Storylanida 18: L’Amande et La Fleur

Where to buy: online store; also Amazon (eligible for free shipping); and Kindle.

Sample pages

Where to buy: online store; also Amazon (eligible for free shipping); and Kindle.

L’Amande et La Fleur tells the story of the rushed adolescence and young love of an orphaned French artist, Julian, who travels to China to rid himself of the stultifying effects of the politics, bigotry, and seemingly endless prosperity in early 20th Century Parisian upper-crust culture. It is near the Yangtze River where he meets Solomon Garcon, an …read more

Source:: Storylandia


CD Review: The Shadow out of Time

Original Astounding Stories cover of 'The Shadow out of Time'

In 1908, a Miskatonic University political economics professor named Nathaniel Peaslee collapsed while giving a lecture to his class. When he regained consciousness, he had no memory of who he was, was badly coordinated, wore an odd expression, and spoke in a stilted, archaic style as if English were an unfamiliar language. His wife and children, convinced that this wasn’t Nathaniel at all, were horrified and had nothing further to do with him.

In his new personality, Peaslee pursued a very different sort of life, absorbing knowledge on a variety of subjects from the abstruse to the childishly simple. He …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows… In the Future!

Collinwood in ruins

Their future, our past.

After escaping from Collinwood in the alternate dimension just as it was burning down around them, Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman discover that they haven’t returned home after all. They now find themselves in a long abandoned and decayed Collinwood in 1995.

Ah, the music, paintings, beautiful people of the 1990s. What will they be like? Will there be flying cars and robot servants? Daily flights to our bases on the Moon?

Actually, the show’s writers wisely decide that life in a small coastal town probably wouldn’t change all that much in 25 years no matter what astonishing …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


In Search of Abbotshill


Abbotshill had never been Frederick Babington’s home, but he was as fond of it as he was the environs of Marsh Hall. This tiny village ten miles from Ipswich had once been the site of a medieval abbey, now in ruins. In these modern times, a collection of quaint cottages, a post office, and a brown-timbered tavern sat at the convergence of five country lanes on one side of a mill pond. On the other side of the pond was the old mill with its enormous wheel, more cottages, and shops around a green. The Mill Wheel Inn sat adjacent …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Testing Jetpack and feed syndication

Testing Jetpack and feed syndication. This is only a test.

…read more

Source:: Eschaton-a-Go-Go


Pasadena Oaks, by Jennifer Bentson

Where to buy: Pasadena Oaks, by Jennifer Bentson

Sample pages

Where to buy: Pasadena Oaks, by Jennifer Bentson

Pasadena Oaks: Pasadena is a pioneer in tree protection and community arts. This book blends the two forces together and shares the community stories about the significant oaks of Pasadena. Learn about the oaks still growing in the middle of the street where citizens have protected them from execution. Like John Muir who first came to Pasadena, learn about the Engelmann Oak or Pasadena Oak as it is often called. The artwork of Jennifer Bentson is full of the splendor of the limbs and settings of the oaks. She like no other artist is very involved in the oak paintings and collaborated with many groups to bring this book to you.

About the author: Jennifer Bentson has an ongoing series of Oak Tree paintings. These paintings are her journey through painting and sketching the oaks of California, which she considers everyday treasures. She has used various techniques to portray the oaks. Her training in art began in college at the University of Arizona and has continued to this day. She has won many awards and has exhibited all over California, as well as in Asia and Europe.

Where to buy: Pasadena Oaks, by Jennifer Bentson

Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 68

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

Ren had had time to order hot water brought to Mara’s chambers and laid out clean linen for her, so that Mara could wash immediately and make herself presentable. Months of living in camps had taught her how to dress swiftly; within a very few minutes, she had changed into a clean shirt and hose, and put on a plain velvet tunic of dark blue. With Ren’s assistance, she unbraided and combed out her hair so that it fell long and unbound in the fashion of the nobility, but she put on …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 67

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.




Mara returned to Pendaunzel late one evening at the beginning of April, more than four months after she’d begun her long homeward journey. Her entourage had been small to facilitate rapid travel; when she’d left the Jamesmarch, only Kat and her nephews and their squires, Bel, Ren, Bard Delphyn, and the Spanish child had accompanied her. These last two wouldn’t travel all the way to Pendaunzel with the rest of the party, for Delphyn had been charged with a special errand to convey the child safely to the Sisters of St. Samandra, …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Getting Out of that Alternate Dimension

Dr. Hoffman hits Miss Hoffman

Over in the divergent reality version of Collinwood, alt-Angelique is becoming highly suspicious that her long-serving and trusty housekeeper Miss Hoffman isn’t the woman she’s known for years.

She’s right, of course; this is our Dr. Julia Hoffman, who followed Barnabas Collins over from their universe into this one, killed her housekeeper counterpart while defending Barnabas, and is impersonating her to keep apprised of Angelique’s evil plans.

Dr. Hoffman slipped up when she was being questioned by the police about the various murders that have happened at Collinwood–and there have been a lot of murders lately. The inspector is an …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 66

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

A memorial service was held for Bertrande the next morning in the burial ground in Jamesmarch, and another later that week for the Spaniards buried in a common grave in the shadow of the fortress which had already been renamed Marasfort by the Norman soldiers. Although Mara hadn’t authorized this or any other changes of place names, the Northlanders were quick to replace Spanish words with one from their own common tongue: Rio Amarillo was now the Yellow River, and d’Iago Pescador had become Fisherman’s Creek.

By the end of the week, …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: More Alternate Dimensions

Angelique changes places with Alexis

Barnabas Collins has entered an alternate universe via an empty room at Collinwood. Unfortunately, he gets locked up in a coffin almost immediately by this universe’s Will Loomis and doesn’t get to see all the interesting goings-on that the Collins counterparts are playing out–events that include the Dark Shadows‘ interpretations of Rebecca, with Angelique in the title role, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

But this version of Rebecca has an unexpected twist.

After weeks of putting up with everyone believing that she was really her dead twin sister Angelique, Alexis Stokes visited Angelique’s coffin in the family …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 65

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

Before she met with her captains at dinner to hear their reports of the day, Mara walked the path by the river’s edge. Kat, nervous at letting her cousin go on another walk by herself, had offered to accompany her, but Mara insisted on going alone.

It was now dusk, and torches blazing atop the fortress across the river showed her that Northland soldiers were still at work within. Would she dare to reside at Iagoburso when the time came? Kat had claimed to doubt her own bravery to do so—words spoken partially …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: An Alternate Dimension

Angelique's parlor in the alternate universe

Collinwood is a huge estate, but the more I see of it, the greater its state of disrepair becomes evident. It’s not only the number of disused outbuildings we’ve seen on the show; the main house itself is mostly empty. The west wing, where Adam once hid and where the children discovered Quentin’s bricked-up room, has been closed since the turn of the century. And lately, Barnabas has been prowling the equally abandoned east wing, although no information is given on how long that’s been shut up.

The 20th-century Collins family lives in a few rooms in the central block. They …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 64

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.


By the late afternoon, Mara had returned to the eastern side of the river and her camp in the Jamesmarch. She would occupy Iagoburso eventually, once the scores of bodies had been cleared away and decently buried. Whole squads were assigned to this task. Other Northland troops were spreading through Santiago unhindered, taking official possession of the captured territory. Once she had issued her orders, however, Mara had left the management of these tasks to Kat and her captains. Bertrande’s body had been brought to the camp at dawn and she felt …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: End of Jeb

Peter's ghost confronts Jeb

After the collapse of the Leviathan project, while his enemies among the former Leviathans are plotting their revenge, Jeb Hawkes makes plans to get as far from Collinsport as possible. He wants Carolyn to elope and come away with him. But it’s a big step for the girl–who is unaware of the even greater matrimonial danger she’s just missed stepping into–and while she makes up her mind, Jeb discovers he has other enemies.

First, the shadowy outline of a ghost that’s been haunting Jeb and the other Leviathans finally steps forward to reveal its identity. It’s Peter Bradford, with a …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 63

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.


The room was not very comfortable, but it wasn’t a dungeon. Conde Luiz had placed her in what appeared to be empty quarters for a low-ranked officer in a lower level of the main tower. There was one narrow bed and a narrow window high on one wall. After sleeping in a tent for so many weeks, Mara found it adequate. A guard was placed outside the door. When she climbed up to stand on the bed and look out of the window, she found no means of escaping by that route; …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: End of the Leviathans

Jeb Hawkes

Jeb Hawkes wasn’t destroyed when Barnabas Collins set fire to the antique shop, but now that his special room is in ashes, he’s stuck in his current human form and can’t revert to his true, Heavy Breathing monster state.

Barnabas and Julia Hoffman finally sit down for a long talk. He tells her everything that’s been happening to him since he got drawn out of 1897 and into the 1790s via Josette’s painting, how the Leviathans got hold of him, and what they’ve been planning up until now.

I’m glad they’re friends again; it’s my favorite relationship in the show. …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


CD Review: At the Mountains of Madness

Fleurs de Lys newspaper ad

I’ve been meaning to go on with reviewing the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre dramas produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. I’ve had the boxed CD set for years, but time passed and other things got in the way… until I was doing a Matt Foyer-fest this past weekend and included A Shadow over Innsmouth; I realized it’d been awhile since I’d listened to any of the others, some of which Foyer also has smaller roles in.

At the Mountains of Madness is one of Lovecraft’s larger stories in length as well as scope. We’re no longer in the …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Barnabas Battles the Leviathans

Jeb Hawkes

Carolyn Stoddard is devastated by her father’s bizarre murder. She’s the only person who mourns him at all. Even if her mother, Elizabeth, weren’t one of the Leviathan people, she wouldn’t care much if Paul Stoddard lived or died; she hadn’t seen him in 20 years. And Uncle Roger, who hasn’t a clue about the whole Leviathan business (or most of the supernatural events that have been going on around him lately), never liked him either and thinks Good Riddance! But they have a funeral at the family graveyard for form’s sake.

When the local police search the antiques shop at …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: The Werewolf Portrait

Tate's landscape. Constable has absolutely nothing to worry about

Since he returned to the 20th century, Barnabas Collins has been busy with his new Leviathan buddies and has no time in helping Chris the Werewolf find a cure. But Dr. Julia Hoffman hasn’t given up.

At the Todds’ antique shop, back before they became foster parents to the ultimate evil, Julia found a rather amateurish landscape painting by Charles Tate–the turn-of-the-century artist who painted Quentin’s Dorian-Gray-type portrait. She learns that Tate was painting as late as the 1950s and gets the idea that he might still be alive in 1970.

Julia already knows that the portrait kept Quentin …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands