Zombie Quiz and Interview with Mia Celeste, Author of OTHER THAN

We are super excited to be part of the Book Tour for OTHER THAN, a thrilling gaslamp fantasy by Mia Jo Celeste. The new audiobook version is now available. Check it out!
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I requested for an interview with the author, but the Zombie Quiz sounds so much fun and interesting that I’m featuring it here too! Do remember to check out the interview below.

But first, ZOMBIE QUIZ!

How much do you know about zombies? Will your knowledge help you survive in a zombie apocalypse? Take this quiz and find out. It’s true or false, so you have a good chance of getting more than half right.

1. The belief in zombies came from African traditions brought to Haiti.
2. Haitians believed that zombies were reanimated corpses.
3. Zombies will eat anything, but they prefer hearts and brains.
4. Legends have it that zombies had no free will. They were under the control of the Vodou witch or shaman, who created them.
5. White Zombie, featuring Bela Lugosi, made in 1932 was one of the final zombie movies.
6. In most Hollywood zombie movies, you need to shoot the undead creature in the head to stop it.
7. Loud noises frighten off zombies.
8. Humans usually catch the zombie infection from a zombie’s blood.
9. Typically, zombies don’t breathe or have a heartbeat.
10. The best defense against a horde of zombies is to taunt them. It will hurt their feelings.

Answers Below, after the Tour Schedule.


Other Than
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Paranormal Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
Other Than #PNR A purgatory as dangerous as Dr. Moreau’s Island with zombies and romance.
It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh.
Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Bound to her by cords stronger than death, Lord Victor Lowell is both the man of her dreams, and her darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess. Drawn to the compellingly gallant and vulnerable soul behind his mercurial humors, Evie can only watch as protecting her forces Victor to sacrifice yet more of himself to the ancient evil long tethered to his soul.
Trapped in an ever-escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will to do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. Battle lines drawn, the soul mates resolve to find redemption or die trying.


Thank you, Mia Jo, for your time in granting us this interview.

Q: What’s your inspiration for writing this book?

When I was a teen, I loved Gothic Romances, and authors like Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Daphne du Maurier, and Barbara Michaels. Other Than is a tribute to them.

Q: Tell us more about the races that populate your world.

All of the characters in Other Than are human. Evie is one of the rare kind in that she’s a skin-slider, or a doppelgänger. She can change her appearance and take another’s likeness. When Evie ends up on Lowell Island, she encounters humans who have sipped cursed waters known as the Forever Bane and are zombies, but not totally dead. The Bane doesn’t keep its victims from decaying. It just prolongs their existence. How they rot as well as how they respond to that rot determines what category of zombie they fall into. There are four types.

Stitches lose body parts, but their minds function normally.

Shamblers’ brains decay long before the rest of them. They lose their speech. Their mental processing is flawed at best and they like to perform repetitive tasks.

Sneaks resemble living humans. They can think and act as they did before drinking the Bane. If one must become a zombie, this is the best category to fall into. Unfortunately, it’s temporary. Before long, sneaks deteriorate.

Howlers are the last zombie type. Think of them as alpha predators. They hunger for flesh to sustain their rotting bodies. The more human or even zombie prey they’re able to eat, the more cunning and intelligent they become.

Q: Evie sounds like an interesting character. Do tell us more about her. Why would she drink from the Water of Immortality?

Evie was tricked into drinking the Water of Immortality when she went to help her father, a traveling physician deal with what he thought was a plague outbreak. The Water of Immortality is also called the Forever Bane and it kills, and then resurrects those who drink it as zombies.

Q: Who is Victor? What is it about him that Evie likes?

Victor regularly leaps into danger to save others. He’s handsome and witty and could be a hero’s hero if he wasn’t so mercurial. He can be sweet and gallant but, boy, does he have a temper. Growing up, I loved the Bronte sisters’ romances and I think he came out of that. He’s my homage to Heathcliff and Rochester.

Q: What is a romantic moment between the two of them?

Enjoy this excerpt!

Her mad dash brought Evie skidding into a wondrous sight. The whole kitchen was awash in a yellow blaze. The bread ovens’ bricks glowed a vivid orange. Sparks like fireflies rode eddies of the heated air that felt soothing under her wet quilt. The water gave her the notion of safety within the beautiful and deadly inferno.

Boots paced above her. A door swung shut.

Hope fluttered in her belly. Mayhap she might just do it—race up the steps, rescue Victor and be out of the kitchen before the flames caught her. She dashed through and mounted the stairs.

Adrenaline fueling her speed, she attempted to outrace the flickering destruction climbing the stairs along her heels—and succeeded. Amazingly succeeded. Apparently, the fire was slowing, as though sated and content to toy with the kitchen.

Perhaps Sesha and Jessup had convinced their Almighty to aid her even after she’d reneged on her promise. She owed them—she’d save the cure in their memory. She sped into the ruined conservatory and got to the table, but the rack was empty. No vials. And the top of Jessup’s desk was clear. His journals and notes were gone.

On the floor, splattered blood led to and from the threshold. She followed it to the phoenix room and sensed Victor beyond the door.

He was alive. She’d found him.

For a moment, she gave in to giddy relief. Then, she turned the knob and entered.

Victor was before her. Surrounded by smoke, but before her.

His hair singed, the right side of his face blistered from heat, the left a deadly pallid, he slumped on the red-quilted bed and mopped at a red gushing hole in his abdomen with his torn off shirt. Seeing her, he straightened. Hope gleamed in his eyes. “You came. I called and you came.”

“You called?” She wanted to lift and twirl him in the air like he did her. Silly maybe. She was as dazed as the phoenix in the wall paper.

Real flames gnawed the hand-painted vines. “Why? Why are you here?”

“You don’t give me much credit.” His eager grin flattened. “Where is that trust you’re working on?”

She wrung her hands. Their future depended on his next words. “You came because of the Maiden, didn’t you?”

“Damn right. I shan’t spend the rest of my life with her egregious murmurs in my mind nor can I allow her to inflict her will on others.”

She searched his eyes, and then his skin, those small tells, the nuisances of expression that hid deception. They weren’t there. He was earnest. He hadn’t intended to use the statue but destroy it. She swallowed to clear the lump in her throat.

“What did you think?” He waved a bloody hand as if warding off a blow. “No, don’t say.”

Blood. She jerked straight. Hoff had shot him. Here she was fretting over their future while he bled.

“Mayhap, I don’t deserve credit.” Victor’s lips twitched into a sardonic smile.

Always so good at wheedling out her feelings, he’d likely read her concern over his wound. Her vision blurred in the heated air.

“I know I’ve done unspeakable things. Things that need now to be set right. I began last night with you and our relationship. I thought I’d succeeded, but no.”

“You did. You have. It’s me who’s at fault currently. I doubted you, but I don’t now. It’s your health that alarms me. You, I’m sure of. Very sure.” She blinked hard and focused on the goal—Victor.

Q: The blurb says that there’s an “escalating war”. What war is this? And how does that affect Evie and Victor?

There are three wars in Other Than.

First, because Evie and Victor are undead, they battle time and decay as they try to remain whole and sentient. Evie is trying to find a cure for the Forever Bane and return to life while Victor has taken to other more vampiric methods.

Second, Victor’s parents are feuding. Lady Malka wants to kill Angus, her ex-husband and the leader of the growing zombie army while Angus wants to eat his ex-wife and her mercenaries.

Lastly, there’s a war between the living and the undead. Evie and Victor are caught between the opposing forces.

Q: What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a series called The Fairy Tale Effect while trying to market my novel Dark Bringer where I combined my childhood fantasies about the dark with a week-long power outage I lived through. I really missed the lights, heat and electronics I usually take for granted. Then, I’ve got several National Novel Writing Month project I’d love to revise.

Wow, you seem to have a busy time ahead of you! So, we’re really so grateful for this interview and allowing us an intriguing glimpse into the main characters and the story as a whole.

Tour Schedule

Follow the tour from April 15 – 27, 2019.
Visit each stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Other Than Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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Answers to the Zombie Quiz

3F (Zombies aren’t choosy. They eat any kind of human flesh.)
5F (White Zombie was one of the first)
7F (Noises attract zombies.)
8F (Usually humans are infected when a zombie bites them.)
10F (In most cases, zombies don’t have the thought process to have feelings.)

1-2 Right – Welcome to Zombiehood. Look at the bright side, you no longer have to pay bills, go to work or take out the trash.
3-6 Right -You just might survive the Zombie apocalypse. Consider practicing your parkour and marksmanship to improve your odds.
7-10 Right- Kudos. You’ve made it. You may even be ready to rule an enclave of fellow survivors.

About Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise when she chose to pursue both careers. She grew up watching horror movies and reading romances. To her, the two genres go together like salty and sweet in kettle corn.
Social media links: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads


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