#Guest #Author #LousieMorrish @LouiseMorrish1 author of brilliant #OperationMoonlight @centurybooksuk

JW; Thank you so much for being a guest on my Blog Loise, I adored Operation Moonlight!

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of Operation Moonlight come from?

LM; I have always wanted to be an author, but when I was growing up this was not a career option for people like me at all! I read ALL the time, and wrote stuff in private, but didn’t show anyone or tell anyone of my secret dream, for years and years.

The idea for Operation Moonlight came from three different ‘sparks’: the first was when a friend told me about a 110-year-old woman she knew who was determined to become the oldest person in the world (she’s the oldest in Britain at this moment in time). The second was when my mum told me about a social club called The Coffin Club (you can make your own coffin and reminisce and make friends at the clubs, all over the world); and the third was when I stumbled across the story of a female secret agent in WW2 who had died all alone in 2010 and no one knew about her secret past. I put all three things together, and Betty emerged!

JW; How much research did you have to do for Operation Moonlight, did you get to visit any of the places mentioned in the book?

LM; Research is why I write historical fiction – I absolutely love it! I read more than 200 books on the war etc, and I visited a lot of the places in my novel. I was born and brought up in Guildford, and my family own a narrowboat on the River Wey, so all that was relatively easy. I also visited Wanborough Manor and Beaulieu, and Arisaig up in NW Scotland. But the worst experience was jumping out of a plane! I knew I had to do a parachute jump in order to write Elisabeth’s chapter authentically. But I have a paralysing fear of heights, and I almost passed out from terror. But I survived!

JW; How important to you was it to raise awareness of women’s roles during WW2 and how that impacted their lives?

LM; One of the main reasons I wrote Operation Moonlight was because I strongly believe that the women who helped win the war should be properly remembered. I hope I’ve honoured the female SOE agents in my novel. My writing is always inspired by real women who did extraordinary things in the past, but whose stories have vanished into obscurity.

JW; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Elisabeth & the older Betty, and also Tali and Jo, when Operation Moonlight is turned into a Movie? (It SO needs to be!)

LM; I’d love Operation Moonlight to be made into a film. Maybe Judi Dench or Maggie Smith for Betty? I haven’t got a clue about any of the other characters, though, as I don’t watch much telly or many films…sorry!

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

LM; I read A LOT.  But back in the 80s, there wasn’t the huge range of children’s books and young adult fiction that there is now, so I read a lot of stuff I maybe wasn’t quite ready for…and I also watched a lot of weird telly. Looking back, the children’s programmes that were shown were bonkers! I loved Monkey Magic, which was this utterly mad Japanese series about a human god called Monkey who lived on a cloud and had weird adventures with a bald female monk and another chap called Piggy who wore skulls around his neck. It was as strange as that sounds!

Monkey Magic

My favourite book as a child was probably Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I was a complete tomboy growing up (still am, actually), and I totally related to Jo March and her boyish ambitions.

JW; What is your favourite book or books that you have read so far in 2022, and why?

LM; So many! Loads of debuts this year have blown me away: No Country for Girls by Emma Styles, The Seawomen by Chloe Timms, The Hollow Sea by Annie Kirby, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter  by Lizzie Pook, Haven by Emma Donoghue, Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson, The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller, The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, V2 by Robert Harris

JW; Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?

LM; I love Sarah Waters. She is the queen of historical fiction in my opinion. But I can’t pick a favourite book of all time, there are too many that I’ve loved.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

LM; What a brilliant question! I think I’d quite like to be transported back to 1666, to witness the days leading up to the Great Fire of London and the plague (from a safe vantage point). Not because I want to see our capital city burnt to the ground, but because I want to know what life was like back then, what it actually looked, sounded, smelled and tasted like. I’d love to talk to people on the street, sit in Parliament, walk along the Thames and find out how life was really lived back then.

JW; When you’re writing do you like silence or do you listen to music?

LM; A bit of both. I can’t have talking while I’m writing, so songs with lyrics are out. But I do listen to instrumental music that matches the mood of what I’m trying to write. For the book I’m currently writing, I’m listening to a lot of music from the Edwardian period, orchestral stuff, and also music from films like They Shall Not Grow Old.

JW; If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

LM; Another brilliant question! Sylvia Pankhurst (because she has a cameo role in my next project, and her views on women’s suffrage and socialism would be really interesting to hear); Victoria Wood (because she was a genius, and made me laugh all the time); Ernest Shackleton (because I would question him in detail about how he survived such gruelling conditions in the South Pole, and what kept him going); a First World War soldier who actually fought in 1914 (because I want to know what it was really like then).

JW; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

LM; The Antarctic, to follow in Shackleton’s footsteps. Before it’s too late.

JW; Do you have a hidden talent?

LM; I love these questions! I’m a ninja speller.

JW; Can you share a shelfie with us?

JW; Are you currently writing another book, and when will it be released?

LM; I am writing another book, but I can’t tell you much about it yet as nothing has been finalised. What I can say is that it’s inspired by two real-life women who achieved extraordinary things over a hundred years ago, but who have been largely forgotten about.

You can follow Louise Morrish on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy Operation Moonlight HERE

You can read my review of Operation Moonlight HERE

My #review of #OperationMoonlight by #LouiseMorrish @LouiseMorrish1 @centurybooksuk

1944: Newly recruited SOE agent Elisabeth Shepherd is faced with an impossible mission: to parachute behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied France and monitor the new long-range missiles the Germans are working on.

Her only advice? Trust absolutely no one. With danger lurking at every turn, one wrong move for Elisabeth could spell instant death.

2018: Betty is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. With her carer Tali at her side, she receives an invite from the Century Society to reminisce on the past.

Remembering a life shrouded in secrecy and danger, Betty remains tight-lipped. But when Tali finds a box filled with maps, letters and a gun hidden in Betty’s cellar, it becomes clear that Betty’s secrets are about to be uncovered . . .

Nostalgic, heart-pumping and truly page-turning, OPERATION MOONLIGHT is both a gripping read and a novel that makes you think about a generation of women and men who truly knew what it meant to survive.

I happened across Operation Moonlight whilst looking at books on Amazon, once I read the premise, I knew I would want to read it. So duly ordered it ( even though I’m not supposed to be buying books! ), and when it arrived was a gorgeous looking tome by a new author to me, Louise Morrish.

The novel is told from two timelines, 2018 when we meet Betty Shepherd the soon to be 100 year old slightly frail lady who lives in her family home of Weyside in Guildford, Surrey, with her lovely young Maurician carer Tali. The second timeline is during WW2, 1944 to be precise when we meet Elisabeth Shepherd and travel with her during her journey of secrets through 1944 & 1945.

So if you like the sound of the premise, you will love Operation Moonlight. It is written so well by Louise Morrish and it’s her debut novel ( it does not read like that!). The attention to detail describing Elisabeth’s adventures during WW2 is truly excellent, and for me, really visceral as most of the action takes place where I’ve lived and visited in the past! Maybe that’s what made the book more magical for me? Who knows, but the wonderful descriptions of what accounts for everyday life during WW2 are astounding, and so moving. Louise Morrish has a real talent for writing from the heart and making that character live through her words, a rare talent, especially in a debut author! Betty/Elisabeth just appeared off the page during both timelines so magically. You can tell that Louise Morrish has studied people of all ages and used that research in writing about Betty.

The story is gripping, and at times had me breaking out in a fit of nerves I did not expect several of the events that happened in fact I was shocked! Operation Moonlight is such an easy read even though it’s packed with historical facts, Louise Morrish really does know how to write a compelling read and keeps the reader engaged the whole way through.

I was left wanting more once I had finished, mainly because I loved all the characters so much. As usual, I’m not going to give any of the plot away, but having read a few Wartime books, I have to say that this is going to be up there as one of my favorites, and it’s a certain contender for my yearly top ten books!

I know I normally stick to crime fiction, as I’m obsessed with murder LOL, but I do love novels set during WW2, this has defiantly been one of my highlights of that genre. That it passed below my radar and hasn’t been talked about on Twitter etc is a travesty, I urge my fellow readers to go out and buy a copy now, you won’t be disappointed.

A glorious 5 stars from me…indeed I’d give it more if I could!

Louise Morrish is a Librarian whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. She lives in Hampshire with her family.

You can buy Operation Moonlight HERE

You can follow Louise Morrish on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #CodenameMadeline by @Silk_Scribbler @wearewhitefox @midaspr

A Mystic’s daughter flees Moscow on the eve of the Great War.
A French soldier lies wounded on the Western Front.
A German officer veers between loyalty and integrity.
An English courtesan reclines on a sea of books.

Each will make a journey that changes history.

The constellations will force the Mystic’s daughter to make an impossible choice. To remain at her harp as the shadow of war looms again – or join the top-secret Special Operations Executive (SOE). Babouli to her Sufi father, ‘Madeleine’ to the Gestapo, a lone mission to Occupied Paris promises to be the most hazardous of World War Two.

Inspired by real events, CODENAME: MADELEINE is the most unexpected spy story ever told. It teems with tigers, zeppelins, elephants, U-boats, angels, assassins, chessmen, cyanide, beetles, butterflies and Rumi. Revolving between Paris, London, Prague, India and Latin America, CODENAME: MADELEINE is a kaleidoscope of love, war, music, betrayal, poetry and resistance.

Occupied Paris, 1943

Noor’s pace quickened. The battered suitcase concealing her Mark II radio transmitter was heavy. Caught with a hidden transmitter receiver, she would be taken for immediate interrogation at Gestapo headquarters. Even the reinforced walls in the basement of 84 Avenue Foch could not shut out the screams. In extremis there was Plan C. Hidden in the button of her dress above her belt was a white pill stamped on both sides with red letters.

DANGER! KCN Scientific compound: Cyanide. The words of her handler had a reassuring echo. It will take about twelve seconds. On her lapel was a silver bird studded with jewel eyes – ruby, like the letters on the cyanide pill. She was the last radio transmitter left in Paris. Her predecessor, Denis Rake, had made an emergency stage exit. Any longer and he would have been sitting, arms clamped to a chair, in 84 Avenue Foch.

Noor exited Le Colisée on the Champs-Elysées, suitcase in hand. The café was approved by London. The coat attendant knew the password. Nothing about the two male contacts she left sitting at the corner table had aroused Noor’s suspicion. Their French was convincing, if hard to place. One, perhaps, took more than a passing interest in the reddish tint of her hair, though most was concealed under her cloche hat.

As she walked north along the Champs-Elysées, she noticed a man engrossed in a copy of Le Monde fold his newspaper. Another, on the opposite side of the Champs-Elysées, put on a pair of sunglasses. Nothing out of place on a warm October day, even in wartime. Despite the weeping blister on her heel, a strange euphoria came over Noor as she walked. London would be extracting her within twenty-four hours. She had succeeded, where others failed, in eluding the Gestapo. Gestapo units had been scouring the city for weeks like a plague of black beetles in search of a wireless operator who would vanish, like the tap of Morse code, into the ether.

She knew she was London’s only remaining eyes in Paris. She had refused orders to leave once before. Now even Georges Morel and the extreme fighters of the Paris Resistance said it was too dangerous to stay a minute longer.

Noor noticed splashes of colour returning to the drained Renoir of occupied Paris. The burgundy of a woman’s beret. The purple of a bougainvillaea entwined around the entrance of a florist. The pink of a ribbon around a box of pâtisseries. The weather was still balmy. She felt as if she were back at the Sorbonne, carrying her harp instead of a Mark II transmitter. The following afternoon she and her radio would be clambering aboard a Lysander sent by the phantom RAF squadron used to extract agents. Her inner harp strings, so long taut to the point of snapping, were beginning to release.

She cut through Rue Marbeuf. On the wall of a kiosk, she saw a reward for 200,000 francs for information in connection with the disappearance of a Gestapo officer last seen in the 5eme Arrondissement. Her heart quickened. That day she had jumped through Morel’s attic window when she heard the pounding on the porte d’entrée. As she walked, she felt a presence. The ruby eyes on her lapel glowed a deeper red. The man she had seen folding his copy of Le Monde was matching her pace. The man in sunglasses was visible in the reflections of the shop windows. Was it her imagination? She recalled the last Morse transmission from London. Be extra careful.

When a shadow crossed her heart, Noor would think always of her father’s words. In times of strife, Bābouli, always find and follow your breath. She focused on her lungs and initiated adhyam pranayama – upper chest breath. She felt her pulse steady. As she breathed, the same conflict stirred in the ventricles of her heart. Could she extinguish the divine light of life? Next to the transmitter was her treasured book: The Wisdom of Rumi. Her father, Inayat, had underlined one of the Sufi master’s sayings: ‘With life as short as a half-taken breath, plant nothing but love.’

She reminded herself that if she was caught and taken to 84 Avenue Foch, the Gestapo, in their black leather trench coats, would be planting nothing but hate. There was a saying among SOE agents. If you are taken for interrogation, smile while you still have teeth. Her mind spun. What could she use? Her .38 calibre pistol was in the safe house. The curriculum of Special Training School No. 5 also included unarmed combat. Even the peaceable mind of a mystic’s daughter had one mantra driven home like a sledgehammer. Everything is a weapon.

She could feel the softness of her cloche, so familiar it felt like part of her head. Hats were an obvious precaution. This one had a feature unknown to anyone except the F-Section technician who devised the fast-acting toxin for the tip of the hatpin. It was lodged three inches above her right ear. Noor moved the suitcase to her left hand. The footsteps behind her quickened. She could feel the brachial nerve in her right forearm twitch.

The gentle hand of a Sufi harpist was ready to sting like a scorpion.

Barnaby Jameson is a London-based barrister with expertise in counter-terrorism. He has been involved in some of the most notorious terrorist cases of the century including plots to overthrow governments, plots to assassinate MPs, terrorist bombings in the UK and overseas. His work has brought him into contact with clandestine agencies around the globe.
CODENAME: MADELEINE is based on real life agents of the most clandestine agency of WW2 set up in 1940 to carry out espionage and sabotage operations in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The book has a global canvas centred on France where Barnaby studied at university before reading history (haphazardly) Cambridge. Away from court, Barnaby is found kitesurfing in the Atlantic off Essaouira, Morocco, or in the wine-dark waters of the Aegean.

You can BUY Codename: Madeleine HERE

You can follow Barnaby Jameson on TWITTER INSTAGRAM PINTEREST

Barnaby Jameson Website HERE

#Guest #Author #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 Author of the #DCIFrankMerlin series @midaspr

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Or have you had any other jobs?

ME: I studied law, became a barrister, corporate executive then with a partner started a computer services company. I had always wanted to write and when my computer company was sold in the early 2000s decided to give it a shot.

JW: Where did the inspiration for the Dead in The Water come from?

ME: I usually get inspiration for my book plots when doing my research. In the case of Dead In The Water, my reading about the chosen period, Summer 1942, opened my mind to various strands of history. These included the impact in Britain of the arrival of the American forces in that year, the theft of art from Jewish owners in the run-up to the war, and the continuing espionage intrigues of the various combatants.  My plot emerged from these strands.

JW: How much research was involved in Dead in the Water, as it is set during 1942 and WW2?

ME: I do a great deal of research before every book. I go to libraries, go online, read my own collection of wartime books, read new books etc.  I usually spend around 3 months researching before starting each book.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DCI Frank Merlin, if Dead In The Water is turned into a TV Show/Film?

ME: I always find this a difficult one. Spending much of my time as I do in the 1940s, the names that immediately spring to mind are actors of that vintage eg Ray Milland, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant. As they are all dead this is not much use! Of people who are alive there is a Welsh actor called Luke Evans who might fit the bill. Also maybe Christian Bale.

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

ME: I was both an avid reader and TV watcher. As regards books I loved The Wind In The Willows, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings and many others. I was a rather precocious reader. I remember reading and enjoying The Pickwick Papers when I was around 9 or 10. As for TV, I watched everything which was pretty easy then as there were only two channels. Champion the Wonder Horse was one favourite. Robin Hood and Ivanhoe were others.

JW: As we are now in May, which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

ME: Kolymsky Heights, a classic thriller by Lionel Davidson. I’ve also read a few very enjoyable books by Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson. I’m currently in the middle of the book I was most looking forward to this year, which is Don Winslow’s latest, City of Fire.

JW: Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

ME: I am Welsh and a keen rugby fan. Meeting Sir Gareth Edwards was good. Many years ago I spent a lot of time in California. I was once invited to a vintage Hollywood party. Among the people I met were Ginger Rogers, Rosalind Russell and Sophia Loren. I’m not sure I’d call them heroes of mine but I was certainly starstruck.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

ME: My children.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

ME: The first choice would have to be The London Blitz (from a safe vantage point!). The second would be something in Ancient Rome. Cicero giving one of his famous speeches perhaps. Or the assassination of Julius Caesar.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

ME: Reading. Watching rugby and cricket. Listening to music. Travel.

JW: Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

ME: Churchill, Dickens, Mozart, Van Morrison. Churchill was a flawed but great man and looms very large in what I write about. Dickens because he was such a fantastic writer. Mozart and Van because I love their music so much. Not sure how well this group would get on though!

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

ME: To be persistent in whatever you do, whether in business, writing or life in general. Very little is achieved without sticking at it.  ‘Keep buggering on’ in the words of Winston Churchill.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on?

ME: Currently researching Frank Merlin 6. No title as yet. Will be set in Spring 1943.

You can BUY Mark Ellis’s Books HERE

You can find Mark Ellis’s website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #review of #DeadInTheWater by #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 @AccentPress @midaspr @amberchoudhary

Summer, 1942.
The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.

In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?

Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle .

This is my first read of a novel by Mark Ellis, but as I love Historical crime fiction, particularly set around the World Wars, I was looking forward to it.

I know that this is the 5th Novel in the DCI Frank Merlin series, but even with a back history, this can be read as a standalone.

The writing is gritty, evocative and absolutely full of attention to detail which makes the reader really feel like they are there in London, in the Summer of 1942. In particular, the description of chaps attires right down to the name of his shirt maker and shoes (both of which I googled to make sure this was factual – it was!).

The plot was character-heavy at the beginning, and I was a little lost BUT all is revealed in the end and it works, it really does. The writing is pure noir and the character descriptions are really amazing. Even famous figures are given the Ellis touch here – Herman Goering for one was spectacular over breakfast with his wife…totally believable!

The plot is thick with spies, Army Officials of all sides and Police including, of course, the wonderful DCI Frank Merlin, who for a first-time reader I instantly loved!

The feel when you read Dead In The Water is amazing, its like you are transported from our messed up 2022 right back to 1942, again I must applaud the attention to detail, it is clear that Mark has an amazing mind at writing intricate and stunning Thriller, but also his love for the period during the Second World War in London. It almost read like a sweeping black and white movie at times!

In essence, this is a fantastic novel of wartime Noir at its best, gritty, tense and intelligent. I shall be awarding it 5-star rating.

If you’ve not read any of the DCI Frank Merlin books then I urge you to, I shall be buying the back catalogue to binge read on!

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur.
He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist.
Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs.
In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.
This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin.
DCI Frank Merlin appears in four novels: ‘Princes Gate’, ‘Stalin’s Gold’, ‘Merlin at War’ and the just published ‘A Death In Mayfair’.
Mark Ellis is a member of the Crime Writers Association.’MerlinAt War’ was longlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger in 2018.

You can find Mark Ellis’s Website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

You can buy Dead In The Water HERE

#Author #Chat #4 #Guest is @pamlecky #historical #fiction #writer extraordinaire focusing on #HerSecretWar

A huge thank you to Pam Lecky for being my 4th Guest Author on my blog, and for answering my questions….. Enjoy!

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And have you always been drawn to the Historical novel?

Hi Jude, and thanks for having me on your blog.

No, it never occurred to me to become a writer, but the signs were there. I dabbled in poetry as a teenager (and yes; it was awful stuff!) and did some writing for a community magazine in my late teens, but I never imagined I’d eventually become a full-time writer of fiction. However, from an early age, books were on my radar.

My father was an avid reader and one of my earliest memories is of him bringing me to our local library to get my first library card. Again, my father read a lot of non-fiction history and loved to watch historical drama on the tv. I absorbed it all, and it certainly influenced my taste in books as I got older. When my father bought me the complete works of Jane Austen, that was it—I was hooked and raced off to read every classic I could get my hands on.

Did you have to do much research for the characters in Her Secret War?

Yes, I did, but thankfully, I love doing research. However, up to now, my books have been set in the late Victorian era, a time I’m very comfortable and familiar with at this stage. Luckily, I have always been fascinated by world wars and tend to watch anything related on TV, such as documentaries or movies. However, it was my agent’s suggestion that I explore writing a WW2 story with a strong Irish flavour. That made my antennae twitch. At the time, I was editing Footprints in the Sand, which is set in Victorian Egypt, so I had to be careful not to mix up my timelines and include Spitfires flying over the Great Pyramid or corset-wearing heroines in Blitzed London!

The greatest challenge was getting up to speed on day-to-day life. I knew a lot about the timeline and events of the war, but it was the nitty-gritty details of life in Britain on the Homefront during those terrible years that I needed to research. Basically, I had to read a lot and thankfully, there is an enormous amount of wonderful material out there, from eyewitness accounts to newsreels.

The plot and storyline of Her Secret War, is amazing and has many twists, how did you come up with the idea?

When I started to write the book, I knew only two things: it had to be an Irish story and it had to be an espionage novel. Essentially, the story is about spies and fifth columnists, and luckily, I came across a fantastic book by Tim Tate, Hitler’s British Traitors, which not only gave me a huge amount of background information but also threw up a few plot ideas too (always a bonus!).

Both my family and local history inspired Her Secret War. My mother and her sisters left rural Ireland to work in Britain during WW2. One aunt was following her boyfriend, who had joined the RAF, and she went to work in a factory making munitions. Another aunt wanted to study nursing, and my mother was a ‘clippie’ (bus conductor) on the Birmingham buses. Her Secret War is not their story, but there are glimpses of their experiences hidden amongst the fiction. The bombing of North Strand, which opens the book, happened only a few miles from where I grew up and as a young child, I passed the bombed-out sites regularly on the bus, knowing nothing about them. I was in my late teens before I learned of the bombing and the relevant history.

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Sarah and Rob if Her Secret War was turned into a Movie/TV Show?

It would have to be an Irish actress to play Sarah. I loved Niamh Walsh in Smother—I think she would do a great job. As for Rob, I think Oliver Jackson-Cohen would suit the role perfectly.

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

I was an only child and spent a lot of time on my own, so I listened to a lot of music and read a huge amount. As a child, I was a fan of Enid Blyton books. The Secret Seven series was my favourite.

Do you have a favourite Author or favourite book of all time?

I greatly admire Georgette Heyer’s books—she was a wonderful writer. No one else comes close when it comes to writing romance, not least because she was a master of creating such wonderful, well-rounded characters and there is always humour in her books. My favourite book of hers is Faro’s Daughter. However, her detective stories weren’t as good. For that genre, my favourite will always be Dorothy L Sayers (who doesn’t love the characters of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane?).

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?

I have now written six novels and one collection of short stories. It is always difficult to pick a favourite, but I really did enjoy writing the sequel to Her Secret War, which will be coming out in April next year. Her Last Betrayal follows on immediately from the first book and takes Sarah on quite a roller-coaster ride with plenty of action and a good old dollop of romance, too.

Do you play music when writing, and if so what’s your favourite?

Yes, I usually have music playing in the background, unless I’m doing line editing or proofreading when you must concentrate one hundred percent. What music I play really depends on my mood. The era I’m writing about can also be an influence. For instance, I played quite a bit of swing music while writing Her Secret War. Most of the time, it will be instrumental music that isn’t too distracting but great for setting a mood. I also find, when I hit those writers’ block moments, that it is listening to music and relaxing that usually helps.

What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?

The complete works of Jane Austen from my father, which still has pride of place on my bookshelf. It ignited my love of the classics and made me a huge fan of historical fiction too.

Are you currently writing another book?

I am in the final editing stages for two books. The third book in my Lucy Lawrence Series, The Art of Deception, is due for release in December, and Her Last Betrayal, the second book featuring Sarah Gillespie and MI5, is slated for release in April 2022. Currently, I am putting together synopses for future books, including a psychological thriller, which is an entirely new genre for me.

Pam is an Irish historical fiction author with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors. She is represented by Thérèse Coen, at the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency, London.

From an early age, Pam had a particular fascination with all things historical, from food and clothes to architecture and social history, so it is little surprise that her books are set against historical backdrops, from the late Victorian era right up to and including WW2.

June 2019 saw the publication of the first book in Pam’s historical mystery series – The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries. No Stone Unturned is a fast-paced adventure set in 1886 and was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Footprints in the Sand, the second book, set in Egypt, was published in March 2020 and won a Silver Medal in the Coffee Pot Book Club Book of the Year Awards 2020. Pam is currently working on the third book in the series.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion and was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016 and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award. Her Secret War a WW2 Historical Novel is the first book of two with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins and tells the story of an Irish girl who travels to England only to be caught up in the dark world of espionage, where lies and treachery reign

She is also rather fond of short stories and writes both contemporary and historical tales, all of which can be found on Amazon.

Pam is on Twitter HERE Pam is on Instagram HERE

You can contact Pam directly here – pamlecky@gmail.com.

#Review of #HerSecretWar by @pamlecky published by @AvonBooksUK

If you like a light read, and historical fiction set during WW2 then this book is for you, and the plot involving espionage and love will keep you going until the last page.

Thank you very kindly to Avon Books for my copy of Her secret War

I started this book and wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never read anything by Pam Lecky.

But from the first page I was enthralled, a fantastically written and researched. It starts in Dublin, during WW2, and ends in Hampshire, England, in fact not too far from where I live!

The pace is slow but steady, but I loved the way Pam writes about the internal goings-on of the main Character Sarah. The storyline and plot are enough to keep the reader going until the end of the book. I loved the historical settings and the descriptions of being outside during an air raid were quite haunting.

If you like a light read, and historical fiction set during WW2 then this book is for you, and the plot involving espionage and love will keep you going until the last page.

5 Star Read.

You can follow Pam here on her website

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