The Herbert West Series Complete ebook cover image

On Sale This Week: The Herbert West Series Complete

The complete Herbert West Series is available at reduced prices from Wednesday, May 16th through Tuesday, May 22nd.

At Amazon.com only.

Includes all four novels of the Herbert West Series: The Friendship of Mortals, Islands of the Gulf Volumes 1 and 2, and Hunting the Phoenix.

Herbert West, a scientist obsessed with reversing death, is transformed into a physician of last resort.

From ancient Arkham to the agony of the Great War, from Acadie to the islands of the West Coast, a brilliant but amoral physician is subjected to travails and entanglements, to become a source of healing — and of peril.

Bonus: Chapter 1 of She Who Comes Forth, the sequel to the series.

A $7.99 value for as little as $1.99. Act sooner rather than later. Click here to purchase.

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Back garden spring 2018 birthday birdbath

New Stuff in the Garden

Being of an age when dejunking and downsizing makes more sense than acquiring, I don’t often buy new things for the garden. My tools will likely outlast me. Plants come and go, but somehow the place is always full of them. Fashion isn’t an issue. Unless something wears out or breaks, there’s no incentive to buy non-consumables.

But this spring a few new items have turned up here.

concrete birthday bird bathThis birdbath was a birthday present in March. It’s a classic concrete model and looks right at home. The island in the middle is a rock. My garden is full of rocks picked up from various beaches. Birds have visited the bird bath. A few have actually taken baths.

 

Heuchera coral bells "Timeless Orange" and pot "Toga Bell Yama, olive black"I bought this plant of Heuchera (coral bells) “Timeless Orange” to replace a specimen called “Peach Melba” that unfortunately died over the winter. Then I thought it needed a suitable pot. Terra cotta wouldn’t work — too similar in colour to the plant and not frost-resistant. I thought this one, whose label said “Toga Bell Yama – Olive Black” looked pretty good. It was made in Malaysia. The one on its left was made in Vietnam. I didn’t realize garden pots are shipped across the Pacific from Asia.

pink watering canI needed a small watering can for use at the far end of the garden, all of 50 feet distant from where the two regular cans hang out. It had to be fillable by dipping in a rain barrel. This pink one is perfect, not to mention cute.

Hori-hori weeding knife

I added a new tool a couple of years ago — the fearsome Hori-Hori Knife. Death to weeds and handy for fast planting jobs. I’m not sure what people passing by my place think when they see a shabbily-clad middle aged woman armed with this item — “Uh-oh, one of those crazy gardeners. Let’s get out of here.”

Announcing the Winners of the ASF Short Story Contest!

Winners of Rachael Ritchey’s Adventure, SciFi and Fantasy short story contest announced today!

Rachael Ritchey

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*Before you do anything else, push play on this video. You will want Victory music playing while you enjoy the inaugural ASF Short Story Contest results!*

Back in November, I got this hairbrained idea to put together a short story contest based off a book cover I’d randomly been designing just for kicks. I put some feelers out, and BAM! some people were like, “Heck yeah! I wanna do that.” SO here we are!

It was an absolute blast reading all the entries…well, all except the judging part. I would rather not do that part, but the stories are inspiring. It’s thrilling to see all the passion and talent.

Thank you to every person who submitted to the contest! The coolest part is that we’re going to put together an anthology of Adventurous Scifi & Fantasy stories. Once we’ve polished these babies up and made them shine, we’ll slap ’em into…

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Seeking Immortality in Fact and Fiction

I just heard a really interesting piece on the science of brain preservation. Scientists are still working on it, with the intention that the information in frozen brains may be downloaded into… something, someday. You can read a synopsis or listen to the whole 20 minute article here.

Three thoughts I had while listening:

  • These guys are just like Herbert West!
  • Freshness is, indeed, important.
  • In the end, it’s a crapshoot.

To elaborate…

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Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Bringing people (or their brains) back from the dead is a stock element of science fiction. H.P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West is a quintessential mad scientist engaged with this effort. Like one of the present day real scientists on this quest for immortality, Herbert realizes you need a really fresh corpse to succeed. It seems it’s best to start the process before death occurs, meaning it might be necessary to kill the patient to save him.

The article examines this and other ethical and practical issues, concluding with the thought that even if the preservation and information retrieval techniques work (a really big if), by the time it’s possible to do all this, society will be totally different. The reactivated minds will find themselves in environments that may be alien and terrifying. And the uses to which the minds are put may be other than benign. Life after death for the awakened brains may be heaven, hell, or anything in between. Or it may never happen at all. Which is, when you think about it, pretty much where we are right now.

For fictional treatments of this topic, you might want to read H.P. Lovecraft’s stories Herbert West, Reanimator or, for a different take, The Whisperer in Darkness.” Then there’s my novel, The Friendship of Mortals, which presents my expansion on Herbert West and his motives.

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ Wigran Hendrechan explains something of the forces at work

Here’s yet another Patchwork Warriors character. This fellow might be called a hacker.

heroicallybadwriter

 

Hello.

My name in Wigran Hendrechan and you’ll find something about me in ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’.

I’m not really one of the heroes nor at present, a truly central character, although to be fair if it wasn’t for me Trelli wouldn’t be the strong person she has become. I don’t mean to sound arrogant about that, but it is a fact of Cause and Effect in the book. When you read the narrative, you’ll find there is a great deal of interaction between The Stommigheid and folk and all sorts of things happen no one expects. (Actually, I don’t like the term Stommigheid, that’s too judgemental. The Ethereal is more apt because the whole business is very difficult to pin down in simple sentences)

I’ve been trying to explain all of this to Roger who makes our adventures known in your world. He’s quite sharp on the uptake on…

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Back garden, spring, bird bath, ugly white chairs

A Gardener is a Plant Referee

Wandering around the garden, I found myself nudging aside foliage of vigorous plants to make sure less hearty subjects weren’t being shaded or squashed. That got me thinking about what I actually do in the garden and what roles I play. I’m no sports fan, but it could be the current playoffs (hockey and basketball) and new season (baseball) have influenced my metaphor-maker.

A gardener is…

A referee, who makes sure everyone plays nice and no one gets hurt. Except sometimes that means someone has to get hurt weeded.

A coach, who puts plants into the right spots, so they’ll grow well and look good.

A trainer, who snips, prunes, and stakes, encouraging everyone to get into optimal shape.

A doctor, who designs preventive regimens, diagnoses ailments, and applies tonics and nostrums when needed.

A chaplain, who ministers to the dying and performs the last rites at the compost heap.

A general manager, who decides what changes are going to be made for success next season.

Which means all those plants out there are a team.

My home team is looking pretty good right now, but its season is just getting under way.

White and green ornamental grass and pink tulipsGreen and white ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea var. picta) looks good with pink tulips. It’s a quick spreader, though, so eventually some management will be needed.

Male fern, Dryopteris filix-mas, unfurling fiddleheads and yellow ornamental grass, Milium effusumFerns have finally unrolled their fiddleheads. Dryopteris filix-mas looks fine with the intense yellow-green of the ornamental grass Milium effusum.

 

Heuchera "Green Spice"One of the huge tribe of coral bells is Heuchera “Green Spice.” It does fairly well in dry shade, and the subtle shades of purply-red and greeny-grey invite artful colour combinations.

Heuchera "Dolce Key Lime Pie" and Hellebore "Ivory Prince"Another Heuchera, this one with the rather awkward moniker “Dolce Key Lime Pie,” lives in a big blue pot with the hellebore “Ivory Prince,” whose flowers are taking on shades of green and pink as they mature.

Gentians, Gentiana acaulisThose blue gentians again! Gentiana acaulis is doing its thing next to the front walk. I suspect the plants need to be dug and divided every few years, because this newer patch is doing much better than the original, which has been in place for almost 20 years.

Wallflower, Erysimum "Bowles Mauve"Wallflower Erysimum “Bowles Mauve” is at its best right now. The magenta of the flowers and grey-blue-green of the foliage are a magical combination.

 

 

American goldfinches at feeder enjoying black sunflower seedsRecent visitors to the garden include two pairs of American goldfinches, who spent much of an afternoon loading up on sunflower seeds. A deer rested in my neighbour’s garden and stopped by here later to nibble on the lawn.

 

 

 

Deer in neighbour's yard seen through shrubs

Can you spot the deer?

Go Team!

 

Mr Silc wants to have a few words about ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’

Mr. Silc suggested I reblog this post, so I’m doing it. Besides, Of Patchwork Warriors is a good read! You get to meet Mr. Silc, his associates and all sorts of other colourful characters. Your vocabulary will expand too.

heroicallybadwriter

‘Ullo. Grenaww Silc’s the name. Elinid’s me home town. I do alright by her and she does alright by me, if you get my meaning, which most folks do, soon enough, and feel a lot better for knowing so.

Now this lad who does the writing. Well, be honest he’s a bit of walnut. Told him so, and give him his due, he accepts that and does his best.

To be fayre to him, he’s given Elinid a good spread, been writing about the old town for years, he has, in one those affectionate ways, which is nice. ‘Course he started out the wrong way, gave us Silcs a minor, what they call, reference role, just to build up this Ven Jek bloke. Oh yes, I shouldn’t get started on them Jeks, going on like they was all moral and just roguish when they were just a bunch of small-time…

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‘Ullo Everyone! It’s proper ‘Patchwork Warriors’ time!!

Here’s a word from Karlyn, one of the main characters in RJ Llewellyn’s lively and harrowing novel, Of Patchwork Warriors. She gives a pretty good impression of the book. I’ve read it and recommend it to those who appreciate tales of action and adventure with a bit of magic and some grit mixed in.

heroicallybadwriter

Hi Karlyn here!!

‘Lo everyone! I said I’d be back didn’t I?

For meself, speaking personally, I was pleased  wiv’ the way ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ went. There was a lot of running about, thumpin’ blokes wot deserved it, stabbing a few an’ I got to climb up as many trees as I wanted to AN’ talk to so many really interesting and clever bees and butterflys. AN’ a made a really best good friend Trelli, who understands me. And is kindly an’ sweet.

AND ‘course there was (hee-hee) Flaxi, whose proper name is Arketre but she’s got this lovely blonde hair! So my pet name for ‘er is Flaxi!….But I’m not supposed to say too much ‘bout us ‘cause Flaxi’s particular about HOW much you lot should know. She says ‘I don’ want to go a walkin’ about their bedrooms do I naw? So they can jus’ use their Good…

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An Exciting (Scary) New Venture

Those who haven’t seen this yet — author and blogger Don Massenzio is now offering editing and formatting services to indie authors.

Author Don Massenzio

I launched my author blog about three years ago and have watched it grow beyond anything I’d hoped. I’ve met many great people as I’ve made some friendships and have helped some authors along the way.

As luck would have it, I lost my day job about two months ago and I’m still in search of regular employment to keep the lights on and put food on the table.

The silver lining that emerged from this is that I’m embarking on a new venture. During the past year, I have edited books for a few select authors as kind of a pilot and test launch of a set of services that I hoped to turn into a business. My extra ‘free time’ and my need to generate some income, I’m launching a book editing/formatting service formally as a separate WordPress site.

For authors that take advantage of these services, I’m…

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Free on Kindle: The Journey (Book 2 of the Herbert West Series)

Islands of the Gulf Volume 1, THE JOURNEY is available for free via a special promotion until end of day Sunday, April 29th.

Here’s an opportunity for those who’ve read Book 1 of the series, The Friendship of Mortals, to find out what happens to Herbert West after his departure from Arkham.

AMAZON:   USA   UK   CA   AU 

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Once, he was Herbert West, superlative surgeon and revivifier of the dead. Now he’s lost his reputation, his country and his name. Rebuilding his life as a country doctor on Bellefleur Island, he struggles with doubts, emotional entanglements and terrible memories of the Great War. Above all, he must forge a new relationship with his old adversary – death – and negotiate with a new one – love.

 

 

I’m curious to see which of the existing reviews readers will agree with.