Tag Archives: Historical Mysteries

Dear Reader #32

Dear Reader,

My new banner featuring some old favourites and forthcoming titles.

My sales on Apple so far this year reveal a pleasant surprise…Digging in the Dirt (Sam) is my current bestseller followed by Secrets and Lies (Sam), Smoke and Mirrors (Sam) and Blackmail (Ann). Digging in the Dirt was great fun to write so I’m delighted that my readers like it too.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shakespearean actress Melinda Mullins. You can read that interview here https://issuu.com/momsfavoritereads/docs/january_2020

Melinda is also a talented artist. Here is an example of her work.

To see more of Melinda’s beautiful paintings and drawings please visit her website http://www.emcleobryant.com

Many thanks to Gloria for her lovely translation of Mind Games into Spanish. We have started the publishing process and the book will be available soon.

This is my 45th translation, sixteen of them into Spanish, with more in progress.

My local beach this week.

My personal top ten this week. Many thanks to everyone who supports my books.

Women of Courage, Heroines of the SOE.
More details from my Eve’s War research.

Valentine Blanche Charlet, born in Belgium on 23 May 1898, was one of the oldest female SOE agents to serve in France. Blanche worked as a courier for the SOE and held the rank of Field Agent and Guerrilla Commander. Before the Second World War she lived in Brussels where she managed an art gallery.

Blanche was one of the first four female agents the SOE trained. When she arrived in France, on 1 September 1942, she worked with fellow agent and wireless operator Brian Stonehouse. 

On 24 October 1942, German detector vans picked up Stonehouse’s radio signals while he was transmitting to London. They tracked him down to his safe house and arrested him. Before the Germans left, Blanche arrived for a pre-arranged meeting with Stonehouse and she too was arrested and interned in Castres Prison. 

The Germans held Blanche until September 1943 when she secured guns and spare keys from a sympathetic Yugoslavian wardress. Along with French resistante Suzanne Charisse and thirty-five others, Blanche escaped.

Blanche and Suzanne reached open country and, helped by Benedictine monks, they took refuge in a monastery. 

The monks sheltered Blanche and Suzanne in a guest house for two months before the women followed an escape route into the Pyrénées. However, the heavy winter snow prevented them from crossing into Spain.

In the spring of 1944, Blanche made her way to Brittany where she boarded a lifeboat ferrying supplies and fresh agents. German patrol boats were waiting. However, despite them and a gunfight, Blanche made her escape. 

Blanche reached safely on 20 April 1944. She made her report and stated that the practice interrogations she had endured with the SOE had saved her life. In more peaceful circumstances, she lived until 1985.

Mary Katherine Herbert was born in Ireland on 1 October 1903. 

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Mary worked in the British Embassy in Warsaw, then as a civilian translator in the Air Ministry. She joined the WAAF on 19 September 1941 and, at her own request, transferred to the SOE in May 1942, aged thirty-nine.

A well educated woman with a degree in art, Mary was fluent in French, German, Italian and Spanish. She also obtained a diploma from the University of Cairo in Arabic. 

Mary trained with Lise de Baissac, a contact who later would have a significant influence on her life. 

Mary arrived in France on 30 October 1942. She travelled to Bordeaux to act as a courier for the Scientist circuit, using the codename Claudine. In keeping with fellow SOE agents she travelled by bicycle and train, liaised with the French Resistance, carried messages, sought safe houses and potential recruits. Another task familiar to Mary and her fellow agents was to arrange and attend parachute drops as fresh agents arrived in France.

In France, Mary caught up with Lise de Baissac. She also met Lise’s brother, Claude. An affair between Mary and Claude produced a daughter, Claudine, born in December 1943. After the birth, Mary and Claudine moved into a flat maintained by Lise.

On 18 February 1944, the Gestapo raided Lise’s flat and arrested Mary in the belief that she was Lise. Separated from her baby daughter, Mary remained in prison until Easter 1944. During that time she created a cover story for herself stating that she was Madame Marie Louise Vernier, a Frenchwoman from Egypt. Despite interrogation by the Gestapo, Mary did not waver from her cover story.

Upon her release, Mary hid in a small country house near Poitiers. In September 1944, after a difficult search conducted in trying times, she was reunited with Claude and Lise.

Mary and Claude, marriage index

Mary married Claude in November 1944. After the war, she lived a quieter life giving private French lessons.

Mary died on 23 January 1983 with her daughter Claudine at her side.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Erin S Riley

Erin S. Riley is the author of the Sons of Odin Series, Viking historical fiction with a heavy dash of romance, adventure, and suspense. Odin’s Shadow, A Flame Put Out, and Oath Breaker follow Selia, a young Irish woman, as she’s forced to marry a Viking warlord and is drawn into a perilous world of obsession, betrayal, and madness. As dark secrets come to light, Selia must make a heartrending choice that might well destroy everything she holds dear.

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Erin Riley has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in clinical counseling. She is also a board certified lactation consultant and has had extensive training in maternal-child health. Since Erin was a child, she has been fascinated with human nature and what motivates behavior. She enjoys writing stories that reflect real life: Erin’s books feature complicated, imperfect characters who love deeply, make reckless decisions, and try again until they get it right.

A lifelong lover of books, Erin taught herself to read at the age of four and hasn’t been without a book since. She is an equal-opportunity reader of fiction and non-fiction, and her shelves are filled with books on archaeology, anthropology, and general history. The social history of women and their place in society across the ages is a favorite reading topic of Erin’s.

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Erin has a bit of an obsession with all things Viking and owns an embarrassing number of reference books on the Viking age. While reading about berserkers she had an epiphany and realized that the crazed, shield-biting men of sagas were actually suffering from a mental illness. On that day the character of Alrik Ragnarson was born.

Erin is drawn to any creative pursuit, from making hand-stitched quilts to producing mini-movies for family and friends from home videos. But writing has always been her passion. When Erin isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children, reading anything she can get her hands on, watching football, and renovating her house with her husband of 18 years. Who just happens to look like a Viking!

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BOOK ONE OF THE SONS OF ODIN SERIES

Odin’s Shadow Obsession. Treachery. Revenge. Redemption. Certain themes resonate across the centuries.

In ninth-century Ireland, Selia is a girl on the verge of womanhood, frustrated by the confines of her gender and resentful of the freedom her brother boasts of. Intelligent and resourceful in a time when neither is valued in a female, she longs for an escape from her sheltered existence. Fascinated by the tales of Viking raids told by her maidservant, Selia’s hunger for independence is fed through the stories of heathen ferocity she hears at the woman’s knee.

A decision to sneak to the city’s harbor to view the Viking longships leads to an encounter with Alrik Ragnarson, a charismatic Viking warlord whose outward beauty masks a dark and tortured mind. With the knowledge that her father is about to announce her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love, Selia marries Alrik and within a day is on the longship bound for Norway and a new life.

While Selia’s relationship with her new husband grows, her friendship with his brother Ulfrik grows as well. And as Alrik’s character flaws come to light and tension mounts between the two brothers, Selia begins to have misgivings about her hasty marriage . . . especially when a secret from the past is revealed, one that threatens to destroy them all.

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A Flame Put Out (Sons of Odin Series book 2) Selia’s saga continues in Book Two of the SONS OF ODIN series . . .

As Selia struggles with the harsh reality of existence as the wife of a Viking berserker, a devastating loss pulls Alrik deeper into madness, while a secret Selia desperately wants to keep hidden comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear.

Is Selia’s love for Alrik enough to keep her in Norway? Or will the protection offered by Alrik’s brother Ulfrik sway her to leave?

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Oath Breaker (Sons of Odin Series book 3) Releasing 12/30/15. The exciting conclusion of the Sons of Odin trilogy:

Sometimes the right man has been there all along…
Selia has fled Norway and her Viking berserker husband to protect her children from his rages. His brother Ulfrik, having long loved Selia from afar, offers his protection. As Selia uncovers the man he is, love blossoms in her heart where there was only emptiness. But will their newfound love survive when Alrik returns to claim what is his?

Erin S Riley on Amazon

The Writers’ Cooperative

Introducing a new venture. A group of leading independent authors and authors who publish through small publishing houses have got together to form the Writers’ Cooperative.

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The Writers’ Cooperative represents the cream of independent publishing. The authors in the Cooperative publish their books independently or through small publishing houses simply because they choose to do so. Independent publishing is not a modern phenomenon – Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol independently so that he could retain full artistic control – and the authors featured in the Cooperative, one of whom has been compared to Dickens, are proud to follow in the great man’s footsteps.

If you are looking for a quality book, professionally written and professionally produced, the Writers’ Cooperative is for you. The Cooperative’s authors cover a wide range of subjects, from history to fantasy, from mysteries to romance and I feel sure that there is something there for everyone. So please feel free to visit their website. Hundreds of reviewers have written glowing reviews, thousands of readers have enjoyed these authors’ books. They look forward to welcoming you among their number.

“Feel as though you’re reading the same tired story over and over? Break away from the rigid formula of the big publishing houses and read a true original! These authors deliver the goods.”

Welcome