Saturday, September 26, 2020

After another long absence,

WE are back. To be sure, I don't maintain this blog as I should, but in my defense, I can only say that life just keeps getting in the way. Much water has gone under the bridge since last I posted here, so let me see if I can bring you up do date.

The Spanish edition of The Last Giant: Transgression has been completed and is available as an e-book from several sources---see the sidebar for details and links. Jan did a new cover for it using an earlier trial cover and making some changes. We think it is a very nice cover.

The Italian translation by Giuseppe Raccosta has been completed and awaits a cover. Jan has promised she will get that done next week. We shall see! 

Volume 2 of the Last Giant (Retribution) is still in the works, unfortunately. Menannon gets put through the wringer, of course. He matures quite a bit, as you no doubt have surmised. We learn a great deal about him as he comes to know himself and the part the High One has set for him to play. This book will bring his story to a pause as it sets the stage for the next two books which take up the tale of the Teluri, Lindrahier and in which our Giant plays a major supporting rôle. Actually, he plays a part in most of the rest of the series which is why we are telling his story first. His story has another book yet to appear which will bring it to a close, but that is several volumes down the pike.

Our household continues to undergo many changes. As of this writing, it consists of ourselves (of course!), two cats (Griffur and Lady Claire) and three Cocker spaniels (Lily, Bradley and the newest, Sandy). Lily is the Grand Dame of the bunch and the two boys do defer to her...or else! Griffur's full name is rather a mouthful---Sir Tristan of Grayhill, third Baron Gray Fur---so you can see why we shorten it. Lily is more fully known as Darling Lily, Bradley is really EBS Seriously, but Bradley is soooo much better. We named the pup---he's only 6 mos old right now---in honor of two special critters. The first was my very first dog, also a golden cocker, whom I named Sandy. I got her when I was in second grade. Now, the second honoree is Winnie-the-Pooh, whom, as we all know, lived under the name of Sanders. So, this little guy is Mr. Sanders, informally called Sandy. There you have it.

You may note that I have made a few changes to our suggested reading list to the right, and I will continue to do so from time to time. The books listed are titles that reside in our library and have either read or am reading, or at least started.

One of our hobbies is collecting and using in a safe manner sharp pointy things. To be precise: swords. We recently enjoyed an outing with some neighbors who are equally afflicted and cheerfully dispatched numerous plastic water-filled gallon milk jugs. We deployed Jan's German zweihander and my lovely Chinese jian. Our neighbor used his brand new Han Dynasty replica jian and it cut like a dream. Mine has a dragon motif in its hardware, his uses a plain design, yet is quite elegant in its black, lacquered sheath.

Here is a photo of one of my swords. It is a replica arming sword made by Angus Trim some years ago. Nice sword. It has been slightly customized. I had the roundels on the pommel added and I did the work on the ends of the guard.


Here is a photo of my dragon jian:

A closeup of the hilt:

I suppose some folks might be curious as to how the COVID-19 business has affected us. It has affected us, simply put, not at all. Our lives have gone on pretty much as usual aside from having to slap some piece of cloth on our faces whenever we enter a medical facility. It helps that we live in Montana.
Well, that about does it for now. If I linger longer over the keyboard, I will begin to ramble on aimlessly, searching for something to write. I will spare you the agony of that experience.
Until next time!
-- Richard for J. R. Hardesty
P. S.:  It won't be another year until the next post. Just until I have something worth posting.


Sunday, October 20, 2019


After an unplanned hiatus caused by my inexplicable inability to logon to our blog, we have returned. Whether for the better or for the worse is up to you to decide.

There is much to catch up on.


Firstly, volume 1 of the Lindensaga™ has been translated into Spanish. We used the services of Babelcube (, a website which acts as a middle man by bringing publishers/authors together with translators. The best part of the whole thing is that it does not cost the author a penny up front! It is really a great service for both authors and publishers. Our translator for this volume is Pilar Dueñas of Seville, Spain (o Sevilla, España). She is a talented translator and is very easy to work with, even patiently listening to author suggestions. We were lucky to get her.

The Spanish version of Vol. 1 of the Lindensaga™, El Último Gigante: Transgresión will soon be available as an e-book on-line at various retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Inscribe, et cetera). A paperback edition will also be available. I am working on the formatting right now, in fact.

Sometime in the early part of 2020, Vol. 1 will also be available in Italian. It is being translated by Giuseppe Raccosta.

Publishing Schedule Update

In my last post before the burp (over three years ago - September 24, 2016) I made some overly optimistic pronouncements regarding the publishing schedule.

Obviously, volume 2 (The Last Giant: Retribution) was not published in November of that year, nor was volume 3 issued in December.  We are still working on Vol 2 and are hoping to have it completed by the end of this year (2019). Volume 3  (The Gift of the High One: Prince of the Teluri) is finished, but needs a bit of tweaking to bring it completely into line with vols. 1 & 2. It was finished quite some time ago, but publication has been delayed in order to write the first two volumes. We anticipate publication of volume 3 (The Gift of the High One: Prince of the Teluri) approximately six months after volume 2 is published.

Other volumes are in varying stages of completion as indicated below.

    Gift of the High One  — the story of Lindrahier, a Teluri prince.
    3:    Prince of the Teluri (99% complete)
    4:    High King of the Teluri (∼50% complete)

        The Harper of Rhindol Vale  — the adventures of Siglin, an unusual Teluri harper, and his spirit-brother, Biplinder Paddleford of Rhindol Vale.
    5:    The Key of Tanguroth (complete)
    6:    The Orb of Making (∼50% complete)
    7:    The White Tower (∼75% complete)
    8:    The Frostrill Stair (outline complete)

The remaining seven volumes of the planned fifteen exist as synopses only at this time. Just FYI, here are the remaining titles:

    9:    The Last Giant: Absolution
     Serenssaga — the tale of Seren Smithsson. Takes place many hundreds of years after #9
    10:    The Ghost and the Ring. (Chapter 1 was re-written as a short story.)
    11:    Daylight and Darkness
    12:    Forgesinger

    The Chronicles of the Black Sun
    13:    Black Sun Rising
    14:    Black Sun Burning
    15:    Black Sun Extinguished: The World’s Ending


Alas!  My allotted time for blogging has expired for now. I shall return as soon as I may for another round of blather and pontification. Until then, Happy Trails!

– Richard,
     for J. R. Hardesty

Thursday, September 12, 2019

We have returned!

After a 3 year hiatus caused by not being able to access this blog, we are back!

We have lots of news to catch up on and will do so ASAP, but having just gotten access back, I do not have anything ready, but will in a few days. Please be patient.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Back at Last!

Summer's almost over, Autumn is fast approaching and my time in the boonies has but three days to run as I write this. I have had fun up there in Polebridge, but it did shorten my free time to the point where I had none left for this blog, for which I am quite sorry.

Even so, we have not been idle. We have delayed the publication of the one-volume edition of Transgression until October to allow the development of new cover art for the series. 

Jan became disenchanted with the original series covers, and deemed new art was in order. For Transgression, she adapted her original digital painting of Menannon and Nirna for the trade paperback and we were able to use the full painting for the d/j on the limited hardcover edition.  I'll post the pb cover on Face Book when she is done with it. The full painting can be seen here.

The cover for subsequent books will be uniform in style, as before, but will all have new art, as we wanted to better showcase her work. She has already begun work on the cover for Retribution (book 2 in the Lindensaga) featuring brand new art and she has as well begun completing the MS which should be finished in time to make the November publication date.

December will see the publication of book 3 in the series, Prince of the Teluri, which is also the first part of a duology, The Gift of the High One. The MS for this is essentially completed barring only a few small tweaks to bring it into line with Transgression/Retribution as it was written some time ago.

The short time I had available for blogging has come to an end, so I bid you goodbye until next time.

-- Richard 
    for J. R. Hardesty


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paradise at Polebridge

Last summer whilst accompanying Jan on her “Roam the Park” daythe “gate Rangers” in Glacier National Park get one work day to wander around the park and get to know it betterwe headed for the North Fork country as she was least familiar with that semi-remote area of Glacier.
    The North Fork of the Flathead River serves as the western boundary to Glacier for part of its length and the North Fork valley is home to some awesome scenery as well as the little hamlet of Polebridge. The Polebridge Ranger Station, guardian of the NW entrance to Glacier, is located nearby.
    There are many who consider the North Fork Paradise on Earth, and I would not dispute that claim. There are more residences up there than appear to the eye, most of them being for summer occupancy only, but there are a few hardy souls who live up there year around. Polebridge itself is home to two institutions of far-reaching fame: the Polebridge Mercantile and its awesome bakery, creators & purveyors of divinely mouth-watering treats fit for the gods, and its next-door neighbor, the Northern Lights Saloon.
    On our little jaunt up the North Fork with Kintla Lake as our ultimate destination, we stopped in Polebridge, of course. After indulging in some heavenly pastries, we headed north on Glacier Drive for the one mile drive to the Polebridge entrance to Glacier National Park. After chatting with the gate Ranger (the official Park Service name for those folk is Visitor Use Assistant or VUA), we headed on north for Kintla. As we left the entrance, I opined somewhat wistfully that it would be a grand place to be assigned for the summer and wouldn’t it be fun! She whole-heartedly agreed.

    Be careful what you wish for.
Paradise at Polebridge
    Around about November last, I brought up the topic of our future plans for our books and observed that we need more capital and perhaps I should get a job of some sort, but that I definitely refused to work retail ever again. She nodded in agreement and understanding, then asked me, ”Well, why don’t you apply for the Park?” I knew that some of the VUAs would not be returning and I said, “What he heck? Why not?” I’d rather sit in the kiosk at the West Entrance where Jan worked than work retail any day. And it might work out that we would work together some of the time which was fine with both of us.
    So, I applied.
    I jumped through all the hoops and was eventually notified that if I was still interested and available, I had a job—West entrance, of course. Cool. I was tickled pink and quite excited. After filling out more paperwork and getting my fingerprints taken (for the background check—we handle money after all), I settled into a regular routine of checking my e-mail daily for any other communications from the Park people as I did not wish to miss anything.
    So one fine day, I found an e-mail not from the usual roster of folk I had been dealing with. Curious, I opened it up, read it, blinked, read it again and then shouted to Jan who was out in the kitchen.
    “Hon, they’ve offered me Polebridge!”
    “I’ve been offered Polebridge!”
    “Super! You’d better take it or I’ll hurt you!”
    Of course, there was no way I was going to turn that offer down anyhow, so I quickly responded in the positive.
    So now, I will take up my station at the Polebridge Ranger Station May 23 after four days of orientation and training. Because of its remoteness, I will be staying in a little cabin up there during my work week and driving home for the weekend over one of the nastiest dirt roads in the state.

    But the rest of the week, I’ll be in Paradise.

-- Richard

Sunday, December 6, 2015


We are very excited! Our books will soon be on the shelf at P. J. Boox in Ft. Myers, Florida. This store is unique. It features only indie or self-published books and the authors get to keep 98% of the revenues! It is an imaginative solution to the self-published author's problem: getting one's books into a brick-and-mortar store. Thanks, P. J.!!

-- Richard, for J. R.

Stumbling Through Fantasyland

Hands on hips, brows lowering, Emerson stood gazing fixedly at the recumbent ruminant. A sympathetic friend (if camels have such, which is doubtful) might have taken comfort in the fact that scarcely a ripple of agitated sand surrounded the place of its demise. Like the others in the caravan, of which it was the last, it had simply stopped, sunk to its knees, and passed on, peacefully and quietly. (Conditions, I might add, that are uncharacteristic of camels alive or moribund.)  — Elizabeth Peters.

 You may well ask what this quote, the first paragraph Elizabeth Peters’ delightful book The Last Camel Died at Noon, has to do with fantasy, as she is a well-known mystery writer.
    To answer that, we must first mention Allan Quartermain, and in so doing we find ourselves in the realm of Henry Rider Haggard, a writer of adventure tales, many set in Africa. Of the many books he wrote, he is most widely known for two: King Solomon’s Mines (1885), with Allan Quartermain and set in Africa and She, A History of Adventure (1887) with Horace Holly & Leo Vincey set in Africa, both of which had fantasy elements in them. She is considered a foundational work of the fantasy genre and, I think, deservedly so.
    Quartermain went on to star in many other African novels by Haggard, including his own encounter with Ayesha (She-who-must-be-obeyed) in She and Allan (1921). Mr. Holly has a further adventure with She in the sequel, Ayesha, the Return of She (1905), which is set in Tibet.
    These are lost world/lost race novels and King Solomon’s Mines is regarded as having started that particular genre and both are fun reading. As it happens, Elizabeth Peters shares with us an enthusiasm for H. Rider Haggard. Her novel, The Last Camel Died at Noon, one of her books about Amelia Peabody and her husband Radcliffe Emerson, is an entertaining tribute to Haggard’s books and involves—you guessed it—a lost race and city. Since her Peabody books are all set primarily in Egypt (Peabody & Emerson are Egyptologists), the lost race is tied to the civilization and culture of ancient Egypt as exemplified in the 25th Egyptian dynasty & its successor kingdoms of Napata and Meroë. We loved it and its sequel, Guardian of the Horizon, which takes place ten years later. Peters
nods to Haggard dont stop there, however. In her novel The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog, a major character is one Leopold Vincey, who, as mentioned above, was one of the main characters in Haggard's novel She. I have no doubt there are other such tributes to Haggard scattered throughout her Peabody series.
    We strongly urge you to investigate not only Elizabeth Peters (particularly if you also like mysteries which most of her Peabody books are), but most especially H. Rider Haggard.
    Stumbling along off the beaten track, we find an interesting book which is only nominally fantasy, the adventure novel-with-a-spin, The Sunbird (1972) by Wilbur Smith. It’s a lost city tale of sorts. The first half of the book is set in modern times and details the trials and tribulations of the search for the lost city of Opet and involves a rich mining executive, his archaeologist friend and the archaeologist’s lovely assistant/girl friend who, not surprisingly, create a problem for themselves in that the rich guy steals the assistant away from the potboy (yeah, I know — bad cheap pun). The twist:  the second half of the book is set a couple of thousand years ago in the ancient city of Opet and concerns a strangely familiar cast of characters. Are they the previous lives of the book’s three-some? Or...?? It’s a bit violent, as Smith’s books tend to be, but it is a romp, certain. Give it a go and see for yourself.
    Tripping further along the periphery of Fantasyland, we stumble over some books by Arthur O. Friel. He made a six-month exploratory journey up the Orinoco River in Venezuela back in 1922 and used his knowledge of that area to write some fun adventure novels with fantasy elements thrown in for good measure: The Pathless Trail (1922), Tiger River (1923), King of No Man’s Land (1924) and Mountains of Mystery (1925). Of these, I have read only the first two and thoroughly enjoyed them. Jungle adventure, green men, lost races, man/ape hybrids...oh, yeah! They were reprinted in mass market paperback with cover art by Jeff Jones in 1972 by Centaur Press (a small paperback company established by Donald M. Grant and Charles M. Collins. see Wikipedia). All of Friel’s books can be found in the used market, with Pathless Trail and Tiger River being readily available at a decent price.
    Friel also wrote about his journey up the Orinoco in The River of Seven Stars (Harper, 1924), which is also fun reading. Unfortunately, this book is not so easily found. I was fortunate some years ago to find a copy in a local used book shop and still have it, although it suffered some water damage a couple of years ago. It is still readable, however. The book was never, to my knowledge, published in paperback and the used market has copies of the first (and only) edition priced at $75.00 and up. If you can find a copy, it would be worth the money, but unless you are bent on having a hardcover, a library would be your best bet for this title. WorldCat shows 70 copies in libraries in the U. S., copies in the National Library of Scotland, Trinity College Library of Dublin, Oxford, St. Pancras, Cambridge University and the University of Essex. Copies can also be found in Germany, France and Australia.
    OK, we’ve stumbled along enough. I think next time I’ll discuss mysteries that have had an influence on us one way or another and a some we just read for the love of a good story.

– Richard, for J. R. Hardesty