Tag Archives: France

The Muse #1

The Muse

#1

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 🙂

 

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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Mini Mystery #4

The First Getaway Car

On 21st December 1911, a French anarchist gang made history by using the first getaway car. The car, a 1910 Delaunay-Belleville luxury limousine (pictured), registration number 783-X-3, was stolen on 14th December 1911 by four members of the gang who changed the plate to 668-X-8.

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A week later they used the car to intercept a bank messenger en route to a bank in Paris. At 8.25 am the messenger arrived by tram carrying a satchel and briefcase. A gang member grabbed the satchel and briefcase, but the messenger would not let go. Shots were fired, wounding the messenger. With the satchel and briefcase in their hands, the gang jumped into their getaway car, executed a screeching  U-turn and sped away.

They left the car in Dieppe, which suggested to the police that they had fled across the channel. However, they were still in France. In hiding, they opened the satchel and discovered 5,126 francs while the briefcase contained 130,000 francs-worth of useless cheques and bonds. If only they had looked inside the messenger’s jacket where they would have discovered a wallet crammed with 20,000 francs.

 

 

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #4

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement, #4, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

A highlight of recent months has been a growing readership in France for the Sam Smith Mystery Series. This week, Smoke and Mirrors, Sins of the Father and Stardust all featured in the top thirty of Amazon France’s female sleuths chart. Furthermore, Stardust was ranked #5 in the new releases 😃

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As usual, Sam has been wandering the mean streets of Cardiff this week. She also attended a dog show. Did you know that there are 339 breeds of dog?

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Sam also wandered close to the River Rhymney, which brought to mind Idris Davies’ poem, Gwalia Deserta, later set to music as The Bells of Rhymney by Pete Seeger and performed here by the Oysterband. Idris Davies’ poem was inspired by the 1926 General Strike and by the abusive policies of the mine owners. Dedicated to my coalmining ancestors.
Oh what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Is there hope for the future?
Say the brown bells of Merthyr.
Who made the mine owners?
Say the black bells of Rhondda.
Who killed the miners?
Say the grim bells of Blaina.
They’ll plunder willy-nilly,
Say the bells of Caerphilly.
They have fangs, they have teeth,
Shout the loud bells of Neath.
Even God is weary,
Say the moist bells of Swansea.
What will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Put the vandals in court,
Shout the loud bells of Newport.
All will be well if, if, if,
Say the green bells of Cardiff.
Why so worried, sisters, why?
Say the silver bells of Wye.
What will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Oh, what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Is there hope for the future?
Say the brown bells of Merthyr.
Who made the mine owners?
Say the black bells of Rhondda.
Who killed the miners?
Say the grim bells of Blaina.
Who killed the miners?
Who killed the miners?
Who killed the miners?
Who killed the miners?

One of the characters Sam encountered this week suffered from the compulsion to self-harm. If you have friends or relatives in a similar situation this article might help them and you Psychology Today

HH Book 1 Sams Song FINAL RGB

I have been fortunate enough to receive some wonderful five-star reviews, including this one, this week, for Sam’s Song.
“I so enjoyed getting to know Sam Smith, a private investigator with an abundance of wit and compassion despite her past. Sam’s Song is well-written and contains vivid descriptions of the characters and settings. While the story touches on some difficult topics (drug and alcohol use, violence against women and children) there are no overly graphic scenes. Mixed in are some laughs as well as a blossoming romance that keep the overall feel of the book fairly light. This is the beginning of a series and I look forward to seeing how Sam’s character develops.”
As ever, thank you for your support. More news next week.

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Editing, Writing and Sales

I’m halfway through editing Stardust, book ten in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. The book is on schedule for publication on the 1st March; many thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered the book. Meanwhile, the storyboard for Mind Games, book eleven in the series, is nearly complete and I hope to start on the first draft next week.

Sales of the series continue to go well, particularly in France where, as I write, Smoke and Mirrors is #16 on the Amazon female sleuths chart.

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/bestsellers/english-books/84506011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_eb_1_4_last

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