October Releases

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thereafter Blog Tour - Book Review + Guest Post + $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Thereafter (Afterlife #2) by Terri Bruce

Author: Terri Bruce
Series: Afterlife
Number in Series: 2
Format: ARC ePub
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Pages: 265
Publisher: Mictlan Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction

Buy here:

Synopsis from Goodreads

Nothing in life is free. Turns out, nothing in the afterlife is, either.

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.



The Feast of Lemuria

I’m so excited to be back here at the Offbeat Vagabond—thank you so much for having me Diana!—to talk about the ancient Roman festival of Lemuria.

Today is the last day of the three-day ancient Roman festival of Lemuria. In ancient Rome there were three key festivals having to do with honoring the dead—Parentalia, which takes place in February, Femuria, which is celebrated on the last day of Parentalia, and Lemuria, which is celebrated in May (May 9, 11, and 13th).

Parentalia was a festival for honoring ones ancestors. It was a national holiday and involved cleaning up the tombs and gravesites of ones ancestors and leaving traditional offerings for them, rather like American Memorial Day or Tomb Sweeting Day in Thailand. On the last day of the festival, the rite of Feralia took place, which was a cleansing ritual to prepare for the closing feast. Feralia was about making peace with or appeasing the ghosts of ones deceased ancestors

In contrast, Lemuria was a national day of exorcism to drive away the bad spirits and angry ghosts of the “kinless” deceased; that is, angry and malevolent spirits that plagued the general population, rather than targeting their own family. The specters targeted during Lemuria were usually those who had not been buried correctly, those whose graves went unattended, or those who had no descendants to send them appeasing gifts during Parentalia.

During Lemuria, it was the duty of the head of the family to get up at midnight on the final night and walk around the outside of the family’s home, chanting an incantation to protect the family’s home from invasion by malevolent spirits. While Parentalia was focused on honoring one’s ancestors and renewing the link between the dead and the living, Lemuria was about collectively clearing away bad spirits that might indiscriminately attack the living. Because of Lemuria, May was often thought of as a bad luck month in ancient Rome; government offices were closed and it was seen as bad luck to get married or travel during the month.

While Lemuria is no longer celebrated, many similar festivals are celebrated all over the world; most notable are the Hungry Ghost Festival celebrated in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Hong Kong, Bon festival in Japan, and Halloween in America.

In the meantime, perhaps today you might make a small offering or say a prayer for the dead; if they’re listening, I’m sure they’d appreciate it, and if they aren’t—well, it can’t hurt, right? 


     Ok, I am not crying, there is just something in both of my eyes. That is my story and I am sticking to it. Wow, what a sequel though. I really enjoyed the first one and was so excited when Bruce asked me to review this one. It was worth the wait and more. This book will make you feel every emotion imaginable. I will put you though the wringer and you might come out a new person afterward. This was such a beautiful read, it was hard to put down. I finished it in a day.

    Our story takes off with us following Irene. She just passed to the other side after wandering Earth and she thought things would be easy-peasy for her afterward. Of course, life, err death, wouldn't make it that easy. Irene has passed without her coin for the ferry and she is now stuck on her own in the afterworld. Her young (and living) friend, Jonah, is not there to guide her anymore. She finds all the supposed stupid information he told her was actually true. I loved Bruce's take on the afterworld. The amount of creativity that went into this is astounding. Everything from the furry little monsters to the Hungry Ghosts that crave living things. It was all creepy, but it really gripped you. 

    I actually started warming up to Irene in this book. I liked her in the first book, but she was a bit selfish She does comes off that way in this book and it is obvious she needs to change if she wants to get anywhere. While trying to find another way to the ferry, she has many run-ins with all sorts of people and animals. All she wants is to find someone to help her, she has a hard time doing things on her own. But as the book goes on, you see she is stubborn, but makes relationships on the way that have such an impact on her, she knows she has to fight. She knows she is a ghost, but she refuses to believe it is the end. She is surrounded by ghost that are lost and have given up completely. She knows there is a way to get back to Earth and she won't stop until she finds it. I loved her determination in this book. I loved how thinking of Jonah was such a great inspiration for her. Jonah was a favorite in the first book, but we don't see a lot of him, of course, he is still living. I loved that he still looks out for her though. Again, those are not tears, an eyelash got into my eye.

    I really enjoyed her new companions though. Ian is sexy cowboy type. I found him adorable as hell. There was instant chemistry between them. We also has Andras. Andras was a strange man to say the least. He was a very religious man and he couldn't see anything outside of that. Irene is definitely more carefree. They were like oil and water. I didn't understand why Andras constantly stayed at her side until I realized he has feelings for her. There were moments when Irene and Ian were together, he would make a noise or interrupt them. He devoted his life to God and I think part of the reason he was so stern towards Irene was because she made him see things differently even though he wouldn't admit it. Irene constantly came up with ideas that could help them and he fought her every step of the way. He has been stuck in the afterlife for over 800 years, so what could the newbie possibly know, right? They needed each other more than they thought. I wanted more scenes with the two of them compared to her and Ian. I just enjoyed the tension.

    The story was quite action packed compared to the first book and again, creepy. We also see Samyel again in this book. He is a mysterious character in the first book and trust me, it gets even more strange. I loved how much information Bruce gave us without making us feel overwhelmed. You can tell she did a lot of research and it showed. She did a wonderful job incorporating different cultures and how they treat the afterlife. The twists and turns in the book were amazing as well. The dark journey they had to go on really will keep you on your toes. You just don't know what tricks will be played or what else is out there. 

    This was an amazing sequel. I look forward to more of Bruce's work. This book will scare you, make you laugh, make you cry, and many other things. This is one of my favorite reads this year, no doubt about it. Bruce has given us something beautiful, unique, and intelligent. Mystery, check. Humor, check. Suspense, check. Romance, check. Ghosts, creepy crawlies, angels and demons, gigantic check! Highly recommend this to anyone that wants something fresh and wants to be thoroughly entertained.


*This book belongs to the following challenges*
The Book Vixen's 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Check out my 4 star review for book 1:

About Terri Bruce

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.
Follow Terri Bruce Here:




Thereafter Blog Tour Schedule

May 1
Little Read Riding Hood

May 2

Guest Post "Afterlife Mythology: The Five Rivers of the Afterlife"
Paranormal Romance Fans for Life
Paranormal Book Club

May 5
Character Interview with Irene Dunphy
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
Spotlight and Review
Curse of the Bibliophile

May 6
Review and Guest Post "Afterlife Mythology: Nephilim/Winged Deities of the Afterlife"
D'eBook Sharing
Justine Graykin

May 7
Guest Post "Top Ten Easter Eggs Hidden in Thereafter"
Butterfly-o-Meter Books
Chrissi Reads

May 8 Guest Post "The Ferryman & The River Styx"
Annette Gisby
May 8 Interview
Chrissi Reads
May 9 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
May 9 Guest Post "Behind the Scenes: Thereafter Cover Art"
Michelle4Laughs - It's In The Details
May 12 Guest Post "How Visiting the Afterlife is Like Time Traveling"
Fang-tastic Books
May 12 Guest Post "Gao"
Vonnie Winslow Crist

May 13 Spotlight
Roxanne’s Realm
May 13 Reviews and Guest Post "The Feast of Lemuria"
The Offbeat Vagabond
May 14 Guest Blog "Thereafter Cover Art"
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
May 14 Review and Spotlight
The Wormhole
May 15 Interview
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine
May 15 Guest Post/Character Spotlight "The Cowboy"
A Novel Friend
May 16 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books
May 16 Interview
Annie's Book Stop of Worcester
May 19 Review
Mara Valderran: Madwoman with a Writing Box
May 20 Spotlight
May 20 Review
BayState Reader's Advisory
May 21 Guest Post "The Hope of a "After Life"
Mythical Books
May 21 Guest Post "Why I Wrote The Afterlife Series"
Pauline Baird Jones - The Perils of Pauline

May 22 Spotlight
Jennifer Allis Provost

May 23 Spotlight
Morven Westfield - Darksome Thirst

May 26 Spotlight
Midnight Musings with Bertena 
May 26 Guest Post "Commemorating the Dead"
Consuming Worlds
May 27 Spotlight and Review 
Lissette Manning
May 27 Interview
T.W. Fendley

May 28 Review and Guest Post "How a Horse Ended Up in the Afterlife"
Happy Tails and Tales
May 29 Guest Post "The Science of Thereafter"
Literary Escapism

May 29 Spotlight
Rae Lori

May 29 Interview
Morgen Rich


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Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D