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Beyond the Wizard's Threshold Returns!

Marion Margeret Press has slated Beyond the Wizard’s Thresold for print release in fall 2010 or early 2011. I’m excited folks. BWT is a young adult novel by yours truly, all about the adventures—sometimes fun and sometimes terrifying—of a young man who really doesn’t like magic, trying to get home from earth to a magical parallel world. YA, but a good read for all ages, if I do say so myself. If you’ve read it, or if you want to read it, I welcome your comments.

(MMP is a newish publisher, but they’re coming on strong with a solid base. A new release, Still Life of Hannah Morgan by Lora Deeprose. Watch for more!)

Image top right from Beyond the Wizard’s Threshold cover art, c. Ron Leming.
"In the World there Must Be Dust" is coming soon to Cezanne's Carrot, and I thought that news would make a great "first real post" for my rejuvenated blog. CZ is a classy literary e-zine published by Spiritual, Visionary, and Transformational Arts, Inc (a non-profit). The name comes from Paul Cezanne's words: “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” (posted from http://www.worldswellwritten.com)

"Kissing the Wizard," a humorous fantasy short about a shape-shifter from the Okanogan and a warrior from a world called Knuth, is online now in the March issue of The Battered Suitcase.  This issue of the zine has a fantasy theme, and as I've come to expect from the TBS editors, they've put together an interesting collection of stories, poems, and artwork by successful artists and authors.  I'm happy that my story has been included.  I will be even happier if you read it, and the humor lightens your heart.
"Dead Hands," short story by Jason Rolfe, is on the web now at Crossed Genres March issue which features stories of fantiastic crime.  The crimes in "Dead Hands" transpire in Jason's fictional/fantasy city, Seven Gates, when a thief is hired to steal (what else?) a book, and given a strange piece of equipment to get the job done.   It's a prime specimen of the kind of fiction I've come to expect from Jason Rolfe -- well written, spooky, and sophisticated.  The print editions are not yet available, I think, but I'll be checking back.  I want this on my shelf.

Congratulations Jason, and thanks for another great read.


Jason Rolfe’s chilling tale “Dead Hands” will appear March 1st in Crossed Genres, an e-zine with an interesting twist: Every month, the stories are based on a synthesis of two genres, for instance Fantasy and Horror. It makes for some interesting reading. In stories such as “Notes on the Evocation of Demons” (The Harrow, August ‘08) and “White Alabaster (The Willows July/August ‘08) Rolfe has already proven his skill at drawing us into the vivid, haunting worlds of his imagination. This story will surely be no exception. Don’t miss it!
 

 

 


"Off Track," by Michael Hultquist, is a startling, disturbing, deeply honest novel, and I want the world to know about it. 

It opens at the moment of critical choice in the unblessed life of twelve-year-old Gary Sanderson, the moment when – beaten, frightened, worn down, and powerless but for the cold metal in his hands – he shoots and kills his father.  He pulls the trigger too late to save his mother from the man's cruelty.  She dies hours later.  The action shifts quickly after that to the time four years later when Gary's world tilts from the holding pattern made possible by imposed structure, and the heavy iron pendulum of choice swings belatedly toward him, as unstoppable as the trains that thunder symbolically through Gary's days and nights.


Hultquist has fashioned the novel superbly from start to finish, his prose straightforward but also uniquely creative and beautiful.  With impeccable timing and use of atmospheric shift, he foreshadows just enough to keep the reader on track a timid half-step ahead of Gary.  Inevitably the moment of denouement barrels down on us and thunders by, leaving Gary stripped of defenses and knowing finally who and what he is and – more importantly – what he is not, and leaving the reader breathlessly thankful.    


I purchased this novel and started to read it because I wanted to see what kind of books Lilley Press was publishing.  I kept reading because there was nothing I wanted to do more.  For anyone who has ever hidden bits of past that seemed they would explode in open air, for every wounded teen and anyone who has ever loved a child, for anyone whose soldiers have come back from war turned inside out by what a soldier has to do, this story will strike and chime like a bell in the night. 


Comparisons are flawed by nature, but when I read this novel, I could not help but be reminded in some ways of Chris Crutcher's acclaimed novels for teens.  I'm certain the honesty of Gary Sanderson's story would lead some to deem it inappropriate for youth.  As happens with Crutcher's works, it may end up on someone's list of banned books.  It will be sad if such a reaction prevents it from finding its way to the eyes of one young person who needs to read it.  It would be a great shame if, because this is an e-book, because it is published by a small independent house, this novel escapes attention. 


As I said, I want the world to know about this book, and for that reason if anyone would like to quote, post, paste, print, or otherwise reproduce my remarks, they are free to credit me and do so, with my thanks.


A Fly in Amber has published its anniversary issue, and my YA short story, "The Day After Valentine's" is included.   I got a chance to skim some of the other stories, and I'm proud that my story is in such impressive company.  AFIA publishes various types of fiction including genre and fiction for adults as well as YA, and they put it all together in a pleasant and very readable site.  There is a widget for readers to rate each story, too (gulp).  I hope you get a chance to enjoy it. 

And by the way... lest I forget, even though this particular story didn't hang around my house long enough to collect a lot of feedback, every bit of success any of my writing enjoys is the result of lots of help from others.  Now seems a good time to say thanks.  So, to Jason R, Tom B, Karla K, Ron P, Kim M, Darya K, KAK, Terri, Jessica, Steve, and everyone else who helps, thank you.  For guidance on TDAV in particular, big thank you to Kevin McColley.

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Good news:  my YA short story, "The Day After Valentine's", which is not a romance, will appear November 15th in the online zine, A Fly in Amber , which will coincidentally be marking it's one year anniversary.  Congrats to them - survival as a fiction zine is no easy feat, and it seems to me they've done a particularly fine job of it. 

Other good news:  Karla Lammers' "Three's a Charm",  is now appearing in the stylish e-zine Perpetual Magazine.  Just click on "Romance" and you'll find the link to Karla's fiction.  Once you've read this delightful story, I'm certain you'll join me in congratulating her on well-deserved success.

 


Check out the Halloween issue (online today) of Tales from the Moonlit Path.  Click on the fiction link for some nice bedtime reading. 

Yes, it's true, my teensy story (440 words) Zoroaster's Airplane is in there, but another not to be missed is Gregory Hall's Face Your Fears.  Definitely a little outside, some laughs along the way.   If you click on the "contest winners" link, you will find another one of mine -- Old Bones, Secret Rain, along with a rather light-hearted grand prize winner by E.W. Bonadio (does that name mean 'good god?'), called The Ghost of Merrick Mansion.  I think it's worth the clicks. 

(Oh, and while you are there, click on the "Horror Family" link at the bottom of the home page, and you can find out a little known fact about my cat, Boudreau.) 

Thank you to Tricia Urlaub, editor, and congrats to her on collecting some nice work for this issue (not even counting my stories).