First Excerpt from Restoring the Peace

This year my novel for NaNoWriMo is a sequel to last year’s novel. Last year was called “Inward Journey.” This year’s was “Restoring the Peace.” As of now, I’m planning on next year’s to be the third book in the series with the title of “Reconciliation.” (I’ll explain the rationale later)

I am publishing the first excerpt today. When I publish raw unedited text, I would love to have your comments and suggestions. Just be kind. I’ve already had one great comment from my Facebook author’s group so, please feel free to help me out. Here’s the setting and then the excerpt.

Setting: the land in the picture below. It’s a few months (lunar cycles) after last year’s novel. Male Main Character (MMC) is Seppe. Female Main Character (FMC) is Re’Lears (Re for short). They are waiting on news about a ruling from the Supreme Council. (I have to work that in more in the re-write…but I digress.) They get news of the death of a childhood friend of Seppe’s. (like an uncle to him)

Wesdania and Seppe

He looked into the night sky and realized that the moons had been in about these same positions when their case began four lunar cycles ago. Darwinda’s silver gleam was just now showing in the eastern sky while Granset’s golden hues were giving the impression of the end of daylight. Now, he was feeling romantic as he looked at Re’Lears under the glow of the moons. His tendrils quivered with excitement as he looked at her. They had begun dating a fourth of a lunar cycle after their last case when Seppe had screwed up the courage to ask her out. He finally realized how much he missed her companionship when they didn’t have the daily give and take of the case. He tried not to flaunt it in front of Aiden who had gained a new love, only to lose her to the killer almost immediately. Aiden hadn’t let his grief show, but Captain Tengler had suggested strongly that he take a vacation once the case was over. Seppe didn’t feel too much guilt about his developing relationship with Re’Lears when Aiden wasn’t around.

He looked at Re’Lears getting ready to say something stupid and make a fool of himself when his communicator chirped. Seppe was a bit annoyed until he realized how much a fool he would have been and thanked the Creator, whom he no longer really believed in, for protecting him. “Probably news about the announcement,” Seppe said breaking the silence.

He stood in silence for a few moments when Re’Lears egged him on. “Well, what’s the news then? Let’s hear it straight.”

“There is no chance of a magical moment tonight,” Seppe thought as he pulled out his communicator. Then he groaned. “It’s not the verdict,” he said, “It’s from Patron.” He looked at the communicator malevolently as if the communicator had failed in its job to protect him. He shook his head and started to put the communicator back in its case.

Re’Lears scolded him. “What? You aren’t even going to read what your Patron said? It might be important.”

Seppe laughed. She didn’t know Patron! “He never has anything important to say. I can tell you what it’s going to say: “Haven’t seen you in a while. Come on back for a visit. Come to the assembly with us.” He scoffed as he started to put the communicator back in his pocket.

As Re’Lears turned to face him, her face caught the golden hues of Granset which, instead of being softening, added an ominous aura to her appearance. “Seppe of the Qu’evah. You read your father’s message right now. I don’t care what you think it says. Read it!” She smiled a bit. “Besides, one of these days you may want me to come with you to meet them,” she said coyly.

Seppe rolled his eyes at Re’Lears and shook his head to let her know that she was wrong. Still, he  took out the communicator, selected the message and opened it. He started reading sarcastically. “’Dear Seppe, We have missed you. I have asked you to come home often. I know that you don’t really want to come home…’ no, how’d he know that?” Seppe asked then continued reading the letter, “‘I was hoping you’d come home for Vierados’ funeral.’” The mocking tone stopped as he read that news. Then he bowed his head as he shook it. “Vierados is dead?” he asked incredulously. He looked around and found a bench to sit down on. He put the communicator between his knees and stared at it in silence until Re’Lears broke through the wall of grief.

Rage’s Echo – Review

Rage’s Echo by J.S. Bailey Publisher: Tate Publishing Copy provided by Author

Ok, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s the review!

Jessica Roman-Dell is a paranormal investigator (read ghost hunter) with a problem. Nope, it’s not that she spent all of her money on her ghost hunting equipment and has nothing in reserve. Nope, it’s not that she’s lost her job and had to move in with her ex-coworker and a long time friend. It seems that Jessica has found a ghost, and, like the proverbial puppy dog, it followed her home. Jerry Madison, the ghost, has found a way to communicate with an adult human being and seems to have found that he likes having a friend – a little too much. Jerry begins to show signs of jealousy and possessiveness when it comes to Jessica and soon her house-mates Sidney and Wayne begin to see Jerry or feel the effects of his presence in bad ways.

As time goes on, we learn that Jerry is not just a human-infatuated ghost whose fascination with Jessica would be cute, had it not bordered on stalking. Jessica is torn between caring for Jerry and not really caring for any kind of relationship with him as a long covered up desire to be with Wayne begins to come to the surface. We soon learn that Jerry has a deep dark secret. He isn’t ready to “pass” to the after-life because he believes his destination would be hell because of that secret. As a result, the relationship with Jessica becomes more dangerous and lives are at stake as he slowly takes control of the relationship. As the story continues we discover that Jerry is not the only one with secrets as Wayne, the friend who owns the home has his secrets as do Jessica’s hated parents. Does Jerry get a chance to deal with his own personal demons? Can Jessica ever break free of Jerry? Will Jessica and Wayne ever get together? Will Jessica and her parents reconcile?

In small town, America everyone knows each other and knows each other’s business. It’s important to understand that when you get to the end of the book. As the book wraps up the relationships that bring all of the characters together are vital as they help you understand the plot. Slowly deep dark secrets are revealed as we come to the climax of the story; but will those secrets destroy or help the relationships?

I have to admit that when I heard that Rage’s Echo was a ghost story, I was very leery of reading the book. The only reason I agreed to read and review was that I had developed a friendship with the author, J. S. Bailey and she sent me a free autographed review copy. That being said I found this book intriguing, exciting and gripping. I had to put it down early enough so I didn’t read it too close to bed time because it is, after all, a ghost story. But more than a ghost story, it’s a story about relationships; how they go wrong and how they grow. How do our sins affect the way we deal with each other? How does our background affect the people we befriend? If we can’t accept ourselves, how can we expect others to love us as we are? Bailey touches on all of these issues in this book and soon the story becomes ours, if we think deeply enough, as we confront the ghosts of our own past.

I make a point of not posting reviews of books that I can’t recommend.  I can recommend Rage’s Echo highly. Buy it! It’s labeled as “Christian Speculative Fiction.” What does that mean? If you are into ghost stories, you will enjoy this book. If you aren’t into ghost stories, though, there is a lot to like about this book, especially from a Christian perspective. It is not meant to be a theological reference work. It does talk a lot about being truthful with those we love. It does talk about building relationships and how important it is to develop strong relationships with friends and family. Most of all, it does all these things wrapped around a great story and a believable premise.

Rage’s Echo is available now from the author (look her up on Facebook) and from the publisher (Tate Publishing). Here’s the secret: officially the sales start on Amazon on October 1, so you can get a pre-release copy by contacting the author or the publisher. If you want to wait until the official release date you can pre-order it from Amazon. The Kindle Edition is available to pre-order now at the paperback version should be available soon and it will be released just in time for Halloween.