Monday, June 27, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Prophet's Debt by Robert Creekmore

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Prophet's Debt by Robert Creekmore. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an insightful guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Prophet's Debt
Author: Robert Creekmore
Publication Date: July 5th 2022
Print Length: 284 pages
Genre: LGBTQ+ Dark Contemporary Fiction
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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.

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EXCERPT:
Moving away, Lesley says in verbal self-defense, “Wait until your father finds out.”

That lands like a tranquilizer dart on a bear. I shift from rage to fear. I’ve done something wholly unforgivable, broken another girl’s arm because she called out my sin. That’s how it will be seen regardless of how I feel about what they call “sin.” Until just now, I was having the most exciting night of my young life. I didn’t feel sin, I felt bonding. I felt the comfort of having someone I love more than anyone else physically close. For those few hours, I thought my life could be like this, but as I watch Lesley stumble away sobbing, it becomes apparent that I was wrong.

Lesley’s car makes a buzzing noise as she zooms away. Tiffany’s eyes are wide when we meet gazes.

“I’ll get the bag,” I say.

I stuff the blankets, canteen, chips, and flashlight back in, leaving the star map behind on the same spot where we had just laid.

“You broke her arm. I can’t believe you actually broke her arm,” Tiffany says, stuttering from fear.

“She was hurting you.”

“But you didn’t have to break her arm.”

“No, I didn’t. I wanted to.”

Tiffany doesn’t seem as offput by this as I expected.

“I love you,” she says.

“Same,” I reply.

I throw the backpack on and reach down to give Tiffany a hand up.

“We have to go somewhere else,” I say, as she rises to her feet.

“Where?”

“Just not here is all I know.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert Creekmore is from a rural farming community in Eastern North Carolina.

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.

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GUEST POST:
- What was your inspiration behind writing this novel?

All art is a form of rebellion. Perhaps those who live in more peaceful times, or under benign circumstances, could produce something less bristly. But, the thorns are still there, just smaller, and unnoticed. Prophet’s Debt is a swipe at the Evangelical church I grew up in. I attended their private schools, camps, and congregations. The one overwhelming pattern at play within those organizations is their desire to squash questioning, and force compliance, through violence if necessary.

Just a few days ago, the Warren Commission Report outlining decades of sexual abuse and church coverup was released. None of this is a surprise to me. I was aware of these things going on as a child and teenager. I also knew that you weren’t supposed to go to the police and that if you went to church authorities, you would be blamed. This, of course, isn’t unique to their church. It happens in every organized religion. But the scale of abuse in the Southern Baptist church is ghastly.

You may have noted that I said Evangelical church above and Southern Baptist in the last paragraph. There is a purposeful obfuscation of hierarchy within the church itself via their forgoing of having an official governing body. Southern Baptists are just their largest cell. Therefore, the scale of abuse is far greater than what is outlined in the report. There are other churches that share the same ideology and worldview, as well as pastors, facilities, etc. It’s just that on paper, there’s little connection. Thus, when someone comes forward to local church leaders, then is chastised and blamed for their abuse, there is no one above them to appeal to. Often, the police in these communities are heavily intertwined with the church, governed by the same misogynistic, racist, and homophobic culture.

The current acquiescence of fascism within the church spurred me onward, as well as, feeling as though allowing what I witnessed, and the hatred I was taught to go unanswered would be inexcusable to my conscious.

The protagonist of Prophet’s Debt is a young woman who is gay, born into unfortunate circumstances. She’s in love with another girl and that does not fit with her parent’s or church's plan for her life. So like a stubborn child with a mismatched jigsaw piece, they try to force her into the shape they want by pressing with great force. Eventually, Naomi Pace does more than push back. She fights for her life to get back to the one she loves. If she dies doing so, she’s determined to take as many of the abusers with her as she can.
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GIVEAWAY:
Robert Creekmore will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

104 comments:

  1. I like the cover and think the book look interesting.

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    1. I hope you read Prophet's Debt, and it brings you happiness.

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  2. Unique story line involving the conversion camp. Intrigued

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    2. I grew up Evangelical and have lived in all the places I wrote about. I hope it's authentic and enjoyable for you.

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  3. this sounds like an interesting book

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  4. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover and excerpt.

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  5. I enjoyed your guest post.

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    1. Thank you. I have others going out around the bookosphere if you'd like to read them.

      https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2022/04/vbt-prophets-debt-by-robert-creekmore.html

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  6. My brother would like this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

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  7. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  8. Thanks for the great blurb and excerpt. The book sounds intriguing. Great cover!

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    1. I really hope you like it. I wrote it never expecting the novel to be published, so to give Naomi to you all is more than I could have imagined.

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  9. I so enjoyed reading the excerpt for this great read!
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  10. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  11. What famous person would you find it inspirational to meet?

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    1. I actually met Steve Wozniack the year after I graduated from college. Me, with the NCSU computer club, went to the airport to pick him up for a kind of proto-TED talk he gave there. He is a brilliant person. I was one of the few non-computer majors. I was a special ed teacher at the time. Expanding access to technology is one of his big initiatives, so he ended up talking to me more than anyone else, which was very humbling.

      The one person I'd love to meet, but never will, is Carl Sagan.

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  12. If any of y'all have questions, don't be shy. I'll answer them.

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  13. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?

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    1. Naomi's life unravels after it's discovered she is gay. She's sent away to a conversion camp run by horrible people. What they do to her was difficult to describe in such explicit detail. I'd feel a tinge of guilt after writing those scenes, as though I hurt her myself. Characters can become very real that way. I would often find myself not just thinking about my characters, but actually wondering what they were doing at the time, as though they were real people in a parallel universe.

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  14. Do you listen to music when you write?

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    2. I wrote two post in my last reply and it deleted the first, so I'll combine them. Sometimes I listen to music. Often, it's Pearl Jam because I know it so well, it can become background noise. Other times, I write in complete silence. I'm actually in between chapters on my new novel while checking this. I have one screen for blogs and whatnot, and a main screen for writing. I'll write a paragraph, look at something else, then go back.

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  15. What is your favorite place that you've visited?

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    1. The NC mountains. I'm actually there right now.

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  17. Do you have a favorite character from a movie or tv that you wish you could incorporate into your books?

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    1. No. I like creating all new characters and mythologies.

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  18. this sounds like a very interesting book

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  19. What is your favorite way to relax?

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  20. What is the best book you've read so far in 2022?

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    1. One of the side effects of being an author is that a lot of the time I would spend reading, I spend writing instead.

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  21. do you have a favorite author?

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  22. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

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  23. Are you glad when a book is finished?

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  24. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

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  25. What story of yours did you find it difficult to write?

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  26. how long have you been writing

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  27. Thanks for the great excerpt. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover!

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  28. What's your best memory from 2022 so far?

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  29. Was it hard to choose the cover?

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  30. I'm so ready for good reads for the summer, this is on my list!

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  31. What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

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  32. What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2022?

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  33. do you have any other books in the works?

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  34. What fiction tropes are your pet peeves?

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  35. What inspired the idea for your book?

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  36. How did you decide on character names?

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  37. What is your favorite setting to write in?

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  38. How do you handle hot weather? 103 degrees today.

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  39. Do you have any more books you are planning to release this year?

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  40. If one of your books was made into a Hollywood movie, who do you picture potraying the main role?

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  41. this book sounds very interesting

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  42. Super hot here, time to grab my book and get some iced tea.

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  43. Do you like to people watch?

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  44. How much writing do you do in a day?

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  45. Do you have any other new books planned for this year?

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  46. When did you realize you wanted writing to be your career?

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  47. Do you write when you're on vacation?

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  48. What's your favorite book series by another author?

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  49. This sounds like an interesting book. Best of luck with the success of it.

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  50. best of luck with the book, it sounds amazing

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  51. How long have you been a writer?

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  52. Thank you for the giveaway and God Bless!

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  53. LAST DAY
    Thanks for the contest.

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