Two zombies and one skeleton on a road trip to Vegas to kill a witch, stop an apocalypse, and rescue their friends from the belly of a shadow dragon.
Nothing weird about that.
Five things I learned while being a fallen angel zombie:
1. Duct tape works better than embalming.
2. Alopecia is not my favorite hairstyle.
3. Fried demons smell like bacon.
4. This brain breath is affecting my love life.
5. Nothing ruins a honeymoon like an apocalypse.
~ Bewitching BT
I turned at the sound of a familiar nasally whine. Dear Lord in heaven, it couldn’t be. But it was. Travis Jones, aka my jerk ex-boyfriend, who’d left me for our chain-smoking cougar law professor.
I flashed a forced smile. “Oh, hey, Travis. Long time no see.”
“It talks.” His skanky sugar mama, displaying the latest desperately-clinging-to-youth fashion, camel-toe skinny jeans, a frilly little girl top, and suede stiletto boots, gaped at me as if I was the one with a crotch gap the size of the Grand Canyon.
“Of course I talk.” I jutted a stiff fist on my hip. “I’m undead, not brain dead.” I took a step forward, scowling at the basket Travis clutched in his bony fingers. “The world is ending, and you take alcohol, condoms, and cigarettes?”
Travis grabbed a champagne bottle out of his basket, aiming it at me like he was wielding a baseball bat. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Thanks.” I lunged forward, snatching the bottle out of his hands. No surprise, he didn’t put up a fight. I’d forgotten how puny his arms were. I was so used to Aedan’s meaty biceps that Travis’s toothpicks, sticking out of his T-shirt, made him look like an elementary schoolboy compared to my husband. I waved the bottle in Travis’s face, laughing under my breath as his eyes followed the movement like Pavlov’s dog. “It’s our wedding day, and we haven’t celebrated yet.”
Travis stepped back, quaking like he was mid-seizure. “Y-you’re married?”
“Yes.” I nodded at Aedan, who placed a hand on my shoulder. “This is my husband, Aedan O’Connor. He’s a grim reaper.” I smiled up at my handsome groom. “Aedan, this is Travis, my ex-boyfriend.”
Aedan didn’t utter a word. He didn’t have to. The look he shot Travis said it all.
“Um, hi,” Travis squeaked.
Aedan nodded at the skank, who needed to touch up her gray roots and remove the fake mole that looked like a tick was eating her face. “Travis, you and your mother need to find shelter. It’s going to get ugly.”
Mrs. Cougar Club actually had the nerve to gasp. “I’m not his mother!” She stomped a heel on the polished concrete, the sound ricocheting to the rafters.
My attention was drawn to the nasty creature with what appeared to be a dislocated jaw. That didn’t seem to deter his mission as he hobbled toward Travis, blood and drool hanging down his chin. The poor guy’s arm had fallen out of the socket, and he didn’t have any duct tape. I almost felt sorry for him.
“There’s a zombie behind you,” I said casually, as if I was warning Travis the zipper shielding his three-inch pecker was down.
Travis spun around, screamed like a little girl, and jumped behind his girlfriend.
“Oh, Travis. What did I ever see in you?” I heaved an overly-dramatic sigh and set the champagne bottle on a display. I wasn’t in the mood for alcohol, anyway, unless it was spiked with blood and brains.
“Step aside,” Aedan grumbled, pushing Travis before slicing off the zombie’s head.
I laughed when the head rolled in front of Travis and his girlfriend. Mrs. Cougar didn’t think it was too funny, though. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she slumped to the floor. Travis didn’t even try to catch her.
I tossed Travis a scowl before thumbing at Aedan. “That is how real men kill zombies. Grow a set.”
I was a little too stiff to turn on my heel and sashay away, so I did the next best thing. I let out a rancid burp, blowing rotten squirrel and bloody beef breath at Travis, smiling when his pale face turned a diaper-doo green. Then I turned, looped an arm through Aedan’s, and walked away. Damn, that had felt good.
Aedan stopped me as we came to the broken glass doors. “Hang on. You have another maggot.”
He wiped my eye. No wonder it had been itching me. I figured it was seasonal allergies, but no, just another worm. “Thanks, honey.” I beamed up at my big, strong hero. “I feel bad making you pick off all my maggots.”
“For better or for worse,” he said with a wink, looking sexier than should be legal as he leaned against his scythe, scanning the outside. “Remember?”
“Of course I remember.” I stood on stiff toes and kissed his cheek. “And you’ve already proven that ten times over.”
He reached for my hand. “I’ll keep proving it for the rest of eternity.”
Awww. Nobody made my zombie heart flutter like my husband.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be? Fan-freakin-tabulous!
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ? My love of fantasy and romance and my twisted sense of humor.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist? ? My protagonist is inspired by the adorable and quirky Zooey Deschanel. My antagonist would be most inspired by my husband’s evil, self-centered ex-wife.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ? Yes, all the time. Exercise helps me free my muse.
5. Your all time favorite book? ? Ack. There are too many. I’d say currently, my favorite book would be the most recent Dr. Ben Bones story by Emma Jameson.
6. What made you pick that one above all others? ? Because the characters are quirky, and I love quirky.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ? It took me six years to write my first fantasy.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ? It has made me explore my creative side as well as human emotion.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ? Definitely as I would stumble and hit a brick wall, but then I’d figure out a plot hole or have a major revelation, and I’d continue on.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ? I wake up and get showered and eat breakfast, then I help folks who have health questions, as I am a co-founder of a health support network of over 60K people with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Disease. After answering a few questions and managing admin duties, I work on promotion. I spend a good amount of time on that. I am also a graphic designer. I have designed over 1,000 book covers for romance writers. I design a few book covers per week. I alternate between writing for two months and then I take a month off. While working on my book, I commit to at least two thousand words per day. During my month off, I catch up on reading when I’m not marketing my books. I also check in on my homeschooling teen who works independently for the most part. I also manage to fit in about an hour of exercise, plus giving the hubs attention and playing with my dogs.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ? I won’t lie. They used to crush me. Now, I’m pretty good at shrugging off bad reviews and pressing on. My true fans love my books, and that’s all that matters.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ? This is the fifth book in the Eternally Yours Series. It is supposed to be the final book, but if enough interest is generated, I may just write more.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ? I am finally going to finish up my Keepers of the Stones YA fantasy series and relaunch book one in January 2018 as well as release books two and three.
14. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ? I am very independent. I want control, from pricing and content to cover art. Also, I make more profit by eliminating the middle man. I had a publisher once. They were nice, but having to surrender complete control was difficult.
15. What would you say was the toughest part? ? All of the additional duties. I’m publisher, marketer, etc…. It would be nice to hand over all of the business end of this to someone else, but I’d probably end up driving my promoter crazy with micro-management.
16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ? I hired a professional editor, Theo Fenraven, who is the God of Grammar. He’s been with me for about five years. Love him. I am a professional graphic designer. I do my own book covers and formatting. Although, I did hire out a professional for my dragon fantasy romances.
17. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ? Theo came highly recommended by some fabulous authors. I’m a former English and journalism teacher, so I know a good editor when I see one.
18. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’? ? I started on this book in late March. I finished in early June. It took about two weeks for beta reads, edits, and revisions. Now I’m focusing on marketing until release date.
19. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ? I’m distributing through Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and Sony. This is based on how my past books in this series have performed.
20. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change? ? Yes, I would have launched this series a few years earlier before KU pushed my sales off a cliff.
21. If you were to recommend one article, blog, post, or book to someone hoping to self-pub, what would it be? ? I’d tell them to look around Kindle Boards for a few months, but not to jump in conversation, as some of the sharks there love fresh blood.
22. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing? Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure? ? The toughest part is marketing. Yes, it’s always been the toughest part.
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ? A movie deal!
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? ? Help! A Bear is Eating Me! Because I would need the laughs.
3. Name your favorite fruit. ? coconut
4. Coffee or tea? ? tea
5. Favorite season? ? summer
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? ? evening
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ? absolutely not. Ha!
8. Favorite food for breakfast? ? Protein and veggies
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ? Lords of the Highlands. Still reading….
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? ? Glass eggs.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ? all shades of blue
12. Drama or comedy? ? comedy
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ? My personal motto is that life is too short to let assholes ruin it.
14. Cats or dogs? ? dogs
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ? candlelight
16. What song have you listened to most recently? ? Miranda Lambert White Liar
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ? chocolate
2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… ? Nobody else. I like being me.
3. Your oldest memory is… ? Crying for my bottle and my big sister crying because I wouldn’t fall asleep.
4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ? World’s biggest smartass.
5. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ? Helping the kiddo with math.
6. Your favorite part of a date is… ? Skipping the date and going to the bedroom.
7. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ? I’d love to hang out with Ash from my books. We’d have a rip snortin’ time.
8. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ? Pat Benatar
9. You’d immediately fall for someone who… ? Has an accent and deep voice
10. The one thing you could/can never get over is… ? Wish I would have gone indie sooner and ignored the stupid critics.
11. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ? Forget the superpower. I just want a gold shitting unicorn.
12. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ? My dogs.
13. The most awkward moment in your life happened when… ? A priest walked into the darkroom while I was guarding my friend’s penis portraits.
14. The awesomest thing in your life is… ? My hubs.
About the Author & Links:
Tara West writes books about dragons, witches, and handsome heroes while eating chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. She’s willing to share her dragons, witches and heroes. Keep your hands off her chocolate.
Tara West’s young adult and new adult romances have been Kindle bestsellers. A former high school English teacher, Tara is now a full-time writer and graphic artist. She enjoys spending time with her family, interacting with her fans, and fishing the Texas coast.