Embrace the dark side with Robert Creekmore's book Prophet's Debt. Immerse yourself in an excerpt and then read about what he would want with him if lost in the Appalachians where this story takes place. Share your thoughts in the comments and then follow the tour for more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!
At fourteen, Naomi Pace knows she loves her best friend, Tiffany. During the Perseid meteor shower of summer 1993, she finds out Tiffany feels the same, just as they’re outed.
Naomi is sent away to a conversion program in the remote Appalachians of North Carolina, knowing nothing of the horrors that await or the strength they will catalyze.
Escaping into the frigid wilderness, she forges her own destiny. Trapped in hiding, Naomi fights to conquer fear and find her way back to Tiffany.
Taking bloody vengeance to end a cult that tortures and murders children seems impossible, but so is having the guidance of a mythic creature of strength and violence.
Those who hurt Naomi as a girl will come to fear the woman she has become and the path she will tread to find revenge, safety, and Tiffany.
Read an excerpt:
When I awake, my face is swollen and my head throbs with each heartbeat. I hear the muffled sounds of a woman singing hymns. It is the voice of Shelby Howell, the pastor’s wife. I hear the clank of dishes and the water running. Shelby is the kind of person who likes to occupy herself with chores during a crisis.
I sit up and attempt to swing my legs off the right side of the bed. My arms are snatched back with a clink and rattle. Both of my wrists have been secured to the bed with medium gauge chains, no more than a yard in length. The links have already left marks on my skin. The padlocks holding the loops of chain around my wrists clatter when I moved. I hear the water in the kitchen stop running, followed by the high-pitched snap and clap of cheap flip flops. Mrs. Howell is a woman in her late sixties, short, round, and pale. She has a shitty perm, which gave her hair the appearance of a puffy white helmet.
As Mrs. Howell enters the room, she comments, “I thought I heard you wrestlin’-bout.”
“Where are my parents?” I ask.
“They’ve gone out of town with Pastor Howell.”
“They’ve gone to get help for you.”
“I don’t need help.”
(Affiliate links included)
Looking through the blog prompts from Andi, I really wanted to describe to you in graphic detail, the viscera of the deleted scene from Prophet’s Debt. However, I’ve been instructed not to because it’s just that repulsive. And mind you, Prophet’s Debt will likely be one of the most disturbing books you will ever read.
Instead, I’m going to take Andi’s prompt about the ‘ten things I’d most like to have on a deserted island’ and transform it into ‘ten things I’d most like to have lost in the Appalachians’ since this is where much of Prophet’s Debt takes place.
- A knife: This should be a no-brainer for most people. Quality knives can be the difference between survival and becoming a worm’s Thanksgiving dinner. It can be used as a means to light a fire with a flint, split kindling, to create tools from wood, as a reflective signaling device, cut cordage, butcher prey animals/fish, as protection, or heated red-hot to seal a wound. There are plenty more, but there’s a word count limit.
- A metal match: It’s a ferro rod, paired with a steel striker. It can throw sparks that can momentarily reach temperatures twice that of lava and is waterproof.
- Fire paste: It’s an inexpensive petroleum substance that comes in a tube, not unlike toothpaste. Its thick consistency allows fire paste to stick to kindling and get it really hot.
- Water filter: While one may be able to boil water until it’s safe to drink, fires take time and are resource-intensive, especially if you’re on the move.
- Water container: Never forget how unique the human ability to store liquid is. I’d prefer to have a plastic bottle whose mouth links directly to my water filter for easy filling.
- 550 cord: It also goes by the name paracord, because it’s derived from the design of parachute cordage. It’s strong and infinitely useful. It can be used to craft snares, used as shoelaces, and secure splits. The interior can be dissected into smaller cords for stitches or fishing lines.
- Duct tape: Do I really need to extol the virtues of this modern miracle? The Mythbusters have already done it for me.
- Really good hiking boots: Feet are your connection to the Earth. Sharp rocks can cause havoc on your soles or twist your ankles.
- A tall size 0° sleeping bag: I’m over six feet tall, so a standard bag just won’t do and I’m not keen on burying myself in leaf litter to stay warm.
- A fishing pole with tackle: You might assume I’d like a hunting rifle, but large game can be difficult to find, cumbersome, and impossible to preserve, which leads to waste. There are streams and rivers running through every part of the Appalachians. Luckily, they’re filled with trout and redeye bass. Those rivers come with an added bonus: follow them downstream, and eventually, you’ll find your way to human settlements. Why you’d want to, though, I can’t fathom?
He attended North Carolina State where he studied psychology. While at university, he was active at the student radio station. There, he fell in love with punk rock and its ethos.
Robert acquired several teaching licenses in special education. He was an autism specialist in Raleigh for eight years. He then taught for four years in a small mountain community in western North Carolina.
During his time in the mountains, he lived with his wife Juliana in a remote primitive cabin built in 1875. While there, he grew most of his own food, raised chickens, worked on a cattle farm, as well as participated in subsistence hunting and fishing.
Eventually, the couple moved back to the small farming community where Robert was raised.
Robert’s first novel Afiri, is a science fiction love letter to his childhood hero Carl Sagan. It was nominated for a Manly Wade Wellman award in 2016.
Robert’s second novel is the first in a trilogy of books. Annoyed with the stereotype of the southeastern United States as a monolith of ignorance and hatred, he wanted to bring forth characters from the region who are queer and autistic. They now hold up a disinfecting light to the hatred of the region’s past and to those who still yearn for a return to ways and ideas that should have long ago perished.
Find his website https://robertcreekmore.com/
a Rafflecopter giveaway