Dear Reader

Dear Reader #46

Dear Reader,

A reminder that I have extended my participation in Smashwords’ Authors Give Back sale until 31 May.

All my books are listed as free or 0.99.


Many thanks to the readers at Many Books for voting Betrayal the best mystery-thriller for March 🙂



I’m sure all book lovers can identify with this


My Author of the Week, Grant Leishman

Grant is a very imaginative, multi-genre author. Along with his writing talent, he is also very supportive of his fellow authors. All his books are worthy of your attention, especially Love Beyond, his finest book in my opinion.

My Pinterest profile. This will become my main social media outlet in the near future.

My latest translation, Victory into Portuguese. Many thanks to Adriana for her wonderful work on this series.


I’m delighted to see that Estripador is gathering five star reviews on Google Play 🙂

This is one of sixty-six books I have available through Google Play.


Google Play Hannah Howe

A ship off Pink Bay and Sger Beach this week

Porthcawl Seafront and Rest Bay at seven o’clock in the morning

An excellent podcast from the Paris Institute For Critical Thinking

A Schoolmaster’s War

A wonderful book and a wonderful interview. Harry Ree was a fascinating man, a true hero, although he would probably hate that label. Jonathan Ree has done his father, and the literary world, a great service by producing this book. As I wrote elsewhere, it is a book that should be taught and discussed in schools so that young people can gain an insight into the SOE and its role in the Second World War and, more importantly, learn that heroes and heroines take on many forms. While politicians soak up all the glory it is people like the retired school mistress who sacrificed their lives who deserve our greatest respect.

Saint-Leu-d’Esserent is notable for its 3,000 metres of mushroom caves under the Thiverny plateau. In the summer of 1944, SOE agents made an astonishing discovery in these caves, a discovery that had a significant impact on the war. That revelation will appear in Operation Sherlock, book five in my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE Series.


In the autumn of 1940 a German arrived at a school in Alsace to suppress the use of the French language. At the end of his ‘lesson’ he ordered the class to shout, “Heil Hitler!”

However, twelve-year-old Colette Fouillette and her friend shouted, “Drei Liter!” (Three litres).

By 1943, Colette was active in the Resistance, delivering messages by bicycle, and she remained active until the Liberation, a shining example of youthful courage.


Image: View of Église Saint-Martin (Wikipedia)

Women of Courage Heroines of SOE

Yvonne Jeanne de Vibraye Baseden, later known as Yvonne Burney, was born on 20 January 1922 in Paris. Her father, a First World War pilot, crash-landed in France at the home of the Comte de Vibraye. The Comtesse invited him to dinner, which turned into a romantic occasion because he fell in love with the Comte and Comtesse’s daughter. The couple duly married and, at the end of the First World War, lived in France.


Later, Yvonne’s parents lived in various countries within Europe. She was educated in Britain, France, Poland, Italy and Spain learning several languages as a result.

On 4 September 1940, aged eighteen, Yvonne joined the WAAF as a clerk. From there, she worked for the RAF in intelligence where she captured the SOE’s attention.

Recommend by fellow agent Pearl Witherington, Yvonne joined the SOE on 24 May 1943. On 18 March 1944, aged 22, she became one of the youngest female agents to parachute into France.

Under the code name Odette, Yvonne arrived in the village of Gabarret where she linked up with the Wheelwright network. Travelling to Eastern France, she worked for four months as the wireless operator for the Scholar network under the cover of Mademoiselle Yvonne Bernier, a shorthand typist and secretary.

On 26 June 1944, the Gestapo trapped Yvonne and seven of her colleagues in a cheese factory. They shot her organiser, Baron Gonzagues de St Genies, while Yvonne was arrested and interrogated. War is brutal, but Yvonne’s story reminds us that war as practiced by the fascists plunged unacceptable levels of barbarity.

Female prisoners at Ravensbrück, 1939

By September, Yvonne was in the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp. While at the camp, she became ill with tuberculosis and was transferred to the hospital where she remained, with 500 other women, until the closing days of the Second World War when the camp was liberated by the Swedish Red Cross.

The Swedish Red Cross ensured that Yvonne reached Malmö where they deloused her. She spent her first nights of freedom on a mattress on the floor of the Malmö Museum of Prehistory, sleeping under the skeletons of dinosaurs.

After the war, the Allies arrested the SS guards at Ravensbrück, along with the female Aufseherinnen guards. Between 1946 and 1948, sixteen of the accused were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and were sentenced to death.

In September 1955, Yvonne became the first regular subject of the BBC programme This is Your Life, although later in her life she shunned the limelight. After her second marriage in 1966, as Yvonne Burney, she moved to Portugal before returning to Britain in 1999.

Yvonne died in October 2017 at the age of 95 another example of the remarkable longevity of the surviving SOE female agents.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx


Dear Reader

Dear Reader #15

Dear Reader,

Most of my writing is planned, but occasionally you have to go with the flow, and the flow at the moment is taking me towards Spain and the Spanish language.

I’m delighted to say that soon sixteen of my books will be available in Spanish, with more to follow. Thank you to my wonderful translators for making this possible.

Also, I’m absorbing Spanish culture and history through my research for The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War saga.

Maybe Sam will visit Spain, or a Spanish speaking country one day. That’s a lovely thought.

I’ve just completed the storyboard for Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen. For Sam, this will be an emotional story, the most emotional story since Sam’s Song.

Bernie Taupin once compared one of his later lyrics, I think it was I Want Love, to Your Song, contrasting writing with youthful exuberance to writing with experience. Snow in August covers some of the same themes as Sam’s Song, but through the filters of fifteen previous novels and Sam being older. This offers a fresh perspective on those themes. I’m very pleased with the story, and hope readers will enjoy catching up with Sam again.

A shame Boris Johnson doesn’t believe in this.

Some exciting personal news. My eldest son has been identified as ’one of Wales’ brightest students‘ and has been invited to join The Seren (Star) Network for high achievers. The Seren Network connects students with staff from leading universities to offer guidance as the students make their way through school and on to university.

This is a nice feature from Smashwords that shows where my books have sold over the past ninety days. My top five are:






My books have also sold in:


New Zealand






South Africa







Dominican Republic


Maths Made Simple

Lesson One: Family Finance

If your wife has £100 and you have £400 how much money does your wife have? The answer is, of course, £500. Award yourself ten points!

Ever looked at your laugh lines and thought, nothing’s THAT funny?! 😆

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Mom’s Favorite Reads

The Mark Coker Interview


Smashwords is a wonderful platform for authors and publishers. What sparked the idea for Smashwords?

Smashwords grew out of my personal experience trying to sell a novel my wife and I co-wrote. 

My wife is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine. About 12 years ago we wrote a novel titled Boob Tube that explored the dark underbelly of Hollywood celebrity.

Despite enthusiasm from beta readers and representation from a top New York literary agency, traditional publishers rejected it. Our agent told us that previous novels targeting soap opera fans had performed poorly which made publishers reluctant to take a chance on our book.

Our failure to land a publishing deal opened my eyes to what I perceived as a horribly broken publishing ecosystem that was no longer working for authors and readers.

Read the full answer and interview here

Mom’s Favorite Reads

Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine May 2019

Published today, the May issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads!

In this issue…

An exclusive interview with Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, a must-read for all writers and readers.

Plus, articles, short stories, puzzles, humour, health, travel, interviews and a special promotional offer for authors.

View or download your FREE copy here

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.