At Home with Mr Darcy – out now!

I’m delighted to announce the release of my brand new novella At Home with Mr Darcy which is out today in paperback and ebook. This is the sixth story in the Austen Addicts series and the Janeites are off on a little holiday – to Pemberley no less!

I can’t tell you how much fun it was to return to this little group of characters and find out how everyone was getting on and to see them enjoying a trip to Derbyshire together. I really hope you all love it too!

AHWMD

 

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Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

It’s been a glorious autumn here in Suffolk with misty mornings turning into warm afternoons and the garden full of ripe apples, raspberries, tomatoes and squashes.

Bottengoms from the gardenA couple of weeks ago, my husband and I visited the author Ronald Blythe at his beautiful home in the Stour Valley – somewhere he describes as being perfect ‘for artists and writers’ so we felt very much at home as I read in the garden and Roy painted the house.

Painting in the gardenBack in our own garden, I harvested some of our squashes, marvelling at the shapes and colours. We shall enjoy eating them, I’m sure, but I have to confess that I grew them because I knew they would be beautiful.

Turk's Turban squashPatty pan and sweet lightning squashes

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Snowshill Manor – the inspiration for Fox Hill in The Secret of You

A few years ago, I visited Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds – the wonderfully magical home of the late Charles Paget Wade. It remains one of the most extraordinary places I have ever seen with its eclectic collection which includes everything from long case clocks to Samurai swords.

IMG_4205The house and garden alone would be worth a visit for it is exquisitely beautiful, sitting in one of those green-gold valleys which the Cotswolds is famous for. I just knew that I had to write a book set there and an idea for a hero inspired by Charles Paget Wade began to emerge … an eccentric collector with a rather unusual collection …

IMG_4188IMG_4191So, I wrote to the custodian of Snowshill and was allowed to visit on a perfect spring day in May when the house was closed to the public. What a treat that was! I was shown around the collection, allowed to take photographs and ask all the questions I had whilst my artist husband had been given special permission to paint in the garden. It’s a day I’ll never forget and I hope I’ve managed to capture something of the magic of Snowshill in my fictional version, Fox Hill Manor, in The Secret of You.

The Secret of You by Victoria Connelly

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The Secret of You – out now!

I’m delighted to announce the release of my brand new novel, The Secret of You – a romantic story about journalist, Anna McCall, who gets more than she bargained for when she goes to interview reclusive collector, William Kitson, in his rambling manor house in the Cotswolds. I had so much fun writing this novel which included a fantastic trip to Snowshill Manor – watch out for my blog post about that later. In the meantime, I really hope you enjoy Anna and William’s story.

The Secret of You by Victoria ConnellyThe Secret of You is available now in paperback and Kindle formats.

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Our Beautiful Nancy

Last week, we lost our beautiful hen, Nancy, after a shockingly swift decline. She wasn’t even two years old.

Nancy first day April 2013Nancy arrived at Mulberry Cottage in April 2013 with Peggy. Both were just a few months old and very shy.

Nancy April 3rd 2013But Nancy soon relaxed into her new life even though she made it obvious that she wasn’t going to be the best of cuddling hens!

Nancy in border

And we quickly forgave her because she laid the most perfect blue eggs although not all of them were the same size.

Nancy EggsNancy was always capable of making us smile and laugh …

Nancy on chair

and her jaunty floppy comb gave her the appearance of a court jester.

Nancy jester

We’re going to miss you so much, Nancy. You were truly one of a kind!

 

 

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Are you ready for some new books?

I hate saying goodbye to summer but autumn is going to be super-exciting and I have three new releases for you between now and Christmas!

First up in September is my brand new novel, The Secret of You, about journalist Anna McCall who stumbles onto the most exciting story of her career whilst interviewing the handsome owner of Fox Hill Manor in the Cotswolds.

In October, the next story in the Austen Addicts series, At Home with Mr Darcy, will be released with the Janeites taking a trip to Derbyshire – home of Mr Darcy’s Pemberley.

Then, in early November, I’ll be publishing a novella called Christmas at the Cove about a couple who are reluctantly thrown together in a windswept cottage on the wild Devon coast.

If you’d like to be the first to know when these books are out, to see their covers and to hear about competitions to celebrate their launches, sign up to my newsletter here.

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The Short Story Collections…

I’m delighted to reveal the brand new covers for my three short story collections – aren’t they beautiful? I think they’re really pretty and summery and I hope readers will love them as much as I do. Each collection has at least ten short stories and is available in ebook form at just £1.99 so grab yourself a beautiful bargain today!

Click on a cover below to find out more…

Victoria Connelly short story collections

One Perfect Week and other stories Postcard from Venice and other stories The Retreat and other stories

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Flying the Coop

Don’t you just love it when you discover a new author? Especially a fellow hen-keeping author who is also a gardening enthusiast. I recently came across a gorgeous book called All Your Eggs in One Basket and was struck not only by the beauty of the prose but by the stunning photographs of a Suffolk garden not too far away from our own so I wrote to the author – the lovely Francine Raymond – to say hello.

Since writing her book, Francine had swapped the gentle Suffolk countryside for the bustling seaside town of Whitstable in Kent and we were invited to visit her to talk about writing, gardening and hens.

IMG_8813We took a tour around her pretty garden, had a gorgeous lunch and then walked down to the sea, passing some colourful villas and beach huts and lots of wonderfully wild areas full of flowers and berries.

Whitstable with Francine Raymond P1070978I am reading Francine’s latest book, Flying the Coop, right now and it’s fabulous. Highly recommended for all country-lovers!

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Goodbye, Little Flo

It’s been a very sad week here at Mulberry Cottage because we lost our beloved hen, Little Flo. She’d been slowly sinking away from us for some time, snoozing in quiet corners of the garden with her feathers all fluffed up, and not eating very much.

Little Flo came to us over two years ago as part of our second flock of ex-bat hens. She was the smallest, most threadbare hen I had ever seen, and this made her bottom of the pecking order.

Flo in the KingcupsShe was also incredibly shy, skulking about in the nest box, hopping from perch to perch. But, slowly, she grew in confidence, grew herself some beautiful golden feathers and rose in rank to become top hen.

Little Flo in the geraniumsI have never seen such an incredible transformation in a hen and I’m so thrilled that she had two years of free-ranging with us. I just wish it could have been for longer because she was such a special little character.

Little Flo 3Goodbye, Little Flo. We shall miss you so much.

Flo in the snow

 

 

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