#GuestPost Sea of Wolves by Philip K. Allan @PhilipKAllan

I’m delighted to welcome best-selling author Philip K. Allan to What Cathy Read Next today. Philip’s latest novel, Sea of Wolves, was published on Tuesday 15th September 2020. Set during World War 2, I’m delighted to bring you a fascinating guest post in which Philip reveals the historical facts that inspired the book. It also contains a mention of one of my favourite war films.

Sea of Wolves Philip K AllanAbout the Book

1941 and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Across the stormy North Atlantic battle rages between wolf packs of U-boats and escort ships fighting to protect the Allies’ vital convoys. Meanwhile teams of code-breakers at Bletchley Park struggle to penetrate the German Navy’s top-secret Dolphin code, and unlock the flow of vital intelligence that will swing the battle in the Allies’ favour.

Sea of Wolves plots the lives of three people caught up in the centre of the battle. Vera Baldwin, a young crossword enthusiast, lifted from her quiet suburban life and thrown into the middle of the greatest code-breaking effort the world has seen. Otto Stuckmann, the rookie commander of U70, a German naval veteran struggling with the ceaseless demands being placed on him. Leonard Cole, the newly appointed first lieutenant of HMS Protea and a man with unfinished business to resolve.

Each is unknown to the others as their fates spiral around each other, touching and twisting towards a final encounter that will change their lives forever.

Format: ebook (284 pages) 
Publication date: 15th September 2020 Genre: Historical Fiction, WW2

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Purchase links*
Amazon UK
*links provided for convenience not as part of an affiliate programme

Guest Post: The Battle of the Atlantic by Philip K. Allan

I am known as an author of nautical fiction set in the Royal Navy of Nelson’s time, but after the publication of the eighth book in my Alexander Clay series, I felt the need to try something fresh. My main love is the sea, so my writing needed to contain this element, and I have long felt drawn to the Battle of the Atlantic in World War 2.

This was the longest and hardest campaign of the war. German U-boats were on station there from the day Poland was invaded until the day Germany surrendered, locked in battle with Allied escort ships trying to shepherd their vital convoys of merchantmen through to safety, often in appalling weather.

The Cruel SeaIt was also the only theatre where the whole war could be won or lost, and both sides knew it. About 3,500 Allied ships were sunk, almost two for each day of the war, and over thirty thousand merchant sailors were killed. The German navy lost 783 U-boats and twenty-seven thousand crew, which was three-quarters of the men who served. This rate of fatalities was the greatest of any service in any armed force in the Second World War. Yet it is a campaign that has been largely ignored by historical fiction, with the honourable exception of Nicholas Monserrat’s The Cruel Sea and C.S. Forrester’s The Good Shepherd (both published over sixty years ago). A fresh novel was long overdue, I concluded.

Sea of Wolves follows the lives of three individuals caught up in the centre of the battle. Vera Baldwin, a codebreaker at Bletchley Park working on the German Naval Enigma codes, Otto Stuckmann a young U-boat commander and Leonard Cole, the newly appointed first lieutenant of the escort ship HMS Protea. Over a six-month period in 1941 we see the tide of battle ebb and flow across the ocean, as the three stories come together.  © Philip K. Allan

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Philip K. AllanAbout the Author

Philip K. Allan comes from Hertfordshire where he lives with his wife and two teenage daughters. He has an excellent knowledge of ships and the sea. He studied naval history as part of his history degree at London University, which awoke a lifelong passion. A longstanding member of the Society for Nautical Research, he is also a keen sailor and writes for the US Naval Institute’s magazine Naval History.

He is author of the Alexander Clay series of naval fiction. The first book in the series, The Captain’s Nephew, was published in January 2018, and immediately went into the Amazon top 100 bestseller list for Sea Adventures. The sequel, A Sloop of War, was published in March 2018, and was similarly well received, winning the Discovered Diamonds Book of the Month. He has since published six further books in the series, as well as Sea of Wolves.

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Blog Tour/Guest Post: The Spitfire Girl in the Skies by Fenella J Miller

I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Spitfire Girl in the Skies by Fenella J Miller, the second book in her ‘The Spitfire Girls’ series.  You can read Fenella’s fascinating guest post about why she became a writer below.

Thanks to Vicky at Aria for inviting me to take part in the tour.  Do check out the tour banner at the bottom of this post to see the other great book bloggers taking part.

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The Spitfire Girl in the SkiesAbout the Book

The ATA training base, Hampshire, 1940.

Ellie Simpson is attached to an Air Transport Auxiliary base in Hampshire. Life as an ATA pilot is tough, but despite the long hours and danger, Ellie can think of nowhere she’d rather be. Not only does she love flying, but doing important war work, alongside new-found friends, provides a welcome distraction from worrying about loved ones fighting on the front line.

Being an ATA girl is definitely exciting, but as Ellie soon finds out wearing the distinctive blue uniform also means putting her life on the line every time she takes to the skies. It will take friendship and a strength she didn’t know she possessed to help her county – and those she loves – to survive.

An inspiring story of an incredible girl going above and beyond during World War II.

Format: Paperback, ebook (334 pp.)    Publisher: Aria
Published: 2nd April 2019  Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase Links*
Amazon.co.uk  ǀ  Amazon.com
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find The Spitfire Girl in the Skies on Goodreads

Guest Post: ‘Why I Am A Writer’ by Fenella J. Miller

I was always an avid reader. By the time I was ten years old I’d read every book in the children’s section of the library and was allowed to borrow from the adult section. Leslie Charteris, Georgette Heyer, Margery Allingham – I read everything they wrote. I was also addicted to school stories and pony books. Lorna Hill was the writer I wanted to emulate. When I was about twelve, I wrote a 30,000-word book in her style. It would be called fan fiction now. This was when I decided I wanted to be writer.

I didn’t write anything else apart from essays and dissertations until I wrote a contemporary romance whilst trapped at home with a four-year-old in a remote country cottage and not able to drive. I was in my twenties then and knew one day I would be a published writer.

Decades passed and my goal was still to write, but life got in the way. I wrote five modern romances which are languishing somewhere in a box in the loft, before realising I should be a historical writer, not a contemporary one.  I was offered early retirement from teaching and finally achieved my dream of being published by the time I was sixty.

Thirteen years later I have around sixty books out. I write because I have to – I am a writer first and a wife/mother/sister/friend second.  If I couldn’t lose myself in my writing, I would not be able to cope with my home life. I have been my husband’s carer for years and after breaking first one and then the other hip he is now in permanent care. This is so hard for both of us. He has vascular dementia and no speech but is still aware of his surrounding and the people around him.

As long as I can write everyday life doesn’t seem to bad. Writing can be a lonely business but over the years I’ve been lucky to build up a large circle of both online and actual friends who are a constant support. I would advise anyone who dreams of being a writer one day to follow that dream and never give up.      © Fenella J Miller

Fenella MillerAbout the Author

Fenella J Miller was born in the Isle of Man. Her father was a Yorkshire man and her mother the daughter of a Rajah. She has worked as a nanny, cleaner, field worker, hotelier, chef, secondary and primary teacher and is now a full time writer. She has over thirty eight Regency romantic adventures published plus four Jane Austen variations, three Victorian sagas and seven WW2 family sagas. She lives in a pretty, riverside village in Essex with her husband and British Shorthair cat. She has two adult children and three grandchildren.

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