Yeah, yeah, I know everybody else was going crazy over the wedding of the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Being a retired nanny, I was more fascinated by the children, and of their nanny. See the brown skirt and sensible shoes? That’s the nanny helping out. Go, nanny! You can see her full self at the Princess’ christening. That’s her between the Queen and Prince George. She’s a Norlander, of course.
Back when I was bored outta my mind with the endless parade of sameness in the New Release aisle (seriously, someone needs to dismantle the Alpha Male Cloning Facility pronto,) I remembered the LUNA imprint at Harlequin from a few years back. Thanks to Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings movies and books, I suspect, the Fantasy genre had a boom in the early 2000s. That’s kinda fizzled, sadly. There was so much more variety than just the blood-sucking dead guys you find in straight-out Paranormal Romance. But, anyeway…
So, I went searching back through LUNA’s booklist and found some previously unnoticed gems and Aftertime is one of them. I’m not a trendy girl. I like all great stories all the time. This one’s from the zombie trend, which is still hanging in there with The Walking Dead. I dislike the gore and pointless violence of this kind of story, but am utterly fascinated with how the characters handle their world turned upside down and also the world-building. I get that thrill from any story with those two aspects, like Titanic. I’ve read World War Z, the book the movie is based on. The movie is great, but the book is better. That’s almost always the case. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed Carrie Ryan’s series which starts with The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Aftertime takes place in the months following the zombie apocalypse. Before that, Cass made a mess of her life. She chose her addictions over her baby daughter and lost custody. With all of humanity hitting rock bottom along with her, what really matters in life, what makes it worth living, becomes vivid, front and center for her. She becomes driven by one of the most primitive and powerful instincts.
Motherhood. Totally get that.
With her fractured memories of the past and the present in shambles, Cass struggles with making sense of it all. She staggers relentlessly towards the goal of finding and getting her daughter back. Guess only that kind of determination can meet or exceed a zombie. Huh? Yes, she does have flashes of serious doubt, times when it’d be so easy to just let herself get killed.
One of the problems with zombie novels is the believability. If you have any scientific knowledge, you know how most of them just don’t make sense. I mean, come on, human bodies decompose too quickly for the buggers to be still staggering around after several years. Aftertime doesn’t have that problem. The explanation for the zombies’ existence is entirely believable.
Cass is stumbling along and makes the desperate choice to take a young teen hostage to try to get into a survivors’ stronghold to see if her daughter’s there. Thankfully, it’s recognized that she’s not a zombie herself (they’re mostly called ‘Beaters’ in this fictional universe) and that she had no intention of harming the girl. She gets to eat, sleep, and even bathe. She also meets Smoke, a very male survivor.
It comes to light that Cass somehow survived a Beater attack on her previous community, a group of survivors holed up in an old library. Her now-toddler daughter was somehow rescued, but Cass was somehow separated out and lost on the roads during the chaos.
Of course, Cass wants to get back to the library to reunite with her daughter, but Smoke and the others let her know that it’s been taken over by the Rebuilders. They pass themselves off as the saviors, but, really, the Rebuilders are just trying to seize an opportunity to take over. Never waste a good crisis, you know.
Cass sets out for the library with Smoke and they encounter interesting people along the way, like Lyle, the dude held up along in a building. He saves them from a Beater attack and offers hospitality afterwards. And on they go.
Cass and Smoke do make it to the library, and into the custody of the Rebuilders who do not like Smoke one bit. Cass likes Smoke though. And their grow relationship is believably portrayed. Their goose seems cooked, but they’ve got friends on the inside. From them, Cass learns where her daughter is now.
Okay, so as if the Beaters and the Rebuilders aren’t enough, poor Cass now has to deal with a bunch of religious wackoes too. They’re taking in females only, and one of them is her precious baby girl. To get her back, Cass’ll have to pretend she’s just as nutty as the rest of them. But, there’s no stopping a mommy, you know.
Sophie Littlefield has an extensive backlist, including three more novels in this series. I heartily suggest you pop over for a look-see. You won’t be disappointed, promise. http://sophielittlefield.com/books-adults.php
***This post was originally about Laurie A. Green, another Enduring Author, but I realized I mixed her information with Heather’s. Sorry! It’s fixed now.***
I encountered Heather in cyberspace a long time ago, can’t even remember when. I think it was at Critique Circle. If you’re an aspiring author,
is a great place to start. I still have online friends I made there and I think all of them are published in some way now.
So, I contacted Heather to see how things are going for her these days. Here’s what she said: “I’ve been kind of quiet online lately because of Real Life Stuff, but I’m still blogging occasionally and I had a book out recently from Red Sage (The Inventor’s Wife). And I’m working on a big ass steampunk romance. So that’s my life right now in a nutshell lol!”
I’ve thought about subbing to Red Sage, but I suspect they may be too erotic for the kind of stories I write. Mine don’t get any more graphic than Harlequin’s Special Edition line. Red Sage has been around for a long time, so way to go, Heather!
Learn all about the new show at its official site- http://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-discovery/
I’m not really a fan of the new movies, although I liked the first one. I think they stray too far from Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. So, I haven’t been too enthusiastic about the new television show.
‘Cause, goshdarnit, they cast two of my favorite actors, Michelle Yeoh as a Starfleet captain and James Frain as a Vulcan.
Now, I cannot wait.
You may remember Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and
James Frain in The Tudors.
The Tudor approach to problem-solving typically involved an axe and Mr. Frain’s execution scene was phenomenal.
On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Famous in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #1)
Paperback & ebook, 306 pages
May 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance
Lifestyles of the small-town famous
Forced to leave Nashville after a scandal, Savannah Walters has come home to Slippery Rock, Missouri, with a bruised ego and her singing career in jeopardy. As if that isn’t humiliating enough, on her way into town she’s rescued by her swoon-worthy childhood crush, Collin Tyler.
His hands are full running the family orchard and dealing with his delinquent teen sister, so Collin doesn’t need to get involved with someone as fiery and unpredictable as Savannah. But the intense attraction between them can’t be denied. And when disaster strikes, they’ll both be surprised by who’s still standing when the dust settles.
“And I’m not the kind of influence you want around her. Well, from what I recall, teenage girls don’t do so well with orders. You didn’t answer my question. What did she do? Skip curfew?” Savannah knew she should drop the subject, but she couldn’t. Despite Amanda’s obvious annoyance at Collin, there was something very connected about the two of them. Family dynamics fascinated her.
Collin rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. “What hasn’t she done? Cut class, skipped curfew. She was with the kids who set that fire downtown just after you got back into town. Last weekend she duct-taped the one-ways downtown to run the way she thought made more sense. She needs a keeper.”
Savannah chuckled. “Sounds like some of the stuff you guys did back in high school.” Pranks and raids she’d never been invited into, not that she was bitter. Even if Levi had asked, she would never have gone.
“Because you were boys and she’s a girl?”
Collin’s mouth twisted to the side and a little stab of attraction hit her belly. Lord, but a man twisting up his mouth shouldn’t be so hot. Especially when said man was once again dusty from head to boots. At least he’d dropped the piece of straw.
“We never taped off downtown. We didn’t set any fires—”
“I didn’t see her name in the police blotter.”
“Technically, she was trying to put it out, but that doesn’t—”
“I remember something about the five of you absconding with the sheriff department’s boat,” she interrupted him.
“We were pretty sure there was a drug deal going on at the sandbar at the time. And no one would listen to us.”
“So five high school football players were going to do a citizen’s arrest, at night, on potential drug runners in the middle of the lake?” She tilted her head to the side. “You guys wanted to take your girls out on the lake that night, admit it.” He beetled his brows again. “In the grand scheme of things, your prank was a lot more dangerous than taping off a couple of streets.”
“It’s still not the same.”
About the Author
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.
Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!
Other Harlequin Superromance Books by the Author
And coming July 2017, also in the Slippery Rock series…
May 13th: Launch
May 19th: Grand Finale
– 1 winner will receive a Prize Pack with a signed copy of FIRST LOVE AGAIN, swag and other fun items
– Prize pack for US residents only, if international winner is pulled then they will receive a $25 gift card instead
– Ends May 23rd
Suddenly getting Spammed a lot, so I’ve enabled strict comment moderation. Sorry. We talk about topics elsewhere anyway.