Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet Max from zombie book, CURE, from the Strandville Series

Today, we have a meet-my-zombie-character post featuring Max Reid from author Belinda Frisch's zombie books, CURE and AFTERBIRTH from the Strandville zombie series.

  In CURE (A Strandville Zombie Novel), medicine meets horror in this thrilling escape tale about the evil men do in the name of progress. 

(**Runner-up in the General Fiction category of the 2012 Halloween Book Festival - BOOK ONE of the Strandville Zombie Series)

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.

Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won't let her go. He doesn't count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott. Scott and the locals, determined to bring their loved ones home, hatch a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.
In Afterbirth (A Strandville Zombie Novel), The survivors of the Nixon Center struggle in a  post-apocalyptic world where the walking dead aren't the biggest threats. Working from a remote, mountain cabin, Dr. Howard Nixon is determined to salvage what is left of his experiment. All roads lead back to Strandville where grudges resurface and old decisions must be answered for. Scott, Miranda, and Dr. Michael Waters return to the center to face-off against their pasts, and each other, as Michael's secret agenda comes to light.

What I like best about my character, Max Reid, is his unflinching resolve, his determination, and his irresistible wickedness. I know it’s strange that I pick my villain, but after featuring him in the genesis prequel, “Payback,” which you can find for free here, I got to know him better and he’s now one of my favorites.

 Max Reid couldn't be a more evil henchman. A man with a secretive, dark past, he enjoys instilling fear and doesn't hesitate to give Zach, a new Nixon Center recruit, a first day hazing. The Nixon Center's basement houses several walking dead, all requiring sustenance and care to be in shape for Nixon's reproductive experimentation. Zach struggles to learn the routine.

"A couple of hours earlier, Zach would have believed that no one could be worse to spend time with than Nixon. He would have been wrong.

Max Reid was every ex-convict stereotype Zach’s mind could conjure. His close-cropped hair did nothing to conceal the black ink tattoo of a pistol and a silencer that wrapped around the side of his head, one of dozens of amateurish tattoos supporting the assumption that Reid was a criminal. Ropes of toned muscle strained the fabric of his short-sleeved uniform shirt and at six feet, four inches tall, a good eight inches taller than Zach, Reid’s formidable presence intimidated.

Ex-military. Ex-convict. Nixon covered his bases.

“Hey, Keller, you know the difference between a soldier and a murderer?”

Zach inventoried the ink on Reid’s neck and arms--a confederate flag, a Bowie knife, skulls, a grenade, and a crucifix--and decided that no matter what Reid’s answer was, he wouldn’t argue. He adjusted his holstered pistol to validate that he was a man with options.

Reid forced his arm across the doorway of the small kitchenette and blocked Zach from entering. He stared intensely and cracked a malice-laden grin. “I asked you a question.”

Zach stood strong. “I don’t know. What’s the difference between a soldier and a murderer?” He couldn’t conceal his annoyance and expected the next words out of Reid’s mouth to be incredibly stupid.


Stupid didn’t quite cover it. Reid’s thinly veiled attempt at comparing the two of them was both insulting and wrong. Zach held his tongue, but if he had any doubts about Reid’s jaded past, this “first day in the prison yard” mentality put them to rest.

Reid leaned into the jamb, his muscles flexing, and waited for a response. After a minute of not getting one, he took his arm away and grinned. “Nixon tells me you’re the new zoo keeper.”

“Excuse me?” Zach’s head ached, he guessed from the rise in his blood pressure he attributed to Reid.

“The Ids. Nixon says you want to know what they eat. He says to let you feed them.”


“ Ids. You know, ‘infecteds’. Nixon hates it when you call them zombies.” Reid raised the lid of a small chest freezer and withdrew a large, red bag labeled ‘biohazard’. “This is where we keep the parts.” He took a hunk of disarticulated leg, a length that extended from knee to foot, from the bag. “They like their meat warm.”

The dark blanket of hair covering the calf said it had belonged to a man.

Reid pointed to a solid metal bone saw hanging by its handle from a hook on the wall. “Hand me that, would you?”

Zach took it down and slid it across the counter. Whatever was about to happen, he’d recently seen worse. Still, the prospects made him squeamish."

** Read more about Reid and the doomed inhabitants of Strandville in “Cure” and "Afterbirth," both available on all platforms.




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