Monday, 21 August 2017

Book Tour: Spellhaven by Sandra Unerman...


The Unseen Spirits must be entertained, so that the city may prosper......


About the Book:

In the summer of 1914, Jane Fairchild, a young English musician, is kidnapped by magic and sent to Spellhaven, an island city ruled by magicians. Here, peace and prosperity are maintained with the assistance of Unseen Spirits bound to the service of the Lords Magician. The Spirits must be kept in good humour by the performance of all kinds of shows, dance, drama and music. Jane is one of many people kidnapped from the outside world and forced to contribute to these entertainments for a set period of service.

Only Jane is having none of it. She will not perform for her kidnapper, Lucian Palafox, but agrees to undertake an apprenticeship with another magician impresario, provided she is taught magic in return. Jane's forays into magic lead her deeper within the mysteries of Spellhaven, her rivalry with Lucian escalates and the quarrels between them grow strong enough to shake the city to its foundations.

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date:  August 17, 2017
Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing

Exclusive Excerpt:

Next morning, Jane woke with a headache and a restless twitch in all her limbs. When she looked at the clock, she was unreasonably distressed to see how early it was. She could not wake anyone else at 5 o’clock but she could not lie in bed so hot and feverish. She disentangled herself from the bedclothes and crept to the window. Mary, with whom she was sharing the room, did not stir. Jane pulled back the curtain to look out on a hazy view of fields and wooded hills. It would be cooler up in those woods, she thought, and a walk before breakfast would shake out her muscles.

She was at the bedroom door before she realised she ought to get dressed, but she could only see her outfit from last night, an expensive silk dress, specially cut to perform in. She could not remember where her day clothes were or take the time to look for them. She had been a supporter of the Rational Dress movement since she became a music student, so she never wore stays, but even in the country she could not go out of doors without underwear. So she put on her bodice, petticoat, and stockings, with her nightgown back on over the top. She left her hair in its wispy night time plaits. She went downstairs and found her walking shoes and an ancient tweed jacket, which went on over her nightgown. She collected her music bag, with the vague thought that she might find somewhere to practice while she was out.

After that she could stay indoors no longer. She let herself out of the cottage and went down through the garden. She had not been in this part of the Chilterns before. She and her friends had borrowed this place for a few days as a base for last night’s concert, and a weekend where they could practice together, but they had arrived the previous day and not done much exploring so far. All the same, Jane knew where she wanted to go; into the hills she had seen from upstairs.

An hour later, she climbed up a steep path between banks of beech trees. At the top, she came out onto a turf ridge and paused to catch her breath. When she looked back, she could not see the cottage, which must be tucked into a curve somewhere below, but it did not matter. She was not ready to turn back yet, though she wished she had brought a flask of tea with her, and maybe some bread and butter. If she diverted from the path, she could look for a farm to ask for a drink of milk, but she had no money with her and anyhow, her headache tightened its grip at the thought of any delay.

The sun was high overhead when she came to a small stream in the shade of some rocks. She knelt and scooped up the cold water in her hands, swallowing small grateful mouthfuls until her teeth hurt. Then she splashed her face and neck. She pushed back the sleeves of her borrowed jacket to bathe her wrists and saw a new mark on her left forearm. It was about the size of her palm, with a sharper edge than a bruise, like a sore shadow under her skin. It was the shape of a spider, with a round body and long, crooked legs. She stared at it, jolted out of the daze in which she had walked all morning.

She did not know where she was by now or where she was going. Her jacket was too hot, the other clothes too insubstantial to wear without it. She had seen nobody except at a distance and from here, high in the hills, she could see only stones and turf, or tangled scrub in the valleys below. Her headache was as painful as ever and grew worse every time she stopped, even for a few minutes. She thought she must be ill; in a fever, maybe about to come out in blotches all over her body. And if she was ill, she ought to go back to her friends or try to find a village with a doctor. But these possibilities made her nauseous and she sprang to her feet to hurry onwards instead.

Follow the tour to read guest posts, reviews, and exclusive excerpts!
https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-tour-schedule-spellhaven-by-sandra.html

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing eBook:  

Mirror World Publishing Paperback:

Amazon US:  
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spellhaven-sandra-unerman/1126613810?ean=9781987976342

Meet the Author:



Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in SF and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. In 2016, these included stories in Three Drops from a Cauldron, the Midwinter issue and Aurora Wolf, the September issue, both available online. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

Connect with Sandra :

Website:
https://sandraunermanwriter.com/

Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Unerman/e/B0034NS9VM

Goodreads Author Page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6566116.Sandra_Unerman

Goodreads Book Page:

Monday, 14 August 2017

Guest Post: Back and Better by Elliott Baker...

2007 I began to write a story that had been in my head for years. A friend turned me on to NANOWRIMO a magical concept and creativity catalyst that I’ll write about in a later blog. In 2008, I attended my first New York conference armed with my one hundred and forty thousand word completed novel, (Insert laugh track here.) confident that the world would soon be at my feet and throwing money at me.

In 2013 (Yep, five years.) after numerous (Def. Too many to count) edits, and submissions to agents, someone suggested I submit to those publishers that accepted direct submissions. Many do not. So, I sent The Sun God’s Heir to four publishers and received back two contracts, both from smaller, but reputable publishers. I accepted with joy the one from Musa Publishing.

Now, people will line up and throw money at me. Nope, not yet. It took eight months of waiting, and then a couple months of edits before my masterpiece was ready to release. Now? Nope. SGH was released in late July, 2014 and Musa went out of business seven months later. First let me again thank the folks at Musa. They acted honorably with me and whatever regrets I might have came as much from my own ignorance as from their difficulties.

The Sun God’s Heir was back on the street. Still no folks lining up to throw money. I’ll admit the night I received the email from Musa to let me know they were closing in a week, was a dark and stormy night. Seven years.

A year has passed and I have completely re-edited RETURN, Book One, written REBIRTH, Book Two, and REDEMPTION, Book Three, in the trilogy and plan to release all three this year under the series name The Sun Gods Heir. The lesson learned: Do not rush to battle. The amount I’ve learned in this last year staggers me. More than in the first seven. Whether folks will line up and throw money is unknowable, but to all of the writers and creatives out there, I salute you. Work is work.

Here's a glimpse at RETURN...

For three thousand years a hatred burns.

In ancient Egypt two brothers are disciples of the pharaoh, Akhenaten. When Pharaoh dies, the physician takes the knowledge given and goes to Greece to begin a new mystery school. The general makes a deal with the priests and becomes pharaoh. One remembers, one does not.

Seventeenth century France has two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, determined to continue a brutal incarnation begun long ago.

The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power earned centuries ago. For three thousand years a secret sect has waited in Morocco.

 After ages in darkness, Horemheb screams, “I am.” Using every dark art, he manages to maintain the life of the body he has bartered for. Only one life force in the world is powerful enough to allow him to remain within embodiment, perhaps forever. Determined to continue a reign of terror that once made the Nile run red, he grows stronger with each life taken.

Get your free copy of RETURN on Amazon.

And a brief intro to REBIRTH...

Set against the wave tossed years of white slavery and Barbary pirates, this is the epic story of René Gilbert and a journey that defies time as he draws on a larger awareness earned in previous lifetimes.

The plague’s dark fingers curl around Bordeaux. René must return home to save those he loves. But first he has to escape a Moroccan sultan’s clutches. In Bordeaux, an enemy waits, filled with a hatred three thousand years old. Only René can defeat this dark power, and only if he reclaims his own ancient past. In this arena, death is but the least of failure’s penalties.

Read more of REBIRTH on Amazon.

Award winning international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and done throughout the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, The Sun God’s Heir. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

Learn more about Elliot Baker on his website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook. Like Elliott's Author Page on Facebook to learn all his latest news.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Cover Reveal: Bewitching Hannah by Leigh Goff...


Being a witch is the last thing she wants…


Bewitching Hannah
Leigh Goff

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing
Publish Date:  September 17, 2017
Genre(s):  YA, Fantasy, Romance

About Bewitching Hannah:

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald has always known she is descended from a troubled legacy of magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial. However, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful Chesapeake witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W, a Calvert descendant who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the danger that lies ahead. Engaged in a deadly game without knowing who her true rival is, Hannah isn’t certain she will survive, and if she loses she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.

Pre-Order Links:

Mirror World Publishing eBook: 

Mirror World Publishing Paperback:

Amazon: 

Kobo:

Barnes & Noble:

Meet the Author:

Writing Enchanting Ever-Afters ♥


Leigh Goff grew up in Maryland where she resides today. Her writing is inspired by an eclectic childhood, a vivid imagination, and compelling historical events. After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after she graduated from the University of Maryland, she joined the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. 

Connect with the Author:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Amazon US:  

Goodreads Author Page: 

Blog: 

Pinterest:

Publisher Website: 

Author Website: 



Monday, 7 August 2017

It's All Greek...

Practically everyone has heard of the idiom ‘It’s all Greek to me’ or ‘It’s all Greek’, meaning that something is not understandable. Another translation is "Graecum est; non legitur" ("it is Greek, [therefore] it cannot be read"). I believe William Shakespeare used this line or something close to it in his play Julius Caesar. Regardless of the origin, when people don’t understand people, words, cultures or even other species, there’s a breakdown in communication. And that’s not good. Wars can start, marriages break down, and relationships fail.

In the first book of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, Lost and Found, the main character, Meagan Walsh has the psychic ability to talk to animals. Imagine possessing the ‘power’ to be a diplomat between animals? To bridge that gap, and find common ground. In the first book of The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series,  The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, my main characters are given a ‘Babel’ necklace. The main purpose of this necklace is to break any language barriers while on a mission in the past so that my characters will be able to understand and talk to everyone they meet. Boy, I could have used one of those Babels in French class!
humans?


One thing we can all understand is food! It’s universal and we all need food to survive. So I thought I’d share this awesome recipe my hubby made for me recently. It’s called Greek Shepherd’s Pie, and trust me, your taste buds don’t need a translator for this dish! Opa!

BBC Good Food
GREEK SHEPHERD'S PIE

Feta Potato Topping

5 cups (1.25 L) cubed peeled potatoes
¼ cup (60 ml) butter
¼ cup (60 ml) sour cream
¼ tsp. (1 ml) freshly ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. (1 ml) salt
¼ tsp. (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
1¼ cups (310 ml) shredded feta cheese

COOK potatoes in boiling salted water until tender; drain.

ADD butter, sour cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mash until mixture is smooth. Stir in feta cheese.

COVER and set aside while you prepare the filling.

Meat Filling

1½ cups (375 ml) chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
2 lb (1 kg) lean ground beef
1 can (14 oz/396 g) diced tomatoes
¼ cup (60 ml) dry red wine or canned beef broth
1 tbsp. (15 ml) mint, crumbled
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) cinnamon
1 tsp. (5 ml) oregano, crumbled
¾ tsp. (4 ml) salt
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) allspice
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp. (1 ml) freshly ground nutmeg
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika

PREHEAT oven to 400° F (205° C)

USE a large skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-heat. Saute onions and garlic in oil for 2 minutes. 

ADD beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

STIR in the next 9 ingredients (tomatoes through nutmeg).

BRING the pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

TRANSFER mixture to a greased shallow 3 quart (3 L) baking dish. Spoon feta potato topping over meat mixture and spread decoratively. Sprinkle with paprika. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

BAKE, uncovered, at for 40-45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly.

And there you have it! A feast fit for any family who loves to try culturally-flavored recipes, and dares to venture the road less traveled. Want more adventure and excitement in your reading life? How about a trip to Fairy Falls? Or jump into the Arch of Atlantis for a blast in the past? Just remember to pack lightly.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Guest Post: Romance Author Sloane Taylor Serves Up A Long Weekend Summer Feast...

Time to resurrect a Taylor family favorite, a long weekend feast everyone loves. We make the main meal, but friends and relatives arrive with appetizers, desserts, and the perfect adult beverages for all to enjoy. Below is our menu complete with recipes to serve on your next summer long weekend:

Barbecued Pork Ribs

Pork ribs, plan 1 slab for 2 people if you make all this food
Beer
Chicken stock
Barbecue sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s is my favorite

PREHEAT oven to 325°F

PLACE ribs in a single layer in a roasting pan. Pour in about a half inch of stock and the same amount of beer. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake 1 – 1½ hours. You want the meat tender but not falling off the bone.

CAREFULLY remove ribs from pan to a cookie sheet. Discard cooking liquid. Spread barbecue sauce over ribs.

HEAT grill to medium. Carefully rub vegetable or olive oil onto the grates. Lay ribs on grate and grill 10-15 minutes turning once and basting with plenty of sauce.

Photo by tiverylucky
Hamburgers Sloane Style

Ground chuck about ¼ pound per adult
Ground sirloin about ¼ per two adults
Worcestershire Sauce
1 dash per adult
1 egg per
1 ½ pounds meat
chives snipped, fresh or jarred

BEAT egg lightly in a small bowl. Combine the meat, Worcestershire Sauce, and handful of chives into a mixing bowl. When the mixture is well combined, break off clumps of the meat and form balls. Set them onto waxed paper, then cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Use a cake plate or large soup bowl to press the meat into a patty the thickness you like. Refrigerate until ready to grill.

ON medium heat, cook patties until they are done to your preference. Be sure to turn only once.

USE any type roll that suits your fancy. Dress the burgers with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato. You can also add cheese for the topping. If you do, then lay it over the burger a minute or two before the end of the cooking time.

My Mom’s Potato Salad

1 medium red potato per person
1 hardboiled egg for every 2 potatoes used
1 celery stalk for every 3 potatoes, chopped small
½ medium onion for every 3 potatoes chopped small
Pepper
Real Mayonnaise – NO substitutes

BOIL the potatoes in their jackets until fork tender. Remove from pot as they are done and allow to cool. While the potatoes are cooking, lay the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and place a lid on the pan. Bring to a full boil, then shut off the heat and allow to sit on the burner for 8 minutes. Peel, then slice in half widthwise and lengthwise. Slice into the bite size pieces. Set aside covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel to eliminate drying out.

COMBINE celery and onion in a large bowl. Grind in a healthy amount of fresh pepper. Stir in several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise. You have to gauge by the number of potatoes you use. Add eggs. Mix well.

SCRAPE the skins off the potatoes. Slice in half widthwise then lengthwise. Slice into the bite size pieces. Add two at a time to the mayo blend and mix well. Continue until all the potatoes are added. Check the salad for dryness. It should be moist but not swimming in mayo. Add mayo as needed. Taste for seasoning. You may need more celery and onion.

FOLD into a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Baked Beans

1 small can Bush’s Honey Baked Beans
1 small can Bush’s Homestyle Baked Beans
2 tbsp. dried mustard
2 tbsp. maple syrup - optional 2 strips bacon

PREHEAT oven to 325°.

POUR beans into a metal loaf pan or oven safe dish. Stir in mustard and syrup. Lay bacon strips on top. Bake in the center of the oven uncovered for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

To cook on the grill:

HEAT grill to medium.

PREPARE as above, then place pan on top rack. Cook about 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

TO SERVE – discard bacon.

Sweet Corn on the Grill

1 ear fresh corn per person – do not remove husk
Water
Butter or margarine
Salt

POUR cool water into a container large enough to hold the sweet corn. Soak corn still in its husk at least 1 hour, but no more than 2 hours.

SET grill on medium high. Remove corn from the water and lay the ears on the grill. Roast until the husk is brown on that side, then turn and repeat the process. Total cooking time is about 20 – 25 minutes.

TO SERVE - peel back the husks. Roll the ears in butter or margarine, then sprinkle on a touch of salt, and enjoy!

Photo by khumthong
Snazzy Sliced Tomatoes

1 tomato per two people
Red wine vinegar
Garlic powder or fresh garlic minced
Fresh or dried chives

PREPARE this dish about an hour or so before serving.

SLICE tomatoes ½” thick and arrange on a serving plate.

DRIZZLE vinegar over the tomatoes, then dust with garlic powder or fresh garlic.

SPRINKLE plenty of chives across the top.

SET on the counter away from sun or heat to flavor through.

Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Summer Holiday ~ Sloane


Award-winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and and good food are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.

Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives. Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Sloane now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life. She is also an avid cook.

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her website . Check out her blog for more tasty recipes. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Welcome to the Magical World of Fairy Falls…

When I ‘built’ the mythical town of Fairy Falls over ten years ago, I drew from all of my childhood and adult experiences from vacationing and living in cottage country. When you think of a small, northern tourist town, what emotional cord does it strike? Vacationing with the family when you were young? Visiting your grandparents at their cottage? Camping in the backwoods with your friends? Whatever vision you conjure, I’m sure you have plenty of happy memories of that special place. That’s the basis of creating the town of Fairy Falls. I wanted to give my teen psychic mystery book series a nostalgic feeling coupled with a sense of adventure and…wait for it…the supernatural. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expected the unexpected.

Fairy Falls has always been a magical place, but for some reason it seems to be a haven for those with psychic abilities. In Lost and Found, the animals at the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter need a champion to save their shelter, and find one in rebellious Meagan Walsh, who’s a bona fide telepathic animal communicator. There are others with different psychic powers who have been (or will be) drawn to Fairy Falls, not to hide, but feel that they have been forced here by circumstances beyond their control. Or could it be a matter of serendipity that has brought them to this small, tourist town?

Fairy Falls is like any small town with a mayor, deputy mayor, and a selection of town counsellors. At the moment, Mike MacGregor is at the helm as this town’s mayor. Unfortunately, Mayor MacGregor is in mourning with the loss of his wife, Joy, who sat on as one of the counsellors for Fairy Falls. She was viciously attacked and murdered, and her killer is still at large. These characters are featured in the next installment of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Blackflies and Blueberries.

There are four long weekends during the summer months, and Fairy Falls relies on these holidays to
Fairy Falls Festival
boost their economy enough to keep the town running all year round. The first long weekend is in May where firework celebrations dominate the skies. The second is at the beginning of July which includes more fireworks, street parties, and begins the farmers’ market season. The long weekend in August falls on the first Monday of the month, and is one of the busiest times of the year for Fairy Falls. Festivals are usually held during this long weekend, with the bathtub races in the Vista River as the highlight. 
The fourth is usually on the first weekend of September, when Fairy Falls hosts their famous fall fair which includes concerts, carnival rides, and a smash-up car derby. A word of caution: make sure you book a hotel/motel room or campsite early if you plan to come during these long weekends!

Lacrosse is very popular in Fairy Falls. Even the local high school has a winning team that’s hard to beat. Summer swells in population with the tourists and cottagers, so fishing, boating, water skiing, and tubing are favorite sports and past times. In the long winter months, hockey is the staple along with curling, as well as snowmobiling across the network of frozen lakes and trails. And believe me, you’d better have a sport or hobby to keep you busy during a Fairy Falls winter, because sometimes the ice doesn’t come off the lakes until May. Brrrr!

Downtown Fairy Falls
So what would I recommend tourists see or do in Fairy Falls? When we used to live in cottage country, we’d visit the local bakery in the tiny town five minutes south of us. The smell of fresh baking does something to a body. Sometimes it takes you back to when life was simpler. The downtown core of Fairy Falls hosts such a bakery, and is situated so you can sit at one of the ample tables beside the Vista River and enjoy your sweet treat, while watching the boats slowly putt by. Or better yet, book a boat tour to go on a three-hour cruise that takes you through a lock system, and into Blueberry Lake. Don’t forget to wave at Gertie Ellis if you catch a glimpse of her on the shoreline while she’s inspecting her blueberry bushes.

The Jester Burger
Other draws to this tourist haven include The Court Jester, the local bar and grill, serving up down-home, mouth-watering food that you can’t get anywhere else. I suggest you try their Jester Burger, topped with a slice of Canadian back bacon and pepper jack cheese, and piled high with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, all fresh from the Fairy Falls Farmers’ Market. Add a pint of locally brewed Blackfly beer, and this meal will bring tears of joy to your eyes! Sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the Vista River where it may transport you to back to those good old days, and happy childhood memories. Oh, and make sure you don’t forget to stop by the Fairy Falls Farmers’ Market on Saturdays to score a deal from one of the crafters, produce, or food stands. Tell them Sharon sent you…

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Dunkirk Spirit: A Lesson from History By Carol Browne...


Let me begin by setting the scene …

The summer of 1940 finds the beaches around Dunkirk, France filled with hundreds of thousands of British troops trapped and with no hope of escape. Behind them is the vastly superior German army with its engines of war. Before them lies the cruel sea. Above them the relentless strafing of enemy aircraft.

Despite overwhelming odds, the men of the British Expeditionary Force and their Belgian and French allies fight to defend their positions but, with all escape routes blocked, a desperate retreat to the beaches and harbour at Dunkirk is the only option left.
The only thing these men want is to get to England, home, and safety. They placed their faith in the navy. Operation Dynamo has been set in motion to evacuate them, even though the transport ships and destroyers can only expect to have enough time to rescue about 30,000 troops. But soon, repeated attacks from the enemy’s aircraft block the harbour with sinking ships. The soldiers must be evacuated from the beaches. How is this possible in such shallow water?

What happened next will leave a permanent impression upon the British psyche, for when the call went out that small boats were needed to rescue the troops, a motley fleet of plucky ‘little ships’ chug its way across the Channel to bring the warriors home. They are motor boats, trawlers, paddle steamers, fishing smacks, lifeboats, barges, and other shallow-draught vessels. The majority of them are privately owned. Many are taken across by naval personnel, but an equal number are crewed by their owners and other civilians eager to stand by their country during its darkest hour.

Braving the combined onslaughts of the German army and air force, these civilians risk their lives again and again to take troops from the beaches and ferry them to the destroyers waiting in deeper water. Some of these boats will take thousands of men all the way back to England. Thanks to their efforts, a total catastrophe will be averted. It will be described by Winston Churchill as a “miracle of deliverance” and what takes place at Dunkirk from May 27th to June 4th, 1940, will live in the hearts and minds of the British people for many generations to come. At a time when Great Britain faces certain invasion, recovering over a third of a million troops has turned defeat into victory. The phrase “the Dunkirk spirit” is born.
****
The Dunkirk spirit. This is a phrase I have heard many times during my life. If you are British, it needs no explanation and yet as the event that created it moves further back in time, I fear that new generations would have no knowledge of it and an important part of my country’s heritage will be lost. I am delighted, therefore, to see that a new movie about Dunkirk is to release this summer. Not only will people much younger than me know about the Dunkirk spirit, but so will people of other countries, and a valuable historical lesson will continue to inspire us all.

What is the lesson? During these uncertain and divisive times, it resonates as much as ever. It shows us what we can achieve when we cooperate. It demonstrates how brave and selfless ordinary folk can be. We are all capable of far more than we know and when individuals work together for the common good, the tide will turn, and even in the most hopeless and desperate of situations, defeat can be transformed into victory. Because the Dunkirk spirit is the human spirit at its best and nothing can stand in its way.

Sharon here to bring you another true story of strength from the same war. Amazing what people can survive when they have spirit.


It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience. Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

Buy Links Dilliebooks - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being Krystyna, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first non-fiction book.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Ready to learn more from those plucky Brits? Here's the official movie trailer for Dunkirk, released July 21, 2017: