About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.

‘The Corsican Widow’ taking part in an autumn giveaway

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Have you read The Corsican Widow yet? If not, for a limited time, you can enter this autumn giveaway to win the book plus 25+ other Book Club Fiction novels from a great collection of authors, including Patricia Sands, Kate Braithwaite and Laura Bradbury.

In this contest organised by BookSweeps, there’s also a chance to win a brand new eReader – along with a collection of FREE reads just for entering.

You can enter the contest by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/bookclub-nov2018

Good luck!

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Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2018, all rights reserved.

 

‘The Corsican Widow’ reduced for a short time

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My second novel in the Tales of Corsica series, The Corsican Widow, is taking part in an Amazon Kindle Countdown deal today and over the weekend. *Please note that this applies only to the US and UK Kindle stores.* It will remain at the full price in other Kindle stores.

The countdown starts today at 8 am in the UK and at 3 am PST/6 am EST in the States.

The book will be reduced from the full price of ÂŁ2.99/$3.99 to 99p/99c, rising to ÂŁ1.99 or equivalent on late Saturday and Sunday and then back to the full price on Monday 19th November.

The Tales of Corsica novels are stories set on the beguiling island of Corsica. They are linked by being set in the same house in the fictional village of Zaronza.

In The Corsican Widow, Valeria Peretti must marry a wealthy man twice her age whom she doesn’t know. She is later accused of a serious crime she didn’t commit. Friendless and isolated, can she escape from her enemies and make a new life?

To buy in the UK, click here.

To buy in the US, click here.

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2018, all rights reserved.

 

Eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month

 

Poppies

“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

“We stood around for a bit, smoking and taking the occasional pull from the bottle. A couple of their men spoke English but no one said much. We were just a group of lads hanging about. We could have been anywhere. That’s what struck me. These Fritzes were ordinary people with parents, sisters, brothers, wives, sweethearts back home. Just like us. Exchange uniforms and you wouldn’t have noticed the difference. And yet up till now we’d been trying to thump each other into the ground. It made me think.”

‘Bertie’s Buttons’, short story in French Collection: Twelve Short Stories

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2018, all rights reserved.

Of Mountains and Men: How Corsica’s Landscape Shaped its History

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The Tavignanu Valley in Corsica’s central mountains

Corsica’s terrain is a feature that has had a significant influence on its history and culture. The island is one big mountain range that rises 2,706 metres from the sea at its highest point, Monte Cinto. These are comparatively young, jagged mountains, not yet rounded by erosion. Continue reading

Iconic Corsican Places: the Church of San Michele, Murato

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Pisan church at Murato

Open any guidebook about Corsica and you’re likely to come across a picture of this exquisite Romanesque church in Murato. Prosper Mérimée, who was Inspector of Public Monuments, said in 1839 that it was “the most elegant and the most attractive church he had come across on Corsica.” We visited the site in 2014 and I heartily agree with him. Continue reading

Introducing Ocelot Press

Ocelot Logo

Ocelot Press has been going for a couple of months, but now we have a shiny new website, so I can announce it officially and you can find out more about our authors and our books. We already have a number of titles published under the imprint.

What is Ocelot Press? It’s a group of experienced published authors who have teamed up to help each other edit, produce and promote our books to the highest professional standards.

We are all either former or current Crooked Cat Books authors, who also self-publish. Under the Ocelot Press imprint, we retain our creative independence while benefiting from each other’s knowledge and experience. All of my books are now published under the Ocelot imprint.

Our authors write mostly historical fiction, including historical mystery, paranormal and romance. We aim to introduce our readers to a wide range of fiction through our joint marketing and publicity efforts.

It’s a great new venture and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2018, all rights reserved.

Alternative Endings & Unanswered Questions: Guest Post by Sue Barnard

Sue Barnard Author

A few months ago, Alison Morton was my guest, talking about alternate history. Today I’m very pleased to welcome back my friend, author Sue Barnard, who’s talking today about alternative endings to famous stories. Her latest novel, Heathcliff, was published yesterday and it’s a great read. I know, because I had a sneak peek a while ago. Tell us about your inspiration, Sue. Continue reading