Revised readings of the first two chapters. Please ignore music credits at the end. The intro music has been removed.
Videos: Introducing The Guild of Ornamental Hermits Fantasy Series. And Why Do I love Ornamental Hermits? I am always adding to my Guild of Ornamental Hermits YouTube channel. Please “like and subscribe” now. Thank you!
The Guild of Ornamental Hermits fantasy novels are “tales of mid-life magic” and queer, paranormal romance. Most of the main human characters are ages 45 or over and the onset of their magical transformation mingles with menopause and mid-life crises. Almost all of the characters are queer and/or gender diverse, including the Elves (see 29 Elf Genders).
But the hottest romance in the books? That’s between Babe Bump and Oyster Olson (and Tomma makes three…). Or is it four, if you count Parsifal? Or five if you count Maud ‘O Bedlam…
The First Two books in the series
The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits and The Witching Work of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits take place in the Hermitville Arts and Farm Collective, an intentional community located in the volcanic Puna District of Hawai’i Island. Up til now, it’s been an idyllic life for the arty misfits (the “Hermits”) who live and love on twenty acres of lush jungle and fertile agricultural land.
Want to know more? Watch this Life In Hermitville video.
But when Hermitville’s founder, winery heiress Ginger Croom, dies, Hermitville and its residents are threatened by unsavory real estate developers who want to turn it into a posh eco-resort, as well as an assortment of supernatural baddies and questionable associations, including blandly corporate Elsewherians, bellicose Wethrini, a giant inter-dimensional salamander, and the “cosmic soccer-mom goddess” known as Mal-i-bu Bar-bee. The last thing Hawai’i Island needs are even more invasive species!
Only the newly arrived Elves of the Realm, of the ancient Guild of Ornamental Hermits, will stand with the human Hermits and teach them to wield magic to thwart this onslaught of really bad stuff which actually threatens the geologic and spiritual well-being of the island. And Hawai’i’s own deities and spirit powers? They’re decidedly pissed about the hewa (trouble) brewing on Ginger’s property.
Meanwhile romance blossoms as Babe Bump (burlesque artiste and intersex activist, she/her) and Oyster Olson (a shy, asexual, blues-playing trans man, he/him) are thrown together to solve the mystery of The Book of Moons, which Ginger handed to Oyster shortly before her death. Along with their best friend and sassy sidekick, Tomma Bedlam (dancer and performance artist, ze, zir), blossoming romance almost makes three… until the Elves arrive to complicate matters. What happens next is “complicated” even for Hermitville.
These first two books clash cultures and dimensions in a lush jungle landscape set in a “not too distant future” when the Hawaiian Kingdom has reclaimed its sovereignty and is re-establishing its government. “Transplanted” island residents must either choose to remain as kingdom subjects or return to their former lives in the U.S. or elsewhere. At their heart, these books are not only about romance and magic, they are also metaphors for the devastating impacts of spiritual colonization.
The Third & Fourth Books in the Series
The third book, The Queerest Quest of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, is also with the publisher, FuturesPastEditions.com. The Hermits have been forced to flee Hawai’i and take refuge in Lake County, CA. A “handsome drifter” known as Lucky LaFey appears on the front porch of the late Ginger Croom’s lake house, and the Hermits are soon embroiled in his quest to bring down yet another supernatural bad guy (another Wethrini), masquerading as a local cult leader.
The fourth book, The Perilous Past of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, is set in a new Hermitville just outside of Eugene, Oregon. This book weaves together the origin story of the original Guild as a response to 16th and 17th century witch persecutions in England; the backstory of the romance between Professor Almond and Ginger Croom; and the trials and tribulations of our Hermits and Elves as they struggle with sponteneous “time snatches,” unwanted rock and roll fame, federal agents in search of the dreaded Wethrini mind-control device known as the Guru Gizmo™, and much more.
The Perilous Past is 2/3 through its first draft.
Please check out blog posts for more information on the characters, plotting, and other backstory writing details! Learn more about the characters, politics, and magical elements of this book. There are also more chapter excerpts in some of the blog posts.