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Romance novel set in Antibes, and the author talks about setting

12th May 2016

Promises to Keep by Patricia Sands, romance novel set in Antibes.

“In front of her was a postcard scene from Provence in June. An enormous field of golden sunflowers glistened with an intensity that was hard to believe, as if someone had plastered a Visit Provence poster smack in her face. To one side was a classic mas, with its outbuildings, the shades of the yellow-gray limestone farm structures softened by the mid-afternoon sun. Traditional weathered blue shutters on the south facing windows and doors were flung open on this fine day.”

romance novel set in antibesThis is the second book in the “Love in Provence” Trilogy by Patricia Sands and it can easily be read a stand alone. No. 3 I Promise you This is out on 17th May 2016.

Katherine is now with Philippe, who sells wonderful cheeses at the market with his partner Gilles. Almost at the point of returning to her home city of Toronto, Katherine is seduced not only by the wonderful man whom she has come to know an love, but by the enchanting medieval town that is Antibes. How different her life here is compared to Canada, the frantic start of the working day compared with the relaxed ambience of a city waking up in France. She decides not leave on her plane back to Canada and decides to stay and forge a life with Philippe..

From the Luberon in book no. 1, Kat settles into life in Antibes, a relatively small place. The small town is agog with thisromance novel set in antibes new romantic development and she is acutely aware of the little drama she has caused, as she sips her the au citron in her local café Le Vieil Antibes, and as she peruses Nice-Matin for her daily dose of French. As Philipe says: You know how the town loves to gossip. Indeed it does.

But one day as she accompanies Philippe to a small village, Entrevaux, they are suddenly chased by another car, a scary hairpin ascent does nothing to calm Kat. There are secrets in Philippe’s past that have not been shared, and they come back to haunt him and cast a shadow over their plans to renovate Philipe’s old and decrepit family house situated on the Cap d’Antibes, the peninsula between Baie des Anges and Baie de Cannes. It seems there is illicit activity going on down in the cove below. Can she trust Philippe and how will things pan out?

Kat spends many hours with her camera, perhaps on the Chemin de Calvaire and up to the lighthouse – the author conjures up the most lovely imagery to capture this beautiful part of the world. In TripFiction terms you are nowhere else but the South of France. And then there are beautiful descriptions of the build up to Christmas – and of course the detail of the cheeses on Philipe’s stall, from the Vacherin to the Morbier and Roqueforts, a delicious round-up of foodie heaven set against the smells and sounds of Yuletide.

Tina for the TripFiction team

And now over to Patricia who talks about her love for the South of France

Pulitzer prize winning author, Eudora Welty said, “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else… Fiction depends for its life on place. Place is the crossroads of circumstance, the proving ground of, What happened? Who’s here? Who’s coming?

I’ve been a photographer and an avid traveler all my life. When I began to write novels ten years ago, it quickly became apparent to me that the impact of all my travel experiences was very much a vehicle for the stories I wanted to tell.

My first novel, The Bridge Club, is placed in settings from the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the Coastal mountains of British Columbia.

My love affair with France, begun when I was in my twenties, has grown stronger in the past twenty years as my husband and I have spent extended times there each year. You might call it an addiction. I wouldn’t argue!

When I planned my second novel, my husband and I lived in Antibes, France, for five months while I researched and wrote the first draft. Every year when we return now, much of my time is definitely spent researching. All with great pleasure!

The Love in Provence series is, in part, my love letter to France … and the south of France, in particular. The desire to share my appreciation of this beautiful part of the world definitely fuelled these stories. The scenery, the culture, the food, the language, the small details of ancient architecture, narrow cobblestone streets … all of this I want to deliver to readers in stories that are full of hope and enticing locations.

The response to the series, demonstrates how others enjoy being transported to Paris, Nice, and the villages and countryside of Provence and the Côte d’Azur.

Setting is created by language. How many or how few details shared are up to the author and I admit I include a lot of details. That’s my style. I want my readers to have all their senses touched. I know that doesn’t appeal to everyone. I’ve also learned as an author we can’t possibly appeal to everyone and that’s okay. The readers who enjoy my work let me know on a regular basis, through emails and by subscribing to my newsletter.

When someone in the farming area of Nebraska writes, saying “Thank you for taking me somewhere that I know I will never visit in my life,” or a reviewer says, “The best holiday I’ve had without leaving home,” I feel rewarded and encouraged to continue.

Hearing from readers is the best part of writing.

Certainly in contemporary fiction, most writers describe a world they know. There’s something about the sights, sounds, colors, and textures of the south of France that remain vividly in my mind. I love having my characters inhabit that world and let the plot unfold there. Truly, I see setting like a character that helps set the tone for the story.

Normally, I only write about locations I have actually visited. But I did accept a challenge recently and wrote a novella partially set in Japan. That was an interesting task and required a tremendous amount of research. I felt I had visited that country by the time I finished!  For the next three novels, I will definitely stay in France!

Actually, in this series, parts of books 1 and 3 also take place in the Toronto area. However, the focus of everyone is on France. It’s irresistible.

romance novel set in antibes


With photos (I’m kind of embarrassed to say how many) from all of our travels, I’m able to share visually the locations from my books with my readers on my website, Facebook, and on Instagram, my new guilty pleasure!

As an unexpected bonus to writing, I’ve led two women’s tours of the south of France, based on my novels and organized by Womens Travel Network in Toronto. Details of the June 2017 tour will soon be available on my website.

Thank you to Patricia and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And do come and connect with Team TripFiction via Twitter (@tripfiction), Facebook (TripFiction), Instagram (TripFiction) and Pinterest (TripFiction)… and now YouTube

For more books set in the South of France just click here

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  1. User: Deborah Blanchard

    Posted on: 14/05/2016 at 12:52 am

    I love Patricia Sands. I can’t wait to read this, her latest books. She takes me to France every single time!


  2. User: Patricia Sands

    Posted on: 12/05/2016 at 11:41 pm

    TripFiction, it’s always a pleasure to be featured on your website. I love how you introduce readers, including myself, to stories set in such enticing locations. Merci mille fois!


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