Category Archives: Ann’s War

The Fifth Man

I’m researching a mystery novel set in 1948, working title The Fifth Man. That year was memorable for many notable events, including:

The nationalisation of the railways in Britain
The first Kinsey Report into sexual behaviour
Gentleman’s Agreement won the Oscar for Best Picture
The film premiere of Hamlet
Australia’s cricket team, ‘The Invincibles’, toured Britain led by Don Bradman

Columbia Records introduced the LP
The Manchester Baby became the first stored-program computer to successfully complete a program
The film premiere of Oliver Twist
The Summer Olympics in London
The founding of the National Health Service in Britain, inspired by Welsh politician Nye Bevan. This will be central to my story

Discover more in my Amazon store https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/460F9ED0-6D82-43A0-AF0A-4A626C707C85

The Muse #1

The Muse

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The Devil and Ms Devlin eBook Cover

The Devil and Ms Devlin, Sam Smith Mystery Series book fifteen, will be published on Easter Sunday. The book will be available for pre-order from 21st January 2019.

A lovely quote from Gene Tierney, discovered while researching her life and career, “A romantic picks the rose and is careless with the thorns.”

My books have sold well in France over Christmas with several making the top 💯. Also, a lovely review for Secrets and Lies, in French.

Beaucoup de plaisir à lire cette série qui n’a guère de prétention autre que de distraire le lecteur avec des personnages attachants et des histoires variées. C’est un roman policier variante eau de rose (l’harlequin du polar) qui fait passer un bon moment sur une plage ce qui n’a rien de méprisable, les bons moments sont toujours bons à prendre!

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I’ve read so many excellent books this year, it’s impossible to pick a favourite. However, if forced to nominate one I would select A Study of Household Spirits of Eastern Europe. Check it out. It’s truly delightful.
https://www.amazon.com/Household-Spirits-Eastern-Europe-Creatures-ebook/dp/B07H7V5KX6/

I love movies from the 1940s through to the 1970s. I also love Dana Andrews as an actor. Therefore, I was delighted to receive a DVD of Fallen Angel for Christmas. I’m sure this movie will influence a novel I’m researching. Set in 1948, my novel will feature one of the characters from my Ann’s War series and will have a noir feel, similar to The Third Man.

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One of the highlights of the past year has been working with my team of talented translators. In particular, I would like to send Christmas greetings to: Cristina, Anita, Tais, Irene, Laura D, Luc, Zachary, Laura N, Minea, Jill, Silvia, Eva and Christina. Thank you. I look forward to working with you again in the new year.

I’m co-founder and co-editor of Mom’s Favorite Reads. Lots of great seasonal content in our December magazine. It’s FREE. Check it out 🙂

 

Walking Away From Amazon

Interesting how the kaleidoscopic patterns in publishing change. Since July, at least ten of my books have featured regularly in the top fifty in Australia, so Australia is becoming the home of my books. Maybe I will set a Sam Smith story there one day. Also, because Amazon doesn’t have the ability to publish books in numerous languages, and my aim is to publish books in a variety of languages, other retailers are becoming more important. For my paperbacks, Amazon are now irrelevant because Gardners are my main outlet. And the profits from paperback sales easily eclipse the profits from eBook sales. All this is good, methinks. I don’t think in terms of success, I think in terms of enjoyment. And the path I’m following now, away from focusing exclusively on Amazon and eBook sales, is certainly an enjoyable one 🙂

SAVING GRACE AUDIO BOOK

Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Saving Grace. The audiobook will be published in October and will be available from iBooks, etc.

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Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Blackmail, Ann’s War Book Three. Blackmail will be published in November.

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A satisfying weekend for my books with a huge boost in sales on Barnes and Noble, seven titles just outside the top 💯 in Italy, Sam’s Song at #4 in America, Boston a hot 💯 new release and Saving Grace a bestseller also in America. Furthermore, yesterday Sam’s Song was featured alongside Mary Poppins, Janet Evanovich and J.K. Rowling.

27433ACC-2B15-4391-8333-31D4CBBD8852Writing and publishing should be about fun and we had great fun this afternoon recording a video for a leading book promoter. I was chief script writer, autocue operator and camera person while Daniela Jones provided the onscreen talent. The video is with the promoter now and it’s up to him how he will use it, but I hope I can share it with you soon. This video is part of a package that will transform book promoting. Some promoters are elitist and don’t give everyone a fair chance, but soon that will change. The target audience is two million readers. Exciting, I’m sure you will agree.

B321445C-E5E2-4A10-BA1D-AE92DB86C05FMy latest article for the Seaside News.

 

 

 

 

 

Research, Cover Reveals and Translations

Having stepped off the Amazon eBook promotional treadmill, I wondered if I’d want to climb back on. After a period of reflection, the answer is ‘no’. Been there, done that. Why go round in circles when there are so many paths to follow? Besides, I’ve achieved all I want to achieve with eBook sales. Time to move on.

Currently, I’m researching my latest Ann’s War story, Escape. This story is based on a true event, the mass escape of 76 German prisoners of war from Island Farm POW Camp 198. This plan shows the facilities at the camp, which included a concert hall, a coffee shop and a football pitch. You will also notice two escape tunnels indicated on the plan. More of them later.

Island Fam Map

This week, I published Boston, Sam Smith Mystery Series book fourteen. Meanwhile, here is the draft cover for The Devil and Ms Devlin, book fifteen in the series. The Devil and Ms Devlin with be published in the spring of 2019, and will be available for pre-order soon.

The Devil and Ms Devlin eBook Cover

To celebrate the fact that I published four books this week in four different languages – Bulgarian, Dutch, English and French – I have a new section on my website, Translations. You will also find books in Italian and Japanese in this section with many more to follow.

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Snow and Sales

This week saw a record-breaking mid-week sales day for my books. The Big Chill topped my personal chart, maybe because of the snow that fell recently.  Incidently, in this picture the book under The Big Chill was written by Howard Marks who hails from the village next door to me. I’m also pleased to report that Mariel is making good progress with the translation of Sam’s Song into Spanish. More news of that in future posts.

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Invasion, Ann’s War Mystery Series book two, is now available as an audio book from iBooks, Audible and Amazon. In partnership with my narrator, Suzan Lynn Lorraine, this is my tenth audio book. More will follow, including Smoke and Mirrors, Sam Smith Mystery Series book nine; Blackmail, Ann’s War book three; and Saving Grace. The paperback copies of Invasion arrived from the printer this week and are now available from my Store.

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Pictured, Helena Normanton. In the 1920s, Helena Normanton was one of the first women to practice law as a barrister in Britain. I’m working on an idea to create a mini-series about a female barrister set in the 1920s. I had in mind two support characters and while writing this a third character, her brother, has suggested himself.

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The editing of Saving Grace is going well. For me, the editing process is about polishing the words. I storyboard everything before I write the story, therefore when I edit I never alter the plotline.

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In the coming months I will be publishing an eMagazine, called Mystery. If you would like to follow progress and receive a free copy of the magazine please like my Facebook Page

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In case you missed it, here is my second mini mystery for the Seaside News.

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 More news next time. As ever, thanks for your interest and support.

The Muse March 2018

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The first draft of Saving Grace is complete. I have a month of editing ahead. Then the book will be printed and made available for pre-order on Amazon. This is a very exciting project and I am looking forward to publishing the book.

MOCK-UP VICTORIAN CEILING

Ornate ceiling and lighting in the Grange from my forthcoming Victorian novel, Saving Grace.

MOCK-UPS VICTORIAN KITCHEN

Florrie the maid plays a key role in my forthcoming novel, Saving Grace. Here is an example of her working environment, a Victorian manor house kitchen.


MOCK-UP ACCOUNTANT

I have now become a business with an accountant, tax forms, etc. This reminds me of a joke Detective Inspector Sweets MacArthur told Sam in Love and Bullets. “A company director is interviewing candidates for an important position and decides to select the individual who can answer the question, how much is two plus two? The first candidate is an engineer. He pulls out a slide-rule and shows that the answer is four. The second candidate is a lawyer. He states that in the case of Jubliman versus Jubliman two plus two was proven to be four. The final candidate is an accountant. When asked what two plus two equals the accountant slips out of his chair, looks under the desk, scans the room for hidden microphones and makes sure that no one is listening at the door. Then he whispers, “Did you have a particular number in mind?'”


MOCK-UP BETRAYAL 3

A wonderful weekend for Betrayal, book one in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. The novella reached #1 in Australia, #2 in Britain and #5 in America and Canada, on the historical mysteries charts. In addition, Betrayal is our ninth audio book production and it’s now available from iBooks, Amazon and Audible.

MOCK-UPS ANN STORE

Ann’s parents, in my Ann’s War Mystery Series, run a general store, like this one.


MOCK-UP MIND GAMES

Three of my books are in the top 100 in Germany, A Parcel of Rogues, Mind Games and Digging in the Dirt. Also, I am delighted to be featured in this article by Riffle Select


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My books are mysteries, but all are centred on emotional issues, the sort of issues we face as individuals or through family and friends. Therefore, I am delighted to announce my partnership with BetterHelp


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In case you missed it, here is my latest mini mystery for the Seaside News.


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And finally this month, bestselling novelist Ken Follett presents an excellent series of videos on how to write suspense, based on a history of the genre.