Bonjour from another Francophile! A guest post by Jane Dunning
I might win the prize for the most stays in France, at over 100, but I am older and live much nearer!
Louise and I first met on Facebook a few years ago when I noticed her wonderful photos and could feel the warmth emanating from her posts. A couple of years ago, we booked into the same beautiful B&B near Carcassonne, not at the same time, of course, but it was a coincidence that we chose the same establishment from all of those out there – a sign of similar tastes, perhaps...
We’re also both mad about Villefranche-sur-Mer. I love it for its bustling quayside, the brightly coloured houses tumbling down the steep hillside into the sea, the stupendous views, and how it’s perfect for visiting tons of other places.
CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS OF MY FIRST BOOK
I’d visited a few times, but decided to celebrate the relative success of my first book, and a significant birthday, by renting an apartment overlooking the gorgeous bay, sandy beach, and stunning Cap Ferrat. It was perfect – plenty to do in the town itself but easy to get to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – even on foot! Nice, Cannes, and Monaco are a train ride away so it’s possible to have a great holiday without a car.
When I finished my second novel, I made a list of Facebook contacts whose followers might like to read my book. All Things French came near the top as my characters live in Provence and love a touch of luxury, which is one of Louise’s philosophies, too. If you read the book, however, you’ll find that my character, Cindy, hasn’t followed Louise’s guidelines for streamlining her holiday packing!
The main characters live on a working vineyard, thirty-five minutes inland from St Tropez, in a five en suite bedroom house called Mas des Glycines.
This set the scene for all the characters to be comfortably off. Others live in Monaco and on Cap d’Antibes – both expensive areas to reside.
My character's grand-daughter studies in Aix-en-Provence and has a holiday job at the deluxe Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo, and their grandson works on a superyacht. Luxury to the extreme!
Cindy, mentioned earlier, loves remodelling property, so there’s a touch of interior design in the story along with a gorgeous classic, Italian sports car, and several pages set in luxury hotels along the coast for one reason or another!
If you’re thinking it might be for you, my friend who critiqued the story remarked, ‘I enjoyed reading it, and it made me really want to be there – despite the fact that I’m not a posh frock/expensive hotel type of person!’.