5 star review on Wither posted by the Contagious Reads Blog

Wither is author Amy Miles’ breakneck paced ‘zombie’ novel. It’s her first foray into horror/thriller territory, and in my opinion she did wonderfully. There are truly terrifying aspects of this novel.

Avery is hiding out in the hospital people are getting sick, and becoming ‘withered’. The government has essentially fallen, and gangs rule the cities. When the hospital is raided by gangs Avery is attacked. Her savior is soldier by the name of Cable. Not one to trust anyone Avery flees the first chance she gets. The first few chapters Avery spends more time running from worse and worse situations. There is something about her, something that the gangs, and remaining ‘government’ wants.
Life has never been easy on Avery, even before fled mother’s sick bed at the end of the world. It’s left Avery, bitter, and closed off. To some readers Avery’s cold attitude and me for me ways might be a turn off. I found it very realistic. Miles’ shows Avery at her very worst, and takes on her journey as she becomes more. More than a girl who closes herself off. More than a girl who only cares for herself.

Amy Miles is fantastic at writing romance. It’s definitely a strong and important of the story. The first person Avery encounters outside of the hospital is Cable. And watching their relationship yo-yo was probably one of my favorite things about this novel. What can I say, I like gore and romance. Cable is the opposite of Avery. He’s filled with hope. He’s cautious where Avery is not. He cares for others, where Avery tries very hard not to. It’s very interesting how their personalities evolve as a result of their relationship.

The descriptions in this book are intense. From the action, the world building, the Withered Ones, I was totally immersed in the world. It’s a dangerous world, and the body count is high. It’s awesome! Amy doesn’t hold back, at all. She puts these characters through the ringer. Those left standing are going to be tough when this story is told.

The reason Avery is running, is still so open, it will be interesting to see how the story unfolds. The Withered ones are evolving, humans are getting desperate, and Avery is still very much a risk. I, for one, will be first in line to read Resurrect when it comes out!
I recommend this for fans who like the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. It can be read by mature YA readers.

Wither_Ebook Cover (1)WITHER is finally here, just in time for Halloween.  If you are looking for something that will keep you on the edge of your seat but cant handle the flesh eating, Walking Dead sort of zombies, give WITHER a try.  This book is rated MATURE YA and above.  For young adult readers/parents please read the review posted below to determine if this book is suitable for your teen.  WITHER does contain language, violence and sex.


I always thought when the apocalypse finally began I would be swinging my baseball bat with the best of them, in true zombie slayer fashion. I was prepped and ready to smash in some heads if the need ever arose.

The problem is…no one ever warned me that I would have to fear the humans instead. The ones who still remember their names and how to put a gun to your temple when they want something.

The others…well,they pretty much keep to themselves.

Wither is a psychological thriller that poses the question…what if the zombies aren’t the ones we should fear? What if it’s human nature instead?

How far would YOU go to survive just one more day?

Do not fear the Withered Ones. Fear the ones still human.

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By YA Book Madness Blog

I received this book as a giftWither is the perfect Halloween read. It’s graphic, full of wickedly grotesque imagery and enough suspense to make nail-biting a habit. Read this with all the lights on.

What makes Wither such a stunning and compelling read is the take on zombies and the questions about the nature of humanity. Set in a dystopian world where everyone must fend for their lives against a vile infection that results in a zombie-like state (Withered One), Amy Miles forces the reader to question what people are willing to risk and how far they’ll go to save themselves. When chaos and apocalyptic horrors arise, how much of our humanity are we made to sacrifice to circumstance and how much do we choose to forsake?

The Withered are not the traditional brain-eating, bloody imbeciles with a hunger for human flesh, they’re largely peaceful and helpless, they walk into things, destroying their decaying flesh without a second thought and meander through the decimated city. They’re creepy, yes, and some of these gruesomely graphic images are truly terrifying but as a threat, they’re not the worst that can happen. I appreciated this off-beat spin. When it comes right down to it, who is the real monster, a Withered whose eye-socket is empty and flesh is shredded in ribbons, or the men who abduct and murder without conscience?

The suspense is killer. Edge-of-your-seat, avert your eyes sort of uncertainty. Every scene is made of risk and recklessness, of fear and threats, and what’s more, of the bleak reality that safety is a thing of the past. There’s a powerful sense of foreboding that resonates throughout the story, you’ll be left in a dizzying state of constant tension and fear for the characters.

Suspicion is high and the military is painted in shadow. The rumors of their involvement and the mystery behind their seemingly random actions is a puzzle that grows and builds piece by piece adding to the big picture.

The birthing scene will probably stay with me for life.

Action is high. If you’re looking for explosions, hand-to-hand combat, guns, slaughter, and extremely detailed gore, this is your next favorite read.

The epilogue is a semi-cliffhanger with promise of redemption, revenge, and carnage. The paranoia and confusion over changes in the Withered is thought-provoking and the sense of a huge shift, a new threat is high.

Cable. Cable. CABLE. There’s something warm and cowboyish about Cable. He’s military but has a southern gentleman feel. He’s compassionate, a big teddy bear of a man that’s all sex appeal and fierce protectiveness, the man is a total bad ass. He’s stabbing, kicking, throwing punches, and always putting his life on the line to save those he cares about. His interactions with Avery are playful and charming. He’s wise and brings a smile to the typically downtrodden Avery. The light he brings is pretty miraculous in such a dismal scenery.

Avery is a scared, traumatized girl who has a past that left deep emotional scars. It’s Avery’s past that has made her into a warrior, or at least gave her the tools to become one. At first she is paralyzed with fear, however, when the real horrors begin she learns fast how to adapt and fight for her life. Avery, at heart, is a wonderful person. She cares so much that it clouds her decisions and sometimes nearly kills her. She’s fiery, bold, blunt, and very outspoken. She wants to be heard and roars her opinions.
Does contain what could be considered triggers. Assault, violence, lots of blood and gore, abuse.


Avery makes some arguably stupid decisions. While she does have every right and instinct to withhold her trust and be leery of those willing to help her, it’s pretty clear that Cable is her best bet and a great guy right off the bat and yet, she’s like a panicked, caged animal desperate to flee into dangers far worse than she’s experienced. Avery doesn’t learn from her mistakes, she’s brave but stubborn, she leaps before she looks and ends up in horrendous situations because of her impatience.

Alex’s backstory was pretty absent, as were the stories of some of the other secondary characters. I was dying to know how they got in their position, who they were before, and how the apocalypse changed them.

Interview: Cable Blackwell

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


Cable Blackwell1Interviewer: What were your feelings when you first got your orders to deploy to St. Louis MO to help control the rioting?

Cable: ” Some pretty messed up shit as going down all over the place.  St. Louis, New York, LA…didn’t really matter where I was deployed. People were dying and I was sent to stop it.”

Interviewer:  Did you find it difficult to remain positive while you watched the world fall in decay?

Cable: “People do bad things, especially when they feel endangered.  It doesn’t take much to really see a person’s character when their life is on the line.  I’ve taken down some pretty vile creeps, but those aren’t the ones who surprise me. It’s the mom who turns on her own child, the brother who leaves her sister behind, the priest who sacrifices people on the streets and claims its salvation.  It’s sick.”

Interviewed: Our readers would like to know why you chose to stick by Avery’s side when you had justifiable reason to believe that she was turning.

Cable: “Most guys probably would have left her behind, but I’m not most guys.  No matter how twisted this world gets I have to believe that there is still good in it.  Still hope that the world can go back to the way it was before.  If I’d left her behind, I’d be no better than the people I try to keep in line on the streets.”

Interviewer: Did you always know that you would head south?  Was there a specific reason for that direction choice?

Cable: “Let’s just call it a feeling.   I just…I guess I felt drawn there.  I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s the truth.”

Interviewer: Could the location of your brother have had anything to do with it?

Cable: “Lenny?  Yeah, I guess its possible. Maybe I wanted a familiar face around while we tried to figure things out. Lenny is a good guy. Someone you can depend on.  He’s a survivor.”

Interviewer: Is there any one person in your group that you worried about the most?

Cable:  “Some people have that look and feel about them that sets off warning flags.  Sal Jenkins had sleazy written all over him.  I definitely slept with one eye open when he was around.”

Interviewer:  You don’t seem like a man of many words.  Have you always been like that?

Cable:  “Yeah. I spend a lot of time thinking, watching people.  You can tell a lot about someone when you pause long enough to just watch.”

Interviewer: Is that why you felt so strongly about Avery? You saw something in her that she didn’t, right?

Cable: “It’s easy to be blinded to the truth. Sometimes the walls we build aren’t to keep people out, but to keep themselves from being seen. Avery is a tough girl, but she’s got weak spots just like everyone else.  She see’s them as weakness but in reality its what makes her strongest.”

Interviewer: Do you think there will ever be a cure?

Cable: “Sure do.  That’s not what I’m worried about.”

Interviewer: What are you worried about then?

Cable:  “That there won’t be anyone left alive to use it!” 

beautiful red head woman with freckled face and blue eyesTHE WITHERED SERIES Character Interview Session 1.

Today we are sitting down with Avery Whitlock, our heroine from WITHER, book 1 of the WITHERED SERIES.

Interviewer: “Growing up on the streets is a hard way to live.  Do you think learning to fend for yourself at a young age really helped prepare you for the apocalypse?”

Avery: “Sure.  Not everyone grows up in a Leave it to Beaver sort of home. My mother wasn’t exactly the best role model.  She worked a lot, had a thing for bad guys and drowned her sorrows in the bottom of a bottle after my dad skipped town.  My brother left not long after we moved to St. Louis so I was on my own a lot.

You learn some valuable lessons when you have to take care of yourself. Sometimes you do things that other people would snub their noses at just to eat.  Sometimes you trust the wrong people.  You learn by trial and fire.  I guess that made me tougher than most girls when facing our new world.”

Interviewer: “Why do you think you stuck by your mother’s side after the world started falling apart?  In the beginning you could have escaped without much trouble, yet you remained.”

Avery: “I’ve asked myself that question more times than I can count.  Obviously there was no love shared between my mother and I.  She and I were pretty much strangers in the same home.  I avoided her and she liked that.  It wasn’t until her accident that left her in a coma that I actually spent any time with her. 

Part of me thinks maybe I stayed for closure.  Maybe I just wanted her to wake up and admit that she’d wronged me. I don’t know…it doesn’t make sense, but then again, when has bitterness ever done so?”

Interviewer: “You went through quite at lot those first few days.  Can you tell us a little about what you were thinking?”

Avery: “Honestly, I was shitting my pants most of the time and praying no one noticed.  I’m not so good at letting people in, or needing them for that matter. I’ve always been a bit of a loner. I like my space. I like to be on my own.  After Cable, the marine that saved my life at the hospital, got me back on my feet I was too stubborn to consider that he might actually be a good guy.  So I did the idiotic thing and tried to make it on my own.”

Interviewer: “And how did that work out for you?”

Avery: “I got kidnapped, twice.  Yeah, it could have gone better.”

Interviewer: “So then Cable saved you again?”

Avery: “Yeah. He’s got this really annoying hero complex but after a while you sort of get used to it.  Actually, I guess that’s not really being fair. Cable’s a good guy and those are really rare in this world, especially now.  I owe him a lot and that’s hard  to admit.”

Interviewer: “So with the world changing rapidly around you, how did you decide what the best course of action might be to stay alive?”

Avery: “People.”

Interview: “Can you elaborate on that?”

Avery: “Look, when you’re out there and your ass is on the line, you need someone there to watch over it for you. You can’t do it on your own. Well, you probably could for a short time but eventually you’re going to slip up.  I had to learn that even though I may not have wanted people in my life, I did need them.”

Interviewer: “So I’ve heard rumors about a possible budding relationship between Cable and yourself?  Any truth to it?”

Avery: “No comment.”

Interviewer:  “Interesting.  One final question.  After all that you’ve been through and seen, do you think the world has a chance of coming back from this apocalypse?”

Avery: “I really hope so…cause its freakin’ messed up out there right now.”

For those readers who already know me, you know that zombies FREAK ME OUT!  Nightmares. Fear of the dark. The whole shebang!  It took me until the start of the 4th season of The Walking Dead to convince myself to finally sit down and watch it.  Once I did…well, there’s no going back now, is there?

I have a love/hate relationship with zombies.  Over the years I have allowed my deep seeded fear of the undead to drive me away from movies like 28 Days, Night of the Living Dead, Resident Evil and so many others.  The only movies I’ve managed to sit through were Shaun of the Dead (cause it’s freakin’ brilliant), Warm Bodies (which I thought was just sort of BLAH) and I am Legend (which wasn’t all that bad).

Rewind two years to a time when I worked closely with two local graphic designers who are delightfully nuts about zombies.  They devoured The Walking Dead (all while TRYING to get me enticed), made zombie videos in their spare time and even created zombie survival military trucks, which are wicked awesome.  So these two started a debate, to see who had the best zombie book idea.  I was to pick the winner and write the book.  There’s only one problem…as brilliant as their well thought out plans may have been, they still involved my next door neighbor wanted to chow down on my arm.    *shivers*

So I had to find a way of creating an alternate zombie theme.  One where zombies may not be the necessary horror that we all expect.  One where they would slowly evolve into a danger, but not begin as one.  I began to think about how to create a horror novel that would reach people on a different level.  Ideas began to brew in my mind.  Some of them were pretty pathetic, I will admit.  Others had promise.  But in everything I brainstormed one idea became very prevalent….the depravity of humans when placed into a survival setting.

Dirty concrete wall illuminated by lamp

Once upright citizens could be reduced to desperation driven murders.  This sparked the idea for WITHER.

The question was no longer “should we fear zombies?” but rather “should we fear humans?”  Or more specifically HUMAN NATURE.