When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes One Page At A Time by Emma Mitchell (Editor) and Authors Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Louise Jensen, Alex Kane, Robert Scragg, Lucy Cameron, Mark Brownless #blog #Christmas @emmamitchellfpr

It is my absolute honour and pleasure to blog about this amazing book. Brought to us by freelance editor Emma Mitchell – and a whole host of fabulous authors – When Stars Will Shine is a must read at any time of year. Authentic detail and heart stopping narrative grips you from the outset, bringing stories from a host of bestselling authors at the top of their genres. A book for everyone and a solid five star read!

Amazon reviewers are quoted as saying:

The writing standard is superb and all the different styles and ‘ways’ seem to fit perfectly and flow even though all are different. Book Mark (Top 500 Reviewer)

Would I recommend this read? You bet your Christmas baubles I would! When Stars Will Shine is an anthology packed with twists, emotions and compelling tales to keep readers turning the pages – all the chills and Christmassy thrills to hook you in! Highly recommended!’  Noelle@Crimebookjunkie

What a truly AMAZING collection of stories. Welcome to When Stars Will Shine! 

Book Description

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist. 

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time. 

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!


When Stars Will Shine

Links:  US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 346 pages

Publication Date: December 9, 2019

Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC

Contributing Authors:

(Story descriptions taken from author Kerry Parson’s Amazon Review)

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Heart-wrenching and heart-warming.

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
A very clever tale of revenge.

A Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Actually gave me goosebumps!

Believe by Mark Brownless
Creepy! I did not see that coming.

What Can Possibly Go Wrong? By Lucy Cameron
Quite amusing!

Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
Gave me goosebumps!

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A chilling mystery with a touch of romance.

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Heart-warming. Sometimes the kindest people are those who don’t have much themselves.

Free Time by Stewart Giles
Hard hitting. A split-second decision with devastating consequences.

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
A very powerful and emotional story, beautifully written.

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jenson
Made my blood run cold!

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp
So sad, but full of hope.

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Heart-warming and heart-breaking.

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Spine tingling!

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Captivating and thought provoking with a heart-breaking conclusion.

Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
So, so sad. I can’t imagine feeling so helpless, but there is always something, or someone, worth living for.

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Just beautiful!

Time for a Barbecue by Carmen Radtke
Oooo, creepy!

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees

Inside Out by KA Richardson
So sad to think how much some people suffer from past traumas. This story is full of hope for a brighter future though and proof that just one person can make all the difference.

Penance by Jane Risdon
Oh my! Not what I was expecting at all. Very cleverly written,

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Another thought provoking tale and an important message to us all.

Family Time by Graham Smith
A tale of sacrifice and truly being the bigger person. Beautifully written!

What people are saying:

‘WOW! When Stars Will Shine is an anthology packed with twists, emotions and chilling tales to keep readers turning the pages – all the chills and Christmassy thrills to hook you in! Highly recommended!’ Noelle Holten, author of the DC Maggie Jamieson series.

‘I intended to only pick out a few of the stories to read, but once I picked it up I read one, and then another, and then another……and before I knew it I had read the whole book!’ Lorraine Rugman, The Book Review Cafe

‘When Stars Will Shine is a wonderful collection of short stories that are very readable. I have to be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy them as I’m more a romance reader but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each one I’ve read and I’m looking forward to continuing with the rest.’ Adele Blair, Kraftireader

‘If you are looking for a great collection of stories that will not only shock, cheer, chill and entertain, but give you that warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve helped a really worthy cause, this is the book for you.’ Jen Lucas, Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman was a really touching story especially when you realise that it is actually about members of his family. It’s not always easy to convey everything you want to in a short story but this one was very well written and effective.’ Mandie Griffiths, Jen Med’s Book Reviews

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

Photograph Provided by Telegraph & Argus – See article here

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas-themed short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

There isn’t a person in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Where to buy the book

When Stars Will Shine is available to in digital and paperback formats and on Kindle Unlimited.

For more information, please contact Emma Mitchell: emmamitchellfpr@gmail.com



A Warm Welcome to Author Kathryn Gauci

Kathryn smaller image (2)I am delighted to welcome author Kathryn Gauci to my blog today.

Kathryn Gauci was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later at Kidderminster College of Art and Design where she specialised in carpet design and technology. After graduating, Kathryn spent a year in Vienna, Austria before moving to Greece where she worked as a carpet designer in Athens for six years. There followed another brief period in New Zealand before eventually settling in Melbourne, Australia.

Before turning to writing full-time, Kathryn ran her own textile design studio in Melbourne for over fifteen years, work which she enjoyed tremendously as it allowed her the luxury of travelling worldwide, often taking her off the beaten track and exploring other cultures. The Embroiderer is her first novel; a culmination of those wonderful years of design and travel, and especially of those glorious years in her youth living and working in Greece – a place that she is proud to call her spiritual home.

Kathryn is here to tell us about a scene from The Embroiderer which is set against the mosques and minarets of Asia Minor and the ruins of ancient Athens. A gripping saga of love and loss, hope and despair, and of the extraordinary courage of women in the face of adversity.

My favourite scene in The Embroiderer and why.

9781781322963-Perfect.inddA hard choice as The Embroiderer spans 150 years and I have several favourites, especially the prologue and Dimitra’s memoirs which throw light on the family’s early life.

The story is written in four parts and in the end I have chosen the last scene in Part II – a pivotal point in the book. The year is 1922 and the Greek troops have occupied the Smyrna region for three years. The main protagonist, Sophia Laskaris, has left Constantinople for her home town of Smyrna (modern day Izmir). For reasons I cannot divulge, her highly successful life as a couturier has come crashing down and she is forced to re-open her couture house, LA MAISON DU L’ORIENT, in the Rue Franque – Smyrna’s equivalent of Bond St or Fifth Avenue.

Unfortunately, not only for Sophia and her family, but for the entire population of Smyrna, they underestimated the strength and determination of Mustafa Kemal’s Nationalists. In late August 1922, the remnants of the Greek army return from Anatolia and evacuate back to Greece leaving in their wake, thousands of desperate Christian refugees who pour into the city.

Smyrna before 1922 showing the Hotel Kramer (2)

Smyrna before 1922 showing the Hotel Kramer

During the first week of September, Kemal’s Nationalists enter the city determined to take their revenge on the Christian population. Despite calls for calm, atrocities start to take place immediately. When the Greek archbishop is reprimanded and then set upon by Turks who torture and kill him, many believe all is lost, yet others believe that because of the presence of foreign warships in the Bay of Smyrna, and the many foreign nationals living in Smyrna, the Allies will not stand by and see a massacre.


Rue Franque (2)

Rue Franque

During the second week of September, a fire breaks out in the Armenian quarter of the city which was later proven to have been deliberately lit by the Turks. The fire takes hold and the wind changes direction. The fire, now burning out of control, spreads towards the harbour where there are thousands of helpless refugees. All those hiding in hospitals, schools and churches are either burnt alive or forced out into the arms of the Turks who slaughter them.


Most of the remaining westerners are evacuated leaving the Greeks at the mercy of the Turks. From the safety of the ships, the Allies are forced to watch on as they have strict orders not to antagonize the Turks. Sophia flees to the harbour with several of her family. All the buildings are now on fire, thousands are either crushed to death, burnt by falling embers or fall into the sea which has become a quagmire of floating bodies and debris. Fearing an international backlash, the Allies now send out boats to rescue some of the survivors.

Refugees congregate on the seafront  Smyrna 1922 (2)

Refugees congregate on the seafront. Smyrna

This is the culmination of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. Thousands are killed and except for the Turkish quarter, the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Smyrna lies in ruins. Two thousand years of Greek settlement in the city and the Aegean and Anatolian region comes to an end. Sophia survives but most of her family and friends do not. She leaves for Athens and will never set foot on Greek soil again. This chapter is one of the most harrowing scenes in the book.


Why not visit Kathryn at her blog: http://www.kathryngauci.com/blog/

 Kathryn blog Blog – Kathryn Gauci


Author interview with John Manuel Over the next few months, A Literary World is taking a new angle and looking at writers whose novels are set in Greece.

Buy The Embroiderer

The EmbroidererThe Embroiderer is a beautifully written novel spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, set against the backdrop of the Greek War of Independence. It was published on 5th November 2014 and is available to buy in paperback and as an ebook.

You can order from all good bookshops and online retailers.

Purchase directly from the publisher here: www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk

Published by SilverWood Books Ltd.

Cornucopia is the award-winning magazine for connoisseurs of Turkey. The Embroiderer can also now be purchased from the Cornucopia web site.

CornucopiaCornucopia: Turkey for Connoisseurs


Find Kathryn Gauci here on Facebook


Kathryn Gauci | Facebook