Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “The French Wife” by Diney Costeloe

Posted Saturday, 9 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked delighted to be featuring a lovely #newtomeauthor today – as I recently had the chance to select quite a few Head of Zeus and Aria Fiction novelists to be spotlighting throughout the Spring months this year – wherein I was rather delighted finding so many keenly interesting stories to start seeking out to read! These are stories which dance between Romance & Women’s Fiction – from Contemporary to Historical settings. Being an avid reader of these genres I couldn’t miss the chance to bring the JOY of discovering these lovely authors to my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!

It is my intention to start requesting these novels via my local library if they are not available in audio formats via Scribd. At the moment my library is experiencing an unprecedented sabbatical on requests which put me in a bit of a pickle as I’m an active patron whose constantly requesting purchases every month – which is why I’m simply saving my queue lists and will turn them in once the services resume. For now at least – I can champion the discoveries and the joy of finding the stories whilst hosting the blog tours!

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Why I wanted to host a spotlight & extract
for “The French Wife”:

As the founder and host of @SatBookChat – I am constantly seeking to find new stories featuring strong women in the centre of Romance & Women’s Fiction. I read an equal amount of Contemporary and Historical stories within these genres of interest whilst encompassing all the lovely sub-niches of their literary styles as well. This New Year 2020 I am also seeking out Feminist Lit which celebrates the kind of stories I am enjoying to discover as well. All of which I try to champion and showcase in the chats I host on Saturdays – wherein writers, readers, book reviewers, book bloggers and the rest of the bookish community on Twitter get to engage with one another. Thereby as a regular reader of these stories I was delighted to find a #newtomeauthor to start seeking out to read!

I personally adore reading as much Historical Fiction & Historical Women’s Fiction as I can get my hands on – there are new authors and voices in these two sections of Literature I am most keen on exploring further and most of them are from the UK. I have been appreciating my chance to spotlight these stories throughout the Spring of 2020 – whilst finding that quite a few of them are now available to be heard via Scribd! This helps me loads as a reader whose leaning on her libraries to help her source either print or audio copies of the stories she wishes to read – however, I hope there are similar streaming audio services aboard for those who don’t have access to Scribd. From what I understand it is available in most regions but perhaps not all of them.

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I happily found this novel is available via audiobook on Scribd! I immediately listened to the audio sampler to gather a sense of how the narrator Georgia McGuire approached her performance.

My thoughts on the story: This part of the story is involving the church and the duties of a priest. I can’t say it was the most exciting part of the story but it is how McGuire approached her delivery and what was happening behind the goings on of the clergy-house is what held me to the earphones. Towards the end of the sampler, things turnt a bit more dramatic – wherein someone is being put out of their job and they must find new accommendations – it seemed rather sudden and unexpected which given the timeline of the story, I was unsure where she would go from here. It was here where I drew closer to listening to the narrator as this was the kind of turning of events that gets rather exciting in a Historical novel!

My impressions of the narrator: McGuire has a strong and sharp voice which lends well for this story and the characters she’s bringing to life. I would consider this spoken narrative vs theatrical – wherein enjoying hearing her voice would be a joy as she had a nice cadence of rhythm in her performance. She has a keen accent as well – the kind of accent you love to find for British stories in narration.

As I listened to this sampler ahead of finding which extract I was given – it was quite champion to realise the two were connected in sequence of order within the story’s arc of disclosure!

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Did I grab your eye and attention?

Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?

Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this extract from the novel.

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Book Spotlight | Featuring notes by Jorie and an extract from “The French Wife” by Diney CosteloeThe French Wife
by Diney Costeloe

Love, secrets and danger abound in the new historical novel from bestselling author Diney Costeloe, set in 19th-century France.

As the St Clair family prepare for the grand wedding of their daughter, Clarice, trouble is brewing. An old friendship, a new love and a dangerous secret threaten to destroy the life the St Clairs have built.

Their younger daughter, Hélène, became friends with orphaned Annette during the terrible events of the 1871 siege of Paris. Now they are reunited, with Annette working below stairs for Hélène's parents. But she is hiding a dangerous secret, which Hélène has promised to keep at all costs.

Meanwhile, Hélène has begun to fall in love with a young nobleman from England, whose family has plans which do not include their son choosing a French wife.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Aria Fiction

Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

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Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook & Ebook

The Ebook & Audiobook released on 7th May 2020

Whilst the Hardback releases 6th August 2020!! (which is my 7th Blog’s Birthday!)

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Enjoy this Extract from “The French Wife”

Alone in her room she considered her options and found they were very few. She was only sixty but she knew it would be difficult to find another place. No one would want to employ an elderly woman who might become infirm, when they could get someone so much younger with years of work left in her. Who could she turn to? Briefly she thought of Madame Rosalie St Clair.

Agathe had taken care of Hélène St Clair, Madame Rosalie’s daughter, when, at the age of eleven, she’d been lost and alone in the city during the Communard siege. When the fighting was over and Hélène had been reunited with her parents, Madame St Clair had come to visit Agathe at the Clergy House bringing Hélène with her. She had wanted to thank Agathe and Father Lenoir for taking her daughter in off the streets. She had been deeply grateful and the two women had got on well, speaking as equals. Agathe had seen Hélène once or twice more when the family was in Paris, but that had been in the early days. Since then she had seen neither mother nor daughter for several years. Would the gratitude so sincerely expressed then still be as strong now? Could she approach them for help after all this time? Turn up out of the blue and expect their gratitude to become practical assistance? No. It would be asking for charity; Agathe Sauze would ask that of no one and she dismissed that option from her mind.

Another possibility was to ask for work from the bishop. Not from the man himself, of course, he was far to exalted to deal with such mundane matters, but perhaps one of his chaplains would know of a parish priest who needed a housekeeper. It was something she had done all her life and there seemed little else she could do. Eventually, as the two weeks were closing in on her, she steeled herself and made the approach to the bishop’s office.

She was greeted with a blank stare from the young priest who was sent to find out what she wanted.

‘Madame,’ he said dismissively, ‘if your own priest has dispensed with your services, he must have good reason. I’m afraid it is not something the bishop or this office can concern itself with. You must look for charity elsewhere.’

‘I am not looking for charity, Monsieur l’Abbé,’ she replied sharply, ‘I am looking for work and was simply asking if you knew of a parish priest in need of a housekeeper. Clearly you do not!’ As the young priest blinked in astonishment at her riposte, she turned on her heel and with a ramrod straight back, walked to the door, before saying, ‘I’ll bid you good afternoon… Father!’

With that avenue closed to her Agathe finally turned her thoughts to the only other possibility. She had told Father Thomas that she had nowhere to go, and in reality, that was true, but her thoughts now turned unwillingly to her elder sister, Fleur. She and Fleur had never been close. As children they had continually quarrelled; as young women they had disagreed on almost everything; and when Fleur decided to marry Yves Bastien, Agathe had disliked him on sight and had tried to make her change her mind. This was the final straw for Fleur. She was the elder and wasn’t prepared to listen to any advice about her choice of husband from her younger sister.

‘He’s a bully,’ Agathe warned her. ‘Why would you marry him? Listen to the way he speaks to you, Fleur, ordering you about, even before you’re married.’

‘He’s a man of means,’ returned Fleur. ‘He has a good business and he owns his apartment. I’ll have a home of my own. This is the best chance in life that I’ll get, Agathe, and I mean to grab it with both hands, so don’t you dare tell what I should or shouldn’t do.’

Yves Bastien was a butcher whose family had owned their shop and the three apartments above it for generations. When his elderly sister who’d kept house for him died, it was clear to Agathe, if not to Fleur, that Yves was not looking for a wife, but an unpaid servant to replace her.

‘But,’ Agathe said, ‘you don’t love him.’

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I can tell this story delves into the choices which are forced upon you as much at the choices we all have to resolve as being ones we have to own eventually. There is a lot happening within the framework of the story and the narrator I felt did a marvelous job at hinting towards some of it at the conclusion of the sampler. The extract carries forward this sense of uncertainty and the aspects of what was going on emotionally in the context of the disclosures being made – where lives would be changed due to loss of income and position of employment. You can imagine how hard it is today to find a job (even before the world’s health crisis) but to get one in the era of this story was doubly hard!

Sometimes it hard to understand what motivates a person to make the choices they do without hearing the full story – because sometimes the motivation is a simple one – sometimes you do what you need to do in order to survive. Which is a theme I’ve seen play out in various genres and in various ways – where desperate choices sometimes can be the breath of life for a character or they find themselves in worse pickles of circumstance than they were in previously. It just depends on how things go once they’ve chosen the path they will walk.

I definitely want to listen to the story via audiobook – I think it would be a champion way to feel hugged into the storyline and to live alongside the characters of whom I have a feeling are going to wish I had bought more tissues!

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About Diney Costeloe

Diney Costeloe

Diney Costeloe is the author of twenty-three novels, several short stories, and many articles and poems. She has three children and seven grandchildren, so when she isn’t writing, she’s busy with family. She and her husband divide their time between Somerset and West Cork.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. Are you a reader of Historical Women’s Fiction or war dramas? Is Dee Yates on your bookshelf already or an author you’re considering to add to your TBR? Which novels of Women’s Fiction do you appreciate and which ones do you think I should consider? Either for Contemporary and/or Historical storylines!?
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Bookish conversations are always welcome on Jorie Loves A Story.

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Follow this Blog Tour:

The French Wife blog tour banner provided by Head of Zeus and is used with permission.

The French Wife blog tour banner provided by Head of Zeus and is used with permission.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The French Wife”, book synopsis, author photograph of Diney Costeloe, author biography and the blog tour banners were all provided by Head of Zeus and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Saturday, 9 May, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction




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