One day her prince would come…disguised as a zombie-killer. Having been disgraced and tossed out by her own scientific community, Gwyn is convinced she can develop a cure for a SuperVirus that has turned the Infected into zombies. By pure luck and determination, she has survived on her own for years, but while out scavenging, a clash with the local zombies leaves her potentially infected. Now, running out of time, she needs help and takes a chance on a hero for hire.
Rafe loves the apocalypse. Since the world went to hell, everything’s come up roses for him. Having procured a mansion in the Hollywood hills, adopted a slew of homeless boys and one cantankerous but useful Doc, Mr. Charming is benefiting from the nasty zombie infestation. His job? Killing the bastards, which he considers fun anyway. Gwyn Snow needs Rafe Charming to help retrieve her research from the Paragon Pharmaceuticals lab, also known as Zombie Central. Believing she can yet save the world, Gwyn makes Rafe question what’s right and what’s worth the fight.
CONTENT WARNING: Prince Charming, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as you’ve never seen them before. Tales From Beyond the End, #1 A Lyrical Press Fantasy Romance – Once Upon”
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“I was on the vaccine team,” she said. “The team leader was a woman named Miriam Armstrong. She’s a brilliant woman, but her aspirations clouded her vision, so when I came up with a workable vaccine, she stole my formula. She re-engineered it, thinking she could make improvements. I complained, but no one was interested. Because she was the team leader, she took credit for the vaccine. When the vaccine was distributed and administered, my best guess is that it reacted with the live virus to cause mutation.”
“That’s just shitty.”
“It appears there are a couple of levels of mutation, producing a higher level of functioning in the infected individual, much like what you described–strong, fast, cunning, violent and with some heightened senses.”
“Right. But there are also some who are just lumbering meat sacks. I think the smarter ones eat those when they can’t find anything fresher, so to speak.”
She shuddered. “The point is, I can fix them. I can still cure them. That’s what I’ve been working on for the last eighteen months, but I need my journals at the lab to reconstruct my original work.”
I cocked a brow at her, displaying my best you’ve-got-to-be-shitting-me expression.
“You really think you can cure those things out there?”
“I know I can.”
She pushed the hair out of her face again, looking me in the eyes. The conviction shining there and echoed in her voice, almost made me believe her. But, I had no faith those animals would ever be human again. The point was she believed they could be cured. Now I had a much better grasp of the guilt and pain that ate at her conscience.
Not only was she gorgeous, she was smart, she was vulnerable and she had an adorable awkwardness that did crazy things to me. I’d never met a woman like her. Ever. I tried not to, but I fell for her, just like that. This was probably not the reaction she was looking for–it sure as hell surprised me–but being the go-with-your-gut kinda guy I was, I did the only thing I could in the circumstances.
“What the hell,” I said, and leaned in to kiss her. The shock when our lips met sent a jolt down my spine, settling somewhere just south of my belt buckle. I couldn’t stop the growl in my throat as I took her deeper. My hands reached up, fingers tangling in the hair at her nape. I gave into the need and pulled her body into mine. She kissed like she didn’t know how, tentative, almost dainty. I smiled against her lips at her sharp intake of breath when I introduced my tongue into her mouth.
God, she tasted so sweet it made me dizzy. She mewed a little sound, returning my kiss, convincing me she had actually done this before. When I placed my other hand at her lower back and pulled her against the enthusiastic bulge in my jeans, she broke the kiss. She took a step away, a shocked look on her face.
“What’s the matter, Princess, too much for you?”
I love to read, write, drink strong coffee and eat dark chocolate–not necessarily in that order and sometimes all at once. I live in the deep South, with my very own superhero, and my three minions. Together, we attempt to take over the world.
When not otherwise occupied with planning world domination, I’m a voracious reader and adore happy endings. I write what I love to read, so I write romance and stories with romantic elements to them.
My novella Hero for Hire, written jointly with the fabulous Margaret Bail is due for release on October 1, 2013. It’s a Paranormal Romance featuring a campy post apocalyptic take on the Snow White tale, and is the first in our Tales from Beyond the End series.
I love feedback and messages, so please feel free to contact me at
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Hi. I’m Margaret Madigan. Or M.K.D. Bail, depending on what literary genre we’re talking about!
I live in the vast Northern Plains where it’s quiet and mostly empty, and very conducive to letting my imagination run wild. As a result, I have difficulty focusing on just one genre of storytelling. Of course, I love romance, so I write a lot of that, but I also write science fiction, and dabble in other genres just for the fun of it.
When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English, or working as a literary agent for an amazing agency…and of course enjoying time with my family.
Thanks for visiting my page. Like Merissa, I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to contact me with comments, requests, feedback, or messages at