Her Last Betrayal: New Release from Pam Lecky

Today is Publication Day!

Initially, I hesitated to write a story set during World War 2, unsure what I could bring to it that would be unique. And then it dawned on me that few had written about the war from a neutral Irish perspective. Luckily, all I had to do was delve into my family and local history and Her Secret War, the first novel in the Sarah Gillespie Series, was the result.

Essentially, the stories in the series are about spies and fifth columnists, a subject covered in some depth by Tim Tate in his book, Hitler’s British Traitors. This was the source for much of my background information and threw up a few plot ideas too (always a bonus!). [Buy Link: Hitler’s British Traitors]

Betty Lecky, Birmingham, 1940s

My mother and her sisters left rural Ireland to work in Britain during WW2. One aunt followed her boyfriend, who had joined the RAF, and she worked in a munitions factory. Another aunt wanted to study nursing, and my mother was a ‘clippie’ (bus conductress) on the Birmingham buses. Neither book is their story, but there are glimpses of their experiences hidden throughout the fiction. The German attack on North Strand, which opens the first book, happened only a few miles from where I grew up. As a young child, I passed the bombed-out sites regularly, knowing nothing about them. I was in my late teens before I heard about the bombing and the relevant history.

Her Secret War by Pam Lecky

For me, the greatest challenge was getting up to speed on day-to-day life. I knew a lot about the overall timeline and events of the war, but it was the nitty-gritty details of life on the Homefront which would ground the stories in reality. Thankfully, there is an enormous amount of material out there, from eyewitness accounts and books to newsreels.

My heroine, Sarah Gillespie, is Irish, and the first novel in the series begins with the infamous bombing of neutral Dublin by the Luftwaffe in May 1941. The opening chapters take place during the bombing and its aftermath before the story moves to England. Like many Irish, Sarah has family living in the UK. They welcome her to their home when her own family is killed. Without giving away the plot, Sarah’s nationality leads to complications, and she is forced to decide where her loyalties lie. The complex relationship between the Irish and their ex-colonial masters interests me, and I explore it to some extent in both novels.

Her Last Betrayal by Pam Lecky

Her Last Betrayal continues Sarah’s story. She is now employed by MI5 and must work with a new colleague, a US Naval Intelligence officer, who is hostile and suspicious of her motives. There mission is to track down IRA members who are facilitating British fifth columnists and Abwehr agents entering and leaving the UK. Just as they appear to be making progress, one of the MI5 team is revealed to be a German mole. Their mission thrown into chaos, Sarah and Tony must learn to trust each other if they are to survive.

Again, I referenced Mr Tate’s excellent book only to find that the port used by the IRA was only alluded to as being in South Wales. I knew the UK National Archives document reference number, but the text in question was only available to view in person, not online. Due to Covid, I could not travel to Kew to look at it. So, in the meantime, I had to make an educated guess (Fishguard seemed likely as it connected Cork and neutral Lisbon at the time—a possible route).

As the deadline for finalising the book approached, however, I panicked and took a chance and messaged Mr Tate directly through social media. A few weeks later, he responded and emailed all the information I needed. But, as it transpired, the identity of the port used by the IRA for smuggling people in and out of the UK, remains a mystery. The document Mr Tate had seen only mentioned South Wales. And then the bombshell: the British Secret Service had destroyed the other file which identified the exact location. Although disappointed, at least I had an answer. And let’s be honest, a bit of mystery is music to the ears of a writer of espionage tales!

Her Secret War was published in October 2021 and is available in all good bookstores and online. Her Last Betrayal is published today, 14th April 2022 and is available in all good book stores and online. I am currently working on the third novel in the series, as yet unnamed.

Buy Link: Her Secret War

Buy Link: Her Last Betrayal

In Conversation with Mary Clancy

Today, I am delighted to host fellow Irish historical fiction author, Mary Clancy.

Pam thanks so much for inviting me to feature on your blog.

Mary Clancy

Let me tell you a little about myself. I live with my family in Co. Kildare just outside Naas, with Michael and two of our three sons. My youngest is eighteen, I don’t know where those years went to. I mustn’t forget to mention our treasured dog Coco who is still sprightly at the grand old age of fifteen.

I look forward to having my books in the book shops when I can have a real live launch. (Most important.)

Having retired from my job as a social worker, I took to writing, a hobby which I had enjoyed for much of my adult life. Being offered a three book deal from Poolbeg Press in 2020 was such a dream. And here I am.

In Conversation with Mary Clancy

New Release from FB Hogan – The Nightmare

I have great pleasure in announcing that Fiona Hogan’s new release is now available. Fiona and I met a few years ago at a bizarre book fair down in Waterford. As survivors of that event, (yes, it was that weird!) we have clung together for support as we have dipped our toes into the publishing world.

Fiona is one very talented writer (and editor) with a wonderful imagination. Her work, however, comes with a word of warning – if you scare easy, be prepared to have to sleep with the lights on for a couple of weeks after reading her short but extremely scary stories!

New Release from FB Hogan – The Nightmare

A Conversation with Anne McLoughlin

Today, I am delighted to be in the company of fellow Irish historical fiction author, ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Anne McLoughlin, who has dropped by to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

Anne McLoughlin

You are very welcome, Anne, please introduce yourself:

Born in Dublin, I now divide my time between there and my home in rural Wexford.

With my working life in television production with RTE behind me, I’ve now embarked on a new career in my retirement.  Writing a novel was always an ambition, but until recent years I didn’t have a strong enough inspiration to spur me on, but that’s all changed now, since I had a brainwave.

Highly commended in the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition in the Wexford Literary Festival, this gave me the encouragement to really get stuck into working on my ‘Lives’ trilogy.

A 3-book deal with Poolbeg followed.

A Conversation with Anne McLoughlin

A Conversation with Derville Murphy

Today, I’m delighted to have fellow Irish historical fiction author, Derville Murphy, in the library. She has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Derville, please introduce yourself:

Hi everyone, delighted to talk to you all! I am a newbie author. But you know, I feel that it was inevitable I would end up writing novels. I started out as an architect – left the profession to study art history – fell in love with academia – and got hooked on writing. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I really enjoy – I paint, and I write novels. I live in Dublin, I am married with two children and two adorable twin grandchildren.

Derville Murphy
A Conversation with Derville Murphy

New Release from Catherine Kullmann

I’m delighted to bring you news of a new release from my very good friend, Catherine Kullmann. If you love the Regency period, you will adore her books.

Catherine Kullmann was born and educated in Dublin. She has worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, she moved to Germany where she lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. Widowed, she has three adult sons and two grandchildren.

New Release from Catherine Kullmann

New Release from Sharon Thompson

Sharon Thompson is a best-selling, Irish author who writes historical novels, with plenty of criminal elements for Bloodhound Books UK. When she is not plotting gritty manuscripts (like ‘The Abandoned’ and ‘The Healer’) Sharon enjoys conjuring light-hearted short stories for magazines like Woman’s Way. Living in rural Donegal, Sharon loves binge-watching movies and TV programmes, walking on the beach with her dog, and making time for coffee or a glass of wine with friends. An avid tweeter, Sharon runs a trending tweet-chat #WritersWise, and can be found online, chatting on messenger or typing out a new idea. ‘The Quiet Truth’ is due for release on 9th Dec 2020. Sharon has also signed with Poolbeg Books Ireland. Her historical, crime novel called ‘The Murdering Wives Club’ from the Sinful Roses series will launch in January 2021. New Release from Sharon Thompson

New Release – Cover Reveal – Jenny O’Brien: Silent Cry

I am delighted to be taking part in today’s cover reveal for one of my favourite authors, Jenny O’Brien. I was lucky enough to read Silent Cry and can tell you, you are in for a treat.

unnamedAlys is fine. Don’t try to find us.

Five years ago, Izzy Grant’s boyfriend Charlie took their newborn daughter Alys out for a drive.

They never came back.

After years of waiting, Izzy has almost given up hoping that they’re still alive – until a note is pushed through her door telling her they’re fine, not to look for them. Suddenly the case is top priority again, and Izzy is swarmed with faces from the past: the detective who was first on the scene to help; an old friend who vanished not long after Alys and Charlie.

Izzy doesn’t know who she can trust, who is sending her notes, where Charlie and Alys might be. Her only ally is DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Cardiff and fleeing a painful past of her own.

Gaby knows something doesn’t fit with the case, and she knows Izzy won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her daughter. Could someone she knew and trusted really have taken Alys from her?

Wherever Alys and Charlie are, Gaby is determined to find them, no matter what it takes. Somewhere in Izzy’s past is a clue, if Gaby can only find it …

New Crime Novel from Valerie Keogh

I‘m so happy to share the news that one of my fav crime writers is releasing a new book today. Valerie has come along to share the news and talk about the inspiration behind No Simple Death

Writers take inspiration from things they see, read, or do, things that lodge in their memory until finally they’re able to incorporate it into a story.

I live in an old house, at the end of a short road that ends in a church gate. A key to the gate came with the house and I can go through it as a pleasant walk across church grounds to the supermarket. The chain and lock are a bit of a palaver to use – it was here I got the idea for the death in the graveyard in No Simple Death. Although the heroine of my story lives in Foxrock, Dublin, I used my house and the road I live on for the house where she lives – a long way from Foxrock!

I also use the name of a very small village in Cornwall that we drove through many years ago – Come-to-Good. Such a great name, it remained in my head all these years until I found a perfect use for it in this story. (I also used the village named Tiddlywink in a different book!)

It’s nice to use some of the ideas that are floating in my head – but the space quickly fills up with more!

***

No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh

How can you find someone who doesn’t want to be found?

When Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West is called to investigate a murder in a Dublin graveyard, suspicion immediately falls on a local woman, Edel Johnson, whose husband disappeared some months before. But then she disappears.

Evidence leads West to a small village in Cornwall, but when he checks in to an Inn, he finds Edel has arrived before him. Her explanation seems to make sense but as West begins to think his suspicions of her are unfounded, she disappears again.

Is she guilty? West, fighting an unsuitable attraction, doesn’t want to believe it. But the case against her is growing. Back in Dublin, his team uncover evidence of blackmail and illegal drugs involving Edel’s missing husband. When another man is murdered, she, once again, comes under suspicion.

Finally, the case is untangled, but is it the outcome West really wants?

No Simple Death is a murder mystery with a touch of romance, set in the Dublin suburbs. It will appeal to fans of authors such as Peter James, LJ Ross and Ruth Rendall.

Buy Link