Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace written and self-published by Julie Stock is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
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.
Purchase Link – Amazon
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Julie Stock’s latest novel: Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace. I have the pleasure of sharing an extract with you.
Thierry faces up to the fact that he is still grieving for his wife, Nicole, and that he needs help to move on.
By the time he’d returned to the vineyard, Thierry was feeling calmer. Just the sight of the rows and rows of vines in front of him, and the order they depicted, allowed his breathing to return to normal and his frustration to abate. Lottie had never been afraid to speak her mind to him – that was one of the things he liked best about her – but he wished she wasn’t so perceptive sometimes. He was still grieving for Nicole – Lottie was right about that – and he had no idea how to start moving on.
He’d been angry ever since Nicole had died, but what husband wouldn’t be, after losing his wife in such a senseless way? There wasn’t a limit to how long it should take him to get over her loss, was there? But then an inner voice of doubt spoke up. Shouldn’t you be feeling less angry about it all by now? Is it time to start moving on?
He couldn’t answer any of these questions for himself, that was for sure. He found it hard to talk about his feelings at the best of times, so there was no way he was going to talk to his friends about it. He certainly couldn’t talk to Nicole’s parents, who were still struggling to come to terms with their own feelings after losing their only daughter.
He stopped in front of the pinot noir vines and stared out across the estate. He owed it to Lottie to tell her what had happened if they were going to be together, but right now, he wouldn’t even know where to start with explaining how he felt. He’d been wondering for a while now whether counselling might help him, but he was afraid to take that step. He rubbed his eyes, trying to clear his mind. What was the right thing to do?
He took one last look at the estate, before turning away from the vines to head back to the office in search of Didier. He walked through the bare vines to the path that led up to the courtyard where the estate office was and made his way steadily up the slope.
Didier was alone and Thierry sighed with relief. He didn’t want to talk in front of Henri, Didier’s assistant, even though they were all good friends and had worked together for years. It would be hard enough having to reveal his weakness to Didier, his best friend, let alone anyone else.
‘Salut, ça va?’ he asked as he came in, closing the door behind him.
‘Not bad, you? Do you want a coffee?’
Thierry nodded and sank gratefully into Henri’s padded desk chair.
‘I think I may need counselling.’ He winced, embarrassed at saying it out loud.
‘That’s a great conversation starter,’ Didier replied setting a cup of coffee in front of him. ‘How did all this come up?’
‘I asked Lottie to move in with me again, and she told me I still need to deal with my grief.’ Thierry stared absently at his coffee. ‘And the thing is, she only said what I’ve been telling myself for a while now.’
Didier blew out a long breath. ‘And you think counselling might be the answer?’
Thierry nodded, looking up. ‘But the trouble is, even the thought of needing therapy makes me feel weak and inadequate. Then after our conversation, as I thought about it, I wondered if she was right. If I want to be with her, I need to sort this out.’
Author Bio –
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.
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