Categories
Dear Reader

Dear Reader #72

Dear Reader,

Looking for Rosanna Mee was a satisfying book to write, mainly because the subject matter tackles one of the great injustices in British society – the Tory government’s abuse of disabled people.

I’m delighted that the book will soon be available in Spanish and Portuguese.

Tyrants create chaos and inflict suffering, then comes the moment of reckoning. Nazi leaders on trial for war crimes, 1946.

Health and safety takes a holiday. Photographing a racing car, 1933.

Scientists thought they were extinct…the concretesaurus.

“The old men and children they send out to face us, they can’t slow us down.” – Al Stewart, Roads to Moscow.

On 18 October 1944, the Nazis established the Volkssturm, a national militia staffed by conscripts, males aged between sixteen and sixty. With minimal training, uniforms and equipment they couldn’t hold back the Allied advance. 

Meanwhile, a ranting Hitler retreated to his bunker and contemplated the end of his evil empire.

Neighbours gather in Spitalfields after the murder of Mary Jane Kelly, widely believed to be the last of Jack the Ripper’s victims.

A branch of my family lived in the area at the time and must have discussed the murders. Did they know the victims? Did they know Jack? The former is a possibility.

Yr Lan y Mor. This song features in Branches, book two in The Olive Tree, A Spanish Civil War Saga. My nurse, Heini, sings the song to a dying soldier.

Beside the sea red roses growing
Beside the sea white lilies showing
Beside the sea their beauty telling
My true love sleeps within her dwelling

Beside the sea the stones lie scattered
Where tender words in love were uttered 
While all around there grew the lily
And sweetest branches of rosemary

Beside the sea blue pebbles lying
Beside the sea gold flowers glowing
Beside the sea are all things fairest
Beside the sea is found my dearest

Full the sea of sand and billows
Full the egg of whites and yellows
Full the woods of leaf and flower
Full my heart of love for ever.

Fair the sun at new day’s dawning
Fair the rainbow’s colours shining
Fair the summer, fair as heaven
Fairer yet the face of Elin

On this day in 1943, the RAF launched Operation Corona, an operation to confuse German nightfighters during bombing raids.

Via radio, German speakers impersonated German Air Defence officers and countermanded their orders.

The fight against fascism has taken many different forms including victory on the racetrack thanks to Lucy O’Reilly Schell, 26 October 1896 – 8 June 1952 and René Dreyfus, 6 May 1905 – 16 August 1993.

Lucy O’Reilly was born in Paris of an American father and a French mother. Before the First World War she met Selim Laurence ‘Laury’ Schell, the son of an American diplomat, born in Geneva and living in France, and the couple commenced an affair.

Lucy O’Reilly Schell

During the First World War, Lucy worked as a nurse, caring for injured servicemen in a Parisian military hospital. In April 1915, along with Laury, she relocated to America. However, in 1917 Lucy and Laury returned to Paris where they married and took up residence.

The couple had two children, Harry born in 1921, and Phillipe born in 1926. They also enjoyed a passion for motor racing, which they pursued with vigour from the late 1920s.

Laury and Lucy Schell, second in the 1936 Monte Carlo rally in a 6 cylinder Delahaye 18CV Sport

In 1936 Lucy inherited her father’s estate. She used his money to fund development of racing cars tailored to her requirements and became the first American woman to compete in an international Grand Prix. Furthermore, she established her own Grand Prix team.

In the 1930s, Hitler used Grand Prix racing as a metaphor for war and the superiority of his Nazi party. Motivated by her experiences as a nurse and her life in Paris, Lucy established the Écurie Bleue Grand Prix team with the aim of challenging Nazi and Italian supremacy. To that end she developed a car with Delahaye and recruited René Dreyfus, a French Jew blacklisted by the Nazis.

René Dreyfus

The first race of the 1938 Grand Prix season took place on 10 April at Pau. Lucy’s Écurie Bleue entered two cars driven by Dreyfus and his teammate Comotti while Rudolph Caracciola and Hermann Lang represented Germany in their Mercedes-Benz’s. However, during practice Lang crashed his car and it was deemed unfit to race.

During the race, Caracciola took an early lead, but the winding circuit limited the Mercedes’ greater power. Oil and rubber also made the track slippery. Dreyfus took advantage of these conditions to overtake Caracciola.

The Delahaye had a great advantage over the Mercedes – a much lower rate of fuel consumption. At the half way point, when Caracciola pitted for fuel, Dreyfus drove on and established a lead. 

During the pit stop, Caracciola handed over his car to Lang. However, despite facing competition from a fresh driver, Dreyfus powered to victory, winning by over two minutes. Caracciola/Lang finished second while Comotti brought his Écurie Bleue home in third place.

René Dreyfus in Delahaye 145 at Montlhéry, 27 August 1937

Following the German invasion of France in 1940, Hitler ordered the seizure of Dreyfus’ car. However, to prevent the Delahaye’s destruction, the car was dismantled and the parts hidden.

Sadly, Laury died in a car crash on 18 October 1939 while Lucy was seriously injured in the same accident. During the Second World War, she returned to America with her family.

After the Second World War, Dreyfus became an American citizen and along with his brother Maurice he established a French restaurant in New York, which became a hub for the automobile racing community, a centre that continues to this day.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Categories
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

mom january 2019 3

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!

Categories
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.

FACEBOOK HEADER SAM AND ANN

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

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

jack-the-ripper

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.

 

 

Categories
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.

 ripper-audiobook-final-rgb

Categories
Sam Smith Mystery Series

New Covers – Ripper

New Covers – Book Four – Ripper

HH Book 4 Ripper FINAL RGB

Amazon Link