Postcard from Bordeaux!


In a week where the nation decided, here’s a lighter touch – a postcard of pics and videos from my favourite retreat in France.

Regulars will recall my visit to Chez Castillon last year based in the amazing town of Castillon-la-Bataille near Bordeaux – video here. (nb like my facebook page for regular vlogs.) The hospitality is wonderful, as offered by lovely Janie and Mickey Wilson, who welcome all sorts of writers and actors and media types and a few lovely luvvies – so I fitted right in!


They make everyone feel like they’ve known you a million years and the all-inclusive basis means amazing lunches like this – home made houmous no less!


And it also of course means no worrying about anything for a whole week – apart from what time to wake up and go walk Rory the resident hound.

I have come here with Julie Cohen, author and mentor extraordinaire, whose new book is out next month – I can’t wait! She’s a Richard and Judy level author, award-winning and basically a top notch tutor. If you didn’t know, I’ve been coached by Julie for around six years now and she is one of the reasons I got a book contract with UK publisher Choc Lit. (‘where heroes are like chocolate – irresistible!’ Lol.)

Julie and Rory

As regulars will know, I’ve come here simply to write, and get stuff finished. But being in the company of like-minded people always brings inspiration – one part of which is what approach to take for the next ‘big’ saga I’m writing ‘French or Dutch.’ I’ve had a few challenges this last year with focus (find out more on my Back to You blog here) Whether I’m finishing the sequel to ‘Take a Chance on Me’, which Janie said she loved (thank you Janie, even if you are being kind to one of your regulars! Lol) or plotting and scheming about the next saga, it’s a lovely place to do it in.


To dinner al fresco in what was thirty degree heat, it’s got to be probably my favourite place in the world to escape and just indulge my inner author. Rather than being at home procrastinating, listening to my inner chimp! And this is one of my writing views – bliss.

writing view

I’ll post more pics and videos on this week’s newsletter email (see it here, and subscribe if you like and you’ll get the email updates!). I’ll post them around mid week (about 28th!) It looks like being a great week and I hope I get lots done. Correction – I plan to get lots done! Lol.

Hope you have a good week and next week, I’m off to the Charlie Bears Museum opening on July 1st in Launceston, Cornwall – see below. Do come! Back on air on 2nd. Hope the rain goes away in the UK and hope it doesn’t come to southern France before I leave here end of next week! Lol.

Competition winner – well done to Lyn CobleY, who won last week’s blog competition for the Elemis goodies!

flint prize



Top Product Tip  – here’s one of the many things I’ve been loving this week, whilst away in France – the super Vionics sandals that were a TSV – luv them – and even when I’m doing my 10,000 steps a day (lots of which are just up and down the staircase as I’m on the top floor at Chez Castillon!) my feet don’t ache cos the arches are supported! Item number is 157790 but explore other styles here.


Charlie Bears Museum Launch Do come along to see the new public opening of the long awaited Charlie Bears Museum, at their HQ in Launceston, Cornwall. It’s just 20 mins away from my friend Alix in Devon, so I’m hoping to coincide a visit to her as well. Lovely Charlie and Will are excited to be allowing the public in for the first time and really keen to see what everyone thinks of their new look settings for some of their famous, now-retired characters in their wonderful bear history. And maybe the six foot bear will make an appearance too, who knows?!

Never Quit – funny this week hearing discussions about overcoming adversity – three of the five women at the retreat having overcome breast cancer and recovered. It really knocks my own pathetic problems into a cocked hat. And of course the never ending topic that always comes up when talking with writers is about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. More about motivation and overcoming barriers on my Back to You blog on my website, and a nice motivational book of the week, you can go to the links via my  home page newsletter email.


This will also be where you’ll find more of the super news about my week in Bordeaux, updated on the home page mid-week (around 28th).

Medical Detection Dogs triumph Congrats to the amazing founder of my charity, Dr Claire Guest who this week won a prestigious award for her scientific contributions – very proud! More about my charity here. And – STOP PRESS! – we are aiming to do a little bodyblade sponsored wobble at the Kent County show – more info here, or if you are on Facebook, go here and click going – do come along if you can!


Facebook funny – more dogs – what can I say!


Facebook Funny 2 – Deep Sea Divas! Haha! Someone else’s picture, my caption! Lol.

2 divas

Watch – looking forward to watching this new film ‘The Meddler’, with top actress Susan Sarandon and the girl who played the adversary of Kristin Wiig in ‘Bridesmaids’ – Rose Byrne. Looks fab! Hoping to see it when I get back! ‘A Valentine to Mothers Everywhere!’

PLUS of course the Absolutely Fabulous movie is also released – I’ll have to have a movie-fest!

PS – advance warning – a new Jack Reacher movie, Never Go Back , out in the autumn! Loved the book!

Blooper – Chloe tries out Decleor’s new mask! 

This week on QVC

Kindle Paperwhite


  • Early Bird Links Ahead – Top TSV’s and bargains ahead! Stand by for some early bird order links to be announced on my facebook public page as soon as they become available – like for the Dyson Today’s Special Value Animal Cordless Vac V6 , Tuesday’s TSV!

Click here and press ‘like’ to get updates.

  • Sneaky peek – Lee returns with the Acer Aspire laptop PLUS separate optical drive on Saturday 2nd , when I’m back on air – looking forward to it!

Next week – that wonderful opening of the Charlie Bears Museum. Enjoy your week! Best wishes



Here is where to go to find out about all my social media, Twitter, Facebook groups for QVC people, brands and my own groups including Till the Fat Lady Slims etc

Here is where to go to find out more about all my books – Top 50 Kindle bestseller Take a Chance on Me, other novels and short stories and anthologies. Plus non-fiction weight loss books TTFLS etc.

Latest testimonials for ‘Till the Fat Lady Slims’ & Bodyblading

This is a strange NSV and I was wondering if anyone else has found this. Went to the dentist this morning for a 6 month check-up. In the last 2 years I have had nothing done. I’m sure this is because I’ve cut down big time on the sugar and that I eat more healthily. Not so hard on the purse either.’ Sue Stewart.



  1. Susan June 28, 2016 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, hope you’ve had a great holiday. Looks lovely. Have you finished your book now? I’ve see you’re quite active re the EU referendum. I think it’s really at risk of creating big divides between our 4 countries and creating more hate. Please regardless of our opinions let’s live together with respect. No one has all the answers! Look forward to your holiday stories x

  2. Debs f July 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm -  Reply

    Susan –
    Entirely my thoughts hon!
    Oh and yes, nearly finished … The F word – finished! Haha! On to the next one soon, once this has gone off to my publisher! Yay x

  3. Susan July 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi debs, the f word! Brilliant! Very Gordon Ramsey! What about French or Dutch? All the political stuff recently is very draining. I know it’s important but scary too. Hope the 4 countries can survive together. Look forward to your book update x

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