Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Interview and Giveaway- Pandora’s Mistake by E.B. Black




What inspired you to become an author?

It was something a professor of mine said. It’s easier to communicate with people through stories than any other way. It allows them to feel and experience what you are trying to say, rather than just hear it.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes. Mostly I write fantasy (including paranormal), science fiction, and romance, but I dabble in other things as well. I’ve dabbled in contemporary romance , chicklit, erotica, young adult, and even middle grade. I’ve also written some short horror stories. I write non-fiction a lot, in the form of my blog and also articles on hubpages.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

It’s hard for me to choose between fantasy, science fiction, and romance. I love all of them equally.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

A lot of times I wait until I am done writing. For this reason, my story documents have really weird names sometimes. Like “ideafromfacebook.rtf” or “thatonethingthatsoundedcool.doc.” I know what the names mean to me, but they probably wouldn’t make any sense to anyone else.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, being told growing up by adults that I should strive to be a perfect, submissive wife. Zeus tells Pandora that as well after he creates her and it turns out badly for her.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


Writing is hard, but I think the hardest part is the rejection when you submit to places. It’s difficult to put your heart and soul into something, but worse when you find out that it’s still not “good” enough. I think this is why a lot of writers get burnt out and quit.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

No, I stay at home a lot. I love being at home, but it’s surprising how much you can learn online. The internet is filled with people wanting to connect with others and share their experiences. If you want to learn about something, there’s always a blog out there or a webpage or a youtube channel filled with people who want to talk about the things they’ve seen in their life. It’s always fascinating and why authors sometimes get lost for hours reading and researching things online.

Do you have any advice for other writers?


It’s really difficult to sell books, but we live in an age where we have lots of choices. We can self-publish, we can find an agent and a large publisher, we can publish with a small company, or we can give it away for free online. Try different things and don’t give up. You might get disappointed a lot and you’ll feel impatient sometimes, but writing means being a fighter. You wrestle the words in your manuscripts and you battle to find your place in the world, but some things are worth struggling with to achieve.

Pandora’s Mistake
Fate Of Eros
E.B. Black

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: March 10, 2013

ISBN: 9781301905348
ASIN: B00BRQINMI

Number of pages: 100 pages
Word Count: About 30,000

Cover Artist: Calista Taylor

Book Description:

Pandora was created to be the perfect woman. She has the beauty of Aphrodite, the intelligence of Athena, and the gentleness of Hera.

As the first and only woman to exist, Pandora is the center of attention everywhere. Men lust after her, even vow to start wars over her. She's a good girl, so she keeps her distance.

The problem is Prometheus. He's Pandora's box. He's ripped to shreds and killed every day as punishment from Zeus, but he never repents for being a bad boy.

Zeus has warned everyone to stay away from Prometheus, but she's curious. He's handsome and she desires him.

If she opens the box of her desire, it will unleash Prometheus' inner demons.

Should she risking losing everything she cares about for one night of lust?


Excerpt:

As they neared the top, a shape came together in front of her. A man laid spread eagle and strapped in chains. His face was pleasing to her eyes, even scrunched up. His beard wasn't scraggly like Epimetheus' was and his muscles contorted with barely restrained power. She imagined what he would have looked like if he wasn't covered in blood. Her stomach somersaulted at the beautiful image.
Every time he screamed, the fireball above their heads grew for a moment and illuminated his shadow. A giant raven sat upon his chest, pecking away at bare intestines. She had seen birds, but never a black one that was almost as large as she was.
It glanced over at Pandora. Its unfeeling eyes glowed white as if it had captured a tiny bit of sun inside its pupils. Green liquid leaked out the side of the raven's mouth. It foamed at the mouth like it was rabid. Pandora bit her finger nails.
A river of blood pooled from Prometheus' stomach where his intestines had been ripped to shreds. The raven bent down to peck more inside his belly. He devoured little bits of pink innards. Prometheus was dying or being eaten alive at least.
Pandora tugged on Epimetheus' arm. "We should help him."
Tears formed in Epimetheus' eyes. "I've tried; we can't."
"Why not? He'll die if we don't do something."
Pandora could barely breathe. She felt helpless and afraid.
The man screamed and Epimetheus wrapped his arms around Pandora, pinning her to the ground. Fire exploded around them and Epimetheus' eyes rolled back in pain. The storm of fire above them had gotten so large that a piece of it had escaped and struck Epimetheus' body.
They both stood when it was over. Blisters covered Epimetheus' back where his clothes had burned away. She touched the damaged skin gently. He roared in response and she jumped back. The skin sewed itself together before her widened eyes.
She had seen Epimetheus attacked by a bear once. It had entered their cavern in the middle of the night. It had ripped his chest open, but he had regenerated in the same way.
"His name is Prometheus," Epimetheus said. "He's already died many times. Titans like us regenerate, but that doesn't stop us from feeling pain."
Their eyes met.
"Why is this man important to you?" Pandora asked.
"He's my brother," Epimetheus said. "Zeus chained him here to punish him."
Pandora crossed her arms. "And you want me to feel sorry for him? He must have done something terrible if Zeus thought he deserved this."
Epimetheus shook his head. "You have a lot to learn."
He grabbed her hand and she clutched it tightly. Although Prometheus was restrained, the fire bursting from him was not. Pandora was scared her skin would melt. The crackling of the fire above their heads was deafening and the heat made her eyes feel dry.
Epimetheus read her mind. "It's not as bad when he's further from death."
"I thought gods couldn't die," Pandora whispered.
"We can't. Our souls do not travel to the Underworld like they do with humans. But our bodies can become so damaged that we black out for hours and lose our heartbeats until we are able to regenerate again. It's a type of death, but not a permanent one."
They were near the edge of the cliff, next to Prometheus. It overlooked the places they had traveled since they left the cave. Bright specks from campfires decorated the path. They glowed against the darkness like grounded stars.
"Prometheus suffers because of all those people who live down there," Epimetheus said. "The reason they have warmth and food is why he's being tortured, but none of them care anymore."
Pandora's chest constricted painfully. This couldn't be true. Zeus had been such a kind god, explaining things to her slowly when she didn't understand them. He wasn't capable of this.
"Some of them cared at first," Epimetheus said. "But when they tried to loosen his bonds, the crow would devour them instead. Unlike Prometheus, they wouldn't be able to rise from the dead the next day. He begged them to stop, insisting that he could handle it, but I don't like the way they flaunt their fires in front of him. They should be ashamed of what they have, rather than callous.
"Every time someone lights a fire, Prometheus dies a little faster that day. It's why he usually dies at night-people light their campfires and the raven pecks harder. Prometheus gets upset from the pain and those bad feelings make the raven peck harder as well. He dies.
"If all of the humans were to put out their fires and vow to never use them again, Zeus might let him go, but they won't. Prometheus says it's because they die without fire, but I think it's because they're selfish.
"This is why, as my wife, you are never to light a fire. Fire is his curse, not our blessing."
Pandora nodded her head, chewing her lip.
The raggedy pile of a Titan lying in front of them moaned. He had also shrunk himself. It was strange that he should care about making humans more comfortable when he was being tortured like this.
He spoke and his voice was hoarse. "Epimetheus, is that you?"
Prometheus cried out and the fire above their heads grew larger. Epimetheus pushed Pandora close to the ground just in case.
The fire died down and Epimetheus knelt next to his brother. The bitterness melted from his face and gentleness took its place as if he were gazing at a beloved pet or baby. He stroked Prometheus' cheek and the fireballs burning above them calmed. "Shh! Don't speak! You need to save your strength!"
"Please don't be angry." Prometheus' eyes glowed with love in the light. "To see humanity, my creation, at peace, makes this suffering worth it. I'm glad Zeus chained me here. It allows me to witness all the good I've done."
"Don't speak that way," Epimetheus said. "Nothing is worth seeing you like this."
"Humanity is worth it," Prometheus said. "The way their skin glows in the sun is the envy of the gods. They're beautiful."
Pandora looked down at her arms; the silver flecks in her skin shone in the firelight. Most of the time they weren't visible, except when the sun was bright or she was near a campfire. She had heard once that humans had specks of gold in their skin, during a time when they could tell the future and walked among gods. Pandora wished she was from that time, rather than from the age of silver, where the wealth and gifts of Mount Olympus dwelled just beyond her reach. But humans had sunk to a new low ever since Zeus took over, which was why their skin had silver in it now. If only she knew the future, maybe she'd be able to understand her world a little better.
"Humans give the gods something to live for and take care of," Prometheus continued. "They create and love like we do. They are not evil. It's Zeus that is. Never trust anything Zeus gives you. It will lead to your downfall."
Pandora's forehead wrinkled in confusion. She had been a gift from Zeus to Epimetheus. Was he insinuating that she was untrustworthy? How dare he! He didn't even know her!
Prometheus was sweating. His breathing grew heavier and he went into a seizure.
"It's time! He's dying again," Epimetheus shouted.
Prometheus passed out and the inferno above their heads swirled like a tornado. Pandora shielded her face as ashes rained on her. She could feel her arm hair singeing.

"It's getting dangerous-we need to go." Epimetheus' expression hardened as he wrapped his arms around Pandora. She clutched his chest and let him lead the way.


About the Author:

E.B. Black is the annoying author who lives in the head of a nerdy housewife named Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries to live out her days by walking her dog, spending time with her husband, doing housework, and watching television, but E.B. Black makes her drop everything to type out weird fantasy stories. Elizabeth is asking anyone who read this to please send help.







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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cover Reveal Worthy of Song and Story by Neal Chase






Worthy of Song and Story
Stian the Viking Series
Book  One
Neal Chase

Middle Grade Fantasy

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Winter 2016

 Book Description:

Twelve year-old Stian’s plans to be The Greatest Viking Ever appear to be over before they even begin. He’s captured by Dahlia—a dark elf and a girl. If that wasn’t bad enough, he discovers he may be the son of Loki, the greatest enemy of the Viking gods and the one foretold to bring about the end of the world.

Knowing he is meant to be extraordinary, Stian decides to discover the truth for himself and free Loki from the clutches of Odin. Only then, will he discover who he is and what he is meant to do.

Stian must out-think, misguide, and defeat Thor’s children. To do this he will need the power of Gram—a sword with magical powers. There is one catch, only one pure of heart with the desire to help others, is worthy of wielding it. If Stian succeeds, he will become the world’s most famous Viking, but if he fails he will fall victim to the gods’ merciless justice.


About the Author:

Neal Chase lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, two children, two dogs, and a bird, which strangely has the same name as his dad. He is a member of SCBWI and the Writers’ League of Texas. When he is not writing and reading, you can find Neal coaching football or adventuring with the help of his PlayStation.




Monday, May 02, 2016

Release Day Blitz The Patient Wolf by Karen Hodges Miller



Just an Ordinary Town…Or Is It?

The Patient Wolf is the first in a series of books I’ve titled my “Wicked Urban Fantasy” series. It’s all about life in a typical mid-sized Midwestern city, Rivelou. Many of you may live in a town like Rivelou. It’s just big enough to have a college, a country club, a couple of shopping malls. But it’s small enough that everyone knows everything about everyone else…or at least they think they do.
I’ve been asked several times recently why I enjoy writing “wicked urban fantasy.” Because when I read I want to be taken from the mundane to the fantastic. And that’s what the town of Rivelou is like. It looks so ordinary on the outside. But in Rivelou the housewife next door may just be a vampire. Your family practice doctor may be practicing Voodoo at night, and that sexy college professor? Well, you’ll have to read The Patient Wolf to find out about Professor Alexander Fontaine. Let’s just say most of never had a professor quite like him.

But Alexander is not the only sexy, dangerous man in The Patient Wolf. Chris is a business consultant…at least that is what he tells our heroine, Ana. Finding out just who, or what, Chris and Alexander are is just one of the challenges facing Ana. The other is: which one should she choose? 

Here’s an excerpt.

THE ANIMAL STAYED in the bushes and watched as Ana and Sophie, chattering happily to her mother about her day at school, crossed from the Lessing’s house to their own front porch. The door closed behind them and lights popped on throughout the house.

Do wolves think? Do shapeshifters, when in animal form, reason in the same way that they do when in human form? Or do they rely on instinct?

Whether intellectual reasoning or animal instinct, the wolf outside Ana’s door knew it had to watch her. It wanted her. It needed her. 

The lights in the house slowly went out, and still the animal crouched in the dark. He heard the back door open and he crawled along the high privacy fence until he found a crack where he could see into the backyard.

In the dark the wolf continued to watch. He could be very, very patient.




The Patient Wolf
Wicked Urban Fantasy
Book One
Karen Hodges Miller

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Can’t Put it Down Books

Date of Publication: May 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972024-2-7

Number of pages: 160
Word Count: 42,225

Cover Artist: Genevieve Cosdon

Book Description:

The small town of Rivelou is hiding secrets, and they are about to claw their way to the surface.

Ana Dugan used to enjoy her nighttime walks through her quaint college town, but all of that changes when a handsome stranger rescues her from an attack. She’s not sure who she should be more afraid of the four legged beast who attacked her or the two legged one who saved her. She narrowly escapes, but soon learns that others weren’t so lucky.

When another man enters her life claiming he’s there to protect her she’s not sure who she should trust, the wolf or the hunter.


The Patient Wolf Chapter 1

Ana breathed in the early autumn air as she headed away from the university and onto the darker streets of the neighboring suburb. It was an older neighborhood, built in the 1920’s when the town of Rivelou had begun to spread from its central location on the river across the railroad tracks to the north. This particular section of the town had been built for the railroad workers, with tiny shotgun houses lined up on even tinier lawns.
As Ana crossed Roosevelt Avenue and headed into her own neighborhood, the streetlights ended and the sidewalk became lighted only by an occasional porch light or walk light. She loved walking home from her night classes at this time of the year. The air, while it could not yet be called crisp, had lost its summer sultriness, a welcome change from the blistering heat of a Midwest summer.
And these walks home after her night classes were one of the few times during her week when she could be truly alone. No bosses, no teachers, not even Sophie chattering away in her ear. She’d been a mom long enough not to feel guilty at enjoying a a little time alone without her child. Her thirteen-year-old daughter was the light of her life, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy a little time by herself, too.
As she headed down Harlan Street, farther from the more heavily trafficked avenue, the street became even darker. It was too soon for most of the leaves to have fallen, they were just beginning to turn red on this last week in September and they were so thick on the trees that they hid the full moon. Part of the charm of the old neighborhood was the beautiful, large old maples and oaks, but their roots also tore up the sidewalks. Ana tripped on one of those cracks, and shook her head in disgust. How could she always trip in the same spot, night after night? It wasn’t as if she hadn’t memorized the bad spots in the sidewalk after years of walking this way.
She smiled; only one more year of classes and, with luck, she wouldn’t be taking this same walk anymore. She would have her teaching degree, be able to quit her job as an admin at the university, and start a new life with her daughter, maybe somewhere else. She would enjoy teaching, preferably high school, but she’d take whatever grade she could get to start. Sophie would miss her friends; they would both miss their family. They’d come back a lot to visit. She was sure of that—her family, particularly her grandfather, would certainly insist on it. But it would be nice to start over. Of course, Jonathan, her ex, would probably object if she moved even to the next county. The one good thing she could say for the man was he always fulfilled his obligations to their daughter, even if it was only because he thought about running for political office someday and didn’t want to ruin his reputation with the other lawyers and judges in Rivelou.
She shook her head as if to change the direction her daydreams had taken her and sidestepped another large crack in the sidewalk. She wasn’t going to let thoughts of Jonathan ruin a lovely evening. Maybe after Sophie was in bed she’d have a chance to get outside again and enjoy the full moon and beautiful weather. She wouldn’t indulge herself in a run; she couldn’t leave Sophie alone, but some time out in her backyard to appreciate the full moon would be good.
She stopped and looked around, working to regain her pleasure in the evening, when she heard a low growl nearby.
A dog? No one on this block had a dog big enough to make that sort of sound. That growl had definitely come from something larger than Mrs. Ahearn’s yappy little Pomeranian. She began to walk more quickly. Only a half block until she turned onto Sycamore, then another half block until she arrived at her own home.
The growl came again. She tucked her purse more securely on her left shoulder, her computer bag on her right, and doubled her pace. There were no lights on at any of the houses on that part of the block, and of course, the moon took that moment to hide behind a cloud. She took a deep breath and tried to walk at a steady pace. She wouldn’t run, even though she could hear the animal behind her as she rounded the corner. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her own porch light on, as well as that of her neighbors, Joe and Lindsey, who kept Sophie evenings when Ana had class. Only a few more steps to safety.
She was almost in front of her own door when she heard the rush of paws with nails clicking on the sidewalk. With a howl, the animal knocked her down.
She held her computer case in front of her face, “Take a bite of that, you nasty beast,” she said, pushing the case at its huge, dark head. It was all teeth and glowing eyes as it stood over her, growling. “What do you want?” she shouted.
Though it had her on the ground, it didn’t make a move, just stood gazing at her. Somehow she sensed if she did move, it would strike. She had to do something. She drew a deep breath and prepared to scream when she heard someone running up behind her.
“Hey, you, get back! Get back!” She turned her head and saw a man come running toward her and the slobbering animal. The man grabbed a stick from the ground and waved it at the animal as he rushed forward. “Back! Get back, you ugly beast!” he shouted again, striking the creature who turned, snarling at him. They stared intently at each other for a moment when the dog finally dodged the stick and lunged to take a bite out of the man.
The man got in a couple of good blows before the dog suddenly grabbed the stick, tugged at it, and knocked the man to the ground. Ana decided it was time to take action. She fumbled through her purse as the dog leaned back on its haunches preparing to strike. Just before he lunged on the fallen man Ana found her can of mace and hit the dog in the face with the noxious spray. With howl of pain, it ran into the darkness.
Several more porch lights suddenly popped on to light the night, and the street was filled with neighbors coming to check on the unusual commotion.
“Are you all right?” her rescuer, still gasping and out of breath, asked. “It didn’t bite you, did it?” He made his way to his feet and held his hand out to her.
“No, no. I’m fine,” Ana replied as she was suddenly bowled over by an armful of an anxious thirteen-year-old. “Mom, mom, are you okay?” Sophie asked.
“What happened?” her neighbor, Joe, questioned her at the same moment.
“It was a dog. A huge one. I’ve never seen it before. This man chased it away,” she said, turning to the man who was wiping his face with a handkerchief and coughing.
“I think you were the one who chased it away. Wish you’d had a little better aim with the mace, but under the circumstances I don’t think I can complain,” he said between coughs.
“Hey, are you okay?” Joe asked, looking the man over. “You’d better come in and let us take a look at you. My wife’s a nurse. She can check you out. Just a whiff of that stuff can be torture on the eyes.”
“No, I’m fine, I’ll …” he protested, but Ana cut him off.
“I insist. If it wasn’t for you, I’d have been bitten by that animal.”
“I think we’d better make a police report,” Joe said as they headed for his house. “Joe Lessing,” he added, holding out his hand to the stranger. “And this is our neighbor, Ana Dugan, and her daughter, Sophie.”
“Good to meet you. Chris Spier,” the man said, shaking hands with Joe as they reached the porch. At the top of the steps he turned to Ana, where, under the porch light, she got her first real look at her rescuer.
He was just shy of six feet, with the build of teddy bear, the kind you’d like to give a big hug and take to bed with you, Ana thought, then inwardly blushed. Where had that thought come from? She didn’t have time for men. It wasn’t that he was soft, or fat, she added, mentally adjusting her initial teddy bear image. He was muscular, and he had a kind face, soft brown eyes, shaggy light brown hair and beard, both of which needed a trim. There was something about his worn khakis and wrinkled plaid flannel shirt that said he wasn’t used to being cared for.
“I’m so sorry if I hurt you,” Ana said, taking his hand. Chris held onto it until Joe said, “Come on in. You need to wash off that mace.”

He guided Chris into a small, warm living room and back to a kitchen where Sophie was animatedly, if with little accuracy, describing the incident to Joe’s wife and daughter.

About the Author:

Karen Hodges Miller’s fascination with werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, and all things supernatural began with the childhood classics. She gobbled up everything from The Haunting of Hill House to the Narnia series, from Dracula to Rebecca. As a writer, however, she stuck to non-fiction; working as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor and in 2004 opening her own publishing company.

She has written several books for authors on the subject of writing and publishing. The Patient Wolf is her first fiction novel and of course, it features a very sexy werewolf.





https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14357203-karen-miller

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Interview and Giveaway- Whereafter by Terri Bruce




Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I’m really excited to be here and to be celebrating the release of my third novel, Whereafter (Afterlife #3)!

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always written, ever since I was a child, but I never thought about doing it professionally until 2001. I came home from a bad day at work with a story idea running in my head. I sat down at the computer and started typing and didn’t stop. Pretty soon I had the solid beginnings of a novel and decided maybe I should do something with it. However, after four years, I hadn’t made a lot of progress towards completing the novel, so I decided to join a local writers’ group to help keep me motivated and accountable. It worked and I was able to finally finish that novel in 2009, though it still remains unpublished. I started work on another novel, Hereafter, and was able to sell that to a publisher in 2012. I think what finally pushed me to try and get published was belonging to the writers’ group. Joining the writers’ group made me feel like I was serious about writing and being published—it became a goal instead of just a hobby.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I describe my work as “fantasy and science fiction with a literary bent,” though my work is a really a blend of science fiction/fantasy, women’s fiction, and literary fiction, in the vein of The Lovely Bones, Cloud of Sparrows, Peony in Love, The Sparrow, Neverwhere, and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Do you write in different genres?

For me, genre is just a tool for telling a story. I’m not wedded to a particular genre, so I do tend to write in different genres (as well as different styles). I’m fascinated by a lot of things—the world is a source of endless wonder to me—and so I tend to hop around, exploring various subjects through my writing, and, as such, I write in the genre best suited for the story I’m telling. I’ve explored identity and truth in my first (still unpublished) novel, Say It Three Times. In the Afterlife Series, I explore afterlife mythology, the nature of love and friendship, and learning to accept our own weaknesses. I have a science fantasy in the works that is about survival, identity, and dealing with mortality, and a historical fiction on the backburner that is about the Bread and Roses strike of 1912. So… yeah, for sure on the genre hopping.

All of my stories share common elements—they tend to be more character-driven than plot-driven, often are more “think pieces” and low concept (rather than high concept/easy to describe in a succinct statement) that stay with the reader and keep them thinking long after the story is done, and are almost always cross-genre or defy genre-conventions. It’s these characteristics that are the trademarks of my writing, rather than a particular style (or genre). However, no matter what genre I’m writing in or what style I’m using, readers know that, from me, they are going to get a thought-provoking, often unsettling, story that will make them think.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

So far, I’ve mostly stuck to science fiction and fantasy—those come naturally to me—but really, I love all genres. For me, the key thing is telling a character-driven story about people’s emotional struggles. That’s what I love to write about. And if that takes the form of a fantasy story or a science fiction story or a romance or a historical fiction, then so be it. Whatever tool/setting is necessary to tell the character’s story.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Originally, Hereafter, the first book in the series, was called “In the Land of Mictlan—Book One: Across the Pontine” (Mictlan is the Aztec afterlife and a Pontine is a bridge to the afterlife). My sister talked me out of that—too pretentious, didn’t fit the style of the book (sounds more epic fantasy), and no one would know what it meant. Then I struggled and struggled to find a new title—finally I settled on “Hereafter” just as a place holder, assuming the publisher would change it. Well, the publisher ended up liking it, and decided to keep it. Of course, right after the publisher bought my book, another book by a big name YA author came out with the same title. We talked about changing my title, but the publisher liked it and I already had named all the other books in the series based on all of them being a play on the word “after” (the “after” in “afterlife”), so we decided to keep it.

I have titles for all six books in the series already; each uses the word “after” and is related to the central theme of each story:
•    Book #1 is titled Hereafter, which takes place (here) on Earth/the land of the living.

•    Book #2 is called Thereafter and takes place (over there) in the afterlife/on the “other side.”

•    Book #3 is called Whereafter and takes place (somewhere) in between the land of the living and the afterlife (it’s unclear where the characters are), and also, the book is about the two main characters’ attempts to reach a particular destination (to get somewhere in particular).

•    Book #4, Whenafter, will be about “when” the story is taking place. In Whereafter, we learn that time is not passing the same in the land of the living as it is in the land of the dead. So in Book #4, exactly when the story is taking place will be important.

•    The remaining books will be called, either Elseafter (Book #5) (about choices) (it was originally going to be called Never After but there’s a few other books with that title already, including one by Laurell K. Hamilton, so I switched the title), and Ever After (Book #6) (this might change as I worry it’s clich├ęd, but it does fit really perfectly).

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

A little bit of both. Every story always has a working title, which may or may not end up being the finished/published title of the story. So there’s a title from the very beginning that I refer to it as and then upon completion, that working title is often changed to what ends up being the title it’s published under. I tend to continue referring to a book by its working title, however, forever. I still call Hereafter “Mictlan” and that’s how it’s saved on my computer!

What books/authors have influenced your life?

For sure, T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” was one of the most impactful books I have ever read. I read it once a year around my birthday just to remind myself that the struggle to be noble and good is worth it. Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” influenced my social-political views, “The Little Prince” influenced my life philosophy, and Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love” has helped guide me in my attempts to be the best version of myself.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

As always, I have a bunch of things in the works. There is, of course, the next book in the Afterlife series, I’m working on editing a “Blade Runner meets The Usual Suspects” science noir story that I’ll be shopping to publishers soon, and I’m working on a science fiction novel that started out as a space-opera “sci-fi western” and is morphing into a much more sobering, almost hard sci-fi mortality tale about a group of space miners trying to survive on an abandoned mining outpost in deep space.

Of course, your readers probably most want to know what is in store for Irene and Jonah! The next book in the Afterlife series is titled, “Whenafter.” There is no release date set yet, but I have already started working on it. Whenafter will feature the return of a significant character from Hereafter, and finally, readers will get some answers to some long-standing, unanswered questions!

Whenafter Description:

In The Afterlife, Nothing Is As It Seems…

Just as she’s found the doorway from the Great Beyond back to the land of the living, Irene Dunphy’s plan to return home as a guardian angel is derailed by a surprise attack from an old enemy.

Swept into the afterlife plane inhabited by the Nephilim, Irene is forced to call in a favor from the mysterious Samyel—the Nephilim who used her to bring him to the afterlife and then promptly abandoned her. He’s her only hope of survival and escape—if he can be trusted to deliver on past promises. But will Samyel help her—or betray her?

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I find it really hard to write emotionally sad scenes—goodbyes and death/loss. I have a hard time feeling like the scene is emotional enough—I want readers to really feel it (and to cry!). Emotional scenes in terms of anger, embarrassment, frustration, fear… all of those I find much easier. But I’ve never written a really sad scene that I felt was good enough (like when Irene’s horse dies in Thereafter or when she says goodbye to Jonah at the end of Thereafter).

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I think my most favorite author is Terry Pratchett because he so effortlessly combined humor and emotional gut punches. In one sentence he’d have you laughing and in the next he’d be delivering a very sobering commentary on society or having something very emotional happen to the characters. It’s amazing to me how he was able to do both elements so well and to blend them so well.

Of course, any author that can make me cry also ranks among my favorites as well: T.H. White (The Once and Future King), Aryn Kyle (The God of Animals), and Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow) are all on this list.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Virtual travel! LOL! I do a lot of research for the books in the Afterlife series—in a way, they are almost historical fiction, because the afterlife is full of people from throughout history, right? So I’ve had to research not just afterlife myths, but physical places associated with the afterlife (real life places that people believe are doorways to the afterlife), fashions from throughout history, the geographic history of Boston, Massachusetts (I had to find “ghost streets” for Hereafter and/or streets that have been renamed in the last one hundred years), and do extensive research on the geography and history of Spain as relates to the crusades and the wars against the Moors in the twelfth century. I love the internet so much—how did authors do all this research before then?!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write!

Don’t wait for inspiration, don’t wait to be in the mood—push yourself through the “meh” feelings and writers’ block and just put words on the page. You can always edit it later. The biggest challenge for a new writer (any writer, really) is actually finishing a story. It’s so easy to start a story, but finishing… that’s much harder. But you can’t get published if you don’t actually finish anything.



I want to thank you once again for letting me stop by and chat about Whereafter. For those that love afterlife mythology or want to learn more about the Afterlife series, during the month of April, I will be participating in the “A to Z Blogging Challenge,” and every day, I will be posting a video blog (at http://www.terribruce.net) in which I reveal all of the hidden references to afterlife mythology and “Easter Eggs” in the series. I encourage everyone to stop by each day and check out the videos! You can also sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest news. In addition, I love interacting with readers, so please feel free to email me or connect with me on Twitter. 



Whereafter
Afterlife
Book 3
Terri Bruce

Genre: Contemporary fantasy/paranormal

Publisher: Mictlan Press

Date of Publication: March 15, 2016

ISBN: 9780991303649

Number of pages: 345
Word Count: 100,000

Formats available:
Paperback and all ebook formats

Cover Artist: Shelby Robinson – artwork
Jennifer Stolzer – layout and design

Book Description:

How Far Would You Go To Get Your Life Back?

Stuck in the afterlife on an island encircled by fire and hunted by shadows bent on trapping them there forever, Irene and Andras struggle to hold onto the last vestiges of their physical selves, without which they can never return to the land of the living. But it’s not just external forces they’ll have to fight as the pair grow to realize they have different goals. Irene still clings to the hope that she can somehow return to her old life—the one she had before she died—while Andras would be only too glad to embrace oblivion.

Meanwhile, Jonah desperately searches for a way to cross over to the other side, even if doing so means his death. His crossing over, however, is the one thing that could destroy Irene’s chances of returning home.

Too many obstacles, too many people to save, and the thing Irene most desperately wants—to return to her old life—seems farther away than ever. Only one thing is clear: moving on will require making a terrible sacrifice.

Excerpt #1
Char shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I was going more for a sense of forced gaiety in the face of impending doom, but, sure, your rather strange and far-fetched idea works, too.”
“Doom?” Jonah scoffed. “There’s nothing creepy here. In fact…” He scanned the room, his lips pursed as the subtle thought that had been nagging at him since they’d arrived finally crystalized. Setting aside the fact that Irene wouldn’t be caught dead waltzing or in a library or wandering naked in a garden, and that her letters had indicated she was outside, at a river, there was another glaring indication that they weren’t in the right place: Valhalla, Heaven, Eden, Tlalocan… they all had one thing in common. They were where the happy dead went.
Disappointment sizzled through him, instantly souring the happiness of a few moments ago. “You know what—let’s go.” He turned back toward the doorway through which they had just come.
“Go? Wait… you mean we’re leaving?”
“Irene’s not here.” Frustration burned like acid in his gut. He pushed blindly through the throng, numbness and anger warring within him. All that time, all that effort… for nothing. He was back to square one.
“What do you mean? This place is huge; we haven’t even searched half of it yet.”
“I can tell she’s not here. This isn’t where she went.” Bitterness bubbled over, and he desperately wanted to punch something. He tried to tamp the feeling down; he’d give vent to his feelings in private, away from Char’s prying, mocking eyes.
“How do you know she isn’t here?” Char said, a note of insistence creeping into her voice. “We’ve hardly even looked.”
Jonah stopped dead in his tracks and gestured wildly to the rooms around them. “Look around. These people are all happy. This is Valhalla and Elysium and Eden—the places people go to carouse and rejoice and celebrate a life well lived. These people don’t mind that they’re dead. In fact, they’re thrilled. It’s one endless party.”
“And let me guess—Irene was not happy to be dead?”
Jonah turned away from her with a scowl and resumed heading for the doorway back the way they had come. “No. She was pissed. This is the last place she’d be. No, she’s somewhere else.” Waiting at a river to pay a coin to a ferryman—that sounded like the Greek or Egyptian afterlife to him. And if she hadn’t then crossed into Elysium, that left Tartarus or Hades—basically Hell. He’d been right to worry. She was in trouble.


About the Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. 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. She is the author of the Afterlife Series, which includes Hereafter (Afterlife #1) and Thereafter (Afterlife #2) and several short stories including “Welcome to OASIS” (“Dear Robot” anthology, Kelly Jacobson publisher) and “The Well” (“Scratching the Surface” anthology, Third Flatiron Press).

Website/Blog: www.terribruce.net



Twitter: @_TerriBruce

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