Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), horror, and modern urban paranormal novels and anthologies of short stories. Prior to retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software engineering books based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software-intensive systems. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his daughter Sera, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.
Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below
It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the Fall semester. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a wildlife expert hired to protect them from Arctic predators join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover that a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…
Secrets 1: The Secrets of Hawthorne House
Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. His misery started when his mother died in a senseless car accident. Matt’s grieving father, unable to remain in the family’s seaside cottage, moved Matt and his twin sister as far as possible from the ocean they loved.
But their relocation to the small town of Hawthorne, Indiana only made Matt’s life more difficult. Three bullies at his new high school dedicated themselves to making him miserable. To top it off, Matt heard that the recluse living in the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door was none other than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer of wayward husbands.
But when Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and her three children moved in next door, something extraordinary happened. Matt met Gerallt, the strange boy destined to become his best friend. And when Gerallt divulged the Hawthornes’ family secret, it changed Matt’s life forever.
The Secrets of Hawthorne House is the story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two radically different cultures, hidden magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.
Magical Wands: A cornucopia of wand lore
It was only an old book that the professor found while traveling by train through Scotland. A scholar of medieval history, Professor George Smith was on sabbatical studying Scottish legends and myths when he chanced to meet an aged Scotsman and his granddaughter on their way to her new boarding school in the Isles of Skye. The young girl had accidentally left her book behind, and the professor picked it up meaning to send it on to her. But then he looked inside and discovered it was no ordinary book. It was a school textbook on magic.
Could it be real? Could it have actually been left by accident and found by chance? Or was it all an elaborate hoax played on the unsuspecting professor? Did he ever find the secret Isles of Skye School of Magick? Did he ever discover the hidden world of wizards and witches implied by the book’s very existence? Or did they find him? The professor vanished soon afterwards, and the answers are unknown. Read the book and decide for yourself.
Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore is that textbook from The Isles of Skye School of Magick. The first chapter begins with a basic overview of magic wands followed by an introduction to magical theory including the four planes of existence (Astral, Spectral, Physical, and Daemonic), the five metaphysical elementals (Quintessence, Air, Fire, Earth, and Water), and the three preternatural phases of Light, Twilight, and Darkness. It also contains sets of the commonly used spells associated with each of these elementals and phases. The first chapter then describes the different types of wands, their components, how they are crafted, and how they are used to cast spells. Chapter two teaches the 17 principles of wand making. Chapters three through six comprehensively cover the materials used to make magic wands including magical creatures (both beings and beasts), magical woods, mystical crystals, and mystical metals. Chapter seven documents 26 famous and infamous witches and wizards, their wands, and how well their wands suited their needs. Chapter eight concludes the textbook by nicely summarizing the contents of the entire textbook. Each of the chapters ends with student exercises, the answers of which are included in the back of the textbook which also includes a glossary, references, and afterword by the editor.
If you have ever wondered what young witches and wizards actually study in their hidden magic schools, then this book is for you.