Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Guest post by Emma Shortt + Giveaway

A little bit of zombie in your romance…
by Emma Shortt

When you imagine zombies it’s likely a few words come to mind, repulsive, creepy, gruesome...I doubt many people would think of them in a favorable light, but still they intrigue us. They have gained significant popularity in recent years in no small part to some very successful books, television shows and movies such as The Walking Dead, Zombieland and Feed. But did you know that zombies are actually, in their original form, corpses raised by magical means, namely witchcraft? African legend tells of a bokor, or sorcerer, reviving a dead person and controlling them for their own purposes. They are able to treat the raised corpse as a slave, bending what was once a person to their own will. In some cultures zombies are real, notably in Haiti folklore there are several tales of the dead coming back to life. Of course they weren’t, as they are in our books and movies, dripping blood and attempting to eat the brains of the nearest person…

...and because of this, both the legends and the place of zombies in popular culture, I imagine very few people would think to put the word romance in the same sentence as zombie. Surely the disparity between the two is too wide? On one hand you have the pure exquisite joy that falling in love brings you, that sense of deep connection, whilst on the other you have absolute horror of the undead. Zombies call to our very deepest fears. The idea that by whatever means, be it scientifically or magical, we lose control of the very person we are and are obsessed with something that we cannot understand.

The zombie craves.
The zombie wants.
The zombie does not know why.

But wait, think… in its very elementary form romantic love is very much like that. Science has taught us many things over the years. We have built machines that outthink us, we understand that the very existence of the universe might be completely random in its nature, we can look at the very essence of our being at the sub atomic level, and yet we still do not understand love.

What is it that makes us fall for that one person? Is it chemical, the action of pheromones? Is it simply genetic, the programming of our bodies responding on a cellular level to something we identify in another? We simply do not know, but poets and philosophers have searched for meaning to this, the most intense of emotions, since we knew ourselves well enough to think.

We do not have the answers, but we know, we can feel, that when we start to fall in love we become, for a time, obsessed by that person. They are all we can think of. We fall asleep thinking of them. They are the first thing on our mind as we awake. We wonder what they are doing, where they are going, and when we see them, we experience an intense rush of emotion. Our brain creates a feedback loop that, chemically, is very much like an addiction.

We crave.
We want.
We do not know why.

For a time as we find ourselves falling into that first rush of love, as the emotion wraps its tendrils around every part of our being, we become, dare I say, a little bit like a zombie.

It was that thought, that idea that the disparity between the two is not as wide as one would first imagine, that inspired as I was writing Waking up Dead. I wanted to explore a world where love can exist right next to the horror. Where a man and a woman can find themselves becoming very much like their zombie counterparts, craving, wanting, unable to stop themselves from following a certain path. And while they fight against those who crave them, they might just find themselves fighting against that which they most crave…

Zombies and love, a lot closer in nature than we might first think….

Waking Up Dead by Emma Shortt

You know your life has hit rock bottom when you’re living off cooked rats and showering once every few months—if you’re lucky. But for Jackson Hart things are about to get a whole lot worse. When her best friend, Tye, disappears hunting for food, kick-ass Jackson’s ‘head south to safety’ plan looks like it’s dead before it’s even begun. But then she meets ex-mechanic Luke Granger, who takes her to his bunker, feeds her with non-rat based food, and offers her protection against the zombie hordes—not that she needs it. She knows how to use a machete and isn’t afraid to.

Jackson was tempted to stay in the city with her rescuer. Food, shampoo and the possibility of finally getting laid, what more could she ask for? But the flesh eaters are getting smarter and the bunker is compromised, so Jackson and Luke have no choice but to make the journey south.

Luke and Jackson team up to find other humans in a road-trip romance for the ages. They travel for thousands of miles with zombies shadowing their every move. They must utilize every resource at their disposal…and then some. On the way, they discover that even if flesh eating zombies are knocking down their door, there’s always time for sex and even love.

Buy it at Amazon - Kindle - B&N - Goodreads

As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn't really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars, and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing.

Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain's chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi...if she hasn't tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic, everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.

She lives on the west coast of England with her very Greek husband and teenage kiddos. Apart from all things geek reading is her main hobby and she likes nothing better than getting home from a hard day at work and curling up with a book, though sometimes she gets home and writes one instead

Visit Emma at her Website - Facebook - Twitter - Blog - Goodreads


Emma is giving away a Waking Up Dead T-shirt to a lucky commenter!

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

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Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 30 November 2013!

Good Luck!

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