Dead Living Blog Tour: Interview with Glenn Bullion + Giveaway

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We have Glenn Bullion as a guest today on the blog to promote his zombie book, DEAD LIVING. Check out my interview with Glenn down below, where we talk about zombies, his book, and then more zombies. Also, there is a tour wide giveaway going on so don’t miss out on your chance to a copy of DEAD LIVING!

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If you had to create a kit to survive in a world like the one you created in Dead Living, what would you include?

In Dead Living, the zombies have already taken over.  So, if you’re not bunkered down somewhere, the kit would need to be as light and simple as possible.  A bladed weapon of some sort, with a pistol as a last resort.  Water is a must, as much as you can reasonably carry.  Lighters and matches are no good, so a magnifying glass would be a good carry, for starting fires when able.  Society is over as we know it, so if you’re on your own, scavenging is the name of the game.

How would you introduce us to your main character, Aaron?

The mysterious introduction would work best with Aaron.  I love the visual of seeing him blend harmlessly with a huge pack of zombies, all of them moving around him while he moves freely.  That would be a scary sight, if you happened to be a bad guy (or anyone, for that matter).

Who was your favorite character to write about in Dead Living?

One of my favorite pairings of all my novels were Aaron and Samantha, and I loved to write about those two characters.  But I’ll take this chance to talk about another character, the glue that holds the survivors of Lexington High School together.  Richardson.

A lot of zombie stories has that bad guy, the typical leader of the biker gang, the guy manipulating the town for his own purposes, whose true goal is to look out for himself.  Richardson isn’t that man.  He is a good man, who only wants to take care of the people fate lumped him together with.  He is older, and remembers quite well what the old world was like, a sort of historian for the younger people.  Everyone looks up to him, and for good reason.

Zombies, or the walking dead, seem to be more and more popular in fiction these days. What differentiates your novel from the others in the genre?

It’s hard to write a different zombie story.  A lot of ideas have been used by other writers J  I’d like to think this one is different because of the characters.  I tried to breathe real life into everyone.  These characters were not just written to be eaten by zombies.  I’m hoping as the reader follows Aaron on his journey, that they truly hope for good things, unlike the teens we watch Jason and Freddy chase  J

The setting I also think is interesting.  This isn’t those first few weeks, but far in the future.  Society has fallen; the walking dead have taken over.  How would things be different?  What kind of camps would people form?  Zombies are naturally frightening to us, but what if you were a child, and grew up with them?  What good things would people do?  What evil things?

Dead Living is a fun story that goes on a little adventure that I think will spark the imagination.

What do you want your readers to learn or assimilate from Dead Living?

A lot of zombie stories focus on how bad humanity would turn out to be if the zombies came.  George Romero certainly tackles this issue often.  Dead Living has its villains as well, but there are plenty of positives.  Even with zombies all around, there’s always hope.  You have to hold on to that.

What do you think is more likely: the walking dead created by a virus or by supernatural forces?

You have to go with the virus.  I think that’s part of what makes zombies so scary and fascinating, is that they’re much more feasible to happen than say a vampire or werewolf.  Something that makes a human turn into a wolf is hard to swallow.  But some kind of virus or government experiment that could make dead bodies move and jump around?  I don’t think that’s entirely out of the picture.

What is your favorite zombie movie?

There are a ton of good ones out there.  Even the zom-coms are solid, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland.  But I have to go with the original trilogy, Night, Dawn, and Day.  Those movies are hard to beat.  I also liked Land of the Dead, although I think sometimes I may be the only one.

Do you prefer to write on a computer or with pen and paper? Do you have any weird/crazy writing habits?

Computer writing only for me.  I’m not sure I’d be a writer if it weren’t for the computer.  I don’t really have any weird habits, I don’t think.  I like to listen to music, sometimes, but it depends on how focused I am.  Sometimes music is a distraction, and has to go off.

What are you reading right now?

I’m actually not reading anything right now.  I’m working on my latest book (Demon’s Doorway is nearly ready to be released, as of this writing, and typing the words on Witch’s Kurse).  I try not to mix reading and writing too much.  It’s not good to have that distraction, when I’m having some bad writing time, to say “Man, I wish I was reading that book”.  I try to get my reading done in between novels.

What will I read next?  I’ll probably try to find a Richard Laymon novel I haven’t read yet, or read one of his old ones.

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Thank you Glenn for answering my questions. It was great to have you here on the blog!

More about Dead Living:

Adobe Photoshop PDF

It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.

Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches  him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.

Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.

The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.

They need Aaron.

My Thoughts

Read and excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

giveaway

Glenn is offering a tour wide giveaway of 3 copies of DEAD LIVING [winner’s choice of Print (US/Can) or eBook (INTL)]

To enter the giveaway, obey the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Glenn Bullion

I live in Maryland with my wonderful wife and four cats. I love gaming, computer technology, movies, and of course, reading and writing. I love science fiction and especially horror and the paranormal. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, anything supernatural, all beautiful subjects.

I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. There’s just something about creating a story that I like. I always try come up with something that hasn’t been done, or is unique in some way. It could be someone with demonic powers, or something much more simple, such as a person that zombies ignore. It’s fun to create a character, give him or her a personality and background, and watch them evolve through a story.

I’ve tried other subjects, but always drift back to horror and paranormal. There’s a reason why we keep going back to horror movies and books, why they’ve made fifty Friday the 13th movies. People like to be scared, but more than that, I think paranormal and horror stir the imagination like nothing else. We’re all just a little nervous to open that closet door at midnight, or look under the bed.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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Dead Living by Glenn Bullion

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Dead Living by Glenn Bullion

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Genre: Zombies/Horror
Publisher: Permuted Press
Release date: January 12, 2013

Series: none

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Tour organizer

Purchase: Amazon

It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.

Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.

Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.

The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.

They need Aaron.

I’ve been hooked on anything zombie lately. Simultaneously, I’ve been reading this zombie book, watching  a TV series on DVD about zombies (The Walking Dead) and playing a zombie video game (The Last of Us). All three are excellent and DEAD LIVING is no exception. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it, especially since it’s such a short book. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough character development or enough action, but since the author’s storytelling is right to the point, none of that was compromised.

While most of the story is held 23 years after the zombie apocalypse, I really like the fact the author still wrote about what happened before that, without being dragged through flashbacks. The book opens with the events that unfold the first day of the zombie apocalypse, which is also the day the main character, Aaron, is born. Then, were transported about 14 years into the future where Aaron loses his family and is left to fend for himself. And finally, the read story progresses as we follow 23 year old Aaron, who finally begins to trust humans again.

Ever since learning he has a special link with the dead, Aaron hasn’t been around humans all that much. Since the zombies don’t seem to want to eat him, he’s not afraid to live is a city inundated by them. Truthfully, it was humans that killed his family, and he feels like the real monsters might not be the zombies, but quite possibly the humans. Human survival can be a great and powerful thing, but for some people, surviving means letting go of morals and human decency. So when Aaron meets Sam (Sam to Aaron, Samantha to everyone else), he’s reluctant to follow her to her home base, but eventually decides to check out Lexington High School. Slowly, Aaron begins to trust other humans again and he quickly becomes an important member of the Lexington community. Everyone starts to look up to him, and Sam develops strong feeling for her new friend, despite her own reluctance to trust other people.

DEAD LIVING isn’t just a book about the walking dead, but a book on human survival. It’s realistic enough in the description of how people live, and the indecency of some human beings adds more conflict to the story. The book reveals a lot about the horrors of the human race like rape, slavery and human sacrifice. It almost makes you wonder who the real monsters are: the thinking, breathing humans or the mindless living dead.

For me, this was an excellent quick read, and exactly what I was in the mood for. Glenn Bullion succeeded in writing a memorable and readable book. He didn’t reinvent the zombie wheel but his original add-ons make this book stand out. His unique main character Aaron and Sam make you want to keep reading, and personally, a book is a success especially if you have characters that make you come back for more. While the secondary characters aren’t quite as developed as some, the fact that Glenn Bullion has Aaron and Sam seems to be enough. Bullion expertly captures the horror (and goodness) of the human spirit without being too gruesome in LIVING DEAD. It leaves you satisfied as a stand-alone book, yet truthfully I wouldn’t mind reading more about Aaron.

Read an excerpt

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The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)  The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Book stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Trade Paperback: 404pages
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Delacorte
Release date: March 9, 2010

Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Helen

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing.
 
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
The Dead-Tossed Waves had everything that I loved about The Forest of Hands and Teeth and more. Though it is not necessary to have read Book 1 in order to read The Dead-Tossed Waves, I’d most definitely recommend it, as it adds so much richness to the world that the author has created. The Dead-Tossed Waves is the story of Gabrielle. Her mother, who we know as Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, grew up in the village with the Sisterhood, and finally escaped to the shore where she has raised Gabry as close to the ocean as possible.

Gabry lives in a world where zombies have taken over and have pushed the surviving humans to small, fenced in cities that are hundreds of miles apart. And with just one reckless decision, Gabry’s entire life is changed. This is by no means a happy book. It can be quite depressing, but in the best possible way. The action begins in the very first pages, and quickly unfolds into deeper levels of mystery and risk. Every time I thought I knew what was coming, another twist in the road was right around the corner. The writing in this series is absolutely flawless. The way that the story and settings are crafted is one of my favorite things about this series. No matter what is happening, the reader is pulled straight to the scene and made to feel as though they are experiencing it first hand.

The Dead-Tossed Waves did something else that I don’t see in a lot of other zombie books, which is explore the humanity of the zombies, or the Mudo, as they are called in the book. Instead of simply casting them as one-dimensional monsters, The Dead-Tossed Waves explored the hard questions of what exactly makes us human, and what differentiates us from those that we consider monsters.

Even though they are all technically "companions" to each other as opposed to sequential instalments in a series, I can easily say that this was one of the all-time best ‘Book 2’s in a series I’ve ever read. It took what was so intriguing about The Forest of Hands and Teeth and built upon it, creating an entirely new group of people that you will be rooting for, as well as throwing in much more romantic tension than the first book offered. Which I’m always a fan of! I absolutely cannot wait to start the third and final book in this series! If this one was any indication, I can’t wait to see what Ms. Ryan has in store for us next!

Read an excerpt

helen

Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater + Giveaway

frater - fighting to surviveFighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Book Stats:

Reading level: Adult  
e-book: 365 pages 
Genre: Dystopian/Zombies  
Publisher: Tor
Release date: November 8, 2011

Series: As The World Dies #2

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Personal e-book shelf

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository 

It’s time to clear the hotel.

The fort has grown crowded as survivors of the zombie apocalypse have found safety between its walls.  Winter is coming; soon it will be too cold to live in tents and other makeshift shelters.  The leaders of the survivors—Katie, Jenni, Juan, Travis, and Nerit—decide it’s time for an assault on the zombie-occupied hotel that looms over the town square.  

A pitched battle in the banquet room is the start of a harrowing, room-by-room struggle from Reception to roof.  As the sun sets, the people of Ashley Oaks gather in the hotel’s rooftop ballroom and gazebo to celebrate their survival.  Gazing out over the beauty of the surrounding Texas countryside, it’s hard to believe that death and danger lurk around every corner. 

The fort’s search and rescue teams have attracted unwanted attention from bandits who see the fort as competition for food . . . and as a ready source of women.  The first attacks are minor, but everyone knows there is worse to come. 

And beyond the fort’s walls, the zombies shamble, moaning, eyes fastened hungrily upon the living.

Rhiannon Frater is the type of writer that never fails to entertain me. From the books I’ve read so far, I would definitively recommend all of them to fans of their genre. With FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, I was expecting a sequel slump, but as I read on, every scene seemed to keep feeding my addiction for the series.

What I enjoy the most about zombie books is not really the zombie killings and zombie attacks. It’s the stories behind each survivor and how, as a whole, they’re able to survive something completely out of the ordinary. This series is definitively more than just stories about zombies. It’s obviously about human survival after a zombie apocalypse, but I think the main attraction is the human relationships that bloom in this tragic world Rhiannon Frater has created. She’s a genius when it comes to creating original characters and it’s obviously her main characters that hold the series together.

The two main female characters, Katie and Jenni kind of remind me of Buffy and Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but instead of fighting vampires, they’re fighting zombies. The actual characters aren’t similar to the televised slayers but they both definitively come with extra large baggage. Katie is fighting the attraction she has for Travis since she feels by loving him she’s betraying her dead wife’s memory. As for Jenni, her coping mechanism for losing her two young sons to zombies is chopping up every zombie that gets in her way. Her dedication to fighting them gives everyone the impressions she’s a bit crazy and she gets called loca multiple times because of her ability to chop away. Her lover Juan is attracted to her loca behavior but I think it also scares him that she might get herself killed for taking too many chances. These four characters are central to the story but so many of the secondary characters are detrimental to the whole of the book. And all of them have been expertly created to fill their role.

Despite the undead dangers that lurk outside the fort the survivors have created in the middle of a little Texan town, it’s the dangers within the walls that are central in FIGHTING TO SURVIVE. A vigilante has taken upon himself to avenge people that have been wronged and to kill anyone who is a threat to everyone’s safety. Conflicts and betrayals within the group of survivors kept me entertained until the very end. While there are many good things that happen in this sequel, like clearing the zombies from a hotel and taking over the building and the relationships that blossom, many people die throughout the book. One thing’s for sure, the author isn’t afraid of killing off her characters so be prepared for some deaths.

It’s not just about surviving the zombies anymore. It’s surviving each other. Because of the turmoil brewing within the group of survivors, I personally enjoyed this sequel a lot more than the first book of the series. And that’s saying something, because I thought THE FIRST DAYS was an exceptional novel. FIGHTING TO SURVIVE will absolutely take you on a ride that you won’t forget and if you haven’t already check out this series, you don’t want to miss this one!

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To celebrate the release of the FIGHTING TO SURVIVE paperback (which released January 29th, 2013), Rhiannon Frater is promoting her book with a book blitz blog tour and a tour-wide giveaway.

giveaway

Enter for your chance to win either the mass market paperback copy of book 1 of the series, THE FIRST DAYS, or a mass market paperback copy of book 2 of the series, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE. There will be one (1) winner for each book.

Open to US & Canadian addresses.

Ends February 10th, 2013

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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I Ate the Sherriff by K. Bennett

k. bennett - I Ate the SherriffI Ate the Sherriff by K. Bennett

Book stats:

Reading level: Adult
Paperback: 310 pages
Genre: Paranormal Legal Thriller
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: August 7, 2012

Series: Mallory Caine, Zombie at Law #3

Source: Review copy from the publisher

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You Have The Right To Remain Dead

What’s worse than killing a cop? Eating him afterwards. Which is exactly what happened to a Los Angeles County sheriff on Mulholland Drive. Now Mallory Caine, zombie at law, faces the toughest trial of her life–her own–since she’s the prime suspect. Ironically, Mallory’s been suppressing her undead desires in a 12-step zombie recovery group. It’s her human desires that scare her. . .

Anyone You Crave Can And Will Be Held Against You

He’s one hot werewolf named Steve "Rawhide" Ravener, and he’s Mallory’s latest client. His cheating wife has run off with a rival pack, and if he hopes to see their cubs again, he needs a lawyer whose bite is worse than his bark. Needless to say, family law has never been this hairy. And with a murder charge hanging over her head, a snake goddess charming her mother, and all kinds of hell-spawn taking over L.A., Mallory’s plate is full. And she’s dying to take a bite…

When I first got into this series, I had not clue how to categorize it into a genre. Without a doubt, it can be categorized as as a paranormal series because it does have zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons and many other paranormal beings. However, I truly believe it’s more than that. It can also be seen as a legal thriller since the main character, Mallory Caine, is a zombie lawyer. It does have multiple court room scenes but it’s not as dry as you might think. Actually, the author is very informative and writes in a way that keeps you on edge, hanging on to his every word. The author, no doubt, has a legal background because not only does he know his way around the courtroom, but he references multiple cases and laws. The courtroom scenes are actually one of the best scenes in the books since we see Mallory in her prime—defending people (and herself) whom aren’t necessarily innocent.

Mallory Caine is the type of protagonist you can’t stop rooting for. Living as a zombie in L.A. is quite difficult for her because walking the the busy streets is like walking into a casino as a recovering gambling addict. Living in L.A. as a lawyer isn’t all that easier since everyone seems to be against her. However she does have a few people working along side her. Her new client, Steve Ravener, strongly believes in her, and Father Clemente who really wants her to choose good over evil. Because L.A. is about to be hit by something bad and evil, the Lord of Darkness, Satan himself. Mallory isn’t too sure what is happening to her city but she does sense the forces of evil are getting stronger. Especially since she knows her ex, Aaron Argula, is the son of Satan and has the mayor of the city on his side. Also, zombies are on the rise, the mayor is more corrupt than usual, cults are being created and prophesies are being revealed.

Despite her good intentions, trouble always seems to find Mallory and after two years of being a zombie, she has finally gotten caught. Caught for eating the sheriff (but not the deputy). And let me elaborate on that a little. For those of you who haven’t read the series, Mallory isn’t you’re average zombie. She’s not the mindless monster Hollywood has made us believe zombies are. Don’t get me wrong, she is dead and she has been raised from the dead. And she no doubt feels the need to eat brains. Especially human brains. She has tried to go on a cow brain diet, but for her, it’s just not the same as the real deal. She has tried to live off the brain of scum, the bad guys roaming the streets, acting as a vigilante of sorts but she knows deep down eating human brain is not right. As the narrator, her character really shows us her internal conflicts over he diet and despite her murdering ways, we can see the goodness through of her selfless acts throughout the series.

A fair warning to some readers. The author does go into some gory details when Mallory feasts on human brain but those scenes aren’t overly bloody and gross. But since the book does involve some cannibalism, I just thought I should warn you beforehand.

Frighteningly sassy and more than occasionally morbid, Mallory makes a wonderful narrator for this series. She is sarcastic to no limit and she knows how to play dirty in court. We do see her evolve throughout the series but bottom line, the Mallory Caine in I ATE THE SHERIFF, is the same Mallory you meet in the first two books of the series. She definitively gives a new meaning to the the saying “Bite me!”. The pop culture references in the narration is an element that adds originality to the writing. I really hope to see more of Mallory in the future and I really hope the author doesn’t leave us hanging like this. With the city of angels on fire and in the middle of an Apocalypse, no less.

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Two Weeks’ Notice by Rachel Caine

rachel caine - two weeks' noticeTwo Weeks’ Notice by Rachel Caine

Book Stats:
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Mass market paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Group (Roc)
Release date: August 7, 2012

Series: Revivalist #2

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Copy from the author’s assistant

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost.

And when some of the members of a support group for Returne addicts suddenly disappear, Bryn begins to wonder if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

I have to hand it to Rachel Caine, she knows how to keep you interested in her novels. If you thought WORKING STIFF was full of intrigue and mystery, this sequel has even more plot twists and turns. I wouldn’t go as far as calling this book a political thriller, because let’s face it, we would never see authors like Robert Ludlum or David Baldacci write about zombies. But a good chuck of the storyline deals with the U.S. government trying to hide the truth from the general public about the revival drug, and its political repercussions on the main character, Bryn. Oh! And Bryn sort of becomes a contracted agent for the FBI.

Bryn is slowly dealing with the fact that she’s “addicted” to Returné, a miracle-cure-all drug that can bring you back from the dead. After her murder in the first book, she needs daily doses of Returné to stay alive. She depends on the FBI, which have now taken over Pharmadene, the maker of the drug, to keep her stash of Returné full. And Bryn is not the type of person who wants to depend on anyone. Quite the opposite—she’s the type of person you want to depend on. And she’s the type of person you want as your best friend. Her thoughtfulness, not only for those she cares about but also for strangers, is very admirable. I think, since first meeting her, she has grown as a person and she has evolved into a kick ass female. Because lets face it, if you had the ability to come back from the dead multiple times, wouldn’t you put your life on the line to better the world?

A fair warning to those who are apprehensive about gory and bloody scenes. While not loaded with gore, TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE does have a few scenes that include torture and descriptions of death and blood. I strongly believe these marginally graphic scenes were necessary because they added so much more reason to Bryn’s fight against her enemies. And I’m still not sure how many enemies she has and who exactly they might be.

Finally, in this sequel, we not only get more action, but we get to see the romantic relationship between Bryn and Patrick develop, which I was desperately hoping Rachel Caine would elaborate on. Although the relationship is fragile and sketchy at best, I think the author did the right choice in taking things slow because it makes us that much more interested in following Bryn and Patrick in the future. I wasn’t too sure if I liked Patrick in the first book but his role in TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE is making me like him more and more.

Be sure to have a lot of time on your hands before you open this book because it will keep you guessing until the very end and you won’t want to miss a thing! The twisted ending was unexpected and leaves the story wide open (yet it doesn’t feel unfinished so you won’t necessarily feel the need to strangle the book). This is a series you’ll want to invest your time in because it’s definitively going places!

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Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Steampunk elements
eARC: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: July 24, 2012

Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1

Source: Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

When I saw this gorgeous cover, I knew I had to read this book. When I was lucky enough to get an ARC, I could barely contain my excitement. And when I finally began reading this book, I was intrigued and slightly shocked. As awesome as this story is, it is not the novel that I thought it would be. I expected an awesome zombie novel full of steampunk elements placed back in the Victorian era to add in the concept of historical fiction. Instead, it almost felt like a huge mystery surrounding zombies with a budding romance on the side while the novel still expertly employed amazing steampunk inventions at the hands of Daniel in the Victorian era. While the Dead play a huge part in this novel—I mean, they attack in the very beginning of the story which was pretty damn awesome—the zombies are not the main focus. The main focus of the novel is unraveling the mystery surrounding Elijah’s absence while struggling to unearth the identity of the necromancer before the Dead become uncontrollable.

Either way, I found myself loving this story because of the amazing plot, the convoluted mystery, and the fact that you could connect with pretty much every character, and even feel slightly bad for the villain in the end because you could understand their initial motives, even if they became skewed with time. The supporting characters are just as strong and important as the main characters. Such a thing made the novel incredibly enjoyable and easy to read.

Eleanor is a strong-willed heroine that is easily one of the most likable characters that I have come across in a while. At the tender age of sixteen, she experiences so much forcefulness at the hands of her mother to marry so that they could gain a fortune that they lost with the death of Eleanor’s father—Mr. Fitt. But Eleanor is not willing to be something she is not and often goes against her mothers desperate wishes to do what she knows is right. She will do anything to save her brother, even if that means associating with those of lesser status than she. While her mother forbids such a thing, Eleanor does not judge those who are different, for she is a misfit among the high-class citizens. Filled with the sass that any sixteen year old would have, Eleanor silently longs to run free in trousers instead of her silly and unnecessarily expensive dresses. She’ll risk her life to save those most dear to her and she silently curses all women who bend over backwards to snare a rich gentleman’s attention. In other words, Eleanor is definitely my kind of girl.

The beginning of the story is slightly slow because you have to get used to the new era that you are suddenly transported to, but once strange happenings occur at the Fitt family séance, the story will begin to pick up speed and will never slow down. More and more strange coincidences come to light as a mystery slowly unfolds, only to have obstacle after obstacle thrown into Eleanor’s path. The creativity within the plot of this novel is endless, though the plot is somewhat predictable at times. As the story progresses, horrifying truths are revealed and you begin to question everything that evolves around the strange and deadly happenings in Philadelphia.

This book will ensnare you from the very beginning. While it is not action-packed and full of zombies, you won’t be able to put it down. A good read that you’ll be forced to finish in a single sitting because you will simply have to know what happens next.

 
 

PSC: Giveaway with Rachel Caine

PSCbig

I’m very excited today because Rachel Caine is releasing her newest book, TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE. This is the second book of her Revivalist series and she’s giving you the chance to win a copy!

Rachel is better known for her Morganville Vampire series but I hope to get everyone as excited as me about her newest series. I really enjoyed the first book, called WORKING STIFF and I’ve been waiting impatiently for TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE. Obviously quite different from her vampire series, these books follow Bryn Davis as she lives her unlife as a “zombie”. I say “zombie” but that’s probably not the best term to use. Even if you’re not a big fan of zombies, you can still enjoy this series since it’s more urban fantasy than horror. Learn more about the series by reading my review of Working Stiff.

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Here’s a little bit more about the TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE:

rachel caine - two weeks' noticeAfter dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost.

And when some of the members of a support group for Returne addicts suddenly disappear, Bryn begins to wonder if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The book that started it all:

caine - working stiff

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One (1) copy of TWO WEEKS’ NOTICE by Rachel Caine is up for grabs!

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Open internationally

Ends Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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rachel caineRachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the immensely popular Morganville Vampires series, the Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season series.

In 2011, Rachel published the first novel of her new series, The Revivalist, with the release of Working Stiff in August.

She has been honored with a Paranormal Pearl Award and an RT Booklovers Award, and was recently awarded a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Her first young adult novel, Glass Houses, was chosen for the Texas Tayshas List in 2009.

She was born at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, attended Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, and earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Texas Tech University. She’s worked in many jobs, including accounting, graphic designer, insurance investigation, corporate communications, and web design, to name just a few. She became a full time writer in 2010.

Follow Rachel through these links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Diana Rowland My Life as a White Trash Zombie My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Book Stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Zombie
Mass market paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: July 5, 2011

Series: White Trash Zombie #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue–and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey–just when she’s hungriest!

Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

Literally.

I’m a big fan of Diana Rowland’s work — her Kara Gillian series is absolutely amazing. But the whole idea of a white trash zombie was so out of left field that it took me a while to pick up a copy of MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE. Having read it, though, I’m so glad I did, because it’s a fresh take on the zombie oeuvre that filled with brains, murder, and self-discovery.

Angel Crawford is the epitome of white trash. She has a loser boyfriend, a drug problem, no job, no diploma, and an alcoholic dad, and she lives in a filthy trailer with a beer can-strewn driveway. But then she has an accident and wakes up in the hospital as a zombie, though she doesn’t know it at the time, and a whole new life begins, thanks to a mysterious benefactor. All of a sudden, Angel has a job at the morgue as a body and an inexplicable craving for brains, the start of her new leaf. Over the course of MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE, Angel tries to figure out what she wants to do with her undead existence: does she want to go back to her junkie ways or make something of herself? Diana Rowland has done a wonderful job of writing Angel’s character arc and you’ll find yourself really rooting for Angel as the story progresses.

Angel also spends some time investigating bodies that have been turning up without their heads, partially because of her job and partially because she’s a zombie and zombies love brains. No head means no brains and it raises a lot of questions for Angel. In fact, questions are kind of theme in MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE because Angel wants information about who made her a zombie, how zombies live, who’s killing all these people, and what she should do with her life. Questions and mystery abound, which make it so difficult to put the book down.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE. I had expectations since I love the author’s other work but I found Angel and her world to be completely captivating. Diana Rowland has created some fantastic world mythology and I look forward to seeing where she takes Angel and her friends next, now that Angel has a better grounding in how to be a zombie. Thankfully, the second book, EVEN WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES GET THE BLUES, is due out in a couple months so I won’t have too long to wait!

Before I sign off, I just want to say how much I LOVE this cover. Dan Dos Santos has perfectly captured Angel’s attitude and I love the little details, like the "I love brains" tattoo and the title font. This is one book you can definitely judge by its cover!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Diana Rowland My Life as a White Trash Zombie My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Book Stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Zombie
Mass market paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: July 5, 2011

Series: White Trash Zombie #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue–and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey–just when she’s hungriest!

Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

Literally.

I’m a big fan of Diana Rowland’s work — her Kara Gillian series is absolutely amazing. But the whole idea of a white trash zombie was so out of left field that it took me a while to pick up a copy of MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE. Having read it, though, I’m so glad I did, because it’s a fresh take on the zombie oeuvre that filled with brains, murder, and self-discovery.

Angel Crawford is the epitome of white trash. She has a loser boyfriend, a drug problem, no job, no diploma, and an alcoholic dad, and she lives in a filthy trailer with a beer can-strewn driveway. But then she has an accident and wakes up in the hospital as a zombie, though she doesn’t know it at the time, and a whole new life begins, thanks to a mysterious benefactor. All of a sudden, Angel has a job at the morgue as a body and an inexplicable craving for brains, the start of her new leaf. Over the course of MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE, Angel tries to figure out what she wants to do with her undead existence: does she want to go back to her junkie ways or make something of herself? Diana Rowland has done a wonderful job of writing Angel’s character arc and you’ll find yourself really rooting for Angel as the story progresses.

Angel also spends some time investigating bodies that have been turning up without their heads, partially because of her job and partially because she’s a zombie and zombies love brains. No head means no brains and it raises a lot of questions for Angel. In fact, questions are kind of theme in MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE because Angel wants information about who made her a zombie, how zombies live, who’s killing all these people, and what she should do with her life. Questions and mystery abound, which make it so difficult to put the book down.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE. I had expectations since I love the author’s other work but I found Angel and her world to be completely captivating. Diana Rowland has created some fantastic world mythology and I look forward to seeing where she takes Angel and her friends next, now that Angel has a better grounding in how to be a zombie. Thankfully, the second book, EVEN WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES GET THE BLUES, is due out in a couple months so I won’t have too long to wait!

Before I sign off, I just want to say how much I LOVE this cover. Dan Dos Santos has perfectly captured Angel’s attitude and I love the little details, like the "I love brains" tattoo and the title font. This is one book you can definitely judge by its cover!

Read an excerpt

Jenn