Sunday, November 3, 2013

Love in the Time of the Dead by Tera Shanley with Giveaway & Excerpt

Title:   Love in the Time of the Dead
Author:  Tera Shanley
Genre: Adult Supernatural/Zombie Romance 17+
Publication Date:  October 22, 2013
Published By:  Omnific Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She's immune to Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney which could fight the virus that ended the world.

Sean Daniels leads a colony that provides her team with much needed shelter and supplies. He is obviously interested in Laney. The question is whether he's only intrigued by her as a source for the possible vaccine, or for something more. Tests for the cure might push her body beyond what it can endure, and just as she faces a ghost from her past, her longtime teammate Derek Mitchell hints at an interest in more than just her Dead slaying abilities.

Two honorable and alluring men - one colossal decision to make. Despite historically bad taste in men, can she rise above the chaos of the apocalypse and choose the one who deserves her heart? The right choice could mean the difference between surviving...and living.

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A New Perspective
Have you ever read a scene and wished you could see what the other character was thinking? Or why they were making the decision they were making? I’m forever wishing to be in both heads at once, feeling what both players feel in a pivotal moment. Doesn’t make for good writing or easy reading though. Too much head-hopping.
Doesn’t mean we as writers don’t write the scene from the other character’s point of view, or think of it from another perspective. Maybe it stays in our heads, or maybe we write it and it switches point of view during edits. Or maybe, Heaven forbid, we have to cut it altogether. (Cue sobby belly-flopping onto the ground and kicking feet.)
In this scene, Laney takes the lead in Love in the Time of the Dead. She and her team have just had a bad night running from Deads and Mitchell (hunky, schmexyface Mitchell) makes a questionable call when it comes to her mental safety. This scene has only been offered through Laney’s eyes. Until now.
Standing next to Sean Daniels in the middle of a moonless night with a herd of newly turned Deads on the other side of the woods behind them was a test in patience. Patience being the opposite of punching him in the jugular.
Mitchell couldn’t put a finger on why the man bothered him so much. Maybe it was because he was reckless under the weight of grief, or maybe it was the seemingly unconscious authority he wielded over everyone around him. It probably had to do with him jamming a gun against Laney’s head during gate check.
He clenched and unclenched his fists to relieve the fury that ran like a river through his veins. If Sean had even brushed that trigger with his finger, Mitchell would have killed him, consequences be damned.
He sized Sean up. He was almost as tall and every bit as physically fit but there was no way he’d seen as much field time, fighting.
Sean leveled him a long, unblinking look, like he could read his uncharitable thoughts.
Mitchell cocked his head to the side and glared. He could best him.
“All clear,” Laney yelled from the flat gas station roof above. “You guys can come on up.”
He scaled the rickety, rust eaten ladder to the soundtrack of a murmured argument. What was Guist worked up about? His stone-toned reprimand to Laney was about as close to a tantrum as his stoic friend had ever thrown. More proof it had been on hellish night for all of them.
“What’s going on guys?” He asked when he hopped over the ledge of the roof.
“Laney’s being stubborn,” Guist gritted out.
Mitchell shrugged. What else was new? If Laney wasn’t being stubborn, she was either sick or dead.
Even in the blue moonlight, Laney cut a heartbreaking figure against the backdrop of the dilapidated roof. She’d curled her arms around herself like armor from the chilly breeze her black tank top refused to protect her from. Some of her dark hair had fallen from her ponytail and whipped around her face and she was biting her full bottom lip like she was keeping some secret emotion in check. If he didn’t know better, he could’ve sworn there was a shallow rim of unshed tears in her eyes.
The look of sadness shrouded by determination on her pale face did nothing to deter from her fierce beauty. It did, however, gut him. Turning with a huff, she staked out the furthest corner of the sagging roof and curled in on herself beside her backpack.
Mitchell frowned and followed Guist to a ledge a short distance away. Nothing in him wanted to leave Laney to her thoughts on a night like this, but she wouldn’t want to talk. Not now.
Guist rifled noisily through his pack, but it was only a passing distraction from his attention to Laney’s form, still and filling the night with a sadness that mirrored his own. He sat on the ledge and clutched the edge of the two-by-four beneath him until his knuckles hurt. Tonight shouldn’t have happened.
Sean stood from his place near Adrianna and Finn and shuffled toward Laney, careful to neatly jump a hole in the roof that had booby-trapped the space between them. “Laney?” he asked.
Mitchell stifled a satisfied grin when Laney asked, “What,” in a tone that would rival the crack of a whip.
“Were you asleep?” Sean asked.
Laney sighed and leaned her head back against the ledge. “It seems my mind won’t let me.”
An idea niggled at Mitchell. She was exhausted, heart-broken, and any man with eyes could see she was drowning in her own guilt. She’d be useless trying to get to the hidden truck come morning.
“Yeah,” Sean said in a low voice. “Listen, I’m really sorry about your brother.”
Fire burned Mitchell up until he couldn’t see straight. That loss was for Laney, and him, and Guist. They were family and Sean was other. He stood and bit out, “You didn’t know him,” before squatting by Guist. Laney needed help out of her own head, but she certainly didn’t need it from this jack-yacker with his pretty apologies. He lowered his voice. “Do you have any sleeping pills?”
Guist’s eyes had aged a hundred years in a day but he nodded. “She’s going to kill you.”
“She’ll get over it. She always does.”
Guist shook his head like Mitchell was playing with fire but his mind was made up.
“I traded fairly for these. Don’t know exactly what they are, but they’ll knock her out.” Guist plunked them into her canteen he still had hooked to his pack from earlier in the day, and gave it a sound shake.
Sean was squatted in front of Laney, talking quietly, and Mitchell interrupted with a, “You need to eat something.”
“I’m not hungry,” she said.
Not surprising, but she wouldn’t take a drink from the offered canteen without deep suspicion if he wasn’t smart about it. Sean gave her a small wave and left for his side of the roof and Mitchell pushed. “It doesn’t smell like Deads around here, does it?”
She stared passively into the night.
“No? Then you need to eat. Here.” He took a seat beside her. “Guist got us some dried venison,” he said, handing her a piece of the salted meat.
“If I eat, will you leave me alone?”
“Sure.” He’d say just about anything to help her.
Their meal of carrots, biscuits, and jerky was shared in silence. One that had weight under such loss. When she reached for her canteen, she fumbled around her pack for a few moments before she said, “Shoot, I think I lost my canteen.”
Here went nothing. “No, you didn’t. Guist still had it from when he refilled it earlier.” He handed over the sloshing container. “Here.”
She took a healthy swig, and then another. Swishing it around in her mouth she swallowed slowly and noted, “It has a weird aftertaste.”
“Yeah, Guist said it all tastes like that,” he lied. “It’s from how they purify their water or something.”
She slumped and sighed heavily and Mitchell took the opportunity to pour out the little remaining tainted water over the side of the roof.
She gave a frown and two slow motion blinks before she slurred, “Son of a ---,” and drifted off.
“Did you just drug her?” Sean asked from the other side of the roof.
An odd sensation filled his gut. Triumph laced with dread. “She’ll thank me in the morning.” He hoped.
Sean snorted and shook his head before laying down on a blanket he’d pulled from Jarren’s pack.
Laney twitched in her sleep and Mitchell tugged his own blanket from his pack to cover her chilled body. When she jerked again, he sat behind her and pulled her head gently into his lap so she wouldn’t hit the side of the ledge. With the barest brush of a finger, he moved the flyaway strands of silky, dark hair from her face and watched her face transform from suffocating sadness to rest in a heartbeat. It was hard to hold onto guilt when he’d helped her. Sure, he’d done it by questionable means by pre-apocalypse standards, but times were different now.
Mitchell had made a promise to Jarren that he’d take care of Laney, and if it took everything he had, he was going to keep it.
Needless to say, our Dead-slaying, weapon-wielding, utterly independent Laney doesn’t thank him in the morning. What do you guys think about Mitchell’s plan? Sweet-in-his-own-brand-of-morally-questionable helping, or hindering?

a Rafflecopter giveaway  About the Author

Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors.

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