Monday, 27 July 2020

New Release Spotlight with a Book Extract: Starting Over at the Vineyard Alsace by Julie Stock

Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace by Julie Stock

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.

Extract 3 for Ellesea Loves Reading
Despite Lottie’s need for independence, her options start to look limited when Sylvie tells her that her friend, Frédéric, has asked her to move in with him.
Finally, she replied to Sylvie’s point. ‘It would be an easy solution for me to move in with Thierry, but there are lots of reasons why I don’t think it would be the best idea right now.’ She didn’t elaborate, knowing how fond Sylvie was of Thierry, and not wanting to criticise him in front of her.
Sylvie fiddled with her rings. ‘To tell you the truth, Frédéric has asked me to move in with him, and I’ve been weighing up all the pros and cons, just as you have. I like my independence too, you see.’
Lottie grinned. She and Sylvie had a lot in common.
I can only see pros, Sylvie. You’re finding it difficult to manage the garden on your own now – you said that yourself – and if you move in with Frédéric, you can tend the garden together, and you’ll enjoy having his company. Not only that, but there would be plenty of room for Chlöe to come and stay. So what’s stopping you from saying yes?’
Well, first of all, I promised your family I’d look after you, and the baby, when it comes, and I don’t want to let them or you down by going back on that promise.’
Lottie threw her hands up in the air. ‘This is why I haven’t ever learned to support myself, because my whole family treats me like I’m a child. You’re not responsible for my welfare, Sylvie. You must put yourself first.’
They’re only looking out for you, Lottie. And I’d feel a lot happier about accepting Frédéric’s proposal if you were settled somewhere else, with a support network around you, especially if you do want to go back to work eventually. There’s no shame in accepting help, you know, and Thierry really wants to help you.’
Lottie placed their coffees on the table. She sat down again, trying not to take out her frustration with her family on Sylvie when she’d been so good to her.
Thierry’s not ready for me to move in, despite what he says. He’s still not over the death of his wife, and I think he needs more time.’
Sylvie took a sip of her coffee. ‘Yes, I agree. He’s never got over what happened to Nicole. He used to be such a carefree young man before life intervened and changed his outlook forever. Such a tragedy, when they loved each other so much. But perhaps if you moved in, you could help him to come to terms with everything.’
Although Lottie was interested to hear Sylvie’s take on Thierry’s situation, she couldn’t help feeling that there were too many secrets surrounding him. She wanted to hear about his past from him rather than from everyone else, but he showed no sign of relenting.
If you want to move in with Frédéric, I will completely understand. It would make a lot of sense, and if I’m going to move out anyway in the near future, there’s no point you hanging on here any longer than you need. Someone will be able to take me in. You mustn’t worry about it.’
As much as she believed what she was saying, Lottie had no idea where she would go if Sylvie did decide to move in with Frédéric. Right now, Thierry seemed to be offering the only option.

Julie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in 2015, after starting to write as an escape from the demands of her day job as a teacher. Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace is her ninth book, and the second in the Domaine des Montagnes series set on a vineyard.
Julie is now a full-time author, and loves every minute of her writing life. When not writing, she can be found reading, her favourite past-time, running, a new hobby, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen, glass of wine in hand.
Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors. She is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.