Bodies…Chapter Three: Can’t Ever Go Home

The dream detonated in her mind like a bomb. Heat. Pressure. The burning. A small room full of night closed in around her, a big window of light exposing a pregnant moon. Shadows hugged her, and Jenna was both repulsed and seduced by them. Part of her wanted to let go and stay shrouded in darkness, never to see the light again, but she also wanted to fight the emptiness before it took her away.

A gun exploded in the distance. Something moved outside the large window of her dreamscape, flittering in the moon light. Startled, she jumped, tripping, one foot entangling the other. It took a lot of effort to regain her balance. The silhouette of a creature came into creation on the floor like a painting brought to life with each new stroke of a brush.

Heartbeat loud in her ears, Jena stared as the monster grew to mammoth proportions: fuzzy, distorted, and utterly terrifying. She looked away, even if it meant her death. Nothing happened.

When she finally found the courage to return her gaze to the window, a large black crow perched on the windowsill, highlighted in the silver moonlight. No monster, just a bird.  Yet, it stared at Jenna with wicked intent, cackling, like the three witches eyed Macbeth.

Crows don’t speak but Jenna was sure that this one could. “Eric.”

Upon hearing it, she jumped back, while the indifferent and unflustered crow took off causally into the night just as the voices erupted around her.

Jenna recognized one voice in the crowd.

Eric wailed.

“Eric!” Jenna screamed and started a desperate search for him. 

The scenery shifted and he was in front of her.

Eric turned. His eyes were empty sockets, dripping maggots.

“Don’t you remember me?” he asked.  “I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve come to be with you always. Why did you leave me?” Eric’s looked at Jenna, vacant sockets somehow finding her face.

In her dream, events from the past unfolded like a damp dish towel. After the world had ended,  Jenna had joined up with Caleb, Eric and his twin Billy, and a group of survivors who had found a safe haven at the High Point Inn in Virginia, but even there, the group was never free of the undead.

Jenna stomach churned like she was on a carnival ride when the scene in her dream changed again. Eric and Billy squabbled loudly on a roof, looking young and innocent. When she had first joined up with the small band of survivors, Eric and Billy had been some of the youngest members at fifteen, and being twins, the only people with family still alive.

Fair-haired and optimistic, the twins formed a special bond with Jenna. She was happy to take on the role of big sister. The gangly twosome looked like they ought to be anywhere but in the middle of the apocalypse. The twins should have been driving a tractor on a farm in the mid-west with their freckled, homegrown, innocent faces. They were Jenna’s new family.

Again the landscape changed. An old fashion silent movie played.  The twin’s heads bouncing in unison, Eric throwing pebbles from the roof, the boys trying to outdo each other at target practice, both getting into trouble. Billy telling stupid knock-knock jokes. Eric playing cards with Jenna and making her laugh when she had been mourning all she lost in her previous life.

Blurred images, chaotic and violent, erupted like a volcano. Eric in dirty overalls fighting the undead; Eric trying to rescue Victor, another member of the group, in a dilapidated movie theater;  stalkers ambushing him; and finally, Caleb telling Jenna of Eric’s death.

Eric screamed in her dream and his body surged out of a mass of stalkers.

Someone followed behind him,  walking out of the murkiness.

 “Stop making so much noise,” Lilly murmured. “You don’t know what’s around. Try to think about getting out of here. We need you.”

Lilly reached out to touch Jenna, but Jenna moved away, and watched as Lilly’s skin beginning to decay. After the virus had hit and her family died, Jenna never thought she would be able to get close to anyone again. She tried so hard to remain distant, but the twins, Caleb, and then Lilly had found their way into Jenna’s heart. Lilly had been one of the last people to join the group. Already settled at the High Point Inn, Lilly had arrived with a group of strangers. Of all the new additions, Lilly, had become good friends with Jenna.

In the dream, Lilly beckoned for Jenna to follow. The movement caused a chunk of skin from Lilly’s arm to fall to the ground. From where the skin fell, the arm oozed black blood. Muscles and bone began to protrude. Lilly smiled, but her lips cracked.

“You have to find me and Eric or this is what we become,” Lilly said.

 “Can you show me the way?” Jenna asked, wandering through the haze. Darkness fell and Jenna stopped. “I’m scared to follow.”

“You need to follow me.” Lilly beckoned her forward, but the fog and darkness deepened and Jenna briefly lost sight of Lilly. When Jenna found Lilly again, she grabbed her hand, determined to find a way out. It slithered against Jenna’s fingers.

Yes, It Really Is Another Interview

Here is another interview from my book tour.  It originally appeared on the site “The Wonderings of One Person.”  There is still time to enter the give away for a copy of the book and an Amazon gift card. Check it out at:  http://thewonderingsofoneperson.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/apocalipstick-by-lisa-acerbo-book-tour/

 

What was the inspiration for your story?

I love zombie movies and vampire books such as the Chicagoland vampire series. Reading some of the recent book releases in the genre such as World War Z and watching movies like Shaun of the Dead sparked the desire to try my hand at writing my own zombie novel.  I kept wondering what would happen if vampires had to fight zombies? The answer is in Apocalipstick.

What kept you going throughout the writing process?

I worked on the dissertation for my EdD at the same time as I wrote Apocalipstick.  It was a long, three-year process. There were times academic writing started to drive me crazy, and at that point I would turn to creative writing for a while.  It helped.  When writers’ block overwhelmed me, I could turn back to research.  Somehow it worked.

Who is your most meaningful character and why?

Jenna, the main character, is the most meaningful. She lives in this crazy, deadly post-apocalyptic world overrun with stalkers, another name for zombies. I love Jenna, the hero of the story.  She is tough, smart and sassy and has this innate ability to stay alive in the craziest situations. What more could you want?  I’m not sure if she is all that likable; a zombie apocalypse can cause some people to be on edge and grumpy, but she is fiercely loyal to her friends, and that counts for a whole lot when you fight the evil undead.

Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?

Absolutely. Apocalipstick was my first book, but book two is slowly coming together.  Jenna and Caleb leave the safety of the inn and their travels resemble the traditional quest of the mythological heroes brought to light by Joseph Campbell. There are also many unexpected twists for some of the minor characters in the first book. Someone rises from the dead, but not as a zombie.

While working on my first book, I was already planning the next one and thinking about the changes and developments that would happen to Jenna and Caleb. If you have read the first one, you know it ends with a cliff-hanger, and that is because I could not wait to start writing the sequel. Now that I am almost done with the second book, much has changed from the original plans I made for Jenna, Caleb, and other characters.

How has this story touched your life?

The people I meet because of writing Apocalipstick have changed my life. I’ve learned so much and appreciate all the support from Eternal Press, the company that published the book, other authors, and the people at conventions.  There has been so much kindness from book reviewers, fans, and friends.

What motivated you to start writing?

I majored in English during college, thinking that I wanted to become a journalist, but instead became an English teacher. While a full time teacher now, I have also continued to write and publish. Before turning to fiction, my articles appeared in the Connecticut PostTrumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter. Writing a novel was on my bucket list, so now that I have completed the goal, I am changing my bucket list entry to writing a series of books.

New Book Review (5-Star) from Anila @ A Writer’s Dark Corner

As you may already know, I love horror stories, especially zombie books. I don’t want to talk about the book title, because if I start, I’m pretty sure I won’t stop rambling about how much I love this name. “Apocalipstick” “Apocalistick” “Apocalipstick”

Back to the review, this is such a good zombie book. I loved how much “teenager” the main character was. And of course we have a love triangle (duh), and still I haven’t decided which team I am: “Team Caleb” or “Team Quentin” . My favorite were the battle scenes (duh! I’m a horror goddess!) Some people of the survival group are not completely human, and they are called the “other”. This book feels so real. People judge each-other, even though the world is under a Zombie Attack! I can only say that this was such a good horror romance with a sense of reality smashed together with zombies”. If you don’t understand what I have said, don’t worry at all,because I don’t either!

I can only say “Good Job Lisa Acerbo! Five stars! FIVE STARS!!!

Check out A Writer’s Dark Corner at http://awritersdarkcorner.blogspot.com/2014/02/apocalipstick-book-tour-book-review.html

5-Star Review from Wicca Witch Book Blog

Full Review and book tour highlights at http://wiccawitch4.blogspot.ca/

Apocalipstick by Lisa Acerbo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing book! I couldn’t put it down for a second! I totally love zombie stories they catch your interest and there is never a dull moment. Lisa Acerbo accentuates that in this incredible tale full of not only action but love and intrigue as well. While the undead are everywhere and danger lurks around every corner what girl would be caught in this Apocalypse without her Apocalipstick!

For a small town girl like Jenna like after the Apocalypse pretty much sucks. She misses her family, friends and the simple pleasures that life had to offer like going to the mall or hanging out with friends. Life since the undead have risen up has pretty much been one fight after the other with her as the main dish. She has had to learn to be tough on the outside as even though fighting is a group effort Jenna knows she will always only have herself to count on.

However everything changes when the group make for the High point Inn a place they hope will be a place of peace and safety. Jenna starts to have feelings for Caleb, one of the groups others – people who have enhanced abilities because of the virus. Can this blissful peace really last or is it just the calm before the storm?

I loved the story to this! the characters where amazing and the ending! totally cliff hanger! I can’t wait to read the next book. There were some really neat twists in this story and I really enjoyed how the characters played off of one another.

Lisa Acerbo is a brilliant author and I can’t wait to read more of her work! if you haven’t read this yet I totally recommend it! tbr it today! 

New Review for Apocalipstick

Not sure if you want to read Apocalipstick? Check out all these great reviews!

http://momwithakindle.blogspot.com/2013/12/virtual-book-tour-review-excerpt.html
http://readerswritersconnect.com/all-review-list/apocalipstick/
http://mytangledskeinsbookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/12/link-to-tour-virtual-book-tour.html
http://www.kaylalone.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-review-of-apocalipstick-by-lisa.html
http://ashleynemer.blogspot.com/2013/12/fire-ice-book-tour-apocalipstick-by.html?zx=a271cea3f13021b7
http://tometender.blogspot.com/2013/12/apocalipstick-virtual-book-tour-giveaway.html?zx=5dee8cdfcf7ca2ae
http://crypticreads.blogspot.com/2013/12/apocalipstick-book-tour-and-review.html
http://www.katie-mcknight-author.com/205054244
http://writergirlkatie.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/book-review-of-apocalipstick-by-lisa-acerbo/

Latest Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A great story!, January 2, 2014
This review is from: Apocalipstick (Kindle Edition)

This was a very interesting and entertaining post apocalyptic story. I was immediately drawn into Jenna’s story and had a very hard time putting this book down. Jenna is a human survivor who is found by a group of survivors looking for a safe place to live. Some of the survivors in this group are not fully human anymore, they are called “other” due to being altered by the virus. I really enjoyed this take on what a virus outbreak could do to the world. Jenna is such a strong young woman but she doesn’t see herself that way. She has feelings for Caleb, who is “other”, and she doesn’t know how to handle it. Caleb is a mystery but he does show that he cares a lot for Jenna and everyone but her sees that. Even with the world destroyed, there is still prejudice against anyone who is different. I found myself engrossed in the survival of this strange group and was very disappointed when the book ended.

This book has zombies, suspense and romance…everything I love in a post apocalyptic tale. I felt it was very well written and I really hope another book is in the making.