Plain Barny

We live a jammy, comfortable life in a lovely home with running water, central heating and his&hers studies. (We’ve been wed 32 years, and farmed side by side for all of them, but we’ve yet to achieve the heady compatibility of shared office space.)

Our kids grew up in this house, pets and sagas have come and gone. The rooms wear the tale of our lives like a favoured sweatshirt; baggy and washed-out with age. There’s a simile there which suits us rather well these days too. We turn a blind eye to the peeling wallpaper, the leaky roof and the scuff marks. The house has become an old friend and her quirks are easy to tolerate.

But the indolence of our mid-life comfort is about to be shaken. We’re downsizing, into a barn, which currently looks like this…

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THE EN SUITE (!)

Our barn hasn’t got running water, central heating or sewers, but I am reassured that these vital amenities are included in the plans. As are his&hers offices (to avoid the alternative – his&hers houses – which would be altogether more costly). There are also a lot of indecipherable ciphers on our drawings, which I’m desperately trying to interpret.

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PRAY TELL – WHAT FIENDISH LANGUAGE IS THIS?

I’m sure it will all be fine. The Farmer has chopped down some trees (a knee-jerk reaction to stress), we’ve got artisan mates primed to start work and I’m mugging up on Celotex and feather-edged boarding (whilst surreptitiously pinning pretty pictures to Pintrest).

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LEYLANDII  (NOT REAL TREES)

And I’m learning a lot. Primarily, I’ve learnt that my notions are more romantic than my budget. Is there such a thing as a dream editor, to keep things realistic?

BARN LIVING

£70K FOR WINDOWS? YOU’RE HAVING A LAUGH.

We may have to reconsider the pretty windows, but we will have windows of some sort… I think. There will be hilarity (hysteria), cock-up and heated discussion (argument) aplenty before we get this job done. I fully accept that my comfortable, baggy-sweatshirt existence is about to be disrupted.

Bring on the sequined crop-top, I’m (almost) ready.

 

Rustic Guest Carol Grant ~ For the Love of Horses

I’m super excited to welcome my friend, Carol Grant, to the farmhouse kitchen this week. Carol Grant

Carol is an Equine Massage and Bodywork Therapist and also a holder of the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor Certificate. She lives in Saffron Walden with her partner James, teenage children Archie and Milly, Coco the terrier and Onion the Border Collie. She owns two horses and two retired ponies.

That sounds like a busy life! So a big thank you to Carol for taking time out of her hectic schedule to come and chat to us about horses, healing and hotpod yoga!

I’ll warm the hot cross buns while the rest of you read and enjoy.


For the Love of Horses

I am writing this as I approach my first anniversary as ‘Carol Grant – Equine Massage and Bodywork Therapist’. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my journey over the last 12 months. Just over a year ago I attended my first yoga class. Now it wasn’t any old yoga class it was Hotpod yoga! The class takes place in an inflated pod heated to 37 degrees with low-level lighting. Even after just one class I felt amazing, it had such a profound affect on my health and wellbeing that I wondered how something similar could be of benefit to the horses in my life.

At this point I had worked in sales for five years and was ready to try something new so I handed in my notice and bravely embarked on a number of training courses resulting in qualifications in Equine Massage and Bodywork. A year on and I treat between 2 and 6 horses every day and I have treated well over 100 horses in and around North Essex.

I have had a lifelong love of horses as I was extremely lucky as a child to get my first pony at the age of 10. She was a New Forest Pony called Flash also 10 years old and together we shared our many adventures until we were 32 when she was put to sleep in my arms. She was the first horse I loved and there have been many more over the years.

This love of horses remains and has in fact been strengthened by working with so many different horses. I generally have two types of clients, some that I see on a very regular basis every four weeks or so and others that will call me in when their equine doesn’t feel quite right. I  always get great results with the horses I see occasionally, but I get far better results with my regulars. When I treat a horse I respond to subtle clues such as a change in breathing, eye shape, blinking, head nodding, chewing, swallowing and yawning. If I see a horse on a regular basis they begin to open up to me much quicker and will often show me what’s wrong.

For example one of my very first clients was Alfie. Now Alfie is a very handsome Irish Sports Horse who is accomplished when it comes to dressage. This season he will be competing with his owner Tracy at Medium Level and has already shown his face at the regional championships. To begin with Alfie was slightly aloof with me but as time went on he began to trust me and soon I found when I arrived to treat him he would present to me whichever part of his body that was sore. He would also yawn when he saw me in anticipation of the release that was about to happen. Sometimes this yawning will be non-stop throughout the treatment. I swear if I asked him to jump up onto a treatment table he would!

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ALFIE

Then there is Mabel, now, without a doubt, Mabel is a Princess. Mabel is an Eventer and with fingers crossed she will climb the ranks and compete in a 1-star event before the end of the season. When I treat horses I get to know them and get a picture of their personality. As mentioned before Alfie has a touch of the Irish rogue about him, he is a gentleman but there is a naughty roguish side to him as well. Mabel, however, is beautiful, she’s leggy and lean with a coquettish look in her eye. She is extremely talented and she knows it, we have made friends over time and now she allows me to work on her and does lots of yawning when she thinks I’m not looking.

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MABEL

Another one of my talented regulars is schoolmaster pony club pony ‘Super Sid’. He is worth his weight in gold. Whilst the wrong side of 20 Sid has been there, done it, got the t-shirt several times over. He is talented and wise and is showing his current rider the ropes, giving her the most invaluable training only these wonderful older horses can. Whilst not a push button ride when the right buttons are pushed he performs to the best of his ability. He certainly enjoys his sessions with me and as I would expect is always textbook in his responses.

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SID

Charlie is a gorgeous cob who was originally Sid’s stablemate, he then was sold to one of my clients who had very sadly lost her pony in a freak accident. Ponies like Charlie are sometimes overlooked, in my eyes he’s gorgeous but others may see a slightly tubby hairy piebald cob. However he is brilliant and will turn his hand to anything; dressage, showjumping, cross country and more. He will never be a world beater but he will try his heart out and god forbid you should fall off he would be mortified. If he were human I would imagine him as a slightly portly gentlemen with a kind heart who will always be first in line to open a door for you. When his owner gets married later this year Charlie will be in attendance with a garland of flowers round his neck.

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CHARLIE

Turpin was the first horse I saw that had to wear a muzzle when being treated as he is a prolific biter. He is a very tricky horse to handle and on my first visit I struggled to touch much beyond his neck and shoulders without him rearing or bashing me with his muzzled nose. Luckily his owners were impressed with how I handled him and by his third treatment he was unmuzzled and totally relaxed allowing me to work through his whole body. Once he understood I wasn’t going to force him to do something he didn’t want to he relaxed. With horses like him who have a lot of anxiety you just need to let them know you are in charge of the situation and they have nothing to worry about. Horses like Turpin are sometimes the most rewarding as they are so difficult to get through to.

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TURPIN

So I’m a year in and I still go to yoga three times a week, I love my job and can’t help but fall a little bit in love with every horse I treat.


To contact Carol, or for more information about her services, go to carolgrant.org or find her on Facebook

 

 

Farmer by Day, Author by Night

My family farms 735 acres of arable land in North Essex. This isn’t the TOWIE incarnation of Essex that you see on the telly. It must be an hour’s journey to the nearest chic nightclub (farther if you measure in cultural miles). The pub is a goodly hike and you couldn’t throw a stone to strike the nearest retail outlet, not even if you had olympian capabilities and hurled in the direction the crow flies. This is rural Essex, agricultural Essex. It’s picturesque, and it’s home. In my part of the county, there are country lanes and ancient hamlets, Tudor farmhouses, feather-edged barns and land which unfurls with a lack of drama that is soft on the eye.North EssexI’m romanticising, of course, because that’s what I do when I’m not on a tractor or up to my elbows in nutrient-rich soil (read mud). I write rustic romance. I’m a rural authoress.

I’d like to call it a farm diversification but that wouldn’t be honest. A diversion from farming would be closer to the truth and I fear the husband and son might often have cause to wish I was less, er, diverted. But the writing has grown out of the land that raised me and a childhood which taught me to love the outdoors through the turning seasons and petulant weather. It’s inspired by friendships forged in drafty sheds; by harvest, family dogs, autumn bonfires and cider-fuelled, amorous escapades.bonfireI’m no longer youthful, but when my cheeks are wind-stung and the feet are numb, I’ve still got a romantic world to escape to. It might be winter in Draymere too, there may be mud or even snow, but the characters warm the story (and me) with a wealth of diverting antics. My mind can romp alongside them for hours. Be it out in the fields, on a dog walk or while I’m cooking the dinner, you’ll probably find me at Draymere. I’m seldom present in everyday life.

That’s escapism for you.

I blame Jilly Cooper. She introduced me to the possibilities of jodhpur-clad heroines’ who kicked off their wellies instead of slipping out of stilettoes. And that, my friends, was something of a hallelujah moment, back in the day when I lived in jodhpurs and rarely stepped out in anything other than waterproof boots.WelliesBe it town, village or farm, we all fall in love, and we’ve all experienced passion, heartbreak and unwise attraction. The emotions play out no matter where in the world you live.  But I write it rural, earthy and rustic.

The books are raunchy; I should warn you of that. But, hey, it’s nothing that nature isn’t doing outside my window as I type and, trust me, the countryside is as sexy as hell.

Not convinced? Just spend a weekend at Draymere…

draymerehall (1)  A Bed of Barley Straw Cover RADIANT MEDIUM WEB  A Bed of Brambles Cover MEDIUM WEB

Rustic Guest Seumas Gallacher…Gribun Rocks in Mull

Seumas Gallacher

…half a century ago, this ol’ scribbler was a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe in the Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank in Tobermory on the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull… God’s chosen country, and home to some of the friendliest people on the planet… as a young lad in the Bank, it was my duty (read ‘privilege’) from time to time to go around the island in the mobile office… in those days ‘mobile banking’ had NUTHIN to do with telephones, Mabel… we were a bank office on wheels… the island of Mull is among the most beautifully ‘scaped places I’ve ever known in all my global travels… I recall the mobile office driver, a Mister Johnston, a grand man, six feet plus, always clad in typical ‘sensible’ thick tweed suit and shoes made somewhere in the Glasgow shipyards, I reckon… prob’ly then in his sixties…

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April fools on the farm

We’re running around like April fools now that spring has arrived on the farm. The men are loading lorries, dispatching the last of the corn which is still in the barns, and when the barns are empty they’ll have to be cleaned and readied for this year’s harvest. The lorries arrive at random times and often with little warning. Sometimes our early wake-up call is from a driver who needs ‘talking in’ from whatever situation his sat nav has landed him in:  “I followed the postcode, but it’s taken me to a pub/tree/housing estate…” Much like our internet connection and mobile signal, it seems satellite navigation can only be relied on in cities.

This year’s crop is still green in the fields and, as the earth warms up, needs tending with nutrients and never-ending pest control. The autumn drought in the east of England, followed by an onslaught of pigeons and deer, has hammered our oilseed rape this year. We’re nurturing it, and trying to remain optimistic. There are hopeful buds on the plants, and only time will tell if they come to abundant fruition.

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Back at the farmhouse, it’s also the end of the tax year, so alongside tidying barns we’re tidying paperwork too. Filling in forms while the hedgerows bud, scabbling data together on rainy days when the land is too wet to run on and the lorries aren’t queuing up.

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Thrown into the mix of April madness there’s Easter, and work on our barn conversion scheduled to start any minute. Preparations which require thinking ahead, another barn to be cleared, foundations to be excavated and a row of hideously overgrown Leylandii (planted to shield the stable from a westerly wind) which have to be taken down before we can get going.

And then there’s the biggest time consumer of them all: Barley the puppy, who’s got us all spinning like April fools.

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Writing? No chance.

Rustic Guest Katie Attwood – One Foot in the Stirrup

My rustic guest in the farmhouse kitchen this week has come all the way from Australia.

Katie Attwood is a para-equestrian who, in her own words, “plans to take on the world… minus a foot.” I love reading Katie’s posts about her travel and equine adventures, so a big thank you to Katie for letting me share a little of her story here.

Over to Katie, who’s chatting about the horses in her life.


Meet the Crew

So as you can grasp from my blog, I’m going to be doing a fair bit of writing about my horses, other horses, and just every horse in general! As you might be able to tell I love my ponies! And I thought with this post I might introduce you to my current gang. Now […]

via Meet The Crew — One Foot In The Stirrup

Read all about Katie’s Para-Olympic quest by clicking the link to visit her site or by liking her page on Facebook .

I name this book… let’s launch indie style (Part 1 – The Pre-launch)

There won’t be any billboard campaigns, bookstore displays, mainstream media interviews or big name reviews for your average indie book launch, we indies haven’t got the clout or the funds for that sort of malarky. But what we have got (in droves) are lively imaginations and a deeply personal investment in our ‘product’.

It’s three weeks today since A Bed of Brambles published in paperback and ebook. AVAILABLE AT AMAZON, IBOOKS, NOOK, KOBO AND MY LOCAL BOOKSTORE. (If my book is going to sell, I do need people to know that) so I thought I’d share my pre-launch preparations with you here.

Building buzz

You know all that time you spent blogging and tweeting, building up a following and an email list? Well, now is the time to make good use of those platforms – AND your imagination. As an indie, you’ve got the personal touch, so think hard about your options. Give updates, mention the book and the launch date but don’t be overdo it to the point of turning people off. Interaction is the key word here. Consider your (potential) readers and other interests you might have in common with them. Share topical stuff that links to your story, and pass on posts/tweets/blogs of others that catch your eye (you’re going to need these lovely people to return the favour and extend the reach of your own posts).

My golden rules are:

  • Keep it personal and interesting
  • 70% topical/witty : 30% MY BOOK is a decent ratio to follow at this point
  • Post at different times of the day to connect with more readers and time zones
  • INTERACT

Pre-Sales

This option didn’t exist on Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon when I launched my first novel, but it does now. Also on Draft2Digital, where I publish the ebook to iBooks, Kobo, Nook etc. It’s a useful tool because it gives you a mini pre-launch, pre-launch to tempt readers in (ie, it’s something new to shout about) and will (hopefully) give a boost to first day sales. Best of all, it gets a major job out of the way ahead of the launch panic. Your ebook is there, uploaded and waiting for buyers, avoiding the stress of wondering if you’ll get your timing right. (Horror of horrors – shouting about a launch date for weeks in advance to find the book isn’t ‘live’ when the date arrives.)

It’s not so easy with the paperback, in fact, it’s nigh on impossible (without a lot of complicated contortion which I, personally, don’t think is worth it). Not only are pre-sales difficult, CreateSpace and Amazon can’t specify an exact date when the paperback will be live. Three to five days is the best you’ll get, which is something of a dilemma because, in my experience, the book is often live on day two. With a launch you just can’t risk it (see horror of horrors above), so press ‘Publish to Amazon’ five days ahead (and keep schtum if your book, like mine, is live ahead of the launch date!)

Is this book part of a series, or have you written other books of similar genre?

Crank up the buzz and redouble your marketing efforts on the other book(s). I ran a Kindle giveaway on A Bed of Barley Straw, sought fresh reviews and signed up to Bublish so I could post excerpts from both books to social media (see my earlier post: Are you using Bublish yet?) Sales of the first book went up and I hope those readers will be itching to buy the sequel!

Physical copies of paperbacks for marketing and review

You may not have published a paperback, it’s very much a personal choice, but, if you have, now is the time to stock up on those lovely, physical books. They’re a great tool for marketing. You can do your own photo shoot, run giveaways and offer them to reviewers who prefer a paperback copy (at this point we’ll do anything for reviews, right!)

The paperbacks will feature more in Part 2 – The Launch, but if, like me, you publish through CreateSpace and don’t live in America (I live in the UK) you’ll want to get ahead of the game on ordering paperback copies to avoid the exorbitant postage. Print on demand (POD) copies for the author are printed in the USA  (unlike UK customer orders, which are printed in Europe) so it costs to rush delivery and the cheaper options can take UP TO 6 WEEKS to arrive. (Please can you do something about this CreateSpace?)

Make sure you haven’t enabled any sales channels when you approve the final proof of your book, and CreateSpace will give you the option to order copies.


I’ll leave you with a pic from my photo shoot (retweeted on twitter as “the cutest book promo shot of the year” – but it does require a puppy, which I accept you may not have.)

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I’d love to hear how other self-published authors set about preparing for launch day, and what you do when the big day arrives. Do comment below, and tune in next week for Part 2 – The Launch

Rustic Guest Chrissie Parker – The Beauty of the Grand Western Canal

_MG_2415crop (1)I’m welcoming Chrissie Parker to the farmhouse kitchen today – do grab a chair and join us.

Chrissie is passionate about ancient history, archaeology, travel, and the beautiful countryside around her Devon home where she lives with her husband.

A woman of many talents, Chrissie is also learning to play the ukelele, and that’s alongside her work as the author of thrillers, historical fiction and poetry. Her novel Among the Olive Groves won an historical fiction award in the 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards.

Today, Chrissie is walking us along the Grand Western Canal. It sounds, and looks, truly magical.


The Beauty of the Grand Western Canal

I love being a writer, but sometimes it can be quite solitary and a break is needed from sitting behind the computer. Near to where I live in Devon, is the Grand Western Canal. It’s just over eleven miles long and starts at Tiverton basin, winding its way through the rolling mid-Devon countryside, before ending abruptly at Lowdswells close to the Somerset border.

Image 1 Canal General

The Grand Western Canal was the last canal to be built in the UK, work started on it in 1810 and finished in 1838. The original intention was for it to link up with the Taunton canal/river Tone, but it was never completed due to the advent of the railways which is why it ends so abruptly. The canal was built to transport coal and limestone, there are two old limekilns, the remains of an old quarry railway, and The Waytown Tunnel – a barge wide tunnel at Greenham. The canal meanders its way through the countryside, and has no locks due to the way it was constructed. At Lowdswells the canal continues as a rough, dry section, and it is possible to walk the intended route, around 13miles, to Taunton. This section has remnants of locks and lifts, and  I especially love exploring this section, wondering what it would have looked like if it had ever been completed.

Image 2 Lowdswell canal end

Nowadays, the canal is a conservation area. There is a lot to see especially if you love a multitude of wildlife that includes swans, moorhens, ducks, and a variety of other birds such as birds of prey and kingfishers. Pike and other fish haunt the depths of the water hiding among the vegetation and it is also home to elusive otters. The canal is beautiful, serene, and a perfect place to walk whatever the weather. In winter fog hugs the water and ice clings to the bare branched trees. In spring the towpath fills with colour as daffodils, bluebells and primroses bloom in riotous colour. In summer growing cygnets paddle the water accompanied by their proud parents, enjoying the bright sunshine. In autumn leaves of russet and gold flutter to the towpath and vegetation dies back to prepare for another winter.

Image 4 Canal Bridge

As well as being a haven for wildlife the canal is also a popular tourist attraction. Runners, walkers and cyclists stretch their legs daily, kayakers and paddle-boarders explore the water, and fishermen cast their lines in search of a catch. At Tiverton basin the history and heritage of the canal is displayed in a small museum, a colourful horse-drawn barge offers visitors the chance to experience a trip along the canal, and there are two tearooms, where weary visitors can rest their feet.

Image 5 Tiverton Canal Company

Wherever you look, there is much evidence of the old canal industry, and I love imagining what the area would have been like at its height during the industrial revolution, as it seems so far away from the conservation area that it has now become. As well as the canal so many other interesting things sit right on my doorstep. We’re surrounded by public footpaths that take walkers across fields, up the back of the old quarry and through a long avenue of trees. Others wind their way across fields of corn, sheep and cows to surrounding villages, and there is an old monastery that dates back centuries.

Image 7 Waytown Tunnel

Each time I step out from behind my computer and go for a walk I’m very grateful to be able to live where I do. No two walks are the same and I really do live in the most beautiful place in the UK.


To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com follow her blog or link up with her on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.

Meet the author in her natural habitat

What better place for my new book signing than down at the local, and how lucky are we to have such a gem on our doorstep?

‘The Local’ – a pub where locals meet for a catch-up and pint, a g&t and gossip, or a dinner of hearty pub grub (next to the roaring log burner).  The heart of the village! All cliches because they’re true, be it the Fox and Hounds in Draymere, or the pub down the road from you. So I’m very grateful that our lovely hosts are letting little-old-me use their warm and welcoming bar for my book chat.

Grateful, but a tiny bit panicked. It doesn’t come natural, this speaking in pub(lic) lark, I’d far rather write it down. I’m talking to myself in the mirror again (the first sign of author madness?) and practising my signature, which should be easy, but I managed to sign Sam Reading the other day (it started so well).

My special authograph pen (gifted by eldest daughter) is primed and ready to go. I’ve managed to find passages in the book which I can read out loud and (a) don’t give the plot away, (b) aren’t too steamy. But my mind is inventing first night fears – what if no one turns up? What if someone turns up? I pity the poor sods who wander down for a quiet pint and find themselves thrust into romance. Or maybe they’ll enjoy it.

As will I, when I get there. I always do.

Gentle reminder to self; don’t overdo the Dutch courage.

 

Rustic Guest Julie Stock -Vines, Wine and Romance

dscn8886I’m chatting to Julie Stock in the farmhouse kitchen today and, given the theme of Julie’s post (and of her new novel The Vineyard in Alsace) we thought it only proper to forgo tea and biscuits in favour of a nice glass of vino.

Julie and I met through the Alliance of Independent Authors and we’ve been in touch throughout our self-publishing journey, with our paths following uncannily similar routes. I’m chuffed to have Julie with me today.

Can I tempt you to a glass…?


Vines, Wine and Romance

I have lived with my husband and family in Bedfordshire for nearly thirty years now, having moved out here from London shortly after finishing university. I grew up in a big new town (Slough, for my sins!) so I’d never really experienced rural life much before then. I remember finding it so difficult to get to sleep when we first moved because it was so quiet and I was used to lots of noise. Now, the peace and quiet (most of the time) is one of the things I love most about the countryside.

Once I was made redundant from my London job, I started work at The Wine Society in Stevenage and I started learning about wine and winemaking (There might have been a bit of wine tasting involved too!) I was also lucky enough to go on a trip around France with one of our wine buyers to see how he went about choosing wines to sell in the UK. I found the whole process of growing grapes magical and in my dreams, I wondered if I might one day buy my own vineyard and grow grapes too. Now I am older and a bit wiser, I know just how hard a job this is – a year-round job, in fact, like any agricultural industry, and something I’m not sure I’m cut out for.

Interestingly, Bedfordshire has its own vineyard near Old Warden. Warden Abbey has planted vines on its site since medieval times when Cistercian monks tended the fields. Today, the vineyard operates as a not-for-profit venture, offering a unique community and educational resource – and the tradition of making medal winning wines continues. Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity works with other local charities, organisations and local schools to offer social and therapeutic horticulture, learning and skills development, help for people into employment or voluntary work, a range of volunteering opportunities for local people and community groups, and a great chance to be involved from vine to wine, as well as wildlife and heritage projects. We have visited the vineyard on a number of occasions and it never ceases to amaze me just how tirelessly they work, against the elements most of the time, to produce wines in our very fickle climate.

My latest romance novel is set on a vineyard in Alsace in France and takes place against the backdrop of the harvest. I did lots of research of course to add to the knowledge I already have of what really happens during a harvest, and it convinced me that no matter how romantic it all sounds, it really is hard work. Most of us have no idea of the amount of back-breaking work that goes into making our delicious glass of wine, or any other product of course.

When we moved out here all those years ago, I had no idea of course that I would work in the wine industry, nor that one day, I would write a romance novel set on a vineyard, let alone have a vineyard on my doorstep. I now work part-time for a local charity myself and my daily drive through the countryside, passing those vineyards is one of my greatest pleasures.


Julie Stock is an independent author of romance novels, novellas and short stories. She has just published her second novel, ‘The Vineyard in Alsace’ which is available on Amazon.

She is a proud member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association. She blogs regularly about her self-publishing journey on her website, ‘My Writing Life.’ You can also connect with her on Twitter and via her Facebook Author page.

The Vinyard in AlsaceIs there really such a thing as a second chance at love?

Fran Schell has only just become engaged when she finds her fiancé in bed with another woman. She knows this is the push she needs to break free of him and to leave London. She applies for her dream job on a vineyard in Alsace, in France, not far from her family home, determined to concentrate on her work.

Didier Le Roy can hardly believe it when he sees that the only person to apply for the job on his vineyard is the same woman he once loved but let go because of his stupid pride. Now estranged from his wife, he longs for a second chance with Fran if only she will forgive him for not following her to London.

Working so closely together, Fran soon starts to fall in love with Didier all over again. Didier knows that it is now time for him to move on with his divorce if he and Fran are ever to have a future together. Can Fran and Didier make their second chance at love work despite all the obstacles in their way?

The Vineyard in Alsace is a contemporary romance set against the enticing backdrop of the vineyard harvest in Alsace in France.