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Nineteen years later …

london calling final 3[1]Nineteen years ago my novel ON A WING AND A PRAYER was published. It was the third book in my LAVENDER ROAD series about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the residents of one London street during the second world war.

That novel ended with one of the main characters, Helen de Burrel, having been injured in the battle for Toulon harbour in France in 1942, escaping the advancing Germans on a French submarine.

And there she has been, stuck on a French submarine, for nineteen years!

But now she is finally about to be liberated (like France ultimately was,) because on Thursday (25th February) , LONDON CALLING, the next novel in the series, is coming out!

And no, before you ask, it didn’t take me nineteen years to write it! For various reasons, after finishing ON A WING AND A PRAYER, I moved on to other things, (not least living on a boat in the Caribbean for while,) painting, getting married, and teaching creative writing at various universities. And then, for the last ten years, caring for my mother who was beginning to suffer with Alzheimer’s.

But then the digital revolution happened. And when the previous Lavender Road books became popular again as Kindle books, both in the UK and in the USA, I decided the moment had come to write another in the series.

LONDON CALLING is the result. My literary agent loved it, and a wonderful deal with Headline Books quickly followed. Not only are Headline publishing LONDON CALLING on Thursday, but over the next few months they will be republishing all my earlier Lavender Road novels as well. They have also commissioned me to write two more (one of which is already finished, and will come out in 2017).

My mother sadly died this year, so she won’t see the publication of LONDON CALLING, but I know she would be happy that I have gone back to writing, because she loved my Lavender Road books, and also loved reminiscing about her wartime experience as a nurse.

Some of the things she told me appear in LONDON CALLING, which opens in December 1942. As well as picking up on the stories of my other favourite residents of Lavender Road, it also follows the story of Molly Coogan, a young trainee nurse, who longs to escape both the oppressive discipline of the Wilhelmina hospital in south London and an ill-advised infatuation for an unobtainable man. But when Molly’s wish comes true and she finds herself on a troopship on the way to North Africa, she soon realises she has jumped out of the frying pan into a very dangerous fire …

LONDON CALLING is now available for pre-order at Amazon.  CLICK HERE for more details.

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19 thoughts on “Nineteen years later …

  1. Pingback: St Helena and other news – an update from Helen Carey (and an outstanding opportunity) | themarcistagenda

  2. Janet B on said:

    New to your work, I’ve just ordered the first three books in the Lavender Road series – I have a bit of catching-up to do!

  3. Congrats on the great news from Headline & the re-publications – well-deserved! All the Best for Thursday!

  4. Pingback: I JUST HAVE TO SHARE THIS IWTH MY FOLLOWERS. GREAT NEWS!! Nineteen years later … | themarcistagenda

  5. “EXCITED” does not begin to cover it….what a long wait, but anticipation is a wonderful thing! All success – you deserve it ..from your #1 fan (not too modest a claim I trust)

  6. Sheila Leicester on said:

    Have just pre-ordered my copy. Really looking forward to catching up with the characters! Good luck with the launch.

  7. Maria McCarthy on said:

    So brilliant that we’re getting to find out more about the Lavender Road characters – and discover new ones. Well done and all best for the launch!

  8. Yippee I don’t know how I can be patient for the next three days,when it comes to my door I will need to restrain myself from locking my bedroom door until I have read every line,but knowing me the need of food will get me out for short periods.
    So many of us have waited for so long,but again Yippee,I know it will; be worth the wait,so well done Helen.

  9. tonyriches on said:

    Congratulations Helen – I’ll spotlight London Calling on y blog on Thursday and send you a link 🙂

  10. Hi Helen

    It has been a long wait, but the years between have been productive and well-spent, and I am sure that it will all filter into your writing. I’m looking forward to reading London Calling and picking up on the Lavender Road characters. Good luck with the launch.

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