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This is a can-rak, an animal featured in author Michael Puttonen’s Sanyel novel series.  It is shaman Sanyel’s spirit animal.

“When the wind blows here, it is your wind; and when the water gurgles among the rocks, it speaks only to you. The mountain stands so that only your eyes can view its glory, and the hill for only your legs to challenge its upward slope. Upon this land you took your first steps, and upon it you swear to take your last. It is always to this place you feel compelled to return—home.”
― Michael Puttonen, Sanyel    

Welcome to my website.


I am the author of the Sanyel series of action/adventure novels, an ongoing saga featuring an astute, highly skilled hunter/warrior and gifted shaman making her way in a male-dominated world.  The e-book version of Sanyel, the first book in the series, is FREE at most major online book retailers except Amazon, as is a Christmas short story, "A Gift for Joey," and a sci-fi/fantasy anthology, Wyrd Worlds II, which contains my short story, "The Diner."  You can check out my books here, and below you will find an overview of the Sanyel series.  If you wish to purchase the books or get a copy of the free items, I’ve provided links (here) to a variety of retailers that carry the e-book and paperback versions. 


Among my books, you can also find Seven and One Tales for Young Readers, a collection of diverse children’s tales written to engage a young reader's imagination. 


About the Sanyel books

The Sanyel books follow the adventures of an unusually gifted girl who appears destined to change her world.  Trained by her father in the arts of the hunter/warrior, by the age of fifteen she possesses the skills to impress even the most seasoned male warriors. Schooled in secret by her father to be a healer as well as a fighter, her rigorous training as both a shaman and a hunter/warrior will prove invaluable as she makes her way in an unforgiving and often brutal world.  Sanyel can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  She is not one to mess with, as beyond the stellar training of her father she possesses hidden abilities no one suspects or imagines.

The setting for the Sanyel books is a world that isn’t earth, but one that is similar in many respects, closer to an alternate earth than an alien world.  The characters are human, the geography has familiar features, and the flora and fauna share a core familiarity with those of earth.  The differences are more in appearance; two moons instead of one; plants and animals with variations on what we would recognize.  I wanted to create a world both familiar and unfamiliar to the reader, one where I could explore a distinctly human experience but in a setting that allows for continual discovery of its unusual features.  By not making this world earth, its history and that of the people who inhabit it is a blank slate, one on which I can write what I desire.  I am discovering what this world is and what it once was in the same way Sanyel is, in effect making the journey with her.

Sanyel begins life in an isolated tribal society, a member of a clan unaware of the world beyond its borders, existing as hunter/gatherers in an enclave surrounded by impassable mountains.  Her journey from that humble beginning will be expansive, as she discovers a vast and often unfriendly world beyond her tribal boundaries.  Her interactions with diverse cultures will bring growth and knowledge about herself.  She will also learn details of a fascinating, advanced society that vanished in ages past, one that has left intriguing reminders of its existence.

With the Sanyel character, I have attempted to introduce a heroine with flaws and doubts, one who doesn’t believe she is anything special, but then continually demonstrates remarkable talents and insight.  Sanyel's acquired skills as a shaman and her mastery of primitive weapons will serve her well in a dangerous world.  Though impulsive, willful, and at times short-tempered, Sanyel also possesses grit, courage, intelligence, compassion, a capacity for forgiveness, a strong sense of justice, a willingness to fight, and a wry sense of humor.  Above all else, Sanyel is a bringer of change—even to those unwilling to embrace its necessity.

My purpose in writing these novels was to express my views on sexist cultural and religious doctrines and practices and on the necessity of following one's heart and conscience over blind adherence to dogma.  I also wanted to write exciting adventure stories in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs featuring a strong female protagonist.  Sanyel is the first book in the Sanyel series, Disrupter the second, Circles and Stones the third, and Bones of the Gods, the fourth. 


Feel free to browse my website.  Within, you will find listings of my books and links to where you can purchase them.  Some books (and a short story) I offer free, either permanently or temporarily as part of ongoing promotions.  Check my blog to find updates on my present writing projects and to read posts on other subjects.  A comment section is included. You may use it to post your views on my books or website and as a venue with which to correspond with me.  I will do my best to answer any reader question posted in the comment forum.


On my blog page, you will find a slideshow of simple cartoons I drew back in the nineties.  I hope you find something there that amuses.  Gary Larson was my inspiration, though I don't pretend to come close to that man's genius. 


The beast depicted is a can-rak, as many of you might know from my Sanyel books.  He watches over this website.  He's a bit touchy and tends to bite (eat!) unwary strangers, but you needn't worry—I told him to treat visitors as friends.  You can click anywhere on his image to zoom in and get a closer look at his features.


Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you find something you like.










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