Cornflowers and Poppies: Symbols of World War I

A not infrequent occasion when my French life blog coincides with my writing blog. I’m currently writing Book 2 of the Alouette Trilogy, Intermezzo, which is set during World War I. This post looks at the French symbol of WWI, the cornflower, or bleuet.

Life on La Lune

Symbol of Flanders fields

Today is Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11th
November, the day the Armistice came into force in 1918. Tomorrow is a public
holiday in France, and remembrance ceremonies will take place at war memorials throughout
the country. Wearing a poppy is common in the UK, symbolising the blood that
flowed and the flowers that grew “in Flanders fields”. The French equivalent, le
bleuet
, or cornflower, is less well known.


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Meet the Ocelots: Overture

Last in our series of posts setting up our characters who are going to be interviewed from next week! Read about Frédéric in Overture today.

Ocelot Press

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Meet the Ocelots series of posts. I’m completing the line-up this week by telling you a little about my novel, Overture, and about my character Frédéric Grandcourt, who’s the subject of an interview next week in our character interview blog hop. Look out for further news on that.


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Interview My Character Blog Hop – Sheriff and Priest: Wimer the Chaplain, by Nicky Moxey

Today it’s my turn to interview a character in the Historical Writers’ Forum “Interview my Character” blog hop. This event has been going on throughout June and will continue through July. I have the great good fortune to be interviewing Wimer, a real-life character who had an interesting – if turbulent – career during the 12th century. He is the main character in Nicky Moxey’s Sheriff and Priest. You can read my review of the book beneath this interview.

And there’s a giveaway! The author has kindly offered a paperback copy of Sheriff and Priest to a UK winner, or an ebook to a winner elsewhere in the world. To enter, simply leave a comment below this post or on the post about this interview on the Facebook page. The draw will be made on 28th June. Good luck!

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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

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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History People: Nicola Slade, History and Mysteries

 

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Nicola Slade

It’s a great pleasure to welcome Nicola Slade to the blog today, especially as she has also written a “The House At…” novel! The House at Ladywell was published a couple of days ago and combines historical and romantic fiction. Nicola is a prolific author whose previous books have mostly been historical mysteries. Let’s find out how she got into writing them. Continue reading