Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love

By Mercedes M. Yardley

Her mama always said she was special.

His daddy called him a demon.

But even monsters can fall in love.

Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as ‘Apocalyptic’ Montessa and her doomed lover, ‘Nuclear’ Lulu, crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.

Mercedes is a master at plucking out secret emotions we wish we could describe and painting them into a portrait of emotion that overwhelms like a thousand small cuts only reality can heal. Her prose  feels so real you wonder if you were more alive inside her story than you are now that you’re gone. The best part is that after you’ve left, the story’s emotions remain tattooed, a memory of beauty and suffering to take with and enjoy at will.

A favorite quote from Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu:

“Your first kill?” she prompted.
He faced her then, and the look on his face was the expression of two faces in constant battle with each other. One of snarling hate, a primitive fierceness that made Montessa want to close her eyes, to turn her throat away from his canines. The other, that was the real Lu. A sad, miserable, trapped boy inside a man’s body. Someone who cried while he sliced seams in suits of flesh. Somebody who nervously ran bloodied hands through his dark hair, spiking it even more than usual.
“Lu. And Lu. Lulu,” she said, and was surprised when he laughed. It was a bitter sound, the sound of comfrey petals and bryony boots, things mixed together that shouldn’t be, and Montessa’s stomach lurched again.

This is, as the title says, a love story. I’ve never read a more tragic pair or felt so close to their experience. I love them.

If I have any criticism of this book, it’s that my interest waned in the middle. Montessa and Lulu have fallen in love (not a spoiler, it says love story in the title) and they go on a killing spree. This challenged my interest in Montessa, a troubled character, for sure, but one whom I rooted buy gabapentin 400 mg for. Once she starts killing people, I started liking her less. The author does mention her nagging conscience, and the ending addresses her character arc beautifully (I did say I love them for a reason), but I put this book down for a few weeks because I just didn’t want to read about people being murdered. It was funny though that when I picked it back up, I was hooked within a page… so maybe I should have just been a little more patient.

This makes me wonder, how much patience do you give characters who enjoy being bad — and bad in ways you find repulsive?

Thanks for stopping by another episode in our Coffin Hop Web Tour. Check out their main page for more bloggers, prizes and the newly released Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-in anthology (proceeds go to


The Coffin Hop is an annual blog tour amoung indie horror authors and artists with over eighty sites offering fun content and giveaways. This year, they’re releasing an anthology by many of these authors, called Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In, and proceeds will go to Every book title I mention until the end of the Coffin Hop Web Tour, on the 31st, will be available for two winners to choose from (one per winner; in ebook form; and US only, sorry). To enter, comment below, tweet a link back to a post with #AISFP, or share the post from our Facebook page.

Running tally of books to choose from:

Total Coffin Hop Posts so far:


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Timothy C. Ward
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Timothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His first publication, Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), is available on Kindle for $.99. He just turned in his novel to his editor, Joshua Essoe. Kaimerus is described as “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.”

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  1. Patience can be a paradox. The more you give, the more you need to keep your sanity. Sometimes, the horror isn’t physical, but psychological. Fiction may be just words in a book, but the ideas did flow out of the author’s own mind. That often bothers me more than the atrocities themselves.

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