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Publisher's Summary

A lost fox. A gorgeous ghost. And an unlikely partnership to stop a murderer. 

Since his mother's murder, Sage McKinley doesn’t live, he exists. His weak magic has made him an outcast, shadowing his life with self-doubt. All that changes when the spirit of a gunslinger appears in his bookstore with a message that will flip Sage’s world upside down. According to the mesmerizing apparition, a powerful magic lies within Sage...if he can find a way to tap into it. 

But dastardly threats accompany this untapped power. Bodies are piling high as a killer hunts for the secrets of the mage that now course through Sage’s veins. Can Sage find the confidence to embrace all he’s capable of? Or will the next life snuffed out be his own?

©2020 Sam Burns (P)2021 Sam Burns

What listeners say about The Fantastic Fluke

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Excellent Burns

I cannot stop singing Joel Leslie's narration skills. He is a master of his craft and so emotive it is shocking he has not wom twice the awards he already has. His voice is excellent however, as ever he does go quite fast. If you find yourself troubler by him, slow down the recording to around 85% and you will get a more traditional, theatrical narration.
Ah Sam Burns. Sam is a balm to an aching heart. Sam is the warm hug after hard work. She is light hearted with her conflicts. This story is no different, instead she focuses on the emotions of her characters. She wants us to adore them as much as she adores them. She wants us to feel their pain, their loss, their grief, and their anxiety but does it in a way that does not overwhelm the reader.
This world is richer and more fully fleshed out than Rowan Harbor. This is not a fault of RH but rather because this work is much more focused on one type of magic. While earlier Sam Burns novels focused on variety and diversity, this one focuses on the individual path to acceptance. This book's strength is the "I am broken but I will heal myself. I am strong" whereas previous titles were "We are strong because we are together." There is something beautiful in this individual treatment. However Sam in her greatness does not shy away from forcing the characters to make allies. She intrinsically knows that while we must be strong no person is an island. We only have to ask.
There is so little to criticize in this piece that my only real critique is that next installment is not already in my possession.
Thank you, Sam, for being you and for writing the way you do.

13 people found this helpful

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Narrator Joel Leslie is PERFECT for M/M fantasy!😍

Darn writer Sam Burns! She got me tied all up in emotional knots with yet another truly lovely novel. This story forms the basis of what promises to be an exceptionally delightful series, checking so very many of the boxes readers expect from an M/M action and adventure fantasy romance. I must admit to listening to the audiobook on three separate occasions in less than a month because the story is so well imagined!
In 'The Fantastic Fluke, Book 1', we meet Sage McKinley all alone at the funeral of his father. His monologue is rather heartbreaking as it becomes clear to readers he was an unappreciated son. We later learn that he witnesses the murder of his mother and it is her death that lands him with his callous father whose approval he could never earn. Rating only two's during his magical assessment at school, Sage suffers the shame of being a weak magician when born to two much stronger parents.
Sage screws up his courage to intervene when a fox was being mistreated by two brutes. Much to his chagrin, the fox follows him home and proves to be too smart to be anything other than a witch's familiar. He is both relieved and delighted when no familiar has been reported stolen or missing but it takes Gideon Marsh, a gunslinger ghost, to convinces him that he possesses powerful magic and that the fox is his. With Gideon's help, Sage learns to tap into the power of the Convergence--a sentient entity tied to the intersection of three separate and distinct ley lines.
As the story progresses, Sage has the pleasure of expanding the bookstore left to him by his father by going into business with his best friend Beez, adding to the inventory, offering new services, and doing a little remodeling. He gets acquainted with his maternal grandmother and learns a bit about his mother's side of the family. He becomes more confident in his worth as a friend, store owner, and magic practitioner, going so far as to try to save a dying man when others stood passively by. When the enemies strike out in a one-two punch that would have left all but the bravest faint-hearted, Sage (bitching the ENTIRE time) stands willing to fight! God, I LOVED it!
The story is quite a gem--I'm talking a ten-carat diamond, folks. The world-building is incredible as the writer invests time in developing a milieu for the existence of magic practitioners and the governance of those possessing such gifts and powers. The rationale for Sage's challenges with both foes was firmly in place before they came to the foreground in the narrative. And talk about character growth! Oh, how Sage grows in this book! He blossoms in every way imaginable with the death of his father, the arrival of Fluke his fox familiar, and the tutelage of Gideon Marsh. With the romance aspects of the book, the writer skates on rather thin ice and comes through with a gold medal-winning love story when Sage's power makes it possible for the ghost Gideon to become corporeal. I did NOT see that happening! Well done, Sam Burns! Well done!

6 people found this helpful

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Super entertaining

I took a chance on a new author and was very happy with it. The narrator was good and the writing style was entertaining. This was a great pick-me-up gay romance with Actual Plot(TM). I enjoyed all the subtle nods to pop nerd culture. Sam Burns is going to be one of my go-to authors now for when I’m feeling down.

5 people found this helpful

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entertaining

I picked this up because Joel Leslie narrated it, and as usual I wasn't disappointed. I've not read Sam Burns before, but the story was entertaining (although the ending felt a bit rushed), the characters likeable and I was happily lost in Sage and Flukes story for a few hours - I look forward to their next adventure.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing book can't wait for the second one

Every time I I went to the Kindle Store this book cover with pop up. However I constantly kept overlooking it I don't know why the cover was an amazing artistic rendering. But for some reason it just didn't draw me the way I thought it would given the type of genre I read. However when I saw the book was made into an audiobook and notice that Joel Leslie was the narrator I couldn't pass up the opportunity so I ended up getting it. And boy was I grateful it was an amazing book narrated by one of my favorite narrators and Sam Burns is also one of my favorite authors as well. I cannot wait for the second to come on audio I really wish you didn't leave off on a cliffhanger but it just makes you more anxious to read or listen to the next in the series. So hurry on up and produced second book because I know I'll be getting it.

3 people found this helpful

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good until the end

This is one of those audiobooks I'll probably never listen to again. was interesting at first, predictable to the end, and even then I think I almost fell over rolling my eyes, but the end. Just ugh.

2 people found this helpful

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Magic, mystery, romance

This new series from Sam Burns is an incredible mix of magic, adventure, mystery and romance.

Sages's story is a heartbreaking one but as he says, he does his best and makes do with what he has because that is the Sage way and is amazing.

I love Joel Leslie. He is one of the best narrators out there with incredible performances and it's always a treat hearing him narrate my favorite stories, like this one. Sometimes though very emotional stories like this one, especially if I have read them first, don't have the same impact, maybe because of my frame of my mind or finding that the narration lacks that that much needed emotional punch, I don't know, but this is what happened here as well.

Still though give it a try because it really is a marvellous story.

2 people found this helpful

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I REALLY liked it

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The pace and characters were great! The narrator kind of made the love interest sound like Johnny Bravo/Elvis but it surprisingly wasn’t as distracting as I first thought. Would recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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easy listen

loved the idea of the book. It is well written, great characters and a different take on the paranormal. Joel Leslie did an awesome job bringing to life the characters. don't hesitate, use your credit, you won't regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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A Foxy Start


I found the Fantastic Flute... cute. I think it would make a great series if the author expands the world. The magic system needs some refining. Sage is the typical main character type who finds out his super powers late and has to go through training.  He constantly makes fun of himself throughout the book but in a way that makes him more corky than pitiful. The familiar angle is the intriguing part of the story. Foxy, the fox familiar, keeps things light and on the fun side.

My only issue with the story is how Sage goes from a 30 year old to 13 year old as soon as a love interest arrives. He starts to whine, pout, and do silly lustful things that make it feel weird. Why is this dude reacting like a preteen? Crying about a guy leaving when that was literally one of the first topics they discussed. This isn't a Young Adult story so that portion of the book felt... odd. Plus series where the characters fall in love within the first half of the first book means we are dealing with instant, love at first sight, non-sense. I'm not a fan but others love that.

Oh by the way, I didn't realize this was an LBGT love story. It's in the description but obviously I did not read it. My first time reading a male/male love scene in a story.

Good narration by Joel Leslie. His voice for Sage was spot-on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss S. V. MacInnes
  • 04-30-21

Loved this one!

New to me author. I bought this because I already love the narrator and the blurb sounded fab. And was it ever!? I will definitely be buying more from this author!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Aussiebumwearer
  • 04-12-21

Loved It! ❤️❤️


Wasn’t sure what to expect from this author as first time I had listened to a book by them.
I have to admit, the main reason being that Joel Leslie was narrating it and the outline really intrigued me.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Can’t go wrong with a fox as a familiar 🥰🥰

Brilliant storyline, MC’s and humour - a great narrator makes a huge difference and you certainly can’t go wrong with Joel! 😁

Really looking forward to hearing the rest of the series as really want to see where this story goes 🥰

Deservedly 5⭐️’s

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-21

Great story

Characters came alive by the fabulous talent of Mr Lesley. Story was fun though an easy or to predict in terms of who did what. The only thing negative was the end all happened very quickly but all lose ends were tied up. I do recommend it for a good listen with some fun moments.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Danielle Maria
  • 08-06-21

Wow, much better than I was expecting!

I have read a few Sam Burns books this year, including many of her collaborations with W.M.Fawkes, and they have been enjoyable but not the highest quality in this genre. The Fantastic Fluke is a cut above all her other works: an engaging MC, intriguing storyline, strong world building, an adorable fox, dashes of humour and a sexy ghost. What's not to love?!

Add in Joel Leslie's superlative narration and you have a winner! Joel is perfect as ever, I cannot sing his praises enough.

I am delighted that this is the start of a series, and literally can't wait for Joel to record the next book. I'm rushing off to download it onto my kindle, but no doubt I'll get the audiobook when it's available.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 07-12-21

Enjoyable Story

This is an interesting story. Well written and with likeable characters. The narration is good as well.

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  • Naomi
  • 07-09-21

Fun story bought to life by excellent narration by

The lure of Joel Leslie 's brilliant narration led me to listen to (for me) a
new author. I'm so glad he did. Such a fun book and of course, it was bought to life by Joel.