Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#Giveaway ~ Afterworld Series by Karice Bolton ~ #Review ~ Excerpt

Afterworld Series by Karice Bolton

Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

Synopsis book 1 - RecruitZ:
Review for RecruitZ Here

Scientists are the new rock stars. The infection has been contained for nearly three months, and the world is celebrating. But humans are still dying. Rebekah Taylor has seen it firsthand. Her husband was killed right in front of her by the very creatures that humans were told they no longer had to fear.

Rebekah is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of her husband and the obvious cover-up. Fueled with revenge, she begins to find answers that lead to one frightening conclusion. The apocalypse might be over, but the battles are just beginning.

Synopsis book 2 - AlibiZ:

The outbreak might be over, but the nightmare is just beginning...

Rebekah vows to expose the truth behind the RecruitZ that are killing the innocents. These creatures must be stopped, but so should the people controlling them. When Rebekah uncovers who is behind the uprisings, her own life becomes in danger.

Rebekah knows that she is not alone in this fight but vengeance alone won't help her and the others to victory. It is up to her to uncover the truth for the public before the world is turned over to an elite few.

Regardless of what may happen to her, she knows it's a race against time to destroy these creatures and the monsters controlling them before there is no one left worth saving.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Karice received an MFA in Creative Writing from the U of W. She has written fifteen novels and has several exciting projects in the works. Karice lives with her husband and two English Bulldogs in rainy Washington.

Books currently available:
Luke Fletcher Series: Hidden Sins (Book 1), Buried Sins (Book 2) – coming soon
Beyond Love Series: Beyond Control (Book 1) Beyond Doubt (Book 2) Beyond Reason (Book 3) Beyond Intent (Book 4) Beyond Chance, Beyond Promise, and Beyond the Mistletoe coming soon
Afterworld Series: RecruitZ (Book 1) AlibiZ (Book 2) – October 2014
The Witch Avenue Series: Lonely Souls (Book 1), Altered Souls (Book 2), Released Souls (Book 3) Shattered Souls (Book 4)
The Watchers Trilogy: Awakening (Book 1), Legions (Book 2), Cataclysm (Book 3), Taken Novella (Watchers Prequel)
The Camp

Author Links:

Alibiz Review

This series is one of the best Dystopian/zombie series I  have read. I know i do not read many actual zombie books, but this is still one of my favorite dystopian's I have read, and I do read plenty of them.

I wont say alot in this review of book 2, as I sure would hate to spoil anything for you if you have not even read book 1. This book and series is written extremely well, and I highly recommend it to any dystopian fans, this is not your typical gory (though it does have some) zombie book. Its unique in that area.

So try this series out, you won't be sorry.

5 out of 5 stars for me.

I received this book from the author for my honest review.

Below is Chapter One of Alibiz (Book 2) So if you hadn't read yet, read at your own risk... It really doesn't give anything away though, so up to you.

Chapter One (AlibiZ)

“Stay where you are. You’re completely surrounded on all sides.”
I froze and looked around the forest. I didn’t see anyone until I looked up into the trees where several sets of eyes watched our every move, shotguns and rifles centered on Preston and me. The woods held a madness I hadn’t felt since the outbreak. It seemed like they’d converted deer stands into people-watching stands. It was creepy and clever at the same time.
My heart rate increased as I slowly lowered my rifle to the ground. Preston did the same. Did we stumble upon some leftover militia members or survivalists or something?
“We don’t do visitors. We haven’t survived the outbreak this long to welcome strangers and the virus into our lives,” the man said, motioning for one of his men to pick up our weapons.
I glanced at Preston as the realization dawned on both of us.
“The outbreak is over,” Preston said, his arms still raised.
“Don’t give me that garbage,” the man replied. “Get on your knees. Both of you.”
How could he not know?
My knees hit the hard surface, a sharp rock digging into my skin. I hoped my ankle holster didn’t peek out.
“It’s true. There’s a vaccine,” I said, staring at the men in front of us. “We’ve been vaccinated.”
“Sure you have, doll,” the man said, his brown eyes dulled by exhaustion and hunger. “But there’s no room at the Inn.”
I let out a sigh and held back a laugh at the craziness of our situation.
“Take them to the barn.” He pointed at the two men who took our weapons.  “I’ll be there shortly to deal with them. Ron, come with me. We need to cover their tracks so no others find their way here.”
“Yes, sir,” a young guy yelled, as he climbed down the tree and jumped to the forest floor. He wore a ratty flannel and a pair of well-worn jeans. There was a strong resemblance between Ron and the man barking orders. Both had dark hair and very sharp features, accentuated by their lack of nourishment. The older man’s hair, however, was speckled with silver.
One of the men pulled zip ties out of his pocket and told us to put our hands together. We both complied as he first tightened the plastic around my wrists and then Preston’s. I really disliked being put in this situation. We didn’t have time for it. The plastic tie dug into my skin, and the more I moved, the tighter it became. The moment we were left alone, Preston would cut us out of these in no time.
“Get up,” the guy in front of me commanded.
I watched Preston who gave a slight nod as I stood up.
“You gonna give us trouble?” the guy asked.
I shook my head. “No need to.”
“Jay doesn’t like visitors,” the guy said, pushing me forward to walk.
“I kind of got that,” I said.
Preston stood up and hid a smile as I walked by.
Looking around, I noticed the men up in the trees were no longer interested in us. They were busy scanning for more intruders. I wondered how many intruders they actually got.
The men led us over to the river that we’d followed into this area.
I ignored the biting cold as we traversed the rocky riverbank. The gushing river below did little to calm my nerves as the rocks crunched beneath my hiking boots. Every so often, pieces cut loose and tumbled to the water below. Not my idea of a fun hike, especially when my hands were tied.
I spotted smoke off in the distance and assumed that was where they were leading us.
“I love the smell of wood smoke,” I said, taking in a deep breath. “It always reminds me of fall.”
“No talking,” one of the men ordered. His breathing was heavy as we trudged along the river’s edge, and I hoped he wouldn’t keel over before we got to wherever we were going. It would be a shame for him to live through the outbreak to die of a heart attack before finding out it was all over.
Letting them call the shots for now, I nodded and walked in silence for what seemed like an eternity. The trail along the riverbank became less severe the longer we hiked, but I still had my worries about slipping into the ice-cold water.
“This way.” The man climbed up an embankment, his foot slipping slightly at the top. I noticed the soles of his hiking boots were completely trashed and worn down.
If any of these people took the time to really examine us, they’d notice that neither Preston nor I were starving, and our clothes and shoes were in excellent condition. Unfortunately, if they thought the outbreak was still active, they weren’t in their right minds. They were still in survival mode. They’d only see what they wanted to see, hear what they wanted to hear, to ensure they’d come out breathing on the other end. It was a tricky situation, but one I wasn’t too worried about. We got past the first part. We were lucky they didn’t blow our heads off when they first spotted us. Now we only had to convince them that the outbreak was over.
A Hemlock branch, brittle from the cold, snapped back from the guy hiking in front of me and hit my face. I spit out the grime and wiped my mouth with the crook of my elbow as we hiked through the woods. I spotted a clearing through the trees and looked over my shoulder at Preston who flashed me a quick grin before I darted my gaze away. They had a little encampment set up with one large building and a few smaller outbuildings of some sort.
“Over here,” the guy said, glancing over his shoulder at us.
I remained silent, following the man’s lead as he hiked us over to a large shed. To call it a barn was simply overstating things. I saw another structure that would qualify as a patchwork residence, new sections built as the need arose. I wasn’t sure how it would last through another winter in the mountains. I doubted it would.
While I stared around the property, the man fumbled with the lock on the shed. The clearing provided a beautiful vantage point of ancient Douglas firs and cedar trees that covered the surrounding mountains. No power lines were visible, which would explain their lack of information.
“You got it, Josh?” the other man asked just as the lock popped off in Josh’s hand. He swung the door open to reveal a cluttered mess of odd finds, ranging from old saws to rusty metal teapots. I spotted an old, stained mattress propped against the back wall, and a couple of plastic buckets placed in between the piles of junk.
I examined the man I could now call Josh and noticed his breathing was still labored.
“Asthma okay?” the other guy asked, looking noticeably worried as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
Josh mumbled an answer I couldn’t grasp before he pushed us inside the cobweb-filled building. The musty smell was so thick in the air I could taste it. Preston let out a few coughs, and I pushed the tickle down. Several rays of light poked through the roof of the building, making it clear why it smelled so stuffy. Must be what the plastic buckets were for.
Josh snatched a bucket, dumped out the smelly water, and flipped it over for me to sit on. He did the same for Preston.
“Ron and Jay will be here soon,” Josh said, turning quickly on his heels and leaving us alone in the shed. The click of the lock being fastened on the door made me chuckle.
“They do realize we could just kick out the walls of this place, right?” I whispered to Preston.
He smiled, leaning over to release the knife that was strapped around his ankle.
“Apparently not.” Preston flipped the blade open and motioned for me to move closer. I held out my hands, and he cut through the plastic tie in under a second. Handing me the knife, I did the same for him.
“So do we waste our time trying to explain the outbreak really is over?” I asked. “Or do we get out of here?”
Preston pressed his lips together and nodded. “I think we should give it a try.”
I stood up and stretched, noticing some of the items this group had collected. Most of the found objects had probably been left over from camping trips before the outbreak. There were tent poles, skillets, netting, tarps, and even a car headlight. It was an eclectic assortment, but I recognized the mentality. Grab anything and everything a person could get their hands on. It was the MacGyver method that got most of us through the outbreak.
Preston leaned over my shoulder and pointed out a tennis shoe. “Clothing always creeps me out.”
“I don’t know why in the world it never occurred to me that there could still be people out there that didn’t know it was over. I thought our government did a better job of notifying everyone.”
“It’s a big country,” Preston said.
I nodded. “True. I wonder how many more pockets of these guys exist?”
“Probably more than we think.”
Footsteps crunched outside the shed, and we both took our seats on the buckets again.
“Did they give you any trouble, Tim?” Jay asked.
Tim must have been Josh’s buddy.
“Not at all, sir. But Josh’s asthma is flaring up. I sent him inside.”
I heard a sigh and then a whisper, “We only have enough medication for another month and that’s if he uses it sparingly and suffers the rest of the time.”
“Yeah, and that will only work if he doesn’t have any big attacks that could kill him.”
The door creaked open, and a blaze of light shone through the opening. I looked away to let my eyes adjust, hearing Jay’s footsteps circle around us.
“Who freed you?” Jay asked.
Neither of us answered his question. Instead, we were focused on getting him to listen so we could get out of here.
On the drive up here, we passed through several small, vacant towns that still showed signs of the outbreak. Merely convincing them to go to the nearest town would do nothing. They’d see the devastation, sense the isolation, and would assume everything was as it had been. There was no sign of life in those towns, only death. The horrors of the outbreak lived on in rural America, and it hadn’t occurred to me what that meant for people who were still in hiding. We had to convince him to go to a bigger city, and the closest one was over four hours away.
“We aren’t here to cause any trouble,” Preston said. “Let us go, and we’ll forget we ever saw you.”
“You’ve already caused problems for us. Giving my people false hope. I’m sure what you said has already gotten back to everyone at the house. I can’t let you go because others will follow and then they’ll die. We’ll keep you in the shed for forty-eight hours, and if you aren’t infected, you’ll join our community.”
I shook my head and turned away. Jay’s odor was really strong in this small space. I covered my mouth and nose with my hand. “We don’t want to stay here. That was never our intention. We hadn’t expected to come across anyone out here. Since the vaccine most people have centered around—”
“Enough,” Jay shouted, taking a step back.
“We can get Josh new medicine.” I tried a new tactic.
Jay’s eyes flashed with anger. “I can take care of my people.”
“They aren’t your people,” Preston said. “People aren’t property. Maybe you should let them decide what they’d like to do, see, or hear.”
The anger I felt rolling off Jay made me nervous. I didn’t want to get shot trying to do something nice for someone. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.
“What can we do to make you believe there really is a vaccine?” I asked, softening my voice.
“Dad, maybe we should listen to what they have to say?” It was Ron. He took a step into the shed, but none of the tension dissipated. Instead, it heightened.
“Nothing could stop those creatures,” Jay said in a clipped tone. I couldn’t tell if he was annoyed with his son or us.
“You are absolutely right,” Preston replied. “It’s a vaccine, not a cure. Those who were infected weren’t saved, but people like us, we’ve been vaccinated.”
“We need to hear them out,” Ron said, his voice more urgent. “We’re running out of food and winter hasn’t even hit. If we’re out here for no reason…”
“Don’t be foolish,” Jay replied. “I will not put my people in harm’s way.”
“You are doing that very thing,” Preston said. “Honestly, what would we have to gain by telling you the outbreak’s over?”
“He’s got a point, dad.”
“How dare you.” Jay’s anger was getting too volatile. It was the hunger. I recognized it from when Gavin and I were on the run. When days had turned to weeks without a substantial amount of food, our comprehension became faulty and our tempers flared for no reason. He probably did mean well for his community. In fact, he probably ate the least, giving his son and others his rations, which would explain why his son was willing to listen to reason and he wasn’t. Unfortunately, the instability of his father made me nervous.
“Did you forget we killed two zombies last week?” He turned to his son.
Shoot! The stragglers. I hadn’t counted on how to explain those away.
Preston let out a deep sigh. “Which is exactly why we need to get you all vaccinated—”
“Is it really over?” a woman’s voice cried outside, distracting Jay.
“Praise the Lord,” another woman sobbed.
A crowd was congregating outside the shed.
Jay’s eyes connected with mine. “See what you’ve done and you…” He turned to face Preston pointing a shaking finger.
A few children began singing as men’s voices cheered outside the shed.
“Let them feel the happiness, Jay. It’s true. It’s over,” I whispered. “We can help.”
I glimpsed a few of the women standing outside the shed. Their hands and faces were caked with dirt as they firmly held onto baskets of freshly picked roots. This had to stop.
“Let us talk to them,” a woman shouted.
“Look at what you’ve started,” Jay growled.
“Stop it, dad. They’re here to help,” Ron said, placing his hand on his dad’s shoulder to calm him down.
“They’re liars. There’s probably more of them hiding in the woods… ready to strike, ready to steal everything we have. Don’t you trust them for a minute. You hear me, son?”
Ron took a step back and looked us both over. His eyes narrowed on Preston, and my heart sunk, realizing he’d succumbed to his father’s suspicions.
“Then why are they so well dressed?” Ron asked, surprising me.
Jay wasn’t going to let his son or anyone tell him what to do. Not now. Not while his stomach was empty.
I watched through the doorway as the crowd of men, women, and children grew. The collected sounds of excitement, anger, and worry filled our tiny space, and it was clearly getting to Jay.
“Send the group back to the house. All of our supplies are ripe for the taking. We’re falling perfectly into these two’s plans,” Ron yelled at his son. “Don’t you see it?”
“I won’t, dad,” Ron said. “It’s time we all got to hear what they have to say.”
A small hum outside turned into a chant, “Cure. Cure. Cure.”
My heart pounding, I glanced at Preston who was studying the two men in front of us.
“I will not be responsible for my family’s death,” Jay said quietly to his son.
“We can get your family vaccinated. This can all be over,” I tried one last time, hoping the energy of the group congregating would persuade Jay to give us a chance to help.
I noticed a few of the women’s expressions suddenly change just as the chants turned to screams, shattering my hopes of delivering the truth. My blood chilled as I heard the familiar grunts of the undead—the stragglers, but I wasn’t scared of the undead. I was frightened of what Jay’s fear and delusion would push him to do.
The crowd scattered completely, leaving only the undead in view. Ron spun around and aimed his shotgun at the first of the three stragglers. Taking down the first, second, and third within seconds, I glanced over at Jay whose eyes were filled with an unyielding fury as he reached for his pistol.
“You brought them here. They followed your scent,” he snarled.
I heard the click of the trigger, but it was too late.

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