Memoir of a Bluebell Girl
Jane Hoggar

At the age of twelve, Jane had to abandon her dreams of becoming a ballerina. Measuring six-feet tall with size nine feet, she reluctantly gave her tutu way, instead, sewing herself a sequinned boob tube and turning her ambitions to Top of the Pops, Pans People and the exciting world of cabaret.

Demonstrating a natural ability to stay calm in a crisis, Jane breezes through the most challenging of situations on a variety of exotic work engagements. Encouraging us to see the world through her rose-tinted spectacles, she navigates her way around compelling dramas and romantic liaisons that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Treating us to a fascinating window on the world of show business, Jane describes her exciting travels around the globe during the 80’s that eventually lead her to the remarkable Margaret Kelly, better known as Miss Bluebell of Le Lido de Paris.

“You certainly perused the box of chocolates before you decided which one you wanted didn’t you dear?” Jane’s husband commented after reading Bluebell Girl, referring to the multitude of boyfriends in the story.

“Absolutely!” she declared, “I discarded the soft centres, complicated chewy ones and eventually chose the solid, reliable, hard nut!”

Published: June 2021
Paperback: 454 pages
Price: £16.99
ISBN: 978-1-913425-97-5


£16.99 (+ £3.50 postage)
Number of copies:



Available from Amazon

Jane trained at theatre school during the 80’s and then took off around the world, devising ways and means of finding employment on and off stage. Jane’s work placements have been varied to say the least, from Can-Can dancer to dinner lady, in places as diverse as Ipswich and Tokyo. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds when there is a challenge to cope with, demonstrated perfectly in her previous book, Chemo Summer, where covering a serious topic she still manages to treat us to the full force of her witty approach to difficult personal circumstances. Jane lives in Suffolk with her husband.

Reader Reviews...






The Road to Kill the Bill
Joseph Boyd

Standing up for our rights to protest
This landmark book tells the story of Joe Boyd, a working-class, recovering addict from Liverpool who joins the frontlines of environmental anti-fracking protests across Northern England.
With suspicions rising about police infiltration in the movement and gaslighting from those positioning themselves as leaders, Joe questions everything and researches endlessly in a bid to make sense of what he – and others – experience. What he starts to witness is a war on rights to protest.
Joe then turns to defending our human rights, which eventually leads him to taking on the fight and defeating the years; he goes from near death to the Court of Appeal, London.
However, Joe knows that’s not the end of the regressive road to protest denial. He continues to monitor the actions of a new group Extinction Rebellion and sees a similar pattern.
The Road to Kill the Bill will make you question everything you thought was true and face the rising fascism we now witness where our rights to protest are hanging by a thread. A real and present story with lasting implications of one man taking on the state.
Published: June 2021
Paperback: 217 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781914-424113

Publication date: 10th June
£9.99 (+ £3 P&P UK only)
Number of copies:

Available from Amazon

Joseph Boyd is a recently graduated Public Health (addictions) masters graduate from Liverpool John Moores University. For many years he has been involved in all aspects of environmental activism, learning about protest movements, energy policy and protest law. This knowledge and experience led him to the Royal Courts of Justice in London to defend rights to protest in a landmark ruling. He also has an International Studies degree from the Open University and received the Healthy Living Award at the Liverpool Echo Environment Awards.
Reviews...

28.6.2019 - ★★★★★ Compelling read
A well written account of Joe's experiences as an environmental activist with the anti fracking movement, how those experiences and intelligence collected by the police and intelligence services have led to the recent implementation of the Police and Crime Bill.

Smaller Knickers for Life
Karen Goold & Debbie Lake

Master your mind, Master the Food Fantasy

GET YOUR MIND AND BODY IN SYNC FOR SUCCESS
It doesn’t have to be difficult to have SmallerKnickers™ for life
– unless of course we’re totally convinced it will be!

This book provides simple-to-implement techniques, each one a small jigsaw-puzzle piece towards successful healthy-eating behaviour, for life.

This is for you, the whole you. You have the power to align your mind and body to gain a healthier lifestyle. You can reach your health and fitness goals, challenge your own limitations and overcome negativity, frustration and the dreaded yo-yo dieting.

“This is the book you’ve been waiting for. Its time is now.”
“Now I know more about why I do these things, and how I sabotage my success. And most importantly, what I can do about it.”

YOUR CHOICE: MASTER YOUR MIND,
MASTER THE FOOD FANTASY™
Published: May 2021
Paperback: 272 pages
Price: £15.00
ISBN: 978-1-913425-85-2


£15.00 (+ £3.50 postage)
Number of copies:



Available from Amazon

Both Karen and Debbie are coaches in their fields of expertise and are passionate about sharing knowledge and seeing success in others. Karen Goold is an Executive Coach, and has worked in leadership, consultancy and coaching roles across a number of industries. Karen uses her interest in neuroscience to develop clients’ self-awareness and understanding of behaviour, biases and strengths. Debbie Lake has had senior client relationship roles in companies in the transport and financial services industries. Debbie has more recently built her Pilates, Fitness, GP Referrals and Reiki business working with individuals to improve their fitness, functional movement patterns and spiritual growth.
Reader Reviews...

Dr David Jolly MBChB, MRCGP, Bsc (Hons)
This is a really good, common-sense book, to help people gain a healthier lifestyle.



Adela Basset
Joanne McShane

Adela Basset
In this, the sequel to Mistress Whiddon, we find ourselves in December 1611. The Basset family of Umberleigh has been bankrupted as a result of Robert Basset’s misguided notion to lodge a claim to the throne of England after the death of Elizabeth I. When a daughter is born just nine months after his return from exile both he and his traumatised wife refuse to acknowledge the child. She is rescued from an uncertain fate by her older sister, Anne, who names her Adela.
When Anne leaves Umberleigh in 1614 to marry Jonathan Rashleigh of Menabilly in Cornwall, she takes her young sister with her.
As a child Adela struggles with feelings of rejection and, as she enters her womanhood, with the conflicting emotions she feels for the two men in her life; her childhood friend, the woodcutter’s son, Gilbert, and her dashing Cavalier cousin, Thomas Basset.
Her story is told against the backdrop of the tumultuous politics of 17th century Cornwall and Jonathan Rashleigh’s own close involvement with the Royalist cause during the Civil War.
Published: Sept 2020
Paperback: 240 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781913-425456

UK Only
£9.99 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

For Australia and USA, order from Amazon.com
Joanne spent her childhood on a sheep and cattle farm in Tasmania, Australia. After marrying and raising a family in Tasmania she moved to Wales in 2003 and still lives there, close to the Herefordshire border. Always a keen historian, she became fascinated by her own family history and by the lives of her ancestors - some of whom she discovered to be very colourful indeed.
This led her to begin writing. Honora and Arthur - The Last Plantagenets is her first published book.
In her own words 'I am the end product of a melting pot ranging from convicts to Royalty. There are so many stories waiting to be told. I just hope I live long enough to do it.'

Books by Joanne McShane...

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets

Mistress Whiddon

Lillias

Adela Basset


Reviews...




A Miner Goes to War
E. C. Hamer

A memoir of a Welsh childhood and wartime service in North Africa and Italy (1923-1945)
Edited by Pat Wilson, Ernest Hamer and Anne Kleiser

Eddie Hamer’s memoir gives a unique insight into working-class life in the first half of the 20th century. It is often humorous, sometimes angry, and always informative. It begins with a history of his workingclass Welsh mining family, based on his own memories and on a series of discussions with his father in the 1960s - while there was still time to record first-hand accounts of his family’s story in the decades before he was born.
There follows his childhood in Huddersfi eld and North Wales in the 1920s. The poverty and hardship that his family endured is vividly described and the now-unthinkable responsibilities he had to shoulder at a young age - but this was also a boyhood of freedom, camaraderie and adventures.
The final sections of Eddie’s memoir are based on the diaries he kept during his service in World War 2: his training in the U.K. and his service in North Africa and Italy as a gunner in the Royal Artillery.
Published: March 2021
Paperback: 286 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781913-425722


£11.99 (+ £3.00 postage)
Number of copies:


Eddie left school at the age of fourteen to work down Llay Main coal mine. His early working life from his first day underground comes alive, with many personal anecdotes set in context by clear explanations of how a coal mine functioned in the 1930s.
After the war he qualified and eventually became Chief Mining Surveyor in two collieries in South Wales. He was married with one son and one daughter and died in 1990.
Reader Reviews...

Alison Hembrow, The Royal Regiment of Wales Museum

This book is a gem: a combination of recollections of working-class childhood and early adulthood in the first half of the twentieth century, family stories, and war diaries – all seen through the lens of a fiercely independent man with strong socialist views. It’s a valuable first-hand insight into lives and times that are in danger of being forgotten. It’s also a gripping and eye-opening read which has been carefully brought to press by members of Eddie Hamer's family who recognise the importance of his memoir.
“A Miner Goes to War” is presented in two distinct halves. The first is recollections of childhood and early life growing up in a working-class family in Wales and Yorkshire in the 1920s and 1930s. Recorded several decades later, Eddie's strong left-wing views shine through in his emotive descriptions of his family being part of “the rabble of history”. His mother’s family were Welsh miners, his father's family woollen workers from mid-Wales, both struggling to find regular employment and make ends meet.
Moving to Yorkshire in search of work, Eddie’s family found themselves in cramped accommodation unfit for human habitation. His early teens featured trips to the abattoir to collect a bucket of intestines to provide meals, war-wounded teachers, earth closets, early deaths, and further deprivation during the General Strike.
At 14 Eddie leaves school and goes down the mine. He and his family are now in north Wales. Detailed descriptions of the working conditions, equipment used, and jobs done give an insight into a harsh world in which pit disasters and deaths were frequent. His aptitude is spotted and he starts night school classes to qualify as a mining surveyor.
Although the memories aren’t all chronological, and they are seen through the prism of Eddie's adult beliefs, they give a strong flavour of lives which were lead by many but recorded by few. Interspersed with vignettes touching on current affairs, they bring to life an existence experienced by millions in a way a more traditional historical account cannot.
Photos and hand-drawn maps and plans divide this first section from Eddie's war diaries which form the second half of the book. These diaries have a different character altogether. Written as he completed his basic training as a gunner in the Royal Artillery and served in North Africa and Italy, they have an immediacy and level of detail that gives a sobering insight into the day-to-day experiences of a soldier and the horrors of war.
Eddie brings an admirable humanity to his encounters on active service: fetching a medical orderly to dress the wound of a young Italian girl, sharing water-melons with Arab children, cooking fried tomatoes with locals. His interests are wide-ranging: he describes the workings of Italian bombs, the quality of German dugouts, the architecture of mosques, the historical interest of Pompeii compared with the squalor of Naples, and rearing Regimental turkeys for Christmas lunch. He also records the 104 degree fever he suffered, the horrors of rampant dysentery in the regiment, the limbs lost by close comrades in a premature explosion, and cemeteries full of teenage German casualties.
When Eddie's narrative ends in 1944 , his brief notes and Release Leave Certificate are included as an Afterword. His military conduct was officially described as “Exemplary”. “A Miner Goes to War” is exemplary in preserving for future generations and researchers the personal experience of an upbringing in a mining family and service in World War Two. Having just read Captain Tom Moore’s “Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day”, I can see parallels in two accounts of growing up in the 1920s and serving in World War Two from contemporaries who both bring a personal perspective to aspects of national history.
Books such as this add a different dimension to more traditional accounts, and are a valuable addition to the bookshelves of anyone wanting to find out more about aspects of life in the first half of the 20th century.


Review of “A Miner Goes to War” by Neil Wilson

I really enjoyed “A Miner Goes to War”. The memories are personal, but they seem to capture the period very well. It’s a powerful reminder of what the world was like when the welfare state was a lot smaller. Anyone who utters the words, ‘safety gone mad’, will be reminded of what the world could be like; a world where people get killed in accidents and everyone else carries on working. Reading this book made me realise how much we take for granted in modern Britain. Social improvements were hard won, and can be easily lost.
It’s a book with powerful contrasts. This was an era when kids could play on the local scrap heap, build tree houses in the woods, swim in the river and crawl under the market stalls looking for fruit. But this childhood freedom is tinged with a sense of fatalistic sadness. Once he was in the army, he never knew where he would be in a few hours. Every moment of the day was planned for him, mingled with the unexpected attack from a passing plane or an ambush.
Each memory is filled with powerful emotions, taking the reader back in time. As he walks through the woods past a house that’s supposed to be haunted, we imagine how we’d have felt as young child. There are moments of tension, when a farmer catches them stealing apples. Moments of enchantment, when his uncle dresses up as Father Christmas. Moments of anger, when workers are deliberately under paid. We see the world through E. C. Hamer’s eyes, and grow older with him. He really captures how a person thinks at different ages, but with little retrospectives showing how he saw things as an older adult. Considering how much hardship there is, from the miners’ strike to the war, there’s a positive feeling to the book. There are many moments of camaraderie, from the kids building a bonfire together, to the miners playing their instruments underground. There’s a feeling that people do come together in the face of adversity.
E. C. Hamer captures the realities of war very well. There are so many details, like the friendly fire, the shells that malfunction, trading soap for eggs with the locals, the ‘enemy’ leaving dirty protests in the houses before they retreat and the German deserters they find hiding in a cave.
His account comes across as remarkably honest. E.C Hamer has a lot to be proud of, but he also shares his regrets, including one time as a child when he was peer pressured into putting a firework through someone’s letter box. It’s a combination of stark honesty, bravery, hard work, empathy, ironic humour and self reflection, that makes E.C. Hamer such a likeable narrator.


Mistress Whiddon -The Memoirs of Nora Basset of Umberleigh
Joanne McShane

Mistress Whiddon
The Memoirs of Nora Basset of Umberleigh

Young Nora Basset has no memory of her father, John, as he died when she was very young. Her first years are spent at Umberleigh in Devon with her family. When she is three years old, she meets her grandmother, Honora Lisle, who has returned from imprisonment in Calais and has been tragically widowed. Nora and her grandmother form a close bond, as the child unwittingly assists the older woman to come to terms with her loss. The following year, Nora’s mother, Frances Plantagenet, remarries. Her new husband is Thomas Monk of Potheridge and the family leaves Umberleigh to begin their new life.

Nora spends a mostly happy childhood at Potheridge until she is called away at the age of eighteen to become a companion for her grandmother who has once again been visited by sadness. The bond between the two women becomes stronger than ever.
Published: Dec 2019
Paperback: 378 pages
Price: £14.99
ISBN: 9-781913-425050

UK Only
£14.99 (+ £3 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

For Australia and USA, order from Amazon.com
When she is twenty-seven Nora meets William Whiddon, the love of her life. They marry and the next years are blissful ones for the two soulmates. When tragedy strikes, Nora must find a way to move forward in her life. The story is set against the backdrop of life in Elizabethan England and the continuing saga of the Basset family.

Books by Joanne McShane...

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets

Mistress Whiddon

Lillias

Adela Basset

Reviews...

Bill Clewer: Truely, Joanne McShane is a great writer. Can't wait to start Lillias.
It was William's forethought to make his will, giving Nora the means to have the life "she" wanted. The book flows, and it is as if the writer is telling the book in your head. I usually read a chapter and put the book down. Mistress Whiddon was the first time that I could not put it down, because I wanted to know what was in the next chapter.

5 out of 5 stars A marvellous read
Reviewed in Australia on 3 December 2020
What a marvellous read. It is amazing how much it speaks to the woman of today. Many of the same prejudices are still found in many areas of today’s many societies. Accepting that Nora was wealthy, educated and privileged she still showed great forthrightness in demanding a life of her own choosing. Indeed she was most fortunate to be born in the Elizabethan era of change which allowed such women able to thrive.
Mistress Whiddon is a book that will nourish the positivity, creativity and self confidence to be one’s own person in the many challenges our daily life presents us.

Honora and Arthur – the Last Plantagenets
Joanne McShane

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets
At the age of 18, Honora Grenville, daughter of a wealthy Cornish landowner, is swept off her feet by Arthur Plantagenet, the handsome, illegitimate uncle of Henry VIII. Since childhood, her dreams have been of a handsome gentleman who would whisk her away to live in far-off palaces and to wear fine clothes. Now, in Arthur Plantagenet, it seems that her dreams are about to come true.
Alas, it is not to be. Henry VIII orders Arthur to marry Elizabeth Dudley Grey, Viscountess Lisle, and poor Honora is cast into an abyss of despair.
Whilst still trying to put Arthur from her mind, she reluctantly marries John Basset, a Devonshire widower twenty-eight years her senior.
After thirteen years of what turns out to be a tranquil and fruitful marriage, John Basset dies and Arthur Plantagenet, also recently widowed, re-enters Honora’s life. The passion, which has never died for either of them, is rekindled in an instant. They marry, and she leaves Devon to begin her new life as a grand lady at the court of Henry VIII.
Published: July 2019
Paperback: 428 pages
Price: £14.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419838

UK Only
£14.99 (+ £3 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

For Australia and USA, order from Amazon.com
But the times are changing as Henry seeks to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.
When King Henry orders Arthur to take on the role of Governor at Calais, the couple find themselves at the centre of the fast-changing and tumultuous political climate of the English Reformation.
That which began as a dream turns into a terrifying battle for survival.

Books by Joanne McShane...

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets

Mistress Whiddon

Lillias

Adela Basset


Hi Jo - Just finished your book, it is brilliant, I have so enjoyed it and looking forward with great anticipation to the next one.

Reviews...

Amazon review:
Well researched and beautifully written

Honora and Arthur takes you back in time to experience life as it would have been for a woman of status in the turbulent Tudor times. The evocative text paints such a strong picture in your mind that you feel as though you are spying through a window as this true story unfolds. The tale is gently told and suitable for all ages and stages. For those that love history, and a good love story, this is a 'must read'.

Chris McShane
5 Stars - And they said history was boring. You will not be able to put this book down.

What an amazing book. A superbly entertaining historical novel, that brings the characters and the era to life.
I found it very difficult to put this book down.
It is very difficult not to become emotionally involved with the fortunes of the many characters portrayed.


Katrin Schlattmeier
5 Stars - A thrilling read about a fascinating person, full of historical facts and information.

I have devoured the novel. I bought it in a rush, and thought nothing at all about it being written in English.
The story is, however, written so grippingly that one really forgets the language in the reading of this exciting family story.
I have at the same time, learned very much about British history. I can warmly recommend this book and look forward to another book by Joanne.


London-Nanny - (Amazon reader)
5 Stars - Superb research, I could not put this down...when is the next book?

Nothing to dislike, the like was in the content of the book, well researched in immaculate detail. If you are a fan of phillipa Gregory, this book fills in the details of many characters in her books, once you have read Joanna’s book, lady lisle comes to life in a way that this does not happen in pg books.

LEO EVANS - (Amazon reader)
5 Stars - A good read

A good story, based on actual events. Well-written, and holds the reader's interest throughout. The writer has obviously done a lot of research into Tudor times, and the characters and their lives really 'come alive'.

David Hartland - (Amazon reader)
5 stars - A great read, i didn't want to put it down.
It brought that period of history alive from a different perspective.
I have always loved the Tudor period, but this book brought the real problems of living in those difficult times to life.
I am looking forward to Joanne McShane's next book.

Amazon reader
4 Stars - A pacy read, this book tells the story of the life of a woman who lived through tumultuous times.

Obviously well researched and based on fact, the book is a personal interpretation of the life of Honora who was close to and sometimes drawn into the dangerous machinations of the royal courts in and around the reign of Henry VIII.

Lillias
Joanne McShane

Lillias
Joanne McShane

Lillias Hepburn’s life spanned ninety-six years from 1817 until 1913. It was a full life with more than its fair share of ups and downs. But there is more to Lillias’s story than simply the details of her own life, for her very existence was due to a strange combination of events. The only clue to these events was contained in a preamble which her father, Robert Hepburn, wrote to his will.

The Preamble to the will of Captain Robert Hepburn RN (1782-1866)
This is the last Will and Testament of me Robert Hepburn of Roy’s Hill in the District of Fingal in Tasmania Esquire (Lineal descendant by my father Captain Hepburn of the family of Hepburn of Keith East Lothian Scotland, and by my mother Mary Ann Roy, great grandson of Rob Roy McGregor, and by my grandmother Isabella Princess of Diabenti, daughter of the King of the Koromantic Nation of the Gold Coast of Africa I am Prince of Diabenti Lineal descendant of the King of that nation in Africa.)

Published: Sept 2020
Paperback: 240 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781913-425456

UK Only
£9.99 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

For Australia and USA, order from Amazon.com
For the historical details of Lillias’s life and the lives of the other people featured in the story I have used information available online and in historical documents. The rest is conjecture. It is a story, not a historical document.

Books by Joanne McShane...

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets

Mistress Whiddon

Lillias

Adela Basset


Reviews...

Eve Schumann
I want to thank Joanne McShane for this beautifully written escape into another era. A breath of fresh air from our current pandemic reality. This book was masterfully written and researched. The author's talent proved itself by the hold and engagement it took of my mind, while making me feel as if I were right there, witnessing the story and experiencing the events. Wonderful way to hit the pause button in this nutty reality we're all sharing. Thank you, beautiful Joanne. You're a true gift.

Cynthia Brock
Loved the book. Humanity depicted as it should be lived. All its diamonds and warts on show. Power, fear, compassion and abiding love and trust. Wonderful research and engaging writing. Thank you, Joanne.

Reviewed on Amazon Australia on 23 November 2020
I found this historical novel very difficult to put down, I became totally engrossed with the lives of our family ancestors. Joanne McShane’s research has once again produced amazing results, and her interpretation of the day to day lives of all these characters, who together form our family tree, gives the reader a wonderful grasp of how their achievements and failures have influenced the lives their descendants.

★★★★★ Lidwina Taylor, 25 May 2021
Great read!
I really enjoyed reading “Lillias”. The characters were very real and engaging.
It gave such a vivid insight into the migration stories of people from Ireland, England, Africa, and Jamaica who ended up in Tasmania Australia.


★★★★★ EmJay, 24 May 2021
Loved the putting some flesh on the bones of my ancestral relations both Wood and McShane.
Thank you for your wonderful work