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Monday, August 11, 2014

Changes to Chapter 1 (Shout out to test readers)

The last few days I've been Re-working Chapter 1 of my novel thanks to one of my test readers, Gabe Kelley (an old college roommate).  He gave me huge props for what he's read thus far, but found a few holes in the story that he thought I should fix/add more detail.  I also wanted to thank my other test reader for the influence they've had on my story.  I have the ability to come up with great stories, but many times leave out some details.  Thanks first of all, my wife Chelsie, Shalease Boarden, Amy Wilde, Courtney Lennberg, Clint Larsen, Jeff Morgan and all the rest of you. There has been many and I can't possibly name you all but I appreciate you more than you know.  Anyway, the new and improved Chapter 1 is written below.  I'd love to hear what you think and I'd love it even more if you'd follow my novel on facebook at


            Rushing water filled her mouth, and splashed into her eyes as she pushed away - slithering out from beneath a monstrous, water-logged corpse.  As she stood up, her white tank top suctioned to her ribs exposing her cheetah-like features.  Normally her lithe, athletic physique earned her a second glance from men and jealous stares from women.  It was hard for many to believe that she was the mother of three. 
            Shay coughed water from her lungs and blinked the water from her eyes as she glanced at the throbbing wound on her shoulder.  The blood was flowing freely from the distinctly human bite mark which added a thick crimson streak to her already stained white tank top. 
The venom from the bite burned her skin like acid and the flesh immediately around the wound blackened.  She could feel the venoms assault as it began coursing through her blood stream like starved piranhas.
As bad as the wound was, she couldn’t allow herself to worry about it until she was out of immediate danger. She saw motion from the corner of her eye and turned to see a second beast shuffling through the ankle deep water toward her.  He looked putrid as blackened skin peeled from his once human face exposing raw, bloodied muscle and ghost white bone beneath.  Shay was exhausted and the temptation to dispatch this new threat with her pistol was nearly overwhelming.  But she knew that if she pulled the trigger, she’d be surrounded by hundreds of enraged, flesh-eating monsters again. 
Goosebumps rose on her exposed skin and her heart pounded as the vile man rushed toward her.  The saliva dripped from his rotting teeth as he opened his mouth open wide in anticipation.  Fueled by unimaginable rage and hunger, the creature wanted to eat her alive.  Shay flipped the pistol around so the barrel rested in her palm.  As the monster approached, she could only see darkness and death in his eyes––it was clear his soul had long since left his body.  Shay raised the pistol over her shoulder and swung across her body, meeting the beast’s final desperate lunge head on.  The impact shattered the teeth from his jaw and they flew through the air in a bloody eruption.  The creature went down hard, but managed to grab her shirt as he fell, pulling her into the stream on top of him.  Shay straddled his torso and without hesitation, placed her right hand on his throat, digging her nails in to keep her hand from slipping off of his slimy flesh and constraining him against the pebbled creek bed.  The decaying man grabbed at her as she repeatedly hit him in the head with the gun’s handle.  Blood spattered her face and arms as his skull caved in.  The decaying man stopped moving and she knew he would never bite again.
Covered in gore, Shay squared her shoulders and steeled herself for the next threat.  She raked the shimmering strands of half brown, half bleach blond hair from her face with chipped and grime crusted fingernails noting how long overdue she was for a trip to the salon.  She wanted to laugh and cry at the same time at the ridiculousness of the stray thought, but her emotions gave way to white hot anger as she contemplated the injustice of all she had lost in just a few short months.