THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US Tour
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US by Britney S. Lewis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About the Book
Title: THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US
Author: Britney S. Lewis
Pub. Date: August 9, 2022
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org
Death was everywhere. They all stared at me, bumping into one another and slowly coming forward.
Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can’t seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn’t want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she’s been seeing zombies everywhere.
Then Bo moves into her apartment building—tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can’t help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother’s death.
As Zharie sifts through what’s real and what’s magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you—for good or for dead.
In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis’s debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.
“Britney Lewis has really nailed it with this one. I loved this striking, suspenseful, and deeply heartbreaking debut about a Black girl named Zharie on a quest to discover the truth about her mother and the darker parts of life and family! Spooky good.”―Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here and Things We Couldn’t Say
“Deeply healing and impossible to put down, The Undead Truth Of Us, is an affecting portrait of grief’s many shades, and an affirming reminder to live.”―J. Elle, New York Times best-selling author of Wings of Ebony
“The perfect blend of emotion, sweet romance, and creepy imagery, The Undead Truth of Us is a journey you won’t soon forget.”―Lauren Blackwood, New York Times best-selling author of Within These Wicked Walls
“THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US is a revelation of a story, both macabre and magical, full of heartache, hope, and the infinite mysteries of love. I adore this book.”―Rebecca Podos, author of Lambda Award-winning novel Like Water
“The Undead Truth of Us is unlike any book I’ve ever read before. In this eerie and otherworldly story, Britney Lewis layers explorations of grief and love on the page like bright colors of paint on a canvas.”―Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters and One True Loves
“A devastatingly poignant tale of grief, healing, and the monsters we make of ourselves and of others. In American popular culture zombies have been used to represent our greatest fears and what do we fear more than losing the people we love? In Zharie, Lewis has created a perfectly imperfect character―someone who is learning to navigate grief and love and friendship all at once. Her moments of vulnerability feel familiar as do her moments of healing and joy. This story is an emotional and gripping take on the classic zombie archetype. A must read for lovers of genre bending horror.”―Kalynn Bayron, best-selling author of Cinderella is Dead
“A lament, but with fireworks.”―Nafiza Azad, author of The Wild Ones
“A wonderful book full of lyrical prose, but also grief―and the painful, sometimes beautiful, steps we take to get through it.”―Jessica Lewis, author of Bad Witch Burning
“Britney S. Lewis explores love and death in a debut that is tender, poetic, and wholly original.”
―Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost
FIVE DAYS. FIVE . That was how long it took for Mama to turn into a zombie.
Day one she was stoic. She refused to move from the couch, even after I turned off the TV in the evening. I still remembered how frigid her face looked in the dimness of the flickering candle before I blew it out. The spaces above her cheeks were sunken in, eyes bulged away from her face. A wiggle under there, only slightly, but it did. I saw it move. I saw it twist.
And her brown skin looked frail and thin—any wrong move, and I was afraid it would tear away in small slits, revealing the tissue beneath.
“Mama . . .” I whispered, creeping closer to her in the darkness. One foot after the other, the floorboards creaking with each step. I wanted to know if she was okay, if she was even awake, but she didn’t say anything. Looked at her again, waited. She released a deep breath, the air cracking on its way out. Sounded like something was in there, inching its way up her trachea.
I left it alone. Kissed her clammy head, pulled a blanket over her, and tucked her in, hoping she’d be fine in the morning. And she would be fine. She always was.
Day two was strange. It began with her golden-brown eyes. They glazed into a cynical gray like cataracts, and the brightness that used to be in them dissipated like smoke in the wind. When she spoke, her sentences were short and sloth-like—every word a complete struggle—almost as if someone had stuffed cotton beneath her tongue.
On day three, her veins oozed a thick green sludge under her skin. They pulsed and vibrated, not quite right. And her shoulders slouched inward, like they were weighed down by a thousand invisible moons, causing her inner tide to disrupt entirely.
As she inched closer and closer to the invisible abyss, her dark cloud of sadness stripped away the caramelized flesh from her face, leaving her disfigured.
By the fourth day, every breath came with a creaking croak. It was like watching a sped-up time lapse of a fire burning out. Everything I loved about her was gone.
We didn’t dance.
We didn’t sing.
She wasn’t the bleeding sunrise anymore—she was the deep, deep, dark ocean.
And on November 4, before daybreak, her last breath rolled up her throat and turned her into the undead thing that I feared. It was the worst day of my life.
I found her on the floor in the kitchen, and my throat swelled. Her body lay in the fetal position, her right hand below her heart, crumpled like an old rose.
But I didn’t get it. Zombies weren’t supposed to die so easily, yet Mama did.
When the EMTs came, I tried to tell them, but the words wouldn’t come out. They couldn’t see that she wasn’t only dead—she was undead.
I—I, uh, my thoughts stammered, all I could do was stare blankly. How could they not see it? How was I the only one?
And she . . .she needed more time. We needed more time. I didn’t understand. What was wrong? How did she die? Was she really dead? But they rushed her out, and I couldn’t move from that spot in the kitchen where I’d found her.
Couldn’t force the air out of my lungs. Couldn’t take any more steps forward.
I tried to hold myself, but a sharp pain in my navel forced me to my knees. I curled into a ball on the laminate floor, and the smell of the brewing coffee nestled in my nostrils, reminding me of how she was just here, alive.
She was alive.
Closed my eyes, warm cheek against the cold tile now. And she was gone. I knew she was because of the permanent goosies on my arms. When Mama died, I think her soul shattered into a Postimpressionist painting filled with yellows and blues. We were the zigzagged, black lines in that painting, the birds. And I swore I flew with her soul that day, the wind still fresh between my fingers, but I couldn’t reach her. Didn’t matter how fast I flew, she flew farther, and the sapphire horizon created a million miles between us. It swallowed her. They later told me that her heart exploded in her chest. Exploded. I didn’t know how that could be humanly possible, but when they told me, I saw those colors again.
She was yellow. I was blue.
She was dead and undead, and now the earth was flooded with zombies, drowning me with the constant reminder of Mama. Why? I didn’t know why.
I didn’t know why.
But I terribly, terribly, terribly wanted to.
Britney S. Lewis was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas where she fell in love with storytelling and the idea that magic moved and breathed in our world. After getting her Bachelor’s of Arts and Science, she worked in the world of marketing and communications for a few years before accepting a position as an editor for greeting cards where her job is to make sure to get the best words on paper. When she isn’t daydreaming about new stories, Britney can be found binge-watching TV shows with her husband and pup or practicing West Coast Swing in one of her local dance studios. The Undead Truth of Us is her debut novel. For more information, you can follow her on social media @britneyslewis or visit her website at https://www.britneyslewis.com
1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US, US Only.
Ends September 6th, midnight EST.
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