Mike and Sharon from California

Dear Lance, Sharon and I are back in sunny southern California after our long and wonderful time in France.  First, let me say that Sharon and I agree that we were very lucky to have met you and had the pleasure of sharing an evening with you. Our only regret is that we didn’t have more time to spend together. But we will always remember you as part of a wonderful trip to Paris.  Please let me extend a sincere invitation to visit with us whenever your are passing near Los Angeles. We only live an hour north of LAX and would love to see you again someday.  I didn’t really get started on When the Tulips Bled until we came back to Paris after our time in Provence. But once we settled into our apartment I had more time to relax and read. Lance, I truly enjoyed the book and the story and wondered throughout how each character was linked to your wife’s family. As I recall the story is based on some of their experiences. Correct?  I think it is so important to see WWII (or any war for that matter) at the personal level you offer in the book. In addition to portraying the real hardships experienced by the occupied Dutch you did a great job of portraying the great moral dilemmas faced by each and every citizen…and how some succeeded and some failed in this great test. The drama of real history is much more intense and revealing than any fiction. What a shame that so much is lost along with the lessons it teaches us. As I read the book I couldn’t help asking myself if I would have been bold enough to standup to the Nazis? I’d like to think I’d be like Harry and join the Underground … but when you have a family or loved ones to protect it’s not so easy…as you clearly show.  As noted above, I really identified with Harry…I suppose that what one would expect of a person who spent his life in the military. I would love to hear more about the underground.  By the way, you did a good job of telling the personal story while in the background you also showed the progress of the War. W ell I guess the best review of an author is whether you’d recommend his book to a friend or read other works. I intend to do both Lance.  Thank You Very Much for the gift of the book and the pleasure of meeting you and your lovely wife.  We hope you had a wonderful time after we parted…and especially that we may cross each other’s path again someday!

All the Best, Mike and Sharon W

Robin from England

Hi Lance, We are visiting some Baltic ports by sea including Ijmuiden, (and a trip to Amsterdam) ,Tallinn and St Petersburg. The sea time gave me an opportunity to catch up on reading, not least “When the Tulips Bled”. Our tour guides spoke at length about the impact of occupation before, during and after WW2 so it was all highly relevant to your book. I had not appreciated the full horrors of that experience for the Dutch people. So it was all very moving. Thanks for a very good read….and there are some more to look forward to. Best wishes, Robin

Mel T from England

“You know, I thoroughly enjoyed Brother Rats. Nice to see a piece of our own history from another viewpoint. You did take it to us, didn’t you. You didn’t hold back at all…”

Mel T (Squadron Leader, retired) …

Rob R

“You surprised me! Brother Rats has kept me up these last few nights. So nice to actually meet the author of a bloody good read.…”

Rob R

Teresa from Belgium

When The Tulips Bled

“You, as the reader, feel like the shadow of the characters in the book. Invisible, you are the witness of what is overcoming them. You do not read the story, you are in it. You have to believe the unbelievable because you are there…”

“U, als lezer, voelt als de schaduw van de karakters in het boek. Onzichtbaar, bent u de getuige van wat hen overwint. U leest niet het verhaal, bent u daarin. U moet unbelievable geloven omdat u daar bent…”

“Vous, comme lecteur, sensation comme l’ombre des caractères dans le livre. Invisible, vous êtes le témoin de ce qui les surmonte. Vous ne lisez pas l’histoire, vous êtes dans elle. Vous devez croire l’incroyable parce que vous êtes là…”

Teresa 22 August 2008

Peter K

Mick,  Thank you again for sending me the three books written by Lance Grimstone.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Brother Rats’ as it put things into perspective for me, particularly the advances and retreats. A great and informative read, I thought. I am half-way through ‘When the Tulips Bled’ and its opened my eyes to a part of WW2 I didn’t know much about, the ruthlessness of the invasion and the brutal way the Nazis treated the civilian population. I had a neighbour who was a boy during the German occupation in Holland, and I wish now that I had asked him more about it at the time ……

Peter K , 18th September 2015


“Hi Lance, I’m sorry I’ve taken a couple of days to say thank you, but I have been too engrossed in reading “Tulips” in my spare time. I’ve realised how little I knew about the occupation of Holland during WWII and the terrible suffering of the people. I feel guilty that I should have been so ignorant.”

Trish 14 Sep 10

“Hi Lance, Have recently read your book ‘When The Tulips Bled’, and would like to let you know just how much I enjoyed it. Lita P recommended it and lent me her copy. I am not what you would call an avid reader but really found that I could not put it down. Robbie is looking forward to reading it over the holidays and I’ll read ‘Brother Rats’ which he got from the Villa Library. I have recommended Tulips to all the family as it gives real insight into just how lucky we are that we have not had to endure such unbelievable hardship in our lifetime. Incredibly strong people. Hope you and all your family are happy and well. Congratulations on having a great talent.”

Best Wishes


“Hi Lance, Just a short note on finishing Brother Rat. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The amount of research that you undertook to get it right was awesome – not a word I use much…………
Now I’m looking forward to the next one, which Ann couldn’t put down! Hope all’s well with you both.”

John N

“Thank you Lance for sending the 2 novels. I really enjoyed reading both. The experiences (..in Holland..) during the second world were, to say the least, harrowing and frightening. It shows that the human spirit can overcome a lot of grief and misery. I had no idea of the circumstances of the Dutch during the war, other than stories of the resistance fighters. The Germans certainly had a lot to answer for.
I was impressed with the amount of research needed for both books. It must have taken an enormous amount of time. I was grateful to learn, through your research, much more about the efforts of the Australian soldiers during the Middle East campaigns. I had only a small snapshot of the campaign, so thanks for giving me, and the other readers, a greater understanding of what our soldiers endured.”