Amazon certified #1 BESTSELLER in Time Travel Romance
No mad skillz, no sacred destiny, just a pink tracksuit that will take her places she never wanted to go…
In this Gothic science-fiction novel series, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic but strangely familiar landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro secrets they must face if they want to survive.
Apocalypse Babes (The Complete Series). All six full length novels in a set for one low price. Includes The Z Word, The X Factor, iRobotronic, Kumbaya Much, Bite Me, and Apocalypse For Realz. Unabridged and complete.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The myth of Persephone and her trip to Hades is mashed up with a girl in a tracksuit, zombies, and old secrets.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I was intrigued by the story of Persephone and also a huge fan of Buffy and Shaun of the Dead. So I twisted it all into something else and added romance.
The Z Word excerpt by Bella Street
©2011 All Rights Reserved
The stuffy air in the car thickened in the silence. Seffy leaned her head against the window, realizing Verity was the least of her problems at the moment. She forced her mind to more pleasant thoughts. Like grabbing a skinny latte on her way to the clinic near Cedars-Sinai Hospital where she worked as a receptionist until her acting career took off. On a regular day, after pulling files and catching up on voice mail, she’d join a couple of the other office girls for lunch at the Farmer’s Market. Sunlight would reflect off the sports cars and limos, cell phones would twitter, and all would be right with the world.
“Okay, I’ve waited long enough,” Addison said, reaching past Gareth to pop the door lock. Gareth appeared annoyed but eased open the door.
“I don’t remember it squeaking that loud yesterday,” Lani said, her blue eyes huge. “At least it’s more or less light out. I don’t know where you’re gonna go though. No privacy behind those weedy shrubs.”
They watched as Gareth climbed out, followed by Addison. The two stretched and looked around.
“Is it safe?” Lani asked.
Gareth peeked back into the interior of the car. “Seems okay. We can see pretty far and there’s nothing around except this car and an old broken down shed a ways off.”
“Maybe it’s an outhouse,” Seffy said. Geez, did I just say that out loud?
Lani giggled and scooted across the seat. “I need to stretch my legs. Are you coming?”
Seffy rubbed her face. “I guess we have to get out of here sometime.” Her own bladder was becoming an issue.
When she joined the others next to the door, she scanned the horizon, wondering what could’ve spooked her so—besides her actual surroundings. The sand still shimmered, the sky was an eerie purplish-pink and the sun burned over-bright, like a pink light bulb about to pop.
Seffy saw Addy head toward the shack. “Watch out for black widows in there,” she called sweetly, unable to resist the dig.
Addison waved her off and continued trudging toward the small structure with single-minded intensity. Gareth followed at a slower pace.
“If it’s a good place to go, I’m next,” Lani said, scrunching up her nose.
“Well, this isn’t going to get awkward.”
“Yeah, it’d be nice to have proper facilities in a doomsday world.”
If that’s what this is. Seffy took a deep breath. “And a coffee shop.”
“And a boutique.” Lani looked down at her clothes with a rueful smile. “I’m filthy.”
That’s right, think positive. “Me, too. Hopefully, we’ll figure out which way L.A. is, and head that way. When we get there, I think I’ll splurge on a whole new wardrobe at the Grove.”
Lani’s face clouded. “Or maybe this is all that’s left after—”
A scream cut off her words. Seffy shielded her eyes and gazed toward the shack. “Looks like she found spiders after all.”
Addison stumbled out from behind the structure and broke into a run. Gareth met up with her and tried to grab her arm, but she flew by him, racing toward the car.
Lani and Seffy glanced at each other.
“Snakes?” Lani said.
Another figure emerged from behind the shack. A man. Heebeejeebies skittered up Seffy’s spine as she grabbed Lani’s arm. What the hell?
Gareth motioned toward them as he neared. “Get in the car!”
“Why? Who is he?”
“Just do it!”
The fear in his voice made them move. They dove through the open door of the Caddy, Gareth and Addison right behind them.
“Lock it!” Addy screamed.
After the doors were secure, they sat there breathing hard.
“What happened?” Seffy asked, her heart slamming against her rib cage like a rabid weasel. Which convinced her this was all too real.
Addison burst into tears. Gareth put his arm around her while peering through the window. “It’s not help. Must be who you saw earlier.”
“Who was it?” Lani asked in a small voice.
“You mean what was it,” Addison said through gritted teeth.
“A man,” he said. “But something was wrong with him. He was apparently in the shed.”
“He tried to bite me!”
They all looked at Addison, then at each other. Okaaaay. Seffy had never seen Addison so scared. “What do you mean something was wrong with him?”
Gareth drew in a breath. “His skin was gray…and there were bloodstains on his shirt.
Addison pulled her hands from her face, her eyes wild. “He was a freaking zombie!”
Lani gasped. “No way!”
Seffy blinked. Well, there went the reality theory. “A zombie. Um, there’s no such thing. Gareth?”
Gareth avoided her eyes and kept checking out the rear window. “Let’s just say that if he was pretending, he’d win a Golden Globe.”
Cleansing breath time. “Guys, I know we’re rattled from the whole blastamajiggy, but couldn’t he just be a victim like us who got hurt?”
No one answered. The air in the car seemed to solidify. Trying to ignore her rising anxiety, Seffy looked out the rear window. She jumped when she realized the man was nearing the car. Pressing herself against the seat, she cleared her throat. “So we’re just going to sit here and hope he goes away?”
“Yes!” Addison said, seething. “We’re going to sit until forever if that’s what it takes!”
Gareth pulled her head to his shoulder and shh-ed her. “I have to agree, for the time being. That guy, uh, doesn’t seem interested in helping us.”
Seffy jumped again at the sound of a thump on the back of the car. “Oh, crap.”
“Remain silent,” Gareth whispered.
“Um, he just saw four people get into this car.”
“I don’t know what else to do, Sef,” he hissed. “Just be quiet.”
They held their collective breath, which only made them able to hear a sudden moan all the more.
“Oh. My. God,” Lani croaked.
The man lurched around the car, moaning. Seffy watched in horror as his hand pressed against her window, leaving a bloody print. Next came a filmy, sightless eye staring through the glass.
Lani and Addison shrieked in unison.
Seffy reared away from the window, squishing Lani. “What are we gonna do?”
Gareth’s dark eyes were wide with shock. “I don’t know. I can’t think!”
“Look around on the floor. Maybe there’s something we can use as a weapon,” Seffy said. As she and Gareth began the search, Lani started to cry.
After ransacking the front and back seats, they came up empty. Seffy looked at Gareth, a roaring in her ears. “Is there any way to access the trunk from here? Maybe there’s a tire iron inside?”
He paused. “I’d have to go outside.”
Addison shook her head. “No! No one is going outside!”
Gareth ran a hand through his hair, his expression tense. “We may have to.”
“What?” Lani cried.
“If this is the worst case scenario, and that dude is a—”
“Zombie!” Addison cried, her lips white.
“—then we need to think this through with zombie logic.”
Seffy threw her hands in the air. “Which is?”
He licked his lips. “We have to assume there’s more than one. He’s got blood on his shirt and that would mean he—”
Lani clapped her hands over her ears. “Don’t say it!”
He glanced at her with regret before continuing. “He won’t stop until he…gets to us. If there are more, the moaning will attract them to where we are.”
The moaning outside intensified as if in agreement.
“Okay,” Seffy said, attempting logic despite the fact she was beginning to hyperventilate. “We’re contemplating injuring a person who is already injured. Maybe he just needs our help.”
“You’re the one who freaked first,” Addison snapped.
“He’s not just someone who got hurt, Sef,” Gareth said. “He’s someone we need to avoid.”
Seffy squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. “So you’re saying we have to make a run for it while there’s only one? But where would we go?”
His brown gaze implored hers. “I don’t know. But if we’re surrounded here and they break through the glass, then we’re trapped.”
“They can break glass?” Addison said, clutching her head.
Seffy gulped. “How do you know that?”
Lani sent her a pinched look. “It’s what happens in the movies.”
“I’ve never seen a zombie movie,” Seffy said, wondering how her sweet friend could stomach such a thing.
“There are actually books that document—”
Seffy turned to Gareth in disbelief. “Books? You’ve read about this?”
She narrowed her eyes. “Did you read these books before or after you were at Radio Shack?”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Addison yelled. “God, Seffy!”
Seffy ignored Addison and tried to prioritize her thoughts, but the moaning outside made it impossible. The hand began thumping on the glass. “Yeah, okay, which way do we run?”
Gareth leaned forward, scanning the landscape through the windshield. “Um…I guess away from any structures in case that’s where they’re hiding.”
“And we’re sure they can’t run, right?” she said. “They shamble or something?”
“They’re shambolic,” Gareth said.
“Correction noted! So we count to three and bolt?”
“I guess.” Gareth looked at the other two. “You girls ready?”
“Ready for what?” Addison said. “How are we going to do this?”
“I’m going to unlock my door since he’s on the other side of the car,” Gareth said. “I’ll ease it open and we will hurry out. When we’re all out, we start running…that way.” He pointed to a hill far off. “Head up there.”
“The way we came. Great.” Seffy looked out her window and saw the man press a gray cheek against the smudged glass. Her stomach lurched.
“Okay, we can do this.”
“Like we have a choice,” Addison said on a sob.
Gareth looked at everyone in turn. “We’re going to stick together and we’re going to be fine.”
“In the movies, everyone is picked off until there’s one person left and the camera zeros in on the last act of carnage—”
“Not helping, Addison,” Seffy growled. “Okay, this guy is getting antsy. I say we do this now.”
Gareth unlocked the door. The man continued thumping on the glass. Gareth eased open the door, which sounded like a rabbit caught in a wolf’s jaws. The man jerked upright and reoriented himself.
“Go!” Gareth jumped outside and pulled everyone out. In a tangle of arms, legs, and screams, they rushed in the direction Gareth had indicated. The sand made running all but impossible but they clambered up the hill as fast as their adrenaline would take them. When they reached the crest, they turned and looked back toward the car. The man stood by the open door and moaned as if in existential disappointment.
“All right,” Gareth said, gasping for breath. “Everyone keep a sharp lookout for any others.”
Everything was the same as the day before. Occasional trees and bushes under a weird sky, low bluffs, rubble, the car…and now the icky guy lurching in their direction. Seffy couldn’t bring herself to use the Z word. “And here I was hoping this was all just a dream—”
“THIS IS NOT A DREAM!” Addison’s tear-stained face flushed red as she glared at her.
Gareth tried to put his arm around her, but she avoided his touch. He turned to Seffy. “Why do you keep talking about this not being real?”
She lowered her voice. “Addison always thinks I’m in denial, but seriously, all this could not happen in real life. I…I must be having a drunken dream, right?”
“Seffy, what is the last ‘real’ thing you remember?”
She concentrated on sifting the normal memories from the unreal ones. “Being at the tanning salon with Verity.”
“I was at the electronics store, the other girls were doing their things. And we all experienced the blast. We’re all here together.”
Seffy clasped her hands together. “It still doesn’t prove anything.”
“You say this is a drunken dream,” he said. “Were you drinking at the tanning salon?”
“No, I haven’t imbibed since that party in the Valley last month. Puked my guts out afterwards and you had to help me clean up, which explains my reticence for a repeat.” She blinked. And I reminded him of that humiliating night why?
Seffy pressed her lips together, more confused than ever.
Gareth put his hands on her shoulders. “So for now, I need you present. Even if this turns out to be something else, pretend it isn’t. Act like this is real.” He frowned. “You don’t want to be zombie nosh in a dream anyway, right?”
“Zombies aren’t real.” When he started to speak, she put up her hand, “But for your sake, I’ll be ‘present.’”
“For our sakes.”
Seffy wondered how the admission changed anything. “Fine.”
“Ohhh,” Addy said, her moan an eerie counterpoint to the sound coming up the hill. “How can this be happening? I cannot deal with this!”
Gareth looked down the hill, then ran his hands through his hair. “We’ve got to find some shelter.”
“Except shelter seems to be where they like to hide,” Lani pointed out, her pretty face pale with fear.
Seffy noticed the man stumbling as he attempted to climb the hill. “Can’t we outrun him? I mean, he’s so slow.”
“They’re slow,” he said, “but they’re also like the Energizer Bunny, if you know what I mean.”
“I love that bunny,” Lani said with a wobbly smile. “How cute is it for a rabbit to wear flip flops?”
Seffy emitted a nervous laugh. “Remember when we used to say thongs instead of flip flops?”
“A lot of things changed when we moved to L.A,” Gareth said, his tone distracted.
Addison gasped. “I think there’s another one! Look over there!”
They watched a woman with a see-saw gait emerge from behind a tree and head toward the hill.
Seffy shaded her eyes with her hand and squinted. “I can’t believe she’s wearing fringed moccasin boots.”
Addison’s eyes widened. “Are you seriously commenting on her outfit? We’re trying not to be murdered here!”
“Sorry. I just happened to notice, okay?”
“The guy was wearing one of those silky landscape print shirts,” Gareth said, his expression grim. “We’re gonna need weapons.”
#1 Amazon Bestselling author in Time Travel & Gothic Romance!
Living so close to Nashville has provoked Bella to take up fiddle lessons. Until her tunes no longer sound like amorous alley cats, she writes weird romance (which includes Gothic romance, science fiction romance, apocalypse, time travel, paranormal, fantasy romance, New Adult–and possibly sasquatch).
Visit her at her website and blog for fun contests and giveaways and of course, a little bit of weirdness.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!