Zombie Ever After ~ Teaser

Note: This is an unedited excerpt of my work in progress Zombie Ever After.

“Come here little bunny. I won’t hurt you,” Neve whispered in a sweet tone of voice.
                It was a small rabbit. Light brown with a pink nose that twitched as it sniffed the carrot Neve had placed as bait. It was probably the runt of the litter, either that or it was starving. Neve took a deep breath and forced her aching body to sit still even though all she wanted to do was kick the tree behind her in frustration. The rabbit hopped forward, getting closer to the miniscule carrot. It was the only one that they had been able to grow in their poor excuse of a garden, so Neve cut it up into several pieces and used it as bait for rabbits.
                Neve grinned when the rabbit was within her reach. In a flash she had the rabbit by the scruff of its neck and snapped it before it could offer any form of struggle.
                “Bunny stew…is what’s for dinner,” Neve said as she stuffed her prize in the sack. It would keep the other rabbit and the quail company. Neve pushed a blue button on her shoulder and called back her seven search droids. She worked with them every day to make sure there weren’t any infected people in the area while she searched for clean water and uninfected game. Last thing she and her friends needed was to get sick from food. Or worse.
                She got up and headed to the compound. Her droids faithfully zipped up and lined up behind her. 

©  Liz DeJesus 2013

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2nd and Charles Book Signing

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I was going to write something here…but I think this awesome poster speaks for itself. I feel like there should be a trailer or something. All of us walking in slow motion, wearing sunglasses and an explosion or something somewhere in the background. You know what I mean? LOL

A very serious voice saying things like “4 Authors. 1 Event! 2nd and Charles…be there or be square.” 

Reviews and stuff

All right….since First Frost exploded on amazon.com people have been reading the book and leaving reviews like crazy. And I will use Zooey Deschanel GIFs to tell you all how I feel so here goes nothing. 

The highest First Frost made it was #10 on the Amazon Free on Kindle list.

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I sat up and took notice. I couldn’t believe it. People actually gave a crap about my book. And why wouldn’t they? My book is awesome. 

The next day people actually PAID for the book. People were actually purchasing copies of my book! I was all like WOOHOOO! Finally. It took me a whole entire year of being a pain in the ass promoting it. 

Then the reviews started trickling in. And believe me, I love reviewers, they are an indie authors bread and butter, but now it’s the big leagues….now it’s actual readers leaving reviews.

And so far it’s been pretty positive. 

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Most people just love Terrance and Prince Ferdinand. They’re adorable! Of course people love them. 

But then I’ll come across a not so good review. And it makes me want to crawl in my bed, and cry under the covers. 

zoey crying

This is the good/bad thing about putting yourself out there. You’re opening yourself up to criticism (WOOHOOO! Spelled it correctly on my first try!) and sometimes it makes me wonder whether I really want to stay on this crazy ass path I’m on. I mean, I love writing but sometimes it’s…you know…hard. LOL I’m sort of obsessing over goodreads and amazon because I keep checking the rank and the reviews and everything else. I wish I could just turn off the internet. And trust me…I try…but then it’s on my phone and on my tablet. It’s EVERYWHERE. I can’t get away from the internet. Seriously. I can’t. Sigh. 

But the good news is that so far everyone’s enjoying my book. Which is a relief because I still have a few more stops to go before I’m finally finished with my book tour. It ends with the Book Festival after that I’m taking a break. This is getting insane. 

One last GIF before I go. 😉 

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Link

Zombie Ever After

This is kinda what Rapunzel looks like in my zombie novel. Her hair isn’t bunched up on top of her head like that but you can kinda get an idea as to what I’m thinking about. Does that make sense? God, I hope so. 

Anyway right now the manuscript is a hot mess. Nothing makes sense. All I have are a bunch of scenes randomly placed, ideas and lots of comments that say *add more*. LOL God, the first drafts of my stories are AWFUL. Seriously. You would read them, take one look at me and say “Put the pen down and step away from the paper.” I’m just lucky that I have an editor that I can send my novels to before I submit them to agents and publishers. 

This is turning out to be more of a character study than a zombie novel. It’s about the people that live in the compound and how they deal with the zombie apocalypse. The fact that there are fairy tales mixed into it just makes it fun. 🙂 But I like how the characters are developing, I love discovering who they are and what they’re thinking. That’s my favorite part about writing a new novel, the discovery. Although don’t get me wrong, I love my Frost series characters but I already know them and have spent a few years living inside their heads. I like to see where this takes me at least for now. 🙂 

Fairy Tale Friday

On today’s edition of Fairy Tale Friday I’m going to talk about Beauty and the Beast. Everyone knows this story. You’d have to have lived under a rock or something if you don’t know the tale of Beauty and the Beast. Every time it sort of starts the same way, Beauty is a nice girl that asks for her father for a single rose when he returns from his travels (more often than not he’s a merchant). Sometimes she has sisters sometimes she’s an only child. And then her father gets lost on his way home and finds the Beast’s chateau (this is a French fairy tale) and he’s allowed to go anywhere and touch anything except the Beast’s rose garden. But Beauty’s father takes a rose anyway because it’s the only thing his daughter asked for him to bring her (kinda makes you wonder what part of DON’T TOUCH HIS GARDEN didn’t he understand) and the Beast is upset over it. 

And in some stories Beauty’s father is told that he has to give up the first thing he sees when he returns home. He agrees to it because he knows that the first thing that will greet him is his dog…but when he comes back home Beauty is the one to greet him first. PLOT TWIST! 😀

And you all know what happens next. LOL I also LOVED the Disney version as a child. I loved the library. I was going to marry the Beast for that library.

Anyway here’s the version I got from wikipedia, which will probably explain it a lot better than I ever will. 

A wealthy merchant lived in a mansion with his three daughters. They were all very beautiful, but only the youngest, twenty-year-old Belle, was lovely and pure of heart; her sisters, in contrast, were wicked and selfish. The merchant eventually lost all of his wealth in a tempest at sea. As a consequence of this, he and his daughters were forced to live in a small farmhouse and work for their living. After some years of this, the merchant heard that one of the trade ships he had sent off had arrived back in port, having escaped the destruction of its compatriots. He returned to the city to discover whether it contained anything valuable. Before leaving, he asked his daughters if they would like him to bring any gifts back for them. The oldest two asked for jewels and fine dresses, thinking that his wealth had returned. Belle was satisfied with the promise of a rose, as none grew in their part of the country. The merchant, to his dismay, found that his ship’s cargo had been seized to pay his debts, leaving him without money to buy his daughters their presents.

During his return, he became lost in a forest. Seeking shelter, he entered a dazzling palace. He found tables inside laden with food and drink, which seemed to have been left for him by the palace’s invisible owner. The merchant accepted this gift and spent the night there. The next morning as the merchant was about to leave, he saw a rose garden and recalled that Belle had desired a rose. Upon picking the loveliest rose he could find, the merchant was confronted by a hideous ‘Beast’, which told him that for taking his most precious possession after accepting his hospitality, the merchant must die. The merchant begged to be set free, arguing that he had only picked the rose as a gift for his youngest daughter. The Beast agreed to let him give the rose to Belle, but only if the merchant would return.

The merchant was upset, but accepted this condition. The Beast sent him on his way, with jewels and fine clothes for his daughters, and stressed that Belle must never know about his deal. The merchant, upon arriving home, tried to hide the secret from Belle, but she pried it from him and willingly went to the Beast’s castle. The Beast received her graciously and informed her that she was mistress of the castle, and he was her servant. He gave her lavish clothing and food and carried on lengthy conversations with her. Every night, the Beast asked Belle to marry him, only to be refused each time. After each refusal, Belle dreamed of a handsome prince who pleaded with her to answer why she kept refusing him, and she replied that she cannot marry the Beast because she loved him only as a friend. Belle did not make the connection between the handsome prince and the Beast and became convinced that the Beast was holding the prince captive somewhere in the castle. She searched and discovered multiple enchanted rooms, but never the prince from her dreams.

Beauty and the Beast, illustration byWarwick Goble

For several months, Belle lived a life of luxury at the Beast’s palace, having every whim catered to by servants, with no end of riches to amuse her and an endless supply of exquisite finery to wear. Eventually she became homesick and begged the Beast to allow her to go to see her family. He allowed it on the condition that she would return exactly a week later. Belle agreed to this and set off for home with an enchanted mirror and ring. The mirror allowed her to see what was going on back at the Beast’s castle, and the ring allowed her to return to the castle in an instant when turned three times around her finger. Her older sisters were surprised to find her well fed and dressed in finery. They were envious when they heard of her happy life at the castle, and, hearing that she must return to the Beast on a certain day, begged her to stay another day, even putting onion in their eyes to make it appear as though they were weeping. They hoped that the Beast would be angry with Belle for breaking her promise and would eat her alive. Belle’s heart was moved by her sisters’ false show of love, and she agreed to stay.

Belle began to feel guilty about breaking her promise to the Beast and used the mirror to see him back at the castle. She was horrified to discover that the Beast was lying half-dead from heartbreak near the rose bushes her father had stolen from and she immediately used the ring to return to the Beast.

Upon returning, Belle found the Beast almost dead, and she wept over him, saying that she loved him. When her tears struck him, the Beast was transformed into the handsome prince from Belle’s dreams. The Prince informed her that long ago a fairy turned him into a hideous beast after he refused to let her in from the rain, and that only by finding true love, despite his ugliness, could the curse be broken. He and Belle were married and they lived happily ever after together.

Nina ~ Girl

Once upon a time…I wrote a little novella titled Nina. I loved this book oh so very much. It’s the story of a girl that lives inside a painting and the things she sees while living inside the canvas. At the time (2005) it was my most ambitious piece of work. I spent some time looking for publishers and agents. I even got a personalized letter from an editor at a prominent (but small) publisher telling me to not give up on this book because it was a lovely story. The reason he passed on it was because they weren’t looking for fantasy/magical realism type books at the time.

Anyway I stumbled upon Blu Phi’er Publishing. I saw that one of the authors on their site was a local Delaware author. So I contacted him through MySpace (it was really popular at the time) and asked him how things were going there. He said he liked working with the publisher so I figured I’d take a chance and submit Nina to them. Long story short they loved the book and sent me a contract. I read through it and didn’t really pay attention to the fine print. They wanted LIFE RIGHTS to my book. Meaning that they would keep the novel FOREVER. Most publishers give the rights back to the author after a few years. This is why I always tell new authors to READ THEIR CONTRACTS.

Sigh.

The novel didn’t go through edits. They had someone basically run a spell check and published my book. At least I had some say on the cover. I hired my dear friend ladytairngire ‘s niece to design the cover for me and I loved it. 🙂 But after the bad experience I had with them I just can’t look at the book the same way I used to. So I’m finally doing something about it. Technically they’re in a breach of contract since I haven’t seen a penny for my book since it’s been published. They never kept any of the promises stated on the contract and they refused to contact me (trust me I’ve sent multiple emails throughout the years). So I found the original manuscript for Nina, hired my dear friend and editor Shonell Bacon and got a new cover for it.

Image

Got the cover from K.C. Designs. Isn’t it beautiful? Got it today! I saw it on her facebook page and asked her about the price and boom! Had a cover in less than ten minutes. https://www.facebook.com/KCbookcoverdesigns And this was the extra push I needed to finally go through the edits and get the ball rollin’ again. Still have no idea what the exact release date of the book will be, but when she’s ready you’ll all know. 🙂

My ‘girl’ will get a second chance. Nothin’ wrong with that, right?

Zombie Fairy Tales

Yep. You read that correctly. I got an idea to write a post apocalyptic, zombie, fairy tale themed novel. Did I mention that I’m OBSESSED with fairy tales? So this should surprise no one. Although my mom looked at me like I had lost my mind when I told her the general plot of the book.

“We all need something fun to write,” she said. And left it at that. LOL

It started when I stumbled across a submissions call at Entangled Publishing looking for zombie themed fairy tales. Submissions closed before I could write something and submit it. But months passed and the idea wouldn’t let me go. And I’m not into zombies…really I’m not. But I was a HUGE fan of Warm Bodies. And I figured that maybe I could write something similar. So I jotted down a few ideas the other day and ended up with 7 pages worth. It started writing itself…I was a woman possessed. 

So here’s the general gist of it. 

Snow White = Neve, who is the leader of the compound. She’s a badass who walks around with several knives tucked around her body. She has 7 search droids that help her scout the area whenever she goes out hunting for game and searching for clean drinking water. 

Beauty and the Beast = Bella and Teddy. She’s a scientist trying to find a cure to the zombie plague/virus (still working on the details). She keeps her zombie boyfriend chained in the basement and uses him in her research. It’s not pretty. 

Sleeping Beauty = Briar is a hot mess who thinks she can garden. She has a filthy mouth that would make a seasoned truck driver blush. 

Rapunzel = Zee is the computer genius that spends her time locked in her ‘tower’. She is bisexual and will basically screw anything that moves. LOVE HER. 

There is nothing Disney or safe about this book. It’s going to be a bit of a dramedy because they say the funniest things. LOL It’s funny to me anyway. 🙂

Insecurities

Yeah…I know. I spend most of my time online talking about writing or my books. But I get insecure just like anyone else, especially after I get a 1 star review. Those are the worst. :/ Those are the days where I just want to curl up into a ball and eat nothing but chocolate all day…even if future me will pay a high price for that the next day. I don’t do that. I just smile and keep on keeping on.

Anyway my dad was in town this past week and we were talking about a million things, like we normally do. Then the topic of the grant came up. In the state of DE there’s a grant for artists. It basically covers everything from writing to photography. I was going to throw my hat in for the writing grant and thought against it at the last minute because I felt insecure the moment the application asked for an artist statement. I’ve never done grant or technical writing in my life. I’m a novelist. I can take you on an adventure to another world! In space! Anywhere! Just don’t ask me to write about myself or what my philosophies are!

Have pen. Must write.
The End.

The shortest artist statement in the universe. LOL

My dad was shocked that I wasn’t going to turn in my application. I told him that there were hundreds of other writers that were much better than me and that I probably wouldn’t win anyway so why bother. <— see that? Self deprecating? Negative? Self defeat? I’m an expert at that. After I gave him all my lame ass reasons he stood up to his full height and said, “Elizabeth Francheska DeJesus, you have just as good a chance as anyone to win. And if you don’t? So what? At least you tried. Promise me you’ll at least try.”

When a parent uses your full name in a sentence (it doesn’t matter how old you are) you smile, nod and agree and do what your father tells you to do. Even though the thought of clicking the SEND button makes you wanna throw up a little.

So we sat down and tried to put together an artist statement. There was a lot of scribbling in my notebook and finally I closed it and set it aside to deal with in the cold light of day. I got online, and typed my little statement in the little application box and literally burst into tears. I didn’t go to college, I don’t have an MFA in writing or any type of education for that matter, save for a few credits at Del Tech (local community college) and I dropped out because I was so bored (spent most of my time in class writing, how’s that for a sign). English isn’t even technically my first language for cryin’ out loud. I don’t write beautiful literary novels that change people’s way of thinking. I think about all the things I’m not and it was overwhelming. But…after I stopped crying, I thought about all the things I am.

Creative. Hard working. Determined.

If my father hadn’t made me do it I’m sure another year would’ve passed by without me having put my application in. I didn’t realize how badly I wanted this. So fingers crossed….we’ll see what happens. If I do win you should know that I will celebrate by getting drunk and eating lots of chocolate. 😉