Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Straight Reading from the Library: The Part that Doesn't Burn by Sam Poling

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam Poling will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


In an overpopulated city-state where technology and magic are forbidden by the corrupt church, young witch, Mirabel Fairfax, plots the creation of a deadly plague to cull the burdensome rabble. That is, until she falls in love with the very alchemist she has been deceiving. Now, with soul-hungry geists flooding the city, the church scrambling for their prey, and her own mind at war with itself, Mirabel must decide what she's fighting for before she loses everything to the evils of Autumnfall.


Mirabel Fairfax, a young witch in a city-state that has outlawed both science and magic, is trying to find a way to reduce the population, which is dangerously high. She and her mother decide to create a deadly plague to do away with some of the people. So, she goes in search of the alchemist who created the cure for that very plague.

On their trip (in a magical carriage-- I want one! Would make traveling so much easier!)to Automnfall, their relationship grows and changes. They each had their first impressions of the other and each of those impressions are dramatically changed. It's fun to watch-- Mirabel stops being so aggravating and pesty, and Felix finds his inner strength.

There are a lot of twists and turns on their journey, though. The church is chasing them both, since both witchcraft and science is against the law in Oldrenrei. They have to travel through the geistlands, where the danger of various types of spirits attacking them is real. Even when they arrive at Autumnfall, even the Fairfax home is not free from dangers.

If you are in the mood for a fast-pace, fun, quirky fantasy, give Sam Poling's THE PART THAT DOESN'T BURN a try. This is the author's first book, but I will definitely keep an eye out for his next one.

4 stars.

He flew through the door so quickly he caught a conversation between tan-suited gentlemen.

“—Should really get us some stools,” said the skinnier of the two, before they both faced him. “Can we help you, sir?”

Behind them was a long hall, and no one else in sight. He wanted to grab the doormen by their collars and demand Mirabel’s location. Instead he straightened his cuffs. “Yes, good evening.”

The wider-bodied attendant cracked his neck. “Good evening? Sir, we are an exclusive club.”

“Ah, yes, and I, I am an exclusive clubee.”

“Sorry, a what?”

“A clubee. Um.” He tried to think of the fancier words Mirabel would use, but all he could remember (for some inexplicable reason) was her shouting “hunky dory.” He cleared his throat. “I am a club member, Mister doorm’n.” Doorm’n. That’s better. Definitely something Mirabel would say, even if it was a type of contraction.

“We would be pleased with the presentation of the letter.”

“Oh, I’m, err, rather, I am on the list,” said Felix. He wanted to spout the most common noble name he could, but only one name came to mind. “Preston.”

“There is no list, Mr. Preston. Member names are never written down outside of the census, which is secured. Letter or token of entry only.”

Who was he kidding? He couldn’t talk his way into a donut shop, let alone a well-guarded secret society. “Oh, I see,” he said. “How absolutively ludicrous of me. The token, of course.”

“Absolutively is not a word, sir. And I cannot let you in.”

“I see what the problem ‘tis. This is a fantastical-style, masky, masquerade-type party, quite?”

The guards exchanged looks. “Excuse me?”

He revealed his beak-shaped plague mask from his overcoat pocket and placed it snuggly on his face. “This will grant me entry for sure.”

“And just how will it do that?”

After a quick shaking and popping of its cork, he dropped one of his vials to the carpet. Striking red gas billowed through the opening. The doormen responded by ejecting knives from their sleeves into their hands. They didn’t have time to strike. Those same sleeves went to cover their hacking mouths. In seconds they collapsed, and he kicked the bottle aside.

He unsheathed his syringe, drew up a solution from another vial, and injected the dogs who would have kept him from Mirabel. “You’ll awaken nice and refreshed sometime tomorrow. Absolutively.”


Sam Poling has been writing fantasy and science fiction for the thrill of it his entire life, from short stories to screenplays. His love for each of the sub-genres led to dedication to writing genre-skirting fiction with all the elements that make up the human condition. He holds a strong enthusiasm for medical studies and currently works as a medical assistant in a large clinic while taking classing for nursing. He also serves on a health and safety committee, including disaster preparedness and infection control. His interest in epidemiology and medical science tends to spill over into his writing endeavors.

At Publisher’s Page:

Buy links:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  3. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

  4. Great excerpt & review, sounds like an interesting story! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Thanks for hosting and reviewing my novel!

  6. Shared on G+ to help spread the word, have a great day! :)