Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Books by Hilary Green From WWII Era

WE’LL MEET AGAIN


LIVERPOOL 1942.
Seventeen-year-old Frankie Franconi falls in love with charismatic British officer Nick Harper as quickly and certainly as the bomb that falls on their shelter.
He is impressed by her good looks and intelligence, and the fact that, like him, she speaks fluent Italian. When she insists on staying to help rescue others who have been trapped he realises she has courage, too. He gives her a business card with a Baker Street address, and suggests she put her skills to good use.
Within a month Frankie has joined the FANY and started her training. Stationed first in England, then Africa and finally Italy, Frankie and her fellow recruits work tirelessly decoding messages from agents in the field by day and enjoying wartime parties at night. But when she signs the Official Secrets Act Frankie has no idea of the danger, adventure and terrible choices that are in store.
‘That is a copy of the Official Secrets Act. I must ask you to think most carefully before you sign, because afterwards, if you reveal anything that I am about to tell you, or that you might learn in the future, you could, not to put too fine a point on it, be put up against a wall and shot.’
‘And suppose we refuse to sign?’
‘Then you will leave this room at once and accept whatever duties your CO sees fit to assign you to. But – and this is the crucial point – in doing so you will have deprived your country of the full use of your not inconsiderable talents.’
Frankie’s heart was beating fast. At last she could see some point to the drudgery of the last weeks. Whatever it was that they were not allowed to speak of, it must be something very important. She sensed that she was on the brink of the sort of adventure she had dreamed of when she immersed herself in the novels of John Buchan. She scanned the page in front of her rapidly and reached for her pen. ‘Here you are, ma’am.’
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT WE’LL MEET AGAIN.
‘The most enjoyable book for ages’
‘Such a wonderful and exciting novel. I found it hard to put down and didn’t want it to finish.’
‘I was gripped right from the start. The story became more and more enthralling.’
‘I am nearly at the end of We’ll Meet Again and have loved every bit of it.’
‘Steeped in period detail …. packed with incident.’ (Historical Novel Society) For the full review go to: http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org
For more information about the FANYs, who are still operational, go to http://www.fany.org.uk/

NEVER SAY GOODBYE

Diana ‘Steve’ Escott Stevens knows the risks. 
For twelve months she has fed and looked after agents preparing for a mission in France. She has been told they have a fifity-fifty chance of coming back
But she is young, brave and speaks French fluently. When she applies to join the Special Operations Executive she is readily accepted and sent off for training to prepare her for the field.
The training is demanding: sabotage, codes, hand-to-hand combat, parachute jumps. But all too soon she finds herself in a Lysander flying to France, where any mistake could mean capture, torture or death, for her and the very people she is trying to liberate.
The grass along the edge of the road was stiff with frost and long skeins of mist lay low over the airfield but above them the sky was clear, diffused with light from an almost full moon. Steve showed her pass to the sentry at the gate and drove on to park near the hangar. On the tarmac nearby the Whitley bomber’s engines were already ticking over, the propellor blades catching the moonlight as they turned.
She held out her hand to her passenger. ‘Adieu, Lucien.’
He shook his head at her. ‘Au revoir, cherie. Never say goodbye …’
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT ‘NEVER SAY GOODBYE’.
‘Since reading your books, I have been fascinated to learn more about the
work of the SOE in WW11 and am currently reading about Vera Atkins. Thank
you for making me more aware of the heroic actions of these brave men and
women.’
‘I’d like to give you a big handshake on your recent book about the SOE and about my father Harry. I was really incredibly inspired by it…. I found that you had achieved an amazing immediate congruence with the whole mood and tenor of the time.’
 

NOW IS THE HOUR


SEPTEMBER 1939, AND FOUR FRIENDS, ALL MEMBERS OF A SEASIDE VARIETY SHOW, ARE FORCED APART BY THE LOOMING WAR.
Beautiful chorus girl Rose is in love with Richard, a singer, but feels she cannot marry him because of the difference in their backgrounds. When he is called up she returns to her home in London, afraid she will never see him again.
Richard, broken hearted by her rejection, vows he will ask her again after the war – if he survives ….
Gay, asthmatic Merry, the company pianist, has to part with the object of his hopeless passion, the charismatic Felix. But Felix’s only ambition is to enlist in the RAF and learn to fly Spitfires.
As they are struck by the brutality of war they realise exactly who and what is most important to them and despite the odds, and in terrible circumstances, they determine to find each other again.
It was dawn when the all clear sounded. Stiff and shivering, they clambered up the steps to the outside world. Rose heard the cries of despair before she got to the top of the steps, and as soon as she came out into the daylight she understood what had prompted them. The world they knew had utterly changed. Where there had been a busy, familiar street with shops and houses, buses and cars and bicycles, there was now a wilderness. Rubble was strewn across the road, broken glass was everywhere and everything was covered in a thick layer of brick dust. When they raised their eyes from this to find its source, the real horror struck them. Where rows of terraced houses had stood there were now huge gaps, like missing teeth, and on each side, still clinging to the walls of the remaining buildings, were the pathetic remnants of the inhabitants’ lives – a wall decorated with nursery characters for a child’s bedroom, a wardrobe hanging perilously in a corner, its contents scattered, a fireplace and above it a mirror, miraculously unbroken.
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT ‘NOW IS THE HOUR’.
This is a brilliantly evocative, insightful novel sure to keep you turning the pages right to the end. There is excitement, danger, pain and regret not to mention all-conquering love and enduring friendships. (The People’s Friend.)
This is a book of spies, dangers, forbidden love, disappointments and friendship. An enjoyable story, the characters are likeable and you care about them enough to want to know what happens to them. It deals with an otherwise well-documented period in a fresh sort of way because we see the war from a different perspective. (HNS)
 

THEY ALSO SERVE


JANUARY 1941. DARK DAYS, BOTH FOR BRITAIN, STANDING ALONE AGAINST THE MENACE OF NAZI GERMANY, AND FOR FOUR FRIENDS TORN APART BY THE CONFLICT.
When Rose Taylor receives two proposals on New Year’s Eve she has to face an agonising choice, which will separate her from all those she loves.
Richard Stephens has to come to terms with the shattering of the dreams that sustained him through the chaos of Dunkirk and the long months on the run as an escaped prisoner of war.
For beautiful Felix, badly burned when his Spitfire was shot down in flames, there is the prospect of weeks of painful surgery, and for his lover, the anguish of watching him suffer.
But as the months go by each of them finds the courage to face danger. And danger is on every side …
Exctiting, moving and brilliantly evocative, this heart-racing novel will keep you hooked from beginning to end.
As if there was no one else in the room, Richard moved up the table until he stood beside her and held out both his hands.
‘Rose, I’m so sorry it’s been such a long time. I know what you must have been thinking. I asked my mother to get in touch with you, but it seems she didn’t and since I wrote that letter I’ve been on the run and there was no chance to write. But I’m here now. Eighteen months ago, when I asked you to marry me, you said it was too soon and that you thought my feelings for you wouldn’t last. And I asked you, if i came back in a year’s time and repeated my offer, would you reconsider – and you said you would. Well, it’s been longer than that and my feelings for you haven;t changed. So now I’m asking you to keep your promise. Darling Rose, I’ve never stopped loving you. Will you marry me?
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT ‘THEY ALSO SERVE’.
The second part of Green’s epic wartime saga. (Daily Express)
Leaves you holding your breath for the next installment This story of wartime sacrifices and life-changing decisions manages to grip your attention throughout. An exciting read. (HNS)

THEATRE OF WAR

IT IS 1942. THE THEATRES OF WAR ARE NORTH AFRICA AND ITALY. ALL EYES FOLLOW THE FRONT BUT BEHIND THE SCENES A MESSIER WAR CONTINUES, AN IMPROVISED GAME OF SNATCHED TRIUMPHS, TERRIBLE MISTAKES AND TERRIFYING UNCERTAINTIES.
Cabaret singer by night, spy by day, Richard risks his life to help British servicemen escape from occupied France and get back to England.
Rose leads a group of high-spirited dancers travelling bombed-out BritaIn, enteraining factory workers as Hitler’s bombers roar in the skies above. Then she is given orders to join the forces in the field, destination unknown.
Meanwhile, a phantom pianist, who has lost the love of his life, is following Monty’s soldiers across the African desert, mocking the enemy’s guns by playing Beethoven between the lines.
Rose picked up a magazine and flicked through the pages. A second later she felt as in the blood in her veins had ceased to circulate. She was staring at a photograph of a couple, the girl in evening dress, the man in army uniform. The girl was beautiful, with sleek raven-black hair drawn back in a chignon and huge dark eyes, but Rose’s gaze was fixed on the man beside her. Tall and broad-shouldered, with dark hair, well-marked brows and a strong, determined chin, he was a good match for his delicate partner. Underneath the picture the caption read ‘Miss Priscilla Vance, the niece of Sir Lionel and Lady Vance, with her fiancé Captain Richard Stevens, arriving at the Gala Ball at Covent Garden in aid of the Spitfire Fund.’
May looked at her. ‘Is anything wrong? You look as if someone had walked over your grave.’
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT ‘THEATRE OF WAR’.
‘A delightful and heady mix of spies, soldiers and high-kicking dancing girls, of forbidden love and friendship in the face of death. Who could ask for more?’ Lancashire Evening Post.
‘An unforgettable saga of love and loss in wartime.’ Good Book Guide
‘Epic.’ Sunday Express.
‘This was one of the best books I have read in a long time.’
‘It had me gripped, just like all the others.’
‘I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading your books. I have just finished the third Follies book and am eagerly awaiting The Final Act.’
‘I have just finished the third book in the Follies series What absolutely riveting and very sensitive books all three have been.’
 

THE FINAL ACT


It is Spring 1944 but for dancer Rose, entertainer Merry, pilot Felix and spy Richard the end of the war is still not in sight. Friends have been killed, love has been lost, and it seems that the relentless violence and pain of separation will continue forever.
Desperately tired after living rough with Italian partisans, Richard makes a mistake behind enemy lines that results in devastating tragedy.
Rose, performing for the troops advancing across France, at last finds a man she feels she can love and is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life.
Felix, Merry’s lover, is returned to him from the jaws of death only to be separated from him again by the demands of duty.
But while the battle rages on they will all fight for the future. In war and peace, in joy and despair, life continues – but never as expected.
On the 13th of June, one week after D-Day, Rose and her company were given their embarkation orders. No one told them where they were going but they were in no doubt that they were heading for France. The following day they put out from Weymouth on board a ferry converted for the duration into a troop ship and docked at one of the Mulberry harbours assembled off the Normandy coast. Driving inland, they passed through shattered villages, where scarcely a house remained intact. The roads were pitted with shell craters and churned into ruts by the tracks of tanks, and the bus bounced and jolted as it negotiated them. The remaining inhabitants stared in amazement at the convoy, and Rose could understand why. They must make a bizarre spectacle. First came a motorcycle outrider, then what appeared to be a London bus painted in camouflage colours and emblazoned with the letters ENSA and the words STAND EASY! Then came a truck and finally an officer in a jeep. Three miles back from the front line, with German snipers holding out in every village ENSA was here! It seemed hardly credible.
WHAT READERS SAID ABOUT ‘THE FINAL ACT’.
This brilliantly imagined saga,the final book in the Follies Quartet, an epic series based on the the lives of the author’s parents and their friends, is as exciting and fast-paced as it is deeply moving.
‘Epic!’ Sunday Express
Compelling!’ Publishing News
‘An unforgettable saga of love and loss in wartime.’ Good Book Guide.
I didn’t want this book to end…’ Historical Novel Society reviewer
Just wanted to say your books are some of the most touching, real and moving books I have ever read. I loved Rosamund Pilcher’s ‘Coming Home’ but these ‘Follies’ books have taken their place in my heart.
I would certainly recommend any book written by you, as your characters are so strong and believable. Your stories are so gripping, they leave you on tenterhooks, wanting the next book in the series to see what happens to the heroes/heroines.