Lazy Saturday Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness #MiniReview #YA

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

therestofusTitle: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 434 pages
Publication Details: 
August 27th 2015 by Walker Books
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from Dora, thanks Dora! 

Goodreads 

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What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Review

I wasn’t sure about this at first but ended up absolutely loving it. Patrick Ness has this amazing ability to nail that insecure, confusing time of adolescence when you don’t really understand who you are yet, and he does so in increasingly imaginative ways.

TROUJLH is set in a world where zombies and vampires are real, but the main characters aren’t part of that world, they’re always on peripheries  – just watching, they’re just the normal kids in world full of superheroes and martyrs.

I loved everything about this book – the way it was structured, the uniqueness of the premise, and as always, the execution by Ness was perfect. But it’s the characters that really stand out. All completely different and unique but startlingly real. Whether they’re gay, unsure, struggling with OCD, depressed, or desperate to go to a concert, they’re all just doing what everyone is trying to do – get through the day, the week, high school, life.

Have all the unicorns, Patrick Ness!

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Flash Fiction Battle: I now crown you… #HorrorOctober

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Welcome back to Horror October 2016’s main event: The Flash Fiction Battle

 

At the beginning of the month, you voted in your masses for your favourite horror story prompt, and the winner was ‘3 AM. Full Dark. One Sound’

Four wonderfully creepy stories were entered by the participating writers and over 1300 votes were cast for your favourite. 

And, finally the results are in…

In 4th place: Wake Up Mommy by A. Giacomi (102 votes)

In 3rd place: The Quiet Life by Stephen Kozeniewski (170 votes)

In 2nd place: The Secret of the Basement by Lily Luchesi (347 votes)

And in 1st place….

 

Come in Here by Stevie Kopas (714 votes)

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A huge thank you to all four writers, and congratulations to Stevie! Thanks also go to everyone who voted and to Cleo, Lynn and Drew for helping me to promote – 1300 votes is amazing!

Here is your winning story again…Happy Halloween!

Come in Here

By Stevie Kopas

Sorry I’m late,” Jill whispered as she crept through the front door, locking it behind her.

It was just past Midnight and she hoped the baby was already sleeping and that her sister wasn’t angry with her for not arriving home on time, but Maddie was curled up on the couch with a book as usual and smiled when Jill entered the living room.

How was work?” Maddie asked, marking her page with a bookmark and hopping to her feet, stretching.

Awful,” Jill sighed. “If I could actually leave when I was scheduled for once I might come home with a better answer. How’s my little bear?”

Oh he’s great, been sleeping like a baby.” Maddie made a face and laughed. “Well, I mean, he is a baby, but you get what I mean.”

Jill chuckled and walked her sister to the door, giving her a big hug before sending her on her way. She was halfway up the stairs to check on baby Louis when her phone blared from her purse in the living room.

Shit,” she cursed under her breath, praying that the noise didn’t wake the baby.

She fished the iPhone from her bag and quickly silenced it, looking at the screen.

Unknown Caller.

She frowned, but answered anyway, curious as to who could be calling at this hour.

Hello?”

She was greeted by loud static on the other end and repeated her greeting only to receive child-like laughter in response.

Maddie? Is that you?” She asked, but the call immediately disconnected.

Shrugging, Jill put the phone on vibrate and slipped it into her pocket. She started back for the stairs when it began to buzz.

Seriously?” She pulled it from her pocket and rolled her eyes when she saw that it was an unknown caller again. She swiped and answered, trekking up the stairs. “Maddie, this isn’t funny.” The same static greeted her followed by a child giggling; she rolled her eyes. “I hope your parents find out what you’re doing and ground you!”

She hung up and stuffed the phone into her pocket once more before heading for baby Louis’ room. Her little bundle of joy was snuggled up and sound asleep. She smiled and leaned into the crib, gently touching his tiny hand.

Good night, my angel. Mommy loves you.” Jill whispered.

She checked that the baby monitor was on and working before heading for her bedroom.

She changed into some sweatpants and before she could even get her oversized t-shirt over her head, her iPhone buzzed in her jeans on the floor. She let out an exasperated sigh and answered without even looking at who was calling.

Listen up, you little shit—“ Jill started.

Come back in here and play with me.” The little girl on the other end said.

What?” A slight chill ran down Jill’s spine.

The little girl giggled. “I want to play. Come back.”

She rolled her eyes and scolded herself for letting it freak her out. “Go to bed, brat. I’m done playing for the night.”

She hung up and shut the phone completely off, she’d have to set the alarm on the clock for once.

***

Jill rolled over and squinted at the clock: 2:57. She groaned and sat up, she could have sworn she shut the phone off before she went to bed. As her eyes adjusted, she could see the screen read Unknown Caller. Jill tried to decline the call but her screen wouldn’t swipe. She hit the power button on the side, but again, the phone wouldn’t respond. In a huff, she threw the covers off and went with her only option: answering it.

What!” She yelled into the phone.

Come in here,” the little girl whispered through heavy static. “Come in here and play with me.”

For the last time… Go. To. Bed.”

Furious, Jill made sure the phone was off. She got up and put the iPhone in a pile of clothes in the closet just in case there was something wrong with it and the little brat kept prank calling her. Just as she was getting back into bed, Jill froze; there was static coming from the baby monitor.

She stared at it for a moment, straining her ears for more sound, but there was nothing. She thought about checking on Louis, but he wasn’t crying and she desperately needed the sleep. Settling back into bed, she had just closed her eyes when the static came through the monitor again, this time, child’s laughter followed. Her eyes shot open and her skin broke out in goose bumps. She glanced at the clock before jumping out of bed: 3:00.

With the baby monitor in hand, she crept toward her bedroom door and again she heard the laughter. There was no denying it this time, it was the same laugh she’d heard on the phone.

Come in here and play with me,” the little girl said.

Jill panicked and the baby monitor fell from her hands, the static screeching from it, louder now. She sprinted from her bedroom and made a beeline for Louis’ door. She charged through and turned on the light, expecting to find someone trying to hurt her baby, but the room was empty, and Louis remained fast asleep in his crib. She checked on her son, making sure he was okay, her heartrate slowly returning to normal. She cursed herself for being so paranoid, she figured whoever had been calling her had somehow hacked into the baby monitor. She would go to the police tomorrow.

As Jill turned to leave the room, the door suddenly slammed shut and her hands flew up to her mouth. She stifled a scream as she read what was written in blood on the opposite wall just before the lights in the room went out:

I knew I could get you back in here.

Stevie can be found here: http://www.someonereadthis.com/ // @ApacoTaco 

Flash Fiction Battle: Last Chance to Vote! #HorrorOctober

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A friendly reminder…Voting for the Flash Fiction Battle ends tomorrow!

 

Votes will stop being counted at 20:00 GMT tomorrow (Friday 28th). So, if your favourite short horror story isn’t winning you’d better pull your finger out (yes you can vote more than once), but with over 1200 votes cast already…can you change the fate of the participating writers? Only time will tell. 

The winner will be announced on Saturday 29th at 09:00 (GMT)

Here’s the poll again for you last minute voters!

#HorrorOctober: The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski

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The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski

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Formats: Digital, Paperback, 360 pages
Publication Details: October 16th 2013 by Severed Press
Genre(s): Horror; Humour
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Amazon

After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain.

A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown.

To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of…THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO.

Review

This is not your average zombie pulp! The Ghoul Archipelago is a breath of fresh air to people like me who are pretty sick of zombies.

Martigan is the captain of a freighter sailing through the South Pacific in a post-apocalyptic world caused by zombies, where the mainland is all but taken over. Martigan and his crew are fighting a losing battle between ghouls, pirates and a whole host of bizarre characters vying to take control of the islands.

There’s Sonntag the ex-prison priest, a businessman who has developed a sex-dream machine, a presidential politician, and the captain, all at the forefront of this bloody, bizarre, battle which I mostly enjoyed but came away feeling a bit ‘huhhhhhh?’

I felt like there were too many characters and too many story-lines going on at once – it was pretty confusing at first, but once I got into the POV changes it got easier. I also felt like the pacing was off in places, making it seem a lot longer than its 360 pages.

But that being said, I can’t fault Kozeniewski’s vision. It has some great moments of pure horror and thrilling action, making it one hell of a ride, even if I had no idea where I was being taken.

Kozeniewski has a way of sucking you in; his writing is effortless and intriguing, mixing gory grossness with his trademark wit. He put me on the ship and it was sink or swim! I think I just about found my sea legs by the end of it….

unicorn rating 3

This Week in Books 21.10.2015

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!I can’t believe how quickly this month is going, I really need to get a move on with my Horror October reads and features!

But alas, here’s what I’ve been up to this past week…

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Now: Vampire Vic 2: Morbius Reborn ~ Harris Gray // Edgar Allan Poe: Stories & Poems

Thankfully I enjoyed the first Vampire Vic book, because I agreed to read and review both. Not much to report so far on the second book though.

Also, I didn’t get round to finishing the Poe book so I’m ploughing ahead with that atm.

Then:

Vampire Vic ~ Harris Gray
I really liked this witty, light-hearted vampire book. My review will be up once I’ve finished the second book in the series so you’ll get a double VV whammy!

Next: ???

My next read for Horror October will be The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski, followed by Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes.

That’s it for this week, what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit.

#HorrorOctober: Life After the Undead by Pembroke Sinclair *Cover Reveal*

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Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve done a cover reveal. I thought this new Zombie Apocalypse YA novel sounded perfected for this time of year! Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me join in.

Life After The Undead

Author: Pembroke Sinclair
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: October 27th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, Zombies

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she’s going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world. The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they’re migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.

Zombies aren’t the only creatures she has to be cautious of—the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.

Join Krista in her quest to survive in this thrilling apocalyptic novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

[Drum roll please]…The Cover…

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Meet the Author

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns.

Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming–the home of 56 nationalities–it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing.

Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.

Contact/Links

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R Carey

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Title: The Girl with all the Gifts
Author: M.R Carey
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 460 pages
Publication Details: June 19th 2014 by Orbit
Genre(s): Horror; Science Fiction
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from Dora. Thanks Dora!

Goodreads // Purchase

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Review

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

The Girl with all the Gifts has everything. It’s a great mixture of classic horror, modern dystopia and fast-paced thriller.

I was worried that I’d ruined my experience of it having already read reviews and knowing what the ‘twist’ was, but I don’t think it hindered it at all. Plus, said twist is revealed pretty early on, so it’s not such a huge spoiler.

I was completely engrossed in Melanie’s story, and thought she was a great protagonist. In the beginning I felt sorry for her, being locked up, and the way her and the other children were treated. I think M.R Carey did a great job of bringing Melanie to life as a regular (albeit genius) child, and gradually revealing to the reader, and to Melanie herself that she is in fact a monster – a zombie to be exact.

The use of the school-room setting, Melanie’s genius-like intelligence and her love of stories enables the reader to see her as child first, and a zombie second, making it almost impossible not to root for her the whole way through.

I thought the relationship between her and teacher was kind of creepy at first, as I’m sure was supposed to be point, but they ended up being a great duo.

There were a few moments when I found myself losing interest, but I was quickly pulled back into this action-packed, rollercoaster of a ride. It’s one of the better zombie books I’ve read, and felt fresh and thought-provoking.

Having just started working in a prison, I read this book on another level too. The Girl With all the Gifts raised a lot of questions about imprisonment and human rights. I felt like it proposed many questions about incarceration, rehabilitation, having the mental strength to fight against your inner nature, and being able to embrace your future and let go of the past.

It was a really surprising read, one that I think would make a great book club selection.

unicorn rating 4

Book Promo ~ Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl

Welcome to another great book promo post here at Lipsyy Lost & Found! I’m excited about this one, because y’know…ZOMBIES! 🙂

Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is the first book in a four-part series published by Permuted Press. Book 1 was released at the beginning of the year, and book 2 just last week!

First-time author A. Giacomi has kindly told me everything you need to know about your new favourite Zombie Girl!

About The Series

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Title: Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl
Series: The Zombie Girl Saga #1
Editions: Kindle, e-book, 277 pages
Publication Details: January 25th 2015 by Permuted Press
Goodreads

Eve used to be an ordinary girl, from an ordinary town, with ordinary dreams, but her dreams rapidly turn into nightmares when one grave mistake leaves her a little less than human and a lot less average.

Eve’s not quite the same girl she used to be. She desperately clings to her humanity as new desires, new abilities, and new urges take over with each passing day.

Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is a tale that takes you on an emotional and terrifying journey as Eve struggles to cope with her new life and find a cure for her strange illness before time runs out. She desperately clings to her humanity as she tries to control the monster she knows is lurking inside her.

Turns out living was the easy part.

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Title: Eve Brenner: Zombie Agent
Series: The Zombie Girl Saga #2
Editions: Kindle, e-book, 224 pages
Publication Details: February 17th 2015 by Permuted Press
Goodreads

In the second installment of The Zombie Girl Saga, Eve teams up with CSIS to find out more about the Azrael Virus coursing through her veins. As she learns about the dangers of the virus, she also learns that there are some advantages to being less than human. Eve is quickly thrown into fieldwork to stop the spread of a virus that is spreading silently on a global level.

She might be the only hope the world has, but she’s running out of time.

Six Things You Need to Know About Eve

Written by A.Giacomi

Where is Eve from?

Eve is a twenty year old Canadian girl from the small town of Little Lake, Ontario. She dreams of breaking free from her small town after University. She attends Guelph University where she majors in archaeology and secretly hopes to be the next Lara Croft.

Eve’s interests?

When she’s not drooling over her favourite Professor’s new findings, she loves hanging out with her two best friends Alexandra and Cameron. Eve is very athletic and enjoys the outdoors; she’s the former swim team captain, a title she regrettably had to give up given her current illness. She loves superheroes, especially Spiderman, her all-time favourite. She’s not a girly girl but she does enjoy the occasional shopping expedition…she also really loves a good steak, and make it rare.

Relationship Status?

It’s complicated. As I’m sure you can imagine real life doesn’t stray far from fiction, but when you’re a zombie girl looking for love, it couldn’t be more complicated! Eve’s always had a thing for her good friend Cam, but for the sake of the friendship she’s never pursued it. Now that she’s a little less than human Cam seems to be more intrigued than ever, he couldn’t have worse timing!

What’s her secret?

No, this has nothing to do with make-up tips. Eve has a BIG secret that she’s very reluctant to share with anyone. She’s been bitten, by what, she’s not exactly sure…but what she’s certain of is her ever changing appetite.

Does she have an Arch Nemesis or Frenemy?

Perhaps a few, but in Book 1 be prepared to meet Claire Bear, the Regina George of your nightmares. If you thought Eve was dangerous, this girl is really going to make your skin crawl! They have a common interest…Cam…something about him is so…delicious.

New Virus, New Zombie…

Eve is not your typical zombie. The Azrael Virus manifests differently in each host and Eve is quite the specimen. In addition to her hunger for flesh, she’s picked up a few interesting powers. She might be dead, but she’s not someone you want to mess with.

Ready to bite into the book? Get your copy here: http://permutedpress.com/books/eve-brenner-zombie-girl-the-zombie-girl-saga-book-1

About the Author

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A. Giacomi is a wife, and mother to one small human child. She is a Canadian born writer, educator, and artist. She proudly waves her York University Alumni flag and continues to thirst for knowledge and devour books. She is a zombie enthusiast, lover of all things Tim Burton, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Marvel, Star Wars and just generally just loves film, essentially she’s a fangirl.

Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is A. Giacomi’s debut novel. You can catch the latest updates about her writing on her blog: http://www.poeticzombie.com and Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/agiacomi/info?tab=page_info

Horror October: Week 1

 

 

 

Horror October Week 1 round-up 1st – 7th (Click on the image to view the post)

Introduction: Coming Up!
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Guest Post: Necro-nom-nom-icon…Cookbook of the Dead by Braineater Jones

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Review: Needful Things by Stephen King

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Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Books for Fans of Character Driven Novels

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Horror October: Necro-nom-nom-icon….Cookbook of the Dead by Braineater Jones

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I can think of no better way to officially kick off Horror October than a visit by Braineater Jones himself. He has been kind enough to give us some pointers on how to keep those pesky undead friends of yours happy. Listen closely, it could just save your life… maybe even your un-life.

Hey there, cats and kittens. Braineater Jones here.

That’s right, a-holes. The man himself. Ever since I set up shop here in the Welcome Mat and became, well, let’s just cut through the froo-for-all and face it, a pillar of the undead community, I’ve been getting letters.

Whiny letters. Letters from old ladies, mostly, and churchy types. So far I’ve just been letting my “partner,” Alcibé the severed head, answer ’em. Which is why you haven’t seen anything back. Ha! Stupid head. It’s gettin’ to the point now though where I just want to say, “Shut up! I got crimes to solve and dames to lay.” But, you know, you can’t put that into writing in polite company. Or did I just?

Well, anyway, I finally decided to answer one of these inkeries, ’cause it’s gettin’ to the point where I can hardly even find a place to clean out my morning maggot hole in peace, what with all the fat stacks of fan mail lying around. So here’s a totally legit one:

Dear Brainsy,

You are so handsome and intelligent and above all else, tall. (Yes, I am a real twist with getaway sticks to die for and not somebody you just made up. But that’s neither here nor there.) What kind of tips do you have for caring for the recently deseized?

All My Love (and Panties, If You Want ‘Em)

Jane Rita Bones”

Good question, Jane Rita! And, may I say, well written, too.

The most important thing about caring for our kind is to feed us right. Now, the first thing to unnastan is, there’s two kinds of walking corpses: bubs and dims. Bubs like myself are thinky and drinky. But without booze, or, even with a little booze and a lot of time, we become dims. (Some people call dims “braineaters.” Yeah, like my nickname. But that’s not the kind of word you use around ladies. What? Don’t chastise me for being a hippopotamus. I’m reclaimin’ it.)

Aaaaaaaanyway, dims only want one thing: grey matter. Little inconvenient if you happen to be a breather, but kind of funny for the rest of us. Well, except when it results in pogroms. But I digest! Let’s take a look at some of the best recipes for both kinds of deadheads.

RECIPES FOR DIMS

1. Raw Brain

 
Ingredients:
One (1) human, preferably a child
One (1) ice cream scoop
One (1) bowl
One (1) crowbar
One (1) hacksaw

Directions:
Knock the child out with the crowbar. Using the hacksaw, gently saw roughly one half-inch all around the head, being carefully to stop sawing when you pierce the bone, but before you hit the precious, precious brains. Pry the top of the skull off, using the crowbar again if necessary. With the ice cream scoop, move the brain into the bowl, being careful not to sever the spinal column. Be sure to serve warm and bloody, or dims won’t touch it. Garnish with chunks of scalp to taste.

2. Brain a la mode

(Same as above, but serve with a scoop of ice cream. Wash the scoop off first or not, depending on taste.)

RECIPES FOR BUBS

1. Old Crow, Neat

 
Ingredients:
One (1) bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon
One (1) lowball glass (substitute shotglass if necessary)

Directions:
Pour bourbon into glass and serve.

Well, there you have it, folks! The best way to take care of the undead is to keep us fed and keep us happy, so hopefully these recipes have gone a long way towards helping you satisfy the overpowering and all-consuming bloodlust with which we live daily. Toodles and cheers!

ABOUT THE GUEST BLOGGER

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Braineater Jones is the author of his own bestselling autobiography, available for purchase here. To share a drink with him, tweet #cheerstobraineaterjones. Otherwise you can find out more at http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com.

Huge thanks to the man behind the zombie, Stephen Kozeniewski! I reviewed Braineater Jones here.