Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean
Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.
Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as the second zombie uprising threatens them all.
About the Author
Michelle grew up in California and has lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and insatiable love of books.
She is the author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, (Career Press, Jan. 2011), To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous, Jan. 2013), a historical romance trilogy Blood Blade Sisters (Entangled Scandalous 2012), and a zombie fairy tale retelling Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After, Oct. 2013). In addition to novels and non-fiction work, Michelle writes picture books and a bit of poetry. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two young children, an insanely hyper dog and two very spoiled cats.
Read an Excerpt
Wish Upon a Star
By Michelle McLean, Erin Molta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Michelle McLean
All rights reserved.
I knew it was him the second I heard his voice. Even through the chaotic din of the crowd at Pleasure Island, his voice carried and hit me right in the heart, stopping me cold. I didn't need to turn around to confirm it, though remaining still was one of the hardest things I'd ever done in my life. He was here. Finally. Walking back into my life. Never thought it would happen, though I'd wished for it often enough.
Maybe one of these days I'd get it through my thick skull that wishes hardly ever came true. Even when they did, they usually didn't turn out the way you wanted.
Then again, here he was.
What I didn't know was why he was here or how I felt about him turning up now.
Or why I was still staring at the floor even though he'd been standing in front of me for the last several seconds.
His voice still had the power to turn me into a quivering pile of goo. I hated him for it.
I looked up, forced myself to stare right into those grass-green eyes. "Jason."
And ... cue awkward silence.
He opened his mouth a few times, like he wanted to say something, but instead he just stared. And every word of every speech I'd rehearsed in my head for when, or if, I ever saw him again evacuated my brain.
The memory of him walking out of my door four years ago broke the spell. I cleared my throat.
"What are you doing here?"
"You look good."
My heart flipped and I took a slow breath, trying to calm the traitorous organ that overreacted to a few nice words. They meant nothing. Him walking out on me three days before our wedding meant everything. He wasn't welcome here, no matter how many cartwheels my heart did. No matter in how many weak moments I'd wished for it. I had to keep reminding myself that.
"That doesn't really answer my question," I said.
"Mommy! Look what Grandma bought me!"
My daughter, Skye, ran up through the crowds of tourists milling around the megamall-type center and thrust a twirling pinwheel at me. I forced a smile, stealing a quick glance at Jason.
He was staring down at Skye and I could almost see him doing the mental math, calculating how old she was ... his eyes widening as he came to the conclusion that there was a possibility she was his.
I'd lost track of how many times I'd wished she was.
"Jason, this is my daughter, Skye. We are here to visit her father."
Jason's eyes met mine, narrowing slightly, and I tamped down the jolt of guilt that hit me. I had nothing to feel guilty over. He had left me. My actions after that fact were none of his business.
He smiled down at Skye. "I'm very pleased to meet you. My name is Jason."
"Hi," Skye said shyly, wrapping her little arm around my leg.
My mother came to stand beside us and, with my attention no longer riveted on Jason, I noticed that his father was standing behind him.
I smiled at Max with genuine pleasure. I'd always loved the old man. He'd been the father I'd never had.
Max hugged me hard enough to crack my back. "How have you been?"
"I'm doing fine," I assured him. "You?"
Max's face fell and for the first time I noticed the lines of grief etched around his eyes. "We've ... had a bit of a hard time." He glanced up at his son. "I think we'd better let the two of you talk in private for a minute."
Before I could protest that I had no intention of talking to Jason in private, Max turned to my mother and held out his arm. "Ms. McKinley, shall we take your delightful granddaughter for a ride on the carousel?"
"Yay, yay, yay!" Skye shouted, jumping up and down with excitement.
My mother winked at me and then she took Max's arm and together they led Skye off to the carousel. Leaving me alone with Jason.
Jason ran his fingers through his floppy 1990's Hugh Grant haircut. "You don't need to look so nervous, Ceri. I just want to talk to you for a second."
"What do you want?"
"Can we sit for a minute?" He nodded at a circle of benches off in a corner and I reluctantly followed him.
I sat, putting as much space between us as possible. If Jason noticed, he chose to ignore it. He pulled a folded newspaper article out of his pocket and handed it to me. "Have you seen this yet?"
I spread the paper out and a lump of dread lodged in my throat. The blaring headline was like a knife twisting in my gut.
NOTORIOUS CRIMINAL PETER CRICKETT GUNNED DOWN IN ROBBERY GONE BAD
The pain wasn't for Peter. To be honest, I didn't feel that bad for Peter. He'd kind of had it coming. But his death hurt Jason and their father. And them, I loved. No matter what lies I told myself or what had happened between Jason and me, I didn't wish this kind of pain on him.
"I'm so sorry. Really."
He nodded his thanks. "Read it."
I turned back to the article.
Peter Crickett, a former employee at Saxton Technologies and beneficiary of their cutting-edge cybernetic prosthetics, was killed in a shoot-out Saturday night when police officers responded to a call from a research scientist at the company's lab. Crickett allegedly broke into the lab of his father, Max Crickett, who called the police when he discovered the burglary in progress. Whether or not Mr. Crickett was aware of who the thief was when he made the call is not clear. Mr. Crickett and his attorney have declined to comment.
Mr. Russell Saxton, the lead scientist and owner of Saxton Technologies, released a statement saying: "We at Saxton Technologies are deeply saddened by the events of this past weekend. The technology his father helped develop took Peter from a bedbound amputee and gave him a new lease on life. We had high hopes for him, but unfortunately, he chose to misuse his second chance. It is a true tragedy.
I stopped reading and rubbed my eyes. The only reason Russell thought Peter's death was a tragedy was because of how much time and money he had invested in him. Russell didn't care about Peter as a person. He didn't care about anyone — except for himself. It was one of the reasons I'd divorced him. Well, that and his mad-scientist-criminal-mastermind tendencies and total moral and ethical ineptitude. Though on the divorce papers I'd just summed it up as irreconcilable differences and had left it at that.
Sweet heaven, Jason must be in hell. He had loved his brother more than anything — including, me. They were barely a year apart, had grown up as close as brothers could be. They'd been inseparable. Mostly. Except for that one night. When Jason decided to bail on the night of debauchery Peter had planned for Jason's bachelor's party and had hung out with me instead.
Peter and his friends had teased Jason for being so whipped that he would rather be with the old ball-and-chain instead of ogling every stripper in Vegas and they had gone out anyway. By the end of the night, Peter had ended up in the hospital without the use of most of his limbs, and several internal organs had been damaged beyond repair.
And Jason and I ... well, we were broken, too.
At least for Peter, there had been hope. Despite federal regulations forbidding the testing of cyborg prosthetics on human subjects, Max and Russell had convinced Peter to volunteer; not that it had taken much convincing. And voila ... Peter had become the world's only living cyborg, more machine than man, but still ... a living, breathing, functioning member of society.
And now ... he was gone. It must have been a lucky hit. Most of his cyborg parts were bullet proof and his reflexes were off the charts. What a waste of a life.
"I'm very sorry for your loss, Jason. I really am. But I'm not sure I understand why you came all the way down here to show me this."
Jason looked down at the paper, his face creased in pain. "I didn't know you'd be here. I came to talk to your husband."
"Ex-husband," I said quickly, not sure why I felt the need to make that clear.
Jason looked up, his eyes wide. And hopeful. "You're divorced?"
"For how long."
I squirmed. My short marriage was not something I was proud of, and not something I made a habit of talking about. "A few years. It didn't last long."
He seemed unable to form a coherent thought, his forehead creasing in a frown. "Why didn't you tell me?"
I sighed. "You broke off our engagement three days before our wedding. And then I went and married someone else. I figured we were done talking to one another. And then I had Skye and she became my life."
"Ceri," Jason said, his voice a deep whisper that used to drive me insane. That still did. My name on his lips did things to me that ought to be illegal.
I tore my gaze from his and shifted farther away until the arm of the bench pressed into my thigh. The sooner he said his piece, the sooner I could get him back out of my life. Because wishes or no, seeing him hurt too damned much.
"Why are you here?" I asked, beginning to feel claustrophobic in the packed building.
I hated coming here, and had only come today because Russell had insisted on talking about his visitation arrangements. For the first several years of Skye's life, he'd barely acknowledged her existence, coming to see her once every few months. Now it seemed he wanted to up the frequency of his visits. The request had made the ball of anxiety in my gut grow to near painful proportions.
The press of the crowd stifled me. It was early yet. The sun had barely gone down. But this was Las Vegas, and Pleasure Island, Russell's main base, was one of the hottest locations on the Strip. It was always packed. Pleasure Island wasn't just a strip club, as the name might suggest, though there was a very classy one (as strip clubs went) in the basement level of the building, along with the casino. It had a little something for everyone, including a giant moat that made Pleasure Island a true island, kids' games, and a five star restaurant.
Jason's gaze roved over me, seeking, questioning. I turned my face away and after a moment, he answered. "Dad and I were hoping to talk to Russell. Now that you're here ... maybe you can help."
"You're kidding, right?" I stood but he grasped my arm. I stared at his offending appendage until he removed it.
"Look, I know it's a lot to ask, but you might be able help. My father's out of his mind. This thing with my brother is just ... "
I sighed and sat back down. Yeah. I got it.
"I'm sorry about Peter, for your father's sake. But ... "
"I know," he said, his face drawn. "I know it's for the best but ... " He sighed, raking his hand through his hair, over and over. "He was my brother."
I clenched my hands against the urge to brush his hair from his face. He had the most beautiful hair I'd ever seen. Deep, dark red. Like a drop of ruby blood.
I stood again, my hands fisted at my sides.
"I feel horrible about your family's troubles, I really do. But I don't know what you expect me to do about it."
"You don't understand. My father knew it was Peter when he called the cops. He knew and called them anyway."
I sucked in a breath. Didn't see that one coming. "He purposely turned him in?"
"Peter was ransacking Dad's lab, looking for some research Dad had been working on."
"Peter didn't just get cyborg limbs and organs from Saxton Tech. Dad had been working on some sort of microchip that was supposed to help repair function to damaged brains. It was still experimental, but Russell implanted it in Peter's brain."
"He did what?"
"It was supposed to help his body function. His brain wasn't sending the correct signals to the rest of his body. The chip was supposed to regulate everything."
"But Dad thinks Russell modified it to do more than that. Peter's personality changed drastically after his surgery. He became a totally different person above and beyond the artificial limbs and everything else. At first we thought it was just post-traumatic stress or something. All that damage ... that would change a person. But still ... I mean Peter might have pulled a few crazy stunts in his life, and yeah, he broke a few laws, but he wasn't cruel. He wasn't someone who would do Russell's bidding without question or hesitation. Didn't you notice how different he was?"
I shook my head. "Peter had just started working for Russell when we divorced and I never had anything to do with Russell's business. I only saw Peter a few times after the accident and we never spoke. And once our divorce was final, I rarely saw Russell. Only when he came to see Skye."
Jason's face fell but I continued on, "So your dad thinks that the chip Russell implanted made Peter do whatever Russell wanted?"
"Did you ever ask Peter about it? I mean ... "
I didn't know much about what Peter did for Russell, but as Russell's lead henchman, he most likely did all of Russell's dirty work. And that meant the last three years of his life had probably revolved around crime. It felt rude to point that out though. Luckily, Jason knew what I meant.
"I tried. But I don't know if he could tell if it was happening or not. And honestly, it was hard to tell if he'd just gotten good at his job or if he was truly being manipulated. At first we just assumed ... but it was different. He wasn't just following orders. It was like he wasn't there at all."
Jason shrugged and frowned. "Anyway, when a report came in involving Dad's lab, they assumed it was false. I mean, no matter how Peter had changed, why would he ... "
"Why would he threaten his own father?"
Jason's jaw clenched, his face hardening, though his eyes were creased in pained confusion. He nodded.
I sank back down. "I don't understand how I can help."
Jason straightened with a determined look that shook me more than anything I'd heard so far. I knew that look. Whatever he was about to say was going to be bad.
"Russell has Peter's body."
"We want to bury him, have a proper funeral. But Russell won't give him back. Insists that Peter belongs to him. That since Peter was more machine than man, and since Russell owned the machine bits ... We tried to get in to see him, but he wouldn't talk to us. His lawyer sent a letter threatening action if we persisted in trying to contact Russell. He apparently has some document that Peter signed giving Russell ownership of his body in the event of his death."
"Oh, sweet heaven," I whispered, dread leaching through me. I was very much afraid I knew where this was going.
"We came to try and see him one last time. His secretary said he was out of town, but we know he's here. He's seeing you. Maybe we could go in with you."
Yep. That's what I thought. I swallowed and took a deep breath. "Jason ... "
"If it wasn't for Dad I wouldn't ask at all. But you're our last chance."
"If Russell's legally entitled to Peter's body ... "
"We just want you to talk to him."
"Jason, I'm his ex-wife. Emphasis on the ex. I came here to fight with him over visitation rights, not to ask favors of him."
"Well, since you're fighting with him anyway ..." Jason gave me a lopsided grin that made long-dormant parts of my body perk up and say hello there.
I gritted my teeth to keep from snapping at him. I was Russell's ex for a reason. I had as little to do with the man as possible and had no desire to put myself in his debt by asking him for favors. Ever. The only reason I'd come today was to keep things civil and out of the courts. As much as I hated Russell, I knew I'd never be able to keep him from seeing Skye. Playing nice was my best option. I really didn't see how I could help Jason.
"Even if I can, what then? Are you just going to take Peter's body and walk out the front door?"
"If we have to."
"Jason," I said, already shaking my head.
"Look, we just want to talk to him. If he wants the cyborg parts back, he can have them. We just want Peter. Surely even Russell can understand that."
I repressed a sigh, my shoulders slumping. Sure, he might understand it. That didn't mean he'd go for it. Russell was an ass of the first degree. And he was the worst sort of criminal because he played by the rules. Oh, he twisted them until they were almost unrecognizable. But he always stopped just short of breaking the law.
And I was sure in his mind he was within his rights to keep Peter's body. He'd even covered his butt legally. After all, he did own just about everything that had made Peter tick.
But ... if all they wanted was his body, maybe Russell would agree. After all, what possible use could Russell have for a dead body?
I stood and took a deep breath. "Look, Russell never listened to me when we were married. Divorcing him certainly hasn't improved my influence over him. But I'll try."
Jason stepped toward me with his arms out but I stepped back. "Give me a few minutes. I need to see if my mom can keep Skye for a little longer."
"Don't thank me yet."CHAPTER 2
My mother agreed to take Skye home, so I gave them a quick kiss goodbye and then escorted Jason and Max through the ground floor to a huge bank of elevators. I went to the one marked private and pulled a key card out of my bag. The card slid through with a cheery beep that left a green light glowing on the lock. We were in. Joy.
I pressed a button on the unmarked panel and swiped the key card again. The doors closed and the elevator descended.
"Where are we going?" Jason asked.
"Down. The first basement level is the club and casino. Russell's private office is belowground on the second basement level. He's usually there this time of day, unless he's changed his habits."
Excerpted from Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean, Erin Molta. Copyright © 2013 Michelle McLean. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ceri is going to a meeting with her ex husband over custody f their daughter Skye. The last person she thinks to run into is Jason her ex fiance who left her days before their wedding. She has never quite got over him. Now he needs her help to get his brother's body back from her ex husband Russell. Russell has other plans for all of them. Plans that involve Zombies and seeing that they never escape. Now Ceri and Jason have to work together to save their families. Both also realize their love has never died. Let me just say for a short story this one sure does pack a lot of action. Something is always going on to keep you turning the pages. Ceri will do anything to keep her daughter and mom safe. She will also do anything to help an old love/friend out. She knows her ex husband is a bad guy she just doesn't know how bad he is. I really liked how she is willing to fight and not just wait for someone to save her. Jason is a sweet guy who shouldn't have walked away years ago. He now wants to help his family and to try and get Ceri back. Faced with horror he has to make some hard decisions. Russell the ex deserves the award for biggest jerk and an evil villain award. He is truly a crazy person. He will go t any lengths to get what he wants. I love how the author adds the zombies in. Always a nice touch for a zombie fan like me. If you want a great story with action, zombies, an evil man and more I am not going to spoil anything pick this one up.
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** (This is a short story/novella. This review is not based on story length but story content as length has very little to do with how much I enjoy a book.) An interesting, twisted tale about zombies, their creation, their uprising, and a couple's desperation to survive it to save what remains of their family. This isn't a story about the first zombie apocalypse; it's about the second. And told in first person, I was given front row seats to watch this disaster unfold. The attraction between Ceri (the story teller) and Jason (her ex-fiance) is beautifully woven into this short story without detracting from the main event: survive the zombies so they can find Ceri's daughter and mother, then make it back to a safe room before the military wipes out the building to stop the infected from leaving. And while I was on the edge of the seat with every page I turned, while I cheered as they got closer to Ceri's family, while I sighed when Jason and Ceri reconciled their past, I wept inside for the loss of Jason's brother (already infected) and his father (infected during the chaos). This story didn't miss a thing. Ms. McLean's writing is thorough. No question goes unanswered, no problem goes unresolved. She creates a world that's amazing to be a part of, tells about a horror I would dread experiencing, and writes a happy-ending that only a near-disaster could produce. Well done, Ms. McLean!
This was a somewhat normal scenario that quickly spiraled out of control.... Oh who am I kidding - this was not a normal scenario. Ex-wife, Ceri, going to see ex-husband, Russell, about his visitation with their daughter Skye. Runs into ex-fiance, Jason, and his father, Max, who also wants to see her ex-husband - to try to get the body of his brother Peter back. Peter was hurt on the night of Jason's bachelor party - only Jason had opted to spend the evening with Ceri. He feels that Peter's accident would not have happened if he hadn't stayed with Ceri. Russell had used some experimental procedures on Peter and had saved his life but made him a cyborg in the process. His cyborg half-life had been snuffed out during an attempted robbery in which he was shot and killed. Or so everyone thought. As Ceri, Jason and Max soon learn, Russell has reanimated Peter and turned him into a zombie - one with a chip in his head to do Russell's bidding. The situation goes from bad to worse. Peter infects the secretary, who starts a zombie outbreak. Russell is killed by none other than Peter, and Ceri and Jason find themselves locked into Russell's safe room. At least from there they can get out the word about the outbreak and get them some help. That help turns out to be the military planning to bomb the establishment in two hours. This would be okay except that Ceri has seen her mother and daughter huddled under a desk in Russell's office on the top floor. The true story starts here as Jason and Ceri set off to rescue them through a zombie infested building. This one had a lot of suspense and was an interesting take on the outbreak of zombies. Enjoyed reading it and turns out according to my spreadsheet, it is the 100th book I have read this year!
This is the first book that I have read by Michelle McLean. I do not read anything that sounds like it may lean toward horror, but since this is also a romance story I wanted to see what it was about. I’m so glad I read this. It’s a really good action packed story that kept me reading until the end because I could not wait to find out what would happen next. Ceri McKinley is in the process of visiting the offices of her ex-husband to discuss a legal matter when Jason, her ex-fiancée shows up asking for her help. She has never stopped loving Jason and would love to have him in her life again, but she has no idea what she can do to help him. Once she hears his request she finally agrees to help him even though she feels like her involvement will not make a difference in Russell decision. Jason Crickett’s brother was killed in a robbery gone bad, so Jason only wants to purchase Peter’s body from Russell, the man who now owns him after keeping him alive years ago by the use of mechanical body parts. After all, he’s dead, so there is no reason that the man needs him now, and if he wants the body parts he put in Peter he can have them. But Jason’s plans are not going as easy as he thought. When Ceri gets him into Russell’s office neither one of them expected to see what was in front of their eyes. Zombies start taken over the building they are in, and now Jason and Ceri are fighting for their lives. Jason also plans to prove to Ceri that he regrets leaving her because he has never stopped loving her, and he will spend the rest of their lives proving it to her. That’s if they even make it out of the building alive! I received an e-ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
OMG this book was great from start to finish. Great plot, great character's amazing ending. Everyone has what we would call out "crazy" ex but man does this one take the cake! You have a megalomaniac with a HUGE God complex, the ex wife who just wants to take care of her daughter and be left alone and the man who gave her up long ago and has never stopped wanting her back. You just have to read it :)
Ceri is trying to work out custody of her daughter with her evil ex husband. While she is going to see him she runs into her ex fiance, Jason, and his father. They convince her to help them try and get back his brothers body who had been involved in scientific experimentation. After confronting her ex husband they learn he is basically creating zombies. It all goes to chaos from there. There is a Zombi uprising where Jason and Ceri struggle to save her daughter and her mother. Great read, and definitely keeps you interested.
The action scenes in this novella read like a crazy rollercoaster ride. Human cyborgs, zombies, bitter exes with armed lackeys--this story has them all, complete with the threat of total destruction via military bombing--and the clock is ticking! To say it keeps you on the edge of your seat is an understatement. I like couples-with-a-history stories, and given the space limitations in a novella, couples with a prior relationship often feature prominently in them. Bring on the angst and drama! This story definitely delivers on it, though a bit too much of it is revealed through Ceri's internal dialogue, which definitely leans toward the melodramatic. Between it and the long stretches of bordering-on-soliloquy internal and external dialogue, readers are left with a bit of a "feast or famine" feeling. Over-the-top action! Long internal monologue. More action! Scene where Ceri reveals every single detail of her past eight years to Jason in a few short pages. More balance was definitely needed. For all that was going on here--or maybe because of it--parts of the resolution feel rushed. Larger-than-life antagonists are quickly dispatched. (I kept waiting for one of them in particular to show up later on, surviving against all odds much like the Twinkies in the Chevy Silverado Superbowl commercial. It didn't happen.) Seemingly insurmountable relationship hurdles suddenly smooth out. Ceri and Jason go from haven't-spoken-in-years to HEA in less than twenty-four hours; even during a possible zombie apocalypse, it's a bit much. In a nutshell: an entertaining read, but too uneven to be altogether satisfying. C. I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My first zombie read and I am hooked! I loved this novella! It may be short but by the time I was finished I felt as if I had read a full book. There was so much action packed into this story that there was no way I could set it down, even for a minute. The characters were great together and an ex gets what's coming to him. What's not to like? Will definitely be looking for more books from Michelle! A must read!!!! I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.
Why is everyone so surprised that Zombies live in Vegas? Well Vegas is the place for second chance at romance so it was a great back drop for a book setting. The title really didn't match what the book was about or what the readers would expect out of it. This was an entertaining read, action paced for such a short book.
Interesting story, star crossed lovers...a shot at a second chance and forgiveness. Satisfying ending.
Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean A zombie outbreak in Vegas. Fun. Aka contagious and spreading. :) Ceri Saxton is on Paradise Island to deal with her monster of an ex-husband on custody issues over their daughter. And wow, what a mad monster he is. He has a crazy scheme to create and control zombies! Jason Crickett walked away from Ceri right before their wedding, feeling guilty about an accident his brother Peter was in. Now he needs to ask Ceri for help from her ex-husband. Ceri and Jason are fighting for their lives against a zombie outbreak. This 100 page story is fast moving, and wacky. It includes the typical gun shooting, flame throwing, zombie flesh seeking and obstacles to be overcome. With a little romance thrown in to wrap it all together. I enjoyed the running, shooting and zombie destroying. It moved quickly if a little predictable.I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
This was a good quick read. I read it straight through in less than 2 hours. The title was misleading because what I got wasn't what I expected based on the title. All in all it was a good book.
In Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean, Ceri was not looking forward to meeting with her controlling ex-husband about their custody agreement. But when she walked into his office, she certainly wasn't expecting a chain of events that would set into motion the potential for a second zombie apocalypse. 'It was like some twisted game of Spin-the-Bottle, only instead of a kiss the winner got their face eaten off.' Ceri's ex-fiance Jason and his father spot her there before everything goes awry, and plead with her to help them find a family member so they can put things to rest. Unfortunately, her ex-husband has other plans. Before they have time to process what's happening, they are fighting for their lives and in a mad dash to make it to safety. 'Maybe one of these days I'd get it through my thick skull that wishes hardly ever came true. Even when they did, they usually didn't turn out the way you wanted.' Wish Upon a Star is an action-packed zombie romance (yep, you heard me right) that is full of danger, sarcasm and regrets. Released just in time for the Halloween season, this is the perfect addition to your TBR list. It is definitely not for the weak-of-stomach as there are some gruesome details...I mean, it is about zombies! But there is also a wonderful thread of longing and love between Ceri and Jason woven into the plot. I really enjoyed Michelle's writing style. The descriptions of the situations and characters were spot on and made it every bit as interesting to me as an actual zombie movie would be. There was even a touch of humor mixed in to balance everything out. Even though it is a short novel, there is still a lot of depth to Ceri and Jason's history and feelings. My only gripe is that I wish it was a longer story! I'd love to get more of the backstory that brought them to where they are now and to see what the future holds for them. I'd definitely recommend this for horror lovers who want to try something with a different twist to it, or even for romance lovers who want to try out a new genre. I look forward to more thrilling stories by Michelle McLean.
Ceri McKinley needs to settle some issues with her ex-husband, Russell Saxton. She comes to Las Vegas with her daughter, Skye, and her mother, but Pleasure Island doesn't live up to its name. First she sees her former fiancée, Jason Crickett. He called off their wedding just three days before the ceremony. He needs her help get his brother's body back from Russell. This is just the beginning. Her day is going to get much worse. Russell is doing some dangerous experiments. Now because of him there is a major zombie attack as well as a deadly cyborg roaming Pleasure Island. Ceri and Jason are in so much danger. Can they escape without being infected or killed? Michelle McLean has crafted a thrilling story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Ceri and Jason are still in love and will do whatever is necessary to protect the other. Their love and sacrifice increase the romantic tension and their fight to survive is riveting. I found this novella to be an action packed drama that can be read in one sitting. It's perfect for now when ghost and ghouls are everywhere.
Now Wish Upon a Star I did really like. I don't normally go for reunited lovers, but hey this story worked for me. Ceri McKinley always dreamed her ex-fiancé, Jason Crickett, would always return. Even though he broke her heart by dumping her right before their wedding. Jason needs a favor and Ceri is the only one to really help him. So, they go talk to Ceri crazy ex-husband to see if he would give Jason and his father his brother so they can give him a proper burial. Little did they know that they would be walking into the unexpected. I'm not kidding, Ceri's ex-husband is crazy. I'm surprise they are able to come out alive out of the zombie invasion. Yes, this zombie romance did have a happier ending and I am a sap for happy endings. Copy provided by publisher
I really enjoyed this Halloween novel. It was fun to read about the couple, and I liked reading about it and wanted to know more about them.
I was enjoying the read and then it got interesting and took me off guard. I loved it! The writing was great and the characters were interesting.
You ever read one of those books that shocks you? Like you go back to read the summary to make sure you’re reading the same thing being advertised? This was one for me. I expected zombies…I expected an old-flame reunion with perhaps a little romance. What Wish Upon A Star surprised me with, though, was an action-packed adventure that kept me flipping pages until the very end. Wish Upon A Star is written from Ceri’s point-of-view. Years after having gotten dumped days from her wedding to Jason, she’s at her ex-husband’s business to deal with a few visitation issues. That’s where Jason finds her…and where her life almost ends more times than I can count. While Ceri needs to talk to the evil ex-husband about their daughter, Jason and his father need to speak with him about the death of his brother. What happens next is a thrill-ride of action, suspense and multiple cliff-hanging chapters in a row. Zombies…fire…bombs…non-functioning elevators…and one really big marionette come into play as Ceri and Jason rush to save her daughter. And then…AND THEN! Romance, a lovely sense of UST building throughout the adventure until finally…FINALLY… I’m going to leave that there. Trust me, you’d rather read it than have me summarize it. I give this novella 3.5 stars. Drama, romance and a bit of a creep factor due to the zombie invasion all make this a perfect book for a Fall evening. It’s a quick read with a strong plot and well-written characters.
booksbysteph says "A Surprise Around Every Corner" "Notorious Criminal Peter Crickett Gunned Down in Robbery Gone Bad" Four years ago, Peter was in a horrific car crash that left him for dead, until Russell Saxton stepped in. Russell was the owner of Saxton Technologies and Peter's father was a research scientist there. "Despite federal regulations forbidding the testing of cyborg prosthetics on human subjects...Peter had become the world's only living cyborg, more machine than man, but still...a living, breathing, functioning member of society." Peter had become "Russell's lead henchman, he most likely did all of Russell's dirty work." Now that Peter is dead, Russell will not give the Crickett family Peter's body, saying the body belonged to him because he was more cyborg parts than human. But Peter's father and brother were worried. Max Crickett "had been working on some sort of microchip that was supposed to help repair function to damaged brains. It was still experimental, but Russell implanted it in Peter's brain." Max and his other son, Jason, believe Russell modified Peter's behavior to do his bidding that lead up to his death and they wanted to prove it. After Peter's accident and three days before his wedding, Jason Crickett left Ceri McKinley. In her grieving, Ceri met Russell who made her feel wanted. She got pregnant and they ended up marrying Russell. But after she watched Russell break the hands of a piano player she made small talk with, she divorced him. Now Ceri is at Pleasure Island to meet with Russell to discuss visitation rights for their daughter, Skye. She runs into Max and Jason who told her of their trials. They were hoping Ceri could talk to Russell and convince him to release Peter's body. Ceri knew Russell would not listen to her but she will try anyway. Because she never stopped loving Jason. I GIVE THIS BOOK: 4 Stars I love zombie stories and this book jacks it up a notch that I did not see coming. I had a little trouble visualizing the climb up the puppet because I have never seen a puppet three stories tall. But this book kept me captivated from the beginning straight to the end. You just never know where this story will take you! Until next time, live life one page at a time!
This was a great, quick read to set the mood for Halloween. Sweet romance, lots of action, and of course the zombies. What's not to love?
Ceri goes to Pleasure Island with her daughter to meet with her ex-husband. Suddenly he wants to discuss visitation with their daughter. While there the love of her life Jason shows up and needs a favor. It had been 4 years since he walked out on her 3 days before their wedding, but she agrees to help him. He needs to talk to her ex-husband who is holding his dead brothers body hostage. They go up to speak with him and all hell breaks loose…She knew her ex was evil, but using an outlawed drug to create zombies was insane even for him. Ceri and Jason must fight their way through Pleasure Island which is now crawling with zombies if they want their second chance. My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this story. It was short, but it has everything. Action, romance and zombies. I couldn’t put it down! Plus the characters were great. Thumbs up!
I received a free copy of this book from entangled publishing. If you like a Zombie type of book this one is for you, if not do not bother with it because that to me is the main focus.
This was a short paranormal romance story between Ceri and Jason. Ceri is in town to deal with her un-kind ex husband. However, while in town she hears/sees Jason. The love of her life always! He broke her heart 4 years ago and despite the pain she has felt since she has always wished they would get together again. However, Jason needs her help to talk to her ex.. but when they get to where the Ex works, things happen and who knows if anything between them can be resolved when there is now a Zombie apocalypse! Jason is and has always loved Ceri! Has always felt angry/sad about leaving her all those years ago! He needs her help to get his brother back and hopes that Ceri can get her ex to agree.. then maybe when everything is over they can talk, but who knows if they can when now Zombies are all around them? Can they ever get the conversation that is overdue for 4 years before turning into a zombie themselves? There is so much love, pain, sadness, forgiveness and more in this story! You feel for everyone in this short story! You want everyone to be able to survive and get their HEA that they deserve, but can they?? If you love zombie paranormal romance stories.. this one is for you! You will enjoy the story line and the characters in this book! *Received an Arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!*
Ceri always wished that Jason would come back even though he walked out on her 4 years ago, 3 Days before the wedding. Out of heartache and loneliness she moved on and married Russell and had her daughter Skye. Ceri and Jason go to talk to her ex husband to find out that her ex had turn jason brother into a zombie. All hell breaks loose and one of the zombie breaks her exes neck while there running to the safe room. The monitors show that zombies are going after everyone they can and turning them, they call for help. Watching the monitors, they see that Ceri daughter and mother are there and they have to fight zombie to get them back to the safe room. Once they are safe Ceri and Jason make up for lost time.