At 35, Edith Lane feels like life is passing her by. Having recently lost her mother and working a dead-end waitressing job, she feels like her life is going nowhere. In the throes of a midlife crisis, Edith responds to an advertisement for the job of a manager at a little bakery in Compiègne, France.
Believing she will be starting a new life in Paris, Edith packs up her belongings and leaves her home of Ireland for the first time to board a plane to France. However, her dream is quickly shattered when she arrives in Paris to discover Compiègne is actually one hour north and not in the City of Love at all.
Edith gets off to a rocky start with her boss, Madame Moreau, who’s cold demeanor makes Edith regret her decision to leave Ireland and her father behind. Despite the cold welcoming, she befriends a local French hairstylist, Nicole, and her husband Johnny, and meets an attractive man whom she quickly falls for.
Just as Edith is feeling like she’s settling in and making a life for herself, she learns her new boss may have some secrets that threaten to take that away and an even bigger secret that Edith struggles to believe. Will Edith be able to overcome her fears and help her seemingly distant boss or will she run back to the safety of Ireland, leaving the mysterious bakery behind?
I liked this book a lot, although it did have a slow beginning. I struggled at first to get into the book and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish. I also initially didn’t really like Edith; I thought she whined too much and made everything into a bigger deal than necessary, however, as the story went on I really grew to love her and all the other characters as well.
The character development for Madame Moreau is the most impressive because once the reader learns about her history everything begins to make sense and the reader can really understand why she seems to hold everyone at arm’s length.
What I loved most about the book was the description of this tiny town in France. I could almost see the old, antique houses, cobblestone alleyways and the cozy cafés serving fresh cheese, baguettes, and wine. It was these descriptions that really began to draw me into the story.
Once I got into it and, along with Edith, began to uncover the history of Compiègne and of Madame Moreau I found there was much more to this story than I thought. It is about love, dedication, family, and friendship and despite the bumps along the way gave the happy ending I was hoping for.
Overall, I’d rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The reason I give it that rating is because I did find the beginning a bit slow and some parts a little unbelievable, but I still think it was a sweet story that ultimately made me smile at the end. This book would be ideal for someone who likes a bit of mystery alongside romance, but also travel as well.
edition of my non-fiction title, Prone To Panic.
It all began back in 2005 when I published my book with iUniverse. Scratch that. It all began in 2002 when I started experiencing panic attacks and my life took some weird and wonderful turns that inspired me to follow my dreams and write a book. I felt passionate about sharing my experiences and trying to help other people who found themselves in a similar situation, so I gathered all of the advice, knowledge and tips that I had accumulated over the years and wrote Prone To Panic.
I have since gone on to become a full-time writer and published two novels, The Cross Of Santiago and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris. When I was recently given the opportunity to regain the distribution rights for the digital version of Prone To Panic, I jumped at the chance. After years of wanting to update my eBook and finally have a say in how it was priced, I was like, ya-huh!
So, as an established self-published author, I was delighted to get back in the driving seat and take control of my book again. The only dilemma I faced was how this would fit in with the ‘author platform’ I had created for my fiction work under my nickname (or nom de plume if you’re posh!) Evie Gaughan. I could continue to keep the books separate, but the truth is that writing Prone To Panic gave me the confidence and the belief that I could become a writer, and without that book, I’m not sure if I would be an author today. And so that is why I have decided to announce the release of Prone To Panic (Revised Edition) on my blog to mark World Mental Health Day. As the book is still available to buy in print with iUniverse under my full name, Evelyn Gaughan, I have published the new eBook edition under that name too. Simples!
Prone To Panic (Revised Edition) is available to download for 99p on Amazon and Smashwords, and you can also read it for free with Scribd. My main aim in writing this book was to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and to let people know that it’s okay to talk about it. If you or anyone you know is experiencing panic attacks or anxiety, this is a book full of empathy, support and information. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. As I said, you can still buy the original print version on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I will leave the last word to Heathers 😉
A Four Hundred Year Old Armada Mystery Novel
Local author’s début fiction novel ‘The Cross Of Santiago’ is an exciting mix of historical fiction, drama and contemporary romance, the first of its genre to be set in Galway.
Evie Gaughan has just launched her new novel, The Cross Of Santiago, which is a Time Slip novel set in Ireland. When a long-lost aunt bequeaths a mysterious golden cross to Amanda Morrison, a strange series of events ensues. On a quest to find the truth about her family’s past, Amanda unlocks the secret to an ancient love story between an Irish girl and a Knight of the Spanish Armada. Destined to find their happy ending, one cross will bind two couples across four centuries.
Evie herself is a massive fan of the Time Slip genre.
“Once I discovered that there was an Armada ship wreck on the Galway coast, I knew I had to write this novel! I am so inspired by my surroundings and I really enjoyed having my home-town as the backdrop to this story. There is so much history here and I think readers will enjoy the parallel timelines in the story too, as it creates a nice balance.”
Full of intrigue, humour and the complexities of human relationships, The Cross Of Santiago is a compelling read for contemporary and historical fiction fans alike.
Working as a freelance writer in Galway City, Evie has had several short stories and feature articles published in Galway Now and Woman’s Way magazines. She is also an artist, with paintings on exhibit in University College Hospital Galway and Meet You Here Gallery in Roscommon. Evie is currently working on her second novel.