The Doctor

With Cracks - High ResolutionMy first regret, sitting there in the reception room, was that I didn’t take a bit longer sorting through my shirts to find one that fit. The button over my belly was ripe to burst at any sudden movement, which was a reminder of my age, and how the years on this earth had added to the girth around my midsection. My usual attire of a loose lab coat made me appear slimmer. The flow of office workers walking across the foyer all wore perfectly tailored suits and dresses, formed around lean bodies. Clean shaven, hair cropped short, or pulled back in pony tails so tight it seemed to help the slender ladies of the office stand tall with heads held high.

I smoothed my springy hair, finger combed my beard, and looked down at my tan suit that I thought looked alright when I had examined myself in my bedroom mirror before leaving. I tried to spy my reflection in the shiny company logo emblazed on the far wall, Advanced Tomorrow, LLC, but I couldn’t.

Freaking Jerry Garcia, I though. I look like freaking Jerry Garcia, and not when he was young.

I hugged the satchel bag to my side, tapping my fingers against the warn leather, and fought the urge to check my watch. Back when I was at Johns Hopkins they would never have kept me waiting this long. Especially not with the manifold held within my briefcase. The years of research … the decade of work … it was all right here, a half an inch from my side, separated by a few thin layers of cloth and leather. Just a few dozen papers and blueprints. Enough to alter society’s perception of the human mind forever after. The machine alone would be groundbreaking, but it was the serum … the serum that could break the blood-brain barrier and read the neurons like a book, or how a radio picks up invisible transmission in the air. Any yet, hear I was, waiting.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and exhaled. Calm, old man, stay calm. It’s not their fault that you were expelled from the university like some old dead thing. It’s your own burden. This work of yours always gets you in trouble. And now you have to come groveling to approve funding like a common low life, and not a respectable …

The door leading to the executive wing opened, and a slender young man came out wearing a bright smile across his hairless face. He didn’t look old enough to shave in the first place. “Mister Wulfric?” the man asked, looking in my direction.

I pushed my wire-rim glasses farther up the bridge of my nose and smiled back, despite my mind protesting his use of Mister instead of my formal title, which took years of schooling.

“Yes,” I said, inching forward to stand.

“Mister Kalispell will see you now.”

“Great,” I said, and winced momentarily as my knees took the pressure of me standing.

My belly pressed against my shirt as I stood, and just when I realized that I needed to suck my stomach in, something small and round popped from my shirt and rolled across the thin carpet. Bright white against short gray bristles.

***

Thank you for reading this bonus chapter of The Experiment of Dreams.

Advertisements

I’m raffling off a Signed Paperback copy of Butcher Rising, book two in The After War Series.

Butcher Paperback

And guess what? It’s free to enter!

All you have to do is leave a review on Amazon and you’ll be entered to win. That’s it. Easy peasy. The winner will be selected October 1st, and the book will be shipped out right away, inscribed to you.

To enter:
1) Leave a review on Amazon here: Butcher Rising
2) Email me at brandonzenn@gmail.com and tell me you left a review.
3) Wait for the winner to be selected, October 1st.


And in other news, Whiskey Devils has finally been released as a paperback!


Whiskey Paperback

It took two years, but the paperback has finally been released.

So guess what, if you leave a review for Butcher Rising this week, anytime from now until September 13th, you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Whiskey Devils too.

Check out the paperback of Whiskey Devils here: Amazon


Well, that’s all for now. This giveaway is open for everyone, so feel free to share in your social media. Good luck!

All the best,
Brandon Zenner

Enter to win a Kindle device or several Amazon gift cards!

IndependentAuthor-AdBanner-2-768x486

Did you know I’m participating in a giveaway for a Kindle fire, a Kindle reader, and several Amazon gift cards?

The Kindle Book Review is hosting the event, which is sponsored fully by independent authors. It’s free to enter; the winners will be selected August 1st. Follow the link to the RaffleCopter form, and click on the entries. You can earn extra points by following me on BookBub, and even more points by supporting the other authors. 

Enter here: Kindle Giveaway

Good luck!

All the best, 
Brandon Zenner

Have you heard of BookBub?

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 2.38.00 PM

It always surprises me how so few people have heard of this site, so I thought I’d spend his lazy afternoon introducing you to what is hands-down the best place for free ebooks. Seriously, these guys are amazing. They have millions of subscribers, and are 100% free for the readers.

There are a few options:
 
1) You can sign up to receive a daily or weekly email, featuring free and discounted books in the genres you select.

2) You can follow specific authors, and receive an email when one of their ebooks are free or on sale. 

3) You can go to their website directly and check out the daily specials: BookBub

I have a profile there, and if you “Follow” me, you’ll get a notification whenever one of my books are free or on sale. Just click the link, and hit the “Follow” button, and then be sure to do a search for all of your favorite authors. You can find me here: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brandon-zenner

Recently, I purchased The Passage by Justin Cronin for $2.00 – the ebook usually retails for $11.00.

That’s it for now. I would love for you all to follow me on BookBub, and get my books for free!

All the best, 
Brandon Zenner

I’m hosting an AMA event, and you’re invited!

AMAAMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything,’ and that’s exactly the point of the site. From now until July 19th, you can check out the questions being asked, or ask your own. It’s a cool way for us all to get to know each other, and for you to ask whatever questions you can come up with. Seriously, anything …

Check it out here: AMAFeed.com

All are welcome to join in the conversation, or just check out some of the questions other people are asking. I will begin answering the questions Tuesday, July 17th.

Come join the fun!

All the best,

Brandon Zenner

Cover reveal for my new novel

The After War seriesThat’s right, you heard right, the next book in The After War series is available for pre-order now. It’s official release date is August 30th … but I have an itchy trigger finger. You might see it out sooner. Below, I’ve included the first chapter for you to read—right now!

But first, check out the book on Amazon: Butcher Rising

And here is a quick synopsis:

When civilization collapsed, evil rose to power: In the deep recesses of solitary confinement, a wickedness emerges to defile what is left of humanity. With society coming to its knees, the opportunity is right for a terrible army to claim the world as their own, and inflict upon it the same pain they received in life. The After War series continues. This is the story of a monster … this is the story of Karl Metzger.

Although Butcher Rising is the second novel in The After War series, they can be read independently of each other if desired. Both books work as standalone novels. However, I recommend reading them in order if possible. If you want to check out The After War first, here’s a link to the ebook, paperback, and audiobook: The After War

And now, without further ado, here is the prologue chapter of Butcher Rising: 

***

Prologue
Marianna
 
 

In the low of the valley lay a pond, whose brackish water veined into the soil to make the bowl of land fertile against the harsh desert terrain. Upon society’s collapse, people gravitated to this land to possess the water for whatever length of time their fate would allow, before hostilities put them at odds against their fellow man.

A soldier named Gerald White led a disorganized flock of survivors, who thrived for peace amid the carnage of the world, to construct walls out of scraps of wood, road signs, and fallen trees around the pond. They claimed the water as their own, and cultivated plots of the fertile soil to support the agriculture needed to feed their feeble numbers.

Dour men stood guard at the walls with rifles and blades, many adorned in biological protective coveralls and face masks. Towers were in the midst of construction, when on one early morning, an armed horde appeared on the horizon like an army of ghosts. They were covered in the white dust of the desert wind, and dressed in a nightmarish array of spoils: army fatigues, construction helmets, and hazmat suits torn under the masks so that they fluttered over their backs like surreal capes. The adversary marched to the defenses and broke down the walls in a clatter of gunfire and explosions. Gerald White died on the battlefield, lanced through by a bayonetted rifle. He would perish before seeing the face of his enemy’s leader, Nathan Clemens, once a soldier in the Canadian Royal Forces, who had armed and trained these people to fight.

The barriers were reconstructed tall and strong, with cement bunkers and hardwood walls, and lookout towers were erected in haste. The flimsy huts made by Gerald White’s people were torn down and built anew, designed by an engineer who went by Georgia. This man was second in command under Nathan Clemens, and a skilled architect. 

The settlement was christened as New Faith, and in time it would grow to an avenue of homes, a clinic, and a plank-board saloon that served whatever was plundered or fermented by the townspeople. The strumming of guitars could be heard at night, mixed with the crackling of the bonfire in the center of town, and for a long duration, peace endured. Even the occasional drifter who would chance encounter their walls, begging for food and water, was allowed entry and made a part of their citizenry. 

In a dusty pit of desert, two towns over, was the Haddonfield Maximum Security Prison. The guards had disappeared or perished long ago, as had much of the prison’s population of rapists, serial murderers, gang leaders, perverts, and the insane.

The cell doors were unlocked after society’s collapse, and a stew of starved human filth stumbled into the dismal halls. A thick smell of rot permeated the building from the many doors that opened on the long dead and decomposed.

Old affairs were settled with fists, pipes, and knives, and the guard’s armory was sacked. The small yet formidable population that remained in Haddonfield Prison fell into isolated groups that waged conflict with each other over the more valuable real estate—the kitchen, bathrooms, and offices—and eliminated any of the more peaceful and terrified survivors.

On a cool fall day, a man came galloping to the prison on horseback, with two dozen armed men following his lead. The prison population knew this man, for he had been one of their own: a death row candidate who’d been transferred many months ago. His deep, dusty words echoed in the halls with the promise of reward. He brought the divided groups out of the shadowy corners to stand united, as he belonged to no single ideology, but created his own, and gave the starved and crazed assemblage new purpose. This man called himself the General.

Far in the deep, dark recesses of the solitary confinement wing, the General searched for and found his old cell neighbor: a man whose crimes were more appalling than the worst among them. This man had been hiding alone and feral in a cell, with only a candle for light against the crushing darkness. Neatly organized in the surrounding units were the dissected remains of the prisoners the man was able to trap like a spider and drag back to the depths to feed on.

This miscreant was taken out of the darkness and made the lead physician to serve among the other officers, who each in turn had a storied past of comparable villainy. 

Under the General’s control, the various gangs and ethnic groups took up arms together. Neighboring army barracks were looted, the soldiers who had guarded the posts no more than weathered hide and bones. With some training, the General’s men became a formidable fighting force.

On a crisp morning, the gates of the prison were thrown open, and the army spilled forth to desecrate all they trampled upon. The General had adorned himself in full riot gear, and led the procession into the desert, riding his muscular steed. A few who could ride were at his side, but the majority of the men stayed on foot in the rear of the cavalcade. They marched across the desert and to the edge of New Faith, spying the tall lookout towers looming over the surrounding trees. It was the water they desired. It was water they would kill for.

Shrill whistles blew behind the walls, alerting New Faith’s occupants. The General’s prison army came snarling out of dawn’s early shadows to flood like a burst dam against New Faith’s defenses. Many fell before the boundary, but soon the gates were reduced to splinters by a shoulder-mounted rocket. The murderous horde swarmed the townspeople, shooting, hacking, and leaving trails of gore in their wake. The General rode into the melee with his officers, his stout lieutenant beside him, striking down the fleeing townspeople in experienced fashion. 

New Faith fell. The engineer named Georgia was struck dead early on in the fighting by a barrage of bullets. Nathan Clemens lost a finger and sustained injuries before his capture. He was bound and blindfolded, and later brought to the inner depths of Haddonfield Maximum Security Prison.

Those who remained of New Faith’s population when the fighting ceased were consumed in an orgy of brutality. The more desirable among them were shackled and showcased as trophies of war. One such woman was Nathan Clemens’s young wife, Marianna, who wailed at the carnage displayed all around her and flinched under the filthy hands of her captors. Many men lusted for her, but the officers kept them away, as she now belonged to only one.

In the midst of this revelry, a dozen of New Faith’s detained officers were brought before the General and his lieutenants and made to kneel. The General sat on a wooden chair at the bank of the pond, a cigar clasped between bloodstained fingers, and watched as the enemy officers were executed by knife or bludgeoning device. One of the executioners dipped his palm in the blood of his slain and held his red hand high, swearing an impromptu oath to the brotherhood. The man slapped his wet handprint over his chest and smeared some of the gore over his face, howling mad in the debauchery of victorious warfare, his brain sparkling with narcotics. 

After the man’s oath, others followed suit, raising their soiled palms and reciting ritualistic pledges. Alcohol and various substances fueled the celebration, either brought along or plundered from the homes they conquered.

The General produced great white clouds of smoke from his cigar and drank from a bottle of something brown. The more attractive prisoners, whom the soldiers had not yet hidden away for themselves, were led out single file, their hands bound, and chains around their necks. They were presented to the General as his trophies and made to sit at his side. The slim girl named Marianna, with fire-red hair, was displayed at the water’s edge. A soldier stepped forward to cut away her torn summer dress for the entire frothing congregation to witness. Tears rolled down her cheeks, yet she did not speak or cry out, but stood solemnly, glaring at the General and each of his vile officers in turn. 

In a dash of movement, the young girl struck her elbow deep into the stomach of the soldier beside her, and twisted the blade out of his hand. She ran half-naked, palms clasped, into the frigid water of the pond. A few soldiers lunged to grab her, but stopped waist deep in the lapping water to laugh along with the others as the young girl cut at her wrists and stumbled beyond the murky shore, using the weight of the chains around her neck to hold her head below the water’s surface.

The General watched, sipping at the bottle and inhaling the rich smoke. 

The next day he christened the land inside the walls as the town of Marianna.

 

Butcher Rising

Here’s a few free book for you.

the_after_war_3_bookbub_ad   Exp_99.jpg

Happy Monday everyone! Just a quick post, giving you some free e-books. Monday, January 29, both The Experiment of Dreams and The After War – Part I, will be free. Tuesday, The After War – Part I is still free! The Experiment of Dreams is a psychological thriller, with over 100 five star reviews on Amazon. The After War – Part I is a dystopian survival thriller, which was a finalist in the BookLife Prize in Fiction, hosted by Publishers Weekly.

Here are the links, or click the images above:

The After War – Part I

The Experiment of Dreams

Happy reading!

All the best,

Brandon Zenner