Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Horror, Spotlight on July 20, 2014

zombie attack


Xander MacNamara’s adventure continues when he is placed in charge of a civilian colony outside Barstow. He and his young wife, Felicity Jane, are forced to deal with the daily grind of reconstruction, the constant menace of zombies, and an equally hungry cannibal tribe known as the Alphas.
Things heat up fast when Sonya, a mysterious stranger sent by a secretive benefactor, frees him from enemy captors. Once again, Xander and Felicity find themselves fleeing for their lives from a never-ending series of new threats as well as old ones. A hidden enemy within the military is hell bent on creating a secret weapon: genetically engineered super zombies! Friends and soldiers are pitted against each other, as one side races to spread the cure while the other battles to gain ultimate control over the fate of mankind.
‘Zombie Attack! Army of the Dead’ is filled with pulse-pounding undead action from the very first chapter until the bitter sweet end. Child celebrities, reality television stars, nightmarish zombie clowns, bikers, ninjas, warlords, and more — this book has it all! The story takes off like a bullet and doesn’t slow down until the last sentence. You won’t be able to put it down!

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At one point in their journey back to Port Hueneme our heroes come across a circus tent with music playing in the middle of nowhere. Inside is a grisly scene featuring the remains of several children. Xander overpowers the lone biker left behind, a supposed prospect named Skeeter who promises to take them to his truck with a full tank of gas if they let him live.


 “That one came in last night,” Skeeter offered, trying to be helpful. “The other tribe brought her. She jumped the line and got put on right away.”

“What do you mean, she jumped the line?”

The words were out of Felicity’s mouth before I could speak but I was thinking the exact same thing. I knew the answer would only make it harder to keep my promise not to kill Skeeter but I had to hear him say it.

“They bring the cattle in order of capture usually,” he said.


“That’s what they call ‘em,” he spit on the ground. “Some of the guys call ‘em the entertainment but most call ‘em cattle.”

“And how do they get these cattle?”

“Generally the same way they got me,” he said. “They ride into an unprotected area and kill anyone who fights back. Then they divide up the women and children into categories for sale as food or slaves or entertainment. We get sent the cattle, mostly kids. Every now and then traitors or enemies show up and get put to the front of the line.”

“I thought you said last night was your first night,” I reminded him, exposing his glaring, baldfaced lie.

“It was,” Skeeter protested, shaking his hands for emphasis, “but that don’t mean I never heard anyone else talk about it. They kept me in a small prison cell and beat me for information. I used to be a local cop. Plenty of times they told me how I would end up here when they were done with me. Said it was better than watching me dig my own grave. Eventually they broke me with the threat of killing my family. I’m not proud of what I’ve done, but I’d do it again for my wife and son. I just hope they’re still in one place wherever they are.”

Sonya, Felicity, and I all exchanged looks once more. I wasn’t sure I believed him but I also knew we didn’t have much of a choice at this point. We needed his help to get out of there but first I had to see for my own eyes that we weren’t leaving any kids behind to these monsters.

“Where do you keep them? The prisoners.”

“The kids you mean? Out back in the pens. That’s why they call ‘em cattle. They got them locked up until they’re ready to perform.”

“How many are back there?”

“Pens can hold up to a hundred kids but usually they don’t keep more than a week’s worth of cattle at a time,” he said with a shrug. “They’re too hard to feed and care for. Alphas aren’t known for being motherly types if you know what I mean. We ran out of live bait early because of the big emergency. Last thing the boss man did before he left was let all of them loose at once. It was a slaughter as you can see. After that everyone just took off.”

“Take me to the pens,” I said, the bile rising back up in me. “Now!”

“It’s your world boss man,” Skeeter said, turning and walking slowly out in front of us. We followed him back through a series of flaps to a large gated area that cut the circus tents off from a walled in community of trailers sitting idly by and animal cages. He fumbled nervously with the padlock. Sonya slapped him up side his head right where on his fresh bruise and he let out a fresh cry of pain.

“Quit stalling,” she said.

He snapped the lock apart and pulled the squeaky gate open. Casting cautious glances he made a beeline past empty iron cages filled with dead animal corpses riddle with bite marks. There were the remains of lions and bears and zebra, all now covered in thick moving blankets of flies. One last cage had an angry looking elephant that paced back and forth knocking against the bars of its cage. It let out a loud roar when it saw us.

“What the hell is going on?” Felicity asked.

“Looks like they’ve been using the circus animals they found as part of the act,” Sonya said with disgust. “And when they’re done they just feed them to the giants.”

“Close,” Skeeter said, a strange look crossing his face as he smiled. “but no cigar.”

“Where are the kids kept?” I demanded.

“Here are the pens,” Skeeter said, his smile growing as he pointed to a series of wooden boxes sitting in the grass behind him. I moved forward to see they had tiny scratches covering the outside. They reeked of piss and fear but were otherwise empty. Glancing down I saw that there were no locks on the boxes. It didn’t make any sense.

“There’s no locks on the pens,” I pointed out. “How exactly did you keep the cattle from escaping?”

“We didn’t have to,” he giggled, looking like the tables had turned for him. “They did it for us.”

Before I could ask who he meant Skeeter threw back his head and let out a long, high pitched whistle. The question died on my lips as I heard the sound of low moaning coming from all sides of us in stereo. I turned to see an impossible sight and my mind reeled in sheer terror. Rows of blood splattered zombie clowns were closing in on us from every side.

“Xander,” Felicity called out. “What are we gonna do?”

Before I could answer Skeeter turned and bolted, sliding under one of the trailers and scurrying out the other side. A moment later I heard the sound of his bike being fired up, the loud rumbling only drawing more of the nightmarish monster clowns in our direction.

“See you suckers in hell,” Skeeter cried out as he pulled back on his throttle and ripped off into the early dawn.

I raced to Felicity’s side along with Sonya, who had begun to turn in wide circles, her lips moving like she was trying to count them all.

“This doesn’t look good,” Felicity cried.

“Don’t worry,” I said, holding her tight as we backed towards the animal cages. “I’ll think of something.”

“You better do it fast,” Sonya said. “We’re running out of time.”

“I hate clowns,” Felicity said, turning her scared face into my neck and shoulders and burrowing in. “Please Xander make them go away! I can’t die like this.”

“I’m working on it,” I promised, holding my sword up and trying to come up with a plan. My mind raced but try as I might all I could do was focus on the gnashing teeth of the zombie clown horde descending on us like a dinner bell had just been rung. There was easily a hundred of them, maybe more. I wouldn’t be able to cut them down before they reached us. There were just too many of them to take on at once!

Think! There has to be a way out of this! It was no use. My mind was stuck on the terrible streaked faces, torn with gashes, leaking pus and oozing black gunk, hungrily making their way towards us.

The elephant behind us roared once more making Felicity shriek in fear. I could feel the air move we were so close and my ears were ringing. It stomped hard and rattled the bars of its cage for good measure, the padlock on the iron cage rattling against the rusty metal. Suddenly everything became clear.

“I’ve got it,” I said, “but you’re not going to like it.”

“What is it?” Felicity’s eyes brimmed with fear like I’d never seen before.

“Just stay right by my side no matter what happens. When I move you move, you got that?”

“I got it,” Felicity said, her lips trembling. “Xander please don’t let me die. Please don’t let these clowns eat me!”

“None of us are going to die,” I promised, turning to Sonya who seemed to understand my plan without me having to tell her. “On three, got it?”

“Got it,” Sonya said, picking up a metal pipe out of the grass near her feet.

“One, two…”

Please let this work, I silently prayed.


Author Bio

dave zombieDevan Sagliani was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA. He is the author of the Zombie Attack! series, The Rising Dead, A Thirst For Fire, and the UNDEAD L.A. series. Devan also wrote the original screenplay for the movie HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies. He writes a bimonthly horror column for Escapist Magazine called Dark Dreams.
Devan’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Million Writers Award. In 2012 his debut novel Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde won Best Zombie/Horror E-book on Goodreads. He is also an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association.
He currently lives in Venice Beach, California with his wife.

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