Giveaway: Love in the Time of the Dead by Tera Shanley
Title: Love in the Time of the Dead
Author: Tera Shanley
Genre: Adult Supernatural/Zombie Romance 17+
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Published By: Omnific Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She’s immune to Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney which could fight the virus that ended the world.
Sean Daniels leads a colony that provides her team with much needed shelter and supplies. He is obviously interested in Laney. The question is whether he’s only intrigued by her as a source for the possible vaccine, or for something more. Tests for the cure might push her body beyond what it can endure, and just as she faces a ghost from her past, her longtime teammate Derek Mitchell hints at an interest in more than just her Dead slaying abilities.
Two honorable and alluring men – one colossal decision to make. Despite historically bad taste in men, can she rise above the chaos of the apocalypse and choose the one who deserves her heart? The right choice could mean the difference between surviving…and living.
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In celebration of Love in the Time of the Dead’s shiny new release, I’m ecstatic to share a bonus scene with you guys. Whether you are Team Sean or Team Mitchell, Laney’s story started at an important time in her life with each of them. And while the story starts right in the middle of her long-term friend-zone relationship with Mitchell, this deleted scene, one from before the virus that ended the world, will give a little background on these two maybe lovebirds.
“Laney!” Emma hailed.
Laney turned with a ready smile for her friend. The spritely redhead wore a pink leotard over white tights and legwarmers, an outfit similar to her own. Sara came bouncing behind her to meet in front of the dance studio.
“We’re headed to the movies. You want to come?” Emma asked.
Laney shuffled her feet and checked her watch. “Wish I could, but I have an Econ class that starts in half an hour. I’m already going to have to book it to make it on time. Rain check?”
“C’mon,” Sara chimed in. “You never skip class. You’re making the rest of us look bad—Oh my gosh.”
Laney followed her line of startled sight to a tall, dark, handsome, and familiar form crossing the street toward them.
“Now there’s a man,” Emma whispered.
What the hell? “I know him. He’s friends with my brother. I thought he was still deployed.”
Mitchell was breathing as if he’d run a long distance and his caramel colored eyes twitched from side to side, seeming to miss nothing. He’d changed in the year since she’d seen him. Dark stubble graced his chiseled jaw and his dark hair was cut short. And for once, he wasn’t smiling. Uh oh.
“What’re you doing here?” she asked.
He grabbed her elbow and turned up the street. “We have to go.”
Laney yanked her arm out of his steely grip. “Go where? What is this about, Mitchell?”
“I can’t explain right now.” He looked around as if he were being hunted. “Please, just come with me.”
“I have class.”
Mirrored looks of confusion graced Emma and Sara’s faces.
“Are you Laney’s friends?” he asked.
Sara nodded with wide eyes like she couldn’t quite take them away from Mitchell’s face. He had that irritating effect on most women with working lady parts.
“Go back to your houses and barricade yourselves inside. Don’t come out, no matter what you hear.”
A sliver of cold fear snaked through Laney’s middle. “Mitchell, if this is some kind of joke, it’s not funny.”
“Laney! Do I look like I’m joking?”
She studied him for three long moments before nodding to Emma and Sara. “Go home. Do as he says. I’ll call you later.”
Mitchell spun and took the sidewalk up the street with long deliberate strides. She jogged to keep up, adjusting the strap of the dance bag draped over her shoulder. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on? I haven’t seen you for a year, and you show up and scare the bricks out of my friends.”
He checked behind him and walked faster. “Do you have any better shoes for running?”
Frowning at her clacking flip flops, she shook her head. “It’s either these or my pointe shoes.”
His phone trilled from inside of his pocket and he flipped it open in one smooth movement as if he’d been expecting the call.
“Yeah, I have her,” he said breathily. “We’re three minutes from the house. Where are you?”
A muffled answer sounded from the cell.
“Okay, see you in a few.”
Laney’s legs burned to keep up. Dance had been a tough work-out and his pace was breakneck. No sooner had he stuffed the phone in his pocket then he pulled a handgun from the back of his jeans and held it carefully downward.
“Aw crap, Mitchell. You can’t just pull one of those out in broad daylight! There are laws.”
He pushed the small of her back to move her along and said, “Not anymore.”
Jarren’s truck sat in front of Mom and Dad’s house which was strange because he usually only came over for Sunday dinner and it was definitely Wednesday. Her heart pounded with fear and adrenaline and she ducked as the pepper of gunfire sounded from some distance away. Mitchell didn’t stop or react to it at all.
Her voice was small and trembling. “What’s happening?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you and I don’t have time to convince you.”
She fumbled for the keys in her oversized bag and a scream, long and hollow, echoed up the street. She couldn’t take her eyes from the woman who was running at a full sprint for them. Her eyes were empty and blood ran in rivers down her legs. The woman’s focus never wavered from them and Mitchell whispered an oath as he pulled in front of Laney and raised his weapon.
Horrified, Laney asked, “What are you doing?”
He pulled the trigger as an answer and the woman dropped ten yards away from them in Mom and Dad’s perfectly manicured front yard.
Keys forgotten, Laney stared at the bleeding woman as Mitchell banged on the front door behind her.
“You killed her,” she whispered.
“No. You can’t kill what’s already dead.”
Jarren pulled her through the door and hugged her so tightly she thought she’d never breathe again. “Laney, I need you to listen to me. Where do you keep the Mini-14 I got you last year?”
She wasn’t capable of taking her eyes from the door Mitchell was locking. “Wh—what?”
“Your gun. Where is your gun, Laney?”
“It’s in Dad’s gun case.”
“Where is the key for it? Laney, look at me. Please tell me you know where the key is.”
“Yeah, Dad keeps it on his keychain. He can give it to you when he gets off work.”
Jarren clenched her shoulders and leveled her with the saddest look. “Does he have a spare?”
“Mitchell just shot a person on the front lawn.”
“They aren’t people anymore. We have to get out of the city, but we have to be prepared.”
“I don’t understand. Mitchell,” she said turning to him, “you told Emma and Sara to barricade themselves inside. So why would we try and escape whatever is happening if you told someone else to hide?”
“Because they don’t have training. They’d be food for those monsters in minutes. Their best chance at living is hiding. We have to take our shot and get to the woods where there are less people.”
“But I don’t have training!” Fear soaked desperation tainted every word.
“Shhhh. We don’t have time for this, we really don’t,” Jarren whispered. “Think, Laney. Where would Dad keep a spare key to the gun cabinet?”
“Uhhh. Maybe with the other extra keys in the drawer beside the fridge.”
“Good,” he said and disappeared into the kitchen.
Three fast knocks wrapped against the heavy front door and Mitchell pulled it open. Aaron Guist, Jarren and Mitchell’s childhood pal, entered the foyer toting two huge duffle bags that sounded of clacking metal when they moved.
“I got everything I could,” he told Mitchell. “Hey,” he said to Laney with a quick nod.
Jarren jogged toward the basement with a set of jingling keys and stopped at the top of the stairs. “You need to go pack up. Necessities only.”
“What about Mom and Dad?”
Jarren shook his head. “Laney, I already tried to get to them. They’re in the thick of it. Hopefully they’re hiding and we can get back to them when this passes. Right now I have to get you out and safe. Okay?”
She nodded stiffly. Maybe she was in shock because everything seemed blurred and slurred and uneven on the edges like a piece of fabric whose thread had begun to unravel. She looked down at her pink leotard and perfectly manicured toes. Whatever this was, whatever was coming for them, she wasn’t ready.
“Guist,” Jarren said. “Help her pack. We need to be in that truck and on the road in five minutes.” He leveled Laney a look. “Five minutes, all right?”
She turned to follow Guist up the stairs to her bedroom but Mitchell tugged her hand. Up on the third stair, she was almost eyelevel with him. His warm, whiskey colored gaze was steady and held her like a life raft. “Everything will be okay.”
And right then, she knew nothing would be okay because Mitchell, charming, chronically happy, care-free Mitchell, looked scared for what was likely the first time in his entire life.
About the Author
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors.
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