Sunday, November 24, 2013


Trish J. MacGregor is the author of 36 novels and as TJ MacGregor won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for original paperback in 2003. Apparition is the third book in the Hungry Ghost trilogy, and takes place in the mystical city of Esperanza, Ecuador, high in the Andes.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Apparition and reported the following:
Apparition begins with a brujo – a hungry ghost – materializing next to Tess Livingston as she’s in her car. No brujo has been seen in Esperanza since the defeat of Dominica’s tribe four years ago, but this one looks as real and solid as any living human and claims to be Dominica’s brother, Ricardo. When he threatens Tess and attempts to seize her, possess her, she fights back and escapes, completely freaked out by what has just happened.

In the final, fierce battle between the living and Dominica’s tribe of the dead, the living were helped by Light Chasers. These evolved souls, who brought Esperanza into the physical world 500 years ago, have deferred their passage to a higher plane in order to guide and protect the living and to guard the city against brujo incursions. Tess calls on her dad, Charlie, a member of the chaser council, but he doesn’t appear. She speeds on to the restaurant where she and her partner, Ian Ritter, are supposed to have dinner.

But while they’re eating outside, a monstrous wave of blackness sweeps up the hillside toward the restaurant’s deck. Everything the black wave touches simply disappears. As parts of the deck and the people on it are swallowed up by the blackness, pandemonium erupts and shrieks that the brujos have returned riddle the air. One thing is clear to both Tess and Ian: their time in Esperanza may be nearing an end.

On page 69 of the book, the 13 members of the chaser council are meeting to cast a vote about the fate of Esperanza. The head of the council, Newton, has just told them that in the last 48, hours there have been thousands of brujo seizures worldwide, that they’re using an abandoned hotel in the city as their portal to other countries. He insists it’s time to remove Esperanza from the physical world because the city itself is the brujo’s portal to the living.

Charlie has just learned that several chasers, whom he believes to be spiritually corrupt, experimented on their own with taking the city back into the nonphysical world and their experiment went awry. He now understands what happened at the restaurant. Dozens have died, dozens more were seriously injured. He’s irate and calls for a private vote.

Excerpt page 69:
“All in favor of a private vote,” said Franco, “raise your hand.”

Ten out of thirteen hands shot up. Newton glanced around nervously, apparently realizing for the first time that he might not have the support of the majority. Maria and Simon, Charlie thought, looked pissed. “A private vote it is,” Charlie said. “Write ‘yes’ if you favor what Newton is proposing and ‘no’ if you’re against it. Then put your vote in the center of the table.”

Charlie quickly scribbled “no” on his piece of paper, slid it out into the middle of the table. Within minutes, all votes were cast. Charlie shuffled them, then he and Maria began to turn them over. Yes votes along the top, no votes beneath.

Once the votes were all turned over he tried not to gloat. “Six yes, seven no.” Too damn close. Charlie suspected that Pilar and Alan or Dan had voted with his group. He knew that Newton and Maria would be lobbying behind the scenes to get one of them to change a vote. But for now, Esperanza had won a reprieve.

“Keep in mind,” Franco said, “that some of us who voted no might change our vote if provisions are included – something replaces Esperanza and people are given a choice.”

“Damn unlikely,” Maria muttered.

“You’d rather kill thousands?” Franco snapped, staring at her.

“It’d be easier.” Maria snatched her bag off the table, got up, and marched out of the café.
This scene makes it clear that even supposedly evolved souls may be corrupted by power and that politics is pertinent in the afterlife!
Learn more about the book and author at Trish J. MacGregor's website.

The Page 69 Test: Esperanza.

My Book, The Movie: Esperanza.

The Page 69 Test: Ghost Key.

My Book, The Movie: Apparition.

Writers Read: Trish J. MacGregor.

--Marshal Zeringue