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”

binti

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!

story bundle

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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“No Place Like Home” featured in “Magicks & Enchantments”

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Promotional image for Magicks & Enchantments

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

This is a little later than I’d hoped, but my short story “No Place Like Home” is finally available in the Blackbird Publishing anthology Magicks & Enchantments (also available HERE and HERE).

What would have happened if Dorothy hadn’t made it back to Kansas from Oz? What would have happened if she didn’t want to go? What would have it been like if the “good witch” Glinda had craved the ruby slippers for her own, and after a few minutes, hours, or days, what would the transformed Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion really have been like with their new attributes?

To find out, buy a copy of this anthology and read “No Place Like Home.” I promise, you’ll never think of Dorothy the same way again.

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Big Announcement for Saturday the 17th

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Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”

This one has been in the works for months, and the story involved has been edited again and again. I think you’ll like the final result. It will become available Saturday. I still can’t talk about it and have no promotional materials to offer, but I can share an excerpt to whet your appetite.

Toto barked at the witch like a maniac, but mercifully, didn’t try to escape Dorothy’s grasp. The broomstick competed with Dorothy’s legs as to which could shake faster and harder. If the monkeys didn’t arrive soon, Glinda would grab Dorothy and send her back home. Dorothy could try to ride the broomstick back to Wicked’s castle, where she knew the monkeys were sure to take her if they’d ever show up. But she’d never ridden a broomstick before. What if she fell – or worse, dropped Toto?

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Review of Denton Salle’s Novel “Black Earth Rises, Hall of Heroes Book Three”

black earth

Cover art for Denton Salle’s novel “Black Earth Rises”

Black Earth Rises is the third book in a series by Denton Salle, but it stands very well on its own since I haven’t read the first two novels.

Denton asked me to review his book and was aware of recent difficulties I’ve had reviewing books by people I know. He assured me that he’d understand me being forthright and fair about my review, and I have been.

For being a supernatural urban legend thriller, the story is pretty standard, up to a point. Two college buddies from very different backgrounds, the women in their lives, coming up against frat jerks, all seems normal.

Then the frat jerks turn out to be werewolves and there is a sinister school being operated by an evil sorceress in the bowels of a Texas university near Dallas. But this school also has an old graveyard haunted with the unexpected, both evil and good.

A good Catholic boy named Jim gets pulled by his frat friend Mike into an Orthodox religious group (most of which are Mike’s family) of an ancient order sworn to protect our existence from occult dangers. They live an uneasy peace with the “Otherworld” by a compact signed untold centuries ago…but not all of the Otherworld creatures are obedient, or perhaps they just didn’t sign on the dotted line.

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Vengeance for a Sorceress

Image is of concept art from King Arthur II, a NeocoreGames video game. This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose. -Wikimedia Foundation

Her lips and fingernails were chiseled rose quartz and her eyes were irresistible. Standing on the railway platform clouded with steam from the monolith locomotive, she waited in the darkness of an indeterminate night.

The full-length gown beneath her loosely draped overcoat was ashes of roses. To gaze into her jade eyes was to dive into the aortistic. To even briefly brush against her fingertips was to chance ecstasy.

People went to and fro on the concrete, passing like specters in the fog. Only she and the locomotive to her left remained motionless. She was not only waiting, but fixated on the other, as a spider might be captivated by a victim in her web.

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Fantastic Schools: Volume Two Now Available

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

Okay, it’s only partly available. The Kindle version can be purchased and downloaded now, but the hard copy edition is still being worked on. Still, finally, finally “Sorcery’s Preschool” has seen the light of day.

I have cover credit and I’m listed with some of the other authors at the top of the page, but according to L. Jagi Lamplighter, Amazon only allows up to ten authors to be listed, so for the paperback, my name won’t be up top.

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I Made the Cover!

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

As I mentioned before, my short story “Sorcery’s Preschool” was accepted into Volume 2 of the Fantastic Schools anthologies (I’m told there will be a volume 3 as well). Today, I found out my name made the cover, as you can see above.

That’s pretty thrilling. Not sure yet exactly when the book will be available for pre-order, but here’s an advance taste:

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