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News & Reviews

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Stranger In My Heart launched back in June 2018, so I thought I would let you faithful supporters know how things have been going since then. It would really help me if you could write a review of the book on Amazon - I have 26 customer reviews so far and I hope to reach 30+ with your help. There has been quite a lot of publicity for the book, both in the UK and internationally:

Bath Life


Monday, 4 June 2018

Well I finally have the book in my hot little hand! You will receive your copy very shortly but I'm afraid I can't tell you exactly when. Book marketing these days is very review driven, so please, please, please review Stranger In My Heart on Amazon and Goodreads, as soon as poss - the first 4 weeks after launch is the crucial time for the mighty Amazon promotional machine to activate. You have to…

Publication Date

Monday, 7 May 2018

The official publication date for Stranger In My Heart is 9th June 2018, Dad's 104th birthday! It is already available to pre-order on Amazon as an ebook, but readers will have to wait till publication day to buy the paperback. You, Dearly Beloved, should receive your copy around the end of May.

The book is currently featuring on a blog tour which you can follow on Twitter (my Twitter handle is…

Cover Reveal

Saturday, 21 April 2018

I am thrilled to announce that the cover design has been finalised! According to my Unbound Project Page the publication date is June (supporters should receive their copies before then) which is just in time for Father's Day. You can pre-order from Unbound now and I will let you know when it appears on Amazon and such like. I am contacting independent bookshops in Bath, Wiltshire and Shropshire to…

76th Anniversary of Escape

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

On the night of February 1st 1942, under the light of the full moon, Dad and his two colleagues made their daring escape from Sham Shui Po POW camp in Hong Kong, full of trepidation, in fear of their lives but determined to succeed. Only 33 men ever escaped from Sham Shui Po.

In the last few weeks I have made contact with the families of some of those brave few men. Tony Hewitt's stepson, John…

Merry Christmas 1942!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

My Christmas holidays will include finalising the draft - the editor is pleased with what I have done so far and there are just a few loose ends to tidy up. I thought I'd share Dad's experience of Christmas from 1942, a year after the surrender of Hong Kong, when he was in Chongqing and being entertained by the President of China, Chiang Kai-shek:

“On Christmas day the Ambassador had a lunch party…

Battle of Hong Kong Anniversary

Friday, 8 December 2017

Today is the 76th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Hong Kong, 4 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on the other side of the Pacific and on the other side of the international date line. Even though the tension had been rising for weeks, there was no real sense of the imminence of the Japanese attack. Dad wrote this on Sunday 7 December 1941:

“As I went home after dinner everything…


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Dear Friends,

Apologies for my silence over the last month. I have been extremely busy preparing for a course that I am teaching this weekend. I am really looking forward to getting on with editing my book next week and hope it won't take me too long. I have been making progress towards marketing the book, with a couple of high profile people lined up to do reviews for cover quotes. I can't say…

The structural edit is back!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Well, lovely supporters, I got my 'structural edit' back today. The editor has written a summary of her thoughts and then detailed notes through the whole book. I haven't read all her comments yet - I got a bit stuck on the first paragraph, which is still making me glow with pleasure! I think there is a lot of work to do over the next few weeks (to be fitted in with working and teaching commitments…

Journey up the East River

Sunday, 10 September 2017

When Dad's party reached Huizhou, they found it a burnt out ruin, but celebrating Chinese New Year in spite of it all. This delayed their onward journey and meant a frustrating few days wait. More positively, they were now classed as refugees and were given a small daily allowance.

"Finally we got a passage up the river.  We travelled in two boats; the leader had a charcoal gas engine and looking…

Contemplating Memory Lane

Friday, 11 August 2017

No exciting news to report as the book is still with the editor. Here is an excerpt where I wonder if my trip to China will really conjure up the spirit of Dad:

After much email discussion with various tour operators I eventually decided that My Odyssey Tours (MOT) offered me the best option. They had chosen an interesting itinerary that allowed me to retrace Dad’s steps and do some sightseeing…

Geopolitics in WWII

Monday, 24 July 2017

Dear friends, the manuscript has now been sent to an editor for 'structural edit' which will ensure that it makes sense, flows well and is structured to create the most interesting possible read. I quake in my boots awating its return at the end of August!

Meanwhile, here is an extract summarising what was going on in China in the early stages of WWII - well, early stages for us - Japan invaded…

Foreword by HRH The Princess Royal

Friday, 14 July 2017

Fantastic news this week - we reached the funding target on Tuesday and today I received wonderful news: HRH Anne, The Princess Royal, has very kindly written a foreword for Stranger In My Heart. We have some connections - she is Patron of the British School of Osteopathy and has so far presented me with two degrees and a prize. She is also President of the Riding for the Disabled Association and…

Almost there!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

We are now at 97% of the funding target - tantalisingly close and just a very few more supporters needed. I have made up postcards advertising the book to hand out and, if you know of anyone who might be interested, do email them or I can send them a card if you let me have their details.

I hope you have seen the endorsement of my book from Damien Lewis, author of bestsellers such as Hunting The…

Intimate portrayal of battle

Thursday, 29 June 2017

I am humbled by your generosity in supporting my book. We are now at 90% of the funding target which is amazing in such a short time. Thankyou! Just a few more supporters needed...

This is an excerpt about the battle of Hong Kong, in December 1941, which was part of Japan's initial assault, along with the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Malaya and Singapore. Dad's diary entries give a vivid picture of…

Great start to the funding campaign

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me so far. After only a week we have already reached more than two thirds of the funding target. I plan to write an update once a week or so, and each time I will include a little snippet from the book. Please do share this project with anyone you know who might be interested. The more the merrier!

This is from the opening chapter, where I am puzzling over…

Publication date: June 2018
112% funded
99 backers