Dactyl Review wants to give authors who review on this site the opportunity to place their books in the hands of qualified reviewers. So we invite authors to offer free copies of their own literary fiction books for review. We encourage authors to offer just published books as well as books that were published a while ago and haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. (Guidelines and ordering info further below.)
Free Copies Available for Review
N.T. McQueen, Between Lions and Lambs, City Hill Publishing, 2011. 288 pages. Paperback, e-book. Literary. Televangelist Ezekiel Clemens and Gerald Lambough, his janitor, encounter a mysterious stranger who rattles their teetering lives and sends them on a journey of revelation and repentance.
“I compose myself and rub my palm across my bald head, back and forth. It’s hard to tell whether God or Clemens has made my hair leave but, as I come closer to the median of my life, I can’t help but lean toward the latter. I look at my boss, my friend, and see the gold crucifix dangling across his hairless chest and wish that that gold piece meant something to him like it once did. I wish the cross meant something to him at all if it ever truly did. That gold cross our lives.
“My eyes travel over to the nightstand and see the black leather Bible open and surrounded by jewelry and crumbs and lit by the nightstand lamp that I assume has been on all night. The old Bible he once held with passion and eagerness; the source of his conviction surrounded by sin.”
Eugene Mirabelli. Renato! McPherson & Company, 2020. 592 pages, paperback. The (fictional) autobiography of a Boston artist, including genealogy, from 1860 to 2013. Magical-realist picaresque existentialism.
“The first time Ava saw Angelo naked was on their wedding night (11 May 1860) when he strode into their bedroom, accidentally revealing to her startled eyes that from the waist down he had the hindquarters of a stallion. Now Angelo was no brute. He was a miller and this was in his house in Carco, Sicily. He had knocked gently and he had thought he heard her whisper Come in, but when he opened the door the room was ablaze with candles and Ava was still on her knees in prayer at the bedside. She lifted her head and saw — Angelo was wearing only the fancy shirt he had married in — saw those supreme flanks, hocks, fetlocks and horny soled feet. The blood drained from her face. For a moment she wavered and flickered, then she murmured the last words of her Hail Mary, blessed herself and stood up. ‘Amen,’ Angelo said, taking her cool hand in his. ‘I have something to tell you.’ ”
Charles Holdefer. Agitprop For Bedtime: Polemic, Story Problems, Kulturporn and Humdingers. Sagging Meniscus, 2020. 94 pages. Paperback, e-book. Literary Fiction. Hybrid flash fiction. A collection of polemical bedtime stories for adults.
“Hi, I’m Darrel and I’ll be your server. Can I start you off with some fear, honor or disinformation?”
“Just water for now. We’ll have a look at the menus.”
As soon as he left them, she giggled and lifted the silverware, noticing the weight. “I’ve heard so much about this place!”
He looked around. “Everyone who works here is a hero. Every last one of them.”
John Popielaski. The Hollow Middle. Unsolicited Press, 2018. 381 pages. Paperback, e-book. Eco-fiction. What happens when an egotist tries letting go.
“Nothing is remarkable about the lightening hour and the mild fairgrounds air, and nothing is remarkable about the peeps and ribbits in the meadow where the birders, loyal to migration schedules, stalk when there is light to glimpse a little rarity, and nothing is remarkable about the yonder man, bespectacled, whose respiration is the stuff of late-stage hibernation.
“His name is Albert Lesiak. He walked four miles from a bar across the bridge, reclined against this log, and aimed his double stare in the direction of the Connecticut River for a time before he jackknifed into Lethe.”
Marylee MacDonald. Bonds of Love & Blood. Summertime, 2016. 229 pages. paperback, hardcover, e-book. Realism. Short stories. Readers travel from Turkey to Vera Cruz to Ontario.
“It was getting on towards dusk, and I had stopped by the rug shop to tell Hamdi farewell. While the tense little Kurd with the shining eyes talked to his boss, Duran Duran, on the phone, I studied a framed photograph of a village somewhere in eastern Turkey. On a rolling grassless steppe, a settlement of low, domed houses huddled. No water vessels or stacks of wood, no clotheslines or looms, nothing to announce that, here, people needed warmth, light, water, food, or wore clothes or made love or laughed.”
Peter M. Bollington. President Citizenfarm: The USA in 2116. Createspace 2015. 466 pages, paperback, e-book. A dystopian satire on America ruled by billionaires, with citizens as farm products and rebellion underway.
“Sebastian Barnes had been hoping for a quiet morning taking stock of himself, including a visit to Museum 44. He would stop by the office, then monorail to Annie’s neighborhood where they used to walk over to the museum and sit in the stands looking at the field and the old advertising billboards. It was not supposed to be a morning of anger and collapse, kicked out of a job, with his editor’s eyeballs flashing and the custodian snickering to one side with his wide dust broom.”
Guidelines and Instructions
To offer your book for review, please write to info (at) dactyl (dot) org. Only active Dactyl Reviewers, who post at least one review per year, are able to offer their books for review. Provide the following information in this format (see examples above):
Your Name. Book Tile. Publisher, year. number of pages. format options (paperback, hardcover, used book, e-book). Also send a cover jpg 150 pixels high, and a link to more information about the book. Say what genre it is, if not strictly literary fiction, and describe its style or influence. Describe the plot in a few words (see examples). Include a 100 word excerpt.
To request a review copy, please write to info (at) dactyl (dot) org. To qualify for a free book, you must be a literary fiction writer and have published a book-length work of literary fiction. If you do not care for the work, you are not obligated to review it.
At Dactyl Review we want to help build relationships between like-minded authors and reviewers. We encourage writers to ask one of the author-reviewers on this site or a writer-friend to do a review exchange. Choose to work with a writer whose work you admire. We believe that the review-exchange method can produce well-written and honest reviews, since most literary fiction writers care too much about their own sense of aesthetics to ever consider praising a work that they dislike. Follow these guidelines for reviewing to ensure that your review is informative and reliable.