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My book reviews, interviews and posts on Malcolm’s Round Table, Magic Moments and Literary Aficionado are brought to you by, er, me.

Speaking of myself now in the third person, Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, contemporary fantasy and satire published by Vanilla Heart Publishing of Washington State. While my noir satire, Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire, is set in a fictional Texas town with a really screwed up fictional newspaper, my three other novels are set in Glacier National Park, Montana and other places where I have lived or visited.

Last summer brought the release of Sarabande, a harrowing heroine’s journey and contemporary fantasy about a young woman who is haunted by the ghost of her sister. Sarabande seeks the help of a young man who has, on one previous occasion, bent time to “raise the dead.” The solution to the problem is not without its nasty down side.

Satire for your Nook

In 2004, I came out with the first edition of my novel The Sun Singer, the story of a young man whose psychic dreams ultimately lead him into a dangerous mountain world where it will take all of his skills to survive. First things first: he had to figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and, as it turns out, who exactly he is. The second edition of The Sun Singer was released in 2010. College students at Lone Star College, Texas, read and discussed the novel this past Spring as part of a Wayfaring Heroes course.

Garden of Heaven: an Odyssey (also released in 2010) is magical realism about a man who grows up on a Montana ranch who loses his way when a failed love affair sends him down dangerous roads along which is is betrayed multiple times by those he cares about the most. The book is also available as an $4.99 e-book from OmniLit.

Where To Find Malcolm R. Campbell on the Internet

Excerpt from Sarabande

Only $4.99 on Kindle

Gem pulled her hands away and stood up so quickly she knocked over her spinning wheel. She didn’t appear to notice. She walked to the window and leaned out as though making sure no one else would hear her words.

“I was shamed by the king.” Gem pulled up her left sleeve to reveal the letters SJ in a bold pink scar that contrasted with her walnut-colored skin.

“Your strike brand!”

“I bore Justine’s mark as well as his child. Both were conceived in pain in a dark cell covered with urine and rat droppings.” Sarabande went to her, but Gem rolled down the sleeve, covering the ugly mark that signified Sovereign Justine. “No, my friend, I cannot abide your seeing it close at hand. My daughter, though, this doting mother will speak of her at great length if allowed to do so.”

“Cinnabar has shown me her brand,” said Sarabande.

“Discretion is a lesson I was never able to teach her. But listen: on your journey to Osprey’s house, you won’t walk through the domains of kings.”

Sarabande gasped and sat down, suddenly lightheaded when she understood why Gem showed her the scar.

“If there are no kings, what dangers have you seen?”

Gem put her hands on Sarabande’s shoulders and kneaded out the growing knots. Her touch always felt like a touch of power, and she wondered if she shared Osprey’s way with healing magic.

“I have seen a dark creek beneath a bridge on a foggy night. I have heard screams and howls outside my comprehension. I don’t understand it,” said Gem, holding their eye contact as though she understood more than she would say. “Sarabande, you know without my lecturing at great length about the ways of the world. A a woman on a lonely road can be a target. Travel with a sharp knife.”

The impromptu massage felt good. The unclear warning did not. Vague predictions were worse than silence. They stirred up what did not need to be stirred up.

“Yes, I know that, Gem. I will carry a knife and take care to have it handy.”

“With due care, you can avoid your fate, but destiny is the way you’ve already written your life’s story.”

“I wanted to walk the sixteen hundred and fifty miles to Osprey’s house long before it occurred to me I would ever do so. If there is to be shame in it, then I will live or die with whatever I find on that lonely road.”

Thank you for stopping my Malcolm’s Round Table today!

–Malcolm

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