Love blogging, reviewing and moving authors to tears

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Thank you to everyone who regularly visits my website and a massive thank you to my wonderful subscribers.  I have been overwhelmed with the praise for my website and book reviews.  Angela Petch captured my motivation perfectly when she wrote that ‘your blog shows me that you are a true book lover.’

I am dedicated to reviewing authors’ books as it is simple act of kindness that lets them know that they are valued.  For instance, Sue Moorcroft responded to a review with ‘There are few things that give me greater pleasure than people enjoying my book.’ Carol Drinkwater wrote that my review was a ‘wonderful surprise’. Authors are the wordsmiths, the dream weavers and storytellers and it is an honour to read their work.  It has made me so happy to discover that Angela Petch was ‘moved to tears’ by my review, and Jan Ellis said that my review made her ‘well up’.  It was a delight to receive Diane Need’s comment that she was ‘so thrilled with the review of her debut novel’.

In addition, to writing the weekly review, I have also enjoyed interacting with the authors about their characters.  Angela Petch has updated me on Giuseppe, Marisa, Francesco, Anna, Ines, Danilo and the little horses of San Francesco from Now and Then in Tuscany. Diane Need has sent messages from Beth in Press Three for Goodbye. Jan Ellis has kept me posted with regard Eleanor’s social life in A Summer of Surprises. I have exchanged postcards with Leah in Just for the Holidays and as Sue Moorcroft said, ‘it was so much fun’. I will catch up with Leah again soon when I read the book.

This week I am reviewing Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg and feel honoured to have read this before the official release.  I know that I will not be able to resist reading Sue Moorcroft’s Just for the Holidays and The Bookshop Detective by Jan Ellis.  Angela’s Tuscan Roots is also speaking Italian to me.  The Vineyard in Alsace by Julie Stock is tempting me with dreams of wine. I wonder if any other authors will be moved to tears of joy by the reviews?


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The Vineyard in Alsace slipped into my handbag, with ease

The Vineyard in Alsace

Julie Stock

The Vineyard in Alsace slipped into my handbag, with ease. It was ‘fantastique’ to escape with a book that whispered, ‘bonjour chérie’ until it was completed.


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As I soon as I opened the book, I was ‘passing through luscious green vineyards in the shadow of the pine clad Vosges mountains and among the gurgling rivers and streams’.  On reaching the destination, it was time to open a bottle of chilled pinot blanc and savour the story.

The novel can boast a vineyard, a dilapidated chateau, glorious food and all the ingredients of a delicious romance – something to make you tingle.  Fran leaves her dominating, cheating fiancé and finds my ideal job in a vineyard, but she does not know that it is owned by, Didier, a former lover.   Besides the dream job, Fran is to live in a ‘heavenly’ fairy-tale cottage. Have I tempted you to read yet?  As Fran says, ‘thank goodness for fate’ and I say let’s drink to the reassuring destiny of a romantic novel.  But do all the roads lead to happiness?

Didier is a ‘gorgeous’, warm-hearted and intelligent man and Fran is also intelligent confident and ‘beguiling’.  They are thrown together again by circumstances but can the fairy-tale last forever?  Didier is a dedicated father and his daughter, Chloe, is his priority.   Chloe is brought to life beautifully throughout the story; the reader can delight in the simple pleasures of a child’s world.

Didier is passionate about the vineyard and cooking so let’s hope that his passionate nature bodes well for this romantic novel.  The story will set your ‘heart racing’ as the story unfolds but the harmony may be broken when there are so many others to consider? Will the chateau cast its magic spell on the inhabitants of the estate, or will the villains return to torment their dreams? Is the prince charming too good to be true?  All will be revealed in the novel as it winds its way towards autumn and the grape harvest.  The author will guide you through her narrative with her warm, inviting style.

The novel presents some interesting facts about the winemaking process and the wine-tasting.  However, I wanted to taste the wine and get involved in the harvest.  I can guarantee that you will want to reach for a good bottle of Alsace wine, some quiche, peach tartes and ponder second chances. You will also taste delicious words such as: pinot blancs, Gewurztraminers, Flammekueche and Kugelhopf sponge.

Is it time for you to take a chateau, a vineyard and add the magic of France.  Perhaps you will pack a romantic picnic but you ‘certainment’ won’t be disappointed if you want to let contentment dominate your senses and comfort your soul.

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