Holiday in South of France & Sneaky Peeks!


Chez Castillon Holiday Diary! And sneaky peeks from Together Fashion, L’Occitane, Ultrasun and Dyson!

Writing in South of France Countryside Retreat

What a lovey week away I’ve had! Chez Castillon is a fabulously relaxing place to be – an old (1740s) town house over four floors with a pool and a gite made out of a converted barn. Lots of writing people go there and it’s been fabulous to escape to focus on my latest novel, ‘French or Dutch’ (more updates for when it’s out will be via my website so subscribe for the newsletter here.)

As with when I went to China, I kept a Debbie’s Daily Diary, updated via my Facebook page – go here to see it and ‘like’ it so you get access to all the pics from the whole week, and a whole summary of my lovely writing holiday! Here are a few of the days and some of the pics…


Debbie’s Daily Bordeaux Diary : Day 2 of 6
Up early (I know! Me?!!) to walk the lurcher/wolf/something else resident pog, Rory, with lovely Jan Springer. Beautiful river views at Castillon, then communal breakfast and a three hour brainstorm with lovely Julie Cohen, aka WingCo.

Lunch with a very unusual guest ‪#‎LegoHannibal, and lots of writing, before a late afternoon swim. 33 degrees today. It was still 24C at 11pm as we sat outside after dinner putting the world to rights and finding out more about our lovely hosts Janie Millman and Michael Wilson and fellow guests. Loving it so far! Market day tomorrow! X

river view and dog

Kepp scale

Hat gang


 Lunch al fresco


lego in the sun


Debbie’s Daily Bordeaux Diary : Day 3 of 6
A day of muuuuch writing today. FABulously hot weather – outside! Been in a cool old stone converted site in the grounds of Chez Castillon near Bordeaux. Julie ‘wing commander’ Cohen set me writing task, waded through it much of day and into the night too! This is view from my writing desk but many more places to choose! This morning  I walked with Rory the pog and the ‘hat gang!’ Then market day! Bought couple of items including ‘du pains sans gluten’ – like a brick- haha! And couple of pressies. Spent much of the day, in between hopping to and from the main house for top ups of tea, it was all about the writing.

Tasks included much pruning and tightening but chapters one and two are gritty and hard hitting, whereas chapter 3 brings in the other main characters and some comedy! ‘Four nurses, two horse-drawn caravans and one scandalous 1920s ideal.’

Plus, managed to spill red wine down me new white shorts. And finished dinner with – by request, a bodyblade tutorial and try out period! Lol! Ps Lego Hannibal Lecter also liked the market – the meat stall in particular…! Lol x

I will definitely be going back again! Julie Cohen is my mentor, a talented author and teacher and I’ve got another short week in Wales booked with her in July. And in between I’ll be getting ready for moving house! It’s all go chez Flint! Meanwhile, hope you’ve enjoyed my taste of Chez Castillon.


Back to You Club TiFFT!*
B2U header

Fab ad-hoc web chat last week on my Back to You QVC facebook group – including topics such as dry skin patches round the eyes, which foundation is best for oily skin etc. Plus no! no! is under discussion in the Monday webchat, as is Ultrasun with Abi Cleeve– their TSV is this Saturday (13th), plus Anne Keating has posted an amazing diabetes update, and Joanne M is raving about my ‘Till the Fat Lady Slims book’ (item 704285 on QVC).

Stop press – I am looking at ways we can involve even more people for our guests’ benefit and for Back to You group’s benefit so even more people come join us, with a possible tie in to the webchats on the main Qpage! Whoop! Going up to visit the social admin team in Liverpool in the next few weeks – something I’ve been after doing for ages, there’s a lot to discuss! And the last time I went there was around 1997 – that’ll be a great blog!

Click here to read it all on this week’s well being blog Back to You on


dragRiwisi – What a fab week at Chez Castillon it was this week, for my writing mainly, and French or Dutch, my next ‘period saga’ novel set in the 1920s, is well and truly underway thanks to Julie Cohen my writing mentor! Well author Janie Millman is the one who runs the retreats and she is also celebrating as Accent Press are bringing out her novel in July –called ‘Life’s a Drag,’ it’s available to pre-order now, all the info and links are on my Read it Write it Sell it blog just out. There, you’ll also find a beginner’s guide to self-publishing. Click here to read it all on RiwiSi on my website.








Mally Competition winner is … Carly Meaden well done! And if you missed getting this product, look at the Seven Secrets to Happy Mally set – fair and rich options still online item 208696

Together top – Sneaky peek! What a lovely Today’s Special Value top is coming up soon! This is a sleeveless version of the silhouette I adore from our fab home-grown fashion brand and Jenny and co will return on Tuesday night 16th at midnight so do join me – it’s going to go early I reckon! Meanwhile here’s my fave one,116412 – the XS and L, XL and 2X ladies will love it as it’s so flattering and sliming and superb for summer too IMO.


Sunbathing thanks to ultrasun How lovely the weather was – and thanks to Ultrasun (TSV this Saturday, info below) I am able to be in the sun at all – a big win. Here’s my TiFFT in South of France – sunbathing in new cossie by the back garden pool at Chez Castillon. And for those who asked, I use L-Tyrosine tablets which help the body make melanin – google them, they are widely available, but work like a tan accelerator from the inside out. Then the tan accelerator creams work from the outside in. For this week’s hol I was using the Gatineau’s Supersize Tan Accelerator (206439.)


Meet Lego Hannibal Ok so you know that saying about you don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps? I think the same is true of authors… certainly some of them! Follow @legoHannibal on twitter to see updates like this one – where he suddenly grows in scale and joins in with dinner! Julie Cohen’s alter ego is crazy! But such fun, we were killing ourselves laughing with some of the pics we took!


Rory Pog Of course it was lovely to be able to walk a woofy during the hol, and this little lad is only three and half but so social and so well behaved. Really lovely to have some poggy affection whilst I was away and missing mine! Thanks to niece Steph for looking after my mutts again!
Rory pog

Meeting Beryl Kingston
– also one of the most prolific authors on the retreat (we weren’t all having workshops with Julie, some people come to just write) was Beryl Kingston, a lovely lady who has published 24 books in the past, who began when she was 40 – there’s hope for us yet! I loved hearing her stories and she is amazing for 84. She talked through quite a few different aspects of novel writing with us over dinner and lunch and walking round the market – a very wise lady willing to share. A lesson to us all!

Beryl 2

Watch – we were discussing our favourite films at one point so I thought I’d do a period one, which is available on Sky this month – ‘The Jersey Boys’ (2014) directed by Clint Eastwood. I loved the West End musical so this is a super way of seeing the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons complete with tragedy and fame and success, almost a novel plot in itself! The theatre production I would give a 9 out of ten – it was amazing. The film looks fab in this trailer too – watch this and tell me it doesn’t make you want to watch the whole movie!


Two this week!

On Tuesday it was the cheeky Charlie’s Birthday! Watch how the crew surprised him below

Craig definitely has the Friday feeling! Lol!

Shhh!  And another little one to look out for – Revitalash – returning with a special around 5th July! And a massive one show only type Elemis bargain with Jill on Friday 19th at 11pm…

This week on QVC – highlights include the Ultrasun TSV on Saturday 13th  and my old mate from Bid TV, Steve MacDonald who is the new guest on the fab affordable cordless Dyson TSV launching on Sunday 14th Then the L’Occitane Today’s Special Value I’m launching on Monday night at midnight (15th), a great summer fragrance and handcream collection – something really different! Plus of course the Together TSV as mentioned above on Tues night, through Wednesday.  Great shows ahead!

Next week – a weight loss special! How do you lose weight and get more toned in time for summer? Don’t miss it!

Best wishes



PS – *TiFFT – Try it For the First Time Club!

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Books- to find out about my fiction and non fiction book and where to get it go here. My first book with my publisher Choc Lit is now out too, called ‘Take a Chance on Me’ on eBook! These are some of my titles that are also in eBook and clever ‘print on demand’ paperback too – am very proud!

Books pic

‘Item 704285, Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 (2015), my hardback QVC-exclusive version of my semi-autobiographical weight loss book, incl exclusive bonus content, hardback and signed, limited to 3000 produced. Order online now.

Find out more in the special blog that appeared on the QVC home page here.


  1. martin forbes June 14, 2015 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    hi debbie as we say in aberdeen fit like which means how are you how are you and your son and daughter doing iam not bad just been on holidays for the last week being lazy and doing nothing looking forward to next one do you hear from paul lavers at all give him my regards .when you did childrens bbc on bbc1 1986 was it for 2months nice clips of you doing it on youtube

  2. debs f June 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin – long time no hear – glad you’ve had a nice hol. Nothing like a good laze about is there! I’m looking fwd to that after I’ve moved!
    kind regards

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