Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Guest Post - Author JJ Toner talks WW2 Fiction

Today sees the release of the movie 'Dunkirk', and to coincide with that, I'm really pleased to have author JJ Toner on my blog to talk about the kind of stories WW2 has inspired, and to tell us all about a World War II fiction promotion... 


Announcing a promotion of World War II fiction to coincide with the release of the movie ‘Dunkirk’ on July 21. The promotion will include 50+ eBooks, many at reduced prices, all from up-and-coming WW2 novelists, in addition to a giveaway of paperback editions. To check out the WW2 fiction promotion,

World War II has provided a rich breeding ground for fiction over the years. Pretty much from the end of the conflict, fiction writers have used the War as the background to their novels, with household names like Ken Follett, Jack Higgins, Alistair MacLean, Hans Hellmut Kirst and Hans Fallada leading the way. When I was a boy, I remember reading ‘penny’ comics set during WW2. Who remembers those?

What could be better for ratcheting up tension in a thriller than the cut and thrust of an aerial dogfight, the claustrophobic conditions inside a lumbering bomber or the oven of a tank in the desert of North Africa. What could be more thrilling than running a resistance cell, or an escape line for downed pilots, in Occupied France, under the noses of the Gestapo. Or we have escaping prisoners of war, the German resistance groups, the threat of German super-weapons, daring commando raids, SOE and OSS spying operations, and all set against the backdrop of the Nazis oppression of their own people, the concentration camps, the ghettos, and, of course, the Holocaust.

The period is an ideal setting for a romance, too. Imagine the bittersweet feeling of meeting the partner of your dreams days or hours before they ship out to one of the major theatres of war, or fly on a dangerous mission over enemy territory.   
In addition, we have variations on the WW2 theme, like time travel stories that transport people from today back into the maelstrom of the 1940s, and alternative histories of the period. Truly, a rich hunting ground for the novelist.

The ‘miracle’ of Dunkirk, also known as Operation Dynamo, represents one of the most dramatic episodes of the War. Shortly before that, we had Operation Pike (featured in my own book, The Serpent’s Egg) and the Germans’ incursion into Belgium and Holland and the capitulation of France. After Dunkirk we had the Battle of Britain, and many other drama-filled events and incidents, leading up to Operation Barbarossa, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and culminating in Operation Overlord, the D-day landings in June 1944, the defeat of the Third Reich and the liberation of the concentration camps.

Take a look at the books on offer in the ‘Dunkirk’ promotion and take your pick. Rarely have so many WW2 authors come together in one place.

JJ Toner writes WW2 and contemporary thrillers, all of which you can check out HERE.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Guest Post - Heidi-Jo Swain talks 'Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage'

Today I'm absolutely thrilled to have the wonderful Heidi-Jo Swain on my blog, talking about her upcoming new release 'Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage'. It's out on July 13th (and is available to pre-order right now), but I'll let Heidi herself tell you a little bit more about it...

As anyone who follows me on social media knows, I love to write about things that I feel passionate about. So far I’ve covered crafts, cakes, cider, chickens and Christmas and they have all been embedded in the fictional town of Wynbridge and the lovely countryside surrounding it.

On July 13th, the day after tomorrow in fact, my summer 17 book, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage will be hitting the shelves and e-readers and it is crammed packed full of yet more things I love. This time I’ve turned my attention to vintage and caravans, more specifically vintage caravans, and what new girl on the block Lottie Foster decides to do when she discovers she’s inherited a whole barn full of them.
Last year I had to undertake some pretty tough research in order to write this book and spent a week reading, relaxing and even writing, in a beautifully refurbished Airstream van on the Happy Days Retro Vacation campsite near Saxmundham in Suffolk. I know, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?

The vans, complete with their own decking were kitted out with fairy lights, bunting, Cath Kidston curtains and bedding, a whole array of polka dot crockery and bespoke washing machine drum camp fires for obligatory marshmallow toasting in the evenings. The vans even had their own names – mine was Gloria – and she provided the perfect inspiration for this latest addition to the Wynbridge family which just goes to prove that sometimes a little bit of fancy really does do you good!

So, if you like the idea of grown up glamping and a summer filled with hares, barn owls and celebrations under the stars, then pay a visit to Cuckoo Cottage this summer and help Lottie Foster fathom out which of the men on her doorstep she really can trust!

Heidi Swain - Author Bio

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she now writes feel good fiction with heart for Simon and Schuster.

Her debut novel, The Chery Tree Café was published in July 2015 (paperback June 2017) and Summer at Skylark Farm hit the shelves the following June. Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market was a hugely successful Christmas 2016 release and her fourth book, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage will be published on July 13th 2017. She is currently preparing for her October 2017 release, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at The Christmas Fair.

Heidi lives in Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.


Thank you so much for stopping by, Heidi.🙂 Wishing you lots and lots of success with 'Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage'. 

Michelle x