Book Review: Plague Nation

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I enjoyed this book on so many levels . . . It was so easy to visualize what’s going on, following the desperate journey of the wild cards to the next potential safe spot, knowing that it’s all building to an epic climax in Plague World . . . I loved the gallows humour, so necessary in the world that Dana Fredsti has created, and indeed, in our world, too. Watching her protagonist, Ashley, learn to cope with the reality of her situation, and the clock ticking down on it, was absolutely riveting. And then the sinister back-story revealing itself — the machinations of the zombie outbreak — it’s maddening not having the answers laid out in front of me, guaranteeing that I will be getting a copy of Plague World at the earliest opportunity.

Fredsti’s love for the zombie genre in film and text is definitely clear in this book, as well as her love for San Francisco. I loved the details of her heroes’ physical journey, and as much as my heart ached for Ashley and the punishment she was going through (it’s really remarkable how many obstacles Dana can come up with, short of an earthquake sinking the whole place into the Bay), she struck the right balance with references to key moments and quotes in many of the films and books I love. I found myself snorting aloud, even when reading in public places. It’s both funny and poignant.

If you are a fan of the zombie genre — if you love reading about shambling, rotting, moaning, undead flesh-craving killers — this book is 100% for you.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Nation-Ashley-Parker-ebook/dp/B00CHOIHFC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381633177&sr=8-1&keywords=plague+nation

July 29: I’m on the V-Spot Blog

Oh, what a glorious Monday it will be! I’ll be rubbing virtual shoulders with vampire authors on perhaps the greatest vampire fiction site online!

The V Spot Logo

Join me at http://www.vampirebookrealm.com/the-v-spot-blog.html, read a fresh excerpt from Wind and Shadow, leave a comment, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for my Bloody Good Prize Package:

– a set of handmade beeswax candles (lead-free wicks),
– a signed bookmark,
– a magnet,
– a “blood”-filled vampire fang necklace from Vampirewear.com, and
– a signed print copy of Wind and Shadow

Good things happening — can’t wait to see who wins this one!

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Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy

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Buy Links:
(PDF or Print) http://www.melange-books.com/authors/torilridgewood/windandshadow.html
(Kindle) http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Shadow-Talbot-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DYCH64Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374184496&sr=8-1&keywords=wind+and+shadow+tori+ridgewood
(B&N) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-and-shadow-tori-l-ridgewood/1116138235?ean=9781612356396
(Smashwords) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/340100
(Kobo) http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/wind-and-shadow-talbot-series-1/JPwUsVxsCkqvqn_pDL1MYw?MixID=JPwUsVxsCkqvqn_pDL1MYw&PageNumber=1

4/20 — Enjoy a Latte and some Vampires with me!

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This is an all day Eloop chat at The Latte Lounge at Coffee Time Romance featuring the work of Vampire Book Realm Authors. Over 30 VBR Authors will be participating in the event.

Denyse Bridger- Special Giveaway
Cinsearae S.- Special Giveaway and Mystery Prize
Lisa Kessler- Special Giveaway
Maya DeLeina- Special Giveaway
Aquita Lane
Tamara Monteau
Jodie Pierce
Catherine Green
Jeff Dawson- Special Package Giveaway
Tricia Schneider
Tara Fox Hall- Special Giveaway
Siobhan Muir
Lisa Carlisle- Special Giveaway
J. Annas Walker- Special Giveaway
Amy Mah
Cornelia Amiri- Special Giveaway
Celine Chatillon- Special Giveaway
Suzi M.- Special Giveaway
Janet Breakfield
Katalyn Sage
R.E. Mullins- Special Giveaway

Special Giveaways and Packages Include: Signed Trading Cards, Bookmarks, Print Books, eBooks, Clothing, Posters, Gift Cards, and mystery accessories.

Readers: Join us anytime between 12am and 11:59pm on April 20th to explore all type of genre of Vampire Books. You might just find wonderful gifts for your friends, family and yourself! Many of the VBR Authors will be giving away prizes as well.

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=435

I’ll be doing a Special Giveaway as well: one lucky commenter will receive a fantastic promo package including a first-run signed copy (reserved) of my coming release, Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, as well as a notebook, a mug, a pen, a t-shirt, and a magnet, with some mystery goodies!

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See you on April 20th at Coffee Time Romance!

Cover Reveal Party for Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy!

LogoColorNoText I’m so excited — the unveiling of the cover for my debut novel is at hand! Please join me on Facebook on Sunday, April 7 from 5:30 to 9:30 for games, prizes, and the big reveal!

https://www.facebook.com/events/158008461029192/?context=create#

Wind and Shadow: Cover Reveal Party!

Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wants to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn’t count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot…or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.

Grant Michaels, police officer. He thinks Rayvin is a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger…but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it’s too late?

Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire. Imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts), his accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…

* * *

Wind and Shadow, Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, coming soon from Melange Books — and you’re invited to celebrate the cover release of this paranormal romance with me!

And yes…there will be games and prizes! Collectible Wind and Shadow pens, magnets, a mug, a notebook, a t-shirt, free e-copies of Midnight Thirsts with the prequel novella, “Mist and Midnight”, AND a pre-ordered signed, print copy of my debut novel, Wind and Shadow (to be sent to the winner asap when the book is released).

What will the cover look like for my debut novel?           Stay tuned for the big reveal! Wind and Shadow:  Book One of the Talbot Trilogy

What will the cover look like for my debut novel? Stay tuned for the big reveal! Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy

I Won! I Won! I Won! (Happy Dance)

I completed Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy!

“You’ve got the LOOK” — I’m IT!

I’ve been tagged in a blogging game by the magnificent Su Halfwerk!
http://suhalfwerk.blogspot.ca/2012/11/ive-been-tagged-ive-got-look.html?showComment=1353550209651

The concept of this game is to take one’s latest work in progress or current manuscript and search for the word “look”, then post some of the surrounding text/paragraphs and tag 5 authors.
(and yes, that fabulous 80s song is on a looping track inside my head right now)

I’m going to post an excerpt from my current WIP, Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy.

In Blood and Fire, a good witch named Rayvin Woods has found herself trapped in a dangerous situation as a concubine/hostage of the malicious, perverted, ruthless vampire Malcolm de Sade. Having encountered him already in Book 1: Wind and Shadow, and been unable to break his hold over the vampires who were once good townsfolk, Rayvin is trying desperately to find a way to destroy him. She has more than one problem to deal with, though: she may also be mother to a witch-vampire hybrid. She believes herself to be on her own to deal with the growing coven of undead creatures, unable to escape the isolated Northeastern Ontario town — little knowing that help is on the way, in the form of the good witch Charlotte Fanning Mahonen and her husband Pike (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts, 2011), two experienced vampire hunters (wood-nymph Marcy Richmond and gargoyle Siobhan O’Connell), and her lover, Grant Michaels, whose unexpected survival at the end of Book One: Wind and Shadow resulted in an important transformation. Rayvin’s conflicts are many, but she’s tough, and refuses to give in even when survival seems impossible.

Here’s the excerpt, featuring LOOK:

“Go on and take your shower, Rocky,” Marcy muttered her pet name for her girlfriend, after one more delicious squeeze. “I’m just the sensitive wood nymph. Bend, don’t break, and all that.”
“I really am sorry, Em.” The blue in Siobhan’s eyes deepened, reminding Marcy of the sky at sunset. “Forgive me?”
“Yes.” Marcy cupped the blonde’s velvety chin between her own slender brown hands. “And I love you. Go on, take your shower first. I need to check in with S.H.I.P. and Dad, anyway.”
Her routine was predictable, which was really somewhat dangerous in their field, but Marcy knew it helped Siobhan to cope with the nightmarish memories that came with the job. Five minutes to pick and complain, then a shower, then lounging pyjamas and an instant cappuccino while they went over their next move and filed the latest report. She would then touch up her French manicure, buff her feet, wax wherever a stray hair had dared to appear, and then disappear under the down quilt stuffed into a plastic bag. Unless there was an emergency, she wouldn’t emerge again until it was time for her workout in the morning.
Whenever it was safe, or time allowed, it was Marcy’s pleasure to slip into her 300-count cotton nest for a few sessions of passionate, energetic, and/or tender love-making.
Her body warmed at the thought that tonight, the probability of sex was looking better and better by the moment. From the look Siobhan gave her as she closed the door, her lover agreed.
But first, she had to take care of their professional obligations.
Marcy was full aware that there were some individuals in the Society of Investigators and Hunters of the Paranormal who were doubtful of the practicality of their partnership. Never before, in the history of their peoples or in the records of the Society, had wood and stone formed a working pair like theirs. Maybe the prejudice was understandable, on that basis, but it still burned.
If they could only track down and destroy Malcolm de Sade, the vampire on the top of S.H.I.P.’s most-wanted list, the nay-sayers would have to eat their words.
The Society’s best hunters had been on the creature’s trail for two centuries, but he had always evaded them somehow. He was smart, quick, ruthless, and a loner. Two years ago, he’d vanished from Toronto just when two teams had been ready to move. By the reports Marcy had read, they had delayed by thirty minutes, making sure everything was ready. It had been thirty minutes too long, at the least.
Tired of being given token assignments and pats on the head, Marcy and Siobhan had borrowed a copy of the de Sade file and gone off on their own, following the crumbs that other, more senior Society members had dismissed as unlikely or unimportant.
“Your people are starting to slack, Bill,” Marcy murmured, looking at his signature on a report two decades old. “Isn’t that our motto, not leaving any stone unturned in the search for truth and elimination of threats?”
It seemed that ever since the Society had acquired their living vampire specimen two years earlier, all efforts had turned inward. Scientists and hunters were burning the candle at both ends, using their specimen to test new detection technology and micro-biological weapons, at the expense of real hunting. Marcy didn’t understand it. What was the use of making a new weapon if the enemy was breeding, unchecked?
The response to her query on the organization’s recent withdrawal from field work had been brusque, to say the least. “If you think you can do better than those with experience, by all means. But you won’t find a vampire who’s gone to ground, especially one without a coven like de Sade.”
Marcy ground her teeth at the memory.
“But waiting for him to surface — for any of them — is like asking innocent people to be bait!” Her temper had risen enough that she’d given into shouting. “We have to keep looking! It’s not fair–”
“Life isn’t fair.” The squat, overweight bureaucrat behind his polished oak desk had steepled his fingers, pressed them to his nose, and looked over them at her as if she were a bug in a petrie dish. “The board of governors has decided that the best use of our efforts at the moment is to find a rapid and convenient solution for all vampires. Tracking and killing one or a few at a time is no longer good enough, not now that we have a specimen to use for tests. There will be some losses, yes–”
“Collateral damage, you mean,” Marcy spat.
“–but in the end, it will be worth the sacrifice.” The fat, balding ass had leaned forward at that point and flicked the thick de Sade folder in her direction. “As I said, you’re welcome to go with your gargoyle partner and try. The trail is cold, and under the current climate, I can’t offer you more than token support…”
Marcy had taken the file and left without speaking. It had not been worth her job to unleash the torrent of insults building inside her. At least, not then.
It could wait until she had de Sade’s ashes in a sample bag.

***

Watch out for Wind and Shadow, Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, coming April 2013!

And now for my five tagged authors!

Tara Fox Hall: http://www.tarafoxhall.com/tarafoxhall.com/Tara_Fox_Hall.html

David Margetson: http://orangepearwritings.blogspot.ca

Robert Fuller: http://www.robertfullerauthor.com

Mysti Parker: http://mystiparker.blogspot.ca

Maya DeLeina: http://www.mayadeleina.net

Trivia Time — About Me!

Published Works:
“Mist and Midnight” in Midnight Thirsts (Melange Books, 2011)
“Telltale Signs” in Spellbound 2011 (Melange Books, 2011)
“A Living Specimen” in Midnight Thirsts II (Melange Books, 2012)
“Brain Games” and “Bio-Zombie”, in A Quick Bite of Flesh (Hazardous Press, 2012)
“Thy Will Be Done” in Dark Eclipse Digest #16 (Dark Moon Books, 2012)

Now Available!
Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, April 2013

Wife, mother, teacher, writer: I am a mother of two children and have been married for over fifteen years. A full-time teacher of dramatic arts, history, and English in Northeastern Ontario, Canada, I enjoy reading a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature, including romances, ghost stories, horror fiction, and fairy tales. I began writing short stories and plays in my childhood to entertain, frighten, and gross out my friends. Today, I relish creating imaginary worlds with vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and witches.  I love listening to an eclectic mix of music, taking my dog on long walks, mowing my lawn, and curling up with a hot cup of tea, a good book, and a tasty doughnut during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. In addition to writing, my creative past times include needlework (quilting, cross-stitching, and embroidery), making and collecting miniature furniture, traveling, and watching movies. I’m a history buff, a Trekkie, and a practicing Wiccan.

And now, a musical interlude…

Sing to the tune of the Gopher Guts Camp Song!

Great green globs of greasy grimy zombie parts,
hanging slimy zombie guts,
dangling maggoty eyeball puss,
Great green globs of greasy grimy zombie parts,
and I forgot my spoon…

***

Sing to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”:

On top of the zombie,
rotting brains ooze…
gnashing jaws slaver,
over fresh human juice…
His legs stagger forward,
on feet worn to the bone…
His hands claw the clapboards,
matching unearthly groans…

***

Try this, too!

When you wake up in the nighttime,
it’s a quarter to one,
you want to have a little fun,
you brush your fangs, (brushing sounds)…
You brush your fangs (brushing sounds).
When you wake up in the nighttime,
it’s a quarter to two,
Blood clots stuck from victim number two,
you brush your fangs (repeat chorus)…
When you wake up in the nighttime,
it’s a quarter to three,
you find you’re craving for a type A-B,
you brush your fangs… (repeat chorus)…
When you wake up in the nighttime it’s a quarter to four,
pop out of your coffin so Van Helsing’s no more,
you brush your fangs… (repeat chorus)…
When you wake up in the nighttime,
it’s a quarter to five,
you chase the victims who want to stay alive,
and brush your fangs…

***

Twinkle, Twinkle will never be same…

Ruby, ruby, vampire eyes,
like two embers in my fire;
Glowing in the closet dark,
Watching as my sleep embarks;
Gleaming fangs stretch long and white;
suck my blood at deep midnight…

***

Forget the sheep. Let’s sing about the endless battle between good and evil!

Slayer, Slayer, have you any stakes?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three strong blades.
One made of rowan, and one made of ash;
one made of silver, to hammer with a flash!
Slayer, Slayer, have you any stakes?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three strong blades…

Vampire, Vampire, have you any blood?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three vials full.
One for my master, and one for my bride,
and one for the the slayer to swallow by mistake (evil cackle)…
Vampire, Vampire, slip it in his mug!
Slayer will be one of us, by rise of sun.

Heh, heh. I need to illustrate these, maybe…