Jean Fullerton

Fall in Love with the Past

Morning everyone I have two signed copies of my latest Brogan family saga series, A Ration Book Wedding. Just tell me which underground station is the factory where Francesca works? Post your comments below the blog and I’ll be drawing the two luck winners tomorrow evening at 3pm 75 years to the day when Winston Churchill announced WW2 was finally over.

*

Francesca Fabrino, Fran to her friends, grasped the lever just above her and pulled it down, watching through the Perspex lens of her goggles as the drill bit bored a hole into the solid cylinder of metal. Feeling the tip of the bit reach its goal, she quickly released her hold and allowed the spring to raise the mechanism. She pressed the pedal by her right foot and the component – designed to allow the propellers of a Lancaster bomber to turn – popped out and joined the others in a wooden crate to her left. Pushing away the tendril of ebony hair dangling in her vision, Fran shifted her foot across to the other peddle, stamped on it and released another plug of aluminium into the drill bed, then repeated the process.    

She, with at least two hundred other women and girls, was deep beneath the ground working in the newly opened Plessey factory. The factory, which had previously been used to assemble field radios and wirelesses, ran along the tunnel of the Central line between Leytonstone in the west and Newberry Park in the east.

Francesca was working in the aircraft engine component section under Wanstead Station. She and the other women operating the machinery sat facing the platform wall with the dome of the tunnel arching over them. Behind her ran the narrow gauge railway used to ship the finished components to the collection shafts from where they were taken to the surface. Although she was in one of the deepest sections of the tunnel, at five hundred feet below street level, the vibration of the German bombs above could be felt. She’d been allocated to work at the factory when she’d signed up a couple months ago when the new war Conscription Act meant all women between the ages of eighteen and fifty, without dependants, were required to register for war work. As she was twenty-four and single, she had volunteered for factory work to ensure she didn’t get drafted into the ATS.

It wasn’t that she would have minded being in the ATS. Not at all. In fact, if the truth were told, she’d have preferred to be up top driving a petrol wagon or ferrying supplies to army bases rather than deep beneath the earth but her father had been through enough and she didn’t want him to worry any more than he already did, so she’d opted for the safer option of factory work.   

Feeling the sweat trickling down between her shoulder blades, Francesca yanked down on the lever again. A fine spray of lubricant drenched the fresh metal plug and curls of aluminium escaped as the drill bit deep again. As she released the lever the hooter, signalling the end of the shift, blasted out. Giving a silent prayer of thanks, Francesca stamped on the pedal and ejected the metal component. She flicked the red switch off and the whirling drill ground to a halt. Yawning, she stepped away from the now-idle machine then turned towards the double doors of the exit.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B081DDLWQD/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

To win an audio copy of  the second book in my Ration Book series, A Ration Book Christmas just tell me according the Daily Herald headlines below, how many strongpoints had we occupied Either by commenting on this blog or emailing me at writetojean@jeanfullerton.con and the winner will be randomly chosen on Friday 27th March at 5pm. 

 

 

Francesca Fabrino, Fran to her friends, grasped the lever just above her and pulled it down, watching through the Perspex lens of her goggles as the drill bit bored a hole into the solid cylinder of metal. Feeling the tip of the bit reach its goal, she quickly released her hold and allowed the spring to raise the mechanism. She pressed the pedal by her right foot and the component – designed to allow the propellers of a Lancaster bomber to turn – popped out and joined the others in a wooden crate to her left.

Pushing away the tendril of ebony hair dangling in her vision, Fran shifted her foot across to the other peddle, stamped on it and released another plug of aluminium into the drill bed, then repeated the process.

She, with at least two hundred other women and girls, was deep beneath the ground working in the newly opened Plessey factory. The factory, which had previously been used to assemble field radios and wirelesses, ran along the tunnel of the Central line between Leytonstone in the west and Newberry Park in the east.

Francesca was working in the aircraft engine component section under Wanstead Station. She and the other women operating the machinery sat facing the platform wall with the dome of the tunnel arching over them. Behind her ran the narrow gauge railway used to ship the finished components to the collection shafts from where they were taken to the surface. Although she was in one of the deepest sections of the tunnel, at five hundred feet below street level, the vibration of the German bombs above could be felt. She’d been allocated to work at the factory when she’d signed up a couple months ago when the new war Conscription Act meant all women between the ages of eighteen and fifty, without dependants, were required to register for war work. As she was twenty-four and single, she had volunteered for factory work to ensure she didn’t get drafted into the ATS.

It wasn’t that she would have minded being in the ATS. Not at all. In fact, if the truth were told, she’d have preferred to be up top driving a petrol wagon or ferrying supplies to army bases rather than deep beneath the earth but her father had been through enough and she didn’t want him to worry any more than he already did, so she’d opted for the safer option of factory work.

Feeling the sweat trickling down between her shoulder blades, Francesca yanked down on the lever again. A fine spray of lubricant drenched the fresh metal plug and curls of aluminium escaped as the drill bit deep again. As she released the lever the hooter, signalling the end of the shift, blasted out. Giving a silent prayer of thanks, Francesca stamped on the pedal and ejected the metal component. She flicked the red switch off and the whirling drill ground to a halt. Yawning, she stepped away from the now-idle machine then turned towards the double doors of the exit.

The cream-tiled changing room, which was situated between the two platforms at the bottom of the stairs, was already abuzz with women changing into or out of work clothes. Francesca yawned again. Moving her goggles up to her forehead, she removed her ear plugs. She squeezed her way through the half-dressed women to her metal locker on the far side of the room. Looping her mother’s crucifix out from beneath her clothing, Francesca took the key dangling alongside the cross and slide it into the lock.

‘Cor, I thought that night would never blooming end,’ said a woman’s voice as Francesca opened her locker.

She turned to see Joan Dunn, a jolly blonde who worked on the machine three along from her on the assembly line.

‘At least in the old factory you knew when the sun came up you’d soon be done for the night,’ Joan added, as she opened the metal door of her locker.

‘I know.’ Francesca stowed her goggles and ear protectors on the top shelf. ‘But it was worst for them up top. Still,’ she continued, unbuttoning her overalls.  ‘At least we’ve got a day off tomorrow.’

In the dim light from a forty-watt bulb above, Joan’s blue eyes rolled heavenwards. ‘Praise the Lord.’

‘For what?’ asked Daisy Willis as she joined them from the factory floor.

‘For strong handsome men and gin,’ Joan said. ‘Although I’ve not had much of either lately.’

Francesca smiled. ‘And for a day off.’

‘Oh yes,’ said Daisy with feeling as she removed her goggles. ‘Got anything planned?’

‘Just a date with my bed for about ten hours,’ Joan replied. ‘Then off down the market to join a queue.’

‘Are you after anything special?’ asked Daisy, sliding the straps of her tan-brown dungarees off her shoulders.

‘No. Whatever’s on offer,’ Joan replied, untangling herself from her work clothing. ‘What about you?’

‘I’m having me hair done,’ said Daisy. ‘Then going up West to the Trocadero with a few of the girls from seven section to see if we can catch ourselves a couple of rich GIs.’

‘Well, you watch out that you don’t end up being the one “caught”.’ Joan winked. ‘They don’t call ’em over-sexed for nothing, you know.’

Daisy laughed and looked at Francesca. ‘Why don’t you come with us, Fran?’

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ she replied, lowering her gaze as she stepped out of her boiler suit.

‘Come on, it’ll be fun,’ urged Daisy.

Standing in her knickers and brassiere, Francesca laughed. ‘I’m sure, but I promised to give Dad a bit of a hand in the cafe.’

‘I’m sure he can manage without you, especially –’ Daisy’s eyes twinkled ‘– if it meant you hooking up with some rich American with an Italian grandmother.’

‘It would make his day,’ Francesca replied. ‘But I’ll give it a miss this time if you don’t mind, Daisy, as I don’t want to play gooseberry.’

Her friend laughed. ‘Well, if you change your mind, we’re all meeting at Bow Road Station.’

The radio’s pips, heralding the morning news bulletin, cut through the changing room hubbub.

‘Cor, is that the time,’ Daisy said, shoving her arms in her coat. ‘I’d better dash or I’ll miss my tram.’ She slammed her locker door shut. ‘Have fun and I’ll see yah.’

‘Not if we see you first,’ Francesca and Joan called back in unison.

Daisy waved cheerfully over her shoulder. ‘And don’t forget, Fran,’ she said, gathering up her handbag and heading to the door. ‘Seven o’clock at the station.’

Francesca smiled but didn’t reply.

She turned back and unhooked her light blue dress from the peg inside. Slipping her gown over her head, she whipped off her head scarf and shook out her long ebony tresses.

‘You know I used to have hair as long as that,’ said Joan wistfully, as Francesca brushed out the tangles ten hours bound inside a scarf had caused.

Joan’s pale eyes softened. ‘You know, you really should think about meeting up with Daisy and her mates and having a bit of fun up west.’

‘Maybe another time,’ said Francesca, deftly winding one coil over the other as she plaited it.

‘It’s not as if you’ve got a sweetheart,’ Joan persisted as she took her coat from her locker.

‘I know,’ said Francesca, taking her rucksack from her locker and shoving her dirty overalls in it. ‘But I’m just waiting for the right man to come.’

‘I don’t say it ain’t important you find the right one,’ agreed Joan. ’Cos if you don’t, you’re blooming well stuck with ’em until one of you’s pushing up daisies, but—’

‘Which is why I’m not going out looking for him,’ cut in Francesca. ‘And with my brother Giovani in the army, Dad needs me around so I’m happy to wait.’

‘Well, I hope he don’t take too long for your sake,’ Joan said. ‘Because, believe me, there’s nothing quite like having a strong, handsome man to keep you warm at night.’

‘So I’ve heard.’ Taking her three-quarter-length red coat out of the narrow metal closet, Francesca put it on, then closed the door and locked it. She picked up her haversack and turned to Joan. ‘Now, I’d better get my skates on or I’ll miss my bus. See you Saturday.’

Me working on holiday

Work-life balance is a well-worn phrase which describes a philosophical and ethical way of trying to get the right balance, so you work to live rather than the other way around. The assumption of this philosophy is that the individual’s home life is more important than the in-work life. However, as a writer I have a slightly different take on this.

I’ve just come back from a lovely week in Crete where me and the Hero@Home laid on the beach and walked hand in hand around a harbour under a balmy autumn sky and people accept we are on holiday, but when I tell people always take my laptop away with me so I can keep up my word count while I’m away they throw their hands up in horror. ‘But you’re on holiday’ they say ‘why don’t you just relax’ they say, ‘you should take a break from work’ they say, totally misunderstanding what writing means to me.

Yes, writing is what I work at but it’s not ‘work’. I don’t dread going to my desk each morning, when I’m struggling to write a difficult scene I have to break off for an hour sometimes, but I never want to be away from the story I’m writing for weeks. And it certainly isn’t relaxing for me to have a story in my head hammering to get out and no means of writing it down. For me, a holiday isn’t a holiday without being able to write at least 500 words a day. In fact, in order for the Hero@Home to have a relaxing time away he insists I take my laptop.

The truth of the matter is; even if I change location I can’t escape the current and future stories racing around in my head. And honestly, I don’t want to. So, along with the suntan lotion, swimsuit and beach towel my laptop is top of the list of my holiday essentials.

 

There are a number of WW2 stories, like the valiant pilots in the battle of Britain, the small Island standing alone against a deadly aggressor and the indominable spirit of ordinary people who didn’t let the blitz break their resolve to see it through to the end, that, quite rightly fill you with pride. However, there are some stories which do the very opposite.

I heard it said once that to survive the deprivation of WW2 even the most upstanding citizen dabbled in the black market. Even if that is true, I think there’s a great deal of difference between getting a few extra eggs or an orange for their children to the widespread looting, burglary and even murder that went on under the cover of the blackout.

 

It’s hard to imaging as we look back over seventy years that although for the vast majority of people the outbreak of war was the nations fight against fascist tyranny, a small minority saw it as a golden opportunity to line their own pockets.

 

Wally Thompson, an harden criminal, called the nightly blackout blitz ‘the best ally London Crooks ever had’. Billy Hill, who was known as the king of the London underworld, called them‘…roaring days. Money was easy, the villains were well-loaded. With dough and were busy. Either earning it or spending it.’ (Levine 2015).

 

A shop that has been stripped out by looters.

A shop that has been stripped out by looters.

For those who earned their living by burglary and theft to operate under cover of darkness and they were unhindered as the police were too busy assisting the civil defence volunteers each night to keep up with the villains.

 

 

 

Aside from those to whom crime was a way of life other ordinary citizen who in ordinary time wouldn’t have dreamed of robbing their neighbours with doors blow off and windows missing grasped the opportunity to help themselves.

 

There are some well documented instances of people looting, most notably in 1941 when a bomb landed on the Cafe de Paris, where rings and jewellery were stripped off the dead bodies of

Picture show the aftermath in the Cafe de Paris

Sad to say, sometime the thieves and robbers were the very people, fireman and ARP rescue service personal, who were supposed to be helping save life and limb but who were actually the people walking off with bomb victims’ jewellery, money and even clothes.

It’s against this backdrop of crime that I’ve set A Ration Book Christmas, the second of the Brogan Family Ration Book Series.

 

It’s just after lunch and I’m in the back yard of Garfield’s Village store in Melton Winchet  and I’ve just spotted Jo Brogan, the person I’m waiting to see, walk out the back door.

Me: “Hi, Jo, I wonder if I could have a quick words with you?’

Jo: ‘Sure, but I can’t be too long as that old battleaxe Mrs Garfield will be after me for dawdling.’

Me: You’re from London originally aren’t you?’

Jo: ‘I am, East London down by the docks in Wapping but I suppose you can tell that from the accent.’

Me: Well I can hear a bit of a cockney twange although with a name like Brogan I thought you might be Irish.’

Jo: ‘My gran is, she came over to England when she was carrying me dad.’

Me: ‘So if you’re from Wapping what are you doing in the wilds of Essex working in the village shop?’

Jo: ‘I’ve been evacuated with my ten year old brother Billy

Me: aren’t you a bit old for that?

Jo: ‘That’s what I told mum but she said she needed me to look after Billy but the real reason she packed me off to the country is because my interfering sister Mattie told her about me and Tommy.’

Me: Tommy who?

Jo: Tommy Sweete.

Me: ‘Not Reggie Sweete’s brother!’

Jo: ‘Yes. And I know Reggie’s a wrong’un and even though he’s done a stint in borstal, Tommy’s not like his brother at all.’

Me: ‘But even so…’

Jo: ‘I don’t care I love Tommy and he loves me. Since I’ve been away he’s written me such lovely letter almost every day.’

Me: ‘Did you get one this morning?’

Jo: ‘Actually, I haven’t had one for a couple of weeks but I’m not worried. There’s a war on, you know, so his letters could have be destroyed a sorting office fire or the mail train could have been bombed but I’m sure I’ll get another one any day now and as soon as I can figure out a way of getting home I’ll prove to everyone what a grand chap Tommy Sweete really is. I’d better go. I’ve got a ton of deliveries this afternoon and I need to get back before Billy gets home from school to stop old Nutty Beech the local copper, will be picking on him ’

Me: ‘By, Jo, have a nice afternoon and I hope you hear from Tommy very soon.’

Jo: ‘I’d better or I’ll be knocking on his door demanding to know why?’

 

Ration Book Christmas. In the darkest days of the Blitz, Christmas is more important than ever.

With Christmas 1940 approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

https://goo.gl/eZ4TD5

 

 

Blackpool Lass

Blackpool Lass by Maggie Mason aka Mary Wood, is the story of Grace Rimmer battling bereavement, financial and personal hardship to find happiness at last.

The drama takes place against Blackpool in its pre-WW2 hay-day with sideshows on the pier and the legendary Blackpool rock.

Grace’s struggle starts after her mother dies and her father sinks into despair. She falls back on the support of her grandmother who herself is in poor health and so Graces trails and tribulation loss and heartbreak begin. Black days follow where she is caught in the heartless 1930s orphaned children system where her fighting spirit is tested to the limits.

As I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of a Blackpool Lass, I can’t tell you how Grace overcomes all her many problems but as always with Mary’s stories, poor Grace goes through much heartache and suffering and many twisted and hold-your-breath turns before triumphing at last.

Blackpool Lass is in the grand tradition of sagas set down by the late and great Catherine Cookson, with a strong fearless heroine facing all that life can throw at her. It is full of sweeping drama and tear-jerking heartache before overcoming all her trials and tribulations.

It’s a page turner so I read Blackpool Lass from cover to cover in 2 days and have no hesitation in recommending it to all you saga lover.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07978HYZS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

Maggie Mason

Mary Wood

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood.

Mary writes historical sagas for Pan Macmillan covering the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth including both wars. She has 9  books in print and another – THE FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER is realeased in December.

Under her pen name of Maggie Mason, Mary writes regional sagas set in Blackpool, again covering the time period as above. She has her first THE BLACKPOOL LASS published this week – 20th September.

Mary lives in Blackpool and enjoys researching the history of her home town, coming up with some surprising facts and excited to uncover material for future books.

 

Born the 13th child of 15 children, Mary experienced life at the raw end. Though she says of her childhood that though poor they were happy and were rich in love.

Mary writes full time now having ended her 9 – 5 working life in the Probation service. This experience gave the grittiness she brings to her writing as Mary says she feels compelled to tell it how it is.

 

Usually my blog is something about East London and its connection to my novels and this one is no exception except the link is a bit more tenuous.

On Friday night the Hero@Home and myself went to London for a very special evening at the theatre. It wasn’t so much that we had tickets for a West End play but who the star of the production was.

Now as most of you who follow me know I have a bit of a thing about Aidan Turner so when I tell you the show we went to see was the Lieutenant of Inishmore, with him in the title role you’ll understand why it was a special occasion.

However, although the majority of the female members of the audience were there to see Aidan strut his stuff as Padraic, homicidal, cat-loving terrorist, his presence didn’t dominate the production.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is very much an ensemble piece and had with excellent performances by Chris Walley as Davey, Denis Conway as Padraic’s father Donny and Charlie Murphy, who many watching wanted to swap places with, as Padraic’s equally bonkers girlfriend.

The whole two-act play motored along very nicely with many, many laugh -out-loud moments throughout, and wittily clever dialogue ‘there be no statute of limitation on mammy trampling’ being just one. Given the serious nature of the underlying subject matter this was a grand achievement.

For some one of my generation who lived and worked in London during the IRA’s 1970s bombing campaign on the British mainland some of the references, such as the one to Airey Neave and trips to Belgium caused a moment of pause, but in the context of highlighting how stupid and mindless the violence of that time was it worked.

Now, what might you ask has a play set in the 1980’s on the West Coast of Ireland about a bunch of crazy terrorists got to do with my Nolan Family East London novels? Well I’ll tell you.

Ever since I saw Aidan Turner cast as the vampire with a conscience in BBC 3’s Being Human I’ve imagined him playing Patrick Nolan in a TV adaptation of my Victorian East London books, No Cure for Love, A Glimpse at Happiness, Perhaps Tomorrow and Hold onto Hope.

 

 

Seeing him move across the stage and deliver his line with panache has only confirmed my choice. However, should my books ever be adapted for the small screen, I don’t think Mr Turner will available because I’m sure by then he’ll be universally known as Bond, James Bond.

 

 

Really thrilled to be able to announce the release date and cover of the next book in my East End Ration Book series.

It follows on from the first in the Ration Book Series, Pocketful of Dreams, so you can catch up with the boisterous Brogan family as they face up to the worst the Luftwaffe can throw at them.  

In the darkest days of the Blitz, Christmas is more important than ever. With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip. For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

 

 

It will be released on the 11th October but is already up for pre-order on Amazon.

https://goo.gl/5YyHXq

Hi Mary, I know you write both Victorian and 20th century sagas but do you encounter any problems shifting back and forward a century?

Hi, Jean and everyone. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jean. Lovely to be here

I love all era’s in history, and so never find it a problem to slip into one of them.

Once I have an idea, and a setting, I‘m away with the story, building it with research, and characters to fit the time period, and soon immerse myself as if I am living the story.

  • Why do you think these two periods dominate the Saga market at the moment?

Back in the day, when I tried to get published and was submitting manuscripts, pre-2009, I was told: “There are enough clogs and shawl books, and interest in them is waning.” (I gave up for a while and worked as a creative writing editor on other author’s books)

Then, along came Downton Abbey and the saga market lit up once more as readers wanted to read similar stories – I don’t see that waning just yet, although the market is getting flooded once more.

I think that interest in war stories was triggered by reaching significant anniversaries of the two World Wars. And, in particular when we liberated women of today wanted justice for our grandmothers. We wanted their deeds recognised, and in the process, everyone learnt more about Land Girls – Bletchley Girls, SOE’s – very courageous girls who worked behind enemy lines as spies, VAD’s, Red Cross Nurses, Munition workers, and so on. Suddenly there was wealth of stories with a real buzz around them and the genre took off.

  • I know you live in both Spain and England but does traveling back and forward interfere with your writing at all?

I try make sure that I haven’t a work-in-progress, and my desk is clear for the journey and at least a week after.

Once there and settled, I work so well. The warm sunshine allows me to sit outside with my laptop and beaver away.

I usually write two books during my winter break. However, I am now writing for two publishers and edits began to pile in at the same time, and so I only managed one and a half – I’m on catch up now.

  • I know you get your first draft done in super quick time, so does that mean you have to do lots of re-writing once the stories down?

It varies. Sometimes two or three scenes need to go, or be added in. Then I may need to bring some scenes to life as I find that I have under-dramatised a scene, or maybe, overdone it, so tweaks are needed.

Along the way I will have left myself lots of notes of things I need to know, and these have to be researched and slotted in. For instance, I might need to set one of the character’s homes in a street that looks a certain way, but instead of finding out this information while I am writing, I post a comment to myself to research the area to find the street, and place it in when re-writing.

Same might go for a station, particularly if a character is leaving London and I need to know which station and tube etc that she will use for her destination. I have to start by putting the journey in to google, then find out if any of the stations were there over one hundred years ago and if not provide alternative transport.

All of this work can take a week of many hours work to fix. But I love this stage as the pressure is off – I have my story down, I have a beginning, a journey and an end. Polishing it all is a pleasure.

  • Do you have the whole story in your head before you start or does it evolve as you write?

I always think that I do, as I write a detailed synopsis, and this can be a comfort as you always know the direction you are heading. But, what emerges is sometimes quiet different, as the story goes along paths that are not in my planning at all. I love these moments. It is like watching a film and not knowing what is going to happen.

  • What has been the highlight of becoming a published author?

All of it. It has been just as wonderful as I always imagined – meeting readers, making friends with them, meeting professional ‘book-people’ in the industry, and being verified by them – they actually think I am a good author…wow!! Meeting other authors and the support we give each other. Going to meetings and publishing parties, book-signing, and giving talks – I love it all. And there are experiences still awaiting me as I haven’t yet managed to attend any of the wonderful Romantic Novelist Association events, or a book fair. Cannot wait for the time to be right that I can do these things too.

  • Apart from writing what else do you do in your spare time?

I relax with hubby. We love to go out to dine. And to spend time with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and of course close friends.

I do have many interests, but not much time to give to them – reading, crosswords, days out exploring, and having picnics, playing scrabble, sewing, cooking . . . sigh, just to lists them makes me wish I had time to do them more often.

  • Will you give us a little taster of your new book The Street Orphans?

 

The Street Orphans is an emotional story set in 1850s Lancashire, from Mary Wood, the author of In Their Mother’s Footsteps and Brighter Days Ahead.

Born with a club foot in a remote village in the Pennines, Ruth is feared and ridiculed by her superstitious neighbours who see her affliction as a sign of witchcraft. When her father is killed in an accident and her family evicted from their cottage, she hopes to leave her old life behind, to start afresh in the Blackburn cotton mills. But tragedy strikes once again, setting in motion a chain of events that will unravel her family’s lives.

 

Their fate is in the hands of the Earl of Harrogate, and his betrothed, Lady Katrina. But more sinister is the scheming Marcia, Lady Katrina’s jealous sister. Impossible dreams beset Ruth from the moment she meets the Earl. Dreams that lead her to hope that he will save her from the terrible fate that awaits those accused of witchcraft. Dreams that one day her destiny and the Earl’s will be entwined.

 

The book will be on sale in WH Smiths, Waterstones, Morrisons, Tesco, Boyes, and on all ebook outlets – for Amazon the link is: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Street-Orphans-Mary-Wood/dp/1447267516/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516787224&sr=1-1

 

Thank you so much, Jean, I have really enjoyed this interview. Much love to you and to all your followers. Mary x