Book review & giveaway: Drawing Lessons, by Patricia Sands

Drawing LessonsPatricia Sands

on Tour October 2-13 with

Drawing Lessons

(women’s fiction)
Release date: October 1, 2017
at Lake Union Publishing

ISBN: 978-1542045872
352 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…

Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.

MY REVIEW

I’ve read Ms. Sands’ book Promise of Provence and quite enjoyed it, so I was excited to be able to read and review Drawing Lessons as well. Her descriptions of France and of her characters are so vivid that I find it quite easy to bring them all to life in my mind. Of course, it also makes me wish I could be there with them! In this case, in Arles, creating art.

I really felt for Arianna in this novel as Ms. Sands skilfully took me through her everyday life, and the difficulties and sadness that she was experiencing. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. Dementia of a loved one is a tough challenge to meet, especially when it progresses to the point that your loved one remembers little to nothing of their family and friends.

This book was on the quieter, introspective side, and it was just what I was looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I Promise You This Patricia SandsPatricia Sands
lives in Toronto,
but her heart’s other home is the South of France.
An avid traveler, she spends part of each year
on the Côte d’Azur
and occasionally leads groups of women
on tours of the Riviera and Provence.
Her award-winning 2010 debut novel, The Bridge Club,
is a book-group favorite,
and The Promise of Provence, which launched her three-part Love in Provence series
(followed by Promises to Keep and I Promise You This),
was a finalist for a 2013 USA Best Book Award
and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Award,
was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013,
and was a 2015 nominee for a #RBRT Golden Rose award in the category of romance.
Sands also contributes to such Francophile websites as The Good Life France
and Perfectly Provence, and she appears as a public speaker for women’s groups.

Find Patricia on Facebook,
on Twitter
on Instagram
at her Amazon Author Page
or her website

Subscribe to her mailing list and get information about new releases.

Buy the book on Amazon.com

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GIVEAWAY

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Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
2 winners

***

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Guest Post: Patricia Sands, author of ‘The Promise of Provence’

WHY FRANCE?

Alyssa, when I saw your tagline I wanted to make plans to meet you for a café au lait and talk about all things French. Tout de suite!

Thanks so much for inviting me over for a virtual chat. I guess that will have to do for now ~ passing a plate of madeleines, hot out of the oven ~.

Since you and I share a love of all things French, I thought perhaps your readers would like to see a small sampling of why feel like we do. With your permission, I’m going to ‘focus’ on the south of France.

Apart from being surrounded by history that lives on amidst breathtaking vistas and vegetation, all of which I photograph with endless pleasure,

for me, it’s also about the windows …

windows1 windows2 windows3

And the doors …

door-lock door1 door2 The hilltop villages …

buildingsonhill

The sparkling Mediterranean …

coast1 coast2

And the vibrant combination of colour and hues at every turn …

coast3 dining spices

Do you take a lot of photographs when you travel? Is there particular subject matter on which you focus or do you shoot with joyful abandon? Don’t you just love digital photography?

After seeing your photos, Patricia, I really want to visit Provence, and the Mediterranean! But I’ll soon be going to Paris, and will have lots of photographs to post from my travels! :)

The Promise of ProvenceAbout ‘The Promise of Provence':

Surprise, shock, and a shift in life as she knows it tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she envisioned suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus on beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require.

Fate has other plans for Katherine.

June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves. Ancient hilltop villages beckon. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?

After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.

Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?

As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, the beautiful boulevards of Paris and the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast of the Côte d’Azur, unimagined possibilities present themselves.

An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia Sands invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger.

“Be prepared to fall in love with Provence! This is a story that will draw you in with its vibrancy in setting and characters. A must read for any woman with a desire for romance and travel.” Steena Holmes, author of Amazon bestseller Finding Emma

Buy The Promise of Provence on Amazon:
USA / UK / FR / CAN

Visit Patricia Sands online: http://www.patriciasandsauthor.com

(My review of Patricia’s book is forthcoming.)