Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas and...

Merry Christmas to everyone!


The review option is now available at Triggerestreet.com so if you enjoyed reading Rebirth, I'd really appreciate it if you could post a review...


Have a great holiday and I'll see you in the new year with the next episode.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Download and review Rebirth at Triggerstreet.com

Good news for those of you who were looking for a downloadable version of Rebirth!

I've made a PDF version of Rebirth available for download at Triggerstreet.com. If you want to download the whole thing, head over there and get your hands on it and don't forget to write a review. Even if you've already read it, please follow this link and write a review. Every review will help your favourite online novel rise up the charts...


Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Let the proof-reading begin!

That's right, I've finally got the sequel to Rebirth in a state that I'm happy for my proof-readers to take a look at. At the moment, it's an 80,000-word 119-chapter novel, although that may grow, shrink, or be consigned to the dustbin depending on the feedback!

Thanks to everyone who has contacted me and those of you who continue to visit the blog during this quiet period. I'm happy to see that people are still visiting and reading Rebirth from beginning to end. I'll be back when there's more news...

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Monday, 15 October 2007

Seems to me...

Just thought I'd share something with those of you who have been asking me about the new novel to keep you interested as the waiting continues...

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Just checking in and letting all of you who have read Rebirth know that the sequel is well on the way. The first draft is done and I'm going to have it ready for my wonderful proof readers before long. I'm also having the cover done by a friend who is a graphic designer and I have to say the drafts I've seen so far are very cool! All this is hopefully going to add up to a bigger and better novel that's going to be published on a brand new site I'm setting up.

Until then, make sure you check out DVDActive and take a look at my most recent reviews...
Thank You For Smoking
Death Proof
28 Weeks Later

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Rebirth featured at Blooking Central

Rebirth is the subject of an article on the definition of 'blooking' at Blooking Central, including an interview with yours truly...


Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Monday, 20 August 2007

Bat Breath Reveals The Identity Of A Vampire's Last Victim

It appears that vampire bats have discovered their equivalent of fast food:

"Vampire bats that live in Latin America have switched to blood meals from cattle instead of from rainforest mammals, ecological physiologists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the University of Aberdeen report in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B. They say that the conversion of rainforests ecosystems into livestock producing farmland resulted in the expansion of vampire bat populations in Latin America."

Click here to read the whole article

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Free eBooks for US readers

Publishers of thriller novels by some POD authors Breakneck Books are giving away eBooks of some of their top titles. All you need to do is follow the link below. Unfortunately the website is just open for US users at the moment...


Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Thursday, 9 August 2007

The End... for now

Tom Ryder will return.

I’d like to say thank you very much to everyone who has followed Rebirth as I have been publishing it. It started off as an experiment and I’ve made lots of good friends over the course of the last seven months. I’d love to hear from the rest of you who have followed my story but haven’t yet contacted me. My email address is s.a.mckenzie@gmail.com.

I am currently working on the sequel, which is going to be bigger and better than Rebirth but with the same horror/thriller mix. I’m about 50,000 words into the first draft and making quick progress. I will keep posting semi-regular updates and I’ve got a new online fiction site in the works so please subscribe using the links in the left-hand column to be notified of the latest news, including the publication date for the sequel.

If you enjoyed reading Rebirth, I’d like to ask a favour… I would be very grateful if you could post a short review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Lulu. You can find the links dotted around this page.

You can also nominate this blog in the creative writing category for the Manchester Blog Awards 2007. All you need to do is send the link to this page to mancblogawards@googlemail.com.

Thanks again

Until next time…

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Chapter 94: The Scientist

Roxy ended the call on her mobile phone without an answer for the fourth time. There had been no contact from any of her allies at The Brotherhood’s regional headquarters. She feared the worst. All the vampires she had trained to infiltrate The Brotherhood must have been killed.

Either the doctor had been killed in the battle or he had escaped, which meant they were starting from scratch again. The vampire community couldn’t know for sure how much the humans knew about the biology of vampires.

Of course, the vampires were doing their own scientific experiments. They had their own agenda, something similar to the humans’ plan but it would be ready to test far sooner.

Roxy lifted herself out of her chair onto a pair of crutches and hobbled down the dark hall to the laboratory door. It would be another day or so before her legs would finish healing completely after such a severe injury. She opened the door and took a step inside, telling the scientist working in the lab not to let her disturb him. She sat down on a stool on the opposite side of the workbench to the scientist and watched him work.

The scientist had two racks of bullets, a pistol, a small paintbrush and a small glass bowl of blood in front of him. One by one, he picked up the bullets, dipped the paintbrush in the bowl and coated them with a thin layer of blood. He then placed each bullet in the second rack to let them dry. When he had finished coating all of the bullets with blood, he picked one up and loaded it into the pistol.

‘Let’s see if it works,’ he said and got to his feet. Roxy followed him out of the door and across the corridor, into the room facing the lab. The room they found themselves in was bare and well lit. The only furniture in the room was a wooden chair, to which a gagged and naked man was tied. His face was soaked with sweat and he was white with fear.

The scientist pointed the pistol at the naked man and pulled the trigger. He flew backwards and struck the wall behind him, falling into a heap on the floor, still tied to the chair. Neither the scientist nor Roxy helped him up. The scientist took a stopwatch out of his pocket and pressed the button to start the timer.

‘How long until he turns, Doctor Forrest?’ asked Roxy.

‘Hopefully under an hour but I’m working on making it more fast-acting,’ he said.

‘When will we be able to execute the next phase of the plan?’

‘The day after tomorrow.’

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Monday, 6 August 2007

Chapter 93: Emily

Emily Owen was lying in her private cell in the police station. She had been there for two nights in a row. Captain Nash came round from time to time to bring her food and water and to apologise for the broken air conditioning system.

It’s like a sauna in here
, she thought to herself as she looked out of the window and wondered how it could still be so hot after the sun had set long ago. She got up and moved around, trying to generate movement in the air but it only made her feel worse. The only other option was putting her in the public cell with all of the recent arrests. She questioned whether that might be preferable, if only for a few minutes to cool down.

She was relieved when the Captain had told her that he had heard her husband was safe and well. She had feared the worst when she heard about the commotion downtown. Somehow she knew he was involved.

Andrew had told her that if she ever fell into the hands of the police then someone would try to collect her. According to him, she would be safer on her own than with the police but if there was no other option; she would have to re-join him. She had been very scared when the police arrived to pick her up but after two days of sitting around she thought her husband was probably just being his usual over-protective self and that she would be fine once he came to collect her.

She had been resistant to Nash’s questioning so far. He had only spent fleeting moments with her though. It seemed to her that he didn’t have a lot of time on his hands and was always rushing off to deal with something else.

There was a knock at the cell door followed by the familiar voice of Captain Nash. He opened the small flap in the metal door and peeked inside. ‘Emily, how are you doing in there?’

‘Same as before, still baking. I must be nearly done now.’

‘Again, I’m very sorry about this. As soon as we have a detective available to question you or we get rid of the suspects in the holding pen, we’ll be able to move you. I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while yet though.’

‘Can you bring me some more water please?’

‘Of course. I’m just going to get your dinner so I’ll bring plenty of water as well.’

Emily thanked Captain Nash and heard his footsteps move away from the cell door. Then she heard something else, something she wasn’t expecting.

The sound of glass shattering.

Then a woman’s scream.

Then a gunshot. Followed by another, and another.

The terrifying sound of gunshots, shouting and screaming seeped into the cell. Emily banged on the door.

‘Captain Nash! Captain Nash! What’s going on?’

There was no answer other than more screams.

She sat down on the bed and curled into a ball in the corner.

Something terrible is happening out there. It is anything to do with Andrew? Is this anything to do with

As suddenly as the noise had started, it stopped. There was silence from the corridor outside. The sound of footsteps made their way down the corridor and stopped at the door. The metal flap opened for a second, then slammed shut.

‘Captain Nash?’ Emily asked, her voice cracking with fear.

Again, there was no answer.

A key was placed in the lock and there was a loud clunk as the door swung open and hit the wall.

Emily didn’t recognise the man standing at the door with blood dripping down his face. He was dressed in black with a sword tied to his belt.

There was no one alive in the police station to hear Emily’s screams as he launched himself across the room and dragged her out of the cell.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Chapter 92: The Survivor

Night had fallen by the time reinforcements arrived at the base. Three gunships glided in through the mountains and touched down at the entrance. The heavy figure of General Graham stepped out of the leading gunship. Six soldiers jumped out of each gunship, drew their weapons and ran down the ramp into the base.

General Graham marched down the ramp behind them. He had been playing the call he had received over and over again in his mind. Their most remote regional headquarters had been overrun with vampires. Twelve bloodsuckers had somehow got into the base and killed everyone in sight. The only survivor was Captain Stein, who had made the call to national headquarters.

At least, he was a survivor when he made the call. ‘Vampires have infiltrated the base. They killed everyone. Everybody’s dead. The doctor and the test subject are gone. I’m dying. Come quickly.’

That was three hours ago.

The soldiers scattered all over the base. Each soldier reported back on their radio whenever they found a body. The updates came through thick and fast.

A body was lying face down surrounded by a large pool of blood with a sprinkling of ash on top. General Graham had to do a double take as he approached it. The body would have been lying face down if it had a face, but this body’s head was missing. Turning the body over, General Graham saw the stripes on the uniform and instantly knew whose head was missing. Next to the body laid a pair of legs that had been cut off at the knee.

My God, this was a massacre
, he thought. There hadn’t been an attack like this for a very long time. The vampires must be working towards something. Something bigger than this. But what?

General Graham picked up his radio and spoke into it. ‘Has anyone found the doctor or the test subject?’ All he got were negative responses, which meant they had either been captured or…

‘Two of the gunships are missing, sir,’ a soldier announced as he approached the general, ‘the inventory states they have three but only one is present outside.’

‘The doctor and the test subject must have escaped,’ said General Graham, ‘It is possible they are in some way responsible for this. The gunship has a tracking device on board. Find it.’

‘Yes sir!’ The soldier turned on his heels to march towards the communications office but noticed something on the floor. There was a lot of blood everywhere but the blood he saw in front of him was leading a trail into the office.

‘What is it, soldier?’ asked General Graham.

‘This trail of blood. I can’t believe I didn’t see it when we got here,’ said the soldier.

‘A survivor?’


‘Lead the way,’ said General Graham, who followed the soldier into the office. The trail of blood went round the desks and stopped at a blood-soaked telephone lying on the ground.

‘This must be where the call was made from,’ said the soldier.

‘That’s right,’ said General Graham, ‘but if Captain Stein had been lying here since he made the call, you would expect there to be a big pool of blood. The floor’s dry apart from a few spots.’

They both scanned their eyes over the floor and around the room. Where was the body that had left this trail of blood? Then General Graham felt something lightly tap him on the shoulder. He turned around but no one was there. He wiped his shoulder with his hand and looked at it.

Blood. Where…

Very slowly, General Graham raised his eyes and looked to the ceiling. He took a step back and exclaimed ‘Oh my God!’ The soldier turned round and looked up.

There was Captain Stein, seemingly stuck to the ceiling, looking down at them with vacant eyes and a ghostly white face. He didn’t have any legs below the knees. Captain Stein opened his mouth to show his long pointed canine teeth and opened his arms out wide then dropped from the ceiling onto the soldier’s back, clawing at his neck with his long, sharp finger nails.

Before he could sink his teeth into the soldier’s neck, General Graham delivered a hard boot to the body of Captain Stein, who let go of the soldier and landed in the corner of the room. General Graham and the soldier both raised their guns and the vampire stopped moving.

‘Don’t move, Captain!’ the general shouted, ‘Are you okay, soldier?’

‘I’m fine. Should we shoot him?’

General Graham first instinct was to give the order, but he looked into the eyes of the vampire. Was there any sense in turning Captain Stein into just another pile of ash?

‘No,’ he said, ‘he was useless as a Captain but he may yet be of some use to us as a vampire.’

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Chapter 91: Escape

Private Skinner hit the button to reverse the lock-down and we made our way out of the base. We ran across the summit of the mountain to a helicopter. I could feel my skin start to boil in the blazing sunshine as we jumped on board.

‘Jesus Christ,’ Agent Simpson exclaimed, ‘look at your skin!’

The doctor looked at my face, which felt like I had been lying in the sun all day. In reality I had been in direct sunlight for about thirty seconds.

‘Lie down, Detective,’ said Doctor Owen, ‘I need to give you another shot.’

Private Skinner sat down in the cockpit and started the helicopter’s engine. His face did not appear to have been affected by the sun as much as mine. We lifted off and the doctor plunged the needle into my arm. I wondered if the treatment would make any difference.

Have I gone too far down the path to turn back?

In a few seconds I felt the treatment start to take hold and the familiar burning started to spread all over my body. Trying to ignore the pain, I reflected on my actions.

I had new powers. I could fly through the air. I had super-strength. I had psychic abilities.

In the hangar, the human side of me had been unable to control my actions. I had become an unstoppable killer with a lust for blood. I didn’t want these powers though, not if it meant I had to feed on human blood to stay alive.

I realised the human community wasn’t much better. The Brotherhood had become corrupt and had an agenda of hate. The only chance I had was to stick with these three people. They were good people who wanted the best for me and the rest of the human and vampire races. I felt my new powers drain from my body and tried to be hopeful for the future as I drifted into unconsciousness.

But somewhere deep inside me, a new instinct remained. It wanted me to keep these powers. It wanted me to join my new brothers and sisters. It wanted me to complete my rebirth as a vampire and stay that way.


Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Chapter 90: Mission Accomplished

As the door closed and the siren stopped, two vampires immediately headed towards the armed soldiers, who both fired silver bullets but failed to make contact. The soldiers were lifted off their feet and carried high into the air before being dropped. They both hit the ground on their heads, breaking their necks with a loud crack, leaving their heads pointing at an unnatural angle.

Commander North was shouting obscenities and taking pot shots with his pistol. His shots hit one of them, then another, then a third. For all his apparent faults as a leader, he was a good shot. He was certainly a man to be feared, whether you were human or vampire.

The remaining two vampires flanked the commander and flew in a circle around him, making it difficult for him to aim. He fired shot after shot from his pistol but failed to hit them. Before long, he was out of ammunition.

As soon as he started to reload, the vampires swooped down and grabbed him, lifting him off his feet. Hanging in the air only ten feet above us, one vampire held the commander’s legs, the other held his arms and they fed on his aging body.

He screamed in agony and dropped his pistol, which shattered into many pieces as it hit the stone floor. Commander North’s blood poured from his body and collected in large pools on the ground. When there was no more energy left in his body, he stopped struggling and screaming but the vampires continued to feed.

‘What are we going to do?’ asked Agent Simpson, ‘As soon as they’re finished with him, they’ll come for us.’

The pain in my stomach hadn’t subsided completely and my new instincts were telling me to join my brothers above and feed on the commander’s convulsing body but I knew deep down inside me that I had to protect our small band of resistance. The four of us were a mismatched group of humans and vampires but we all shared one motivation: to rid the world of the conflict between vampires and The Brotherhood.

I saw the commander’s silver sword hanging from his belt and knew I had to get up there. I had to kill the last two vampires and get us out of here.

I felt the blood drain all the way down my body to my feet. The muscles in my legs felt hot and tight, like they had been pumped up after months of training. I jumped into the air and immediately felt the blood rush back up through my body to my fingertips. I felt like I was flying. My body kept rising and rising. I reached the commander and drew the silver sword from his belt. The vampires looked up with shock on their blood-drenched faces. They didn’t expect to see anyone else up there with them.

In one fluid movement I spun round, slicing through their heads with the commander’s silver sword. They let go of the commander’s body but I caught him by his collar before he fell. The blood spread evenly throughout my body and I slowly descended to the floor through a flurry of ash falling from the burning vampires.

The commander was still alive when I touched down. He was struggling to breathe though, let alone talk. We looked into each other’s eyes.

Something struck me. If we were to leave this place and try to survive on the outside, we would need some leverage over the vampires and The Brotherhood.

I gripped what little hair the Commander had on the top of his head and swung my sword through his neck, separating his head from his body.

His body landed in a heap on the floor and I held his head in front of me, looking into his dead eyes.

Mission accomplished.

‘Tom, what have you done?’

‘I have an idea.’ I said as I walked over the doctor, still with Commander North’s head in my hand. I threw it to him and he caught it with both hands, splattering blood all over his coat.

‘Put it in the box, we’re taking it with us.’ The doctor looked scared and confused but he did as I said.

‘Trust me,’ I said. The look on everyone’s faces told me it would be a while until they trusted me again.

‘What are you going to do now?’ shouted Captain Stein, ‘You’ve killed a commander of The Brotherhood. There are almost certainly more troops on their way here now and it’s only a matter of time until they track you down. They will kill you all. You’re too dangerous now.’

‘I know,’ I said and walked over to Captain Stein, still holding Commander North’ silver sword. I swung the sword and cut off Captain Stein’s legs just below the knees. He sunk to the floor screaming in agony.

‘What are you doing, Tom? Stop it’ shouted Agent Simpson. Private Skinner ran over and grabbed me by the shoulders but I turned round and pushed him away.

I returned to Captain Stein and held him down. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘your legs will grow back.’ On that note, I opened my mouth to reveal my extended canine teeth and sunk them into his neck. Captain Stein screamed again. His painful cries satisfied my lust to inflict pain on him.

The blood pouring down my throat was warm and sweet. I had never tasted anything like it. I felt as if I could feed forever but it was short-lived. I felt many hands on my shoulders and I was pulled away from him. I wiped the blood from my mouth and I lay on my back on the cold floor of the hangar.

With the hunger of the vampire in me satisfied, the human in me started to talk to me again. I had killed four people in cold blood and cursed another with a terrible infection.

Dear God, what have I done?

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Chapter 89: Help Arrives

‘Answer me, Captain,’ screamed Commander North as the soldiers grabbed the guns from our hands, ‘what’s going on? Why are there vampires in my base?’ His voice echoed around the massive stone hangar.

‘The vampires are casualties from the attack on Hartley House,’ said Captain Stein, ‘They were brought to the base by a vampire who had infiltrated the ranks.’

Commander North moved towards us but didn’t lower the volume of his voice. ‘And where are you going in such a hurry? Why aren’t you armed?’

‘The doctor, the detective and Private Skinner want to leave the base,’ Captain Stein answered.

‘The guinea pig? Not a chance.’ Commander North walked up to me and looked my directly in the eye. ‘Do you know how much pain we’ve been through to get to this point? Do you know how long we’ve waited for the doctor to complete his work?

‘There’s never been anyone like you, someone we can learn so much from so don’t think you’re ever going to get out of here. The contents of your body are more important than your life. The doctor is going to cut you up into as many tiny little pieces as it takes to find a way to kill these fuckers.’

The doctor stepped forward. ‘I’ll do no such thing.’

The commander moved over to stand toe-to-toe with the doctor. ‘Yes you will, because if you don’t, you’ll end up just like your lab assistant.’

I immediately knew what he meant by that comment. We had been completely wrong about who had killed Danny Johnson and destroyed the lab at Mantek.

‘It was you!’ I exclaimed. ‘You blew up the lab! Why?’

‘The secondary treatment, Detective. It was a pointless diversion that was wasting our time and money. We had to take extreme measures to get the doctor’s work back on track.’ Commander North talked about killing the innocent lab assistant like it was nothing. Just the means to an end.

I was starting to feel intense heat flowing all over my body. More than anger at the methods of The Brotherhood, I could feel something unnatural happening inside me. I was terrified that I would turn into a full-blown vampire in front of the Commander. Even though he wanted the doctor to experiment on me, I was convinced he wouldn’t think twice about turning me into ash if I became unable to control my urges as a vampire.

‘But why kill my assistant?’ the doctor asked.

‘An acceptable loss. Your work on the secondary treatment had to be destroyed to refocus your efforts. He happened to be there. It was unfortunate but necessary to cover our tracks.’

‘You’re crazy,’ said Agent Simpson, ‘this is not what The Brotherhood stands for. Doctor Owen’s work has shown that we can find a vaccine that will allow us to co-exist. That must be the primary treatment. The Brotherhood was formed by the need for the two species to co-exist.’

‘That is no longer the view of The Brotherhood and you know that, Agent Simpson. The directives come from the top.’

‘But you’re a Commander,’ she pleaded, ‘You have influence over the decision makers. Tell them what we are working on and once they see what we have learned and achieved so far, they will allow us to continue.’

‘I can’t do that, ‘ said Commander North, ‘it is the widely held view that the primary treatment can be developed a lot quicker and it will be more effective. I don’t even know why I’m arguing with you. You’re staying here and that’s the end of it.’

When it felt like all was lost, I felt a new sensation surge through my body. It was the warm feeling of belonging and it was getting stronger. I looked at the door that led down to the lab. Just as it was about to finish closing, five bodies flew through the gap.

My vampire brothers are here to help me.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Chapter 88: Wiped Out

Things weren’t going much better for the squad trying to deal with the vampires deep in the heart of the base. They had managed to kill seven of the bloodsuckers, but now the remaining five had split up and each had headed in different directions down the maze of corridors. Instead of a full head-on assault, they now had to search the labs and pick them off one by one.

The soldiers’ numbers were also dwindling. There were bodies strewn all over the floor, some of them lying dead, their necks broken, others screaming in agony as they failed to pull themselves onto their feet with broken legs, arms and deep gushing wounds. The floor was awash with blood, which squelched under the feet of Colonel Evans as he edged his way along the corridors.

The attack had been swift and brutal. As soon as the first squad of soldiers had entered the morgue, they were wiped out almost immediately. The vampires had pounced on them from all angles, beating them with their newly discovered strength and flew out of the morgue to find their next victims.

The next squad to arrive managed to kill a few of them but didn’t last much longer. Once they had turned the corner of the corridor, they scattered in many directions.

Colonel Evans knew that splitting up would leave them vulnerable to attack. If the vampires made a move from their separate positions towards the summit of the base, a soldier could kill some of them but one or two might be able to get past them. If that happened, then they would be chasing them towards the senior officers at the surface rather than holding them below ground.

If that happened, it would spell the end of the base. Everyone would die and there would be five new vampires on the loose. It would soon be getting dark outside and the vampires would be able to make their escape back to the city.

Evans opened the door to another lab, pointing his rifle in every direction until he was satisfied there were no surprises waiting for him. He stepped back into the corridor and saw one of his men at the end.

‘This room’s clear,’ Evans announced.

‘All clear up here as well,’ the soldier said and waved to him. As soon as the words had left his lips, a vampire launched itself through the window of a lab further up the corridor. Before the soldier could fire a shot, his head had been turned a full one hundred and eighty degrees by the vampire’s powerful hands, which then picked up the soldier’s rifle and disappeared around the corner.

Colonel Evans gave chase. As he turned the corner, he wasn’t expecting to see the vampire immediately in front of him, pointing the rifle at his chest. Eight silver bullets penetrated Colonel Evans’ body before he hit the ground.

* * * *

The vampire felt the presence of approaching soldiers before it heard their footsteps. One was approaching from directly behind him but he could feel the presence of one of his kin in the same corridor. The sound of footsteps and a weapon being loaded was closely followed by a smashing window and a voice letting out its last scream.

That’s one less soldier to deal with.

Another soldier was running down the corridor, directly ahead. Before he could shoot, another vampire had jumped out from a corner and with one hand, cracked his head open against the wall. His body slipped down the wall, leaving a bloody trail behind.

More soldiers were killed to his left and right. One had his neck broken and the other blew his own brains out while pinned in a corner.

Humans are so weak
, the vampire thought to itself. How could I spend so long as a human when I could have had powers like this?

With all of the soldiers in the area dead, the five remaining vampires gathered together and started to run in the direction of the summit. They could all sense the faint presence of more vampires. Their sixth sense was guiding them towards two of their brothers.

As they got closer and closer, a deafening siren sounded and heavy metal doors at regular intervals along the corridors slowly began to close. They darted around the closing doors until they saw the red glow of the outside world disappearing behind a closing door.

If they were quick enough, they could just make it.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Monday, 23 July 2007

Chapter 87: Reaching The Summit

We ran as fast as our legs would carry us up the long sloping corridors of the base, working our way towards the summit. We managed to avoid all the soldiers running to help the squad trying to fend off the vampire invaders by ducking in and out of various rooms along the way.

As much as I didn’t want to believe him in the lab, Private Skinner was right. The pain in my stomach was starting to subside. The buzzing in my brain that told me vampires were nearby had relented but I didn’t know if that was because the virus was wearing off or if it was because we were just getting further away from the machine gun fire and screams behind us. The pessimistic realist in me suspected the latter.

‘You’re not going to get out of here,’ said Captain Stein, finally breaking his silence as we slipped into an empty dormitory to keep out of sight of another squad of soldiers going to meet their maker.

‘It’s only a matter of time until Commander North hits the button to lock down the base. Every security door will close and you’ll be trapped down here along with the rest of us.’

Captain Stein had been keeping far too quiet to not be hiding something from us. He knew the procedure all along and was biding his time waiting for the lock-down, but I suspected that we were close to the top of the base. We had been sneaking around for a while and I thought Captain Stein was trying to put us off as a last resort.

‘But won’t that trap your men in the same rooms as the vampires?’ asked Agent Simpson.

‘That’s right. When they turn, they’ll feed on the soldiers but all we have to do is leave the doors locked and wait for them to starve. Then we can pick them off one by one.’ There wasn’t a hint of regret in Captain Stein’s voice.

‘That’s barbaric.’

‘That’s life, Agent Simpson. Can you think of a better option? Another more humane way of getting rid of them? God knows these guys won’t be able to kill all of them.’

Agent Simpson didn’t say anything. She just stared at Captain Stein like her eyes were burning a hole in his head. ‘I thought not,’ he snarled.

‘Come on,’ said Doctor Owen, ‘we’d better keep moving. We’re nearly there.’

Private Skinner picked up the pace and we kept up with him until we turned our last corner. We found ourselves in the main hangar, where we had entered the base only a matter of hours before. Ahead of us a cloud-filled red dusk sky peeked through the open door at the top of the ramp leading out to the summit.


With a metallic clunk, the door to the summit started to close and a loud repetitive siren started to wail.

‘There it is,’ said Captain Stein, ‘we’re now on lock-down. You may as well turn yourselves in now.’

I heard a gravely voice behind us bellowing over the siren. ‘Captain Stein, what the fuck is going on?’

We spun round to face Commander North, who was standing with two soldiers. All three of them were armed to the teeth and had itchy trigger fingers.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Chapter 86: Watching The Massacre

Commander North stood in the operations room, his blood boiling as he witnessed the massacre of his men. With every scream he heard over the radio, he knew the vampires were making their way towards the summit of the base.

The two men in the operations team were trying to guide the soldiers around the corridors but the vampires were too fast for them. They would have sent more soldiers down into the base if there were any more to send. Within a matter of minutes they would all surely be dead.

Then North saw a small group running in the wrong direction. ‘Why are they coming back up here?’

‘They’re not soldiers, sir,’ said one frantic member of the operations team as he rubbed his eyes and stared at one of the many screens in front of him. ‘That’s Captain Stein, Private Skinner, Doctor Owen and the civilian male and female that arrived earlier, sir.’

‘Shit,’ North remarked, ‘why are they coming up here?’

‘Stein is unarmed, sir. It appears that Private Skinner is leading them towards the summit at gunpoint.’

‘How many men are left down there?’

‘Not many sir. There’s only two or three left and the vampires won’t take long to reach us.’

‘Has Private Skinner made contact?’

‘Negative, sir. He has not answered our attempts to contact him.’

Commander North weighed up his options and knew he had to take drastic action, even at the expense of Doctor Owen. The vampires must not be allowed to escape, but there’s something else going on here with Captain Stein and Private Skinner.

‘Lock down the base.’

‘Sir, are you sure? That means…’

‘I know what it means, soldier. Lock down the base then pick up your guns and follow me.’

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Beginning, Middle and End

I've just done my first guest blog post for a very cool site called Novelr. They focus on blog publishing of novels and have a lot of good tips for aspiring writers.

I've thrown in my two cents about the need for everyone who is publishing novels in a blog to make sure they keep going to the end. Just follow the link below...

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Chapter 85: New Instincts

‘You’re with them?’ Captain Stein shouted at Private Skinner, but the soldier and everyone else in the lab ignored him.

‘Have they been reborn?’ asked Agent Simpson.

‘Yes,’ said Private Skinner, ‘they’ve just woken up and they’ve already fed on one of the men. A squad is holding them back down the hall but they’ll be on top of us very soon.’

Skinner looked at me, seeing something in me that the doctor and Agent Simpson hadn’t mentioned. ‘My God, you look terrible. Are you okay?’

‘I’ve felt better,’ I said.

‘You’re really starting to turn. We have to get you out of here before you’re completely consumed.’

‘Wait,’ said the doctor, ‘we need to take the samples with us.’

I yanked Captain Stein’s rifle out of his hands and pointed it at him. Doctor Owen removed the scalpel from his neck and started to work with Agent Simpson to put as many samples as possible into the steel boxes.

Private Skinner was standing at the opening to the lab where the door used to be. A squad of soldiers ran down the corridor to meet him.

‘What’s going on?’ one of them asked him.

‘Vampires in the morgue,’ said Private Skinner, ‘they sneaked in and now they’ve woken up.’

The soldier spotted me pointing the gun at Captain Stein and the tone of his voice changed. ‘What’s going on in here?’

‘The Captain is one of them. He smuggled the vampires into the base with the dead bodies from the attack on Hartley House. We’ve arrested him.’

I was sure the soldier didn’t buy it but more gunfire distracted his attention and he led the men down the corridor.

‘Have you got everything?’ Skinner asked.

‘We’ve got enough,’ said the doctor, ‘let’s get out of here.’

I took a step outside the lab and immediately saw the flashes of gunfire from the end of the corridor. Private Skinner led everyone away from the commotion. I saw the limp, bloody body of a soldier fly through the air, hit the wall and land in a heap on the floor, followed by another flash of gunfire.

A vampire soldier ran round the corner towards me. I looked closer and saw one of his arms was burning, leaving a trail of ash on the floor behind him. He was still running towards me as the burning took hold of his entire body. I raised my gun to shoot but his body had completely disappeared before I could pull the trigger and a cloud of ash hit me in the face.

A soldier appeared at the end of the corridor. ‘Where did he go?’

‘You got him. He’s dead,’ I shouted.

‘Thanks.’ He noticed the Captain being marched down the corridor by Doctor Owen. ‘Hey, what’s going on there? Where are you taking the Captain?’

‘He’s being arrested,’ I said, trying to look convincing again, ‘don’t worry about it.’

‘What do you mean, he’s being arrested? For what?’ He started to walk towards me.

‘He’s one of them. He’s the reason we’ve got vampires in the base.’

‘I don’t believe you. What’s going on?’ He pointed his rifle at me.

‘Look, we’ve got all this in hand. We’ll take care of the Captain and you take care of the vampires.’

Trying to give an order to a soldier isn’t a good idea at the best of times but it’s definitely not recommended if his squad mates are being taken apart by a team of invading vampires.

‘Don’t you talk to me like that, you little rat. Who the hell are you to be giving me orders? I want to talk to the Captain.’ He spoke into his radio. ‘Colonel, get another squad down here, the Captain has been captured by the cop. Something funny’s going on.’

‘We’re on our way,’ was the reply from his radio.

Private Skinner tried to back me up. ‘He’s right. Captain Stein has been showing the signs of becoming a vampire.’

All this time, Captain Stein was keeping his mouth shut. Either he was resigned to helping us get out of the base, or, which I thought was the more likely option, he had something else up his sleeve. After all, this was only one soldier against four of us.

I pointed my rifle at the soldier. ‘Get back to work, soldier.’

‘Don’t point that at me, you…’ I didn’t give him chance to finish his sentence before pulling the trigger and blasting his body with silver bullets.

‘Oh my God, Tom. What are you doing?’ said Agent Simpson.

I didn’t say a word. I’d killed three soldiers without thinking twice about it. I’d have no problems killing more of them if they stood between us and freedom. Doctor Owen had told me the future of the human race depended on both of us staying alive, and I believed him.

We have to survive. Whatever it takes

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Monday, 16 July 2007

Chapter 84: The Voice

I was lying on the bed, strapped down and looking up at the armed soldiers who were frantically looking at each other, desperate for someone to tell them what they should do. They were shouting at the doctor, telling him they wouldn’t shoot him if he put the scalpel down. I heard Captain Stein shouting, saying we were all going to die anyway so the doctor may as well let him go.

Through the commotion, I heard the hushed voice of Doctor Owen. I couldn’t see him but I could hear his voice echoing in my mind.

‘You can break free of your bonds, Detective. You saw how the vampires channel their energy. Channel your energy to your arms and break free.’

I thought of the vampire the doctor had chopped up, then I concentrated on my arms. Do I have the same power? Can I break through the straps with the same ease?

I pictured my arms breaking free of the straps. As soon as I started to struggle, I felt a warmth flow through my arms. It wrapped around my bones and muscles and my arms felt like they were ready to burst with the pressure.

Without really struggling, the straps ripped like they were made from paper and my arms were free. I looked down at my feet and pictured them breaking free of the straps. The warmth moved from my arms, down through my body to my legs. The straps binding my legs also ripped apart.

‘Holy shit!’ exclaimed one of the soldiers, and turned his rifle towards me. No sooner had Stein shouted ‘Shoot him!’ than I leapt to my feet, snatched the rifle from the soldier’s hands and smashed him in the face with the butt. With one blow, blood sprayed from his mouth onto the wall and his neck made a loud crack. He fell to the floor unconscious, his legs and arms twitching.

The other soldier took a step towards me and before he knew what had happened, he had received a blow to the nose from the butt of my rifle. Following up with a kick in the chest, he flew backwards, crashing through the lab door. That just left Captain Stein to deal with.

I turned to him. His face was a contorted mix of horror and anger. ‘You won’t get out of here, Detective. You won’t even get down the hall. As soon as my men find you, they’ll kill you.’

‘That’s why we’re taking you with us,’ said the doctor.

I heard the sound of gunfire from outside the lab. Private Skinner appeared at the door. The look on his face told me exactly what he was about to say.

‘We have to leave. Right now.’

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Rebirth wins Book Of The Year award

I am very pleased to report that Rebirth has been awarded the Unpublished Book Of The Year award by Spinetinglers.

"I am delighted to announce that the winner is Rebirth by Scott McKenzie. Rebirth is an excellent book, the type which draws you in from the very beginning and holds you until the very end. In fact if you manage to put it down at all you will be doing something which our reviewers couldn't do."

"Congratulations Scott on writing Rebirth and we'd like you to hurry up and write another book, so that we have another excellent book to read."

Don't worry, the sequel is well underway...

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Chapter 83: Feeding

Private Skinner could sense the presence of vampires. They were very close. He heard a commotion from the lab as he turned the corner at the end of the corridor.

He considered turning round to go to his new friends’ aid but realised that he was the only person who had a chance of taking care of the imminent threat.

The heavy metal door to the morgue was open. Not only was it open, it was hanging from its hinges and the soldier that had been standing at the door was no longer there. Private Skinner raised his rifle and moved forward in small steps.

There were no other rooms near the morgue, no other doors lining the corridor. The vampires had been reborn and the morgue was the only place they could be. There was nowhere else they could have gone without being seen by everyone in the lab.

Light was spilling into the morgue from the fluorescent lights in the corridor, illuminating the room and casting a long shadow of Private Skinner as he reached the doorway. He looked into the morgue, trying to adjust his eyesight to the darkness from the clinical white glare that lit the rest of the base.

For a few moments, he saw nothing but his senses told him something was lurking in the shadows. He closed his eyes and listened for a sign.

There it is.

He heard the sound he had dreaded but all the time knew was coming. The sound of tearing flesh, the slurping of blood.

Someone, some
thing is feeding in here.

Private Skinner’s eyes adjusted to the low light and he laid eyes on what he had heard.

Twelve vampires, all feeding on the body of the soldier that had been standing outside the morgue not five minutes ago, thinking that guarding dead bodies was the easiest job in The Brotherhood. The uncontrollable hunger of twelve newborn vampires meant that they had already reduced the body to almost a bare skeleton. Only a few pieces of dry flesh hung from the soldier’s bones.

It was only a matter of time before the new vampires felt something click in their minds. They were becoming aware of a new talent: the ability to sense the presence of their new brothers and sisters. All at once, the twelve of them turned their blood soaked heads around to look at Private Skinner.

They all got to their feet and started to take steps towards the door. One more new talent hit them: the ability to sense danger. Even though they instinctively knew the man at the door was one of their brothers, he was not to be trusted.

Before Private Skinner could squeeze the trigger of his rifle, all twelve of them had scattered around the morgue, heading for the darkest corners they could find. The machine gun fire lit up the room for a second and the bullets rattled off the metal fixtures but failed to find a target.

Private Skinner knew he wouldn’t be able to hold his own against these vampires with a rifle that was quickly running out of ammunition so he turned on his heels and made his way out of the morgue as quickly as he could. Unable to lock the door behind him, he kept peppering the doorway with bullets, hoping to keep the advancing vampires at bay but it wouldn’t be long before they broke out of the morgue and overran the base.

As he turned the corner, he met a squad of four soldiers coming the other way. ‘What the hell’s going on?’ one of them asked.

‘Vampires in the morgue,’ Private Skinner replied, ‘Twelve of them. If they get out of there, we’re all dead.’

‘We can’t let them get out then,’ said the soldier as he flicked his rifle’s safety catch. Private Skinner continued running in the opposite direction as gunfire behind him echoed down the corridor.

If he and his new friends in the lab were going to make their escape from The Brotherhood, it was now or never.

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Man beats "vampire" peacock to death

No joke...

"Police say they've collared the man they believe administered a fatal beating to a peacock because he thought it was a vampire."


Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25

Chapter 82: Strapped Down

This is not happening. This is not happening.

First I get bitten by a vampire, then I get forced to join a fanatical group of killers and to top it all off, I’m going to be sliced open in the name of science.

One of Captain Stein’s soldiers held me down while the other strapped me to the bed. Stein was wide-eyed and manic, brandishing his gun, threatening to shoot anyone who tried to help me.

Private Skinner was still armed though, our man on the inside from the other side. He was our only hope.

‘What is your problem? Why are you doing this?’ I asked Captain Stein, not expecting a reasonable answer.

‘You’ve been bitten, Detective. You will turn into a vampire and I can’t take the risk. Just over a year ago I lost an outpost in a vampire attack. It happened again last night. I swear I will not let it happen again. All you are good for now is parts for the doctor to run tests on.’

I had resigned myself to that fact several hours ago but I didn’t want all my parts to be separated and experimented on at the same time. Dying wasn’t part of the plan. Not at this point anyway.

‘But the doctor can help him,’ pleaded Agent Simpson, ‘he’s working on the treatment and we have already used it to slow down the effects.’

‘How many times do I have to tell you, Agent Simpson? The primary treatment is the only way forward and it is the only treatment the doctor should be working on. I will not rest until every vampire is turned to dust. Now use this man’s body to find a way for me to rid the world of this curse.’

Captain Stein was not going to change his opinion. He had already gone too far down the path of The Brotherhood and killing vampires was all he knew. His hatred was etched into his mind by ignorance and endless brainwashing by his superiors. It was too late for him to begin questioning his orders.

‘There has to be another way. Killing this man will not bring us any closer to any kind of treatment.’ The doctor tried in vain to bring a sense of reality back to the proceedings.

‘Chopping this man up will provide you with more samples. The more samples you have, the better your chance of finding the primary treatment. You said that yourself. I don’t want any excuses, Doc. Get to work.’

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, there was a series of loud bangs and a painful scream from outside the lab.

Is it the vampire soldiers? Have they been reborn before Private Skinner could dispose of the bodies?

‘What was that?’ exclaimed one of the soldiers.

‘I’ll go and check it out,’ said Private Skinner, and headed out of the door after getting the nod from Captain Stein. He gave me a passing glance as he walked past me. This vampire was our only chance of getting out of here and he had run away to look for his brothers. I hoped he knew what he was doing.

Captain Stein ordered one of his men to strip me. The soldier leaned over me and ripped my shirt open. Doctor Owen reluctantly leaned over me with a look on his face that told me he didn’t know how to get out of this situation. He looked into my eyes inquisitively and placed a finger on my lower jaw, opening my mouth. When he was sure no one else could see his face, he winked at me then reeled backwards.

‘What’s wrong, Doc? Stop stalling,’ said Captain Stein.

‘Look at his teeth,’ the doctor said, his voice trembling.

Captain Stein leaned over again, but before he could look into my mouth, Doctor Owen grabbed him by his shirt collar and held a scalpel at his neck, pressing it against the flesh next to his Adam’s apple. The soldiers gripped their rifles and pointed them in the doctor’s direction but the looks on their faces told me they had no idea how to handle this situation.

‘Get back!’ the doctor shouted at the soldiers.

‘You’ve no idea what you’ve just done,’ said Captain Stein in a cool, assertive voice that contrasted the predicament in which he found himself, ‘you can forget about your work now, Doc. You’re a dead man.’

‘That’s wrong and you know it, ‘said Doctor Owen, ‘you need me to complete the work on the primary treatment. If that’s what you want then that’s what you’ll get but I will not cut this guy up for no good reason. He doesn’t deserve it.’

‘Doctor Forrest’s still out there,’ said Captain Stein, ‘you’re not the only expert in this town. It’s not like you’ve produced anything useful anyway.’

‘How can you say that after all we’ve seen today? We have made giant leaps in understanding vampire anatomy. If that’s the way you feel then I quit. I’m getting out of here.’

‘You quit? You can’t do that. I won’t let you leave here. Agent Simpson, shoot the doctor,’ Stein ordered.

‘I’m afraid I can’t do that,’ she said, ‘I agree with Doctor Owen. We should be focusing our efforts on the secondary treatment. I can’t go along with your methods any more either. We’re getting out of here right now.’

Doctor Owen turned to shout at the armed soldiers with a renewed sense of vigour in his voice. ‘Put your weapons down or the Captain dies! Put them down now!’

Rebirth is available from the following online retailers:

Amazon UK - £7.99
Amazon US - $16.95
Barnes and Noble - $15.25