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J.A. Pitts

J.A. PittsJ.A. Pitts is a graduate of the Oregon Coast Writers Workshops and holds degrees in English and Library Science. When he’s not writing, he enjoys practicing martial arts with his children. Learn more at J.A. Pitts’ website. Twitter: JAPittsWriter

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Black Blade

Black Blade — (2010-2016) Publisher: Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group. The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the “dwarf” claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters? And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase. ‘I love you.’ As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move. And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real, and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

fantasy book reviews J.A. Pitts Black Blade 1. Black Blade BluesHoneyed WordsHoneyed Words 3. Forged in Fire

Black Blade Blues: Not your Standard Urban Fantasy Heroine

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Black Blade Blues by J.A. Pitts

Sarah Beauhall, heroine of Black Blade Blues, was a woman after my own heart from the very beginning. Not only is she a lesbian and a blacksmith — traits that set her apart from the Standard Urban Fantasy Heroine — she also attends sci-fi conventions and hangs out with Ren Faire and SCA enthusiasts. This isn’t just a character I’d like to have a beer with. This is a character I feel like I’ve already had a beer with! Like lots of her compatriots in urban fantasy, she does have anger-management issues, but there are reasons for this.

I have to admit, though, that I didn’t quite understand Sarah’s decision, at the beginning of the book, to let her prized antique sword be used in a friend’s B-movie shoot. Other characters said she was crazy to do it, and I actually kind of agreed with them. She’s a blacksmi... Read More

Honeyed Words: Doesn’t quite live up to Black Blade Blues

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Honeyed Words by J.A. Pitts

A few months ago, blacksmith Sarah Beauhall reforged the legendary Norse sword Gram, attracting the attention of a number of supernatural beings that wanted the sword for themselves. This culminated in an epic battle, in which Sarah and her valiant SCAdian friends defeated a dragon but suffered tragic losses. Honeyed Words, the second in J.A. Pitts’ Black Blade series, continues Sarah’s story.

From the perspective of character development, Honeyed Words is terrific. Sarah has always had avoidant tendencies, and here she begins to take responsibility for that trait and works on overcoming it and facing its consequences. This occurs on several fronts: her relationship with Katie, her friendship with the Black Briar SCA group, and her dealings with supernatural beings — and it’s hinted t... Read More