Saturday, November 8, 2014

BOOK REVIEW/AUTHOR INTERVIEW: "Bad Blood" by Nicky Peacock

Synopsis:

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.” 
A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Buy Links:

Amazon UK       Amazon US      Evernight Teen

About the Author:

I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?
Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!
I’ve so far been published in 5 countries: USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada and had short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers.

Blog: http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickyp_author

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_4

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4958833.Nicky_Peacock

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nickypauthor/

Tumblr: http://nickypeacock.tumblr.com/

Excerpt:

We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.

“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

Published by Evernight Teen

REVIEW:

For my Halloween special post this year, I was sent Bad Blood, an upper YA novel by Nicky Peacock, about vampires saving humans during the zombie apocalypse.
It might sound strange, and it is, but in the best way!

Britannia is a 450 year old vampire, turned without permission by Nicholas, a pompous vampire who fell in love with her and wanted to keep her with him for eternity. He even killed her fiancé.
She spent centuries hunting down his vampiric children, but now they must work together, because the vampire Elders need as many humans saved from the zombies as possible, or else vampires will starve.
But when the spitting image of her lost fiancé shows up, things get even stranger...

Young adult vampire novels are often cheesy. Young adult zombie novels are often pure violence and no story. Bad Blood is neither of those things. Think, Darren Shan and Poppy Z. Brite had a lovechild.
The story is a very quick read, very violent and very emotional. You get love, hate and every little thing in between. There are twists, but nothing too complex.
Britannia is a wonderful lead, with snark and depth. Nicholas is the perfect antagonist, and the supporting characters will imprint themselves in your memory.
My only problem here is, will we get another book about them? You won't want this story to end and you will ask yourself, "Why isn't this a movie?" Ms. Peacock has so much untapped potential here. I'm excited to read more from her!

5/5--wonderful!

INTERVIEW:

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I'd always wanted to be a writer. My mum got me into writing at an early age and I've always been an avid reader. But it has only been in the last couple of years that I've been published. 

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

Growing up I read a lot of Anne Rice and Kelley Armstrong. I then moved on to Charlaine Harris and Laurell K Hamilton books. I still read all these authors to this day. I've recently been introduced to Karen Marie Moning books (which are great) and, for my horror addiction, I've been reading all the lovely gems coming out of Dark Fuse Publications. 

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Bad Blood?

I really loved zombie and vampire books and wondered what would happen if they were thrown in together. But when I looked around i couldn't really see anything like that available - so I decided to write it myself!

4. Will we ever see these characters again?

Yes, the Battle of the Undead series is planned to at least a trilogy. I'm currently beavering away on the 2nd book entitled, Bad Timing.

5. How would you act if you were in Britannia's position about being turned without permission?

Good question! I always try to inject a piece of myself in all my protagonists, but Britannia really only had my sense of humor. I'm not as angry as she is or as impatience. I'd probably be pissed about it for a few hours, until I realized that I was going to be young and beautiful for ever, I'd then get over it pretty quickly (yes, I am that shallow! LOL)  

6. Why vampires vs zombies?

I think it's because they are both technically 'undead' but are so different in terms of what they are, what they do and how they kill. Vampires are usually portrayed as pretty ruthless and with them having so long to live, they are intelligent and scheming. Zombies are just shuffling, pack animal killing machines - I've always said that 'at least you know where you are with a zombie' they're not going to deceive you or pretend to be something they're not.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I write horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I'd like to give steampunk a proper go - I think its a very under-estimated genre with a lot of potential.

8. Do you believe in magic?

I'd like to say I do. I did growing up. But unfortunately, the older you get the more you realize that magic is a belief rather than a reality - man, that sound so depressing :( I actually had a recent experience watching that mermaid documentary on Animal Planet. It was shown in the UK a couple of months ago and I didn't realize that it was a fake. For a brief twenty minutes I was actually convinced there were real mermaids and out there! Magic was real! Of course I discovered later that the whole show was a lie, but I still remember that feeling of thinking that anything was possible. I called Animal Planet a lot of nasty names that day! 

9. Where did you get the idea for the vampires' backstory?

In all honesty, to make Bad Blood work, the vampires really had to hate one another, other wise there would be no tension. So I deliberately created Britannia with a stubborn streak a mile wide and Nicholas with a kind of old world 'I know better attitude' and their back stories pretty much wrote themselves. 

10. Would you like to see Bad Blood in theaters or on TV? If so, what actors would you like to see play your characters?

It would lend itself to either a movie or TV (there's too many locations for it to work on the stage) For the actors - For Britannia, it would have to be Emma Watson, I think she would rock the attitude Brit has and she definitely has the right look. For Nicholas, he was a little tougher, but I'd go with Andrew Garfield, more for his earlier performances than his current Spiderman hi-jinx. For Philippe It has to be Tom Hiddleston - he could work both angels of this complex character. Jack would be a Nicholas Hoult, Tate would be Daniel Kaluuya (I just loved him as Tea Leaf in Psychoville - UK program) and Josh would be Liam Hemsworth. Lyle isn't in this book as much, but he features a lot in the next two so I'll pre-cast him as Eddie Redmayne. 

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

10 years goes by quicker than you think! I'd hope to still be writing books I love to write, and with the readers still enjoying them. I'd like to say that, at that point, I could give up my day job and write for a living, but I'm not that naive. Probably only the top 10% of authors get to live that sort of lifestyle, so I would have to be very fortunate indeed to achieve that.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

My day job is advertising sales and marketing, so I'd be doing that. I'd probably be reading twice as much to fill the gap - so living in a semi-functional literary coma!

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I'm working on Bad Timing (2nd in the Battle of the Undead series) and also an adult retelling of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale - I've turned it into a historical urban fantasy. 

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

A few years ago I worked on a project called the 48 hour Book for the UK's World Book Day. It was basically 20 authors writing a book in 2 days. Although we managed it, it was probably the hardest thing I had to write as most authors are very stubborn,  and everyone had a specific vision of where they wanted to go with the story - so I'd politely decline doing anything like that again with any author. But, I'd love to meet Richard Laymon and talk to him about the horror genre.   

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

Okay.
1) I have no sense of direction.
2) I'm a bit of a shopaholic when it comes to clothes and nail polish.
3) I'm always honest in interviews.
*Thank you for the interview Kelly! Happy Halloween everybody!

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