Today we have an excerpt from the supernatural dystopian The Ghosting of Gods by Cricket Baker! We've also got a giveaway of a paperback copy of the book, open to US/Canada and UK! Check out the synopsis:
“Jesse is an apprentice exorcist who defies his priests when he learns his sister is in danger even though she’s dead. When he’s exiled to a haunted world, Jesse must unravel the mystery of ghosts if he is to save her. He plunges into a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The players include denizens draped in monkish robes, ghosts with matted eyes, the dead who tunnel underground in terror, and...Elspeth.
A coven scientist, Elspeth is both respected and feared for her abnormal spiritual powers. Jesse needs--craves--the knowledge of ghosts which she possesses. Elspeth tempts him in other ways...but is she a spiritual prodigy, or dangerously insane? The coven scientist begs him to trust her. He doesn’t. But he wants to.
Caught in a world on the brink of spiritual evolution, Jesse struggles to understand Elspeth even as frightening contacts from his sister force him to face the secret, shattering meaning of a verse he knows well: Blessed are the poor in ghost.”
Excerpt form The Ghosting of Gods:
My secret fear is the priests are right to doubt me.
Cemetery. Octobre winds have piled up dead leaves to cover the names of those sleeping here, like they don’t matter. The iron gate resists me. I coax it open and knock over an abandoned lantern. It jingles, and I see that tiny bells are tied to its handle with wire. No doubt Poe placed the lantern there last night, a makeshift alarm to wake him if I showed up, but last night I was sleeping.
I ignore all the tombstones I pass so that I don’t get distracted.
My gut tells me not to be here. But I have to act.
A storm front seeps across the northwest sky, bruising it purple. A spiritual color. This is just the sort of weather that will entice Poe outside, to write a few lines of poetry, and then he’ll almost surely come after me.
Sinking to my knees, I take a steadying breath before facing my task. Her name on the stone helps to strengthen my resolve. Dead leaves stir, one in particular scratching at the carved date of Emmy’s death. I set aside my hammer, place both palms down, and feel the grass on her grave. “It’s me,” I whisper. “It’s Jesse. I’m still your big brother, and you have to listen to me. You have to come, Emmy. Now.” Faint rumblings of thunder give way to a hush that falls over the graveyard. A pellet of hardened dirt strikes me on the cheek.
This is how it begins.
I make no move to shield myself as a bigger clod jiggles free from the earth to fling itself at my face. The sting of it sharpens my vision, helps me to focus on my sin so that I attract more of the dirt.
Small eruptions of yellowed grass and black soil splatter my body until I’m covered in the same earth that buries my sister. This is justice.
The tragedy, as everyone in towne calls it, happened.
Because I didn’t protect her.
There’s dirt in my eyes. I wipe at it. My sister’s grave is a mess; little grass remains rooted.
The cemetery around me fades as my hands begin to tingle. There’s a heavy calm, then the earth over my sister’s grave percolates gently. I can’t wait any longer. Pawing clumsily at the ground, I seek what I need, sifting grave dirt like a demented archaeologist.
This is day nineteen. It started with me needing to see her, but then I realized she was trapped, in need of salvation.
I have a new plan.
I have a hammer.
Looking around, I make sure there are no witnesses. Other visits were late at night, to be careful, but Ava and Poe take shifts during the dark hours to make sure I’m not committing transgressions when I should be sleeping. If someone does happen along, maybe they’ll believe I have good reason to be here since I’m employed by the priests. Everyone knows what I am.
A glimmer against the dark earth catches my eye. I swallow. Lean down to see better. It’s a sphere. An orb. A time capsule containing the past.
A crystal ball.
This is what inspires the priests with dread, I’m certain of it.
The purple storm has arrived to conceal my actions. Squinting into the blur, I hesitate. A sheet of rain blowing off the caretaker’s shed resembles the flowing robe of a priest. I consider the risk I’m taking here. The church will not forgive my attempt to unravel the mystery of ghosts. I accept this risk.
But what will do they do to my friends?
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In 2001, Cricket began a journey to fulfill her childhood dream of being an author. Somewhere between raising three sons, moving 3 times, pondering the mystery of life and death, and obtaining a Masters of Education, she found time to develop her writing craft. Many seminars, workshops, and book drafts later, she found her voice with The Ghosting of Gods.
Cricket’s writing combines her appreciation of strong storytelling with a passion for haunted settings and deep spiritual questions to create fiction that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. She especially loves books which are either supernatural or dystopian, so her first novel incorporates both these genres.
In addition to working as a counselor for teens, Cricket spends time developing her next writing project as well as sharing her thoughts on writing and spirituality through her author website at http://cricketbaker.com and on her Tumblr blog, Mystical Scribbles of the Scribe, at http://cricketbaker.tumblr.com.
For more about The Ghosting of Gods check out these sites!