Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feature Review: "My Zombie Valentine," By MacAlister, Fox, Mancusi, Cach

By Amy Kennedy, RBTB Contributing Editor

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day in elementary school meant heartbreak, ‘cause it was never a given that I’d get a card from the boy I liked. I always liked someone who didn’t like me. Oh, they liked me, they just didn’t like me, like me. Rats.

I realized after reading the last story in “My Zombie Valentine,” all the men in these stories – hunks, every last one of them – fall in love first, and then make it their mission to convince their ladies to love them back.

Ysabelle Raliegh’s a zombie counselor and a tutor in her spare time, in Katie MacAlister’s hysterically hot “Bring Out Your Dead.” On her way to a tutoring gig, Ysabelle runs into and falls onto Sebastian, tall, dark, and a definite stranger. They share a passionate kiss until she remembers she doesn’t know him and bolts. Once Ysabelle reaches her student’s house, who walks in but Sebastian, surprised to see her, yet ready to kill the kid’s father.

Sebastian, a disgruntled vampire, seeks the father of Ysabelle’s student. He’s waging a vendetta against the man responsible for turning him. He’s happy to find Ysabelle, his “beloved,” and once they ‘join’ not only will he reclaim his soul but also exact his revenge. Sebastian may be hot, but, Ysabelle wants nothing to do with vengeance. Now Sebastian must decide which means more: getting even or winning his beloved?

Angie Fox’s “Gentlemen Prefer Voodoo,” gives new meaning to the phrase: Beware what you wish. Tired of waiting for Mr. Right, Voodoo practitioner Amie Baptiste takes love matters into her own hands and concocts a spell to attract her soul-mate. She never expects his previous address to be St. Louis Cemetery Number One. And while Dante Montenegro may be a fine looking zombie, he has only three days to convince Amie he really is the love of her life or it’s back to the grave for eternity.

Marianne Mancusi’s “Zombie Confidential,” is a veritable feast of tongue-in-cheek jokes, and a perfect girl-next-door-gets-the-movie-star story. Make-up artist Scarlett Patterson can’t believe her luck in landing a job on the location of a movie starring Mason Marks. Too bad there’s some bad luck involved also. Sure, Mason flirts with her, but she’s a nobody, her best friend is missing and the extras are staying in “zombie” character way too long. Mason thinks he’s never seen anyone as beautiful or as sweet as Scarlett. As the zombie extras wreak havoc, Mason thinks if he can save the day for real, he can win her love.

In Lisa Cach’s sexy and surprisingly thought-provoking “Every Part of You,” we meet Angelica Sequiera and Tom Haggerty in a noted plastic surgeon’s waiting room. While Tom stuns Angelica with his matter-of-fact comments, like: Seems like no one in L.A. can appreciate a nice little pair of half cuppers like Angelica’s, she can’t help but be attracted to his surfer-boy good looks, even though she finds him nothing more than a dumb jock.

Turns out Tom can’t stop thinking about Angelica , and they end up on a date where he proves not only he’s way more than a pretty face, but also that he likes her just the way she is. But since her visit to the plastic surgeon, Angelica’s noticed something weird going on with her face – and some insatiable cravings.

Apparently all the surgeon’s patients are acting like Angelica, and soon she and Tom race against time to find a cure for this new kind of zombie she’s become – craving caandyyyy, instead of braaaainssss.

“My Zombie Valentine” is funny and satisfying. Each author has her own brand of humor and uses it well. I think we could all use a laugh this Valentine’s Day, so get yours when you --
Buy the book.

These women got their hearts' desires, even if they didn’t know those are what they wanted. But what I want to know is: What’s the worst Valentine’s card or present you ever received? – and -- Who do you wish would give you a Valentine – or wish would have given you one in the past?


Carol L. said...

First I am really looking forward to reading My Zombie Valentine. I have heard good things on the web about it.
The worst Valentines gift I ever received was in 7th grade from a boy who liked me. The candy was so old and stale it actually had worms in the chocolate. I figured someone in his family probably got it for V's Day 25 years prior lol lol.
But how I wished I could have received a Valentine's Day card from the time when he did his special in black leather. lol lol
Carol L.

amy kennedy said...

Carol. Elvis? The black leather was the best. But the candy with the worms in it? You know his heart was in the right place...

Sometimes, I wish their wallets were in the same place as their hearts. Right?

Diamond M said...

The worse present I got was a box of chocolate and dozen white roses--all from the same guy. #1 I told the guy that I was allergic to chocolate.
#2 I could tell from the gesture that he got me something at the last minute.

Needless to say, we broke up after that because he knew I was allergic and he didn't care enough about me to at least put some thought into his present.

amy kennedy said...

Diamond, I hate those presents that say: well, I was right there in GENERIC DRUG STORE, and figured I should probably get you something. Shudder.

But I'm sorry that he didn't remember you were allergic to chocolate (yikes)

Becke Davis said...

My husband and I don't really do Valentine's Day -- cards, but not much else.

Hmm. I remember back in second or third grade I was really miffed when the boy who lived on the street behind mine addressed my card to "Beakey." I'm still not sure if it was the "beak" part that bothered me, or if I was a spelling geek even then.

Great review, Amy. Another book for my collection!

Jill Kemerer said...

Vampires and Valentines? Who would have thought? :)

I'd have to say the worst Valentine's present was from a boy I didn't like, but who liked me. It's terrible to not return those feelings! Nothing like a heaping dose of guilt on a romantic holiday.

amy kennedy said...

Oh Becke, the kid absolutely liked you -- and either, he liked you so much he nicknamed you Beakey, or he really couldn't spell.

Jill, even though I hated not getting a Valentine from someone I liked, it was mortifying getting one from someone I didn't. And, you're right, I felt so guilty -- like a good Catholic girl should.

Myrin said...

Grrrr, I never got anything Valentine-related in school. I think all the boys were afraid of me and I reckon they feared I'd beat them up with my enormous school bag (add to that that although I was a very pretty child when I was five or six yo, I was oh-so-ugly when I was in elementary school). :) I was very outspoken and honest and didn't do anyone's bidding.
I'm still like that.
And the guys are still afraid of me. ;)

Sigh, I can't help myself but even though I really love your review, Ames - I always do! - I can't really like the idea of a zombie hero/heroine or of zombies in general. They just creep me out. I can perfectly imagine that this book is lighthearted and funny, but I don't think I could read it, brrrr. I'm a bad girl, I know. *sniff*

amy kennedy said...

LisaK, I felt the same way, but there's only one zombie-ish hero, and Angie Fox did a superb job of making me wish Dante was aknockin' on my door...if, you know, I didn't already have a husband.

But, you certainly don't have to like the zombie thing -- they make good villains, but a little dense.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Amy great article and I'm definitely buying this one. Angie Fox is a local author and a great one to boot.
Hmm, my worst Valentine. I either don't remember (old age) or I never had a bad one. Like Becke my hubby and I don't really celebrate other than a card and I fix a nice dinner. This year we're having Lobster tails yum. But my daughter came over last Sunday and told us that she was going to ask her one true love to go to a Valentine's Champagne brunch with her, so she turned to me and said will you go with me.
Aww, I cried.