John Danielski spent four years working his way through college as an interpreter at historic Fort Snelling. He played a soldier of 1827; wore the uniform, did the drill, fired the weapons, and ate the food of the period. He particularly enjoyed serving on the cannon crew of the Fort's 12 pounder. He is a phi beta kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota and has worked as a high school history teacher and small town newspaper editor.
He has a black belt in tae kwon do and enjoys sailing, cross country skiing, and hockey. He is a master of the board game Diplomacy, a determined if abyssal chess player, and is proud to say he has never played Halo. He lives with his closest advisor, Sparkle, the wonder cat.
For more information, visit his website: tompennywhistle.com
1810: The Royal Navy of Great Britain is all that stands between Napoleon and absolute domination of Europe. Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle is assigned to HMS Active, part of a small squadron of frigates in the Adriatic Sea. It’s considered a sideshow theatre of the war, but on those waters, one of the greatest naval battles of the age will be fought.
As a Marine, Pennywhistle fights on land and sea. He leads his handful of men first against a battalion of Napoleon’s Army and finally against the French fleet in all its terrible grandeur, always leading from the front, fighting not only with weapons but by using his wit – cool and analytical where others are blinded by passion.
Pennywhistle’s own passions will be aroused by the beautiful and fiercely independent Carlotta, and he will be tested by conflicts that make him question his deepest principles.
HMS Active will take Pennywhistle's measure. Will he measure up?
"Ambushed by the charming, charismatic, and complicated character of Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle, the reader of Active's Measure becomes a willing captive to his grand adventures in this riveting nautical adventure. Pennywhistle commands one's attention and respect from his first act of personal heroism to his final act of magnificent selflessness. The writing is as strong, forceful, and compelling as the handsome marine himself. Thrilling, heart-warming, and intense enough to hold the novice's attention as well as the most demanding connoisseur of period military detail, the intrigue and action will leave the reader breathless for Pennywhistle's next adventure."
–Thomas George, Master's Degree in Interior Design and Antiquarian
“Meet a truly remarkable hero, Captain Thomas Pennywhistle. In Active’s Measure, John Danielski brings to life the world of warfare at the time of the Napoleonic Wars in vivid and detailed writing based on exhaustive and intelligently informed research. Alongside this, his skill in inventing and telling a rollicking good tale makes turning of the next page inevitable. This first novel brings a new and remarkable author to the world of naval fiction, one to be watched with keen interest in the future.”
–George Odam, Professor Emeritus Bath Spa University
“An exciting, fast-paced, naval swashbuckler with vivid writing that makes you feel you are living every broadside, sword slash, and musket shot. The action is strong and unremitting, the plot twists are sharp and surprising, the characters robust and strongly realized. The central character, Thomas Pennywhistle, shows traces of Sharpe, Hornblower, and Darcy, yet emerges as a distinctive, complex personality worthy of your full attention. This is a real page turner; be prepared for sleepless nights.”
–James Taylor, Ph.D. Southern University
“This is not just a wild, edge of your seat nautical tale for men, but a powerfully passionate and captivating love story that women will enjoy from start to finish. The hero, Tom Pennywhistle, while certainly brave, resourceful, and constantly captivating you with his feats, is also a surprisingly deep, reflective, and somewhat cunning character with a dark side. Carlotta, the object of Pennywhistle’s admiration, is a strong, capable, independent female who exemplifies great sensitivity to a woman’s point of view. It is refreshing to see a heroine who is competent and not a mere damsel in distress who exists simply to be put in jeopardy and then rescued. The endearing chemistry between hero and heroine leaves you in constant fear for the survival of their future. Unable to stop at the end of each chapter, I decided the author must have employed as yet undiscovered reading pheromones!”
– Sandi Lindstrom
“This is a wonderfully well told story, with great imaginative flair and well-researched detail. It combines vividly dramatic action with sympathetically drawn characters on all sides of the battles. Although the hero, Captain Pennywhistle, says ‘I am a marine officer, not a spinner of rattling sea yarns,’ John Danielski takes us right into the heat of the action and spins a rattling good yarn of the Napoleonic War.”
– John McRae, author of The Routledge History of Literature in English