Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flags of Forgotten Countries Part Two at Dark Roasted Blend


Check out my article Flags of Forgotten Countries Part Two at Dark Roasted Blend 

The article takes another look at examples of fascinating banners from the distant and not so distant past. You can also check out Flags of Forgotten Countries Part One at Dark Roasted Blend.

Dark Roasted Blend is among the finest locations online to find the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, crammed with great articles, stunning photography, plus fabulous new content which appears daily.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Land Speed Record Vehicles Part Two: Jet Propulsion 1960s to 1980s - The latest article at Dark Roasted Blend

Check out the latest article at Dark Roasted Blend, entitled Land Speed Record Vehicles Part Two: Jet Propulsion 1960s to 1980s


Part One of land speed record vehicles at Dark Roasted Blend, featured the pioneers who steadily pushed top speeds higher and higher, as they broke one record after another in the first half of the twentieth century. Part Two examines the jet and rocket powered cars that have competed for the land speed record from the early 1960s till the 1980s.

Dark Roasted Blend is among the finest locations online to find the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, crammed with great articles, stunning photography, plus fabulous new content appears daily.

The Sorcerer's Letterbox and the Mystery of the Princes in the Tower - Part Four


Almost two hundred years after their disappearance, during renovations to the Tower of London in 1674, the skeletons of two children were found in a trunk buried under a staircase, and were declared at the time, without any clear proof of course, to be the bodies of the two princes. On the orders of the king at the time, Charles II, the bones were interred in an urn in Westminster Abbey

In 1933, the bones were examined by forensic experts and it was determined that they belonged to children, aged around ten and twelve, the ages of the boys when they vanished. The skulls also showed a similar dental structure and when compared to other known relatives of the princes, it seemed that the bones in the urn did indeed belong to members of the same familiy. There have been no further examinations of the remains since that time, but the skeletons would appear to be those of the Princes in the Tower, although the identity of their murderer remains in doubt.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Land Speed Record Vehicles Part One: The Pioneers - The latest article at Dark Roasted Blend

Check out the latest article at Dark Roasted Blend, entitled Land Speed Record Vehicles Part One: The Pioneers 

This article takes a look at just a few of the amazing vehicles that have broken or attempted to break land speed records, since the very first record was established over a century ago. Part One of  "Land Speed Record Vehicles" series, features the pioneers who steadily pushed top speeds higher and higher as they broke one record after another in the first half of the twentieth century.


The land speed record is awarded for the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle driven on land. This is calculated from the speed achieved over a fixed length course, taking the average from two runs or passes. Vehicles must make two separate runs in opposite directions within an hour. To break the record, the speed has to be at least one percentage point higher than the previous record. Today, there are records for different classes of cars, such as those for steam driven vehicles, cars using gasoline or diesel engines, electric cars, records dependent on engine size and more. 

Dark Roasted Blend is among the finest locations online to find the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, crammed with great articles, stunning photography, plus fabulous new content appears daily.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Sorcerer's Letterbox and the Mystery of the Princes in the Tower - Part Three


The entire episode of the Princes in the Tower is still shrouded in mystery. The Duke of Gloucester had Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York, imprisoned in the Tower of London, declared them illegitimate and named himself rightful heir to the crown, becoming King Richard III

Edward and his brother were occasionally glimpsed in the grounds of the Tower in the summer months, but after the beginning of September they were never seen again. The two young boys were apparently murdered by, or at least on the orders of, their Uncle Richard, although there are a number of competing claims as to who exactly might have been responsible for their demise.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Sorcerer's Letterbox and the Mystery of the Princes in the Tower - Part Two


Edward V was born in 1470, the eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He ascended the throne at the age of twelve upon his father's death in April 1483, but reigned only two months before being deposed by his uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. England experienced very turbulent times in the second half of the fifteenth century, when the conflicts popularly known as the Wars of the Roses took place between the houses of Lancaster and York.

The red and white roses are not thought to have been used by the two sides at the time of the conflct, and their origin seems to lie in the badges of the two royal houses. The name Wars of the Roses was first coined by Sir Walter Scott in the early nineteenth century.

Edward IV's victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton in 1461 ushered in a period of relative calm and stability, although he was breifly overthrown in 1471 and there was still sporadic fighting between the two rival parties until 1487. However, Edward IV died prematurely at the age of forty, leaving his throne to a child and the country was presented with a royal minority, usually a sure recipe for plots, conspiracies and political uncertainty.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vote for The Time Camera for The People's Book Prize


The Time Camera is now a showcased title for the 
summer collection for The People's Book Prize in 
the UK this year. Please vote for The Time Camera 
before August 31. You can learn more about The 
People's Book Prize and register to vote for The Time Camera here.


The Time Camera - Synopsis

The massive explosion in which Eleanor Chamberlain died at her research 
laboratory was widely seen as a tragic accident. Or was it the perfect crime? 


Two years later, Jake and Lydia discover a mysterious camera, capable of 
taking pictures of the distant past and more ominously, of the future. As 
they uncover the shocking truth and learn of secrets that someone will kill 
to protect, Jake and Lydia are soon propelled into a deadly and desperate 
race against time in order to save the future.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Unusual and Marvelous Maps at Dark Roasted Blend


Check out my article, Unusual and Marvelous Mapsat Dark Roasted Blend

I’ve always been fond of maps, from those antique ones showing sea serpents and hideous monsters devouring ships in the vast expanses of the ocean, to those showing what the world looked like in the distant, and not so distant, past. Maps have, of course, been with us in one form or another, for a long time and this article looks at depictions of the world, geographic regions and individual countries from the ancient world, the age of discovery, alternate realities and more.

Dark Roasted Blend is among the finest locations online to find the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, crammed with great articles, stunning photography, plus fabulous new content appears daily.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Writing for Children and Young Adults - Classes at Mount Royal University, September/October 2012


Writing for Children and Young Adults. New evening classes at Mount Royal University in Calgary from September 19 to October 24, 7 pm to 9 pm. 

Explore the process of writing books for children and young adults aged 8 to 12. Focus on structure, character development and research, and their importance in your stories. Examine how to turn a creative story idea into a marketable, finished manuscript.

Register here at the Mount Royal University website.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Great Review of The Doomsday Mask


Fifteen-year-old Paul Jaeger and his friend, Jonas, frantically attempt to escape the war-torn city of Berlin. The date is 1945. Stumbling on an abandoned mine just outside the city, they climb down the shaft into an enormous cavern. Here they are astonished to find a huge stash of paintings, statues and boxes filled with jewels and other treasures, including a large blue crystal stone. But before they have time to look around, Paul trips over a wire. Booby trap! They run for the entrance as the mine explodes!
Now the time jumps to the present day. Paul is taking a trip with his grandchildren, driving across Canada to Alberta. As they live in Boston, their first stop is Niagara Falls. Along the way their grandfather regales them with stories of dinosaur discoveries in Alberta and the paleontology museum in Drumheller, which they plan to visit. The children, Josh and Erica, notice the blue crystal stone in their grandfathers key chain, but he refuses to talk about the war, saying only that the stone reminds him of a friend.
More than a reminder, however, as Jonas suddenly appears at their hotel in Niagara Falls, looking for the stone. He explains to Pail that the stone is part of the legendary Mask of Kulkaan, which supposedly came from Atlantis and was shattered when Atlantis was destroyed. When put back together, the mask is believed to have incredible powers. A sinister group called the Crystalline Order is trying to collect the last few missing pieces in order to take over the world. As Jonas continues his explanation, four men suddenly break through the door, managing to kidnap Jonas. Paul and the children escape in the night, heading for New York City, then possibly the Mexican rainforest. Can they follow Jonas’ instructions and find the last few pieces before the Order’s enforcer? And what will happen to Jonas?
This fast-paced adventure will capture the reader to the final page. As each adventure unfolds, the roles of the children, Josh and Erica, become more involved. The myth of the mask as well as the story of Atlantis will capture the imagination and should promote interesting discussion. Author, Simon Rose, has managed to create another fascinating, suspenseful story, which should be a popular addition to an elementary school library collection.
Resource Links, October 2009

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Time Camera - 'A rollercoaster thrill ride of an adventure.'



The Time Camera, my latest novel for middle grade readers, is available from bookstores, online locations and autographed copies are always available directly from the author. 

The Time Camera - Synopsis

The massive explosion in which Eleanor Chamberlain died at her research laboratory was widely seen as a tragic accident. Or was it the perfect crime? Two years later, Jake and Lydia discover a mysterious camera, capable of taking pictures of the distant past and more ominously, of the future. As they uncover the shocking truth and learn of secrets that someone will kill to protect, Jake and Lydia are soon propelled into a deadly and desperate race against time in order to save the future.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writers Help and Advice: Coaching Program for Writers


Writing is by nature a solitary occupation and can be a lonely business, without the benefit of hordes of cheering fans on the sidelines. A professional writing coach is someone with whom you can consult, ask questions, send your work to and receive constructive feedback, a guide to help you with your writing as you try to build your career as a professional writer. A writing coach can help you conquer a stumbling block, help you to regain momentum and get back to your writing or make a start on a new project. 


My coaching program is designed to help you progress as a writer. You decide what you want to work on during a personalized, one on one relationship. For example, I can be your coach for just one month or we can establish a month-to-month arrangement, depending on your schedule and expectations. Just a few examples of topics we can cover during the coaching period are point of view, creating characters, developing dialogue, story structure, editing and revision, marketing and promotion and submissions to publishers. However, I am very flexible and happy to discuss your own unique requirements and areas where you feel that you may need the most help. 


In addition to coaching, on my website you can learn more about my other services for writers, such as online workshops for adultsmanuscript evaluation and online workshops for children and young adults.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vote for The Time Camera for The People's Book Prize


The Time Camera is now a showcased title for the 
summer collection for The People's Book Prize in 
the UK this year. Please vote for The Time Camera 
before August 31. You can learn more about The 
People's Book Prize and register to vote for The Time Camera here.


The Time Camera - Synopsis

The massive explosion in which Eleanor Chamberlain died at her research 
laboratory was widely seen as a tragic accident. Or was it the perfect crime? 


Two years later, Jake and Lydia discover a mysterious camera, capable of 
taking pictures of the distant past and more ominously, of the future. As 
they uncover the shocking truth and learn of secrets that someone will kill 
to protect, Jake and Lydia are soon propelled into a deadly and desperate 
race against time in order to save the future.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Online Writing Workshops for Children and Young Adults



With my Online Workshops for Children and Young Adults, through a series of e mail assignments, details of which are available here, we explore where ideas come from and how to turn them into stories, basic story structure, plot development, creating characters, developing dialogue and more to help develop writing ability. A set of workshops can be started at any time. Following registrationall assignments are sent by e mail and are completed at your own pace, to be sent to me by return e mail. There is no time limit and participants may take as long as they wish to complete their full set of workshops.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Sorcerer's Letterbox and the Mystery of the Princes in the Tower - Part One


The Sorcerer's Letterbox features the famous story of the Princes in the Tower, the disappearance of Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York, in the Tower of London in 1483, which perhaps remains the greatest unsolved murder mystery of all time.

'In a hidden drawer in the base of an old wooden box, Jack discovers a letter from a boy calling himself Edward. Penning a reply, Jack is astonished to be corresponding through time with the boy king Edward V, one of the famous Princes in the Tower, murdered by King Richard III. Travelling back in time, Jack attempts to rescue Edward V and his brother from their fate, but is soon fighting for his life in the terrifying London of 1483.'

Edward IV was only forty years old when he died and Edward V was just twelve when he became king. Throughout history, a royal minority has often ushered in a period of political uncertainty, but this was especially true in England after the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses. Edward V reigned for only two months before he and his brother disappeared in the Tower, never to be seen again.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writing for Children and Young Adults - Classes at Mount Royal University, September/October 2012

Writing for Children and Young Adults. New evening classes at Mount Royal University in Calgary from September 19 to October 24, 7 pm to 9 pm. 

Explore the process of writing books for children and young adults aged 8 to 12. Focus on structure, character development and research, and their importance in your stories. Examine how to turn a creative story idea into a marketable, finished manuscript.

Register here at the Mount Royal University website.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peculiar Postage - Unusual Stamps from Around the World



Stamp collecting and philately are very specialized areas and it is not the purpose of this article to conduct a definitive study of postage stamps, in terms of their rarity, financial value and so on. Rather, this is an examination of some of the more unusual and curious postage stamp designs from all over the globe. 
Dark Roasted Blend is among the finest locations online to find the weird, the wonderful and the fantastic, crammed with great articles, stunning photography, plus fabulous new content which appears daily.