Science fiction and world religions collide in the thrilling series:
A group of teens must work together to banish evil spirits according to their own religious traditions. But where reality ends and the fantasy begins… that is for the reader to decide.
Organized religions get a bad rap these days. Most of what we see in popular media are members of religious traditions depicted as dark and sinful, ignorant and naïve, or misguided and judgmental. However, there is another side to each religious tradition: life-changing wisdom, devotions that inspire love and understanding, and the tools needed to defeat the forces of evil.
The FREELANCE EXORCISTS Series gives each of the world’s most popular religions a chance to have their softer, more rational voices heard and their doctrines explained. At the same time, the reader will be sucked into a fast-paced fantasy plot of super-powered teenagers who vow to protect unsuspecting humans from the machinations of ancient, invisible, evil spirits.
The series will deal with most of the major world religions to show that beneath all our perceived differences, our commonalities reveal deep truths about our existence. Beneath it all, we each hunger for a taste of the mystical.
"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life."
The series starts with Buddhism in
Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara
Peter tried to convince himself that his karate teacher was just a little weird. Then in the fall of his eighth grade year, all his opinions changed: Sensei was completely and utterly crazy. He wanted to recruit Peter to become his apprentice in performing Buddhist exorcisms all over town.
Peter thought he had enough on his plate with the normal stresses of teenage life: dealing with parents, fitting in, making good grades, and getting the girl. How could he possibly be expected to add “battling ancient evil spirits” to the list?
In Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara, one boy is given the necessary tools to take on the ancient, invisible forces of evil that ensnare humans daily. Peter finds his life revolutionized by Buddhism. He finds his life further transformed when the myths and lore of dark spirits are discovered to be real and active, hidden in plain view.
Can he overcome the temptations of Mara and his minions while protecting his fellow humans from their wrath and trickery?
“Do you believe in spirits?” Sensei asked him.
Peter felt a shiver up his spine. “Like ghosts and stuff?” he asked.
“Almost every world religion has some belief of spirits either good or bad, who interfere with our lives. Even in Buddhism, there’s Mara and his minions, called the asuras. According to the Buddha, they tempt men and women to make choices that distract them from the way of enlightenment. Do you believe any of this?”
“I’m open to the possibility,” Peter answered, “but honestly, I haven’t given it much thought. Why?”
Sensei Rob took a breath. “When I was younger, I took a year to study in India. While I was there, I met this guy. A Tibetan shaman or guru, like a spiritual expert. I witnessed him perform a ritual and save someone’s life. Afterwards, he told me that the spirits don’t just tempt people. Sometimes they take over their bodies.”
A fresh wave of goosebumps prickled Peter’s skin and he sincerely wished Sensei Charlie were there.
“Are you talking like demonic possession?” Peter gulped.
I don’t believe in all this paranormal crud, Peter reminded himself. Why am I getting freaked out here?
Rob nodded. “The guru, –Yes he was his name– said he could cast the asuras, the dark spirits, out of people and exorcise them.”
“And you,” Peter paused, “believed him?”
“I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t seen it for myself. When a dark spirit takes over a person, you can tell. I mean, weird stuff happens, but it’s more than just that. You know it’s wrong. It reverberates within you, freezes you to the core. You can’t really say what it is, you just feel the darkness. I saw Yeshe expel the spirit from the person and then he went back to normal like it had never happened.”
“So what are you…?”
Sensei Rob held up a hand to stop him. “Asuras are spirits who bear ill will towards humans. They want to cause us pain. Yeshe said he had made a pact with a good spirit, called a deva, a spirit of positivity and kindness. This deva would act in him and through him and help him expel the bad spirits. It was really a lot to take in, as I’m sure it is for you right now. But then, the strangest thing happened.”
“Stranger than everything else?” Peter asked dryly.
“Yes, he told me that I had been chosen to be his successor.”
Peter felt another chill up his spine.
“He said there was another deva waiting to make contact with me. If I accepted the mission, I’d be able to save people from the asuras, too. So I let him train me to be an exorcist. And that was about fifteen years ago.”
“So are you saying…?” Peter started.
“Shh,” Sensei Rob said sharply. “Then when I returned to the states and settled in this town, I became the exorcist here. The devas position at least one of us in designated areas. So when someone’s possessed by an evil spirit and they’re ready to be free, I rush out to help them. Sometimes it’s an easy fight and sometimes I get injured.” He pointed to the bandage on his forearm. “It’s not an easy job, but I know I’m helping people. That makes it rewarding. So there you have it. That’s why I had to leave suddenly last time.”
Rob paused. Peter waited for him to say something.
“Oh. Am I allowed to talk now?” Peter asked.
“Yes, you’re allowed, punk.”
“Okay,” Peter bluffed a calm and disbelieving attitude. “Assuming this is the truth, why are you telling me?”
“Because you’re next.”
Another shudder seized Peter’s senses.
“Uhhh… What now?”
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Thrilling action, charming characters, wit, and wisdom combine in a story that will leave you wishing it were real...
...and thanking God it’s not.
About the Author:
Janie St. Clair has lived most of her life lost in another world. She was frequently trapped in a faraway galaxy, a parallel dimension, or an ancient civilization lost to time. From an early age, she has been trying to entertain and inspire others, whether through acting, singing, dancing, painting, or writing. She has also lived with a fervent passion for studying the religions of the world and discovering the common beliefs that connect us all. Her current project, Freelance Exorcists, seeks to marry her two passions into one thrilling tale.