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The Garden in Bloom

By Jeffrey Turner. Cover by Tad Wood.
Saddle (staple)-bound Trade Paperback - 72 pages

$5.00 + Shipping

Also available in e-book format:

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Three generations fighting the same evil

Firgas, the guardian who confronts the gods and is given a weapon to fight the ferocious Wirdigals who are destroying the garden just as the babies are about to bloom.

Thorl, the all-too-slow child of Firgas who is given Thorl's parent's job as guardian mostly because nothing has attacked the garden in years. Thorl is almost killed fighting the beasts who everyone thought had been destroyed, and becomes an unlikely hero.

Runt, bloomed underdeveloped and barely alive, but nurtured by Thorl, and grown to be intelligent and curious. When the garden is in trouble, Runt uses the knowledge it has to follow in Firgas's footsteps and confront the gods once again. Can Runt change the gods’ minds concerning the Vegepods? Or is their race doomed to extinction?

Selina's introduction to
The Garden In Bloom

I bought a story for the upcoming anthology More Stories That Won't Make Your Parents Hurl from Jeff without putting his name with the face of a man I had met at a Conestoga convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few months earlier. I'm telling you this just in case you think it might be possible that it actually pays to know me when you send me something to read. When I'm reading for something for the company I tend to put on blinders and forget old friendships.

When I've been reading for awhile I reach a saturation point where I never want to read anything again. I just hope that nothing's going to come in the mail that day because I'm in a bad mood, and nothing looks good to me anymore.

In other words I have too many things on my plate, and so I become a real hard sell. I don't want to read anything else; I sure as hell don't want to publish anything else. I want to get back to my writing, and the holy hell with everyone else's careers.

I had reached this point — there were more than a hundred submissions for the second Hurl book, and going through them had allowed a mountain of chap book proposals to stack up which I had just barely waded through — when I met Jeff again at a small Texas con called Con-DFW. It was here during a panel that Jeff told the audience when giving a list of his credits that he had just sold a story to me, at which point I had to ask, "Which one?" Later that day we gathered our fencing gear together, walked out on the hotel grounds and fenced till we were both ready to pass out. We engaged in conversation as we tried to catch our breath, and discovered that we both had a fondness for bats and organic yard pest control.

Since we had bonded I felt I had to go to his reading to show my support. I try to go to the readings of all of our writers as well as my friends, but the truth is that I find them torturous. Many people can't read, or they pick something that — while brilliant as the written word — doesn't read well aloud. I'm also the world’s worst fidget, and I find it very hard to sit still and be quiet for that long.

I came in about the middle of the first story Jeff was reading, and was delighted to find that he was actually rather good at public reading. Then he started reading his second story, "The Garden In Bloom," and I was mesmerized. The story was good, damn good, and I found myself thinking about it throughout the rest of the con and on the drive home. I found that I wanted to know more about those characters and their world. So, beating sanity away with a big stick, and ignoring the call from manuscripts still unread, I wrote Jeff with a proposal. The end result of our discussions is this book, which I'm sure you will enjoy at least as much as I did.

Jeff is a true storyteller, and he'll be a big shot in this business if the big boys ever start to nurture real talent.

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