My second post of the day is on the blog tour of Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace by Julie Stock; and I’m delighted to bring you a Q&A with Julie! But first, here’s all the book info for you!
book blurb & info
It’s springtime at The Vineyard in Alsace, a new season and a new beginning
After being abandoned by her partner when she falls pregnant, Lottie Schell goes home to live on The Vineyard in Alsace, where she has started a new relationship with the estate’s winemaker, Thierry. Now about to give birth, Lottie’s determined to raise her child and to provide for them both on her own without having to depend on anyone else.
Thierry Bernard is still dealing with his grief and guilt following the death of his wife two years earlier, for which he blames himself. When he meets Lottie, the instant attraction he feels towards her gives him hope that he can move on from the tragedy of his past, as long as he can tell Lottie the truth of what happened.
When circumstances force Lottie and Thierry closer together, they both find it hard to compromise – she’s proudly independent and he’s fiercely protective – and they’re both wary about trusting someone new with their heart.
Can Lottie and Thierry take a chance on each other, move on from their pasts and start over?
Escape to The Vineyard in Alsace once again with this romantic read set in the heart of Alsace’s wine country.
Published by: Clued Up Publishing on 14th July 2020
Formats Available: Paperback & eBook. Also available on Kindle Unlimited.
q&A with Julie stock
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a full-time indie author now, having given up working for other people at last! I live with my family in Bedfordshire in the UK, and we also have a beautiful cat called Miley.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was working as a teacher when I started writing, and going through quite a difficult time dealing with the workload amongst other things. Then I came up with an idea for a story while watching the TV series, Nashville, and it inspired me to sit down and write a novel for the first time ever. I found it so cathartic being able to escape from the real world while I was writing that I’ve carried on doing it.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written and published ten books now, of varying lengths. My latest novel, Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace, is my fourth full-length novel; I’ve also written four novellas and a collection of short stories, and three of my stories are published as a box set as well.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I think the one I’ve just finished writing is always my favourite for a time, and then I move on to the next one. I don’t really have a favourite when I look at them together as a whole. I like them all equally!
How do you choose the names of your characters?
For my first book, From Here to Nashville, the name Rachel was already in my mind for my main female character, but I named Jackson after the June Carter/Johnny Cash song which I love, and seemed to suit my character well.
For my second book, The Vineyard in Alsace, Fran, short for Françoise, is named after my French aunt, and Didier was named after an early crush of mine when I was on holiday in France in my teens!
Otherwise, my characters have been named according to what they’re like, or with a name that was quite popular at the time. This time round, I had already given my characters their names, Lottie and Thierry, in the first story, but they had to fit in with the French/German setting of Alsace.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I would love to be stranded on an island with Jackson because he’s gorgeous, but he’s also kind! But any of my male characters would do for pretty much the same reasons.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I’d find it hard to pick one author because I love so many. I really enjoy a good tearjerker so Me Before Youby JoJo Moyes is one of my favourites and I’ve read and enjoyed a number of her other books as well.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
When I was at school, I used to write poems and song lyrics. It took me another thirty years to find the courage to write a novel.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
After I left university, my first job was at The London Stock Exchange giving visitors tours and presentations in their own language. Then I went to work for a mail-order wine merchant for a while in their marketing department. I managed to visit a few vineyards during that time as well, which was great fun. When my children were young, I retrained as a teacher, and finally, up until late last year, I worked for a mental health charity as their communications co-ordinator.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I’d like to go back to the Regency era because I love reading historical fiction from that period, and I’d like to see what I read about come to life.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d like to sit down and talk with Barbra Streisand about her life because she’s my favourite singer and she doesn’t give many interviews.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love cooking with my husband, and trying out new wines, and in normal circumstances, we enjoy travelling together as well. During lockdown, I have amazed myself by taking up running and even enjoying it!
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I suppose one of the strangest is finding myself able to work full-time as an author in my fifties! I never imagined that I would be able to make a career out of something I love doing. I only wish I’d been able to do it sooner, but I’m a firm believer in things happening the way they do for a reason, so I’m happy with the way it’s all worked out.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
It would be to believe in your own ability, and not to let other people put you off from trying.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Where can we find you online?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Chelle! It was a pleasure answering your questions.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to the lovely Julie for coming over and talking to us!
I’ll be back again soon!