Please give a warm welcome to Evelyn LaFont, Thank you Evelyn for stopping by at BLH!
Reagan Marsellis was immune to the government’s biological warfare agent, Test Contagion 76—but not everyone was. After the accidental release of TC76, three-quarters of the population changed into hollow, hungry, reanimated dead who have nothing to lose from eating your face.
During the months after infection, Reagan led a small group of survivors to safety deep in the woods of New Hampshire. Surrounded by a fence that represents the limit to their safe zone, the survivors in the Evergreen Nursing Home are now relying on Reagan to go back outside The Limits and return with supplies, weapons, and fencing material so they can build a secondary perimeter that will help accommodate their growing numbers and keep the zombies, and whatever else wants to hurt them, out.
The Recruiter is an episodic serial. Each season has six 38-page episodes. Episodes are released monthly starting with Episode 1 on October 31st.
In the following excerpt, Reagan has just discovered that she’s being forced by the colony’s council to partner with a man on her missions to the limits. A man—exactly what she didn’t want to be partnered with.
Excerpt from: The Recruiter, Episode 1 (An Explicit Dystopian Romance Serial)
In my room, I slammed yet another door, plopped down on my bed, and lay with my head at the bottom, feet propped up on the wall, combat boots fitting into the comfortable black-and-dirt embossed grooves they’d carved from weeks of resting there.
I grabbed my black resistance bands from the floor and wrapped the three of them around my hands, leaving very little slack and enjoying the way the black latex tugged and pinched the skin on my palms.I pulled my hands apart slowly while feeding my stress into the taut muscles of my already shaky arms, hoping to simply burn through it so I could once again interact with humanity without wanting to rip its fucking face off.
The room was just starting to warm from the calories I was expending and the muscle tone I was earning when a hesitant knock sounded against my door.
“Holy fucksticks. If this is the new recruit, he knocks like a frightened toddler. Jesus H.” I dropped the resistance bands, pulled my knees into my chest and twisted, planting my feet on the floor. I stood, stretched up and then down, wrapping my fingers around the toes of my boots without bending my knees, cracked my knuckles, then checked that my thick, dirty blonde hair was still stuck back in its severe knot.
When I opened the door, I stood facing a muscular brunet in a tight green T-shirt and camo pants that matched my own. His black hair was cropped close to his head, a style I might soon adopt if the recent rash of head lice, which I’d so far avoided, didn’t soon meet its end. Though taller than me, he probably didn’t break five eleven, although I’m sure his driver’s license said otherwise. His arms were big—just flirting with too big, threatening to make it difficult to fit through a normal doorjamb without slightly cheating sideways. He had dark skin that said perpetual tan, and a smooth face that said he was hiding razors somewhere.
“Your muscles are too big. You’ll never be able to slip quickly through a crowd of undead. You’re a liability.” I pushed the door to slam it in his face, but he shoved one steel-toed boot in the jamb.
“Why don’t we do some exercises in the yard and test that theory?” His voice came out warm and mocking, deep and smooth, masculine but also somehow genteel. Like a man who fucked hard but still manscaped enough to make sure his fingernails were clean and his chest hairless.
“Why don’t we just talk about your experience first?” I opened the door slightly, still not giving him permission to enter, but enough that we could see each other. And I did not like the way he was seeing me, his eyes climbing slowly up and down my frame and pausing at the most predictable points. “Hey—eyes up here, mister. Tell me what you did before the outbreak?”
He brought his roving gaze back up to mine. Apparently, he was smart enough to realize that my tits hadn’t asked him a question. “I was a financial planner.”
I gave him a dirty look, hitched my cargo pants up past my waist, and affected my best herp-derp voice. “Erm, yes, I, erm, was a financial planner. Erm.”
He looked confused. “What the fuck was that supposed to be? Christ, I heard you were an asshole but I didn’t realize you were also a fucking child. I was a financial planner and on the side, I taught hand- to-hand combat and competed in some amateur boxing matches, so I know how to fight. That’s what you need, right? Someone who knows how to fight and won’t cry once the undead start coming at him? Well, I’m your man.”
His pre-apocalypse experience, in the ring and as an instructor,was similar to my own, but that didn’t make me want to be his BFF. “No, you’re not my fucking man, you’re the council’s man, so fine. Whatever. At least you say you know how to fight. How did you get here?”
“I led a group of survivors across the state after we heard rumors of the safety zone you’d set up here. Many of the people I led were elderly and untrained and unable to fight. So, yeah, I can deal with the zombies.”
As I realized who he was, I gained a kernel of respect for him. “You’re the guy who showed up earlier this week with the group of twenty, right? We put you up on the third floor. You’ve been traveling outside the limits for weeks with no losses. That’s pretty good.”
“Well, I didn’t do it to impress you, I did it to save lives. Now, when can I start going out and bringing in more survivors?”
“Easy there, guy. First of all, the council’s gonna get their panties in a wad if you keep calling ’em survivors. Call them recruits if you wanna be PC. Secondly, we don’t know how we work together. I’m not going out blind with a new partner. I need to practice with you first, understand how you work and develop some sort of survival camaraderie before we get started. Right now, I don’t know your name, much less your fighting style.”
He stuck a hand through the opened door and said, “Marcus Alonso. I already know your name, Reagan, and your story. Impressive.”
I shook his hand and nodded. “Yeah, well, I didn’t have as many people in my group as you did, but I held my own.”
“You traveled a hell of a lot further than I did. That’s saying something.”
I shuddered involuntarily as I recalled parts of my trip. I began in Nevada, continued across Kansas, and began anew in Connecticut where I was left on my own to walk through Massachusetts, finally resting at the community set up in a nursing home in the wilderness preserve just outside the limits of a small Vermont-New Hampshire border town halfway up the state. I’d heard about the location on a radio band; they had a message on repeat about safety. Some were still able to pick up that message, and that’s what brought them to us today, but our message had been joined by competing messages from other communities not exactly living by the same humanitarian code as ours. Not that they admitted that in their messages, which made it hard for survivors to know which group to trust.
“Whatever. It sucks.We both survived and we brought recruits with us. Fuck it. You wanna go do some practice runs now? Or do you need to manscape some shit?”
He cracked his knuckles and flexed his arms. “Let’s go.”
I grabbed my hatchet.“It’s a date.”
The Prize: One person will win a free copy of every episode of The Recruiter Season 1 as they are released. The copies will be provided via Smashwords coupon emailed to the winner monthly.
Her debut paranormal romance series, The Vampire Relationship Guide, is a four-novella romp that takes a satirical look at what could happen if a clueless human chick really dated a vampire. It’s also got some good sex and romance shoved up in it, making it a lovely four-course meal that won’t leave you feeling bloated after consumption.
Her newest series, Pack Mistress (Quick ‘n’ Dirty Erotic Paranormal Romance) follows the adventures of red wolf Pack Mistress Lorena as she satisfies the males of her south Florida pack while trying to find herself. It’s more serious than VRG, and more erotic. The novel is being released in serial format, with new 30-35 page installments every other month in 2012.
You can also read Evelyn’s essays and ramblings weekly on her blog or by visiting VampLure, the satirical monthly magazine inspired by The Vampire Relationship Guide series. You can also find some of the guest posts she’s written on The Bitch Blog, Book Love Blog, and The Weblog of Zoe Winters.
She’ll never admit it, but she’d love it if you followed her on Goodreads or Facebook.
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