Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for September, 2012

Review:The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

TheZombieAlwaysKnocksTwice

 


clip_image002The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
E. Van Lowe

Hollyweird #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Imajin

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

Kindle ebook: 978-1-926997-74-2

Trade paperback: 978-1-926997-81-0

Page Count: 177 pages

Book Description:

Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead

Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?

REVIEW:

The Zombie Always Knocks Twice is a first person young adult story featuring female protagonist Kris Golden. This is book one in a new series called Hollyweird.

On the surface Kris is a normal fifteen year old girl. She lives in Hollywood and has an agent who books her auditions for shows. She goes to school, works part time at Disco Diva’s Diner, and has a father who loves her even though he smothers her a little. Oh, and she doesn’t have a boyfriend and is failing algebra II. Just a typical teenage girl…

But Kris is also a necromancer. She can spot the walking dead and raise the dead, but it’s her sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest. It’s a duty Kris takes very seriously, even though she worries about her peers thinking she’s weird. It’s a secret she doesn’t talk about, except with her family and the man who trained her.

Kris is busy working at the diner when she spots a dead girl. The girl takes off, and Kris gives chase. Unfortunately the dead girl is fast and she evades Kris. Thus starts Kris’s search for the dead girl and the person who raised her from the dead. Then there’s murder…

Kris is a very likeable character. She adores her solo parent father, but has problems after the return of her runaway sister. She’s a loyal friend and determined to carry out her necromancer duties to the best of her abilities.

Alex, her romantic interest, is interesting—a famous actor—and I’m curious as to where this relationship will go. I grew to like Alex. Despite his fame, he comes across as sincere.

The rest of the secondary characters have their own agendas, and they usually end up making Kris’s life more difficult. I enjoyed the Hollywood setting with Kris’s semi-normal world jostling up against the world of movie stars.

My only quibble is that the story took a couple of chapters to get going for me, but after that it was plain-sailing with excellent chapter hooks that kept me turning the pages.

I loved The Zombie Always Knocks Twice. Once the story hits its stride it’s fast paced and enjoyable with each plot twist complicating Kris’s life. The main puzzle of the dead girl is solved by the end of the story, but the subplot related to Kris’s romantic interest isn’t tied up yet. Even so, I was happy with the conclusion, and thought Kris was both courageous and likeable—the perfect heroine. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended.

This book was provided by the author and Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

Animal Antics – A Report from the Home Front

A report from the home front today.

Bella, our puppy, continues to challenge and delight us. She’s an active wee thing and loves to help out with jobs around the house. We’ve trained her to carry some of the recycling out to the bin, and she also enjoys toting the mail from the mailbox to the kitchen. Sometimes she likes the mail so much she refuses to give it back and a chasing game ensues. Most of our mail arrives in the kitchen complete with teeth marks.

Here’s a photo of Bella on recycling duty…

Bella

I had breakfast with my father and sister on Saturday and talk turned to some of their animals. My father hand milks his house cow every morning. Donna is a rangy black and white cow, and she and Dad have been a team for many years. These days—at twenty years of age—Donna’s eye sight is failing and her hearing is going, but she still kicks up her heels and charges through gates. My sister says if you see Donna coming it’s best to stand back.

But the funniest thing is that Donna goes to sleep in the middle of milking and starts snoring. Evidently the snoring is very loud. Who knew that cows snored?

I have a review for The Zombie Always Knocks Twice (seems to be free at Amazon at present so grab a copy) posting on 25 Sep, but apart from that I’m taking a blogging holiday. Hubby and I are off to Europe, so I’ll see you when I get back at the beginning of November.

Serials – An Old Idea Made New?

There has been a lot of talk about fictional serials during the last few months with both publishers and Amazon embracing the idea.

A serial is a single book broken down into instalments. These instalments go on sale one at a time with the ending hook of each serial prompting readers to purchase the next. According to Wikipedia, serials have been around for a long time, but they were at their peak during the Victorian era. Writers such as Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were two of the many successful serial writers during this era.

Radio serials were popular from the early 1900s. One long-running radio serial you might have heard of is The Archers, a British soap-opera. The first episode of the Archers ran in 1950 and they are still producing the show on a semi-regular basis. If you’re interested several episodes are available as podcasts on iTunes.

These days we’re more likely to get our serial fix on television, although as a child I read comics done in a serial fashion. Soap operas are a common form where we follow the lives of our characters and become invested in what happens next. We even have a local soap opera in New Zealand called Shortland Street, which has been running for as long as I can remember.

Author Beth Kery has written an eight part serial called Because You Are Mine, an erotic story along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey. Her serial is currently available at Amazon etc.

Writing a serial is different from writing a book.

1. The process is a lot quicker with the serial coming to market, often before the writer has completed all the instalments.

2. Feedback from readers is a lot quicker too.

3. The writer can change the direction of the serial after reader feedback.

4. The writer can’t go back and change things in already published instalments. This would be a problem for me since I think about my plot and characters as I write.

5. There is a short period of waiting on the part of the reader, which can help build word-of-mouth. Readers are wondering what will happen next and where the story will go. The build of anticipation is present.

6. Pricing can be controversial. I noted on some of the Amazon reviews Of Because You Are Mine there were some unhappy readers who expected more “book” for their money. Each instalment is two chapters.

As a writer, I think writing a serial would present a challenge. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to stretch in this direction in the future.

What about you? Have you read a serial? Have you tried Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine series? Would you like to write a serial?

Would a Zombie Make a Good President?

I’d like to welcome E. Van Lowe to my blog today. I took one look at the title of E’s Young Adult book—The Zombie Always Knocks Twice, saw the cover and knew I had to read this book. Doesn’t it look like fun? E is visiting today, so please give him a huge welcome as he talks about zombies and adds a hint of politics. Over to E!

The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

 

Would A Zombie Make a Good President?

It’s an election year, and as we wade through the issues to decide which candidate would make a better president, I decided to it was the perfect time to ask the burning question; would a zombie make a good president? I know it’s a silly question, but I just wrote a book with the word “zombie” in the title, so bear with me.

I think zombies have some very positive qualities for being a national leader.

1) Zombies are incredibly resourceful. Think about it. How many movies have we seen where our heroes are in a supermarket, or in the woods, supposedly far away from any munching zombies when BAM! a zombie shows up out of nowhere ruining their day. In these difficult times, America needs a resourceful leader. 1 pt for zombies.

2) Zombies are not easily distracted. You can run from them, shoot at them, even set them on fire and they will keep coming. In a world where there are so many distractions, we need a leader who can keep his eyes on the prize–literally. That sounds to me like a zombie. 1pt for zombies.

3) Zombies are incredibly driven. When they want something—or someone—they pursue it (or him or her) with single-minded purpose. Once a zombie sets a goal for himself, he goes after it and either achieves his goal or dies trying. That’s a great quality for any leader. 1 pt for zombies.

But just as zombies have all the positive presidential qualities listed above, zombies also have a few negatives.

1) Zombies don’t listen very well, which is why they are so easy to kill: “Don’t come any closer,” says the man wielding the twelve gauge. “Don’t come any closer or I’ll blow your head off.” But do they ever listen? No. BLAM! 1 pt against zombies.

2) Zombie’s want to eat all the time. This can be a real problem in the war room where the joint chiefs are discussing strategy to keep the free world free, and all and our zombie president wants to do is eat their brains. 1 pt against zombies.

3) Zombies are not very well spoken. Who wants to listen to a state of the union address where “Raaagh!” and “Errrgh!” are the only words coming out of our president’s mouth? A president’s eloquence should reassure a nation, not scare them to death. 1 pt against zombies.

So far for me it’s a 3-3 tie. I need you guys to break the tie. Have some fun with it. Come up with a reason or two for or against a zombie being president. And while I have you in zombie mode, I hope I can get you to check out my latest novel, The Zombie Always Knocks Twice. It’s the first book in my new Hollyweird series. If you like exciting paranormal stories with real adventure, romance and a juicy mystery at its core, I think you will enjoy it. You can find it on Amazon here: The Always Knocks Twice

CONTEST: Tour Wide Giveaway (Perfect for Halloween!)

10 Kindle copies of The ZombieAlways Knocks Twice

1 Bewitching zombie prize pack contains: zombie bag, zombie zone caution tape, fake brains in a meat container(because what’s a zombie prize pack without brains right), two rubber duckies, a large bloody hand print sticker, Bat Bite hand sanitizer, Halloween theme bottle stickers, a purple skull mug, and a Bewitching notebook, pen, and necklace.

Open to US Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


clip_image002The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
E. Van Lowe

Hollyweird #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Imajin

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

Kindle ebook: 978-1-926997-74-2

Trade paperback: 978-1-926997-81-0

Page Count: 177 pages

Book Description:

Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead

Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?


clip_image002[5]About the Author:

E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer, screen-writer, playwright and producer who has worked on such TV shows as "The Cosby Show," "Even Stevens," and "Homeboys In Outer Space." He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie," was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award. His Best Selling novels, “Boyfriend From Hell” and “Earth Angel,” are the first two books in the Falling Angels Saga. “The Zombie Always Knocks Twice” is the first book in his Hollyweird series.

E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.

http://evanlowe.com

http://vanlowe.blogspot.com/

@evanlowe

http://www.facebook.com/author.e.vanlowe