Novels

--What kid armed only with a bag of stage-magic tricks wouldn't like to believe that he could fight a powerful wizard . . . and win?

The Princess, the Knight, & the Knave

When fourteen-year-old budding stage illusionist, Matt Collins vanishes in a vortex of purple smoke, the live audience is astonished. So is Matt. The purple vortex is not his magic trick gone astray; it is the wicked wizard Crius swapping bodies with Matt. Trapped in the wizard's aged body and marooned in a medieval world of real magic, Matt seeks to return to his own body and time.

The price of magic is accelerated aging. To permanently secure Matt's youth as his own, Crius spins a web of intrigue to set his enemies against Matt, but Matt has none of the wizard's magical abilities with which to defend himself. While Matt lives in this strange world, his body grows younger to reflect his soul. Meanwhile, Crius' stolen body--Matt's previous body--rapidly ages to reflect its occupant.

Aided by the drunken wizard Alaric and the untrained apprentice Basil, Matt must thwart the knave Harold, avoid the wrath of the knight Sir Michael, and free the kidnapped Princess Ileana. If Matt fails, then Crius keeps a young body, and Matt will not live to celebrate his fifteenth birthday.

Matt's only weapons in his quest are the magic tricks and illusions he practiced for the stage. Perhaps if he masters his presentation, these will be enough.

The Princess, the Knight, & the Knave is a warm and humorous, young-adult fantasy.

Read Book 2 of Possible Magic, The Tunnel at the End of the Dark, available on Amazon.com

Book 3 is The Stark and Dormy Knight.

Cover design & layout by Pat R. Steiner

  • Matt thought he could start college in the fall and forget about his summer sojourn in an alternate world of magic.

  • From Matt's bizarre behavior, Aunt Lois thought Matt was taking drugs.

  • The Wizard Alaric thought Matt was safe from the wizardry of his wicked - but not quite evil - brother Crius.

  • Lady-in-waiting Kaylyn thought she would never see Matt again.

  • Princess Illeana thought her future was roses and marriage to Sir Michael.

  • Alaric's apprentice Basil thought he would never learn to do magic.

They were all wrong.

Tunnel at the End of the Dark is Book 2 in the Possible Magic trilogy.

Book 1 is The Princess, the Knight and the Knave.

Book 3 is A Stark and Dormy Knight.

Cover Layout & Design for Tunnel at the End of the Dark by Pat R. Steiner.

In this third book of the Possible Magic Trilogy, fifteen year-old academic prodigy and stage illusionist, Matt Collins, returns to Kotimaa, but this time, he accepts a permanent transfer in his own body. Going home won't be an option.

Crius, the wicked, but not completely evil wizard, has mislead Matt again in an effort to defeat the evil knight/wizard, Sobieslaw. For Matt to save his friends and perhaps the Kingdom of Kotimaa, he must accept what Crius cannot: Sobieslaw is dormy, too far ahead in the game to lose. As Sobieslaw's massive army of beastmen surrounds the capitol of Kotimaa, only when Matt finally admits that winning is impossible can he design an incredible illusion to find another solution.

A Stark and Dormy Knight brings the Possible Magic trilogy to an exciting conclusion.

A Stark and Dormy Knight is Book 3 of Possible Magic trilogy.

Book 2 is Tunnel at the End of the Dark in the Possible Magic trilogy.

Book 1 is The Princess, the Knight and the Knave.

Cover Design & Layout for A Stark and Dormy Knight by Ronald D Ferguson

--Life is confusing with 30,000 years of alien experiences thumb-tacked to the back of your brain.

When eleven-year-old Kailin and her younger brother escape from their off-world captors and her brother is recaptured, only Kailin's encounter with a salamander saves her from the pyroclastic flow from a volcano. The salamander is Henki, a thirty-thousand-year-old shape-changing alien, whose obsession is imitating the full lifecycle of each species he encounters. Henki has experienced many such lives, but complications in escaping the volcano and bonding with Kailin limit Henki's abilities.

Burned by the volcano and confused by her tie to Henki, Kailin loses some of her memories, but while she recovers and yearns for her home and family, she makes alien friends. Henki's memories seep into her dreams to produce disturbing visions of lives she never lived. It's tough enough being a pubescent girl without being haunted by alien lives, but without those add-on experiences, Kailin may have difficulty surviving on this mish-mash world.

Mistress of Vision is Book 1 of a young-adult science-fantasy series.

Cover Design & Layout by Pat R. Steiner

Magic is not free. It has a price, and the price for difficult magic is rapid aging. Because cold iron short circuits controlled magic, wizards in the Age of Magic struggle to find a new source of power to compete against the dawning Age of Steel. Without a new strategy, a new source of power for the rule of wizards, cold steel dooms the Age of Magic and the Age of Iron will ascend.

When Junak the Hunter attempts to save his wife from marauding slavers, an explosion of wild magic burns away his right hand. With the aid of a wizard recently released from an imprisoning stasis, Junak's hand regenerates, but not to its original condition. Instead, the hand acquires a quicksilver sheen, and magical power flows from that hand into any steel weapon Junak wields. Magic was never able to bend iron to its will before.

Will Junak's new ability allow him to reunite his family or simply make him a wildcard tool that a wizard can use to topple a kingdom?

Junak Silverhand is Book 1 in the Age of Magic / Age of Iron series.

--Sometimes the dreams you imagine are not as good as the reality you get.

When Henri Kourtney agrees to ferry torg-hunting tourists to the wilderness of a backwoods planet, he postpones his ambition to explore the stars. Henri hopes the expedition allows time to get to know the cute girl from Earth and maybe land him an interstellar berth with her astrophysicist cousin. He doesn't expect his angry ex-girlfriend to join the trip, that the tourists are more interested in satellite-image planetography than torg, that torg are not native to the planet, or that his new digital assistant's constant bickering is the birth pang of sentience. The biggest surprise is that a mineral-encrusted artifact conceals a purpose as mundane as a subway token, and that all their lives depend on whether the cosmic subway still runs.

--Leadership is the ability to persuade followers to die to secure the leader's wealth and power.

Roger Martel rises from slavery to become an elite knight for the Carolingian Empire and along the way, loses faith in lairds and kings. In 816 AD, Charlemagne is two-years dead, and a disastrous expedition against the Danes shipwrecks Roger on the eastern coast of England. Pursued by a local laird for killing three of his war band knights, Roger searches west for his friend who was carried aloft by a mysterious man in a seemingly impossible device: a hot air balloon. After finding his friend, a threat from Viking invaders elevates Roger to leadership. He tells himself that he assumes command only to defend his friends, not to become a great laird. However, power, like wealth, is seductive. The more we have, the more we want.

Marked by Thor is a Rogue Knight alternate history set in ninth century England and France. Thor's mark is a tree-root like skin burn left by a lightning strike.

Mature themes and subject matter.

In 1914, fifty years after a forgotten cabal of wizards stalemated the Civil War and overthrew the incompetent Confederacy to establish the Southern Alliance monarchy, twenty-two year-old Lieutenant Maximillian Bontemps saves the newly crowned, teenaged King John from a sniper in Asheville by knocking the boy onto his royal ass. Angry that Max dared touch Him, the King dismisses Max from His Royal Guard. Dejected, Max returns home to New Orleans to start a private Security Service.


New Orleans is the last bastion of wizardry in the south, and there Max discovers he has a rare talent: he is immune to magic. For Max's first security job, a young woman hires him to protect her mother, a famous witch, from assassination. Claims about magic have never impressed Max, but he is broke, and the daughter has compelling blue eyes. Leave it to a beautiful woman to draw Max into a whirlwind of greed, corruption, and a plot to usurp the boy King.


"Eh bien.When you see yourself through de Möbius window and wonder which side real and which side allegory, remember, dere only one side." --A Twisted Trope Tale