Thank You!!!

IMG_0907My sincere thanks to everyone who helped make the Shattered Abacus two day promotion so successful! Readers downloaded a grand total of 4,272 copies!! These books are a joy to write, and my attempt to create a world of friendship, empathy, adventure, and love (and a little quantum physics) for young at heart readers. Thank you!

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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