Blog Tour ~ The Blood of the Infected Series
Author: Antony J. Stanton
Tour Dates: 15th – 19th of May
“Once Bitten, Twice Die” by Antony J. Stanton
The end of the world was just the beginning.
A cure for dementia has disastrously failed. Patients are left crazed, infectious and enraged. The ensuing carnage quickly spreads the disease, and civilisation is decimated.
On London’s outskirts a military base shelters some survivors. The soldiers within must battle against the infected who now roam unchallenged. Tensions are high, relationships fraught, death commonplace.
But if they thought the end of the world was bad enough, their troubles have only just begun…
An ancient menace has long existed in secret alongside humanity – a vampire clan, which has recently encountered the soldiers. Now is their time to emerge from the shadows. First though they have to overcome their own problems. They too have to fight for survival against the infected, and they violently disagree on their approach towards the humans.
Hostilities are rising. It’s only a matter of time now…
Book two from ‘The Blood of the Infected’ series: “Once Bitten, Twice Live”
When death is the best option, survival is no longer enough…
With a growing realization that their continued existence bestows upon them a debt to humanity, the survivors look to create a cure for the insanity that has brought civilization to its knees. But that only encourages disagreement and infighting, and comes at a heavy price, bringing various shocks and surprises.
Tensions amongst the vampires are escalating, jeopardizing the very existence of the clan itself. A battle for supremacy seems inevitable and their future is in the balance. How far will Farzin go to achieve his aims – domination of the vampires and humans alike? And how terrible will his vengeance be against any who stand in his path? Their interaction with the humans threatens to increase and not necessarily for the benefit of either group.
Meanwhile the wrathful infected grow ever hungrier…
When every day is a struggle to stay alive, survival of the fittest is never guaranteed.
Book three from ‘The Blood of the Infected’ series: “Twice Bitten, Twice Die”
When there’s no one left to hear you scream…
Deaths amongst the survivors are occurring at an unsustainable rate. Numbers are rapidly dwindling. Morale is plummeting. Soon they will be beyond salvation, yet their real task has only just begun. But will anyone remain alive to complete it? Nothing could have prepared the soldiers for what lies ahead. If they thought life was brutal already, they had absolutely no idea…
The vampires are in disarray. Their relationships are becoming blurred, confused and violent. A titanic clash between soldiers and vampires seems imminent but no one’s survival is assured.
In a world where life is unpredictable, the threat from the infected suddenly becomes even more unexpected and menacing. Hostilities are inevitable. Only one thing is certain: there will be blood!
“Once Bitten, Twice Die” is the debut novel from Antony J. Stanton. The book is the first of ‘The Blood of the Infected’ series, in the ‘post-apocalyptic action thriller’ genre. Stanton was born in London in 1970. Even as a child he always dreamed of becoming a published author, and he started to write a book. But, having watched the film ‘Top Gun,’ he was swayed into a becoming a military pilot. After no more than a glancing blow of a career in the British Royal Air Force he decided that his long term future lay elsewhere and he became a commercial pilot and remains thus to this day. Hence much of this trilogy was written all around the world, generally at unsociable times when jet-lag meant that normal people were asleep.
During a holiday with three friends, a bet was made amongst them. Each had a task to fulfil within the year – Stanton’s was to write a book. A little late, but five years on and his challenge has been completed. Three times.
His period spent in the RAF helped him write the military survival aspects of this book, and a kidnapping incident in Kazakhstan and shooting in Ghana, amongst other ‘adventures’, provided him with a dark well of experience to draw from. Life is, after all, one big adventure. A combination of the aforementioned, along with his love of the darker sides of literature, and the results are this novel and the next two in the trilogy.
And all it took was the impetus of a friendly challenge to spur him on to his creative dream… He still lives in South London and is very much looking forward to watching his friend fulfilling his part of the challenge: demonstrating his (not-so) newly acquired break-dancing skills, surely a sight to behold
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Taken from “Once Bitten, Twice Die” …
This is the end.
The thought was only fleeting. In reality the end had been and gone a long time before. Sinna had warned him not to do anything stupid, but here he was fighting for his life. What he really should have done was to just give up and let Death claim its prize. If he had known what the future held in store for him he may well have accepted the inevitable. He may have sought a more agreeable means of dying; something a little less brutal. Perhaps something that did not jeopardise the lives of others. Had he been aware that he himself was soon to become a vicious murderer he might not have battled quite so hard. But Abbott was not gifted with foresight. At that moment all that consumed him was trying to stay alive just a little longer. Besides, what kind of death can any one person choose for their first experience of it?
His aggressor advanced with surprising vigour. Abbott was forced back onto the table. He was fit, well-trained and considerably larger than the other. Nevertheless, he found himself unable to contain the onslaught, the triumph of wrathful incognisance over strength and experience. Only certain kinds of demise permit the luxury of reviewing your existence as it flashes in front of your eyes in glorious Technicolor. Some keep you fully engaged and struggling for salvation until the very end. In such cases even a brief perusal of your life in black and white is asking too much. Abbott’s situation fell firmly into the latter category.
He frantically grasped the lunatic’s forearms. His assailant however possessed unnatural surges of power dredged up from his inner demons. A trail of phlegm and a guttural snarl escaped his lips. Hands clawed and teeth snapped. He lunged repeatedly at Abbott’s face. He was virtually within reach now. Abbott dodged his head to the side with a grunt. He tried to get a knee under his attacker’s body but the man was writhing too much. It was just not possible. Yet without doing so he knew he would not be able to hold him off much longer. His strength, along with his hope, was fading fast.
Abbott was flecked with spittle. The stench of warm, rancid breath was overpowering as their heads slowly came together. Some of the man’s teeth had rotted and fallen out leaving open sores in blackened gums. His face was mottled with an unhealthy, purple tinge. It was covered with scabs and flaking skin. Red lines like those of a habitual drinker covered his cheeks. His eyes were bulging and blood-shot, and darted about as though without focus. Yet the most chilling factor was the absolute lack of perception. The pupils were dilated and blank like those of a shark. It was as though he was just lashing out blindly. If the eyes are a window to the soul, then these particular portals looked out onto a vista of pure hell. And then there was the rage; unprovoked yet wanton and plentiful. There was just an overpowering urge to kill.
Abbott’s arms burned. His attacker still showed no sign of tiring. If anything he grew even more frenzied and ironically that may have provided an invaluable reprieve. Death took a reluctant step back and waited, denied its reward for now. As the man thrashed about there was a loud crack. The back legs of the table splintered. The pair were sent tumbling. Abbott hit the floor hard. Pain shot through his shoulder and he was winded but he managed to slip a leg between the two of them. Deftly he launched the man over his head, slamming him against the wall. This was his moment to save himself. This was his one chance to live. If the other reacted more quickly then he would surely be dead. He rolled and scrambled to his feet grabbing at whatever he could reach – a heavy, pewter candlestick discarded nearby. He swung as his opponent started to rise. It struck with a thud across the temple. The force jarred right up through Abbott’s arm, but somehow his adversary did not go down. As he leapt, Abbott backed up and swung, again and again.
Each blow solidly found its mark leaving deep, red gashes. The man sagged to his knees, a trail of blood at his nostril. He flailed forwards with an enraged gargling as the liquid dripped from his chin. Abbott struggled to maintain balance. He desperately hit out once more and cracked the skull right on the top. This time it made a different sound, more hollow and decisive.
This time the candlestick embedded itself.
This time the man went down.
Abbott sank to the ground. The body lay at his feet with one leg twitching, disturbingly. A small pool of viscous blood gradually took shape around the head forming a macabre halo. Abbott gulped down air as his hands started trembling. He was in an upstairs room with bookshelves lining three of the walls. The house was identical to all the others in the street and presumably in most this would have been a bedroom. However the owners of this one, almost certainly dead – or worse – had turned it into a reading room. The shelves were made of cheap, knotted pine and books were lying on the veneer flooring, torn and discarded. He noticed that only one tome remained standing – the Bible.
As he sat trying to regain composure, the violence of the confrontation made it hard to focus. He found himself fixing on irrelevant details, a mist enshrouding his mental faculties. He looked around vaguely for a matching candleholder, as these would probably have come as a pair. The random notion surfaced that it was just like a scenario from Cluedo; Colonel Mustard, or in this case Sergeant Matteo Abbott, in the library, with the candlestick. He wondered again where Sinna was as he should have arrived a long time before. It was most unlike him to screw up. Only now did he start to appreciate that something had gone badly wrong.