Hello everyone! I am thrilled to have Ms Terri Bruce over today!! She’s worked so hard on these two books, so today you get to see my reveal, and a guest post from the author, and some goodies!! Here we go!
Genre: Contemporary fantasy/paranormal
Publisher: Mictlan Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-2-5 (print) /
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-3-2 (ebook)
Number of pages: 318
Word Count: 99,000
Cover Artist: Artwork by Shelby Robinson;
cover layout by Jennifer Stolzer
When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.
Boy, was she wrong.
She soon finds that “the other side” isn’t a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do.
As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped.
I am THRILLED beyond all measure to finally be able to bring you Thereafter, and I want to thank all the fans who have waited (more or less patiently) an extra year for this book to finally come out. Thereafter would not have been possible without your support—thank you all! I hope you love this beautiful new cover as much as I do, and I hope you find Thereafter to be worth the wait.
Author Guest Post
A Horse in the Afterlife
Hello everyone! I am so, so, so excited to be back visiting Maghon’s blog and all her fabulous readers! I always have the best time when I visit with you, and I saved this blog post especially for Maghon. J Today, I’m here to talk a bit about my newest book, Thereafter, the second book in my Afterlife series. I wanted to share with you my absolute favoritest (it’s a word!) scene from Thereafter.
Her hand touched a rock, one of the flat beach stones she’d seen on graves. She picked it up, laying it flat in her palm. She didn’t remember picking this up. In fact, she had been careful not to take any. It had seemed disrespectful and too much like stealing to remove them, and while she’d seen a few here—both loose and piled in cairns—she hadn’t picked any of them up. There had been no point. What would she do with a rock?
No wonder her bag was so heavy.
She tossed the rock over her shoulder and heard it hit the ground with a satisfying thud some distance away. It felt good to be rid of something, to make a decision and be sure it was the right one.
She surveyed the pile again and then grabbed a small handful of paper animals. She picked one up between a finger and thumb. It was a horse. Irene had been in Chinatown during Chinese Ghost Festival, a holiday in which the living left offerings for the dead. These offerings included paper replicas of things people thought the dead would need in the afterlife—money, clothes, television sets, and even animals. Irene had admired the precise and delicate folds of the Origami figures and had picked some up to admire them more closely. Without thinking, she had dropped them into her bag and apparently been carrying them ever since.
Well, even Jonah couldn’t argue with her on this—there was no way she was going to need a paper horse on her journey through the afterlife. Plus, these didn’t hold any sentimental value. She cast the horse onto a nearby fire and watched as the paper curled and blackened in the low-burning flames.
The fire leapt and seemed to glow blue for a moment. Irene tensed—what was happening?
Thick black smoke began to rise slowly from the flames, spiraling upward in a thickening column. The smoke grew denser and then elongated sideways. Irene leapt to her feet and backed away, her heart pounding. Something was forming in the fire.
The smoke was taking shape now; there was purpose and design in its movements. She could see a long, horizontal back, four legs, a neck, and finally a head and a tail. The smoke swirled with a final flourish and then shuddered into the solidity of a smoke-colored horse. The animal blinked passively. Then it violently shook its head, blew out a breath, and delicately picked its way forward out of the fire. It immediately put its head down and began to lip the ground, looking for food.
Irene stared stupidly at it. “Are you shitting me?”
Irene gets a horse! 😉
I have long been fascinated with the Chinese custom of sending gifts to the dead by burning paper effigies of those things, such as paper money known as “ghost money.” Apparently, there is an entire market for these paper “ghost” items, and I even read an article not too long ago about the inflation that has affected the price of ghost items because of an increase in “high-end” ghost items—paper televisions, cell phones, and the like!
I’ve always thought this was an interesting custom to begin with, but when I started writing the Afterlife series, I knew this custom would play a central part of my story. In the series, all the afterlife myths are actually true. In this case, burning paper items would really send them to the dead. I actually planned this scene from even before I wrote Hereafter, the first book of the series; that is, I planned for Irene to acquire the paper horse in Book #1, knowing that it would turn into a real horse in Book #2 (one of the reasons this is my favorite scene in the book is because I’m actually pretty proud of the fact I managed to plan this whole bit out across books so well). In Hereafter, there is very purposely a scene where Irene picks up a bunch of “ghost items” during Chinese Ghost Festival in Boston’s Chinatown. The scene is interesting but doesn’t seem to really have much of a purpose; only, it does! Irene and the reader just don’t know it yet. The importance of that scene isn’t revealed until Book #2 in the scene I shared above. The next big question, of course, is what other paper items did Irene acquire during Ghost Festival and how might they come into play in later books? 🙂
Now, I could have had Irene acquire any kind of animal, but I knew I wanted it to be a horse precisely because Irene would be horrified. She’s a city girl and a horse is the last thing she knows how to deal with. Well, and because…HORSE! 🙂 I love horses and since I don’t have a real one of my own, by writing one into the story I could at least have one virtually.
Irene stared at the horse. After a moment, she crept forward, ready to run if the horse decided to attack her. It lifted its head, watching her with a wary eye, and then returned to nibbling the ground.
Irene poked its shoulder. The horse snorted, shook its head, and moved a few steps away.
Okay, so not a hallucination, either.
She frowned and bit her lip, at a loss as to what to do. The horse didn’t seem terribly interested in her, so she retreated back to the rock. Her eyes absently roamed over the pile of items from her bag, as if the answers she sought lay there.
Her gaze fell on the words “So You’re Dead” emblazoned on the cover of a thin black book. She snatched it up, dropping the paper items, all thoughts of the horse instantly shoved aside; she’d forgotten she had this. She’d gotten the snarky self-help book from Madame Majicka before leaving the land of the living—gone through a lot of trouble, in fact, to get it, including attempted breaking and entering.
She cracked the book open but was prevented from reading it by the sudden appearance of a large velvety nose in the middle of the page. The horse, apparently bored, had wandered closer and now stuck his nose in the middle of the book, sniffing wetly at it as though hoping it might be food.
Irene sprang up. “Shoo!” she cried, flapping the book at the horse. “Go on. Get away from me.” The horse snorted, put its head down and began nuzzling the pile of items from Irene’s bag. “Get!” she cried. “No! Bad! Bad horse! Sit! Stay! Uh…” She flailed wildly, at a loss what to do. She was a city girl—what the hell did she know about horses?
The horse responded by sticking its nose into her hand and snuffling, leaving a trail of thin, clear snot behind.
“Ugh!” she cried, wiping her hand on its neck. “God, you’re a disgusting creature. Get! Yuck! Go on!” The horse was unperturbed by the chastisement and wandered off with a flick of its tail to graze a few feet away.
Anyone who has spent any time around horses knows how very typical of a horse this scene is. 🙂 But we love them anyway, right? Even when they slobbering and wipe snot on us. 🙂
And so there you have it—a pet horse in the afterlife. The last thing I’ll say about the horse is that anyone who has read my books knows that I put a lot of hidden puns and jokes into them. How many of you know what the joke here is?
Irene looked at the horse, which was hanging back, gazing at her with a hopeful look. Irene sighed. “Come on, Trigger,” she said, sarcastically calling it the only horse name she knew, and even that one she wasn’t sure about—was Trigger the Lone Ranger’s horse or John Wayne’s?
Maghon says THANK YOU for letting me be special!! 🙂
Ok, I am going to say that I am still not a major fan of Irene, she is still a bitch, just different LOL and dead. 🙂 She’s not fighting the dead part anymore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like the book. Not everyone likes every main character, and I think that’s what makes this series so fascinating. Most of the time when we love a book, it’s a lot of us loving the characters, and then we just follow their adventure along the way. Well, Irene is someone I want to punch in the face, hard, alot, and then gag her so she can’t even open her mouth HAHAHAHAHA And oddly, I know people just like her. Which is the other thing, she is so damn flawed that she’s real. She is a very believable character. You will know people exactly like her in your real life.
So, in the first book, which is mainly Irene first trying to prove that she’s not dead, then trying to figure out what to do about it. This one is she now knows she’s dead, and she needs to figure out how to get out of this stuck place. And it’s going to cost her. Irene still thinks she can bully her way to getting what she wants. When she figures that won’t work, she’s going to hard ball it. LOL She’s still a very ungrateful, sometimes mean, very vain, and angry. She is seriously angry. I’ma have to send her some of my food, maybe she’ll shut up while she eats hahahaha She definitely wasn’t expecting what she got here.
The two guys in here, I feel a little for them. They kind of treated her like a princess, and that seriously made her think she could treat them badly. And she still has a drinking problem hahahaha. Andras is different. He’s old fashioned, and doesn’t get the modern thing, and is very stuck back in the day. And he still follows her, even though they don’t seem like they like each other much. Ian, well, I don’t like Ian, and I think Irene is STUPID STUPID STUPID for her choices with him. Boy oh boy, let me just say that she has terrible choice in picking men. I don’t wanna give away spoilers. LOL. And though he seemed like the nice guy, he wasn’t.
Now as for the story line, I think it’s completely cool how in the first book she delves into all the ways people honor their dead, and the significance it has on the afterlife. In this one, she finally, seriously it took her forever, realizes she could help so many people’s suffering. And thought she bitterly does help, it feels like she was so mad about it. But she encounters so many people in the “dead” and I think I understand why so many of them are angry like her. They are stuck, and have everything they’ve ever known taken from them, and they can’t even reach the peace they need in death. I loved this part, because it’s such a unique view on the afterlife. The world building is fantastic, and if you took out me not liking Irene, the writing is great. It’s amazing how much research was put into this to have all the different culture takes. And it definitely has the gothic gloomy feeling about being ghostly as you read. It’s quite an interesting thing, and I will say, I do hope after all this, in the next book, Irene gets her act together and starts acting like a person. LOL Seriously, if she’d just shut up and stop throwing around child like temper tantrums, she’d be a very interesting character. But I think that’s the point. Who wants to be happy about being dead and stuck. So I’m looking forward to seeing where this will go in the next book. 4 CREEPY GHOSTLY PAWS!!
*click on the image to learn more, and look for my review coming SOON! :)*
Hereafter (Afterlife #1) by Terri Bruce
Jonah is quite a child. He’s full of information, and his fascination with afterlife and how each culture treats their dead. I wanted to beat up Irene for him. He still after all she does, help her. And continue to help her. He sacrifices for her. There are some other side characters, like her lovely dead neighbor, and the cool psychic who tries to help her. They definitely made the story lines fun!
Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.
Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450132.Terri_Bruce
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Terri-Bruce-Fan-Page/325830544139030
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terribruce
Tour giveaway details
Launch Party Blog Tour – May 1st – May 31st
2 $50 Amazon gift cards
5 signed paperback copies of Thereafter (U.S./Canada Only)
I wanna thank Ms Terri, she is pretty awesome, right!!!! I hope you guys check out this series.I am definitely looking forward to seeing where Irene can go from here. ! GOOD LUCK on the giveaway! Happy reading and later gators!