Friday, February 22, 2013


Watcha think of my new author bio and photo?

Diana Graves was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.  For her love of great coffee and rain, she remains there.  She has always found the Seattle/ Tacoma area inspirational; a unique mix of horror and glamour, of slums and greatness.  The history is both dark and uplifting.  The buildings are both awe-inspiring and devastated by years of neglect.  Its vast expanses of thick wilderness breeds fanciful wonderment while the huge cities clinging to the coastline won’t let you forget the modern world.   Always the artist, painting and drawing was her medium of choice until she discovered the written world’s ability to delve ever deeper into the human psyche.  A self proclaimed control freak, Diana does all her editing, formatting and cover design for her books. Besides writing, Diana has a full time job, a beautiful baby girl and an adoring husband. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Zombie Book One
By Diana Graves

Copyright © 2017 Diana Graves
All rights reserved.
Kindle Edition
License Statement
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of pure fiction.  Characters, places and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination, and any similarity to people, living or dead, businesses, events or places is purely coincidental.

To Erin, my best friend.

Chapter Four:

     “Here,” Pane said, and he handed Christopher to me before entering their base.  Chris was still sleeping. I guess his little body just couldn’t handle anymore.

I took him into my arms and moved away from the stairs so Pane could come in.  He shut the door behind us and locked it.  I kept my eyes on him, hoping that I didn’t just fuck us again. I was hoping that he wasn’t going to go all crazy evil on my ass now that the doors were locked.  He looked at me in the soft light with a shy smile.  His protruding eyes looked bigger and brighter in the new light. Before I thought they were brown, but now I could see that they were a dark blue, like stormy skies.
“Come on,” said Derek.  He was walking ahead of us, down a long hallway.  The hallway was tall and wide with cement walls and light bulbs hanging from the ceiling every few feet. He took off his black hat to reveal his shaved head.  His big black eyes and eyebrows stood out dramatically against his soft brown skin.       
“We built this place a while back. Way before the disease spread.”
“Why? Did you use it for hunting?” I asked.
“No, they were prepared for ZA, as they like to call it; the zombie apocalypse. They had inside information, you see.  They knew what was going to happen years before it did.” 
“Karen,” said Derek as we reached the end of the hall. 
What we walked into was a huge round room with an open layout.  To our right was a living space with a big screen television, leather furniture and bookcases full of books, movies and video games.  Straight ahead of us was a kitchen with two fridges and plenty of shelves full of food. To our left was a hydroponic garden growing strong under the constant heat of lamps.  There was a long dining table with five laptops sitting open in front of each chair at the table.  One of the chairs was occupied by an older woman with long white hair and striking blue eyes. She was wearing a worn grey tank top that showed off her lean muscular arms. She didn’t look like any grandma I’d ever known, especially as she stood from the chair with force and swiftly walked up to me.  Her eyes weren’t angry as much as they were guarded.  I gave her the same look she was giving me, strong and mistrusting.
“Karen, this is Erin and her son,” said Pane.  “They’re good people.”
“Hush, Pane.  Men are too trusting because they’re too confident.”  She looked past me and the other men.  “Where are Will and Gerald?”
“They’re hunting a corpse.  They should be back soon,” said Derek.
A flash of fear crossed Karen's face and then it was gone.  She gave me her back and started gathering her long sleek white hair up into a ponytail on top of her head as she made her way to the table. “Then I’ll monitor the hatch while you two show our guest the showers and take one yourselves.  I don’t need you stinking the place up,” she said before she took her seat.  She looked up at me and her eyes shot to Christopher and then softened.  “You can put the boy on the couch while you get cleaned up.”  My reluctance must have been obvious, because she smiled at me.  “He will be fine, Erin.  I’ve raised a few babies myself.  William is my grandson.”
Pane put a hand on my shoulder and I reluctantly made my way to the couch.  Slowly I laid him down and Pane put a blanket over him.  I didn’t see where he got it from but I said, “Thank you,” and let him guide me past the kitchen.
It wasn’t obvious before, but there was another hall just behind the kitchen.  It diverted off into several directions, but we kept straight.  “The storage rooms are down that hall,” Derek explained. “And, the bedrooms are down there, but the restroom is just up here.”  He opened a heavy door. I marveled at the door. It looked like something that belonged on a submarine.
“Is every door a big metal solid thing with locks and whatnot?” I asked.
“Yeah, and every room has a hidden exist to the surface,” Pane said. 
I shook my head, not because I found that strange or anything.  Having each room capable of keeping out a horde of the undead and also providing a way of escape was incredibly smart thinking.  No, I shook my head because Karen had been right.  These men were too trusting. They’d only known me for maybe two hours, I’d tried to kill one of them and still they were this forthcoming with information.
The restroom was designed like a gym locker room.  There were toilet stalls and sinks, large lockers full of clothes and long mirrors for dressing in front of.  The showers were in the middle of the room, four shower heads attached on each side of a column and only one large drain in the floor.  A soap dispenser was attached to the column.
“Just put your clothes in the red basket and they’ll get washed,” said Pane.  He was already stripping down. He set his weapons on a counter.  Gone was his heavy brown jacket, belt, black tee-shirt, boots, pants—wow, I had to look away. 
“We don’t have hot water today,” said Derek.  “We can only heat it on sunny days when the solar panels are charged.  There’s been too much cloud cover the past few days.” And, he too started taking his clothes off; weapons, black coat, belt, shirt, boots, pants, boxers—and crap, looked away.
I swallowed the lump in my throat.  Why was I being so shy?  I had to laugh at myself just a little.  I shrugged and started taking off my coat, but I did it slowly.  My body was still sore from the beating Jensen gave me.  I had a hard go of pulling my feet free of my boots. I cursed at them and flung them across the room in frustration. I peeled my jeans off slowly. They were so caked with mud, they fell into the red basket with a heavy thud. I heard a quiet gasp from one of the men, but I didn’t look up.  I knew what I looked like.  My body was riddled with scars and bruises.  If they thought my legs looked bad, they hadn’t seen anything yet.  Keeping my eyes closed, I pulled my shirt over my head, revealing the worst of it.  Deep and dark scars were splashed across my stomach, chest, arms and back. My stomach and back were colored in green and blue, courtesy of Jensen’s boots.  I undid my bra and let my breast rest heavy against my chest before I slid out of my panties.  I moved to put my clothes in the basket and in doing so, gave the men my back.
“Holy fuck,” said Derek.  “Who did that to you? That Finn guy?”
“Yes, and a lot of other people,” I said. “But, if you’re referring to the fresh bruises, that was Finn’s son, Jensen. He’s the man I mentioned before. The man who didn’t want me leaving his daddy’s sanctuary from the devil,” I said quoting Pastor Finn.
“Bloody hell, why are they so keen on keeping people in?” asked Pane.
“They believe that this is the ‘end times’ and anyone who rejects them is accepting the devil, and should be killed, lest we add to the devil’s ranks…or some such bull shit”
“Crazy is as crazy does,” said Derek.
I nodded and covered my breasts as best I could while I made my way to the showers.  I tried to look anywhere but at their nakedness.  I saw nothing but smooth muscular chests and arms…and legs, but nothing else. 
I approached the center tower and turned on the water. Pane and Derek both made noises of discomfort as they stepped into the cold water but I didn’t. I let it run all over my body with a smile before pumping the soap into my hand and dumping it in my hair. I massaged the soap in and it smelled sweet. I couldn’t remember the last sweet thing I smelt. Oh, yes I could. It reminded me of a time before my life went to shit. A memory of washing dishes surfaced. I’d worked a ten hour shift that day. My muscles were tired. My husband had gotten home hours before me and was just sitting in his chair watching football. I was five months pregnant with Christopher and exhausted and somehow it was still my job to clean the kitchen and make dinner. I remember being so angry with him. We fought that night. It was terrible...But I’d give anything to be there instead of here. I lathered the soap all over my body, scrubbing away every bit of muck I could find before rinsing it all away. I didn’t even realize the men were watching me shower until I turned the water off and asked for a towel. They were both done with their shower, wearing towels and staring at me.
“Sorry,” Pane murmured as he handed me a worn grey towel from a metal cabinet near him.
I wrapped the towel around me. “Don’t worry about it. I know how messed up I look.”
Derek gave me a black t-shirt and pajama pants. “You can wear my clothes until yours are clean.”
“Thank you.” 
Derek and Pane got dressed while I dried myself off.
“So, what are the dynamics of this place. Karen's in charge and you four men do what?”
“Karen is definitely in charge,” said Derek. “This whole thing, this place was her idea. We’d all be dead if it wasn’t for her.”
Pane threw his used towel into the dirty clothes hamper. “As far as I can tell, we gents spend our days running  patrols to keep the surrounding area clear of zombies and maintaining our home.”
“Interesting...And Karen?”
“Like I said. She’s in charge,” said Derek.
We came out of the restroom clean and were met by the wonderful smell of food cooking. I grabbed my stomach when it growled, anticipating the food that scent promised.
“Whatcha cooking?” asked Pane as he entered the large room ahead of Derek and I. “Smells great.”
“Potato soup,” We heard Karen answer.  “You have impeccable timing.  Three others need the showers.”
“Three?” asked Derek just ahead of me.
“We have another guest,” said Karen.  “He says he knows Erin.”
I came around the corner last and saw him sitting next to my sleeping baby.  He looked at me with a crooked smile that would haunt me for as long as I lived, however long that might be. I grabbed Derek’s forearm.  He looked back at me.
“Jensen,” I said with real fear in my eyes.
Derek and Pane’s posture changed at the sound of his name, from relaxed to alert. Derek put a hand on my shoulder.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Zombie Book One
By Diana Graves

Copyright © 2017 Diana Graves
All rights reserved.
Kindle Edition
License Statement
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of pure fiction.  Characters, places and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination, and any similarity to people, living or dead, businesses, events or places is purely coincidental.
To Erin, my best friend.

Chapter Three:

    “ARE you excited to see our base?” asked Derek.

I smiled. “Not particularly. I’ve seen a lot of forts and bases; walled off city blocks, boarded up buildings, large boats all strung up together like a floating town on a lake and houses out in the safer countryside. They all had one thing in common...they were not sustainable.”
Food ran out, clean water ran out, good people were the first to die and in the end, all that was left was cannibalism and disease. Christopher and I had just escaped from such a place; a boarded-up church far out in the country with a walled-in courtyard. 
“We’re fully sustainable,” Derek smiled with big white teeth. His smile was almost contagious, but it wasn’t hard to fight it. I was fairly certain I would never enjoy a genuine smile ever again.
“They all claim to be.”
“Who’s ‘they all’?” Derek asked.
“A lot of people…”
Derek stopped walking only for a moment before doing a little happy jog to catch up.
“That was a thousand yard stare if I ever saw one. What’s your story? Why were you out on that road tonight?”
I didn’t want to talk about it, but Pane and Derek were looking at me expectantly and I had to admit that a part of me wanted to confide in them. Maybe it was Derek’s smile or Pane’s gentle way, or maybe I just needed to hear myself say it out loud. Either way, I started talking.
“Chris and I had made a home out of an old trailer we found on the side of the road. Weeks ago we were on a supply run and we ran into a preacher named Finn.  Though, in hindsight, he may not have been a real pastor.  But at first he was a sweet older man but that act didn’t last long at all. He talked well. He convinced us to come back to his church. He said there were hundreds of survivors thriving inside the high walls. I remember feeling so excited. I felt like I’d finally found a place to feel safe, a place to raise my son. But, once the doors were locked with us on the inside he changed drastically.”
“How?” asked Derek in a small breathy voice that told me he had some feeling as to how it changed. Badly.
“Finn was a violent sexual sadist.  He preached for hours and used food as a tool to keep us in line.  If we didn’t please him, we starved and our kids starved.  The families that stay there are loyal to him to the point of mental illness.”
“Sounds like a cult,” Pane said. 
“Yeah, like a cult. They held public executions once every couple of days for entertainment.  Anyone who disagreed with Finn or tried to leave were hung from the gallows in the garden until dead, and then we would have a great big feast.”
They had no idea. The executioner was the preacher’s son, Jensen, and he loved his job far too much.  He relished in his power; fucking and killing whoever he liked or didn’t like.
“But you escaped. How?” asked Derek. 
It took me a couple weeks to plan our escape from the church.  The walls were guarded too well and all the windows were boarded up. There was no way off the property, no conventional way at least. 
“At night I chipped away at the wood floor under the mattress that Christopher and I shared, with a knife from the kitchen.”
“Like in the movie Shawshank Redemption,” Pane commented.
I felt the thought of a smile enter my mind because I loved that movie, but the smile never made it to my lips.
“Pretty much. I scattered the wood chips outside while I tended to the plants.  Jokes on them, I’m a crappy gardener. Once the hole was big enough for me to fit through, I dug my way through to the crawlspace under the church.  Over the course of a week I stole whatever weapons and supplies I could find and hid them in the hole under the mattress.”
“Did you leave them with anything? You were fucking loaded,” Pane said.
“They’re fucking loaded. They never noticed a thing I took was missing, or maybe someone did...Earlier tonight we waited for the dead of night to make our escape. While most everyone was sleeping or otherwise occupied, Christopher and I crawled through the underbelly of the building, located the crawlspace access door on the side of the church, then I picked the lock on the gate and we made a run for it.  But, I didn’t expect someone to be sitting outside the gates with a shotgun as if he knew we’d be there. Finn’s son, Jensen.”
Jensen aimed for us and I heard the roar of his shotgun, but he missed us. Even so, Chris stopped running. He was frozen in fear. Jensen ran after us so I swung Christopher onto my back and ran through a field of tall grass to lose him in the woods, but I didn’t lose him.
Jensen caught up with us and tackled me to the ground. 
“You’re going to hang tonight, bitch! But before you do, you’re going to beg me to end you!” he screamed in my face.
He ripped Chris away from me and kicked me in the stomach repeatedly.  At first all I could hear was Jensen grunting with every forceful kick and Chris crying for me, but then I heard THEM.  The zombies came through the trees. They must have followed the sound of our fighting, those who still had ears at least. They attacked Jensen first since he was the obvious target. Big, easier to see through milky dead eyes...
I didn’t realize I’d fallen silent until Derek asked, “So someone was waiting for you? What did you do?”
“I-we fought and the zombies must have heard it because they came running at us.  For the first time ever I was actually a teensy bit happy to see them, and used them as a diversion to escape.”
I’d scrambled to my feet and grabbed up Chris, kicking in the head of a zombie in my way.
“The last time I saw Jensen, he had a pack of the dead besting him in the worst sort of way.” It seemed his fate was sealed, and it was fitting. “Unfortunately we didn’t escape unnoticed and ended up running with a horde of undead at our backs, and you know the rest.” 
“Damn, now I get why you acted like you did. Fuck,” said Derek.
Pane stopped walking and I looked up at him.  “We’re here,” he said as he calmly rocked Christopher in his arms. 
I looked out at the night, nervously massaging my sore hands.  I couldn’t help but fear that I was walking into another nightmare situation.  These men seemed like harmless enough geeks, but Finn seemed like a sweet old man at first too. My fear peaked when I realized there were no structures among the trees.  Had they just taken us deeper into the forest to do what they wanted with us.
“Where’s your base?” I asked, trying hard to keep the fear out of my voice.
“We live underground,” said Derek as he bent down and began fiddling around in the dirt.  I bent down next to him and saw that he was actually trying to lift a round metal door half hidden by leaves and dirt.
“What’s wrong?” asked Pane.
“She must have locked it from the inside,” said Derek.  He pulled a walky-talky off of his belt, pressed a button and spoke into it.  “It's okay, Karen. She’s just a lady and a kid.  Neither of them have been infected.”  He let go of the button and turned to me and asked quietly, “You haven’t been, have you?”
“Come on,” Derek said.  He turned to Pane.  “Turn to the camera and show her the baby.” 
Pane turned around and looked up and there was a short buzzing sound, as though we were being let into an apartment building in the city, but the metal hatch swung open on its own accord.  I looked down into it to find a short metal staircase and soft white lighting.
“Thanks,” Derek said into the walky-talky before he put it back on his belt and climbed into the whole. “Come on Erin,” he said. 
I took a deep breath and spared a lingering look back at Chris. I looked up at the man holding him and I gave him serious eye contact through his long black hair. “Pane, don’t hurt us, okay,” I said.  The look in his dark eyes was part shock, part pity, but he gave me a shallow nod of his head and I followed Derek underground.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Zombie Book One
By Diana Graves

Copyright © 2017 Diana Graves
All rights reserved.
Kindle Edition
License Statement
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of pure fiction.  Characters, places and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination, and any similarity to people, living or dead, businesses, events or places is purely coincidental.
To Erin, my best friend

Chapter Two:

    I felt jostled and it woke me, but it took me several moments to regain complete consciousness. The world was soupy, swirly and surreal.  I wanted to move, but my limbs felt too heavy, and it was too hard to keep my eyes open. While I waited for mobility, I listened to the voices of the men and comprehended as much as I could as the fog slowly lifted from my mind. 
“Zombie apocalypse man; there are freaking zombies everywhere.  Almost everyone is dead and you still can’t talk normally in front of a girl? Come one, Gerald.  I’ll tell you what that is. That right there is pathetic.”
“Shut it, WillI talked normal back there,” said a man, Gerald I guessed.
"No," spoke another man, "Your voice went all deep, ‘come with me if you want to live.’ ”
“Yeah, that was kind of stupid, man.  Are you going to talk like that when she wakes up?  Can you keep something like that up?” asked Will.
“That’s just how I talk around the ladies.  They happen to like it,” said Gerald, and now I could tell he was the one carrying me.
“Oh, they do?  Because to me, it looked like she wanted to kill you,” said Derek.
“Yeah, what did you say to her?  She was P.I.S.S.E.D, big time,” said Will.
“Hush. Your bickering is going to wake the baby,” said the fourth man, the one with the subtle British accent. “He’s so cute.”
“I’ll trade you mom for son…” Gerald started to say, but before he could get the sentence out I was fighting myself free from his arms, wiggling like a worm really.  “Hold on.  Calm down.”
“No, let go of me!” I shouted.  I was thrashing around, struggle against his massive arms.
“Miss, Miss,” said the man with the British accent. He stepped into my line of sight and I stopped moving.  He was the guy with long dark hair who grabbed up my cutlery, while the big brute that was carrying me was holding me down. “Look, see.  Here’s your boy.  He’s safe.”
“He’s sleeping,” I said and I didn’t understand it.  He only ever let me hold him.  “He should be screaming.  Did you drug my baby too?!” I yelled and I tried to lash out in anger, but Gerald tightened his grip around my waist.
“No,” said the blond man who had my guns.  I recognized his voice as the one that belonged to Will. That meant that the black fellow standing away from us was Derek.  “We didn’t drug your baby.  We wouldn’t do that, but if you don’t keep your voice down we may have to drug you again.”
I nodded and took in some calming breaths. “Where are you taking us?”
“I told you,” said Gerald.  “Someplace safe.”
I drummed my fingers on his back.  “Can I at least walk?”
Gerald hiked me up higher on his shoulder.  “I don’t trust you not to do something stupid.
I sighed.  “You have my kid and my weapons.  I can’t survive without either of them, so I’ll play nice.”  I put up my hands as if to say, ‘look, I’m just a wee unarmed girl.’  The fact that I was draped over a man’s shoulder only helped my case.
Will gave me a long look from under his blond brows.  His eyes flicked to Derek, standing in the shadows, then to the man holding Christopher and then to Gerald.  He shrugged. “It’s up to you,” he said to Gerald.  “She pulled a knife on you, so what you say goes.”  I rolled my eyes.
“What’s your name?” asked Gerald.
“Erin,” I said.
“Erin, I’m Gerald, but they call me the Hammer.”
“We never call him that,” spoke up Will.
“They sometimes call me that, because I like to use the hammer when I kill zombies.”
“We never call you that, and you’ve never actually killed a zombie with a hammer, freakin dork,” Will mumbled the last bit.
Gerald cleared his throat.  “If I didn’t have a gun, I’d use a hammer.  It’s my backup. Anyway, that jerk is William.  Don’t mind him.  He has no sense of social graces.  If he thinks it, he says it.  The guy in the shadows is Derek.  He’s the strong silent type.”
“Yeah, what are you, like Kenyan or Nigerian?” Will asked Derek.
“I’m black, I’m a black American, you fucking jerk,” said Derek.
Gerald ignored their argument.  It went on and on as he introduced me to Pane, their British companion, and I got the sense that Will was the sort of guy you didn’t argue with because he never admitted to being wrong or gave up any ground. 
Pane rocked Christopher in his arms as he explained how the three other men found him. He’d been visiting Olympia on holiday when the whole Zombie Apocalypse went down. He and his mates decided to escape the densely populated city and head for the mountains…but so did a lot of other people.  The roads became packed, making the people easy pickings for the zombies.  Pane’s friends didn’t make it, but he somehow found his way up here, where Derek, Will and Gerald found him half starved.
“So, now you know our names.  Do you feel better?” asked Gerald.
I did, actually.  Before they were just another group of power hungry, greedy men, but now they seemed more like a great big group of socially awkward dorks. “Yeah,” I said, and Gerald loosened his grip on me and I slid off his shoulder. 
I immediately went to Pane’s side to see Chris.  He had him cuddled up against his shoulder.  His face was nuzzled against his neck and his little fingers were twirling Pane’s long hair.  That made me smile.  I think it was the hair that fooled Chris into thinking I was carrying him and lulled him into a false sense of security. Pane’s long black hair was similar to my own dark brown hair, in length and texture.
I was about to reach out for him, but I caught the scent of something off, something rotten.  My eyes went to the forest, wide as they tried to see more than they were able in the dense darkness.
“I smell something,” I said.
“Me too,” said Gerald.  “Shut it,” he said in a hushed voice to Will and Derek.
Pane moved closer to me.  “Gerald, it smells ripe.  I think we’re downwind of something very nasty.”
“We’re close to the base.  If we keep moving and keep quiet, we may make it,” said Derek.
     Will moved to Gerald’s side and spoke softly so that the rest of us couldn’t hear their conversation.  I didn’t like that.  Gerald looked up and out in one particular direction and then he shook his head. 
“No, we need to hunt it and kill it.  Will and I will track it.  You two take Erin and the baby to the base.”
“What if there is more than just one?  What if there’s another horde?” asked Derek.
Gerald and Will exchanged a look.  Gerald looked dead serious and moved his large hand to a heavy hammer at his utility belt. 
“You ready to die, Hammer?” Will asked with a wily smile.
“Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam!” Gerald said, and they moved off into the darkness.
Derek came to my side.  “We need to go.  The base is just another mile east of here.”
“It doesn’t feel right leaving them like this,” said Pane, but he started moving and we followed.
 “They can take care of themselves, man.  You know they kick more zombie ass than anyone we know,” said Derek.
“Everyone I know is dead,” Pane whispered.
“What was that Gerald said?” I asked.  I was trying to increase my speed to keep up with their long strides.
“It’s Klingon,” said Derek.  I rolled my eyes.  Such dorks.  I was scared of them? Seriously?  “Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam!” Derek said, “Today is a good day to die.”