Monday, September 14, 2015

Guest Post by Ella Carey + a Giveaway

Happy Monday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Ella Carey's debut, Paris Time Capsule. I'm breaking today up into two separate posts - a guest post from the author and a giveaway here and a second review post that will go up in a bit. (The Rafflecopter for the giveaway will be at the bottom of this post.)

Before I hand things over to Ella, though, just a bit about the book to get you started:

New York-based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle do Florian—her life is turned upside down.

Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strand developments, Cat is left with burning questions: What was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family?

As Cat travels France in search of answers, she feels her grasp on her New York life starting to slip. With long-buried secrets coming to light and an attraction to Isabelle de Florian’s grandson growing too intense to ignore, Cat will have to decide what to let go of, and what to claim as her own.

Ella's book is, if you didn't know, inspired by the true story of a Paris apartment that was found to have been sealed for seventy years. Here's just one of the pieces you can find on that story online. It's a fascinating backbone for a story, which leads me straight into Ella's post for today:

Secret Histories… 

For me, history is the difference between living on the surface and living in depth. To be able to work with the past in my writing fascinates me. I’ve become interested in secret, untold histories… and the true story of the abandoned apartment in Paris that inspired Paris Time Capsule resonated with such strength because it dealt with the past not only on a wide, global scale, but on an intensely personal level as well.

Here was the true story of a woman who abandoned her former life during World War Two- never to return.

And the question was why? Why would you never go back?

Here’s what we know- a woman known as Madame de Florian died in the South of France aged 91 in 2010. We know that Mme de Florian left Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion, locking up her Paris apartment for seventy years, during which time no-one entered the apartment at all.

When the executors of the estate walked into the apartment in 2010, one of them said it was like walking into Sleeping Beauty’s apartment… it was stuffed full of Belle Epoque treasures, gowns, jewels, furniture, porcelain, art- so not from 1940, but from the 1890s. It turned out that the apartment belonged to Mme de Florian’s grandmother during the Belle Epoque and she was the famous courtesan Marthe de Florian, who used it to entertain her gentlemen admirers.

But that was not all. On the wall, there was a beautiful portrait of a young woman, which turned out not only to be of Marthe de Florian but to be by the most famous portrait artist in Belle Epoque Paris- Giovanni Boldini who was very much part of the lifestyle of the Belle Epoque, centred around Montmartre.

The apartment is near the Opera Garnier and Eglise St Trinite- in the heart of the Ninth Arrondissement.

So, for me, the apartment was a sort of portal back into the past, almost like a talisman that leads you back into another world. It was hard to know where to start when searching for an answer as to why Mme de Florian might never have returned to her apartment- none of it was really linear- where it began and ended and what the story was going to be as it moved along was another thing in itself.

I think all historical fiction is time slip, because characters from the past often didn’t understand why they were doing what they did- but in looking back into that through story, we can gain some sort of insight, and learn…

I was certainly interested in the idea of what we don’t say to each other, what we keep secret. I think it’s fair to say that this was prevalent in the generation that lived through the war- my parents both lived through world war two, and I know what a massive effect it had on their lives.

However, at the same time, we project our own attitudes and times onto these people whom we write about in the past, so the effect of these stories is filtered… we bring everything that is within us to a story every time we read.

I hope you enjoy Paris Time Capsule. It’s a contemporary story that deals with the past, and I hope that you might be able to bring something of yourself into its pages as you read…

About the authorElla Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. She has been studying French since the age of five, and she has degrees in music and English. Carey’s work has been published in the Review of Australian Fiction. She lives with her two children and two Italian greyhounds in Australia.

Huge, huge thanks to Ella Carey for being here today as part of the tour. Again, be sure to check back here later today for my review of Paris Time Capsule

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here

For more on Ella Carey and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter

And now for the giveaway! To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, September 28. Open US/Canada only please. 


Jennifer said...

I really enjoyed reading this piece and am totally enthralled reading about the preserved apt and all the wonderment as to why, etc. Fascinating history to use as a storyline!

traveler said...

What a captivating and fascinating post and this book would be a treasure and memorable. Thanks for this unforgettable and intriguing giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)con

Linda Romer said...

Paris Time Capsule sounds like a great story. I would like to read this book. Thank you

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer- thank you for your kind comments! The true story was amazing and captivated me from the word go. xx

Unknown said...

Hi traveler- thanks for posting here and for your kind comments regarding the book! xxx

Unknown said...

Thanks Linda- so lovely of you to add your comment! xx

Kimberly V said...

I loved this! As an ardent Francophile and an Italian Greyhound owner, this is a must read for me.