Kelly Smith Reviews
The Phantom Paragrapher
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Zombie Girl Shambling
Happy Tails and Tales
Jack Norris just lost his best friend—who also happened to be his band’s drummer—to a drunk driving accident. As he navigates the uncertainty of the band’s future, as well as his own personal demons, his life spirals out of control. To make matters worse, his dead friend is back, and it’s wreaking havoc on Jack’s sanity. When a new acquaintance not only hooks him up with a drummer, but promises to help get rid of his ghostly stalker, Jack’s life does a one eighty.
Drew MacLellan, the new drummer, is helping to bring the band back from the dead. He’s also got an insanely hot older sister who is definitely not Jack’s biggest fan. Jen MacLellan is nothing like the women Jack’s dated in the past, but the more he gets to know her, the deeper he falls. The only problem is, she’s got a boyfriend. Caught between his growing attraction and the desire to do the right thing, Jack does everything he can to keep things as just friends. The longer it goes on, the more he realizes it isn’t possible. Can Jack win the heart of the woman he’s fallen for? And can he figure out how to help his dead friend rest in peace...permanently?
My eyelids strain against gravity. Last night’s binge hangs in the back of my throat, threatening to reappear. Maybe. All I know is the inside of my mouth tastes like a used tissue and my head throbs, right between the eyes. I don’t even remember how I got home.
“Hey, Jack, get up.” The door swings open and my brother Ashton pokes his head in. A beam of light cuts through the darkness and stabs me square in the face. Am I still drunk? Groan. I shouldn’t have had those last three beers. Or that shot of whiskey to top it off. Right now, any sudden movement would be a bad idea.
“Dude?” Ashton widens his eyes at me and jerks his head to the side, a move that’s one part impatience, but mostly asshole.
I fold my arms behind my head to show him I’m not in a rush to do anything. This will piss him off even more, I’m sure of it. It’ll also give me time to scrape the fuzz from my brain. “What.”
“Uh, funeral?” He looks at his watch. “It’s nine-thirty and we need to be there in forty-five minutes.”
As if I could forget something like that. My buddy Eben got tanked a few nights ago and lost control of his car. It flipped over, skidded across the median, and smashed into the concrete barriers on the other side. They say he died instantly.
His eyes look like they’re ready to roll back into his skull. “And you need to get your lazy ass out of bed. Now.”
Right. Get out of bed. It doesn’t seem possible that I’m burying one of my closest friends today. A wave of dizziness washes over me as I try to sit. My eyes snap shut. That’s it, I’m never drinking again. “Chill the fuck out. I’m getting up.”
“Yeah, well, get a move on.” He stands in the doorway with his arms folded across his chest and watches me. Could he be any more annoying?
“If I leave the room, you’re just gonna sit there instead of coming out to the kitchen. Where the rest of the band is already waiting, by the way.” He cocks his head to the side. “They’re pretty much always waiting on you, aren’t they?”
“Go fuck yourself,” I mumble while I untangle my legs from the blanket. I’m holding my breath now. It’s funny how smells like stale air and dirty laundry seem magnified when you feel like you’re gonna puke.
Ashton shakes his head. “Grow up.”
I shoot him a dirty look, but don’t answer.
“Do I at least have time to shower, or are you gonna stand there with the stopwatch if I do that too?” I grab a towel from the floor and brush past him, slamming the bathroom door behind me.
“Hurry up, Jack.” His voice is thankfully muffled by the door.
The shower turns cold after the first couple minutes. I stay under the water anyway, tilt my head back and focus on the mosaic of peeling paint and mold spots above me. Man, I never realized what a luxury hot water was until I moved in with my brother. I’m shivering to the point my teeth chatter together by the time I get out, but I couldn’t possibly be more awake.
Nessie is a Massachusetts native and mother of two who has dabbled in everything from abstract painting to freelance sports reporting. She also loves a good story, whether it's reading or writing one. The first two novels in her Living Dead World series--Living Dead Girl and Reaper Madness--were published in 2014