“Taghri’s Prize” is now available in a print edition

My latest book, “Taghri’s Prize“, is now available in a paperback edition, as well as an e-book. It was not fun getting it ready.  Amazon uploaded my text file, then sent me a template for the right cover size based on page count.  I had my cover designer prepare the print cover to that specification, which he did very precisely;  then I submitted the cover for approval.  It was rejected because its dimensions were wrong – even though they conformed exactly to what Amazon had specified!  That was very frustrating, for both my cover designer and myself.  Fortunately, he was able to adapt the

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Happy book news – and another new book is out!

Last night was celebration time for Miss D. and myself.  “Taghri’s Prize“, my latest novel, has been on sale for just nine days.  As of the time of writing, it’s hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for Historical Fantasy! It’s also at #13 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for Epic Fantasy, and #11 on the Hot New Releases list for Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (both, again, at the time of writing). That’s the first time I’ve reached the top of any Amazon book ranking list. Color me happy! Thank you very much to all of my readers.  Your support made this possible. Of

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A big “Thank you!” to all my readers

I honestly wasn’t expecting great things from the launch of my latest book, “Taghri’s Prize“, yesterday. It had been almost a year since I’d last published anything, thanks to a prolonged bout of ill-health fighting kidney stones.  (My creative muse goes on strike when pain levels get too high.  It’s no fun.)  I was expecting to have to rebuild my “name recognition” on Amazon, and build up a new readership cadre. I suppose that’s still a requirement;  but my existing readers clearly haven’t forgotten or abandoned me, for which I’m very grateful.  After just one day on sale, my book’s

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“Taghri’s Prize” is published!

My new fantasy novel, “Taghri’s Prize”, is now available in e-book format on Amazon.  A printed version will follow as soon as the cover is ready. The blurb reads: Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth! Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess

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Book updates

First the good news. I’ve edited and formatted new e-book editions of the first two Westerns in my Ames Archives series, “Brings The Lightning” and “Rocky Mountain Retribution”.  They’re awaiting publication by Amazon, following which I’ll immediately publish the third book in the series, “Gold On The Hoof”, which is ready to go. My fantasy novel, “Taghri’s Prize”, is edited and ready for formatting.  That’ll happen over the weekend, and I hope it’ll be available next week. The holdup at the moment is on Amazon’s side – and I don’t blame them for it in the least;  it’s just the legal facts

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A refreshing alternative to tea or coffee

Being a writer, I spend long hours in front of the computer, working on books, research, blog posts and the like.  I get rather tired of coffee and tea as refreshments. I’ve used various bouillons as substitutes – meat, chicken, etc. – with good results.  Miss D. and I particularly like the “Better Than Bouillon” range, and keep it in stock.  However, I recently discovered another alternative that’s really taken my fancy, to the extent that I drink at least one cup of it every day.  It’s Knorr’s tomato chicken bouillon, as shown on the left.  It’s remarkably economical, whether

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A bit wobbly, perhaps, but ingenious!

I had to laugh when I saw this photograph on Gab: I can just see some poor tractor driver deciding that he’s going to keep the rain and dust out, no matter what!  I’m not sure about tight turns, though.  That cab’s got to be delicately balanced in position.  Turn too sharply, and a support might shear, and dump the occupants and the cab in the dirt.  As for practicality . . . well, one can’t have it all! Peter

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Yes, you really can compare apples to oranges

Old NFO sent me a link to an article proving that the old “apples to oranges” comparison is actually not as silly as it might seem.  It’s from Improbable Research, the people who bring us the annual Ig Nobel awards. … it is not difficult to demonstrate that apples and oranges can, in fact, be compared (see figure 1). Materials and Methods Both samples were prepared by gently desiccating them in a convection oven at low temperature over the course of several days. The dried samples were then mixed with potassium bromide and ground in a small ball-bearing mill for two minutes. One hundred milligrams of

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But . . . WHY???

It seems that a Chinese inventor has come up with a hair washing machine.  Looking at it in action, all I can think is that a conventional shower would be a whole lot less fuss and bother, and much more efficient! Also, the opportunities for mischief by naughty friends or family members are almost endless.  Think of tying the user’s victim’s shoelaces to the retaining device while he’s upside down, or dripping something unpleasant into his breathing tube while he’s inverted.  This has the potential to make washing one’s hair a survival experience! Peter

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Nifty, but what would you use this for?

I was interested to see this video of a new jumping robot.  The blurb reads: Salto-1P is a small monopedal jumping robot capable of continuous high-power hopping.  We demonstrate a new control algorithm that can land Salto-1P’s foot at particular spots on the ground like jumping on stepping stones or playing one-leg hopscotch.  We call this “deadbeat foot placement hopping control”.  Precise foot placement enables Salto-1P to jump on surfaces like furniture.  This work will be presented at the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Here’s the video. What I want to know is, what’s it for?  If

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