Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Class, aplomb, style and panache are hard to find these days. Especially all of them together. But when those words are used in the same sentence, one man comes vividly to mind: Mr. Patrick Macnee, aka, Mr. John Steed.mrsteed

From my childhood, I vaguely recall The Avengers television series. I cannot recall what night of the week it came on, I only know it came on after my bedtime (I would swear it followed the Doris Day show but can find no evidence of that schedule). And, it being the sixties, my mother thought the series was too violent for me to watch at that age.

Compared to the violence currently dispatched on the evening news, The Avengers were no more threatening than Tribbles (from Star Trek notoriety) or a goose-down pillow.

I recently invested in The Avengers DVDs; the ones with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel, if you please.

After watching the series I must confess: there is something appealing about the quintessential English gentleman. Not in a sexual sense, at least not from my perspective. But there is something in the way Mr. Steed carries himself; the way his suit, Bowler hat and umbrella all match, as well as fit perfectly; his succinct British enunciation. All of that combined make me want to stand up, straighten my spine and salute something. English or American, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s worthy of the respect.

Mr. Macnee was quite capable of being the quintessential English gentleman. From what I understand he was as dapper and unflappable in his personal life as he was on screen. Or was he as dapper and unflappable on screen as he was in his personal life?

Either way, I’m certain women – English and American alike – swooned over Mr. Macnee. No, he didn’t have the rugged, chiseled handsomeness of Rock Hudson. He couldn’t sing a note, nor was he young and idealistic like any member of The Beatles.

But he had his appeal, all right.

I am also certain that young Englishmen at the time learned a great deal about being a gentleman from the inimitable Mr. Macnee.

The time period of Patrick Mcnee was a simpler time. A man was as good as his word; a handshake could seal a deal; manners, respect, trust and truth: all of these values were valued during that time.

In these times, it seems those values have gone the way of the dodo bird. Yet these are the times those values are most needed.

Most of The Avengers episodes with Diana Rigg began with an announcement from Mr. Steed: “Mrs. Peel – We’re Needed” was found, at times, in the oddest of places.

On June 25, 2015, it was decided by a power of higher convention that Mr. Daniel Patrick Macnee should receive the announcement: “Mr. Macnee – You’re Needed.”

I am certain he was greeted with the same class, aplomb, style and panache that he carried with him.

Sir, you will be remembered.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and ebook formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, can be found here: http://bit.ly/1rsEQFX Follow her on Twitter @penspen or follow her blog www.mytuppence.weebly.com Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.


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Having a father who worked as an engineer on the Apollo space program could certainly have been a catalyst for author Doug J. Cooper.                                     dougcoopersbooks

Cooper’s Crystal Deception and Crystal Conquest reflect his wonder and enthusiasm for rockets and space exploration.

“I guess I am living my childhood fantasies in my books,” he quips.

Reading science fiction authors such as Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and Bradbury no doubt helped spark his imagination as well.

In real life, Cooper is a professor and department head of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is also founder and on the board of directors of Control Station, Inc. a technology company. In these roles he has authored or co-authored more than 80 scholarly publications.

“It has given me lots of practice presenting science and technology in a manner accessible to a broad audience,” he says.

When he first began writing, Cooper was seeking a new creative outlet. He began several projects that looked interesting. Six months later he found writing to be the most appealing endeavor.

His goal in writing the Crystal series was to write books that he himself would enjoy reading. “My preference is fast-paced, action-adventure with great characters, a science tech theme and a plot with surprises.” He leaves it up to readers to determine if he succeeded that goal.

In developing his characters, Cooper describes it as being akin to a jigsaw puzzle. He says, “I enjoy being at a particular point in an adventure, with characters deployed here and there, all with histories and in certain situations, and now I must move forward in a plausible and entertaining fashion. And then each character must behave in a manner consistent with their personality.”

His characters are a collection of traits and habits observed in people, through reading or from movies. “I write in a rotating point of view style,” Cooper explains, “where the reader spends time with each of the central characters. It’s great fun to be a character for a few days.”

Cooper first began his Crystal series in July 2012. Currently he is working on the third book in his Crystal series, Crystal Rebellion. He will also be releasing a short story prequel to the Crystal series in March 2015.

“I have two goals with this short piece,” Cooper says. “One is to offer readers a free, low effort way to sample the story before making a purchase. The second reason is to give fans a backstory on Sid and Cheryl.”

Practice is the best advice writers can get, according to Cooper. In order to hone writing skills, he suggests writers try their hand at writing pieces that help society. “Neighborhood library, museum, senior center or shelter all have access to grant opportunities and would benefit from a talented individual helping them to write one.”

This type of writing may  not be very creative but, as Cooper says, “like practicing your scales on an instrument, this sort of activity strengthens writing skills.”

Cooper believes the most important aspect of writing is to have fun doing it. “Write what brings you joy and satisfaction and you will produce the best work you are able and have fun doing it.”

For more information visit www.crystalseries.com

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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Been keeping odd hours lately. That’s what happens when you’re outta work. Except I do work all day on writing, promotion, marketing and job hunting. And half the night. Oy!


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Book trailer for SOT Book One: Worlds Apart. A time-consuming process but well worth the effort.

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Only a few days left to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for Sword of Tilk Book One: Worlds Apart.

Enter here to win!  http://bit.ly/1mjut67



“Out of my way!” Balfourant shouted, shoving the soldier with his shoulder.

The soldier lost his own balance, flailed for a moment, and, with an anguished cry, fell over into the open mouth of the volcano.

“No!” Heather screamed, stunned that her friend who had given her food and blankets should perish in such a manner. Too late she realized Balfourant was coming after her. She tried to turn and run but Balfourant’s beefy hand had her by the shoulder. He turned her to face her mother and Aunt Tiernan and grabbed the sword from Heather’s hands without thinking keeping his grip on her shoulder.

Barbara and Tiernan stood a few feet from Balfourant, both pointing swords at him.

Barbara said, “I’ve got this, sister.”

“You sure?” Tiernan said, an almost playful look on her face.

“Oh, yes.”

Tiernan lowered her sword and took one step away from Barbara. She placed the point of her sword into the ash on the volcano which had thickened somewhat during the last few minutes.

Balfourant looked at the sword in his hand. He looked at Barbara in triumph. “See?! This proves it!”

“Proves what?” Tiernan said.

“I have the sword in my hands. I am the heir to the Tilk Realm!”

Tiernan laughed. “Oh, sister. He thinks he has the Sword of TIlk.”

Barbara smiled. “You mean this sword?” She tilted the sword in her hand down to show its golden blade and gem-encrusted hilt.

That triumphant look slowly faded from Balfourant’s face. He looked at the sword in his hand – and exact duplicate of the one Barbara held – and frowned.

Barbara returned her sword to point at Balfourant. “What you have, Ballie boy, is an imitation,” she said. “An exact duplicate of the real Sword I hold in my hand.”

“Without the curse or enchantment, of course,” Tiernan said.

“Of course,” Barbara muttered.

Balfourant glared at the twins.  Behind them, the fighting between the soldiers and Wolfcreed and Steelworth had come to a halt. They were observing the drama unfolding near the mouth of the volcano.

Balfourant grit his teeth and placed the blade of the sword against Heather’s throat.

Heather gasped and cried out, “Mom!”

“It’s okay, sweetie,” Barbara said. “Mom’s right here.”

“It’s still a sword,” Balfourant said through clenched teeth. “And I will cut this little urchin’s throat right here and right now.”

“No,” Barbara said calmly. “I don’t think so.”

She took two steps toward him.

He drew the sword across Heather’s throat.

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Enter to win a copy of Sword of Tilk Book One: Worlds Apart (excerpt available at Goodreads)


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Sword of Tilk Book One: Worlds Apart available for 0.99 today only!


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