A New Haunt for Mr. Bierce
by Drew Bridges
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Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 13 Dec 2023
The ghost of Ambrose Bierce, American writer and civil war Union soldier, has been displaced from the home he had been haunting. Enlisting the aid of a "haunting agent," he finds a new residence that has the requisite dark history and terrible secret that makes it appropriate for haunting. Here he meets new spirits who reside in this version of the afterlife, a middle place between life and the ultimate destination.
Against his intentions, Bierce becomes caught up in the unsolved mystery of his new haunt. In partnership with an old friend, a Buddhist priest named "Sid" who has inhabited the spirit world for 25 centuries, he reluctantly involves himself in the matters of still living people. Bierce and his friend also become aware of the presence of mysterious "others" who are spirits who never held human form. Bierce, Sid, and other new spirit friends ultimately find themselves as part of a quest to save a human life, rescue another spirit from oblivion, and discover the identity of the "others."
A Note From the Publisher
eBook ISBN: 978-1-952782-45-9
“A New Haunt for Mr. Bierce is a page turner. As a storyteller, I appreciated the surprising twists and turns, and the satisfying ending. The author creates a unique version of the afterlife featuring competing desires and motivations of spirits, within a tangle of honor and emotion. One choice is between detachment from care about others and the opportunity to do something benevolent.” – Robin Kitson, Professional Storyteller, Stories from d’Bayou
“Bridges follows Civil War soldier and journalist Ambrose Bierce after his death into an adventure in the afterlife that presents compelling characters and inspirational situations. One key to this adventure is how the spirits of this afterlife interact with the living world and the decisions they must make about these encounters. A most rewarding story, well told.” – E. Gale Buck, author of Vrenessbith, Treasured Adversaries, and A Quiet Service
“A New Haunt for Mr. Bierce is a compelling and thought provoking story about life, death, and what comes next. The ghost of American author, Ambrose Bierce is looking for a new residence to haunt while searching for answers about his ghostly existence and what it means to move on. Drew Bridges builds a fascinating psychological mystery that any reader can relate to. This novel will appeal strongly to readers who love ghost stories or mysteries and any fans of Ambrose Bierce.” – Vanessa Lafleur, author of Hope for the Best, Tomorrow Will Be Better, and Prepare for the Worst
“His death more than a century ago apparently hasn’t stopped Ambrose Bierce from wishing to produce new literature. Unfortunately, existence as a spirit means he can’t do anything. He lacks a human form and all the capabilities thereof. Recent renovations to the house he’s been haunting force him to seek a new home. But the late-nineteenth-century Virginia mansion has a fresh tragedy of its own, a widow in mortal danger, and to murderous conmen to contend with. Mercifully for Suzanne Hurd, Bierce isn’t the only inhabitant of the afterlife nearby. His best friend, Sid (a Buddhist monk who lived 2,500 years ago) and Kiki, a recent victim of a drunk driver, pool their limited abilities to save her life and avenge her husband Dave’s murder. And as he spends more time between worlds, learning from and philosophizing with those who’ve gone before, Bierce discovers he has one last story to tell. Bridges, with a background in English and psychiatry, dispenses with the stereotyped portrayals of ghosts as either forlorn lost souls or malevolent pranksters. His spirits are thoughtful beings who subtly develop supernatural gifts to help the living as the story progresses. The plot brings together great people from different eras. Sid is Bridges’ tongue-in-cheek nod to Siddhartha, Buddhism’s founder, while Bierce comes from the Victorian age and American Civil War. Kiki hails from the present day. Soldier and author Bierce disappeared in Mexico in 1914. Nobody knows exactly how or when he died. Humorously, Sid says that not even Bierce himself knows how he died. Bridges borrows portions of text directly from several of Bierce’s short stories. He italicizes the excerpts and provides attribution in footnotes. Anyone fond of Bierce’s work and willing to entertain this as a possible postmortem scenario for him will likely enjoy this novel.” – Heather Brooks, U.S. Review of Books
“A New Haunt for Mr. Bierce is a ghost story adventure that is also a fascinating and imaginative reflection on the afterlife. The unlikely cast features Kiki, a young woman new to the spirit world, Ambrose Bierce, who I remember as the 19th century short story writer who penned An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and Siddhartha, who is affectionately referred to as ‘Sid.’ Bridges does a masterful job of utilizing a simple haunted house story as a platform for a provocative exploration of life, death, and beyond. Heavy subjects that are skillfully leavened with humor and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Highly recommended.” – Len Joy, author of American Past Time and Everyone Dies Famous
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