*Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Series: Under The Blood Moon
Genre: new-adult, urban-fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: July 15th, 2014
Blog Tour: July 14 - 25th, excluding weekends
Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson
How to Date Dead Guys on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21856356-how-to-date-dead-guys?from_search=true)
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn't the only one.
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.
Emma is not your typical college student. She doesn't care about boys or the latest party. She just wants to get through school. One night everything changes when she see Mike. Now she's torn between liking him and ignoring him. But in one night everything changes as she chases down a drunk Mike and tries to prevent him from becoming a victim of his own stupidness. Unfortunately, she can't save him and he dies. Now she mourns a guy she barely knew and hides while everyone blames her for his death. As she becomes a shell of the person she once was, everyone around her changes. a But Emma can't get Mike out of her head and in a spur of the moment decision to raise him from the dead. Only she doesn't just bring Mike from the dead. She brings a slew of ghosts.
How to Date Dead Guys is a story of magic gone wrong. Horribly wrong. In an attempt to bring back the guy she crushes on she brings back someone else. He is nothing like Mike and is a pain in Emma's butt. But eventually he leaves and is replaced by another ghost. Same body different ghost, different set of problems. As this continues life gets more than a little complicated as Emma has to try and keep the ghosts wrangled and from messing up her life and those around her.
Each ghost was claimed in the same place as Mike and each ghost is tied to her, like she is their anchor to this world. And no one around her knows. Only she can see them as they truly are, ghosts.
How to Date Dead Guys is a very interesting story. It's like the epitome of the epic fail. Think of it as Ouija board gone wrong. Come one we all wanted to talk to the dead at one point in our lives. Emma just happened to raise the dead instead of talk to the dead. I really loved the premise of this book. The idea was different. However there were a few details of the story that I think didn't make much sense as far as the story was concerned. First, Emma is supposed to have the ability to see ghosts, but before she actually raises the dead she only sees a very very small number of ghosts in her life. Either way I don't really think it effected the story one way or another so it didn't bother me that much. It was just something I noticed and questioned.
The thing that did sort of bug me was her magic. Emma is not a witch. She is just a girl who sees ghosts and happens to want to raise the dead. With some "research" she manages to do it, no explanation to it. It's as if the magic is just sort of there. Or maybe anyone can do magic if they know the right words. I don't know, but it bothered me. That a girl could just create a spell with some research and raise the dead. Although, maybe that's why she screwed it up.
Anyways, How to Date Dead Guys is still a good story, one that I quite enjoyed, it was fun and easy to read. It was easy to get lost in the story of Emma and her newest dilemma. How to Date Dead Guys was is a read that left me questioning, made me laugh, and kept me entertained. It is definitely one to try.
EDITING REQUIRES A "GREEN THUMB"
Ten years ago, the gardening bug bit me. I bought plant books, magazines, and read every garden tag with great interest. After scorching some poor Hostas in the full sun, I learned what should be planted where. In fact, if we hadn't moved to the country maybe I'd be a Master Gardener now instead of an author.
But out in the country the deer eat everything. And my love affair with gardening came to screeching halt.
Now I focus my attention on indoor plants. Even my dead Grandmother would appreciate my African Violets.
Everyone thinks I have a green thumb, when in reality I just chuck out the crappy plants. If they are wimpy and require too much coddling, out they go.
And this is how editing a manuscript reminds me of tending plants.
Dead leaves, branches, and limbs need to be removed to improve the overall health of the plant. The same can be said of cutting out words, phrases, or even whole scenes so that the book as a whole can fly.
But there is a risk of cutting too much. Here is my latest attempt at an herb garden. (My husband likes basil so much I think he killed the plant.)
Don't cut the life out of your manuscript. Just cut out the fluff and fat.
But don't let your story take over, either.
Don't be scared of it. Make it behave.
Years ago, I wrote a fairy tale.
The unfortunate saga had a word count of 140,000.
And that's not all.
Besides the book being way too long, so were my sentences, paragraphs, and chapters.
So what did I do? Just give up?
I cut out the outer story.
I divided the mega-book into two more reasonable length novels.
And I joined a critique group to help my prose.
I read books and blogs and articles galore.
And then I wrote something else. Something completely different.
By then my writing had transformed.
My chapter length varies from short to medium. Any sentences that stray longer than necessary get chopped.
Instead of the water and sunlight needs of plants, I researched which candles should be used during spells to raise the dead or to end winter. I learned about the Blood Moon and the Book of Shadows.
Then I carefully tended the story, adding details and removing adverbs.
I gave it love and light, and let it grow.
And now it's time for How to Date Dead Guys to make its own way in the world.
I need to take a deep breath, step back, and believe I've raised it right.
Time to move on.
(To Book Two.) J
That is an awesome way to look at editing! Thanks for stopping by Ann!
About the Author~
My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living into a day instead of the usual 24. I’ve chosen a life filled with animals. I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.
Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches. I find inspiration in everyday things: a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.
I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head. Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.