Showcasing on YouTube

Hello everyone:

Here are my latest two videos from YouTube. They showcase my books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor respectively. I hope you enjoy!

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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A Chat at the Inn

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 1: The Voyage; Pgs. 19-22

.     “Come in; come in,” said Captain Horne in a whisper, “though I find it strange I am letting you into this place for a change. It should be the other way around, Captain.”
.     “It’s just Samuel to you, Jim,” said Mr. Underwood. “I gave up that line of work long ago. Is there any supper left?”
.     “More like breakfast,” replied Captain Horne. “It is rather late. But I think the keeper kept something warm on the back stove in the kitchen.”
.     “Old Bill,” said Mr. Underwood. “Bless him. I’ll have a look.” He left the room, and Captain Horne sat down at the table closest to the fire, pulling up a lamp to light the table’s surface. It was only a moment before Mr. Underwood had returned, holding an iron skillet with a closed lid.
.     “Supper and breakfast,” said Mr. Underwood hurriedly. “There is leftover trout and fried eggs and mushrooms. Would you like some?”
.     “No, thank you,” said Captain Horne. “I have had mine. And now,” he continued as Mr. Underwood sat down opposite him, “for the reason of this meeting.”
.     Captain Horne paused a moment as he sat back, and Mr. Underwood prompted, “Go on.”
.     “Well,” said Captain Horne decidedly, “as I said, we ran into pirates.” He paused as he looked into Mr. Underwood’s eyes, almost expecting some kind of response. “Pirates, Samuel, I say pirates – people who rob treasure and gold.”
.     Mr . Underwood hesitated. He bowed his head and said a silent prayer and then was busy picking up his utensils and looking over the cooked food. “Did you find any?” he asked mildly as he began eating.
.     “Chests upon chests of it,” Captain Horne said with a glint in his eye, knowing he had sparked his friend’s interest. “We counted over two dozen chests, and we know there is more hidden in other chambers of the hull.” He spoke as though finding such wealth was an everyday occurrence.
.     “How do you know gold is inside?” asked Mr. Underwood, but his eyes were lit with wonder despite himself.
.     “We opened a few of them,” said Captain Horne. He thrust his hand into a fold of his clothing and threw a handful of something onto the tabletop. It clattered and clanked as it hit the table, and in the lamplight, what lay before the eyes of the two friends was undoubtedly solid gold coins, glittering back at them and sparkling as if on fire.
.     Mr. Underwood looked at the treasure for a moment in surprise; then he reached and picked up something he couldn’t see too well. Only once he had it in his fingers did he know it was a gem, a ruby, shining back the light as he held it up to the lantern. “But surely it is gone now,” he said. “That must have been at least a few months ago.”
.     “It’s a risk; that’s for sure,” said Captain Horne, “but my crew and I don’t think it is gone. Of course, we could not take it with us, for there was too much weight with all the cargo we already had on board. But we took the pirates, and they were allegedly the only ones who knew about it. The ship was wrecked in a small harbor, well hidden among mountains, and I would assume generally unknown, for there are much better and larger harbors to the north and south.”
.     “And natives?” prompted Mr. Underwood.
.     “We searched the land,” said Captain Horne. “It is clear there is no one for several miles in all directions. No one saw the wreck or battle, and we made sure to smash up the masts and rigging so as to not draw attention to the site. The deepest treasure is buried in about two fathoms of water.”
.     “It would take some time and skill hauling it out,” said Mr. Underwood.
.     “That it would,” said Captain Horne, “but not unprofitable.”
.     The two sat in silence for a few minutes. Mr. Underwood finished his meal, and Captain Horne looked about the room, sometimes at the walls, sometimes at the roof timbers, sometimes in the firelight (now just a dim red glow of coals), and sometimes into his friend’s eyes. The lamplight continued to burn, casting the room in a murky yellow.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

A Concert Symphony

The Williams House; Chapter 6: Winter Wonder; Pgs. 131-133

.     The very evening on the day Will mentioned how quiet it was, the whole family went to a concert hall to hear a symphony, and so you see, Will did not have his quiet for very long. It was, in fact, to be a grand performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, culminating in his winter theme, and the orchestral music would be very refreshing to all the recent excitement within the Williams house.
.     Moonlight was gleaming on the December snow covered ground as the “flying carpet” rolled to the concert hall. Maria was swinging her feet back and forth on a seat by herself, looking out and imagining herself as on her way to play in a great performance. Many of the others were scattered, looking out windows or watching the street lights dance in the bus, casting shadows of seats and heads, and trees and other vehicles throughout the bus.
.     It was a dead land, and yet very much alive. The trees were barren, the flowers long ago disappeared, all the grass covered up with snow, and not a single bird to sing the welcoming of the moon. Instead, some chimneys were puffing smoke, heaters were on in the vehicles, laughter and cheery faces could be seen through windows and keyholes, and some boys could be seen throwing snowballs at one another in a front yard. Some bells were ringing at street corners, with a red metal bucket to collect the charity of those passing by. ’Twas the season of good cheer.
.     And a cold wind to counter it, thought Will as he stepped off the bus into the evening air.
.     “Come along, everyone,” Mr. Williams instructed. “Let’s get indoors quickly.”
.     The concert hall was a very grand place. Like a castle, thought Margaret as she looked around at the pillared halls, red carpets, and large curving ceilings. Everyone was dressed very nicely, and people spoke in hushed voices and quiet whispers. An usher greeted the Williamses at the entrance to the grand concert seating area, and they found their seats and sat down.
.     If you have ever been to a concert hall and heard a live symphony, you will know that there is some time in waiting before everyone is ready, and you can hear the grand and pleasing sound of the instruments tuning up. Then there is a hushed silence and a lot of clapping as the conductor walks out onto the stage, and then another hushed silence before the grand first notes of the symphony begins. And no matter how many times you attend a symphony, that same feeling of quiet anticipation and then great elation is always felt.
.     Lilly and Ann were held in silent wonder. Will, Johnathon, and Timothy were captivated. And Margaret, Susan, and Maria were watching and listening with gaping mouths. When it was over, some of the youngers were asleep, with the music still tolling in their minds, while the olders were still humming the tunes to each other, allowing the rhythm to enter their hearts and tap their feet.

Catching Up

Sorry everyone! ‘Tis been a long time since posting on here before today. I hope you enjoy both of my articles about my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor.

I have not posted for a little while because I’ve been updating my YouTube equipment and working on my third novel. Both things are coming along well, albeit slow. If you are concerned because none of my YouTube videos work from this past semester, don’t worry! I have created a video discussing what my YouTube channel will be about in this upcoming year (below). In short, I’ve moved my previous videos from last year to private for now, but I will be recreating them with my better equipment, so hang tight! More content will be coming out shortly.

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Sword Practice

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 207-209

.     “As a longtime clerk of ships that sail the seas,” said Mr. Thrussell softly to Adrian afterward, “I have learned a thing or two about swordsmanship. I saw the way you handled your blade with Winton Northrup back on the supply deck. Winton is clever with a sword, and if he had been given another moment, the contest would have ended quite differently I fear. It was well you did not meet him alone.” He paused before asking, “Would you like a lesson or two?”
.     Adrian, eyes lit with wonder, stood for a moment without speaking. “Rather,” he said at last, “or that is, I would like to learn if I could.”
.     “It is just the exercise needed before breakfast,” said Mr . Thrussell. “Follow me down to the magazine, and we can lend you one of the duller swords for practice.”
.     The master gunner was now departing with the captain to meet those who were hired for ship repairs the previous night. There were already many who could be seen gathering on the shore, and morning sunlight was beaming down on them from the ship. The seagulls were out and about, and many were perched on the remaining yards of the Southern Moor. The cook had caught a few of them, and it was them that were currently being cooked for breakfast, though it was some time in the cleaning.
.     Some were still continuing to sing while others had left off, attending to other duties. All of the shutters to the weather decks were open on such a fine morning, and the gun deck was rather airy and fresh smelling. Adrian stood right outside the magazine as Mr. Thrussell rummaged through the armament to find a dull sword.
.     “I think this will suit you,” he said as he handed Adrian the weapon, hilt first.
.     Adrian played with the feel of it a little, testing its weight as he tossed it from hand to hand. Mr. Thrussell eyed him intently, and as soon as Adrian seemed comfortable with the weapon, Mr. Thrussell lunged forward with his own sword, eyes glinting, bearing down upon Adrian’s blade. No more had metal hit metal when Adrian’s blade was twisted out of his hand and a slight sting felt at his side as the clerk swatted him with the flat of the blade.
.     “I say,” said Adrian, “but I did not even have chance to move away.”
.     “It is a tricky skill,” said the clerk with a smile. “Now stand, like so, with sword point up.” He demonstrated. “Toller might tell you of the Scottish way, with hilt held high and sword point down at an angle. Yet these are not claymores, and we are true Englishmen.” He began to lunge in different ways and show Adrian how to parry and block his attacks.
.     Time and time again, Mr. Thrussell twisted Adrian’s blade away, yet the clerk was very patient in instructing his mistakes. Adrian was sweating before the ship’s bell rang for breakfast, and his arms were sore and aching. His sides were stinging in several places where Thrussell had taught him with the blade’s flat.
.     “You have learned something,” said the clerk. “I am not sorry to teach you, though there’s a great deal more to be taught. Tomorrow, if we’re not too busy, we can practice again.”
.     “Did it hurt much?” asked Adrianna once Adrian had stepped onto the main deck. The plates and dishes were just being passed out.
.     “No, or that is, not much,” said Adrian. He sat down tenderly.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

First Snow

The Williams House; Chapter 5: Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, and Nieces; Pgs. 126-130

.     It was a long time later when several people started to file into their bedrooms. The uncles and aunts did a good job at tracking down their own children and preparing them for sleep. As for the Williams children, they were soon directed for sleep themselves, only the boys could not seem to settle down at first.
.     “Let’s talk for a little while,” whispered Will. “Everyone will probably sleep in, anyway.”
.     “No one can hear us, that’s for sure,” said Johnathon. “Do you think it’s snowing yet?”
.     “I think it is,” said Will. “This will probably be the first time Oliver, Tabitha, Orla, or Isaac have seen and felt this much snow.”
.     “You mean they’ve never been sledding?” asked Timothy.
.     “Neither had you till we moved here,” said Will.
.     “I say,” said Johnathon, “it is great to sleep in the attic. What an adventure!”
.     “Isn’t it, though,” said Will and Timothy.
.     “I ate too much sugar to go to sleep, though,” continued Will. “What books do we have up here?”
.     A lamp was turned on, and the boys shuffled around a little. The dim light shined murkily out and shone on several books on a shelf and scattered elsewhere throughout the attic.
.     “What about on the shelf by the chimney,” said Will who was still in bed.
.     Johnathon walked over to the shelf, putting his hand on the warm stone that was radiating heat into the room. “Several good titles here,” he said as he started going through them one at a time. Then he started listing them by author to save time. “We have Burnett, Nesbit, Dickens, Dodge, Stephenson, Lewis, Henty—”
.     Will interrupted and suggested one of the titles, and soon Johnathon had brought over the book.
.     “Do you think it’s all right?” asked Timothy.
.     “We might as well do something if we’re already wide awake,” said Will, “and it could help us to fall asleep.”
.     Johnathon and Timothy slunk back to their makeshift beds and rolled themselves up in their covers, exchanging excited glances with one another. The wind continued to blow against the side of the house, and they could tell it was definitely sleeting now, yet the attic was warm from the chimney and furnace vent, and the murky light of the lamp cast a dim light about the long expanse of the room.
.     Will started reading, imitating perfectly an old British accent, as though telling his life’s long tale. It was nearly an hour later when the murky glow of the lamp shone down upon three sleeping forms, Will still holding the book in his hands.
.     “Wake up, wake up!” whispered a voice, shaking Will from side to side.
.     Will sat up with a jerk, looking about the room in a single glance. A dim grayness was lighting up a little of the outside. “What time is it?” he said as he looked for the clock.
.     “Seven,” said Timothy, “and you left the light on last night. I just switched it off.”
.     “Oh, thank you, Cap!” said Will. “But why wake me? Everyone will probably be asleep for a couple more hours.”
.     “Look outside,” said Timothy. “It’s white.”
.     “So it is,” said Will strangely as he rose from bed. “Just look at it shine.” Then Will looked over at Johnathon and saw him still sleeping. A mischievous gleam entered Will’s eye, and he mouthed and motioned to Timothy. They both crept over to the window and opened it. Then they reached out to the short ledge and took some of the snow off from it, quickly closing the window with a slight squeak. Both cringed, but Jonathon only stirred slightly and then resumed his normal breathing.
.     Will crept over to Johnathon’s bed, raising his hand and throwing the snowball plop onto Johnathon’s face. Yes I know, this is the second time that Johnathon has woken up coughing and spluttering in this story. Let us hope it is the last. In any case, after the laughter and explanations, all three boys moved over to the window and looked out, gathering as much snow on the outer sill as possible.
.     “Should we all go downstairs now?” asked Timothy after a while.
.     “I suppose so,” said Will, “though not many people will be up yet.”
.     All three of them traipsed down the attic stairs and down the other flights to the kitchen, where they found their mother just stirring.
.     I sadly cannot go through all the events of the day, as there were so many things that happened that it would be impossible to write them all down. The large feast happened around noon, and before then, all the families spent a lot of time out in the snow, throwing snowballs and even treading barefoot through it for a few moments. There was not a large amount of it, perhaps three inches or so, but what was there was used well. All the meals were scrumptious, and the conversation cheering. Many of the foods were traditional for Thanksgiving, with turkey, bread and butter, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and many, many, many pies for dessert. However, there were also a few English foods such as pigeon pie and English tea for drink. Hot cocoa was also served in good cheer of the cold outside.
.     The extended family stayed over the weekend and some of them then left. The boys were able to move back to their room, much to their disappointment. Then others left, and finally, after a couple weeks, the rest left, having used up all of their vacation time.
.     “They will be missed,” said Will one late afternoon, “but it is good to have one’s house to oneself again. I say, isn’t it extra quiet?”
.     “Yes,” said Lilly, “like old times.”

Switching the Watch

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 203-204

.     Then the crew of the Southern Moor, hot and weary after the long day’s work, came back to the shore where their boats remained. Mr. Perkins and one of the loyal sailors had been tasked to guard them, and both of them looked as though they had just awakened out of a glorious sleep, yet no one reprimanded them as they had been up all the night before. They had been provisioned with some of the food they had recently purchased, which they must have consumed, for there was nothing left but crumbs.
.     “Poor Mr. Heath,” said Adrianna as she yawned. “It has been a long night and day, and he has been down near the stable guarding the prisoners for ever so long.” Her eyes drooped, and her feet dragged in the sand as they made their way to the ship’s boats on the shore. She felt as though she could drop off at any moment.
.     “We will relieve him as soon as we get onboard,” said Captain Underwood, and they pushed off.
.     The waters were calm, and they soon reached the ship, climbing up the rope ladders that still dangled over the side. The first thing done once the boats were hoisted up was to relieve Mr. Heath of his post. He came on deck, looking weary yet still alert.
.     “Nothing to report,” said the master gunner. “They’ve been a quiet lot for all that, though I expect that’s just because of the busy night they had before.”
.     Stars had leapt into the night sky, and a slight breeze was in the air. It was welcoming after the hot day’s work. A few of the lanterns were lit, and the night watch was set (Mr. Perkins and the loyal sailor took first watch, as they had already had some sleep on the beach).
.     “Now then,” said Mr. Thrussell as he looked over his journal. “It’s been a decent day’s labor.”
.     “And tomorrow,” said the captain, looking at the rundown state of the ship, “the true work begins.”
.     They retired for the night, Adrian, Adrianna, and the captain slipping into the captain’s cabin and everyone else crashing on their cots and hammocks (except the watch). Moonlight and starlight came in through the decorated stern windows, and the waters were calm. The children went to sleep to the lulling of the waves lapping against the Southern Moor.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Christmas, Winter, and Good Cheer

The Williams House; Chapter 7: Christmas; Pgs. 145-148

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say: throw cares away
Christmas is here bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, ding, ding, dong, that is their song
With joyful ring all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere filling the air
Oh how they pound, raising the sound
O’er hill and dale, telling their tale
Gaily they ring while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home

.     Maria and Susan were skating near their driveway, using their boots to glide along as they held each other’s hands. Moonlight was dancing around their hair as they turned and flipped along the ice. Both were laughing, not only at their clumsy attempts to skate, but also with sheer glee at the evening and the coming day. Yet their eyes were expectant, eagerly radiant and quiet at the same time.
.     ’Twas in the evening of Christmas Eve, and all were about to embark for a Christmas Eve service. Snow was in the air, and it was falling with a gentle rush upon the ground. It was a cold night. Shadows of the trees were cast on the small skating rank, webbing out with their gnarled branches as though reaching for something.
.     “Come along, girls,” Mrs. Williams was calling from their driveway. “It is time to go.”
.     Susan and Maria saw everyone else filing out of the front door. They quickly did a last skate upon the rink before gliding off, trudging along the shoveled path to the Flying Carpet, which seemed to be waiting for them.
.     “Watch your step,” called Johnathon. “The ice is slick.”
.     After filing in, Maria could hear and feel their father start up the vehicle, making a long rumble beneath her seat. She could see the moon in full blaze out her window, and wondered if it ever became lonely way up there in the sky. Then soon, the vehicle was rolling down the old country road, lines of trees blocking most of the moonlight and casting the bus in darkness.
.     During the ride, Margaret suggested that they sing, and she began speaking the words, “Tis the season to be jolly.” Everyone soon joined her in song, and carols of voices were heard whizzing past to anyone who was out by the road at that time. Then Lilly led them into a Christmas hymn. When completed, their hearts were well prepared for the service that evening.
.     And a grand service it was! The carol hymns rang up from the sanctuary, and it spread into all the hearts and souls of those who heard it. A snow ploughman was ploughing his sidewalk a block away, and his strokes became firmer and his countenance brightened upon hearing the angelic anthems. His work was completed the sooner, and he entered the church building to hear the latter half of the sermon. Others were passing by under the shadow of the moon, and some stepped in to gladden their hearts. Those who didn’t, but turned away in fear or anger, were the worse for doing so.
.     The church sanctuary was soon filled to the brim, and still more people came, many members and many guests. When a troop of smaller children came in who had apparently been having a large nightly snowball fight in the churchyard, the Williamses stood up and gave them their seats. Then Mr. Williams led Mrs. Williams and children to a balcony area where they still might attend the service. The children carried their Bibles up with several hymnals, though they had most of the hymns memorized by heart.
.     After the service, there was a very loud ruckus as the congregation broke out in discourse. Many walked up to thank the pastor. Some left in a quick bustle, anxious to get back for their Christmas festivities. Others talked long with either friends or family, new acquaintances or old acquaintances that had not been seen for a long time. The Williamses and Bentleys talked long and eventually broke out in song with many other families, determined not to have their spirits of good cheer hindered. Those who drove or walked away could still hear the voices, both young and old, singing merrily to them from within the halls of the church. Much was done to thrill the hearts of many that night.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 148-150

Happy New Year for Conservative Cornerstones

Conservative Cornerstones desires to wish you all a Happy New Year!

As this year begins, I am working on getting some gear together for the coming semester of marketing. It will take me a couple weeks before I’m ready to get back into the full swing of things, yet until then, I plan to keep up with my blog posts.

One thing I will be (Deo Volente) upgrading is YouTube! Gone will be the days when my YouTube videos will be grainy and poor-quality. I spent many an hour last semester trying to improve the quality of low-quality equipment. Yet, this will soon change and will allow me to divert more of my time to writing.

As for my third novel, it is coming along, and I have a plan now that should take me to the finished product. I’m writing two drafts simultaneously right now, and then I will overhaul the second draft to make a third draft. The third draft should then be ready to turn in to the editors!

God bless your new year, and I will see you in posts and videos to come!

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!