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Wendy Holden - book author

Wendy Holden, also known as Taylor Holden, is an experienced author and novelist with more than thirty books already published, including two novels. She has had numerous works transferred to radio and television.

A journalist for eighteen years, ten on the Daily Telegraph of London, her first novel THE SENSE OF PAPER was published by Random House, New York, in 2006 to widespread critical acclaim. Her non-fiction titles have chiefly chronicled the lives of remarkable subjects. The latest is BORN SURVIVORS, the incredible story of three mothers who defied death at the hands of the Nazis to give life. She has also written the memoir of the only woman in the French Foreign Legion in TOMORROW TO BE BRAVE, and about the mother of a woman killed after marrying a Sudanese warlord in TILL THE SUN GROWS COLD. She wrote A LOTUS GROWS IN THE MUD - the memoir of actress Goldie Hawn - and LADY BLUE EYES, the autobiography of Frank Sinatra’s widow Barbara, all of which were New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers.

She also wrote the international bestseller TEN MINDFUL MINUTES, her second book with Goldie Hawn and the first in a series of books for parents and children. She wrote KILL SWITCH, the memoir of an honourable British soldier wrongly imprisoned in Afghanistan as well as BEHIND ENEMY LINES, about a young Jewish spy who repeatedly crossed German lines. Her book MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS, a biography of Dean Martin as seen through his daughter’s eyes has become an enduring bestseller and she worked with Billy Connolly on JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD his TV-companion travel guide to the Northwest Passage screened around the world. She co-wrote American male supermodel Bruce Hulse’s explosive memoir, SEX, LOVE AND FASHION. Other works have included CENTRAL 822, the autobiography of a pioneering policewoman at Scotland Yard which was dramatised on BBC Radio, BITING THE BULLET, charting the remarkable life of an SAS wife, and FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW, the story of a paraplegic made into a British TV drama starring Caroline Quentin. Wendy was also responsible for the bestselling novelisations of the films THE FULL MONTY and WAKING NED. Her first book, UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE the true story of the controversial Irish abortion case was banned in Ireland. SHELL SHOCK, her history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, went with an award-winning Channel 4 television documentary series. She lives in Suffolk, England, with her husband and two dogs and divides her time between the UK and the US.

Wendy Holden is the author of books: Born Survivors, Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog, Behind Enemy Lines, The Full Monty, The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir, 10 Mindful Minutes, Shell Shock: The Psychological Impact of the War, Waking Ned, Mr. Scraps, Tomorrow to be Brave: A Memoir of the Only Woman Ever to Serve in the French Foreign Legion

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Author Books

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01
The Nazis murdered their husbands but concentration camp prisoners Priska, Rachel, and Anka would not let evil take their unborn children too—a remarkable true story that will appeal to readers of The Lost and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Born Survivors celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children life.

Eastern Europe, 1944: Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS. In April 1945, as the Allies close in, the inmates are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey.

On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers, renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable—yet ultimately successful—fight for survival.
02
#1 International Bestseller

When Owen met Haatchi, the lives of one adorable little boy and one great, big dog were destined to change forever.

Owen-known to his family as "little buddy" or "Little B"-has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him largely confined to a wheelchair. Before being united with Haatchi, Little B was anxious and found it difficult to make friends.

Haatchi-an adorable Anatolian Shepherd puppy-was abused and left for dead on railroad tracks. He was struck by an oncoming train, and although his life was saved, his leg and tail were partially severed. Haatchi was left massively disabled and totally dispirited.

But kind-hearted Will and Colleen Howkins, Little B's father and step-mother, decided to introduce the big dog and the little boy to each other, and an unbelievable bond was formed that transformed both boy and dog in miraculous ways.

Wendy Holden's Haatchi & Little B is the true story of an astonishing little boy, a very special dog, and the inspiring, inseparable pair that they make together.
03
Marthe Cohn was a beautiful young Jewish woman living just across the German border in France when Hitler rose to power. Her family sheltered Jews fleeing the Nazis, including Jewish children sent away by their terrified parents. But soon her homeland was also under Nazi rule. As the Nazi occupation escalated, Marthe’s sister was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. The rest of her family was forced to flee to the south of France. Always a fighter, Marthe joined the French Army.

As a member of the intelligence service of the French First Army, Marthe fought valiantly to retrieve needed inside information about Nazi troop movements by slipping behind enemy lines, utilizing her perfect German accent and blond hair to pose as a young German nurse who was desperately trying to obtain word of a fictional fiancé. By traveling throughout the countryside and approaching troops sympathetic to her plight, risking death every time she did so, she learned where they were going next and was able to alert Allied commanders.

When, at the age of eighty, Marthe Cohn was awarded France’s highest military honor, the Médaille Militaire, not even her children knew to what extent this modest woman had faced death daily while helping defeat the Nazi empire. At its heart, this remarkable memoir is the tale of an ordinary human being who, under extraordinary circumstances, became the hero her country needed her to be.
04
The Full Monty is a brilliant and original comedy about six men driven to face their fears of inadequacy and loss in hard times. Broke, out of work and on the verge of losing their wives and children, they come up with a desperate, brilliant plan: Make like Chippendale dancers and strip for cash!The Full Monty is the story of a last-ditch attempt by a group of working-class men to redeem themselves as reliable in the eyes of their community. In scenes as hysterical as they are tender, they discover that "the full monty" requires more than dexterity, a fit body and the right moves; and that the confidence they need can only come from stripping bare the deeper issues that trouble their individual lives. The result is a humane, triumphant comedy that has won the hearts of millions around the world.

In her novel based on the critically acclaimed box-office hit, Wendy Holden revisits our favorite moments -- both hilarious and heartwarming -- from The Full Monty.
05
From the Grammy-nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is world renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music and spiritual growth inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage.

She was born Sheila Escovedo in 1957, but the world knows her as Sheila E. She first picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, taught by her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo. As the goddaughter of Tito Puente, music was the heartbeat of her family, and despite Sheila's impoverished childhood in Oakland, California, her family stayed strong, inspired by the music they played nightly in their living room. When she was only five, Sheila delivered her first solo performance to a live audience. By nineteen, she had fallen in love with Carlos Santana. By twenty-one, she met Prince at one of her concerts. Sheila E. and Prince would eventually join forces and collaborate for more than two decades, creating hits that catapulted Sheila to her own pop superstardom.

The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music—from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr to her own solo career. At the same time, it’s also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person’s life. Having repeatedly endured sexual abuse as a child, Sheila credits her parents, music, and God with giving her the will to carry on and to build a lasting legacy.

Rich in musical detail, pop, and Latin music history, this is a fascinating walk through some of the biggest moments in music from the ’70s and ’80s. But as Sheila’s personal story, this memoir is a unique glimpse into a world-famous drummer’s singular life—a treat for both new and longtime fans of Sheila E. And above all, The Beat of My Own Drum is a testament to how the positive power of music has fueled Sheila’s heart and soul—and how it can transform your life as well.
06
Bestselling author Goldie Hawn and co-writer Wendy Holden offer parents a practical guide for helping their children to learn better and live more happily. Based on the MindUP programme, supported by the Hawn Foundation, 10 Mindful Minutes outlines short, practical exercises for parents and children - taking less than 10 minutes - to help young children and teenagers reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration and academic performance, effectively manage emotions and behaviour, develop greater empathy for others and the world, and be more optimistic and happy. Representing the culmination of years of research and programmes developed by the Hawn Foundation currently being used by schools internationally, this book will help children and parents develop mindfulness which has been proven to promote more effective learning and happier lives.
09
INSPIRED by the true story of a dog named Rip who was the first search-and-rescue dog during the Second World War, Mr. Scraps is a heartwarming story of courage, love and devotion that will appeal to parents and children alike.
10
It was early spring 1942, and under the pitiless sky of the Libyan desert the climax of the great siege of Bir Hakeim was about to begin. General Koenig, the commander of the Free French and the Foreign Legion in North Africa, and his two thousand troops had been surrounded for fifteen days and nights by Rommel's Afrika Corps. Outnumbered ten to one, pounded by wave after wave of Stuka and Heinkel bombers, the general and his men seemed doomed. Though their situation was hopeless, they chose to reject the Desert Fox's demand for surrender. Instead, one moonless night, the French made an audacious and suicidal bid for freedom by charging directly through the German lines. Leading the way was Susan Travers. The only woman ever to serve officially in the French Foreign Legion, there was the indomitable Englishwoman, speeding across the minefields of 'no man's land' directly towards Rommel's deadly Panzer tanks, her foot hard on the accelerator, doing her job: driving the general's car. That it was leading two thousand men in one of the great military exploits of the Second World War, the legendary mass break-out from Bir Hakeim, that it would see her hailed as the heroine of the night and eventually earn her both the Military Medal and the Legion d'Honneur, was not on her mind as the night exploded around her and German artillery lit up the desert sky. Her only thought was this: she was trying to save the life of the man she loved.

"Tomorrow to be Brave" is the story of Susan Travers's extraordinary life, from her privileged childhood in England through her rebellious youth partying her way across interwar Europe, to her rash decision to join the Free French forces at theoutbreak of World War II. In search of adventure -- and a break from her stifling upper-class world -- she could never have dreamed the pivotal role she would play. From her part in the North African campaign through her time after the war serving in the French Foreign Legion as a regular officer -- the only woman ever to have achieved this -- there was enough adventure and passion, heartbreak and heroism, to fill a hundred lifetimes. This, in her own words, is her story. It is a tale of exceptional courage against overwhelming odds and of an epic love affair played out against the backdrop of war as she risked everything for the country -- and the man -- she loved.