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 onlyContinue reading “Augustine is now available in paperback”

Art in Fiction: Overture is Novel of the Week

A few months ago, I came across a website that I thought (and still do) was a brilliant idea. I can’t think why it hasn’t been done before – or maybe it has, but I haven’t found it yet. Art in Fiction: listings of novels that are inspired by the arts, whether it be music,Continue reading “Art in Fiction: Overture is Novel of the Week”

Meet Frédéric from ‘Overture’

Charming, witty, handsome. All of those adjectives fit Frédéric. But he also harbours a secret that he wants to keep from his family at all costs. He’s not the protagonist in Overture: that’s Marie-Thérèse, who has a burning ambition to become a singer. For the daughter of a modest farming family in rural France inContinue reading “Meet Frédéric from ‘Overture’”

Going to War in 1914: French People’s Reactions to Mobilisation

This weekend marks the outbreak of World War I, 105 years ago in 1914. On 2nd August the French government issued the general mobilisation order. The following day, Germany declared war on France. On 4th August, Britain in turn declared war on Germany. The stage was set for one of the bloodiest – and mostContinue reading “Going to War in 1914: French People’s Reactions to Mobilisation”

Marie-Thérèse’s Playlist from ‘Overture’

Overture, my latest novel, is all about music: a young woman’s struggle against her humble origins and lack of formal training to become a professional singer. I am very fond of listening to, playing and singing music, and so it was a treat for me to write a book in which music is a keyContinue reading “Marie-Thérèse’s Playlist from ‘Overture’”

The Pneumatic Postal Service of Paris

I love all the research that goes with writing historical novels, because you find out so many fascinating things. The small details are often crucial in conveying the period feel. But a lot of this research has to be discarded and can’t be used in the book, so I like to give a little flavourContinue reading “The Pneumatic Postal Service of Paris”

Marie-Thérèse Spills the Beans!

My main character from Overture, Marie-Thérèse Vernhes, has been let loose on her own to talk with Stephanie Churchill on her blog today. Find out what motivates her, how she pursues her ambitions to become an opera singer – and what irritates her about me! Marie-Thérèse talks about the contrasts between life in rural FranceContinue reading “Marie-Thérèse Spills the Beans!”

Overture goes on tour

My latest historical novel, Overture, set in Belle Epoque France, heads off on a seven-day blog tour today. I’m very grateful to these 21 fantastic book bloggers for featuring the book on their blogs and also to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it all so efficiently. Some of the bloggers will alsoContinue reading “Overture goes on tour”

Marie-Thérèse’s France 3: Bordeaux

This is the third and final part of a series of posts that looks at the principal places in France in Overture, Book 1 in the Alouette Trilogy. The main character, Marie-Thérèse, has ambitions to be an opera singer. The story moves mainly between rural Aveyron in Southwest France and Paris, but Marie-Thérèse also spendsContinue reading “Marie-Thérèse’s France 3: Bordeaux”

Marie-Thérèse’s France 2: Paris

This is the second part of a series of posts looking at some of the settings that Marie-Thérèse, my main character in Overture, would have known. How do you cover Paris in one blog post? I’m not even going to try. Instead, I’ll focus on a few of the places that are mentioned in theContinue reading “Marie-Thérèse’s France 2: Paris”