Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems…
But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?
And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.
About the Author:
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Readers Favorite Contest, the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place), and a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards.
You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.
Read an excerpt from the book below:
I suppose I should count myself lucky they hadn’t started carving me up, and that I’d gone for an overdose rather than throwing myself in front of a truck or out of a window. I’m in damn good condition…for a corpse. Still in one piece as far as I can ascertain, and that ain’t easy to determine, let me tell you. You know how an arm or a leg goes after you’ve sat on it for a while, cutting off the circulation? But before the blood flow starts again and you get pins and needles? That numb heaviness? My whole body is like that. Like every part of me is full of lead.
Also, the not breathing is weird. I take a couple of breaths out of habit, for the familiar feeling of air moving in and out of my chest. After that I don’t bother. It takes too much concentration and there are other things I need to focus on. Like, what do I do next, for instance?
So, what, I’m just gonna lie here?
It’s an option, but I’d probably give the next person who opens up my drawer a heart attack. I don’t want another death on my conscience. Not when I already have my own.
I put my hands up against the metal above me, and leave dents in it. Whoa. Gonna have to watch that. Clearly, I don’t need a lot of muscle or effort as a zombie, which is good because I never had the first and never gave the second. I try again, but more hesitantly, and push myself outward. The drawer slams open so fast, wheels screeching, that it reaches its full extent hard enough to slam my skull into the drawer front, and then rebounds until it’s almost closed again. That should’ve hurt, but it didn’t. I touch my skull, half expecting it to be cracked in two, but there’s nothing. Not even a dent…or a lump for that matter. But when I twist my head to look, the drawer front looks like it got beat by a baseball bat. That’s gonna be one hell of a giveaway.
I reach up and use just one finger to push the drawer wider. This time I roll out until my upper half is free of the drawer. That should do. Careful not to squeeze too tight, I grip the sides of the slab I’m lying on. I’m not sure about sitting up, because clearly I don’t know my own strength any more, and the weird all-over numbness means I can’t sense what I’m doing, or how much pressure I’m using. There’s no pain to tell me when I might be damaging myself, if that’s possible.
Okay, this is it. I push myself upright easily enough, but can’t stop myself slumping forward. Everything feels heavy. My head too heavy for my neck, my shoulders too heavy for my torso. Still holding the sides, I drag one leg up until my knee touches my chin, and then the other. I shuffle ’round until both feet drop to the floor, pulling my legs with them. I have plenty of strength but pretty damn poor coordination. It’s kind of hard to synchronize your moves when it’s like someone has attached weights to every bit of you. Won’t this be fun?
So I’ve got my feet on the ground. I stare at them and wiggle my toes. Back in the afterlife, they moved easily and in sequence. Now they just jerk. There are bruises and needle marks in both my arms, probably from them trying to pump a ton of drugs into me to bring me back. My skin is pale, only one shade away from stark white, with a bluish tint. Oxygen deprivation, I’d guess. I thought I’d be gray. Maybe that happens later. For now, I can probably pass for just being sick, if I can get my coordination together and get out of here.
With that objective in mind, I lurch to my feet and fall flat on my face, luckily with one arm preventing my nose from getting smashed. Not that it hurts, but I really don’t need to make myself look any worse. I push back onto my hands and knees, grab the edge of the table beside me, and then pull myself up slow and easy. At least I’m standing, even if I am swaying like I’m still getting hit by the alcohol. For the first time, I get a good look of where I’m at.
The morgue. I’ve seen enough cop shows to recognize it. Never expected to be in one, least not and be aware I was. The table I’m hanging onto is one of those where they lay a body, clean it, and slice it up to figure out who or what killed you. I guess I should be grateful they hadn’t got to that stage with me. Trying to stitch myself up with zombie fingers and with all my innards falling out would have been tricky.
Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. And Restless In Peaceville began life as the ‘freaky story’. Why? Well…
Ten things you might not know from reading the book:
1. It’s the first paranormal story I’ve ever had published. Not the first written (that one comes out in October because it’s Halloween themed. One of the peculiarities of the publishing process is stories don’t always get published in the order they get written, lol). But the October one was just a short story. So Restless is the first full length paranormal I’ve ever done after writing scifi since my teens (and that’s more years ago than I’m going to confess to!) – a new-to-me genre in terms of writing, and just one of the reasons I went waaaaay out of my comfort zone to write it.
2. It’s the first zombie story I’ve ever written. And I’m going to admit it, I am not a fan of zombies. Was not a fan of zombies. As someone who’s suffered horrendous nightmares most of my life, I’ve always avoided anything horror-based, scary, or that might even remotely make me jump. Until I watched a film called Warm Bodies and got hooked. Now I’ve not only got a zombie novella out, but a partially written and planned trilogy of dystopian zombie shorts. Of course, mine aren’t the typical Hollywood zombies—I don’t think I could do those. I won’t be watching Walking Dead, Night of the Living Dead or World War Z at any time in the future either. But at least the genre isn’t terra Incognita now.
3. Along with being the second paranormal I’ve written, it’s the second in a contemporary setting. But whereas my paranormal short story is set in a generic US town, Restless In Peaceville was a lot more demanding. I’ve never set foot in the US, let alone Louisiana. Here’s where Google maps, Wikipedia and my friends on Facebook became my bestest buddies ever. I’ve probably done more research on the setting for this story than most of the scifi I’ve ever written (and I research for those a LOT). I’d still love to go there to see it for real though.
4. I’m not a religious person. Not at all. Nor do I believe that there’s anything after death. And yet I have Catholicism and voodoo in my story, and a brief visit to the afterlife. Maybe my muse disagrees with me.
5. My default setting for POV in writing is third person close. I’m not a fan of first person POV, and yet the moment I started writing Restless, that’s how I wrote it. That just seemed the best fit. It’s only the third time I’ve attempted it, and one of the earlier attempts will never see the light of day (but that’s because of the story, not the POV).
6. My husband named the weird supernatural hunter that chases my two protagonists in the story. So in deference to that and his love for Westerns, the Peacemaker has a bit of a Clint Eastwood look going on.
7. My heroine only got the name Annabelle so I could use the phrase trés belle.
8. Luke got named after my eldest’s boyfriend at the time. Not because they are in any way alike – I just heard the name a LOT! So it stuck. And the surname Chester? A passing nod to the Winchester boys who may have influenced the story a little bit too.
9. I mention a book in my story that doesn’t actually come out until a couple of months AFTER mine. In fact, I have the galley for that book on my Kindle right now. Myself and the other author were signed up to a publisher that unfortunately closed its doors before our titles released, but we both found new homes for our work.
10. Luke mentions his guitar in the story – I’ve tried repeatedly to play one, but I still can’t hit the chords right. Like Luke, my fingers just don’t work properly when it comes to an instrument. At least he has a good excuse for it though.