Tag Archives: Zombie books

‘The Island At The End Of The World’ Has Been Selected As A Finalist In Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards For 2015

9 Mar

The Island at the End of the World, the third book in my For Those In Peril series of post-apocalyptic survival novels, has been selected as a finalist in the horror category of Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for 2015.

I’ll be quite honest and say that this came as rather a pleasant, and unexpected, surprise. While both the previous books in the series (For Those In Peril On The Sea and The Outbreak) were also short-listed for this rather prestigious prize (making it three years in a row that one of my book has made it this far in the competition), I was really not too sure that The Island at the End of the World would match the successes of its predecessors. This is not because I don’t think that it is as good a book, but rather that it is a very different type of book. While it still has strong horror elements, its focus is much more on post-apocalyptic survival than fighting off the infected, making it much harder to categorise.

The timing of this announcement is actually quite good. As those who check this blog our regularly will be aware, I have been very poor on the blogging front for the last year or so. This is because life keeps getting in the way of my writing time (I’ll explain more in a future post or two), and I’ve been struggling to get anything of any substance done – whether blogging, or indeed starting the next book in the For Those In Peril series (which has a working title of The Rise of the Infected – but that’s about as far as I have got with it so far).

Hopefully, knowing that The Island at the End of the World has reached the final short-list for this year’s INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award will give me the impetus I need to knuckle back down at the keyboard again and get to work, both fleshing out the rough ideas I have for The Rise of the Infected, as well as the various short story and blog article ideas that I’ve been carefully filing away over the last 12 months in the hope that I’d eventually get round to turning them into finished pieces. To find out if this is the case, just watch this space!

For those who are interested, the winners in Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for 2015 will be announced at the end of June 2016, so I’ll be keeping all my fingers crossed until then. If you want to see what other books The Island at the End of the World is up against, you can find the full list of finalists here.

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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

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‘The Outbreak’ Has Been Selected As A Finalist In Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards For 2014

13 Mar

The Outbreak, the second book in my For Those In Peril series of post-apocalyptic survival novels, has been selected as a finalist in the horror category of Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for 2014.

Obviously, I’m delighted by this, but it does put some pressure on the third book in the series, which I’m currently working on and which will be called The Island At The End Of The World, as this second time I’ve been selected as a finalist in this category (the first book in the series, For Those In Peril On The Sea, was a finalist in the 2013 competition).

For those interested in all things zombie, there’s actually quite a strong undead contingent on the finalists list this year, with Christy J. Leppanen’s rather interesting and unique Bulletin of ZOMBIE Research, and Kevin Wayne Williams intriguingly titled Everything I know About Zombies, I learned In Kindergarten also making the list, and I’d recommend checking both of them out when you have the time.

For those who are interested, the winners in Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards for 2014 will be announced on the 26th of June 2015, so I’ll be keeping all my fingers crossed until then (which may make editing the next book in the series a little difficult!).


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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

‘The Outbreak’ – Kindle Edition $0.99 Until Monday 25th August 2014

22 Aug

The kindle edition of my latest post-apocalyptic survival novel, The Outbreak, will be on sale for $0.99 this weekend instead of its usual $4.99. If this isn’t enough to tempt you to buy it, here’s what readers have been saying about it so far:

‘Loved this book and the story line, the characters are great! Felt myself well up at certain points and got far too caught up in some characters emotions (a good thing obviously). Very well written and I highly recommend it to anyone.‘ Five Stars out of five (Goodreads Review).

This is a thriller with gritty, convincing detail and enough human interest to keep you gripped to the end.‘ Five Stars out of five. (Customer review from Amazon.co.uk).

… Beautifully written and put together; a book and storyline that will, without doubt, stay with me for a very long time … The story moves on very quickly, it gets to the point, and before you realise it, you are witnessing an Apocalyptic event happening in the UK which, if I’m honest, terrified me …‘ Five Stars out of five (Goodreads Review).

… The author has produced a very well paced, exciting and at times extremely sad thriller. It rattles along quickly having just the right amount of descriptive detail, dialogue and technical info for it to be well explained to the uninitiated in regards to the setting (Glasgow and the remote islands), sailing and development of the characters … The characters are exactly right, you like the ones you are supposed to like, feel sympathy for the ones you are supposed to sympathise with and downright hate the ones you are supposed to hate!!!!!! It’s about as perfect as you can get …‘ Five Stars out of five (Goodreads Review).



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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

‘The Outbreak’ – The First Official Review Is Out And It’s Five Stars Out Of Five!

29 Jul

The Outbreak Cover DesignJust over a week after The Outbreak was published, the first major review is out … And it’s five stars out of five!

It’s a Foreword Clarion Review and you can read it on their website by clicking here, or you can download it as a PDF by clicking here.

To give you a taster of what the reviewer said, here’s some excerpts:

Now, here’s a zombie apocalypse that really knocks ‘em dead.

With zombie apocalypses occurring across all media at an alarming rate these days, it is difficult to find a new spin on the catastrophe. But Scottish marine biologist Colin M. Drysdale’s second book about the walking dead, The Outbreak…, adds a refreshing new twist to the genre: a small group of Glaswegian survivors finds safety at sea. Tackling themes such as uncertainty, not judging people by appearances, and the importance of living for the moment, Drysdale’s seafaring tale makes a splash in the postapocalyptic genre. …

…The thriller moves at a fast pace, with each chapter ending in a cliff-hanger designed to ratchet up suspense while keeping the audience turning the pages. Another brilliant coup occurs as it becomes impossible to predict who will die and how death will occur. As with the Game of Thrones series, The Outbreak also possesses no qualms about killing off characters one has become invested in. The alacrity with which some die only reinforces the horror of it all. …

Needless to say, I’m chuffed not only to have got a much coveted five star rating for the second time from Foreword Review, but also to get such a great review.



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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

After ‘For Those In Peril On The Sea’ What Comes Next?

2 Jul

With the Kindle edition of For Those In Peril On The Sea currently on the edge of the top ten best-selling books in the horror genre on Amazon.com, I figured now might be good time to give my readers an idea of what’s coming next. Well, at the moment, I’m planning on writing a total of three books in the For Those In Peril series, with the possibility of a fourth book lurking in the back of my mind.

I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of the second book, with the rest of the plot sketched out on paper. This book will be set in the same world as For Those In Peril On The Sea, and will start with an outbreak of the same disease in my home town of Glasgow in Scotland. It will feature a new cast of characters and will be about people struggling to survive in the initial days and weeks after the virus breaks out of the Americas and reaches Europe. As with the first book, much of the action will take place on and around boats, with the waters of the west coast of Scotland, and its many remote islands and mountains, providing a perfect backdrop for the scramble to survive. This will also create a marked contrast with the balmy sub-tropical setting in the first book.

The third book in the series is still very much in the planning stage but will see the characters from the first two books meet up. Rather than focussing on the immediate aftermath of the collapse of civilisation, it will deal more with the challenges of long-term survival face by a small group of survivors in a world where the infected rule the land. The fourth book, if it happens (and, at the moment, I’m still not too sure if it definitely will) will go right back to the beginning and will focus on the events within the biotech company that led to the creation of the vaccine which sparked chain of events leading to the first three books. In many ways, this will be a book for the geeks who really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the real science behind the world in which these books take place.

At the moment, the second book, which has the working title of On The Edge Of The World, is scheduled for release in June 2014 (to coincide with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games), and the third book for sometime in 2015. However, before either of these comes out, there’s going to be an anthology of short post-apocalyptic and zombie stories called Zombies Can’t Swim And Other Tales Of The Undead. These stories will be familiar to those who read this blog as all but one will have been posted here before. However, the aim is to bring them all together, give them a bit more of a polish and issue them as a print and Kindle ebook at a nominal price for those who prefer reading short stories in a more traditional format. There will also be one completely new story that’s never been available elsewhere. I completed the last of the 22 stories which will go into this anthology yesterday and now all that’s left is the fiddling around needed to get it into a publishable format. At some point, there will also be a curious volume called The Little Book Of Zombie Mathematics: Fifty Zombie Based Maths Problems. As the title suggests, this will consist of 50 zombie-based maths problems from my Maths With Zombies blog.

In amongst all this zombie stuff, there are also a couple of other books which I wish to write. The first of these is called West End Rats, which would be very loosely based on my student days in Glasgow spent listing to rock music, riding around on motorcycles and doing lots of things that mean I’m very glad neither Facebook nor mobile phones with cameras existed back then. This is a book I’ve had sitting on the back burner for more than a decade, and I’m really not too sure whether it will ever see the light of day. In fact, this is the book I moved back to Glasgow to write in 2010 only to get side-tracked by zombies and writing For Those In Peril On The Sea.

The second of these non-zombie projects has a working title of Jongleurs (an old French term for itinerant minstrels) and while there are autobiographic elements in much of my writing, this will be the one which draws the most from my actual life. It’s the story of two street performers trying to make into the big time as jugglers, and the woman who comes between them. For much of the period between 1994 and 2000, while building my fledgling career as a marine biologist, I earned my living working first as a juggler and then as a magician, in a similar double-act both on the streets of Glasgow, and at official events and festivals. While we were good enough to have made it quite big, I found the amount of practice needed to keep my skills at a sufficiently high level was too all-consuming, and that while it was fun, I was only really doing it to help pay the bills as I worked my way up the academic ladder. However, I look back on those days, and the people I met and worked with, with a certain level of fondness and sometimes I still wonder just how big we could have got if I’d made different decisions about which career path to pursue. In many ways, writing Jongleurs would allow me to explore this alternate reality.

So this gives you a rough idea of where I see my writing going in the future. Not all these projects will happen, and some might not happen for many years. In particular, my main focus at the moment is completing the Zombies Can’t Swim anthology and then the next two books in the For Those In Peril series. This will easily fill the next few years, and after that, who knows exactly where life will take me…


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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

What Readers Have Been Saying About ‘For Those In Peril On The Sea’

30 Jun

For Those In Peril On The Sea

For Those In Peril On The Sea available from http://www.amazon.com/For-Those-Peril-The-ebook/dp/B00BRLF8PS/

As of the 3rd of July 2013, For Those In Peril On The Sea will have been out for six months. With the Kindle edition being available for just $0.99 from now until the 7th of July 2013, I thought I’d take the opportunity here to summarise how it’s been received so far.

Overall, those who have read For Those In Peril On The Sea have enjoyed it, and found it to be an interesting take on the traditional zombie apocalypse novel which brings something new and unique to the genre. Many have also noted that it is appealing to readers who are not necessarily into zombies, finding that it reaches out beyond the zombie genre, and even beyond the wider post-apocalyptic one. This is highlighted by the fact For Those In Peril On The Sea was selected as one of only five finalists in the ForeWord Firsts Winter 2013 competition for debut novels!

There’s only really been one critical point which has been raised in some of the reviews, and this is that there were a couple of typos which had been missed in the final copy editing process. These have now been sorted in the Kindle ebook edition and, thanks to the wonders of modern publishing, in the international print edition (available from Amazon.com).

So, what have readers actually said about For Those In Peril On The Sea? Well, here’s some excerpts and links to the reviews themselves:

ForeWord Clarion Review: ‘…For Those in Peril on the Sea is not a mere imitator of currently popular zombie books and films. Drysdale’s novel proves different and superior in concept as well as content. The infected are unusual in ways that make them seem terrifyingly real, and the idea of the survivors being trapped offshore is an imaginative and effective twist. While some scenes in the book can be graphic and brutal, Drysdale never allows them to become gratuitous, and each disturbing moment serves a purpose in the plot. The tone of barely suppressed terror is emphasized by the author’s willingness to write as ruthlessly as his story demands: readers will quickly learn that even those who seem most deserving of survival can quite easily fall victim to the infected. …’ Five Stars out of Five. Click here to read the full review.

Literary Wealth Review: ‘… For Those in Peril [On The] Sea by Colin M. Drysdale was a gripping tale of loss, triumph, heartache victories, but mostly the will to survive in a new world with so many challenges. The book was intriguing, and sometimes terrifying enough that I had put it down so that I could absorb what I had read. Mr. Drysdale’s writing is smooth and wonderfully descriptive. He has an impressive knowledge of boats, sailing, and of faraway lands. For Those in Peril [On The] Sea is a terrific read …’ Five Stars out of Five. Click here to read the full review.

Zombiegift.com: ‘… For Those In Peril On The Sea takes a fresh and unique approach to the typical zombie story. The characters aren’t just using the sea to get from one location to another. They’re living on the water to take advantage of the fact that the infected won’t tread into deep water to pursue them. They rely on the sea and become part of a floating community that depends on the resources the sea provides while simultaneously struggling to overcome the obstacles it throws their way. … There is just the right amount of gore and blood without it being gratuitous. One of my favorite aspects when reading this book was being drawn in by the mistakes characters make when escaping from the infected. Like a good horror movie this novel has a few “why on earth would you do that!?” moments that leave the characters trapped and facing certain death. …’ 4.25 Stars out of Five. Click here to read the full review.

Buyzombie.com: .’.. [The] narrative voice is very strong. This is quite reminiscent of the books of David Moody in places; the poignancy and the business of day to day survival, mingled with the fact that like the Hater books, these ‘zombies‘ aren’t actually dead. … All in all this is a very welcome addition to the genre and is solidly written. Drysdale’s experience as a marine biologist certainly adds a new dimension to the zombie novel. A good read.’ Click here to read the full review.

The Student: ‘… The author is a self-professed lover of the zombie-apocalypse genre … However, the narrative of the story is alluring to readers of other genres as it shows depth on an anthropological and philosophical scale. It successfully extricates the reader from the comfortable plateau of reality, and introduces the chilling notion of complete division from society and self-navigation. …’ Three Stars out of Five. Click here to read the full review.

Goodreads.com – Overall rating 4.67 stars out of five based on six ratings:

‘… Although post-apocalyptic literature is not something I usually read, I enjoyed this story about a virulent strain of rabies that infects most of the global population, leaving the survivors isolated from the rest of the world…. The author does a wonderful job at creating a frightening world where the fears and uncertainties plaguing the characters reveal the deepest terrors of humanity when pitted against horrific odds, and the lengths one must go to survive. I was especially interested in the author’s description of sailing and the sea that he draws from his own personal experience. Fans of dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature are in for a treat.’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘Well, this is the first post apocalyptic zombie book I’ve read, so nothing to compare it to. But, I’ll have to say, the book hits the spot. …’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘…The author does a wonderful job at creating a frightening world that reveals the deepest terrors of humanity when pitted against horrific odds, and the lengths one must go to survive. I was especially interested in the author’s description of sailing and the sea that he draws from his own personal experience. Fans of dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature are in for a treat.’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘… For Those in Peril on the Sea by Colin M. Drysdale was a gripping tale of loss, triumph, heartache, victories, but mostly the will to survive in a new world with so many challenges. The book was intriguing, and sometimes terrifying enough that I had put it down so that I could absorb what I had read. Mr. Drysdale’s writing is smooth and wonderfully descriptive. He has an impressive knowledge of boats, sailing, and of faraway lands. …’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘rrrrrrrrr………..sdssds………. Is that the kind of noises zombies make? ..Hopefully I never get to find out. Anyways! This book scared the crap out of me – in a good way. …’ Four Stars out of Five.

Click here to read the Goodreads.com reviews in full.

Amazon.com – Overall rating 4.5 stars out of five based on six reviews:

‘This is a quick read and fun for those into the zombie genre … I found I couldn’t put the book down and whizzed through it, while sitting on a sunny deck with a drink in my other hand. The author has obviously thought a lot about the practicalities of being stuck on a boat during a zombie infestation. …’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘… For Those in Peril on the Sea by Colin M. Drysdale was a gripping tale of loss, triumph, heartache, victories, but mostly the will to survive in a new world with so many challenges. The book was intriguing, and sometimes terrifying enough that I had put it down so that I could absorb what I had read. Mr. Drysdale’s writing is smooth and wonderfully descriptive. He has an impressive knowledge of boats, sailing, and of faraway lands. …’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘I was attracted to this book by the zombie theme and the fact that I had recently visited Hope Town, one of the major locations in the book. … I found the book well written with a good plot and good character development. Mr. Drysdale is a very good writer and For Those In Peril On The Sea was a good little read.’ Four Stars out of Five.

For Those in Peril On The Sea is a welcome and refreshing unique new take on the zombie genre. Drysdale’s novel does a brilliant job of taking the same old zombie story, keeping the right elements and putting just the right spin on the core survival story elements. This book has a near perfect balance of gore, horror, personal struggle, character development and suspense. …’ Five Stars out of Five.

‘A very fun and well-written book with some unique and new perspectives on surviving a zombie apocalypse. Among the best of the genre.’ Four Stars out of Five.

‘Zombies and boats, two great things that actually go great together. I like the occasional zombie book but the real attraction for me was the boat as survival tool. He got the boats right, so that’s a big thing for me. Good twists on his version of zombies. Moments of true terror. …’ Four Stars out of Five.

Click here to read the Amazon.com reviews in full.

Amazon.co.uk – Overall rating 4 starts out of five based on one review:

‘As a long term fan of post apocalyptic fiction (The Stand, The Passage, World War Z etc.) I’m always keen to try out a new author. However, I must confess to a growing weariness with zombie fiction as it so often involves the same old stereotypes and locations – it’s been done to death – no pun intended. So I was pleasantly surprised that For Those in Peril [On The Sea] served up some genuinely fresh ideas. So often tales of the zombie apocalypse centre around a group of survivors trapped in some urban location trying to escape to some safe haven, quite often the ocean, and when they finally get their hands on a boat they either suffer some cruel last minute attack or sail off into the sunset. But what happens next? Well that’s where this book comes in, exploring the consequences of life after the apocalypse. …’ Four Stars out of Five. Click here to read the Amazon.co.uk reviews in full.


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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

‘For Those In Peril On The Sea’ Kindle Edition – On Sale For $0.99 Until The End Of May 2013

23 May

The Kindle edition of For Those In Peril On The Sea is on sale at Amazon for $0.99 from now until the end of May 2013. After that, it’ll be back up to its usual price of $4.99.

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For Those In Peril On The Sea.

For Those In Peril On The Sea.

Primarily set in the northern Bahamas, For Those In Peril On the Sea weaves its tale of post-apocalyptic survival into the local sub-tropical seascape and the sailing culture that can be found there. With its evocative use of real locations haunted by zombie-like infected and atmospheric depictions of the trials of life at sea drawn from the author’s own experiences, this debut novel from Colin M. Drysdale provides a new and unusual take on the traditional post-apocalyptic and zombie genres.

What The Official Reviewers Say:

‘… For Those in Peril on the Sea is not a mere imitator of currently popular zombie books and films. Drysdale’s novel proves different and superior in concept as well as content. The infected are unusual in ways that make them seem terrifyingly real, and the idea of the survivors being trapped offshore is an imaginative and effective twist. While some scenes in the book can be graphic and brutal, Drysdale never allows them to become gratuitous, and each disturbing moment serves a purpose in the plot. The tone of barely suppressed terror is emphasized by the author’s willingness to write as ruthlessly as his story demands: readers will quickly learn that even those who seem most deserving of survival can quite easily fall victim to the infected. …’ ‘Five Stars (out of five).’ – Foreword Clarion Reviews (click here to read the whole review).

What Readers Say:

‘As a long term fan of post apocalyptic fiction (The Stand, The Passage, World War Z etc.) I’m always keen to try out a new author. However, I must confess to a growing weariness with zombie fiction as it so often involves the same old stereotypes and locations – it’s been done to death – no pun intended. So I was pleasantly surprised that “For Those in Peril” served up some genuinely fresh ideas. So often tales of the zombie apocalypse centre around a group of survivors trapped in some urban location trying to escape to some safe haven, quite often the ocean, and when they finally get their hands on a boat they either suffer some cruel last minute attack or sail off into the sunset. But what happens next? Well that’s where this book comes in, exploring the consequences of life after the apocalypse. …’ Four Stars out of Five. Click here to read the whole review.

‘This is a quick read and fun for those into the zombie genre … I found I couldn’t put the book down and whizzed through it, while sitting on a sunny deck with a drink in my other hand. The author has obviously thought a lot about the practicalities of being stuck on a boat during a zombie infestation. …’ Five Stars out of Five. Click here to read the whole review.

Preview The Book:

Extracts from the first three chapters can be downloaded as a PDF from the book’s website (www.forthoseinperil.net) by clicking here.

From the back of the book:

After a six week voyage across the Atlantic, they couldn’t wait to get to shore. When they got there, they found the land would never be safe again…

There was nothing to suggest it would be anything other than a routine delivery. Four people thrown together by chance, sailing a newly-built catamaran from South Africa to Miami. But while they were away, something happened, something none of them could ever have imagined. When they get back to civilisation, they find it no longer exists. The land is no longer safe. Their only option is to stay on the boat and try to survive.

Join Bill, Rob, Jon and CJ as they travel around their frightening new world. One where they must struggle against the infected that now rule the land, the elements and each other.

 About The Author:

As a marine biologist, Colin M. Drysdale has spent plenty of time at sea with no land in sight but he is always glad when he finally gets back to shore. This novel is inspired by a thought that often plagues him during his voyages. What would he do if something happened while he was away and he could never go back?


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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.