Thursday, 9 June 2022

WW2 Tragic Oradour Massacre

Back in 1998, I’d not even begun writing novels, but after a very moving visit to the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane, I vowed to myself that one day I had to write about this terrible tragedy.

Photo courtesy of Venetia Hos-Edwards

On 10 June 1944, Oradour-sur-Glane, situated in the Haute-Vienne Department, was burnt to the ground and 642 inhabitants massacred by a German SS company. After the war, a new village was constructed, but the then French president, Charles de Gaulle, stated that the original village should be maintained as a memorial and a museum.

 

Photo courtesy of Venetia Hos-Edwards


Photo courtesy of Venetia Hos-Edwards

Many years later, I learned that the countryside area in which I live in France, was a hotbed of French Resistance fighters against the Nazi Occupation. This, and the tragedy of Oradour-sur-Glane, became the basis for my novel, Wolfsangel, second (standalone) story in my French historical series: The Bone Angel.

Wolfsangel is on sale for 99c/p HERE at your favourite retailer for a short time only.

Excerpt:

As we hurried back to the old district of Lyon, I understood that look on Ghislaine’s face.  I saw how the Occupation had changed us; how the Resistance had brought together people from every level of society and turned us all — from the aristocrat to the simple farmgirl — into counterfeiters, thieves, and murderers.


 

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 Oradour-sur-Glane Memorial Centre 

Thursday, 10 March 2022

New Season, New Books!


Spring is in the air in rural France! While I don't mind a bit of winter, it's lovely to finally step outside to warm sunshine instead of cold and fog. When March comes around, I love seeing the new flowers peeping from the earth, hearing the birdsong, and admiring the new baby animals.


To celebrate spring, I'm taking part in a huge book giveaway!

👩🏻👩🏾👩🏼‍🦳 It’s Women’s History Month! If you haven’t read my novel, The Lost Blackbird you can enter to win it on BookSweeps right now — PLUS over 45 Women’s Fiction novels from a great collection of authors AND a brand new eReader!
It's free to enter so why not give it a go.

 Here's the link:👉 bit.ly/WomensFiction-March22

 

 Good luck, and if any of your reader friends might be interested, please share this post with them.

Cheers,

Liza x

Sign up  for new book releases and receive a FREE copy of Friends & Other Strangers, my award-winning collection of Australian short stories.

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http://www.lizaperrat.com/


Friday, 11 February 2022

#CarnivalNice 2022

 


Anyone in Nice today, for the start of the annual Nice Carnival? One of the world’s largest events, along with the carnivals of Brazil, Venice and the New Orleans Mardi Gras, the earliest record of its existence is in 1294 when the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou wrote that he had enjoyed the carnival.

Each year a particular theme is chosen, around which artists create sumptuous costumes, masks, floats and figurines in papier-maché for the colourful day and night parades, and mimosa, lily and daisy flower battles.

Nowadays, this two-week event attracts over a million visitors to Nice. Find this year’s programme HERE.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2021

December 8, Light Your candles!


Tomorrow, 8th December, is La Fête des Lumières (Light Festival) in Lyon, emblem of a popular gathering when the people of Lyon share a spirit of solidarity; the spirit of candles burning on windowsills.

Here's a short article I wrote a few years ago, about the history of the light festival.


 
The Plague Enlightened
by Liza Perrat


‘Protect us from famine, war and plague, Seigneur,” cry the residents of Lyon. The year is 1628. But their plea comes too late. The bubonic plague already crossed the Rhône River in August, terrifying the inhabitants and killing half of them.

By 1643 they are desperate, and pray to the Virgin Mary to return good health to Lyon. Miraculously, the black plague disappears from the city, never to return and the people never doubt their divine protection.

So, how does the celebration of the Virgin Mary’s eradication of the plague become the largest light festival of this modern-day century?

It began on September 8th 1852, with the inauguration of the statue of the Virgin Mary, erected on La basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière to thank her for ridding Lyon of the plague. Severe flooding prevented the festivities from taking place and the event was postponed to December 8th, and the Lyonnaise people showed their gratitude by lighting candles on their windowsills. As the years passed, this spontaneous jest increased in popularity to become, today, a grandiose festival of light.

During the 1980s, in conjunction with the advent of the ‘lighting plan’, the city of Lyon decided to transform the December 8th festival into la Fête Des Lumières (light festival). Each year, the city’s public places would be illuminated in a different fashion, this coloured symphony of light bathing urban Lyon on the eve of the winter solstice.

My first light festival was in 2002. Anticipating large crowds, we opted for the train into Lyon centreville, descending into the cold night at St. Paul station in the Vieux Lyon. Restaurants lining the cobblestone streets blazed with lights, diners’ chatter and busy waiters. Tantalising aromas of frying garlic, butter and parsley mingled with the fog.

Crossing the Saône River we first glimpsed the illuminations on Fourvière Hill, where the Romans set up camp in the first century B.C. and where, atop the hill, Fourvière basilica was built between 1872 and 1884. Lit up in alternate shades of green, blue and violet, the fortress basilica was transformed into a haunted, spectral tower.

On Place des Terreaux, a group threw and swallowed fire for an enchanted audience, ‘ohs’ and ‘aahs’ echoing into the wintry dark as flames leapt dangerously close to the performers. Then the old stones of the square melted into a cinematic screen of stars and moons. Coloured lights and shapes danced on a stage of renaissance architecture, a bloodied revolutionary soldier crept stealthily across the starry sky, and all sense of dimension was lost.

On Place Paul Chenavard, 15th century St. Nizier church was painted in stripes of dandelion yellow, orange and blue lights.

The temperature dropped, the night thickened with visitors and stall holders cried out: ‘Crepes, saucisson, vin chaud!’.

‘This moving public is at the heart of the festival,’ said the festival’s artistic director, ‘just as it is at the heart of urbanity, each person being a vector of light within the nocturnal landscape.’

At the old printing museum, high on an old stone staircase, children were mesmerised by a mediaeval play of sword–slashing and fierce shouting.

‘The very identity of Lyon is revealed in the light festival,’ said the mayor, ‘through an event that is both a popular event and a tribute to art and architecture through the use of light.

On the stone floor of the Trinity Chapel in Lyon’s 2nd district, 2,000 white glass jars filled with water and blazing oil were distributed in wave forms to create the Equinoctial tide. French baroque music interpreted by three sopranos and an organ accompanied the lighting and extinction of the fires.

The city’s ancient weaving industry and textile production were revived through light projections onto the imposing St Jean Cathedral, invoking the weavers’ mechanisms and gestures. To complete the picture, a green laser beam linked St. Jean Cathedral to Fourvière Basilica.

Since its origin in the XIX century, December 8 has taken on an undeniably futuristic allure. But despite these magnificent illuminations, the Lyonnaise people never forget that the soul of the light festival remains within the beauty of thousands of tiny candle flames burning in unison, on windowsills. 
 


So, since our rural village is located on the outskirts of Lyon, I’d better hunt out those candles and holders, ready for tomorrow!
 
To celebrate this year's light festival, I’m reducing the price of my black plague novel, Blood Rose Angel for a few days to only 99c/p. 
 
 
 
1348. As Bubonic Plague makes its first inroads into Europe, medicine, religion, family traditions and love intertwine in a woman’s search for identity and her battle to heal the sick in a world ruled by superstition.
 
Get your copy of Blood Rose Angel HERE.
 

Sign up  for new book releases and receive a FREE copy of Friends & Other Strangers, my award-winning collection of Australian short stories.

If you enjoy my books, follow me on BOOKBUB

http://www.lizaperrat.com/