Thursday, 10 May 2018

Free WW2 Fiction


If you love WW2 fiction, you'll be able to grab a Free copy of my book, The Beauty Shop, which is based on real events, including the work of plastic surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe and the Guinea Pig Club. This promotion runs from May 10th -14th.
Click here to view: Amazon


Monday, 2 April 2018

Spring Into A Fantastic Book Giveaway This April




If you're looking for a great new book this spring, look no further. 
With so many wonderful authors and books available, it's imperative to have a reliable and trustworthy place that can help you choose what to read. It's even better when you get a chance to win free books through a giveaway! 

Every month, enter to win free books from multiple authors via N. N. Light's Book Heaven. Several authors are offering their books throughout the upcoming year in this innovative and collaborative approach to building a new and immersive online reading community. Authors, bloggers and book reviewers are partnering to share fantastic reads, quality reviews and powerful connections all in one place. 

My debut novel, The Beauty Shop, is included this month so for your chance to win free e-books/paperbacks and other prizes, head on over to N.N. Light's Book Heaven and enter the giveaway. See the links below. Good luck!
 

Literary Giveaway Portal:  https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal

Monday, 26 March 2018

Geoffrey Wellum DFC - Battle of Britain Pilot



This is an interview with the youngest pilot to take part in the Battle of Britain, Geoff Wellum, filmed in 2014 at Mullion Cove, Cornwall by dai4films.com. Hope you enjoy. Lest we forget.


Friday, 23 March 2018

What I'm Reading Now

Right now I'm reading "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. Published in 2015, it won the Carnegie Medal for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize in 2015.

Blurb:

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II
‘Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.’
For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of
Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

It's a tomb of a book and comprises a non-linear form, jumping back and forth in time up until a particular point in the story. There are multiple viewpoints from the main characters and it's written so eloquently to paint an epic story of war in 1940s France.

I'm also reading "Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel" by C.W. Gortner, also published in 2015.

Blurb:


For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.
Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.
Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.
An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Betrayal by Award-Winning Author Anne Allen.


Blurb


Treachery and theft lead to death – and love
1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother's ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

Review

Source: Advanced reader copy received from publisher.


Having read Anne’s last book, 'Echoes of Time', I couldn’t wait to read her latest, and I wasn’t disappointed. The novel alternates between WW2 and 2011 and is set on the beautiful island of Guernsey. 'The Betrayal' features twins, Fiona and Nigel, who discover a Renoir within the walls of their antique shop in 2011. When Nigel is found dead, and suicide is suspected, Fiona refuses to believe that her brother would end his own life and she sets out to uncover the truth. Unravelling the mystery will carry her on a journey back to 1940, and to the dark days of the German Occupation and the deportation of Jews.

The story is well crafted with beautiful scenes of the island of Guernsey springing to life and all things WW2 perfectly portrayed. Historical facts are seamlessly interwoven into the story which is well paced with realistic, well-developed characters set within a fascinating plot with twists and turns. All in all, it’s an engrossing read and one that will sweep you away to war, mystery and romance. I can highly recommend it.
Iphoto for email


About Anne

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, five having been published and the sixth, 'The Betrayal', is out now in paperback and ebook format. Follow the universal buy link below.

For all the latest book and writing news, be sure to follow Anne here:
Universal Buy Link: Amazon


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My Tribute To Guinea Pig Club Member Jack Perry

I'm very sad to share the news that RAF veteran and member of the infamous Guinea Pig Club, Jack Perry passed away on August 7th, aged 92.

He was an amazing man, a friend to so many, a husband, father and grandfather. His outlook on life, given his own horrific injuries sustained during WW2, was simply incredible. He was helped so much by the plastic surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe and the men in the Guinea Pig Club whom he referred to as a 'band of brothers'. In return, Jack has given so much back, helping others similar to himself, suffering with life-changing injuries as a result of burns. Just as he was shown the pathway back to the living, he too has always tried to help others follow that path.


Jack left school at the young age of fourteen and joined the Air Training Corps at sixteen. At eighteen he volunteered as air crew but was chosen for pilot training initially, before training as a flight engineer. Jack was then seconded to 6 Bomber Group and flew with a Canadian crew.


On 31 August 1944, Jack reported an issue with the fuel warning light on the control panel to the pilot and the control tower. However, they were instructed to continue with their mission. As the Halifax took off and climbed to 300 feet it exploded over RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire. Jack was thrown clear and when he came too, he returned to the burning wreckage to try and save the tailgunner, but his actions were in vain.
Halifax Bomber Image via Wikimedia Commons

He later discovered that the cause of the accident was a nut which had not been properly sealed on a fuel outlet pump.

Of the eight crew members, the tail gunner was killed and several others, including 19-year-old Jack Perry were terribly injured. His hands were badly burned along with his face and ears and he would go on to have 31 operations and skin grafts over the years.


Of his early treatment and recovery period, Jack once recalled how people reacted to him outside. "People coming towards you saw your face and they couldn't stand it. They would either weep and cry or walk on the other side of the road." But of McIndoe, he said, "McIndoe was a wonderful man and a brilliant surgeon. He was very protective over us."
Sir Archibald McIndoe with the 'Guinea Pigs'

Jack and his fellow guinea pigs offered their support to modern-day servicemen injured in the wars in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. His club tie became quite shortened and frayed over the years because when ever he heard that somebody he knew had been in a bad accident, he would snip off a piece and post it to them.

In a previous interview Jack said, "I am very proud to be a guinea pig and I try to help anybody I can. It means everything to me. I’m proud to be associated with such a fine body of men and wonderful surgeons and nurses. I would do everything again."

"Being a Guinea Pig to me is something I've always cherished. It's been my life for the last 45 years. We are a band of brothers!"


Jack Perry married after the war and went on to have a successful career as a draughtsman. He and his wife Mary were married for over 66 years and had three children, two grandchildren and a great grandchild.
He worked tirelessly for the Guinea Pig Club and was the Social Secretary, organising many things including social functions.
Jack Perry

Thank you for your service. Blue Skies, Sir.




Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dunkirk: Thank Grace, Chamberlain, And Hitler!




In continuation of this epic Dunkirk week, please welcome author Jeremy Strozer who has written a fantastic guest post. Welcome Jeremy and thank you so much for being here.

When the German tanks approached within a few miles of the almost empty and undefended port city of Dunkirk, they halted. General Rundstedt, in charge of the German forces in the area, ordered them to halt to resupply and rearm, and prepare for the next leap into France. Not satisfied with the pace at which he was advancing his army, German High Command ordered Rundstedt to attack. Hitler, asserting his authority over the General Staff, rescinded the attack order, demonstrating he, not the Generals, was in control of the German Army. Hitler’s need to demonstrate he was in charge was one factor in saving the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), as well as many of its allies, allowing them to escape through a soon to be defended and evacuated port of Dunkirk.

What Hitler and his underlings did not expect is the will of the one they thought to be a dupe because of his actions in Munich less than two years earlier. Neville Chamberlain, still the head of Government in the UK until May 10, played a key role in both choosing Winston Churchill as the next Prime Minister, and deciding to evacuate the BEF from the Continent.  When Chamberlain met with the King to provide his resignation, he advised the king to invite Churchill to become Prime Minister instead of Lord Halifax (the man already looking for a way to reach out to Italy for mediation with Germany). Then, in a momentous War Cabinet meeting on the night of May 28, Chamberlain sided with Churchill, against Halifax, as the key vote, to fight on, against the odds.

These two actions, by the man history has tarred with the moniker “Appeaser” allowed Churchill to lead The British Empire and its Dominions through the dark years before The United Nations banded together to tear down The Third Reich, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

Hitler did not believe the British could save their army. He was wrong.

Hitler thought the British would sue for peace. They almost did, and would have, had it not been for Neville Chamberlain’s key vote on the 28th.

Hitler failed in one key component of war: When you capture the enemy’s army, destroy it.

Thank grace Hitler made that fateful error. Thank Chamberlain for laying the groundwork for Churchill. Thank Churchill for leading the Allies to Victory! (Oh, and thank The Soviet Union for ripping the guts out of the Germans, as most of the losses were on that front, lest we forget.)

Early on the morning of June 5, 1940, two high-level officers from Germany’s Luftwaffe made their way along the broad, sandy beaches near the northern French port of Dunkirk. It was the morning after the last of an eclectic armada of naval and civilian vessels, large and small, from across England carried off the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force before the Germans captured Dunkirk.

The two officers were General Hoffmann von Waldau of the Luftwaffe General Staff and General Erhard Milch, the administrator of the German air forces and the Inspector-General of the Luftwaffe, as well as deputy to its chief, Field Marshal Hermann Goring. That morning they met with Goring, convincing him that England needed to be invaded at once to take advantage of the low British morale and vulnerability from having left all its military equipment in France. Goring was convinced, but he was not the man who made the ultimate decision. The halting of the tanks before the capture of Dunkirk had made that very clear.



What is below has been extracted from Threads Of The War, Volume III by Jeremy Strozer. This is the third book in the Threads of The War series. The first two books in this series are on sale for $0.99 right now.

Debris

I squint my eyes to protect against the snowstorm of torn paper shreds and airborne stitches of discarded soiled clothing blowing in every direction by the brisk dawn breeze. I scan across the flotsam and jetsam of the defeat-littered beach.

They are literally naked now.

Heavy guns, lines and lines of disabled trucks, hundreds of abandoned and broken bicycles, countless mounds of inoperable rifles just tossed onto piles, and thousands of discarded warn-out shoes are strewn across a beach touched at water’s edge by dozens of sunken ships and boats.

An army lost everything here.

Vast piles of both consumed and untouched canned goods intermingle with haphazardly deposited eating utensils, trash, and rotting food. We approach a huge pile of empty wine and whiskey bottles, most likely taken from an officer’s mess and downed by the men desperately and impatiently awaiting rescue from calamity.

“Here is the grave of British hopes in this war!” von Waldau declares as his polished boot, now covered in sand, kicks a bottle out of the pile.

Fanning his right arm in an arc across our sightline of the bottle pile, he pronounces, “And these are the gravestones!”

Shaking my head, I stare through the mist at wrecked British ships in the shallows and at evidence of the British Army’s disarray all around.

Is he mad? This is debris and discarded detritus of war, but there are few bodies here. They may be unarmed now, but that can change quickly.

“They are not buried yet,” I declare in a soft voice before pausing for a moment. In an even softer voice, almost imperceptible to myself, I let escape, “We have no time to waste.”

With the opening of Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk this Friday, I’m pleased to share with you the news of the Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Book Sale. From 7/21-27, more than 50 authors of the FB Second World War Club have joined together to offer you their WWII novels, most at 99c.

Our novels range from military war tales, home front drama and sagas, harrowing accounts of the Holocaust, gripping spy thrillers, moving wartime romances, and much, much more. To see our great selection of WWII books, go to: http://www.alexakang.com/dunkirk-book-sale/

We’ve also got some great giveaway prizes, including the Grand Prize of a paperback copy of Joshua Levine's Dunkirk: The History Behind the Motion Picture. No purchases are necessary to enter the drawing. Come visit our book sale page to find out more details about our prizes and how to win.

We’re also bringing to you:

1. A two-part blog series about the Dunkirk. You can read the excellent blog posts to learn more about this historical event by two of our authors, Suzy Henderson (The Beauty Shop) and Jeremy Strozer (Threads of War), here: https://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/

2. Readings by The Book Speaks podcast of excerpts from All My Love, Detrick by Roberta Kagan plus another novel, both of which are part of the Dunkirk Week Book Sale: https://thebookspeakspodcast.wordpress.com/

3. Our authors’ pick of the Top 40 WWII Movies: http://alexakang.com/40-recommended-wwii-films-english/


The Second World War changed our world forever. In our stories, we strived to bring you a glimpse of what happened and how everything happened through the eyes of our characters and to let you share their feelings, emotions, fears, and hopes. We are thankful that director Christopher Nolan is bringing this important part of history to the attention of the wider public, and we will try to continue what he had done through the stories we tell.

We hope you enjoy our books and this experience.
 
Jeremy Strozer

Author of: 
Threads of The War: Personal Truth-Inspired Flash-Fiction of The 20th Century's War, Volumes 1-3