As of March 1st, Weather Child has officially been released and is available as a print or eBook addition. I have not ordered my copy yet, but I am excited for the chance to read it. In celebration of its release, I am posting another excerpt from Weather Child for readers to enjoy.
"Faith was standing in the rain. It was a pleasant sensation on her slightly tipped face. Hoa and she both knew that it could be changed if they wanted, but the price was too high merely for a rugby game. It was always a matter of evaluating the costs and the worth of them.
Certainly the players out on the drenched field would have appreciated a respite from the constant wet. The long, dark green pitch had been turned into a mud slide. The power of the men defied the elements. A slight wind from the south added to the difficulty of the day, yet the players’ concentration was solely on the ball and their opposition. Faith envied them that clarity of focus.
She was one of the few women standing on the side lines. It was not considered completely proper for the fair sex to be there, so the only ones there were Awakened. Seraphim, much like the rest of New Zealand, had always shown an interest in rugby. As with everything symbiote related, they could not explain why, but Faith could guess.
It was power and communion. The mass of dark coated men, rain running off the brims of their hats, huddled close to the side lines urging their chosen team on; the weight and strength of such concentration in the air was heady and deeply male.
However, everything was tempered by the curse and there was only one person that she knew of that dealt in curses. Thanks to her work for the Ministry, Faith came into contact with all sorts of people; people that her parents would be horrified that she even knew existed.
Yet she did. Pulling her coat tighter around her, Faith slipped through the crowd as best she could. The men, smelling of wool and sweat, let her pass. The crowd milling around on the side lines eased once she got up into the stands. Under her feet, the wood creaked and whispered of years of hope and tears.
Most of the people up here were older; some were even scarred by war. The flicker of their thoughts was particularly hard to brush aside. Utter longing, so deep and sad, plunged through her. The young man tucked his one remaining leg out of her sight when their eyes locked. His desire to be out there on the pitch was so real that Faith could, for a moment at least, understand. She might have never played rugby, but she was no stranger to dreams dashed and promises unfulfilled.
If there was one person that might be able to set her on the right track, at least for today, it was Tom Moore. She’d run into him two years ago, having been the agent that cleared him from the facility and allowing him to return to as normal a life as he could manage.
Moore was a rarity among the Awakened—an old man. He’d been born to one of the first white women in Wellington, and despite his age he still had the red hair she’d given him. Its dimmed fire was easy to spot amongst the grey hats of the rest of the crowd. Tom didn’t like hats.
He was also easy to find if there was a rugby match on. At all other times, he was pretty much a ghost in the town. His penchant for the game was what made him particularly useful to the Ministry, making him one of the few old timers that hadn’t gone bush and disappeared into the wild country.
Having spotted the hair, Faith was able to quickly make her way up the incline of seats to reach her quarry. Tom’s spare form was leaned at an acute angle towards the action below. Looking at him, it was impossible to believe he was in his eighties. Everything about his appearance would have suggested at least twenty years less than that, while his suppressed energy, evidenced in the barely contained jiggling on the seat, would have done a twenty year old proud. Despite the reason for her hunt, Faith smiled. Tom’s joy in life always gave her hope; a sliver of optimism that said even an Awakened could make it, as he had.
He didn’t acknowledge her, eyes firmly fixed on the action happening down on the field. Tom’s bustling energy had already cleared a space on each side of him. Flicking her coat under her, she took the space to his right. Wellington was playing a strengthening side from Northland. The power and speed in evidence made her heart race and her fingers tingle.
“In trouble again, then?” Tom quickly shifted gears as the players trotted off the pitch for their water and slices of orange...."
Excerpt to be continued on Wednesday
They are the Awakened, a unique breed of people in a remote corner of the world. Faith is one of these gifted carriers of the Seraphim; and in return of her unconditional love, her Seraphim grants her powers of incredible potential.
But not all carriers embrace their blessing.Jack loathes being an Awakened. He never asked for it, his Seraphim keeping him alive even in spite of his desire to die. Not even a great war could rid him of this curse.
Now a magician of incredible ability and a walking dead man must find a way to work together to save the Seraphim. Someone covets the power of the Awakened, and will not stop until that power belongs to him."
About the Author:
New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats
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