Something Old, Something New by James R. Vance

Compelling reading.

surglen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Book: Historical fiction novel, set in France depicting the conflict that still exists amongst families since the Nazi occupation of WWII. Two young sisters discover war memorabilia hidden in their grandmother’s trunk in an attic. They set out to trace their family history, an exploit that triggers devastating consequences.

About the Author: Originally from England, I now live in rural south west France. My first novels, ‘Animal Instinct’, ‘Killer Butterfly’ and ‘The Courier’ were published between 2008 and 2010. They formed a trilogy depicting the careers of two detectives. My knowledge of Cheshire and Greater Manchester is apparent in both ‘Animal Instinct’ and ‘Killer Butterfly’. The final novel of the trilogy,’The Courier’, uses my experience of working in France and London as an inspiration for the storyline. My fourth novel ‘Eight’, published in 2011,is a crime fiction novel set mostly in France, a sequel to the trilogy featuring one of the detectives and a former suspect. My knowledge of both countries enabled me to provide a backdrop for the plot. During this same period, I also wrote and published a children’s short story, ‘Goose’.

Having discovered that I live in an area swamped by a rich tapestry of war-time memories, I have since dedicated my time to unearthing stories of resistance activities in this region before the extraordinary tales disappear along with the ageing survivors of that period. My novel, ‘Les Ruines’, was my first foray into the genre of historical fiction. After researching local sites and listening to personal recollections of French Resistance exploits during WWII, I produced a mysterious tale of tragic events involving betrayal, retribution and chaos during the fragmented liberation of France. The novel was exhibited at the London Book Fair 2012 and a version of the novel in French will be available towards the end of 2013.

In April 2013, I published my next historical fiction project, ‘Risk’, about agents of the Special Operations Executive who organised evaders’ escape lines from occupied France during the Second World War. Combining romance and tragedy, the novel will have subtle links to ‘Les Ruines’. To learn more about these wartime exploits, I became a member of E.L.M.S. the Escape Lines Memorial Society, based in the U.K.

Our path through life, right from the beginning is composed of a series of small events. These, sometimes imperceptibly, cause change and each of these seemingly insignificant junctions cause a ripple effect, the results of which shape our lives. Sometimes, these junctions are hidden innocently, impossible for foresee and with no apparent ability to affect our future.

The story, which Elodie Arnaud recounts, starts innocently enough with her sister Monique’s fascination with the quaint English bridal tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Soon to be married to Gerard Thiebaud, the determined Monique convinces her sister Elodie to go with her into the attic and find their grandmother’s trunk. Monique reasoned that surely, there must be something, which she could use; however, nothing could have prepared them for the repercussions that simple action caused. 

Their grandmother, Marie Lafond had lived in Montauban, a large town in the Tarn-et-Garonne region of France during WW2, and during the war, she had been only a teenager, with a teenager’s perspective on life. The decisions she made and events in Oradour-sur-Glane, a village in the department of Haute-Vienne, are the substance of this book.

The Oradour-sur-Glane lived in today, is new, and built on the orders of Charles de Gaulle after WW2. The original village, which Marie would have known, stands as a permanent memorial and museum to the 642 men, women and children, slaughtered by the 2nd Panzer Division of the German SS on the 10th June 1944.

If you live in a rural community anywhere in the world, you accept that they are very close knit, with memories which are carried down through the generations. I live in rural France where the war is still so apparent both in monuments and remembrance days in every village; the horror of their lives through occupation and the work of the resistance, are very plain to see, even now.

This book is a beautifully written chronicle of the life of one family through three generations. The author, through meticulous research has given the reader a wonderful insight into what it would have been like to grow up and live in France under occupation.

Through Elodie and Monique’s discoveries and reflections, we learn how the outlook of modern generations has changed, on the surface, but then memories for some people, run deep.

Lest We Forget…

 Available in Paperback from Amazon

[.com] http://www.amazon.com/Something-Old-New-James-Vance/dp/184961198X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394808625&sr=8-1&keywords=something+old%2C+something+new+by+james+r+vance

[.co.uk] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Something-Old-New-James-Vance/dp/184961198X/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

[.fr] http://www.amazon.fr/Something-Old-New-James-Vance/dp/184961198X/ref=sr_1_4?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394808784&sr=1-4&keywords=something+old%2C+something+new

 and Barnes & Noble in Paperback  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/something-old-something-new-james-r-vance/1118715231?ean=9781849611985

Through These Doors – The Manoir at Bout L’Abbé by Diane Condon-Boutier

A fascinating story.

MANOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: If these old walls could talk, would you listen? When a house has a story to tell, historical events to relate and lives to share, it should be given a voice; especially when the house is French and possesses a certain “je ne sais quoi”.
“Through These Doors: the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of the German occupation of Normandy during WWII and the scars left on their unwilling French hosts. A fragile coexistence between the factions struggling for control of Normandy is born, while internal conflicts between certain German officers and their Nazi leaders complicate the impossible relationship between a young French girl and the soldier she finds herself drawn to.
It also speaks of Debra, the American woman who convinces her French husband to buy the manor house in the 1980’s. She finds herself listening to whispers of previous occupants and being accused of insanity because of it. Still, the house will not be silent and Debra submits to its dubious support as her stormy relationship unfolds.

About Diane Condon-Boutier: Diane Condon-Boutier was born in Bay City, Michigan, in 1961. Youngest daughter of a junk food factory shipping manager and a librarian, her favorite activity to this day, is reading a book while eating potato chips. Earning a B.A. from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, in French language studies, history and culture left Diane with a penchant for long walks on sunny beaches and crazy rollercoaster rides in theme parks animated by very large mice.Thus, it is not surprising that an internship to France aiming to perfect the art of French slang resulted in an undying love for the country itself and all things French. Diane calls Normandy her home today. She lives in the countryside outside the lovely port city of Dieppe, where she revels in a daily dose of history and the unique culture the French take for granted.She shares a creaky old house with a few too many spiders and two cats, sometimes harboring one or the other of her adult daughters: Rebecca and Abigail. Their home, named “Le Clos du Hérisson” or in English: “Hedgehog Close” is available for rental under a B&B basis. These rooms are mostly spider free.Diane is also the author of a well followed travel website: www.france-vacations-made-easy.com, as well as several short stories, one of which was published in the Goodreads anthology “Ménage à Twenty”.Her début historical novel: “Through These Doors, the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of lives spent in her part of Normandy, from contemporary times back through the pages of history to the Middle Ages. It is the first in a series.

 

Those of us, who love old houses, will admit to standing in them, and wondering what tales the house could tell – if only it were possible.

This story, unusually, does just that, and the property in question is the Manoir at Bout L’Abbe in Normandy, France. A majestic building like this, set in its own grounds, would have many tales to tell, for such an imposing building, in times gone by, would need regular maintenance, staff to look after its grounds and animals, indeed, such a property would have supported, at one time, many workers.

The story begins in 1987, when young American, Debra, moves into the house with her French husband Phillippe. The house welcomes the happy newlyweds and in time children, however, over the years, things change with unforeseeable consequences…

However, a house of this age can look back a lot further than that, and earlier in the 20th Century, it had been occupied by German troops in WW2. In a fly on the wall way, the house gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into life in wartime France and through the lives of the Fournier family, we have a chance to perhaps understand a little of the emotional strains of war on the French.

The author has brilliantly described the beauty of the French countryside and its wonderful buildings. Through her historical research and attention to detail, she has produced a very interesting and totally absorbing book. Whether you are interested in France, the war, history, or just want to read a good story, I can thoroughly recommend this book.

Available from Amazon.co.uk in Paperback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891520&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+these+doors

Amazon.com in Kindle format  http://www.amazon.com/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392827065&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+These+Doors

and Amazon.fr in Paperback http://www.amazon.fr/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=sr_1_2?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891656&sr=1-2&keywords=through+these+doors

 

 

 

Spate Of Violence by Peggie Biessmann

A story of love, life and crime in the suburbs.
Spate of Violence
Moving house is traumatic and children change, sometimes unrecognisably so in their teens, so, when Karen’s husband Sebastian gets a new job, the family including their 16-year-old daughter Bettina and 12-year-old son Philip move to the up market Bitterfeld-Bergau suburbs of Frankfurt.

It’s an incredible change from their old home but when they’re invited to a friend’s barbecue things begin to look up, and everyone starts settle in. But, all is not as it first seems…behind the scenes there’s unrest and resentment building.
Just down the road, there are apartment blocks called The Park, it is the poorer area of Bitterfield, where many nationalities live, including Turkish Murat and his family. The kids who live there just hang around with their friends, carrying out petty crime. Murat is no different, and led by his friend Deniz, and Deniz’s cousin Yusuf, soon their crime sprees grow into something more serious.
Karen’s world is in turmoil, her husband is working late and preoccupied by something, her daughter has become a stranger and, she has pressure from an unbelievable source.
Then disaster strikes and tragedy hits the family in a way no one could have imagined.
Set in modern Germany, this engaging book looks at the class divide clearly from both sides. The totally different perceived hopes and dreams of the young characters, living very different lives, yet side by side on the planet make for a very good story with a strong and unexpected ending.