Who are Bartholomew the Adventurer & Orville Wellington Mouse?

“An epic that hits all the perfect notes of science, magic, and sweetness.”  Kirkus Review

“An endlessly stimulating sequel that caters to intellectually fearless readers.”  –Kirkus Review

The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy and the Orville Wellington Mouse adventures are multi-leveled stories which have been compared to Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Neverending Story. The books have underlying themes of ethics, metaphysics, philosophy, quantum physics, and spirituality. A common theme is the idea that there is no magic, only science we don’t understand. The books were written to provide an alternate way to view the world we live in. To see all life as a single force, all life equally precious, no matter the form. A world where violence is not necessary, a world where the protagonists are changed forever by their difficult choices, by their own sacrifices. A world of empathy, kindness, and love. And of course, ten foot tall ancient robotic rabbits and gigantic carnivorous centipedes living on post apocalyptic planets!

The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy is a romping tale of adventure set in the far distant future after humans have vanished from the planet. The protagonist is a self centered rabbit named Bartholomew who sets out in search of a missing object which he is unable to describe or name. Along the way he meets his adventuring companion, Oliver T. Rabbit, a brilliant scientist who also undergoes a deep transformation in the trilogy, coming to understand that there is no magic, only science, whether it’s time travel, parallel dimensions, manifesting physical objects with thoughts, or reincarnation. Their adventures take them to lost cities, parallel universes and other planets, along the way meeting a host of memorable characters including ancient robotic rabbits, the Tree of Eyes, the Singing Monks of Nirriim, the Blue Spectre, and Edmund the Explorer.

All the events in the trilogy are based on known metaphysical phenomena and philosophical beliefs which have been in existence for thousands of years.  That being said, The Bartholomew the Adventurer Trilogy can be read and enjoyed by a young adult with no interest in metaphysics or philosophy. The book is written very simply and on one level is a fun and breezy read.  It is multileveled and has been compared by readers to both The Alchemist and The Hobbit.  If you’d like to learn more about the story behind the story, just click on “The Real Stories Behind Bartholomew the Adventurer”.

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Orville Wellington Mouse • 2016 Gold Medal Winner • Best Young Adult Adventure Book
Readers Favorite International Book Award

The Orville Wellington Mouse series is lots of fun, filled with adventure and humor while retaining the deeper themes of spirituality, ethics, and metaphysics, for those who have an interest in such things. A fun read for all ages! Orville Wellington Mouse titles include:

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Clockwork Glowbirds

Orville Wellington Mouse lives with his Mum in the quiet fishing village of Muridaan Falls, Symoca. His life takes an unexpected turn when he learns his best friend Sophia Mouse is not only from another planet, but is also a member of the Shapers Guild, a group of powerful mice who are able to convert their thoughts into physical objects.

When Orville notices a group of seven glowbirds exhibiting rather extraordinary behavior, he and Sophia attempt to uncover the origin of the unusual birds but soon find themselves enmeshed in a fiendish plot to embroil Symoca in a horrific war. Captured by the powerful and mysterious Red Mouse, the two adventurers are hurled through a spectral door into the terrifying world of Periculum, home of the dreaded giant carnivorous centipedes.

With help from the secretive Metaphysical Adventurers, Proto the Rabbiton, the Mad Mouse of Muridaan, a gigantic Gnorli bird, some ghostly Anarkkian warriors, and the enigmatic Monks of the Blue Robe, Orville and Sophia must find their way home and stop the evil Red Mouse before he destroys Symoca.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Shattered Abacus

Orville Wellington Mouse unwittingly sets off a galaxy shaking chain of events when he buys his mum a lovely birthday necklace from Miraculum’s Fine Antiques. When Orville and his best friend Sophia Mouse observe a small glass marble breaking the laws of physics they set out to discover the cause of its extraordinary behavior, unexpectedly revealing the marble’s astonishing connection to his mum’s new necklace.

The pair of young Metaphysical Adventurers soon find themselves in a desperate race to prevent time from stopping in their galaxy. With help from their good friend Proto the Rabbiton, Master Marloh of the Metaphysical Adventurers, the Mad Mouse of Muridaan, Ollo the Rock Mouse, Myrmac the Brave, the King of Ants, the Shrieking Terror of Tatuid, and Captain Patcher of the Dragonfly Squadron, Orville and Sophia must travel to the terrifying apocalyptic planet of Varmoran to discover the incredible truth that lies within the mysterious blue marble.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows

When Orville Mouse rescues an errant windblown hat on his way to work, he soon discovers the hat’s shadow is not behaving as it should be. While attempting to discover the cause of this curious phenomenon, Orville and his best friend Sophia Mouse uncover a terrifying secret, soon finding themselves in a desperate race to prevent the imminent destruction of uncountable parallel worlds.

With help from their old friend Proto the Rabbiton, mysterious Madam Molly, a wistful robotic curator named Copo, a pair of gigantic vacationing insects, a ghostly engineer, the vaporous Others, and the simmering Forest of Thorns, the two stalwart adventurers must retrace the journey of a centuries old explorer named Haukesworth Mouse to the lost world of Tectar and a terrifying confrontation with Mendacium the Dark Wizard in the dank and dismal dungeons of infamous Castle Caligari.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium

(Expected Release October  2017)

Wait, they still play that thing??

I am constantly surprised by the things I don’t know. There are so many of them, the list is endless, infinite, and really, really long. Like the Janko keyboard I used for the cover of Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium. When I searched online for a weird piano keyboard that matched the one I was seeing on the Metaphonium, I found the Janko piano made in 1882. Awesome. What I still didn’t know is the Janko keyboard is still being produced and played. So cool. I reached into the world of the unknown and pulled out a cool piano. Nice. Enjoy this video!

Where did that Metaphonium come from??

I just finished the storyline (7k words of plot) for the next Orville Mouse book, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Last Metaphonium. So I sat down and designed the cover. I’m retired, but I was a graphic designer and artist for over 35 years.  I wanted the Metaphonium to be on the cover, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like (I describe it at the end of Capricious Shadows) but how to create one?  I wanted it to have a half dozen rows of keys, but not normal piano keys, they had to be oddly shaped. I went on line and found a very strange piano made in the 1880s called the Janko keyboard. EXACTLY what I was looking for!! Have to wonder about that…  but I digress. After I found the Janko keyboard I did a search for brass dials, old wooden doors, glass tubing, and a bunch of other little design elements. Two days later I had the final cover.

meOrville Mouse METAPHONIUM cover lo

Space, the final illusion.

I’ve often said the things we take for granted prove to be the most interesting. The idea that a bird gets smaller and smaller as it flies away from us, eventually just blinking into nothingness. Curious illusion.  Let’s think about dreams. We’ve all had them, we all know what they are. In my dream I’m running through a meadow filled with glorious wildflowers on a sparkling summer day. Lovely. I turn around to check on the huffing grizzly bear who’s pounding after me. Okay, too stressful, let’s ditch the grizzly bear, there’s just a beautiful broad meadow, wildflowers, and snow capped mountain peaks in the distance. Done and done. Then I wake up and think, “Oh, pish posh, that wasn’t even real, it was all in my head.” Then I think, “Wait a minute, how could a huge sunny meadow and a mountain range fit inside my head?” Silly, right? But how does that work, exactly? In the dream I am experiencing a lovely meadow and a vast mountain range. It’s there, I see it, I feel it, but when I wake up I realize the three dimensional space I was experiencing did not really exist, it was all thought, only an illusion. Then I step outside my front door in Anchorage Alaska and gaze up at the beautiful snow capped Chugach mountains. They seem so real. So very real.

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows getting marvelous reviews!

I’m proud to announce that Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows has gotten five reviews on Readers’ Favorite and all five reviews received 5 stars! Way to go Orville and Sophia!! Here are quotes taken from the five reviews:

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite * 5 stars
“Hoffman deftly merges epic fantasy, science fiction and metaphysics in this disarming, imaginative and wonder-filled story which is Hoffman’s best work yet. Following the clues of a hat and a dream, Orville, Sophie and Proto, their Rabbiton friend, set off on a most worthy and unforgettable quest. My only regret was that the story ended, as all stories do, but I remain confident that there will be future metaphysical adventures to look forward to — and I think both Orville and Sophia would approve of that optimistic outlook. Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows: Orville Wellington Mouse Book 3 is most highly recommended.”

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt * 5 stars (Author of Guanjo, When Dolls Talk, Orange Cappuccino, Hermit)
“Tom Hoffman has spent three glorious volumes creating and expositing the fictional universe inhabited by Orville and his friends. In Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows – the best of the series so far – we are treated to a most wonderful, humor-filled delight of brave-hearted but vulnerable souls tackling issues much larger than themselves. Incorporating magic that is only science that is truly magic, they represent a level of metaphysical wisdom misleadingly made subtle by a smart and creative author. One forgets that he is an adult reading a young person’s book, and you might be inclined to blame it on a stray mote when a tear or two makes an unwarranted appearance. Or maybe Orville or Sophia shaped it there to teach us a necessary lesson. Or maybe, just maybe, Tom Hoffman is showing us all the truth disguised as inordinate, adventurous, heart-warming fun.”

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite * 5 stars
“This novel surprised me in every single imaginable way. I loved the fantastic elements, the thrill, the mystery and the amazing characters. I loved the humor and intelligence of Orville Mouse and his interactions with his friends. I loved the fact that Orville was a charmer and unafraid. I simply love this novel just because it is absolutely fabulous. It deserves five stars and so much more!”

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite * 5 stars
“Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows is masterfully crafted with clean and exciting prose and a plot that will have the reader on tenterhooks until the very last word of this awesome narrative. Great dialogues, exploding scenes, and memorable characters are all bundled up neatly in this epic fantasy.”

Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen for Readers’ Favorite * 5 stars
“I really enjoyed reading Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows by Tom Hoffman. The book is full of suspense and action. I was hooked by the first page, and I did not want to put the book down. The book is very well written and descriptive. It has also taught me what the word ‘capricious’ means! The characters are all very likeable, because they are all brave and smart. This is a real page-turner, and will leave the reader wanting to know more. The book is fast paced, and the story is super exciting, and has many funny parts. I liked that the majority of characters are animals. The book also has many scary parts, like when the characters are attacked by a giant crab. I would recommend Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows by Tom Hoffman to all readers.”

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows now available on Amazon!

I’m pleased to announce that Book 3 of the Orville Wellington Mouse series, Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions. I do believe this is the best Orville book yet! It’s so much fun to watch the relationship grow between Orville and Sophia and their dear friend Proto. Proto’s sense of humor seems to be taking a bit of an odd turn. Ha!

http://www.amazon.com/Orville-Puzzle-Capricious-Shadows-Wellington-ebook/dp/B06XZYWKR5

http://www.amazon.com/Orville-Puzzle-Capricious-Shadows-Wellington/dp/0997195274

Reviews so far have been stellar — all five stars. Before I publish a book I send it to Readers’ Favorite for five reviews. Below are the first three. The other two should be done this week.

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars
“This novel surprised me in every single imaginable way. I loved the fantastic elements, the thrill, the mystery and the amazing characters. I loved the humor and intelligence of Orville Mouse and his interactions with his friends. I loved the fact that Orville was a charmer and unafraid. I simply love this novel just because it is absolutely fabulous. It deserves five stars and so much more!”

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars
“Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows is masterfully crafted with clean and exciting prose and a plot that will have the reader on tenterhooks until the very last word of this awesome narrative. Great dialogues, exploding scenes, and memorable characters are all bundled up neatly in this epic fantasy.”

Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen for Readers’ Favorite • 5 stars
“I really enjoyed reading Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows by Tom Hoffman. The book is full of suspense and action. I was hooked by the first page, and I did not want to put the book down. The book is very well written and descriptive. It has also taught me what the word ‘capricious’ means! The characters are all very likeable, because they are all brave and smart. This is a real page-turner, and will leave the reader wanting to know more. The book is fast paced, and the story is super exciting, and has many funny parts. I liked that the majority of characters are animals. The book also has many scary parts, like when the characters are attacked by a giant crab. I would recommend Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows by Tom Hoffman to all readers.”

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Memoirs of a Card Throwing Ninja

Not what you think. Tricked you again. This is a confession. At 66 years old I decided to learn how to throw playing cards like a ninja. You just never know when an assassin will crash through the window while you’re playing a game of Old Maid. I went on YouTube and learned all about throwing cards, then began my training as a card throwing ninja. Practice, then more practice. Then more practice. Finally I could throw a playing card about 120 feet. Not that I carefully measured it or anything nerdy like that. Next step, throw the card and stick it into a sheet of styrofoam. Very hard to do, I could only stick about half my cards in. I know, if I throw even harder it will work better. That’s when my arm and shoulder began to hurt. Badly. Did I stop? No, pain is only an illusion to a ninja. Well… up to a point. Finally I had to stop because it hurt so much. Owie. Couldn’t do much with my left arm so I decided to let it heal on its own. It got somewhat better after four months but still hurt a lot. Finally my non-ninja wife said, “You need to go see a physical therapist.” Sigh.

My first day of physical therapy was fine. The second day she began twisting and bending my arm in all manner of impossible directions, stopping just before my eyes popped out of my head. “PT also stands for Pain and Torture.”  Ha ha. PT humor. Then came the exercises. “This is supposed to hurt a lot, right?” “Pain and Torture, remember?”  Then big bags of ice on my shoulder (cold shoulder, get it?) and electricity (think Young Frankenstein “It’s alive!!”) Two weeks went by and my arm was getting stronger, the pain lessening. Say, she might be on to something here. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel I doubled down on the exercises. My arm kept getting better, it was almost normal again. That’s where I am today, and my therapist said in another few weeks I’d be back to my former card throwing ninja self. Sweet. What did I learn? Something I already knew, but needed to be reminded of. Below is a quote from a previous blog posting titled “My Steamy Blog”. You’d be amazed how many hits that title gets. It sums it up quite nicely.

“The world is the perfect mouse trap. Here we are. There’s a big wide road ahead of us filled with obstacles, the sign reading, “Highway to Happiness”. People peer down the road, see the big scary jagged obstacles and say, “Waiter, more pie please.” After nine pieces of key lime pie, “Unnggh. That didn’t really help.” Every attempt we make to avoid going down that road has perfectly disastrous results, and that is the perfection of this world.”

You’ll never see the card coming. I am a shadow, I am the wind, I am the card throwing ninja.