argue—he didn’t agree either. Erica knew exactly what would happen. He would bring her home at midnight, stay with her for about a half an hour until she grew sleepy, then he would use his charms to convince her to let him go back to the party, which she would do because she thought he was that cute. Also, if she didn’t relent, he would sulk all night, and she wouldn’t get much sleep anyway.
“Fine,” he eventually said when she didn’t say another word or come out of the bathroom. “Now, will you please come on?” She could hear him pacing anxiously back and forth across the short room.
“I look ridiculous,” she said, looking at herself in the mirror one last time, wishing she had gone with him to the costume shop to pick out something else and wishing she had more confidence in herself to wear the costume. She looked good, or at least she thought she did, but she feared that others would make fun of her. She was too old to be that self-conscious, but years spent as a chubby child with braces and glasses had made her unsure of herself, despite all the love and attention Michael showered over her.
“I’m sure you don’t. That’s the hottest costume I saw at the rental place, and you’re the hottest woman I know, both of those things mean you’ll be the hottest woman at the party.” His voice was so clear that she knew he was outside the door.
“Kiss ass,” she said, exiting the bathroom with a happy grin on her face. He knew just what to say to make her smile.
He whistled loudly and came off the edge of the bed where he had plopped when he heard the doorknob turn. “Now, that’s what I’m talking about.” He took a step toward her, then looked down at his watch and swore.
“We aren’t going to be that late,” she said, annoyed at his impatience. It was only six-thirty and the party didn’t officially start until seven, but most people wouldn’t be there until at least eight or nine. Only Michael and his friends would be there on time, and that was just to get to the food before everyone else got there.
Michael’s parents always sent over a bunch of food for the boys before these big parties. They knew the guys would drink, so they hoped filling them with food would keep them from getting too drunk. There were always snacks at the party, as well, but they tried to be there for the real stuff.
“It isn’t that,” he said, stepping up to her and wrapping her in his arms. “Seeing you that way has made me all tingly in my nether region. I really want to have my way with you before we go.”
“Oh no, you are so not getting me out of this getup until the end of the night. Besides, you’re the one who insisted that we go to this party, so we’re going to this thing. Get off me,” she said, half-heartedly pushing him off her with a laugh to stop him from going any further was his kisses, which were already trailing down her neck and making her head fuzzy.
“Okay, okay, let’s go. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave,” he said, throwing his hands up and backing away a bit, though the leering expression on his face told her what he wanted to do.
“Are you really that eager to get back home?” she said teasingly, turning at the door to look at him. “You’ve been waiting for this party all week. It’s all you’ve been talking about.”
“Shut up. I know I have, but I want you more than I want to be with my friends,” he said, reaching out to grab her behind. She jerked out of his way and flung open the front door.
Erica made a mental note to herself to purchase the costume and wear it whenever he wanted to go somewhere she didn’t want to go. She wondered if it would be a good enough distraction to get her out of having to sit through hours and hours of watching football on television.
“You need help,” she said, laughing and walking out into the hall.
He flung the lock on the door and chased her down the hall, out of the building, and down the street. She laughed as they passed a young woman pushing a stroller. The woman turned to watch them as Michael caught up with Erica, grabbed her from behind, lifted her into the air, and started tickling her. The woman’s two-year-old daughter giggled and pointed at them. The momentum of Erica trying to get away from him while laughing spun them on the spot, and Erica saw the wistful look on the mother’s face.

Links

Scribd ~ Kobo ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ All Romance ~ Amazon Goodreads

Other Works

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Coming 2016

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Author Bio

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Jennifer’s full name is Jennifer Lynn Powell Reynolds, and she is a thirty-four year old native of North Alabama. She is newly married. She and her husband, Russell Reynolds, tied the knot on Friday, September 13, 2013.
Jennifer has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.
Writing has always been a large part of her life. In high school, her local newspaper published a large number of her poems, and she won numerous poetry and short stories awards. Since high school, she has worked on a number of different projects, but her focus has mainly been on acquiring her degrees.
She finished the first draft of her first novel, a post-apocalyptic piece titled Alone, around the time she graduated with her B.A. Since then, she has written numerous other novels, short stories, and poems.
Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she works part time at Stained Glass Artistry and as a freelance developmental editor, copy editor, production coordinator, and eBook coordinator for a number of publishing companies.

Saying Goodbye Pre-Order and Q&A with author Jennifer Reynolds

12389034_10204473365108818_411166551_o

Childhood sweethearts, Michael and Erica, thought they would have the prefect life together—the career, the house, the kids, the grandkids, the dying old holding each other’s hands. What they hadn’t planned for was for a car accident to take Michael’s life and leave Erica to face her future alone.
However, after discovering that Michael’s spirit has the ability to occasionally interact with the human world, they begin to wonder if they can’t make his presence on Earth permanent.
Although, with so many years gone by, can they reignite the flame that had fueled their teenage romance and more importantly can they live with the sacrifices they must make in order get back the future they lost?

12244434_1638404353043658_1547885612917021397_o

Links

Goodreads Amazon Smashwords AllRomance

First Chapter

“Do we really have to go to this stupid party?” Erica asked loud enough for her boyfriend, Michael, to hear on the other side of the door. She was unable to keep the whine out of her voice.
Standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom of Michael’s tiny apartment, Erica looked questioningly down at her Pirates of the Caribbean costume. She tugged on different sections of the outfit, trying to cover certain parts of her body without revealing others. Of course, Michael would have picked out the sexiest version of the costume he could find. Realizing that all of his frat brothers would be ogling her because of how much skin she was showing, she groaned.
Erica was supposed to be dressed as Elizabeth Swan, and surprisingly, she thought she pulled off the look. She didn’t think she would have worn anything like the outfit if Michael, her loving, doting, and sometimes piggish boyfriend, hadn’t picked it out for her. Michael was supposed to be in the other room putting on his Captain Jack costume.
“He had better be wearing the costume,” she muttered to herself. “If I leave this bathroom and he hasn’t changed, I’m going to strangle him.” The dressing up for the party had been Michael’s idea not hers. She had suggested they stay home and veg that Halloween, but her words had fallen on deaf ears. Despite her annoyance with the costume, she had to admit, she looked good even if she felt like a fool.
The costumes had cost a pretty penny to rent, and she had protested getting them; even more so when he told her he wanted the two of them to wear them to the frat party where they would definitely get stained or ripped or something worse. They would end up having to pay even more money for them, which was a whole other reason she didn’t want to wear the thing.
“My house is throwing the party, I have to go,” Michael said from the other room. His tone showed his annoyance at having to have the conversation again. He loved her, she knew he did, and she could tell she was hurting him by not wanting to go, but she didn’t think she could wear the outfit in public.
“But you don’t live with them,” she said, not at all helping her case. “I bet they won’t even notice we aren’t there.”
On that Halloween, Michael was a senior at the local university and majoring in business. His parents owned a small chain of pizza and sub shops spanning the northwest corner of the state. He had split his senior year, taking only half the classes he would have normally taken that semester, and taking the other classes the next semester, so that he could help with his parents’ newest restaurant. Because he spent so much time there, he had gotten his own apartment close to it, so that he could walk home from the restaurant after they closed to clean up and crash or study.
“All of them may not, but I promised Kevin and Travis I would be there, so I have to show. Come on, Erica, it won’t be that bad.” They both knew it would be…for her at least. She loathed such situations and gatherings, and he knew it and only asked her to attend a few a year. She loved him more than she hated them, so she went to make him happy.
Kevin and Travis were his childhood best friends. Erica had grown up with the boys as well, but they were his friends not hers. They were second in line under Erica on Michael’s “most important people in his life beside his parents and younger sister” list. Erica was first, of course. She had known him as long as Kevin and Travis, but when she and Michael had started dating in the tenth grade, she surpassed them in importance.
“Yes, it will, but fine, we’ll go, but can we please leave before midnight? I have to open the drive-thru window in the morning,” she begged while arranging and rearranging her outfit, and procrastinating about leaving the bathroom.
The bank she worked at was a decent place to work, and she wanted to stay in their good graces. She wasn’t one of those people who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. She’d thought about a number of different occupations, even tried a few of them, but nothing seemed right for her. When her mom saw that she was excelling in all of her math classes at the university and had a healthy understanding of computers, she called her best friend, Stacy, the bank manager at First Union, and asked if she had a position open.
Stacy said she did, but it was only part time and the shifts were the ones that no one wanted. The bank was trying out some new things. One of which was staying open later on weekdays. This meant that Erica worked the four to eight shift four days a week and the eight to noon shift on Saturdays, giving her nineteen hours a week at minimum wage with a possible raise in six months and full time employment the next time a position became available. She’d been there for three months at that time, and Stacy seemed happy with her work, though no one appeared to be leaving anytime soon, to Erica’s dismay.
Erica was still taking classes, but only until Stacy hired her on full time and a bigger raise went into effect. College wasn’t for her, and her parents knew it. The only reason they were continuing to pay her tuition was because they wanted her to have as much of an education as possible, and they knew she would put forth as much effort as she could into the math, English, and art classes she was taking. If she actually graduated before a full-time position became available, then so be it.
Michael growled at her request to leave early, but didn’t argue—he didn’t agree either. Erica knew exactly what would happen. He would bring her home at midnight, stay with her for about a half an hour until she grew sleepy, then he would use his charms to convince her to let him go back to the party, which she would do because she thought he was that cute. Also, if she didn’t relent, he would sulk all night, and she wouldn’t get much sleep anyway.
“Fine,” he eventually said when she didn’t say another word or come out of the bathroom. “Now, will you please come on?” She could hear him pacing anxiously back and forth across the short room.
“I look ridiculous,” she said, looking at herself in the mirror one last time, wishing she had gone with him to the costume shop to pick out something else and wishing she had more confidence in herself to wear the costume. She looked good, or at least she thought she did, but she feared that others would make fun of her. She was too old to be that self-conscious, but years spent as a chubby child with braces and glasses had made her unsure of herself, despite all the love and attention Michael showered over her.
“I’m sure you don’t. That’s the hottest costume I saw at the rental place, and you’re the hottest woman I know, both of those things mean you’ll be the hottest woman at the party.” His voice was so clear that she knew he was outside the door.
“Kiss ass,” she said, exiting the bathroom with a happy grin on her face. He knew just what to say to make her smile.
He whistled loudly and came off the edge of the bed where he had plopped when he heard the doorknob turn. “Now, that’s what I’m talking about.” He took a step toward her, then looked down at his watch and swore.
“We aren’t going to be that late,” she said, annoyed at his impatience. It was only six-thirty and the party didn’t officially start until seven, but most people wouldn’t be there until at least eight or nine. Only Michael and his friends would be there on time, and that was just to get to the food before everyone else got there.
Michael’s parents always sent over a bunch of food for the boys before these big parties. They knew the guys would drink, so they hoped filling them with food would keep them from getting too drunk. There were always snacks at the party, as well, but they tried to be there for the real stuff.
“It isn’t that,” he said, stepping up to her and wrapping her in his arms. “Seeing you that way has made me all tingly in my nether region. I really want to have my way with you before we go.”
“Oh no, you are so not getting me out of this getup until the end of the night. Besides, you’re the one who insisted that we go to this party, so we’re going to this thing. Get off me,” she said, half-heartedly pushing him off her with a laugh to stop him from going any further was his kisses, which were already trailing down her neck and making her head fuzzy.
“Okay, okay, let’s go. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave,” he said, throwing his hands up and backing away a bit, though the leering expression on his face told her what he wanted to do.
“Are you really that eager to get back home?” she said teasingly, turning at the door to look at him. “You’ve been waiting for this party all week. It’s all you’ve been talking about.”
“Shut up. I know I have, but I want you more than I want to be with my friends,” he said, reaching out to grab her behind. She jerked out of his way and flung open the front door.
Erica made a mental note to herself to purchase the costume and wear it whenever he wanted to go somewhere she didn’t want to go. She wondered if it would be a good enough distraction to get her out of having to sit through hours and hours of watching football on television.
“You need help,” she said, laughing and walking out into the hall.
He flung the lock on the door and chased her down the hall, out of the building, and down the street. She laughed as they passed a young woman pushing a stroller. The woman turned to watch them as Michael caught up with Erica, grabbed her from behind, lifted her into the air, and started tickling her. The woman’s two-year-old daughter giggled and pointed at them. The momentum of Erica trying to get away from him while laughing spun them on the spot, and Erica saw the wistful look on the mother’s face.

Author Bio

Jennifer’s full name is Jennifer Lynn Powell Reynolds, and she is a thirty-four year old native of North Alabama. She is newly married. She and her husband, Russell Reynolds, tied the knot on Friday, September 13, 2013.
Jennifer has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.
Writing has always been a large part of her life. In high school, her local newspaper published a large number of her poems, and she won numerous poetry and short stories awards. Since high school, she has worked on a number of different projects, but her focus has mainly been on acquiring her degrees.
She finished the first draft of her first novel, a post-apocalyptic piece titled Alone, around the time she graduated with her B.A. Since then, she has written numerous other novels, short stories, and poems.
Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she works part time at Stained Glass Artistry and as a freelance developmental editor, copy editor, production coordinator, and eBook coordinator for a number of publishing companies.

Q&A

What has been your best experience as a writer?

That is hard to say. I’ve had a lot of great moments. When people recognize me as a writer in public or when I get a great review both make my day. When people tell me HIM helped them deal with their abuse probably tops them all, I think. Knowing I’ve aided someone in that way makes everything I do worth it.

 

So far, which of your books has been your favorite to write?

Shifter was my favorite to write. Writing a romance novel through the point of an alpha male shapeshifter who is stuck in the form of a housecat was so much fun.

 

Is there one of your characters that you are more attached to?

Abby from Shifter. She and I are so much alike more so than any of my other characters. We have similar personalities and that draws me to her, which is why I’m glad I got to bring her back in my upcoming paranormal romance, Outcast.

 

Are you currently working on something new?

I’m always working on something. I have a paranormal love story coming out in January about childhood sweet hearts who lives are interrupted when one is killed in a car accident. Outcast the next book in my shifter series is with my editor, and I hope it will be out by Spring or Summer of next year. In that one Leigh is raised by shapeshifters though she knows nothing about the supernatural world until she meets her mate and the pack her parents belong to tries to separate her from him. I’m also working on another paranormal romance series, but it is in its infant stage right now.

 

Do you have a playlist that you like to listen to while you write? If so, can you name a few of the songs?

I actually don’t. I find noise of any kind distracting while reading or writing, but if I could listen to music, I’d probably have Metallica on a loop.

 

Tell me a little about yourself, what’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is green. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. My favorite tv-show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though The Walking Dead is running a very close second. I got married on Friday the 13th, and my husband and I married a week before our 15 year anniversary. I don’t have any children aside my cat Lilith and don’t intend to have any children. My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King.

 

How does it make you feel to think of people you know reading your books? I’m usually nervous the first time I send a novel to my editor, then that goes away after her first read-through. Even if she isn’t completely happy with the first draft, I know we will work with it until we love it. My nerves get to the point that I make myself sick when I first send it off to my betas and for the first few weeks after publishing. After two years of writing and releasing four novels, I’ve gotten to know my betas and a large chunk of my readers, so it will break my heart if I ever write something they dislike. To date, all my books have been a bit different in subject matter, style, format, genre from each other, so I’ve lived in fear that readers were going to hate one of them and never give another of my novels a try. Once the comments and reviews start coming in, I relax a bit, though.

 

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I think I knew after reading Stephen King’s The Dark Half when I was in junior high. The novel wasn’t one of my favorites of his, but I knew after reading it that I wanted to tell stories the way he did.

 

Do you have a favorite book/author? Or one in particular that inspired you? As you’ve probably guessed, Stephen King is my favorite and the one to inspire me the most, but a long list of other authors have as well: J.K. Rowling, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Edgar Allen Poe, C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Mayberry, Madeleine L’Engle, Douglas Adams, Kelly Armstrong, Richelle Mead, Carrie Vaughn, Rachel Vincent, Jane Yolen, Laura Wilder, Scott Westerfeld, David Sedaris, Lois Lowry, Shirley Jackson, Lois Duncan, and many, many more.

 

Is there a topic or idea that you’d like to write about that you haven’t gotten around to yet?

I would like to do some truly sci-fi stuff. Resistant was labeled sci-fi due to the zombie/nano-tech stuff in it, but I want to do something along the lines of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers series, or Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series, or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League series… something deep space and otherworldly. In the new paranormal series I’m working on, I’m doing something similar by building my own universe that is parallel to ours—think the television show Sliders but with supernaturals—but the worlds aren’t different enough that I need my own language. One of these days, I want to write something where I can make up my own language.

Other Works

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Shifter Him Alone Resistant

  Sneak Peek Of Outcast

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*****Resistant, a Sci-Fi/Horror Romance. Coming September 26th.*****

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#jenniferreynolds #resistant #romance #scifi #horror #ebook

Before the outbreak, Sahara was a high school teacher living alone in a small Alabama town. She saw her life as nothing more than endless days of teaching children Shakespeare and nights reading paranormal romances. She was happy with her life, as quiet and mundane as it was.
After the outbreak, Sahara becomes a warrior traveling across the country in search of sanctuary. She spends her days and nights killing zombies, searching for food, trying to maintain her sanity, and if Daniel has his say, finding love.
How will Sahara help those who are left find safety and stability in a world full of nightmares? Will she stop resisting the man she loves and open her heart, knowing that he may not live through the next second let alone the next year? Join Sahara and her people in a fight against creatures set out to devour them and the unknown threat controlling them to find out.

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23 1

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Want to win an eCopy of Resistant? How about a $10 Amazon gift card or one of 100+ other prices or $175 in Paypal Cash? If so, check out this rafflecopter.
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First chapter

We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows, read the books and graphic novels, and played the video games. We grew up on them. I remember being eight years old, curled up on the sofa with my mom and a big bowl of popcorn watching the 1968 black and white version of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and swearing to her that I wasn’t scared. In truth I was close to peeing myself, I was so terrified. From that point on, I was addicted the genre. Not addicted like so many others of my generation. I didn’t play the Left for Dead video games, mostly because I never liked playing video games despite being from the video game generation. I didn’t read the graphic novels that AMC based their television show The Walking Dead on, but I watched the show religiously. I read a large number of the young adult and adult zombie novels that sprouted up, but not all of them like those who were much more entranced by the creatures than I was did.

At first, no one wondered about the sudden influx in zombie entertainment. We loved the stories, loved being scared shitless, and loved seeing the good guys—for the most part—kick some undead ass, but the older my generation got and the more popular the genre became, the more we began to think, to look back on things, and to examine the world around us.
For some—mostly the crazies who looked everywhere for conspiracies—it started with the comic book turned television show. We were both elated and weary of the idea of the show in the beginning. Sure, we liked to see such things on the big screen, but every Sunday night in the privacy of our own home—that seemed too personal. But when the show aired, everyone who watched was hooked.

For the majority of us, it was the growing popularity of Zombie Marches that started in cities like Chicago, Boston, Miami, Houston, Iowa City, L.A., and eventually spread to much smaller towns like mine that got us thinking something more was going on with the influx of interest in zombies. I didn’t start to take notice until these marches turned into events that lasted whole weekends. At these events, people that in the beginning we assumed were your average Janes and Joes started offering defense lessons on how to fight and where to shoot a zombie. How to clothe yourself to prevent a zombie from biting you. How to safeguard your home, office, or car from being overrun by zombies. What kinds of meats a person could eat and not get infected. Can you believe these people suggested eating cats?
People blew them off initially. They walked by their booths and smiled indulgently, then went back to taking pictures of their friends and neighbors in their zombie cos-tumes. Occasionally, some played along with the demonstrations and when those watching from the sidelines realized that the people manning these booths were serious and knew what they were talking about, they began to take notice.

When one of these events hit my small town, my spidey senses went on red alert. I could see doing them in larger cities where you had a wider diversity of people who would be interested in attending. Yeah, a large number of people in my hometown were zombie fans just like the rest of the world, but we weren’t fanatics. Mostly my town was a retirement town. There were no nightclubs or strip bars within driving distance, we didn’t have a Hot Topic in our mall, we didn’t have a Starbucks, let alone a comic book store. We did have a church on every corner and three bingo halls.

Why was I, a twenty-seven year old single woman, living there, you ask? Well, that would be because my parents had me when they were in their late thirties and early forties, and when I was ten we moved there because they were tired of what they called “the big city.” My high school graduating class barely had fifty people in it—that is how few young couples lived in the town. Most of my classmates moved off the day after graduation. I did as well, but only long enough to get my degree, then I came back to teach English at my alma mater.
When Zombie Fest, which was what it was called by the time it reached us a couple of years before the outbreak, arrived at Gates, my hometown, I attended to the delight of my students and the disgust of my fellow teachers who were all ten or more years older than I was. How could I not go with all the writers I love listed on the docket to read from their novels, hold Q & As, and sign anything you put in front of them? The flyers posted around town made the event look interesting, but the list of writers who would be attending to discuss their next book was what had my attention. I was not passing up the opportunity to get Ilsa Bick, Jonathan Maberry, Travis Adkins, and Mira Grant’s (to name a few of the authors attending our show) autograph.

The festival took place in a large open field owned by one of the town’s oldest families, the Starks. I’m sure that one of the Starks’ grandchildren must have been a zombie fan because otherwise as stuffy and conservative as they were, the festival would have had to pass by our town. Starks’ Field is the only place in town big enough to hold an event that size, and they would have refused to host it if not for someone in the family insisting they do so.

I spent the entire first day of the festival wandering from booth to booth in awe at what was going on around me. There were booths where you could learn to use a bow and arrow, a booth that taught first aid, a booth that gave instructions on—get this—how to skin a cat, a booth that sold guns, a booth that sold body armor, a booth that sold survival guides. There were lectures from doctors and other specialists in the “Zombie Field”—a field I hadn’t even known existed—that discussed the different types of zombies: the flesh eating, the brain eating, the controlled by a puppet master, the fast zombie, the slow zombie, the newly turned, the starving, the single zombie, the horde, and so on. They also gave seminars on how to commit suicide if you are bitten, how to muster the courage to shoot a loved one if they are bitten, how to dispose of the body, how to stay relatively sane after an uprising.

There were even some who discussed evacuation plans and procedures that were geared for our city in case the break out actually happened. I nearly brushed off one such discussion until I looked at the map on the wall behind the speaker. The map was an exact replica of Gates. The speaker knew our town inside and out. He knew the names of the prominent families in town and a great deal of those families that weren’t so prominent. He knew their occupations, their family history, their lands. Knew which homes were best equipped to stave off an attack and which would house the most food. His plans seemed so real, I almost felt as if I were listening to a military general or town official giving a real speech in preparations for a real outbreak.

The day was fun, but it left me with an uneasy feeling that no matter how many times I chided myself for being stupid and reassured myself that there were no such things as zombies, I couldn’t shake. Despite this feeling, I didn’t go out and buy a single cross bow or Kevlar vest. I didn’t go home and board up all the windows on the first floor of my house. I didn’t stock-pile water and ammunition for my father’s hunting rifle, though the compulsion would creep into my head while I was in the grocery store that I needed to buy a little extra and store it in the basement, but I squashed the impulse as being ridiculous.
Six months later, another festival came through. This one was nearly identical to the last, but that didn’t stop me from spending an entire day there booth hopping. I also think more town’s folk came to this one than they did the first one. Six months after this one came through, another set up for a weekend and even more people came out. More movies and TV shows popped up and more novels and survivor guides hit the shelves, and more and more of them took on a serious tone. Not all of the previous books on the subject were comical, but the new ones were much more serious and had more detail in them than the old ones. They had diagrams for disassembling and reassembling firearms, schematics on how to build bombshelters, and instructions on how to cut out teeth and tongues and cut off hands to make safe zombie pets.

No one I knew appeared to be worried about the increase in zombie-themed things, but I started noticing more and more empty shelves at Wal-Mart. I started noticing that people didn’t dress as casually as they used to. Yeah, most of the older women who taught with me wore heels and long skirts to work, but I no longer saw them in the same outfits outside of school. I also noticed that I was buying an extra case of bottled water or a few extra cans of soup when I went to the super market. I stopped buying shirts that were a size too big because I thought the bigger size would hide my rounded body and started buying clothes that fit to me. This change in wardrobe made me self-conscious, so I pulled the treadmill out and started using it a little more often. Not a lot. I was essentially a lazy person, so more afternoons than not the thing sat there, but every once in a while, I wandered over to it and took a walk.

Most of those times came when I stumbled across a zombie movie on television and saw how much running and moving around the survivors had to do. I watched them and told myself if that was me, I’d have been dead a long time ago. I don’t think I would be able to run from the slowest, oldest, most maimed and limbless zombie. This mental conversation forced me out of my chair and onto the wretched machine.

By the time the shit hit the fan, I wished I had done it more often.

Even with all the advanced knowledge and warnings, we were still shocked and in denial when it actually happened, which is sad considering how slowly it actually happened. The reigning theory is that we created it. By we, I mean the great scientists of the United States of America, or at least according to a large number of anonymous blogs that started popping up a few years ago from men and women claiming to be one of the scientists or worked with one of the scientists or one of the military personnel who ordered the release of the virus or one of the military personnel who was ordered to clean up after the virus or…well, you get the picture.

The blogs told about how after Desert Storm in the early nineteen-nineties our government started looking into a broader range of chemical warfare. They wanted a quick and easy way to get rid of “terrorists.” They came up with a few things, but it wasn’t until 9-11 that we developed the Z-Strain. The Z-Strain was supposed to be a potent hallucinogenic. It was a hallucinogenic all right. People snapped and thought they were flesh-eating zombies. In trying to fix this problem, the scientist actually turned these people and the rest of the population into flesh-eating zombies.

See, when they first started using Z-Strain in Iraq and Afghanistan, the person infected would zombie-out and kill a few people before the military came to kill the person. The people they killed weren’t turned or infected, they died. For the most part, our government was fine with this, except for the part where they had to watch people eating each other. They didn’t mind if people lost it and gunned each other down in the streets, what they did mind was watching them pin people down and rip the flesh from their bodies, so they started playing with the design and before you know it, they had made things worse.

Three years after the first festival came to my town, the first video went viral. Ninety-nine percent of the world thought it was a hoax. School was out for summer break, and I was contemplating putting up the highly recommended perimeter fence. The last festival I attended said that an electrical fence would help persuade the zombies to move along. I highly doubted this was true, but paranoia was starting to get the best of me. My paranoia wasn’t helped by the fact that my fellow neighbors were steadily putting them up as well. On the day I decided to look into having one installed, over half the homes on my block had them.

The gentleman at Lowe’s suggested that if I didn’t like the look of a chain link fence I could put a wooden privacy fence up around it or behind it. This would up the cost, but would be prettier. I told the gentleman I would think about it and let them know. They employed outside contractors whom they would call to do the install if I didn’t want to do it myself, he informed me. I smiled, nodded my head and left.

That night a college friend of mine who lived in Atlanta sent me a link to the video. The video wasn’t bad quality but because of the distance between the action and the person doing the recording you couldn’t tell what was going on. Yeah, it looked as if a person in military garb was chowing down on one of his or her fellow soldiers. The narrator of the video claimed that he was also a soldier but wouldn’t say who he was, what branch he was in, or what his ranking was. He did tell us that he was in the southern region of Kandahar in Afghanistan and that we were watching a real zombie attack. The narrator didn’t say how the person was turned into a zombie, if there were others, or if the situation was contained. He didn’t really have time. The video cut off after about thirty seconds.

I did a Google search to see what any of the legitimate news stations were saying about it. They weren’t saying a thing. They weren’t even acknowledging they knew anything about it. I found this surprising considering the number of views the video had received by the time I saw it.

The next day, after I had gone back to Lowe’s and paid an obscene amount of money to have the fence installed, news stations and websites were talking about the “Hoax Heard around the World.” I felt stupid for buying into the video when NBC News broke down the video and “proved” that it was a fake. Okay, I wasn’t relieved enough to cancel my order. I told myself that I taught high school, and high school kids loved to prank and torment their teachers. I hadn’t had a problem as of yet, but the fence would discourage such behavior.

Two months after that video aired, another went viral. This one was of a group of Pakistani civilians tearing each other apart south of Nushki. I heard about this one from my students. Of course, the media broke it down as well and showed how the video’s maker faked the footage, but no matter how they broke it down, not everyone was buying that that one was a hoax. This was a good thing because more videos started popping up after that. At first, all of them were overseas in what we would consider small underdeveloped areas, places I’d never even heard of, places so far from our little town that we didn’t care if they were real or not—they couldn’t affect us.

By the end of the school year, our government had finally come clean. They still maintained that the first few videos were fake. They had to. They had been adamant about them being hoaxes; they couldn’t go back on their word now. Eventually, when our government couldn’t hide things any longer, the president went on air and announced to the public that no, there weren’t zombies, but that yes, there was a virus they were trying to contain that made a person hallucinate and think they were a zombie. No, the people bitten weren’t turned, the virus wasn’t spreading that way, though they never said how it was spreading. They were sure it was something the Taliban had created to use on us, so they didn’t know everything about it, but our best doctors were working on it, and they were containing the outbreaks. That was what they claimed, but that didn’t stop people from panicking.

When school started back three months later, nearly every house in Gates had a security fence, and a large number of them either had their ground-level windows boarded up or bricked up. I thought about doing the same, but hadn’t gotten to that point in my paranoia yet. Privately owned businesses were starting to do the same. Public ones, on the other hand, were trying to appear calm.

Weapon and gun sales were on the rise and people were definitely stock piling food because any store that sold anything that resembled food was selling out almost as quickly as they stocked their shelves. Our economy was doing better than it had in years with so many Americans stock piling everything they could get their hands, even things that would do them no good once the zombies took over. Things like DVDs and jewelry. I guess some thought they might be able to use the gold and stones in the jewelry if the dollar became obsolete and we returned to the barter system.

I won’t lie, I was definitely one of those people spending every dime I earned on things I might need if the end of the world actually came, but I was trying to be discrete about it. I wasn’t worried about others thinking I was a crazy paranoid because nearly everyone was turning into one of those. I had a hard time allowing myself to believe what was going on. I also didn’t want people seeing what I was storing. I didn’t want them invading my house when they ran out of supplies and taking what I had. I’m not a selfish person. I know I’m just one person, and most likely I’ll share with those whom I feel need help, but I know people. When they get desperate, they do crazy things.
When my O.B wanted to run “routine” blood tests during an otherwise normal yearly checkup that used to only include a pap smear and breast examine, I knew I was right to panic and plan. My doctor tried to say they were testing for pregnancy or STDs, but I knew they were starting to test for infection. She knew who I had been with last and how long it had been. I was clean and not pregnant and we both knew it.

The following year, in order for any student or faculty member to come back to school after the Christmas break—I’m not calling it a Holiday break, everyone knows what kind of break it is—they had to submit to blood tests and vaccines. The school claimed the tests checked for some new strain of the flu that was spreading across the Midwest, but I hadn’t heard about this flu until then.

The school system I worked for wasn’t the only one testing either; businesses all over the country started requiring their employees to submit to testing or they would be fired. People had to have proof that they had gone in for testing and weren’t infected a week prior to flying. If they were staying anywhere more than a week, they had to find a doctor to give them another test before they could board their return flight.

author bio

Jennifer’s full name is Jennifer Lynn Powell Reynolds, and she is a thirty-four year old native of North Alabama. She is newly married. She and her husband, Russell Reynolds, tied the knot on Friday, September 13, 2013.
Jennifer has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.
Writing has always been a large part of her life. In high school, her local newspaper published a large number of her poems, and she won numerous poetry and short stories awards. Since high school, she has worked on a number of different projects, but her focus has mainly been on acquiring her degrees.
She finished the first draft of her first novel, a post-apocalyptic piece titled Alone, around the time she graduated with her B.A. Since then, she has written numerous other novels, short stories, and poems.
Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she works part time at Stained Glass Artistry and as a freelance developmental editor, copyeditor, production coordinator, and eBook coordinator for a number of publishing companies.

other books

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Shifter     Him     Alone