Such as re-enacting. Have you ever heard of it? View in browser

June 20, 2020

"This page turning story, has twist and turns that keep you wanting to find out what happens next.." - D R

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On the Homefront

It's been a quiet week on the homefront, so I thought I would visit the past. Years ago, I was a member of the 8th King's Regiment, a group of War of 1812 re-enactors. We would dress in historically accurate uniforms, march around with muskets and fire off blanks. We used replica muskets but only loaded them with powder, since they'd be aimed at real people, during a simulated battle.

Now a musket is a pretty primitive weapon by today's standards. A flint would be held in a metal armature that would descend when you pulled the trigger, causing the flint to strike the frizzen, which is, in effect, just a piece of steel. This action would cause a spark that would, in turn, ignite some gunpowder that was held in a small area called a pan. Once ignited, the powder would burn through a small hole into the barrel, where more powder was waiting. Back in the day, this combustion would force a lead ball down the barrel toward the enemy, but for re-enactments, only the powder and a little paper (to hold the powder in place) was present.

I can remember being at one particular re-enactment, which, if I remember correctly, was a recreation of the battle of Stoney Creek. Our group had been selected to march through a wooded path, the objective being to come into the battle on the flank at a critical time. As luck would have it, however, our guide lost their way, and we arrived late. So late, in fact, that the sun was setting. Nevertheless, we exited the woods, forming a line to begin firing. By this point, we had been training for months, and so it was an easy matter to run through the steps to load the muskets. We fired off several rounds, and then the sky turned dark.

Now I have to explain that with no musket ball loaded, there is very little recoil, and with the darkness upon us, the brilliant flash from the pan could easily ruin your night vision. As a result, I closed my eyes as I pulled the trigger. The pan flashed, but we fired in a volley, and the roar of a dozen muskets drowned out my own shot. I reloaded and readied my weapon. To my surprise, the weapon went off with a double load, shooting a flame out of the barrel that must have been six feet in length. No one was hurt, of course, and the spectators seemed to like it, but I shall always remember my own experience with the term, a flash in the pan.

Congrats to Brian for winning last week's eBook Giveaway! I was pleased to see that you felt my writing reminded you of so many great authors, such as Bernard Cornwell, Raymond Feist, Matthew Harffy, and Frank Herbert, just to mention a few.

Remember, all you need to do to enter is your answer in the box below, and you will automatically be entered into the Giveaway to win your choice of any of my ebooks, even the upcoming Temple Knight!

Paul's Entertainment Review - Death in Paradise

I have to admit that we found this show some time ago, but were behind on episodes. This series began in 2011 with the premise that a British Detective Inspector (DI) is sent to a small Caribbean island to take up duties at the police station there. He is assisted by a local Detective Sergeant along with two officers. What makes this show interesting, aside from the tropical location, is the fact that every few seasons, a new DI takes over, while the supporting actors, for the most part, remain unchanged.

This series definitely fits into the category of ‘cozy mystery’, and though it deals with death, it is seldom, if ever, gruesome. The vast majority of cases involve a ‘locked room’ mystery, where only a limited number of suspects are present. In addition, there is often an impossible crime, that is unexplainable, at least at the beginning of each episode. Oh, and you can throw in any number of guest stars from other British shows just to keep things interesting. On many episodes, I find myself, phone in hand, looking up someone in IMDB because they look familiar.

If you like your mysteries to challenge your mind, I think you’ll enjoy this show. By the way, it's set on the fictional island of Saint Marie, an island paradise that seems to have more murders than Cabot Cove. Now, does anyone understand THAT reference?

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This Week in History - DeForest Kelley

June 20th marks the anniversary of one of TV’s most famous doctors. Am I talking about Dr. Kildare? Or maybe Doctor Doogie Howser? No, I’m talking about DeForest Kelley, who played Dr. Leanord McCoy on Star Trek. He is one of the original cast, starting in 1966, but believe it or not, his career goes back much further than that, with his first TV appearance dating back to 1945.

You could even say he was a staple of early TV, having guest roles in many series, including such shows as Gunsmoke or Route 66. A quick look through his IMDB profile will also reveal that Star Trek was not his first time portraying a doctor. That honour belongs to The Lone Ranger, which ran from 1949 to 1953. At that time, he appeared in three episodes, though only in one was as a doctor, and his stage name was De Forest Kelley. There seems to be some issues with his name in earlier productions, some shows listing De as a separate name. Whether this was intentional or merely a mistake, I cannot say.

Of course, the role that made him a household name was Star Trek, or, as it’s known now, Star Trek: The Original Series. He went on to play his beloved character in the first six Star Trek Movies and even voiced Dr. McCoy in the animated series. His last acting credit is playing the voice of Viking 1 in the animated video The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.

DeForest Kelley was, in a sense, the heart of Star Trek, bringing his compassion to the bridge of the USS Enterprise. He also set the standard by which future Star Trek doctors would be measured.

My next Facebook Live Video will be on Monday, June 22, at my usual time of 5:30 pm EST.

Work in Progress Update

Work on Flames is proceeding on schedule, with my word count running in at about the two-thirds mark. This is quite good, considering I am also two thirds the way through the chapter count as well. At this pace, I should be finished the first draft in about two weeks, barring any interruptions.

Speaking of interruptions, we have also been running through the editing process of Temple Knight, and it won’t be long before the major edits are all complete. After that, we will examine the feedback from our BETA team and incorporate any last-minute changes.

It can seem a little odd, going back to something I wrote some time ago, and then switching back to Flames, but it’s all part of being an author.

On the upside, Carol has been reading Flames each day, and her feedback has proved very inspiring. She also keeps bugging me to write more so she can see what happens next!

Until next time, Happy reading!

Author Spotlight!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases.
These authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers.

Neanderthal King: What if Neanderthals hadn’t died off? What if they were smarter, stronger, and more capable than we ever thought, and enslaved the earliest Homo Sapiens?

Raised as the son of a simple Thal herder, Malek’s a rough lad with the temper of his people, a scorn for his rulers, and less than a little creativity. In a word, your average Thal. And life’s pretty good, until Isaac’s crusade resumes and forces Malek into uneasy slavery. 

A mysterious gypsy, a whispered prophecy, his master’s murder… Malek’s forced on a whirlwind adventure of banditry, battles, and impending war as the truth of his existence threatens everything.

Take the Body: A brave but naive Northern solider. A pact with an old dark god. What could go wrong?

Every person he lets the beast have, Seth gains their memories, skills and abilities. A soldier who was illiterate, now has the knowledge of a seasoned general and his gifts with a rapier. How far will he let this dark alliance go? and at what cost?

When new enemies appear from around every corner, where is the line between blood-lust, murder and simple survival?

The Green Boy: The fate of two worlds rests on the shoulders of a few unsuspecting souls, and it all begins with the journey of a boy who wants to find the truth behind his own existence. 

When Ethan discovers he has a green aura, the last of an extinct race, he leaves the secret school of Nafoura in search of the truth of his own origins. Joined by Mara and an exiled shapeshifter, Ethan must seek the Chronicler of Agartha, a mythical being rumored to have all the answers. 

Unaware of a reward for his capture, Ethan rushes forward to his destiny, inadvertently stepping into the web on an ancient prophecy, one that might spell salvation or doom for his and our world. Will Ethan achieve his goal, or will he doom two worlds in his quest?

A Throwback Witch: Finding magic almost killed me. Now I'm driven towards a stranger and a deadly mystery. Wish me luck? 

As a witch raised in the human world - unknown to the supernatural community - my powers are dormant until terror kick-starts my magic and saves my life. But my newly found powers soon bring have me shipped to a magic school in Latvia.

The deeper I dig, the more questions I have - and the more I have to hide. Secrets fester beneath the academy's perfect front, disguising a dark, powerful organisation. My familiar says it isn't instinct drawing me in, it's my spirit powers. And they're about to throw me into a whole world of trouble.

Featured Book Deals & Giveaways

While you wait for the release of my next book, here are some great stories for your TBR pile!

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