Let me just say right up front… I LOVE MR TOM!!! His writing is phenomenal-ps I don’t like vampires- BUT I LOVE HIS VAMPIRES hahahaha yes, I stalk him lots! and NOW HE HAS ZOMBIES!!! eeeeeeehehehehehe!!! 🙂 buuut, I will not be sharing my review of this… or at least not just yet! Mr. Tom loves me and specifically asked me to be the last chapter of the tour- so I COULD HAVE THE BEST SPOT hahahaha LOL ok, now that’s probably not true. Everyone’s spot is important, because this tour has a spot for each of the chapters. 🙂 yep, you are going to read the last chapter HERE! so first I’m going to give you an intro, then I’ll post the stops that come before me, so you can read it in order, and then I’ll post my chapter. And last, I’ll post a giveaway 🙂 Here we go!
Hello everyone. Welcome to the Bloody Chunks Tour!
I’m Thomas Winship, author of Vaempires: The Evolutionary War—a vampire series that explores the question: what if vampires evolved?
For this book tour, I decided to do something a bit different. Instead of sharing excerpts, reviews, interviews, and all the usual accompaniments, I’m giving you the book itself—piece by piece.
Or chunk by bloody chunk!
This tour is the only place where you can read Vaempires: Zombie Rising, the next chapter in the vaempires saga, before its official release!
The tale of The Evolutionary War resumes in Væmpires: Zombie Rising.
Væmpires have taken control of twelve major cities. Their leader, Vielyn, seeks the atomic weapons that will bring the rest of the world to its knees.
Vampire forces are reeling. As Linq and Ray race to the royal estate to rendezvous with Cassandra and Daniel, the princess is captured and Daniel falls.
With the fate of world shifting to their teenage shoulders, Linq and Ray must deal with tremendous losses while battling a most unexpected—and undeadly—new foe.
This tour wouldn’t be possible without the time and efforts of a very special group of people, beginning with Silvia and Franny at Dark Mind Book Tours and including everyone on the list below. Please show your support by stopping by, commenting, and spreading the word!
I hope you enjoy Vaempires: Zombie Rising!
Mr. Tom, you KNOW WE WILL!!! 🙂 How cool right! This whole tour gives you a chapter of the book 🙂 I thought that was brilliant! 🙂 so now without further ado, I need to show you my chapter! 🙂 here it is…
Vaempires: Zombie Rising book trailer:
When he was a child, Linq had once watched—against his parents’ wishes—an uncensored documentary about the Great Devastation. Although several millennia in the past, the Devastation never stopped being of interest to the citizens of Tarados. For one thing, the birth of vampires was attributed to the actions and outcomes surrounding the cataclysmic event; for another, both humans and vampires seemed to share a deep-rooted and insatiable sense of morbid curiosity.
Although some information had survived the millennia, nothing had yet been discovered that definitively explained what had led to the Devastation. Theories abounded, but the average person had long since accepted the fact that the entire truth might never be known.
The documentary Linq watched hadn’t attempted to answer any questions; it had simply attempted to distill the event into a series of vignettes that captured the global horror on a smaller scale.
There were vignettes that showed skyscrapers toppling like dominos and bridges collapsing like children’s toys. There were vignettes that showed nuclear fireballs razing everything in their path. There were vignettes that showed the dead by the millions strewn around large cities.
Linq had watched them all. He hadn’t been unfazed, but he had been able to watch them with a certain amount of clinical detachment that prohibited scars from forming on his five-year-old psyche.
The final vignette had proved the exception. In that segment, the filmmaker had focused on a specific incident, an incident that paled in comparison to the others in terms of devastation, loss of life, and even overall impact.
The setting was an outdoor sports arena. It was filled to bursting with people, refugees from whatever devastation had been wrought upon the nearby city. A helicopter crew airlifting in pallets of food and essential supplies had taken the film.
The helicopter had hovered, trying to find a place to drop its pallets. The pilot had spoken into his headset, noting that the crowd wouldn’t move to clear the necessary room. In reality, the field had been so densely packed that the people couldn’t move.
The crowd had become impatient, and then violent, with people turning on one another like savages. Weapons were discharged. The pilot panicked. Bullets ricocheted through the cabin and the crew rushed to cut the pallets free so the chopper could ascend faster. They had released all but one pallet when a bullet struck something important and the chopper crashed to the field, crushing dozens of people beneath it.
None of the crew had escaped when the chopper exploded.
The scene then switched to a camera atop one of the pallets. The people closest were trying to tear it open while being crushed by the oncoming horde. Many were trampled.
A few yards away, a slight shift in the crowd created a small window of open space on the field, an area perhaps five by five wide, directly in the camera’s angle. A child lumbered into view—two, perhaps three, years old—a picture-perfect boy with hazel eyes and a bright smile. He was oblivious to the chaos around him.
The crowd surged toward the small clearing.
A woman jumped into view—she had to be the mother, because only a mother possessed that type of courage—reaching down and whisking the child into her arms a millisecond before he was crushed to death. The woman smiled.
And the camera stayed there, perfectly positioned to capture her face as the child was knocked from her grasp—the panic, the desperation, and the fear transforming her into something less than human—and she was swept away by the surging crowd.
And it was perfectly positioned to capture the child as he floated back to the ground, miraculously untouched and still smiling, to land on his feet, where he stood for an eternity—2.76 seconds, to be precise—before the wave of humanity washed over him, as well.
The last sight of the child was of his hazel eyes growing wide as he was driven to the ground, and then he was lost, buried beneath the sea of monster-sized legs.
At some time during the fracas, the camera had been destroyed. Linq had imagined it continuing to film, eventually capturing the aftereffects when the mother—who had undoubtedly survived, due to the cruel nature of fate—dug through the detritus to find her crushed, lifeless boy.
The images haunted Linq. He had been plagued by nightmares for months; nightmares in which he was crushed or trampled to death.
His parents had helped him through it. They hadn’t punished him for disobeying. They had never admonished him for watching the documentary. They had loved him, they had nurtured him, and over time, the nightmares had diminished. They never quite went away, though. He still suffered one now and again; even a decade later, his deepest fear was of being buried alive.
That original fear welled up inside Linq as the zombies washed over him. It was potent, despite the decade-long separation, raw and unfiltered, with the power to paralyze.
He had fought for far longer than possible, to no avail. There were just too many. He had been driven away from Ray, pushed and prodded and poked until he hadn’t known right from left, or even up from down.
At some point he had been driven to the ground, buried beneath a mass of undead bodies. He couldn’t move to fight back. A claw punctured his upper thigh. Fangs sank into his shoulder, his back, and his upper arm. And still the bodies pressed in, more and more, until there were so many that even the zombies were rendered immobile.
The pain was incredible, but nothing was as bad as being trapped and smothered beneath the weight of countless bodies. A scream welled up inside Linq. A scream of panic and despair and fear. The scream of that long-ago human mother mingled with Linq’s scream.
Linq could have died with the scream on his lips. He never found out. A sound, distant but familiar, reached him despite the sliding and shuffling of zombie bodies piled upon him. His fevered mind couldn’t place the sound, but it was repeated.
A ripple of warm air filtered down through the mass of cold, undead bodies, brushing against a cheek before dissipating.
He heard the familiar sound again. The mass of bodies shifted. He wasn’t certain, but it almost felt as if it shifted away from him.
Another sound. Another ripple of warmth. And then the mass definitely shifted, exposing a sliver of daylight. His heart leaped. The light winked out.
But not for long. Another wave of sound was followed by a deeper ripple of warmth and a stronger shift, exposing another sliver of light, which grew into a shaft of light.
And then the weight on him all but disappeared as Ray’s face came into view, framed between the remaining undead bodies.
“Hold on,” the blond teen said. Then he looked away, shouting, “He’s over here!”
Linq heard grunting as the bodies covering him were pushed, shoved, and blasted away. Now that he was back in control of his faculties, he recognized the telltale sound of laser and plasma weapons. The smell of scorched flesh drifted down, mingling with the rancid, cloying smell of undead væmpires.
In what felt like hours but were only moments, Ray and his mysterious assistant had cleared away all but the trio of zombies directly atop Linq. The zombies stirred as their limbs were freed, but Linq—channeling the residual energy from his near meltdown—exploded into a flurry of activity that sent the trio to whatever fate awaited them in their next life.
He rolled onto his stomach, and then climbed to a knee before pausing. He hadn’t the strength for anything else. Despite the battle around him, he closed his eyes for a few long seconds, happy to be alive.
Someone approached him. His senses recognized it as a vampire, so he didn’t resist when strong arms helped him to his feet.
“I’m good,” he said, nodding, and the hands released him. He stood on shaky legs, taking a deep breath before opening his eyes.
“I never doubted it,” a familiar female voice said.
“Jentice!” He turned to face his benefactor. She was short, perhaps five feet tall, and whipcord thin. Her military uniform was dirty and bedraggled, yet still looked good on her. Her cap, pulled down to just above her dark eyes, failed to fully contain the straight black hair poking out from beneath it.
“Hi, Linq,” she said, smiling. Her white teeth stood out in sharp contrast to her dark skin. They were dazzling. Then she threw her arms around him—as far as they could reach around his muscular frame, that is—and hugged him.
“Hey, don’t bruise him,” Ray quipped, causing them to step apart after a few glorious seconds. Linq may have stood there forever if he hadn’t said anything. “How are you?” Ray asked, concerned. Blood dripped from a gash on his forehead and he held one arm tight to his side.
“About as good as you, I would imagine, more or less.”
Ray smiled, but a pair of soldiers ran over before he responded.
“Sir,” a soldier with an earnest face said, standing before Jentice and saluting. “We’re cutting them down, but I’ve never seen anything like it. For all intents and purposes, they’re—”
“They’re dead,” Linq finished. “But they won’t go down for good unless you cut off their heads. A plasma burst might work, as well, but your best bet is to kill the væmpire responsible.” He described the female and explained where to find her.
The soldiers looked to Jentice for confirmation. She nodded to one. “Spread the word.” To the other, she said, “Bring these men a handful of synth-paks, and then rejoin the others.”
“We should help,” Ray said, beginning to move away, but Jentice stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“I brought plenty of help. An entire squad. You’ve done enough for now.”
Ray opened his mouth to protest, but the diminutive soldier silenced him with a stern look. When she was satisfied that he wouldn’t run off, she turned to Linq, her dark eyes flashing.
“I’ve been calling you all afternoon.”
Linq gave her a sheepish smile. Although the look on her face was dangerous, it couldn’t detract from her dark beauty. Until then, she had only been a small face on a vidscreen, attractive but remote. Standing before him, though, she was breathtaking, almost painful to look at.
He shrugged, feeling like an idiot for wondering what she was thinking about him. “We kind of got caught up in things here.”
The set of her mouth told him she was about to dress him down, but he was saved when the soldier returned with the synth-paks.
No one spoke while Linq and Ray tore into the paks with a savagery most unbecoming. They drained them in a flash. It was the most delicious thing Linq had ever tasted. Meanwhile, the battle continued around them—seeming distant and near at the same time—as the synthetic fluid began its miraculous work.
Linq sighed, feeling better. He caught Jentice’s eye. “Are you here to search the palace?”
She shook her head. “We came for you. And now that we found you, we need to move out as soon as possible.”
“I don’t understand,” he said, looking at Ray. The blond teen raised an eyebrow. “Is the comm system down again?”
“No,” Jentice explained. “The work-around you created is working pretty well, all things considered.”
“Then why are you looking for me?”
“Orders,” she said, shifting her dark eyes away from his. “We’re retreating.”
“What!” Linq and Ray cried out in unison.
She cut off anything further. “The decision came down from on high, guys. We’re falling back to a secure location a few miles outside the city.”
“I’m not abandoning Orion,” Ray stated, shaking his head.
Linq grabbed Jentice by the arm. She stiffened, but didn’t pull away. “Who decided this? Cassie?”
“Princess Cassandra hasn’t been seen since the attack—”
“Cassie’s alive!” Linq said, pleased to see the excitement in Jentice’s eye. “I spoke with her less than an hour ago. She came in here after Daniel …” A wave of horror rolled over him. He let go of Jentice, spinning around. “Oh God, where’s Daniel?”
Ray spit out a curse.
“Daniel’s here?” Jentice asked. Linq ignored her, but Ray turned with a sigh.
“He’s probably dead, Jentice. We found his body when we got here.”
Linq heard Jentice’s sharp intake of breath. He turned in a slow circle, trying to get his bearings. He had been standing by Daniel’s body when the zombies attacked. He remembered almost falling beneath their weight, stumbling away, trying to fight back as their combined mass pulsed and pushed against him. He remembered falling over, being borne away by the wave of undead bodies. He remembered slithering and sliding to the ground, where they fell upon him like mindless, quivering lumps.
He shuddered, shoving the memory aside for another day. He looking around, scanning through the scores of burned and blackened bodies. Then he saw it. “Over there,” he shouted, pointing to a small pile of bodies some twenty yards away.
Before they took off, the earnest-faced soldier rushed up. “I’m sorry, sir, we searched the entire hill around the tower, but there’s no body that matches the description you gave us.”
Ray cursed again. “I’ll check it out,” he told Linq. “You take care of Daniel.”
So Linq made the lonely walk toward his friend’s body. He wasn’t alone—Jentice walked beside him, solemn and silent, as the situation dictated—but he had never felt so alone.
Dead zombies were scattered around Daniel. Two were on him—one headless man was stretched across his chest, while a headless female rested against his leg. With a growl, Linq pushed the female aside, but he yanked the male up by the black night-fighter uniform and tossed him a dozen feet away.
He sank to his haunches next to Daniel, checking the body over. Aside from a bit more blood and gore, his fallen friend was no worse off than earlier. He was no better, either. Even with a spark of life left in his body, there should’ve been some indication.
Linq looked at his friend’s face, knowing it was the last time he ever would, and silent tears flowed. Jentice placed a hand against his back. He didn’t know how long he sat there, but she didn’t interrupt his mourning.
Someone ran up, feet scuffing to a stop. Ray dropped to his knees beside Linq.
“She’s gone,” Ray said, his voice tired. “I sent teams to search the estate, but she’s disappeared.” He turned to Jentice. “I also sent a squad after some zombies that took off through the east ward. If our theory is true and this chick somehow calls to them, it’s possible the zombies are following her. With any luck, they’ll lead us right to her.”
“We can’t take too long,” Jentice said. “Command issued the retreat order two hours ago.”
“I don’t care about that,” Ray countered. “That girl is too dangerous to be left alive. Plus, there’s still a chance Cassie is around here somewhere.”
Linq ignored the debate. He stood, reaching down to take Daniel’s body into his arms. Ray and Jentice looked at him, their faces pinched in puzzlement.
“I’m not leaving Daniel here for the scavengers,” Linq said. “I’m taking him into the palace’s medcenter before I decide what to do next.”
Ray stepped forward, his face grim. “I agree. But let me carry him. You need to link up with the troops chasing down those zombies.”
Linq didn’t want to relinquish his burden, but he recognized the wisdom in Ray’s words. He transferred Daniel’s body to Ray’s arms and consulted his wristband for the first time in what felt like hours.
The screen flashed with an overwhelming array of information. He flicked most of it aside, hoping against hope for the indicator he wanted most of all—a message from Cassandra.
He trudged behind Ray and Jentice, besieged by emotions: lingering relief at his last-second rescue, heartbreak over the loss of Daniel, increasing despair over Cassandra’s whereabouts.
The situation couldn’t be any worse.
He realized it was a mistake as soon as he thought it. Although he wasn’t superstitious, he believed it was never wise to challenge the universe.
He flicked through his messages, freezing when he saw one that hit him like a sledgehammer to the gut. The situation had indeed gotten worse.
His mother’s biorhythmic detector had failed.
Linq’s knees went weak, threatening to spill him to the ground. He felt lightheaded as he struggled to process the terrible information.
“Linq!” Ray shouted, turning toward him, his face a mask of alarm.
How does he know?
“Linq!” Ray shouted, seeming to jump in place. “We have to hurry. Daniel just twitched.”
Ray’s blue eyes burned. “He’s alive, Linq. He’s alive!”
HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!!!! so I ALMOST DIED when I read the first book…. and now…. I’M STILL DYING!!! 🙂 oh and PS, if you missed my tour post for book 1, Ray is my book boyfriend- for real!!! 🙂 yep, I’m in fictional boyfriend lust! 🙂 hehehe one day, maybe, I’ll bribe Mr. Tom into giving me Ray as a book boyfriend LOL 🙂 If you’d like to check out the first book, and the prequel, here ya go:
Book Trailer, Vaempires: White Christmas:
book trailer, Vaempires: The Evolutionary War:
Mr. Tom also has this link on his blog, with anything you may want to know about his books, so you can check that out HERE
About the Author:
Thomas Winship was born in Middletown, NY (USA) and still resides in Orange County. He holds an MBA in Management from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he serves as an adjunct professor of courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. He also spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training. Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, a mystery/legal thriller entitled Temporary Insanity (a.k.a. Case Closed), was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. His second novel, Væmpires: Revolution, was published in October and a follow-up novella, Væmpires: White Christmas, was published in December. He is an avid collector of books, comic books, music, and movies. His interests are diverse: on any given day, Tom is likely to be found watching a horror movie, attending a hard rock concert, or enjoying a Broadway show. He is currently working on the next installment of the “Væmpires” series, which is scheduled for a 2012 release.
and now, it’s time for me to off you a giveaway. Leave me a nice comment to win YOUR CHOICE of book 1, Vaempires: Revolution, OR Vaempires: Zombies Rising! 🙂 I know some of you haven’t read book 1, so you can chose which one you’d like. All you gotta do is leave me a comment. THIS GIVEAWAY WILL LAST ONE WEEK!. I am the end of the tour- except for the lovely Silvia, from Dark Mind Book Tours, with tomorrows wrap up post. But I want to make sure everyone has a chance to enter. So, I will pull a winner in a week.