Zombies for Everyone: A Jenna Sutton Supernatural Cozy Mystery by Kimberly Wylie

 


  Zombies for Everyone: A Jenna Sutton Supernatural Cozy Mystery by Kimberly Wylie

About Zombies for Everyone

 

  Zombies for Everyone: A Jenna Sutton Supernatural Cozy Mystery 

  Young Adult Paranormal Cozy Mystery 

  1st in Series 

  Publisher: Cypress Canyon Publishing (June 30, 2021)

Paperback: 184 pages 

  ISBN-13: 979-8741616895 

  Digital ASIN: B096NSXPXQ 


 



Jenna Sutton is nothing like the iconic vampire slayer of TV fame.

 

She’s the antithesis of a cheerleader. She’s not peppy. And she sucks at gymnastics. She has nothing in common with the fictional Buffy, other than being blonde and in high school...

 

Oh, and occasionally she kills vampires for a living as well as other things that go bump in the night.

 

Following an attack on an English teacher at a nearby school, it becomes clear this wasn’t an ordinary coyote bite. The gray-green Lichtenberg-like webbing of streaks making their way up Ms. Pruett’s arm can mean only one thing—zombies.

 

But this isn’t a normal zombie attack. The victims seem to be hand-picked.

 

Can Jenna complete her investigation without the school administrators figuring out she’s actually a high school student from another school? Will Jenna be able to find out who’s behind these attacks before a full-scale zombie outbreak overtakes the town? And, perhaps most importantly...

 

Why did her best friend kiss her after all of these years?


ZOMBIES FOR EVERYONE


Keith Pringle looked like a stereotypical school superintendent. White, middle-aged, average height, not fat, but he had a belly that spoke of more hours behind a desk than out being active. His thin, wire-rimmed glasses sat atop a bulbous nose. His hair was also thin, especially on the top, and a bit disheveled like he had been running his hand through it. He wore a blue suit that was a bit rumpled. In general, he looked like a man who had a lot on his plate and could use a good vacation.


“Thank you for coming so quickly,” he began and then paused not knowing how to continue.


I looked to the woman lying on the bed. She was asleep or knocked out; I wasn’t sure which. Her breathing was shallow and fast, almost a pant. But, according to the monitor standing sentinel next to her bed, her heartrate was steady and blood pressure appeared to be normal, from what little I knew about vitals. She was hooked up to an IV of something slowly dripping into a line running under the covers, presumably to her left hand.


Pringle just stood there—silent. It had been hard for him to talk to me over the phone; this was almost impossible face-to-face. I could see him having an internal debate. Was this some sort of early senior prank on the school superintendent? I wondered briefly how he had ended up at the symposium earlier today to begin with.


“I’m guessing this is Ms. Pruett you told me about on the phone,” I started. “Why don’t you tell me what happened.”


Mr. Pringle took a deep breath and moved to the far corner of the room, where a built-in bench lined one wall and a chair sat next to a small table. He motioned to us to follow suit. Kieron and I sat on the bench, while Pringle took the chair.


He took a deep breath and began.










Who is your hero and why? 

 

My hero is my father. I know that sounds cliche, but hear me out.

 

My father was not a great dad. Not by a long shot.
Oh, he wasn’t horrible, I wasn’t beaten. He wasn’t a drug addict. I was fed and clothed and always had a roof over my head.
This makes him a way better father than many. But he was no Ward Cleaver. 

 

He always seemed to want someone else’s kids more than my brother or I. When he was still married to my mom, he used to take our friend’s sons out hunting. I was desperate to go. Not because I wanted to hunt, but because I wanted to be doing stuff with my dad other kids were getting to do.
When my parents divorced, he remarried and instantly had three new kids to do things with. He never saw how this negatively affected me or my brother. He was too busy with his new wife—his new family—like a child with new toys on Christmas forgetting the teddy bear he’s had for years.

 

But, despite this, he’s my hero because, in the end, he taught me two of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my life. He taught me:



  • How to be thankful, and
  • How to be selfless.


My dad served two tours in Vietnam as a US Army Ranger. During this time, he was exposed to Agent Orange. Five decades later, he developed esophageal cancer. It was terminal. It made me so angry.

 

I asked my dad one day, tears streaming down my face as grief and anger warred inside me, “Aren’t you pissed off, Dad?!? Aren’t you angry that they used Agent Orange and now… now it’s killing you?!?”

He pulled me into a hug and then pulled back, looking me dead in the eye and said, “Not one bit, honey.”

 

I was astounded. How could it be true? How could he not be angry?

 

But then he continued, “Fifty years ago, I was in the middle of a jungle with people who wanted to kill me. Agent Orange made it possible for me to get out of there alive.

“If you had given that 19-year-old kid an option—either way spray this stuff and you have a good chance you get to go home, but in 50 years you might end up with cancer, or we don’t spray it and you take your chances with the dense jungle, I would’ve taken Agent Orange every day of the week, even if I had known what I know now.”

I remember looking at him in disbelief.

 

“I am thankful for Agent Orange,” he continued. “Agent Orange is the reason I’ve had all these years to have a family and live a full life and do so many things, when I know so many of my buddies didn’t get that. I can’t be angry when I’m so very thankful.”

 

My mind was blown. And I started to really consider what he said. Could we be thankful for such an awful thing? I realized we can, and we should.

 

I stopped being angry at the cancer and started to be thankful for it instead.
I was thankful my father hadn’t had a sudden heart attack. Thankful he wasn’t involved in some fatal accident. Thankful for the almost two years we had together to heal old wounds, say things that needed to be said, and grow closer than we ever had been before. I was thankful because I knew too many friends who had lost loved ones suddenly who didn’t have these opportunities.

 

As his disease progressed, my dad volunteered for a drug trial program. At first, we had high hopes. But then things went very badly very quickly. The side effects from the drug sent my dad into the hospital one final time. 

 

And, again, I was so very angry.

 

I remember sitting at his bedside, on Thanksgiving Day, sobbing and telling him how angry I was and how I wished he hadn’t volunteered.

 

“Honey,” he said soothingly, a peaceful smile on his face as he held my hand, “I had to volunteer. I had to give the researchers a chance to learn all they can. If my death puts them even one small step closer to finding a cure, my death will be worthwhile. My time on this planet will be worthwhile.”

 

It was so profound. How could someone be so selfless? 

 

I needed to be this selfless.

 

From that point on, I realized that would be my new life mission—to leave this planet a little bit better than when I found it. I want to be a positive contributor, even if that means personal sacrifice in the end. 

With that goal, I started a small jewelry company and raised over $10,000 that I donated to several charities.
During COVID, I put together a fundraising cookbook that helped feed over 20,000 people between May and October or 2020.
I have just released a new children’s picture book—Carl the Misunderstood Crocodile—where I am donating the profits to a conservation and animal rescue non-profit where I live. They are such small things, but, as my dad said, if it makes even one small difference, then my time on this planet will be worthwhile.

 

So although I don’t ever want to emulate my dad as a parent, as a human being, I think he was pretty darned amazing. 

 

 

About Kimberly Wylie

Kimberly Wylie loves to write books about murder, mystery and mayhem.

Kimberly has been a full-time freelance writer and editor for more than twenty years. She has worked for both large publishing houses and small, boutique publishers, as well as magazines, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of private clients. When people asked her, "What do you write?" Her standard answer was always, "Whatever pays."

For the last two years, Kimberly has focused on finally writing what she wants to write. During COVID, she published an award winning cookbook—The Ambergris Caye COVID Relief Cookbook. This book was featured in Forbes, won a Gourmand International award, and helped provide more than 20,000 meals to the residents of the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. She's also recently published a children's picture book—Carl the Misunderstood Crocodile—and is donating profits to a local wildlife conservation and rescue group. Zombies for Everyone: A Jenna Sutton Supernatural Cozy Mystery is Kimberly's first foray into her favorite genre—Cozies!

When not writing, you can find Kimberly enjoying the sunshine, the beach or the reef, from her home on Ambergris Caye. She lives there with her husband and the best English Cream Golden Retriever in the world—Coco.

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