Tuesday, 8 June 2021

The Corsican Widow is BOTM at Ocelot Press!


Good Morning! 

The sun is shining in my part of the world, has been for a few days, which makes is so much easier to imagine being at the beautiful location that my very good Ocelot Press author friend - Vanessa Couchman- is talking about today! 

Her novel The Corsican Widow is Book of the Month for June at Ocelot Press. It's a super story that I can readily recommend to you, if you've not already read it.

Welcome to the blog today, Vanessa, it's lovely to have you visit again! 

Just for fun, Vanessa's given us some interesting facts that we might not know about the island. I've been to a few Mediterranean islands, though not Corsica so it's a lovely wee challenge for me. I wonder how many you might know of?

Over to you, Vanessa...

Fun facts about Corsica

I have visited the Mediterranean island of Corsica six times, and I was hooked from the very first visit! The island has a fascinating history and culture and has inspired me to write historical novels and short stories set there.

Here are 10 facts you might not know about Corsica.

1.  Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, after Cyprus (1st), Sardinia (2nd) and Sicily (3rd).

2. This mountainous island has 20 peaks that are higher than 2,000 m (c. 6,500 ft). The highest of all is Monte Cinto at 2,706 m (nearly 9,000 ft).

courtesy - Vanessa Couchman
Nancy says: Those peaks are so jaggedly impressive!

3. One of the most challenging long-distance hiking trails in Europe, the GR20, runs from the Northwest to the Southeast of the island.

4.  Corsica is French, although geographically closer to Italy. The Corsicans rebelled against their Genoese rulers in the 18th century and established an independent republic in 1755 under Pasquale Paoli. Genoa called in French military help but ran up a huge debt and ceded Corsica to France in 1768 against repayment of the debt within 10 years. It was unable to repay it, and Corsica became French.

5. Corsica once had a king, a German adventurer named Theodor van Neuhof. He arrived in March 1736 during the Corsican rebellion against Genoa, promising money and foreign support. His promises were empty, and he fled in November, having reigned for only eight months.

6.  Corsica belonged briefly to Britain, 1794-96, and King George III appointed a Viceroy, Sir Gilbert Elliot. Britain had few resources to invest in Corsica and abandoned the turbulent and faction-ridden island in 1796.

7.   Captain (later Admiral) Horatio Nelson lost the use of his right eye on 10th July 1794 during the British and Corsican siege of Calvi, a French-held fortress.

Calvi- Citadelle

8.  François Coty, the founder of the Coty perfume empire, now worth $9 bn, was born in Ajaccio, Corsica’s main town, in 1894.

Ajaccio- Old Town

Nancy: I loved Coty l' Aimant when I was a teenager. It was a popular perfume that was inexpensive and affordable!

9.  Corsica provides ideal conditions for winemaking, producing about 49 million bottles per year. 80% of the production is consumed on Corsica or in France.

10. The conditions are also ideal for growing citrus fruits, including a giant variety of lemon, the cedrat, which can be up to 25 cm (c. 10 in) long and weigh up to 4 kg (8.8 lb). It’s mostly used for jam-making.

The Corsican Widow is Book 2 in the Tales of Corsica series and is set mainly on Corsica and also partly in the French port of Marseille. The story takes place during the mid-late 18th century, a time of great upheaval for the Corsican people. A young woman must fight her own battles against the strict rules of Corsican society.

The Corsican Widow is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon. It is also available in paperback from many bookstores and online retailers, including Bookshop org, Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository.  

Vanessa has lived in Southwest France since 1997 and is a self-confessed history nut. Quirky true stories often find their way into her fiction, and she likes nothing more than pottering around ruined châteaux or exploring the lesser-known byways of France. She is very attached to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which has provided the inspiration for some of her novels and short stories.

The Tales of Corsica series are standalone novels set in the same house on the island: The Corsican Widow (18th century) and The House at Zaronza (early 20th century) are published so far.

Vanessa is also writing a trilogy set in France between 1880 and 1945.

Sign up to Vanessa’s monthly newsletter for book news, background info about France and Corsica and book recommendations and get two free Corsica stories.

Amazon author page: http://author.to/VanessaCouchman

Website: https://vanessacouchmanwriter.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vanessacouchman.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Vanessainfrance

Thank you for the facts today, Vanessa. I vaguely remember some of the naval aspects about Corsica from the British History course I learned at secondary school.

Best wishes with The Corsican Widow as Book of the Month for June at Ocelot Press.  


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