Sunday, 11 November 2018

100 Years Anniversary of WWI Ending - a battlefield visit.

Last month I achieve one of my bucket list goals. I visited Flander's Fields in Belgium on a battlefield tour.
Those of you who know my books, know that I have a deep interest in World War One and have written in that era on three occasions (The Promise of Tomorrow, Southern Sons and Where Dragonflies Hover)

I have researched the era a great deal and to visit actual battlefield sites was an amazing experience I'll remember forever.
I'm sharing with you some photos of the day, not all as there are too many, but enough to give you a feel of what I saw.

 This is just some of the shells and hand grenades still collected on farmer's fields in and around Passchendaele and Ypres.
Live shells are still being found and our tour guide told us that only the month before a farmer had been ploughing his field and was blown up by an unexploded shell. 100 years later!! It's so hard to believe isn't it? We saw this shell just by the side of the road. Farmers put them out for the army to collect every Friday and dispose of them. 


The photo of the trench is from the Passchendaele Museum. It is a great museum to visit and learn even more about the battle sin that area. Walking through the trenches give you a feel of what the men must have gone through. Though the day we went the weather was lovely, but I could imagine the trenches in the wet and cold and the mud of winter.


 The serene looking little lake is actually a bomb crater on the outskirts of Ypres. The site has not been touched and allowed to fill with water. It's very beautiful to look at but the grim story is men fought and died in this spot and it's a sobering thought that we were walking on ground churned up by heavy gunfire and bombs and at one time dead bodies of brave men.


 The cemeteries we visited were numerous in the area, naturally, as it was a hot bed of fighting for over 4 years. As an Australian it was very touching to see the Australian War memorials and graves, but as someone who has British ancestors who fought and died in battles it was doubling moving. Knowing that an ancestor of mine (Ellis) sent five sons to war and only three came back.
To my great+ uncles Arthur and Alfred Ellis and all the brave men and women who fought and died for our freedom, we owe you a debt that can never be repaid.



Lest We Forget


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

New saga - Belle of the Back Streets - Kindle for just 99p


My debut novel Belle of the Back Streets is now out in hardback and eBook.

The EBook is on special offer at just 99p until January 1st.

You can download it here.

Glenda Young
glendayoungbooks.com

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Belle of the Back Streets - publication day!


Today - November 1st 2018 - is the day that my first novel Belle of the Back Streets is published.

It's out in hardback and as an ebook today and comes out in audio on December 15. The paperback is released in March next year.

Belle of the Back Streets is about a young girl who takes on her dad's rag and bone round in the northeast pit village of Ryhope, Sunderland. Ryhope is where I grew up and I know the village well.

You can find out more about me and about the book which is one of three to be published by Headline.

Thank you for all your support, saga fans!

Glenda Young


Friday, 26 October 2018

Grace's Courage.


Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters' rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own. The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her. Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster's future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father's infidelity, one sister's alcoholism, and another's out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match. Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. 
Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish --and murder-- when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life. All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?

Grace’s Courage - ebook/pbk
Can she protect her sisters from their evil father?
#Victorian  #Yorkshire #saga #Leeds #historical

Saturday, 13 October 2018

First scene from A Ration Book Christmas - Free on kindle for a limited time.


Putting her feet on the brake and clutch, Josephine Margaret Brogan, known to everyone as Jo, stuck her right hand out of the driver’s side window of the five-year-old Morris 8 delivery van then, seeing the road was clear, turned across Melton Winchet High Street into Garfield General Store’s back yard.

Bringing it to a halt alongside the side wall, she pulled on the handbrake and switched off the engine. Jutting out her lower lip, she blew upwards to dislodge a brunette curl resting over her left eyebrow but the lock refused to budge. She wasn’t surprised.
It was the 6th , the first Friday in September and with the hot early-autumn sun blasting fully through the van’s windows, the inside of the vehicle was like an oven and Jo was perspiring accordingly.
It might not have been so bad if she’d been able to deliver the shop’s weekend orders in the sleeveless frock and cotton underslip she’d put on that morning, but no. Mrs Garfield was having none of it. Despite the BBC forecasting that the afternoon temperatures would nudge at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the shopkeeper had insisted that Jo wear her regular dull green rayon overall so she looked ‘tidy’, which was a cheek as the blooming thing fitted her like a sack and had to be turned at the cuff so the sleeves didn’t cover her hands.
Jo got out of the green van and swinging the keys back and forth around her fingers she walked between the stacked crates into the storeroom that was connected to the side of the shop.
Mrs Garfield, who was flitting a duster over a card of girls’ pastel-coloured hairslides hung up on the wall behind the counter, looked around from her task as Jo walked in.
The owner of Melton Winchet’s general store was a woman on the wrong side of forty, with hips so extensive she had difficulty turning around in the space behind the counter. She stood a little over five foot and had frizzy grey hair and an expression that would lead you to believe she sucked lemons as a hobby. As her deep-set eyes alighted on Jo, her lips pulled into a tight bud.
‘Where have you been?’ she asked, scrutinising Jo through the lenses of her spectacles.
‘I was held up at Rider’s Bridge,’ Jo replied, strolling behind the counter to hook the keys on the nail in the wall. ‘And Mrs Veres asked me to tell you she’s got some cooking apples from her orchard; they’re two shillings a crate, if you’re interested.’
‘Two shilling!’ snapped the shopkeeper. ‘They were half that last season.’
Jo smiled sweetly. ‘Well, there is a war on, you know.’
Mrs Garfield gave her a sour look. ‘I don’t suppose you’ve seen that brother of yours on your travels, have you?’
‘Can’t say I have,’ Jo replied.
The shopkeeper tutted. ‘Probably in detention again.’
‘Or playing football in the meadow with the other lads,’ Jo countered.
‘Well, I’ve got a shop to run so if he’s not here soon he’ll have to go without lunch,’ said the shopkeeper. ‘And he’d better not come home with mud all over his trousers either, like he did last week. I wouldn’t have volunteered to take in evacuees if I’d realised I’d have to skivvy for them. And tidy your hair,’ she continued, waving a couple of fat bluebottles away from the loaves on the counter. ‘I know you’re not used to such things in East London but out here we’re very particular about cleanliness.’
The shopkeeper’s gaze flickered disapprovingly over Jo again and then she disappeared through the door behind her into the small parlour.
Although it wasn’t the sort of thing a seventeen-year-old young woman who’d just gained a merit on her matriculation should do, Jo stuck out her tongue at the closed door.
Tucking the offending curl back behind her ear, she stepped behind the counter to mind the shop until Mrs Garfield reappeared.
Garfield & General Store  store was a double-fronted affair with two large windows and a central door. It sat like a well-worn and overloaded portmanteau halfway up Melton Winchet’s High Street and supplied the inhabitants of the small village ten miles east of Colchester with most of their day-to-day household needs. On the left as you entered the store was a serving counter, scrubbed smooth by Mrs Garfield and her mother before her, on which the baker deposited what remained of his morning stock when he closed at midday.  On the shelves behind the counter were packets of tea, tins of custard, Ovaltine and tins of National Milk, hermetically sealed to preserve it against gas attack. In a small section tucked in the corner were tins of condensed milk for babies, nappy pins and, in discrete grey striped packets, Dr White’s sanitary pads.
The household items such as carbolic soap, washing soda, candles and horse embrocation, metal polish, starch and blacking for the fire grates were stacked on the other side of the shop along with brooms, shovels and zinc buckets.
The bell above the door tinkled as Mrs Toffs, wife of the village doctor, strode in. She was a well-groomed woman with a massive bosom and an opinion of herself to match. While most women wore a frock and modest headgear to run their daily errands, Mrs Toffs had decided a navy suit with a red velvet collar and cuffs plus a wide-brimmed feather-laden hat would be more appropriate attire for a visit to the village shop.
‘Can I help you?’ asked Jo.
‘I hardly think so,’ Mrs Toffs replied, running her critical gaze over her. ‘Is Mrs Garfield in?’
Before Jo could reply, the door behind the counter opened again and Mrs Garfield bustled out.
‘Mrs Toffs, what a pleasure,’ said Mrs Garfield, her sharp features lifting into an ingratiating smile. ‘What can I do for you?’
‘We’re having a few friends over  next Saturday,’ Mrs Toffs replied. ‘Nothing grand, you understand, and Footman’s delicatessen department has sent most of what’s needed but’ – slipping her hand into her pocket she withdrew a sheet of paper – ‘there are a few things Cook still requires, so if you would be so kind.’
Mrs Garfield pushed her spectacles back up her nose and looked at the proffered list.
‘A dozen eggs!’ A worried expression pulled the shopkeeper’s heavy eyebrows together.
‘I hope I can rely on you, Mrs Garfield,’ Mrs Toffs cut in. ‘After all, my husband does buy all the surgery’s surgical and methylated spirits through you rather than the wholesalers in Colchester.’
Mrs Garfield paused for a second then folded the list and shoved it in her overall pocket. Her beady eyes shifted to Jo. ‘Don’t stand there eavesdropping. Get on with the rest of the deliveries.’
Biting back a retort, Jo went back into the storeroom and took the list pinned to the corkboard. She collected together the half a dozen bulging brown-paper bags, placed them in one of the spare fruit boxes stacked on the floor and carried it out to the van.
Balancing the load on one arm, she opened one of the van’s back doors and slid the box onto the floor of the van. Holding the list in her right hand, she walked the fingers of her left over the twisted-topped brown-paper bags as she checked off Mrs Benboe in High Meadow Lane, Mrs Pedder, The Green, and Mrs Adams at Pucks Farm. Reaching the last name, Jo realised she’d left the Tillet sisters’ order in the storeroom.
Shoving the scrap of paper in her overall pocket, Jo retraced her steps and re-entered the storeroom.
Spotting the overlooked brown-paper bag containing the spinster sisters’ provisions still on the order shelf, Jo walked between the stacks of boxes and jars to get it. She’d just grasped the order when Mrs Garfield’s voice drifted in from the shop.
‘I tell you, Mrs Toffs,’ said the shopkeeper, ‘I don’t care if Rev Farrow preaches on about giving succour to orphans and widows from now to doomsday, if I’d know the trouble they’d both be, I wouldn’t have said yes to the placement officer.’
‘My husband says it’s a disgrace,’ said the doctor’s wife. ‘All the evacuees he’s had the misfortune to have in his surgery are running alive with nits.’
‘Their mothers ought to be ashamed of themselves for sending their offspring in such a condition and raising children with such terrible manners,’ the shopkeeper went on.
No manners, don’t you mean,’ said Mrs Toffs.
‘As you say,’ agreed Mrs Garfield. ‘You give them a roof over their heads and are they grateful?’
‘Grateful!’ echoed the doctor’s wife. ‘They don’t know the meaning of the word. The scruffy lad Mrs Yates at Three Trees Farm got saddled with complained that he has to get up at five to help with the animals and does nothing but moan about being hungry.’
‘She’s fortunate she’s only lumbered with one,’ said Mrs Garfield. ‘I’ve got that troublemaker Billy and his mouthy sister. And they’re Catholics.’
‘Still, at least the girl can earn her keep in the shop,’ said Mrs Toffs.
‘When she puts her mind to it,’ said Mrs Garfield. ‘But that’s not the worst of it.’
‘I suppose you have to keep an eye on the till,’ said Mrs Toffs in a meaningful tone.
‘And on my Noman,’ said Mrs Garfield.
‘No!’
‘Not that my son’s done anything wrong,’ added the shopkeeper. ‘But you know how impressionably young men can be around ... around ...’
‘Flighty girls?’
‘Exactly,’ said Mrs Garfield. ‘No young lad is safe with girls like that around. You want to keep an eye on her in case she takes a fancy to your Eric.’
‘I will,’ said Mrs Toffs. ‘So what happened?’
There was a pause before Mrs Garfield answered in a hushed voice. ‘Well, the other day I—’
Jo strode into the shop.
‘Only me, Mrs Garfield,’ she said, smiling pleasantly at the shopkeeper. ‘I can’t seem to find the Tillet sisters’ order.’
‘It’s on the order shelf,’ the shopkeeper replied as a mauve blush spread over her multiple chins.
Turning back into the cupboard, Jo picked up the bag she’d just put down and went back into the shop.
‘Found it,’ she said in a sing-song tone and giving both women a dazzling smile. ‘Sorry.
Did I interrupt something?’
‘No at all,’ said Mrs Garfield.
‘We were just chatting,’ added the doctor’s wife, struggling to hold Jo’s gaze.
Jo savoured their discomfort for a few seconds longer then smiled again.
‘I’ll be on my way then, Mrs Garfield. Nice to see you, Mrs Toffs, and tell your Eric I’ll see him at the harvest dance.’
Turning away from the two women, Jo’s mouth pulled into a hard line as, clutching the missing order, she marched back through the house to the back yard.
Yanking open the back of the van, Jo threw the bag of mixed vegetable into the box with the others then slammed the door.
Leaping into the driver’s seat, Jo jammed the key in the ignition and turned the engine on. With a face like thunder she slammed the gearstick into reverse and backed out of the yard. Swinging the wheel, Jo forced the car into first and roared out of the yard.

https://goo.gl/QqGaqq

Monday, 17 September 2018

Free on Kindle!

Kitty McKenzie Book 1 FREE on Kindle 5 days only!!
After losing everything, can she keep her family safe?
‘5 Stars – enjoyable read!’
#Historical #Victorian @amazonkindle
myBook.to/KittyMcKenzie


1864 - Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings. Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die. She soon learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Blog Tour dates of The Promise of Tomorrow

The Promise of Tomorrow is going on a blog tour - when I write that I always think of a rock star tour - haha - anyway, my lovely historical novel is being featured at the blogs below from October 1st - 8th.
Everyone is welcome to stop by each blog and say hello.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

New Release!

Happy Release Day to me!!
The Promise of Tomorrow has been released!
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Available in ebook and paperback on Amazon:


The Promise of Tomorrow blurb
Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village where the Wheelers, owners of the village shop, take them in. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads.  Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will marry the woman he yearns for. 
When McBride discovers where Charlotte lives, his threats begin. Harry fights to keep Charlotte safe, but World War I erupts and Harry enlists.  Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride's constant harassment, and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?

Friday, 24 August 2018

East Enders before Eastenders


Perhaps if you've a spare minute, you'd like to check out my virtual East End turf this weekend? www.carolrivers.com is where you’ll find out about my stories, all set in the East End of London. If you’re partial to a melting pot of family drama, action, crime and courage, bent coppers, strong heroes and feisty heroines then you’ve found the right place. My historical characters are rough, tough, dockland folk, marketeers and costermongers, all of whom are the predecessors to the ‘Eastenders' you watch on the telly!

Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm is the third and most popular book in the Lizzie Flowers series. When loved ones die and family is threatened by the most vicious crime lord of them all, Lizzie must take action before it's too late. Heard of Charlie Brown's tavern, the East End pub that never died? And the Krays' notorious Blind Beggar? Then step into Lizzie Flowers's Mill Wall and the shady taverns of 1930's docklands! End crooks, villains, protectionists, bent coppers, pimps and tarts - they are all here, clamouring  to jump from the pages, while Lizzie battles to save her turf and find love into the bargain. 

Amazon available in ebook and paperback.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Saga authors at the RNA Conference!

Last weekend the Romantic Novelist Association UK held their annual conference at Leeds University.
It is always a chance for authors to spend three days together to 'talk shop' and attend workshops about the industry of being a writer and publishing in general.
It is also a great opportunity to meet old and new friends. The authors of this blog were able to finally get together and, amongst the fun, we took a photo of us, which we thought to put up on this blog so our lovely readers can actually put a face to their favourite authors.


Gathering of the clan. — with Elizabeth Gill, Jean Fullerton, AnneMarie BrearFenella Miller Francesca Capaldi BurgessElaine EverestElaine RobertsSheila Riley.
Front row: Leah Fleming, Shirley Dickson Lizzie LaneFreda Lightfoot and Shirley Dickson.