Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sharing my French adventure!

Welcome everyone to my first post of 2015! For me, 2014 has been a great year for writing and seeing my travel memoir, "Bonjour Darling" published at the end of October, was the icing on the cake. 

Little did I know this was only the beginning. You have taken 'The Old Presbytery' to your hearts and, as you share in my adventures there, your feedback has been wonderful. For me, this whole experience has been so much more than selling books, although that has gone amazingly well, the joy is sharing my story with other people and having strangers come up to me asking after characters and places that we now have in common. 

One of my favourite reviews on Amazon ends with these lines..

I savoured every page as I would have a marvellous box of chocolates. One only wants to come to The Old Presbytery and actually share a meal with the hosts and their charming neighbours. Thank you and ... Bravo!

This review particularly thrilled me, as I now know my readers are genuinely engaging with our story and the characters which so colourfully bring it to life. This is a place I love and also people I love; to find you too share that love is heart warming. Many of you have asked for pictures of 'The Old Presbytery', as up to now it has only existed on the pages of the book and in the corners of your imagination.  Well, to help you enjoy our true story even more, you don't have to imagine any longer. Below, I share with you a before and after picture of the house at the heart of our village and the heart of our adventure!

'The Old Presbytery' before renovation

'The Old Presbytery' after

That just leaves me to thank all of you who are enjoying the book, especially the 10 winners of the Goodreads competition. I hope your signed copies have arrived safely. I will leave you with another review from Amazon, and look forward to sharing again in my next post...

Loved it! Was so sad to reach the last page, I really thought I was in France with Heather Francis. What an idyllic life! Can't wait for the sequel.

To obtain your copy of  'Bonjour Darling', just click on the book image top right! This will take you to Amazon, where you can find out more.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A 'Christmas Giveaway' from our little village in France!

Welcome everybody to my double celebration Christmas and the launch of my new book, 'Bonjour Darling' by Heather Francis. 

I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you a brief moment taken from the book, of our first Christmas in the little village of Saint-Allier in south west France. As you will discover when you read our story, we purchase a magical old crumbling presbytery in the centre of the village and, arriving just before Christmas have not yet had a chance to meet the villagers. 

And so, one dark evening in early December, we find ourselves disturbed by the sound of voices in the street below and, taking our place at the landing window peer out in dismay, as a small gang of men proceed to scale the walls of our new home. Now, as I am sure you are all well aware, an Irishman's home is his castle and to say this felt like an invasion was not an understatement!

Quote from 'Bonjour Darling'

Much running back and forward ensued, between our house and the house diagonally across from us, where by now, another ladder had been carefully erected.  To our right, as we watched, one of the men was at the top of his ladder, with what looked like a long line of bulbs hanging from his shoulder and trailing down to the pavement below.  His accomplice, taking the other end, proceeded to climb his ladder and on the given instruction of “Allez!”, the bulbs were lifted and stretched across the road, well out of the reach of any passing traffic. 
In front of our eyes, from our secret vantage point, we watched as, accompanied by a loud cheer, the coloured lights sprang into life.  Ron and I looked out into the night from our little spot on the landing and like two children watching for Santa Claus, realised Christmas had arrived in Saint-Allier! 

To celebrate this festive season and the book launch, I am offering 10 free copies of 'Bonjour Darling' as prizes in 'Goodreads Giveaway' competition (UK only). To enter and have a chance of winning a copy simply press 'Enter to Win' on the 'Goodreads Giveaway' link top right. It is also possible to purchase the book here, should you wish to be sure of a copy for Christmas. For a full synopsis of the story see my previous blog post or click on links top right.

Finally, that just leaves me to wish you all,  'A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year'.