The second book in the “Mountain Journeys” series, the novel sweeps a young woman along a dark and ill-fated trek from the high country of Montana to the prairie of Illinois to escape a ghost. While the novel’s official release date is November 1, the Kindle edition is available for pre-order on Amazon now.
Haunted by her powerful sister Dryad from beyond the grave, Sarabande leaves the world of Pyrrha from its hiding place within Montana’s Glacier Park, and travels on horseback to Illinois to seek the help of Sun Singer Robert Adams. Sarabande almost dies trying to reach him and it’s soon obvious that evil has followed her from the western mountains to Robert’s small town in a world of soybeans, corn, brick streets and old homes.
Robert saved Sarabande’s life in the first book of the series, The Sun Singer. Truth be told, he doesn’t think he can do it again. His magic is weak, all but forgotten. Worse yet, he remembers Dryad’s moon magic and hypnotic voice and fears that he can’t resist her seductive charms another time.
Sarabande, a contemporary fantasy, was written so that it can be read as a standalone novel about a woman’s perilous journey. It can also be read as a sequel to The Sun Singer, which was the story of Robert’s journey to Pyrrha. The Sun Singer ended on a positive note, but there were a few loose ends.
Malcolm R. Campbell is also the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “Emily’s Stories,” and “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire.”
Thomas-Jacob Publishing has released Conjure Woman’s Cat, a novella by Malcolm R. Campbell (“The Sun Singer”), set in the 1950s Florida Panhandle world of blues, turpentine camps, root doctors, the KKK and a region of the state so far away from everywhere else that it’s often called “the other Florida” and “the forgotten coast.”
Lena, a shamanistic cat, and her conjure woman Eulalie live in a small town near the Apalachicola River in Florida’s lightly populated Liberty County where longleaf pines own the world. Black women look after white children in the homes of white families and are respected, even loved as individuals, but distrusted and kept separated and other as a group.
A palpable gloss, sweeter than the state’s prized tupelo honey, holds the spiritual and temporal components of the Blacks’ and Whites’ worlds firmly in the stasis of their separate places. When that gloss fails, the Klan restores the unnatural disorder of ideas and people that have fallen out of favor.
Lena and Eulalie know the Klan. When the same white boys who once treated Eulalie as a surrogate parent rape and murder a black girl named Mattie near the saw mill, the police have no suspects and don’t intend to find any. Eulalie, who sees conjure as a way of helping the good Lord work His will, intends to set things right by “laying tricks.”
Eulalie believes that when you do a thing, you don’t look back to check on it because that shows the good Lord one’s not certain about what she did. It’s hard, though, not to look back on her own life and ponder how the decisions she made while drinking and singing at the local juke were, perhaps, the beginning of Mattie’s ending.
All that’s too broke to fix, but beneath the sweet sugar that covers crimes against Blacks, Eulalie’s pragmatic, no-nonsense otherness is the best mojo for righting wrongs against both the world and the heart.
I’m a disorganized writer. My den, and especially my book shelves, is a mess. When my publisher sends me free author’s copies of my books and/or I order books for gifts, reviewers and book signings, I often order more copies without checking to see how many I already have. Extra copies are everywhere.
Here’s my solution. The following is a list of extra copies of some of the books I’ve written. All of them are available on Amazon, Smashwords and OmniLit so you can check them out. If you decide you would like a copy mailed to you (continental U.S.), you can have one at no charge. Limit is one per person on a first-come, first served basis.
With the exception of the last item on the list, all of these are from Vanilla Heart Publishing.
If you would like a copy, send me an e-mail with the title of the book you want, your mailing address and whether or not you want the copy signed. If you have a second or third choice, include those titles in case somebody else gets to your first choice before you do.
Send the e-mails to me at malcolmrcampbell [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Offer expires May 30, 2014
Titles and Copies Available
Emily’s Stories (three short stories set in north Florida) – 1 copy
The Seeker (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 4 copies
The Sailor (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 3 copies
Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire (comedy/mystery, original cover) – 2 copies
The Sun Singer (fantasy) – 3 copies
The Sun Singer (fantasy, iUniverse edition; same as VHP edition except that it blurs the real locations used in the story) – 2 copies
If you find anything that sounds like your cup of tea, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. There’s no obligation, but if you love it, an Amazon review would be nice.
Everyone aboard every Navy ship that cruised between California and Vietnam in the late 1960s knew about liberty in Olongapo, Republic of the Philippines. The city stood just outside the main gate of the U. S. Naval base at Subic Bay, a regular port of call for Western Pacific (WESTPAC) ships.
Old salts called the town “hell” and promised Seaman Recruits coming on board the carrier USS Ranger out of bootcamp that anyone leaving the main gate of the base on liberty would be corrupted immediately by booze, drugs, girls, gambling and crime. They called the drainage ditch separating the base’s main gate from the town “the shit river,” though I saw it as the River Styx.
I crossed the shit river multiple times and found the world there to be everything the old salts described. As a former Eagle Scout, it crossed my mind on more than one occasion, “if only my Scout master could see me now.” Our Scout troop was sponsored by a church, so the Scout master was the least of my worries when I thought of how the deacons, elders and Sunday school teachers should they ever see a photo taken on Magsaysay Drive.
As a writer in training, I saw Magsaysay Drive and the Galaxy Bar and the touts and the constant ruckus in the streets as “research.” But I doubt my Scout master would have understood, or anybody else I knew, for that matter. Luckily, webcams and cell phones hadn’t been invented yet. There was no Facebook either in 1968. This meant that no pictures of me crossing the shit river appeared anywhere–and since a lot of time has gone by since then, I doubt they ever will.
Everyone who might know the Eagle Scout and paperboy who went to hell and then put his research into a novel called Garden of Heaven is long gone by now. So, I think I can safely post this excerpt without word getting back to the old neighborhood.
Excerpt from Garden of Heaven:
Standing on the bridge over the Shit River listening to the half-naked children in flimsy boats below shouting for a handful of centavos, the city in his face was—with more pride than apology—very much a city with its tattered underwear showing. If Magellan only knew what was here now. If Dad only knew David was here now.
Night was settling down over the hazy first lights of the bars and hourly rate hotels along Magsaysay Drive and the razor-sharp edges of Kalaklan Ridge like an old whore.
David dropped several 25-centavo coins over the railing, heard an explosion of whitewater, heard the laughter and the shouting, ‘Salamat, Joe, Salamat.’
He crossed Perimeter Road, ignored the hopeful greetings of the money changers behind their well-caged windows, then dodged a badly mixed throng of sailors, girls and honking multi-coloured jeepneys that swelled out into the Gordon Avenue intersection. He cut across the street, smiling, waiving at imagined friends in the distance, and moved with the deliberate intent of a man who had crossed this street hundreds of times.
‘Casual alertness, that’s the key to surviving Olongapo’s jungle of thieves, gangs, girls, high-strung Marines, bored Shore Patrol and Hard Hats, and drunk boatswain’s mates and snipes,’ Lowell had said.
Touts were everywhere below the slapdash smorgasbord of disheveled signs and awnings, leaning telephone polls, and the rag-tag assortment of buildings with upper floors stacked up in odd strata.
Assorted conversations flew past, barely audible in the close heat… ‘Hintayin mo aki,’ …‘Magandang amaga, Carlo, kumusta ang bagong sanggol?’… ‘Hey Joe’… ‘Tao po! Tao po!’… ‘Hoy, tulungan mo akong magdiskarga sa trak na ito, pwede ba?’… ‘Good food here, Joe!’… ‘Galing akong Maynila. Nasaan ang Zambales Bank?’… ‘Balut, Balut!’… ‘Tayo na’t kumuha ng makakain’ ‘Magandang ideya, handa na ako sa napunan’… ‘Nagustuhan mo ba ang bago kong kamera?’
The sign for the Galaxy Bar was plainer than most. An unadorned interior stairway led to the second-floor club, a large room strewn with tables occupied by sailors, many with girls whose eyes caught the low light like predators or gods. David didn’t see anyone he knew. He had a small envelope in his back pocket for Maria.
Two girls who had bathed in perfume and spackled their faces with makeup were leaning against the bar watching a waitress organise a tray full of San Miguel beer bottles.
“Maria, tingnan mo itong malambing na lalaki.”
“Lamayo ka sa kanya, Adelaide.”
Assuming he’d actually heard her name in those quick Tagalog comments, Maria was the one wearing a red dress, thrusting herself forward to him as he approached, posing her sweet curves, allowing her long hair to seductively frame her face, smiling as though they were friends with a history. He could almost see himself in the high gloss of her lipstick.
The USS Ranger has been decommissioned. The USS Ranger Foundation is working diligently to convert the aircraft carrier into a museum on the Columbia Driver near Portland, Oregon. The effort requires multiple phases, the next being a comprehensive environmental site analysis of the propose mooring location.
The Foundation is seeking donations to help pay for its on-going work. If you would like to contribute to the $15 million dollar fund raising project to bring a historic ship to Oregon as a museum, please click on the link above. Once you’re there, you’ll find some handy PayPal buttons.
I haven’t dusted or vacuumed anything around here for a couple of months. But now, company’s coming via Blog Jog Day on November 21. I hope to see a lot of new readers and I hope they will think this is a class place.
First off, the ABOUT page needed some work. Previously there wasn’t about on the about page. Now there’s more. Hope you like it.
Next, I added a new page called MY BOOKS. Since I spend a lot of time talking about books, I decided it was appropriate to say a little about my three novels and my publisher. I hope you like that, too.
As always, you can find my satirical Jock Stewart posts on my Morning Satirical News weblog. The most recent one is “End of Earth Rescheduled.”
Most of my writing tips, ideas and reflections appear on Writer’s Notebook. The latest is “The Flexibility of Our Stories.”
My author’s blog is called Sun Singer’s Travels. It’s named after my first novel “The Sun Singer” since it’s more or less an account of my personal journey as a writer. My recent post there is called “Smoky Interviews Me While I’m Interviewing Lauren.” I enjoyed interviewing author L. E. Harvey here on Malcolm’s Round Table last Friday as well as being interviewed by author Smoky Trudeau on Smoky on Books.
Getting back to Blog Jog Day, you’ll see on November 21 that some new readers will be coming here after reading a previous blog in a rather wide circle of blogs. Then, they’ll have an opportunity to jog on to the next blog which, in my case, will be to send you to a book blog called Mysteries and Musings. Today, Mysteries and Musings has an interesting interview with author Sally Goldenbaum.
Meanwhile, I promise to wash the windows and and sweep the front walk around here more often in the future.
During the three years I’ve had this blog, I’ve made 415 posts, received 1,527 real comments and watched the Akismet filter trash 22,014 attempted SPAM comments. Without a doubt, none of the trashed comments were about the Hormel product I grew up with.
I’ll stipulate that I feel a slight–but fleeting–sense of embarrassment having to report that spammers have been busier trying to add their thoughts to the flow of words on Malcolm’s Round Table than I have.
And they’re bolder. I post something about Glacier, a spammer says, “Hi Dude, this reminds me of a place to get cheap Viagra.” I post something about one of my books, and here comes a long spam message about an automotive training school in London.
Most of these comments don’t see the light of day, thanks to Akismet.
I know this might sound like bribery, but I have a proposal, one that may sound a bit vain and immodest. When I see virtual SPAM, I ask “what’s in it for me?” That is, why should I provide free Internet space to somebody I don’t know who sells Viagra for a living?
But there could be something in it for me. For each spammer who buys a copy of one of my books (you have three to choose from), I will make a deal with Akismet to let you tell the world about your Viagra, downstream Internet marketing system, or your teliseminar about weight loss in the comments section here.
Simply buy a book, read it, enjoy it (or else) and post a glowing review on Amazon that proves you really know what the book’s about, and then send me your SPAM. You help me, I help you.
Send me a comment with your real name, picture, home address, Amazon account number and tell me what you think.