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Archive for February, 2016

An Unofficial Guide to how to win the Scenarios of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

I have been a fan of this series of computer games since early in its release of the very first game. That game was done by one programmer, Chris Sawyer, and it was the first I recall of an internet hit. Websites were put up in dedication to this game where people showed off their creations, based on real amusement parks. These sites were funded by individuals, an expense that was not necessarily as cheap then as it is now. Nor as easy to program then as it might be to build a web page now.

Prima Books released game guides for each iteration of the game, Rollercoaster Tycoon 1, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (RCT3) but not for the expansion sets. And unlike the first two works, the third guide was riddle with incorrect solutions. As I played the game that frustrated me. And I took to the forums that Atari, the game publisher hosted to see if I could find a way to solve those scenarios that the Prima Guide had written up in error. Not finding any good advice, I created my own for the scenarios that the “Official” Guide had gotten wrong.

Solutions that if you followed my advice you would win the scenario and move on. But if you followed the
Official” version you would fail and not be able to complete the game. My style and format being different than the folks at Prima, I continued for all the Scenarios that they had gotten right as well, though my solutions cut to the chase and got you to the winner’s circle more quickly, more directly.

My contributions to the “Official” Forum, got me a place as a playtester for both expansions to the game, Soaked and Wild. And for each of these games, I wrote the guides during the play testing phase so all the play testers could solve the scenarios, and then once again after the official release to make changes in the formula in case our aiding to perfect the game had changed matters. For this, Atari and Frontier (the actual programmers of the game) placed me within the game itself.

And for the longest time, these have been free at the “Official” Forums, as well as my own website dedicated to the game. But a short time ago, I noticed that Atari, after one of its bankruptcies had deleted their forums. So now I am releasing the Guide for one and all. I have added new material and it is near 100 pages, just for the first of the three games. It is available for the Kindle at present for $2.99.

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(Click on the picture to purchase)

Not only are all 18 Scenarios covered, but there are sections covering every Cheat Code, Custom Scenery, the famous Small Park Competition, the Advanced Fireworks Editor, the Flying Camera Route Editor which are all the techniques every amusement park designer needs to make a fantastic park in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

Scenarios for RCT 3

1) Vanilla Hills

2) Goldrush

3) Checkered Flag

4) Box Office

5) Fright Night

6) Go With The Flow

7) Broom Lake

8) Valley of Kings

9) Gunslinger

10) Ghost Town

11) National Treasure

12) New Blood

13) Island Hopping

14) Cosmic Crags

15) La La Land

16) Mountain Rescue

17) The Money Pit

18) Paradise Island

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lackington’s Temple of Muses
1793 –

 

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Opened by James Lackington, the bookstore in Finsbury Square was called the “Temple of the Muses” and was said to have been large enough “that a mail-coach and four were driven round the counters at its opening” in 1793. His love of books is exemplified in the tale that, on arriving in London with his wife, he spent their last half-crown on a book of poems. He explained “for had I bought a dinner, we should have eaten it to-morrow, and the pleasure would have been soon over, but should we live fifty years longer, we shall have the Night Thoughts to feast upon.

In 1798, Lackington retired to his estate in Gloucestershire, leaving the Temple of the Muses to his third cousin George Lackington. This included George’s ability to purchase shares in the company of Lackington, Allen & Co.

The first volume of the Lackington’s Catalogue, Michaelmas 1799 to Michaelmas 1800, described over 200,000 books; the second volume, which described over 800,000, was issued in 1803. Selling cheaply in large quantities, for cash only, was the business model, but the firm also went into publishing. Besides George Lackington, the other members of the firm were Allen, who possessed a great knowledge of books acquired from early training with James Lackington, and Richard Hughes, also lessee of Sadler’s Wells. Subsequent partners were A. Kirkman, Mavor, a son of William Fordyce Mavor of Woodstock, and Jones. In 1822 the business was conducted under the name of Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Lepard.

On the retirement of George Lackington, Joseph Harding became the chief partner, and the business was moved to Pall Mall East by Harding and Lepard. Many well-known booksellers received their training there; the “last of the Lackingtonians”, Kanes James Ford, died 11 December 1886, at the age of 94

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Caution’s Heir

Caution’s Heir is now available at all our internet retailers and also in physical form as well

The Trade Paperback version is now available for purchase here @ $15.99 (but as of this writing, it looks like Amazon has still discounted it 10%)

Caution’s Heir is also available digitally for $4.99 @ the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

The image for the cover is a Cruikshank, A Game of Whist; Tom & Jerry among the ‘Swell Broad Coves.’ Tom and Jerry was a very popular series of stories at the time.

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Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!

The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.

Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.

When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?

Today, the iBookstore is added, HERE
Get for your Kindle, Here
In Trade Paperback, Here
Digitally from Smashwords, Here
For your Sony Kobo, Here
Or for your Nook, Here

From our tale:

Chapter One

St. Oswald’s church was bleak, yet beautiful all in one breath. 13th century arches that soared a tad more than twenty feet above the nave provided a sense of grandeur, permanence and gravitas. These prevailed within, while the turret-topped tower without, once visible for miles around now vied with mature trees to gain the eye of passers-by.

On sunny days stain-glass windows, paid for by a Plantagenet Baron who lived four hundred years before and now only remembered because of this gift, cast charming rainbow beams across the inner sanctum. And on grey overcast days ghostly shadows danced along the aisle.

As per the custom of parish churches the first three pews were set-aside for the gentry. On this day the second pew, behind the seat reserved for the Marquess of Hroek, who hadn’t attended since the passing of his son and heir, was Louisa Booth his niece and her companion Mrs Bottomworth.

Mrs Bottomworth was a stocky matron on the good side of fifty. Barely on the good side of fifty. But one would not say that was an unfortunate thing for she wore her years well and kept her charge free of trouble. Mrs Bottomworth’s charge was an only child, who would still have been in the schoolroom excepting the fact of the death of her mother some years earlier. This had aged the girl quickly, and made her hostess to her father’s household. The Honourable Hector Booth, third son of the previous Marquess, maintained a modest house on his income of 300 pounds. That was quite a nice sum for just the man and one daughter, with but five servants. They lived in a small, two floor house with four rooms. It should be noted that this of course left two bedchambers that were not inhabited by family members. As the Honourable Mr Booth saved his excess pounds for certain small vices that confined themselves with drink and the occasional wager on a horse, these two rooms were seldom opened.

Mrs Bottomworth had thought to make use of one of the empty rooms when she took up her position, but the Honourable Hector Booth advised and instructed her to share his daughter’s room. For the last four years this is what she had done. When two such as these shared a room, it was natural that they would either become best of friends, or resent each other entirely. Happily the former occurred as Louisa was in need of a confidant to fill the void left in her mother’s absence, and Mrs Bottomworth had a similar void as her two daughters had grown and gone on to make their own lives.

The Honourable Mr Booth took little effort in concerning himself with such matters as he was ever about his brother’s house, or ensconced in a comfortable seat at either the local tavern or the Inn. If those locations had felt he was too warm for them, he would make a circuit of what friends and acquaintances he had in the county. The Honourable Mr Booth would spend an hour or two with a neighbour discussing dogs or hunters, neither of which he could afford to keep, though he did borrow a fine mount of his brother to ride to the hunt. The Marquess took little notice, having reduced his view of the world by degrees when first his beloved younger brother who was of an age between the surviving Honourable Mr Booth had perished shortly after the Marquess’ marriage. Their brother had fallen in the tropics of a fever. Then the Marquess had lost his second child, a little girl in her infancy, his wife but a few years after, and most recently his son and heir to the wars with Napoleon.

This caused the Honourable Mr Booth to be heir to Hroek, a situation that had occurred after he had lost his own wife. With that tragedy, Mr Booth had found more time to make friends with all sorts of new bottles, though not to a degree that it was considered remarkable beyond a polite word. Mr Booth was not a drunkard. He was confronting his grief with a sociability that was acceptable in the county.

Louisa, however, was cast further adrift. No father to turn to. No uncle who had been the patriarch of the family her entire life. And certainly now no feminine examples to follow but her companion and governess, Mrs Bottomworth. That Mrs Bottomworth was an excellent choice for the task was more due to acts of the Marquess, still able to think clearly at the time she was employed, than to the Honourable Mr Booth. Mr Booth was amenable to any suggestion of his elder brother for that man controlled his purse, and as Mr Booth was consumed with grief, while the Marquess had adapted to various causes of grief prior to the final straw of his heir’s death, the Marquess of Hroek clearly saw a solution to what was a problem.

Now in her pew, where once as a young girl she had been surrounded by her cousins, parents, uncles and aunt, she sat alone except for her best of friends. Louisa was full of life in her pew, her cheeks a shade of pink that contrasted with auburn hair, which glistened as sunlight that flowed though the coloured panes of glass touched it from beneath her bonnet. Blue eyes shown over a small straight nose, her teeth were straight, though two incisors were ever so slightly bigger than one would attribute to a gallery beauty painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

She was four inches taller than five feet, so rather tall for a young woman, but her genes bred true, and many a girl of the aristocracy was slightly taller than those women who were of humbler origins. Her back was straight and for an observant man, of which there were some few in the county, her figure might be discussed. The wrath though of her uncle the Marquess would not wish to be bourne should it be found out that her form had become a topic amongst the young men. Noteworthy though was that she had a figure that men thought inspiring enough to tempt that wrath, and think on it. A full bosom was high on her chest, below her heart shaped face. She was lean of form, though her hips flared just enough that one could see definition in her torso. Certainly a beauty Sir Thomas’ brushes would wish the honour to meet.

The vicar Mr Spotslet had at one time in his early days in the community, discussed the Sunday sermons with the Marquess. Mr Spotslet had enjoyed long discussions of theology, philosophy, natural history and the holy writ that were then thoughtfully couched in terms to be made accessible by the parish. The lassitude that had overtaken the Marquess had caused those interviews to become shortened and infrequent and as such the sermons suffered, as many were wont to note. There had been dialogues that Mr Spotslet had engaged in with the attendees of his masses. Now he seemed to have lost his way and delivered soliloquies.

This day Mr Spotslet indulged in a speech that talked to the vices of gambling. The local sports, of which the Honourable Mr Booth was an intimate, had raced their best through the village green the previous Wednesday for but a prize of one quid, and this small bet had caused pandemonium when Mrs McCaster had fallen in the street with her washing spread everywhere and trampled by the horses. Not much further along the path, Mr Smith the grocer’s delivery for the vicar himself was dropped by the boy and turned into detritus as that too was stampeded over. A natural choice for a sermon, yet only two of the culprits were in attendance this day. The rest had managed to find reasons to avoid the Mass.

Louisa squirmed a little in her seat the moment she realised that her father had been one of the men that the sermon was speaking of. Was she not the centre of everyone’s gaze at such a time? Her father having refused to attend for some years, and her uncle unable due to his illness. She was the representative of the much reduced family. Not only was it expected that the parish would look to her as the Booth of Hroek, but with her father’s actions called to the attentions of all, it was natural that they look at her again. This time in a light that did not reflect well on her father and she knew that she had no control over that at all.

Mrs Bottomworth, who might have been lightly resting her eyes, Louisa would credit her in such a generous way, came to tensing at the mention of the incident. Louisa did not want to bring her friend to full wakefulness, but Mrs Bottomworth realised what was occurring and the direction that the sermon was taking. Louisa’s companion took her hand and patted it reassuringly.

“Perhaps a social call on Lady Walker?” Mrs Bottomworth suggested as they walked back to the house after services. The house which sat just within the estate boundaries was four hundred feet off the main bridal way that led to Hroek Castle. A small road had been cleared from the gatehouse to the house that Mr Booth now maintained, and this the two women travelled.

Louisa generally appreciated visits such as this as she had gotten older, and certainly several of the adults in the neighbourhood showed a kindly interest in her education and the development of her social manners. “I think I shall go to the castle and read to my uncle.” A task that she had done each day of the last fortnight but one.

“We have not talked, but you and the Marquess had an interview with the doctors.” Mrs Bottomworth had tried to comfort her charge after that, but Louisa had waved her hand and gone to sit quietly under a yew tree that had a grand vista of the park leading to Hroek Castle.

 “Uncle will be most lucky if he should be with us come Michaelmas.”

“That will be a sad day when we lose such a friend.” These were words of comfort. Mrs Bottomworth had been well encouraged in her charge by the Marquess but one could not say that they interacted greatly with one another. The Marquess ensured that his brother heeded the suggestions and advisements of Mrs Bottomworth as the Honourable Mr Booth left to his own devices would have kept his daughter in the nursery and would have forgotten to send a governess to provide her with instruction.

“Indeed, my uncle may not have been one of the great men of England, but he is well regarded in the county.” Often with that statement followed the next, “Warmly remembered is it when the Prince Regent came and stayed for a fortnight of sport and entertainment.” This had been many years before, and certainly before any of the tragedies beset the line of the Booths.

“Yes, I have heard it said with great earnestness. But come let us change your clothes and then we shall go up to the great house. I shall have Mallow fetch the gig so we may proceed all the more expeditiously.”

“That would be good, but we will have to use the dogcart. Father was to take the gig to see Sir Mark today, or so he said at breakfast.” Where Louisa knew he would drink the Baronet’s sherry for a couple hours before thinking to return, unless he was asked to stay for dinner.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Joseph Fry (Tea Merchant)
21 April 1777 – 28 August 1861

Joseph Fry (Tea Merchant) was born in London 21 April 1777, the youngest of the three sons, (one of whom died aged 27) and three daughters of William Storrs Fry and Elizabeth Fry (born Lambert), who were “plain” Quakers. His father had moved from Wiltshire to London and established a company dealing in tea and banking services, later called W. S. Fry & Sons.

W.S. Fry’s brother Joseph Fry founded the chocolate factory that was later to become J. S. Fry & Sons and a type-founding works in Bristol, for which the Fry family is famous.

The brothers Joseph and William Fry joined the family business. However, their mother is credited with “the financial acumen which had enabled money both to be acquired and prudently managed: it was a quality which perhaps neither of the sons inherited”.

On 19 August 1800 at the Norwich Quaker Meeting House, Goats Lane, Norwich, Joseph married Elizabeth Gurney, daughter of John Gurney and Catherine Gurney. The bride’s family were proverbially wealthy bankers, originally based in Norwich.

There were five sons and six daughters (one of whom died in infancy):

  • Katharine (Kitty) Fry born 22 August 1801, unmarried
  • Rachel Elizabeth Fry born 25 March 1803 died 1888, married Francis Cresswell
  • John Fry born 1804 died 1872, married Rachel Reynolds
  • William Storrs Fry born 1 June 1806, died 1844, married Juliana Pelly
  • Richenda Fry born 18 February 1808, died 1884 married Foster Reynolds
  • Joseph Fry born 20 September 1809, died 1896, married Alice Partridge
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Fry born February 1811, died 1815
  • Hannah Fry born 12 September 1812, died 10 March 1895, married William Champion Streatfeild of Chart’s Edge, Westerham, Kent
  • Louisa Fry born 1814, died 1896, married Raymond Pelly
  • Samuel Fry born 1816 (known as “Gurney”), married Sophia Pinkerton
  • Daniel Fry, known as “Henry” or “Harry”, born October 1822 died 1892, married Lucy Sheppard

During the 1812 financial panic in the City of London, William Fry precipitated a crisis, by lending a large amount of the bank’s money to his wife’s family, undermining its solvency. It was Joseph’s wife, with her Gurney financial grasp and her connections, who pulled things through; her brother John Gurney , brother-in-law Samuel Hoare III and cousin Hudson Gurney came to inspect the firm’s accounts and, left her in no doubt that they would do “what is needful for us” which, meant a large investment in the W.S. Fry & Sons bank.

During the 1825 City financial crisis, Elizabeth Fry’s relations saved the firm from bankruptcy. When the same problems recurred in 1828, no further Gurney support was offered and on 21 November, W.S. Fry closed.

The Gurneys acted as receivers and saved the tea merchant business, placing it under their control with Joseph Fry on a salary of £600 per year.

Bankruptcy was not tolerated by the Religious Society of Friends. Joseph Fry was disowned by Ratcliff & Barking Monthly Meeting in May 1829: however he was re-instated, with much admonition in 1838.

When they were first married, they lived “over the shop” in St. Mildred Court, Poultry, City of London. After his father’s death in 1808, they moved to the grander Plashet House, East Ham. In 1829, they needed to reduce their expenditure and moved to a smaller house in “The Cedars”, Upton Lane. After the death of Joseph’s sister, Elizabeth Fry, they moved to her home, Plashet Cottage, East Ham. He lived there until his death on 28 August 1861.

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Beggars Can’t Be Choosier

One of the our most recent Regency Romances.

Beggars has won the prestigious Romance Reviews Magazine Award for Outstanding Historical Romance:

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It has also been nominated for the 2015 RONE Awards in the category of Historical:Post Medieval sponsored by InD’Tale Magazine.

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It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats. For $3.99 you can get this Regency Romance for your eReader. A little more as an actual physical book.

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When a fortune purchases a title, love shall never flourish, for a heart that is bought, can never be won.

The Earl of Aftlake has struggled since coming into his inheritance. Terrible decisions by his father has left him with an income of only 100 pounds a year. For a Peer, living on such a sum is near impossible. Into his life comes the charming and beautiful Katherine Chandler. She has a fortune her father made in the India trade.

Together, a title and a fortune can be a thing that can achieve great things for all of England. Together the two can start a family and restore the Aftlake fortunes. Together they form an alliance.

But a partnership of this nature is not one of love. And terms of the partnership will allow both to one day seek a love that they both deserve for all that they do. But will Brian Forbes Pangentier find the loves he desires or the love he deserves?

And Katherine, now Countess Aftlake, will she learn to appreciate the difference between happiness and wealth? Can love and the admiration of the TON combine or are the two mutually exclusive?

Purchase here:Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks, & Trade Paperback

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If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Frederick Ellis
17 September 1800 – 16 August 1841

Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Frederick Ellis was the son of Charles Ellis, 1st Baron Seaford and Elizabeth Catherine Caroline Hervey. He was educated at Eton College between 1811 and 1814, and commissioned into the 9th Regiment of Light Dragoons in 1817. On 4 October 1821 Ellis purchased a captaincy in the 76th Regiment of Foot.

He stood for the Seaford constituency, a seat controlled by his father, in the 1826 general election. He was returned as the Member of Parliament alongside fellow Tory John Fitzgerald. Ellis vacated the seat to allow George Canning to hold the seat for four months in 1827, before resuming it. He rarely attended the House of Commons and focused on his military career, being promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the 60th Royal Rifles in December 1828. Ellis voted for Catholic emancipation in March 1829.

He died in Jamaica in August 1841 while in the command of the 2nd Battalion of his regiment. He had married Mary Frances Thurlow Cunynghame, daughter of Colonel Sir David Cunynghame of Milncraig, 5th Baronet and Maria Thurlow, on 25 June 1828. Their son was Sir Arthur Ellis.

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We’ll All Go A Trolling Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For $2.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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Barnes and Noble for your Nook

Smashwords

Amazon for your Kindle

King Humphrey, retired, has his 80th birthday approaching. An event that he is not looking forward to.

A milestone, of course, but he has found traveling to Torc, the capital of the Valley Kingdom of Torahn, a trial. He enjoys his life in the country, far enough from the center of power where his son Daniel now is King and rules.

Peaceful days sitting on the porch. Reading, writing, passing the time with his guardsmen, his wife, and the visits of his grandson who has moved into a manor very near.

Why go to Torc where he was to be honored, but would certainly have a fight with his son, the current king. The two were just never going to see eye to eye, and Humphrey, at the age of 80, was no longer so concerned with all that happened to others.

He was waiting for his audience with the Gods where all his friends had preceded him. It would be his time soon enough.

Yet, the kingdom wanted him to attend the celebrations, and there were to be many. So many feasts and fireworks he could not keep track, but the most important came at the end, when word was brought that the Trolls were attacking once more.

Now Humphrey would sit as regent for his son, who went off to fight the ancient enemy. Humphrey had ruled the kingdom before, so it should not have been overwhelming, but at eighty, even the little things could prove troublesome.

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