Hello and welcome to my stop on the damppebbles blog tour for Dead Is Beautiful! Massive thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation and of course to Jo Perry and Fahrenheit Press for this very enticing sliver of the novel! This is my very first Fahrenheit blog tour (not my last though, keep an eye out for the The Desire Card tour later this month!) and I’m thrilled to be here!
Let’s take a look at the blurb first:
DEAD IS BEAUTIFUL finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down.
The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger.
Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose.
I can’t wait to read this one, but for now, we’ll have to make do with this extract…
“Of all the events which constitute a person’s biography, there is scarcely one … to which the world so easily reconciles itself as to his death.”––Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup.
I waft through the subtle and invisible membrane that partitions my nothing from your something––and that protects the world of the dead from the living world.
Daylight silvers the elongated greenish-gray leaves all around me and makes me blink as I hover among the high branches of a massive tree.
An oak, maybe, but what do I know? In life I was not the outdoorsy type.
A dog must be in trouble––which could explain why Rose is here.
Where did she go?
I squint at the gnarled network of heavy branches––but I cannot locate her reddish shape.
Now a chainsaw yowls above me, making the leaves shudder.
Another quartet of high-pitched, frantic yaps.
How could a dog––any dog–– get stuck so high in a tree?
Did some sick fuck climb up and put it here?
A sick fuck with a chainsaw?
The chain saw wails again and when it stops I hear Rose’s sweet, familiar growl.
As I follow the sound up through the branches, there are a few things you should know and which I cannot explain:
Only the dead can see the dead.
In the afterlife I can touch Rose and Rose can touch me. But in your world, we’re immaterial, invisible and mute––
I can float past your face shouting bloody murder and you won’t register even the slightest disturbance.
Oh and the dead are fucking useless to the living.
But nothing can stop us, either.
We can melt through objects, tall buildings, branches and even people like you––unseen, unheard, unfelt, unknown.
Ah, there she is.
Rose hovers near a dark, oval cavity in the trunk, close to the tree’s crown.
Below her a slender young man in a mustard yellow hard hat operates a chainsaw––––a taut and complicated arrangement of ropes and leather belts securing him to the trunk––and severs the branch just below Rose.
I see now that he’s removing the tree’s branches and is working his way to up to the crown.
Another yowl from the saw and the branch trembles––then reveals its meaty pink interior and thuds to the ground.
The man adjusts the ropes and ascends a foot or so, then begins his attack on the branch closest to Rose and which meets the opening in the tree.
Rose positions herself in front of the cavity and barks furiously at the man as he works the blade into the branch, a mist of wood dust rising like a phantom from the deepening gash.
The man stops cutting to wipe his eyes and Rose looks at me, then tilts her head toward the opening in the tree and barks.
Is it possible?
Did this tree trimmer or someone else put a dog in that hole?
Only a tiny puppy could pass through that opening.
An arboreal Chihuahua if there were such creatures.
As the man blows his nose into his dusty red bandana, I pass through him into the dark opening and discover two small animals inside––––one with light spots and a small dark one behind it.
As the man restarts the chain saw––the blade only a few inches from the hole––the spotted shape opens its mouth.
Wow, okay, anyone else need more, or is that just me? Luckily, Dead Is Beautiful is available now! Buy it directly from Fahrenheit Press here. ICYMI: Fahrenheit Press has a new policy: whenever you buy a paperback directly from their store, they’ll offer you the eBook version of the same book for FREE! Why? Because they are awesome and revolutionary! I’ve tested this whole Fahrenbundle thing for you (well, no, it was totes for me and not for you, but anyway, bottom line is: I tested it), and it works like a charm! Buy a paperback the usual way and you’ll get an e-mail with a code. Go back to the store, buy the eBook and enter the code at the check-out. You can download your free eBook within seconds!
(But if you insist, you can also buy it from Amazon 😉)
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the raving reviews on the tour: