Mom’s Favorite Reads

Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine January 2019

Very proud to be the co-founder and a co-editor of this magazine. I hope you enjoy it.

The Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine January 2019

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In this edition

  • An exclusive interview with bestselling novelist and Dr Who screenwriter Andrew Cartmel 
  • Who was Jack the Ripper?
  • An insight into the troubled life of Hollywood legend Gene Tierney
  • Overcoming depression and anxiety 
  • Exercise, nutrition and wellbeing for you and your family 
  • Women’s Suffrage a hundred years on
  • Short stories 
  • Bestsellers and Hot New Releases
  • Activities for adults and children
  • And so much more!

Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Sunday Supplement

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #18

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #18, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.


The writing of Digging in the Dirt, Sam Smith Mystery Series #12, is nearly complete so my thoughts are turning to A Parcel of Rogues, book #13. All my books are based on psychological or sociological issues and that will continue with A Parcel of Rogues. I also use real-life situations in my books, in fictitious form, and that will also continue. New characters will be introduced alongside old favourites and I hope this will keep the stories fresh. Meanwhile, I’m also researching material for Boston, book #14


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In Digging in the Dirt, Sam finds herself in a cave surrounded by flowstones, stalactites, stalagmites and helictites. Helictites, pictured, swivel on their axis during development, thus defying gravity. Delicate with their radial symmetry, they are brittle, fragile in their beauty.


Who was Jack the Ripper? Joseph Barnett, William Bury, Severin Klosowski, Montague Druitt, Sir William Gull, James Maybrick, Walter Sickert, Dr Francis Tumblety, Prince Albert Victor, Aaron Kosminski (pictured in the Illustrated London News, 1888), or A.N. Other? The crucial question is, why did the murders stop? Maybe Jack discovered that there was something good on television at 11.30 pm on a weekday night, and decided to stay in. Clearly, this is a facetious answer because a) everyone knows that the Victorians did not have television and b) everyone also knows that there is nothing good on television at 11.30 pm on a weekday night. So why did the murders stop? Maybe Jack, appalled by his actions, committed suicide. That’s possible, though the psychopathic mind does not, generally speaking, regard murder as appalling; a psychopath does not have a conscience. Maybe someone murdered Jack. Again, possible because Jack was walking dangerous streets at night in areas prone to violence. Against that is the argument that Jack was a professional person, familiar with the human anatomy. If a professional person was found murdered on an East End street, surely that would attract great attention and suspicion? Or maybe Jack was placed in an asylum on matters unrelated to the murders. The Victorians were big on asylums and were quick to place anyone they considered not normal – define ‘normal’ (!) – in an asylum. My Victorian ancestor, Mary, suffered psychological problems after the birth of her fourth child and spent the rest of her life, a further thirty years, in an asylum. So it is possible that someone observed Jack behaving abnormally – it’s highly likely that he displayed such behaviour on a regular basis, away from the murders – and Jack was placed in an asylum. For what it’s worth, I favour the asylum theory. And Jack’s identity? I would select A.N. Other.


Meanwhile, here is my modern Ripper
Amazon Review: If I could rate this more than five stars I would. Hannah Howe’s Sam Series just keeps getting better and better!
I absolutely love how she entwines a mystery, thriller with the drama of Sam’s personal situation. There are some real surprises in this story (and I’m not revealing any of them), but as a reader, the more I read in each series, the more engaged I am in Sam Smith, her loved ones, and the author cleverly reveals snippets of her life that open you up more and more, wanting more and more from the next book.
The Ripper story itself is great! Its a story we well know of, there is a killer, someone out there after prostitutes and leaving a deadly trail in their midst. But there is more to this story than meets the eye and that’s what makes the Sam Smith Series truly wonderful.
I listened to this on audible and the narrator does an excellent job!
A must read in any format!
It is always satisfying when readers enjoy your books and you feel that you have brought some pleasure into their lives. A review of The Big Chill on Amazon.
I started with book 1 then 2 and 3. Hannah Howe is a wizard with the way she creates suspense and intrigue. As I start each of her books in this series I can’t seem to put them down. My 4th of July weekend has joyously been consumed by reading several of her books. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed time like that as much as right now. If you are looking for very well written mystery books, this series would be very hard to beat. Get them in order and read at your own pace but, do yourself a favor and read them. I very seldom give a 5 star rating but have to in this case.



Sam Smith Mystery Series

Books Are Us

Phew, a busy weekend! Sins of the Father was published this weekend and the book has broken my personal record for sales on a publication day. Along with that I have the proof copy of the print version to assess, for publication in August, and I’m working with Suzan Lynn Lorraine on the audio book version of Ripper. Suzan has excelled herself with the narration and I think Ripper will be our most impressive audio book to date. I must also mention Lucy Llewellyn at Head and Heart Publishing Services and thank her for her considerable creative contribution to the audio book cover. In addition, I’ve also completed a 125 page outline for the next book, Smoke and Mirrors. Wonderful to be writing and collaborating with such talented people.


Sam Smith Mystery Series

New Covers – Ripper

New Covers – Book Four – Ripper

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Amazon Link

Hannah's Diary

More Outlets

I am pleased to say that in association with Smashwords my books are now available at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and many other outlets. Here is a link to Smashwords and an interview taken from their website.


Interview with Hannah Howe

What’s the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel, Ripper, Book Four in the Sam Smith Mystery Series, was inspired by my research into Jack the Ripper. My Jack is different to the original Ripper, though he does share some characteristics, particularly in the choice of his victims, who are prostitutes.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I offered a manuscript to a ‘major publisher’. They liked the book, but wanted £5,000 to publish it. I thought if that is the way the game works, then I’d be better off following the independent route. So I approached Goylake Publishing, an independent publisher, who take care of my publishing requirements while I write the books.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
My books have just been added to the Smashwords roster. Ask me that question in a year’s time!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The creative process. I love the creative process and the freedom to explore issues that matter to me. My books help me to understand these issues and, I hope, enlighten and entertain the reader as well. And it is also very satisfying when someone connects with your literary world and writes lovely words about your books.
What is your writing process?
The basic idea comes first, and that idea always stems from a character. Then I research the subject before developing the main characters in the story. From there I storyboard the novel on sheets of A3 paper before sitting down to write.
What do your fans mean to you?
I prefer ‘readers’ to ‘fans’ – fans are for pop stars and movie stars, not impoverished authors! It’s wonderful when people show an interest in your books and I’m grateful for every reader. My readers are very important to me.
What are you working on next?
I usually work on a number of books at once. For example, while I was promoting Sam’s Song I was editing Love and Bullets, writing The Big Chill and researching Ripper. Because these books are a series I find it a tremendous advantage to work on several books at the same time. Another example – the Ripper murders in Ripper are mentioned in Love and Bullets and The Big Chill before they take centre stage in Ripper itself. At the moment I’m writing Book Five in the series while putting together ideas for Book Six.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like private detective stories, so authors like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Robert B Parker and Marcia Muller appeal to me. I also like Victorian authors like George Eliot and pre and post World War Two authors like Vera Caspary, Francis Durbridge and Mary Stewart.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family and my writing.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing I’m reading or spending time with my family. These are my favourite pursuits and I’m more than content with that.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search beyond the obvious. Today, books are a product, a way for the money men to make a quick dollar. So I go beyond the books the leading retailers thrust at us and explore the works of the ‘smaller’ authors. These authors often write for the love of the story, so their books are far more rewarding to read.
Describe your desk
A computer, pens, notepads and lots of books!
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Be true to yourself and write about subjects that are personal to you.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Aged twelve, I remember reading Macbeth and, although I didn’t understand it, being drawn towards it. I guess I’ve been trying to make sense of words and stories ever since.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, a school play set in medieval times. Looking back, I now realise that that play set me on the path to becoming a writer – it opened the door to my imagination. And when you’ve opened that door you have to walk through it and follow your muse. For me, writing is as essential as food and wine.