by Julie Hall
(Life After, #3)
Publication date: March 19th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
After defeating the red dragon’s legion of bloodthirsty demons, Audrey can finally settle into the afterlife with the knowledge her family is safe. But her quest for a perfect existence shatters the moment Logan is kidnapped in an attempt to bend her to Satan’s will.
Audrey must now travel to the one place no hunter has ever ventured to save the man she loves . . . Hell.
Savage demons, desiccated corpses, life sucking zombie trees, and a land of death and rot await Audrey and her friends as they battle through the fiery realm.
But Logan’s freedom comes with a price . . . the destruction of Audrey’s happily ever after.
As Satan schemes for dominion over all the realms, Audrey learns that some acts may be beyond redemption.
They watched me with wide eyes and faces leeched of color despite the orange glow of the fire’s flames. They were spooked. Even Jonathon’s expression matched the rest.
“Audrey”—Romona drew my attention—“your hair . . . it’s white.”
I swallowed a gasp and brought a chunk forward to inspect. Color usually streaked my hair, but this time the white completely swallowed any trace of pigmentation. I shivered despite the heat then took a moment to change it back. It had never turned that shade before, but considering what I’d just witnessed, the color change shouldn’t have been a surprise.
I set my hand on the ground, intending to push myself to my feet, but snatched it back when I connected with something warm and sticky. My gaze tracked down, and with a yelp, I rolled-crawled off the makeshift bed I’d been sitting on.
Oh no they didn’t!
“Please tell me you didn’t drag me through Hell on a bunch of dismembered zombie tree limbs?”
Romona’s eyes twinkled. “Okay, I won’t tell you that.”
I spared a glance at my hand, smeared with—something warm and sticky.
“Is that blood?” My voice was shrill even to my own ears.
I glared at the pallet I’d been resting on. A dozen or so skinny branches had been secured together to make a semi-flat surface just wide and long enough to fit my frame. With caution, I leaned forward. The dim lighting made it difficult to see, but sure enough, something red was leaking from the broken tree limbs.
“Oh my gosh! Did they suck my blood while I was unconscious?” I frantically searched my body armor for rips or tears. “How could you put me at risk like that?”
“Vampires suck blood. Zombies eat brains,” Kevin piped up.
“Well then, why the heck are those things leaking blood?”
“It’s not blood,” Jonathon snapped, clearly over any concern he had for me. “It’s sap.”
“Yeah sap. You know, like maple syrup.” Jonathon’s tone and eye roll made it clear he thought I was an idiot.
My stomach churned at the thought of pouring the blood-like substance on my pancakes. I slapped a hand over my mouth as if the action would somehow ward off my macabre thoughts, unintentionally spreading the substance over my lips and chin.
“That’s nasty.” I furiously scrubbed my face with the back of my clean hand, the bile in my stomach churning once again. “I can’t believe you guys dragged me around on that thing.”
“Well, technically we didn’t drag you; we carried you.” Kaitlin shrugged at the glare I shot her. “What? It helped disperse your weight and allowed us to move faster. You were all floppy and stuff.”
“This is by far the most bizarre thing that’s happened to me since I woke up dead.” A day jammed with firsts.
“That’s saying something,” Kaitlin noted.
“Truth.” I bobbed my head in agreement.
Julie Hall is a USA Today bestselling YA fantasy author and 1st place winner of the 2012 Women of Faith national writing contest. She was also was awarded “Best Debut Author” at the 2017 Ozarks Indie Book Festival.
Before writing her first novel Julie worked as a film publicist and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous . . . as in she would gently nudge them to let them know their meal had arrived during press interviews.
She now spends most of her “office hours” with her two furry writing buddies. Her daughter thinks that mommy’s superpower is “sleeping all day,” but that’s because she’s often awake until the wee hours of the morning weaving tales of adventure in worlds of her own creation. When asked in an interview what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’s quoted to have answered, “to never have to grow up.”
She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her four favorite people–her husband, daughter, and two doodles (because dogs are people too).
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