Thursday, January 17, 2013

Excerpt : Monster Apocalypse + GIVEAWAY!

Here's an excerpt from Monster Apocalypse by Brian Rowe

This is book #3 in the Grisly High Trilogy
Do you like ghosts? Or witches? Or aliens? Or werewolves? They're all here... just in time... for the Monster Apocalypse! 

Brin Skar thought she defeated the vampires, and she thought she escaped the zombies, but as it turns out... the horrors have just begun. 

When Brin learns that Droz has kidnapped Paul, as well as her own mother, she decides her only choice is to return to Bodie Ghost Town. Joined by Ash, Anaya, Mr. Barker, and others, she sets out to destroy the evil clan leader... in the grisliest showdown of all. 

Here it is... the final epic chapter of the Grisly High trilogy!


            “Vampires. Zombies. Who would ever believe in such things?”
            Tessa Skar stood alone in the cereal aisle, holding a box of corn flakes in one hand and a box of chocolate puffs in the other. The corn flakes box advertised the final Twilight movie, with an image of sparkly Robert Pattinson on the front that was even bigger than the name of the brand. The chocolate puffs box advertised the newest season of The Walking Dead, complete with an image of one of the zombies enjoying a bowl of cereal, blood streaming down his back and pieces of flesh dangling from his earlobes.
            Tessa shook her head, both horrified and amused. When a teenaged store employee walked by, she turned and held up the cereal boxes, as if she wanted him to take part in a middle-of-the-aisle taste test.
            “Excuse me, young man,” Tessa said.
            The boy turned to her, his face paler than Pattinson’s, his eyes clouded with terror. He didn’t say anything for a moment. He just stared at her bewildered, like he had never laid eyes on a human before.
            Finally, he said, “Uh huh?”
            “Answer this question for me. Do you think it’s wise to promote your food product by showing a zombie, of all things, drizzling its blood and pus all over the food?”
            He didn’t even bother looking at the cereal box. “I… uhh… yeah, I’d assume so.”
            She nodded and turned back around. “Thank you. As I thought.”
Tessa pushed the two boxes into their slots, then happily grabbed the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and dropped it in her cart. She also grabbed some oatmeal and a box of the S’Mores Pop Tarts, and started moseying over to the pasta aisle.
But before she turned the corner, she peered back down the cereal aisle to see the young store employee remove his vest and race out the front door, like his shift just ended and he had no intention of staying a minute longer. She chuckled to herself and entered the next aisle.
Grisly Market, just three blocks from the entrance to Diablo Shadows, was a ghost town that Sunday morning, like everybody in Grisly had decided to pack into the nearest church, or, more likely, the nearest funeral. Tessa had endured the crowded, longwinded, andultimately surprising funeral for Chace Anderson the morning before, when the proceedings were interrupted by a vicious attack against the boy’s grandmother by a disturbed funeral attendee. Tessa was pulled away from the site almostimmediately by her friend Miriam, but she refused to actually leave in a car before she was able to text her daughter Brin to make sure she was all right.
The whole town had been rocked by two student deaths, and now this violent and confusing attack had brought on even more anxiety for both the parents and their children. Her friend, on the phone with Tessa the night before, told her she didn’t know if she could step outside her doors for another few days, but Tessa wasn’t that kind of woman. She wouldn’t let a few scary, if coincidental, incidents keep her home behind closed blinds and locked doors. She woke up this morning ready to take on a brand new—and average and normal and boring—day. She didn’t know why that girl had attacked the old woman at Chace’s funeral, but she figured a logical explanation would present itself sooner than later; the girl had obviously been mentally psychotic, and had been dealt with properly by the police. There was nothing more to worry about. She knew Grisly was as safe as ever. When she checked in with her daughter earlier to find out she was golfing with her buddies Paul and Ash, she smiled. If her daughter could move on so soon after seeing such a gruesome death, so could she.
            And so here Tessa was, standing tall and proud in the pasta aisle, her long black hair in a ponytail, her skimpy gym clothes showing off her still rockin’ bod. She’d take her groceries home, go for a jog, take a shower, then start putting together a fabulous, festive Sunday night dinner for not just her and her daughter, but also their new handsome houseguest, Paul. She knew it would be a waste to cook too much—Paul was probably the pickiest eater she’d ever met—but she was looking forward to his company.
            She grabbed two different meat sauces and some fettuccine. She roamed through more aisles and threw into her cart peanut butter, strawberries, bananas, frozen waffles, and two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. Finally, she stopped in the ice cream aisle and grabbed the last of the pumpkin ice creams—it was Brin’s favorite, and Tessa knew, with it being late January, the spicy orange treat wouldn’t be available again until Halloween.
            Tessa found the only open check-out line and waited patiently behind an elderly Asian couple. She checked her cell phone to see if she had any further texts fromBrin, but all she had received from her, at close to 9.A.M., was, GOLFING WITH PAUL AND ASH B HOME LATER!
            As the loud beeps from the check-out counter echoed in her head, she pulled her phone close and texted her daughter. Brin had showed her mother how to text just six months ago, and while Tessa still didn’t have the hang of it, she knew, in the 2010’s, she needed to be up on the times.
            HOW’S THE GOLF GAME GOING? Tessa texted Brin. She figured her daughter had finished at least nine holes by now. She hoped she was playing well.
Brin’s father Kristopher had wanted Brin to play golf forever, but she hadn’t been keen to continue after his death a year ago. Tessa didn’t think about her deceased husband much anymore. She missed him—she always would—but they’d grown apart in their last few years together. In fact, a mere two weeks before he died unexpectedly and tragically from an aortic dissection, she had come to the decision that she wanted a temporary separation. But he had been crazy busy, and she never got a chance to tell him. He died still thinking their marriage was perfectly average, withmany more years ahead. She’d never told her daughter this—and she never would. But it was an unfortunate circumstance that made her sick to her stomach every time she thought of her husband, a man once so full of life, now rotting in his Grisly Cemetery grave. So Tessa just chose not to think of him. She tried to pretend Kristopher never happened.
The overweight cashier, clearly no older than sixteen, nodded to her and started ringing up her items.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Morning,” Tessa said. She handed him her credit card, then glanced around the nearly empty grocery store. The only other person she saw nearby was a petite old lady reaching for a strawberry jam. “It’s so quiet in here. Is there something going on in town I don’t know about?”
“I’m not sure,” he said, swiping her card. “But I’ve had two employees call in sick. One just left without even talking to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was. You’d think it’s the end of the world or something.”
Tessa laughed. “Well, it is Sunday morning. Maybe everyone just had a late night.”
“I suppose. Have you ever seen themovie The Mist?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t think so.”
“It’s this really great horror film. Based on a Stephen King novella—”
Tessa shook her head more rapidly. “Oh, then, definitely not. I hate horror movies. I’d rather watch a black-and-white movie, for God’s sake.”
“Well it was about this grocery store that’s taken over by monsters of every shape and size. Some of them could fly. Some of them were the size of the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty cool.”
“Well that’s… interesting.” Tessa just stared at him a moment, as he rang up the last item and pushed it to the side. “You seem really into movies.”
“I am. I work part-time at Grisly Video.”
“I see.”
He crossed his arms and said, “Oh my God, there’s this scene where—”
“I’m sorry. Not to be rude, but I’m in kind of a hurry.”
“Oh.” He handed back her card and nodded. “Yes. Sorry. Paper or plastic?”
Tessa pushed her cart out of the grocerystore into the parking lot, also empty. She didn’t mind a store employee making chit-chat with her, but as soon as he mentioned the word horror, she immediately tuned out. She knew Brin’s friend Ash was obsessed with those kinds of movies, but she was thrilled that her daughterdidn’t like them nearly as much. Tessa thought life was too short and precious to watch scary movies, where the teenagers get slashed and tortured, and the evil, sadistic maniac shouts, “BOO!” She lived in a town called Grisly—to Tessa, that was horrific enough.
“Could you spare some change?” a homeless bum asked outside the exit door.
“No,” Tessa said. “Sorry.” She didn’t even bother looking at the man; she just kept walking.
“No, ma’am,” she heard the man say behind her. “You’re the one who’s going to be sorry.”
Tessa stopped and turned around. She opened her mouth to say something, but the homeless man was gone. The only person near the front of the store was that hefty cashier, stepping outside for a smoke break. She looked to her left and right. Nobody. Had the voice been her imagination?
Something didn’t feel right. But she pressed on. She opened the back of her trunk and tossed the groceries inside. When she slammed the trunk down, she heard it: a growl from behind her.
Tessa jumped around. “Who’s there?”
She watched as a dog barked loudly and raced down the sidewalk ahead, up toward a medley of houses in the distance.
Tessa had witnessed a psychotic episode yesterday at the funeral—she didn’t want to turn psycho herself. She didn’t know if she was tired or anxious or what. All she knew was that she needed to get out of there.
She got in her car and sped out of the parking lot, looking back at Grisly Market one last time. She still didn’t see any homeless man, but she did see the employee. He was on a cell phone talking to someone—and he had tears streaming down his face.
Tessa pulled out onto Saw Way and reached in the back seat for her sunglasses. She thought she had dropped them near her two empty bottled waters, but the farther she reached, the more air she grabbed. She finally turned her head around, just for a second, to see her pair of Oakleys shoved underneath the seat belt. She grabbed them and turned back to the street, just in time to see a person standing in the middle of the road.
“What the—Holy shit!” Tessa screamed and knew she had no time to slam on her brakes. She barely had time to swerve around her. It was a young woman, in her thirties, jaywalking across the street like she owned the entire town.
Tessa honked and tried to regroup. Her heart was racing. She looked in her rearview mirror to see the woman walking to the other side of the street and disappearing into, of all things, a person’s backyard.
As Tessa turned into Diablo Shadows, she had the strangest feeling: that the girl in the road hadn’t been walking… she had beenshuffling.
A few cars passed her by as she drove deeper and deeper into her neighborhood. One family looked to be packing all of their belongings into a van, and another family had a giant RV idling on the sidewalk next to their house. Tessa checked her rearview mirror, her side mirrors, glanced over her shoulders.
“What the hell is going on?” she said, then pulled into her driveway. She knew she was worried over nothing, and that a good jog would clear her head. She opened her trunk and brought all of the groceries inside her home, into the kitchen. She put away all the food,shoved the plastic bags into the trash, and strapped on her iPod Nano and headphones. She downed half a bottle of water, locked the front door, dropped her keys into her blue running shorts, and stepped back out into the sunlight.
The weather was surprisingly warm for late January, as high as sixty or so. She thought about grabbing a jacket but didn’t. She stopped at the end of her driveway. She let “Time of the Season” blast through her headphones as she stretched her legs and let out a long, overdramatic yawn. She hadn’t slept well the night before. She hoped a nice run would get her back on track for the rest of the day.
She put her arms up into the air, then reached over her shoulders to stretch some more.
Tessa was about to reach for her toes when she saw it, across the street. A car.
But it wasn’t just any car.
It was a hearse.  
The song continued to play, and the sounds of the outside world continued to drain away from her. She stepped out onto the concrete and slowly, carefully, marched up to the unusual vehicle on the side of the road. She stopped in front of the headlights and darted herhead in every direction. She didn’t see anyone.
“Hello?” Her music was blasting so loud she figured she wouldn’t be able to hear a response even if one came to her, but she asked the question anyway.
Tessa examined the hearse. It was all black and at least twice as long as the average cars available for purchase in 2015. But most unusual about it was that it didn’t look of this century at all—in fact, it looked like something out of the 1950’s. 
“Time of the Season” ended, and before the next song started, Tessa heard a noise from the bushes behind her. She pulled the headphones down and turned around.
“Who’s there?”
Silence. No answer. She checked the bushes. Nobody.
“Jesus,” Tessa said to herself, pushing her hand against her chest. Her heart was pounding. She took a deepbreath, then smiled. “Relax, Tess. It’s all in your head.”
She brought the headphones back up, let the next song “Tell Her No” reverberate in and out her ears, and immediately started to run down the street. She didn’t even glance at the hearse a final time. She wanted to run. For hours maybe. She knew by the time she’d come home that the hearse would be gone, and that Brin would be home all excited to tell her mom about her round of golf. Paul would be sitting at the dinner table picking at a piece of French bread or scoping the pantry for expired wine, and Ash would be sorting through the seventy-six DVDs he’d brought over to watch.
“Nothing is wrong,” Tessa whispered to herself. “Everything is… just fine.”
She skipped up onto the curb and made a sharp right turn, past an elderly couple’s front lawn, to find the skinny dirt trail that curved around to the back of the neighborhood.
But she didn’t get far: after her first step onto the dirt, she collided unexpectedly against someone’s chest and fell hard to the ground, right on her back. She tried to cough but nothing came out. Then she tried to breathe. Still nothing.
Tessa looked up. The harsh sunlight shone right into her eyes, and she couldn’t see the figure above her. He looked unusual, to say the least, with yellow-ish hands and arms. His clothes were all shredded, and he wasn’t wearing any shoes. He looked dirty, unkempt.
Then she saw a glob of green slime drip off his chin and land on the dirt in front of her.
Her breath finally came back. And Tessa let out an earth-shattering scream.
She scooted back to see the creature in full. She thought that the girl who attacked Chace’s grandmother at the funeral yesterday looked odd, but at least she still appeared to be human. The person in front of her didn’t look like a person at all; he was an abomination, half his teeth missing, his brain oozing out of his cut-open forehead. He had a vacant eye socket, and no cartilage where his nose was supposed to be.   
“Mmmm,” the zombie said. “Fooooooood!”
Tessa screamed again and jumped up to her feet, messily, trying not to fall again as she raced back into the street toward her house.
“Somebody help me!” she shouted. “Oh my God! Somebody! Please!”
The creature behind her couldn’t run but it kept to her close with a fast, sloppy walk. She looked back every few seconds to make sure he wasn’t gaining. He was still far back, but closer than she’d like. She thought about pounding on a few doors, but she didn’t want to take the chance. She kept her own house in her sights.
“Can anyone hear me?” Tessa screamed in the middle of the street. “Hello?”
No one answered. It was as if Diablo Shadows, and possibly all of Grisly, truly had become a newly certified ghost town. She reached her driveway but tripped on the curb, sprawling forward against the yellowing grass of her front lawn. She looked back to see the creature a mere two houses away, still trampling down the center of the street, Tessa in his sights, and in his appetite. She leaped back up to her feet and raced to the door. She clamped her hand around the doorknob and pushed. Nothing. Thedoor was locked.
“Oh shit,” Tessa whispered, grabbing for her keys in her shorts pocket. Then she shouted, one more time, “Will somebody please help me?”
She reached for the keys, an act that should have taken two seconds, but her hands were so sweaty they stuck to the shorts and wouldn’t enter the pocket. She turned back around. The creature was marching up the driveway. She opened up her pocket with her thumb and dug the keys out. At this point, more than any other in her life, she wished she only had the one key. But there were three on her ring. She pulled the keys up, only to watch them drop from her fingers and land on the concrete.
“Damn it,” she said. She kneeled down. She wanted to cry. She heard the creature’s footsteps. She could feel him, or it, or whatever it was, breathing on her neck.
Her hands were sweating so much she didn’t think she’d be able to grab the keys off the ground, but she did. She stood back up and turned around quickly to see the zombie mere inches behind her.
She stuck the key into the key hole, but she was too late. The zombie grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him.
“Mmmm!” he shouted.
“No! No, please!”
A giant blade came down from behind and severed the zombie’s left arm clean off from the rest of its body.
Tessa stared in awe and surprise. The zombie looked down, confused at its missing arm.
Then the blade came down again, sideways this time, and cut the creature’s head clean off.
Tessa screamed as buckets of green goop squirted out the top of its neck and splattered against her face, likeNickelodeon slime. She felt some of it hit her tongue, and she promptly closed her mouth, wiped the odorous substance from her lips, and stepped back, just as the zombie’s body collapsed to the ground, to reveal a tall, pale figure standing behind it.
“Oh thank God,” Tessa said. “That thing was going to kill me. Thank you, thank you, thank—”
“Here, get inside,” the man said. “Hurry. There’s more of them out there.”
Tessa didn’t even think twice; sheturned the key and opened her front door. She and the stranger charged into the house, and Tessa closed the door and locked it tight. She immediately pressed her desecrated face against it and looked through the keyhole.
“I don’t see any more of them coming,” she said. She waited for the stranger to say something, but she didn’t hear a thing. She turned around. “Mister?” He was gone. “Where’d you go?”
The entrance hallway was dead silent, like the man had been a figment of her imagination. Tessa had her crazy moments, but she didn’t think herself to be crazy enough to create people in her own mind. She stepped into the kitchen, then the living room, just in time for the stranger to appear to her left.
“Oh,” Tessa said. “Sorry. I thought you were going to stay at the front door.”
The man didn’t seem interested in what she had to say. He looked panicked, like he was in the midst of an investigation. Tessa noticed for the first time the heavy blackness in the fellow’s eyes.
“I had a question for you, Ms. Skar,” he said. “Have you seen a boy named Paul around here?”
“Paul?” Of any questions this man may have asked, she didn’t expect that one. “He’s an exchange student staying with me at the moment. Wait. How did you know my name—”
The man grinned. “Are you serious? An exchange student?”
“I’m sorry. Who are you?”
He stepped toward Tessa. He laughed for a few seconds, but then his demeanor turned chilly. She was surprised to see his old-fashioned top hat stay so firm on his head. “I’m Paul’s father. And I’m looking for him.”
“You’re what?”
“Where is he?”
Tessa was so taken aback she couldn’t speak for a moment. But then: “He’s golfing. With my daughter.”
“Macabre Golf Course. It’s over by their high school.” She shrugged and shook her head. “I’m sorry. Did you come all the way from Germany?”
He didn’t answer her. The man had found what he was looking for. He turned around and headed for the front door.
“Hey! Wait! You can’t just leave!”
The man didn’t say a word. He didn’t acknowledge her, didn’t want to partake in any more conversation.
“I said, stop!” Tessa screamed.
And he did. He stood in the entryway, looking out toward the archaic black hearse in the distance.
Tessa crossed her arms. “Can you at least tell me your name?”
The man took a step back, and smiled. “Sure can,” he said, deeply, almost in a whisper. “The name’s Droz.”
“Jaws? What?”
“No. Droz.” He turned around, opened his mouth wide, and let his fangs appear. “But Jaws works, too.”
He pulled Tessa close to his chest and sunk his teeth down deep into her neck. She didn’t even have a chance to scream.
She tried to fight him away, push against his face, kick him in the shins. But his grip was so tight she couldn’t move a muscle.
She thought of her son, Justin. She thought of her daughter, Brin. When an early image of Kristopher entered her mind, one of him waving at her from a serene beach at the far end of the world, a tear slowly trickled down her cheek.
And then all went quiet for Tessa Skar. 

I'm giving away the entire Grisly High Trilogy. The GIVEAWAY is part of a blog hop and will be live at midnight! COME BACK TOMORROW for a chance to win!



  1. Wow! Thank you for posting an excerpt of this brilliant book. Now that i have read (the above) i want to read more!!

    Definately a title to add to my to-read shelf and one that i shall be looking out for. x

  2. This sounds great! Though I will be honest I didn't want to read too much because I am excited about starting the series from the beginning!

  3. Ok, this sounds so fun! Definitely something I know I'll enjoy so I'll be looking forward to these books! Thanks for sharing the excerpt!


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