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Two of her three novels, THE HOUSE AT ZARONZA and THE CORSICAN WIDOW, are set on Corsica; the third, OVERTURE, is set in Southwest France and Paris, as is AUGUSTINE, a novella prequel.
Vanessa's short stories have been placed in writing competitions and published in anthologies. The stories in FRENCH COLLECTION: TWELVE SHORT STORIES are inspired by and set in France.
When she's not writing, Vanessa is reading, singing, walking, or enjoying France's famed cuisine and wine. She writes a popular blog about French life, Life on La Lune.
Vanessa loves to hear from readers and always replies. Find her on http://vanessacouchmanwriter.com.
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A story of betrayal, lost love and reconciliation, set against the rugged mountains of Corsica and the turmoil of World War I.
The death of Rachel's mother leaves unsolved questions about their ancestors. Can Rachel find the answers she desperately seeks on the island of Corsica, where she knows her grandmother was born?
In a remote Corsican village, a bundle of century-old letters comes to light. The tale unfolds of a secret love affair between the new school master and Maria, the daughter of a wealthy family. But Maria's parents have other plans for her future.
Can Maria escape her destiny, or must she see her dreams crumble? And does she hold the key to the mystery of Rachel's ancestors?
As Rachel digs deeper, she uncovers a remarkable story that has lain hidden for four generations.
"Emotionally powerful." - Historical Novels Review
"Gripping." - French Village Diaries
*Note: the 2nd edition of The House at Zaronza is reissued with a brand-new cover and minor editorial changes.*
A strict island society. A forbidden love. The two are bound to collide.
Corsica, 1755. Valeria Peretti is destined for an arranged marriage with a wealthy older man. A quiet life beckons, but a prophecy spells mortal danger ahead for Valeria.
Without friends in a hostile village, Valeria turns to her only ally. But when she is unjustly accused of a serious crime, she realises that a secret enemy wants her dead.
While Corsica fights to drive its Genoese rulers from the island's shores, can Valeria win her own battles to save her life?
A tale of passion, injustice and revenge in the Corsican mountains and the French port of Marseille.
"I highly recommend this beautifully written and engaging story for lovers of historical fiction." BookMuse
The Tales of Corsica are standalone historical novels set on the captivating island of Corsica.
Walk with us through Doorways to the Past!
Your journey begins in Roman Britain where Ruoridh discovers something that confused him at the fortress of Pinnata Castra, and where you’ll meet Gaius Salvius Liberalis, who tells us about his life as a legate.
Cross the Channel into 8th-century France, where Lady Nanthild shares glimpses into a life fraught with danger. Set foot on thin ice with the Empress Matilda in 12th-century Oxford, and discover if Judd can save Hannah from the desires of a notorious reiver in the tumultuous border lands between England and Scotland in the 15th century.
Then meet Tom at Nottingham Castle in July 1485 – an ominous time for his lord, King Richard III. Onwards, travel to beautiful Italy during the Renaissance where you meet Fra’ Roberto and Fra’ Lorenzo before you’ll jump through time into 18th-century Marseille where Francesca, a young Florentine lady disowned by her family, strives to make a living.
We remain in France where Maria’s path takes her from her home, the breathtaking island of Corsica, to the dangers of the Western Front in World War I. You’ll approach the end of your journey in the present day where John and Marie wrestle with staging a play set in Ancient Rome, and, lastly, meet a history-loving grandmother with an amazing gift.
Take a journey through time, with our collection of short stories and character interviews for readers who enjoy discovering the past, from the comfort of your home.
Jennifer C. Wilson
With a foreword by Yvonne Marjot.
Doorways to the Past is available for pre-order in Amazon Kindle. A paperback version will be available soon.
OCELOT PRESS – independent authors publishing together
For fans of all things French, a collection of twelve short stories inspired by and set in France.
The landscapes and light of France have enthused writers and artists for centuries. Its rich culture and history provide the backdrop for these stories.
Can Arlette resolve her predicament while her sweetheart fights in the trenches on the Western Front?
By escaping to the countryside, will a woman be allowed to leave behind her troubled past?
The celebrated painter Edgar Degas wants to paint an exotic circus performer, but will the portrait live up to her expectations?
Can the unsightly Pierre get the girl he fears will never want him?
These are just four of the dilemmas that must be resolved by the stories' end. Most of the tales are set in the past and some contain a hint of the supernatural. All are infused with the essence of France.
"The characters are so well-drawn that the reader comes to know and care about them in a matter of a few short pages." BookMuse
"I thoroughly enjoyed this little book and I'm not ashamed to say that I binge-read it!" Angela Wren, author of the Jacques Forêt Mysteries
"Thoroughly enjoyable snippets of life in France." The French Village Diaries
Love conquers all. Or does it?
Rural France, 1880. Augustine is not pretty and fears she may never marry. Joseph rents his land and dreams of owning a farm one day. But without a wife and children, he lacks the help he needs.
When Joseph saves Augustine from a drunkard at a dance, they are immediately attracted to each other. They meet again, and the attraction deepens, but they face fierce opposition from Augustine’s parents, who want better prospects for their daughter than Joseph can offer.
And dramatic events threaten to drive them apart forever.
Will Augustine and Joseph overcome the barriers? And at what cost?
Set against the rolling landscape of Southwest France, Augustine is a prequel to the Alouette trilogy but can be read as a standalone.
“I love Vanessa Couchman’s writing: the historical accuracy, atmospheric descriptions and vivid characterisations. Augustine is no exception.” Liza Perrat, author of the Bone Angel Trilogy.
"Vanessa Couchman has the ability to bring history to life and this book was no exception." The French Village Diaries
She has a burning ambition, but everything conspires against her dreams.
France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents' opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt's restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.
She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse's life as well as her career.
Overture is the first in a trilogy set in France, starting in 1897 and finishing at the end of World War II.
The Alouette Trilogy:
Novella prequel: Augustine
Book 1: Overture
Book 2: Intermezzo (out in 2021)
Foreign and Far Away, the fourth anthology published by Writers Abroad, explores the relationship between people and the landscapes and settings they live in. An eclectic range of writing evokes the diversities, similarities, connections and misunderstandings of life in foreign places.
The result is a volume to delight, intrigue and, above all, entertain.
Writers Abroad has chosen Book Aid International to benefit from the proceeds of this anthology. This charity increases access to books and supports literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. They provided 543,280 new books to over 2,000 libraries in 2012 and have sent more than 30 million books to partner libraries since 1954.
All proceeds from the sale of Foreign Encounters will be donated to Books Abroad.
All proceeds from the sale of this ebook go the The Book Bus, a charity whose aim is to bring literacy and the joy of reading to children in the developing world.