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H is for a Hot New Author! @KoryShrum Rocks it #AtoZChallenge #Review

H-is-for Hot New Author Kory Shrum #AtoZChallengeKory M. Shrum is about as Hot is it comes in the Indie Scene!

Kory emailed me back in mid January and asked if I would be interested in reviewing Dying for a Living. I was fresh off of reading Grasshopper Jungle and The Almost Girl and I told her I probably would not be able to get to it right away. Then I read the synopsis again and went ohhhh fresh new urban fantasy! I am so glad I did not turn her down to review. (pssssssst she also has a giveaway for everyone so scroll to the bottom and enter! Signed paperback and bookmarks!)

I ended up staying up all night long and reading it and posting to everyone I knew to go walk and not run to beg for a review copy since I did not want any of my awesome friends missing out on something so fresh, so well written and just so vibrant! Out of all the new authors I have found this year, Kory M. Shrum is my all time favorite.  So it was natural for me to choose her as one of my book themed posts for the #AtoZChallenge.

Do you have any authors you have discovered this year that you want to shout about? Let me know I am always looking for new reads!


Somehow this lovely book fell from library heaven into my lap. I cannot even remember how, but I believe it was the author looking for people who read her genre. The quote above is the first sentence in the book, can you say wow? Suffice it to say I lost my mind into the happy zone of awesomeness which is the book.

I love Urban Fantasy reads and like other people have said the one thing which has happened, just like with zombie reads (yes this is an important thing to mention in conjunction with this book), the fact is the genre has reached the “been there done that.. oh no you didn’t use that cliché again” stage. Sure a lot of times this is fine and dandy. Well unless you name your leading man Zed and you’re a elf/gnome/brownie hybrid who has gone into the detective business for yourself, then you will get more eye rolls and expletives as I read it till the cat runs for cover and my husband has to remove it from my hand asking me to take a break. (Kidding.. sort of, the cat usually just stairs at me and my husband tells me there are no more good books written anymore so he does not count). At any rate, they always fall somewhere in there.

Let’s face it folks, fantasy has done it to us over and over. One of the reasons we love it. Faraway lands, elven princes and brownie housekeepers for your wee cabin in the woods where the hero grew up and dragons either fighting with or against you. It is all OK. Urban Fantasy takes us to a slightly narrower window where it is very difficult to find new things. The way to top an Urban Fantasy is to either a) make it original in the story telling ie: a lovable character, an incredibly awesome, enticing well written story etc.. and it means even if it is the same old conventions it still is a great read.

That leaves b) an original plot, a character cast whose interaction and personalities balance out to not fit the normal conventions and… the best thing?? Original fantasy creatures which fit into the urban world with the ease and distinction like they have been part of fairytales since Hans put pen to paper. You’re asking yourself how could this even happen, can’t add more to them, they are classics and you can throw a leather jacket on a troll but you cannot create a new class of creatures or fae, right? WRONG.

Ms. Shrum did it. Not only is there a new creature, with a politically correct name, but it is not a race or a creature it is just a gal who happens to have the genetic markings and “powers” of a hybrid human called a Necronite, or for you rude people, she is a zombie. But don’t say that because Jesse (our protagonist) will be extremely unhappy. And she’s pretty much a badass.

I love Urban Fantasy and I have read so much that I have come to expect thinking, “Yeah, seen this before, but I love it so that’s okay.” Most of the time it IS okay. There are enough differences from one book to the next to make it okay, but I can honestly say in this book I did not find myself doing this ONCE.

What makes her special in this book is her Ncronite status means she can die for you. Yep, she can die for you if the conditions of your death qualify you and you have at least $50,000 (or around there or more) She suffers the complete death, including Rigor Mortis etc..

Enter in the conflict, not everyone likes the idea of Necronites, you see the church does exist in this alternative reality too and the world will always have someone to complain about someone.

The story had a bit of world building and a slower pace at the beginning, but I found it worked on purpose. It was not to slow it was just like living in a day of Jesse’s life. Until the “conflict” and their player’s steps in and then life and the story picks up speed and does not stop.

The protagonist, Jesse, is pretty unique. Sure there are other characters who are snarky, but the way Ms. Shum was able to communicate the idea of “otherness” in the form of a girl who died for you a living for people was really great. I got her, got how different she was and how as special as she was supposed to be to everyone around her, she just found it… wait.. I just heard her sigh and mutter something about getting over my analytical self! *grin* She trusted very few people and those she did, she still never let all the way in.

Everything affects how a person grows up and deals with situations. Her first death to the last death. She is dealing with it with the tools she has collected in her emotional toolbox. I love how she is not perfect, how even the love scene was stilted and reflecting she was not OK in her own body. She made decisions that made me want to yell at her and tell her not to do it, but at the same time I love that about her more than wanting to her to do the right thing, because it wouldn’t be the right thing for her. /
Can you tell I became highly emotional and involved with the Jesse and the whole book? I cannot wait for book two because this book was so focused on Jesse. I fell in love with her best friend, I liked how all of them messed with each other and were all so believable.

So jump onto the Urban Fantasy which I truly believe will become the next BITTEN on TV in the future and be a series and an author whom we have special dedicated shelves too.

I said it on other social media and I will say it again here:

I take my urban fantasy very seriously, almost as seriously as zombies.. WAIT, did I say ZOMBIES? HAH! YES ZOMBIES but not the kind you are thinking of because zombies is JUST not politically correct! .. RUN I TELL YOU. RUN and trip your friends up to get your copy today!!!!!

About Kory M. Shrum

Dying for a Living & a Resurrection.. extra rum please - @KoryShrum {Interview}

Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. She has dabbled in everything from fortune telling to martial arts and when not reading or writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi.  Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, Bateau and elsewhere. Her urban fantasy novels Dying for a Living, and its sequel, Dying by the Hour, as well as her short story Blind are available now.

You can also check Kory out on Google+.

H is for a Hot New Author! @KoryShrum Rocks it #AtoZChallenge #ReviewDying for a Living
by Kory M. Shrum
Pages: 400
Published by Timberlane Press
on 2014-03-04
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Zombie
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • • Goodreads •

On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. As a Necronite, she is one of the population’s rare 2% who can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. Although each death is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory.

But when Jesse is murdered and becomes the sole suspect in a federal investigation, more than her freedom and sanity are at stake. She must catch the killer herself—or die trying

a Rafflecopter giveaway

H is for a Hot New Author! @KoryShrum Rocks it #AtoZChallenge #Review


  1. Holy crap that sounds really good.

    • She has a short story out too! DIVE which is scary as hell and creepy. She is SUCH a good writer!

      • It is awesome Jess. I loved it! So is Dive. And Kory is nice to boot – well except for not letting us Aussies win her prizes. But I’m sure that is for financial reasons. 😉

        • I loved DIVE!

    • I am so happy you think so! 🙂

    • Well, I was trying to reply to each comment individually, but Kriss has got this form thingy so I’ve been thwarted! But I just want to say thanks everyone! Your excitement and praise is giving me a fabulous contact high! I love it! 🙂


  2. Wow, I almost missed the giveaway! BTW, the comment boxes (including the information boxes above) are so pale blue they are very difficult to see against a white background. Or my vision is really messed up.

    • What Katy said.

      • Sorry guys I do not know how to fix this. I wlil talk to Kai and see if she can. I can barely see what I am typing now!

  3. This book is my new favorite. Kory’s writing style is genius. Couldn’t put it down. again-GENIUS

  4. Thanks for the recommendation. The book looks interesting, although not my favorite genre. But I’m spreading my wings and trying new things, so I’ll have a read. The most recent book I’ve read, if I haven’t mentioned it before, is the delightful Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The author died during the writing of the book, and it was finished by her daughter. It’s about the Guernsey Islands during WWII – told in letter form.

    • Noelle, the author is fabulous. It is not typical urban fantasy and has some new twists. The amount of exploration into the human psyche in this tops most genre writing in this area. It is fabulous!

  5. Thank you for the pingback!

    Great article. I love discovering new authors and this one seems to get quite the applause.

    With great respect!


  1. I'm "Dying by the Hour" to review - […] a series, is the attention to detail and representation of the story itself. The first cover for Dying for a Living is…

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