Welcome to the blog of Ron Leighton, Fantasy Author

Join me in the Shining Lands where gods, giants, werewolves, vampires and bears are real. (Oh, and I may share my art once in awhile so it doesn't get lonely in the portfolio.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Carine Engelbrecht's 5 Star Review of 'A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead'

Worried about the souls of his deceased parents, Nathaiu seems an easy mark for a trickster-like trader in arcane incense. When he follows the accompanying instructions to the letter, however, he finds the results are not quite what he had anticipated. There are layers within layers, when one deals with those from worlds beyond this one. Told with emotional authenticity and absorbing detail, the story succeeds in drawing you in within the space of a mere ten pages and the conclusion will stay with you a good while after reading the last word. This is definitely a recommended read for anyone who enjoys tales of fantasy and magic. (Originally posted here.) (Carine's nom-de-twitter is @blackquartz!)

Download here for only 99 cents!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Art 231 - First Day.

First day of Art 231 - Intermediate Life Drawing. We had to draw a portrait of the nearest person. Alissa was kind enough to be the nearest person. AND she lent me the red pencil I used to do her cool two-tone 'do.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Read the Reviews UPDATED

'Beneath a Vengeful Sun' reviews

Download at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/123757

(Posted at Smashwords)

January 17, 2012 Daniel Swensen rated it 4/5 stars
Beneath a Vengeful Sun is the inner (and outer) journey of Ránača, a concubine laboring beneath the yoke of cruel captors. This is the third short story I've read by Ron Leighton, and I think it's his strongest yet.

The character of Ránača is strong and compelling; wracked by self-doubt, yet resolute. As with his other short stories, Beneath a Vengeful Sun hints at a much greater scope, mentioning a panoply of cultures, nations, and snippets of history.

Beneath a Vengeful Sun is a fun adventure, well worth your buck, and another stirring lead-in to Leighton's upcoming (I hope) Shining Lands book.

'Child of Chaos' reviews

Download at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92949

(Posted at Goodreads)

Dec 13, 2011 Carine Engelbrecht rated it 4/5 stars  
In an intense segment that draws the reader right into the action of the story, Ron Leighton introduces the world of 'Belt of the Wolf: A Tale of the Shining Lands'. Although short, the story is both memorable and thought-provoking.

Dec 19, 2011 Jack D. Albrecht Jr. And Ashley Delay rated it 5/5 stars  
It was a delightful short story. Well as delightful as a dark monster filled short story can be. I am eager to read more from this author!

Dec 12, 2011 S.J. Wist rated it 5/5 stars  
When Kenhesho and his men find a monster-like thief in their midst, a hasty decision of what to do with it will have its costs. A well-written, entertaining short story that is an excellent teaser to the upcoming 'Belt of the Wolf: A Tale of the Shining Lands' novel.

(Posted at Smashwords)

Nov. 11, 2011 Daniel Swensen rated it 4/5 stars    
A concise, gruesome little story with a stark twist at the end. A perfect short read.

Oct. 17, 2011 Tessa Jones rated it 5/5 stars     
From the first page, you are dropped immediately into Leighton's dark, starkly painted world. There's no room here for purple prose. Child of Chaos is short, to the point, and delightfully twisted, a tale of perception and power misused. The pacing was spot on, and the ending satisfying. Highly recommended!

Oct. 12, 2011 Maureen Hovermale rated it 5/5 stars     
A masterfully crafted short story. The author knows how to create vivid characters that reach into the readers' minds and live. This knocked me back with the intricacies expressed in such a short amount of time. I would buy anything he writes after a sample like this.

Oct. 06, 2011 Ron Knight rated it 5/5 stars    
This is an absolutely terrific and entertaining story.

Oct. 05, 2011 Mackenzie Brown rated it 5/5 stars
A well written and compelling tale set in the fantasy world Ron has painstakingly created. The characters are well drawn and their stark existence beautifully portrayed. The story also had a nice pace and like all great short stories you are right in the centre of everything from the first word, right up until the nicely works twist. Well done Ron, highly commended.

Oct. 05, 2011 Darryl Ellrott rated it 3/5 stars  
I’ve never made it a secret that I’m a comic reader from way back. I preferred the superhero genre, but I was also partial to the horror and mystery comics as well. Instead of the multi-issue story arcs so popular with the former, titles like House of Secrets, The Witching Hour, and Tales of the Unexpected dealt with shorter, more compact morality tales. These magazines were the watered-down 1970’s descendants of the famous EC Horror yarns of the 1950’s, the ones that almost got the comics industry run out of business. Even though these titles lacked much of the graphic violence of their predecessors, they still packed some punch with their twist endings, many of which involved grim supernatural justice being done on some wrongdoer.

Ron Leighton’s short story “Child of Chaos” simultaneously evokes Abercrombie, Jackson, and Gaines. As in Joe Abercrombie of First Law fame for the setting and characters, horror icon Shirley Jackson of “The Lottery” for plot and theme, and William Gaines, publisher of EC comics for the ending. The story deals with a group of iron-age villagers who must decide how to deal with an unwelcome visitor to the town’s granary. The village elders argue amongst themselves about whether the stunted and deformed creature they’ve captured, the “Child of Chaos,” is truly a monster. Should it be killed or released? Has the town’s food supply been defiled by the touch of a demon, or should the creature be treated like any other trespassing animal?

First let me say that Ron Leighton can write. He’s got pro level skills. The time, place, and setting are all painted in deft strokes. There’s none of the purple similes and overdone description of fantasy novices who are trying too hard. This little one-act is primarily a dialogue piece, and Leighton’s exchanges are spot-on and snappy. These are real villagers arguing among themselves. The clichés are kept to an absolute minimum. Like Jackson’s famous “Lottery,” “Child of Chaos” is all about the conflict between Society and the Outsider. There’s even a little bit of Dogma vs. Reason thrown in. As for the ending (which I will not give away,) well, as the Crypt Keeper would say, “Heh, heh, heh!” “Child of Chaos” is very short, but well worth reading ‘cause it’s so well written. I’d give it 3 ½ stars out of five. See you soon!

'A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead' reviews

Nov. 15, 2011 Daniel Swensen rated it 3/5 stars
A macabre story reminiscent of somewhere between a Hammer film and the old E.C. comics. Dark divinity, gruesome mystery -- what more could you want from a monster story?

Oct. 19, 2011 Mackenzie Brown rated it 5/5 stars
A skilful slant on the ageless vampire theme. Cleverly plotted and carefully crafted, you can almost feel the hunger of the careworn characters, whether it is food or blood they crave. Ron Leighton is a master at creating a world none of us would wish to inhabit and wringing every drop of plot out of the short story framework. This is a writer who I predict will transfer his work with great skill and style to the broader canvass of a novel.

Aug. 15, 2011 Pamela Lyn rated it 5/5 stars
I love monsters who behave like...well...monsters. This take on vampires takes you back to the old school creatures that were to be feared. Good, quick and enjoyable read.

July 12, 2011 estruda rated it 5/5 stars
This is a very riveting story you can almost taste the atmosphere you feel as though you are actually in the streets with them, has you on the edge of your seat, i absolutely loved it, beautifully written and very descriptive.

June 24, 2011 Ron Knight rated it 3/5 stars
Excellent flow, descriptions, dialogue, and entertaining storytelling.

June 17, 2011 Tessa Jones rated it 5/5 stars
These vampires definitely do not sparkle! Ron Leighton has given us a gritty, unromantic look at one of the oldest evils to inhabit the earth. I'm still shivering...
Highly recommended.

June 16, 2011 S.J. Wist rated it 5/5 stars
If you're into vampires and want a fresh, but grounded in an older time take on them, this short story will give you a good spook. I'm very interested to see if Ron Leighton's upcoming novel will have the same effect. I will be carrying extra lights around until then.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review of 'Beneath a Vengeful Sun'

Daniel Swensen (aka @surlymuse) gave my newest fantasy short story ebook 4 out of 5 stars. Read what he had to say:

Beneath a Vengeful Sun is the inner (and outer) journey of Ránača, a concubine laboring beneath the yoke of cruel captors. 

This is the third short story I've read by Ron Leighton, and I think it's his strongest yet. The character of Ránača is strong and compelling; wracked by self-doubt, yet resolute. As with his other short stories, Beneath a Vengeful Sun hints at a much greater scope, mentioning a panoply of cultures, nations, and snippets of history.

Beneath a Vengeful Sun is a fun adventure, well worth your buck, and another stirring lead-in to Leighton's upcoming (I hope) Shining Lands book.

(Swensen's Surly Muse site is here.)

Get 'Beneath a Vengeful Sun' for only 99 cents at Smashwords. There you can also find my other short stories, 'A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead' and 'Child of Chaos', only 99 cents ea.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award!

Lovely Bridget Bowers nominated me (and 14 others) for the Versatile Blogger Award!
Check out her list here.

The idea behind The Versatile Blogger Award nominations is to use these nominations to make other bloggers aware of other great blogs, as I’m are doing here. 

If you'd like to carry on this thing, do the following!
  1. In a post on your, blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, Add The Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
Here are my fifteen nominees!
  1. Bridget Bowers - Rants 'N' Ramblings
  2. Krystal Wade's Blog
  3. Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
  4. Daniel Swensen - Surly Muse
  5. RS Guthrie - Rob On Writing
  6. SJ Wist' Dragon Aster
  7. SJ Wist's Fantasy Cookie
  8. Shannon and Toni - Self Publishing Team
  9. Maureen Hovermale - The Zen Corner
  10. Darryl S. Ellrott and Brent Mitchell Wood
  11. Tim Greaton's Forum
  12. Derek Flynn and Krystal Wade - Two Writers, One Blog
  13. Lindsay Buroker
  14. Nicholas Rose - Ilvenworld Novels
  15. Carin Marais - Hersenskim
And two bonus nominees!

  1. Andy Holloman
  2. Mackenzie Brown

Here are seven random things about me:
  • Between the ages of 6 and 8 I was 7.
  • I am going to school and (so far) I am getting straight A's. Next week I will practice making my B's straight.
  • I obsess about having a good pen and a notebook to write in to the point I have dozens of both.
  • Unicorns scare the crap out of me.
  • Me like coffee.
  • I know the world is not going to end in 2012. The Mayans were into the drama a little.
  • I hate..no wait, I love decisiveness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

NEW fantasy short story, 'Beneath a Vengeful Sun'

'Beneath a Vengeful Sun' available starting today at Smashwords for only 99 cents!


She stood before a black pit, watching it grow wider and deeper as it caved into itself. She felt the earth beneath her feet giving way, and dreaded the plunge that would follow. As she balanced there on the precipice, a foggy image floated up at her from the void and then came into focus, and she could clearly make out a pale face suspended there in the dark —an unshaven face with half-closed eyes, framed by wet, lank hair. Its mouth did not move, yet somehow it whispered regret to her in a ceaseless chant.
Suddenly she fell and the face rose up towards her, drawing closer and closer. An unvoiced scream itched in her throat for an endless moment.
The eyes sprang open...

Download and enjoy 'Beneath A Vengeful Sun' today!