Hello Bloglandia!

Break out the bubbly because it’s finally time to say…

Happy Release Day to The Undead Mr. Tenpenny!

Ugh, and what a slog it’s been to get to this day.

As some of you know, I had planned the release of this book for last fall, but I think we can all agree that no one’s plans for 2020 panned out quite as they should have.

I’m glad I waited, though. Working through the trilogy as a whole has really brought a nice cohesiveness, consistency, and, and, and, argghhhh, I can’t think of another suitable word that starts with CO. Colorado-ness? No, probably not.

Anyway, the series is far stronger thanks to the delay and I’m thrilled to get the first installment out into the world.

Okay, let’s get going with this launch, let’s look at what readers are saying, let’s get you a sample chapter, and let’s make sure anyone new is brought up to speed…

Let’s Get This Out of the Way

Before we get too deep into the celebrations, I need to try to sell you stuff.

To anyone who pre-ordered The Undead Mr. Tenpenny, THANK YOU! It’s always a thrill to see I have a few eager beavers out there.

For those of you who haven’t ordered the book yet, but are ready to get your copy, the links you need are right here…



These are a little more complicated because, other than Amazon, I’m not sure exactly which retailers are carrying the book just yet.

  • For Amazon paperbacks (available now):
  1. Follow this link: https://books2read.com/CassieBlack1
  2. Tap the Kindle icon
  3. Select the paperback option on the book’s Amazon page.
  4. Or go directly to your region’s Amazon store and enter the book’s Amazon Identifier: B08WVC5D8N (this gives more accurate results than searching for the book title)
  • For Non-Amazon Retailers (more stores will be rolling out over the next week or so…sometimes the paperback gods don’t move as quickly as I’d like):
  1. Search or ask for the book by its title, or
  2. Search for the book by its non-Amazon ISBN: 978 138 697 7674

Maybe You’re Not Convinced Yet?

Okay, if you’re still not quite convinced this book is for you, perhaps a few comments from some delighted readers might entice you…

“The Undead Mr. Tenpenny is a clever, hilarious romp through a new magical universe that can be accessed through the closet of a hole-in-the-wall apartment in Portland, Oregon.”

—Sarah Angleton, author of Gentleman of Misfortune

“When I saw the book title…my first thought was, “another zombie apocalypse”. A wonderful surprise greeted me with an entertaining story that was written with humor, a great story line and new twist on the undead.”

—J. Tate, Eugene Reviewer

“Man oh man, did I love this book! …The plot was great, and got even better as things progressed…. I think the biggest pro of this book is the characters.”

—Jonathon Pongratz, author of Reaper: Aftermath

“…suffused with dark humor and witty dialogue, of the sort that Painter excels at…a fun read for anyone who enjoys fast-paced, somewhat snarky, somewhat twisted, fantasy adventures.”

—Berthold Gambrel, author of Vespasian Moon’s Fabulous Autumn Carnival

“…a fun and entertaining read. Great wit too.”

—Carrie Rubin, author of The Bone Curse

“Wow and wow again! I absolutely loved this book! You get such a feel for the characters and the story is so fast paced you don’t want to put it down.”

—Goodreads Reviewer

Or Maybe You’ve Never Met Mr. Tenpenny

There’s three ways to learn more about this book: You can peruse the description below, you can read a sample chapter (also below), and/or you can watch some goofy videos.

For the goofy videos…

If you haven’t caught the first two parts of “The Undead Mr. Tenpenny Book Launch Video Extravaganza”, here’s your chance. More parts are coming soon, and I know you’d really hate to get behind on the show, but I refuse to be held responsible if you lose your lunch at the sight of me.

  • Part One (beware, there’s talk of pustules) can be seen HERE
  • Part Two (in which I explain how a funeral inspired an entire trilogy) can be seen HERE
The goofy face behind the words.

If you’re looking for that description…

Work at a funeral home can be mundane. Until you accidentally start bringing the dead back to life.

Cassie Black works at a funeral home. She’s used to all manner of dead bodies. What she’s not used to is them waking up. Which they seem to be doing on a disturbingly regular basis lately.

Just when Cassie believes she has the problem under control, the recently-deceased Busby Tenpenny insists he’s been murdered and claims Cassie might be responsible thanks to a wicked brand of magic she’s been exposed to. The only way for Cassie to get her life back to normal is to tame her magic and uncover Mr. Tenpenny’s true killer.

Simple right? Of course not. Because while Cassie works on getting her newly-acquired magic sorted, she’s blowing up kitchens, angering an entire magical community, and discovering her past is more closely tied to Busby Tenpenny than she could have ever imagined.

If you like contemporary fantasy with snarky humor, unforgettable characters, and paranormal mystery such as Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, you’ll find it hard to pry yourself away from this first book of the Cassie Black Trilogy.

  • Selected as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021
  • Winner of the Novel Excerpt Prize from the League of American PEN Women
  • Finalist in the Yeah You Write! Novel Contest

And Finally, Here’s a Quick Excerpt…

Prologue – The Unexpected

I work in a funeral home. I’m used to seeing all manner of dead bodies. I’m used to bodies ranging from young to old, fat to thin, dark to pale. I’m used to the peacefully deceased to the horrifically killed. I’m used to them lying there still, silent, and slowly decomposing. 

What I am not used to, is them getting up and walking away. 

Which is why when Mr. Boswick — he of the untimely coronary embolism — started drumming his fingers against the cold surface of the metal work table as I added the final touches to his makeup job, well I’d like to tell you I kept my cool, that I maintained my composure, but that’d be a lie. 

Nope, I screamed like a baby boomer who’s just lost every dime in her 401K, then promptly upended my tray of cosmetics as I jumped several feet backward. Five weeks and two walking bodies later, and I’m still scraping beige powder out of the oddest places.

As the cloud of talcum-soft haze filled the chilly workroom, Mr. Boswick sat up with a grunt, put his hands to his ears, and gave me the dirtiest would-you-shut-the-hell-up look I’ve ever seen on a guy — dead or alive.

Still giving me The Look and moving with uncertain slowness, Mr. Boswick eased himself off the table. His legs trembled a little as his feet and legs took their owner’s weight for the first time in several days. I could have taken him then. I could have just pushed him over and hogtied him, but let me tell you, no matter how many zombie movies you’ve seen or novels you’ve read, no matter how well you can suspend belief, you still go around living your life assuming the Zombie Apocalypse is something that happens to other people.

And so, rather than attack, double tap, or run, I stood there getting coated in Dewy Chiffon dust while Mr. Boswick took two clumsy steps with his hands held out like an unsteady toddler. 

He looked back and forth between the two doorways in his line of sight. First one, then the other, then back to the first, then he headed toward Door Number Two. Unfortunately, this first effort at post-mortem decision making landed him in our storage closet, but we here at Wood’s Funeral Home don’t deduct points for guessing. Standing amongst a year’s supply of paper towels and bottles of extra-strength cleaning solution, Mr. Boswick turned to me with a question on his heavily made-up face.

I suppose I should have rushed over, slammed the closet door, locked him in, and burned the place down to save humanity, but at this point my neurons were more than a little numb with shock and were refusing to chat with one another. Instead of being the hero, I pointed to Door Number One above which shone the green glow of an exit sign. Mr. Boswick gave a little nod of thanks before shuffling to and out the door.

With my brain operating about as quickly as a dial-up modem from 1992, I glanced down at the metal work table. To all appearances it was empty, but I reached out and patted it just to make sure all the chemicals I work around weren’t giving me hallucinations. With a grimace, my hand landed on a cold, smooth surface that was definitely lacking the corporeal remains of Mr. Boswick. Then my eyes caught the photo of him I’d been working from. The photo his family had loaned us.

His family! If he tried to get to his family—

And there we have it, folks. Miracle of all miracles, Cassie Black’s brain is functioning once again.


More Fun for the Week Ahead….

Daily details of what’s in store….

  • Monday – The Inspiration for The Undead Mr. Tenpenny (with video)
  • Tuesday – Release Day! Links and a repost of a stellar review. (no video, phew)
  • Wednesday – Double dose of videos. 1) The secret of my character names, and 2) Why my magic system made me drool more than once
  • Thursday – Oops, I forgot to tell you about the book. I do so in this post (with video) where I might also toss in a sample chapter.
  • Friday – I had too much fun with cultural references in the book, and thought I’d share a few (with video)
  • Saturday – Paperback show off!! What not to do with paperback design, and the final result after fixing it (with video)
  • Sunday – A break from my books to post about what I read in February
  • Wednesday (3 March) – Finally, what’s coming up next (with video)


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