The Zakynthian Family Series
Since Among the Olive Groves was published I have been asked by many readers, "What happened to the character Athena from Among the Olive Groves? I want to know more about her life."
The last readers saw of Athena was her leaving the island in a boat. Many readers wanted to know more about her life and why she gave Kate up for adoption.
After a lot of thought I agreed to write a follow up, to explain more about her life, which is now being written and called A Night of Thunder. I planned the whole book out and hoped to write approximately 80,000 words. The almost finished first draft is now at 75,000 words.
Unfortunately, I've not only been unwell, which has slowed progress, but the story has turned out to be much larger than I ever intended! So, because of this, there will now be a third and final book in what will now be known as The Zakynthian Family Series.
Book 1 of the Zakynthian Family Series ~ Among the Olive Groves
Book 2 of the Zakynthian Family Series ~ A Night of Thunder
Book 3 of the Zakynthian Family Series ~ Hope Under Blue Skies
We hope that Book 2, A Night of Thunder will be out sometime between October 2021 and Spring 2022, and Book 3, Hope Under Blue Skies sometime between Spring and Autumn 2022.
To follow the progress of the books, you can follow me on my Facebook page or join the Among the Olive Groves group dedicated to the book.
Thanks for your continued support, it means so much.
A Night of Thunder
A Night of Thunder Book Description
After escaping the clutches of the Germans on the Greek island of Zakynthos during World War Two, Richard Edwards finds himself adrift at sea looking after the daughter of a resistance fighter who saved his life. Unexpectedly landing in enemy territory Richard has to deal with threats at every turn as he tries to flee the enemy, protect a child that isn’t his own, and return home to England.
In the dusty bombed ruins of the city of Bristol, in England, Alice Morgan tries her best to carry on with her life as World War Two continues to ravage the country. Not knowing if her fiancé is alive or dead, Alice does what she can to get through each day and survive living a life that she did not choose, nor want and that she isn’t proud of.
The loss of Elena Petrakis, the mother of his missing daughter Athena, haunts Angelos Sarkis daily. His will to survive diminishes as the months pass. Only the love for his remaining daughter Sophia keeps him alive, when all else has been lost.
From the chaos of war torn Bristol and Zakynthos, to the horrors of the Greek mainland plunged into Civil War, A Night of Thunder is a haunting story of finding faith, having trust and living with the fragility of humanity.
Genre: Historical Fiction/triple timeline
Locations: Bristol UK, Mainland Greece, Zakynthos
Follow-up to Among the Olive Groves, book 2 in a 3 book series
Hope Under Blue Skies
Hope Under Blue Skies Book Description
The book description hasn't been confirmed for this book yet, but I can tell you that it follows Athena's life and the story takes readers through lots of great destination in Europe, including Athens, Crete and Zakynthos. We will also meet some old characters from Among the Old Groves as well as some new ones!
Genre: Historical Fiction/dual timeline
Locations: Bristol UK, Europe, Zakynthos
Follow-up to Among the Olive Groves/A Night of Thunder, book 3 in a 3 book series
The last year has been a difficult one for many, due to worldwide events. The reason I've been so quiet is that I've been unwell with long Covid, I won’t go into all the details, as I don’t want to bring up things that are now in the past. I'm now thankfully slowly starting to turn a corner, but I'm not 100% yet. We all need support in life, especially when serious illness hits. That support can come from many places. Family and friends are incredibly important, so are doctors and hospitals. There are also people out there who run small businesses specialising in helping others and I've been lucky to have help from such a business whilst unwell.
Zante Zest is a family owned and run business, based in Greece, specialising in health, well-being, nutrition and physical wellness. Their exercise and health professionals are experienced in real life, fun to work with and dedicated in their fields, and believe that taking care of yourself and your health doesn’t mean you have to live like a monk, you can still have fun in life too.
I owe a big debt of gratitude to Zante Zest. They've been hugely instrumental in getting me back on my feet when I was so unwell. Julie kindly spent time talking with me to understand everything I was going through. I didn’t need a quick fix, I needed something that would help me get well, in a way that I could continue looking after my health for the future. I needed a heath overhaul!
In August 2020 Julie listened patiently, talked though my situation with me and suggested a few things, one of which was juicing. I've tried it before, and even though I enjoyed it, I always found it a bit of a faff, trying to organise and prepare everything, and eventually I’d stop and go back to old habits.
Now, in April 2021, I juice every day. I've done this every day for eight months and I’m really feeling the benefit of it. My system gets a good mix of eight fruit and veg, with a little greek strained yogurt, every day. The mix of fruit and veg I use all help specific things and it’s become my favourite lunch ever! I buy all the contents fresh, and cut them up, put them into sealable plastic containers and freeze straightaway. This means I just have to take it out of the freezer on the day I need it. This also helps with my energy levels which can still be low sometimes.
Zante Zest also helped me understand more about the body, how it works and things to avoid that do more harm to us physically and mentally. I cut out sugar, which has helped so much. I also changed certain foods I was eating, mainly processed foods (not that I ate a lot of them, but they were making me feel very sluggish).
I also realised that I wasn’t drinking enough liquids. Did you know that tea, coffee, alcohol, fizzy drinks etc., DON’T count as the 2,000L of water a day that we’re supposed to drink? Julie explained in great detail how the body works and how it survives on water intake and how beneficial it is to the body and certain organs. Looking back I realised that as well as being horrendously dehydrated at the start of my illness, due to the symptoms, I was still drinking at least four large MUGS of tea a day and only about 500ml of water! I cut out tea (I don’t drink coffee or alcohol so they weren’t an issue). I bought myself a 500ml water bottle and a Brita water filter and started drinking water and monitoring how much I was drinking each day on my Fitbit. It’s amazing how much this change has helped me too.
I found that Zante Zest's meditation really helped me with my low moods and the problems I was having with insomnia, gradually the mood settled and the insomnia lessened until it disappeared altogether. Exercise however, was a big issue as I was floor bound for a few months other than being able to get up for the bathroom, food and bed. I felt as though every ounce of energy had been sucked from me. I desperately wanted to join Zante Zest's online Qidong classes but was unable to. I have now got some physical and cognitive rehab which is helping to rebuild my stamina, so hopefully I may be able to finally join in the future!
Life can be really cruel sometimes, we can be thrown situations or periods of time, where we get low, become seriously ill or have life changing things happen to us. Learning how to deal with them and finding support really is the key. I will never be able to thank Julie and Zante Zest enough for all the support they have given me this last year. You have helped me get my life back, and that deserves the biggest thank you possible.
Welcome to my blog, My occasional ramblings will take you on a journey through many subjects, from my books, to history, as well as what it's like to be a writer and my love of travelling! Enjoy the updates!