AFTER THE GARDEN
by Michelle Browne
Memories of another life and lover guide her, but are they even hers? She is a Bearer—keeper of past lifetimes and gifted with strange talents. Ember must find her answers away from safe Longquan Village, snared instead in the sensuality and dangers of The City. Hidden among spider farmers and slaves, prostitutes and weavers, a nest of people like her are waiting.
A powerful man outside The City raises his forces, determined to hunt down the ‘demons’ who could taint his followers. Threatened from without and within, can the Bearers even trust each other?
Powers will rise and alliances will be forged in a dark new world. The Memory Bearers are coming.
This book includes violent and mature content. Reader discretion is advised.
She was looking in a mirror, marvelling at her powdered face. You can’t even tell, she thought admiringly. She picked up a bottle of perfume and sprayed some on her wrist. She dropped it, and there was a heavy sound, a clunking noise, as the bottle connected with the tile. Not plastic, but thick glass.
Hearing the crash, he appeared from behind the bathroom door. “Are you all right, honey?” he said, resting a hand on her shoulder.
“Oh yes, I’m fine,” she said, nuzzling him.
“You look exquisite. I can’t believe you spend most of your time in a lab coat when you look like this.”
“Believe it,” she said. He twisted her around suddenly and kissed her.
“How much time do we have before dinner?” he asked.
“Enough.” She took him by the hand. “Come with me.”
The memory slid away to another part of her mind. She considered telling—no, wait, who could she tell? Their names eluded her. She winced, frustrated. She’d already forgotten her family’s names. That was part of the deal, she told herself; she’d known what she was in for. Paranoid, she wondered if she would forget her own name next. It wouldn’t be that bad, though; and after all, she knew she would remember someday. When the time was right, the lock would open again, and she’d have the things she was giving up back. And though they were frustrating and mildly debilitating, she still had the fragments. That annoyed her, but it was a comfort.
Philosophy was the path of madness, she decided, shoving the bottle in her satchel. In the meantime, she had other things to do—she had to see if there was anything of value left in this house and get out of here as quickly as possible. Something unpleasant had happened here after The Time Before had come to an end, a small disaster after the fact, and she was eager to leave.
~Buy AFTER THE GARDEN on Amazon.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I wouldn’t say I was “inspired” to become a writer. I didn’t have much control over it. I read books, I had stories, and I had to tell them. That said, there was a writing prompt in fourth grade that really caught my imagination, and the thrill of having the class pay attention to my words, of being pulled along by a main character’s struggle, and of my teacher’s approval were all very powerful.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Hit up the markets, go shopping, get some drinks, and head to the red lantern district. What? I’m not a hunter, a fighter, or a cult leader. I’d stay out of trouble if I could help it. It’s a dangerous world.
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
There are only a couple of species of herbivorous spiders in the world. Currently, a spider/silkworm hybrid is our best bet on commercial production of silk with strength similar to that of spider silk. Why the spiders? BECAUSE THERE ARE SPIDERS IN THE BOOK. I love spiders.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and/or pizza with?
Hamza would probably be the most fun, because dude’s an inveterate charmer. You wouldn’t have a dull moment with him. That said, Kerrick is a sweet, good person, and quite intelligent as well, so I’d be happy to have a bite with him. But Hamza is the best character to get drunk with; no question.
-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Calm down. Also, learn to rewrite, and to accept and seek out criticism. Friends who can actually provide good critical feedback are worth their weight in gold. My editor, Katie de Long, is the queen of this.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Western sweet Christian romance. I can’t really do sweet romance, and I don’t think I could keep to the genre confines of the other two—there’d be hookers and robots at some point, no doubt about it, if I was trying to write it. Hey, wait a minute…
Michelle Browne is a sci fi/fantasy writer from Calgary, AB. She has a cat and a partner-in-crime. Her days revolve around freelance editing, jewelry, phuquerie, and nightmares. She is currently working on the next books in her series, other people's manuscripts, and drinking as much tea as humanly possible. She is all over the internet, far too often for anyone’s sanity, and can be found in various places.
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on Twitter, Facebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out!
Other books by Michelle Browne:
(Book 1 of The Nightmare Cycle)
-The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming
(Includes The Underlighters and many other short stories)
-The Stolen: Two Short Stories
(Book 2 of The Meaning Wars)
-And the Stars Will Sing
(Book 1 of The Meaning Wars)
The Meaning Wars
(Book 3 of The Meaning Wars)
Monsters and Fools
(Book 2 of The Nightmare Cycle)
Within the Tempest
(Book 2 of The Memory Bearers Saga)
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