THE IRON MASTER Review

I get so much incoming, I can't keep track of the outgoing, so forgive me if I have already posted this from my publisher:

"...one of he winners of our current contest just chose The Iron Master as her winning eBook, and it turns out she is the Library Systems Manager from Middletown Township Public Library in New Jersey. A great coup for you because I know she'll love the book and that'll mean the library will get it into stock." 


It's wonderful to receive this kind of message. THE IRON MASTER [a romantic historic saga] can, of course, be obtained from Amazon in paperback as well as eBook.

THE JEALOUS LAND - REVIEW

When I decided to try my hand at a story much further back in time than I had previously done, i.e. the 1850’s, it was the biggest writing challenge I’d had to date. I had never researched the 1800’s, knew nothing about the history thereof. As usual, I planned to take my characters across the world to Africa. I had already visited South Africa and years later I spent some time in Kenya with my second husband, Brian, naturalist and wildlife photographer.

The inspiration for the book, which I called THE JEALOUS LAND was all there, handed to me on a plate – only I had to take it back to the days when the young Queen Victoria was on the throne, the days of The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London, early train travel, great white hunters and early photography to be carried out by the hero Daniel, adventurer and wildlife photographer.

As I have said, many times, the research was enormous and filled more pages than the book itself. It also took longer to do than the actual writing, but it gave me a taste for writing the historic novel more than ever before. It was new and exciting for me as a writer and animal lover. And being married to a serious photographer was also a great help. I had seen the places I was writing about; experienced getting up close to the beauty and the danger of the wildlife that hadn’t changed.

5* Review by Rosemary Morris:
I congratulate Gadsby on her historical research. The description of Sophie and Thomas Brixby’s journey by train from Newcastle to London is excellent. So is the description of Daniel’s camera “the latest daguerreotype camera from France, together with the necessary glass plates and chemicals required for his trip.” Gadsby handles a large cast of characters in this unusual novel filled with searing emotion and prejudice. The more I read the more I wanted to find out what happened in the end, and despite tragedies before I reached it, I was satisfied.

BLURB:
Following the death of her parents, Sophie is sent to live with relatives in London, where she is treated like a servant. Later, her chance to escape an imposed life of hardship comes in the form of Daniel Clayton – a formidable explorer and photographer. Sophie agrees to his proposal of a loveless marriage, but this union plunges her into the midst of a family feud. She faces unforeseen treachery, a terrible secret in her husband’s past and her greatest dilemma yet.
There’s plenty of emotion, mystery, murder, danger and romance – and a baby elephant called Billy that will steal your heart.

REVIEWS : THE GLORY GIRLS

I just happened to look into my Amazon author's page this morning and was amazed and thrilled to find these reviews for THE GLORY GIRLS, a wartime thriller dedicated to my good friend Mary, who drove a Red Cross ambulance during WW2. Unfortunately, Mary, who helped me with the research for this book [there was an awful lot of it] died before it came out in print.

THE GLORY GIRLS – REVIEWS:

Barbara Sweet
5.0 out of 5 stars
Become Engrossed in Tales of the FANYs
I can tell just how thoroughly the background to this novel has been researched. It's rich in detail, teaching me so much about the heroines of the little known FANYs ( First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) nursing the war wounded, beginning the tale in 1914. There are many sub plots to become engrossed in, it's easy for me to pick up and read for the odd few minutes, again and again throughout the day.

Petra 🤗📚📓🖋📮
VINE VOICE
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Glory girls truly were worth their weight in gold...
The Glory Girls by June Gadsby is one book which I loved to read and one which I would recommend to all lovers of historical fiction especially those interested in the Second World War. This author showed the true commitment of those young people who thought nothing of giving up everything they loved for the country they loved more than anything. It specially showed the true bravery of the wonderful group of women who were in service to their country namely FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), who have been in service from 1907 and actually are still in operation today.
The Glory Girls were four girls Mary West, Anne Beasley, Effie Donaldson and Iris Morrison who all came from a small mining village called Felling in the outskirts of Newcastle in the north of England. The girls joined the FANY's when the Second World War started and off they went to serve their country. They thought they would be serving tea and driving ambulances but the war was to take the girls places they would never have dreamed off also into situations they could never have imagined when they were back home with their loved ones. The book showed the many heroic duties the girls who actually served within this organisation had throughout the war.
I loved everything about the book from the writing to the characters especially Mary West who the author concentrated on throughout the book. There were funny parts which mainly came from Effie Donaldson's character and there were sad parts but the bravery of the girls shone throughout the book especially Mary as she is sent into German occupied France to save the man she loves and the men he saved as a doctor. This book has everything a good book needs and it was a book which I know I will return too as it is one of those books I feel I could read a few times and get enjoyment from reading it without getting bored.
I highly recommend The Glory Girls by June Gatsby as a brilliant read for all those readers who like me love reading fiction based around the era of the Second World War.

lisa dermody
5.0 out of 5 stars
the story flowed easily and I truly loved the characters and the relationships ...
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Once opened I couldn't out it down.. the story flowed easily and I truly loved the characters and the relationships between them A very pleasant read so intend to read more of June Gadsby's books:)

susan milner
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
Didnt expect hardcback edition was very surprised and delighted

Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn't put it down!
Fantastic book with a great storyline. It was good to read about how the different characters lives unfold. A must read.

THE MIRACLE OF LOVE

A lovely surprise from my publisher this afternoon. She is re-publishing one of my Christmas stories with a new cover : The Miracle of Love would make a nice read in front of the festive fire with some chocolate and mulled wine.

The Miracle of Love:
When Holly's much longed-for promotion goes to handsome outsider Joel Richards, she has reason to suspect that something mysterious is going on. This is confirmed when Joel replaces the store's regular Santa Claus with yet another outsider and there follows a string of Christmas burglaries. With her career in jeopardy and the interests of her young clients at heart, Holly decides to investigate and ends up being more involved with her new boss than she ever imagined possible.

 

A TOUCH OF MAGIC

A Touch of Magic is scheduled to be my first translation into French. The story takes place in post-war France where a young boy desperately leads his mother and her new boyfriend on a dangerous adventure, determined to find his father, an airman shot down over the Basque region of the Pyrenees. The boy's father had been reported missing believed to be dead, but the son he had never seen refuses to believe it. A twist in the tale that will make you reach for the Kleenex.

ROSA and THIS AFFAIR

The latest news on these books, published during the last few months is that they are to go into Large Print in the near future.

THIS AFFAIR - 1st REVIEW

Review by Judith Pittman:

This Affair will grab hold of you from page one and you won't be able to close the book until you've read the very last page. Make sure you start it on a day when you've time to forget everything else you're supposed to get done. 
#Amazon

THIS AFFAIR

Well, here it is. The love story I dreamed in my sleep is on the verge of being published. The cover arrived this morning and I'm very pleased with it - maybe not as ecstatic as my 83 year old husband who thought the heroine was very sexy. I, of course, only had eyes for the hero and the piano in the background, which he plays beautifully. Readers of sentimental love stories should enjoy this...

"Struggling to save her marriage, which is becoming more and more abusive, artist Megan Peters does not expect to fall in love with another man. Callum Andrews is a world-famous musician who has been happily married to the same woman for 25 years.  When she is invited to paint the celebrity’s portrait, an affair is far from her mind, but her heart has other ideas. Callum, for his part, remains the perfect gentleman, apparently unaware of the younger woman’s feelings towards him. Keeping emotions at bay eventually becomes a fight for both of them, until a festive kiss and Fate takes over. They can no longer deny their true feelings. But what of Callum’s wife, Hilary, who dotes on her famous husband? This affair of theirs, if they allow it to progress, will hurt her deeply and neither Megan nor Callum want that for the charming woman who has sacrificed so much for her husband’s career. They decide to put an end to their relationship, but Fate intervenes again in a most unexpected way. Then secrets emerge…"

FORBIDDEN - Sample chapter 1.

I thought I'd give you a taste of the new novel I'm working on - or will be once I've finished editing 'This Affair', which is nearing its end. This is the first draft, hot from the press and changes might occur when I really get my teeth into it, but right now, I'm quite happy with the first part of Chapter One.

 

Forbidden!

Chapter One

 

The world exploded and went on exploding all around the young British soldier. He had never heard a noise quite like it. It was too loud, even, to hear the cries and the screams of his comrades who seemed to be flying in pieces into the air, just like he was. He could see, through dust-filled eyes what appeared to be dismembered bodies, arms, legs, torsos. Before he hit the ground, he imagined he saw the head of his best pal, Rooney, stupid sod that he was, flying past his line of blurred vision.

                “Hey, Rooney, ye daft bugger. Where’s the rest of ye?”

                Did he shout that out loud, or was it just an imagined echo in his head, penetrating the high-pitched whining in his ears? His body was shaking now, like an engine in overdrive. He was laughing and sobbing, coughing and gagging all at the same time, but he wasn’t sure why.

                Private Jack Williams of the Northumberland Fusiliers, had hit the ground hard. Maybe he had even bounced a couple of times, rolled over and over. The earth beneath him vibrated. Rivers of blood-stained mud poured over the barren incline from the flat field where once maize crops had grown. Rivulets of the rust-coloured liquid coursed towards him, soaking into his tattered battle-dress uniform, finding its way around him and further down the hill that he and his comrades in arms had just climbed, full of courage and pride and shouts that they would bring the bastard Germans down, annihilate the bloody Hun.

                That was a laugh, Jack thought as he lay there, unable to move. All he could see was a blur after a while, but his hearing had gone. The ground beneath him stopped vibrating. He supposed that it meant the battle had ended. Had they sounded the retreat or had they forged on, leaving him behind? Or maybe he was dead. He wondered, quite calmly, now many pieces of him were missing. It hadn’t hurt, whatever went off beneath the running feet of his battalion. The force and the speed of it happened too quickly. If he was still alive, he knew the pain would come soon, but for now he was content to lie there, unmoving. Lie there and pray, though he wasn’t a religious lad. Not like his mother who was always to be found with her nose in her Bible. ‘You’re just like your father,’ he could hear her say, and she would say the same to all her brood, four sons, a daughter and a daughter-in-law, all of whom ignored her. They didn’t ignore their father. Cedrick Williams was short, but brawny, built like a barn door. He treated his family like he treated the animals on their small-holding in Northumberland. With a sharp tongue and an even sharper thrash with his stout walking cane.

The cane was necessary to support him after he got entangled with a tractor as a young man. The resultant injury to his leg left him bitter and moody, resentful of all his fellow-men. That was his excuse anyway. Truth be told, he had been born with a bee in his bonnet and was lucky to find himself a good wife in Hannah Preston. Not that he recognised her goodness. He saw only a weak female who gave him five children, all lacking in one thing or another. Especially the girl, who lacked the ability to find herself a man. But she had more guts than all the boys put together.

                All these thoughts were going through Jack’s befuddled mind as he struggled to cling on to consciousness. A small amount of feeling crept into his body, pain running through every limb and a pressure on his chest that made it difficult to breathe. The torrential rain had stopped. He felt clouds of earthy-smelling dust settle, soaking up the rivers of blood and burying him in a soft, silent blanket. Inside his head he could hear himself calling out, asking if anyone was there, calling for his mother and his father and his brothers and, most of all, his sister, Martha. Of all his siblings, Martha was the one he loved the most. She was the only one who had the pluck to stand up to their father and she worked as hard as any man.

                In his mind’s eye, Jack pictured the old stone farmhouse the Williams family had lived in for generations. He saw the wide green expanse of the undulating plains that were sometimes covered in purple heather; the flock of sheep scattered about the land like white cotton-wool balls on spindly legs and the handful of cows, their udders bulging with milk with their young ones suckling. He saw Martha helping their father work the two border collies, Rosie and Biff, as they moved the flock to a different, more verdant pasture, or brought the cows into the barn for the long, hard winter that never disappointed.

                These pleasant images began to fade as more feeling crept back into his body with all the pain of an individual who had been beaten to a pulp. He still couldn’t see or hear and all that came out of his mouth was a slight groan. Stop! He wanted to cry out at whoever was dragging him through the mud, over rough stones that dug into his ribs and his legs. It was raining again. That horrendous downpour that had made life so much more difficult in that first trench, though when the rain eased off and the order went up to evacuate and advance, none of them were happy to go and face the enemy. Rows and rows of their fellow soldiers had done just that and most of them were now fertilising the soil, some crying out for help as they lay shocked and wounded. Only a handful made it through the German lines, according to the word that came back by messenger – a boy of about fourteen, staggering towards them, giving the CO the message in his last breath before succumbing to his own injuries.

Mojo working...

I'm more than happy to report that my writing mojo is working - slowly but surely. The editing of 'THIS AFFAIR' is an ONGOING AFFAIR and I'm about half way through the novel of 32 chapters. As for the planned 'FORBIDDEN' - another wartime story, I just could not wait to get it started, so I dug in - then decided that I didn't like that particular beginning, so changed it. I like the second version much better - lots of action in the first few pages. Always a good idea to have what I call a 'magnetic carrot' to draw the reader into the book and make them want to turn those pages. And now that the weather is cooler here in Gascony, I feel much more like writing.

ROSA reviews

Four excellent reviews on Rosa already and I couldn't be more pleased. Here's the latest:

on 14 August 2017
Rosa is a wonderful heroine. The story never flags and I had to read on to the end in one sitting. Rosa is a feisty and beautiful girl of 13 when the story starts. Everything is against her but her brave and generous spirit means that she never gives up. The background detail over her life through two wars is fascinating and woven into the story in a skilled way that brings the north of England alive. I highly recommend this book.

Another book en-route

After a pretty sad period when we had to put our beloved miniature Yorkshire Terrier down at the age of 17 - Candy was her name and she was as sweet as her name implies - I'm back to writing and the ongoing novel is in the editing phase. THIS AFFAIR is totally different from anything I have ever written - a contemporary love story, the whole storyline having come to me in a dream. Fourteen chapters are now edited, but there are a lot more to go. Thankfully, they are short chapters and if I stick at it I should managed at least a chapter a day. Then I will be ready to write my next novel - an historic drama called FORBIDDEN, where more than family secrets are brushed under the carpet. I can't wait to get started.

ROSA - published!

The editor who took Rosa on holiday with her to Hawaii had only one word to say about the novel: "Wonderful!" The book is already published and I'm still pinching myself.

I'm hoping to have a book signing and anecdotes from my writing life in the very near future in Maubourguet to which all local English speaking people will be invited. This is mainly to celebrate the publication [it's taken 20 years] of the novel my husband, Brian, never lost faith in - 'ROSA'., a saga that spans two wars with a heroine who refuses to give up, no matter what Fate throws at her - historic, rape, romance, unrequited love, the dreams of a rags to riches girl, realised despite her alcoholic, amoral mother and her mysterious past...Published by Books We Love of Canada. Find Rosa and all my other books on Amazon.

In 2001 I became a published author for the first time, after a lifetime of being a wannabe writer. Before that there were travel articles in the Saturday Financial Times, nostalgic articles in Evergreen and some short stories on local radio, but my dream had always been to become a novelist and I finally made it. I have lots more books in me waiting to be written. I'm hoping this website creates the impetus to get me going again.