After years of struggling (and failing) to break through into the upper ranks of writing success, I have diligently studied the markets, library purchasing habits, and critical book reviews. Together with my new co-author, Ms. Collabone, I present the following book proposal, guaranteed to be a record setting bestseller. Coming soon from the first publisher wise enough to offer a five digit advance, we present this preview of:
A Tale of Forbidden Love
By M. Keaton and D. Collabone
Angst-ridden Sarah Plain is a sexually repressed Amish librarian who longs to meet that one special man to sweep her into his arms and carry her to a fulfilling life as a feminist author. When Mardi Gras erupts into a full-fledged zombie apocalypse, a lifetime of reading paranormal romance leaves the plucky red-head ill prepared when she meets the man who really does want to carry her away.
An epic romantic saga set in the quirky environs of Louisiana, Bitten Bonnet is both a compelling story and a scathing criticism of the evils of modern traditional society and the struggles of interracial relationships. Sarah's tale surpasses the previous standards of literary excellence and the digestive system. Filled with eccentric and complex characters, Keaton and Collabone have constructed an achingly tragic story of a love that burns beyond life itself.
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Hamish leaned against the split rail fence, watching the trail of smoke curling up from the distant city. "It is zombies, then?"
"Verily," Enoch replied, absent-mindedly pulling at his beard. "They have come for her. There is little we can do, I fear."
The centenarian shook his head sadly. "If only we could have known. If but once she had removed her bookish glasses and pulled the pins from her bun to let her burning tresses fall about her shoulders with passionate abandon--surely by such an act she would have betrayed her true nature as the hidden seductress, which the writings warn us is a veritable magnet for the undead."
"Or if we had seen the serpentine tattoo climbing sensuously up her back. But she did not. I tell thee, Hamish, it is too late and it vexes me. Is there naught we can do?"
"Nay, friend Enoch. As well ye know, we Amish have spent generations preparing for war with the vampires. Of zombies, we know little."
"Who then? Surely the Elders did not leave our world so vulnerable. Are zombies the province of the Mennonite then?"
"The Mennonite stand against the werewolves."
"Who then, Hamish? Tell me."
The old man sighed, removing his black hat and staring into it as if he could pull hope from within. "The Shaker," he said at last.
Enoch flinched as if struck and leaned against the fence with a pained groan. "Did they train any others?" he asked, desperation creeping into his voice.
"The Unitarians. But…" Hamish allowed his voice to drain away. The two men stood in silence, the wind smelling of smoke. "We can wait no longer. The zombies are now a matter for the bayou-dwelling heathens," he announced, suddenly resolute. "We must flee. Tell the other men to prepare the buggies. And take off those thrice-damned orange triangles; 'tis no time for frippery!"
His eyes burned as if worms of fire crawled within them. Swollen and unable to close, the sand-dry orbs tormented him, tempting him to claw them from their sockets, ringing his vision with a crimson mist as he writhed in the dirt. The hound dogs growled and fled from his frantic reach as he twisted between the cinderblocks that held up the trailer. His stomach burned worse than his eyes, consuming itself in a craving hunger.
He shouldn't have eaten that rabid 'coon, especially after he saw that it was wearing Mardi Gras beads but, dammit, he'd been hungry and he'd eaten worse--much worse. But now…
His stomach cramped, twisting in his gut like one of those TV aliens trying to get out. He howled in pain and the hounds howled back. He pulled a hand to his mouth and, without thinking, licked the dirt and dried blood away. Suddenly he found himself stuffing fists full of dirt into his mouth, desperate to eat anything, like a horse cribbing at its stall. So hungry. He howled again.
Above, through the paper-thin plywood of the trailer's floor, the sound sent cold chills up young Damien's spine. "Pop? What's wrong with Uncle Emmet?"
"Probably sobered up," his father replied around a cigarette. "Shut up and eat your paint chips. We got us a long night of scratchin' off lotto tickets if we're ever gonna make enough money to get outta this gov'mit-issued formaldehyde-smellin' trailer."
Another howl echoed through the floorboards, this time sounding suspiciously like a word. "Brains?"