Rugby Daze

I have a life other than authoring natural disaster thrillers like The Great Seattle Earthquake. While watching the royalties and reviews of the new book come in, I have kept tabs on the Rugby World Cup, which is currently playing out in Yokohama, Japan. Once upon a time, I was a rugby player, not a watcher. For eight years, encompassing sixteen seasons, I played the wing and lock positions for Cornell Med in New York City. I was about the scrawniest member ever of a sport well known for brawn, brawling, and beef.

But no one could call me faint-hearted. In one game, I fielded an up-and-under kick, where the ball arched high and I jumped high to catch it only to be slammed down by a chest-high tackle that rattled my head on the ground and knocked me out cold for a few minutes. That happened in the first half, but I was back in the game for the second half, dishing it out as well as I had taken it. There were no cell phones back then, so no footage survives.

However, in another game several years later, I got involved in a head-on collision in a loose ruck. Going in for the ball, I met an opponent doing the same, and a clash of skulls ensued. That’s me at half-time, with a stream of blood splattering down my face from an eyebrow laceration that made me literally see red. It required five stitches later, and left a split-eyebrow scar that I’m still proud of. But at least I finished the game. Not so, the other guy.

Here’s a shot of him leaving the pitch (field) a little early. Well, you can’t see him because he’s already laid out in the back of the ambulance. Too bad he had to go, because we had a great party after, which is a Rugby tradition centered around a keg of beer and many a ribald song and raunchy poem. I ought to know, I often recited Rugby Dick to help Cornell–also known as Big Red–to win the party after if not the game.

If you’d like to learn more about this rough and tumble sport, check out the World Cup at this LINK. It starts with a performance by the New Zealand All Blacks of their legendary challenge to opponents, an authentic Maori Haka chant. Fun stuff.

Bet you didn’t know I was such a brawler in younger years. I’ve set aside the cleats, cup, and jersey, given my advancing age, but those were eight great years of unforgettable, hard charging, high impact, hyper-masculine stuff. Ernest Hemingway, you weren’t so badass.

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Da bookThe day foretold has finally arrived. The Great Seattle Earthquake has come–to my doorstep, delivered by overnight express. And it’s a fine and handsome book, the culmination of three years of painstaking research into subjects as diverse as geophysics, government disaster preparedness, and even local Native American legends.

The story line of this thriller follows the fates of a small collection of characters whose experiences are portrayed in great detail, while society as a whole is shaken out of its earthquake complacency by devastating events on a grand scale.

To the best of my ability as an author, I have striven to both entertain–scare, that is–and educate. Did you know a huge earthquake fault runs directly under the City of Seattle? Did you know it snapped around 1100 years ago, raising portions of the sea bottom and sinking a village of the Duwamish Tribe under tsunami sand? Do you know what Mariners stadium evacuation plans call for in case of a quake? Well, I do, and I wrote tons of factual information in and between scenes describing the characters’ desperate struggles to survive.

Curious? Follow this LINK to a page that lists every available version, from Kindle to Nook to iBook to paperback.

I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

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Shaken before I stirred

Three Lakes shakerThe other night I was nearly tossed out of bed by an earthquake. That would be the Three Lakes Earthquake, epicentered just north of Seattle, July 12, 2019, 2:51 a.m. At magnitude 4.6, it wasn’t one for the record books, but it shook me pretty good. It was kind of a sideways heaving roller that really did almost throw me off my mattress. It didn’t last long, but in the darkness, listening to the metal gutters and downspouts rattling against the side of my house, my heart rate went up quite a few notches.

I got up and went for my computer, coffee cup in hand. Sure enough, the USGS already had the quake pinpointed and mapped on its Pacific Northwest Seismic Network website.

All this shaking and rattling serves as great last-minute inspiration for me to complete my latest writing project. That would be my new novel, The Great Seattle Earthquake, now scheduled for release on July 31. Mark your calendar!

Seattle FaultAnd while the other night’s temblor caused some excitement, it pales in comparison to the magnitude 7.8 terror I dreamed up for my story. Keep an eye out for future announcements and the book release, coming soon!

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The Great Seattle Earthquake is on its way

Scary headline, huh?

But The Great Seattle Earthquake is on its way for sure. You see, it’s my latest novel and I’m in the middle of the 4th draft. At some point soon, I’m gonna call a halt to all the revisions and just publish the dang book!

Wow! This book is both the scariest story I’ve ever tackled, and the most difficult to write. I’ve been at it for more than two years. Things have gone on for so long that my Art Department has outstripped my Editorial Staff. I gotta say, I like their artwork. Click on the cover image to magnify it. See how that jagged white line cuts right through Seattle? That’s the Seattle Fault. Formerly poorly understood, it has recently gotten some attention from geologists and city planners—and they’re getting nervous.

Not only does the Seattle Fault represent a pretty substantial threat to all of us who live on and around it, but it is responsible for a second, possibly nastier problem. It has put a huge wrinkle in Puget Sound Country to produce a thirty-mile-wide sediment-filled hole called the Seattle Basin that underlies Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell, and surrounding areas from the Cascade Foothills to Hood Canal. These softer sediments can shake like a bowl of Jello in an earthquake.

That bodes poorly for high-rise buildings in the area, as explained in this Seattle Times article by investigative reporter Sandi Doughton. Ms. Doughton, who is a major information source for me in earthquake-related matters, states that although city and state officials are studying the new threat and beginning to tighten regulations on skyscraper construction, many tall buildings on our skylines are of uncertain strength when it comes to the sort of shaking that might occur within the Seattle Basin.

So, how does all this fit into The Great Seattle Earthquake? Very nicely, thank you. You see, my mission in writing the novel is both to provide scary entertainment, and to inform readers about the very real dangers that will confront us all, when and if that day comes.

I expect The Great Seattle Earthquake to be released in early 2019. Let’s hope the Seattle Fault doesn’t release its pent-up power anytime soon.

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The Fireboat Leschi

The LeschiSometimes being a writer of thriller novels causes you to go places and do things you might otherwise never think of. Like the other day when background research for my novel about an earthquake and tsunami in Seattle led me to venture aboard the fireboat Leschi. This powerful and ultramodern ship is the pride of Seattle Fire Department’s fireboat fleet and a force to be reckoned with when fire or other mishap strikes on the waterfront.

Pump engineThe overall impression when you step aboard the Leschi is ‘Man! She’s big!’ At 108 feet long and bristling with water cannon called ‘monitors’ (as in Monitor and Merrimack, maybe?) this vessel was built to eliminate fire quickly and decisively. Below decks, her engine room is filled with four giant engines that you have to see to believe. Hopefully the image at left will help. That’s one of the water-pump engines. To give you a sense of its scale, a six-foot man could stand on the corrugated walkway beside the row of cylinders running down its length, and not see over the top (I know because I’ve been there, tried that). How else can I describe its eminent mass? Bigger than a rhinoceros, smaller than an elephant. Does that help? How about just plain huge? Furthermore, there are four of these things in the engine room, all shiny red and gleaming—and gigantic. Two of them are there to turn the ship’s twin propellers, while two of them draw fire-dowsing seawater through openings under the hull and propel it into the red manifold pipes you see above the engine, which in turn take it to the deck ‘guns,’ which send it arching to the fire.

And who commands all this power? The Leschi responds to emergencies with a fire response team of four people: a pilot to get the boat where she needs to go, an engineer to target the deck guns and manage the ship’s crane and ladder, a deck hand to manage a thousand-and-one other critical tasks, and a captain, who manages communications and makes key decisions when things get hot.

LT Kerns and the LeschiIt was this latter person who showed me around his amazing craft. Lieutenant Robert Kerns is shown here on deck in front of the Leschi’s wheelhouse, from which he and his team command the Leschi’s dramatic, sometimes life-and-death missions. But on this fine Seattle day with no emergency to respond to, he had the time to show an astonished citizen like me around his boat, earning my deep gratitude for his time, and my admiration for what he and his team can do when an emergency beckons.

So, thank you LT Kerns. Be assured that the Leschi and her brave crew will figure prominently in my upcoming novel. And hopefully I’ll get the details right now that you have taken the time to explain them to me!

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A Ride In My Uncle’s Warplane!

Avenger turret gunNot long ago, I got the ride of my life when I climbed aboard the very aircraft that my Uncle Herbert Hopp flew to glory in the South Pacific during World War II — the Grumman Avenger Torpedo Bomber! Not only that, but I got to sit in his very seat in the rear-facing gun turret, seen here with its deadly 50-caliber machine gun seemingly poised to engage any pesky Japanese Zeros that might fly too near (one was overhead at the time).

When I went to Paine Airfield to attend “Pacific Theater Day,” an exhibition of warbirds that had flown in the island-hopping campaigns that destroyed the Japanese Imperial Fleet’s stranglehold on the South Pacific, I expected to get my first glimpse of the famous Grumman Avenger in the flesh — well, okay, metal. But I didn’t expect to find a ticket booth offering rides for a fee. I balked at the steep price for about a half a heartbeat — and my pulse was racing. I hadn’t guessed that I would not only see, but fly in the aircraft that’s central to my novel about Uncle Herb’s exploits, heroism, and tragic crash-landing on a jungle island. I slapped my credit card down and soon was bound for the wild blue yonder.

Taxiing AvengerPilot Micheal Kopp of the Historic Flight Foundation, seen here taxiing for a takeoff with another lucky stiff aboard, has painstakingly restored his aircraft to its original 1945 condition, right down to a five-hundred-pound bomb slung under the wing (the very bomb Herb’s Pilot won the Navy Air Cross for dropping onto the bows of a Japanese destroyer, putting it permanently out of the war). Kopp gives people rides of about 1/2 hour’s duration, which in the event seemed like a blissful eternity to me. He suggested the turret might be little cramped for my long legs and suggested I take a seat in the radioman’s position (as the passenger in the picture is doing). I told him comfort was not a factor. I’d be delighted to shoehorn myself in with my knees up under my chin, just for the experience of being in Herb’s place.

Turret gunner's viewI wasn’t disappointed. Tight though the fit was (Jeez! Imagine bullets flying past you every which way! Talk about claustrophobic!), I had the ride of my life when the huge engine roared and we raced down the runway and lifted off. We circled Paine Field, then flew south along the Puget Sound shoreline until we reached Seattle. There, we flew over the Space Needle as if it were a target and then made our way back to the airfield by way of Lake Washington and Sand Point, where Herb had taken his gunnery training.

The photo above is a frame of a cell-phone video I shot along the way. Note the cross-shaped tail in the center and the ominous 50-cal barrel to my left. I had my hand on the joystick that turns the turret and my finger on the trigger, but gosh! They hadn’t loaded any ammo!

GobsmackedThe photo to the right is a bonus shot I got when my cell phone accidentally grabbed a selfie. That expression you see is a man who is gobsmacked, slack-jawed, astonished, and ready to die and go to heaven. And quite a few airmen did just that in this war machine, though their cause was fulfilled through skill, daring, and a bit of luck.

Inevitably, all good things must come to an end. We touched down minutes later and I returned to my mundane existence as a writer of action-adventure stories. But from this day forward, I’ll bet my descriptions of the roar and excitement of military aviation will go up a couple of notches.

Thanks Mike! Thanks Historic Flight Foundation! And thanks Uncle Herb!

What a day!

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Jurassic World vs Dinosaur Wars

Ever get the feeling someone was looking over your shoulder while you were reading a book?

Well, these days I’m getting that feeling as I WRITE my books. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the people writing the scripts for the Jurassic Park movie series have been keeping an eye on my Dinosaur Wars stories for some time now. That would explain how they keep using scenes I published years earlier in one or another of my books.

Want proof, so you can get into my not-so-paranoid view of things? Have a look at the image above, an out-take from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, now playing at a theater near you. Wait a minute! That’s an exact copy of a scene I published six years ago in Dinosaur Wars: Blood on the Moon, the third novel in my Dinosaur Wars trilogy. Imagine my surprise when I went to a theater and saw something I came up with years ago appearing on the silver screen!

For comparison, here is the scene as it appeared in my novel:

They watched two wet-suited young men ride on the face of a huge North Pacific swell as it rose in the shallows between two sea stacks. “They’ve gotta be crazy to surf in that cold water,” Hebert said.

“They’ve gotta be crazy to surf in the middle of dinosaur territory,” Suarez corrected. Just then, one of the surfers hooked his board hard in an effort to miss an obstacle hidden beneath the surface while the other raced on. Before the first could complete his kick-out, the water near him frothed up and the snout of a big sea creature emerged. The man dove to one side as the beast’s head rose from the water. It was covered with dark green reptilian scales and possessed long jaws lined with savage-looking crocodile teeth.

“Hoo-wee!” Hebert exclaimed. The surfer vanished beneath the water and the tylosaur bit the surfboard at its center, snapping it in two. The monstrous, snakelike creature swirled around in the water and came back to seize, not the surfer, who remained underwater, but the front half of the board. It gulped the mouthful down in a single swallow and then slid smoothly beneath the blue-green surface of the ocean.

A moment later, the surfer came to the surface and swam toward shore at what looked like an Olympic-record pace. And wisely so. The huge sea reptile rose again, riding up and over a swell. It did not, however, go after the unlucky surfer. Instead, it made several convulsive retching motions and coughed up the half surfboard. Meanwhile, the surfer caught a wave and body surfed to shore where his partner awaited him with his board tucked under an arm.

The drama wasn’t over yet, however. As the unlucky surfer stood up and splashed toward the beach, struggling against the undertow, his buddy shouted and pointed beyond him. The man turned in time to see the tylosaur also surfing a big wave to shore. Its jaws were wide open and its thrashing, snake-like body propelled it straight at him!

The man splashed up-beach in the wave wash but went down in the shallows. Then he stood and high-stepped in the shallows like a football player avoiding a tackler, angling slightly to avoid the onrushing jaws, which snapped shut just behind his buttocks.

“Nice moves!” cried Suarez.

“Gah!” Tlatalko agreed.

When the tylosaur plowed into the sand and came to a halt, both surfers retreated up the beach, no doubt thanking their lucky stars to be alive.

“Now it’s stranded,” said Hebert, watching the tylosaur thrash in the shallow water.

“I don’t know,” Suarez replied as the animal carved its long serpentine tail across the face of an incoming wave and deftly leveraged itself off the sand and back toward the sea. “That thing’s got some good moves of its own!” One more tail slash and the immense reptile vanished into the surf as swiftly as it had appeared.

“Wow!” Hebert exclaimed as the two surfers made for the safety of the driftwood and dunes above the wave-wash. “I guess surfers have a whole new animal to worry about besides great white sharks.”

“Yeah,” Suarez agreed. “And I’d say great white sharks have a whole new animal to worry about too—great green lizards!”


Now, as Oscar Wilde once said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I’m starting to get annoyed by the frequency with which Steven Spielberg and his team tap my ideas without so much as a byline in the credits at the end of the movie. Not only have they grabbed my Mosasaur vs surfer scene, but there are more instances, and I get the feeling the rate of tapping my ideas is escalating.

Nice girl, Blue!In the previous Jurassic World movie, back in 2015, they did their first grab of Dinosaur Wars by introducing their Mosasaur. Also in that movie, they introduced Chris Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, who is a dinosaur trainer. Well, excuse me, but you should read my Tyrannosaur-training scene right up front at the beginning of Dinosaur Wars: Blood on the Moon (2012), if you want some real heart-pounding, life-or-death dino-training drama. Here it is. Try it on for size, Steven:

The tyrannosaurus was a big one. It stalked across the brushy grassland of the Montana high plains smoothly on two towering legs that somehow moved gracefully despite their tree-like size. The huge carnivore placed one three-clawed foot on the ground almost gently, followed slowly by the other foot in a stealthy fluid motion. The immense tawny-furred animal blended into the tan colors of the grasslands so well as to be almost unnoticeable despite its size. Keeping its head low and its long tail stretched out behind, it was stalking something it smelled on the warm morning air currents. The brown and tan zebra-striped mane along the crest of its neck stood tall with anticipation of a kill. Its nose came up slightly each time it sniffed the light breeze. Then it would adjust its course a little to follow the scent it was homing in on.

That scent was far too faint for a human nose to detect but was easily traced by the powerful sensory system within the rex’s snout, one that rivaled or surpassed that of a wolf’s nose. After a few more paces into the wind the rex sniffed again, adjusted its direction once more—and caught sight of its quarry. Now the big beast accelerated its pace, tracking visually but still moving fluidly and silently on its well-padded feet. It obviously hoped to reach its prey without causing it to flee.

That prey, Chase Armstrong, adjusted the bill of his green National Park Service ball cap to keep the sun out of his eyes. “He’s seen us,” he murmured with just the hint of an edge on his voice. “Here he comes!”

“Oh my God,” Kit Daniels whispered from just behind Chase’s shoulder. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“I guess we’ll see.” Chase rose from his exposed driver’s seat to face the oncoming rex. “Hey you!” he shouted at it. “Want some of this?” He waved his arms to be certain the rex was fixated on him. It was.

As the rex accelerated to a full charge with its feet thundering on the ground, Chase turned around, bent over, and slapped a butt cheek provocatively. “Nice and meaty!” he shouted. “Come and get it!”

“Chase!” Kit cried, watching the rex loom larger with each stride. “I don’t think you should be doing that!” She peered around Chase from where she sat behind him in the second seat of the Kra walking machine. She had planned to stand up with Chase when this moment came, but something about a tyrannosaurus charging in her direction made her too shaky to rise without her knees buckling. After all, it had been she, not Chase, who had escaped the jaws of one of these huge carnivores twice in a single day. And those memories were recent enough that their terror hadn’t faded.

When the rex was within twenty paces, it let out a piercing shriek like the battle cry of a titanic eagle.

“Enough is enough, Chase!” Kit cried. “I’ve been here, done this!”

“He’s gotta get closer.” Chase’s voice remained calm somehow, though Kit’s heart was racing crazily. Maybe Chase’s years as a park ranger dealing with angry grizzly bears had prepared him for this challenge. “Gar says we need to give him a good look at us and make sure he knows it’s humans he’s trying to eat.”

“It’ll be humans he does eat if you don’t do something, quick!”

“Just let him get a bit closer.”


And you might have noticed another story element that Jurassic World lifted from me. In contrast to the older, dry and loveless Jurassic Park movies, Jurassic World introduces a budding romance between two characters, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. Yeah. Uh-huh. That would be like harkening back to my original Dinosaur Wars story from 2000. In Earthfall, I immediately introduced both Chase Armstrong and Kit Daniels right up front as the lead characters, who very quickly became romantically involved. A little slow on that one, Jurassic World, but okay, you’re catching on.

And finally, there’s that bit toward the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, showing dinosaurs escaping Isla Nublar and invading the mainland. Jeez, JP. What took you so long? As I sat in the theater watching Jeff Goldblum speak Ian Malcolm’s last line, “Welcome to Jurassic World,” I felt a strong sense of irony and just a little irritation. My whole concept for my Dinosaur Wars series has been “Dinosaurs in your backyard!” And now we see the velociraptor, Blue, overlooking the glittering lights of Los Angeles.

So, I guess Mr. Spielberg and his buddies are making me a promise. After twenty-five years of dallying around on a tropical island, they are finally going to come ashore and take over the space my dinosaurs have been occupying since 2000. The least they could do is recognize the source of their idea. Or better yet, engage my services to help them do a really good job of it!

Hey, Steven Spielberg! Why don’t you just go ahead and hire me as one of your writers? That way you won’t have to bring up the rear anymore. You won’t have to eat my tyrannosaur dust. You can stay up to date with my latest ideas. I wouldn’t mind. Especially at YOUR pay scale!

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A feast for mystery writers

On Saturday, June 30th, mystery writers in the Pacific Northwest are in for a treat when the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America presents: MYSTERY WRITING, THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT. Two top-caliber writers of novels and short stories will join us in Gig Harbor Washington to explain the ins and outs of the publishing business with emphasis on the art and craft of mystery storytelling.

Jeffrey Deaver’s mystery novels have been perennial bestsellers, and have propelled him to the number one position on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as others. He’ll discuss ways to improve your fiction writing and take it to a higher level, whether you are a seasoned pro already or a new writer aspiring to your first short-story sale to a mystery magazine. At this year’s Edgar Awards Ceremony in New York City, I had the pleasure of watching him M.C. the event in his role as President of Mystery Writers of America, which is quite a credential in itself. I can attest that he is a master of public speaking, as well as writing. Attendees of our seminar can expect both wit and wisdom to be amply in evidence when Jeff makes his afternoon presentation. I have read a number of his works, and I’m midway though his James Bond novel Carte Blanche. I am finding it to be a clinic on how to weave convoluted plots, dish up characters of great interest, and ratchet up the suspense at every turning of a page.

Eric Witchey is a renowned teacher of fiction writing who frequently lectures at writers conferences in the Pacific Northwest. Having attended several of his mesmerizing sessions on such matters as coming up with fresh plot ideas and the creation of characters who seem to leap off the page at you, I thought it was time we had him work his magic for us in our morning session at Gig Harbor.

So, why not consider joining us June 30th? Gig Harbor is a place of great natural beauty and worth a trip from places far and near. And the combination of two prominent and accomplished speakers and writers of fiction is a rare event.

And while my attendance is mandatory to fulfill my obligation as MWA Northwest Chapter President to introduce our speakers and M.C. the proceedings, you can be certain I will keep pen and paper close at hand. I’ll be taking notes to capture as much of this great store of wisdom as I possibly can.

See you there?

Here’s a link to a PAGE where you can get more information on the who, what, when, where, why, and the how-much of it. Or if you are already convinced, then click the following link to REGISTER today. Seats are going fast.

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Jupiter’s cool blue polar pools

The Juno space probe is looking over Jupiter’s shoulder these days. As we careworn mortals tread the surface of our small planet in day-to-day wanderings of scant consequence, above us in the infinite sky, one of our offspring loops around our solar system’s most majestic giant. And she sends home photos of unprecedented beauty. Click the image for a closeup of breathtaking proportions.

People have never seen Jupiter from this angle before. No one, and no thing, has ever flown quite this course over the cloud-swirling vistas of the King of Planets. No telescope ever saw and no space probe ever recorded such sights–until now.

Juno was sent to Jupiter to capture these images and vast streams of scientific data about the giant planet. And the little interplanetary robot is doing her job as tasked. But that’s not all she is capable of. The imaging systems of Juno were almost an afterthought for the scientists who conceived of her, designed her, built her, and launched her on her billion-mile journey.

But we who wait here on Earth for her deliveries of data packets, doppler shifts, and sensor echoes, know that she is capable of more. She is capable of art. She is capable of discovery. And she is capable of surprise.

Look at her images of the north polar pool of deep blue, cloud-crossed mystery. Is this icy water? No. Ice would become solid as rock and sink out of sight. This is a cool blue atmosphere, thousands of times thicker than the one over our heads. And hundreds of degrees colder.

Alien–but beautifully so. Who could ever have imagined such beauty lay, since before the time of the dinosaurs, waiting for us to reach out and snap some photos of it? Now that we have, the sights can never be forgotten. They will live as the legacy of human ingenuity and curiosity. They are with us now and will never be lost. They are what NASA and the space program are all about: bringing the beauty of the universe home for us to experience.

The images shown here are from NASA via Sean Doran, a computer artist. You can see more of his planetary work at:

And I have tweaked the images even a bit more for this post.

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Meet Mrs. T

Mrs TGood news for DINOSAUR WARS fans! I have just about finished writing the newest story in the series: KIT DANIELS — DINOSAUR GIRL. This is the latest adventure of Kit Daniels and Chase Armstrong in a world where dinosaurs live again. I’m just putting the finishing touches on it and expect it to be available within a few weeks.

To ease pain of the waiting, I thought I’d tell you a little about the story and introduce several of the key characters. Each one is prominently featured in the story.

First, there is Mrs. T, seen above with her horns silhouetted against Sandstone Mountain in Yellowstone Country, Montana. Chase Armstrong was the one who named her Mrs. T, though no one knows exactly why. Presumably the T stands for triceratops, of which Mrs. T is a fine specimen. She’s also the matriarchal leader of her herd, much the same way some big female elephants become the central figures in their extended families.

And like a matriarchal elephant, one would be well advised not to rile her up. She’s easily as big as a full-grown pachyderm, and is positively bristling with dangerous-looking horns and a beak that can snap a person in half. Take it from Kit Daniels, who learned the hard way that a Mamma triceratops does not like people messing around with one of her babies, even if the intentions are friendly.

TopsyKit’s mistake was to assume that Mrs. T would stand by idly while she took a short triceratops-back ride on little Topsy, the friendly triceratops yearling whom she had all but tamed. Topsy, being young and inquisitive, seemed at first to enjoy the idea of a human riding on his back. But in Dinosaur Country, things have a tendency to go wrong in a big way.

Before this story ends, Kit will have had the ride of her life and Mrs. T will have demonstrated the full fury of a seven-ton triceratops on a rampage. Hang onto your hats folks. This looks to be one scary thrill ride from the start to the finish!

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