Living in St. Jude, a 110-year-old dying city on the edge of the Mississippi, is tough. But when a letter informs fourteen-year-old Cinque Williams of the passing of the father he never met, he is faced with an incomplete past and an uncertain future. A curse meant for his father condemns Cinque to a slow death even as it opens his eyes to the strange otherworld around him. With help from the ghost Willy T, an enigmatic White Woman named Iku, an African Loa, and a devious shape-shifter, Cinque gathers the tools to confront the ghost of his dead father. But he will learn that sometimes too much knowledge can be dangerous—and the people he trusts most are those poised to betray him.
Reviews of Picking Up the Ghost:
Tone Milazzo has been a marine, a cab driver, a bartender, and a computer guy. And hopes that all this experience lends a flair of authenticity to his fiction instead of being years he wasted when he should have been writing instead.
Picking Up the Ghost (ChiZine Publications) started as a list of tropes he was tired of seeing in fantasy; An orphan, raised in seclusion in a fake Europe, discovers his destiny to take up the magical something or other and destroy the big evil guy. Turning his jadedness into inspiration he inverted all of these, got a novel out of it and had a lot of fun doing it.