OUT NOW: Leaves Before the Storm by Angela Arney

Leaves Before the Storm Angela ArneyAngela Arney was born in Hampshire and still lives in the New Forest. She is now widowed and has two children. Before writing she had a varied career as a caberet singer, a teacher, and then hospital administrator. She has written a number of romances and four mainstream novels, but then took time out to return to the theatre as a director of amateur companies. She has now returned to full time writing.

Leaves Before the Storm by Angela Arney

When Megan marries into the Lockwood family of Folly House during the Easter of 1939, she believes that the rumblings of war in Europe cannot touch their lives in the peace of the New Forest.

But the winds of war blow, scattering family and friends in all directions, like so many leaves before the storm, and Megan is forced to cope with disappointment in love, illicit passion, and the terrible tragedy of war, only to realize, as life unfolds, that peace and happiness can be found in the strangest places.

Leaves Before the Storm by Angela Arney is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Leaves Before the Storm Angela Arney

Sylvia Broady launches A Time for Peace

A Time for Peace by Sylvia BroadySylvia Broady was born in East Yorkshire and has lived there all her life. With a career varying from child care, a police civilian and working for the NHS she then started her dream job of working in the Library Services. Sylvia’s previous novel, The Yearning Heart, was also published by Robert Hale.

To launch her latest novel, A Time for Peace, Sylvia headed to Bargain Books, King Edward Street, Hull for a signing. Here’s what happened:

As a writer and a reader, I am passionate about books and love visiting book shops, especially those like the Bargain Books shop in Hull, where I was warmly greeted by the friendly and supportive staff: Lisa, the manager, and her assistants Laura and Melanie have been so helpful with publicising my book signing event.

I knew this was going to be a successful day as soon as I entered the shop and saw a table, placed in a strategic position near the door, holding an arrangement of my books and a large stand up poster advertising my book signing.  In addition, there was another large display of my books in a prominent position by the till. Having publicised this event as widely as possible in all areas of the local media and on facebook, so all I had to do now was wait for some customers. For a fleeting moment I felt nervous, but that soon vanished as customers began to arrive.

I was very delighted with the response I received from loyal fans, and especially from people who came into the shop to browse and who bought my book. There was lots of interest in the local setting of the story, and I was happy to answer questions and to explain why I chose to set the book in Hull in the difficult period at the end of the Second World War and the beginning of peace. Also, just to assist the celebrate atmosphere, I offered delicious tempting chocolates.

I have called into the Bargain Books twice since the event and I was thrilled to be told that they have only a few books left, particularly as other sources have now sold out and are awaiting the reprints and new supplies.

This has been a most encouraging launch for my second novel. Already I have had feedback from readers who have enjoyed my novel and have also expressed an interest in my next book. So, watch this space!

– Sylvia Broady

time for peaceA Time for Peace by Sylvia Broady is available to buy now. To find out more about this title, go to the Robert Hale Ltd website.

Operation Kingfisher by Hilary Green: German Landingcraft on French Canals

Operation Kingfisher by Hilary GreenHilary Green is a trained actress and spent many years teaching drama and running a youth theatre company. She has also written scripts for BBC Radio and won the Kythira short story prize. Hilary now lives in the Wirral and is a full-time writer.

Here, she talks about the real life events which inspired her latest novel, Operation Kingfisher.

I was first alerted to the possibilities of this story by Tony, a friend who has a keen interest in Inland Waterways, both in the UK and in France. He has his own narrow boat, which is currently moored on one of the French canals. It was Tony who asked me if I knew that during the war the canal network had been used as a way to smuggle POWs and downed airmen out of the country. When I expressed my interest he sent me some photo copied pages from a book, ‘Keeping Afloat’ by John Liley. These contained a reference to an extraordinary event which occurred in April of 1943.

After the Allied invasion of North Africa the Germans, fearing an attack on the south coast of France, decided to move some of their warships from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Rather than taking the long sea route they decided to use the French canal system. French canals are, of course, considerably wider than ours and carry much heavier traffic. The vedettes were brought down the River Yonne and the intention was to take them through the Canal de Bourgogne to connect with the River Saone and thence to the Mediterranean. However, when they reached Laroche Migennes, where the Canal de Bourgogne meets the Yonne, they discovered that the locks on that canal were too short to accommodate the ships.

A new route had to be devised and 1,500 young men were pressed into service to rebuild roads, so that the ships could be moved overland. Buildings were demolished, bends straightened out and gradients eased. The nearest slipway was in Auxerre and the residents of that town were astounded to see the spectacle of these huge craft being hauled out of the river. They were loaded onto two 48 wheeled chariots, pulled by three giant tractors, with four more at the rear to provide braking power. It was forbidden to photograph these events but there are, nevertheless, several pictures taken clandestinely to bear witness to this amazing undertaking. Ironically, the RAF was alerted to what was happening and not one of the ships ever reached the Mediterranean!

These events form the background to my new novel, Operation Kingfisher.

– Hilary Green