Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!

My new romantic spy novel Screaming Angels published!

To celebrate, I will be giving away one, signed copy  of Screaming Angels to my Newsletter readers in a competition on 16 October at 5pm BST. To sign up for the Newsletter before then, click here or go to the menu  at the top of this page.

Screaming Angels paperback at Amazon.

Screaming Angels Kindle.

Screaming Angels paperback at B&N.

Screaming Angels Nook at B&N.

Yulia let the rare intimacy hang in the air. It floated away on the evening’s love.

“The biggest twist was at the end – I really didn’t see that coming” – Eileen Thornton

How the Soviets stole the secret of Rolls Royce’s best jet engine and built the greatest fighter in the world.

Excerpt:
Don, the only member of his Rolls Royce Nene team that called his boss Ed, was a working-class Yorkshireman, Edward, a graduate from Dorking. They were Surrey chalk and Yorkshire cheese, but when Don had yelled “Pass Ed!” during a company football match, Edward let the term of endearment go with a smile and they had been close ever since.
“Right! Let’s tidy away and get testing!”
The seven men tightened every bolt on the jet engine’s outer casing, checked the test stand bolts for tension once more and wiped everything clean. Edward left the test chamber through the partition door and took up station with the rest of the team, behind the control panel. Don checked the last few hose connectors and left the chamber, closing the thick door behind him, but struggled to slide in the heavy draw bolt for a moment, with his back turned. Edward couldn’t see what Don was doing.
“Don’t touch the master door lock!” Edward joked.
“I never would. There! Got it!”
Edward completed the test form, pushing his spectacles up on the bridge of his nose to focus better:

Monday 22 July, 1946
RB.41 Nene MK.3 throttle-up test. Attending: Nene team, headed by Donald Hill. Manager: Edward Torrens.

“Right. Fire her up Don!”
Edward’s affable smile belied the tension in the small control room. The cream, concrete partitions had been designed to muffle the sound of WWII piston engines, not stop exotic alloy jet turbine blades, turning three or four times as fast, from exploding. Only a few weeks previously another of Edward’s Nene engineers had been injured when a fragment penetrated the wall and ripped part of his cheek away. As Don pressed the starter button, Edward wondered why such an alchemist’s brew of wires, alloys and unearthly, screaming power amounted only to the placid sounding ‘Nene’ in the Rolls Royce executives’ minds. Everything went well until Edward yelled into Don’s ear at the top of his voice:
“Full power!”
Edward realised he had actually crossed his fingers, just before he heard a high-pitched, metallic ‘ping.’ He lunged for the red cut-off button and smashed it down with his fist.
Don and the others stared at him with blank expressions, as if trapped in a slow-motion movie clip.
“Duck!” Edward yelled, before dropping to the floor and scrambling under the bench, dragging Don with him.
The turbine’s shriek had dropped in pitch about half an octave in those few seconds, but then the air ripped apart with a giant explosion. The sound or rending metal, mixed with the sound of concrete being ripped apart and debris hitting the walls made them shut their eyes and pray.
Eventually, silence returned, followed a moment later by the blaring of alarms and the sound of rushing feet.
“I didn’t hear owt!” Don said between coughs. “Bloody good job the engine revs dropped a few thousand! Or else I don’t think any of us would be here!”
Covered in white concrete dust and debris, the others scrambled to their feet while Edward looked for his spectacles in the debris. He found the metal frames, but the round lenses were both missing.
“I heard it!” he muttered. “A fan blade breaking loose. One of the advantages of managing four test teams and attending all tests – not that Sanderson approves. You learn what to listen for! I lost my spectacles and I think some of the glass went in my eye. I can’t see!”

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Cover Reveal for new Historical Fiction Release: Screaming Angels

Cover Reveal for Screaming Angels

Screaming Angels cover

Screaming Angels cover

I’m very pleased and proud to announce that my latest book, Screaming Angels, will be published by A-Argus some time in the summer. This story is a historical account of one the strangest deals the British ever did with Soviet Russia, with a romantic twist. If you love romance, this will be right up your street. And if you love aviation tales, especially about Cold War jets, you will also love it.

On a personal note, this book has caused my quite a lot of strife! I already knew about the Rolls Royce Nene engine fiasco, and then I had a strange dream. This became the inspiration for a new book, but the first draft didn’t electrify me, or my beta readers. It seemed to lack emotion, and the plot needed a twist. I sought inspiration in classic romances like Wuthering Heights and Lady Chatterley’s Lover and, six rewrites later, it has a lot of feeling and a great twist! I think I finally got it right. Read on if you want to sample some excerpts!

Continue reading

Rip: Grail of the Secret Sun

Only the Vampire Priests understand the Blood Moon Prophecy: “A drop of His blood fills the cup and brings the Blood Moon Dawn.”

“Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine.

You can buy Rip Volume 1 (2016) for $4.99 on Amazon, or subscribe.

Let me download free chapters and subscribe: http://bit.ly/LazloFerran

Let me buy Rip on Amazon now!

There is a RIP in space and time. Om and Bri are trapped. All humanity; wiped out after seven cycles of destruction, Unless Om and Bri can unite to find the source of the rip.

A curtain of rainbow light shimmers and two people see their lives shift, in this tense, epic thriller. Om and Bri gradually become aware that they have met before – in previous lives. They begin to recall a mission that started with the discovery of Iron in ancient Atlantis. A gravitational rip was triggered by the Ischians, and water became impure, causing the gradual loss of memory and the Cup, a grail to hold the Holy blood of the first tree.

The blind Seer predicts that Earth’s health will never be restored until the Cup, the Holy Grail of legend, has been restored.

It’s their last life, their last chance. Om and Bri must find their way back through the rip to Atlantis, and to the cave where the last Val-yr, vampire priests, wait.

But the Cup needs a Key.

“Tolkien like epic with a touch of sci-fi.”

7 worlds. 7 lives. 7 chances for Om and Bri to save Earth.

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Get 2 eBooks and the December Radio Paperback for $16!

Get 2 eBooks and the December Radio Paperback for $16!

Now in UK too!

December Radio cover

December Radio cover

To celebrate December Radio’s release I have arranged a bargain offer for you! The paperback ( click here to see on Amazon ) is available to order in USA and UK book stores, which is by far the cheapest option.
Click here for my other books at Amazon.

List of book stores stocking December Radio

If you can’t get to a book store, you can still get 2 eBooks free by ordering December Radio paperback online at Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com. Simply email me the receipt!

But if you are near a book store, here’s the deal for 2 eBooks:

1. Call or go into any book store in the USA or Waterstones in the UK and order or buy my book (B&N: $16.19, Waterstones: £15.50). This is the cheapest option but you can order online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and pay delivery costs if you wish!

December Radio by Lazlo Ferran. ISBN-13: 978-1942981473

My other eBooks are priced at up to $9.99 and you can choose any of these formats: pdf, ePub, pdb, lit, html, kindle format. So you can’t lose!

2. And either:

Go to my Facebook page and post a selfie of you with the book there with the title “I bought December Radio” (or on your Instagram or twitter page) and message me.

Or email me a photo of your receipt: lazloferran@gmail.com

Don’t forget to specify which 2 books and formats you want!

Read Chapter One of December Radio in FREE eBook Inchoate: (Short Stories Volume I): on Amazon or Google Play (pdf version only), or start reading the preview at top of the right hand column.

NB. I am sorry but the December Radio eBook is not included in this offer.

That’s it! Have fun.

Continue reading

Nominate: Hottest, coolest WWII Gadgets

The Silverbird Orbital Bomber

The Silverbird Orbital Bomber

Christmas build-up this year is getting far too frenzied for my liking, rabid, venal. I have seen a set of adverts during a programme which show you all the amazing, mega-fatty food you can buy at Christmas and inserted between them is an advert showing you how you can avoid indigestion! Will companies stop at nothing to flog us their wares for Christmas? Oh well, at least it’s still magical for kids.

For us oldies, let’s take a break from it. I know War is not to be glorified and I don’t, but it’s still interesting to remember some of the ingenious devices invented during the conflict, some of which we are still benefiting from now, in peacetime. Also, I have a new book, December Radio out in the New Year so I wanted to get the theme of WWII up and running before the Christmas Turkey gobbles up all other thoughts. And while we are voting, let’s remember that in December 1944, most allied soldiers still hoped the war would be over before Christmas. Let’s remember how they suffered in freezing conditions to give us the freedom to celebrate Christmas as we pleased (but not by spending more than we could afford and getting stressed about it!)

Here are my top 10 devices (in no particular order). Please comment (or tweet me @Lazlo_F or FB me at facebook.com/lazloferran) to add your own nominations before Thursday 10 December. I will add them and then we vote!

  • Die Glocke – German project to build an anti-gravity craft in the shape of a bell
  • Krummlauf – an insane German device for shooting round corners
  • British Churchill Tank – that could lay a bridge within minutes
  • Silverbird – an orbital bomber, precursor to the Space Shuttle and able to ‘skip’ along the Earth’s atmosphere (in theory) to New York and on to Tokyo. Read more about it in December Radio
  • The Bouncing Bomb – Designed by Barnes Wallis to be used by 617 Squadron to successfully attack the Rhein dams
  • The Horten flying Wing – only one remains – locked away in an American hangar
  • Focke-Wulf Triebflügel – A Vertical Take off and Landing aircraft. Despite what this article says, I have seen grainy photos of one finished and which I believe flew twice, killing its pilot.
  • Fritz X – the first guided missile (by radio), designed in Germany
  • The TDR-1 Assault Drone – this amazing USA device was not only a guided bomb but it could also be carried by a gliding drone, as in this grainy photograph. More info half way down the page here: http://www.tfcbooks.com/special/missiles.htm Its bigger brother used a B-17 or B-24 bomber guided using television
  • The Nazi Nuclear Bomb – that might have worked. It used an ingenious method to create fission according to this source (unverified). Read more about it in December Radio

December Radio cover

December Radio cover

And if you are wondering what December Radio will look like, here is a preview of the cover.

Review: The Blue Max

The Blue Max - 1966

The Blue Max – 1966

The 1966 movie, The Blue Max, stands out in my mind as the only movie I can think of without a hero.

I watched The Blue Max last week (okay I admit it, I have it on DVD). I am a huge fan of aviation films and this one is all about a German Air Force pilot in World War I. Skip the bits about aircraft if that is not your thing but that’s not the main point of this review.

Briefly, Bruno Stachel is an infantry corporal in the trenches. From a working class background, he nevertheless longs for the noble arena if death in the skies and enlists for the German Air Force. He proves a talented pilot but his new squadron of officers, enlisted from the ruling classes, do not accept his ambitious ruthlessness. They have a strict code of conduct, which he breaks in many ways, including bedding the top scoring Willi’s aunt and lover, the Countess Kaeti. Willi’s nobility, until now, has extended to taking Stachel under his wing but now the gloves are off and the two duel for supremacy in the skies and in bed.

Kaeti is herself ambitious and enjoys the titillation of bedding pilots whose lives are on the line. Her husband, the taciturn General Count von Klugermann, beautifully underplayed by James Mason, encourages her liaisons and appears to use her to control his aces. However, Kaeti overreaches herself with dire consequences.

Kaeti is played beautifully by Ursula Andress. If ever proof were needed that she really could act, and act superbly, this film is it. I have rarely seen a film in which you see a woman reaching adulthood in a single moment as poignantly as you do with Andress in the final scene.

Mason is of course excellent throughout, as is Jeremy Kemp as Willi, but its George Peppard’s part I want to focus on. Peppard is naturally morose and always has a sour look on his face so he must have been the natural choice for Stachel, whose ambition quickly becomes cruel in the face of the prejudice surrounding him. Peppard turns in a fine performance and thoroughly deserved his nomination for a Golden Laurel award. But it’s the director’s handling of the character that is astonishing, and in some ways perplexing.

I cannot think of another leading character in a movie that is less likable than Stachel. He is not even badass enough or gritty enough to be an anti-hero. He is over-ambitious, a liar and cheat, a traitor to just about anybody who gets close to him, probably ashamed of his parents although he denies it (probably another lie) and ultimately proved to be a fool by Kaeti. Indeed, it is she that claims she likes his ‘innocence’ but if she does, it can only be a foolishly ambitious innocence. Her naivety is found out at the end of the film but its not Stachel but von Klugermann who reveals it.

Apart from being a good pilot, Stachel has no redeeming features. Stachel’s good looks mean that bedding the gorgeous Kaeti is no achievement. How on earth then does the film hold together? It certainly does and its a masterpiece of tight direction and high tension action. Perhaps, because it was made at the height of the anti-war movement in America, the director simply wanted to make a heavily disguised anti-war film. He certainly succeeded there. All the main characters suffer terribly. But this still doesn’t explain how a ‘no hero’ film holds together so well. I tried to decided who is the hero in this film and there really isn’t one. You just have to watch it yourself and let me know what you think.

WW2 Book Trailer: How much gasoline to reach Berlin in 1943?

I see that BP (British Petroleum) stocks are up in the UK and USA so maybe now is a good time to invest in petrochemicals.

Fuel has always been expensive, and more importantly during wartime, heavy. In September 1943, when the heroes of Attack Hitler’s Bunker! were trying a precision bombing attack on Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin, that latest Hawker Hurricane, the MKII, required all of its 97 gallons of high-octane fuel, 34.5 gallons each in wing tanks and 28 in a small tank ahead of the cockpit, to achieve a range of 600 miles. It could carry 2 x 500 lb canisters or bombs but would barely be able to reach Berlin from Norfolk, let alone carry out the attack and return.

Drop tanks were not yet available for Allied aircraft and in fact even the German Luftwaffe had limited use for them. Not until October, did the first P-47 Thunderbolts arrive in the European Theatre of War, equipped with drop tanks. But P-47s were to big to negotiate the streets of Berlin in the sort of precision attack required to hit the Bunker and the attack had to be made in September.

What could the answer be?

Richard Earlgood comes up with an almost unique solution; piggy-backing the Hurricane fighters on 4-engine Short Stirling bombers. I say ‘almost’ unique because Short had achieve the same thing before the War with the Mayo Flying Boat. In this way, the Hurricanes could, in theory, reach Veluwemeer in Holland, a large body of water, which had a strong resistance presence, from Berlin.

The Stirling could carry roughly the weight of a Hurricane in bombs and, suitably modified, carry a Hurricane on a framework above its fuselage. For the Hurricane, this arrangement would not be unique either. The Hurricat had been a short-lived version of the fighter modified to be launched by catapult from cargo ships in order to defend them against U-boats.

This all looks great on paper to the Air Ministry but, in practice, the fully-loaded fighters prove too heavy for the bombers to take off and the Hurricanes cannot manoeuvre or make the distance with the fully loaded canisters.

So what was the answer?

You will have to read Attack Hitler’s Bunker! to find out!

Here is the Book Trailer Video. I hope you like it! Please let me have your feedback.