The Afterlife of Tanya Madera is FREE in all markets until February 14, 2017.
I wrote this story four or five years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I have had this idea for awhile, what if someone wanted to die a violent death because they wanted to come back as a ghost to inflict harm on others. But that's all it as
Then one day I was walking in the woods with my husband. It was this gorgeous spring day. Then I saw it, the pink flannel that you see in the book cover. And all of sudden, that little idea exploded. I saw the characters and found the story.
If you will, here is an excerpt from the book....
Bill met Danny O’Brien at the hospital. He had the same spiky hair he had on TV but he wore black plastic glasses. His crew consisted of two other guys. One chunky guy with his pants falling around his ass and a super skinny one.
“Bill,” Danny said and shook his hand. “I’d like to see your wife first and then if you want, you can come along with us and talk to the girl’s mother and friends. I’m sure the mother will talk to you since you found her.”
Upstairs, Stacy slept on a chair beside Jackie. Stacy opened her eyes when Bill and Danny came in.
“Oh my god your Danny O’Brien from Spook Nation!” Stacy exclaimed. “Bill you didn’t tell me you believe in ghosts.”
“I don’t but I don’t believe Jackie went crazy either. Maybe this guy can help. He said Jackie is in trouble.”
Danny went over and touched Jackie’s skin. “She is very cold as if she were dead. That means I am positive Tanya is with Jackie right now. Make sure the nurse brings a lot of blankets.”
Stacy nodded and went to find the nurse to get more blankets. Danny opened Jackie’s eye lids and took some notes.
“What color are Jackie’s eyes?” Danny asked.
“They are brown with flecks of green,” Bill replied.
“Come here and take a look.”
Bill looked into his wife’s eyes, they were no longer brown with flecks of green but an ashy blue that looked vacant, lost- dead. Stacy came back with more blankets.
Danny looked at her, “she isn’t going to wake up right at this moment. Tanya has her right now. Before we can fix this, we have to figure who Tanya is and why she is holding onto Jackie. Bill, you want to come along?”
“Bill, I want to stay. I feel like this is my fault. I took Jackie back to the house,” Stacy said.
Bill nodded and told Stacy, “I’ll give you a call later.”
Rachael Madera lived in a small townhouse just outside of the Meridian Borough. The townhouses were all white. There were cars parked in front of each unit. Danny pulled into an open space. His camera crew got out and turned on their cameras. Danny knocked on the door with Bill behind him.
“Miss Madera, I’m Danny O’Brien, I talked to you last night.”
“From Spook Nation. Tanya loved that show. Come in.” Her eyes were red and sunken into her skull. The living room just had a couch and a tv with a coffee table. She scooped up some pills and put them back in the bottle and tried to hide the bottle in the sofa.
“You think Tanya is a ghost? Why isn’t she visiting with me?” Rachael asked.
“I don’t know. Do you know this man?” Danny asked about Bill.
Bill didn’t know her but recognized her as a waitress at the truck stop where he and Jackie went to dinner several times.
“No, not really. I’ve seen him and his wife at the restaurant I work at.”
Danny gave her a picture of Jackie, “how about Jackie did you know her. Or did your daughter know her?”
“I’ve seen her around. I don’t know if Tanya knew her or not. Her only friends were that girl Lucy and that guy Mike. I don’t know she would be hanging out with someone older than her but you never know teenagers. Maybe Tanya was into drugs.”
Bill went for Rachael and grabbed her shirt, “my wife doesn’t sell drugs. We are the ones who found her. And now your ghost daughter has my wife trapped in a coma. I don’t want to lose my wife.”
Danny pulled Bill away. Rachael looked at him with her wide, red eyes, “sorry I was just offering a suggestion. But you guys found her, so maybe it was your wife all along. Come on, you guys just happen to find her, doesn’t it make you guys look suspicious?”
Bill lunged for her but the camera men held him back.
“Bill, keep cool. We will find the truth. Miss Madera, focus on anything you might remember from when she disappeared. Anything at all.”
Then Rachael broke down in tears. “I’m a horrible mother because I don’t know what she was doing before she disappeared. When she was at home, she was either alone or with Mike. She spent all her time in her room. I thought she was just going through a phase. How would I know? I treated my mom the same way. I don’t know. Tanya and I were never very close. I worked a lot, I drank a lot and the damn doctor put me on pills that make me sleepy. Tanya was the one to take care of me when she was around. It should’ve been the other away around.” Danny went over to her and gave her a tissue. He put his skinny arm around her and hugged her against his skinny chest. After several minutes, Rachael calmed down.
“Can we see her room?” Danny asked.
Rachael sniffed her snot and nodded, “top of the stairs, last door on the left.”
Tanya’s room was bare. She had a twin bed under the window. There were two book cases filled with books with a cd player on top of the one book case. There was a computer on her desk. Her clothes lay in piles on the floor. The camera men videoed everything. Danny opened her drawers and pulled out a worn journal. He flipped through the pages.
“I think we have something to finally work with. Its Tanya’s journal,” Danny said aloud and rolled the journal up and put it in his coat. Bill flipped through the Meridian High School yearbook. She put a heart around a guy named Brett Adams.
“Looks like she had a crush on Brett Adams. I heard of him. He was fast tracked to the NFL then on the day of his try out, he went to kick the ball and it seemed like he pulled a muscle but he went down hard. According to the doctors, he dislocated his hip. He never played football again,” Bill said.
“Anything else in there?” Danny asked.
Bill flipped through the pages and then pointed out pictures of Danielle and Cameron with horns coming out of their heads. Bill flipped more and showed Danny pictures of her two best friends Lucy and Mike.
“Who should we start with?” Danny asked.
“Mike Hawkins,” Bill said, “he talked about her disappearance but then he didn’t say anything at the candle light vigil in her honor. To me it seems weird. How can someone say he cared about her so much and then didn’t say anything at the vigil?”
“I agree, I think he might know something,” Danny replied.
“I wonder if the police are doing anything?” Bill asked.
“I hope so. But I know they will make it look good and try to do something but they don’t have the resources to find out what happened. Unless someone comes forward and admits it.”
Grab your free copy to read more and if you feel so inclined let me know what you think.
Till next time...