Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Freckles: The Dark Wizard by Jerry Harwood (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


Freckles: The Dark Wizard


Jerry Harwood




GENRE:   MG Fantasy






At Flame Rock Middle School, you show off your big biceps, post your dimples on InstaWitch, grow a cheetah tail, or use your fairy wings to fly down the hall. For Simon, wearing his peers' opinions can be a literal event. Especially since Simon has the visible mark of a weak wizard... freckles. What will happen when Simon learns he has dark magic and can conjure a dragon? Will he become one of the bullies he hated or choose a different path?





Simon stepped forward. Krull grabbed him and pushed him backwards. “What do you plan to do, Freakles? Throw freckles at someone?” Krull laughed. Simon looked at his arms as all his freckles reappeared. Then he looked up as another book flew into Trent’s hurt shoulder.


Simon saw the air around his fists swirl. He felt a connection to something outside of himself. Last time he couldn’t identify what it was, but this time he could. It was power. And it felt like the time Simon’s family went to the beach. Simon remembered the warm sun all around him, seemingly lifting him up with its warm rays. That was the feeling Simon had now, except instead of sunbeams it was beams of power.


Up through the floorboards an image appeared. It was a dragon. A small dragon, maybe no more than three or four feet. But a dragon. It rose from the floor directly beside Trent. Then it stood between Trent and Danzig. The dragon swished its tail and opened its mouth. A shot of white light cast over Danzig. He fell down. His eyebrows and hair burnt off. Danzig panicked and began slapping at the flames on his shirt. The dragon walked around Danzig and then huffed. Then it flew back to a spot between Trent and Danzig. It sat like a well-trained pet. Then, as quickly as it appeared, it vanished into a fog of smoke. No one saw Simon’s hands as they returned to normal. The growing crowd had their eyes fixed on Trent and Danzig, stunned to silence. Simon still stood behind his friend, but the smoke was gone. There was nothing around his fingers except for his freckles. For all anyone knew, it was Trent and not Simon who had summoned the dragon.


Simon heard someone off to his left say, “Trent is a dark wizard!”

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 Amazon link



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Jerry Harwood was born in Ooltewah, TN. His mother was an elementary school teacher and he spent his afternoons reading books in her classroom or the nearby library. He has experimented with other occupations: camp director, program director at a counseling center, college professor and middle school teacher. Jerry has backpacked Europe, taught in a Ukrainian University, worked in Rwanda after the genocide, is a first responder, sort-of remodeled a VW Thing, and has a love for Cherry Coke Zero that is only surpassed by his love for his wife, six children, and grandson.


Jerry attended college at UT Chattanooga where he was in university honors and majored in Latin and classical literature.  He has two master’s degrees, nearing completion on a third.  He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he is an active member of the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild, the Atlanta Writer’s Club, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


Feel free to share your thoughts on the book with Jerry at or visit his website.



AmazonAuthor Page




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 The tour dates can be found here



My review:

4.25 out of 5 stars


“Freckles: The Dark Wizard” by Jerry Harwood features Simon, a seventh-grader who is at a distinct disadvantage due to his freckles, which everyone around him associates with weak wizards. Subjected to constant bullying, he despairs of ever catching the attention of the popular girl in his class, until one day he discovers a power within himself that will force him to decide what he truly wants and whether the price for that goal is too high to pay.


This delightful children’s story blends fantasy with real-life challenges faced by anyone who is a little different from what is considered the norm. Although the situations are whimsical and imaginative, the pain from being bullied and ostracized are deftly portrayed, with the results portrayed graphically as those being tormented literally disappear. I love the creativity (especially with the poket game cards!) even as I ache for the confusion and bruises (both physically and emotionally) that these twelve-year-olds have to deal with.


This story provides great life lessons couched in an entertaining and captivating tale, and I think it would be a great addition to any child’s library, while it will also be a fun read for those who are older. I cheered for Simon and applauded his maturation and compassion, and I hope he will show up in even more adventures in the future.


A copy of this story was provided for review


  1. Thank you so much for the kind review!!

    1. We authors are so appreciative of book bloggers! Thank you!!!- Jerry Harwood

  2. This looks like a great book and I enjoyed reading the review. Enjoy the day. —-Rae