D-Day: the Beginning of the End

Oradour - tramway station 2

Oradour-sur-Glane, one of the casualties of German retaliation following D-Day

Today marks the anniversary of D-Day, 6th June 1944, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France. Down here in SW France, the weather is equally damp today, but perhaps not quite as cold and windy as it was on that significant day back in 1944. The decision to go or not to go that Eisenhower had to make must rank as one of the most difficult in history. Continue reading

Wartime Secrets in Tuscany: an Interview with Katharine Johnson

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I’m delighted to welcome back Katharine Johnson, whose historical mysteries make engrossing reading. She’s already told us a little about her latest novel, The Secret, when it was a work in progress. Now, publication day is approaching on 1st June, and I’m looking forward to The Secret popping onto my Kindle that day. The book blurb tells you more about it below. In the meantime, Katy whets our appetite with some insights into the inspiration behind the book and the history on which it’s based. Continue reading

Feature: French flavour with Vanessa Couchman

Did 18th-century Corsicans eat potatoes? Fellow Ocelot Press author Jennifer C. Wilson kindly invited me to her Sunday Sojourn slot today, in which I talk about food in fiction and how I found out what Corsicans did eat, for my latest novel.

Jennifer C. Wilson

Historical fiction with a French flavour (1)Morning all! Today, I’m delighted to welcome back to the blog Vanessa Couchman, to tell us about something very close to my heart – food! Over to you Vanessa!

Thank you for inviting me to your Sunday Sojourn, Jennifer. It’s always a pleasure to be here.

Food in fiction

The Corsican Widow Cover MEDIUM WEBThe Corsican Widow, released recently, is my latest novel in the Tales of Corsica series. It’s set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and in Marseilles during the mid/late 18th century. This was a time of great turbulence for Corsica, which was owned then by the city state of Genoa. The Corsicans struggled for independence and set up their own republic, but this was doomed to failure when the Genoese sold the island to the French in 1768.

I needed to do a lot of background research to find out how Corsican people lived during that period. What sort…

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Book news: The Corsican Widow by Vanessa Couchman

Historical fiction author Kate Braithwaite kindly invited me to an interview on her blog. I talk about the inspiration behind my latest novel, The Corsican Widow, recommend some books and a favourite movie and give a few snippets of writing advice.

Kate Braithwaite

Last week Vanessa Couchman’s latest novel The Corsican Widow was released and I’ve been lucky to have the chance to ask Vanessa some questions about her new book and writing in general.

The Corsican Widow Cover MEDIUM WEBCorsica, 1755. Can Valeria Peretti escape the destiny that is mapped out for her?

While the island struggles for independence against its Genoese masters, she must marry an older, wealthy man. A quiet, respectable life apparently awaits Valeria, but a prophecy on the eve of her betrothal spells misfortune ahead.

As her life unfolds, Valeria’s attempts to fight against her fate bring her into conflict with the unbending moral code of Corsican society. She must make a choice between her personal wishes and social duty that will cast her far away from Corsica’s shores.

Inspiring Corsican landscape

Vanessa, welcome! How did you come to write this story?

I didn’t actually set out to write this particular story, but I stumbled upon…

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An Excerpt from ‘The Corsican Widow’

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The Paoline Tower in Nonza, Corsica, built in the 18th century. It features in The Corsican Widow.

With less than two weeks to go before the publication of the second novel in my Tales of Corsica series, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of The Corsican Widow. Set in mid/late 18th-century Corsica and Marseille, the novel concerns a young Corsican woman, Valeria Peretti, who must marry a wealthy widower she does not know. A quiet, respectable life apparently awaits her, but a prophecy on the eve of her betrothal spells misfortune ahead. Continue reading

5 Facts You Might not Know About Corsica

 

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Inspiring landscape

Corsica, that captivating, mountainous island in the Mediterranean, conceals many mysteries. It has a fascinating culture and a turbulent history. Here are some facts about the island that you might not know. Continue reading

Cover Reveal: The Corsican Widow    

The Corsican Widow Cover MEDIUM WEB

I have been itching to show you the cover for the next in my Tales of Corsica series, The Corsican Widow, which will be published on 10th May 2018. The Kindle version is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The designer was, again, JD Smith, who has designed previous covers for me and I’m delighted with it. She has really captured the spirit of the book. Continue reading