Sunday, October 15, 2017


Excerpt of
return to q island
Russell James
Copyright © 2017 by Russell James
Fog hung like a shroud over the empty Brooklyn street. David crept between abandoned cars, careful to stay silent. A cold breeze cut through his tattered windbreaker, and he shivered.
Leaving their apartment had been a big risk. The infected roamed the neighborhood, victims of the paleovirus, driven by two impulses. Kill the strong, infect the defenseless. But he and his wife Sandy were out of food. The fortified brownstone where the government issued quarantine rations beckoned only five blocks away. His plan had been to stick to the shadows, leave behind weapons and his bulky makeshift body armor, travel light and stealthy. With an empty stomach and a starving wife, covering five blocks hadn’t seemed unreasonable.
Now, it seemed impossible. He imagined death lurking in every shadow he passed. Despite the cold, sweat soaked his armpits. He paused at an intersection two blocks from the apartment.
A paleo stepped out of a destroyed coffee shop. Its eyes zeroed in on David. David’s heart stopped.
Once the creature had been a man about David’s age, but now… Dark black veins, ghostly pale skin, and worst of all, the red eyes, burning with a superhuman fury that matched its preternatural strength and speed. David had seen hundreds in the past year, and even from the safety of his reinforced apartment, the sight of one ignited some primordial fear. Now, facing one in the open, he froze in panic.
Adrenaline surged to his rescue. He bolted for home. The creature charged after him.
Each pounding stride on the concrete sent shockwaves up through the flayed soles of David’s running shoes. Bouncing backpack straps dug into his shoulders. David’s lungs screamed for air. His heart slammed in his chest, each beat threatening to split his ribcage.
He passed building after building. No one within offered help. No faces peered from windows, no rooftop snipers sat ready to kill the closing paleo. In the year since Long Island’s isolation, the uninfected population had adopted a Darwinian attitude, and few stuck their neck out for anyone but family, if even for them.
David’s apartment came into view. He pushed himself harder, the end in sight, salvation at hand.
The paleo leapt. It covered twenty feet in one bound and landed on David’s back. Sharp teeth pierced David’s shirt and sank into his shoulder.
Hot blood gushed and a circle of searing pain caught fire over his shoulder blade. He screamed and twisted right. The paleo’s momentum tore it and the pack from David’s back. The creature skidded down the sidewalk, the backpack clutched like prey.
David scrambled up his apartment steps. Sandy’s terrified face looked out a front window and then disappeared. He yanked at the locked storm door. It rattled in the frame.
“Open the door! It’s me!” he screamed.
The paleo sprang up. It tossed aside the mangled backpack and charged. David dropped to his knees and covered his head with his arms.
The paleo landed on the top step. It reared back for another attack, and stopped.
It cocked its head, as if listening to something, though only David’s whimper broke the street’s silence. Its eyes narrowed. The bloodlust seemed to drain away. It backed down the steps, and then began a slow walk east.
David yipped with joy and could not believe his luck. He leaned back against the storm door in relief. A deadbolt clicked in the front door. It opened and Sandy peered out.
He pulled himself to his feet. “Oh my God. Sandy, did you see that? It was like something called it away. I survived a paleo attack.”
Sandy pointed to his shoulder. “No you didn’t.”
He touched his shoulder. Sticky blood warmed his fingertips. One bite, one opportunity for mingled fluids transmitted the virus from the infected to the healthy, and always turned the victim paleo.
“No, honey. That’s not a bite. It happened on the way…I fell…”
He looked into her eyes in search of mercy, in search of the triumph of love and faith over science and experience.
Sandy raised their snub nose .38 pistol and pressed the barrel against the glass beside David’s head. She cocked the hammer.
“I love you,” she apologized.
Tears welled in his eyes. He nodded his assent.
The bullet blasted through the glass and tore through David’s brain. His corpse tumbled down the apartment building’s steps.
Three seconds later, a second shot rang out from the apartment hallway.
A block away, the paleo didn’t react. Though such noises always drew the infected, this creature walked eastward, as something irresistible reeled it in.

Now that you’ve read the excerpt, don’t you really want to read the whole book? Well, here’s your chance to do it for FREE!!! Author Russell James is giving away ONE ECOPY OF RETURN TO Q ISLND to ONE LUCKY WINNER!!!
To enter: Click on back to the FB Event Page, find today’s post featuring Russell and comment, “I WANT TO WIN!” in that post!!! Good luck to all!!! long to break out of quarantine. One man needs to break in.
The paleovirus has swept Long Island, turning residents into psychotic killers. A government quarantine traps Patrick in Connecticut, separated from his mother and pregnant sister on what all now call Q Island. When he loses contact with them, he fears the worst. His only chance to get back is to infiltrate the island as a guide for an illegal safari hunting the infected. But he arrives to find he’s more slave than guide, and the infected are fiercer than ever.
His sister Kim gives birth to Charlotte in the midst Q Island’s living hell, and begins a struggle to survive attacks by the infected and betrayal by family and friends. Kim’s love for her daughter gives her the strength to fight on, but if her brother doesn’t arrive soon, she won’t keep beating the odds.
But there’s something special about Charlotte, and others born under the contagion’s dark cloud. Will children like her prove to be the salvation the islanders pray for, or the last pieces in the puzzle of infected domination?

Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Dark Shadows, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers "Dark Inspiration","Sacrifice","Black Magic", "Dark Vengeance", the collections "Tales from Beyond", "Deeper into Darkness", "Outer Rim" and "Out of Time". His novels "Dreamwalker" and "Q Island" both release in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at and read some free short stories.

1 comment:

  1. Love the excerpt. And I remember Kolchak and Dark Shadows. I didn't get to watch them often when I was younger but they are turning up on TV now...