Review: The Lair by Emily McKay

The Lair

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

When I was contacted about participating in the blog tour for The Lair, I hesitated.  I had tried to read The Farm last summer, but there was so much going on in my life that I had give up and return it to the library.  I thought the premise sounded interesting,  though, and I love post-apocalyptic reads, so I thought What the heck?  Sure, I’ll give it a try.  Let me say that The Lair can be read by itself.  I was only confused a few times, and the author did a nice job recapping the previous book, without the references feeling awkward or out of place.  As someone who hates to read books out of order, or hates starting a series in the middle, I never felt that nagging burst of frustration with The Lair, and I don’t regret reading book two without having first read book one.  I guess I should try this more often with longer series that I’m interested in, but that seem too overwhelming to start at the beginning.

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Love in the Time of the Dead by Tera Shanley

Let’s celebrate Halloween with some zombies!  Check out this new release by Tera Shanley, and then enter the giveaway!

 

 

About the book:

Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She’s immune to Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney which could fight the virus that ended the world.

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Review: Waking Up Dead by Emma Shortt

 

Waking Up Dead (An End of Days Love Novel) (Entangled Select)

 

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I loved Waking Up Dead!  It’s got a little bit of everything – intense action scenes, gooey zombies, and even a romance that develops over time as the protagonists flee from the north to Texas.  Jackson is a kick-ass heroine who doesn’t need anyone to take care of her, and in fact, she saves Luke many times with her fighting skills.  If it hadn’t been for a recent Candy Crush addiction, I wouldn’t have been able to put it down!  Curse you, Candy Crush!

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Spotlight and Giveaway! Dead Plains by Angela Scott

Today I have a spotlight for Angela Scott’s newly released Dead Plains.  She is celebrating the release by giving away a copy of  WANTED: Dead or Undead or SURVIVOR ROUNDUP – your choice!

 

About the book:

"…Sometimes, the ones you least suspect are the ones that should worry you the most…."

People aren’t always what they seem, as Red has experienced all too well. Strangers are feared, towns are avoided, and everyone’s intentions are scrutinized… even those closest to her. Her coveted ability has been revealed to far too many people, and now that a tiny heartbeat thumps and grows beneath her own, the risk has never been greater.

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Interview with Emma Shortt, Author of Waking Up Dead and Giveaway

Please welcome Emma Shortt to the virtual offices this morning! She dropped by to chat about her zombie romance Waking Up Dead.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Emma Shortt] Right now I’m typing away in an oversize Firefly tee shirt, and my huge spectacles. At some point today I might actually get dressed *lies*.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Waking Up Dead?

[Emma Shortt] Waking up Dead is a book that explores the following question: where there is horror can there be love? The horror comes from the zombies, and the love blossoms between my heroine (Jackson) and my hero (Luke).

I’m a huge horror fan and I devour romance, so in my mind it made sense to combine the two. Plus, it was a book that I wanted to read, if that makes sense, and I looked for it everywhere but couldn’t find it, so I wrote it instead.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Emma Shortt] It just came to me. All my books arrive in my mind pretty much fully formed. I don’t plan them or anything. With Waking up Dead I knew immediately that it would have to be zombies. I have a very weird relationship with zombies. I both loathe and love them.

Once the zombies were there Jackson arrived, then Luke, then all my other characters, and before I knew it I was typing away.

The thing about this story is that it came out exactly how I imagined it to be. Not all my books do, sometimes I feel the final product does not match the story I had envisioned and I can’t work out why. But with WD? As soon as it was finished it felt right.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Jackson?

[Emma Shortt] Impulsive. Steely. Kooky.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Luke had a theme song, what would it be?

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Novella Review: One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne

One Thousand and One Nights (Entangled Ever After)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him…even though he wants her dead.When Aleksy allowed Sheri and her sister into his compound, he didn’t know about the zombie bite on her back. It’s only a matter of time before she turns into one of the rising dead and threatens their existence, but Aleksy has a secret need for Sheri and her stories. For everyone’s safety, he chains her to his bedroom wall, hoping for just one more day. But how long will the community allow Aleksy to ignore his own rule: always kill the infected. Always.

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Novella Review: Mercy by Jan Coffey

Mercy (Entangled Ever After)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Julia Klein’s life has begun to unravel—her daughter Amy has been suspended from school, Julia is about to lose her job, and her boyfriend Garrett is being transferred thousands of miles away. Overwhelmed, she and Amy leave for a weekend at a rambling old colonial inn. Julia never suspects that Garrett, desperate to find a way to keep Julia in his life, has decided to surprise her by joining them. Nor does she expect her daughter to befriend a mischievous ghost…or that she herself would be possessed by the malevolent spirit of a long-dead mother.

As a dark secret emerges, Julia, Amy, and Garrett find themselves pitted in a fight for survival against a savage presence that intends to resurrect/repeat/relive a horrible crime committed two centuries ago. And this time, Amy and Julia will be the victims.

Review:

Zowie!!  Mercy is a great Halloween read!  I wasn’t expecting much, and in fact only picked this novella up because it’s short and I thought I could polish it off fairly quickly.  I did!  But because I couldn’t put it down once I started it.  It’s creepy and the pacing is unrelenting!  Good thing it’s short, because my heart couldn’t have taken much more!  I am usually not a fan of ghost stories, and even though this is fairly predictable, it’s well written and engaging because the characters are so personable.

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Novella Review: Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean

 

Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as the second zombie uprising threatens them all.

Review:

‘Tis the season for zombies, witches, demons, and various other undead creatures, so I am trying to pack my reading schedule with horror stories.  The funny thing is that I usually don’t like them, and I can’t stand to watch horror movies.  As I have pushed outside of my reading comfort zone, though, I have discovered a new appreciation for scarier books, provided that gore isn’t the central theme.  I like seeing how ordinary people react to extraordinary situations, and that is what I enjoy best about dipping into the treasure trove of zombie apocalypse stories.  How are the protagonists going to reconcile themselves to the new normal, which is terrifying and may bring death at any moment?

Wish Upon A Star isn’t long enough to really delve into how Ceri and Jason’s lives and outlooks are going to change after zombies enter the picture.  This is an action read, and the primary focus is on saving Ceri’s daughter from the zombies shambling through the large building that they are all trapped in.  After Ceri’s ex-husband Russell unwittingly unleashes  a zombie apocalypse, Ceri and Jason, the only man she ever really loved,  and the man who left her at the alter, are left to pick up the pieces.  Ceri’s ex-husband was  a mad tinker, and he wanted to create and control the undead – until his creations turn on him.  Yikes! That is always a possibility for evil psychos – don’t these guys watch horror flicks? 

Huddled safely in Russell’s safe room, Ceri sees, to her shock, that her daughter is hiding in an office on the top floor of the building with her mother.  She and Jason are in the basement.  There are a gabillion hungry zombies between her and her family.  What follows is an action packed race to secure her daughter and mother back in the safe room before the military blows up the building.  Setting aside a few improbabilities, like will the room really survive having a huge building crumpled on top of it, this is a fun read.  It has one of my favorite romance tropes, too, and Ceri and Jason rediscover the love that they lost years ago.  Nothing like a zombie horde to put the trust back into a relationship.  After saving each other’s bacon many times on their journey to the top floor, how can they not realize that they are meant for each other, forever this time?

If you are looking for a light seasonal read to get you in the mood for things that go bump in the night, Wish Upon a Star is a good choice.  It’s got a little bit of everything, though the short length eliminates much depth to the story.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher