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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Spotlight! One Thousand and One Nights by Ruth Browne

Guest Post:

Fairytales, Zombies and Romantic BDSM

Hello, hello. I’m the author of One Thousand and One Nights, soon to be published by the Ever After line of Entangled. I live in South Africa, which is a country, and I write and review fiction while studying law.

1001 Nights adapts and retells the story of Scheherazade, the mythical Persian queen who escaped beheading at the hands of her jilted, homicidal husband Shahryar (in Persian, “king”) by telling him bedtime stories. In his original form, Shahryar inspires about as much empathy as Ted Bundy. Surrounded by man-eating corpses, protecting his own tiny island of the living, Aleksy (in Greek/Polish, “defender of mankind”) was my attempt to salvage the King from his misogynistic past. He hates and fears his Scheherazade, Sheri, because she’s tainted by a zombie-bite, but still human. The feeling of just subsisting from day to day translates well to an updated version: Aleksy tries to keep going in a world that’s betrayed him, and Sheri lives with the constant fear of death and undeath.

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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

Spotlight and Giveaway! Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean

Interview with Michelle McLean

Do you write in different genres?

I do! I love writing in different genres. It lets me explore different aspects of creativity and work out different parts of my brain. I write historical, paranormal/urban fantasy, and contemporary romances, and educational non-fiction. Along with a bit of poetry and a picture book or two :)

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I really don’t have a favorite, unless you count romance :) But sub-genre-wise, I love them all. Historicals allow me to delve into the past which I absolutely love (my bachelors degree is in History). Paranormals and urban fantasies allow me to play around with the supernatural and other-worldly things which I also absolutely love. Contemporaries allow me to switch up my every day world a little. And my non-fiction allows me to tap into my analytical side and help people with educational matters, which I also really love. I’ve penned poetry since I was little, and have written several picture books for my kids that I still read to them. I can’t imagine not writing any of these.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Wish Upon a Star was originally a fairy tale retelling that was a mashup of Pinocchio and Rumplestiltskin. Most of the fairy tale elements were taken out in edits, but my main character was based on the blue fairy and spends a lot of time wishing on stars :)

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I almost always title the book afterwards. I like to use a line or some words or a theme that is special to or prevalent in the book to use as a title and often that doesn’t come across until it is finished. The one exception is a novella I’m working on. I heard a line in a song that I just loved and built a book idea around it :)

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Victoria Holt has been my biggest influence. She was my first authorial love :) Once I graduated to novels (at a fairly young age) I read everything I could get my hands on. I was always raiding my mom’s shelves and she had a ton of Victoria Holt’s gothic romances. I fell in love with the genre immediately. And when I decided to write my own first novel that type of story was in my head. A historical romance full of romance, danger, and mystery :) I write other genres as well, but historical romances, especially gothic, will always be my first loves.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

One of the books I’m working on has several shape poems in it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep them in there as it won’t show up correctly on all digital devices, but they are really fun to create. In the book, I have poems shaped like an hour glass, an ankh, a lightning bolt, a broken heart, a pyramid, an eye, a music note, and several others. Here is one, shaped to look like a drop of blood.

He holds

my face so tenderly,

in hands that had killed.

For me. Fingers gently touch

my cheeks. His lips kiss away my

tears, my blood. “Breathe,” he whispers.

His lips brush mine. “Just breathe.” I shudder,

my breath escaping at his command. “If you insist,”

I try to joke. Fail. Shouts fill the night air. “Go!” I cry.

They mustn’t find you with me. Go!” He freezes, his storm

gray eyes on our hands, clasped between our pounding hearts.

The horror on his face mirrors that on my own. One last caress, so

bittersweet. He wavers. “Go,” I breathe. He steps back, back, raised

hand stained black with blood. Mine, his, theirs. His pained howl rips

through me, burning his image on my soul. “For you I’ll live,” I whisper,

unwilling to breathe, unable to stop. They will come for me, their hands

grasping, to return me to my clan. “Go!” I plead. One last look and he

runs, his tortured fury echoing through me, his pain my own. They

come, see me bathed in blood. “Who did this?” they ask. I shrink

from their touch. Gently they lift me, murmuring, “Let us help

you.” I swallow my protests, settle into their strong hands.

They ask, over and over, but I don’t speak. And they

don’t suspect. They take me home. I care not.

I’ll breathe because I promised I would.

But oh how it hurts. He is gone…

And…I…can’t…breathe....

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The first draft. I’m horrible at first drafts. Editing, I love. I can revise very quickly and enjoy doing it. Pulling a first draft out of me is like yanking my own teeth. I’m not sure why, because I really love to get the stories down on paper. But those blank pages just staring at me are hard to fill sometimes. Give me a completed manuscript to polish up any day :D

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Mostly, I read :D I used to do a lot of cross-stitching and I play the piano. I love movies and spend a lot of late nights with my favorites. But mostly, I read :)

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I have a non-fiction book on how to write poetry that should be releasing at the end of the year. And next year, the last book in the Blood Blade Sisters trilogy will be releasing, along with a new historical romance set in the 1920s that will come out next summer. I’m also working on the book with the shape poems and have a fairy tale retelling series I’ll be shopping around soon :)

 

Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean

ISBN: 9781622663323

Book Description:

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 a zombie uprising threatens them all.

Amazon BN Goodreads

Excerpt:

Jason sank down beside me and pulled me toward him, pressing a kiss against my temple.

“Are you okay?” he asked, brushing soot and a few burned leaves from my face and hair. The smell of burned plastic and singed hair coated everything. But it could have been worse.

I leaned against him for a moment before trying to push to my feet.

Jason stopped me. “Rest for a minute.” He reached into my backpack and pulled out another bottle of water.

I took it gratefully, gulping down half the bottle before handing it to him to finish off. When he was done, he bent down, kissing a drop of water from my lips. His hands cupped my face. “I’m sorry. For everything. All of it. Everything I put you through. These wasted years without you.”

“I’m sorry too.” I pulled away and looked up at him. “If we get through this—”

“When we get through this. Not if.”

I gave him a small smile and nodded, knowing he knew what I wanted to say without having to voice the words. “When we get through this, maybe we can talk. About things.”

He gave me one more lingering kiss. “I’ll hold you to that.”

“But for now,” I said, brushing a lock of hair from his forehead.

“Rain check?”

“Rain check.”

About the Author:

I grew up in California and have lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, I am generally an organized mess with slight Obsessive Compulsive tendencies. I have a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at.

I am the author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, (Career Press Jan 2011), To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical romance trilogy Blood Blade Sisters (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). In addition to my novels and non-fiction work, I write picture books and a bit of poetry. If I’m not editing, reading, or chasing my kids around, I can usually be found in a quiet corner working on my next book.

I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.

Website: http://www.michellemcleanbooks.com/

Blog: http://michellemclean.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellemclean

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/michelle.m.mclean

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4253087.Michelle_McLean

Giveaway:

$20 Gift Card (Winner’s Choice: Amazon/B&N) & a “Wish” Necklace

a Rafflecopter giveaway