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About Vanessa Couchman
Vanessa moved to southern France in 1997 and hasn’t looked back. Being a “history nut”, she’s in totally the right place. The beguiling Mediterranean island of Corsica also provides great inspiration, and she visits whenever she can.
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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Titles By Vanessa Couchman
Is love just a luxury in a country community?
Augustine is not pretty and is afraid she will never marry. Joseph is a tenant farmer who struggles to pay his rent.
Joseph saves Augustine from a drunkard at a dance, and they are immediately attracted. The attraction grows as they get to know each other, but they face fierce opposition from Augustine’s parents, who want better prospects for their daughter than Joseph can offer.
And a brutal turn of events threatens to pull the lovers apart forever.
Will Augustine and Joseph overcome the barriers? And at what cost?
“I love Vanessa Couchman’s writing: the historical accuracy, atmospheric descriptions and vivid characterisations.” Liza Perrat, author of the Bone Angel Trilogy.
Set against the rolling landscape of Southwest France, Augustine is a prequel to the Alouette trilogy but can be read as a standalone story.
The Alouette trilogy:
- Augustine – series prequel
- Overture – Book 1
- Intermezzo – Book 2 (out 2022)
- Finale – Book 3 (2023)
A strict island society. A forbidden love. The two are bound to collide.
Valeria Peretti’s family plans to marry her to a wealthy older man whom she has never met. Valeria expects to lead a quiet life, but a prophecy on the eve of her wedding spells mortal danger ahead.
After her husband’s death, Valeria finds herself friendless in a hostile village and turns to her only ally. But when she is unjustly accused of a serious crime, she is shocked to learn that a secret enemy wants her dead.
While Corsica fights for its independence, can Valeria win her own desperate battles to save her life?
A tale of passion, injustice and revenge.
"I highly recommend this beautifully written and engaging story for lovers of historical fiction." BookMuse
"In the best historical novel tradition." Discovering Diamonds
"The rugged, often starkly sublime colour of the island [is] beautifully portrayed. A well written and easy read." Tripfiction
The Tales of Corsica are standalone historical novels set on the captivating island of Corsica.
Two women divided by a century. A tragic love story buried for four generations. A quest to unravel the past.
The death of Rachel's mother leaves unsolved questions about her ancestors. Will Rachel find the answers she desperately seeks on the island of Corsica, where her grandmother was born?
In a remote Corsican village, a bundle of hidden letters from the 1900s comes to light more than a hundred years later. The tale unfolds of a passionate love affair between the village school master and Maria, the daughter of a wealthy family. But Maria's parents have other plans for her future.
Must Maria see her dreams crumble, or can she escape her destiny? And does she hold the key to the enigma of Rachel's ancestors?
“The characters are well-drawn and believable, the storyline intriguing and fascinating, and the descriptions beautiful.” BookMuse
"Emotionally powerful. Vanessa Couchman writes with intelligence and skill." Historical Novels Review
*Note: the 2nd edition of The House at Zaronza has a new cover and minor editorial changes.*
All Marie-Thérèse wants to do is sing, but everything conspires against her dreams.
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. Through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
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.
"Vanessa Couchman has the ability to bring history to life and this book was no exception." The French Village Diaries
The Alouette Trilogy:
- Novella prequel: Augustine
- Book 1: Overture
- Book 2: Intermezzo (out in 2022)
- Book 3: Finale (2023)
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
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.