NEW MUSKETEER SWASH-STORY!
The Trade Paperback is not your average dime store cheap quaility flimsy paperback, which is usually printed on very cheap paper for a quick sale, but my book is printed on nice, thick cream paper, and has a glossy, high quality, cardstock cover; and it measures 9" by 6". When I received my proof copy, I was very pleased with the well produced product.
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Read the first two chapters of Donaree in my blogs to see what you think!
JUST WHAT IS THE ADVENTURES OF DONAREE ALL ABOUT? The adventures of Monsieur de La Donaree the Musketeer is a fictional, swashbuckling, romantic tale which is set in seventeenth century Europe. Monsieur Donaree is a relatively new member of King Louis XIV.’s personal bodyguard who is alarmed to find out that the love of his life, the beautiful Madame Charlotte de La Rose, has been mysteriously abducted and carried off to England. Donaree’s adventures to find her take him, not only into England, but also to the open sea to face Pirates, and even on toward the coast of Spain. The story is paced with adventurous sword-play, high-drama, un-guessable mystery, occasional comedy, and even romance! The adventures of Donaree recaptures the exciting novels of the greatest swashbuckling writers of the past, mixed with the lavish swashbuckling movies of the first part of the twentieth century, and it spins them all together with modern experimental ideas.
Even though the Introduction gives necessary historical information which properly places the Musketeers into their relatively unknown place in history, the first chapter starts off with an intense duel – which causes the victor, who does not kill his opponent, to wonder what had caused the painstaking battle to be fought in the first place. He was insulted, it is true, but he cannot figure the reason of the bout. However, as Monsieur Donaree will find out, his mysterious challenger will haunt him for the rest of his adventure; and it will take him a while to put the pieces of the puzzle together of how this mysterious duel was actually an attempt to stop him from pursuing his advancements to find his lady.
But why is this?
His clues lead him from Paris to London, where he faces more foes and more danger once he arrives. But to his relief, he also finds that there is a friend to be had in England as well. And this new friend, whose name is Sir Roland, will be the key character who is needed for the much anticipated rescue of Madame Rose. But once she is safe and sound, Monsieur Donaree is horrified to find that Sir Roland’s long-time Spanish Sea Captain friend, the infamous captain John Marlando, of whom Roland innocently entrusts with the safe passage for his new friends back to France, is also involved somehow with the mysterious abduction of the lady! Once they had been safe, but now they are back into the grips of harm’s way, and are set at sea with no more than an hundred unfriendly, rough sailors. And as if this is not enough, they are also boarded en-route (not to France as they had thought, but to Marlando’s castle in Spain) with a band of Pirates.
Don't miss the exciting conclusion!
READ WHAT MY MYSPACE FRIENDS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT DONAREE:
"Very exciting read! Felt like I was there witnessing the action!" ~ Candle Artist Jfay
"Nicely done. I really enjoyed the history in the introduction and the duel is well written. Best of luck with the novel!" ~ Author David Lee Summers
"Well done. Chapter One entices the reader craving more. I will look for The Adventures of Monsieur de La Donaree the Musketeer on the web. Keep up the excellent writing..." ~ Ferf
"I really enjoyed the humour and really laughed, not at Monsieur de la Donaree but with Monsieur de la Donaree! I dont know if you wrote it in this spirit but if you had a bit of Molière in you, I would not be surprised! He knew how to study people and would turn situations into a comic play! I laughed out loud, this is a gem! Not only de la Donaree is a fine sword, he has also a fine nose when it comes to pinpoint personalities, I'm talking about the Inkeeper and his situation with the wife here!! The second part is indeed in pure swashbuckling spirit, in rhythm and enthusiasm! And the end is a cliff-hanger! The beginning is "cocasse" (funny) as they might have said then in Gascony, and witty! Indeed Alexandre Dumas had a sense of humour too and satirically created at least one of his character ( in another book) to a character made up by Molière in one of his comic play. And Molière also took his inspiration from Dumas' s Musketeers and "The Man in the Iron Mask." I liked it! I had fun while reading this chapter about Monsieur de la Donaree, as while following the spirit of the Musketeers you gave a contemporary touch to the text!" ~ Nicole
"Hurrah, Ted! I gleefully await the next installment! LOVE the romantic stuff! Bring it on! There are few things in this world I like better than a hot Viscount. Keep going, Ted! Bravo! Keep writing! I can't wait to read more! But it is par for the course as I am also a writer. Keep in touch!" ~ Genella
"Wow - What a wonderful beginning. As a whole, you have a unique way of writing & you captivated me by a few sentences peaking my interest to continue. For instance: ...hazed by the early morning mist...I love it! I look forward to reading the next chapter. You've gained my interest. That was impresive & informative. You've still got the hook in & I'm dangling to hear more. Thanks for the sneak peak." ~ R.F.Taylor: Rianna
ONCE AGAIN, I THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS, AND I ALSO THANK ALL OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR THEIR CONSTANT SUPPORT AND CRITICISM THROUGHOUT THE YEARS!
I have been a European historian and writer for the past twenty years, experimenting with different story ideas along the way. As a result of my swashbuckling and historical interests, I have even created a website that reflects these historical diggings, which is called The Swashbuckling Press. The way that I see myself is that I am a modern writer with an old-fashioned feel within my written words. Considering the techniques of classic swashbuckling writers of the recent past, I combine proven enthusiastic literature with experimental modern ideas, and mesh them together to create my own unique style. So, if one were to imagine the dexterity of The Three Musketeers, the derring-do of Robin Hood, the chivalry of Ivanhoe, the valor of King Arthur, and sometimes the comic intrigues of Bob Hope, then one will have a good idea of what my writing technique are all about. Please check out my blogs and leave a message if you like what you see. And, thanks for visiting.
THE ADVENTURES OF
MONSIEUR DE LA DONAREE
A Swashbuckling, Romantic Adventure
by: Ted Anthony Roberts
The Life of a Musketeer
After having had such a harsh ordeal with such an aggressive duel, the victor, afterwards, heads straight toward his apartment. The confrontation had gone by so quickly, that it sort of leaves his head spinning; leaving him also wondering what had caused such a painstaking battle, and for what reason the two men tried to kill one another. Being somewhat confused, ascertaining the scenario of the earlier bout, he can not easily or readily guess the answer; so, all the way to his apartment, he constantly tries to unravel the small puzzle in his mind.
By the time he reaches his destination, a near by clock strikes the morning hour of 6:30 am. He walks into his apartment, shuts the door behind him and heads straight towards a chair - the which he practically falls into. Immediately, upon this descent, his mind, as it did on the way there, becomes clouded with extreme thoughts. Why has this man, who seems to him to be a noble, challenged him to combat? He does not even know the man. But he does know, or at least he thinks he knows, that he did not wrong him in any way to cause him to jump to such anger.
As his thoughts progress, he begins to see, and to remember, what had led up to the situation. Just by merely walking the streets the evening before, his rival bumped into him, which seemed intentionally. And not apologizing for this apparent blunder, he instead started cursing him whom he bumped.
"Excuse me!" roars the challenged. "But you, sir, bumped into me."
"Are you calling me a liar?" bellows back the other, with bitter disdain and sarcasm. "I say you ran into me, and without saying you were sorry. Instead, you call me a liar!"
"I resent that." says the challenged, with ever increasing anger.
Without another word, the challenger immediately tore off his left glove and struck it across the face of his opponent. On pure instinct, the other began to draw his sword.
"No, not here, if you please. I will not run the risk of being arrested for merely having the pleasure of killing you."
"Pleasure, is it? Where and when!"
"The ....Luxembourg.... gardens, at dawn."
"You can count on your life that I will be there!"
"Why, you have laughable bravery. You are too young for such quarrelsome boasts. Already, in my forty three years, I have killed twenty men in duels."
"Remembering the good old days, are you? Well, cherish them, my friend: for they say that the memory, in such a ripe old age as yours, is the first thing that will go."
The "elder" knits his brows to this menacing gesture.
"I am not as young as you may think, my ripe old friend," the young man continues, "let not this youthful appearing exterior fool your aging eyes. My years upon this earth may appear brief to one as ancient as yourself, but I am not the timid adolescent you think me to be. Twenty two years am I."
"Cub!" the challenger screeches. "Your youthful vain tongue will be the first member to leave your baby body."
"Until tomorrow then, my ancient friend," says the 'cub,' bowing, "I pray your heart will not fail you before then. The night is closing in, and your rest is needed so you will be able to walk onto the battlefield."
The challenger quickly tears himself away from the young man, in fear that his anger may overtake him - causing him not to wait for morning to destroy this unbearable youth.
But what had followed the next day, seemed to the young man to be incredible: the apparently brave individual of whom had challenged him the evening before, had turned the very next morning, it would seem, into a shaken and nervous person. This condition of the other is what confused the mind of the young man the most. It was, and still is, completely beyond his understanding. But one thing is for certain, that even though he appeared beside himself with grief, he fully intended to go on through with the duel; but he, as we have learned in Chapter 1, had lost the combat, and this apparent disaster slightly touched the younger man. Not only did the young man's strong anger, with had flourished since the night before, totally cease, but he began even to pity the older gentleman. By throwing the coins at his feet, however, he felt a bit reconciled with the wound which he had delivered him.
But what was the reason the duel happened in the first place? The bump, without doubt, was intentional from the older man. The reasoning of this challenge, however, is a total mystery.
"Maybe time will reveal the answer." the young man says to himself. "But it is now apparent that he wanted me dead for some reason; the which I cannot figure why. I know not too many people in ....Paris...., for it has not been long since my arrival here - less than three years."
After about an hour of these observations, the young man, a bit tired from the strain of the morning bout, falls asleep; and, unlike his nature, sleeps the entire day without stirring.
Now, while this young man sleeps, I (the story-teller) would like for you (the reader), who at this time is standing in the young man's apartment with me, to start walking around and to observe the contents of his living quarters, so we can see exactly who this young man is, who has struck an apparent cord in our lives. It is most curious to learn deeply who he is, for he will, for the remainder of this extraordinary tale, fulfill our lives with ever increasing excitement, until the dramatic and anticipated climatic ending is reached, which we shall boldly witness together. So therefore, dear reader, for the moment, take my hand into your own, and let us walk, side by side, to see what we can learn . . . .
His apartment, which is located on the rue des Fossoyeurs, only two blocks from St. Sulpice, consists of a salon, a huge bedroom and even a small anteroom. This apartment is extremely beautiful, nice and spacious, with even the front door being trimmed in golden fleur-de-lis. You will think you are in royal quarters while just stepping into the antechamber. Placed in the center of the salon is a beautiful royal-blue centerpiece rug, with two large matching chairs sitting on top; one of which the young man is asleep in. The chairs face a rock-based fireplace that has an oak mantle surrounding it. In the east-side of the room is a small Swiss desk with a little chair sitting in front of it. This desk is holding a feather pen, which sits in an ink-well, and blank writing paper is set beside it. The bedroom holds a large-sized bed, that also is set on top another rug - this one being embroidered in golden thread. A huge chest, a sitting chair and a small window decorates the north-side bedroom wall; and, also, there is a closet full of clothes that are very expensive in their appearance. The anteroom contains benches for waiting, and two small oil paintings of a war-like nature are hung on its walls. The entire living quarters, in a collective sum, possesses a flare of the utmost in luxury.
And who is this young man who lives in this fine apartment? Who is this young man of which we are visiting in this tale? This, dear friends, as you already know, is Monsieur de La Donaree. And how does the hero of this tale appear? His eyes are dark, yet mild. His face is handsome, with a serene and honest look. His skin complexion is mild, slightly tanned. Above his medium sized lips he wears a small, thin, narrow and neatly trimmed dark moustache. Below his lips resides a narrow beard that ends just below the chin. His thick, wavy black hair falls casually to his shoulders, and has been cared for with proper attention; a care in which his whole person, in every detail, receives full advantage. This man is quiet large in size: his arms produce well shaped muscles, his chest is well developed and his shoulders are broad and straight - quiet a strong man! His birth gave him a serious nature, but he often laughs at life's pleasures.
Monsieur Donaree, who became a Musketeer only two months ago, and being no ordinary man or soldier, as we will later observe, was born, as fortune has so kindly smiled upon his person, with great finances adhered to his name. His family, apprehending great wealth, had bought nobility to the name of Donaree in the early half of the sixteenth century. But money, even if it were in considerably small amounts, did always seem to flow from the purses of this affluent family. Donaree was born on the twenty-fifth of November, 1645, at ..Normandy.., ..France.., in a town called ..Rouen.., which is approximately seventy miles north-west of ....Paris..... Normandy (being the birth place of the Normans who conquered and besieged the Saxons of Old England), is extreme in its natural beauty, and is an excellent place to visit during Spring while the true green colours pour from its grasses, and eludes in abundance from its varied trees. Donaree's childhood, which he considers a satisfactory one, can be thought somewhat, if not tremendously, different compared to a normal child of the realm. His upbringing was very rich, as only a handful of children can experience. As most children were responsible for feeding the few farm animals their families could afford, and helping around their homes with daily chores, Donaree's father had his son constantly train for battle; he would teach him how to act properly in the king's court and in the king's presence, and he filled his head with a vast amount of schooling. In ....France.... at this time, many citizens of the country are very poor in finances and are not able to send their children to the few schools that poorly support the local towns and villages. If one of these said town or villages are lucky enough, a school tutor will start a local school for those who are able to afford to send their children. But, the times being as they are, many families cannot afford such high living (high living - as it appears to the poor), and work around the farm, anyway, will go un-attended; therefore, many children grow without the knowledge of reading or writing. This, however, was not the case for Donaree. Instead of sending him to a local school, however, Donaree's father sent for a tutor to come all the way from ....Paris.... to teach his only child in poetry, geometry, mathematics, Latin, the sciences, astronomy and history. Imagine the effect this had on a young man: it left him quiet and thoughtful. This is the reason why he rarely speaks unless spoken to, and his thinking is of the utmost importance. His intelligence extends further than that of a regular soldier, and all together his education reaches to that of a Prince of the royal blood.
Not only did Donaree's father send for a school tutor, but he also sent for a fencing instructor. This instructor, being the best to be had in ....Paris...., was known even to give a few lessons to king Louis XIII. himself at times. As he was taught from childhood, Donaree has learned some moves (inventing some himself) that can out-wit some of the greatest fencers in the known world. To this day, there is yet to be anyone to match his blade; perhaps he is the best swordsman in ....France.... - perhaps he is the best in the world. But one thing can be truthfully said about Donaree's upbringing and character, and blessed he is because of the result, that even though he has received things no ordinary person could within their lifetime, he has resulted into a generous and God-fearing man; and he feels that he is not above others.
His first name is hardly known to anyone in ....Paris..... When he signed on as a cadet, he signed his name Donaree. Therefore, everyone called him Monsieur Donaree, until it was learned that he is of a noble birth: now he is known as Monsieur de La Donaree. But Paul is his first name. So, since an only child, and able to collect the Chateau Donaree after his father's death, his full name is Monsieur Paul, vicomte de La Donaree. But this "vicomte" (that is: viscount), is practically unknown to anyone. On the day of his father's death, Donaree will automatically collect the family inheritance, the Chateau and the title of count.
The only thing that separates Donaree from other men is the fact that he was born rich and is well educated. Donaree is not at all talkative, and most of the time he keeps to himself - but not too much so, for he does have a lady friend, a very beautiful lady friend: a woman of such extreme beauty, that even Louis XIV. himself has taken notice of her! But Donaree, lucky as he is, was the one man who has stolen her heart, and many, many men envy him for it. The one thing she loves most about Donaree is the fact that he is not a cruel man in any form or fashion, and that he always keeps his anger in check - most of the time, that is.
The man, unbelievably, is not at all lazy, and has no servant to tend to him; he merely considered that a servant would only be in his way, so he gave the idea no more thought. He also has a hobby which he does in his spare time: he collects old weaponry of any sort and displays them all over the whole of his apartment.
Donaree has very high morals in life, which shows from his person and living quarters - he loves nothing but the very best. Thus, Monsieur Paul, viscount de La Donaree is a generous man, who enjoys the riches and opportunities of an adventurous and happy life.
THE ADVENTURES OF
MONSIEUR DE LA DONAREE
A Swashbuckling, Romantic Adventure
by: Ted Anthony Roberts
"En garde!" is cried, as two long, flat blades slowly cross, and come to a freezing halt. The French duelists glare into each other's eyes - and their gaze turns into a seemingly unbreakable stare. As one adversary's heart starts to beat with a mad passion, sweat begins forming on his brow, while his teeth grit with anxiety. His opponent, however, stands as a statue: firm and majestic, with an unconcerned look in his eyes. This expression, which is quite hard to miss, only increases the other man's agitation, as it grows immensely within his shaking frame. His nervous body is slightly bent forward, and his left arm lightly lingers behind him in the air. But the other man stands upright and tall; his left arm is bent at the elbow, while his fisted hand rests on his side.
After what seems an eternity of waiting for the nervous fellow, the confident swordsman finally announces: "Begin!"
Immediately, in this split second, the restless man takes a ferocious lunge at his victim, missing him by only a hair's width - but his target parries very well. The two steel swords are unleashed with lightning speed, causing, as they fly and hit, a very loud clanking-sound, which can be heard a considerably long distance away. The two men who wield these swords continue staring into one another's eyes, being careful not miss or lose a single expression or thought that may appear within them, which could become extremely helpful for the defense of one's skin, in anticipating what the other opponent's next move may be. But this battle tactic, for the tense fellow, is executed in vain, because the other duelist, as we observe, remains a cold, hard statue, with a very unreadable expression in his eyes. And for the swordsman of confidence, this tactic is easily accomplished, because, no doubt, the nervous and anxious expressions of his dueling partner, which vary tremendously, is written deeply in his eyes, and it is manifested all over his face. However, bravado is greatly displayed on both sides; even though one man is nervous, he nevertheless shows great amounts of courage.
All around the duelists can be seen the breaking of a new day. On the horizon, the sun is slowly rising, revealing, little by little, an open grass valley with a great amount of beautiful trees. Off in the distances can be seen many rolling hills and far away trees, as though painted onto a great canvas background, giving the illusion of flowing mountains, hazed by the early morning mist. Numerous birds sing with great enthusiasm, as though thanking God for giving them another beautiful day to live and to be free in, while late night clouds of grey quickly disappear - giving room to their fluffier and brighter cousins, who obviously love the morning more than they. The few, various small animals who live in and around these scenes start this day with their usual chores of gathering food. And, finally, the valley is totally covered with the brightness of the sun, letting all living things know that this is the beginning of a new day.
But though we see and admire all these wonders of nature, we must return, and we do so with great anticipation, to our two duelists, who are both hopeful of winning the day. Even though we were temporarily caught away into the distant places of greenery and sunshine, we heard, though miles away, the desperate clanking of the two swords that are engaged in vicious combat. We return, therefore, with eager attention, to their pursuits and advancements, and we continue to look onto this spectacle with the greatest of interest!
Slashing! slashing! slashing! The swords fly so fast, that there are no blades to be seen, for speed has made them nearly invisible. The bodies of the two men are swaying back and forth at a tremendous rate, while the duelists are careful not to lose any concentration as they try to execute their skills in swordsmanship to the best of their abilities. Their techniques are incredible, and their skills are superb.
Keeping the right foothold, at this time, is very important; if an opponent steps forward or backward in the wrong way, it may cause him to trip to the ground. However, the greatest attention is not needed for the correct position of the feet, neither is it recommended to be set onto the blur of the flying steel - but a satisfied victory can be accomplished by maintaining a concentrated stare, as mentioned before, to the head - but particularly to the eyes - it is a necessary thing that both men should do. Now, if either of these gentlemen were to keep his eyes locked onto the fast moving streaks of the two blades, trying to watch their every move (which anyway would be impossible), he would lose great advantage over his rival, and have almost no control of his own sword. So, as we can certainly see, in this art of fencing, watching undoubtedly two masters at work, if one were not skilled on his weapon (trained to perfection), and if one does not concentrate to the utmost of his ability, he could lose his life on a single and, more than likely, unseen mistake.
A thrust is given - one man lunges his sword forward. A parry is the other's natural response - a maneuver against a thrust which eludes the advancement of the invading blade. Then forms a riposte - the latter man's thrust that directly follows his parry. The breathtaking duel seems to have no finish, but soon it must draw to a close, and a victor must be found. But who will this victor be? The confident man? Or will his shaken opponent overcome all feelings and advance the winner?
The clock ticks on - the swords clank on - and the man who has, from the very beginning, entertained nervous thoughts into his conscience, begins to lose what little "nerve" he had. As a matter of course, he pulls all his strength together, in this moment of sureness, feeling that it is the right time, and lets his sword loose, aiming its sharp point toward his opponent's heart, in a hope that it will find its mark with accuracy, and sink its long tooth into the other man's chest.
He gives his thrust!
And, as if his efforts are of an apprentice swordsman, his target merely steps out of the way, causing the owner of this run-away sword to hit dirt. But just an instant before his body reaches the ground, he somehow maneuvers himself in such a way that as he makes contact with the earth, he faces his opponent. But upon impact, his right hand, which is holding his sword - with the pommel heading downwards - strikes a rather wide rock (that is a bit hidden in the grass), which causes the weapon to immediately leave his grip, and it ricochets in the opposite direction from him. It then begins rolling swiftly on the ground, and comes to a dead stop near the feet of his most dreaded adversary! The man who has just unwillingly reached the ground, suddenly holds his breath in fear, and begins glaring in the eye of the other - who has, at this time, such an advantage over his victim. As the sweat pours from his face, as he tugs strenuously at the grass near his hands, the off-nerved fellow begins to shake heavily.
"You've dropped your sword." the other nonchalantly responds. Then with one quick movement, he slides his foot underneath the sword, slipping it near the hilt, and practically throws it, with his foot, into the hands of his surprised opponent. Without a word, the man jumps to his feet, and begins dueling again - but this time he has a sloppy technique, and has horrible accuracy. Losing his head completely, he looks as if he stares death in the face. His lips quiver; his throat is choked; and, just as he has instantly predicted to himself, he falls with a sword thrust through his body!
"Just get it over with quickly." he mumbles, while pleading with the victor. Then he closes his eyes, and clutches his wound.
The winner of the match begins cleaning his blood stained sword by sticking its sharp point in and out of the ground several times. After the blade is clean, he sheaths it; then he turns to the fallen man, and says: "It has pained me to wound you in the first place, I intend not to further dishonor myself by doing away with you entirely. You have insulted me, it is true - but it was a matter that I should have dismissed all together. Instead, I lost my head to anger. Fortunately, though, you are still alive, and your wound not too deep. As a token of my anger you have received this wound from my blade, but as a token of my apologies for given it you, receive from my purse the money for the bill that you will most certainly have from a doctor."
Opening his doublet, he reaches in, grabs, and throws several coins on the ground beside the confused man. Without another word, the champion departs from the battle scene, leaving behind a hurt, devastatingly off-nerved, and extremely confused man.
And now, let us walk with the victor, following his departure, and let us see where his steps will lead him . . . .