Tag Archives: writer

An absolutely amazing story that needs to be read

I would like to thank Jodie at Whispering Stories for her lovely review of Heronfield. As an author it means a great deal to me to know that my work has touched someone in this way. Here’s what Jodie said:

Set in Europe during the Second World War, Heronfield takes us on a six year journey of war, friendship, love, sadness, and hope. We meet many different characters, a few of whom are taken right into our heart.

I became strongly attached to one of the main characters, Tony. A young man hardly in his twenties, he is secretly recruited as a British agent in the efforts to foil Hitler’s war. I found myself feeling sorry for him when certain members of his family turned against him for shirking his duties when in fact, unbeknown to them, he was doing the exact opposite, but was duty bound not to tell them.

I felt the turmoil and heartache he was going through. He showed a tremendous amount of strength and courage throughout the story – all borne by his passion to defeat Hitler, to prove to his father that he was indeed fighting in the war, and most of all, the driving force to keep going – his love for a woman.

Another character I enjoyed reading about was Sarah, a volunteer nurse. She gets stationed at Heronfield, a family home turned war hospital. She has plenty of heartache along the way but it makes her stronger over the years. As the story progresses and I found myself rooting for her all the way.

Some characters are constant, and others are fleeting, but memorable all the same. We come across a German soldier who makes us realise that they are not just the enemy. They are human too.

The German soldier does a selfless and heartfelt deed. We meet him again later on in the story and he has the opportunity to end a life. Instead he chooses to back down and explains that he doesn’t agree with Hitler, but if he doesn’t fight under the regime then he’s as good as dead anyway. It’s a touching scene and puts a different spin on the people behind the enemy faces.

The story grabbed me from the opening pages, with the graphic descriptions of the attacks on innocent civilians by the Germans. It’s harrowing but draws you right in, and you get a real sense of what actually went on during the war.

I liked the mini segments that gave real life time lines of what was happening during the war in various locations. It gave a sense of where the story would head next, and the progress of the war. They were superbly detailed without being boring.

The author has expertly carried out her research. The environment descriptions, the horrors of war, the abhorrent conditions of concentration camps, torture methods meted out, and many more besides are so wonderfully detailed that I found myself there. I winced at the persecution of innocents, gasped and grimaced at the torture methods bestowed on one of the characters, and I shed quite a few tears along the way.

My heart was in my mouth many times and the raw emotion grabbed at me and didn’t let go, even after finishing the book. I’ve never read a story that’s taken me by the soul and stayed with me quite the way Heronfield has done, and that’s a really good and beautiful thing – and a sure sign of a brilliantly well-written story.

Sadly I can only give this book five stars. I wish I could give it more but five is the maximum! An absolutely amazing story that needs to be read.

If Jodie’s review has intrigued you why not read Heronfield yourself and see if you agree?

If you have already read Heronfield, then have you thought of leaving a review? I love to hear what my readers think.

Free book

One NIght In BerlinI am currently working on the first of a series of books about a war correspondent.

‘One Night In Berlin’ introduces Jenny McLeod and explains a little of how and why she became a correspondent. This novella is not for sale, but free exclusively to anyone who signs up for my newsletter.

To get your free copy, please click here.

 

A new book is on the way!

I am currently enjoying researching for a series of novels about the experiences of a war correspondent during the Second World War. As an introduction to some of the main characters I have written a novella. Set in Berlin on the night of 9th November 1938, Kristallnacht, ‘One Night In Berlin’ has recently been proofread by the excellent Maxine Linnell. I am now working on a cover for the book and hope to have it with you very soon.

Please check in here again over the next few weeks to find out how you can get your free copy of ‘One Night In Berlin’.

Readers’ Favorite reviews Heronfield

I was very pleased to receive a 5 star review fro Readers’ Favorite; after all, it’s my readers who are most important to me!

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

Heronfield by Dorinda Balchin is a six-year saga set in England during World War II. It is a fantastic story that put me on the battlefield and into the lives of brothers Tony and David, their friends, family and loved ones. Heronfield is the home of the two brothers, but is now being used as a convalescent hospital for those injured fighting the Germans. Sarah is a young woman who is volunteering at Heronfield, nursing the soldiers back to health. David joins up and becomes a fighter pilot, making his father, Sir Michael, very proud. Tony becomes a secret agent, parachuting into enemy territory, setting up a resistance group, and working to destroy the strategic spots without getting caught – but he is unable to tell his family what he is really doing. Sir Michael thinks he is a coward and not willing to fight for his country. The story took me into many of the battles and to the horrors in the concentration camp that the prisoners had to endure on a daily basis. Heronfield also shared with me the happy times of falling in love and seeing friends caring for and helping each other through very tough times.

What a wonderful book this is. Dorinda Balchin wrote four hundred and ninety pages of an excellent story. It took me longer than I expected to read it, but each page made me cry, cheer, smile, and anxiously await D-Day and the end of the war. Heronfield is a fictional story with accurate historical events that made for a superb book. I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you enjoy family sagas and World War II history because it combines these elements in an incredibly good read.

You can take a look at the Readers’ Favorite website here

New Year – New Book

The end of 2015 has seen me lay down my pen on my current work – Rebekah. The novel is now complete and you can  read a sample here.

The next stage is the rather lengthy process of editing, finding a publisher, and bringing the book to you as soon as I can.

Next week I will begin writing the first of a series of novels set during the Second World War. The main character is a war correspondent who will bring a totally new perspective on the conflict for most readers. I look forward to sharing the progress of this project with you.

In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy New Year. May 2016 bring you all that you hope for. May it be a year of peace, love, happiness and achievement.

The Guardians – Dorinda’s new book to be published this month

 

The Guardians

 

Great news!

‘The Guardians’ will be published this month!

It will be available in ebook format on Kindle from 20th October 2015 – just in time for Halloween!

Print version will soon follow.

 

 

The Guardians is a very different genre from Heronfield’.

The Guardians

It is all too easy to lose focus on what is really important in life when surrounded by the pressures and demands of modern living.  It can take something extraordinary, something out of this world, to re-focus us on life’s priorities.

For archaeologist Rick Gibson the priority is to discover a ‘great find’ which will make him a household name, and he is prepared to sacrifice everything – his home, his wife, his son – to achieve this.  After years of disappointment Gibson’s luck changes with the discovery of an ancient manuscript detailing the hiding place of the Aztec treasure of Montezuma.  Gibson leads a dig to Mexico to uncover the famous treasure of Eldorado, but it is not as easy as he had assumed for the treasure is guarded.  ‘The Guardians’ come from the world of the dead to protect the treasure and, one by one, the members of Gibson’s party suffer the consequences.

The suspense builds from a gentle beginning in suburban England  to a terrifying climax with supernatural forces of good and evil battling for supremacy.  Woven skilfully into the narrative are the questions which all humans face, and the answers to which will bring life, or death, for Gibson.

If you can’t wait until 20th, then take a look at ‘The Prologue’

The Historical Novel Society reviews Heronfield

'Heronfield' a novel by Dorinda Balchin

 

The Historical Novel Society has just written a review of Heronfield. You cannot believe how pleased I am to have such a positive recommendation from such a prestigious society.

If you haven’t yet read Heronfield, then I hope that this review may encourage you to do so.

So what did the review say? Well, here it is…

 

The Kemshall family home, Heronfield, has been turned into a convalescent hospital during World War II. Tony’s brother, David, a hero to all in his family, is a Spitfire pilot and decorated as one of the men involved in the Battle of Britain. Tony, a survivor of Dunkirk, finds himself facing several battles: fighting a father who believes him a coward, fighting for the love of the woman of his dreams and fighting to keep the biggest secret from them all because Tony is a British spy, working in occupied France.

Heronfield is a hefty tome; a large paperback over 400 pages long, an indication of the amount of story here. The course of six years is spanned, from the beaches at Dunkirk to the liberation of the concentration camps. Many of the chapters have beginnings that are akin to the Pathé News segments, telling what is happening in other areas of the world before returning to the main action in either Heronfield or St Nazaire – a brilliant way of giving the reader all the information required.

The characters are incredibly realistic; it is difficult to set Heronfield down. It would not be possible to write a story about the bravery of the soldiers or the Resistance without making sure that the reader is aware of just why they were so brave, and this is put across tactfully, but still gives the reader an idea of the horrors faced by these people.

An amazing read.

‘The Terrorist’ – a short story

I rarely write short stories, but this was an idea that came to me and would not let go.

There are many conflicts in the world today that have been going on for years. For so long, in fact, that many people have forgotten what the roots of the problem are, if they ever knew at all. The thought came to me that if we were to transplant a similar situation into our own homes we might be better able to understand what is going on.

‘The Terrorist’ is set in a parallel world to ours. Similar in many ways, yet subtly different…