Thursday, May 14, 2015

Amaranthine by Nina R Schluntz w Giveaway!

Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose
Nina R Schluntz

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance

Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Date of Publication: 19 December 2014

ISBN-10: 1937758532
ISBN-13: 978-1937758530

Number of pages: 230 pages
Word Count: 80,580

Cover Artist: Nina Schluntz

Book Description:

Dragons, unicorns, fairies, zombies… and Santa.

At the center of it all stands Dee, a man immortalized in legend as Decompose. An ongoing war between unicorns and dragons has led to the creation of a plague… a deadly infection Dee is the host for. Not quite human, but not a unicorn either, Dee and the plague form a symbiotic relationship, resulting in immortality of the undead kind.

Every ruling Empire has desired control of Decompose. Controlling the infection means control of the people. An intervention of an old rival, Santa, results in Dee going missing. When he resurfaces decades later, Dee has one goal: locate the mythical cure to his plague.

However, complications of the heart force Dee to decide whether he truly wants to find the cure and give up being Decompose.

Available at Amazon

My Review

I'm not quite sure where to start, other than to say this is one of the most unique books I've ever read. This is a good thing of course. I love everything supernatural, but when you mix zombies, dragons, magic, unicorns, and a few crazy humans, with Santa on the side, I am dumbfounded at just how cool this author made this book. It's also not the happy and frilly book, it's deep, complex, gritty, and touches on some harder subjects, but it's beautifully done. I'm so impressed. Yeah, I really am. And let me see if I can try my hardest to explain things without ruining somethings. 

Dee, aka Decompose, well he's a supernatural creature, but he's also the start and cause of the zombie infestation across the universe. Yep, Earth started it, but Earth is a mess now, so everyone has moved to other life forms of planets. A curse was placed on Dee, and so where he goes, zombies take over. It's pretty bad. And think about this, he's immortal, so he's lived with this horror his whole existence. And now, he's made a cure, but he just can't seem to catch a break as he's trapped and enslaved by a damn spoiled child, so lots of years pass where all Dee wants is to cure the worlds of zombies. Dee breaks my heart. Really, he has had a horrible time, for a long time. The things he has to endure, it's just unspeakable. But yet, he still looks for good, and wants to fix all the things broken. So when he finally gets manipulated by one, but freed from the other, he is willing to be used, because it means he can start searching for his cure again. And this is how we meet Jimmy, Santa, Jhon, and Harmony. As well as Emperor Emanuel and Dee's own crazy mother. 

The plot had me so engrossed that hours passed before I came up for breath. I was holding it for a long time. My heart just kept breaking. And then I'd finally get to cheer, only to have it broken again. Zombies are just so well done, and the myth they are based on was so fresh. And it's almost dystopian, because all of this happens after all the destruction of the zombie infestations. And the magical parts were so interesting. And the unicorns, well let's just say that maybe I'll rethink them being cute and cuddly. LOL And then we realize how Jhon and Harmony come into play with the cure. And boy does it get real complicated real quick. I do wish Harmony would have maybe been a little bit older, so Dee wouldn't have been so broken over something even more pitiful. And no matter the age thing, I loved them and cheered for them every second I could. :) Jimmy, well, he's a douche. I was coming around at the end for him, but most of the book, I think I would have killed him horribly. Santa cracked me the hell up, though he was kinda an ass at the beginning. Seriously, wait til you get to see Santa. The emperor and his fairies were so interesting. I'm still a little on the fence for him. I seriously want to still hate Dee's mother, but dammit, I think I almost forgive her. *sigh* 

The writing is well done, though there were some extras I thought could have been left out. It didn't really add much to the story other than words, but that's just me. I like everything fast paced all the time. I'm still so impressed with this one, so with that said, 5 AMAZING PAWS!!! 

Author Interview

First, tell me a little about your book :)…. 
My books span into several genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and romance. It's hard to pin an exact genre down. No matter what, the books always have a dark feel to them. Multiple categories apply only because I include things like dragons, magic, aliens, zombies, and yes, I know as I list all that, that the stories sound crazy. But they work... I swear. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I’ve always had an active imagination. Once I started outgrowing my toys, writing stories about them was a natural step and a way for me to keeping playing with them. 

What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
If we go way back, my first book would have been about a squirrel. I submitted it in a young author’s competition as a child. I wrote a few about our housecats as well. I was always holding myself back though. I wanted to write dark stuff but I was worried people would judge me for it. 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 
Everything is fictional. I tried putting myself into a character once. But then I had to kill them. Or worse, have them do something horrible. And of course, if it’s a character that you like to see yourself in, you don’t want to do that. I learned my lesson and have since distanced myself from all characters. I can’t let my attachment to any of them dictate the plot. 
Same applies if I name a character after someone. Suddenly I’m worried that the person it’s named after will judge me harshly if that character does something foul. There just aren’t that many “good” characters in my books. 

How do you chose when/which characters die in your books? 
Usually. Sometimes things will get a little out of hand. I’m mean, there are zombies all over the place. If a character does something stupid and dies, I usually pause to consider it, and if there’s nothing vital that that particular person needs to do later, then I let it stand. I am getting better at giving my characters closure when a main character dies though. 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have joined a writer’s forum/group and I try out some of their stuff. Usually they will have one piece that I’ll really like. But for some reason, I’ll only like that one book.  I’m not sure why new writers seem to be one-hit-wonders, but they are. At least to me. I won’t name names, but you can look at my blog and figure it out easily enough. I write reviews for most books I read.

Who do you look up to as a writer?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? 
Once a book is published I don’t even let my mind consider such things. It’s the final edit/revision. I would go mad otherwise. Now my current drafts… those puppies are on revision twenty-something. (wink)

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My books are relatively dark. I worry sometimes that people will judge me for it and think I secretly want to be a mass murderer. But then I read some of the other works out there and think, whew, my books aren’t nearly as dark as I thought! So my biggest challenge is not worrying about what people will think or trying to please any one person.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 
(I speed through books pretty quickly, so this changes almost daily. So I modified your question)
A wide variety. I recently finished  “Wuthering Heights” and “Animal Farm.” The same week I read a male erotica “Curious” and a vampire book “Deamhan.” If something is really popular, I’ll usually give a read, just to learn why it appealed to so many.

Who designed the cover? And do you help with them? 
I’ve hired artists in the past, even had my cousin do one of the book covers. My last book, Amaranthine, I actually did myself. I solicited a lot of feedback from people as I made it. 

If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose? 
Whoa, no. I would not want to live the worlds I have created. It’s a scary place. And those who are powerful enough to survive have a lot of demons haunting them. I like the real world, thank you.

Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
“Animal Farm” was good. It’s rare to find a book that effectively uses the second person to narrate a book.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
I write my stories to provide an escapism for my readers. I want people who are going through a rough time to be able to pick up my book and be so swept up in the world I've created that they are able to forget about their problems for a while. 

About the Author:

Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.

Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves in the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their kitty, a rescued Abyssinian, is always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration.

Visit her blog; for information regarding previous and upcoming publications. She also posts book and movie reviews for a wide variety of genres.

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