Happy Birthday, Zaronza! Win a Signed Copy to Celebrate

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My first novel, The House at Zaronza, is four years old and to celebrate I have one signed paperback copy to award to a lucky winner. Read on to find out how to enter. Continue reading

Iconic #Corsican Places: the Paoline Tower, #Nonza

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The historic Paoline Tower in Nonza, Corsica

It’s no secret that I’m a Corsicaphile. I’ve visited six times (not nearly enough!) and never cease to be inspired by its history, culture and landscapes. This is the first in a series of posts about inspiring places on the island. Some of them appear in my books; others don’t yet.

I’m starting with a monument that has appeared in both of my Corsica novels: the Paoline Tower in Nonza on Cap Corse, the finger-like projection at the north end of the island. It’s often been described as “the island of the island” and has its own distinctive feel. The village of Nonza is on the rugged west coast. Continue reading

D-Day: the Beginning of the End

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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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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