The Day Zombies Ruin My Perfectly Boring Life by Jen Naumann

Story: Emma lives in a quite small rural American town. She finds her life there has been pretty boring until she comes home after a night of senior pranks to find a zombie in her own backyard. Now Emma along with her best friend Finn and a group of teens are trying to survive a zombie invasion. Emma learns the truth about Finn’s mother and what’s her connection to the zombies. Also, Emma and all her new friends will uncover why the zombie invasion is happening.

Our rating: 5 out of 5 undead stars

Review: We are not really into Zombies but this book has changed it all. We fell in love with the main character Emma from page one. She is one of funniest characters we’ve ever met in a book. She has some of the funniest one-liners we’ve have read in a long time. The Day Zombies Ruin My Perfectly Boring Life has it all. We found ourselves laughing out loud, falling in love, shocked, fearful for what would happen next, and even shedding a tear. Each character is so well developed and brings their own personal gem to this amazing story. Trust us when we say this book is a must read!!!! You won’t be sorry, even if you are not A zombie fan.

So turn your nite-light on and read The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life

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New Book Release: The Super Spies and the High School Bombers

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This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

We loved the first book The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer and now Lisa Orchard brings us the sequel read a sample:

Chapter One

A whoosh of roiling hot air lifted Sarah Cole and flung her against the kitchen wall like a fumbled football. At the same time, the windows burst into millions of pieces, showering everything with tiny shards of glass. Sarah crumpled to the floor, still clutching the phone. She lay there stunned, unable to inhale or exhale.
“Sarah! Sarah!” her younger sister, Lacey, screamed from the bathroom, where she’d been drying her hair.
The ringing in her ears was so intense, Sarah could barely hear her. Groaning, she opened her eyes and saw only red through her right one. Dread rippled through her body.
“Sarah! Sarah!” Lacey cried again.
Sarah dropped the phone, and put her hand up to her eye. She fingered the area gently before pulling her hand away. Blood.
“Lacey,” she croaked, unable to manage more than that.
“Sarah! Where are you?”
“The kitchen,” Sarah said, finally able to breathe. She blinked her eyes twice and her vision cleared. Relief flooded her body and she wilted against the floor.
“Holy Moley!” Lacey shrieked.
Sarah jumped at the sound of her voice. She didn’t realize Lacey had come up the stairs and into the kitchen. The ringing in her ears was almost gone.
“You’re bleeding!”
“No kidding,” Sarah said, covering her right eye with her hand and glaring at Lacey with her uncovered one. She brushed her shoulder length blonde hair away from her face and gasped at the blood running down her arm.
“We’ve got to get you to the hospital!” Lacey screamed in a voice edged with hysteria.
“Stop freaking out!” Sarah gave Lacey the old one-eyed glare again.
“Sarah, there’s blood everywhere,” her sister whimpered as she wrung her hands. She gazed around her. “What happened? Did our furnace blow up or something?”
“I don’t think so.” Sarah shook her head, dust particles and slivers of glass cascaded to the floor. She furrowed her brow and absentmindedly brushed off her clothes. “I think something exploded outside. Help me up.”
Lacey held out her hand to Sarah and pulled her into a sitting position.
Blinking, Sarah gazed around the kitchen. On most days it was a sunny room with pineapple wallpaper and pine cabinets. It was the most popular room in the house—everyone congregated there during the holidays.
Sarah blinked again. Dust floated through the air and glass littered the yellow linoleum floor. She groaned and turned her attention to her arm.
As she examined the blood running down it, another wave of panic flooded through her body. Sarah’s legs wobbled when she stood and she stumbled as she reached for a kitchen towel that lay on the counter. She used it to blot her eye. When she pulled the towel away, she was shocked to see the amount of blood that had soaked into it. Sarah gulped, trying to swallow her fear as beads of sweat broke out on her forehead.
With unsteady feet, Sarah stumbled into the hall where a mirror hung.
She was afraid to look. Taking some deep breaths, she stared into the cracked mirror and noticed a cut in her eyebrow. The amount of blood that seeped from the cut was enormous compared to its small size.
Lacey walked past Sarah on her way to the den. The crunch of glass under her sister’s feet caught Sarah’s attention, and she sighed.
Thank goodness we had our shoes on. A wave of relief washed over her body and she exhaled another deep sigh. The girls had been getting ready for school when the windows exploded and covered everything with glass.
“Sarah, come here! You’ve got to see this!” Lacey yelled.
Sarah whirled around and spotted her sister walking from the den—her eyes were round and full of shock.
“I think all the windows have been smashed. Come and look.”
Holding the towel against her cut, Sarah followed her into the den. “Holy crap!”
She gazed into the room. Shards of glass covered the furniture and the floor. The sun streamed through the window, shining on the jagged bits embedded in the carpet. It appeared as if tiny diamonds were buried within the fibers.
“What in the world happened?”
Sarah shook her head. “I have no idea.”
The shrill ring of the phone made Sarah jump. She dashed back to the kitchen and found the phone where she had dropped it earlier.
“Hello?”
“Sarah?”
“Jackie?”
“Yeah, it’s me.” Jackie’s voice eased some of the tension in Sarah’s body. Jackie Jenkins was her best friend. They had met when Sarah and her sister moved in with their aunt and uncle three months earlier.
Sarah glanced down at her legs and for the first time saw tiny nicks where she had been hit by flying glass. She bent down and examined the cuts further. They were not deep, and were already clotting.
“All of our windows exploded! Do you know what’s going on?” Sarah asked.
“There was an explosion at the high school.”
“There was an explosion?”
“Yep.”
“How do you know? Was it a bomb?” Sarah brushed her hair away from her face and watched as more dust cascaded to the floor.
“I heard it on the police scanner.”
“Was it a bomb?” Sarah asked again.
“They don’t know, but what else causes an explosion?” Jackie said with a voice edged with apprehension.
“Crap,” Sarah gasped, as the energy seemed to drain from her body, replaced with heavy dread. Sagging against the kitchen wall, she clutched the phone as if it were a lifeline. “Uncle Walt.” She choked, and then turned toward Lacey and stared.
“Sarah? Are you there? Are you all right?” Jackie yelled from the phone.
“Sarah?” Lacey’s lip quivered.
Tears welled in Sarah’s eyes as she spoke to Lacey. “There’s been an explosion at the high school.”
“What? No way!” Lacey shook her head and swung away.
“Sarah, I’m coming over!” Jackie screamed.
Sarah nodded numbly as she watched Lacey. Her sister’s breathing was labored and her face turned pale.
“I feel like I’m going to faint.” Lacey’s knees buckled and she reached for the kitchen chair.
“Put your head between your knees!” Sarah dropped the phone, grabbed Lacey and helped her to the floor. She gently pushed Lacey’s head down between her knees. Her sister’s face and knees disappeared behind the curtain of her long blonde hair.
“Now, take deep breaths.”
Lacey inhaled deeply and let her breath out slowly. The two girls sat like that for a few minutes, Sarah holding her sister’s head down and Lacey breathing.
“Thanks. You can let go now.” Lacey raised her head and smiled at Sarah.
Sarah nodded and peered into her sister’s green eyes that were so much like her own. “Better?”
“Yeah.” Lacey let out a long shudder. She sat back on the floor. “I’m not ready to get up yet.”
“Jackie’s coming over.” Sarah picked up the phone and pushed buttons with a shaky hand.
“Who’re you calling?” Lacey whimpered.
“Uncle Walt’s cell.”
Sarah listened to the phone ring, as her stomach tightened into a knot. “It went right into voicemail.” She gulped as the enormity of the situation hit her. Fear ate away at her self-control and her stomach clenched tighter. Taking some deep breaths, she wondered what she should do next. Without a doubt, Sarah knew that Lacey was going to lose it at any moment, and someone needed to take charge. “We have to call Aunt June.” The quiver in her voice betrayed the fear she tried to hide.
“I hope he’s okay,” Lacey whimpered and then sobbed as she sagged against the cabinets. Rocking back and forth, she tried to calm herself.
“I’m sure he wasn’t near the explosion.” Sarah cast a sideways glance toward her sister, hoping to reassure Lacey, but her words rang false in her own ears.
“He went to school early today,” Lacey whimpered as she rocked. She rubbed her hands together as if they were cold.
Sarah dialed her aunt’s office and waited for Beatrice, the receptionist, to answer. Pacing, she chewed on her nail. What was taking Bea so long? While Sarah waited, the wails of police sirens and the blare of fire truck horns filled the air as they rushed past. Panic gnawed at her gut. She fought to keep it at bay and won for the moment.
Beatrice answered the phone and informed Sarah that her aunt was with a patient.
“Bea, this is an emergency.” Sarah’s voice cracked. “I really need to talk to her.”
“I’m sorry Sarah. I didn’t recognize your voice. Just a second. I’ll interrupt her session.”
Sarah waited on hold, listening to the elevator music filtering through the phone. She paced and chewed her nails. “Let’s go in the den.”
Lacey, still wobbly from her near faint, stood and clung to Sarah, as Sarah guided her into the den.
“Turn the TV on and see if there’s anything on the news,” Sarah instructed.
She paced back and forth while her sister stumbled toward the TV. Lacey walked hunched over and slow. With a trembling hand, she finally pushed the power button on the television.
Stifling an irritated sigh, Sarah peered at the TV and caught a glimpse of a scroll at the bottom of the screen. It said Harrisburg High School and Jr. High School closed today due to faculty meeting. Please stay away from the High School. There has been an explosion and emergency personnel need to be able to get to the scene.
Sarah stifled a growl of frustration. That’s it? That’s all they’re going to tell us? She continued her pacing, growing more agitated by the minute.
Sarah chewed on her lip as frantic thoughts ran through her mind. It was her first day at her new school and it explodes? What is going on?
Her aunt’s voice came through the phone. “Sarah? What’s wrong?”
Sarah let out a strangled sob. The sound of concern in her aunt’s voice was enough for her to lose control of her emotions. “It’s Uncle Walt. There’s been an explosion at the high school and all of our windows exploded!” Sarah sobbed. Her best efforts to keep it together were unsuccessful.
“An explosion? What kind of explosion?”
“I don’t know,” Sarah cried. “I just know there was some kind of explosion.”
A small moan escaped her aunt’s lips. “Oh, no. Wait!”

available now at:

http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=13594238

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Spies-School-Bomber-ebook/dp/B008P8O7OY

Leave a comment Below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card. We will be picking 3 winners on August 10, 2012

 

Author’s Corner: Jen Naumann

We first met Jen Naumann when we read and reviewed her book What I’ve Done. We fell in love with her book immediatly . We also fell in love with the characters and even made Eli one of our boyfriends of the week. When we learned her second book was coming out we knew we had to read it and we are so happy we did. We’ve already made the trailer for The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life our book trailer of the week, and we are 100% sure Finn will soon be one of our boyfriends of the week. Now we are excited to bring you our interview with Jen Naumann. Make sure to leave a comment at the end of the interview for your chance to win an autographed copy of The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life. We will be picking two winners, which will be announced August 23rd.

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Please tell us what The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life is all about?

This is the tale of Emma Ferdig, a witty and sarcastic 17-year-old girl who is a few weeks into her senior year. She lives in this painfully small rural town where her only entertainment is playing video games and watching horror movie marathons with her best friend, Finn. After Emma returns home from a night of senior pranks, she finds a decaying woman in her backyard. Emma obviously doesn’t know at first she is dealing with a real zombie, and actually offers to help the tragically un-kept woman. Once she realizes what is really going on, she flees the area with Finn and his annoying jerk of a brother, Cash. They even pick up some other misfits along their journey. While just trying to survive, the group of teens uncovers a string of secrets and a major conspiracy involving the US Army and these “zombies.” There is even a bit of a romance story involved when Emma tries to decide if her feelings for Finn go deeper.

Your book is amazing, please tell us your inspiration?

Thank you so much! I have an obsession with The Walking Dead, Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. I have not found a zombie book I am particularly fond of, however. It seems all of the young adult zombie books involve teenagers who know how to expertly shoot a gun and kick some serious butt. I got to thinking—what would I do if I suddenly found myself in a zombie attack? Emma is basically the teenage version of me, although I don’t know that I was quite that sharp-tongued in high school. But I did grow up in a small town where there was nothing to do, and I liked to make people laugh. I actually channeled Emma Stone at times for the character, thus it only seemed right to name her that. Most of my books have some sort of paranormal aspect to them, but I had never tried the horror genre. It actually ended up being a lot of fun, especially when I was able to inject my humor into the story.
Are any of your characters or zombies based on real people?

There may have been a childhood friend/neighbor I struggled to decide if I had feelings for late in our relationship, but decided in the end it was way too much like kissing a brother. And I really did try to avoid conflict with a “Darcy” in high school who wanted to beat me up for kissing her ex-boyfriend. Other than that, the people all came from my imagination. I do, however, use random names of friends and family, although the characters never resemble their actual namesakes. But I love having people call me and say how thrilled they were to see their name appear in my book.
What song or songs were constantly playing while you were writing The Day Zombies Ruined my Perfectly Boring Life?

I have a general writing playlist that mostly consists of the Foo Fighters, Jack Johnson and the Beastie Boys, but there were times when I was writing this book that I would listen to “No One Believes Me” by Kid Cudi on repeat. The tune is just so eerie and the lyrics seemed fitting for Emma’s adventure. Whenever I felt the story was becoming dry and lacking humor, I would play songs by either The Lonely Island or Adam Sandler.
How is this book different from What I’ve Done, which by the way we also loved?

These two books probably couldn’t be any different. What I’ve Done is so serious and dramatic with a major love story being the center of the plot, while The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life is actually just a fun adventure, although a smaller love story somehow snuck its way into it, too. No matter how hard I try to write a non-romantic plot, somehow it always steers back to a girl being in love with a guy. Sometimes I want to shake myself, because I’m really not that romantic in real life—I’m not exactly sure where it even comes from!

If your book was going to be made into a movie who would you want to play your characters?

This is by far the hardest question you asked me! Since I tried on occasion to channel Emma Stone’s character Olive from Easy A (and I totally adore her as an actress), she is a shoe-in for the main character, but the rest are difficult to choose. When you pull someone from the dark places of your imagination, I think it is almost impossible to find a real-life version of them. I created Finn as being handsome in Emma’s eyes, although nerdy, so he would be an especially hard one to cast. If it were to ever really happen, maybe the studio would ask me to sit through the process of auditioning a bunch of good looking eighteen-year-old actors to find just the right one, as painful as the process would surely be…

When did you become interested in writing?

I remember announcing in the third grade that I wanted to grow up to be a writer, but I think my interest really peaked when I started reading Stephen King books in the sixth grade. Through my teen years I would blow off outdoor activities with my friends to sit inside and write novels for hours on end. I started college as an English major for this very purpose, but became too anxious to start a family and chose a shorter career path, going to legal assistant school instead. This is how I came up with the prologue for The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life—although I would love to go back and tell myself to stick with the English major since it was always my dream, I know I wouldn’t listen to myself anyway. In the end I followed my dream, but it just took a few extra years to get there.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Every morning I fire up my laptop in an armchair that sits in the corner our large bedroom (which is the most tranquil room in the house). I play my iPod while I write, and drink a sugar-free Red Bull. Sometimes my chair is too comfortable and I require a second Red Bull later in the day to stay conscious, but if I feel a writer’s block coming on, I will steal a handful of the M&M’s that are always beside me. I’ve decided I’m going to have to find a less-fattening way to get my creative juices flowing before I start packing on extra pounds!

What word or words do you always have trouble spelling correctly?

I pride myself on being a good speller for the most part, but I despise the words theatre and restaurant. Every time I Google one of these on my phone, it takes forever between me and auto-correct to get the search done! I try not to use them much in my books.

What book or author inspired you to write YA?

I can’t say anyone actually influenced me to write in the YA genre. As a teen, I wrote stories focused on the lives of young adults, and I just continued doing so. I did try writing a “grown-up” book a few years ago, but didn’t get too far with it. One of the reasons I like this genre is because I want to write stories with decent morals and unique storylines that maybe allow teens with difficult lives to escape into a different world. Another reason is because of that exciting rush you experience as a teen—there is just something carefree and innocent about that stage of life as you’re trying to find your way in this world. I think that’s a big reason why you find a lot of older adults reading YA, too (myself included). You forever want to re-create that feeling, even when you’re married with kids and have to pay the bills.

Which authors inspire you today?

J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Lauren Oliver and Jodi Picoult are all brilliant authors, and their work alone inspires me to become a better author. However, on a more personal level, Maria Monteiro, Melissa Foster and Joanna Penn inspire me on a daily basis to keep up my writing—even on the really bad days when I think I should just hang it up. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their encouragement!

What advice do you have for up and coming authors?

You have to write every single day, and you really have to believe in yourself. When you decide to put yourself out there and publish your stories, you’re going to get a lot of feedback. Some of it may be negative and really difficult to swallow. Just remember how many people in this world have access to the internet, and how different opinions and tastes are going to be. My mother recently told me to visualize the people in those crazy Wal-Mart pictures that circulate the internet and imagine them at the keyboard, putting their two cents in. I have to say that visual really helped, even if it isn’t true!

What are you working on now?

I think with this amazing summer weather, my attention span has become a little out of control. I am in the rewriting stage of a book called Just a Dream—the story of a girl who is bullied at school and discovers she can control her dreams to escape her life. I am also a few chapters into the second zombie book, which is currently untitled, but so far is proving to be a great ride. My editor is working on a finished story, Shymers, which is a dystopian tale of a society in which people are discriminated against because of their predicted life expectancy. I am not even sure which one will be released next, but I’m thinking one of them will probably come out sometime in late fall 2012.

And our final question: What would you make sure you would have if Zombie really began to take over?

That’s easy—an endless supply of chocolate. I figure I don’t have much of a chance of surviving anything like that with my lack of coordination and bravery, so I may as well go out happy!

We would like to thank Jen for an amazing interview. Now remember to leave a comment for chance to win a paperback or ebook (your choice)

Check out The Day Zombies Ruined my Perfectly Boring Life now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

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World Enough and Time by Emma C. Williams

Story: Anna is 15-year-old, who has been dealing with having a rare condition called Goldenhar syndrome. She is trying to lead a normal life, but it’s hard with the constant doctor appointments. Anna does have a good scene of humor, but at the same time she always reminds herself that her looks make her different from anyone else. Her family and friends try to convince her she is just like everyone else but Anna does not agree, and always feels like the ugly duckling who will never be loved. It doesn’t help that the boy she likes (Michael) seems to only like her like a friend. Now Anna is getting ready to get major surgery that will alter the way she looks. Anna is excited for the surgery at first, but then starts to think no matter what she will never be a normal girl.

Our rating: 4 out 5 self-accepting stars

Review: This is one of those books you can read in one sitting. Although it’s a quick read it is a powerful story. When we first began to read this story non of us had ever heard about Goldenhar Syndrome by the time we finished the book we felt like we knew what it is like to live with this condition. We love how Emma C. Williams combines Anna’s life with her doctor appointments to show the reader how difficult it is to be her. However, for all the struggles Anna has to go through she is very strong character, showing strength in her humor. We also love how her friends and parents support her, it warmed our hearts. Everyone should have a support group like them. World Enough and Time is an amazing uplifting story that will leave you with a smile.

So put the fashion magazine down and read World Enough and TIme.

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**We received this book for free by the author. We were not bribed or paid in any way for this review. **

Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Story: For almost ten years the journalist Adrian followed two teen girls in the Bronx: Jessica a nineteen year old flirt and Coco a fourteen year old romantic. Adrian follows these two girls through their struggles with living in poverty, dating men who lead criminal lives, having children at a young age, being locked-up, being homeless, and dealing with abuse from when they were children to having their own children be abused. It’s a real look at what life is like in the ghetto.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 eye-opening stars

Review: We were told about this book by Sarah’s mom a few years ago and have been begged to read it ever since. We finally broke down and can’t thank her enough. Reading it felt as if we were a fly on the wall witnessing these real people live their, at times, very sad life. Both girls struggle with the same thing most teen do, but with the mentality of being part of the tough streets. It broke our hearts how these girl thinking process worked. The teen girls and their mothers live for their men, and even put them before their own children. Adrian does an amazing job showing how this vicious cycle works and continues with even Coco’s and Jessica children. It’s also sad to see how drugs really do effect how a family functions. Coco really broke our hearts. It seemed like every time she tried to better herself something would happen that would shatter any hope of a better life. We wanted to go find her and help her achieve the better life she wants. This book shocked us, made us mad, made us sad, but most of all it opened up our eyes to a life that’s right in our backyard which we didn’t really know. We feel like this book changed our lives in a way, and has also made us appreciate what we have.

So turn off the fake reality shows and read Random Family.

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Heart Waves by Danielle Sibarium

Story: Jenna can sense people’s future or personal information by touching one of their belongings. When Jenna meets Reece she touches his ring and informs him he’s going to break her heart. Jenna tries to resist him, but before she knows it she is falling for him. They spend the whole summer together sharing very special moments. But Jenna cannot stop thinking about her prediction making it hard to trust him.The summer days soon turn into fall and Jenna soon finds out her first prediction is only the beginning.

Our rating: 5 out of 5 unpredictable stars

Review: Once again Danielle writes a book that sucks you right in. Each of us agreed once we started this book we couldn’t put it down. Our hearts were in our throat as we waited to see how Reece would break Jenna’s heart. The more we read the more we fell in love with him, and just as Jenna we began to fear the heartache that was coming.The romance between Jenna and Reece is so sweet that you find yourself rooting for them, and hoping her prediction is wrong. Twist and turns towards the end of the book does an excellent job to prepare you for the sequel, which we can’t wait for. This is a perfect book for the summer, trust us.

So sit by the pool and read Heart Waves

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Cover Reveal: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

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Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

The Watcher by Lisa Voisin will be out March 4, 2013