Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Reviews by Diayll, Reviews by Heather

{Blog Tour} Zombie Story & Dead Relatives: Reviews, Excerpts & Kindle Touch!

 

 

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/zombie-button.jpg”/]

This Tour is Brought to You By: Bewitching Book Tours

You Can Find the Entire Tour Schedule HERE

 

 

 

 

Welcome everyone to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Zombie Story & Dead Relatives Blog Tour. Today we are excited to have author MM Shelley on the blog along with a bundle of goodies. First, Heather and I will share our reviews of two devilishly good zombie novellas that we recommend to all our zombie loves. Next, check out the fun guest post where you will get to meet the main character Orlando. After that, sink your teeth into an excerpt from each story and then enter the awesome Kindle Touch Giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/Zombie-Story.jpg” pos=”left”/]
[gap /]

  • Title: The Zombie Story (The Chronicles of Orlando, #1)
  • BN ID: 2940011334627
  • ASIN: B0050DEHYM
  • Publication date: 5/11/2011
  • Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

[gap /]

Overview:

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster…
Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson.
All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.
But someone has different plans for him.
The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts on The Zombie Story:

 
Imagine living in a world of magic where some individuals posses it and some don’t. Some of these people even have the ability to wield more than others. Now imagine zombies who are being created on purpose, though I won’t just the reason away, and a young man named Orlando is tasked at killing them. It almost appears to be a game of sorts, and in some areas it is. Underground rings are even dedicated to fighting zombies where you can take a round in the ring. But what happens when the zombies are out in the world and not under the control of their masters?

Does Orlando and his friends stand a chance against their creator? Will they be turned as well? Who is really responsible for creating the zombies that now threaten mankind as well as those who posses magic?

This was an interesting read, and I wasn’t 100% sure how I would feel about it. It has all the parts a good story should, complete with twists you won’t see coming. The characters themselves are very solid too. The plot is well written with an exciting climax of events, and the use of magic is a nice touch. I think this story would be very entertaining to young adults ages 12 and up who enjoy urban fantasy or zombie stories.

I’ll be honest, this was my very first zombie story, though I love to watch zombie movies and television shows. Most of these just show an end-of-the-world scenario, so this was a refreshing take on zombies that I enjoyed immensely.

 

My Rating

4.5 out of 5 Controllers

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/rate-4-half.jpg”/]
 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/signature-heather1-e1327505395352.png”/]
 

 

 

 

[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/Dead-Realitives.jpg” pos=”right”/]
[gap /]

  • Title: Dead Relatives the Chronicles of Orlando
  • BN ID: 2940032963912
  • ASIN: B006R24O2K
  • Publication date: 12/29/2011
  • Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

[gap /]

Overview:

After discovering what was hidden in Mexico and having to sneak back across the border Orlando returns to Los Angeles, but is unable to return to his home.
Instead of hunting Zombies he is now hunted.
Betrayed by those he thought he could trust, Orlando must keep the truth of what he knows to himself.
That is until dead relatives return with dire warnings.

 

 

 

My Take on Dead Relatives:

 
Dead Relatives hits the ground running with the first opening scene. Our main character Orlando has a lot on his plate as his crew of zombie hunters are searching for the elusive fifth, and someone – or something – called Lexicon. For zombie loves this novella is sure to be a fantastic creepy joy ride. There’s Magick, ghosts, zombie bulls, and bad guys who turn out to be worse than they imagined.

At first I wasn’t sure how this story was going to turn out. Not having read the previous novella The Zombie Story I wasn’t familiar with the characters and their backstories. However, Shelley does a decent job of catching the reader up on what previously transpired without overdosing readers on too much information. It was a fun quick read jam packed with tons of action. In a short amount of time we are jumping from one intense scene to the next.

I really enjoyed watching Orlando develop. He wrestles with his magical abilities and being able to see ghosts. He has a difficult task ahead of him deciding how to best use his gifts and as his friends pull him in different directions, ultimately he has to decide if he’s ready to embrace what is a natural part of him. Along the way Orlando even discovers something about his family that shakes him to the core, and when he discovers a friend is near death he must once again decided how far he is willing to go.

Overall this novella has a lot of great potential. I would like to see more character development with our side characters, their gifts, and their importance to the story. My only issue is the way in which some aspects of the story wrap up too quickly. I am hoping that we get better insight into Orlando’s family life, Ruben, Michael, and Cora in the next installment. And for those of you who are grammar fanatics, I did find some errors here and there, but nothing that should really pull the reader out of the story. However, I do suggest reading The Zombie Story first as I think this probably works best as a series than a standalone title.
 

 

My Rating

3.5 out of 5 Controllers

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/rate-3-half.jpg”/]
 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/signature-diayl-e1327502946909.jpg”/]

 

 

 

 

 
[gap /]
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/enjoy.jpg”/]
 

 

Hi Everyone! I’m M.M. Shelley and I’d like to share my novellas:

The Zombie Story & Dead Relatives

 

 

Its about Magick and Zombies, it’s a little different take on the Zombie genre and follows the adventures of Orlando as he arrives in a new city.

Orlando Drake is an enigma. He relocated to Los Angeles with his parents and grandfather only to discover that the city was over-run with zombies. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he becomes a hunter-in-training under the guidance of his grandfather’s good friend, Maxwell.
 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/OrlandoD-1.jpg” pos=”right”/]
Orlando is not a natural and has much to learn, but that is not all, he also is very gifted in the magical arts; something that his parents have worked hard to conceal. Without a teacher this has left him vulnerable. He finds escape on his Harley Davidson and as he explores the new city he discovers that in L.A. there are worse things than monsters.

 

Orlando has a lot of questions about his powers, but he’s told to ignore his natural gifts by those training him to fight zombies. He’s told that he needs to focus and anything else is just a distraction. Yet his powers are not to be denied and emerge at the most inopportune times; like in the middle of a battle which nearly gets his training partner killed.

 

There’s nothing like the desire to blend in with everyone else. It would certainly make things easier for him, but he has found himself making more enemies than friends. His own parents had more than one reason for relocating him to Los Angeles. He has no idea that they are connected to the troubles that are happening around him. Everything is being done to keep him safe from those who want to exploit him for his powers.

 

Thanks for hosting this stop on my tour!

 

You can find me over at my blog; mmshelley.blogspot.com or on twitter @MM_Shelley I would also like to let everyone in the Los Angeles area know that on March 31st Mysterious Galaxy bookstore will be hosting an event for the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, myself and 9 other writers will be there!

Mysterious Galaxy-Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
[gap /]
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/black-divider.gif”/]
 
 

Excerpts

 

The Zombie Story

 

 
They rode by Union Station headed south towards North Broadway. Ruben came to a quick stop without signaling his intent. He had pulled up to a bakery.

“Why are we stopping here? You hungry are something?” Orlando asked as he parked alongside him.

Removing his helmet Ruben responded, “Or something. This place can get pretty crazy. You’ll see.”

The place was busy, filled with tourists who made their way up and down the streets of Chinatown.

Ruben and Orlando began to walk away from their motorcycles, Ruben paused and without looking back, he raised his right arm and pushed a button on a keychain. The noise of two beeps sounded securing his ride.

“Seriously?” Orlando asked as they continued forward.

Ruben ignored the question, instead he pointed out a small shop that sold herbs and teas. “This place is known for its underground fighting. I think it would be a good place to test you.”

“Underground fighting? In that place?” He asked uncertain about whether or not Ruben was being straight with him.

“Yeah, come on I’ll show you,” an eager smile on his face.

Ruben entered the shop first; the door bell chimed alerting his presence. Orlando was hesitant to follow. Through the huge windows Orlando noticed that no one was at the front counter.  Again the door chimed as Orlando strode in, not quiet sure what was really going on.

Ruben headed into the backroom, “Looks like they’re all downstairs already.” He came to a stop in a small hallway, which oddly held no doorways. Kneeling down Ruben removed a piece of board that was covering a narrow opening. Looking intently at Orlando he asked, “How’s your magick? Are you a classified novice or mercurial?”

Orlando didn’t know the answer to that, for he hadn’t been tested yet so he said, “Guess we’ll find out.”

“Fair enough,” Ruben was about to lead the way down when he was stopped by Orlando’s question.

“Who am I going to be fighting?”

“Not who, it’s what. People like to see zombies fight each other and bet on them.”

“Oh,” Orlando thought that was the craziest thing he had ever heard.

“Yeah, it’s totally awesome.” The sound of excitement in his voice was clear. “It’s how I met Maxwell; he showed up one day and asked me if I wanted to hunt these things down. Said I’d be good at it, because, you know, I kicked their asses in the ring.”

“Wait a minute; you went one on one with zombies?” That took Orlando by surprise.

With a grin on his face he said, “All the time, it was easy money.” Becoming serious he added, “Just don’t embarrass me man, these guys here, they know me.” With that said he led the way down the stairs and into a tunnel.

They could hear the noise from the fighting at the end of the tunnel. The sounds of bone hitting bone, the grunting and the shouts of the gamers placing bets on the fights, greeted them as they made the way down the tunnel.

“Yo!” Ruben shouted. “How’s it going?”  He asked the man at the entrance to a cavern. It looked like a basement. There were crates stacked up along one side of the wall. Several tunnels had been cut into the basement leading who knew where. There was no traditional looking ring in the basement. Just an area that was empty and it looked like there was dried blood on the ground.

“You in today?” the man asked. “We got some good ones.”

“Yeah? That’s awesome!” Ruben called Orlando over, “This here is my friend Orlando. My money’s on him.”

“For real?” the man asked uncertain. He looked Orlando over, not sure there was a fighter in him.

“Dude, you’re asking me? You do remember all the wins I have under my belt?” He took a few steps forward to assert his statement.

The man began to laugh uncomfortably, “Let’s put him in.”

Ruben turned back to Orlando a huge grin on his face as he asked, “You didn’t eat this morning did you?”

 

 

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/black-divider.gif”/]

 

Dead Relatives

 

 
Michael stepped out of a car that he had ‘borrowed’ and waved Orlando down. Michael had to raise his voice in order to be heard over the engine. “What happened to Ruben?” he asked.

Orlando turned the engine off and gave a quick answer, “He was hurt.” He then went on to change the subject back to the reason he had driven so far. “What info do you have about the fifth?

They had decided to number the six men that they were looking for. They felt it was easier to keep track of them that way. Jeffries had been number six and he was safely tucked away at the camp.

The camp was compiled of hunters and others who had no place else to go. Orlando had only been calling it home for about a week. He’d been gone from home for a week and he hadn’t even contacted his family, he knew that they wouldn’t be safe if he did. He had heard that someone had placed a bounty on his head. That someone had been asking questions about him and had even shown up at his high school and had come by the camp.

Michael walked over to a garage and pulling the lever he opened it, inside was dark. Orlando rolled his motorcycle inside and Michael released the lever allowing it to close them inside.

A light turned on, Orlando could see that it was a work space, tables had been set up and computer equipment was actively running some sort of data. The windows to the garage had been blacked out.

“I’ve been monitoring them for a few days.” Michael said as he waved Orlando over to a computer screen. “Every two hours a code name pops up. Lexicon.”

“Lexicon? Is that the name of the fifth?”

“I couldn’t say for sure. It could be the name of a project or something else.”

“What else does it say?”

“They are preparing for some kind of delivery. I don’t know much more then that.”

“Let’s go.” Orlando said. “Let’s get it done.”

“You don’t want to wait for Ruben?” Michael asked as he seemed unsure about proceeding without him.

Orlando took a step toward him. “Ruben is not an unclassified Wizard. He’s not even a Mercurial.”

“Yeah, but your magick hasn’t been the most reliable.”

Orlando didn’t like hearing that. “This coming from a novice?”

Michael backed down at his words. “I was just saying.”

The classification of magick was simple; there were three levels of magick: Wizard, Mercurial and Novice. A Wizard was someone who’s magick was most strong and constant. It was rare to be a classified Wizard and many doubted the existence of them.

A Mercurial had magick, yet the magick was never reliable, it was never steady and it could be destructive. The steady use of magick over time could make the person go mad from the effects.

A person with the least possible amount of magick was called a Novice. Novices had no control over magick when it was used. Most Novices went years without being able to use magick or sometimes they never used it at all.

The effects of Magick had been widely studied with tests and experiments to somehow control how a person used magick, to make magick more effective for a Novice and to control the desire for more magick in a Mercurial. None of these experiments had been effective and had ended in disaster.

The classification of magick was put into effect to control and curb one’s use of it. Everyone would begin the process of classification, which took years, at the age of thirteen or fourteen. They would be subjected to an endurance test and an I.Q. test to determine their classification. The classification, once given, would determine the course of one’s future. With the economy in a recession and well on its way into a depression, the classification process was more important than ever.

Orlando was an unclassified Wizard; his parents had taken great pains to avoid the classification process for him. Orlando’s mother was a pharmaceutical technician and had knowledge of the research that was done on anyone who was classified as a Wizard.

Orlando and Michael agreed to a plan and decided that they would arrive separately. As Orlando turned his cell phone to silent he noted that Elodie had called him and that she had left a message. He would call her later when he had good news.
 

 
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/black-divider.gif”/]
 
[gap /]
 

 

 

~Giveaway Time~

[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/giveaways-300×200.jpg”/]

To Enter Just Fill Out the Form Below

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
[gap /]
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[image_border img="http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/MM.jpg" pos="left"/]
About the Author: 
M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, word smith and dreamer. MISHAP AND MAYHEM, a captivating story of faerie's and magic, is her debut novel. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in everyday life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.
 
Visit M.M. Shelley at her blog: www.mmshelley.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
[gap /]
Don’t Miss Our Awesome Giveaways:
[list_posts show=”4647,4545″ /]