Review: The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch

SJ Collins of Raining Ink says:

WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE HUNGRY…or do the smart thing and have snacks at the ready. This is a dangerous book for foodies!

The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch is my kind of fairy tale: fun, heart-wrenching, and sexy all at the same time! If there’s anyone  I know who can pull of a Zombie Romance, I had absolute faith Joely was that author. Joely Sue Burkhart’s books are passionate and rooted in the sacrificial nature of love, which makes for engaging and emotionally stimulated reading. Added with her unique ability to sprinkle light-heated humor, a healthy dallop of tantalizing sex scenes, fascinating characters and world building dynamics, it’s all apart of why she’s my go-to author for romance.

Thank you so much, SJ!

I’m still looking for reviewers.  If you’re willing and able to post a rating or review anywhere online, please drop me an email (joelysueburkhart AT gmail DOT com) and I’ll get you a review copy.

You can still enter the giveaway:  Make Me Write the Book – Part 1.

Zombie Romance Giveaway

Why am I so fascinated with zombie romance?

The first time I explored the idea of “undead” romance was several years ago in now-defunct Drollerie Press’s chat.  We always had such a blast talking about all things horror, and we got to talking about how hilarious it would be if someone wrote a zombie romance.

I mean think about it.  If someone’s dead, how can you possibly work out a HEA?


The challenge of it fascinated me, and then Deena threw down the gauntlet.  She challenged me to write one.  I accepted.   :mrgreen: That story is still available for free (click on the thumbnail to download a pdf, or other formats are available at Smashwords).

So I guess Zombie Category Romance was only inevitable.  I love the idea of warping traditional tropes.  That’s why I take Regency tropes… and twist them into Jane Austen Soap Operas where ladies rule instead of the men.  Now I’m taking billionaire alphaholes and making them zombies.

But it’s not easy.  I mean, to make it romance, there has to be more romantic elements than horror elements.  So there has to be a REASON for the hero to be a zombie, and it can’t be too disgusting.  e.g. no rotting flesh hanging off the bones while he eats braiiiiiiins.

So how could I come up with a zombie hero that’s not disgusting? That’s where the magical elements come into play.  Instead of a zombie apocalypse caused by a virus, the hero is simply cursed.  It’s not a widespread disaster.  There’s no need to hole up in a farmhouse with every gun you can find.

In fact, most of the time Yiorgos looks perfectly fine.  Only a handful of people know what happens when he takes off the signet ring he won from Emile Remy along with his restaurant.  He wears the ring the entire time he’s with Clare, except for one time she tries to use her powers to help him, searching for a clue to the curse.

He even eats normal food, not brains.  Which is a very bad thing for him, because Clare is a kitchen witch and she makes one mean chocolate cake.

So I came up with a few cheesy tag lines that were more jokes than anything.  My favorite that I didn’t use:

Come for the braiiiins.  Stay for the romance.

*laughs*  I promise.  NO BRAINS!

Remember all procceds in 4th quarter 2012 from The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch will go to Rebuilding Joplin.

To celebrate my first zombie category romance release, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to any online book retailer (AMZ, B&N, etc.)  Simply comment on this post by Oct. 10th midnight (CST) and tell me your favorite zombie movie.  This giveaway is open to anyone on the planet, even if you’ve won something from me before.

And stay tuned – I intend to giveaway several more prizes this month as we get closer to Halloween!

Anyone willing to review or rate The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch – email me at joelysueburkhart AT gmail DOT com with your desired format, and I’ll send you a review copy.  Thank you!

Rebuilding Joplin

It’s been well over a year since Joplin was devastated by a massive tornado.  Clean-up crews worked hard for months just to clear streets and remove debris.  Many of the commercial sites (like Wal-Mart and Home Depot) have been rebuilt, but some residential areas are still empty.

Lot after lot stretching out in the distance with just some concrete pads.

Why?  Because many areas of Joplin just weren’t that affluent.  When people lost everything, they simply packed up and left instead of rebuilding.  Many lower-income apartments were completely leveled.  The good news:  many new apartments and duplexes have been built.  The bad news:  most of them are no longer low income housing.

They might look great, but the people who used to live there can’t afford it.

We took a trip last month to take new pictures of the area.  All procceds in 4th quarter 2012 from The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch will go to Rebuilding Joplin.

When we lived in Joplin 1990-1992, we lived in an apartment on this once BUSY street.  I wouldn’t even recognize this area now if I didn’t have the street signs for reference.  The entire apartment complex and exercise facility behind it are gone.

This is where our favorite grocery store used to be.  It’s still just an empty parking lot.

This is where the high school used to be.  It’s an enormous hole in the ground now, and the students are using a large department store at the mall in the meantime.

This is all that’s left of the original high school.

This tree manages to break my heart and yet sing with hope at the same time.  You can tell from the broken branches that the tornado killed it and nearly twisted it completely out of the ground, yet it managed to hold firm.  Now painted in vibrant designs, it stands in a completely empty lot and promises that the heart of Joplin still beats strong and sure, despite the broken branches.

I’ve blogged about Mythos many times, and after I was assured my beloved sister was okay, my next thought was for Mythos and all the people we know there.  It’s almost like God drew His finger along Rangeline and jumped across the street…. to spare Mythos.  The tornado managed to veer just enough, destroying everything (including large Wal-Mart and Home Depot buildings) across the street.  There was some minor damage to the pillars outside, but the restaurant and the people we know there were spared (although the owner was INSIDE Wal-Mart when the tornado hit).

The monsters love Mythos as much as we do.  And yes, in my mind, Remy’s in The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch might look just a little like Mythos.  I hope I captured the same delicious food and warm, welcoming atmosphere of our favorite restaurant!

(Yes, they DO have Death By Chocolate Cake on the menu!)

 

Happy October: Zombies are Here!

The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch is live at Smashwords and should be up at B&N and Amazon shortly (I’ve submitted them, at least).  If you click either on the link or the cover in the sidebar, you can read an excerpt and the first review.

Since this is a self-pub venture, I need reviews even more than usual.  If you’re willing to post a rating/review online, please drop me a note with your desired format and I’ll get you a review copy.

ALL PROCEEDS (I mean all – I’ve paid for the cover and editing out of my other royalties) in 4th quarter, 2012 will go to Rebuild Joplin.  (Remember the tornado?)

Why?  I have a personal connection to Joplin.  Early in our marriage, That Man and I lived there for nearly 3 years while I finished my undergraduate degree at Missouri Southern.  My beloved sister has lived in Joplin for more than ten years and also graduated from Missouri Southern.  I praise God every day that she wasn’t anywhere near the devastation area when the tornado hit, but her place of employment was completely wiped out.  She’s had to drive down familiar streets that look like a bomb went off and leveled the entire area.

Yes it’s been more than a year, but some parts of Joplin still look empty and broken.  Tomorrow, I’ll post some pictures we took just last month.  Along with some pictures of Mythos, our favorite restaurant that inspired Remy’s.

In the meantime, please help spread the word any way you can.  Thank you!

Preparing My Zombie Story

I’ve been working on final updates to The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch, including formatting and a blurb.  I’m on track to release next week!

If you beta-read this book for me, can you drop me a note so I’m sure to include you in the acknowledgements?  Sometimes I lose track book to book and I don’t want to forget anyone who might have read it back in Nov. 2011 when I first finished it.

Does this blurb make you want to read the book? (It’s too long, so I’ll be trimming…)

The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch
A Zombie Category Romance
Because even zombies deserve a happily ever after.

Rich, gorgeous and powerful, renowned world-wide restaurateur Yiorgos Michelopoulos has it all. Except for the Midwestern ma-and-pa diner that somehow keeps winning the coveted fifth star over his own top-notch restaurants. The stubborn owner refuses to sell and beats him year after year. Infuriated, Yiorgos accepts the man’s risky bet, never knowing the secret to Remy’s success. Until it’s too late.

When he slips on the ring he won along with the diner, Yiorgos activates a curse that begins to turn him into a zombie.  Only someone of Remy’s blood can lift the curse, but the man died soon after losing his restaurant.  Luckily, he did have one lone daughter. The plump, frumpy kitchen witch ought to be easy pickings for a playboy like Yiorgos Michelopoulos. But one taste of her Death By Chocolate cake might just be the death of him.

Devastated by the loss of her father, their family signet ring and their restaurant, Claire Remy’s only hope for supporting her mother is to earn a teaching spot at the Wizard Council’s Academy.  Without the family signet ring, she must retain her virginity or lose her power entirely.

Which makes the gorgeous Greek a very, very dangerous man.

Happy Birthday, Tecun

Today, THE BLOODGATE WARRIOR releases from Carina Press!  I’m in St. Paul, MN for a business trip this week, so I won’t be checking to approve comments, RT reviews, etc. until lunch or after work hours.  The link at Carina isn’t live yet, so I’ll come back tonight and update with that link.  (Here it is)

You know my love for mythology and legend.  While The Bloodgate Guardian was loosely based on the Twin mythlogy of Popol Vuh, Tecun came to me from Guatemalan history.  He faced Pedro de Alvarado–and impossible odds.  He stood, even though he knew he would fall, as so many other people had fallen to the Spanish conquistadors.

That’s why he’s the Guatemalan national hero.

Who better to stand against evil once more when the Bloodgate opens?

I’ll come back later with the official buy link at Carina, but here’s Amazon and B&N.  Like my fan page for another excerpt from Chapter Two.

Thank you to everyone who reads, tweets, or spreads the news for me about Tecun’s release today!

Vicki Around the Blogosphere

More chances to win a free copy plus read some guest posts if you’re so inclined:

Romance Reviews Today  “A Few Easy Dieting Tips”

Delighted Reader “Mothers and Daughters”

The Good, The Bad, and the Unread “How Publishing is Like BDSM”

New Review:

The Good, The Bad, and the Unread:

“I don’t know about all of you, but when it comes to erotic romance, I read a lot of so-so books before I find a few gems that are truly worth the reading time. Sort of like kissing a lot of frogs before you find that prince. What I’ve found is the majority of erotic reads aren’t balanced between the hot and steamy sex and an intriguing and emotional story. So when I come across that author who hits all of those – and more – elements out of the park, she’s going to be one I’m on the lookout for in the future. Joely Sue Burkhart is the first in quite a long time to be in that very sparsely populated category for me.”

Vicki Around the Blogosphere

There are several places you can win a free copy of Yours to Take.  Don’t forget to enter the $100 gift certificate giveaway!

Books-n-Kisses

Delighted Reader

Reviews:

Cocktails and Books, 4 Cocktails

Pearl’s World of Romance, a perfect 10 out of 10!

“YOURS TO TAKE is the kind of book that took my heart, broke it and then put it back together, leaving it whole and satisfied. If you love erotic romance that’s both scorching and emotionally brilliant and you haven’t read Joely Sue Burkhart’s Connaghers series yet, you are seriously missing out!”

Yours to Take Giveaway

In honor of Vicki’s book, YOURS TO TAKE, I’m offering a $100 gift certificate to any online book retailer of the winner’s choice.  You can tell me to split it up among stores too, so if you’d like $50 at Samhain and $50 at Amazon, or $100 at B&N — whatever you want!

To enter, comment on this post ONLY before midnight CST, May 21st.  I’ll be using “Pick Giveaway Winner” to randomly select the winner from this post.  Anyone on the planet can enter, even if you’ve won something from me before.  Multiple comments are encouraged!

Ways to enter:

  • Just throw your name in the hat with a generic comment.
  • If you’ve read any of the Connagher books, I’m considering writing Mama Connagher and Ty’s book.  How do you think they met?  Anything outlandishly funny or crazy you think of about them?  The wilder the better!  Let’s have fun with this!  If I use any of your ideas, I’ll include you in the dedication and acknowledgements.
  • Rate or review any Connagher book anywhere online and post a comment containing the link to your review (one link per comment if you want to maximize your chances to win).  Pre-existing reviews are fine – but you have to go get the link and comment here.  Good or bad reviews, I don’t care.

If Hurt Me So Good breaks 20 Amazon reviews, I’ll also add another $50 gift certificate!

If Yours to Take breaks 20 Amazon reviews, I’ll add another $50 gift certificate as well!

Thank you for helping me celebrate Vicki’s release!

Vicki Around the Blogosphere

For a chance to win a free copy of Yours to Take, stop by:

  • The Book Lover’s Inc where they interviewed me.  Learn about one of my phobias!
  • The Book Pushers for some “Writing BDSM” 101s.

More reviews:

The Book Pushers

“I don’t know that Burkhart has changed my mind about most FemDom books I’ve read, but by the end of the story, I enjoyed the dynamic between the three of them. One of the things I really like about Burkhart’s writing is that when it comes to the BDSM, she is very honest and realistic and true. I enjoyed watching Vicki struggle with wanting to be a Domme, but also knowing that Jesse had been hurt in the past and not wanting to hurt him again.”

The Book Lovers Inc:

“Yessss Elias!! Seriously the best part of the book. I loved him to pieces. Big Alpha guy who makes Vicki submit to him. I loved that he wanted her to fight him for dominance. The scenes between them were just the best. Best smex too! Oh my so hot!”

The Book Reading Gals

“Wow. Every review I read before reading  Yours To Take myself was right! Joely Sue Burkhart skillfully weaves together the lives of these three very different individuals in a passionate, erotic, genuine way that has you rooting for Jesse, Vicki and Elias to find their own ‘fairytale together.’”

Leontine’s Book Realm:

“Yours To Take…is a story of enigmatic characters who make the love soar and their sexy moments go from sensual blooming to full-blown passion. The Connaghers are a family to enclose in your heart!”