New Critters in Obann

I’ve always been intrigued by this prehistoric animal from South America, Macrauchenia. In addition to having a sort of elephant’s trunk, it got around not on hooves, but on these odd, stubby little toes. Scientists have been trying to classify this animal ever since it was first discovered in the 19th century. They still can’t do it.

Herds of these have begun to move up through the plains of South Obann, followed by savage tribes and even more savage predators. This is one of those things that used to overthrow civilizations: a barbarian invasion, a whole nation on the move.

Gee, now why does that sound so familiar?

Where will the horde stop–if it stops at all? Suddenly it seems like a really good idea to hole up in Lintum Forest.

The tale will be told (I hope) in His Mercy Endureth Forever. Meanwhile I get to hang around with Macrauchenia. Think of them as funny-looking llamas who don’t spit at you.

Racing Against the Rain

It’s been really hard, trying to write the first chapter set of my new Bell Mountain book, His Mercy Endureth Forever. What with holidays, doctor visits, deaths in the family, and lots and lots of rain, I’m far behind where I expected to be by now. And it looks like it’s going to rain some more, so I’d better get back outside, back to work, toot-sweet.

Poor Queen Gurun. Is she being offered a chance to go back to Fogo Island, to her family? There’s a man who is pretty sure he can build a ship that could take her there.

Meanwhile, up from the south comes trouble. Big trouble. For everybody.

So I can’t stay here and try to gin up readership. Here’s hoping the readers will rev it up themselves.

I Asked, and It Was Given

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Ice Age hyenas with their kill, a wild boar: the mammoth and horses in the background are lucky the boar came along when it did.

With two deaths in the family coming virtually back-to-back, I haven’t been quite at my best lately. Not good: because I have a book to write, and the weather has held me back considerably. I’ve written a couple of chapters of His Mercy Endureth Forever, but as of this morning, I still didn’t know where it was going. Note I said “didn’t,” not “don’t.” Because now I think I know.

So I sat outside with my cigar and asked the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell: and He has. Like, right away. All I had to do was ask.

Now I know why He gave me that title, and why He gave me Ice Age extra-large and ferocious cave hyenas, without an Ice Age to go with them. Now I can proceed.

Thank you, Father. It’s a weird way to write, but so far it’s carried me through ten Bell Mountain books, plus two awards.

I’m Going with the Hyenas

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It’s been raining every day this week, which has really slowed the writing of my new book. But at least I was able to make one artistic decision about it.

I’m going with the oversized prehistoric cave hyenas. I can’t provide them with an Ice Age, but to make up for that, I’ve provided them with dangerous savages who worship them as holy.

Today’s spotted hyenas of Africa are pretty nasty, but these put them to shame. Hey, they ate mammoths and rhinoceroses.

Now if only this rain would stop, I could get down to business.

P.S.–I’m calling it His Mercy Endureth Forever. My wife and my editor like that title, so there it is.

All Aboard!

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As Jackie Gleason used to say, “And away we go!”

I’m still waiting for The Silver Trumpet to be published; but meanwhile, today I’ve started writing the first chapter of a new book. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the go-ahead!

This will be Book No. 12 in my Bell Mountain series: Silver Trumpet’s No. 10, with The Temptation waiting in the wings as No. 11. Do I know what No. 12 will be about? Nah! I never know. In fact, I don’t even have a title for it yet–although the one that keeps popping into my head is His Mercy Endureth Forever, the anthem of King Ryons’ army when it’s on the march. Looking at some of the story threads that must be picked up from The Temptation, there’s going to be a pressing need for mercy.

Anyway, I’m off to the races. I don’t know where this horse is going to take me, but I expect a wild ride.