Series Saturday: White Trash Zombie

Finally, another Series Saturday post! I’ve been neglectful- my apologies 🙂

When I first stumbled upon this series by Diana Rowland in the bookstore a couple years ago, I was ecstatic. I’d been looking for a new zombie read for awhile and the first book grabbed my attention immediately.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD! BE WARNED!

click on covers to go to the Amazon pages 

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Blurb:

Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She’s a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she’s made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay “alive”…

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 was hooked from the first sentence of this book. Angel is a great narrator. Waking up in a hospital after an accident without a scratch on her, and her memory fuzzy on the details of what occurred, Angel is suddenly thrust into a second chance at life…with a catch. Her life was less than perfect- all right, it was a mess- before she was turned into a zombie, and after she was turned it’s still…messy, but she starts to pull herself out of that addiction-filled past and move forward. I loved Angel’s grit, her ability to push forward even though she’s forced into a new life. She finds out that she has a job lined up for her at the morgue, and I found that an interesting but perfect touch.

Marcus Ivanov is a cop who arrested her once for auto theft, and he ends up being a love interest…and more. I liked him in this book. He was a nice balance for Angel.

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Blurb:

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

Book two, Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, was a great follow-up to book one.  I enjoyed digging into the world Angel lives in, and the new dangers that arrive.

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Blurb:

Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.

But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that’s rotten. Soon she’s fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.

Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.

Book three, White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, was another great addition. I loved the backdrop of the zombie movie filming in town. It added a nice touch to the story.

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Blurb:

Our favorite zombie Angel Crawford has come a long way from her days as a pain-pill-addicted high school dropout with a felony record. After a year highlighted by murder, kidnapping, and the loss of her home, all she wants to do is kick back, relax, and maybe even think about college.

But when key members of the “Zombie Mafia” go missing, she has no choice but to get involved. Angel is certain Saberton Corporation is behind the disappearances, yet she can’t shake the sense that a far deeper conspiracy is at work. With the small band of friends she can trust, Angel strikes out to track down the missing zombies.

But when unexpected danger threatens to destroy her, all the brains and bravado in the world may not be enough to keep her from going to pieces.

The ending of this one really grabbed me. Angel beginning to fall back into her addiction was both understandable as well as heartbreaking.

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Blurb:

Angel Crawford has buried her loser past and is cruising along in undead high gear—that is, until a murder-by-decapitation sends her on a hazardous detour. As Angel hunts for the killer, she uncovers a scheme that would expose zombies to the public and destroy the life she’s built, and she’s determined not to rest until she finds out who’s behind it.
 
Soon she’s neck-deep in lies, redneck intrigue, zombie hunters, and rot-sniffing cadaver dogs. It’s up to her to unravel the truth and snuff out the conspiracy before the existence of zombies makes headline news and she’s outed as a monster.
 
But Angel hasn’t quite escaped the pill-popping ghosts of her past—not with an illicit zombie pharmaceutical at her fingertips. Good thing she’s absolutely sure she can handle the drug’s unpredictable side effects and still take down the bad guys…or maybe she’s only one bad choice away from being dead meat—for real this time.
 
Angel knows a thing or two about kicking ass, but now the ass she needs to kick might be her own. 

Book Five, White Trash Zombie Gone Wild, is one of my favorites. Between her addiction to the new mods, her zombie Phillip (who she was forced to turn in book two), and Marcus, this book was filled with angst, character growth, and a new hope for her future.

I’m trying not to give away too many spoilers in this post, but I have to say that after book two, I really started to hate Marcus. After book five, I still highly dislike him, though he’s a tad more tolerable. I’m so happy Angel isn’t with him romantically anymore, and I’m so pleased (and greatly surprised) by what happens with Nick.

Angel is starting to stand on her own two feet by the end of book five, and taking steps to make a better future for herself. I’m hoping that book six, White Trash Zombie Unchained (April 2017), continues on with that- here’s the blurb:

Angel Crawford, white trash zombie, believes it’s time for zombies to come out of the dark and coexist openly with the living. However, there are plenty of people who disagree with her, from other zombies to corporations who stand to profit off the zombie parasite. Angel goes off the chain when she uncovers a plot by one such corporation, Saberton, to instigate a zombie rampage in order to turn public sentiment against her kind. She knows that not only would innocent people be killed, but the plot would also result in all zombies getting detained—or worse. To thwart Saberton’s efforts, Angel embarks on a one-zombie campaign to beat the corporation to the punch and expose the truth about her kind.

Sounds very promising 🙂

I have to say that one of the reasons White Trash Zombie caught my eye was because of the cover. I love the covers! My favorite so far is White Trash Zombie Gone Wild. Can’t wait to see what they come up with for book six!

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Fantasy Friday: The Shannara Chronicles

Hello. As you know, Fantasy Friday isn’t just for books, but also for television shows and movies. Today, it’s The Shannara Chronicles in the spotlight.

I wrote a blog at the beginning of the year about the first two episodes and what I thought overall. That was a mostly positive post. This blog will not be as glowing as the first.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!

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I still hold my opinion that the first four or five episodes weren’t that bad. I could push past the differences, understand why those differences were there, and for the most part I enjoyed each of those episodes. But then the episode Utopia came about and…that killed it for me. That sent everything over the top and ruined what I could enjoy.

Let’s start with Amberle:

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Amberle is a character that I did not like from the very beginning. Nothing against Poppy Drayton, but I thought her performance was lackluster at best. There was no real emotion to the character- every line delivered grated on my nerves. The only time Amberle was likeable was during the Gauntlet, and just afterward. After that, the acting went downhill.

There were moments throughout the first season where that changed slightly, but those moments were few and far between. By the time she became the Elcrys, I cheered, and cried tears of joy that she was finally gone. That’s not how I should have felt- not by a long shot- but there it was. Utter joy.

But Amberle wasn’t the only character to get on my nerves…

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Oh, Will. His acting wasn’t horrible, but the writers changed his backstory and who he was in the book a great deal. Now, I could’ve dealt with those changes had the writers not made Will too stupid to live. At times, it was almost unbearable to watch his scenes. Not because they were poorly acted, but because the writing was so bad that it made Will’s idiocy, as well as his legitimate emotions, painful to watch. I just couldn’t stand watching most of his scenes.

Another pair of characters that were hard to watch? These two:

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The princes- Ander and Arion.

They had no depth to them. I mean, absolutely no depth in the first five episodes. By the time the writers gave them some real personalities, it was too late. If the writers wanted me to care for these two they should have inserted character development in the FIRST five episodes- not the LAST five.

Who did I like?

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Who doesn’t love JRD? I love the man 🙂 And I do find it rather amusing that he went from Gimli the dwarf, to King Eventine- an elf. He brought Eventine to life, which made some of the scenes with his sons a bit easier to bear.

I really hate that the writers killed him off so early, and the way they did it was a bunch of bs (in my humble opinion). When that happened, I actually cursed at the tv, as if the writers could hear my discontent. That was one of the worst decisions made by them, and stole a valuable asset from the show and other characters.

From the elf king to the druid:

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Many changes were made to Allanon, but I enjoyed Manu’s portrayal of the Druid. He really jumped off the screen and brought a good depth of character and charisma. Now, that doesn’t mean I liked his storyline- there were parts that really irritated me- but all in all, he was one of the reasons I tuned back in each week.

Which brings us to:

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My favorite character 🙂 I loved Eretria! She really made the entire show. She was kickass, badass, and was one of the few characters who really showed personality and emotion, so much so that I really didn’t see how Will would want Amberle over her. She truly risked all of herself, and didn’t hold back in any regard.

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The love triangle was one of the worst aspects of the show. The writers handled it so horribly. So, so horribly. They could have made the triangle part of the journey (as it is in the books) without turning it into what they did. It ruined so much of the show for me.

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Other characters, like Bandon, had promise but the writers failed them. Especially Bandon. From what I can see, he’s going to be one of the baddies for season two, which would have been fine had they written his descent with more emotion and thought.

And they really failed with the Reaper. I was so let down I could have cried.

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In closing, yes, I did enjoy the first five episodes for the most part. But once the second half started, everything fell apart. There were moments that shined, but those, like so many scenes, were few and far between. I had to force myself to watch the rest of the season after Utopia. Those little moments just weren’t enough to make up for the growing mess the writers spun.

Will I watch Season Two? Probably not. If they focused solely on Eretria I’d watch in a heartbeat, but that won’t be the case. There is just not enough meat to the story (which is sad, since there’s soooooo much source material to pull from). Chances are I’ll tune in for the first episode, to see if they’ve improved the writing, but I don’t have much hope. I think they’ve made it clear how they’re going to run the show. And I don’t think I could handle it if they brought Amberle back, in the flesh- there’s a reason she turned into that tree. A good reason. Bringing her back would a horrible decision (again, in my humble opinion).

Have you watched the show? Read the books? What are your thoughts?

Underworld: Blood Wars…the Wait Begins

So, those who’ve been following me for awhile will know what a big fan I am of the Underworld movies. And yes, I even enjoyed Rise of Lycans 🙂 So imagine my complete delight when I heard we were getting another installment- Blood Wars. Originally, it was due out in October of this year, but a few weeks ago I was made aware that they pushed it back to January 2017 *cue the sadness…and irritation*

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The only gripe I have is that Scott Speedman doesn’t appear to be in this one, and I hope they have a good reason for it. I mean, if it’s explained by Selene that Michael is somewhere keeping their daughter safe, I can live with that. But after the ending of Awakening, where they were getting ready to follow Michael’s trail and find him, I’ll be sorely disappointed if they haven’t found him yet.

I know some fans weren’t happy with the addition of a hybrid child, but I didn’t mind it. It made sense- I mean, Sonja was a vampire and she was pregnant with Lucian’s child when Viktor had her burned. So Selene becoming pregnant seemed only a matter of time, though the circumstances weren’t quite what I pictured 🙂

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Underworld will always be my favorite, but Evolution is close behind. I enjoyed Rise of the Lycans for the backstory on what started the war between the wolves and vampires.

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What I loved about Awakening is that Selene uses more of her vampire abilities, as opposed to just using guns. That was awesome to see 🙂 Especially the scene in the hall with the scalpel!

And now the wait for Blood Wars *sigh* I’m excited because this one is directed by a woman, Anna Foerster. I’m very interested to see where they take the franchise, and who the torch is passed to.

January 6, 2017 can’t get her soon enough.

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Sunday Surprise

For your Sunday perusal, the blurb for The Duchess, Isles and West #2  🙂

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A high ‘Lady of the Court’, that’s what one newspaper called the large stone building that had once housed prisoners no one else wanted—the mentally and physically ill. That’s how it became known as The Duchess. It was meant to be a safe place for the patients, who were both gifted and non-gifted. But something went terribly wrong. Angry spirits attacked the living and many died within the stone walls before it was closed down.

The newest owner wants the building cleansed of the darkness. She calls in Delilah Isles and Milly West to do the job. It doesn’t take long for the two gifted women to realize that something is exceptionally Dark at The Duchess. Abuse of both the mentally and physically ill is ripe in the air and both of them see and feel the damage done to those who dwelled within the building. Abuse that was still happening to the ghosts trapped inside. The more they dig, the worse their findings get.

Their client is giving them three weeks to do the job, but they soon realize they have far less time than that. The dead and the Dark won’t leave easily, and they will stop at nothing to finish what they started in life.

Fantasy Friday: The Hob’s Bargain

Welcome to another Fantasy Friday!

I first read The Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs several years ago, just after I’d started reading the third Mercy Thompson book, Iron Kissed. I fell in love with the characters, the world, and wish to this day that she’d write a sequel.

click on cover to go to Amazon

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this is the original cover

Blurb:

Beauty and The Beast

Hated and feared, magic was banished from the land. But now, freed from the spells of the wicked bloodmages, magic-both good and evil-returns. And Aren of Fallbrook feels her own power of sight strengthen and grow…

Overcome by visions of mayhem and murder, Aren vows to save her village from the ruthless raiders who have descended upon it-and killed her family. With the return of wildlings to the hills and forests, she strikes a bargain with the Hob, a magical, human-like creature imbued with the power of the mountains. But the Hob is the last of his kind. And he will exact a heavy price to defend the village-a price Aren herself must pay…

This book is a strong case of an author who’s a fantastic storyteller. The moment I started reading this book I was drawn into the world and very quickly fell into it. I read the entire thing in one sitting. It was much the same for me when I read her Aralorn books (Masques and Wolfsbane).

Aren is a great character, and easy to relate to. I loved her interactions with the rest of the cast, especially the Hob 🙂 I won’t get too spoilery in this post, but I will say that Aren’s inner strength is what really pulled me in. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to save her village, even at great cost to herself. But the deal struck with the Hob takes interesting turns, and I found myself loving him as well but for different reasons than I love Aren.

This is not epic fantasy, or, not what I consider epic. But it is well worth the read if you want to get lost in a wonderfully spun tale with magic, loss, action, and humor.

This and That

Hello all 🙂 This will be a brief blog about what’s going on and the state of things.

*I’m having a Facebook party for the release of The Duchess~ come join the fun!

You are invited to a

 

*The dark cozy mystery I’ve been working on is coming along splendidly 🙂 Just passed the 15k mark and am loving the story and characters. This takes place in the Isles and West world but with different characters and a different location. It’s lighter than the the I&W series, but still has a nice, dark touch, which is why I call it a Dark Cozy mystery 🙂

*I’ve been working on three other books, one of them is another book in the I&W world. This one also has different characters and in a different location, but it’s a dark book. A very dark first book in a trilogy. The first chapter is written and the book is loud in my mind, which is a good sign.

*The third book I’m working on is in the slayer world, but yes, it has different characters and different location. It’s definitely more horror than urban fantasy. The main character is from a family that Tuck mentions in Path to Damnation.

I did make notes on other ideas as well as write the first chapters of a couple other books, but right now the above three books are what I’m concentrating on. I’m hoping to have the dark cozy mystery (at least a two, if not three, book series) done by the end of August and submitted to agents by the first week of September. It’s on track to do so, which makes me happy 🙂 The other two books are writing at a good pace, and I’m hoping to have both of those ready to go by the end of the year. Hopefully this all means at least three releases next year, plus a few free short stories I’m planning on releasing come October and November.

And that is the current state of things. I hope to see you all at the Facebook party for The Duchess! And I can’t wait for you all to read a brand new Isles and West mystery 😀