What’s special about Corsica?

I’m excited to tell you that The Corsican Widow is Ocelot Press’s Book of the Month for June 2021. This is Book 2 in the Tales of Corsica series. It’s based loosely on a true story and is set mainly on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and partly in the port of Marseille.  

Why does Corsica interest me so much as a writer?

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Strong women…imagined and perhaps real. Guest post by Nancy Jardine

I’m delighted to welcome Nancy Jardine back to the blog today. Nancy is a fellow member of author co-operative, Ocelot Press. She’s hugely knowledgeable about Roman Britain and has written a gripping series set in northern Britain during the Roman occupation. Nancy’s book The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of the Celtic Fervour series, is our Book of the Month at Ocelot Press this May. She has some great offers to celebrate – see below.

Nancy has written a fascinating post for us about the status and place of women 2,000 years ago and their role as leaders.

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The ‘Other’ South of France

I was honoured to receive an invitation to appear on her blog from a writer I greatly admire, Alison Morton. Alison is not only a prolific and highly regarded author, with an extended alternate ‘Roman’ history series and a thriller under her belt. She is also a mainstay of the indie writers’ community and a great supporter of other writers. Her blog currently features writers who live abroad. We write about the influence living in another country has on our writing.

Here are the first few paragraphs of my piece:

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Corsica novels on Easter promo

Throughout Easter, my two Corsica novels, The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow, are on promo on Amazon Kindle.

The House at Zaronza is free during that time. It’s a dual-timeline novel based on a true story. Hidden letters found after more than a century reveal a tale of star-crossed lovers against the backdrop of the rugged mountains of Corsica and the trenches of World War I. “Vanessa Couchman writes with intelligence and skill,” Historical Novels Review.

The Corsican Widow is reduced from £2.99/$3.99 to just 99p/c over Easter weekend.

Transgressing the rules of a strict island society can have only one outcome – severe punishment. While 18th-century Corsica struggles for freedom from its Genoese masters, Valeria must fight her own battles to save her life. “I highly recommend this beautifully-written and engaging story for lovers of historical fiction.” BookMuse

You might have read them already, but if your friends haven’t, feel free to pass on the message.

#Corsica novels on #Easter promo. The House at Zaronza is *free*. The Corsican Widow is at 99p/c. Happy Easter! http://mybook.to/HouseatZaronza

Happy Easter!

The Father of the Leap Year: Guest Post by Sue Barnard

Today, I’m delighted to welcome my Ocelot Press fellow author and friend, Sue Barnard, to the blog. Sue’s novels often take inspiration from classic works of literature, including Shakespeare. Her The Unkindest Cut of All is set in the present day, but takes Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, as its starting point. It’s our Book of the Month on Ocelot Press this month (which just happens to include the Ides of March).

Sue has written a fascinating post about one legacy of many the Romans left us.

Sue also has a competition for you to win a paperback copy of The Unkindest Cut of All. And the book is on special offer in Kindle format for a short time. Read more about these offers at the end of the post.

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Augustine and Overture on promotion

My most recent series of books, the Alouette trilogy, is set partly in Southwest France, where I live, so it’s very close to my heart. Since I’ve lived here for 23 years, I know the places that appear in the book well. It was fascinating to go back in time and research them as they were more than 100 years ago.

The series is not yet finished, but Augustine (1880s) and Overture (1897-1914) are already published.

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Christmas Book Flood!

The prize draw has now taken place. Congratulations to Crystal, Lesley and Nicky, who each win an e-copy of Augustine.

This post is taking part in the Historical Writers Forum Christmas Blog Hop. This year, we’re celebrating the delightful Icelandic tradition of giving books and reading them while eating chocolate on Christmas Eve, called Jolabokaflod (Christmas book flood). And there’s a giveaway of one of my books to go with it. More of that below.

Today would have been my mother’s 99th birthday. She was a book lover and a history lover, and I inherited both of these passions from her. She would have dearly loved to go to university, but World War II and then marriage intervened. Instead, she lived the university experience through her children.

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Augustine is now available in paperback

I’m delighted to announce that Augustine, the novella prequel to my Alouette Trilogy, is now available in paperback. Augustine is a bittersweet romance that takes place in 19th-century rural France. It sets the scene for Book 1 of the trilogy, Overture, but it can be read as a standalone.

I originally published the novella only as an e-book in April 2020, but following a number of requests, I decided to bring it out in a paperback edition as well. Many people still like the experience of reading a physical book and, of course, it makes a more memorable present than an e-book!

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A Poignant Anniversary: the Armistice of World War I

Every village in France has its war memorial, the lists of names a sad litany of those “morts pour la France”. The longest rollcall by far is that of World War I. Few families were spared the tragedy of deaths, sometimes multiple, injuries and enduring mental scars. More than a century later, the memory still echoes down the years.

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