John Gubbin’s “Raven’s Fire” recently received a “starred review” from the American Library Association’s Booklist, an honor bestowed on only a few of the publication’s many reviews.
Gubbins is also the author of “Profound River,” which, like “Raven’s Fire,” is available in book stores and from online retailers.
About “Raven’s Fire”:
Two men are on a river trip—and one of them wants to die. Pauguck does not believe the men on the river will need his services, but Raven is determined to do everything to end their lives. So it’s up to the river guide to save himself and his suicidal passenger from fire, wild animals, and the single-minded Raven.
Filled with ancient spirits and deadly secrets, this chilling wilderness tale is sure to keep your heart racing, for no one is safe from the terror of the river.
After today’s free excerpt, you’ll need to get your own copy of “Raven’s Fire,” which has been on the market since Sept. 10.
I heard a fall of dislodged rocks ahead, probably Val finding the upslope and crawling out. I began to cough. I thought I heard the falls and turned in that direction. But before I could take a step, a seam of underground fire split open and gushed before me. When I jumped back, another seam opened behind me blocking any escape. I was trapped, surrounded by fire and suffocating heat. My breathing grew labored.
A new smell joined the smell of burning wood and overrode it. It was a familiar smell, the sweet, repellant smell of death. Faint but there nonetheless. And instantly I realized that in the crackling fire was a voice. And it was asking me to step into the fire, to cross into another world, the world into which I had shepherded so many of my patients. I sensed the spirit that was calling me was a compassionate spirit as dedicated to his mission as I was to mine. I saw no one but I felt his presence begging me to look into the fiery seam which now opened wider at my feet. And as strange as it sounds, I felt tenderness in this fire before me. And I knew that all I need do was leap into it, into the arms of that tenderness, to the world beyond, a world awash in infinite tenderness.
Instead, I straightened up and looked into the smoke. “My place is here,” I said.
In argument, the smoke swirled and the crackling fire sang lovingly to me. And I looked down into the fire as through a glass bottomed boat, to a cooler world, sunlit isles and placid lakes, meadows of swaying wild flowers. I heard happy chatter and I saw my parents and Joe’s parents, happy, picnicking together. The forests were thick, and the lakes burnished silver.