Blog

Life in France

france

After my trips to France whilst writing French Summer this spring, I couldn’t seem to pull myself away from the views and the beautiful light that hit my balcony every morning. I’ve been coming here since I was seventeen, staying at a family member’s house, but it had been three years since I’d last been here. It was my wife who suggested I stay for the summer whilst working on my next book, and I agreed that was an excellent idea. I thought I’d bring the dogs, and also the dog of said family member. How hard could it be, driving from the UK to France with three dogs in the back?

I found out soon enough. Luga, our adopted friend who tagged along, is a proper diva and not one for sitting in the back. For the first three hours or so, she tried to fight herself into the front seat, where a grown man (a roofer I brought along) used all his power to keep her in the back seat during the 17-hour journey. She cried and howled the whole way, devastated that she had to sit second row. Luga is a Giant Schnauzer.

Our smallest dog, El Comandante, isn’t the easiest either, as he refuses to sit anywhere else but on my lap while I’m driving. He likes to have his paws on the steering wheel, controlling the car. It always amused me, but this time around, it was extremely stressful driving through the winding mountain roads with his little head blocking my sight. It took me about three weeks to get used to driving here with my little assistant, but we now work seamlessly together. I work the pedals, and he steers the car, warning me about potential enemies around each corner.

Buddy, the good boy, is always in the back. He has no pretensions whatsoever and is more than happy to accept his lot in life, which is playing second fiddle to the two divas. Docile and with a big smile, he settles in and sleeps until we reach our destination, always. God Bless Buddy.

Driving through France is beautiful and fascinating but we underestimated how vast France actually is and the distances are always much larger than you’d expect. Last week, we were lucky to attend a wedding in Biarritz on the Atlantic coast, near the Spanish boarder. My wife is visiting for two weeks and we thought it would be nice to drive there. We didn’t bother to check the distance before we left, and found out soon enough that Barcelona was actually closer!  We weren’t mentally prepared and planned to take the scenic route, explore the Pyrenees and stop for meals in quaint little villages along the way. Instead, we realised we had to take the motorway, driving just over the speed limit without even so much as a coffee break, were we going to make it to the wedding in time. Exhausted, and with eyes like little cranberries, we finally arrived, after driving through the night. We could barely stand straight, but managed to stay awake during the ceremony. After inordinate amounts of Champagne at the wedding, and two more nights at the ‘party house’ we had rented with four other friends, the drive back was even worse. While I was driving in a zombie-like state, my wife was next to me in the front seat with a plastic bag on her lap. Charming. She told me she hadn’t thrown up in a plastic bag in seventeen years, but she sure made up for it during that particular journey.

Waking up on the Cote D’Azure every morning is a blessing and the sun always shines. The villages around here are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. No one litters, and there are lots of wild flowers, townhouses that look like artist residences, stunning views and cobbled streets with bakeries, cafes and other small businesses. The locals are really friendly and they love to chat. Lucky for me, I really like to make smalltalk too. You know how some people are shy to speak another language? I’ve got the opposite problem. My wife says I’m overly confident; willing but unable. I blurt out random sentences and make up words that sound really French in my head, convinced they’ll understand me. Unfortunately, so far, my victims have been nothing but confused. I’ll never stop trying though.

My wife is really excitable. In fact, she’s one of the most excitable people I know. It’s fun to hang out with someone like that, especially when visiting new places together. A bakery?! “Oh my God, I need to get a baguette,” she’ll shout, before posing with it in one of those charming alleyways with blue shutters and lavender filled pots. A mulberry tree?! “Let’s get some Tupperware and make jam!” An ice-cold river? “Hold my bag, I’m jumping in! And don’t forget to save me if I get dragged away, the current looks really strong!” Needless to say, we’re having a lot of fun. We’ve also gained a lot of bruises, and my wife has lost a chunk out of both her big toes.

The writing is going well, although not as fast as I thought it would. There’s a lot of distraction in the form of people, wine, sunshine and more wine, but I’m pleased to share that I’m almost through a third of the rough draft of my next novel (still untitled), set amongst airline crew, starring Captain Ava Alfarsi (Yes! In uniform :)) and Mia Donoghue (also in uniform, lol).

French Summer will be out on the first of July, and I was thrilled to wake up last week to find this lovely review on Curvemag.com and Lotl.com.

 

May Lesfic Sale

Good news!

I Heart Lesfic is organising a lesfic sale from the 21st of May till the 25th of May. The Kindle versions of my novels, including my latest release The Cruise will be discounted down to $1.99, £1.99 and 1.99 for this period of time!

Besides my own books, there will be tons of other authors discounting their books, including Harper Bliss and Suzie Carr, so grab your change and stock up on your favourite reads!

SpringIntoAGoodBook_Wordpress

French Summer Cover Reveal

French Summer Cover

After four months of non-stop writing and three trips to France, ‘French Summer’ is finally in it’s editing stages. It’s the first novel I’m writing since I went full-time as an author, so it’s a big thing. I’ve enjoyed my time in France so much, that I’ve decided to spend the month of June there to start on my fifth novel. I’ll be bringing El Comandante and Buddy with me and I’ve promised to order them dog-steps for the pool 🙂

Also, I’m thrilled that the super talented photographer Julia Caesar from Sweden has agreed for me to use her photograph on my cover. I think it perfectly sums up the vibe of the book. Let me know what you think!

The blurb isn’t final yet, but here’s a preview:

Newly divorced and bought out of her company, Nathalie rents a holiday home in the South of France. After years of hard work and a failed marriage in Chicago, she’s looking for some peace and quiet, a place to clear her mind and figure out her future.

Lena loves women, her dog, and gardening, but that’s about as complicated as it gets. When she meets her new tenant for the summer, it proves hard to stay professional as a guardian, especially when that tenant turns out to be everything she ever wanted and more.

As time passes and boundaries blur, the moment of goodbye becomes inevitable. Nathalie isn’t looking for a new love, especially not in the form of a woman, and Lena has no desire to get her heart crushed again.

Is it possible to find home in a country you’ve never been? And is it worth the risk, giving up everything for someone you barely know? They say home is where the heart is…

 

Mega Lesfic Sale

DecemberSale_Wordpress

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re all having a great Christmas! We’re taking it easy, with nice food and wine, and lots of presents for the dogs and the cat. An IQ test for animals that my brother bought them, revealed that El Comandante is very intelligent, but Buddy and Kanye (the cat) not so much 🙂 As expected, the cat was more interested in the packaging than the presents, so we brought him more empty boxes from the attic, which have been spread around the living room overnight and he’s loving it. Besides being festive, I’m writing today, and my wife is reading, as I’m sure many of you are. Well here’s some good news for you!

As part of the Mega Lesfic Sale, organized by I Heart Lesfic, both Lily’s Fire and Beyond the Skyline will now be on sale from the 26th until the 29th of December. Get your copy  today for only $1.99! There are more than fifty authors participating in this event, so it’s a great chance to stock up on books and kick start the new year with lots of reading.

We wish you all a festive boxing day and a fantastic New Year. May it be your best one yet! Meanwhile, I’ll be writing my resolutions…

#spreadthelove

 

 

The Cruise – Coming soon

cover finalWhen Cara is unable to find a job in journalism, she takes on a seasonal job on a cruise ship together with Billie, her best friend’s girlfriend. Billie isn’t her type at all, but as the two grow closer during their time at sea, Cara finds herself torn between her loyalty towards her friend Dan, and her growing feelings for the beautiful and flirtatious Billie, who might very well be the best thing that ever happened to her.

What do you do when the only thing you want is the one thing you can’t have? Keeping a distance is hard when opposites attract. And running away is pointless when desire can cross oceans…

I’m so pleased to announce that The Cruise will be out on January the 13th, 2018. I was initially aiming for Christmas, but January seemed more appropriate for a launch as there will be a big lesfic sale on at the end of December. Of course, Lily’s Fire and Beyond the Skyline will be part of this sale too, so if you haven’t read them yet, here’s your chance to get a kindle copy for only $1.99.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone! 🙂