Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vampires and Ghouls and Zombies! Oh, My!

The Halloween season is well under way, and how better to celebrate it than with spooky stories? My friend Suzan Harden is the author of a fabulous series that you will enjoy any time of the year.

Welcome, Suzan!

Vampires and Ghouls and Zombies! Oh, My! by Suzan Harden

I love monster stories. I always have. From the classics like Stoker’s Dracula and Shelley’s Frankenstein to Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and Brooks’s World War Z, I can’t get enough. Even my son worries about me.

So when I started writing it seemed only natural to write what I love. There was just one little problem. My creatures weren’t scary.

In fact, they were all too human. They loved. They grieved. They snarked. A lot.

So I went back to source materials, looking for something truly scary. Flesh-eating ghouls from 1001 Arabian Nights. Undead revenants from Medieval Europe legends. Soul-sucking kiang shi from Chinese myths.

Oh hell, I even went back and re-read some Lovecraft short stories.

And my tales still weren’t scary.

So I gave up attempts at terror, went with the humor and Zombie Love heroine Samantha “Sam” Ridgeway was born.

Smart-mouthed tabloid reporter Sam Ridgeway is mistaken for a spy by a billionaire and his mad scientists. They use her as their human guinea pig in their efforts to develop nanotechnology that will rewrite DNA, essentially giving humans immortality. Except when Sam wakes up, there are side effects no one anticipated. She escapes the bad guys with the help of hunky vampire, Duncan St. James. He and his mortal niece Tiffany try to figure out what Sam has been turned into.


Duncan rubbed a hand across his jaw before he returned his gaze to me. “And first, we need to find out what was done to Miss Ridgeway. The information may give us an edge over Mallory.”

“What do you mean?” I really didn’t like the gleam in his eyes.

“We know you’re not a vampire, a were or a witch,” Tiffany proclaimed, ticking each item off on her black-nailed fingers.

My head bobbed back and forth, looking at each of them. “Are you sure? I may not have this V-virus, but the full moon was three nights ago. What if I sprout hair and start licking myself next month?”

Tiffany chuckled. “I tested for both were and witch too. There’s a particular blood enzyme each one has, and neither showed up”

“The vampire skills do concern me.” Again, Duncan watched me with a thoughtful look on his face. “Especially, your recovery from being shot. You did not have a pulse for nearly five minutes.”

“Yeah, but if I died, then . . .” My voice trailed off as the horror engulfed me. “Oh my God, I’m a zombie!”

“Zombies are a myth, Miss Ridgeway.” Duncan rose to refill his glass from a green bottle in the fridge. He took this awful revelation way too calmly. “And I certainly have not seen you take any orders.”

“Or eating any brains,” Tiffany chimed in cheerily.

The eight large pizzas had taken the edge off the gnawing hunger, but I’d need to eat again—soon. Worry chewed on the back of my mind. What would happen if I didn’t have access to food? Would my family and friends turn into dancing steaks, like in those old Warner Brothers cartoons? All zombie jokes aside, turning into a George Romero extra terrified me.

For more information on Suzan’s books along with e-retailers carrying Zombie Love, visit