Tom Kane's Blog

A word can change a mind. A sentence can change a life. A book can change the world

image of daisies in a border

With a new garden to work on that has actual borders with actual soil to plant into, I’ve been accumalating seeds for this as well as for my numerous pots. But, I have an issue with some of the border area because it’s never been fully laid for planting, it’s still an area of gravel and building debris from the construction stage of these bungalows. Other parts are more than mature with some nice fruit trees such as lime, grapefruit, lemon, orange and cherry. Then we have the odd bush here and there and that’s about it. Plenty of scope for development. So, here’s the plan.

  1. Dig out as much of the gravel and rubble as possible and fill with good soil.
  2. Plan the planting of the borders.
  3. Sow the necessary seeds.
  4. Cross fingers and hope for the best.

There are three obstacles to all this. First is the digging out as it’s pretty hard and compacted rubbish and gravel in most of the poor borders. Second it’s rained so much in the last few weeks my compost bins have become waterlogged. And third it’s just too wet to get anything done. Even the patio paved areas have given up the ghost and allowed the growth of the mouldy green sludge you get from excess rainwater on stone.

Add to this the battle I’m fighting with some mould inside the house – Cyprus houses aren’t built for damp and wet weather. Then we have poor old Harvey, our elderly English Springer who is slowly recovering from two major operations. And finally I have a large workload on for t-shirt design, embroidery and vinyl print. That’s not to mention finishing writing my book The Brittle Sea.

Who said retirement is a time to take things easy?

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Living in Cyprus: 2018  is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

image of The Brittle Sea Omnibus Edition

Ever been in the process of creating something you think is pretty unique and then realise it’s all been done before? Well, that’s what I’m in the process of re-inventing, but with a modern twist.

Although I’m congratulating myself on the idea of publishing The Brittle Sea (read extracts from the start here) in three parts, as a serial, I realise the Victorians did it before me, as mentioned in Publishing Information #2. Today I’ve woken at 2am with the exciting (to me) thought that when I publish all three parts to The Brittle Sea, i.e., the complete novel, maybe I should call it something special. The Brittle Sea: Big Book maybe? Nope, The Brittle Sea: Omnibus, that’s the one. But the Victorians obviously got there first – doh!

So, the full novel will be published as The Brittle Sea: Omnibus which has a much better ring to it. Full of bright ideas, me! Maybe I’m a reincarnated Victorian publisher or maybe I just like reinventing the wheel.

We can all learn something from the past.

Publishing date to be announced soon.

Tom Kane © 2019

Living in Cyprus: 2018  is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

Download my FREE books on iPhone

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

 

 

 

image of the Brittle Sea Book One cover

Why a Serialisation?

I have been asked about my decision to publish The Brittle Sea in three parts, and what exactly a serialised novel is.

A serial novel is a work of fiction published as sequential installments. These can be published in weekly or monthly installments, or indeed at any interval the author desires, but weekly and monthly installments are the most usual.

The answer to why a serialisation is a hark back to the 1800s. Books were relatively expensive in Victorian and Edwardian times and the serialised novel was at its most popular. This type of publishing gave the author a wider audience because of the inexpensive cost to buying a newspaper. A complete book would be a revised version of the full serialisation and published as a complete novel.

What I want to be able to do is reach a wider audience, build up a sense of expectation and gauge how the novel is received by the public. Publishing a full novel takes time. Not only have I got to write the novel, I have to edit it, format it and market it, all on my lonesome. I have no backroom team of proof-readers, editors and cover designers, let alone a marketing team. So for me to plunge myself into a speculative full novel is quite an undertaking.

Serialised novels have generally been published in newspapers and magazines as well as other periodicals. In modern times I see no reason why a novel can’t be serialised on kindle, iBook and Kobo. Admittedly it’s not something one sees so much these days, but in the past some famous authors serialised their novels.

Charles Dickens published all of his novels in serial form first and is often credited as being the father of serialisation. It’s quite a surprise to many avid readers as to how many of their favourite novels started out as serialisations.

Alexander Dumas, H.G. Wells, Harriet Beacher Stowe, William Makepeace Thackery, Jules Verne, Leo Tolstoy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all published novels in serial form before publishing the complete novel.

Make no mistake, I’m not sticking my name in there to make myself look anywhere near as good as the likes of James Joyce, but simply to show it’s been a time honoured way of publishing. It can also save the reader a lot of money. If you pay out £1.49 ($1.93 or €1.70) for Book One and hate it, you’ve then saved yourself some money because you won’t want to buy books 2 & 3 at that price or the full novel at £4.99, so I’m actually doing my readers a favour.

I have another two chapters to write before I publish Book One, so I’m looking at mid March to have it ready and on the shelves. Then it’s over to you, dear reader, to see how far The Brittle Sea goes.

Tom Kane © 2019

Living in Cyprus: 2018  is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

Download my FREE books on iPhone

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

 

 

 

 

image of the Brittle Sea Book One cover

The Titanic disaster is the catalyst that sparks a bloody feud between two families in early 20th century America.
Captain Richard Blackmore, the master of The Lady Jane, rescues an unseen survivor of the Titanic disaster. The young woman, close to death, cannot remember who she is of why she came to be on the Titanic.
Meanwhile crooked businessman Matthew Ballantine III is shocked to find his bride to be was on the Titanic and is lost at sea.

The original draft version of The Brittle Sea is available to read free of charge on my blog, but the published version is quite different in many ways from the draft version. The draft version will be removed from my blog after publication of Book One.

The Brittle Sea is a family saga set in America at the beginning of the 20th century. It will be published in 3 novellas with book one soon to be published. The Brittle Sea covers a period from the Titanic disaster to the Great Depression.
The Brittle Sea will form the basis for two more novels in the full series. The next two will be The Brittle Land and this will be followed by The Brittle Sky.
The Brittle Land takes members of the two warring families on a journey to escape the Great Depression.
The Brittle Sky begins with the outbreak of World War II.

Tom Kane (c) 2019
Cyprus

 

image from the book The Brittle Sea

Book Two

Darkness

She woke with a start and gulped for air. She lay on her back, her mind a blank. Tears welled in her eyes as she opened them to an ebony darkness. Panic plucked at her heart and suddenly attacked her mind. Her hands gripped convulsively, coarse wood scratched her fingers. She had no thoughts, only raw fear.

Branches scraped against a window pane and suddenly she realised she didn’t know where she was. The last thing she remembered was a ship, the cold, the ice, the brittle sea. Then the thought slipped away into the darkest recesses of her mind, to sit there, elusive, waiting to tantalise her waking moments with unknown and unremembered images and thoughts.

She lay on a rough pallet in an empty room in a home, her home? Her mother’s… Her mother, she remembered a face and then it too withdrew, back into the darkness. Pain and misery engulfed her, she feared she was alone, abandoned by somebody, not knowing who she was or where she was. She moved her legs and realised she was shackled at her ankles, unable to free herself from the pallet. Was she a prisoner, is this a jail?

She woke with another start and felt nothing but exhaustion. She must have fallen asleep while she vainly pulled her shackled ankles back and forth in a weak attempt to free herself. She gave up and realised it was still dark. There was no sense of time., she had no sense of time, didn’t even know what time of day it was let alone what the actual day was. She tried to raise her weak body up on one elbow but fell back as pain shot through her body. It was then she remembered being pregnant and her hands shot down to feel her stomach. ‘My baby!’ she cried weakly. Her baby was gone, she knew it was gone, just as she knew she had been pregnant. But that was all that reality would allow her to know, that she had been pregnant… but was pregnant no more. “Richard,” she said with a sob and then wondered who Richard was. All was confusion, images, were there, faces suddenly appeared and then disappeared and then her mind was a blank.

Her long hair was slicked with sweat. She pulled the curtain of wet hair from her face. A sudden noise made her eyes dart toward the window. Tree branches thrashed against the dark window pane. Then a small shaft of light as a creaking door opened, a tiny crack of flickering lamplight. The opening grew bigger and then the light was stifled by a small figure. Someone was stood… in a doorway!

“Good,” an old woman’s voice said, “you are awake.”

“Da,” she said weakly and then the light was gone as a creaking door was shut and at the same time her mind closed and she fell back into a delirium.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

When published as an eBook and paperback at the end of the spring of 2019, this book will be the first in a trilogy: The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land and The Brittle Sky.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Read a free sample of my WW2 action/adventure novel Operation Werwolf – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

image from the book The Brittle Sea

Lost at Sea

Long distance communications became a reality in the early 19th century with the invention of the Telegraph. It worked by transmitting electrical signals over a wire laid between stations and nowhere were the benefits more evident than in the vast developing country of the United States of America. It was in July 1866 that the first transatlantic telegraph cable was successfully completed, allowing communication between America and Europe.

Ship to ship communication on the other hand relied on semaphore signalling. It worked only when two ships were in sight of each other. The other drawback was the lack of communication between ships and the shore, particularly with a ship’s home port. Ships at sea were prone to accidental damage and the loss of ships was not unheard of. Accidents at sea are common, with over 160 registered in January 1820 alone. Without long range communications ship owners were very much in the dark once their vessels set sail.

It was the British Royal Navy that pioneered beyond the horizon communication and by the late 19th century they began working with radio pioneers such as Heinrich Hertz on electromagnetic radiation and Guglielmo Marconi to use radio waves as a method of ship to ship and ship to shore communication. It wasn’t long before Morse code proved itself to be an effective means of communication at sea, using radio waves to carry the message. Not only did the world’s navies benefit but trade and travel between countries also benefitted. For the first time, ship owners could keep in close contact with their ships.

Of course, none of this was of use, let alone interest, to Gordon Bellagon who lost contact with The Lady Jane when his ship’s radio communications were destroyed off the coast of Africa. A sudden communications loss meant either his ship was lost at sea or his operator and or equipment no longer functioned. Either way, Bellagon was powerless to do anything and could only rely on the good nature of other ship owners who had ships in the area. However, Gordon Bellagon was not on good terms with many, if any, ship owners in New York. Requests for information were made and ignored in many cases. It was therefore something of a surprise to Bellagon when a telephone call was made to his office by a senior manager at a British shipping line. The call was short, urgent and devastating. The Lady Jane had been spotted by a British ship as it fled the rebellion in Lüderitz. The British ship escaped but The Lady Jane was seen taking shell-fire from the shore. Smoke had been seen coming from Bellagon’s ship before the British ship had lost sight as it passed over the horizon. Radio communication directed to The Lady Jane had failed to receive an answer. It was considered too dangerous to go back and try to help by the British captain as he had paying passengers to consider.

Bellagon was beside himself with anger and flew into a rage, railing at the stupidity of his own captain getting into such a situation. Bellagon’s thoughts were for the loss of his ship and a disruption to his burgeoning trading empire. Not a thought of sympathy or concern entered his mind for the crew of his ship.

In a similar, but opposing vein, Richard Blackmore thought nothing of his ship or his own life, only that of his men as his ship began to take on water. The last shell from the shore had hit his ship on the waterline and she was now taking on water. The shell had also caused an explosion inside the vessel that ruptured up and outward between where Blackmore and his first officer had been standing. Someone had called out that his ship was sinking, and the list she was developing was self-evident of a badly damaged vessel. But Blackmore’s thoughts were for the loss or injury to his men and to that end he had to take command of the situation.

Staggering to his feet, his head pounding, and left arm numb from there he had hit the rails, Blackmore stood and surveyed the damage. The list was so bad and worsening every minute that Blackmore realised he had no hope of saving his ship.

“Abandon ship!” His voice sounded strong and clear across the ship’s superstructure and everyone in shouting distance turned toward him. Then, with barely a moment of hesitation Blackmore’s crew went about their business of saving as many lives as possible.

Through the choking smoke Blackmore saw an inert body, lying on his back. Blackmore ran over to David James and made a quick examination. He was breathing but blood was coming from James’ side where a large chunk of metal had entered his officer’s side. The dark material of his uniform blackened darker by James’ own blood. Blackmore looked about but his crew were busy leaving the ship as best they could. It was up to Blackmore to save his first officer. As he stooped lower to take James’ lapels, hauling him up ready to pull the body over his shoulder, Blackmore once again heard a shell whistling down towards his stricken ship. Blackmore quickly hauled James onto his shoulder and as he did, his last thought before the shell hit his ship was how odd it was, he never noticed any noise from the field gun as it fired, only the whistling sound as it neared its target.

For the second time that day, Blackmore was engulfed in darkness as the explosive shock from the shell blew him and his first officer over the side and into the sea.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

Please use the menu system below to read further chapters in The Brittle Sea saga

Chapters

MARCH 15, 1931

APRIL 15, 1912

DISASTER

DEBRIS

THE LOSS

MAGGIE

MISSING

NEW YORK

GORDON BELLAGON

THE TWO MINDS OF MAGGIE

A PARTING OF THE WAYS

VENEZUELA

THE DAYS GROW LONGER

CROSSING THE LINE

MAGGIE’S FALL

STORM WARNING

HARKER’S SEARCH

A BOX OF TRICKS

REBELLION

BALLANTINE LEARNS THE TRUTH

This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

When published as an eBook and paperback at the end of the spring of 2019, this book will be the first in a trilogy: The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land and The Brittle Sky.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Read a free sample of my WW2 action/adventure novel Operation Werwolf – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

image from the book The Brittle Sea

Kidnap

Matthew Ballantine, as always, believed he oversaw his own destiny, he felt his fate in life was not a pre-determined thing, but something he forged for himself. As always, he was wrong on that score and fate had a different outcome awaiting Matthew Ballantine III to that which he envisaged. It’s a famous saying, ‘ignorance is bliss’ and unwittingly Ballantine made his plans, blissfully unaware his enabler, William Harker, was also making plans behind his employer’s back.

Maggie, though she didn’t know it, was a hostage. A hostage to one man’s whim and in the most literal sense she was soon to be the hostage of William Harker. Harker had watched and waited outside the residence of Mary James, patiently as always, until Mary James had gone out to one of her social meetings, a women’s suffrage meeting. He knew from weeks of surveillance on the James’ house that the suffrage meeting she was attending would keep Mrs. James away from her home for a good three hours. There was only a maid to stand in Harker’s way and she would be taking an hour off for shopping, where she would also meet her boyfriend. Maggie was at Harker’s mercy.

The main entrance to the James residence was too open to the public, Harker preferred to work in the shadows. It was a little after eleven in the morning when Harker made his move. He had a carriage waiting with a trusted accomplice he had worked with before. He had a small towel and bottle of chloroform at the ready. The rear of the house was accessible via a narrow alleyway that ran between the houses. It was a simple matter to pick the lock to the back door. Harker knew the downstairs layout from his previous sojourn in the James’ home and he headed for the kitchen area, as silently as he could. He hoped Maggie would be having a cup of tea in the kitchen, and he was rewarded with the sight of her sat at the kitchen table, the door to the hallway being slightly ajar. He was in luck as Maggie had her back to the door and he slowly crept in, towel now soaked in pungent chloroform, ready to press over her mouth and nose. He was quick, but not quick enough. Maggie heard a gentle creak of the floorboards and turned just as Harker was about to strike. Harker quelled her scream with the towel and grabbed her round the neck at the same time. Maggie’s flailing arms caught Harker on the side of his head, and he lost his grip. Maggie pushed away from him and stumbled against the kitchen table, knocking her tea to the floor.

“Who are you?” Maggie screamed, but the sound was cut off as she grasped her throat, coughed once and fell backwards. The chloroform had done its work, but as Maggie fell, heavily, she hit her head on the side of the solid wooden kitchen table.

Harker hated it when a plan went awry but knew there was no time to lose. Her took Maggie’s arms, pulled her up and dragged her backwards out of the kitchen, down the hall and to the front door. He opened the door and whistled once. The carriage across the road immediately crossed the road and the driver stopped the carriage, climbed down quickly and secured the two black horses. He then raced to the front door looking about him all the while. Harker pulled Maggie’s inert body to the door and his accomplice took her legs. The two men were in luck, the street was deserted. Maggie was soon secure inside the cab with Harker holding her upright. The accomplice was geeing up the two horses just as the maid came around the corner. With a crack of a whip over the horse’s heads, the carriage raced down the road and was gone from sight as the maid reached the alleyway.

The maid’s gaze took in the James’ front door, three doors down from the alleyway and she walked slowly to the steps leading up to the front door, noticing with a puzzled frown that the door was wide open. The young girl entered tentatively and searched for any signs of forced entry. It was another few minutes before she realised Maggie was no longer in the house. More time was lost before she connected the open front door to the disappearance of Maggie. Precious more time was also lost as the maid was undecided about using the James’ newly installed telephone. When she eventually made the telephone phone call to the police the desk sergeant spoke to was sceptical, but an officer was despatched to be on the safe side.

Several hours passed before Mary James arrived home to find the police were searching for Maggie. By this time, Harker and the abducted Maggie were in a safe house twenty-miles away. But Harker could not wake Maggie and he feared that the blow to her head had done some damage to Maggie’s brain, and that she could even be at death’s door.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

Please use the menu system below to read further chapters in The Brittle Sea saga

Chapters

MARCH 15, 1931

APRIL 15, 1912

DISASTER

DEBRIS

THE LOSS

MAGGIE

MISSING

NEW YORK

GORDON BELLAGON

THE TWO MINDS OF MAGGIE

A PARTING OF THE WAYS

VENEZUELA

THE DAYS GROW LONGER

CROSSING THE LINE

MAGGIE’S FALL

STORM WARNING

HARKER’S SEARCH

A BOX OF TRICKS

REBELLION

BALLANTINE LEARNS THE TRUTH

This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

When published as an eBook and paperback at the end of the spring of 2019, this book will be the first in a trilogy: The Brittle Sea, The Brittle Land and The Brittle Sky.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Read a free sample of my WW2 action/adventure novel Operation Werwolf – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

image of a dog escaping a cage

Every once in a while, plans we make don’t quite come to fruition and our planned day goes out the window to be replaced from something more akin to the synopsis for a madcap movie. Saturday was one such day.

In December last year we moved home, from the place we rented from my step-daughter to the house next door. My step-daughter was changing jobs and needed to move back into her house. As luck would have it the property next door became available so we moved.

We have two dogs, Harvey & Holly, better known as the ‘H’ Team.

image of Holly and Harvey

My step daughter has four dogs, which came about more by circumstance than design, the dogs seemed to adopt them rather than the other way round. Our ‘H’ Team are crazy springers, but the new gang next door are exactly that, a gang, the Gang of Four. It’s not that they’re noisy or go round the neighborhood beating up other dogs, it’s just that they do everything together. Including escaping.

In similar fashion to the World War 2 Great Escape, these four have escaped on numerous occasions in their previous homes, despite lots of high fencing round the property. It’s been hard to determine exactly how they have managed to escape on some occasions.

Well, they have kept up the trend in their new home having escaped on Saturday, but this time in an obvious move. The back door had been left open in error and the Great Escapees went outside, saw their way to freedom was blocked by two side gates and simply battered one of the gates down. Once onto the front of the property they faced high wrought iron fencing and two sets of  wrought iron gates. It was at this point I, my wife and our grand-daughter came home from the shops. As I stopped the car I saw the biggest dog poke her head through their driveway gate… followed by another, then another and finally the last one shoved her head through. Then all four pushed and they were out and off down the street straight into the surrounding countryside.

What followed was a classic Benny Hill chase scene with my wife going to fetch our dog’s leads and myself and my grand-daughter chasing the dogs.

Two escapees I caught pretty quickly, my grand-daughter leading them back one at a time, until only two remained at large. One was a large dog of Cypriot hunting dog stock and the other was an indeterminate small dog with possible terrier in him. With no leads I had to hold their collars and walk with them, but making sure I didn’t throttle the smallest dog. So I doubled over and walked like a parody of Groucho Marx!

image Groucho Marx

Boy was it difficult, especially as I had to do this for a few hundred yards until my grand-daughter came back with the leads. Took me a good five minutes to straighten up again afterwards.

In hindsight it was all very funny… until Monday came around and the same thing happened. This time only one made it to freedom and she was caught in the fields easily. She had given up, lain down and had a nap!

She had managed to jump on the pool pump housing at the back of the property, and then jumped and scrambled over a fence that was a metre high. Then she was off and away. But the two smallest dogs had managed to get into the front garden, but with no obvious way of doing so.

With fencing now a record three metres high, the pool pump lid permanently up so that can’t be used as a stepping stone, and no evidence of tunneling, we’re just waiting for the next Great Escape bid to see how inventive these escape artists are.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

Living in Cyprus: 2018  is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

Download my FREE books on iPhone
Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

belongings stolen from auschwitz-birkenau

image from the Nazi death camp in auschwitz birkenau

Today is my 64th birthday and it’s also a day of remembrance. Today we remember the murder of an estimated 6 million people at the hands of racist extremists. Today is International Remembrance Holocaust Day.

This day has a somewhat special connection for me as well. My father, J.G. Sowler, was a sergeant in the British army and fought in World War 2 as a tank commander. As the war came to an end my father was seconded to a special operations unit in Austria. This unit’s job was to hunt down top ranking Nazis. One such detainee was a man described by historian Michael Allen as “the vilest individual in the vilest organization ever known.” His name was Odilo Globočnik and it is he who is thought to have be been the originator of the idea for the creation of extermination camps to be used to murder millions on an industrial scale.

image of Odilo Globočnik

Odilo Globočnik

During World War 2 the Nazi regime in Germany and throughout occupied Europe was responsible for the systematic murder of the Jewish people by whatever means possible. Initially their victims were killed by shooting. Globočnik was an associate of Adolf Eichmann and he had a leading role in Operation Reinhard, which saw the murder of mostly Polish Jews during the Holocaust.

But it was at Globočnik’s suggestion to Himmler that the industialised extermination of human beings was first proposed. In September 1941 Globočnik was visited by Phillip Bouhler and Victor Brack, top officials responsible for the Action T4 “euthanasia” program, which used gas chambers disguised as shower rooms to execute many of its victims. In October 1941 Globočnik wrote a memo to Himmler in which he outlined proposals for action “of a security policy nature” against the Jews. At a two-hour meeting with Himmler on 13 October 1941, Globočnik received verbal approval to start construction work on the Belzec extermination camp.

What happened at the end of the war when men and women such as Globočnik were rounded up for the trials in Nuremberg is not so well known. In Gobocnik’s case he was captured in Austria and my father was the Provost Sergeant in the unit that apprehended him and his group, high up in the mountains. It was here that he was to meet his fate at his own hands.

My father spoke often about what he did in the war, but he rarely spoke about this particular incident. It wasn’t long after  Globočnik ‘s capture that my father was shot in the arm by a Nazi sniper and was repatriated to England.

Tom Kane © 2019

 

image of Kalamies Beach

For holidays in Cyprus I admit it, I’m biased, because I live in Cyprus. But that also means I know some of the best places to stay.

Taking a holiday in Cyprus has to be one of the best experiences anyone will ever have. The Cypriots are friendly, the food is great, there’s an abundance of Blue Flag beaches and it’s a safe destination for families and individuals alike. The hotels, apartments and villas are all usually good quality these days. I’ve stayed in small apart-hotels with little or no facilities to grand five-star hotels with a price tag to make yours eyes water. Whether you want a champagne breakfast or simply olives, halloumi and fruit, Cyprus caters for a wide range of tastes and pockets, but you do get what you pay for.

Ten years ago holidaymakers in Cyprus were welcomed, but not exactly catered for. These days there has been a sea-change and holidaymakers are most definitely catered for more and more. From the construction and revamping of modern hotels to something as simple as a great blue flag beaches with ample facilities for holidaymakers, Cyprus has upped its game, big-time.

This year I’m taken more time off to spend short breaks locally. The farthest I’m going to go is Jordan for a few days, and yes that is local to me as is Israel and Egypt. But Cyprus is going to be my main destination. Admittedly it’s easy for me as I’m close to all the best beaches. But even if you live in Glasgow, your flight here is only about five hours and when you get here, package holidaymakers are well catered for with coach transfers. Even a taxi from Larnaca airport to Protaras or Paphos airport to Pissouri Bay is pretty quick, easy and not going to cost a fortune.

My preferred destination is Protaras and this year I’m staying at the MyroAndrou Hotel Apartments on Kalamies Beach for four nights in May.

image MyroAndrou Hotel Apartments

MyroAndrou Hotel Apartments

These apartments are very popular and it’s taken a few years to manage to get a booking. The reason I’ve chosen here is that the apartments are right on the Kalamies beach and right next door to my favourite restaurant on that beach, the Kalamies Beach Restaurant.

image Kalamies Beach Restaurant

Kalamies Beach Restaurant

For a beach holiday this has to be one of the best beaches on the island. I’ve stayed in many of the hotels here and have never been disappointed with the location, the staff, the food or the facilities. Pernera and Protaras are close by and either have an abundance of places to visit and there are lots of things to see and do, from water sports to jeep safaris, just take your pick.

Perhaps the best place to visit at night is the Protaras strip with it’s tourist attractions, good restaurants and tavernas.

image Protaras Strip

Protaras Strip

All food choices are catered for from local cuisine, to British, Indian, Chinese and even Japanese… though restaurants do tend to come and go, so don’t quote me on that. So, next time you fancy a good holiday with great locations, good hotels, fabulous food and a welcome to make you smile, not to mention wall to wall sunshine, take a look at Cyprus. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

New release Living in Cyprus: 2018. Read about the life and observations of an English expat’s life in Cyprus. Read a free extract here.

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. From snake charming for beginners to flying dogs, in ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

You can also read a free sample of my World War II action adventure novel Operation Werwolf – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Download my FREE Books on Amazon Kindle

Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging  here