The Silk Romance: author interview and giveaway. I love France #61

Silk Romance Banner

  Paris in July 2013


I plan to publish this meme every Thursday.

You can share here about any book

or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.

Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !

Feel free to grab my button,

and link your own post through Mister Linky,

at the bottom of this post.


The Silk Romance



Published by MuseItUp Publishing May 24th 2013, in e-format
52,125 words / 177 pages
eBook ISBN: 978-1-77127-321-3
The Silk RomancePurchase the book:
Amazon  Barnes & Noble
  Kobo  MuseItUp


 Jean-Luc Olivier is a courageous racing driver, a hero to millions, with the world before him.  Sophie Challoner is a penniless student, whose face is unknown beyond her own rundown estate in London.  The night they spend together in Paris seems to Sophie like a fairytale—a Cinderella story without the happy ending. She knows she has no part in Jean-Luc’s future.  She made her dying mother a promise to take care of her father and brother in London.   One night of happiness is all Sophie allows herself. She runs away from Jean-Luc and returns to England to keep her promise.

Safely back home with her father and brother, and immersed in her college work, Sophie tries her best to forget their encounter, but she reckons without Jean-Luc.  He is determined to find out why she left him, and intrigued to discover the real Sophie.  He engineers a student placement Sophie can’t refuse, and so, unwillingly, she finds herself back in France, working for Jean-Luc in the silk mill he now owns.

Thrown together for a few short weeks in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, their mutual love begins to grow.  But it seems the fates are conspiring against Sophie’s happiness.  Jean-Luc has secrets of his own.  Then, when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep the sacred promise she made her mother. [synopsis provided by the author]


Helena FairfaxHelena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child.  She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country.  She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every day—one of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants.

When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories.

Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.

You can find Helena here on her blog:, on her Helena Fairfax Facebook page, or on Twitter @helenafairfax



Today, as part of the Virtual Tour of Helena Fairfax with her novel The Silk Romance, I’m delighted to interview Helena on things French!

reading bug

Hello Helena,

As your book The Silk Romance is featured on France Book Tours, I would love to ask you a few questions related to your book AND to France.

1. Your book opens in Paris. Paris vs. Lyon: what do you have to say?

Helena Fairfax Hi Emma,

It’s good to meet you here, and to talk about France and Lyon – one of my favourite cities in the world!

I love Paris.  We are lucky in the UK to have the Eurostar, making it possible to visit Paris for the day if you want.  You can leave London’s St Pancras station and be in the heart of Paris in just over two hours.
What I love most about Paris is the art galleries, especially the Musée d’Orsay, which is in a fantastic building (a magnificent former railway station), and houses some of my favourite paintings, by artists such as Renoir, van Gogh and Dégas.
I come from a small town, though, and after a while I find the press of people and the constant hurry of Paris to be a bit too much for me!  Although Lyon is the second biggest city in France, I find the pace of life there much more relaxed.

2. Lyon, “the romantic city of silk”. Tourists of course know more about Paris than Lyon. Why did you choose to have your story set in that city? Do you have a personal attraction to silk?

When I was a student I worked for three months in Lyon, as an au pair.  I totally fell in love with the city.  I come from the cold, industrial north of England.  Lyon is a warm, vibrant city.  Its beautiful renaissance architecture; the colourful markets; the two rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, which glide through the city, all combined to make a lasting impression on me as a teenager.

And as for the silk-weaving, my part of England used to be dominated by woollen weaving.  I live in Saltaire, an old Victorian mill town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Lyon’s silk-weaving industry has declined in much the same way, and its silk-weaving district, the Croix-Rousse, is also a World Heritage Site.  It’s the shared history of our regions which drew me to have my hero own a present day silk mill.

3. Sophie travels from London to Lyon. How does the geographical change affect her? In her eyes, how does Lyon compare to London?

Lyon is much hotter!  I mention the heat of summer in my novel.  In England, we are not used to hot weather 🙂  Sophie also comes from a poor area of London, an area that is quite run down and grimy.  The hero, Jean-Luc, invites her to stay in his house in the countryside, just outside Lyon.  She finds her surroundings a blessed contrast to the noise and dirt of her London estate.

4. Is there an area of Lyon she/you like most? Why?

Like most people who visit Lyon, I absolutely love the old town (le vieux Lyon).  I love it for lots of reasons: the fabulous historic architecture; the cool stone alleyways; the little cafés and restaurants, and the cobbled streets.  Then there is the river Saône, and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière  dominating the river bank.  There is so much to see, and even if you don’t feel like sight-seeing, it’s relaxing just to sit in the shade of the old stone buildings and watch the world go by.

5. Any out of the beaten path places you would recommend to a tourist going for the first time to Lyon?

I’d recommend the Croix-Rousse district, which as I mentioned is the former silk-weaving district, and has been preserved.  You can visit the Maison des Canuts, which is a museum devoted to silk-weaving, and then wander round the steep streets trying to discover all the traboules (little stone alleyways used by the silk-workers, and later by members of the French resistance).  There is also the astonishing mur des canuts, a trompe-l’oiel mural, and the largest mural in Europe.

Thanks so much for having my on your blog, Emma!  I’ve really enjoyed revisiting Lyon with you!



Monday, July 29
Review + Giveaway at I Am, Indeed

Tuesday, July 30
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway
at Musings of a Writer And Unabashed Francophile

Wednesday, July 31
Interview + Giveaway at Words And Peace here!

Thursday, August 1
Review + Giveaway at Rom Fan reviews

Saturday, August 3
Guest post + Giveaway at Just Contemporary Romance

Monday, August 5
Review + Giveaway at Mommasez

Wednesday, August 7
Review at The Most Happy Reader


I will draw 1 winner on 8/8

Good luck!


* If you have problems entering the giveaway for this ebook, please send me an email beofre midnight on 8/6 at ehc16e {at] yahoo [dot) com. Include in it:

  1. the title of the book you are entering to win – write this in the subject to be sure I don’t think your email is spam
  2. the email address you use to subscribe to this blog by email [after you enter your email address in the top right corner to follow my blog by email, you will receive an email confirmation. If you do not confirm, your subscription will not show as active, and I will not be able to count your entry in the giveaway]
  3. the url of your tweet of this giveaway, for an extra entry.

* when you enter a giveaway, I keep your email address only until a winner has been chosen and has confirmed. After that, I delete the form where your answers were stored during the duration of the giveaway. If you win and you email me your mailing address, I delete this email and its information as soon as I have mailed you the book.




Just a reminder guys:

If you link your own post on France,

please if possible

include the title of the book or topic in your link:

name of your blog (name of the book title or topic):

example : me @ myblog (Camus)



5 thoughts on “The Silk Romance: author interview and giveaway. I love France #61

  1. Pingback: Helena Fairfax on upcoming Tour: The Silk Romance | France Book Tours

  2. Pingback: France Book Tours Stops for July 28th – Aug 3rd | France Book Tours

  3. Pingback: Paris in July 2013 | Words And Peace

  4. Pingback: The romance of France, some photos of beautiful Lyon, and a Kindle deal – Helena Fairfax

What do you think? Share your thoughts, and I will answer you. I will also visit your own blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.