I’m supporting Smashwords’ Authors Give Back campaign where authors offer readers free or discounted books during this difficult time. All my books are discounted and you will also find the list of free titles here
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 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.
Sins of the Father, my eighth audio book, is now available from iBooks and Audible 😃
For the first thirty-three years of my life I had no knowledge of my father, no idea what he looked like, his name, whether he was dead or alive. Then fate brought us together. Then, a year later, he decided to hire me.
Although we had talked for a year, my father was still Gawain Morgan to me, a stranger, not my dad. Would the task of locating Frankie Quinn bring us closer together, or drive us further apart?
Frankie Quinn was a con-man, a life-long villain, a member of my father’s old gang. That’s right, my father was a villain too, with dodgy contacts, a shady past and sins he preferred to forget. The police wanted Frankie and, if arrested, he faced the prospect of spending his final years in prison. However, he had a trump card, evidence of my father’s indiscretions. Frankie was looking to cut a deal with the police, my father was looking for Frankie. They knew that one of them would spend the winter of their days in prison; but who would it be?
Meanwhile, the clock was ticking towards my wedding day. Would I enjoy the happiest day of my life, or be left crying into my champagne?
Sins of the Father, ten days that defined my relationship with my dad.
October was a busy month for me with book projects and writing ideas aplenty. First, a reminder that my latest Sam Smith Mystery, Digging in the Dirt, book twelve in the series, is now available. This is a personal favourite of mine so if you should read the book I hope you enjoy it.
Over the autumn months I’ve been writing A Parcel of Rogues, book thirteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. This book is now available for pre-order at my usual pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99€0.99. You can learn more about the book here Hannah’s Amazon Page.
Also this month the announcement of Saving Grace, an exciting new project. Saving Grace is a mystery set in Victorian times, in August 1876 to be exact. It is based on a true story, a remarkable unsolved mystery that has baffled the police, the judiciary and readers for nealy 150 years. After extensive research I believe that I have found the solution to this mystery. All will be revealed in Saving Grace.
More news of Sam and Saving Grace next month. In the meantime, thank you for your interest and support.
I have teamed up with Author Reach 😃 What does this mean for you, dear reader? For a start it means a FREE book. Simply follow the link and you will receive a copy of Sam’s Stories, which includes the stories Over the Edge, A Bad Break and Of Cats and Men, chronicling Sam’s early days as an enquiry agent. You should receive a confirmation email followed by the book instantly, but please check your junk folder because sometimes emails wander into there. https://hannah-howe.authorreach.com
January to June saw record-breaking sales figures for the Sam Smith Mystery Series, so many thanks to everyone who read one of my books. Currently, I’m polishing Digging in the Dirt, book twelve in the series, ahead of its September 16th publication. I have just completed the storyboard for A Parcel of Rogues, book thirteen. I am very excited about both books in terms of subject matter and series development. I’m also researching Boston, book fourteen, for next year.
I have a number of storyline ideas. Some of these ideas won’t fit into the Sam Smith framework, so I’m developing several miniseries to run alongside my main series. My first miniseries will be Ann’s War, a collection of five novellas set during the Second World War. Betrayal will be book one in Ann’s War, and I hope to publish this story in November. Betrayal will be available free from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and iBooks. Amazon control the prices on their websites, but I hope Betrayal will be free there too.
In addition, I’m working with my narrator Suzan Lynn Lorraine on the audio book of Family Honour, Sam Smith book seven. As usual, Suzan is doing a fantastic job. Suzan has agreed to narrate Ann’s War as well, and we hope to produce the first audio book in that series early in the new year.
Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #19, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.
Digging in the Dirt, book twelve in the Amazon #1 Sam Smith Mystery Series, is now available for pre-order, price $0.99/€0.99/£0.99.
Someone had posted a dead rat through Jana Jakubowska’s letterbox, and scrawled obscene graffiti on her garden wall. Harmless pranks, or something more sinister? Her boyfriend, Tom Renwick, hired me to find out.
During my investigation, I met Jana’s charming four-year-old daughter, Krystyna, her estranged former lover, Matt Taylor, and a local hoodlum called Naz.
As the case unfolded, the trail led to murder, and a situation that placed Krystyna in danger. The Rat Man had revealed his ruthless streak, but surely he wouldn’t harm a child?
Meanwhile, Faye Collister, my friend and colleague, was trying to reconcile her feelings for Blake the handsome bodyguard, and dismiss her troubled past.
Digging in the Dirt, a story of passionate love, and extreme hate.
In a Facebook group, we have been discussing the colour blue, which prompted me to write this blues. With apologies to all blues lovers. Picture, B B King.
The Hannah Howe blues.
Woke up this morning,
With the dog on my head.
He said, “You don’t look too good, girl.”
I said, “I’d better get out of bed.”
Staggered into the bathroom,
Bounced off the wall.
Opened the pill cupboard,
But could find no pills at all.
The dog followed me in,
Wagging his tail.
He said, “Good golly, Ms Howe,
You don’t half look pale.”
Wandered into the kitchen,
Where I spied a bottle of wine.
The dog said, “Are you sure?”
I said, “That’ll suit me just fine.”
Took a sip of the nectar,
It really hit the spot.
So I tilted my head back,
And I drank the lot.
Sat down to write,
But my mind was in a fog.
My canine said, “That’s what you get, Ms Howe,
When you sample the hair of the dog.” 😃
Does the full moon influence criminal behavior? Psychology Today
Advice on writing from Stephen J Cannell, author and screenwriter on projects too numerous to mention.
This completes the Sunday Supplements for the time being. Many thanks to everyone who showed an interest in these posts.