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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Don't Fear The Reaper by Michelle Muto {Giveaway}

Title: Don't Fear the Reaper
Author: Michelle Muto
Series: Netherworld #1
Publisher:  Dreamscape
Published: September 23, 2011





Book Description 

  
Haunted by memories of her murdered twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her only ticket to eternal peace. 

But in death, she discovers the afterlife is nothing like she expected. Instead of peaceful oblivion or a joyful reunion with her sister, Keely is trapped in a netherworld on Earth with only a bounty-hunting reaper and a sarcastic demon to show her the ropes.

When the demon offers Keely her ultimate temptation--revenge on her sister's killer--she must determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, the reaper and demon have been keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true--that her every decision changes how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

Teaser


My heart thudded wearily, like it’d been broken into a million shards of glass. I’d never felt so lost. So vulnerable. I wanted my parents. I wanted my sister. I wanted our lives back. I wanted everything the way it was before Jordan died.

“I miss you so much, Jordan. I only wanted to be with you again. Please, Sis. Tell me what to do.” I hung my head. “I need you.”

“It’ll be okay, Keely.” Not my sister’s voice. Not even close.

I jerked my head up and looked around. He was just as mysterious as I’d remembered, in his black shirt, pants, and duster. All that black was in stark contrast to his wavy blond hair and those eyes. They were what I’d call a forever blue—the kind of eyes that seemed as though they could read souls. I’d never seen irises like his—bright, like they were lit from behind. He was handsome for someone of my parents’ age—early forties. What was it about those eyes that calmed me when I should have been terrified at finding a complete stranger in my room? For all I knew, the effects of the tequila and sleeping pills hadn’t worn off. He definitely wasn’t a paramedic. But, he had saved my life, and then politely waited for me to clean up and get dressed. 
 
“Thanks,” I said. “For what you did.”
He shrugged.

“I have no idea what you see in her, Banning. Doesn’t seem worth it to me,” another voice said.


A second guy entered my room. He was about my age, packing pure attitude and a lean, fit physique into a red Harley Davidson t-shirt and a pair of faded Levi’s. His short brown hair was perfectly mussed, and he had fierce, dark eyes. And apparently, an equally fierce tongue. 
 
Who were these two? They almost acted as though they knew me, yet this felt all wrong. My first semi-coherent thought, based on the man in black’s attire, was that he worked with Dad at the District Attorney’s office and the younger guy was his smart-ass son, or maybe his assistant. Dad had done this before—had someone from the office stop by to pick up a brief or some notes. But who’d let them in the house? 
 
With a bit of effort, I managed to lift my head in the newcomer’s direction. “And you are?”


Instead of answering, he simply rolled his eyes. What a jerk. Maybe he’d be a bit more cordial over that pot of coffee I wanted. Or not. I stood and shoved past Mr. Attitude.
He grabbed hold of my arm. “Relax, Sunshine.”


His grin creeped me out. I pulled away, but he blocked my path. “Who the hell are either of you?” I asked, finally becoming a bit freaked out now that the ice in my brain had started to thaw. I no longer cared that the man in black had saved my life. This was weird.
He turned and walked out of my room into the hallway. “You explain it to her, Banning. This is your deal, anyway.”


The guy in black, Banning, apparently, motioned for me to follow him from my room. “Come on, Keely. Let’s talk.”


Even in my current dazed state everything felt wrong. Maybe these men weren’t who I’d first thought. I shook my head in an attempt to jump-start my brain. The motion only made my vision blur. I really needed that coffee. 
 
“I’m Banning,” he said, extending a hand. “I’m here to help you.”


I didn’t take his hand. I wanted to sit down and collect myself before I vomited or fell over. I steadied myself against my desk instead. “No offense, but you look like the mafia. Or an undertaker.”


He laughed and his blue eyes lit up his face again. “Neither. This isn’t going to be easy to hear, Keely.”


Great. He even sounded like Dad. I paused, my brain finally clicking into gear and setting off an alarm. It dawned on me why he was here. Something horrible had happened to my parents on the way home from the dinner party. “My mom and dad—are they okay?” 
 
Banning raised a hand. “They’re fine, Keely. Really. But I do have a bit of bad news.”


“Are you from Dad’s office?” I asked, now certain again that he was, and certain, too, that he was lying about Mom and Dad’s well being. After all this, I couldn’t imagine something happening to them. I was still having some minor difficulty unscrambling all my thoughts. That did it. Tomorrow, I was becoming a health freak.


“Five minutes, I think. Then they’ll be here,” Mr. Attitude called out. “Tell her, Banning. What are you waiting for?”


“Tell me what?” I asked.


The younger man returned, still in his perpetual state of annoyance. “You’re dead, Sunshine. Banning here is a reaper. I’m Daniel, the demon who’ll be escorting you and him to hell at the end of next week

About the Author

 Michelle Muto




Michelle Muto lives in northeast Georgia with her husband and two dogs. She loves changes of season, dogs, and all things geeky. Currently, she’s hard at work on her next book.

Story Behind "Don't Fear the Reaper"

I first came up with the idea for Don't Fear the Reaper after several agents had rejected another novel I’d written and asked if I had anything, darker – more edgy. Oddly, it’s been years, but I still recall coming up with the concept so vividly.

 I was cleaning house and mulling over new ideas when Blue Oyster Cult’s iconic 1976 song, Don't Fear the Reaper, came up on my iPod’s playlist. There were several parts that truly inspired me: “Take my hand,” “40,000 men and women everyday,” “Love of two is one. Here, but now they’re gone,” and “the candles flew and the mist appeared, the curtains blew and then he appeared.”

From there, it was a matter of ‘What If’s’ that made my idea unique from the song. What if it wasn’t star-crossed lovers? What if it was family? What if the main character met up with a bounty-hunting reaper and a handsome, but sarcastic demon? And what if all the odds were stacked against my main character and yet, she still found hope and assistance in the most unlikely of fellow characters? What if all it took to save a soul was sacrifice, one born of undying love and devotion? And yet, what if the price of that salvation came at a high price?

 I couldn’t wait to write it. What I hadn’t expected was how it’d rip open old wounds, how the pain of writing Keely’s grief meant revisiting my own. I’d lost my grandparents, my parents, my uncles, all my aunts except for one. I’d lost friends and beloved fur babies, all of whom I’d loved with every fiber of my being. I’d witnessed four of their deaths. I even held the head of two in my arms as they passed. Two loved ones died in the house I currently live in.

 Up to this point, I’d managed my grief. Now, by sitting down to write about love that went beyond death, I was getting ready to stick a hammer and chisel into the wall I’d built and bring the entire thing down—and with it, all the painful memories I’d carefully placed behind it.

Tell me about Heaven, Dad 
I really want to know,
Because ten long years have passed,
 And I miss you so…

The above stanza is from a poem I wrote to my father ten years after his death. I cannot begin to describe what it was like to lose my father, whom I loved more than my very being. All these years later, I’ll freely admit it: I’m a Daddy’s girl. We’re so much alike, he and I.  I was robbed of him far too soon by multiple myeloma, a brutal and incurable cancer.

For those who have read Don’t Fear the Reaper, it’s easy to see the real life example I used. It’s easy to spot the grief, the emotion I used for my main character, Keely Morrison. All scenes I drew from real life.

Oh, and about those agents? I had several tell me that the opening was one of the best they’d read in a long time and that the concept was truly original. But, in the end, they felt the subject matter was too dark. That’s okay. I think the person best qualified to make that choice is the reader.

That’s my heart on a sleeve, Dear Reader. The story behind the story. Thanks for reading about the journey.


2 comments:

Ali Ginger-Read said...

'You're dead Sunshine' ~ crap, I love that. I'm going to give you horrible news but with a little light-heartedness. :) I am drooling over the cover of this one!

Angelica @ Paperback Princess said...

Ali your comment made me LOL thanks for commenting :D

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