Published today, Invasion, book two in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. Invasion is a novella set in July 1944, at the time of the D-Day landings. The story centres on an American army camp located on a stretch of South Wales sand dunes. The soldiers have been at the camp for nine months, preparing for the landings. Ann becomes involved when a colleague at the Women’s Institute is concerned about Adeline, the colleague’s daughter. Adeline has been walking out with Sergeant Glenn Henley, an American soldier. But what has become of them? Meanwhile, Ann is concerned about her husband, Emrys, who is missing in action. When news of Emrys arrives on Ann’s doorstep, will it be bad or good? Invasion is priced at $0.99, £0.99 and €0.99, and is available as an eBook and paperback from all major retail outlets. Betrayal, book one in this series, is currently available FREE. Audio book versions of these stories will follow later this month.
Streams. When I started promoting only one stream seemed viable – social media to Amazon. While that stream still plays an important part, it is just one of many options open to my books. My promotional goal for 2018 is to increase my streams, so that they lead to iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, the Welsh Books Council, local outlets, independent bookstores, my website and Amazon. To achieve this, I already have partnerships in place with local and national businesses, cultural groups and more. These streams will augment twenty-five promotional streams already in place, and I’m currently in discussion with businesses and individuals to add more. Many of these streams are based on partnerships, which makes this the most exciting phase of my writing career to date.
A sneak preview of my first article for the Seaside News. Plus, a five-star review for Sam’s Song. “Fantastic read! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves plot twists, with characters you can identify with. Love this book.” 😃
This month, Sam’s Song reached number one on the Amazon.com private investigators chart for the sixth time and number one in Australia 😃
I’m delighted to say that Suzan Lynn Lorraine, an actress, radio performer and theatre producer, has agreed to narrate my audio books throughout 2018. Suzan has narrated eight of my audio books to date and we start our ambitious 2018 programme with Smoke and Mirrors, Sam Smith Mystery Series book nine, Ann’s War Betrayal, Ann’s War Invasion and Saving Grace. Saving Grace will be published, simultaneously, in three formats – paperback, eBook and audio book. Watch this space 😃
And many thanks to Mat Hardwicke, editor of the Seaside News. Mat has kindly agreed to feature my mini mystery series in his popular magazine. This means a 200 word mini mystery will appear in the Seaside News every month 😃
This is William Garrow, a champion of the underdog, a defender of the oppressed and one of the inspirations for Daniel Morgan, my advocate in Saving Grace. Incidentally, the eBook version of Saving Grace has now been listed on iBooks
My Ann’s War Mystery Series is set in 1944-5. That era saw the development of the Colossus computer. Colossus was developed by British codebreakers to help cryptanalysts to crack codes and cyphers. Today, the machine is widely regarded as the world’s first programmable, digital computer.
Pictured, a Colossus Mark 2 computer being operated by Wrens Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker.
Pictured, the printing presses at Imprint Digital. A Parcel of Rogues, Sam Smith Mystery Series book thirteen, is with Imprint Digital now. When printed, the paperback version of the book will join the eBook version on sale from all major outlets 😃
While researching my forthcoming Victorian novel, Saving Grace, I discovered this Christmas card, which dates from the 1870s. It is so beautiful I felt that I should share it with you.
Saving Grace is set in 1876, the year Mata Hari, the famous spy and exotic dancer, was born. Other notable events that year included the premiere of the stage production of the verse-play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen with incidental music by Edvard Grieg, Elisha Gray (pictured) and Alexander Graham Bell’s application for a patent for the telephone while Wyatt Earp (also pictured) started work in Dodge City, Kansas, serving under Marshal Larry Deger.
The inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie, the centrepiece of my forthcoming novel Saving Grace, takes place at the Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl. The Seabank began life in 1860 and was redeveloped ten years later. The building is still in use as a hotel, though much changed from this Victorian photograph.
I am a big fan of 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s movies and for Christmas this year I received a number of DVDs from those decades, including this classic
And a reminder that Betrayal, story number one in my 1944-5 mini-series is currently available free
This week, The Big Chill, book three in the Sam Smith Mystery Series, made the top one hundred on the Amazon private detective chart, alongside Sue Grafton, Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert B Parker.
Set at Christmas, and with a snow storm gripping the city, someone is out to murder private detective Samantha Smith. Using her wits and skills as a detective, Sam sets out to track down the assassin leading to a dramatic showdown in her snowbound apartment.
I have storyboarded Boston, book fourteen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. This story takes place over Christmas and features a range of new characters, including Gabe, a Boston private eye. The picture shows a south-east view of Boston, c1730.
In chapter three of Saving Grace, my forthcoming Victorian mystery novel, Daniel Morgan, my advocate, meets Grace Petrie, his client, for the first time. Grace reminds Daniel of Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s paintings, in particular the sensuality of the lady in ‘The White Hat’, pictured, and the vulnerability of the girl in ‘The Broken Vessel’.
The picture below is from my research into Victorian fashions for my forthcoming novel, Saving Grace. Saving Grace is set in 1876 when slimline dresses, bottom left of picture, were in.
Below, the location for the dramatic finale in Betrayal, Ann’s War Mystery Series book one. This location also features in the Sam Smith Mystery Series.
If you have any comments or questions about my books please feel free to contact me via my website. Thank you.
Here are the five covers for my forthcoming five story Ann Morgan Mystery Series. Set in 1944-5, these 15,000 word novellas will be set four months apart and published four months apart, starting in November 2017, so you can read them in ‘real time’ if you so wish. Each story will contain a complete mystery while the five stories will complete Ann Morgan’s story arc. Ann is a private detective’s secretary who, through a combination of circumstances, assumes the lead detective role.
I am delighted with these covers and only hope that my words can do them justice. More news about the series, including the offer of a free book, in the near future.
Last week, Sam’s Song reached #1 on the Amazon private detective chart for the fifth time (56 on the main chart). This will probably be the last time one of my books tops an Amazon.com chart because I will not be promoting directly to that site in future. Nevertheless, five number ones is a record I’m pleased with and proud of.
Digging in the Dirt was published this weekend. The book broke my pre-order record so many thanks to everyone who pre-ordered it. I hope you enjoy the story. Also published this week, the audio book of Family Honour narrated by Suzan Lynn Lorraine. Please see my Audio Book page for samples of my audio books.
The Austin 10 driven by spy master Charles Montagu in my forthcoming Ann Morgan Mystery Series. Currently, I’m editing Betrayal, book one in the series, for publication in November.
The cliffs at Southerndown provide the dramatic location for the finale of Betrayal, Ann Morgan Mystery Series book one, published in November. Here is a short film showing the cliffs in all their glory.
In case you missed it, here is my appreciation of actress Gene Tierney a woman whose life was far more dramatic than any of the roles she played. Her quotes, taken from her autobiography, are particularly poignant and insightful. This is my most popular article to date.
Sam visits Tintern, in A Parcel of Rogues. The monastery at Tintern was the first Cistercian abbey founded in Wales, on 9th May 1131. In later centuries, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, many poets and painters visited the abbey, including William Wordsworth and, in 1794, J.M.W. Turner, who painted the chancel.
Page One containing the historical background to my Ann’s War Mystery Series is now complete. This page tells the story of the 28th Infantry Division and their training in South Wales before embarking on the beaches of Normandy in July 1944. Some of the incidents mentioned on this page will appear in the series. Ann’s War: The Army Camp
Sam is in the Wye Valley in A Parcel of Rogues. In the eighteenth century, the Wye Valley witnessed the birth of British tourism when the words and pictures of poets and painters enticed those with spare time and money to visit. This railway poster, c1938, was aimed at ‘everyman’ as people from all classes of society flocked to enjoy the valley’s natural beauty.
Last week, I enjoyed coverage of the St Louis Rapid and Blitz chess tournament in which former world champion Garry Kasparov made a ‘comeback’. The event was won by one of my favourite players, Levon Aronian. You can catch up with all the dramatic action on YouTube