What Death Taught Terrence Blog Tour

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Today on my blog I’m bringing you an excerpt from Derek McFadden’s book “What Death Taught Terrence”. This book is an Inspirational Fantasy story that will leave you thinking about the afterlife. I hope you find it interesting and perhaps you might find your next book to read over the weekend. Also make sure to check out the praise Derek has received on this fantastic book.

“What Death Taught Terrence offers a powerful, painful, and poignant look at the life of a man rarely encountered in fiction. Derek McFadden’s writes with an insight few can match.”

— T.F. ALLEN, author of The Night Janitor and The Keeper

“A good story allows the reader to experience life as another person, and McFadden made me do so on a deeply personal level. If you like the works of Mitch Albom, I think you’ll find What  Death Taught Terrence a worthy addition to your library and the reading of it a life affirming journey.”

— BRADLEY HARPER, Edgar-Award Finalist, author of A Knife In The Fog and Queen’s Gambit

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. SO IS THE AFTERLIFE.

At the end of his life, Terrence McDonald must discover its meaning,
or he’ll be banned from the afterlife forever, and his soul will cease to
exist.
Join Terrence–
and those who love him–on a poignant and
unforgettable journey through a life at once wonderful and harrowing.
Learn what Terrence learns. See what Terrence sees. By this provocative
story’s end, readers may even learn a thing or two about themselves. 

***

The TV is on, and I’m on the couch, leaning as far back as I can. My heavy, indecisive brown eyes—their lenses blurred ever since my tumultuous, too-soon entrance into the world—flutter between open and shut. I am half-watching half-listening to a football game on a Sunday afternoon. Was that the doorbell?
“Who is it?” I call out, expecting to hear my daughter, Megan’s, voice. These days, she is the one person who visits me. The only person who knows I’m making my home in this little oasis fashioned from wood felled by my own hand.
“Terry, it’s Mom. I’m here to help you move.”
My mom? That’s not possible. She’s…
Wait. To help me move? Oh, God.
I rise from the couch and glance back at my lifeless body.

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Terrence McDonald is 55. The year is 2045.

The TV is on, and I’m on the couch, leaning as far back as I can. My heavy, indecisive brown eyes—their lenses blurred ever since my tumultuous, too-soon entrance into the world—flutter between open and shut. I am half-watching half-listening to a football game on a Sunday afternoon. Was that the doorbell?

“Who is it?” I call out, expecting to hear my daughter, Megan’s, voice. These days, she is the one person who visits me. The only person who knows I’m making my home in this little oasis fashioned from wood felled by my own hand.

“Terry, it’s Mom. I’m here to help you move.”

My mom? That’s not possible. She’s…

Wait. To help me move? Oh, God.

I rise from the couch and glance back at my lifeless body. Five-foot-eight standing up, but now it’s slumped over, grayish-blue. A few stray locks of the hair I inherited from my father, still mostly pepper-black, spill over into my unseeing eyes.              

Shit. I still had more I wanted to do, damn it! Was it my cerebral palsy? We’ve co-existed forever. Has it somehow—in its slow, indirect way—finally done me in?

I turn back around toward the TV, and I see my mom materialize in front of me, a concerned look on her face.

“Are you okay?”

“No, of course I’m not okay!” I scream. “So… is that it then? I’m dead, just like that?”

She doesn’t say anything, but her silence says everything.

“How? How did I die?”

Mom puts her hand on my shoulder like she always did when I was a kid and I was upset and needed some time to calm down. “You don’t remember?”

“No, Mom, I don’t remember. If I remembered, why would I ask?”

She is silent for another beat. “If you don’t remember… then it’s probably best if I stay quiet for now. My job is to take you Home.”

“I am home,” I shoot back.

“You don’t understand. Where I’m taking you… this is a different kind of Home. This is the place where you’ll find out what happens next.”

“Is there any way around this? Any way at all?”

These words are as close as I’ve ever come to arguing with my mom. That’s because arguing with her does not come naturally to me. And, considering the life I have, I never thought I’d hear myself plead for it.

“No, Terry. I’m sorry, but there’s not. You know that, if there were a way, I’d tell you what it was. But this has been decided.”

I pull away from her. Am I frightened? No, not exactly. But I am… disheartened.

Before I can go too far, she takes my hand. “Come with me, Terry. I love you.”

It’s been so long since Mom said those words to me—I love you—that I’d forgotten how true and convincing they sounded in her voice, and how much I missed them… and her.                   

Without warning—and without the white-light-emitting tunnel I experienced as a kid— we’re not in the cabin anymore, and I find myself in a house so familiar I am comfortable in seconds. The smells are familiar. The floorplan. The art on the walls. This is a replica of the home I shared with my wife, before she got sick and I moved into the cabin.

“See, it’s not so bad,” Mom says. “I picked it out and furnished it myself. Just for you.”

It is a nice place. Much nicer than I’m used to these days, that’s for sure. Not that I have anything but a vague idea where we are.

Now that I’ve calmed down some, it isn’t just this new house I’m appraising. I’m also getting my first real good look at Mom in twenty years. Hers is a face looking as youthful today as it appeared in the photograph announcing her entrance into womanhood—taken in her eighteenth year. I remember seeing this picture in a family album decades ago.

“You’ve got all the comforts you’re used to,” Mom explains. “Along with a couple you might have forgotten about.”

“So this is where I’ll be living now?”

The frown on her face hints at the fact that things aren’t that simple. “Well, that depends on your appointment, but I sure hope you will. Your father and I are just down the street.”

“Dad’s here?”

“Yes, he made it.” She smiles. She’d told me as much before. Years ago, on her final day. She’d said it twice, in fact. I’m not sure I’d believed her either time.

“My appointment?”

“Everyone has an appointment when they first get here.”

“What happens? Who is the appointment with?”

“I can’t tell you, Terr.” Mom takes a seat in the first of three chairs arranged in front of my large television screen. This is the only liberty she’s taken in the design. The original home had two chairs in front of this television, because two was enough for Mattie and me, but I sense Mom gave me the extra seat in case I should have company over. “Those who have been through their own appointments, like me, are expressly forbidden from sharing any details with newcomers, like you. Each appointment is different based on the soul and the life it concerns.”

“Ah.” Now I’m nervous. And not just because I get the feeling at this moment that Mom is spouting some section of a well-rehearsed monologue. I wonder if, at this appointment, everything in a person’s life is considered.

“Yes, everything is considered,” Mom says.

I shoot her a confused glance. Did she just read my mind?

“Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t often use spoken words or languages here. I mean, we can. And we will, especially in cases when explanations or announcements need to be delivered to a large number of people. God prefers spoken language Himself.  But it’s more common, for those who have been Home a while, to communicate telepathically. I thought that was what you were doing.”

I shake my head.

“Well, in a few days, once you’re feeling acclimated, let me know. You can call me on this.” Mom produces what looks like a cell phone. “That’s a direct line to me and me alone. When you’re ready, I’ll come and pick you up and take you to your appointment.”

“Okay.”

But first, she thinks, get some rest. You look terrible.

I am a little tired, but what do you expect? I’m dead.

“You’re getting the hang of our telepathy already.” She laughs, gives me a hug.  “I’ve gotta get back to cook your father’s pot roast, or he might go a little nuts.”

Sounds like Dad. A hungry Carl McDonald means an irritable, hard-to-deal-with Carl McDonald (I was going to say hard-to-live with, but the word doesn’t fit).

Mom pats my shoulder and disappears. This new Home is going to mean some big adjustments for me.             

***

I’m going to guess it’s taken me the better part of three days‑spent resting and recuperating from life—to convince myself I’m really dead and, secondly, that I’m ready to face whatever might be in store for me. I have to guess at how much time has passed because, as it turns out, this new home of mine, furnished by my mom, does not include a clock. Not one. I only discovered this flaw after she departed, so there was no way to readily remedy it. Stores specializing in timepieces aren’t plentiful in the afterlife.

Wait, that’s not true. Maybe they are. I don’t know what lies beyond these four walls yet. I’ve barely moved since I got here. But I am as prepared as I’ll ever be for my personal appointment, so I pull out the cell phone Mom gave me—an older model ubiquitous in my childhood—for just this situation. It doesn’t require dialing. My connection to her is immediate.

“Terry?” she says.

“Hi, Mom.”

“You’re ready for your appointment?”

“I guess.”

“Okay.” She pauses, a bit too long for your run-of-the-mill pause. Something’s bothering her. “Okay, I’m glad to hear it.”

“What’s wrong? You’re gonna pick me up, right?”

“I was planning on it, but it looks like your Grandpa Jack needs to be picked up today.”

“Oh, you mean he’s-”

“Yep.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. Boy, he lived forever, didn’t he?”

She laughs. “Pretty darn close. I’m just glad he got to go out the way he wanted; peacefully, in his sleep. Anyway, your dad and I have to be there for him, but I’m sending your old friend Charlie out to you. He’ll get you where you need to go, no problem.”

Charlie. How nice it will be to see him again. It’s been a long time. This isn’t the only thought I have upon hearing Charlie will be here soon, but it’s the only thought I feel comfortable sharing, in case Mom can read my thoughts through the phone as easily as she could standing in the same room.

“Okay, thanks. Tell Grandpa Jack I say hi.”

“I will. And you call me when you and Charlie get to your appointment. Otherwise, you’ll have me worried.”

“Sure thing.”

We hang up, and I wait. There’s the sound of tires churning gravel and then a knock at the door twenty minutes later… I think. I answer it.

“Charlie Ewell’s limousine service.” He smiles and nods toward a jet-black vehicle closely related to a town car that’s parked nearby.

I step back. Blink. Once. Twice. He’s still there. My mind doesn’t know how to make sense of this.

It really is Charlie. Well, of course it is. Mom told you he was on the way. Yet despite my mom’s assurance, there is this part of me that snickers at most religions, labels them NOT FOR ME, and I never warmed all the way up to the idea of Heaven. Therefore, even after seeing Mom again, I doubted my old friend Charlie would show up. You’re telling me Charlie will be here! Charlie? Yeah, right.

Just like I couldn’t bring myself to argue with her—Charlie can’t possibly be on his way, Mom! —I can’t deny it now.

“It’s you,” I say.

“Sure it’s me,” Charlie says, as though he’s just shown up to my most recent—and last?—birthday party, cheer on his face, a gift in his hand.

“Like, really you.”

“Yeah. It’s really me.”

How?”

“I know it’s a lot to take in when you’re new,” he says, “or when you’ve just come back. I was so glad when your mom called and asked me if I would pick you up. I’ve missed you so much.”

“Same here,” I admit. The initial shock of seeing Charlie is ebbing slowly, like adrenaline leeching out of my bloodstream after an earthquake.  

“It’s so good to see you, Charlie.” We enfold each other in a backslapping, how-have-you-been hug.

When we’re apart again, he says, “And you, Terry. It’s just now dawning on me how odd this circumstance is.”

“True. But under what other circumstances would we see each other?”        “Good point. In one of your dreams, maybe. You ready to get going?”

“Sure. Is there a set time we have to be there? My mom always said it’s better to be early than late, no matter what the occasion.”

Charlie throws his car keys in the air, catches them, as we make our way down my temporary home’s front steps.

“Don’t worry about time anymore,” he reveals. “Time is a human invention. It is seldom kept here.”

“That would explain the lack of clocks.”

“Which always throws newcomers off. And don’t be nervous. Sure, no one who’s been through an appointment can tell you what your appointment will be like. That’s because appointments are unique to each soul, but they aren’t to be feared. Your appointment is a place where you will get the chance to ask questions and learn.” Charlie flashes a quick grin. He opens one of the back doors for me, and I see that in the car rides an elegant woman. “Terrence McDonald, this is my wife, Patty Ewell.”

Patty turns in her seat, puts out her hand. “It truly is a pleasure to meet you, Terrence. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

I give her my hand but can find no words. I’ve never met Patty before. She passed away the night I made Charlie’s acquaintance.

Derek McFadden is the author of the novel What Death Taught Terrence, available in February of 2020 wherever fine books are shelved. Other works of note include the well-regarded Prose From A Grandson To A Senior Fellow.

Born with a mild case of cerebral palsy, his is “a voice for those whose voices have yet to be heard,” according to the online publication Audacity Magazine.

Follow Derek McFadden @ the Following:

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Keeper Witches Book Tour & Giveaway

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The day is almost over and soon the weekend will begin. I joined as a host for Silver Dagger Book Tours blog tour this week featuring the Keeper Witches. Not only is this the best time of the week to showcase these awesome books. It also might give you some awesome reading material for the weekend or coming weeks. So join me for my tour host spot and read along for some awesome excerpts.crossed teaser 1

keeperwitches - about the book

Bryn McCaskey lived by simple rules: kill demons, never use magic against school bullies, and avoid running her mouth in front of her Grams.

It all seemed easy enough to follow.

Until Rhyzel Connor rolled into her life.

Suddenly everything she thought she knew about demons is put to the test as she finds herself teaming up with the most unusual of teammates to save a fellow witch from a hit.

Only problem is she doesn’t know how trustworthy Rhyzel is.

When magic is involved a good outcome isn’t always guaranteed and Bryn will have to put her neck on the line to get to the bottom of the well, even if it means unmasking Rhyzel and everything he stands for in an attempt to solve the biggest mystery she’s ever come across.

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keeperwitches - excerpt

The roar of an engine speeding in our direction drew the Snotty Four’s attention away from me and to a piece of black and green hunk of metal on two wheels headed right for us. Karen and Natasha squealed as the front tire of a beautiful Yamaha motorcycle sped toward them. They jumped to the side, leaving Marianne, Jill, and me in its destructive path.

Marianne and Jill released their iron grip on me and quickly hightailed it after their besties, rushing to the parking lot of the abandoned restaurant to my left as the motorcycle screeched to a stop a mere three feet from my right foot. I had a mini heart attack, but instead of running for cover, I stood frozen to the spot as if my shoes had been superglued to the sidewalk.

I brought my gaze up to the rider, unsure if I should thank him or curse at him. Who the hell drove their motorcycle off the road and right in the direction of five teenagers? No one. Not unless they were crazy, drunk, or stupid. Or all three. There were a lot of psychos out there nowadays.

“Hey, jerk!” Karen yelled at the stranger, who failed to acknowledge her.

Instead, he lifted the helmet off his head and directed a set of green eyes at me. His hair was the color of copper and contrasted against his pale skin. He was very attractive, there was no denying that, but something about him instantly put me on alert.

For starters, no normal person had specks of red in their irises along with their natural color. Second, he gave out an interesting vibe. Like he was surrounded by some inner force that, although invisible, I could still sense.

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keeperwitches - about the book

Bryn has survived high school bullies.

She’s fought demons and won.

She’s even learned to coexist with the permanent haunt of one of her arch enemies.

But she’s never had to contend with a boy she was attracted too.

Much less one that was dead.

When Johnny Zhao’s name pops up in her list of charges Bryn doesn’t think much of him. Until their first meeting ends in near disaster.

It doesn’t take long for her to realize Johnny isn’t a conventional soul in need. He’s much more powerful than any she’s seen before. He’s a coveted target, one that has much to offer demons.

Protecting him becomes a priority, one she takes very seriously.

Now if only she could convince him that he needs her help before his adversaries return to claim what they failed to collect the first time around.

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keeperwitches - excerpt

I reached the first step leading up to the porch and that was when I sensed it. Eyes. Staring at me. Watching my every move. I spun around and glanced in every direction, drawing a donut on the ground with my feet as I rotated. Nothing. There was nobody there. Just my imagination playing tricks on me.

Or not.

A ball of white mist flew at me and zapped me with an electrical shock that sent me free-falling backward. I landed on the ground with a dull thud, blinded by an indescribable pain that sucked all the air out of my lungs in one quick whoosh. I was disoriented. Confused. And hurting as if I’d been struck head-on by a car.

I’d felt pain before, but never anything like this. It was as if I was being sautéed from the inside out by electrical undercurrents that coursed through my body, shooting tiny bolts of pure agony with each second. My muscles spasmed involuntarily and I had the sudden urge to vomit everything I ate for dinner that night.

I blinked away the tears that gathered in my eyes and tried to sit up, to no avail. Moving was too much of an effort; my energy was totally spent. I curled into a fetal position and focused on breathing in and out. It took about a minute for the symptoms to subside, but it was the longest sixty seconds of my goddamn life. I made the mistake of allowing my guard down for just a moment, and that lapse in judgement turned out to be very crucial.

Lesson learned.

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keeperwitches - about the author

Kristy Centeno loves to spin tales of creatures that go bump in the night, with a sprinkle of romance to top them off. Her passion for writing stems from a lifelong enjoyment of reading and the pleasure derived from the magical worlds created by authors like her. She prefers her female leads strong, independent, and stubborn who will stop at nothing to save their loved ones and protect those they care for.

Kristy currently resides in Pennsylvania with her five kids, a quartet of noisy parakeets, and a spoiled puppy. When she’s not working or writing, she juggles her free time between raising a handful of minions and pursuing other career goals.

Connect with Kristy!

Website/Blog | FB | Twitter | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

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The Mythical Universe Blog Tour & Giveaway

the mythical universe bannerSDBT Host ButtonGreetings everyone, today I am a tour host for Silver Dagger Book Tours. I’ll be featuring The Beginning & The Showdown in Alicen Scott’s The Mythical Universe series. She is a New Adult Fantasy and Paranormal Author. Please help me welcome her and her books onto my blog. If you have Kindle Unlimited you definitely want to give these two a go.

mythicaluniverse-excerpt

I back away from him slowly, “Ekon… you…”

Planned this since the beginning? Yes, I did. Who do you think has been poisoning you? It wasn’t one of your guards or your maids. It was me,” his smile says he’s proud of himself. “Convincing you to get rid of Calista was easy enough. When you started trying to create a new heir, they were effortless to eliminate. They didn’t suffer. I always kill my victims quickly. Well, except for you. It has been quite enjoyable watching you writhe for all these years. Somehow you managed to sneak Aria and Alexsei past me.”

Oh…” I clutch my throat. 0 the mythical universe series teaser

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1- The Mythical Universe - The Beginning_465x600The Beginning: The Mythical Universe Book 1

Fresh out of an abusive relationship, Aria moves in with her twin brother, Alex, ready for a new start. He offers her a job working with him as a paranormal investigator, which she reluctantly agrees to. Aria is a skeptic of anything she cannot see with her eyes. Alex, on the other hand, has always been a believer in anything and everything paranormal. When Aria and Alex go to California to help investigate a large building where strange things are happening, she has no idea how her world is going to be turned upside down. When they arrive, she meets Tyler, one of the biggest mysteries she never saw coming. He’s a tall and sexy man, but her attraction to him is more than that. She can’t explain why she can feel the energy pulsing from him. During the investigation, things start to unfold and very quickly, Aria comes to realize she isn’t who she thought she was. She may not even be human. Together with Tyler and Alex, she goes on a pursuit to find out the truth. Traveling through planets and dimensions, meeting creatures she only thought existed in fantasy stories, she will have to question everything she ever believed. When she finds out the truth what will that mean for her and Alex? And what about Tyler? How does he fit in with all of this? The Mythical Universe: The Beginning is an action-packed story full of time traveling, hybrids, aliens, vampires, fairies and so much more.

18+ for mild sexual situations and language.

Ends in a major cliffhanger leading into book 2.

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2- The Showdown Cover_375x600The Showdown: The Mythical Universe Book 2

Aria knows everything she never believed in is real and she’s a part of that world now. Without Alex or Eugenia to help her, she must face down Ekon and get a grasp on her own abilities, her need for vengeance and her crown before they destroy her.

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mythicaluniverse-about-the-author

Alicen Scott_400x400Alicen was born in the deep south. Growing up as a disabled, opinionated, female in that environment was difficult for her. She developed C-PTSD before she was a year old, but she wouldn’t be diagnosed until she was in her thirties.

Her love of writing didn’t develop until she was in her twenties, but once it did it took off at full speed. Since then she’s run several blogs, done book reviews for indie authors and started working on both her autobiography and her first New Adult fantasy book collection, The Mythical Universe.

She’s choosing to self publish her novels and her autobiography because she wants to keep control over her work and her image. Alicen wants her stories told in her voice. So much of her life was chosen for her by others, she won’t let it happen again.

When she’s not writing, Alicen enjoys advocating for the LGBT+ community and the disabled, hanging out with her friends and partner and spending time with her two cats, Dittle and Odie.

Her story may be one of triumph, but she refuses to become just another disabled person labeled as inspirational for pursuing her dreams. Staying true to herself is what’s most important to her throughout this process. While self publishing may be more difficult, Alicen has never done things the easy way.

How to connect with Alicen!

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!