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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #36

Dear Reader,

My personal top ten this week. Through kind gestures and loyal support many people contribute to my books. Thank you one and all.

The prologue for Operation Zigzag is now in place. This prologue establishes the background to my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE series. Recently, I said that I like to know the last line of a story before commencing writing. With a twelve book series it’s difficult to know the last line. However, while cleaning my teeth this morning the last line came to me. Now, I have the beginning and the end so all I need to do is add the thousands of words in the middle 🙂

https://books2read.com/u/mKDDyv

My latest translation, the Spanish version of Digging in the Dirt, published soon.

More exciting translation news. I’m delighted that Adriana has agreed to translate Victory in my Ann’s War series, into Portuguese, and that Sandra has agreed to translate Eve’s War into German.

Three authors who write quality books. Please visit their websites and discover their wonderful stories for yourself.

Folklore, fantasy and more from Ronesa Aveela http://www.bendideia.com/ and http://www.ronesaaveela.com/

International Mysteries from Rachael Wright http://www.authorrachaelwright.com/

Romantic Thrillers from Heather Ramsay https://www.heatherramsayauthor.com/

Operation Zigzag, book one in my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE Series is now a Hot 💯 new release in America, Australia, Britain and Canada. Many thanks to my readers for supporting my books.

https://books2read.com/u/mKDDyv

Pearl Witherington was a remarkable woman. Her life story serves as an inspiration for my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE Series. 

In 1943, Pearl underwent training to become a SOE agent. Her file reveals a page of signatures where she practiced her new identity as Genevieve Touzalin, a secretary in a match company. 

Once I’ve established my Eve’s War series I would like to write a biography of Pearl Witherington. In an age of heroes and heroines, she stood tall, beyond compare.

I’m reading the SOE Spy School manual published in 1943. In the chapter about disguise the manual offers the following advice for making your face look younger: “Apply hot towels, then apply alum all over the face. This tightens the skin considerably and when talcum is applied afterwards gives a fresh young appearance.”

Women of Courage Heroines of SOE

Phyllis ‘Pippa’ Latour was born on 8 April 1921. Her father,Philippe, a French doctor, married Louise, a British citizen living in South Africa. When Phyllis was three months old her father died. Three years later her mother married a racing driver who allowed his new wife to race his cars as well. Sadly, this resulted in an accident and her mother’s death.

In November 1941, Phyllis moved to Britain where she joined the WAAF, serving as a flight mechanic. Through the WAAF, Phyllis came to the SOE’s attention and they invited her to join their physical and mental training courses. Phyllis was motivated to join the SOE because the Nazis had shot her godmother’s father and her godmother had committed suicide while imprisoned. She joined on 1 November 1943 and was commissioned as an Honarary Section Officer.

On 1 May 1944, Phyllis parachuted into Orne, Normandy to operate with the Scientist II circuit, using the code name Genevieve. She worked as a wireless operator alongside Claude de Baissac and his sister, Lise.

A small woman, Phyllis was fluent in French. Often, she posed as a teenage girl whose family had moved to the region to escape the Allied bombing. As cover, she was an art student from Caen who sold soap from her bicycle and mingled with the German soldiers.

When Phyllis obtained military intelligence she encoded it for transmission using one-time codes that were hidden on a piece of silk tied around her hair. On one occasion, the German’s brought her in for questioning, but they failed to examine the silk in her hair. On another occasion she deterred would-be searchers by pretending that she had scarlet fever. 

After D-Day, Phyllis was held prisoner for five hours by the Allies because her looks did not match her official description, so adept had she become at disguise. Eventually, she was recognised by a guide and released. From her vantage point, she watched as the Allies marched through her village heading south on their mission to liberate France.

After the war, Phyllis married an engineer. Together, they had a family and lived in various countries, mainly in Australasia.

“Why do you think we are on this earth? To make people happy. But you can’t make everyone happy. So you decide to make one person happy; just one. That’s why you’ve been created, given intelligence and a set of emotions.” – Claude Arnault to fellow SOE agent Anne-Marie Walters, both pictured, during a conversation while hiding from the Gestapo.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Categories
Dear Reader

Dear Reader #28

Dear Reader,

Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen, is now available to pre-order from all major Internet stores, including Amazon. Here is the universal link 🙂

https://books2read.com/u/bpEv8J

As a teenager, Ros McCarthy offered Mark, her baby son, up for adoption. Now, as an adult and a successful author, she wanted to reconnect. With Faye at my side, our task was to locate Mark.

Along the way we learned about Ty Gwyn, a children’s home, and the people who lived and worked there. However, as we probed, some people became nervous and issued threats.

Then, unexpectedly, a murder. Was the murder and our investigation into Mark’s whereabouts connected, or merely coincidence? I suspected the former, then had my doubts as the maze became more complex.

Snow in August, the story of a village and its secrets, a tale of longing and regret, and the realisation on my part that you should always cherish the people you love.

Sam dominates my personal top ten this week. And a new number one, Boston, a story set at Christmas 🎄 

On behalf of Mom’s Favorite Reads I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Melinda Mullins. Melinda is a mult-talented actress and artist with Shakespearian productions, appearances in M*A*S*H and a starring role in Remember WENN to her name. She’s also led a fascinating life away from the television screen, living in the New Mexico wilderness away from the modern world, and now in rural France. In our interview Melinda talks about her career highlights and offers a revealing insight into her creativity and her personal life. The full interview will be published in January 2020, in Mom’s Favorite Reads.

Many thanks to Adriana for another wonderful translation. We have started the publishing process and the book will be available soon.

As editor of Mom’s Favorite Reads I’m delighted to support Christmas For CAMHS this Christmas. Learn more about this excellent organisation here https://t.co/CSEh8cHiRB?amp=1

Congratulations to my friend and Mom’s Favorite Reads’ cofounder Rebecca Carter (who writes as Ronesa Aveela). Her book about household spirits is referenced in Time magazine!

https://time.com/5753369/the-witcher-history-folklore

It’s believed that the first photograph of a snowman was taken in Wales by Mary Dillwyn (c.1853) one of the first female photographers in the world.

Me, in the bathroom, every morning 🤣

Merry Christmas!

Hannah xxx

Categories
Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading #2

Recommended Reading, books that have captured my interest and authors I admire.

Sparky by Millie Slavidou

Sparky is a newly-hatched dragon with a problem: he can’t breathe fire. Not wanting to stand out from all the other dragons, he leaves the nest and sets off on an adventurous journey to solve his problem. Finally, he meets Nicky, who is determined to help him on his quest to find the secret of fire.

Will Sparky ever discover how to breathe fire?

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

Promised Land by Robert B Parker

If you like my Sam Smith Mystery Series then you will enjoy Robert B Parker’s Spenser series. Promised Land is book four in the series and offers a good insight into all the main characters at their best.

Harvey Shepard’s wife has run away and private detective Spenser has been hired to find her. A seemingly easy mission, but there may be more to this case than meets the eye.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village by Ronesa Aveela

The day fire and ice erupt from the sky, everything changes forever for twelve-year-old Theo. He discovers that dragons are real when Lamia, a three-headed monster, kidnaps his sister. A witch and a talking magpie help him open the portal to Dragon Village, a land he knows only from myth, a place filled with terrifying creatures. A young woodland nymph befriends him when he arrives. He must learn to trust his instincts as he searches for a way to defeat Lamia before the dragon sacrifices his sister. In his journey, he uncovers secrets that reveal that only he can save the mystical land.

In this book, you will discover some of the terrifying creatures from Bulgarian and Slavic mythology. Some you may know by other names: Samodivi are Veelas from Harry Potter fame, only here they’re shown as supernatural creatures of the forest.
Baba Yaga, Harpies, and other creatures find their way into these pages, as well as the dreaded Lamia.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

Tangwstyl by Mansel Jones

Tangwstyl is a story of love and murder, of loyalty and betrayal. Set in the medieval town of Kenfig in the year 1399, the story centres on a prophecy made by Merlin and the birth of a girl, named Tangwstyl. Based on historical fact, Tangwstyl tells the story of King Richard and a plot to assassinate him, of Owain Glyn Dwr and his struggle for personal and national justice, and of the medieval Church and its desire to suppress all forms of heresy. Tangwstyl also tells the story of the common men and women of Kenfig, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, events that would alter long held beliefs and reshape lives.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

The Curate Barley Mysteries by T E Hodden

Griffin Barley is a friendly local Vicar, the curate of an inner city church, in a troubled parish. His mentor wants him to find a wife, his sister wants him to find a life, and trouble just keeps finding him. These are the adventures of a sleuthing priest, who has no desire to keep finding mysteries.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

Categories
Book Reviews

The Miracle Stork

The Miracle Stork by Ronesa Aveela

Ronesa Aveela’s The Christmas Thief was one of my favourite books of 2015, so I was keen to get my hands on The Miracle Stork, an illustrated story about traditions and customs, though the delights of the book extend well beyond its initial premise.

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The Miracle Stork is about the spring time tradition of the martenitsi, a tradition that is very popular in Bulgaria and with Bulgarians to this day. But you don’t have to be Bulgarian to enjoy this book and it’s story. Indeed, The Miracle Stork covers the wider concept of celebrating your own customs and embracing who you are.

As well as a delightful story, the book also contains a series of beautiful, colourful illustrations, a section on making the martenitsi and penda, and an activity section for younger readers. This is truly a magical book containing a subtle but important message; more than that it is a book of quality brimming with joy.

Amazon Link

Categories
Book Reviews

Light Love Rituals

Book Review – Light Love Rituals by Ronesa Aveela

This is a beautiful book in terms of content and presentation. Light Love Rituals is divided into seasons, which makes for easy reading and understanding. The depth of the authors’ research is outstanding, though this is no dry, academic treatise, instead it is a book that grabs and holds your attention on every page.

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Highlights of the book include the views of a fictional family, the Did You Know? text boxes and the beautiful illustrations. Also, there is a recipe section crammed with tasty dishes. I have tried some of these recipes and intend to try more!

Our lives are full of traditions and rituals – many of them pagan – and these traditions and rituals are so ingrained that we take them for granted. By reading about Bulgaria’s traditions you will not only learn more about a fascinating country and its culture but also open your eyes to the traditions that offer a rhythm to our modern lives.

Light Love Rituals is an enchanting book, a delight.