Thursday 24 July 2014

{Blog Tour + Giveaway} How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

22716886Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: July 15th, 2014
Finished Date: June 9th, 2014
Publishers: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: YA Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 302
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

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 cute 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 young man 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 appeal to the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

The review: How to Date Dead Guys is a really good start to a new series featuring Emma Roberts and her Book of Shadows.
As the synopsis states; Quiet, bookish student – Emma Roberts – finally shows an interest in a boy – Mike Carlson – who just happens to be the brother of her roommates latest beau- Eric - who she watched Chrissy & her sister put a love spell on. She finally has the chance to get to know Mike better on his 21st birthday when he gets smashed and decides to go for a wander, Emma follows him on his adventure but it soon takes a turn for the worst when Mike, decides to go for a swim in the river. The river has taken a few lives over the past few months so Emma decides to join Mike in his night swim in an effort to make sure he gets out alive….. but he doesn’t, he dies and Emma is burdened with guilt. After a particularly nasty encounter with Mike’s mother & brother where they clearly blame Emma, she decides to be pro active and armed with Chrissy’s sisters ‘Book of Shadows’, Emma sets about raising Mike from the dead…… only it’s not Mike that returns…at first…. So it’s up to Emma to put things right and solve the mystery of the rivers victims….. unfortunately, there’s also a pesky cop on her case.
I enjoyed this book and thought the idea behind it was really good. Emma was likable character but a bit of a flake in the beginning, she’s had bad experiences with bullies and hasn’t many friends anyway but that gets even worse following Mikes death and she ends up a very pitiful figure. It was quite heartbreaking watching her bear the burden of a guilt that wasn’t hers and how it affected her, it was horrible when the confrontation with Mike’s loved ones makes her feel even worse and forces her to take desperate measures but this is a turning point for her and as she helps the victims, she becomes empowered in a way by each of them showing her something about herself and themselves, teaching her to live too and it’s then we see her blossom and start to become a more confident person & selfless too.
The storyline was really good and I like a good ghost story that involves people helping them gain some sort of resolution. I used to watch Medium a lot and this book is along those lines with Emma being the only person to see the ‘real’ person beneath the veneer and the only person to help them move on and just as I liked Medium, I like this too and it’s not often I read books like this but when I do, I always enjoy them. The main difference here is that Emma has actually resurrected the spirits into a physical form and I have to say that that did add a certain something to the story because she could interact with them physically too although it was a bit awkward for her to explain the different spirits to people who also interacted with them… but fun too. I liked how each victim got their own little segment of the story and how we find out what happened to them, I also like how Emma interacts with them & then we see Emma help to put things right so they could return to the river. I thought the added threat of the police officer on her tail was good, it added an element of danger, a threat to her mission but I also liked how it turned out. I appreciated that as Emma was sorting others lives out, that her life was getting the same kind of treatment, her parents became more aware of her, she gained some friends that could be way better for her and as I mentioned before – she blossomed in confidence & character. There was one death that wasn’t totally sewn up for me and it leaves me wondering if it will become the series thread but I was very satisfied with the ending and would love to know what happens next for Emma. 
I had a lot of beta readers for How to Date Dead Guys. One commented that there was a lot of eating going on in my book.

Perhaps other people don't remember college like I do.
It was all about the food.
Free food, in particular.

A group of female friends would descend upon Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant on a weekly basis for their Free Taco Bar Tuesdays. I'm sure they hated the sight of us Cheapskate Sisters, because we only ever bought ONE margarita each, but ate as many tacos as we could cram into our hungry mouths.

Devious little demons, we were.
Figure 1:  Will Date for Free Food?

I never appreciated Mom's cooking until I endured dorm food for a while. To make money, I took a job working in the same dorm cafeteria (added bonus:  scouring out pots of bean soup really helped me work on my gag reflex). Every time a back room dishwashing shift came up, I'd end up scraping some dead mouse or cockroach off the floor as the other girls screamed. It didn't bother me to dispose of the vermin, but it did put a damper on my appetite for the food served there.

Once I moved out of the dorms, I started grocery shopping. It was fun at first. My cart overflowed with huge bags of animal crackers, boxes of cereal, and cups of yogurt. It was the era of carbo-loading, low-fat or no-fat diet. Nowadays, the medical community is falling all over itself regarding the Atkins diet. The pendulum swings so far back and forth on everything, it's a wonder the doctors and dieticians don't get whiplash.
Figure 2: LOVE this.

If a person really is what they eat, in college I would've been a pretzel.
Or maybe an unbuttered bagel.
Figure 3:  Feel free to giggle.

One college roommate wanted to share orange juice to cut down on costs. But instead of mixing in two cans of water with the OJ concentrate (per the directions), she'd always pour in three. When I complained of the taste, she pretended she had no idea what I was talking about.

Liar. I can tell the difference, you know.

College students are such cheapskates. They haul home weeks of laundry at a time, as if their tired moms don't have better things to do.
Figure 4:  True enough.

And when college students go home for the holidays, they gobble down the free food like they haven't been fed in weeks. Better put a lock on your refrigerator door.
Figure 5:  This is just gross...

From undergrad through vet school, students were lured to meetings with the prize of free pizza, ice cream, or sub sandwiches. I once suffered food poisoning from one of these free sandwiches (so bad that I even called the nurse line to inquire politely how many episodes of vomiting constituted an emergency), but it didn't stop me from lining up for the next free handout.
Figure 6:  Political Activism?

The lure of free food continues on as an adult. Meetings, store openings, political groupseverybody's trying to reach your heart by way of your stomach.

So, in other words, I stand by my decision to let my characters eat. After all, when I think back to college, it was all about the food. Free food, especially.
Figure 7:  Hungry Eyes.

Growing up an only child, I learned to entertain myself. During summer vacations, my greatest form of exercise consisted of turning the pages of a book. Now I’m all grown up, and full of stories half-written in my head. I have to write them down so I can find out what happens next.

HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS is my first novel.

When I'm not living in my own created fantasy world, I'm a small animal veterinarian and a mother. My writing career began via monthly Pet Vet columns for the local Post Bulletin newspaper. Next I published non-fiction articles in RunMinnesota, the DVM360 journal, and The Wagazine. 

The logical next step was a novel. So here it is. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Natalie Cleary said...

This sounds awesome! I love a good witch book :) Great review Mel!

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