Monday, June 20, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Worth Dying For by Kory M. Shrum

UFI welcomes Author Kory M. Shrum. Thanks for Joining us!!

As a writer I can always count on being asked one of these three questions:
1) Where do you get your ideas?
2) Do you hope your books will be made into movies?
3) What is your dream cast? Or another variation: Who would you like to play ?

Today is the day to answer question #3!  I know several authors who wouldn’t answer this question for fear of jinxing themselves, but this one time I’m not feeling particularly superstitious. And I know I would be thrilled to have whoever was cast, in the event the book was made into a major motion picture.
But superstition and rationalization aside, After much deliberation, I think I know who would be best for each of Worth Dying For‘s major roles and I have reasons for each cast member. So let’s begin!
Jesse- Emma Stone
Emma is adorable. Snarky. And if we dye/cut her hair to the style that she wore for Zombieland, then at least visually, she’d be a dead ringer for Jesse. I also think she’d have excellent comedic timing for Jesse’s zingers, but still be able to deliver on the emotional vulnerability when necessary.
Ally-Amber Heard
Despite her current drama with Johnny Depp, I think Heard would make a great Ally (visually). She would be able to match Jesse’s snark when necessary, but also be able to devolve into overprotective coddling when it came to Jesse.

Rachel- Demi Lovato
Okay, I know she isn’t technically an actress, but she did an excellent job in her music video Confident and it’s that curvaceous attitude and her Latina heritage, that make her a good match for the role of Rachel.
The angel Gabriel-Ian Somerhalder
Big baby blues and dark features. A morally ambiguous and sexually charged presence—who better to play the part of Gabriel than cutie-pie, Ian? There’s not much else to say other than I can’t wait to get him dressed up in a third piece suit and parade him around.

Maisie-Chloe Mortez
Adorable. Smart. Tough on the outside with a big gooey heart on the inside. Chloe is the one! She would do a great job portraying the difficult position between her love for her mother and accepting the fact that her mother is an evil murder that must be stopped. It would be an emotionally charged line to walk, but we’ve seen many examples from Mortez’s filmography to suggest she would do the character justice.

Gloria-Viola Davis
I would murder someone if it meant Viola Davis would play the part of Gloria. Gloria is deeply troubled yet her inner core is as solid as Mt. Everest. She knows her mission and never wavers from her target. She isn’t very openly affectionate, but her love and devotion to the crew is apparent in the risks she takes for their safety. I think Viola Davis has the sophisticated skills necessary to depict this level of depth.

Caldwell-Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise would make a great Timothy Caldwell! Ruthless leader of the Church with a desire to be the sole bearer of absolute power. Part insane, part dark schemer. I think Cruise could depict this mental instability perfectly.

Nikki-Rachel Evan Wood
Anyone who has seen Rachel play the queen in True Blood knows she could pull off the cool headed soldier, who matches Jesse snark for snark. And I think she’d look great in body armor

Gideon- Blerim Destani?
Gideon is from Afghanistan. Idolizing smugglers as a child, he grew up to be a tech savvy, well-connected free agent, currently helping Jesse and crew out of a sense of loyalty to the man who secured his future, James T. Brinkley. The only problem is that I couldn’t find any afghani actors in my search and broadening it to the vague “middle eastern” didn’t turn up much better. I like the look of Blerim, but I haven’t seen any of his movies. Can he be smart, a little pompous, a rich kid who doesn’t like to get his hands dirty, but loyal to the core? Wit? Charm? It remains to be seen—and if you have any actor suggestions I’m all ears.

Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner Kim and her ferocious guard pug Josephine. She is very fond of naps and foods made of sugar, which is, as you can imagine, a deadly combination. But she tries to compensate for her extreme physical laziness with her overactive imagination. She's an active member of SFWA, HWA, and the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, where she's known as Conquest. She's the author of five contemporary (and somewhat dark) fantasy novels in the Dying for a Living series: Dying for a Living, Dying by the Hour, Dying for Her: A Companion Novel, Dying Light, and Worth Dying For.

Dying for a Living has over 190 5-star reviews and is a free ebook.

When not writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi. She's very likely to tempt you to an ominous tarot or palm reading--anything spooky-foo to pass the time until Guardians of the Galaxy or Sherlock return. She's not-so-secretly dying for the next season to begin.

Find Kori and her books

Worth Dying For
Dying for a Living #5
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A supernatural suspense novel about a snarky anti-heroine and her motley crew trying to stop the unstoppable. The fifth novel in the popular Dying for a Living series, Worth Dying For picks up two months after the events of Dying Light.

The gang is in New York and much to Jesse’s surprise, they are all still alive. Jesse, Ally, Rachel, Gideon and Maisie have managed to stay off of Caldwell’s radar for months. But when your enemy can control minds and teleport, there isn’t a safe place in the world where you can hide. They have a plan for stopping his genocidal reign, but it will require a 2500-mile road trip to Cochise, Arizona, the abandoned military base where it all began.
Shrum's writing is smart, imaginative, and insanely addictive! I have begun to think of her books as my Kory Krack. I beg of you to pick them up. You will NOT regret it! ~ Darynda Jones, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson series

This book and author are now among my favorites! Wow! I might be a little partial to this story because I love morbid comedy, urban fantasy, and a good mystery. I'm also a big fan of original ideas, since they're so rare anymore. But this one has it all! ~ Angela Roquet, author of the Lana Harvey Reapers Inc. series 

Shrum is a master at blending a breezy narrative with genuine weight to story and characters. Hysterical, moving, and fascinating all at once. ~ John K. Addis, author of The Eaton


“So what’ll it be?” I ask her. “Water? Juice? I don’t think we actually have Gatorade, but I can walk down to the store.”
“Water’s fine.” Ally falls back against cushions and grins up at me. A light pink blush spreads over her cheeks. She finger-combs her hair. “My hair is so pretty. I love my hair.”
I snort. “I love your hair too.”
“What else about me is cute?” she asks.
“Everything.” I fluff the pillow for her and search the room for a blanket. I yank a red velvety throw off the back of a chair as Gideon slips out of the bedroom and passes me on his way to the mini fridge. He grabs one of the wrapped water glasses from the bar above.
“Grab us one too.” I have zero problems assigning tasks to other people. Sometimes I wonder if it was a mistake going into death-replacing. Sure, I was a great death replacement agent, and dying for other people is cool, but I’m really good at bossing people around.
It’s like a calling.
Gideon fills two water glasses with some fancy bottled water from the fridge and hands me a glass. I don’t dare remind him that Ally vowed not to drink this water yesterday. She ranted about the effect of plastic on the environment for ten whole minutes. I could’ve reminded her that the planet is about to explode anyway, but that meant Gideon would’ve won the argument and I’m Team Ally all the way.
I put the glass of water in her hand. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. “Here you go. Drink up.”
She waves her water around. “I just feel so good, you know?”
I smile. “I can tell.”
She runs a hand through her hair. “It’s a new year. A new beginning. And we have a great plan for kicking Caldwell’s butt.”
“We do.”
“And you’re so cute and you kissed me.”
With arched eyebrows, Gideon closes the bedroom door behind him. Thankfully, the sound of the television comes on, affording us some privacy.
I sink down onto the sofa beside her. “I’ll do it again if you want me too. I’ll kiss you a million times.”
She bites her lip and I’m about to lose it. I lean forward to kiss her but she starts talking again, so I hang there mid-smooch, lips puckered.
“Life is so good right now. No one is stabbing us, burying us alive, beating us up, or kidnapping the dog,” she goes on, her voice echoing inside her water glass. Her face pinches. “That means we are probably about to die.”
I press my lips together and sigh. “Don’t say that. You’ll jinx us.”
It’s difficult getting her to sit up, but I manage it. I want her to drink this water. I tilt the glass toward her lips, encouraging her.
“This is good,” she says and frowns at the water. “Is this tap water?”
“Because I’m not drinking that $15 water Gideon bought.”
“It’s tap,” I say again. “You’re just too drunk to taste it.”
Ally shrugs and finishes the glass. Then she hands me her empty glass.
“You want more?”
“No,” she grins. “I want something else.”
“We’ve got chips, but that’s about it. And Rachel can’t close a bag to save her life, so they’re probably stale.”
She shakes her head, grinning.
Then I realize what she’s saying.
“Oh.” I smile. “Okay.”
She crawls over the pillow between us and pulls herself into my lap. She straddles me, wrapping her arms around my neck. She kisses me once on the cheek, probably a missed target rather than a sweet gesture, and then manages to get my mouth the second time.
She pulls back. “God, is it you or is it really hot in here?”
“We’re still wearing our coats.”
She laughs and looks down at herself. “Oh. Right.”
I reach up behind her and pull her jacket off. “Better?”
She snuggles up to me. “You’re still hot.”
“Thanks for noticing.”
“Let me help you take your coat off.”
“Okay.” I let her attempt to pull off the jacket, but it’s not really going anywhere and she accidentally pulls my hair twice. So I help her get my jacket off and throw it over the arm of the sofa. One of the throw pillows falls to the floor with a poof.
Ally doesn’t stop there. She slips her hands under my shirt, giving me a curious look. “Is this okay?”
I try to find the voice to tell her it’s more than okay. She would have been naked an hour ago in the grubby bathroom of some bar if she wasn’t such a germaphobe.
She is so beautiful. Her eyes are bright, reflecting the lamplight. Her face is flushed from the alcohol, her smile lazy. Her eyes half-closed. My heart pounds in my chest, thudding against my ribs so hard it hurts.
“What’s wrong?” A frown creases her face and I think she can hear my heart throbbing. “Don’t you think I’m pretty?”
“Don’t be stupid.”
I reach up and pull her down into my arms. I kiss her, even more deeply than I did on the balcony. I slip my hand under her shirt and unsnap her bra with one twist of my fingers.
She gasps in my mouth and the sound of it makes my whole body shudder.
“Lay down,” I command.
She laughs, surprised, but her voice goes all deep and breathy. “Yes, sir.”
I climb on top of her, positioning myself between her legs. I kiss her neck and she squirms, bucking her hips up against mine.
“Do you love me?” she asks.
“More than anyone.”
“Are you sure?”
I cover her mouth with mine. “Please stop talking.” I pull back. “Unless you want me to stop.”
“No, no.” She grabs the front of my hoodie, twisting it up in her fists and pulls me down on top of her.

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