Fantastic Schools: Volume Two Reviewed by Upstream Reviews

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Cover image for the anthology “Fantastic Schools, vol 2”

Back in 2020, my fantasy short story Sorcery’s Preschool was published (kindle version) in Fantastic Schools Volume Two edited by L. Jagi Lamplighter. A few months later, the paperback edition came out.

In brief, my short story involved probably the only magical pre-school in fiction (I can’t confirm that, but it does seem unlikely anyone else came up with the idea).

Two years is a lot of metaphorical water under the bridge and I’ve moved on to newer tales.

This evening (as I write this), Jagi emailed the Vol 2 authors letting us know that the book had been reviewed by Upstream Reviews. On their main substack page, they advertise themselves as “Reviewing only the best in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, & Thrillers.”

It’s quite a complement that we were reviewed. The page also says they were launched 8 months ago, meaning they’re quite new.

You can click this link to read the full review (I recommend it) but here’s what they said about my contribution:

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The Others

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PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

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Downtown passersby were aghast as they watched a man wave goodbye to the woman with one leg dangling out of the second-floor window.

“Do something! She’ll fall.”

Instead of responding to an emergency, the man in the baseball cap smiled. “No, she can’t fall. You see she’s…”

Sirens approaching from the east told the gathering crowd that someone had called 911.

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Fantastic Schools Vol 6 Available Now!

fantastic schoolsIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Fantastic Schools Volume Six, featuring my short story “The Price” is now available through this story bundle. See it as a “Bonus” book in the second row of the image by clicking on the link.

As soon as the bundle expires (in about three weeks as of this writing), it will go on to Pubshare and Amazon. At that time, we will get a paper version up, too.

Here’s a summary of the anthology:

Have you ever wanted to go to magic school? To cast spells and brew potions and fly on broomsticks and—perhaps—battle threats both common and supernatural? Come with us into worlds of magic, where students become magicians and teachers do everything in their power to ensure the kids survive long enough to graduate. Welcome to … Fantastic Schools.

Meet a student who discovers the hard way what happens when he is transformed into a monster, another who mixes magic and music to remarkable effect, a student who wants to trigger a magical industrial revolution, an assassin posing as a tutor with a mission he cannot deny, two students who have to learn to work together – or else – and a student who starts her school newspaper and discovers a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of a proud institution …

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What Are People Saying About “Ice?”

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Cover art for my fantasy novelette “Ice”

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Now that my week long promotion of “Ice” is over, what’s the final tally of reviews and ratings?

On Amazon, there are a total of four “ratings” which in this case is three reviews and one rating. The latest review was a four star, which is totally terrific. On Amazon, “Ice” has 100% 4 and 5 star reviews. Pretty cool.

On goodreads, it’s a tad confusing. The page says three ratings and two reviews, but I only find one review and two ratings. They’re all four star, so again, no complaints.

I have gotten a few messages from others saying they’ve downloaded “Ice” and will get to reading it soon. I know the feeling. I do the same thing since my reading list is long. Hopefully, in the future, this will spawn more attention for my wee indie novelette.

Now I know free stuff is cool. However “Ice” is currently available for a mere $2.99, so the price is still very reasonable. Here are a few of the descriptions:

Anita said:

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Starting Today and through August 9th, download and read “Ice” for FREE!

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Cover art for my fantasy novelette “Ice”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

This is it!!!

Read my fantasy novelette Ice for absolutely FREE starting today, August 5th. From today through the 9th, it’s a free ebook download from Amazon to your kindle device.

Here’s a “blurb”

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Review of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021)

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Just finished watching Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) last night. It’s about two-and-a-half-hours long, and like a lot of superhero movies, it tries to cram too much into that space.

The movie starts out where Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) left off, with the recording of Mysterio/Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) saying that Spider-Man (Tom Holland) killed him and that Spider-Man is Peter Parker.

Peter’s life goes downhill immediately and so do the lives of his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), his wingman Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and even Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).

Federal agents detain all of them, but in spite of all their bluster, they can’t really hold any of them except Hogan who has ties to the Stark technology used in the previous movie. Even that doesn’t stick very long.

There’s a cameo of Charlie Cox appearing as attorney Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and a cute little scene where he catches a brick thrown through the Parker’s apartment window from behind. It was a tragedy that Daredevil didn’t appear in the movie because a Spider-Man/Daredevil team up would have been awesome.

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Book Review of Denton Salle’s “Sworn to the Light”

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Cover art for “Sworn to the Light”

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Yes, I’ve been remiss in reviewing my (online) friend Denton Salle’s novelette Sworn to the Light: The Avatar Wizard – Book 1 (of four).

However, I did download it onto my Kindle Fire last month and last night I finished it.

Excellent work. A very compelling YA Fantasy work that I think my grandson would enjoy (although he prefers audio books).

A lot of Denton’s works are based on Slavonic wonder tales he learned from his grandfather, so you need to know that going in. The local is rather “Russian” in its architecture at least.

Eleven-year-old Jeremy visits his father’s homeland with his parents, in part because Jeremy has a problem. He spontaneously turns into a panda bear cub. He can’t control the change and he can’t control the bear once he’s transformed.

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Book Review of “Binti: The Complete Trilogy”

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Cover art for Binti: The Complete Trilogy

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I previously mentioned that as part of Women in SciFi Month and in response to the twitter hashtag #FiveSFFWritersWhoArentBlokes, I collected the names of some female authors I’ve never read to essentially broaden my horizons.

Today, I just finished Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti: The Complete Trilogy. As it’s a collected trilogy (plus one additional short story), it’s publication history is from 2015 through 2019.

To understand my review and the work in general, I’ll present a few bits of info. First, the author’s bio as presented on Amazon:

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and was a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa.

That’s the short version. Now the professional reviews of this trilogy posted on Amazon:

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Third 5-Star Review of “Ice” on Amazon

iceIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Hooray! Frankly, I’ll take just about any sort of review on “Ice” just so it’s noticed, but I love how all three (so far) are five-stars on Amazon.

Click on the link to find the review and read it. If you’ve read “Ice” and haven’t reviewed it on Amazon and Goodreads, please, please, please do so. Even if the review is less than complementary, I’ll learn more about how to improve my writing.

Here’s my “blurb:”

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“The Wild Magic Bundle” is Coming Your Way!

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StoryBundle

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As some of you may know from reading my blog, my short story “No Place Like Home,” which is loosely based on the ending of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, is featured in Blackbird Publishing’s fantasy anthology Magicks & Enchantments edited by Jamie Ferguson.

That anthology is now part of The Wild Magic Bundle. According to the blurb:

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