Book Tour: The Sand Vines by Michele Callard


Welcome to The Book’s Delight and a stop on the Coffee Pot book tour for THE SAND VINES, a work of historical fiction. I have a great excerpt for you to whet your appetite for this lovely book. What a great cover!


The Details:


Book Title: The Sand Vines

Series: The Vine Saga

Author: Michèle CALLARD

Publication Date: 01 May 2024

Publisher: Millefeuille Press

Page Length: 400

Genre: Historical fiction 





Bordeaux 1870 – Life is hard on the moor.


If Flore, a shepherd’s daughter, is not married by autumn, she must go into service and lose everything she holds dear. 

Back from the French army, the dashing Ricar has set her heart and body on fire. Will he propose to her before it is too late? 

Martial the viscount’s son adores Flore from afar. Aware that she can never be his. When a betrayal and a forest fire put Flore in danger, Martial seizes his chance, grabs her hand and takes her to safety far away in the north of France, hoping they might start afresh, but war looms. . . 

Will it bring them together or tear them apart? 


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The Excerpt: 

Bateau-Mouche on the Seine    

After a quick lunch taken in reflective silence, Martial sat next to Flore on a Bateau-Mouche they had boarded near Notre Dame, the boats yet another of the emperor’s schemes to improve circulation through his beloved Paris. It was a blustery day, but inside the space was warm and dry.

          ‘May I ask you a question?’ Flore asked as the Bateau-Mouche steamed towards a medieval edifice of blackened stone and slate.

          ‘Of course.’ A smile lifted the corner of his lips. The elegant Parisienne he had tried to create had obviously been a step too far. With the money he had lent her, Flore had purchased ready-made garments that suited both her country accent and simple manners much better.

          ‘What kind of work do you think I could to do in—Utopia? I mean, I can stuff a goose and skin a rabbit, but these aren’t exactly skills that are useful in a town, though I’m quite good at counting money. What kind of place is it?’

          ‘I’m not quite sure, but it really is vast, and I imagine, well, yes, there should definitely be—opportunities.’ Diou biban, what could he say?

          The boat veered to one side, narrowly avoiding a huge coal barge. Angry hoots covered Flore’s reply. Something about a shop.        

Martial settled deeper into his seat with a sigh of content and breathed in a long draft of river air. ‘Look over there, the Louvre is coming up.’

‘What if there isn’t any work for me in—what’s the name of the place again?’

‘Guise,’ Martial answered, marvelling at the Louvre the emperor had turned into a museum. ‘Would you like to visit a museum? If so, we should get off at the next stop. Is it something you would like to do?’

‘Yes.’ Flore gave a serious nod.

‘Then we should get off here.’ Martial pushed himself up and held out a hand.

‘Huh? I thought we were going all the way to the Champs Elysées?’

‘You just told me that you wanted to visit the Louvre Museum.’

Flore gave him a puzzled look.

Had they been talking at cross purposes? Did Flore even understand the concept of a museum? Martial sat down again, about to explain, when Flore spoke, following her own train of thought. ‘If I can’t find a position, what will I do then, all alone in the north?’

 ‘But you won’t be alone. I’ll be there. Don’t worry. I’m sure that Monsieur Godin will’

‘But what if he doesn’t? I really think it’s best for me to stay in Paris.’

‘Stay in Paris?’ Suddenly, the river lost all its appeal. The flatboats slipping by, the sprawling Tuileries, the huge horses pulling barges along the banks vanished from Martial’s field of vision, reduced to one person, calmly proposing to disappear from his life.

‘Minnie will find me something.’


‘The American dancer who lives in the room below mine,’ Flore insisted. ‘I mentioned her to you. She knows people, both in her theatre and in the mattress shop next to it. Rue Trévise, perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called—’

‘Wait.’ Martial swallowed hard, his carefully laid plans tumbling around him like a house of cards. This simply could not be. He could not let her go. It would mean losing his Émile, the female counterpart to Rousseau’s guileless pupil. She was so bright, and with just a little guidance, she could achieve so much. Without Flore, the whole utopian experiment would make no sense. Life would make no sense. His hands hovered next to hers. Unable to touch her, he took off his hat and kneaded the rim. ‘Listen, Paris is a dangerous place for a girl on her own. If anything happened to you, I would never forgive myself.’ He stared at his hat and replaced it on his head.

Flore turned away, her gaze on the columns of the Palais Bourbon. Although they had reached their stop, neither of them moved. Martial’s heart slowed down to the heavy chug of the wheel. Lost in a strange fog, he found himself praying to the very God he had forsaken, praying for his turmoil to end.

‘This is what we will do,’ he said in a tired voice. ‘If Monsieur Godin cannot find you a position, I will personally bring you back to Paris.’ 


Author Bio:


Michèle Callard grew up in France. A country girl at heart, she swapped her Paris flat for a cottage in rural England where she lives with her Irish husband and the youngest of her three sons. 

She writes fast-paced novels set in different regions of France, bursting with authentic characters, colours, flavours and history. 


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Book Bub:

Amazon Author Page:èle-CALLARD/author/B09WRT58ZT



  1. Thanks so much for hosting Michèle Callard today, with a fabulous excerpt from The Sand Vines.

    Take care,
    Cathie xo
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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