Welcome to the Dead Over Heels Book Tour, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!~
Title: Dead Over Heels
Author: Alison Kemper
Publication Date: September 29, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning…
Glenview, North Carolina. Also known―at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg―as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic…hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town.
At first, Ava’s certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone―or something―rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don’t even like each other fighting for their lives. But that’s the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you’ll meet your undead end. Or when you’ll fall dead over heels for a boy…
I practically collapse to the forest floor and pull my knees to my chest, searching for warmth. Cole starts piling leaves on top of me. It takes only seconds to realize the leaves are dry and block the wind.
“I’m sorry,” I chatter through rattling teeth. “I shouldn’t have rushed up the bank like that.”
“Just concentrate on staying under these leaves.” Cole is all business. “Take off your clothes so I can wring out the water.”
I can’t even summon the energy to tease Cole about getting me naked.
He hurries to collect armloads of leaves, piling them high around me. I don’t complain about the dirt and grit, or that I’ll have pieces of leaf stuck to me for the next three days. And even more surprisingly, I don’t worry about what sorts of bugs might be lurking in the leaves. Right now, the only thing that matters is getting warm.
Struggling out of my pants and tee, I shiver, half naked in my bra and underwear, and try desperately to breathe around the enormous lump forming in my throat.
I can’t believe I fell in the water. I’m such an idiot. What did Cole say? A talent for screwing things up.
Sudden tears spill down my cheeks, warm against my chilled skin. All the fear and frustration of the last twenty-four hours threatens to boil over. “I’m a c-complete liability,” I sputter, wiping the tears before sees them. “You should have left me at my house. You should leave me now. I’m only slowing you down.”
“I ain’t leaving you, so shut up.” Cole has successfully buried me in leaves to my neck.
I shove my bundle of muddy clothes through the pile. “You’ll get to Glenview faster on your own. Send some of those soldiers back for me.”
For a full ten seconds, I think he’s going to agree. Take me up on my offer and dash into the woods, never to be seen again. There’s nothing to keep him here—he doesn’t know me, doesn’t owe me anything.
Cole opens his mouth, clamps it shut again, and gives his head a quick, terse shake. I understand without words. He’d like nothing more than to be rid of me, but he’s not that type of person. He’ll see this through. It’s got nothing to do with me, and everything to do with his personal code of honor or some crap like that.
An explosion of shudders racks my body. “I w-wish we had a fire,” I stammer, fighting back more tears.
“If only we had some matches.” It’s the same line I used yesterday, but there’s no sarcasm today. Only panic.
His alarm cuts through my pity party. Should I be worried? Is hypothermia a real possibility?
He wrings out my yoga pants, twisting them into a giant cord, then moves to drape them over a branch.
“No, just give them back,” I sputter through my chattering teeth. “I’ll wear the wet clothes while we walk. We can’t linger. We’ll lose our lead.”
He thrusts a hand through his dark hair. “I know, I know. But I reckon it’s twenty-five degrees out here. Less with the wind chill. You can’t walk around in wet clothes.”
“I have to.”
I wriggle into my pants, trying to stay covered as I move. I slide socks and shoes on my iced feet. Still no feeling in my toes. Fear bubbles up again. Can I walk on frozen feet? Am I going to lose my toes?
Pull yourself together, Ava.
I wipe tears away with a gritty hand, hoping Cole will think river water is dripping from my hair to my face.
Cole tosses my jacket on the leaf pile and starts wringing out my tee.
To our left, behind the pines, a branch snaps with loud clarity. My head swivels toward it.
“Probably a squirrel,” Cole says, but his voice stays low.
“It sounded heavier. Maybe a deer?” I try to ignore the spike in my heart rate.
“Squirrels make more noise than deer. Deer are quiet.” He keeps his eyes fixed on the pines.
Another branch snaps, closer this time. And in the opposite direction—between us and the river.
I gesture frantically for my shirt. If something’s going down, I don’t want to face it undressed. “Hurry.”
“Shhh.” Cole turns to the woods behind me.
At that instant, noise everywhere. Breaking branches. Voices. Footsteps.
I burst from the leaf pile, scrambling for my shoes, my jacket—no longer caring if I have to run half naked all the way to Glenview.
That’s when we hear it. “Rawr.”
Another voice joins in. Closer. Upriver. “Rawwr.”
A chorus, echoing all around us. “Rawrrrrr.”
My eyes scan the pines, searching. My ears are filled with groans. There’s nowhere to run.
“No, no, no,” I moan, moving close to Cole.
Pine trees rustle and shift. The infected appear in every direction—ringing us in, surrounding us completely.
About the Author:
Alison Kemper grew up in South Florida, the only girl on a street with eleven boys. She spent most of her childhood paddling a canoe through neighborhood canals and looking for adventure. She usually found it. Sometimes the police were involved. And large dogs. And one time, a very territorial snake. Now that she’s grown up, she lives in North Carolina and writes books. The books often include girls having adventures. With boys. Cute boys. And cute dogs too. But no cute snakes. Never cute snakes.
Her debut novel, Donna of the Dead, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2014 and followed by two companion books in the series. She loves to meet new people and talk books, so send her a friend request or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.
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