The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

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Audiobooks for your summer vacation

Let’s face it, no matter how much you like traveling, there will be periods of inactivity when an easy-to-listen-to audiobook might keep you from going nuts (or worse). Expediently, here are for of mine for you consideration:

Eulalie and Washerwoman

AudioFile Magazine: Narrator Tracie Christian’s spirited style is ideal to portray the fantasy world of conjure woman Eulalie Jenkins and her shamanistic cat, Lena, who live in Florida in the 1950s. Christian captures Eulalie’s shock when she learns that Jewish merchant Lane Walker, who’s always traded fairly with the local African-Americans, is being forced to give up his store to the Liberty Improvement Club, which forbids serving blacks. Lively descriptions of Eulalie reading possum bones and casting spells; tender scenes with her old beau, Willie Tate; and feline Lena’s communication with Eulalie via secret thought speech add to the local atmosphere. Listeners will be thrilled when Eulalie transports herself into an alligator to save Walker. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2017

Conjure Woman’s Cat

AudioFile Magazine Red Earphones Award Winner: Wanda J. Dixon’s warmth and gorgeous singing voice are superb in this story about Conjure Woman Eulalie, which is told through the voice of her cat and spirit companion, Lena. Dixon zestfully portrays Eulalie, who is “older than dirt” and is kept busy casting spells, mixing potions, and advising people–that is, when the “sleeping” sign is removed from her door. Most distinctive is Eulalie’s recurring sigh, which conveys her frustration with Florida in the 1950s, when Jim Crow laws and “Colored Only” signs were routine. Dixon’s Lena is fully believable when she spies around town and reports to Eulalie that rednecks have raped and murdered a young women. They almost escape until Eulalie persuades a witness to come forward. Listeners will marvel at the magical realism in this story and benefit from the helpful glossary of the charming local dialect. S.G.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire

AudioFile Magazine: Narrator R. Scott Adams’s rapid-fire delivery mirrors the speech of fast-talking old-style newshound Jock Stewart. Listeners need all their skills of concentration, or they’ll miss the story’s wit and even the occasional clue. Sea of Fire is a missing racehorse, but the mystery of his whereabouts sometimes seems merely incidental. The story is high on humor but light on plot–a vehicle for sex, cigarettes, steak, and zinfandel. Stewart, a print journalist, is a likable dinosaur in a changing world. Adams’s timing is perfect, but a second listen is recommended to catch what is missed first time around. C.A.T. © AudioFile 2015

Emily’s Stories

Reader Review: I like it when kids are smarter than adults in stories like this. It gives me hope. The author ‘s writing had a ‘Peter Pan’ feel to it – not that it reads like ‘Peter Pan’ but it’s a kid being powerful and doing something positive. And there is also a magical ‘The Secret Garden’ kind of feel in here.The kid is powerful because she can see & hear the beauty and the magic in Nature. This audiobook has the coldest, scariest ghost voice in the world and also the wonderful open, free and uninhibited voice of ‘Emily’. AND the voices of birds and much more. The widest range of voices I’ve heard from a narrator. And all seemed real, not forced. I believed it – I believed this could happen. M. Stein

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Friday is the day to buy this unique Kindle novel

On Sale for 99₵

Eulalie and Washerwoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DescriptionTorreya, a small 1950s Florida Panhandle town, is losing its men. They disappear on nights with no moon and no witnesses. Foreclosure signs appear in their yards the following day while thugs associated with the Klan take everything of value from inside treasured homes that will soon be torn down. The police won’t investigate, and the church keeps its distance from all social and political discord. Conjure woman Eulalie Jenkins, her shamanistic cat, Lena, and neighbor Willie Tate discover that the new “whites only” policy at the once friendly mercantile and the creation of a plantation-style subdivision are linked to corrupt city fathers, the disappearing men, rigged numbers gambling, and a powerful hoodoo man named Washerwoman.

Review: “Despite the foundation of blatant inequality and disregard for human life this story centers around, Campbell has managed to infuse hope and humor into the reality of life. Authentic dialect spoken by the characters adds an additional layer of reality to the piece, embedding the reader directly into the danger and the action. This is without a doubt a unique and necessary blend of history and magic, delivered through a unique style of storytelling that will not disappoint.” – Elspeth Senz in Book Expo Review, June 2017, Issue #3.

Enjoy the novel!

–Malcolm

Free on Kindle: ‘The Sun Singer’

My contemporary fantasy novel The Sun Singer will be free on Kindle May 10th through May 12th.

Description:

Robert Adams is a normal teenager who raises tropical fish, makes money shoveling snow off his neighbors’ sidewalks, gets stuck washing the breakfast dishes, dreads trying to ask girls out on dates and enjoys listening to his grandfather’s tall tales about magic and the western mountains. Yet, Robert is cursed by a raw talent his parents refuse to talk to him about: his dreams show him what others cannot see.

When the family plans a vacation to the Montana high country, Grandfather Elliott tells Robert there’s more to the trip than his parents’ suspect. The mountains hide a hidden world where people the ailing old man no longer remembers need help and dangerous tasks remain unfinished. Thinking that he and his grandfather will visit that world together, Robert promises to help.

On the shore of a mountain lake, Robert steps alone through a doorway into a world at war where magic runs deeper than the glacier-fed rivers. Grandfather Elliott meant to return to this world before his health failed him and now Robert must resurrect a long-suppressed gift to fulfill his promises, uncover old secrets, undo the deeds of his grandfather’s foul betrayer, subdue brutal enemy soldiers in battle, and survive the trip home.

If you’re traveling to Glacier National Park, Montana this summer, take the book with you and experience the same trails and scenery described in the novel.

–Malcolm

Free Books: March 29 – four Kindle titles

The following books will be free on Kindle on Wednesday, March 29:

  • Waking Plain (short story) – An enchanted prince waits for the kiss of a beautiful princess to bring him out of a century of sleep. The problem: he ain’t no sleeping beauty.
  • At Sea (novel) in this sea story set during the Vietnam War, David Ward learns that people back home are often more troublesome than the enemy. Inspired by my service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger.
  • The Sun Singer (novel) Young Robert Adams goes to the mountains on a family vacation and then, via a mysterious cabin, enters an alternate universe where people are at war with their dangerous king. He’ll have to use his psychic abilities to survive.
  • Dream of Crows (short story) A man goes on a business trip to Florida and gets involved with a witch who wants him to risk his life to make love to her. When he returns home, he can’t quite remember what happened. Don’t read this one if you’re superstitious.

I hope you enjoy the books.

–Malcolm

Two Free Books Wednesday and Thursday

Mountain Song and its sequel At Sea will be free on Kindle March 8th and 9th, 2017.

Mountain SongDavid Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever? The novel is set in Glacier National Park Montana and in the Florida Panhandle

At SeaEven though he wanted to dodge the draft in Canada or Sweden, David Ward joined the navy during the Vietnam War. He ended up on an aircraft carrier. Unlike the pilots, he couldn’t say he went in harm’s way unless he counted the baggage he carried with him. As it turned out, those back home were more dangerous than enemy fire. The novel is inspired by my service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War.

–Malcolm

 

 

Announcing ‘Mountain Song,’ a novel about first love and flawed childhood

Mountain Song is now available on Kindle. This companion novel to At Sea tells the story of two college students, one of whom lives “next door” to Montana’s shining mountains and one of who lives “next door” to Florida’s Tate’s Hell Swamp. They meet during a flood that sweeps away almost everything that matters.

mountainsongAmazon Description: David Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever?

Campbell, who grew up in north Florida, worked as a seasonal employee at a Glacier National Park while in college. His mountain climbing and hiking experiences would influence his fiction years later when he wrote The Sun Singer and Sarabande. Now, Mountain Song combines his love of the Florida Panhandle, where he set Conjure Woman’s Cat and Eulalie and Washerwoman, with his love for the Rocky Mountains into a story of prospective loss haunted by the conflicting realities of disparate worlds.

Malcolm

 

 

Campbell’s writing stuff – news and reviews

  • Appreciation: Thanks to those of you who picked up a free copy of the new edition of “Carrying Snakes Into Eden” during the recent sale. I hope you enjoy the additional short story added to the book.
  • mountainsongcover4Review: “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” reviewed by Rhett DeVane – “Told through the narrative voice of Lena, Eulalie’s shamanistic cat, the fast-paced story comes alive. The approach is fresh and clever; Malcolm R. Campbell manages Lena’s viewpoint seamlessly, adding interest and a unique perspective.” Tallahassee Writers Association
  • New Title: “Mountain Song” will be released in early March. A companion book to “At Sea,” the novel tells the story of two college students from different parts of the country who meet and fall in love during seasonal employment in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
  • Satire: Florida: It’s Like Living in an Asylum and Loving It – Crazy place to grow up. Perhaps that’s why I keep setting my stories there.
  • Review: “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” reviewed by Julie Summers – “A simply riveting read from beginning to end, ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.” Midwest Book Review
  • es-portugese-cvr-fQuotation: “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” – Frank Herbert
  • Newsletter: Keep up with upcoming books, sales and new editions in my publisher’s newsletter. The sign-up form is on the left-hand side of the Thomas-Jacob Publishing news page.
  • Just Released: The Portuguese edition, “Histórias da Emily” of my three-story “Emily’s Stories” about a 14-year-old Florida girl who uses logic and intuition to solve problems is now available Kindle and other online booksellers. (She also talks to ghosts.)

–Malcolm

New edition of ‘Carrying Snakes Into Eden’ is Free Feb 17-19

I’ve added a second short story to my Kindle book Carrying Snakes Into Eden in this new edition now available on Amazon.

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

Here’s the book’s new description:

The title story, “Carrying Snakes Into Eden,” is a whimsical 1960s-era tale about two students who skip church to meet some girls at the beach and end up picking up a hobo with a sack of snakes, and realize there may be long-term consequences.

“Hurricane in the Garden” is a folktale that explains why the snakes were swept out of Eden in the first place. The story features animal characters who made their debut in the three-story set called Land Between the Rivers.

New Edition is Free On Kindle – Feb 17-29

I always intended for this to be a two-story set because the hurricane tale adds depth to the title story, however I got diverted by work on my Florida Folk Magic series longer than I expected.

By the way, I was pleased to see that Midwest Book Review liked the second book in the series, Eulalie and Washerwoman, in a review just out this month:

“A simply riveting read from beginning to end, ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).” – Julie Summers

 

A word from your sponsor

As always, that would be me.

mcfrenchbriverI realized I hadn’t posted one of those “where I am on the Internet posts” for quite a while. So here are all my addresses for more information about books and stuff.

  • My Other Blog: Malcolm’s Round Table
  • Website: Conjure Woman’s Cat
  • Twitter: MalcolmCampbell
  • Facebook Author’s Page: Star Gazer
  • Publisher: Thomas-Jacob LLC
  • Additional Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing
  • Amazon Author’s Page: Malcolm R. Campbell
  • Favorite Blog: Myth and Moor (Terri Windling’s Blog)
  • Favorite Myth and Hero’s Journey Site: Joseph Campbell Foundation
  • Favorite Tarot Site: Raven’s Tarot
  • Favorite Fiction Quote: “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
  • Favorite Nonfiction Quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
  • Favorite Genres: Magic Realism, Contemporary Fantasy
  • Favorite Vacation Spots: Glacier National Park, Montana and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. (The pphotograph was taken during a paddle trip on the French Broad River on the Biltmore Estate.)
  • Favorite Authors: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and more recently: Pat Conroy, Mark Helprin, Isabelle Allende, Terry Kay, and Diana Gabaldon.

Enough about me. What are your favorite vacation destinations, quotes, authors and websites?

–Malcolm

 

 

 

A note from your sponsor (AKA, me)

  1. The publisher and her editor have the manuscript for Eulalie and Washerwoman, the sequel to Conjure Woman’s Cat. It came out 10,000 words longer than the first book, but that’s okay. Meanwhile, I’ve been talking to the artist about cover ideas. With a little luck, the novel will be available before Thanksgiving.
  2. I really enjoyed this magical realism novel. I wish I'd known about it when it first came out.

    I really enjoyed this magical realism novel. I wish I’d known about it when it first came out.

    A writer friend of mine who hasn’t written anything for a while is writing again. Best news I’ve heard lately. I really like her books and feel that my life isn’t quite as sparkly and wonderful when I don’t have a new one to read. She tells me she’s having fun with the novel. That’s a good sign.

  3. When I lived in a close-in Atlanta suburb 25 years ago, I was a member of an eclectic writing group that met at a bluesy cafe that specialized in tasty craft beers. When I moved away from the Atlanta metro area, I lost track of the other members. A few days ago, I discovered that one of them died five years ago. Had I known at the time, it would have been a shock. Finding out after the fact is horrid, I think. Making it worse was the fact that the page on her former employer’s website that had the announcement included a link for more information. The link didn’t work.
  4. If you’re interested in writing magical realism, here are a few ideas in a post on my other blog: Writing magical realism: step-by-step suggestions.
  5. Writing teachers have told us for years, “show, don’t tell.” That’s probably good advice even though most of a novel can’t be showing our it would be so long people would be scared to buy it. Is the best form of storytelling really the painting of a word picture? This author suggests that it may not be: IS “SHOW DON’T TELL” A UNIVERSAL TRUTH OR A COLONIAL RELIC?
  6. redphoenixSomehow, I’ve gotten hooked into the Dark Heavens series of novels by Kylie Chan. As usual, I’m late discovering these since I’m cheap and seldom read books in hard cover. They’re set in Hong Kong, a place I enjoyed visiting when I was in the navy, and feature Chinese gods, martial arts, a lot of humor, and intrigue. I’m currently reading Red Phoenix.
  7. Looking at the news, it appears that the Chinese space station is going to fall to Earth late next year. I’m not taking any precautions because I believe that if one’s number isn’t up, everything will be fine. If you have other beliefs, you might want to see if the basement of your house is stable because it’s going to fall somewhere. One of my Facebook friends suggests that there’s a novel in that story, but that’s not my kind of stuff. I might read it if one of you writes it! Also, I’m superstitious. That means the darned thing will fall on my house if I started writing about it.
  8. Surprisingly, the winner of the Kindle Fire Tablet from my publisher’s newsletter subscription drive never claimed her prize. If she doesn’t, you have another shot at at it.
  9. If you haven’t visited my website, here’s the link. Yes, I know, I should update it more often, but you know how it is.

Malcolm

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