I’m delighted to welcome novelist Jennifer Bohnet onto the blog today. Jennifer’s new heartwarming novel, Villa of Sun and Secrets, which is set in the south of France, has just been released. Look at the gorgeous cover!
Now let’s find out a bit about the story.
It’s never too late to live the dream . . .
Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan.
Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.
It sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Jennifer is sharing a scene where Josette is in Monaco the day of her sister’s funeral . . . .
‘Another coffee, madam?’
Josette dragged her thoughts back to the present. She shook her head. ‘Non, Merci.’ She paid for the undrunk cold coffee before standing up and beginning to make her way up to the old town and the cathedral.
Climbing the steps and strolling through the gardens to the palace, Josette took her time, stopping once or twice to admire the view out over the town and the harbour. Eventually, she passed under the arch, skirted around the caped sculpture of the infamous monk and founder of the Monaco royal family, Francois Grimaldi, that she personally always found terrifying, and onto the palace precinct.
The large open forecourt in front of the palace was, as always, swarming with tourists and Josette crossed it diagonally, aiming for the small street that led down to the cathedral. Before she reached the flight of steps leading up to the entrance, she pulled a veil-type scarf out of her bag and placed it over her head, glancing at her watch as she did so. Perfect timing. The English funeral would be underway.
Inside, the ambience of the cathedral was hushed and reverent. Josette carefully lit a candle and placed it on the stand, whispering to herself, ‘RIP Amelia. Je ne t’oublierai jamais, ma soeur chérie.’ She stood for a moment, eyes closed, mentally saying a final goodbye to the sister who, for some still unknown reason, had cast her out of her life all those years ago. Now death had taken the final, irreversible, step of concealment of what had gone wrong between them all those years ago.
Ever since the news of Amelia’s death had reached her, Josette had waited for the sorrow to engulf her. Now, standing in front of the flickering candles, the tears arrived with the realisation that any possibility of a reconciliation had died with Amelia. Oblivious to the looks of other cathedral visitors, even to the gentle touch of a sympathetic hand on her arm from a stranger, Josette stood waiting for the tears to subside, for her mind to return to its decade old default mode of ‘it’s in the past, let it go’.
It was ten minutes before she felt strong enough to become a part of the shuffling crowd making its way around the cathedral, past the last resting places of Princess Grace and her Prince before making for the exit.
Blinking as her eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight, Josette thought about the future. She was free to do, to say, as she wanted. With Amelia’s death the need to keep her own secret had died. Hadn’t it? She was the last of the family who knew the truth. If she wanted, she could shout it out to the world. There was no one to gainsay her now. But was it worth upsetting another generation of people with the truth
Well, that’s an intriguing extract! Here’s what readers are saying about the story.
‘This was the first Jennifer Bohnet book I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last. A beautifully written and heart-warming tale of family and friendship, I was completely transported to the south of France and that stunning villa. When can I move in?’ Jessica Redland, author of Searching for Steven
‘Villa of Sun and Secrets is a perfect summer read! This wonderful family saga has it all – secrets from the past, gentle romance and the beautiful setting of Villa Mimosa in the glorious sunshine of the south of France. I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages and read it in one sitting. I absolutely loved it. Highly recommended!’ Alison Sherlock, author of A House To Mend A Broken Heart
‘This book transported me to the beautiful French resort of Antibes; I could feel the warm sun and smell the beautiful flowers at Villa Mimosa. The unravelling of family secrets will always be a painstaking task and the sheer devastation, as history is revealed, left me reeling.’
If you want to find out what secret Josette is keeping, you can buy the book here:
Amazon link: http://mybook.to/VillaofSun
I find it hard to believe but I’ve lived in France now for twenty years. After eleven years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard was a guardien for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in the depths of Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! I’ve sold hundreds of shorts stories to the women’s magazine market in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark – I even had my own newspaper column in a group of local Devon papers at one time. My latest book – number 13! – Villa of Sun and Secrets is published by Boldwood Books on 8th August.
You can find out more about Jennifer here:
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/@jenniewriter
Amazon.com author page: http://amzn.to/299rvVv
Facebook Author page: goo.gl/PDKQ8D
Thank you so much for inviting me to share a scene of my new book Karen.
It’s a pleasure, Jennifer. 🙂
Bring a little sunshine into your life with one of my feel-good romances, all set in glorious locations.Check out my Amazon Author Page for details.