by Lia Habel
Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.
About author from Lia habel web site: http://liahabel.com/
Lia Habel was born in Jamestown, NY, and has lived there the majority of her life. The only child of geeky parents (although her father would never describe himself that way, despite his Halo addiction), she was reared on a combination of horror and action movies, classic literature, cult television shows, and video games. A promising start.
She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, NY, receiving her B.A. in English Literature with honors, as well as the University of Leicester, UK, where she earned her M.A. in Museum Studies. Although she received an excellent education at both institutions, Lia was always unlucky when it came to finding work in her chosen field – a fact which compelled her to jump from low-paying job to low-paying job just to make ends meet. She was, at various times during her life, a makeup artist, an envelope-opener, a retail clerk, a grocery scanner, a door guard, and a substitute teacher. When Dearly, Departed sold, she was swimming in student debt, with only a few dollars to her name.
The first draft of Dearly, Departed was written in 2008, during one of her many periods of unemployment. The ideas came to her in a rush, and she wrote the first draft in roughly a month. A mix of silly sci-fi and paranormal themes, equally tongue-in-cheek and deadly serious, Dearly, Departed exists as a testament to Lia Habel’s deep love of horror movie monsters, “ugly” heroes, and sweeping tales of Victorian romance. Lia is especially dedicated to keeping her good-guy zombies true to the zombies she grew up with and so ardently admires – readers will watch their favorite characters rot before their eyes as the series progresses. (The next book in the series, Dearly, Beloved, is already in the works.)
Miss Habel lives with three former alley cats. She enjoys attending anachronistic and steampunk events, watching zombie movies (her goal is to watch every zombie movie ever made), commissioning ball gowns, and collecting Victorian and Edwardian books. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she has recently been given.
1. I wear wigs. I lost quite a bit of my natural hair back in 2009, due to a combination of stress and mysterious medical factors. I’m a very all-or-nothing personality, so when it got to the point where I was going to have to rock a comb-over, I said, “Screw it. I’m going to buy a wig in EVERY COLOR.” And I did. I own scores now, in all shades and styles, but I don the brunette ones for professional gigs. I call it “Lia brown.”
2. Nora, Bram, and most of the (only vaguely outlined) plot for Dearly, Departed were dreamed up on an eight hour bus ride to New York City for a neo-Victorian event. Despite this promising beginning, I did little planning before beginning to write. Most characters were nothing more than a first name and a random hair color before they first hit the page. Their personalities and backgrounds came to me on the fly.
3. I wrote the first draft of Dearly, Departed in a little over a month. During my most prolific week, I was writing upwards of 10,000 words a day. I have no idea where it all came from. (It took me three months to write the first draft of the upcoming sequel, Dearly, Beloved.)
4. Most hilarious edit made to date: My first editor was fine with the zombie who carts around his own useless eye, the headless zombie, the jokes about human boxed lunches, the guy with his throat ripped out, and even the zombie/living kiss – but, “Can Bram not be green? Can you make him really pale instead?” I happily obliged.
5. I’ve watched over 100 zombie movies, read tons of zombie books and comics, run through the Monroeville Mall, cuddled zombie toys, perched on a tombstone in the cemetery where the original Night of the Living Dead was filmed, and even held a real human brain in my hands – but I have never worn zombie makeup.