Category: Time Heal my Heart

Pip Williams and I

Pip Williams and I

Now, I don’t know Pip Williams, the Australian author, but after reading her second novel, The Bookbinder of Jericho (brilliant!), I was struck by the similarity and differences between Pip and I and our books. So, this post is about me and Pip Williams or Pip Williams and I, whichever grammar form you prefer. I know, you may laugh, an unlikely comparison, since she is famous, and I am a nobody, but you will get the drift in a moment if you keep reading. It’s a bit like Yellowface but with no evil intent.

Pip Williams; Travel, language and history

You see, Pip Williams and I are both Australian women who grew up in Sydney. We are both writers, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum. Pip is a New York Times best-selling author, and I am an unknown nobody author. But we both love travel, language, history and books. Pip obviously loves the meanings behind words and as a previous Latin scholar, I also fell in love long ago with the origins of words. The other commonality is our novel plots, stories of two sisters set in World War One and on the university campuses of Oxford and Cambridge. Probably, that is where the personal similarities end. sigh.

Pip Williams; Australian Historical novels

Pip is young, I am not so. Pip had a career in writing nonfiction that led more easily into her novels being published. But I am a biochemist who accidentally wrote a novel then did not know what to do with it, so stumbled along in my newfound writing career to write five books. Maybe one day we will run into each other at a bookstore or maybe Pip is attending the Australian History Novelists Society conference this October (can’t wait!) Would love to meet her.

Pip Williams; World War One era

As I prefaced above, book wise, Pip Williams and I write novels set in World War One. My latest, Time Heal my Heart, has many parallel themes to those in Pip’s best seller, The Bookbinder of Jericho. Two sisters, love and loss, family, the futility and savagery of the war and the status of women in society. They both feature a foreign female character with a mysterious past (Pip’s Lotte and my Lisbette character) and a character attempting access to a socially restricted university education. Pip’s novel is set in Oxford. Mine is partly set In Cambridge. Both our characters swat for the university entrance exams around the time of The Great War of 1914-1918. No plagiarism involved. My novel was at the publishers long before Pip’s came out. It is the companion or sequel to my first Whispers through Time.

Pip Williams; Book Companions

I do love that Pip calls her second book a companion not a sequel or prequel. That is so much less limiting. A companion suggests that the books can be read together but not necessarily. So, each of her books, like mine, can be read as stand-alone novels. That helps me to pitch my fifth book as not a sequel but a stand-alone or companion novel set in Sydney prior to and during World War 2. I am preparing a pitch for an Australian publisher, and this gives me another angle. It is too hard having overseas publishers in London. I feel out of touch, can never do local book promotions and now since Covid the author copies cost a bomb to import.

Love Pp Williams? Take a chance on me!

So, wish me well. I just hope for a tiny ripple of book attention, nothing much. Aspiring to be a Pip Williams is ridiculous, I know, but authors have to self-promote somehow otherwise no one at all will know about their books. Writing a book is easy compared to marketing one. Publishers don’t really do it for you. They get you published and then it’s sort of goodbye at the school gate. Haha and thanks for reading if you did. Take a peek at my website or books. joniscottauthor.com. and if you are a Pip Williams fan, take a chance on me!

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels; Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel, Colour comes to Tangles and Time heal my Heart. Read about her books on https://joniscottauthor.com.

The Terrible Giro d’Italia of 1914

The Terrible Giro d’Italia of 1914

Feedback from readers of Time Heal my Heart so far tell me that my protagonist’s brother, Oscar is again a hit. Due to popular demand, I continued his story in this sequel. This older brother of Winifred seems to be a popular character for readers. I enjoyed creating him too. Although most of my characters in the two Time Trilogy books so far were real people, I never met them as Time separated us. They are but Whispers through Time. My family knew nothing about our grandmother’s family, including Oscar. As he disappeared without trace, I was free to make him whoever I wanted. I chose to construct Oscar as a wanderer, philanderer and adventurer. That is how he becomes involved in the terrible Giro d’Italia of 1914.

There had never been a race like it and never will be again. Plagued by the most horrific storms, rain and set to cover enormous distances and altitudes, it was the most grueling bike race ever. You can read all about it in a very entertaining book called Gironimo by Tim Moore or just read his BBC blog. Tim decided to re-ride this race in the modern age wearing the original cyclist’s apparel and travelling the huge 3162 km distance on a 100-year-old bike. He bites off more than he can chew. He soon discovers how easy life is for the cyclists of today. They have gears and comfortable bikes with proper brakes not just wine bottle corks.

Neither do they have to contend with nails strewn in their path and saboteurs at every bend. Cyclists were not popular sports heroes back then. The bicycle was seen as a threat and imposter to the traditional way of life. Add to that, strangers riding through one’s towns and locals became outraged. The weather was most foul of mood too. The first part of the race was the worst and the heavens opened upon the eighty-one contestants as they climbed the formidable Mt Sestriere peak and navigated the dirt roads awash with water. Their woollen maillot outfits with wool padded crotches became sodden and heavy. They shivered and slithered about on the mud. This stage alone was enough to demoralise many of the entrants. Half of them were just local boys, not professional cyclists. they entered for the fun of it and mostly for the prize money.

Like my character Oscar and his mate Luigi, they rode on borrowed bikes and had little experience or stamina for this endurance test. of the eight odd entrants only eight finish the race. This makes this Giro not only the hardest bike race ever but also the one with the longest overall distance and stages but also the one with the highest proportion of dropouts. Reading about it in Tim Moore’s book, It comes as no surprise. See some old photos here.

My characters make it only from Lucca to Florence. They decide to rest but end up at Luigi’s uncle’s house for a sojourn. Oscar is introduced to real family life, Italian style and the delights of the beautiful Florence. He buys a Bradshaws guide and he and Luigi continue their travels not by bike but by train to the east coast and then by boat to Sarajevo. There by chance they witness the opening shots of World War One. Life will never be the same again, for these two young men and for millions worldwide.

This sets the scen fro the second part of the novel entitled The Agony of War. By then, hopefully if not before, you will be so engaged you can’t but help reading on…

Young love, family troubles, mystery, war and loss, this book, Time Heal my Heart has it all. Plus, you get to travel not only back in time but to the mysterious abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast, Paris, Italy, Yugoslavia, Argentina and Sydney, Australia where the story begins. It’s a sweeping family saga that can be read alone or after Whispers through Time. The third part of this story, entitled Last Time Forever is due out next year. I have already written it. So, embrace the past and discover Oscar, a popular minor but memorable character. Join him on his travels and see how he reacts to the outbreak of war. He is the lost black sheep of the family. Don’t you just love these naughty boys? You never know what they will do next.

The contestants of this terrible ordeal had no idea that war would soon erupt and plunge them into another hell on earth. Maybe the Giro was a good preparation for what lay ahead?

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels; Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel, Colour comes to Tangles and Time Heal my Heart. Read about them on https://joniscottauthor.com.

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‘Whispers through Time’ Sequel

‘Whispers through Time’ Sequel

Today was publication day and the birth of a new book into the vast global library. It’s the release of Whispers through Time Sequel entitled Time Heal my Heart by Joni Scott. This one has it all; love, loss, tragedy, war, peace, The Spanish Flu and best of all it is based on a true story! You can buy it on all the popular platforms like Amazon or through the publisher, Austin Macauley, London. 

It is the second historical fiction in my ‘Time’ series and can be read as it is or read after the first one, Whispers through Time. This historical novel continues the story of three young people who migrate to Australia from London in 1912 just after the sinking of the doomed liner, The Titanic. Soon war breaks out and their young lives are shattered by the consequences. This is the focus of the story in Time heal My Heart.

Time Heal my Heart is the sequel to Whispers through Time

Husbands, brothers and sons set off for the grand adventure of war, not realising its savagery. It was the war promised to be over by Christmas. Yet five years later it has involved the world and killed millions. Even in its swansong, the global conflict kills more as the deadly Spanish Flu spreads around the world with returning soldiers.

But the clock cannot be wound back. Time marches on taking the survivors with it into a brave new world of energy and promise. The Jazz age. But not everyone can forget, heal and move on. My protagonist, Winnie cannot. She has seen too much, lost too much. She cries, ‘Time heal my Heart!’ Hence the title.

A poignant Story of another time

War orphans, lovers, soldiers .. so many cannot move forward easily and forget or forgive the horrors of war. Read this poignant story and relive their lives with them. Step into the past and count your blessings perhaps that you were born in another time. Or do you want to recapture the romance, the urgency yet slower pace of the early Twentieth century? Life was ephemeral. Scarlet fever and infection could easily kill. There were no antibiotics, no safety nets in life.

And another place

Storm lashed monastery, Mont Saint Michel, is the scene of one of the sub plots in France. It is a place of mystery, violence and passion. Cut off from the war, it is also a place of refuge. The battle fields of France also feature as brother Gustave is sucked into a war of mud and danger. Then in Sydney, Australia, so far from the battlefronts, wives and families wait for news of the Gallipoli campaign. They knit socks, tend the returned soldiers and pray for their loved ones.

There’s more Time to come

I know this novel will tear at your heart. The story is of my own grandparents. But I must admit to adding sub plots and embellishing parts with fiction. However, it is based on true lives and war records. I hope you enjoy, Time Heal my Heart. If you do, you can go back and read Whispers through Time and look forward to part three, Last Time Forever, due out next year.

Stay tuned via my blog at joniscottauthor.com.

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels: Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel Colour Comes to Tangles and her latest historical WWI drama, Time Heal my Heart. Joni has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.

 

The Titanic sails on through history

The Titanic sails on through history

The shadow of the Titanic casts a long shadow though history. Even today it has been in the news with the loss of the Titan submersible. It is another notch added to its sad toll of casualties. The Titan submersible with five rich adventurers sank irretrievably to the cold dark depths of the Atlantic beside the rusted wreck of the fated White Star liner of 1912 fame. Now those passengers lie too forever nearby to the rusted tangled wreck. The Titanic sails on through history. Its tragic sinking continues to fascinate.

Deja Vu, the other ship called The Titan

Didn’t the CEO and founder of the submersible company, Ocean Gate know that the name Titan was that of the liner in Morgan Robertson’s eerily predictive 1898 novel, Futility? The liner featuring in this pre 1912 novel was so similar in dimensions, weight, number of funnels and load of glamorous passengers to the Titanic liner that would set sail on its maiden voyage some years later. Its fate was exactly the same. The Titan of the book hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic at similar co-ordinates to the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic. But it seems the owner of White Star Lines, Bruce Ismay did not read that book nor did Captain Smith or the builder, Thomas Andrews. Because of this, the Titanic sails on through history.

Ignoring the ice warnings, they sailed their beautiful ship full steam ahead in an attempt to break the Transatlantic Crossing record and arrive in a fete of glory one day early in New York. But instead, due to their vanity and disregard for other people’s lives, they did not arrive at all. The 2223 passengers would have preferred a late arrival than none at all. The women widowed that night would live in the shadow of the Titanic for the rest of their lives as mere ghosts of their former selves. For 1517 passengers, mostly male, that night was the last one of their life.

Staring Death in the Face

Imagine waiting on the cold sinking deck, knowing there was now no hope of rescue, watching your wives and children fading into the distance in rowboats on the icy calm sea. This surely was worse than the five Titan passengers who, just a week ago, voluntarily descended to the same icy depths over a century later. Though these five men, one just a teen, did have to contemplate the dangers of the Atlantic as they signed a declaration that they were aware they may not return to the bright light of the surface as planned. Staring death in the face is never easy. Would you sign this waver? “This is an experimental submersible vessel, that has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, or death.” Quote taken from The Titan Submersible Journey

A Bold Adventure for the rich?

In both cases, the trip was meant to be a bold adventure. The first in 1912 boasted a trip of a lifetime on the biggest ship afloat with everything of luxury you could ever want (except lifeboats and binoculars to spot icebergs). John Jacob Astor was onboard, the richest man alive. The others in first class were also fabulously rich. Likewise for the Titan sub trip, there was a billionaire, SEO Stockton Rush, onboard and indeed any of the other four were obscenely rich, paying 250,000 for the planned 8-hour adventure to the bottom of the Atlantic and back.

Build me a better boat!

In both cases, the hull of the vessel played a major role in the tragedies. The steel and pop rivets of the original liner were not strong enough to survive an iceberg scoring down its starboard side. A 300-foot gash opened the luxury liner to the ocean and compartment after compartment flooded, sealing the massive ship’s fate. For this recent tragedy, the carbon fiber and titanium hull would again prove the vessel’s downfall. There had been warnings but for the sake of innovation, the designer ignored these with disregard to his own and other passengers’ safety. The lights of the sub were reportedly off the shelf from a camper store and the steering operated by a game controller. Despite his fascination with the mysteries of the deep, was Mr Rush cutting corners or just in a rush for foolhardy adventures?

Withstanding pressure

AS any vessel or diver descends into the depths of the ocean, the pressure increases dramatically because of the water above. At the almost 4000 m depth of the Titanic wreck the pressure is almost 400 times that of the surface. this places a huge load on a submarine vessel and is incompatible for a human diver. It’s like having the New York, Empire State Building sitting on the hull. What sort of hulls can continually withstand this pressure? Not it seems carbon fiber ones. They may tolerate this stress a few times but not continually. Cracks could develop and then the vessel is history as are its passengers. It and the Titanic sail on through history.

What a terrible fate for anyone, even those who ride the depths of their own free will. The young Pakistani youth did not want to go but was coerced by his adventurous and very wealthy father. Did teenager, Sulemon have a premonition? Or was he just more sensible than the older men.

What was it like for the original survivors and their families after the 1912 tragedy? Read about the 706 survivors ordeal and ongoing lives in my post, Surviving the Shadow of the Titanic. And was it strictly women and children first as the lifeboats were loaded? Read my post, Was it women and children first? about that tragic night in April 1912.

If you find maritime disasters and shipping stories fascinating as I do then check out my post on the Italian liner Andria Doria. Like the Titanic disaster, the Andrea Doria’s fate was compounded by human error. Another boat was going the wrong way in the shipping channel and there was a head-on collision in a fog. Again, nature was involved. Not an iceberg but a pea-souper fog that led to zero visibility. It’s an interesting read.

There are lots more either here on my joniscottauthor.com blog or on whisperingencouragement.com where I used to blog. In either site you can read posts about history, amazing women, books and writers and even a few science ones. I am a scientist, a biochemist who took up writing historical fiction at a later age. Now history is my new obsession. It is fascinating and so instructive for us. We can learn about things that went wrong and correct our moves. I don’t think we should just cancel the uncomfortable parts but learn from them.

If you like good stories based on true historical events, check out my two published novels in the Time trilogy, Whispers through Time and the newly released, Time Heal my Heart.

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels: Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel Colour Comes to Tangles and her latest historical WWI drama, Time Heal my Heart. Joni has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.

Please be kind, review our books!

Please be kind, review our books!

Authors need encouragement, please review our books.

Reviews are the bread and butter for authors. Please be kind, review our books. As an avid reader I make a habit of reviewing every book I read whether I was impressed with it or not. Usually, I do this on Goodreads as it is so easy. This click takes you to my soon to be released fourth book. You just find the book you want to review, click on it, and under the book details is a place to leave a rating (one to five yellow stars) or below a blank box to write something about the book. This written comment is far more encouraging for the author and more informative for a potential reader. But I post a comment politely and make it more about my preferences not their bad writing.

On Goodreads as on many book platforms you can join up as a reader and list your finished reads like you are part of a club. Reading (and writing) are lonely pursuits, so it is nice to sometimes share with others. This feedback from readers allows other readers to decide if the book is for them before they buy it. Few readers actually bother to write a review. It’s less than 10%. So, authors need all the reviews we can get and preferably positive ones. After all, we make no money from books. Too many middlemen take that. It’s a mug’s game. Please be kind and review our books.

Too difficult to be nice? How about a star rating instead.

But if you feel you can’t possibly say anything good then just pop a one or two star. This is kinder than a brutal slaying. Consider how you would feel if someone roasted your book baby alive. Books take about a year to write and almost twice as long to get published. So please review our books.

Unless you are an author who opts to be an Amazon uploader in which case it’s instant. I tried this for my contemporary romance, Colour comes to Tangles, just to experience the spontaneous buzz. But I do prefer the wait and the box of books that come all the way from London. My fourth book, Time Heal my Heart just arrived this week that way. Twenty-five copies hot off the press.

Someone left a two-star review for me last week. Fortunately, my first ever. This one was long and ranting as well. The reader did not like my ‘overuse’ of commas, and she found a typo that I was aware of but powerless to fix post publication. So let me know if you too feel I am guilty of comma overuse. As the review was for my debut novel and I’m now up to book 5, I won’t lose sleep over this one.

It is far outweighed by good ones like this lovely one from another author and besides I’ve learnt a lot since book one and become a better writer and certainly know editors miss a lot of unintentional errors. Once a book is published traditionally it is very expensive to request a typo correction. With uploaded to Amazon self-published books, it is as easy as it was to publish. Just a click away.

We all need praise and encouragement, please review our books

I am now a little conscious of it lest it is true. It is possibly Prowriting aid‘s fault as they keep flagging my lack of comma, so I let them override my text and add one. They just did it. I’ve given you the link to a comparison of the most common writing, spelling and grammar aid . Are there too many commas for your liking too?

Encouragement is not just needed for authors but for everybody. Praise is lovely. We bask in it, like the morning sun. Try to find the good in people not the bad. The same goes for books.

Kindness matters especially for authors

So please hold or bite your tongue and let the emotions calm. Not easy but counting to ten helps. Or walk away, make a coffee. Whatever. It deflects the moment and helps compose a kinder or more instructive rebuke.

The one thing the whole world needs is more kindness, more saying sorry, more good listening to other’s concerns. oh, no, more commas! It would be lovely if everyone respected each other’s opinions, rights and values. I know, a pipe dream. But it’s good to dream, good to be positive. Oops, more commas. Sorry.

But, seriously, let’s use our voices for good not to tear down others. One day someone might tear you down and then you will know how it feels. Have a nice day and please be kind when you review for our books.

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Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels: Whispers through TimeThe Last HotelColour Comes to Tangles and the latest World War One romance, Time Heal my Heart. Joni also has many posts on a women’s blog; https://whisperingencouragement.com/ and has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.

Time, Heal my Heart.

Time, Heal my Heart.

Though invisible and intangible, time is a constant immutable factor of life. Our lives run on this key factor. Rushing around we can’t outrun it. We can’t wind it back nor slow it down. It proceeds ever onward regardless of our wishes. I find this so intriguing, more so as I grow older. When we are young, we barely think of it running out for us one day. In fact, as a child, we want it to go faster so we can be a grown up. But by twenty or thirty years of age it dawns on us that getting older may not be so much fun. When our own parents age, we start looking time in the face. So time is the thing in life. My latest novel encompasses this theme. It is titled Time, Heal my Heart.

Writing Historical fiction

It was coming across my grandparent’s story that led me to writing historical fiction. Pretty weird for a math science teacher to write a historical fiction novel but we get weirder as we age. Once started on this imaginative adventure of creative writing and I was hooked. Whispers Through Time was my debut novel. It’s set in the early 1900s and is the story of two sisters, Winifred and Francesca who travel from London to the other side of the world a few months after the sinking of the Titanic. It’s Winifred, my grandmother’s story embellished with the magic brush of fiction. But it is also my great-aunt Francesca’s story.

Onboard SS Rangatira bound for Sydney, she meets my grandfather, Walter and they start a new life in Sydney, Australia in 1913, just before the outbreak of The Great War.

Time, Heal my Heart

The sequel to Whispers through Time is about to be released on August 18. It is available for pre order on most platforms. Entitled, Time, Heal my Heart, it continues the story of the two sisters as war erupts shortly after their marriages. Like millions worldwide, their lives are disrupted. For Winifred, her life will change forever. I nearly titled this book ‘Time Across the Oceans’ but this title is already taken along with all the good ones.

You have to be very inventive these days with titles and even your name. I didn’t realise there was another author with my name until after I published my first book. By then it was too late. So, beware there are two of us. Joni Scott in America writes devotional and biblical books so that’s not me. I am happier it is this genre not horror or erotic porn books. That would be an incompatible mix up. Since my books are mostly sweet romances and historical, readers of her books can come my way and vice versa. My website is joniscottauthor.com. Follow my blog there as well as read about my books. There are four now. Two historical and two contemporary romance.

Romance, war, loss and mystery

Now I think you will enjoy the historical sequel, Time Heal my Heart. There’s a lot on offer; romance, war, loss, mystery and tragedy and even a couple of war orphans. You will travel from Sydney to London to France and the battlefields of the Somme plus the mysterious abbey of Mont Saint Michel. It’s a story that will pull on your heart strings especially as it is true.

Take time to read. It’s a great escape from the reality of life. It enriches your experience and knowledge. It’s relaxing, nourishing and once you have the book, free!

Stay tuned if you enjoy the books for number three, Last Time Forever, due out August 2023.

 

Joni Scott is an Australian author with four published novels: Whispers through Time, The Last Hotel, Colour Comes to Tangles and her latest WW I drama Time, heal my Heart. Joni has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.