Tag Archives: Mystery Fiction

Dear Reader # 25

Dear Reader,

In Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen, Sam meets a family of otters. Otters often partner for life, their young stay with mom for a least a year, past maturity, and they like holding hands. Cute 🙂

I’m currently writing chapter nineteen of thirty-three and the book will be available early next year 🙂

Very proud of the wonderful authors at Mom’s Favorite Reads for coming together to support our charity of the month Christmas for CAMHS https://www.christmasforcamhs.org.uk Please visit their website and lend your support.

My Amazon top ten for November. Delighted to see that Ann’s War has proved so popular and that Saving Grace is back in the top ten. Also that Sam is represented with books from various stages in the series. Many thanks to all my readers for their interest.

Of course, I want people to read and enjoy my books. But some things are more important…

What have foreigners ever done for us?! Quite a lot actually…

I could do with him in my house…

A new word for the Oxbridge English Dictionary…

A British citizen this week.

“It’s 5pm. I walk out of Soho restaurant. On the cold pavement is a huddled bundle, young enough to be be my granddaughter. Too hopeless even to beg. I get her a coffee, give her my change. Does it make her feel better? Does it make me feel better? No. This is my country, 2019.“

Government sponsored austerity is brutal. It must end.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #22

Delighted to announce my publishing schedule for 2020. It’s an ambitious one with the following books in the pipeline.

Snow in August: Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 16

The Olive Tree: Roots: A Spanish Civil War Saga Book 1

Looking for Rosanna Mee: Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 17

The Olive Tree: Branches: A Spanish Civil War Saga Book 2

Another beautiful translation from Cristina. Available soon 🙂

ANN'S WAR ESCAPE MASTER ITALIAN

Recently, I visited a series of caves in west Wales where I learned about the Red Lady of Paviland. The Red Lady of Paviland, pictured, is an Upper Paleolithic partial skeleton dyed in red ochre and buried in the Goat’s Hole Cave 33,000 years ago. William Buckland discovered the skeleton in 1823.

The Red Lady obtained her name because of the red ochre dye and jewellery found at the site. However, later analysis proved that ‘she’ was a man.

This incident will feature in Snow in August, out soon.

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The joy of research is it will often lead you to items you were not originally looking for.

While looking for books to place on the Europe by Book website https://europebybook.com I discovered the story of Nancy Wake, a remarkable woman.

“Nancy Wake (30 August 1912 – 7 August 2011) worked for the Pat O’Leary escape line and the Special Operations Executive in France during World War II.

After the fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940, Wake became a courier for the Pat O’Leary escape network. As a member of the escape network, she helped Allied airmen evade capture by the Germans and escape to neutral Spain.

In 1943, when the Germans became aware of her, she escaped to Spain and codenamed “Helene,” joined the Special Operations Executive.”

I intend to learn more about Nancy Wake and use elements of her story in a novel I’m currently researching.

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Struggling to find the right presents for your children this year? Here’s fun for all the family! The aim is to become a tax-dodging millionaire. If you fail, you lose!

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In a recent study, Buckets, Trapnell and Paulhus sought to examine the dark personality traits of Internet trolls. The researchers explored trolling in 1,215 participants and compared this to the dark personality triad, which is the dark triad – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – plus sadism. They discovered that all forms of dark personality were significantly higher in individuals who troll with sadism the strongest factor.

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So many good people do so many wonderful things. Our political leaders pale into insignificance in comparison.

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As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #19

Dear Reader,

Why do authors write? Apart from the elite 1% there is no money in writing, so unless you are in that 1% or churning out words to order money isn’t a motivation. Fame? Fame is shallow and does more harm than good. Some authors want to be famous, and good luck to them, but fame isn’t for me. Praise? It is rewarding when readers appreciate your books, look forward to them and write nice comments. Kind words mean a lot. That said, writing isn’t the best occupation if you are looking for praise. Even if you are a mega-bestseller the majority of people will ignore you or dislike your work. So, why do writers write? I believe it’s because we are blessed, or cursed, with story ideas and we need to express those ideas to find a level of contentment and peace of mind. We need to release our creative energy through writing. Of course, finding readers is rewarding and satisfying, but the main motivation and enjoyment comes from turning a blank manuscript into a story. There is something magical about creating a story that is unique.

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Chapter one of Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen is complete. Here’s a clue…

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Caerau Hillfort and the ruins of St Mary’s church, pictured, get a mention in chapter two of Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen. These landmarks are on the road Sam takes to her office houseboat.

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Chapter three of Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen, sees Sam at Caswell Bay where she meets her new client.

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Five more translations published this week, three in Spanish, one in German and another in Portuguese. Many thanks to my talented team of translators for all their hard work and for sharing my stories with the world.

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As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #17

Dear Reader,

This week, I completed the first draft of Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen. Snow in August is set in a small coastal village in wild West Wales, a new location for Sam.

Readers of the series might be in for a surprise when they start this story. I won‘t give the details away now, but the book will be available for pre-order later this month.

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Over the past year I have had the honour of being editor-in-chief of Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine. With twelve magazines published I would like to thank our talented group of contributors and the skill and dedication of our editorial staff. I’m very proud of our achievements with Mom’s Favorite Reads and look forward to scaling even great heights in our second year.

Here’s the blurb for the latest issue.

The September issue of our popular eMagazine!

In this Back to School issue:

Young Writers, Humour, Poetry, Travel, Short Stories, Puzzles and Articles including:

What is Adoption?

Power Animals

What is Happiness and How Can We Find It?

Read or download your copy FREE!

https://issuu.com/momsfavoritereads/docs/vol-2_iss-9_momsfavoritereads

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Delighted that Sandra, who translated the five books in my Ann’s War series, has offered to translate Saving Grace into German 🙂

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A lovely quote from screenwriter Ernest Lehman when discussing writing the script for North By Northwest. I am sure most authors will identify with this.

”Typical of a writer, I was stalling, losing myself in yet more research.”

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Sam’s Song is moving towards the top of the Amazon charts again this weekend , but I have mixed feelings about that in light of continued reports of workers being mistreated by the company. There is a brutally about Amazon that makes me feel increasingly uneasy about contributing to its profits.

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Photo by Tobias Dziuba on Pexels.com

“Clear as the dew it kindles on the spray

Across the shadows of each shelving lawn,

The rising sun, with low and level ray

Scatters the cold, grey phantoms of the dawn.

Like ghosts, they flee, like dreams expire

Within the elemental fire

Of our first calm October day.”

John Jay Chapman

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As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #12

Dear Reader,

Books sixteen, seventeen and eighteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series will be Snow in August, a story about childhood trauma; Looking For Rosanna Mee, a story about how the Powers That Be abuse vulnerable people; Stormy Weather, a story about climate change. The storyboarding of Snow in August is progressing well and I intend to finish it next week.

Another busy week with my translators with three books published, all in Spanish. We also started two new translations taking the total to forty-three books in ten languages.

This week, my Spanish Civil War research focused on Lily Margaret Powell, a remarkable woman, a true heroine who volunteered to nurse in Spain during the war and was the last International Brigades nurse to leave the conflict. You can read Margaret’s remarkable story here

Margaret Powell, second left, and her medical team in Spain

My film of the week is Fallen Angel, a noir movie made in 1945. The movie reunites director Otto Preminger with Dana Andrews, who had worked together on Laura the previous year. The movie also features Alice Faye, Linda Darnell and a host of fine character actors.

While the movie doesn’t quite touch the heights of Laura – few movies do – it’s still an excellent story. Like Laura, it’s a film of two halves. In Laura, the title character didn’t appear until the second half of the film while in Fallen Angel Linda Darnell dominates the first half with a sultry performance as the femme fatale and Alice Faye blossoms in the second half; Dana Andrews links the whole piece together.

Playing a bookish, reserved woman, Alice Faye had the toughest role – noir movies are basically designed around the femme fatale and Linda Darnell shone in this part. Initially, Fallen Angel was intended to showcase Alice Faye’s talents. However, many of her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. Some suggest that film producer Darryl F. Zanuck decided to use the film to promote Linda Darnell, his new protégé, instead of Alice Faye. Certainly, Alice Faye’s characterisation suffers from the cuts and she wasn’t pleased about it. Indeed, she retired from movies until 1962 when she made State Fair.

Alice Faye

In 1987, Alice Faye told an interviewer, “When I stopped making pictures, it didn’t bother me because there were so many things I hadn’t done. I had never learned to run a house. I didn’t know how to cook. I didn’t know how to shop. So all these things filled all those gaps.”

Linda Darnell

As a mystery author, usually I unravel a movie plot early on. And while I identified the murderer during the early scenes of Fallen Angel the movie is well crafted and until the closing scenes all the principal characters remain in the frame.

Dana Andrews

Fallen Angel is also worth watching for Alice Faye reciting the following poetic lines:

We are born to tread the Earth as angels 

to seek out Heaven this side of the sky.

But they who race alone shall stumble,

in the dark and fall from grace.

Then love alone can make the fallen angel rise,

for only two together can enter paradise.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #6

Dear Reader,

This week, I have been busy with translations. These include German versions of Escape and Victory, the Spanish versions of Victory and Sins of the Father, and the Portuguese version of Ripper. Currently, I have 30 translated titles published with ten in progress. I love working with my translators. I admire their skill and the whole process enhances my writing.

I have outlined Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen, and next week I will begin the storyboarding process. I’m also researching a book project set during the Spanish Civil War.

Sometimes, I wonder why I’m drawn to the years around the Second World War. That period of history saw terrible conflict, a tragedy on a human level. However, conflict offers gold dust for a writer. Also, my ancestors enriched my life with stories from that period so it is rewarding to record them in fictionalised form. 

This week, my sons received excellent school reports and next term my youngest will join my eldest in senior school. The kaleidoscope of life is forever changing. Sometimes, you crave stillness so that you can admire the image, but the best you can manage is to store a photograph in your mind and move on. 

And speaking of photographs, here are some views of my local landscape.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

PS: Thought for the week. Why is it when you’re driving and looking for an address you turn the volume down on the radio 🙂

Recommended Reading #4

Spike, the Not So Nice Dinosaur by Denise McCabe

Spike the dinosaur had not always been so nice. In fact, not too long ago, Spike was a bit of a mean dinosaur. He didn’t like to share, didn’t understand honesty and didn’t know how to say he was sorry. He loved eating the other dinosaur’s sandwiches. But that was before Mike, the microraptor, showed him what kindness was and how he too could learn to get along and be the good dinosaur friend. Activities included.

Discover more in my Amazon store

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

Pearseus Bundle: The Complete Pearseus Sci-fi/Fantasy Series by Nicholas C. Rossis
Ancient Greece—in space

Could you save the woman who killed your son?

Combining fantasy with science fiction, Pearseus is filled with passion, warfare, and betrayal. Described as “ancient Greece in space,” it gives readers who want a different kind of fantasy an exciting new series to devour.

Terrified of an ominous prophecy and spurred on by a shadowy advisor, a cruel ruler sends the young son of her favorite General to be executed. Soon, however, she must beg the grieving father to save the country from an invading army. Now, the General faces a stark choice between revenge and honoring his vows, unaware that his son’s fate and that of the entire planet are inextricably linked.

This bundle includes all books from the best-selling sci-fi fantasy series, voted as one of the 100 Indie books you should read before you die, plus bonus material.

Discover more in my Amazon store

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

The Vinyl Detective by Andrew Cartmel

He is a record collector -a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others. Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording on behalf of an extremely wealthy, yet shadowy, client. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

Discover more in my Amazon store

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

So, You Say I Can’t Vote! Frances Connelly: The working-class woman’s route to the vote by Sheena Macleod

Women were granted the legal right to vote in Parliamentary elections in the UK in 1918. This right, however, extended only to property-owning, renting or university educated women over the age of thirty.

Seven years before this, Frances Connelly, a working woman walked past suffragists protesting outside the polling station in Yeovil, England, to cast her vote in an election. Her vote, and others like it, helped to keep the question in people’s minds — If one woman can vote, why not all?

Frances Connelly’s name is now largely unknown or forgotten. Her story is told here within the context of other women who voted in England before 1918, the struggles and complexities of the times in which these people lived and the contributions made by working-class women to women’s suffrage.

Discover more in my Amazon store

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

Crafting With Lacey by Lacey Lane

Want to create crafts but need ideas and a plan? Do you have ten thumbs? Let Lacey guide you to crafting success. Learn how to make candle holders, jewellery, childrens’ play things, storage solutions, decorations for your house and much more. Simple, beautiful, and practical crafts are just one click away.

Discover more in my Amazon store

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