Monday, December 31, 2012

Updates and Poll result

Hey, everyone! I hope you are having a great New Years Eve! I'm on call :-( So I'll have to live vicariously through you all.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)First of all, the book that won the poll is Cinder by Marissa Meyer! I'm really excited because this book has been getting such great reviews. Lauren Oliver (as a teaser for her upcoming interview) has said that her favorite YA book of the year was Cinder. If I enjoy it as much as all of you (which I'd be surprised if I don't), I'll see what I can do to arrange an interview and giveaway for my loyal readers!


Regardless, I'll read Raven Boys after that, the runner up.

Other Updates
1. Don't forget to enter the great giveaways going on (click the tab above to see current giveaways), including a few more hours for Rot and Ruin, and a few more days for Streamline and Splintered!

2. Sign up for my first contest, link is to the right side bar. You can win a chance to pick a YA author of your choice for me to interview. I will read their book (if I haven't already), and then request an interview. The winner also gets to ask the author 3 questions! You can also request an author that I've already interviewed. There's only ONE entry so far, so good odds of winning!

3. I have gotten a huge deluge of review requests recently, so I'm going to have to ask you guys to wait to request any more for the next two weeks so I can get caught up. I reopen for review requests on 1/13/13! If I happen to get caught up earlier, I'll let you all know.

4. Next interview/giveaway is of Prophecy by Ellen Oh, which is coming out soon. It's terrific, and you all should read it!

5. I just snagged an interview and giveaway with Debra Driza, who is coming out with the fantastic Mila 2.0. I'll post a review of that tomorrow. Stay posted!

If you guys ever have any suggestions of what you want to see on my blog, please let me know! Leave a comment or shoot me an email. I read them all and take all comments under serious consideration!

Happy New Year's Eve, and stay safe!

Current Giveaways
1. Interview with Jennifer Lane, author of Streamline, US giveaway of signed paperback + bookmark and International giveaway of e-copy, 12/16
Streamline Giveaway

2. The Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop Featuring Jonathan Maberry, Author of the Rot and Ruin series (one INT and one US winner of signed copies of Flesh and Bone), 12/27-12/31
Rot and Ruin giveaway

3. New Years 2013 Blog Hop, featuring Interview with Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard and Giveaway, 1/1/13-1/7/13 (INT)
Splintered giveaway

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop Featuring Morpheus from Splintered by AG Howard




Announcing the 
Happy New Year 2013 
Giveaway Hop

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Babs Book Bistro

January 1st - 7th 2013

Happy New Years, everyone! I am so excited to be a part of this blog hop and introduce one of my favorite characters in the past year, Morpheus, from Splintered by AG Howard. This also happens to be the day the book comes out so get your copy right away!


Goodreads Book Description:  This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uz_PnnKYGUY/UBNWwJ5HWoI/AAAAAAAAB60/j1C-jdTVmEw/s1600/author+headshot+1.png 
A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

My Scintillating Interview with Morpheus

Morpheus, it's a huge pleasure to have you visit my blog, Ensconced in YA. I have to say, you have a really attractive hat on. Can you tell us a little bit about it?  
 (removes the lilac colored hat from his head and taps the yellow moth corpses draped across the front) Why, thank you. This is my diction derby. It helps the words flow. However, had I known my interviewer was to be a beautiful young woman, I would’ve chosen my bowler hat so I might bowl you over with my charms. (smiles)

*swoons a bit*  Er, ahem, right. Next question. I think we all wish we could set foot in the place you call home, Wonderland. What would you say you love most about it? And what do you think you would like to change if you could?  
 Our landscapes are brilliant—from the ultraviolet foliage to the chaotic cliffs to the overgrown wilds. As for changes, those aren’t so much what(s), as they are who(s). You can discover the specifics of that list by frolicking through the pages of SPLINTERED.

I think we can all tell that a certain little lady is very important to you. All of my readers want to know-- how do you REALLY feel about her?  
Augh. (runs a gloved hand through his blue hair) She’s above frustrating, always pledging her loyalties to the wrong side. Though at times, she has an irresistible charm. Most especially when she does my bidding unawares. (rumbles a deep laugh) Most especially when she realizes she’s done my bidding. Righteous indignation becomes her. It brings the most delicious snarl to her lips.

I sensed some tension between you and her best friend, Jeb. What's the story there?
 (jaw twitches) He came into my world uninvited. Why would I wish to be hospitable to someone so lacking in manners?

I am so jealous that you can fly. Alyssa mentioned there might have been a bit of a metamorphosis going on-- I was confused. What did she mean?
 
Ah, that’s an explanation worthy of a book’s pages. And that’s exactly where you shall find it. (returns hat to his head and tilts it on a cocky slant)

I've heard the strangest things about what you eat. What would you say is a typical meal for you?
 
Anything that allows me to catch and eat it before it can do the same to me. That’s my ideal meal.

Who would you say your best friend in Wonderland is and why?
 
Chessie . . . known to most of you as Cheshire Cat. (grins) Why him? He’s fluffy and has the ability to divide himself in half, which means he can double as fur mittens when the weather is cold. He’s also aces at hide and seek. You might catch one end of him, but you’ll never catch the whole, so he always wins. And he’s a creature of few words, but many smiles. I’ve met a great many people who could stand to be more like Chessie in that respect. One “Jebediah Holt” comes to mind.

Did you ever meet the original Alice? What was she like? How would you compare her to Alyssa?
 
(bows head and averts gaze) Dear little Alice . . . curious to a fault. That was her undoing, it was. Per your final question, no one compares to Alyssa.

Thank you so much for your illuminating comments, Morpheus. I hope you'll visit again sometime soon!
(stands, his wings sweeping behind like a cape) Perhaps. I go where the wind carries me. Should it bring me your way again, I’ll be wearing the proper hat. (winks)

Well, there you have it! Now you know you must have this book. I've bought my copy already! Enter to win some great prizes from A.G. Howard! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter some other great giveaways, this is a giveaway blog hop! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Contest: Which YA author do you want me to interview?

I got a message from one of my new readers about wanting me to interview a particular author. I think that's a terrific idea, but wanted to offer this to all of my loyal readers as the very first contest that I am hosting on this blog. Just answer the question below in the comments section of this post.

Question: Which YA author have I not interviewed that you would love to have me interview and why should I interview that author?

This contest will run until January 31st. A few things I will take into consideration: the specificity of the response-- reasons you really think this author is great, and suggestions of specific books that you think I should take a look at before the interview, as well as enthusiasm! :-)

Some caveats: some authors do not do interviews or do not agree to do an interview with me. But my stats are pretty darn good-- I get a "Yes" from about 90% of authors that I ask. If that happens, the winner can select another author.

BONUS: You get to ask them 3 questions!

Have fun and have a happy new year!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Winners and New International Giveaway!

Hey, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. I'm unfortunately going to be working, so I've been trying to get some posts done in advance before I go back to the grind.

First things first. Winners!
Winner of a signed copy of Eden, Miranda
Winner of a signed copy of What I Didn't Say, Kristen

Winner of signed copy of There Comes a Prophet, Angela
Winner of e-copy of There Comes a Prophet, Lucinda

Congrats to all the winners!

I decided to give myself some Christmas gifts this year (when you are an adult, you have to be your own Santa!), so got some really great signed copies of books I've been accumulating on my wish list:
1) Elemental by Antony John
2) Black City by Elizabeth Richards
3) Venom by Fiona Paul
4) What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
5) Starters by Lissa Price
6) Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore
7) Everneath by Brodi Ashton
8) Splintered by A.G. Howard

What did you get yourself this year?

Here's to a new great year and more interview with terrific authors!

And now... the new international giveaway that I'm opening up early to my loyal readers.



Goodreads Book Description:  This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

My Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard joins the ranks in recent YA lit in taking a beloved classic children's tale and bringing it into a more contemporary setting. Many others have failed. Howard does not. Splintered is a darkly inventive, Tim Burtonesque Wonderland adventure that introduces us to a wonderful protagonist, Alyssa, a descendent of Alice Liddell who inspired Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland. A mental illness seems to afflict all the female descendants of Alice, and Alyssa herself starts hearing insects and plants speak, something that her own mother is currently in a mental institution for. Along with her best friend, Jeb, she realizes the world is not what it seems and will travel far and do the unthinkable to save her mother's life.

I don't want to give away any secrets from this novel because it's a marvelous adventure from start to finish. I absolutely adored the protagonist. She is young and malleable, properly so for her age, but she learns and grows as the book progresses. The pacing is very well done as secrets are revealed at the right time and place. Jeb is a wonderful love interest-- a guy that anyone would be lucky to be with. Morpheus, on the other hand, is a great foil and counterpart to Jeb. We can see how he entices Alyssa, but at the same time, frightens her. I love how Howard doesn't slip into the usual mistake of making him two dimensional-- he is very well developed and we can see how he has become what he is, and how he is not beyond redemption. I also want to mention how terrific each detail of Wonderland is-- Howard knows the story well and inserts delightful detail to all of her twisted creations.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by this novel-- a darkly enticing tale that turns Wonderland on its head-- in a way that only respects and amplifies the original. Howard is definitely an author to watch.


I'll be posting a review with the mysterious Morpheus with the official giveaway page in a day or two. Tune in! Now, enter to win some fabulous prizes!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Curmudgeon's Corner (SK): Too Much of a Good Thing?

Welcome back Shawn Keenan, the author of The Intern's Tale and The Buried Covenant. If you haven't read these two awesome books, pick it up over the holidays to have something fun to read! They are definitely special. He also has a great blog. Stop by!


I watched the movie THE HOBBIT this weekend.  I’m not as big a fan of Tolkien as some, but I have read the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, THE HOBBIT a couple of times, and watched these stories on the big screen. 

I say I’ve watched THE HOBBIT, but I’ve actually only watched about a third of what is that relatively short story.  And it took almost three hours.  That means I probably have about another six hours ahead of me to get the full story presented in all of its 48 fps glory.  (Not sure if that’s how I actually saw it, it just looked like a movie to me).

So here’s my rant.  Did Peter Jackson do this classic story a service or an injustice by stretching it out, puff it up, and possibly making it a bit bloated in his efforts to create another trilogy? 

Bottom line, yeah, just a little.

The book THE HOBBIT is very unique.  In so many ways, it’s a rough draft for the three-book saga that is THE LORD OF THE RINGS.  You can see him trying things out, playing with themes, and taking a first swipe at what would be expansive world building in his trilogy.  And I find a charm in that.  I don’t go so far as to say it’s a children’s book, but there is a fairy tale quality to it and Bilbo, I think, would be very relatable to younger adults and even preteens who feel like they are setting off on a journey into a larger world filled with Giants, Goblins, and Dragons every time they step out their front door.

The HobbitIn my opinion, Jackson has tried to turn THE HOBBIT into a sequel to LOTR’s, without recognizing that the story is distinctly a prequel, and is in many ways more like an extended prologue.  By adding plots, weight, and melodrama to what is a more straightforward story, he burdens it a bit.

My point is this (maybe):  When you take a beloved story, even though you are staying very true to the author’s source material, if you ignore the essence of what that story is, you may lose something in the process.  I think LOTR fans will love this movie and so will most other moviegoers. 

I don’t think anyone who ends up seeing all three movies of this new trilogy will have experienced much of what people who read the book THE HOBBIT felt in reading it, and that’s ok.  Movies are movies and books are books.  Sometimes a movie can’t accomplish what a book does, and that’s part of the magic of books. 

What do you think about The Hobbit being stretched out to three movies?

Enter some great giveaways!
Current Giveaways
1. Interview and Giveaway of dystopian YA novel, There Comes A Prophet by David Litwack, US/Canada giveaway of paperback of his book
There Comes a Prophet giveaway

2. Interview with Jennifer Lane, author of Streamline, US giveaway of signed paperback + bookmark and International giveaway of e-copy, 12/16
Streamline Giveaway

3. The Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop Featuring Jonathan Maberry, Author of the Rot and Ruin series (one INT and one US winner of signed copies of Flesh and Bone), 12/27-12/31
Rot and Ruin giveaway

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop, Featuring Jonathan Maberry, author of Rot and Ruin series



Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

December 27th to 31st

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm so excited to showcase my favorite book of the year, Rot and Ruin (part of a series of 4 books), and its author, Jonathan Maberry.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) 
Goodreads Book Description: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review:  Several people that I really trust told me that I would love this book, and they were completely right. I've had this book on my to read list for a while. I was a little apprehensive because I have not been very impressed with any of the zombie YA books I've read. This includes the extremely hyped up "This Is Not a Test." Rot and Ruin, on the other hand, was intelligent, thoughtful, moving, and fast paced.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry focuses on Benny Imura, who was orphaned after First Night, when the first zombie outbreak took place 14 years ago. He was rescued by his brother, Tom, who is a skilled Bounty Hunter. Benny doesn't think much of his brother and thinks him a coward. In the beginning of the book, Benny tries to find a job that fits him. In the end, he realizes that he is destined to follow in his brother's footsteps, and that his brother is more than he seems to be.

It is hard to compress this wonderful book into a synopsis without giving away its wonderful secrets. Let's just say that this book develops layer after layer, each one more intricate and thoughtful than the last. Maberry does a masterful job of world building. Zombies are more than just zombies-- the remaining humans have created a culture around them. All of their jobs, etc, have to do with living their lives free of zombies. Then there is the Rot and Ruin where the zombies roam free where Bounty Hunters are paid to put zombies down. Even that is treated with a reverence and thoughtfulness that I thought remarkable. The characters are many layered as well, as three dimensional as you get. Benny starts off as an annoying, bratty adolescent who then is confronted with darkness much scarier than the zombies and has to grow up too fast. Then there is Nix, who is a wonderful female counterpart. Tom, Benny's brother, may have been my favorite character and I may just have a little bit of a crush on him. And then another character is introduced that is incredibly intriguing, whom I think we will learn more about in future books.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is. Because it was so good, I'm worried that the next two books may not live up to the first. But you can be sure I'm picking them up. Overall, the best book I've read all year.
 

 Author Blurb:


Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include ASSASSIN’S CODE, FLESH & BONE, GHOST ROAD BLUES, Dust & Decay, Patient Zero, The Wolfman, and many others. Nonfiction books include ULTIMATE JUJUTSU, THE CRYPTOPEDIA, Zombie CSU, Wanted Undead or Alive, and others.  Jonathan’s award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film.  He’s the editor/co-author of V-WARS, a vampire-themed anthology; and was a featured expert on The History Channel special ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, DOOMWAR, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS. He teaches the Experimental Writing for Teens class, is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and co-founder of The Liars Club. Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara and their dog, Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com.


Author Interview


QUESTION:  I am fascinated by the world building and culture you have built around zombies. What inspired you to create this world and where do you derive inspiration from typically? I personally thought of Star Wars when I heard the term Bounty Hunter :-)
JONATHAN MABERRY: World-building for me is simply a matter of applying common sense and a little practical imagination to any scenario. If people survived the zombie apocalypse then they are faced with the reality of ‘now what?’ Where will they live? How will they find food and water? What kind of protection will they need? What will get them through the hours of each day? One of the first things people will do if they survive a catastrophe is create jobs and get back to work. That’s what keeps a culture moving forward. So, with ROT & RUIN, I started there. I had the teenage star of the story, Benny Imura, go looking for a job. The jobs he applied for where a way of showing how ordinary life adapted to the reality of zombies and how life moved on from there. It also allowed me to explore the world of the Rot & Ruin, and by doing so share it with the readers.  I didn’t really draw on any other source beyond common sense.

QUESTION:  Your characters are the most well rounded bunch I have met in a long time. I think my personal favorite is Tom Imura (which is also why I invited him to do an interview as well). Do you have a favorite character to write? Did any of the characters surprise you?
JONATHAN MABERRY: My favorite characters in the series are Lou Chong (who’s based on a friend of mine from years ago) and Nix Riley. Maybe Nix more so, because she was only supposed to be in one scene in the book –according to the plot I’d worked out—but as soon as I began writing about her I found her fascinating. She’s not a typical fictional girlfriend. She’s edgy, complicated, difficult, a little crazy, moody, and very much an individual.

QUESTION:  If you could have a reader take away one thing from your books, what would it be and why?
JONATHAN MABERRY: That all life matters.  The story isn’t about how many zombies you can kill or how many people have been chomped by the living dead.  It’s about the value of human life. Every zombie was once a real person –somehow who had a life, expectations, a family, and a belief in their own future. Each of these people died in fear and pain. Each zombie, therefore, is a kind of tombstone that marks where a human life was destroyed.  That’s tragic. And it should be a reminder to us that life should be treasured and respected, even if it’s the life of an enemy during these troubled times of war.

QUESTION:  What was the most interesting thing a fan has told you?
JONATHAN MABERRY: I’ve had a number of fans who are in programs for reluctant readers tell me that ROT & RUIN is the first book they’ve read.

QUESTION:  It's hard to kill off an important character. What thoughts go through your head when you are making that decision?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Any central character killed for mere shock value is worthless. A character’s death must matter to the story, and his or her life and death should echo through the lives of everyone else in the story.  All lives are connected. The characters I’ve killed off in the ROT & RUIN series were chosen because their deaths are logical and even necessary to the development of the story and the personal growth of the central characters.

QUESTION:  Can you tell us what you have on the horizon and about some of your other series that are already out?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Joe Ledger, the hero of my ongoing series of adult thrillers makes a significant appearance in FLESH & BONE and FIRE & ASH, the 3rd and 4th books in the ROT & RUIN series. FIRE & ASH debuts next September, but Joe returns in EXTINCTION MACHINE, the 5th book in his series. That comes out in March.  Also, issue #3 (of 4) of my new comic series is due out: MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS.  We’re also in development for a ROT & RUIN movie, but that will take a couple of years.  In the meantime, I just sold five new novels (which I haven’t yet written). They are two new Joe Ledger thrillers, a sequel to my recent zombie novel DEAD OF NIGHT, and the first two books in a new teen series of mystery-thrillers. The first one will be called WATCH OVER ME.
 
Enter to win a signed copy of Flesh and Bone, the third book in this series (one international winner and one US winner!) And click here to see Tom Imura's Interview! Believe me, it's worth it!
 
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This is a giveaway hop! Enter some more great giveaways on the list!
 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Interview with Tom Imura, character from Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry and International Giveaway

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve! Because I'm not sure when I'll get to post on Christmas Day, I'm going to go ahead and post this so that my loyal readers can enter ahead of time. Just so you know, tomorrow I'll be posting Jonathan Maberry's Interview and the official Best of 2012 giveaway hop post. 

I'm so excited to promote my favorite book of the year, Rot and Ruin (part of a series of 4 books), and its author, Jonathan Maberry.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)

Goodreads Book Description: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review:  Several people that I really trust told me that I would love this book, and they were completely right. I've had this book on my to read list for a while. I was a little apprehensive because I have not been very impressed with any of the zombie YA books I've read. This includes the extremely hyped up "This Is Not a Test." Rot and Ruin, on the other hand, was intelligent, thoughtful, moving, and fast paced.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry focuses on Benny Imura, who was orphaned after First Night, when the first zombie outbreak took place 14 years ago. He was rescued by his brother, Tom, who is a skilled Bounty Hunter. Benny doesn't think much of his brother and thinks him a coward. In the beginning of the book, Benny tries to find a job that fits him. In the end, he realizes that he is destined to follow in his brother's footsteps, and that his brother is more than he seems to be.

It is hard to compress this wonderful book into a synopsis without giving away its wonderful secrets. Let's just say that this book develops layer after layer, each one more intricate and thoughtful than the last. Maberry does a masterful job of world building. Zombies are more than just zombies-- the remaining humans have created a culture around them. All of their jobs, etc, have to do with living their lives free of zombies. Then there is the Rot and Ruin where the zombies roam free where Bounty Hunters are paid to put zombies down. Even that is treated with a reverence and thoughtfulness that I thought remarkable. The characters are many layered as well, as three dimensional as you get. Benny starts off as an annoying, bratty adolescent who then is confronted with darkness much scarier than the zombies and has to grow up too fast. Then there is Nix, who is a wonderful female counterpart. Tom, Benny's brother, may have been my favorite character and I may just have a little bit of a crush on him. And then another character is introduced that is incredibly intriguing, whom I think we will learn more about in future books.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is. Because it was so good, I'm worried that the next two books may not live up to the first. But you can be sure I'm picking them up. Overall, the best book I've read all year.
 


 Author Blurb:


Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include ASSASSIN’S CODE, FLESH & BONE, GHOST ROAD BLUES, Dust & Decay, Patient Zero, The Wolfman, and many others. Nonfiction books include ULTIMATE JUJUTSU, THE CRYPTOPEDIA, Zombie CSU, Wanted Undead or Alive, and others.  Jonathan’s award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film.  He’s the editor/co-author of V-WARS, a vampire-themed anthology; and was a featured expert on The History Channel special ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, DOOMWAR, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS. He teaches the Experimental Writing for Teens class, is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and co-founder of The Liars Club. Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife, Sara and their dog, Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com.

Tom Imura Interview

QUESTION:  Thank you so much for joining us today, Tom! Can you please tell our readers about your job as a Bounty Hunter? What is the best and worst part of your job?

TOM IMURA: I’m technically not a ‘bounty hunter’ per se. I prefer the term ‘closure specialist’. I’m hired by survivors to find their loved ones who have become zoms. I read the last letter or message from the family and then quiet the dead as humanely as possible. The best part of it is that it really does give closure to people. The downside is that it hurts like hell.

QUESTION:  What is the most unusual thing that you've found out in the Rot and Ruin?

TOM IMURA: I once found a house that had been decorated for Christmas, with presents wrapped and placed under a tree, and a full-course dinner placed on the table. Two weird things about that…first, all of this had been done recently and it was the middle of July. And the other weird thing is that there was absolutely no one there. The door was open and there was no one there.  I waited around for a whole day, but no one ever showed up. And there were no zoms in the area, either. Very strange.

QUESTION:  I know that you must have some competition from other Bounty Hunters. Can you tell us a little about your competition and how you stay on top of your game?

TOM IMURA: Most of the mainstream bounty hunters do other kinds of work, like cleaning out towns, keeping trade routes clear of the dead, and brutal stuff like that. Most of them don’t really care about the dead. They don’t much care that the dead were once people. We…um…don’t hang out much. Nothing much to talk about.

QUESTION:  Tell us a little about your brother, Benny. Is he going to follow in your footsteps?

TOM IMURA: That’s a tough call. Benny and I have a pretty awkward relationship. He has some assumptions about who I am and about what happened on First Night. He doesn’t like me at all and I have to admit that there are time I find it hard to keep the fires of brotherly love burning for him. But…I have to believe that one of these days he’s going to stand up and take a really good look at the world and see it for what it us. If he does…well, then maybe he and I can find a way to make a fresh start.

QUESTION:  My readers want to know-- is there a special woman in your life?

TOM IMURA: Well, yeah, I guess.  Jessie Riley is this amazing woman who lives on the other side of town. She got into some trouble with a couple of the rougher bounty hunters a few years ago.  Getting her out was rough but it was a bonding experience.  Wow…that sounds really awkward.  I…well, I guess I’m not really comfortable talking about how I feel about Jessie.  She’s great, let’s leave it at that.

QUESTION:  What is the greatest lesson you've learned in your life?

TOM IMURA: Life is precious, treasure it. Yeah, I know that’s corny as hell, and I’m pretty sure I actually read it on a fortune cookie, but y’know…it’s profoundly true.  We lost seven billion people when the dead rose. Life is a rare and precious thing.

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