Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

Title:  The Harvesting

Series:  The Harvesting Series, Book 1

Author:  Melanie Karsak

Genre:  Horror/Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  Steampunk Press

Page Count:  394

Cover Artist:  Michael Hall Photography

Buy Links:  Amazon   Smashwords

Book Description:    It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

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4 of 5 stars
I admit it…I have a weakness for zombies, but I have never really read a good zombie apocalypse book. So when I saw this one being advertised, I jumped on it, fervently hoping it would live up to my zombie expectations.

Layla is your typical left-the-small-town-and-never-want-to-go-back kind of girl. I mean, really, who could blame her? Rural small town has nothing on the big city life. But when her grandmother called her frantically wanting her to come home, Layla dropped everything and went. What she discovered there was mystery, lost love, death, and…yes…zombies. Layla is so my type of girl – strong, independent, and kick-ass with a sword. She has a sense of responsibility and often acts on that without thinking, which eventually puts her in charge of the apocalypse survivors, albeit reluctantly.

This book jumped right into the action, and was action packed all the way through. The author did a great job integrating the romance into the story, though I would have loved to see more Layla and Jamie! The author was able to build up the story and bring it to life (haha, to life…since they are zombies? Never mind) through her descriptions and world building, and I was definitely not disappointed with the zombies. The ending was different in an interesting sort of way, and I am definitely going to be looking for the next book to see what happens!


 
 
 
Q & A with Melanie Karsak

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Layla.
A:  Layla grew up in the small town of Hamletville raised by her psychic grandmother. When she was young, her mom ran out on her, and she never knew who her dad was. Grandma took her in and raised her. Being raised by the town “witch” always left Layla feeling a bit ostracized. Layla escaped her small-town life and ended up in DC where she was a medieval weapons expert at the Smithsonian and a fencing coach. She received an eerie call from Grandma Petrovich who tells Layla to “come home” days before z-day unfolds. Reluctantly, Layla returns. She buried her past, including her feeling for Ian, her first love, who ditched her. She really doesn’t want to go back. As a pandemic sweeps the globe, turning the living into the undead, Layla soon finds herself thrust into the role of town leader and protector. While fighting the undead, Layla also has to deal Ian—who managed to survive—and new feelings that she develops for Ian’s older brother Jaime. Layla also seems to have inherited the psychic gene and her talent as a medium begins to develop. Layla is a loveable heroine who tries to do right by everyone, even when people don’t believe her. Her sense of responsibility comes from both inside her—she’s just good like that—and from outside forces who suggest to her that it is her job to “help them.”

Q:  Do you have someone in mind who would be perfect to play Layla in a movie?  How about Layla's potential love interests Ian and Jamie?
Layla
A:  I would love to see Olivia Wilde in the role of Layla. She is beautiful and exotic looking, just like Layla. We’d just need to dye her hair black. I can see Chris Pine as Jamie and for Ian, I always envisioned someone like Dominic Monaghan.

Jamie
Ian
                        














Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
A:  Chapter 3, which is the gun scene. Grandma Petrovich acquires quite a number of supplies in advance of z-day, including guns. Grandma astounds Layla when she goes about giving a tutorial on how to shoot a semi-automatic.

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?
A:  My old novels, those creatures living in a drawer somewhere, were all about 150k words. Too long. Since then, I have taught myself how to be more concise. Now I write much tighter, am less descriptive, and am very action-oriented. I don’t want to belabor the color of the sky. Most of my novels are running around 70k words, which feels right for today’s reader.

I think my style still trends a bit literary. I am constantly at odds with myself about what a reader will like verses what I think is good for the book. I included a parallel at the end of “The Harvesting” that some readers did not get, but I think it was an important voice for the goal of the overall series.

Q:  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A:  I was always a writer. Even from an early age I was writing newspapers, plays, and novels. I never really liking to write as a job, it was just something I did for fun. In terms of a profession, I wanted to be an archeologist. I ended up with degrees in psychology and English. Can you tell I am a Gemini?

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?
A:  I can pick a lock like no one’s business! I am not sure why or how I have this talent, but no matter the type of lock, I can bust it in a jiffy. This has come in handy now that I am a mom of little people, but I perfected the task when I used to work with schizophrenics. Must be a past-life thing.

Q:  I am a bit obsessed with zombies, so I have to ask this – Do you watch The Walking Dead? If so, who is your favorite character from the show?
Shane
A:  I do. I have never read the comics, but I like the show, In fact, I did a recap of Season 3 here: http://www.themcluster.net/walking-dead-season-3-the-season-of-stuff-and-things/

Andrea
I might be the only one in the world who liked Andrea, but my favorite was Shane. Before Lori made Shane crazy with her shenanigans, Shane was right. He was right about how to handle the world they lived in. I appreciated a humanist like Dale, but Shane knew that is was wise to be ruthless.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  Right now I have my head in non-fiction. I am doing research for a Steampunk series I am working on, so I am doing my homework to ensure I get all my facts straight. The last novel I read was a literary fiction novel titled “The Ordinary Truth” by my friend Jana Richman. If you like westerns and literary, I suggest checking it out. I reviewed the work on my blog as well.

Thanks so much for the interview. It’s been loads of fun!
 
About the Author: 

Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog, melaniekarsak.blogspot.com, to learn more about upcoming projects.






http://melaniekarsak.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/MelanieKarsak

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieKarsak

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6539577.Melanie_Karsak

 
 








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7 comments:

  1. The book sounds interesting. As far as I'm concerned, the world can always use another good zombie apocalypse novel. I look forward to reading it. Thanks!

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  2. Oh ya. One genre I can't resist. Look forward to reading it, whether I win a copy or not. Fingers crossed anyways! Thanks for the post!

    Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven.

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  3. I can't resist a book with Zombies! This book sounds great.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity 8)
    michelle hofacker

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  4. Not my normal book choice , but sounds interesting

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  5. A zombie (unconcentrated) book is actually what got me back into reading, looking forward to this one, plus that's one Epic shirt!

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  6. Thank you so much for the tour stop and good luck to everyone in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete