Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Junkie Promotions Book Review: To Live Forever

Author:Andra Watkins
Title: To Live Forever
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: World Hermit Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: General Fiction/Paranormal
Book Blurb: Is remembrance immortality? Nobody wants to be forgotten, least of all the famous.

Meriwether Lewis lived a memorable life. He and William Clark were the first white men to reach the Pacific in their failed attempt to discover a Northwest Passage. Much celebrated upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of the vast Upper Louisiana Territory and began preparing his eagerly-anticipated journals for publication. But his re-entry into society proved as challenging as his journey. Battling financial and psychological demons and faced with mounting pressure from Washington, Lewis set out on a pivotal trip to the nation’s capital in September 1809. His mission: to publish his journals and salvage his political career. He never made it. He died in a roadside inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee from one gunshot to the head and another to the abdomen.

Was it suicide or murder? His mysterious death tainted his legacy and his fame quickly faded. Merry’s own memory of his death is fuzzy at best. All he knows is he’s fallen into Nowhere, where his only shot at redemption lies in the fate of rescuing another. An ill-suited “guardian angel,” Merry comes to in the same New Orleans bar after twelve straight failures. Now, with one drink and a two-dollar bill he is sent on his last assignment, his final shot at escape from the purgatory in which he’s been dwelling for almost 200 years. Merry still believes he can reverse his forgotten fortunes.

Nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney is the daughter of French Quarter madam and a Dixieland bass player. When her mother wins custody in a bitter divorce, Emmaline carves out her childhood among the ladies of Bourbon Street. Bounced between innocence and immorality, she struggles to find her safe haven, even while her mother makes her open her dress and serve tea to grown men. It isn’t until Emmaline finds the strange cards hidden in her mother’s desk that she realizes why these men are visiting: her mother has offered to sell her to the highest bidder. To escape a life of prostitution, she slips away during a police raid on her mother’s bordello, desperate to find her father in Nashville.

Merry’s fateful two-dollar bill leads him to Emmaline as she is being chased by the winner of her mother’s sick card game: The Judge. A dangerous Nowhere Man convinced that Emmaline is the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Judge Wilkinson is determined to possess her, to tease out his wife’s spirit and marry her when she is ready. That Emmaline is now guarded by Meriwether Lewis, his bitter rival in life, further stokes his obsessive rage.

To elude the Judge, Em and Merry navigate the Mississippi River to Natchez. They set off on an adventure along the storied Natchez Trace, where they meet Cajun bird watchers, Elvis-crooning Siamese twins, War of 1812 re-enactors, Spanish wild boar hunters and ancient mound dwellers. Are these people their allies? Or pawns of the perverted, powerful Judge?

After a bloody confrontation with the Judge at Lewis’s grave, Merry and Em limp into Nashville and discover her father at the Parthenon. Just as Merry wrestles with the specter of success in his mission to deliver Em, The Judge intercedes with renewed determination to win Emmaline, waging a final battle for her soul. Merry vanquishes the Judge and earns his redemption. As his spirit fuses with the body of Em’s living father, Merry discovers that immortality lives within the salvation of another, not the remembrance of the multitude.


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Review: First of all, don't judge this book by its cover. If you do, you might pass it over and this is not a book that you want to miss. Trust me.

Its part historical fiction, part paranormal fiction with some magical realism tossed in for good measure.  It was definitely something out of my normal comfort zone of reading, yet the book pulled me in, right away.

Meriwether Lewis is stuck in Nowhere and he has a final shot at redemption. This pits him as a rather unlikely guardian angel for Emmaline, whose mother is about to sell her to the highest bidder.


And it gets crazier from there.

This book is definitely a wild and wacky ride, fast paced and easy to read. As Merry and Emmaline try to find her father, you meet quite a few people from Merry's past.

I love the mixture of history of the old world with the modern world.

Definitely a must read.

Rating: 4 flowers

About the Author

Hey. I’m Andra Watkins. I’m a native of Tennessee, but I’m lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina, home for 23 years. I’m the author of ‘To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis’, coming March 1, 2014. It’s a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.

I like:

hiking eating (A lot; Italian food is my favorite.) traveling (I never met a destination I didn’t like.) reading (My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.) coffee (the caffeinated version) and COFFEE (sex) performing (theater, singing, public speaking, playing piano) time with my friends Sirius XM Chill yoga (No, I can’t stand on my head.) writing in bed candlelight

I don’t like:

getting up in the morning cilantro (It is the devil weed.) surprises (For me or for anyone else.) house cleaning cooking

Author Links

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