Sunday, 30 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - A Snap Shot at the 1960's



This month on, Yesterday Uncovered, we slip back to the 1960’s and what an amazing decade that was. Here are a few details to launch our month of the 1960’s


1960 – Lego was seen at the Brighton Toy Fair for the first time in 1960 and the blocks took Britain by storm, guess what was on every child’s Christmas list.

1961 - The farthing coin, used since the thirteenth century, ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.

1962 – Chris Bonington and Ian Clough becomes the first Britons to climb the north face of the Eiger

1963 - The Beatles began their career. They leapt to fame in 1963 with ‘Please, Please Me and had a Christmas No. 1 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.

1964 - The British and French Governments announce commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel

*1965 – Sir Winston Churchill dies aged ninety at Chartwell, his Kent home of more than forty years.

1966 –  England won the football World Cup

1967 - First heart transplant operation was performed by surgeon Christiaan Barnard.

1968 -  Published: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.

1969 - On 2nd March 1969 Concorde, the world’s first supersonic passenger jet made its maiden voyage from Toulouse.



*Also in 1965 – The lives of three families would never be the same after the summer of 1965.



Storm Clouds Gathering: Storm clouds are gathering, silently and slowly, too far away to worry about. Or so it seems. But ignoring what is brewing will have dire consequences for the people caught up in the maelstrom. Shirley Burton is busy cheating on her husband. Kathleen Mitchell is too wrapped up in running around after her beautiful family and Anne Simpson has two things on her mind: her forthcoming marriage to Paul Betham and his controlling manner.

Storm Clouds Gathering is a story of human emotion, passion and heart-rending grief. Set against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, these three families will be tested to the limit as betrayal, loss and love threaten to change their lives forever.


Storm Clouds Gathering is available in Kindle and paperback





Yesterday Uncovered, the 1960’s starts on Tuesday with...

Sleeping Through War



Please do come and back and, please, share the 1960’s with your family and friends.


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1940's with Jennifer S Alderson & The Lover's Portrait



This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1940s


Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Jennifer S. Alderson, the author of The Lover’s Portrait, so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1940s.




Tell us a little about yourself

Hi, Pauline! Thanks for the invite. I am an American-born journalist, website developer and art historian currently living in the Netherlands. I write travel mysteries and thrilling adventures set in one of the many countries I have been lucky enough to visit. When I’m not writing, you can find me biking around Amsterdam, in one of the city’s many museums, or sipping coffee on a canal while dreaming up my next book idea.


What inspired you to write about the 1940s?

While studying art history at the University of Amsterdam, the restitution of Nazi-looted artwork was a hot topic, both in my lectures and in the national media. Jacques Goudstikker’s heirs were in the process of claiming hundreds of paintings spread throughout Dutch museums and the lawsuit was quite controversial. We also spent many hours discussing an (unrelated) exhibition of artwork stolen by the Nazis, unclaimed paintings and sculptures still in the care of the Dutch government. The exhibition – Looted, But From Whom? – was meant to garner the collection media attention in the hopes the legal owners or their heirs would come forward and claim them. The Goudstikker claim and Looted exhibition merged in my mind and inspired the plot of The Lover’s Portrait.



Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

The Lover’s Portrait is a dual timeline mystery. In the present day chapters, American art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Amsterdam Historical Museum on an exhibition of looted artwork. When two women claim the same portrait of a young woman, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the portrait’s provenance (or its history of ownership).
About forty percent of the novel is set in the early 1940s when the Nazis occupied Amsterdam. Without giving away too much, the reader learns more about the girl in the portrait, the rightful owner, and how the painting ended up in the government’s care after the war.



Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

The ways in which museums deal with restitution cases, the Nazi’s policies regarding modern art, as well as their way of legitimizing the theft of artwork from Dutch citizens, are all based on real facts. However, the portrait described is a figment of my imagination, as are the two claimants.




Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

Many of the characters in the 1940s chapters are compilations of historical figures I had read about during my research. I made a point of not using any one person as the basis for a character. The only exception is a Jewish artist in my story, a young man named Lex Wederstein. I was so moved by the real story of a talented Jewish artist who perished in a concentration camp months before the war ended, that I gave Lex his background, aptitude, and promise of a rewarding career.


If research was necessary what did this involve?

Extensive archival research into Amsterdam’s World War Two history was crucial. As an American, I knew very little about the war in Europe. The Nazi’s policies regarding homosexuality, collaborators, resistance fighters and Jewish artists were all unknown to me. My Dutch husband’s family also shared their stories of growing up in occupied Amsterdam, how it was to see tanks rolling through the streets, bunkers on Museumplein and German troops on patrol. They really helped make these chapters come to life.

Many thanks for inviting me to your blog, Pauline!


You can find Jennifer on all of these links…










Thank you for stopping by and meeting Jennifer.

Next week we slip back to 1960’s so please come back and join us as we look at life from this amazing decade. 


You can also read...







Thank you for stopping by and please come back again soon.

Pauline




Monday, 24 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered -1940's with Dodie Hamilton




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1940's

Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Dodie Hamilton, author of Second Chance, so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1940's.





I am Dodie Hamilton and known to friends and clients around the world as the Spiritual Midwife. The name was given to me while working as a councillor with a particular interest in Out-of-Body Travelling and Near Death Experience.

A dream inspired me to write of the 1940s, pretty much the whole of A Second Chance arriving one night bringing the story of the GI Bride, beautiful Adelia Challoner, and the men that loved her.  It was a wonderful dream, full of passion and colour, I knew I had to set it down when in that same year I went to a party and there came face-to-face with one of the main characters.




 The story begins in 1942, Adelia working in St Faiths Hospital, Suffolk, where she meets an American pilot, the mad and definitely bad Bobby Rourke, and how in that same year the village of Needham is bombed. Lives are destroyed. Adelia is hurt in the blast and recovers consciousness to learn all memories of the previous day and what happened there - the joy and the pain – lies buried beneath the bandages on her head. Others try filling in the gaps, how she was seen walking in the park with a soldier, ‘a gorgeous guy with the bluest eyes.’ One man knows exactly what happened August 1st. He was there and saw it all but isn’t telling, at least, not until she’s safely aboard a liner on her way to America and a new life in Virginia. 

During WW2 the Suffolk coast airbases were inundated American service-men, their smooth uniforms and handsome faces creating the sardonic quip, ‘over-here, over-paid, and over-sexed.’ The GI Bride plan came about in ’46, wives and girlfriends of American servicemen brought to the States aboard ships like the Queen Mary.  Many of the women found happiness there, other found misery, Adelia Challoner found an Angel masquerading as an undertaker.

 The characters in A Second Chance are based on a dream. One such I met at a party. Across the room seen from a side-view he was probably the best-looking man I had ever seen, really quite beautiful, and then he turned, and in that moment became Captain America, Lieutenant Robert E Rourke, DFC.  The second male, Alexander Hunter, is based on a newspaper headline I read in the US Amy Magazine Stars ‘N Stripes about a soldier escaping from a German POW camp. The third, and the Mightiest, is Gabriel Templar, jail-bird and US Marine, a Becoming Angel, here on Earth to learn how it feels to be human, and who I have since learned was never meant for one book, rather for a quartet, entitled, The Helplessness of Angels, three of the Quartet now written.

 WW2 and the Southern States of America in the ‘40s required a lot of research, as did conditions here in Britain during the Second World War, yet as said before Adelia and her lovers are known to me, and, arriving like sparkling diamonds they continue to be known. I love them all and want to give them and their individual lives a voice that can be heard everywhere.

 I hope you will read about them and love them as I love them

Thank you for listening Dear Book Lovers.
I wish you happiness and peace.
Dodie Hamilton.
The Spiritual Midwife


Links to my books can be found on UK and USA Amazon Kindle

www. Dodie Hamilton Books.
Spirit Knights Paranormal Investigation.
Goodreads.
Info about me, Dodie Hamilton #SpiritualMidwife can be found on facebook, Mind, Body and Spirit, and numerous other sites.
e-mail address dodie.hamilton@btinternet.com
Reluctant Angels, the prequel to A Second Chance is soon to be available in hard-copy, and, hopefully, the rest to follow.





Thank you for stopping by and meeting Dodie.

On Thursday, Jennifer S Alderson talks about 






Please call back again very soon to catch up on news and more revisits from the 1940's


Pauline

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1940's with Anne Allen & Echoes of Time




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1940s


Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Anne Allenthe author of, Echoes of Time so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1940s.




Tell us a little about yourself

I was by profession a psychotherapist but long yearned to write and I finally found the time and inspiration about 12 years ago. I won a true-life story competition run by Prima magazine and started my first novel, Dangerous Waters, which evolved into The Guernsey Novels series. I had spent many happy years on this beautiful island and wanted to offer my homage in the form of my books. I have now published 6 titles, with no 7 being written as we speak!


What inspired you to write about the 1940s?

Guernsey, like the other Channel Islands, was occupied by the Germans during the 1940s war and this left a huge impact, both on the physical character of the island, but even more on the islanders’ psyche. This is clear even today, 70 years later. Although my stories are set mainly in the modern day, they also refer strongly to the Occupation years.




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

The story is dual-time, covering the story of Olive, a farmer’s wife in occupied Guernsey and her unhappy marriage to a bully and her relationship with a German officer. In the present day, the protagonist is Natalie, a Guernsey girl who returns from living in London to escape a bad relationship and who ends up buying what was the old farmhouse belonging to Olive and her husband. Natalie experiences weird dreams and flashbacks connected to the past and there are ghostly elements in the story. Together with Olive’s grandson, Stuart, she tries to find out what really happened to Olive, who disappeared suddenly years before.


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

Yes, events that happened during the invasion and occupation are portrayed accurately.


Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

All the characters are fictional.


If research was necessary what did this involve?

Quite a lot of research was needed as I was keen to offer an accurate historic background to the story. This involved reading the local archives and a number of books and diaries written during and after the war. In fact I undertook so much research I wrote another dual-time book, The Betrayal, also set partly in the Occupation years!




You can find Anne at all these locations …











Thank you for stopping by and meeting Anne.

On Tuesday, Dodie Hamilton talks about 






Thank you for stopping by and meeting, Anne, please call back again very soon to catch up on news and more revisits from the 1940's


Pauline

Monday, 17 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1940's with John Orton



This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1940s

Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is John Orton, the author of, Blitz PAMS so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1940s.



Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in South Shields in 1949 – a baby boomer. My parents had met during the war and had lived with my dad’s parents in an upstairs flat until they were given a council house – one of the homes for heroes the council was building. I went to the local Grammar School and won a place at Oxford where I read law. A successful career as a local government lawyer was cut short by ill health and I now live quietly with my wife and two sons, (who have still not flown the nest!) in Portishead.

What inspired you to write about the 1940s?
I was toying with the idea of writing a police whodunit set in South Shields in the 1900s when a friend of mine handed to me a dog-eared and dust covered copy of his father’s memoirs. Tom ‘Jock’ Gordon had been a Station Sergeant in the Shields Police. When he was old and frail he had gone to live with his son. He was a little depressed and at a loose end so his son suggested he write his memoirs – he was always telling the old stories so he should write them down. When I read them I realised that I had unearthed a treasure trove of tales of old South Shields. After I had transcribed and edited them I started re-writing them as a series of semi fictional stories. They were published as the Five Stone Steps: tales of a Policeman’s life in 1920s South Shields. I was writing a sequel and wanted a last story about the War years. The memoirs said little and I started researching – I had no idea how bad things became for everyone during the War, and in particular how much the town of Shields had suffered during the Blitz. There was enough material for a book.



Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away
When people think of the War their first thoughts are of  the heroes of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, Monty’s desert rats and the Normandy landings – but the battle on the home front against the German blitzkrieg was in its own way just as memorable. There was a whole army of young and old, men and women, who became ARP Wardens, street firewatchers, auxiliary fire-fighters, and ambulance crew, war reserve police,  rescue squads and the WVS (not yet royal) who took out the mobile canteens for the rescue workers. Then I discovered the PAMs – police auxiliary messengers – lads between 16 and 18 with their own bikes who would go out during and after raids to deliver messages – when the phone lines were down they were the only way of getting messages through. The thought of young lads riding their bikes in the blackout, with bombs flying round their ears, was the inspiration behind Blitz PAMs. The story of the book is how six young lads, including one who turns out to be a lass - (Jackie, who was turned away and told to go and knit socks for the lads at sea, but went back dressed as a lad), live through the blitz on South Shields and cope with life knowing that their name might be on the next bomb. Their adventures and scrapes and their pubescent fumblings paint a vivid picture of what life was like for teenagers in the war. The story is told by a 16 year old grocery delivery lad, Mossie Hamed, of mixed English and Arab stock who tells the story in a broad South Shields accent.



 Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?
Mossie, Matty, Freddie, Davey, Jimmy and Jackie – the PAMS - are all fictional characters – but their exploits – uncovering a black market racket, exposing a Policeman who is looting bomb sites, and rescuing a budgie from the ruins, are all things that happened during the war.   The descriptions of the air raids themselves, the death and damage they caused are all based on fact. A German Henkel did crash land on the seafront and the German pilot who baled out was killed when he landed on the live trolley bus wires: a 1000kg bomb did crash through the roof of the power station landing on the top of one of the boilers without exploding; a direct hit on the underground shelter in the market place killed at least 12 people who were sheltering inside; the foreman of a rescue squad was awarded the George Medal when he was lowered head first into a cellar filled with dust and coal gas, and rescued those inside, supporting the ceiling with his shoulders while an injured woman who was buried in the rubble was dug out.



Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?
Station Sergeant ‘Jock’ Duncan is the fictional Tom ‘Jock’ Gordon. Other real life figures such as Major Todd, the Chief Air Raid Warden, James Thomas Annis Scott GM, rescue squad foreman, and Lieutenant Brookes of the no 27 Bomb Disposal Section of the Royal Engineers all make their appearances along with other ‘fictional’ characters who also play their part.


If research was necessary what did this involve?
I only realised how little I knew about the blitz on Shields until I started my research. I live in Portishead and don’t travel much now so it was books and computers. My first port of call was the South Tyneside Local History Library’s on site photographic archive – you can find it on www.southtynesidehistory.co.uk – during the War Miss Amy Flagg, the local history librarian and a keen amateur photographer, went out after each raid and took photographs of all the bomb damage. She also wrote a note about each raid. This is a unique and exhaustive archive of the war in Shields. It enabled me to see what had happened and to use these photos to describe the raids through the eyes of the PAMs. I then found the Pears and Ripley North East Diary !939-1945 which gives a detailed account of all the air raids on the North East during the War. (At the time of writing the web site seems to have been taken over by someone else.) Unexploded bombs were a deadly hazard as well as being a tactical weapon used by the Germans to cause disruption – the author of Disarming Hitler’s Weapons – Chris Ransted supplied me with copies of the actual war time diaries of the no 27 Bomb Disposal Squad. A little known specialist book by G. Burrows – The Trolley Buses of South Shields gave me the information needed to allow a young PAM and his Auxiliary Ambulance Driver girlfriend to have their first sexual experience on the back seat of the upstairs deck of a trolley bus during the blackout – you’ll need to read the book to find out more!



Blitz PAMS is the second in your series Tales of Old South Shields – is there a third volume?
Yes – A Chill Wind off the Tyne has just come out. The sequel to the Five Stone Steps was put on hold while I wrote Blitz PAMs. I went back to it but it was one of those works that you’re never really satisfied with and I rewrote it several times. It is a bit of a prequel and a sequel to the other books and tells of the lives of the working class in South Shields in the first half of the twentieth century: the harsh working conditions, the pit lock-outs of 1921 and 1926, the riots in Shields when Arab and white seamen fought over jobs in the streets. Life on Tyneside during the depression of the 20s and 30s was hard but folk got on with it, laughed and loved, liked a pint and a bet; bought their shopping on tick; and ate bread and dripping, tripe, brawn and cow heel pie.






Thank you for stopping by and meeting John.

On Thursday, Anne Allen talks about 




You can also read...



Thank you for stopping by and me please call back again very soon for more posts and news, and to revisit the 1940's.


Pauline

Friday, 14 September 2018

Legging It!


Yes!
We are already 8,370.5 miles down to road towards our 30,000 miles goal!



Nineteen amazing peeps are sharing every step they take to make sure we get to our target as soon as possible.
Anf many of these have a bronze medal for reaching 500 miles and one or two have a silver for reaching 1,000 miles!

You can join in too by sharing your miles.
For more information run over to

See you there!



Monday, 10 September 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1940's with Wendy Percival & The Malice of Angels



This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1940s

Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Wendy Percival, the author of, The Malice of Angels so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1940s.





Tell us a little about yourself

I live in the South West of England, in the middle of the beautiful county of Devon. I’m a keen family historian and I write genealogy mysteries, inspired by what I uncover while researching my family tree.



What inspired you to write about the 1940s?

I heard a fascinating story on the local news about an elderly lady who it was discovered on her death, had been a Special Operations Executive (SOE) – a secret agent, in other words – during the Second World War and no one knew. I began reading about the SOEs and the dangerous work they did when they were dropped into occupied France and the story grew from there.




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

My protagonist, Esme Quentin, a historical researcher and genealogist, is reminded of a painful past when she bumps into a journalist colleague of her late husband Tim. He asks her what she recalls about the murder of an old solider, an incident on which he and Tim reported 35 years ago. Esme declines to get involved and so pretends to remember nothing about it. But when she’s asked to investigate the mystery behind the disappearance of a friend’s aunt, Vivienne, a nurse who went missing during WW2, she finds the two incidents have a disturbing connection. As she begins to unpick the secrets in Vivienne’s story, Esme realises she may also be forced to confront the terrifying truth of her own distressing past, regardless of whether or not she’s yet ready to face her demons.


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

Yes - the ultimate truth of what happened to Vivienne is based on real events. I also drew a huge amount of inspiration from my research into SOEs - the horror of what the agents went through if they were caught and detained by the Nazis forms part of Vivienne’s story. There’s also another true twist which, when I read about it, caused me to gasp out loud. So I just had to include a version of it in the plot!


Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

Some of the characters from the past who had a part to play in Vivienne’s fate are based on real people. The rest aren’t – other than that the usual subconscious harvesting  we authors do from people we know!


If research was necessary what did this involve?

I read some fascinating books during my research. One in particular left its mark, A Life in Secrets by Sarah Helm. It’s the true story of Vera Atkins – a key player in preparing the female SOEs for their missions in occupied Europe – who spent the years immediately after the war searching for what happened to those women who never came home. Intriguingly, Vera’s own life wasn’t quite what it appeared and the book is an attempt to unveil Vera’s past as well as to record the often disturbing fate of the SOEs themselves.



You can find Wendy on all of these links…










Thank you for stopping by and meeting Wendy.

Next Tuesday, John Orton talks about 






You can also read...

A Snap Shot from the1940's 

Conspiracy of Lies

 Thank you for stopping by and please come back again soon.

Pauline