Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Undead: Playing for Keeps Blitz

Book & Author Details:

The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: September 3rd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.
While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.
Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.



The Undead: Playing for Keeps Excerpt - Chapter 2 : Eric

“Of all the places,” I mutter. Cornfields and pastures fill the passenger side window 

in a tortuous repeat. Mile after mile of nothingness. And inactivity. And boredom. 

“I’m in a small hellhole located in the middle of can’t-find-it-on-a-fucking-map. This 

is just perfect.”

 I pull over and my headlights frame the tall green sign that proclaims the city limits 

for Martin. A thatch of dead grass surrounds the base of the pole.

 “Bet that resembles the residents of this fine town,” I shout. No one’s ever around 

to hear me or respond.

 I roll down the window and the scent of grass and dirt rolls in. There’s no exhaust, 

no cigarette smoke. The purity of the air confuses my lungs.

 Just hours ago, I was in the beautiful and busy paradise of Miami, Florida, where 

anger, envy, and sin pollute every taken breath and every exposed mind. It’s one of 

my favorite places. There’s enough activity there to keep someone busy every hour 

of the day, which is why I want to return. Idle time has painful effects.

 Only one car passes while I’m parked on the shoulder, contemplating my purgatory 

that now goes by the name of Martin.

 The passenger handle clicks and the door opens. Deon lowers his head and peers 

in. “Heard you were coming.” He smiles and the dashboard lights give his teeth a red 

glow. “Welcome to Martin.”

 I shrug. “Yeah. I’m here.”

 “So why you?” he asks, his smile not fading.

 “Beats the hell out of me.” Exhaust mixes with the night air and enters through the 

open car door. I take a deep breath.

 “No, seriously, this is my territory. Why you?”

 I survey my new terrain. Moonlight reveals more nothingness. “I’m not fighting you 

for it. I was sent. I didn’t have a choice.”

 “No one really has a choice.” He slips his frail frame into the passenger seat and 

closes the door.

 “What are you doing?”

 “Going for a ride.” He taps the dash twice. “I’ll show you around.”

 Understanding the territory will help. I pull back onto the road and my headlights 

only compete with the moon’s glow until we get closer to civilization. If you can call 

this actual civilization.

 “You’re here as a punishment, aren’t you?”

 “Judging by the look of this place, I’d say yeah.”

 Deon laughs and adjusts the navy ball cap he wears low on his head. “Everyone 

knows about you.”

 “Really?” I want to take back the word, or rather, my tone. It sounded as if I was 


 “You’re too messy and over-the-top. You attract attention. And you’re 


 I huff. “You finished?

Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.
She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, writes stories that challenge the laws of nature, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Elsie is a member of several writing organizations: RWA, SCBWI, and WSW. The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel.

Author links

Interview with Elsie Elmore, author of The Undead: Playing for Keeps

What led you to write YA paranormal and corpses becoming reanimated?

Explaining my warped creative process is challenging because the stories I tend to 

create all begin with “What if?” That simple question can take me down a rabbit 

hole of possibilities and I never worry about whether an idea is plausible. In my 

mind, the boundary for reality is permeable.

The Undead started as a “what if” after a personal experience. The story then 

began to unfold in my mind, but it never ventured near The Walking Dead, which 

is a series I was addicted to once. I wanted the return to be less problematic and 

gory than the zombies in the apocalyptic stories.

Are the characters in The Undead based on real people?

Every character I create comes from bits and pieces of people that I’ve 

encountered, but no one person translates into a full character in one of my stories. 

At least not yet.

Does Eric play the guitar because you play the guitar?

No, Eric plays the guitar because he’s a gifted musician and because I think the 

guitar is one of the coolest instruments a guy can play. I took piano lessons for 

several years as a child, but I would not impress anyone with the skills that have 

remained after all those years.

Is The Undead a series?

I wrote The Undead as a stand alone, although the door was left slightly ajar at 

the end. While Lyla, Eric and Ben’s tale could go on, it will be up to the reader to 

determine what happens next.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I like so many different types of fiction. I have specific favorite books and favorite 

authors that span romance, action, drama, suspense, and memoir (and for adult, 

NA, and YA audiences).

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