The Secret of Aldwych Strand

Easter Egg

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For those of you who like a bargain, or who like celebrating Easter in a non chocolaty but equally decadent kind of way, I have news. My publisher Kensington Gore has put the Secret of Aldwych Strand on special.

From Saturday 26th – Sunday 29th (inclusive) Book 1 of Mark and Lucy’s adventures is free, gratis – cost nothing to purchase for your Kindle.

For a slightly longer period – the 26th of March to the 2nd of April the other two tales in the trilogy are reduced to only 99p.

“Where do I get them?” I hear you cry as you charge your kindle and kindle app!

“Why! That’s easy. Click on the easter eggs!”



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Time Travellers and Normals

Mark – A football mad teenager who should know better by now

Lucy – The class geek whose madcap idea to photograph Southend Pier got them into all this trouble

Molly Pearce – Manager of the Edinburgh Castle Mission (a woman of hidden depths)

Will Driver – Lloyd George’s Driver

DCI Arthur Sutton – a policeman working for Melville

Lysander and Cornelius Armstrong – twin brothers who look nothing alike

Captain Michaels – an officer who hates Italians



David Lloyd George – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Welshman and playboy


Guillermo Marconi – Inventor of the Wireless. An Essex boy from Italy.


Winston S. Churchill – Home Secretary


Walter Nicolai – An old fashioned spymaster who is playing a deep game


William Melville – Allegedly the head of the Secret Service


Frances Stephenson – A girl who catches Lloyd George’s eye

Title Change:

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Book three was always going to be difficult to find a title for…

I wanted to use the phrase my Nan had for Whitechapel: Cut Throat Alley. But it just wasn’t working. Sorry Nan: Whitechapel Affair it is


The Unbearable Tension of Authordom

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My publisher got in touch towards the end of last week. The conversation went thus:

“It’s half term next week, isn’t it?”


“Good. Expect your book back from the editor.”


Now, I am on tenterhooks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my editor. She makes me a better writer: but how much has she changed? Does Mark still read like Mark? Has she noticed just how dyslexic I really am? Because you can’t hide SPG from your editor 🙂 What’s she done with the difficult chapter?

Oh the agony of waiting; the doubts that rage; the fears that bite

While I wait, I should be doing research… but hey I’m off to Leytonstone Catholic Church and the Strand Underground on Thursday. So I am working; and I’ve been investigating dressing gowns – and they are important – honest. So It’s not like I’m sitting here, enjoying half term and wandering around wordpress, catching up with my favourite blogs, bumming around.

I can assure you dear reader that I’m struggling for my art. Feet up, Glasses on, fingers poised to edit, coffee by my side.

As yet nothing. And so, of course, my mind goes wandering. You see, somewhere at the back of my mind: I have this ghastly feeling I’m not on tenterhooks; I’m on tenderhooks (even if it does have a wiggly red line under it).


Oh thank heavens. The wiggly red line is correct. It is tenterhooks, and these are they.


Used in the woollen industry, these evil looking nails were used to stretch the woollen cloth after it had been woven. You see, it was still dirty. It was washed in a fulling mill – of if you’re in Wales, a pandy. And in order to stop it shrinking during the process it was hung up on these nails – like so. These tenters (as the frames were called) were left out in the open for the cloth to dry naturally, and the weave to even.


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Its first appearance in literature? Well according to World Wide Words – the exact phrase seems to have been used by Tobias Smollett in Roderick Random in 1748 – the tales of a honest, trustworthy and likeable Scottish lad – which is based on Smollet’s own naval career as a ship’s surgeon.

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Smollet, of course, translated Don Quixote,

Pablo Picasso

I wonder… were both these authors on tenterhooks as they waited to hear back from their editor?

5* review – from a YA reader

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5 star electrical courses

This reviews is from a young lady in Year 7 (that’s first years for us oldies), an eleven year old to the rest of you. I shall spare her blushes and just refer to her as HG.

The Secret of Aldwych Strand: End of the Pier Affair

This book is about two school children who start off by doing a normal history project, but they somehow end up travelling back and forth into the past and occidentally messing with time and history itself. Mark and Lucy find themselves with the Chancellor of the exchequer and Winston Churchill in 1909 whilst someone is plotting to kill the Chancellor. The two friends travel around historic London, trying to keep history as it should be and attempting to solve the mystery of how they ended up in the past and how to get back to 2013, but things don’t always go to plan. But will they get back to 2013? Only one way to find out…

Mark is a boy who loves sport and is very good at history but not at many other subjects. He has a lively personality and is quite rude but rather funny. Lucy is the “class geek” as Mark say but is not a very sporty person. She also has a lively personality, and, like Mark, is a bit rude and sarcastic at times. I like both of the main characters because they are funny but smart.

The Secret of Aldwych Strand (End of the Pier Affair) is an exciting book of mystery, history and surprise. I would rate this as a five star novel. When I read it I absolutely loved it because it kept me full of wonder, excitement and interest until the very last page because Sarah E Smith writes in such a way that the reader is glued to the book until the very last page. I would wholeheartedly recommend The Secret of Aldwych Strand to anyone who likes a good mystery. The way Sarah E Smith has written this book is brilliant, because she writes from each of the characters’ points of view portraying the different people in the story and their thoughts. Overall, I think that it is a wonderful book and I am sure many people would enjoy reading it. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series when they are published.

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