Thursday, October 9, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 7 - Mercy Mode + Giveaway

For today's interview I have an author who writes about zombies that aren't really zombies and, under a different name, writes books that are of the much steamier variety.  She's not well known for these not-zombie books, but I think they're really fun and I hope after reading this interview with her you'll at least think about picking up book one!  I introduce to you Em Garner!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  To begin with can you describe the Contaminated series in fewer than 15 words?

Em Garner:  Contaminated protein water turns vast numbers of the population into homicidal monsters.

PLTF:  Your “zombie” epidemic isn’t actually from a virus but from something else, why did you decide to go that way?

EG:  I love zombies. Fast, slow, risen undead, virus, whatever. But when writing my story, I wanted to try and put a different spin on the “zombie” idea. I’d been researching other brain anomalies and conditions for another project and was reading up on prion disease. The idea sprang from there.

PLTF:  What’s the grossest “zombie” you’ve written about in the series so far?

EG:  The Connies in my books don’t die and then come back to life, so they’re not rotting and oozing. But there is one that hobbles around on an ankle stump…

PLTF:  You’ve basically written a zombie book without (to my knowledge) using the word “zombie”.  Why did you decide to go that way and how hard was it for you to come up with a different name for them?

EG:  I’m not the first to write a zombie book but call them something else, so it wasn’t super hard to decide to do that. And because the Connies (short for contaminated) aren’t undead, calling them zombies seemed wrong.

PLTF:  What’s next?

EG:  I’m always working on something, so you just never know!

Lightning round
1.     On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?

Hmm. I’d say a 6, if you’re sensitive to tough situations, but also more than the BOO factor, the books tap into what I think are common fears. Being sick, having to take care of sick parents, being uncertain about what life has in store. Those are scary things, too.

2.     If you were a character in your book would you survive?

I’d probably have become contaminated in the first wave.

3.     Favorite scary movie?

That’s a tough one, I have so many! The Howling, The Grudge, The Changeling, Wrong Turn…the list is long.

4.     Favorite Halloween candy?


5.     What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?

Oh. Hmm. I’m sure I was a zombie. Probably will be a zombie this year, too! A couple years back my sister and I were the twins from The Shining. That was fun!
This or That
   1.     Virus or prions?


2.     Take a “Connie” relative home with you or leave them in the “Kennels”?

Take them home

3.     Before the epidemic; drink ThinPro or pass?

Ha, I’d have drunk it.

4.     Stay in the city or go to the country/less populated area?

     5.   Tricks or Treats

Always candy, always!!

After the Contamination - an epidemic caused by the diet drink ThinPro that turned ordinary citizens into shambling creatures unable to control their violent impulses - the government rounded up the "Connies" to protect the remaining population. But now, two years later, the government's started sending the rehabilitated back home, complete with shock collars that will either stop the Connies from committing violent acts or kill them before they do any further harm.

Since her parents were taken in the roundup, Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her 10-year-old sister and maintain a sense of normalcy, despite brutal government rations and curfews. She goes to the "Kennels" every day searching for her parents, and when she finds her mother, she's eager to bring her home. 

Sacrificing everything - her boyfriend, her home, and her job - Velvet will do anything to protect her mother. Velvet has to get the collar off her mother before the military comes to take her away. Even if it means risking all of their lives.

MERCY MODE (Highlight for synopsis as it contains spoilers for CONTAMINATED

Seventeen-year-old Velvet, her little sister, Opal, their mom, who is recovering from the Contamination, and Velvet's sweet boyfriend, Dillon, are attempting to build a new life amid the rationing and regulations of the post-outbreak nation. But the outbreak isn't over: more people turning into "Connies," more madness erupting, more killings occurring. And what they are being told is not the truth; the truth is far darker and more threatening.
*NOTE Contaminated got a new PB cover to match the HB of Mercy Mode.  This is the original cover.

Find Contaminated on

Find Mercy Mode on

Em Garner writes books.
She began writing at a very young age, always preferring the stories about what goes bump in the night. An avid reader of horror, science-fiction and fantasy, she first turned her hand to short stories about the sorts of things that hide under the bed…and she kept right on going.
Now Em spends most of her time in front of her computer, writing away at all the ideas she has swirling around in her head and hoping she can get them into a story before she forgets them.
She loves zombies, unicorns, and rainbows, the color purple and the smell of roses. She hates the smell of lilies, the feeling of corduroy and biting sandpaper. (Well. Who doesn’t?)
She lives at the beach with her family, where she spends a lot of time reading and sticking her feet in the sand. She is afraid of sharks, but that doesn’t stop her from going in the water.
Find Em on

Em has graciously donated a copy of Contaminated (PB I assume, but I'm not sure) and some swag that will go to one winner, US only (unless Em says otherwise).  The giveaway will go for two weeks, just enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.  And don't forget to give Em a big thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Mary DeBorde
    While I haven't yet read Contaminated, I absolutely love zombie books and cannot wait to read these :D

  2. Contaminated was one of my favorite books! The concept was really unique. I can't wait to read the second book!!

  3. I have not read Contaminated yet, but I will soon! It is moving up my TBR quickly! Thanks for the chance!