Tag Archives: book for boys

Inspiring young readers with STEM

I hear a lot of talk about encouraging youngsters into technical subjects and careers. My take on this is that hearts and minds are won early, through inspiration and positive experiences. It could be a great teacher, project or visit. Most likely it is a personal experience that is rewarding and fun. All the better if there are opportunities to follow up and develop those interests hands-on. But what really sparks the enthusiasm and motivation inside a young person’s mind?

I believe it is imagination and the space to create and build on ideas.

When I began writing I had a series of choices to make. I could chase the market and write what was most likely to be published next. Or I could play safe and fit in with the typical bookshelf of the day.

I decided to do neither.

I asked my son and his friends what they really wanted to read about in their leisure time. They talked about adventures, gizmos and technology. I set about weaving real-world science and history references around their interests, while keeping things fast paced and witty. And so Sean Yeager Adventures was born.

Here’s an example — How does a light sabre work?

Possibly you are now thinking about energy, particles, plasma, heat, contact, radiation. Perhaps batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, nuclear reactions, matter, laws of thermodynamics, the properties of light etc.

There’s no right answer. My digression was to get you thinking about science and design. Who knows, perhaps one day there will be a real light sabre? I’ve asked this question at home and our conclusions were hilarious.

I’ve heard it said that Star Trek communicators inspired mobile phones. Either way, I suspect we are far more visual than we realise. If we see it, imagine it and think about it, do we then set ourselves the tasks of concepting, designing, researching and building?

Of course the world is full of ideas. Skill, knowledge and application are huge factors, and that is where the education system comes in. Perhaps if we start encouraging imagination and enthusiasm as well, future generations will be better motivated to follow through on their ideas in technical areas?

I’ll leave that debate to academics and educators.

My aims as an author are to inspire, entertain and encourage young readers to investigate science and history for themselves. To date I’ve woven in references to Egyptology, cloning, artificial intelligence, robotics, mind training and numerous technical gizmos.

I have to say that researching the facts has been fascinating, and writing the books has been a blast!

Thanks for reading.

D.M. Jarrett

Author of Sean Yeager Adventures

www.SeanYeager.com

www.seanyeager.com

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Sean Yeager Claws of Time – Chapter One – draft

www.seanyeager.comHunters Hunted Text 2l

Hi,

Here’s a sneak preview of the first chapter of Sean Yeager book three – Claws of Time. As you can see, things begin to hot up for Sean, Emily and The Foundation when Darius Deveraux arrives in London and presses on with his evil plans.

While I edit, revise and complete book three, please check out the first two books – DNA Thief and Hunters Hunted – which are available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and all major online stores. Also see the website here at: www.SeanYeager.com .

For newcomers: In Sean Yeager Adventures, two factions battle each other while shipwrecked on Earth, leaving Sean and Emily to figure out why they are involved and how to find their missing fathers. As events unfold around them Sean and Emily strive to live normal lives and find out clues about their past, present and future.

Sean Yeager Adventures are action, mystery, adventures with sci-fi and wit, set on a near-real Earth. They are written for middle grade to young adult readers (8 to 17) and upwards. If you or your children like James Bond, Star Wars, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter or Alex Rider, they will most likely enjoy Sean Yeager Adventures.

Read on and find out for yourself… Note: this is an early draft and will magically change during the editing process.

CHAPTER ONE : DISCOVERIES

A solitary Hyperjet raced across a charcoal sky, tracing an unseen path above a maze of brightly lit buildings and streets. It flew between vast, metal and glass structures, banking and weaving in anticipation of each cloud-piercing tower. The pilot adjusted his control stick and throttle. He fought against a strong, gusty wind that sprayed his cockpit window with horizontal lines of rain and violently threw his craft from side to side. He raised the Hyperjet’s nose to gain height and felt his neck and shoulders press hard into his seat. Wincing inwardly, he spoke into his headset.

“ETA two minutes. Get ready, it’s blowing a gale out there!”

“Affirmative,” replied Agents Geist and Stafford in unison.

The Foundation Agents patted their harnesses and pouches several times with gloved hands, each running through a mental checklist of their equipment. Their Hyperjet levelled and approached a sharp, triangular tower that glowed turquoise in the darkness. Circling briefly, it began to hover and descend towards a gleaming spire, using a red flashing light to guide their way. Captain Shaw, spoke on the intercom.

“Okay Gents, remember this is a recon only mission. Get in quietly, collect your evidence and get out. We need to know what happened to our delivery man. The Brigadier doesn’t want any heroics, understood? I’ll circle the area and wait for your signal.”

The agents nodded to each other. They rose from their seats and took up positions at either end of the cabin.

“Understood Vixen, we’ll be as quick as we can,” replied Stafford.

“Seriously, we’re looking for a missing postman?” grinned Geist. “Ok Vixen, take us down nice and easy.”

“I’ll do my best, but it’s going to be choppy.”

“It’s our lives on the line,” added Stafford.

“You don’t say?” replied the pilot.

The agents clipped their harnesses to winch cables and waited.

“Opening doors in 5, 4, 3, 2, open.”

A deafening howl of wind and rotor noise filled the cabin. The floor split in two, revealing the flat, glowing roof of the Adastra tower. It was an area no wider than a half a basketball court and was surrounded by angular metalwork. Agents Geist and Stafford stood silhouetted against the city lights and tightened their face masks. They stepped carefully onto winch foot-plates and wrapped their hands and wrists through loops of cord at chest height.

“Prepare to drop. Are you ready? Geist?”

“Affirmative.”

“Stafford?”

“Affirmative.”

“Lowering Geist in 5,4,3,2, now!”

Agent Geist swung a short distance across the floor and plummeted downwards. He braced himself against the wind and held tightly to his hand and foot holds. The storm blew him in a spiral and he swung four feet above the roof.

“Geist, you’ll have to jump!” ordered Captain Shaw. “I’m not going to risk it.”

Agent Geist groaned to himself and repeated a drill he had practised a hundred times. ‘Grip, release clip, hold steady, pick your spot.’

“Ooofff!!”

Geist leapt feet first and landed firmly on gravel, only a few feet away from a row of blue illuminated skylights.

“Geist in position. It’s freezing down here,” he reported, pulling his assault weapon from its shoulder holster and tightening the strap around him.

He scanned the rooftop through the weapon’s scope. There were no signs of life, only air conditioning units, some solar panels, a few aerials, a gantry crane and the appalling weather.

“Why did we have to pick tonight of all nights?” he muttered, shivering in the cold.

Geist stayed low to the ground and crept a short distance across the roof.

“Vixen, the coast is clear. Give Stafford a shove from me.”

Geist kept watch over the rooftop, constantly scanning for movement. He peered up for a moment at the noisy shadow hovering above. A dark figure fell rapidly from the Hyperjet’s belly. It jerked to a halt, and began to swing in circles. Geist flipped his weapon onto his back and ran across to help. He grabbed Stafford’s winch plate at shoulder height and steadied it.

“Come on Twinkle-toes, show time!” he joked.

Agent Stafford leapt from his platform and fell sideways.

‘Crunch!’

He landed on a blue skylight. A hairline crack extended from the front of his right boot and forked violently across the glass. Stafford stretched out to spread his weight and slowly crawled off the glass on all fours. He rolled onto the gravel.

The two agents waited in silence for an alarm to sound, but there was nothing. Above them, their winch cables rose and vanished into the night sky.

“Geist, Stafford, what’s your status?”

“Vixen, we’re down in one piece,” replied Agent Geist.

Stafford nodded ruefully.

“Vixen withdrawing. God’s speed Gentlemen.”

“Stay close, Vixen,” added Geist.

“This is Vixen, wilco and out.”

********************************************************
Sean and Emily crept into the family room at Kimbleton Hall. A log fire flickered invitingly in a large grate. Above it, on a stone mantelpiece, stood a plain ceramic clock with Roman numerals. It was nearly seven pm.

“Where’s the remote, Em?” asked Sean. “Our film’s on soon.”

“Wherever you left it silly,” replied Emily, slouching into the most comfortable armchair and lying back with her legs curled up.

“Ahh! Where is it?” complained Sean, scouring the room.

He overturned scatter cushions in a frenzy and threw them in a heap.

“Phew!” he said, finding the controller beneath a purple sofa.

There was a creak at the door and footsteps rippled through the wooden floor.

“Not so fast you two,” announced a familiar voice. “We’ll be catching up with the news, if it’s all the same with you?”

Sean hissed under his breath, and hid the remote behind his back.

Emily’s mother, Mrs Campbell, entered the room with her dog, Braveheart, bounding along beside her. She was followed by another set of footsteps.

“Sean, hand over the remote,” ordered Mrs Yeager. “Now!”

Sean grimaced and pretended not to hear. He turned on the TV and selected a movie channel. The film was Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of his favourites. Emily giggled.

“Now look here, Sean,” began Mrs Yeager. “If you want any time on your computer this month, you’ll hand me the remote this instant!”

“Oh, Mum!” complained Sean, throwing the TV controller onto a chair beside her. “It’s so unfair…”

“Enough!” snapped Mrs Yeager. “There’s something on the news I want to see.”

Mrs Yeager selected a news channel and turned up the volume. The first program was an advert.

“That’s right, buy one bottle of Aqua Vervier and get three bottles absolutely free! Aqua Vervier, feel the goodness of life inside you!”

“Stuff and nonsense,” muttered Mrs Campbell.

“If it’s that good, why are they giving it away?” added Mrs Yeager. “And what’s wrong with tap water anyway?”

“It tastes disgusting for a start,” replied Sean.

And it’s full of chlorine and calcium,” added Emily.

“Calcium’s good for you, my dear,” corrected Mrs Campbell.

“Chalk?” replied Emily.

“Shoosh!” snapped Mrs Yeager, increasing the volume to an almost deafening level. “This is it!”

“Today, an exciting Egyptian discovery was announced by the British Museum. Over to our reporter James Morgan.”

“Boring,” complained Sean.

Mrs Yeager ignored him and leaned forwards in her chair.

“Yes Mark, a team of international archaeologists, based here in London, has discovered a long-lost Egyptian temple, with the aid of satellite technology. In this image, you can clearly see a complex of buildings hidden beneath the sand.”

Sean and Emily studied the TV screen. It showed a black and white image with two blurred squares. Inside the squares, were some shadowy lines and around them were a group of irregular blocks.

“That could be anything,” joked Sean.

“So James, have there been any finds at this new site?” continued the anchor man.

“Yes Mark, the team have announced the discovery of a significant number of artefacts, many of which will be displayed in a special exhibition later this month. What is remarkable, is that this site is hundreds of miles from any other Egyptian ruins. Of course, its location is being kept a closely guarded secret.”

“Amazing,” said Mrs Yeager.

“More mummies? Don’t we have enough of those already?” asked Sean.

Mrs Yeager scowled.

“It wouldn’t hurt you to take more interest in history young man,” she replied. “The sooner you go back to school the better.”

“Oh Mum!” groaned Sean.

“Or we’ll have to find you both another tutor,” added Mrs Campbell. “After what happened…”

Emily sighed, and glanced first at Sean and then towards her mother.

“Actually, I’d like to go back to school Mum,” she said.

“Hmm, we’ll have to see my dear,” replied Mrs Campbell

The news program moved on to its next story and showed a home-made video of a meteorite striking a parked car. The car had a huge dent in its roof and exploded shortly after impact.

“And this is only one of a number of incidents,” said the reporter.

“Why? What happened?” asked Sean.

“Listen,” said Mrs Yeager.

“Locals here say that last night there were an unusually large number of meteorites, some as large as a tennis ball. This video was recorded by a tourist and shows a meteorite destroying a parked car.”

“And what other damage have they caused?” asked the anchorman.

“Well Mark, we have reports of houses being hit, a school bus, some trees, and several commercial buildings.”

Sean and Emily giggled.

“What’s so funny?” asked Mrs Yeager.

“We can’t go back to school because a meteorite could flatten it,” laughed Sean.

“Why? Is your school in America?” asked Mrs Campbell.

“Erm,” replied Sean sheepishly.

Mrs Yeager laughed.

“You have the attention span of a gnat, Sean. The reporter was talking about meteorites in America. Okay, you can watch your film now,” she said.

“And I’ll make you some popcorn my love,” added Mrs Campbell.

“Yes!” cried Sean pumping his fist. “Thanks, Mrs Campbell!”
********************************************************
Two men wearing full-length, black trench coats entered a dimly lit restaurant. It was situated in a quiet London side-street. Although it was early evening, and already dark, its first customers had yet to arrive. The men studied several rows of immaculately prepared tables and a handful of eager waiters. Satisfied that the restaurant was safe, one man returned to a waiting limousine, while the other held the door open for an older, distinguished gentleman.

“I’ll wait here, Sir,” he said.

The gentleman nodded, and gave his coat to a waiter. He sniffed at the green ceramic up-lighters and informal décor. It was a bistro at best. In the centre of the room, stood an impressively large aquarium containing a sunken ship. It was brightly lit, in shades of yellow and blue, with constantly rising bubbles. It appeared to contain lobsters with their claws bound. A figure walked towards him.

“Ah Minister, thank you for coming,” announced a tall, slim, white-haired man, who reached out to shake his hand.

“Mr Deveraux, a pleasure as always. Alas, I am pressed for time. I have some important reading to do before tomorrow’s Cabinet.”

“Of course, Minister, of course,” smiled Darius Deveraux. “Shall we?”

A waiter led them to the best table in the virtually empty restaurant. It was set with glasses, napkins, and a small table lamp. The Minister for Interior Affairs sat with his back to the aquarium, and reached for a breadstick.

“So Mr Deveraux, how can I be of assistance?”

Darius Deveraux sat opposite wearing tinted glasses. He beckoned for the menu, and offered the Minister a small bowl of olives.

“I’ll be direct, Minister, it’s The Foundation. I’m concerned they are a great danger to the public.”

“I understand your concerns,” nodded the Minister. “But you realise they have friends in high places, including the Prime Minister?”

Deveraux stretched his pale face into a half smile.

“I can tell you are not a supporter of The Foundation, Mr Deveraux?” added the Minister.

“My concerns are that they spend public money, and have a record of causing damage to public property.”

“Well, let me allay your fears, Mr Deveraux, The Foundation does not receive a penny from the Government. It is entirely self-funded.”

The Minister accepted a copy of the menu and sighed. He scanned it briefly.

“I am relieved to hear it,” replied Deveraux, focusing on the Minister through his glasses. “However, my sources tell me that The Foundation are reckless. Only a few months ago they destroyed an entire shopping mall.”

The Minister raised his right hand in acceptance.

“And the whole affair was thoroughly investigated. It was caused by eco-terrorists. The Foundation was cleared of any wrongdoing.”

“How convenient?” scowled Deveraux. “And who was backing these ‘eco-terrorists’ I wonder?”

Deveraux nodded to a waiter, unseen by the Minister. From the aquarium, there was a gentle sloshing of water. The Minister looked up with a quizzical expression.

“I believe that someone’s chosen a lobster,” he explained. “Are you partial to them?”

The Minister shook his head, and returned to examining the menu.

A waiter stood behind them, and flipped open the aquarium’s lid. He appeared to mentally choose a lobster, but looked startled and quickly backed away. He composed himself and approached the Minister.

“Are you ready to order?” he asked.

The Minister peered over his reading glasses and gave an audible ‘huff’ as he breathed out. Deveraux noticed the waiter’s eyes glow red and nodded to him.

“I need another two minutes,” replied the Minister, shrugging as he returned to his deliberations.

Behind him, a dark shape slowly approached the front of the aquarium, sending lobsters scuttling in all directions. The creature completely covered the shipwreck with its muscular bulk. It was covered in dark, mottled scales, with here and there a few luminous green stripes. It stretched out and extended several long tentacles above the waterline. Using its suckers it climbed and reached over the edge of the aquarium’s thick glass wall.

‘Slap!’

With a sudden whiplash motion, the creature hurled a lasso-like tendril around the Minister’s neck. The Minister sat bolt upright with a startled look on his face and gasped. His veins pulsed and protruded on either side of his throat.

“Are you alright, Minister?” smiled Deveraux.

“Feel my pain!” wheezed the Minister, with his eyes rolling upwards inside his eye sockets.

“Excellent choice, Minister,” added Deveraux. “I knew you would see it my way. The Foundation simply cannot be allowed to continue. Are we clear on this matter?”

The Minister struggled to reply and Deveraux did not wait for a response. He stood and leaned over the table, steadying the Minister’s head with his left hand. The tentacle released its grip and withdrew to the aquarium, as quickly as it had arrived. Deveraux ignored it, and picked up a napkin with his free hand. The Minister groaned quietly as if in a trance, his eyes now shut. Stepping around the table, Deveraux dabbed at a red puncture mark on the Minister’s neck and raised his shirt collar to hide the evidence. Next, he gently lowered the Minister’s head to rest on the table, beside his plate. Deveraux waited a moment, before walking confidently across the restaurant towards the bodyguard.

“I think the Minister needs your help,” he called.

The bodyguard stopped reading his newspaper and crumpled it in two. He looked disgruntled, as if someone had disturbed his rest. Deveraux spoke calmly.

“He seems to be over tired,” he added.

“Leave it to me, Sir,” replied the bodyguard, speaking into a microphone inside his sleeve, and glancing across at his superior.

By now, the Minister was sitting upright and babbling incoherently with a wide grin on his face. The aquarium had returned to its yellow and blue glow, with red shapes wandering slowly across its gravel bed. A waiter stooped to wipe the polished oak floor with a napkin, while another poured water into a bulb-shaped glass in front of the Minister.

“It’s been a long day,” smiled the bodyguard. “He’s barely eaten.”

“Indeed,” replied Deveraux with a smile. “I do hope the Minister will be okay.”

The bodyguard grinned.

“I’m sure he’ll be fine after a good night’s sleep, Sir.”

********************************************************
Agent Geist unclipped a pouch from his webbing. He opened its cover and selected a cutting tool and a spray can.

“Looks like the shutters are pretty strong,” he said. “Lucky for you.”

Geist leaned over the row of skylights. It extended for several paces in a large rectangle, like an ornamental glass pond. Beneath it, he noticed a grid of interlocking metal fins that formed a solid barrier. A faint blue light glowed through some punched holes in the metalwork.

“What do you mean?” asked Stafford, inspecting the glass.

“Or you’d be freefalling into the lobby” explained Geist. “Splat!”

“But it’s toughened glass,” said Stafford. “It cracked, that’s all.”

“Here,” said Geist, passing Stafford a sonic cutter. “We’re behind schedule. Try not to break it.”

Geist motioned for Stafford to cut an adjoining panes of glass. Meanwhile, Geist cut a large oval hole. His sonic-cutter squealed at a high frequency, barely audible to humans. Using a handle with two suction cups, he removed the unwanted glass and laid it on the roof, beside a row of heat-exchange units.

The rain had stopped, but a strong gust of wind nearly blew Geist off his feet. He crouched and leaned into the storm, until the wind had died down.

“So how are we going to get through those shutters?” asked Stafford.

“Watch and learn. If this gel doesn’t work, we’re aborting the whole mission,” replied Geist.

Geist leaned over the first hole and sprayed a fine gel onto the shutters. The aluminium fins spluttered and fizzed, throwing steam and bubbles of noxious vapour into the night sky.

“Stand back!” he ordered. “Or it’ll melt your face.”

Stafford staggered away and nearly lost his balance.

“Of course, that might be an improvement,” chuckled Geist.

Satisfied with his work, Geist repeated the exercise on the second hole.

“Okay, let’s find something firm to hitch onto,” he said.

After several minutes of preparing lines, harnesses and clips, Geist tested their anchor points and nodded.

“Scanners on,” he said.

Stafford shuffled forwards and sat on the window frame, with his legs dangling into an empty space.

“No signs of movement below,” he reported.

Geist sat beside him. A cavernous atrium stretched out beneath them for hundreds of feet. He could just make out a row of elevator shafts in the dim light. Geist felt his heart pounding and checked his harness and line for the third time.

“Remember, we’re heading for the first balcony on the right,” he said. “Last one down is buying drinks!”

Agent Geist cast off into the chasm and whirred down his line, swinging gently as he went. He braked by wrapping his boots around the rope and squeezing with his legs, as the floor approached. Geist landed softly, and quickly detached himself. He took up a position with his back to the wall, and brought his weapon up to his shoulder. Through his scope, he noticed a line of elevator cables and a handrail. Only one of the elevator cars was visible. It was glass-walled and empty.

“Quiet as a crypt,” he reported, scanning the rest of the balcony.

Geist watched Agent Stafford land a short distance away.

“What kept you?” he joked.

“My need to stay alive?” replied Stafford grimly.

“It’s gonna cost you,” grinned Geist.

Geist watched Stafford pull out a sidearm from his thigh holster and check that it was loaded.

The building was strangely quiet and even the gale outside was now a distant rumble.

“Where’s the night watchman?” asked Stafford.

Geist crawled to the edge of the balcony on his hands and knees and peered down into the main lobby. Far below, he could just make out a lone orange spot against a cool grey background. In front of it, stretched a wide, curved desk.

“In the land of nod by the looks of it,” he replied.

“Vixen, we are in position, over,” reported Stafford.

“I copy that,” replied Vixen.

Geist rose to a crouched position and scanned each end of the short balcony through his assault weapon’s sight. It had a neatly carpeted floor with fake plants and little else.

“Okay Houdini, work your magic,” he said.

“I’m on it,” replied Stafford.

Geist stood guard, and watched Stafford run past him to examine a door with a long vertical bar for a handle.

“Where’s the keypad?” asked Stafford.

“Come on, we’re running out of time!” complained Geist, turning around.

Stafford scanned the wall looking for signs of heat and shook his head.

“Do you have any burn gel left?” he asked.

“Sure do, but we’re under strict orders not to leave any mess behind.”

Geist reached into his map pocket and pulled out a pencil-shaped device and threw it to Stafford.

“Magnetic impulse detector,” he declared. “There has to be a locking mechanism somewhere.”

The device flashed green, as Stafford swept the wall on the left-hand side of the door frame.

“Set your blaster to impulse, should do the trick,” suggested Geist.

Stafford fired his blaster at the wall. His weapon hummed quietly, but nothing happened.

“More juice,” muttered Stafford, adjusting the power level.

Stafford fired again and a short flash emerged from a tiny crack in the wall. A small gap appeared in the textured wallpaper and a square flap became visible. Stafford pulled out his combat knife and prised open the outer casing. “Looks like a manual override,” he explained.

“Then fuse some wires, Houdini! We’re late for dinner!”

Instead, Stafford reached inside the wall box and flicked a switch.

‘Hiss!’

The door opened inwards with a sudden rush of air. Geist approached and peered into a dark corridor.

“It’s all clear! Come on!” he said.

The moment Geist took his first steps into the corridor, another door hissed open a few strides ahead. He raised his weapon, fearing the worst.

“Wait!” called Stafford.

But he was too late, Geist passed the inner door, and began to scan the interior.

“Stone cold,” he reported. “I can’t see a thing in here for the fog. It’s colder than outside.”

Geist crept forwards, and switched his helmet scanner to sense heat and movement. The room was dark and full of dense vapour. He noticed a cold, blue pattern on his headset, but no sign of activity.

And it stinks of chlorine. What is this place? A swimming pool?” he complained.

“That’s what we’re here to find out,” replied Stafford. “Come on Geist, raise your game.”

Geist inched slowly forwards through the fog, and heard a dull metal ‘clang’ beneath their feet.

“What was that? Did you drop something?” he asked.

Stafford, turned towards him, with his weapon and visor glowing bright red.

“It’s our boots,” he replied, tapping his foot against the hard floor. “We’re on a metal walkway.”

“I don’t like this,” said Geist. “Take your readings, and let’s get out of here!”

“Sure,” replied Stafford. “Just a little further.”

Agent Geist noticed a tiny flash of red light at ankle height on his left. Stafford took a step towards the beam.

“Stop!” he cried.

‘Bamm!’

The inner door slammed shut behind them and hissed. It was followed by the howl of overhead fans. Soon, the fog began to swirl around them. Geist turned to his right. On infra-red he noticed a distant orange spot, it was joined by a second, then another. A row became visible, then a second row. He flicked his headset to ultra-violet and his stomach sank like a lead weight. Geist realised in horror that they were standing in a vast gallery, four floors high that stretched as far as the eye could see. Each floor held several rows of stands, and each stand held a dark figure wearing a mask, tubes, and a combat suit.

“Stop!” he ordered.

Stafford stood with his weapon raised. Around him, a pale orange glow illuminated the clearing fog on all sides, and a series of dull thuds echoed through the gallery. Geist peered into the mist and saw the distant outline of a dark figure. Behind it stood another. One by one, the figures moved, with their eyes shining red. His infra-red sensor glowed with a patchwork of heat patterns, changing from pale yellow to orange and then crimson.

“Hostiles ahead,” he reported. “This is going to get really messy.”

 

I hope you enjoyed Chapter One of Sean Yeager Claws of Time (book 3 in the series). Please stay tuned for more news about Sean Yeager books.

For more information, take a look at the website at www.SeanYeager.com

Books One and Two are available from Amazon UK and Amazon US in print and e-book formats. Book Three will be ready in 2017.

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readers love Sean Yeager Adventures books

Sean Yeager books are written to inspire and excite readers. I often hear feedback from parents and I ask what their child likes and ‘why?’ Here are some highlights.

If you are considering buying a present for a child in your life (8 to 15) take a look at a free sample of the first chapters: DNA Thief and Hunters Hunted .

Verbal feedback about DNA Thief:

Mike:  My son raved about the DNA Thief, he said it was the best book he’s read. He loved the action and insisted on writing his own Amazon review. He’s quite selective about what he reads and he took his time reading it because he didn’t want to miss anything. I was taken aback, we’ll buy the second book as a special present.

Alison: Our son was up until late reading DNA Thief and he wouldn’t put it down. He finished the book within two days. He says it’s his second favourite to Percy Jackson. He loves all the gear and gizmos. He asked if there can be more machines and gear in the next book? He wants to know what happens next.

Anne: My son read both books from cover to cover in a few days. He’s now read it twice and raves about the characters. He’s been designing pictures of craft and bases inspired by  the book. He can’t wait to read the third book. He’s asked if there can be more jokes and lots of incidents. He loves the characters and wants to know more about what happens next.

Here are some Amazon.co.uk reviews in the words of the reviewers:

It is sci-fi and an action thriller rolled into one, and centres on Sean Yeager, who believes he is fairly ordinary until a burglary at his home reveals he is anything but. The boy is spirited away by a protector he didn’t know he had – The Foundation. From there the plot unravels at terrific speed, and reveals secrets about Sean’s Dad and his own status.
My only comment would be that the title and cover graphics might not be as enticing to kids as they should be – this book deserves to be read! The other character names, such as Major Clavity and Greerbo – are certainly spot on.
Both tongue-in-cheek and seat-of-your-trousers thrilling, it is cleverly written ‘take’ on the ‘Boy Fights World’ philosophy of more well known titles and, in my view, stands up just as well. Love2readuk

There was so much action in this fast-paced thrill ride that I kept seeing it as a movie in my head. Never sure where the story was going, I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. What would have helped was to have put on some popcorn first! Although I understand that this is the first in the series I wanted to know more about Sean and indeed his mom who is quite the character and I laughed every time she shows up. I hope we see more of her in the series. What I also really liked was the fact that the bad guys really are bad guys and not some laughable buffoons like we tend to see in so many other kid stories. DragonOne

Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief is a fast-moving action-packed novel containing lots of exciting, humorous and thrilling scenes. This book is a must-read and a worthy competitor for James Bond. The story is about an organisation that has set out to protect a boy named Sean Yeager, who has special powers. Although he is only a boy, a lot of trouble was spent to kidnap and protect him and it’s fun finding out why. This book has really excited me and I can’t wait until the next book comes out!:-) LavaMitts

And a review from Goodreads USA:

I will put this book into my reading cupboard for my high school students as they will enjoy it. This story had action and an interesting storyline and I want to know what is going to happen to Sean and why he is so important to the Founder. How do I get this next book?  A, Goodreads

 

Wishing you a great holiday season and a Happy New Year!

I’ll be busy preparing for the celebrations, while finding time to develop book 3 Claws of Time which is now plotted and in progress. There are so many ideas I’m struggling to fit them all in!

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett

www.seanyeager.com

 

 

 

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures books

What next after Harry Potter? 5 Great middle grade to tween book series

Well it had to happen, our son has read all the Harry Potter books and we’ve been searching for other great book series. In no particular order here are 5 great book series for middle grade to tween readers. (I have omitted Young Adult titles deliberately).

1. Harry Potter Click here

Obvious really. If the first three books don’t grab your child’s attention I guess they don’t like Harry Potter. Stand by also for the comparisons and proclamations of the things not in the films which are better presented in the books. Strangely the shorter books were voted the best by our son, perhaps they were better edited?

2. Percy Jackson Click here

Now you do need to allow your child to settle with the idea that Greek and Roman myths have been ‘borrowed’ and transplanted to the US. (Not my idea of plausible I have to say). Apparently the books are an easy and exciting read with lots of action. I would add that they seem to be easily read in next to no time. Good news for the author and publisher, not such great news for the parents asked to buy the next book in a matter of hours.

3. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Click here

Perhaps a push for middle grade and pretty heavy in volume. We started with The Hobbit and it was very well received. A budding fan is born. I await the film and book comparisons. LOL. Given the length of both that could be some years away.

4. Sean Yeager Adventures Click here

Fast paced, exciting and full of ideas. Our son and several of his friends have been up all hours reading and re-reading books one and two. Be prepared for an explosion of ideas, designs and follow on stories.

5. Bear Grylls Mission: Survival  Click here

Apparently these books are non-stop boys own adventures with all the details added in. Useful if you are ever stuck in a jungle and need survival skills. If only there was an episode for commuters and office workers.

6. Artemis Fowl Click here

Technically this is the sixth book series, though I did say ‘after Harry Potter’. We have had a mixed reception with this series. Son loves the action and humour, he’s not so keen on the faeries. Nonetheless a worthy addition to our humble book series list. Lots happens and there are plenty of books in the series.

So there you have it parents, grand parents, aunts, bloggers. We hope you find this list of book series useful when seeking purchases for the children in your life.

Happy reading.

D.M. Jarrett

 

Son inspires Father to write children’s book series

It all began on a foggy Saturday morning one autumn. I was driving my son to a football match along a winding country road. The fog was so thick we could hardly see the next bend, let alone the trees standing silently on either verge. Fortunately, the traffic was light and there were no wild deer wandering around. It seemed so surreal and closed-in that it made me feel like we were completely alone in the world. Two explorers on an empty trail.

‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we were kidnapped by aliens?’ I joked.

My son laughed and asked me what kind of spaceship they had. I invented a story as we drove along. It was a bit corny and very Close Encounters, but my son loved it. A huge ship with bright lights levitated our whole car into the sky, swallowed us whole and sped away into space.

‘And then what happened?’ asked my son.

We arrived a little late for the football match and I think the result was a hard-fought draw. On the way home my son again asked about the aliens. Over the next few days he asked for more  details, which I dutifully made up on the spot. And he drew pictures of the aliens, their home world and their ship. The mushroom headed aliens from the orange planet had been discovered!  As a surprise, I wrote a short story about an elaborated version of the adventure and printed it out, My son was only 5 years old and it seemed like a great way to encourage his reading. Sure enough, he read the twenty page story several times over and asked for more. He continued to request more information about the aliens and wandered around the living home inventing elaborate details. He invented their home world, their food, how they communicated and where they lived. A creative professor was appointed.

We still talk about that first story to this day. I have the printout tucked away in a folder somewhere. Over the following months I wrote several other short stories. A fairytale, a mystery and a spy story. Each was studied and my son acted as editor and critic. He was honest and articulate. We also shared the stories with one of his closest friends. Two of the stories stood out for them. The aliens and spies. They enthused about them and developed intricate details of the gear they used and how they outdid their enemies. It dawned on me that these two boys enjoyed nothing better than reading about gizmos, gear, ships and of course adventures.

Fast forwards several years, I am in the process of plotting Sean Yeager books 3, 4 and 5. My son, now 10, introduces inspired ideas. Sometimes accidentally, often with great precision and deep thought. He is the self-appointed ‘chief designer’. If a craft or building is referred to in a scene he designs it. Factions, tactics and missions are declared regularly with requests to talk about the ‘Golden Era’ or the ‘Foundation Commandos’. A timeline was invented pitching the  first two books firmly in the middle of an epic saga. So far so Star Wars and yet not at all.

We are both fans of James Bond, Star Wars and numerous films and characters. Monty Python and Johnny English for example. With a twist. Many are the times we debate where all the Stormtroopers have suddenly arrived from and why they can’t hit a barn door at five paces? Austin Powers is another favourite for making fun of the baddies and their huge private armies. We are convinced that every base must be wired with self destruct devices from day one.

Without giving away plot spoilers, it is true to say that my son has now inspired at least three major plot points in book 3 and most of the outline plot for book 4. Book 1 was drawn in part from two early short stories, while book 2 was I have to say mostly my own creation to surprise and stretch the genre. I have long since decided to stretch the SY world as far and deep as I can. With some humour and plot twists thrown in for good measure. The back story is about spies and two factions attempting to defeat each other and leave Earth. Hence the tagline James Bond meets Star Wars. Of course Sean Yeager Adventures are also original with a flavour of their own.

In the Sean Yeager world nothing is what it seems. For a start it is superficially just like the town you live in. Things break and go wrong. There are no massive armies or heroes who survive certain death for implausible reasons. You see, none of these plot angles would survive my number one muse and critic. And I find that the confines of constraint are far richer veins to explore than heroes and enemies with infinite resources. Perhaps those are variations on the ‘unstoppable force and immovable object paradox’? Or the similar ‘slap shot syndrome’.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to have entertained my son and his friends. Long may it continue. They have pretty much demanded book 3 with helpful hints such as: ‘more gear and vehicles please’.  They have role played the heroes and villains and taken them far further than the existing plot lines. Lego ships and paper drawings abound. We once made Kimbleton Hall in plan view out of basic Lego bricks. It was great fun. Book 3 is overdue and the plot is already well-defined. All that remains is the many hours of writing, refining and editing. LOL.

It seems that inspiration is circular, from author to readers and around again. From father to son and now son to father. One day who knows we may be watching a Sean Yeager film together and debating the finer points scene by scene. Now that would be fun.

D. M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures

Amazon reviews:www.seanyeager.com

Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride

 

New year, new story…..

Hunters Hunted Text 2 small

So welcome to 2013, not my favourite number, but I’m glad we have all that Mayan nonsense out of the way. Lo and behold nothing happened. Or to be more precise more of the same continued to happen. More meanness, cruelty, deception, opinionated horse droppings etc etc. I dare say if we could turn the clock back to 2013 BC it would be much the same. Power, corruption and lies only a different flavour and some different empires in full flow….

Over the holiday season I’ve been busy avoiding the echo chamber of writers selling stuff to each other. It’s been refreshing. It’s also given me a chance to focus on book 2 – Sean Yeager, Hunters Hunted. The cover is nearly completed and I’m progressing well on the many passes of revision and updating. Not my choice of fun activity, but essential none the less. And even if I say it myself (and I am, ’cause there’s no one else here….) it’s a step up from the last book with loads of stuff going on. It is essentially an action, mystery adventure with lots of action and weird stuff. It’s funny to think this could be a future classic and so far no one but me has read it yet. More on that in future posts….. 

So above there’s a quick sneak preview of the cover while I continue the never ending rounds of revision. I’m also mind mapping out some ideas for book 3, which given the strengths of Hunters Hunted is going to be a challenge, a good challenge. It’s also the part I enjoy the most, so it’s all good. Yep, plotting is where it’s at people! Be afraid characters, be very afraid. Some nasty stuff will happen to some random people among you…. Ha ha ha!

Happy 2013 and happy reading.

D.M. Jarrett

It’s not a matter of life or death, it’s more serious than that……… the riddle of unloved sci-fi

Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief Cover, available now at Amazon, Kobo

Following a late night debate over a beer or two, I recently researched the best selling films of all time

I like all kinds of fiction and non-fiction in films, TV and books. I like comedy, horror, adventures dramas and such like. I only draw the line at ‘crud’ and the majority of chick flicks. So that also rules out anything Twilight related. (Yes I can’t stand them – for me the Underworld series is a far better story)

I began writing Sean Yeager Adventures because it felt right and because it arose from my interests as a youngster. We used to have no end of sci-fi on TV: UFO, Dr Who, Star Trek, Blake’s 7. And at the lighter end we had Danger Mouse, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and many more. I guess some of it rubbed off and then Star Wars happened…

So back to the film stats. It turns out that nearly 1/3 of the top selling films of all time are sci-fi and they account for just under 1/3 of the gross income for the top 50 (that’s about 28% or $13.2 Bn).

The big winners are of course well known:

  • Avatar
  • Star Wars
  • Transformers
  • Inception
  • ET
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Matrix

To which we can add other big films like the Terminator, Alien and Star Trek series who fall outside the top 50.

And my point is?

Simply this – how come there are so few top selling books that are sci-fi?

I don’t believe for a second that sci-fi lovers don’t buy or read books.

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett