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Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One (Champagne, Alsace, Lorraine, and Paris regions) (The Savoring the Olde Ways Series) by Carole Bumpus

 

 

NEW RELEASE TODAY

 

A wonderful insight into French family life and traditions.

Carole Bumpus a retired family therapist and the author of this absorbing book has within its pages shared her abundance of experiences which she and her husband Winston enjoyed whilst travelling from Paris in the Île-de-France, through the Champagne, Alsatian and Lorraine regions, and then returning to Paris. Her travels through these eastern regions of France enjoying the food, and experiences of their local inhabitants were enhanced immeasurably by the presence of her French Californian friend and translator Josiane Selvage.

From the first page, this book is packed to bursting point with information, details of the villages they visited, the history of the regions, and the lives of the families they were welcomed into. Reading through it, the impact WWI and WWII had on family life and circumstances is clearly apparent. However throughout the centuries, ‘family favourites’ have, for the most part been conceived through necessity of one kind or another, either because of food shortages (whether it be conflict or caused through natural events,) or quite simply the necessity to create good, tasty, family food using the vegetable and fruit produce and the animals which are abundant where they live. As the years have passed these dishes may have been embellished by food companies and sold for the masses frozen, bottled or canned, but it is in the family kitchen that the best versions are made, with love, and with fondness because of the memories they evoke. For those readers who are keen cooks traditional recipes from each of the regions can be found at the end.

Living in France and enjoying sharing the last 16 years with our neighbours has taught my husband and I about the closeness of French families, and the importance of food and ‘family time.’   These values are wonderfully apparent in this book, and I am looking forward to book two in the series which is due to be released in August 2020. In it the author completes her journey, beginning again in Paris, and then heading north into Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, to the Loire, my chosen region, and then completing the tour in the Auvergne.

Highly recommended: This book is compelling reading, its pages overflow with memorable moments, family secrets, and delicious recipes, and it will hold a prized place on the bookshelf of readers who love France, its food, people and history.

About the Book:

Part culinary memoir and part travelogue, Carole Bumpus gathered this compilation of intimate interviews, conversations, stories, and traditional family recipes (cuisine pauvre) in the kitchens of French families as she traveled throughout the countryside. Travel with her through Champagne caves/wineries and historic cathedrals, local farmers’ markets, ancient potters’ guilds, and restaurant kitchens with wood-fire ovens. Learn how to make homemade Spinach-stuffed Tortellini with Bolognaise Sauce from the Champagne region, Crêpes and Watercress-stuffed Ravioli from the Lorraine, and Baekeofe and Kugelhopf from the Alsace. “Go blind” from the family stock of Eau de Vie liqueur and be treated to tales of foraging for snails for the infamous and now extinct Escargots Festival. And, on a somber note, listen to accounts of families forced from their communities during the German occupation of WWII in the Alsace and Lorraine, only to continue to struggle for survival after finally making their way home.

This book is a compilation of stories about making ends meet; about people being grateful for all they had, even when they had almost nothing; about the sharing of family jokes and laughter; and about family trials and triumphs. This book is about people savoring the life they have been given.

Available in Paperback and eBook format

from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Searching-Traditions-Champagne-Lorraine-Savoring/dp/1631525492/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Searching+for+Family+and+Traditions+at+the+French+Table%2C+Book+One+%28Champagne%2C+Alsace%2C+Lorraine%2C+and+Paris+regions%29+%28The+Savoring+the+Olde+Ways+Series%29&qid=1566894183&s=gateway&sr=8-1

and

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/searching-for-family-and-traditions-at-the-french-table-book-one-carole-bumpus/1129474979?ean=9781631525490

A Stranger in Paris: 1 (A French Life) by Karen Webb

 

A story of love, life and adventure in Paris.

It’s amazing what we will do for love. Its magnetism draws like nothing else, as the readers of this fast paced and exciting memoir will discover.

It is possible to break free from your traditionally expected path in life and live a totally different one. The author, Karen Webb, discovered this when one day when she suddenly realised with certain clarity that she didn’t want to just get her degree, and the settle down with her fiancé Steve to a lifetime of beer and rugby in Neath.

Instead in 1989 this story begins at Aberystwyth train station, where she is saying goodbye to her university life and friends, who all think she is mad. Why, well because running headlong out of one relationship has led to her falling hopelessly in love with David Azoulay, a naturally charismatic French Orthodox Jew. Charming and caring he quickly takes her heart, and then heartlessly tells her that she must let him go. Hurt, rejected, and sure she can change his mind, what does she do, she follows him back home to Paris.

Reckless, impetuous perhaps, however this decision is the first of many she is destined to make. I for one, having become an expat English living in France 16 years ago understand totally the draw of adventure, the wonder of Paris and the wonderful experiences living in France has to offer.

Encouraged by her friend, or perhaps as we discover devil on her shoulder, Jessica, Karen, like many girls before her finds a job as an au pair to a French couple with three children. Settled in their bourgeoise house in Paris she quickly discovers what is expected of her, and to her surprise some amazing insights into the French attitudes to sex, married life, and relationships.

Karen also very quickly discovers how totally lost you can feel when everyone around you speaks French at double time, and expects you to understand them. Her experiences provide entertaining and interesting reading, and gives her readers a real feel for French family life.

However, the appearance of her friend Jessica at her employer’s house one night is destined to change everything, her relationships, career, home, indeed her whole life.

There is so much of everything packed into this story, her life is truly a rollercoaster of an adventure, yet, throughout Karen has the amazing ability to adapt to whatever life throws at her, however the question is, did she get her man?

This is the first of a three part memoir by this talented author and I for one cannot wait to read more of her loves, experiences, and adventures.

Highly recommended – whether you love a great memoir which enables you to peeping into other people’s lives, adore Paris or France, or just want an excellent story you can get totally absorbed into, this is the book for you!

About the Author:

Born in Cheshire, Karen graduated with an English Literature degree from Aberystwyth University, moving to Paris in 1989 for what was intended to be a six-week course in French. She stayed on first working as an English Language teacher for schools and then setting up her own training centre teaching English in companies across the city. In 2005 she moved with her two children to the South West of France where she spent the next couple of years renovating dilapidated French farmhouses. Since then she has qualified as a real estate agent, gained an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and began a programme of literary retreats in France, inviting authors and publishers from all over the world to come and teach to aspiring writers. ‘A Stranger in Paris’ is her first book, and the first in a three-part memoir covering her life in France, and integration into French culture.

About the Book:

The first in a three-part memoir exposing the darker side of French culture, a brilliantly funny and poignant study of French life that begins when a young graduate makes a spontaneous decision to follow the man she loves to Paris. He is, however, nowhere to be found … Now a penniless singleton she must work in order to survive. With only a smattering of French she begins a new life. ‘A Stranger in Paris’ follows Karen in her formative years as she searches for friends, family, and love. A portrayal of French life from the inside by a narrator who has seen the various echelons of French society from rich to poor, from the capital city to the rural South West.

A Stranger in Paris is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stranger-Paris-French-Life/dp/1911293311/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1560506217&sr=1-3

 

 

About the 

In Foreign Fields: How Not To Move To France by Susie Kelly

 

I just loved this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a firm fan of Susie Kelly’s books about her adventures and experiences of living in rural France, I couldn’t resist downloading this, her latest book, and I am so happy that I did.

In it I discovered how it is that Susie Kelly came to live in her house in the Poitou-Charente region of France. Throughout this wonderful book she shares her incredible adventures of this time, and I found myself laughing, sighing, and sometimes nearly crying, as I read them described in truly ‘fly on the wall’ style.

Like many others before and after them, Susie and her husband Terry set off armed with practical advice, hope and lots of information and tips on house buying in a foreign land. Needless to say, despite this, we all know the draw of the Estate Agent’s window, all those amazing properties, interesting, and sometimes slightly misleading descriptions, plus the financial restrictions which we all have. Susie and Terry were just the same and settled for, as my dad would say ‘a doer-upper.’

From the moment you open this book and start reading, Susie Kelly’s frank and humorous style of writing draws you in, and, as an expat myself, I have to say it really is a very honest look at the wide range of characters of people, both English and other nationalities which you encounter here. Through her amazingly descriptive writing she paints a vivid picture of the countryside and life around her in this beautiful region of France, and recounts honestly many of the situations she finds herself in, and the antics of her menagerie.

Whether you dream of moving to France, want to know what life here is really like, or just want to be a fly on the wall enjoying someone else’s experience, then this is the book for you.

About the Author:

Susie Kelly was born in grey post-war London, and spent much of her childhood and young adulthood in the beautiful country of Kenya.

She now lives in south-west France with a menagerie of assorted animals, and is passionate about animal welfare.

Her first book “Best Foot Forward” was published by Transworld Publishers in 2003, followed by “Two Steps Backward” in 2004, and “A Perfect Circle” in 2006.

Since 2011 Susie’s books have been published by Blackbird Digital Books, whose theme is strong, adventurous women living life to the full. Blackbird Digital Book people love birds and animals, travel, history, romance, natural health and environment, resourcefulness, humour, the surreal and magic.

If her house caught fire and she could only save three things (apart from her animals, of course), they would be courage, compassion and a sense of humour.

About the Book:

Susie and Terry dream of living in France. The dream comes true, but not in the way they had imagined. Sometimes it feels more like taking part in a musical comedy than starting a new life in France.

Yes, the countryside is spacious and peaceful. On summer nights the stars skim the rooftops, the owls hoot and the nightingales sing. Sunflowers smile from their fields. The wine is cheap and the baguettes are crusty. The French neighbours are generous and gentle.

But then come the drug addicts, builders who cannot build, demanding compatriots, undercover cops and unwelcome guests. Susie begins to lose hope of attracting the fabled French philanderer and, far from appreciating their new home, the animals do everything they can to make life as difficult as possible. With her house literally crumbling around her, the number of odd characters Susie manages to attract are only matched by the assortment of creatures appearing from in and out of the woodwork. Terry almost dies, and Susie’s resilience and good humour are tested to the limit.

Available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Fields-How-Move-France-ebook/dp/B07KN1TF1J/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548246187&sr=8-3&keywords=susie+kelly

 

 

Are We French Yet? Keith and Val’s Adventures in Provence by Keith Van Sickle

 

A thoroughly entertaining glimpse into life in Provence.

I absolutely loved Keith Van Sickle’s first book ‘One Sip at a Time,’ and so was delighted to discover this new release.

Keith and his wife Val’s path in life changed five years previously when Keith was offered a work assignment in Switzerland. The experience opened their eyes to new opportunities and so back in America they took the bull by the horns and became self-employed. This brave move enabled them to take their destiny in their own hands and gave them the freedom to split their time between America and France.

The story commences with a restless Keith impatiently waiting for the time to pass so they can close down their American house and spend spring in Provence. However, his wife’s suggestion that they have a relaxing bike ride backfires when a squirrel decides to join in…

Finally, back in their beloved Provence, complete with their dog of course, Keith and Val settle into their rented property and become reacquainted with the area and their French friends. They are keen to learn conversation French so they take lessons with a teacher called Geneviève who takes no prisoners where pronunciation and attention to details are concerned.

Throughout this informative story the open and helpful characters of the French people they meet and befriend shine through, and also the completely different attitudes of the French and Americans to things in life. Perhaps to everyone the most obvious is the pace of life in each country, and this is something which you immediately notice whether you are an expat or you are just on holiday. However, as you spend more time here you can’t fail to notice the French peoples attitude to work and family life are so different.

The author’s wonderfully descriptive writing brings alive the  warmth, culture, food and wine enthused life in Provence, with meals out with friends, visits to vineyards, and of course the marvellous scenery. On this visit amongst other things we find out what it is like to go gluten free in France, discover the French reaction to the Eurovision Song Contest, and experience the famous Courses de Camarguaise.

To be able to live in two totally different countries must be a wonderful experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to savour Provencal life, and meet through his writing some of its people.

However, there is one thing which anybody new to France is in peril of getting wrong and that is the kiss, or is it kisses you give and receive when greeting, and also how many? Not to mention the worry of which side of the cheek you start on. Fear not, the answer to these questions and many more are weaved within the pages of this thoroughly entertaining book which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy France from the comfort of their armchair.

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Van Sickle grew up in Alameda, California, the son of public school teachers. He got his first taste of overseas life while spending a college term in England and later backpacked around the world for six months.

Grateful for the scholarships that helped him pay for college, in 1987 he started a foundation that helps students from Alameda pursue a college education.

Keith fell in love with Europe during a five-year expat assignment in Switzerland, where he and his wife Val lived in a village with more cows than people. After returning to the US, Keith helped start a company whose product was so geeky that he still doesn’t quite understand it.

Keith and Val dreamed of living abroad again but were unable to find another expat gig. So they decided to invent their own. Now consultants, they and their trusty dog split their time between Silicon Valley and Provence, delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Read more at www.keithvansickle.com 

 

About the Book:

Can Two Americans Really Become French?

Val and Keith turned their lives upside down when they quit their jobs to begin a part-time life in Provence. But they wondered: Can we fit in? And maybe become French ourselves?

Follow their adventures as they slowly unlock the mysteries of France…
– Is it true that French people are like coconuts?
– Can you learn to argue like a French person?
– What books have changed French lives?
– Most important of all, how do you keep your soup from exploding?

There’s more to becoming French than just learning the language. If you want the inside scoop on la belle France, you won’t want to miss this delightful book!

From the Book

Vive La France!
The first clue that this was not going to be a simple apéritif was when we walked into the house and saw that it was full of people. I think word had gotten out that there were Americans coming over who sort of spoke French and everyone wanted to see this oddity, kind of like a three-headed cat. Or maybe they’d been watching old American movies and thought we would show up with cowboy hats and six shooters and do tricks with our lassoes.

Oops
Every driver was being pulled over and told to blow into a breathalyzer, which meant Val because she was the one driving. “I’m nervous,” she said, “because I’m feeling the wine a little bit. Here, check my hand!” It was cold and clammy. “What if they put me in handcuffs and haul me off to jail? Will you know how to bail me out?” I didn’t think I would but this was definitely not the time to point that out.

Bulls Go For A Swim
“The bull has escaped!” Val and I looked up to see a thousand pounds of anger barreling down the street right at us. We ran to safety as the bull thundered past, followed by French cowboys on horseback.

It’s All About The Tongue
The first time we had a class with Geneviève, she pulled a book off a shelf and asked us to each read a few paragraphs to test our pronunciation. I knew we were in trouble as soon as Val started. As she spoke, Geneviève began jotting notes on a pad of paper. After a few sentences she started grinning. Then she started giggling. When it was my turn she put down her pen and started laughing out loud and wiping her eyes.

Out of Gas
Between guests and food and exercise and reading and living a French life, our days are full. And then once in a while something unexpected comes along that takes even more time. Like the day the country ran out of gasoline.

Are We French Yet? is available from Amazon in Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L6N3JK7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence by Keith Van Sickle

 

Can a two-career couple really pick up stakes and move to Provence?

    

When Californian Keith Van Sickle accepted an overseas work post to the French speaking Neuchatel in Switzerland, he and his wife could have believed that this event would be the stimulus which would change their lives forever.

You see, they loved their time abroad so much that on their return to America they decided to become self-employed as consultants. This decision gave them the flexibility and freedom to follow their dream of living in Provence France for periods of time.

So, together with their dog Lucca, they headed for Provence, and in springtime, for three years they stayed in three different locations, Mollégès in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Ventabren in Aix-en-Provence, and Le Thor in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

They were keen to learn the language, make new friends, and immerse themselves in the culture and customs of this beautiful region of France.

Keith’s wonderfully descriptive writing brings alive for his reader the amazing scenery, majestic mountains, incredible chateaux, beautiful villages and culinary delights which they sampled on their visits, and gives a real feel for living there.

As an expat his experiences made me smile as he so eloquently describes the so very unique ways of the French people. There are many examples of how in many different ways they differ so much from the English, some make you smile and some are downright frustrating, but all are interesting to observe, unless of course you are waiting for something or someone to arrive, when their manana sense of time isn’t funny at all.

Reading this book you get a true sense of how important time spent with family, and friends is in France. They are very patriotic and loyal to their country and region, indeed each department has its own culinary specialities, and festivals to celebrate the harvesting of the local produce.

Who could not be amazed at the incredible range of breads, pastries and gateaux which are offered in the boulangeries, and the wide range of produce which can be bought at the markets which are in all the villages however large or small. These markets really are wonderful to investigate, there you can find everything you need from fruit, and fresh goats cheeses direct from the farm, to chickens ready to lay your breakfast eggs.

I highly recommend this fascinating and entertaining book. Whether you love reading about other people’s lives, want to know more about ‘real’ France, or would like to live or holiday there, this very interesting book will captivate and amuse you.

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Van Sickle grew up in Alameda, California, the son of public school teachers. He got his first taste of overseas life while spending a college term in England and later backpacked around the world for six months.

Grateful for the scholarships that helped him pay for college, in 1987 he started a foundation that helps students from Alameda pursue a college education.

Keith fell in love with Europe during a five-year expat assignment in Switzerland, where he and his wife Val lived in a village with more cows than people. After returning to the US, Keith helped start a company whose product was so geeky that he still doesn’t quite understand it.

Keith and Val dreamed of living abroad again but were unable to find another expat gig. So they decided to invent their own. Now consultants, they and their trusty dog split their time between Silicon Valley and Provence, delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Read more at www.keithvansickle.com

 

About the Book:

Keith and Val had a dream – to live in Provence, the land of brilliant sunlight and charming hilltop villages.

But there were two problems: they weren’t French speakers and they had full-time jobs. So they came up with a plan…

Follow their adventures (and misadventures) as they quit their jobs, become consultants and split their time between two countries. Laugh along as they build a life in Provence, slowly mastering a new language and making friends with the locals over long meals and just a bit too much wine.

This light and breezy memoir is full of wry observations on France, like the power of cheese to sway elections, the right and wrong ways for men to kiss each other, and the law requiring that blood donors must speak French.

If you’ve ever dreamed of changing gears and learning what joie de vivre is really all about, you won’t want to miss this delightful book.

From the Book

Joyeux Anniversaire: The chef had written a cookbook and I bought one for Val, which he signed. His inscription read, “Valérie, vous êtes jeune et délicieuse comme les fèves du printemps” (“Valerie, you are young and delicious like the fava beans of springtime.”) . . . I had so much to learn from the French.

How to Kiss a Frenchman: Here, not far from where we had stayed the year before, it was two kisses on the cheek rather than three. How were we supposed to know this? Was there a border we had crossed but somehow missed the sign? (“Welcome to Eastern Provence. Please Follow the Local Kissing Regulations. And Enjoy Your Lunch, Especially the Asparagus, Which is Delicious Right Now.”)

A Night at the Opera: There are many words that are the same in French and English, like nation, pause, and danger. If I don’t know a word in French, sometimes I will just fake it by using the English word with a French accent. It works most of the time. But you have to be careful. There are words that exist in both languages and have entirely different meanings. These are the infamous faux amis, or “false friends.” Ask Val about the time she shocked her co-workers by talking about preservatives in food. Oops, preservative means “condom.”

Interregnum: France had started to capture our hearts. It wasn’t just a place we visited; it was becoming one of the places we lived. Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have said, “Every man has two countries – his own and France.” Maybe he was on to something.

 

One Sip at a Time is available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/One-Sip-Time-Learning-Provence/dp/0998312002/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/One-Sip-Time-Learning-Provence-ebook/dp/B01N24CGEE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

and as an Audiobook https://www.amazon.com/One-Sip-Time-Learning-Provence/dp/B073ZLMPVG/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

LA PETITE JOSETTE EN PROVENCE Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence) by Ashley Davidson-Fisher

 

Coming soon” LA PETITE JOSETTE EN PROVENCE

Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence)

by Ashley Davidson-Fisher

 

“Wake up, La Petite, réveille-toi, we’re going on an adventure to a medieval village!”

La Petite loves adventures and history and she is super excited for her trip to Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, France.

What will she find?

A castle, knights, perhaps a “treasure” to take home? There’s so much to do before the trip, but with the help of her big sister they’ll be on their way in no time.

La Petite en Provence is an illustrated, bilingual, French and English language adventure and learning book.

It helps to teach children basic, multi-language skills and to foster a love for exploring the world.

Review by Susan Keefe:

France captured the hearts of southern California born and raised author Ashley and her husband Michael in 2003, when they arrived in Provence with their four young children. Ashley was studying abroad for degrees in French Culture Studies and Business, and whilst Ashley participated in her university work, Michael and the children became immersed in the French culture and language. Trips out exploring their adopted country led to a love of the region, and after returning to the USA to complete her degrees, Ashley and her husband returned with their youngest child to Provence in 2010.

It is perhaps these experiences into the French way of life as an expat which inspired Ashley to create this clever little story. It is written primarily in English, but also has many phrases written, and explained in French also. I think this enriches the story and enables the reader to enjoy a truly bilingual experience.

The setting is the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence. It is a listed heritage site, is noted as “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” (“Station classée”). Its ruined castle, and history make it the ideal foil for the wonderful journey of discovery, which La Petite Josette and her big sister Anne-Laure embark upon in this story.

There is great excitement in the household, the family are going for a day out! The girls can’t wait for mum to pack the picnic, and dad to get the car ready. Eagerly they watch the beautiful countryside, the vast vineyards, and olive groves go by on their way to their hilltop destination, Les Baux-de-Provence. However it is the village’s hilltop ruined castle which captivates the girls’ imagination.

As they look around it, papa explains its history, and the girls are caught up in the atmosphere, looking over the ramparts, seeing the village below, and even some troglodyte caves!

What an exciting day, they have, there is so much to see and do! But all good things must come to an end, and it is two tired girls who return home at the end of a wonderful day, and clutched in her hand La Petite Josette holds a very special souvenir.

A lovely story, one to be treasured forever, beautifully illustrated by the author and her husband’s talented daughter Martinique Louise Fisher. – Highly Recommended!

To find out more please visit the author’s website: https://lapetitejosette.com/ 

La Petite Josette in Provence will be available in September.

Audiobook – My Good Life in France In Pursuit of the Rural Dream by Janine Marsh

 

A thoroughly entertaining audiobook written by Janine Marsh and narrated by Esther Wane.

 

In this totally captivating audiobook we discover that people really do buy a house in another country on impulse. In fact, the author Janine Marsh did just that on a wet and windy February cross channel day out with her husband Mark, and Dad.

Townies Janine and Mark threw caution to the wind, and jumped in with both feet, buying and renovating a run-down French farmhouse. So what made these sensible people with their feet firmly on career paths do such a rash thing? Well, quite simply it was the love of France and everything (well almost) French.

I am an expat but even if you are not, I am sure, you will like me fall in love with the North of France, the Seven Valleys region, its coastline, seaside and country villages, the gastronomy, its people and so much more.  This story isn’t just a wonderful way to enjoy experiencing someone else’s life in another country, it is a way to get a real feel for what living in France is really like – warts and all.

It is amazing also to listen about the transformations which can easily happen to someone when they go to live in another country, the new skills we discover, and how anything seems possible.

Throughout this audiobook there is plenty of information about, food, history, renovation, quirky sayings, and not least the enormous differences between our two cultures, even though we are only separated by the English Channel.

The narrator, Ester Wane wonderfully tells this story, so whether you are looking for a highly entertaining story to listen to, considering moving to France and want to know what really motivates anyone to give up a successful career and life in the UK to make the move, or are going on holiday to France and would like a little insider information, this is the audiobook for you!

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

Janine Marsh lives in northern France with her husband and myriad pets. She is unable to resist a stray animal, and the word is out. She works from a converted pig sty when she’s not travelling around France doing research for her website www.thegoodlifefrance.com, which tells you everything you need to know about France and more.

She gave up a sensible job in London, where she was born, to renovate a bargain basement barn and turn it into a home – an ongoing project. Along the way she became maid to six cats, three dogs, fifty chickens and ducks, and four mad geese.

She is an award-winning travel writer and social media fan who loves to share her life, explorations and photos on Facebook at The Good Life France.

About the Book:

One grey dismal day, Janine Marsh was on a trip to northern France to pick up some cheap wine. She returned to England a few hours later having put in an offer on a rundown old barn in the rural Seven Valleys area of Pas de Calais. This was not something she’d expected or planned for.

Janine eventually gave up her job in London to move with her husband to live the good life in France. Or so she hoped. While getting to grips with the locals and la vie Française, and renovating her dilapidated new house, a building lacking the comforts of mains drainage, heating or proper rooms, and with little money and less of a clue, she started to realize there was lot more to her new home than she could ever have imagined.Ten years ago, Janine Marsh decided to leave her corporate life behind to fix up a run-down barn in northern France. This is the true story of her rollercoaster ride, in many ways a love story, with her sharp observations on the very different way of life, culture and etiquette of France.

From her early struggles and homesickness through personal tragedy, to her attempts to become self-sufficient and to breed ‘the fattest chickens in the village’, Janine learned that there was more to her new home than she could ever have imagined.

My Good Life in France is available as an audiobook from Audible https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Travel-Adventure/My-Good-Life-in-France-Audiobook/B079G3PXL3?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=E4APMM8KXWQ20XMEBS6D&

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Good-Life-France-Pursuit/dp/B079G3KJN9/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

and Tandor Media https://tantor.com/my-good-life-in-france-janine-marsh.html

Paw Before Bedtime The story of Twilight: the retirement home for dogs by Association Twilight with Liz Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an animal lover, I have supported, sponsored and admired all my life the people who run animal sanctuaries, not only because of the wonderful rescues they do, giving animals who were unloved, ill-treated, abandoned or uncared for a new chance of life, but also I admire their ability to be strong enough to be able to do the difficult bits which inevitably come with the calling.

Reading this wonderful book, Paws before Bedtime, has taken my admiration to a whole new level! When you visit a sanctuary or rescue centre you don’t really know what happens behind the scenes, you may see before and after pictures, but they can’t portray the feelings of both the rescuers and the animals, like this book does.

Leeanne and Mike, animal lovers and soul mates, have in their part of France, made their home into a rescue centre for old dogs, not just local dogs, but their dogs sometimes travel great distances to spend their last hours, days, weeks, months or if they are fortunate years, with this amazing couple, and the volunteers who are an essential part of this haven.

I had heard of Twilight before reading this book, but living a great distance away had never visited them, now I have the overwhelming wish to do so. That so many dogs, with such a diverse range of illnesses and/or disabilities have found peace here is amazing enough, but that they ALL get to feel loved, genuinely cared for, and live as part of an enormous pack, is fantastic.

However, it is not just the dogs lives that Leeanne and Mike have enriched, they seem to have their own special magic which draws people to them and, and the dogs. It’s the ‘Twilight Effect’ so I have read, and it is absolutely lovely! To know that there are such special people in this world is heart lifting, people who care for the dogs, raise funds to make their lives better, pick up and transport them, and of course do all the essential little daily tasks which come with owning dogs.

This book is a wonderful celebration of Twilight and inside you will find incredible stories about dogs with all sorts of problems who thanks to the dedication and love of Leeanne, Mike, and an army of volunteers young and old, live their twilight years safe, warm and loved.

The stories of Leeanne, Mike and many of the helpers are also told, as they are integrally entwined together. This book is one every animal lover should own, it is humbling, inspiring, and just simply wonderful.

Twilight, in all its guises is a place which all animal lovers wish they were brave enough to have ourselves, but we haven’t, and I for one am full of admiration for this amazing couple and their helpers who have been brave enough to help these elderly, ill and sometimes very disabled dogs.

On a personal note, I have had dogs all my life my Border Collie Toby, is now 8 years old, and the years pass so quickly. Leeanne and Mike say in the book that they hope people will consider rescuing an old dog when the time comes for them to have another canine friend, and I will do so.

I loved so much of this book, even though at times I could barely read it through the tears, but this passage will stick in my mind forever, ‘That magical Twilight Effect has encouraged both the French and the English community to step up and take on the oldies, and instead of being afraid of death, to celebrate the life that the dogs have. Old dogs do not go to retirement homes to die. They go to live.’

So please buy this book, for yourself, your friends, for birthdays, Christmas, by doing so you will not only be supporting Twilight, you will also have the privilege of allow the wonderful characters in it, both canine and human to enter your soul and enrich your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to buy this book, or show your support for Twilight please get in touch with them either as above, or on the links below:

Their Website and purchasing page for the book is: http://www.twilightchiens.com/buy-paws-before-bedtime

For any questions please email: twilightdogsbook@gmail.com

Or follow them on Facebook at: Twilight the biography: Paws Before Bedtime

or Twilight – the retirement home for dogs

On Twitter @TwilightDogs

La Vie En Rose by Susie Kelly

 

Thoroughly entertaining observations about life in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a real fan of Susie Kelly’s style of writing I couldn’t resist downloading this book with my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and was not disappointed.

Yet again she managed to entertain me thoroughly with a completely new selection of her blog posts written about her observations on life in France. I have to say right now, if you are thinking of moving to France, or are coming on holiday here, this is essential preparation reading, I kid you not!

As an expat, living life day to day in France I could immediately laugh, agree, and sometimes commiserate on Susie’s reflections on the way ‘real life’ is over here. Yes, it is wonderful, no I would never go back, however, sometimes the ‘French way’ of life and doing things is totally mystifying.

One lovely observation I had to agree on is that it is rare to see a child misbehaving, or a parent rising their voice to them, they seem to know what is expected of them from an early age, and this is lovely to observe.

Some of her comments on shops, their opening times, and repair policies couldn’t help but make me smile, yes you get used to life here, but every so often some things do seem a little strange – to say the least.

There are so many interesting topics to read about, and on a personal note, I have to thank her for giving an explanation to something I have seen many times, yet never used, in the last chapter. At least if I have to use one in future I will know what to do, and if you want to know what it is, then read the book – you will not be disappointed!

A thoroughly entertaining book which captured me from the moment I opened it, until the very last word.

About the author:

Susie Kelly was born in grey post-war London, and spent much of her childhood and young adulthood in the beautiful country of Kenya.

She now lives in south-west France with a menagerie of assorted animals, and is passionate about animal welfare.

Her first book “Best Foot Forward” was published by Transworld Publishers in 2003, followed by “Two Steps Backward” in 2004, and “A Perfect Circle” in 2006.

Since 2011 Susie’s books have been published by Blackbird Digital Books, whose theme is strong, adventurous women living life to the full. Blackbird Digital Book people love birds and animals, travel, history, romance, natural health and environment, resourcefulness, humour, the surreal and magic.

If her house caught fire and she could only save three things (apart from her animals, of course), they would be courage, compassion and a sense of humour.

 

About the Book: Living the French dream – vineyards, sunflowers, lavender fields, glasses of wine and platters of fromage. French ladies slender and chic, French men wearing berets and riding bicycles with baguettes clamped under their arms when they are not flirting outrageously, and all the while the sun shines down benevolently upon uniform rows of ripening vegetables.

Dreams are strange and unpredictable, and sometime so is la vie en rose.

A pick from some of the best bits of the popular travel author’s blog diaries reveal the minutiae of expat day to day life in rural France. A must-read for Susie Kelly fans and anybody thinking of, or dreaming of, moving to France.

 

Available from Amazon in Kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vie-En-Rose-Notes-France-ebook/dp/B073BNJDR5/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh

A thoroughly entertaining story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do people really buy a house in another country on impulse, or is it just something TV shows fool you into believing? Well, the author Janine Marsh certainly did just that on a wet and windy February cross channel day out with her husband Mark, and Dad. Timing can be everything in France, and if you miss that all important long lunch time they have, then anything can happen!

Thus began their adventure as the townies Janine and Mark threw caution to the wind, and jumped in with both feet, buying and renovating a run-down French farmhouse. So what made these sensible people with their feet firmly on career paths do such a rash thing? Well, quite simply it was the love of France and everything (well almost) French.

Throughout this enthralling book you will, like me, fall in love with the North of France, the Seven Valleys region, its coastline, seaside and country villages, the gastronomy, its people and so much more. This book isn’t just a wonderful way to enjoy experiencing someone else’s life in another country, or your adopted country if you, like me are an English expat, it is a way to get a real feel for what living in France is really like – warts and all.

For me it was interesting to read how one of my favourite online magazines came to be The Good Life France, and I can imagine it will be an inspiration to those out there who want to do what Janine did, turn her back on a very successful career, only to develop another one in totally different surroundings, living the good life in France.

It is amazing also to read about the transformations in a person when they live in another country as well, without really noticing it many of us (I hold my hands up to this) manage to acquire many more pets and livestock than we would ever have imagined in the UK, somehow it just doesn’t seem so difficult. We learn new skills and evolve in ways we could never have dreamt possible, simply because anything seems possible, we feel free.

For me, every page of this captivating book held something different to learn about, food, history, renovation, quirky sayings, and not least the enormous differences between our two cultures, even though we are only separated by the English Channel. In it I also found the answer to one of those things which always puzzles me in autumn, namely, why the French always pick mushrooms using wicker baskets, and this, as usual, is obvious when you know the answer.

So whether you are considering moving to France, wonder if people really do buy ruins in the middle of France and do them up, want to leave everything behind and start anew, are fancying going on holiday to the North of France, or you are just looking for a totally riveting read, I can highly recommend this book.

About the Book: 

One grey dismal day, Janine Marsh was on a trip to northern France to pick up some cheap wine. She returned to England a few hours later having put in an offer on a rundown old barn in the rural Seven Valleys area of Pas de Calais. This was not something she’d expected or planned for.

Janine eventually gave up her job in London to move with her husband to live the good life in France. Or so she hoped. While getting to grips with the locals and la vie Française, and renovating her dilapidated new house, a building lacking the comforts of mains drainage, heating or proper rooms, and with little money and less of a clue, she started to realize there was lot more to her new home than she could ever have imagined.

These are the true tales of Janine’s rollercoaster ride through a different culture – one that, to a Brit from the city, was in turns surprising, charming and not the least bit baffling.

Available from Amazon.co.uk in paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Good-Life-France-Pursuit/dp/1782437320/ref=la_B071Y4RTMM_tnr_p_1_367666031_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494405332&sr=1-1

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Good-Life-France-Pursuit-ebook/dp/B06XT53MFQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1494405332&sr=1-1

and also Amazon.com in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Good-Life-France-Janine-Marsh/dp/1782437320/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1494405671&sr=8-1

and Kindle format  https://www.amazon.com/My-Good-Life-France-Pursuit-ebook/dp/B06XT53MFQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1494405671&sr=8-1