Don’t Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto


Description: Haunted by memories of her murdered twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her only ticket to eternal peace.

But in death, she discovers the afterlife is nothing like she expected. Instead of peaceful oblivion or a joyful reunion with her sister, Keely is trapped in a netherworld on Earth with only a bounty-hunting reaper and a sarcastic demon to show her the ropes.

When the demon offers Keely her ultimate temptation–revenge on her sister’s killer–she must determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, the reaper and demon have been keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true–that her every decision changes how, and with whom, she spends eternity.


I am s sucker for the story behind the story, so when given the chance to find out where Michelle got the idea for her story I jumped at it. As a writer I know that inspiration comes from the most unlikely places.

Tell Me About Heaven –

The Story Behind Don’t Fear the

I first came up with the idea for Don’t Fear the Reaper after several
agents had rejected another novel I’d written and asked if I had
anything, darker – more edgy. Oddly, it’s been years, but I still recall
coming up with the concept so vividly.

I was cleaning house and mulling over new ideas when Blue Oyster
Cult’s iconic 1976 song, Don’t Fear the Reaper, came up on my iPod’s
playlist. There were several parts that truly inspired me: “Take my
hand,” “40,000 men and women everyday,” “Love of two is one. Here,
but now they’re gone,” and “the candles flew and the mist appeared,
the curtains blew and then he appeared.”

From there, it was a matter of ‘What If’s’ that made my idea unique
from the song. What if it wasn’t star-crossed lovers? What if it was
family? What if the main character met up with a bounty-hunting
reaper and a handsome, but sarcastic demon? And what if all the
odds were stacked against my main character and yet, she still found
hope and assistance in the most unlikely of fellow characters? What
if all it took to save a soul was sacrifice, one born of undying love and
devotion? And yet, what if the price of that salvation came at a high

I couldn’t wait to write it. What I hadn’t expected was how it’d
rip open old wounds, how the pain of writing Keely’s grief meant
revisiting my own. I’d lost my grandparents, my parents, my uncles,
all my aunts except for one. I’d lost friends and beloved fur babies, all
of whom I’d loved with every fiber of my being. I’d witnessed four of
their deaths. I even held the head of two in my arms as they passed.
Two loved ones died in the house I currently live in.

Up to this point, I’d managed my grief. Now, by sitting down to write
about love that went beyond death, I was getting ready to stick a
hammer and chisel into the wall I’d built and bring the entire thing
down—and with it, all the painful memories I’d carefully placed
behind it.

Tell me about Heaven, Dad
I really want to know,
Because ten long
years have passed,
And I miss you so…

The above stanza is from a poem I wrote to my father ten years after
his death. I cannot begin to describe what it was like to lose my
father, whom I loved more than my very being. All these years later,
I’ll freely admit it: I’m a Daddy’s girl. We’re so much alike, he and I. I
was robbed of him far too soon by multiple myeloma, a brutal and
incurable cancer.

For those who have read Don’t Fear the Reaper, it’s easy to see the
real life example I used. It’s easy to spot the grief, the emotion I used
for my main character, Keely Morrison. All scenes I drew from real

Oh, and about those agents? I had several tell me that the opening
was one of the best they’d read in a long time and that the concept
was truly original. But, in the end, they felt the subject matter was
too dark. That’s okay. I think the person best qualified to make that
choice is the reader.

That’s my heart on a sleeve, Dear Reader. The story behind the story.
Thanks for reading about the journey.


I also looooovvvvvveeeee music! I create playlists as I write my stories and was super excited that Michelle wanted to share her playlist for Don’t Fear the Reaper with her readers. Enjoy! To view larger, just click on the playlist below.



Where to buy:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble



Where to find Michelle




Posted on February 5, 2013, in Book Tour, Excerpt, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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