Friday, November 18, 2016

FREE to Download this Friday-Saturday: The Count of the Living Death

This Friday-Saturday you can download my second novel for FREE, a comic gothic-fantasy novel following the exploits of a pampered count, an eccentric magician, a no-nonsense countess-to-be, a mysterious half-brother, and a menacing chest which hides unspeakable terrors under three magic locks. It's not quite as serious as it all sounds (or is it?), and it makes for a quick, enjoyable read, especially for those who enjoy books like The Hobbit, The Princess Bride, and the great comic-Gothic book that started it all, The Castle of Otranto.

Click on the link to download the book on your Kindle or Kindle app:

Or, click "read more" below to sample the first three chapters...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Revolutionary Rhino of Venice

In 1751, the Venetian painter, Pietro Longhi, created one of his most unusual works: a painting of fashionable spectators gawking at a rhinoceros. In an age before zoos (or at least humane ones), Europeans had little opportunity to see the wondrous diversity of biological life, relying instead of fanciful books by unreliable travelers. So you can imagine their delight to see a real Indian rhino in the flesh, part of a tour that was sweeping across Europe. The rhinoceros in question made quite a footnote in history: her name was Clara, captured as an infant by a Dutch captain in 1738. He took care of her for a time, but eventually sold her to someone with an entrepreneurial eye. Clara made the grand tour of Europe, spending several months in all the major capitals. By the time she made it to Venice, Clara was nearing the end of her life, though her final stop would be in England, where she died in 1758.