Author Archives: S. Amaranthine

Indie Reader Review 4.7 (out of 5) for The Vencello by S. Amaranthine

Reviewer: Indie Reader 12/8/17
AUTHOR: S. Amaranthine
THE VENCELLO by S. Amaranthine is a marvelous book, evocative in style and subject matter of sci-fi greats like Margaret Atwood or Octavia Butler. The book tells three main stories, centered on a human cetacean researcher, an Orca matriarch, and a curious sperm whale. By the end, the stories all conjoin during a momentous event that both satisfies readers and leaves them with burning questions.
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Orcasekai is in the hands of editor Laura Geraci!

Hello readers of ‘ocean survival’ literary fiction! The third of the trilogy has been handed off to my editor, Laura Geraci. According to the Portland Book Review the editing for Cetapiens, for which she was the paid pro, was “Spectacular”. The book cover of Orcasekai by Liz Bemis is approved and will be revealed as soon as the editing is complete. Liz also did covers of The Vencello and Cetapiens. This third one has the same look and feel but with really cool elements that make it suitable for framing (IMHO) Other news, The Vencello and Cetapiens have been submitted to IndieReader for review. I’ll post those when I receive them (7-9 weeks). Save a place on your nightstand, great winter reading ahead!

Book Review: The Blackfish Prophecy by Rachel Clark

The Blackfish Prophecy by Rachel Clark is a perfect read. It has it all; cool characters, a huge heart, plenty of thought-provoking content, and most of all…ORCAS! This is a wonderful gift for all readers, but especially young adult. Many of The Blackfish Prophecy characters are model citizens of compassion, knowledge and sanity. This book easily earned its place as a permanent favorite in my personal library.
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#marchforscience #truestory A Bag in Time

It was a long drive to #marchforscience for Newton. He’s my border collie. I remembered to bring him, his leash, his food and his treats. I forgot to bring his comfy doggie bed. He’s a smart trooper so he managed. Two hours into the trip, we pull over at the first rest stop.
We re-use plastic grocery bags to scoop Newton poo and also for in-car litter control. My husband leashes up Newton and asks where the bags were. Oops. Forgot to bring those too. We had to improvise with paper towel.

I did remember to pack some healthy snacks for the trips, however. Back on the interstate, hours later, I decided it was time for that fresh, whole grapefruit I love so much. For those of you who don’t like it, you can’t appreciate the pile of mess after removing the rind and the bitter white membrane that remain. I usually go the extra step and remove the individual wedge membranes too. In other words, getting to the sweet fruit left a sizeable citrusy pile on my lap, with no bag to put it in.
Seated in the passenger seat, with husband driving along the highway at top legal speed, I was mentally berating myself. “What am I going to do with this MESS?” “Why did I forget those DANG bags?”

I wasn’t about to forfeit one of my favorite foods though. I was enjoying my second segment when I look out the windshield and there, fluttering across the median and into our path, blew a plastic garbage bag. It was looping and dropping chaotically. I watched as it bounced off our windshield and caught on my husband’s side rear-view mirror.
Now, it didn’t catch precariously. It was on solid, flapping away, seemingly rapping to be let in on his window.
Husband just looks over at me and chuckles a bit. I can’t remember our exact words, but it was like:

Me: “Get that! Get that!”
Bag: (flap, flap, flap, flap…)
Husband: “What?”
Bag: (flap, flap, flap, flap…)
Me: “Roll your window down and give me that!”
Bag: (flap, flap, flap, flap…)
Husband: “THAT?”
Bag: (flap, flap, flap, flap…)
Me: “Yes! HURRY!”
Bag: (flap, flap, flap, flap…)
Husband: (Taking his good-natured time rolls down the window, huge swoosh of air rushes in)
Husband: (Leisurely pulls the bag free of the mirror, with some effort, even ripping it a bit, and into the car) “Here.” He rolls the window back up, hands it to me and looks at it. It was ratty and now even torn a little. “You want that thing?”
BAG: (gently settles into my lap)
Me: “YES! I was just thinking that I really needed one of these!”
I GLEEFULLY scooped up the pile of grapefruit remains from my lap and put them into the bag.
Me: “Cool! I was just beating myself up over not bringing some!”

I finished the rest of the fruit, joyfully placing the membranes and pips into the bag, NOT on my jeans! It’s the little things.

Just curious #marchforscience math folks: What are the odds? (I’m thinking 1:1)
We had a great laugh in the car. I’ve shared this hand-on-my-heart #truestory as one of the highpoints of the whole trip and since it’s so funny and true, I decided it was worthy of a public share.
And Newton had a great time visiting with his doggie friends, Roxy and Maple. He always travels great.


Another trip to Washington DC – this Saturday (April 22nd) for March for Science and Earth Day!

Sir Isaac Noodles (aka Newton) will have to stay with a dog sitter while my sister, Wendy, and I board a charter bus heading for this important event. Wendy is a data base pro and I’m a science fiction author. She’s a stickler for clean data and I’m a person who loves to take what I’ve learned from the best of science and weave great storytelling from it. It’ll be an interesting day! Looking forward to excellent conversation on the bus, to and from…hob knobbing with kindred spirits in DC…and marching for science in (hopefully) great spring weather! I will be making this trip for orcas and their fellow cetaceans. The front image of my t-shirt will likely include a clip art image of J2/Granny and a link to Naturally, the cetacean sci-fi fantasy trilogy might bask in some of that exposure. The third volume “Orcasekai” to be published soon!

Invitation for contributors: If you are a cetacean scientist or represent a cetacean relevant organization and would like to post a science themed blurb on please submit it as a comment below. I will gladly volunteer a portion of my website to fellow orca and cetacean advocates!

The Vencello Zone

Writers ask one another: “How do you get motivated?”
I use music, a playlist for each novel. Songs facilitate imagery of certain scenes and they are put in a iTunes playlist called “One Song Loop”.
For Orcasekai I am listening to White Rabbit (I have modified the lyrics when I listen for inspiration: “One word makes a swimmer, and one word takes a walk, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything by talk. Go read fiction, be anything and all…and so on)
Also Brave by Sarah Bareilles. When Orcasekai is published (soon! soon!) I will put a YouTube playlist together like I did for The Vencello and Cetapiens.
Writers also ask: “Why am I doing this? There are so many other ____books out there…”
Well, there are billions of people, why do any one of us exist? Your book is YOUR book. It’s special and worthwhile for that reason alone. There are always other reasons WHY.
What about the bipolar writing experience “I’m either Christ or I’m S***T”, “If I don’t make a million dollars, it’s not worth it.”
See answer to “Why am I doing this?”
I will attest, the first time I held that beautiful paperback copy of “The Vencello” in my hands, It. Was. Every. BIT. Worth. It.

Orcas, Washington DC, and Me

As promised, here is an update on my trip to Washington DC this week. The weather forecast says: Its a go! I’m seeing a temp in the high 40s, nice and dry for the middle of January.

Q: Why am going? A: Orcas.

And…why this trip, specifically? The Lower 4 Snake River Dams. They are up for further evaluation causing another 5 year delay. Government people have already studied and reported government data. That data has been presented and The Federal Government has failed to act according to the tax payer funded (MILLIONS of dollars!) Army Corp of Engineers data as well as a federal judges order. On these 4 dams, taxpayers getting a fifteen cents on the dollar return for their hard earned money. That’s GOVERNMENT DATA. And yet, the Lower 4 Snake River Dams are not breached.

The orcas that depend on the Chinook Salmon that spawn specifically in the Lower Snake River DON’T have 5 years. The salmon and steelhead are disappearing. Orcas are starving. Less than 80 remain as of the end of 2016. The SRKW (orcas) will be extinct in 5 years. This specific population has taken a horrendous beating at the hands of humans. Hunted, enslaved, and now starved. has not fallen asleep at the wheel. Jim Waddell and others are spreading their URGENT message.

I have signed petitions, called the POTUS and my state reps and senator, even requested a meeting when I am in DC but have not heard back yet. I hosted a lunch for friends at my home where we watched DamSense (a documentary on US dams in general, but also included a segment on the Lower 4 Snake River dams) and discussed. They had NO idea. Despite being connected on social media to various degrees, it was their first time exposure. Some of them also made calls. Many others have done more than I.

So, I keep going. I will be representing Orcas in front of the Army Corp of Engineers HQ in Washington DC because they cannot make that trip themselves. Thank you to Betsey Thoennes and Jim Waddell of who have been helping me send a ‘live body, in person’ message to the public and the Army Corp of Engineers HQ while I am there.

This trip may seem like a lot to you, but my efforts are between me and me. To myself, this is a small thing I can do for the orcas that I admire and cherish so.

I will make the trek in solidarity with Orcas. If they had a proverbial ‘seat at the table’, I believe they would thank me for it. That’s good enough for me.

Dear POTUS: Please tear down those dams!

The 4 Lower Snake River Dams – slated for breach…in about 5 years. Unfortunately, the orcas that depend on salmon don’t have 5 years.
I’m going to Washington DC with friend Suzi Urell to demonstrate for the orcas, because they CAN’T do it themselves.
The recent death of ‘ Doublestuff ‘ J34 , has hit me particularly hard. That family is in dire straits.

“While an orca lives, the Earth shares its mighty sentience, acoustic brilliance, and increases in magnificence our collective soul.” – S. Amaranthine

Posting updates as they come in….