November 10, 2015

Review: Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme and Interview


Review:  Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme and Interview

What’s a girl to do when her date is D.O.A?

Angharad ‘Harry’ Russo is just your ordinary twenty-something, with one exception - she’s a witch with an out of the ordinary gift.  When her blind date goes sideways and she ends up face to face with a dead body, her life starts to go sideways too.

Harry soon finds herself right in the middle of the mayhem, dealing with Cian Nash, a homicide detective that is as aggravating as he is sexy; the biggest, baddest vampire in town; and a parcel of pesky zombies that keep popping up everywhere.  It’s all connected to her date’s unfortunate demise, or is there more to it than meets the eye?

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Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme
Published by: Self-Published  on October 2, 2015
Series: The Harry Russo Diaries #1


This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).


I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!




MaryAnn-2015Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme was a read that had me chuckling pretty much throughout the whole book.  With a quirky main character and a gruff sexy homicide detective, and a world filled with supernatural beings to satisfy your craving, Dead and Kicking was a solid book 1 in The Harry Russo Diaries.

Harry Russo has a gift.  Not only is she a witch, but she’s able to communicate with the dead AND another gift that comes to light later in the book.  A pretty kick ass gift if you ask me.

Unfortunately for Harry, her blind date winds up dead and contacts her for help.  Harry ends up mixed up in a whole lot of danger, and winds up making deals with one of the most feared vampires around.  And as if things couldn’t get any worse, throw in some zombies into the mix and a little shock and awe twist at the end, and I would say you’ve got a pretty good recipe for pretty intriguing supernatural read.

The opening chapter to Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme was actually done so well that it would draw in many readers to continue.  I liked how it was revealing teaser of what to expect from main character, Harry Russo.  Harry Russo is a character that I feel people can relate to, and it always helps that she has some great one-liners.  My thoughts on the male lead, Cian Nash, is still debatable.  There’s no question that he’s a sexy brooding character, but he was way too grumpy.  Like, irritatingly grumpy.  It’s a good thing that he seems to arrive right at the nick of time, and does something/says something utterly sweet that makes up for SOME of his grumpiness.  I’m still waiting for him to make me swoon, folks.

The storyline was attention grabbing and progressed quite well.  I enjoyed the supernatural elements in the book, and parts kinda sorta reminded me of HBO’s True Blood.  Vamps, witches, werewolves, zombies…Dead and Kicking by Lisa Emme pretty much had it all.

I will say though that the way in which some of the story was written was confusing.  For example, the character is speaking directly to the reader, but some of it was in the past tense.  So I was waiting for the point in the book where the character would say something like “…and so now here I am”, and then change to present tense.  It was like a lead up to a current event.

With a little tweaking, I’m sure that The Harry Russo Diaries will become an instant hit with fans of True Blood or Supernatural.  A solid intro to the world of Harry Russo, author Lisa Emme will easily find a following with fans of supernatural reads.  Grab a copy, and check it out for yourself!




Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

Thanks for having me!


Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

A witch with an unusual gift, a sexy werewolf and a powerful vampire…It’s not a love triangle.


What was your inspiration for writing this book?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

I often get story ideas when I’m doing mundane stuff like mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.  One day, a few years ago, the opening scene from Dead and Kicking just popped into my mind and it just grew from there.  I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen next and I had to start writing the story in order to find out.


Tell us about the main character(s).

Angharad “Harry” Russo is a twenty-something hedge witch with a talent for growing plants which she puts to good use in her plant shop.  She also has a rather out of the ordinary gift.  She can see and speak to ghosts.  When she is set up on a ‘date’, for lack of a better word, and the guy turns up dead, Harry’s gift gets her mixed up with the supernatural underworld including Cian Nash, the police detective in charge of the investigation and Salvador Arroyo, the city’s most powerful vampire.


Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

There’s two: 1) the opening scene with Harry and her grandmother.  I don’t want to ruin it for anyone so I won’t say more, but I hope there is a bit of a surprise, and 2) the scene where Salvador first meets Harry.  I love the cat and mouse vibe he gives off.  He’s playing with her and yet in the end, Harry gets the better of him.


Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

There is nothing that really stands out as having been difficult to write.  I’m not saying it was easy, but I didn’t feel like I ever encountered a block or anything.  The story had been percolating in my head for quite some time.  It was ready to get out.


What sort of projects do you have going on right now.  Any new books coming out?

Right now I’m working with my cover designer on the cover for book three in Harry’s trilogy as well as finalizing the editing of book two, Tooth and Claw, which is set for release on January 5, 2016.  I’m also planning a treat for anyone signed up for my mailing list.  I will be releasing an exclusive novella featuring the back story of Tomas, one of the vampires that Harry encounters, and it will be made available for free to my mailing list (sign up at


It was great having you on the blog today!  We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!

Thanks again for hosting me here at Chapter by Chapter.  I hope your readers check out Dead and Kicking and enjoy entering Harry’s world for a time.  I’m a reader as well as a writer and I wrote something that I would want to read.  I hope I succeeded in creating a fun, fast-paced adventure that keeps you guessing until the end, one that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more (but don’t worry, it’s not a cliffhanger).


About Lisa Emme

Lisa Emme is a Canadian who proudly ends her ABC’s with ‘zed’. A self-professed book-a-holic, she has spent the last few years trying to stem her book hoarding tendencies by writing her own stories and by avoiding the bargain table at the bookstore like the plague.

A bit of a thrill seeker, Lisa has tried such death defying activities as bungy jumping off a bridge and rappelling down the side of a 17 storey building. She's also single-handedly raising a teenager.

Lisa has worked as a veterinary assistant, playground instructor, bank teller, store clerk, waitress, telephone solicitor, research writer for an environmental think tank, computer programmer, and systems analyst. Her passion however, is writing. What else is she going to do during the long, cold prairie winter?

Lisa would love to hear from you.


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1 Comment

  1. […] See the rest of the review and an interview on Chapter by Chapter. […]

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