I love “Chateau Diaries” on YouTube

With all the many Corona Virus restrictions in place over the past three months, entertainment opportunities to offset tedium during this same time frame have been meager indeed. Travel is practically non-existent,  viewing entertainment sorely limited, family and friend gatherings measured out via number of face masks and square-foot real estate. However, as a writer, these same limitations present me with a silver lining. I can escape to my current work in progress, The Vintage Stylist, the third and final book of my Loving Vintage series. But even after getting lost in my fictional world with characters: Annie Savone; Julie Bishop; and Mimi Shepherd, I need to shake myself out from that world and take a stretch. Mummy with Vintage Telepath

One of the brightest parts of our day now is to view the YouTube channel, Chateau Diaries. This is an amazingly entertaining, informative and special pandemic escape vlog created by this Chatelaine of the 16th century Chateau de LaLande tucked away in the center of France. This is the ongoing vlog series of Stephanie Jarvis and her passion to lovingly renovate and restore the chateau to its former glory. She lives there full time and is visited by Isabel Jarvis Attfield, her spirited and intrepid Mummy, friends and other family. They are joined by Workaway volunteers from the four corners of the earth who search for a different way of life other than the universally accepted nine-to-five drudgery as they help in the restoration effort. As an anniversary gift to Mummy and with love and gratitude for all the entertainment value Chateau Diaries has added to our days, I sent some of my stories for Mummy to add to her To Read stack.

This YouTube channel  is so relaxing to view! Stephanie, Mummy, Scotman, Michael, Oliver, Nati, Selmar, Diesel, Thomaz, Marie, the Illusive Nic, Dan the Gardener, Antoine, Marie Wiik, Mary “Poppins,” the “Ians,” the peacock, peahen, and peachicks … all these wonderful characters will brighten your day and grow a huge smile on your pandemic weary face! I highly recommend it!

Selecting my next read

My To Read pile is dangerously low. As a contemporary women’s fiction writer, I try to keep up with the latest fiction trends, genres, and what readers are reading today. But, I also don’t want to be disappointed by stories that I shake my head about, sigh over and put down. cropped-blog-header-refresh.jpgAt one time if I picked up a title I’d read it to the last page. Now, not so much. Down it goes. My favorite genre? Why the type of stories I write of course—thoughtful professional heroines at a crossroad.

Today’s favored trend is the multiple character point of view. You know, each chapter alternates with a different character. Author Susan Meissner does this well. I enjoyed A Fall  of Marigolds, her contemporary look at a plot that includes September 11, 2001 characters as well as characters in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that occurred March, 1911. Yet, the formula emerges—both character stories meld and become whole in a unified happy-for-now ending.

My local Indie bookshop, Page 158 Books, reintroduced me to memoir. Wow. What’s happened to contemporary memoir? Both my selections proved terribly whiny with each story seemingly trying to outdo the other through a “series of unfortunate events” steamrolled by poor choices.

I turned to friends Mary, Pat, Lisa, and Elaine for their take on reading-time-well-spent novels. And here’s what I did. First, I researched category ratings per Amazon for all my novels. Included were categories: Contemporary Women’s Fiction; Contemporary Women’s Domestic Life; Family Life Fiction; Education & Fiction; Biographical Fiction; and Magical Realism. I then cross-checked friends’ recommendations to see if the titles might be included in some of these categories. You may want to try this, also. Bring up a favorite title and see the category it’s placed in. You can then search that category on its own and see what’s returned. It could spark a new title discovery.

My To Read pile is once again healthy and growing. Which books on your reading lists might you compare my novels to? Let me know. Everyone enjoys an exciting and entertaining read. Home from the beaches, cozy fall reading time is here. (Smile)