Book review, excerpt & giveaway: One Sip at a Time, by Keith Van Sickle

One Sip at a TimeKeith Van Sickle

on Tour November 6-17 with

One Sip at a Time:
Learning to Live in Provence

(travel memoir)
Release date: January 28, 2017
at Dresher Publishing
ISBN: 978-0998312002
192 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Can a two-career couple really pick up stakes and move to Provence?

Keith and Val had a dream – to live in Provence, the land of brilliant sunlight, charming hilltop villages and the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean. But there were two problems: they weren’t French speakers and they had full-time jobs. So they came up with a plan…

Follow their adventures (and misadventures) as they quit their jobs, become consultants and split their time between two countries. Laugh along as they build a life in Provence, slowly mastering a new language and making friends with the locals over long meals and just a bit too much wine.

If you’ve ever dreamed of changing gears and learning what joie de vivre is really all about, you won’t want to miss this delightful book.

EXCERPT

Fear the Beard
My beard trimmer broke so I went to buy a new one at the Intermarché.  I found it on the same aisle that had hair dryers and curling irons and things like that.  Except that the beard trimmers were kept in a locked cabinet.  Quoi?

I tracked down a clerk and asked her to unlock the cabinet so I could get the one I wanted, one that only cost about twenty bucks.  She took it out but wouldn’t give it to me. No, no, that would not be secure, monsieur!  Beard trimmers must follow a special security procedure! I think it must be like the one for a nuclear weapons factory.

First, I was told to go to the “Special Bureau” at the front of the store.  I did that, expecting the lady there to give me the beard trimmer so I could go pay.  Oh no, monsieur!  That would not be secure!  Instead, she gave me a long code to hand to the clerk in the checkout line. This mystified the poor clerk, who must only deal with women, children and clean-shaven men.

But eventually we sorted it out. I paid him and got another piece of paper, this one with a new code, to take back to the Special Bureau.

At this point, I was nervously expecting a retinal scan or maybe a cavity search, but happily I got my beard trimmer.

I asked the lady at the Special Bureau why beard trimmers were kept locked up while the much more expensive hair dryers were not.  She looked around carefully, leaned forward and said in a low voice, “Because of the thieves!”

Yes, it seems that beard trimmers were the most-stolen items in Intermarché stores
nationwide, thus prompting the lockdown.  I thanked her for this important news and held the trimmer tightly, scanning the parking lot as I walked carefully to my car.

Later I thought, is this really the best way to deal with the nationwide epidemic of beard
trimmer robberies? Is French society well served by having its thieves unable to trim their
beards, eventually looking like refugees from a ZZ Top concert? Maybe I should lead the other men in town for a protest march, a very French thing to do.
After trimming my beard, of course.

MY REVIEW

The title really says it all. One sip at a time. Lots of short pieces on living in Provence, and it’s easy to read a few in one sitting, or many (how about half the book? Let’s just say dinner was late that night!) As a not very skilled speaker of French, I could feel awkward along with them, and wince or nod or smile, and then laugh. The stories really make me want to go to Provence!

One anecdote that especially made me chuckle (and wince!) was France’s Worst Off-Ramp. Who knew that the French too had horribly designed roads? No traffic circles, cloverleafs…. just survival of the fittest. I wanted to clench my steering wheel with white-knuckled hands, if I’d had a steering wheel.

This book was a welcome indulgence, a way to live vicariously through the fun and travails of others. Now, though, I think I need to go book a trip to France.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One Sip at a Time Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle
is a technology industry veteran
and lifelong traveler
who got his first taste of overseas life
while studying in England during college.
But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland
that made him really fall in love with Europe.
After returning to California, he and his wife Val dreamed of living abroad again
but were unable to find another expat gig.
So they decided to invent their own.
Now they split their time between Silicon Valley and St-Rémy-de-Provence,
delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Find the author on Facebook and Twitter
Visit his website

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

Buy the book on Amazon.com

***

GIVEAWAY

Enter here

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
5 winners

***

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EXCERPTS, AND GUEST-POST

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Vee (Vol. 1) is free on Kindle until the 28th!

Snag it free on Amazon!

“Sylvia, my brightest star, my desire. My lust, my soul.

“She was Lia to her co-workers at the bookstore, Sylvia to her mother, who clicked her tongue disapprovingly at her bright blue and hair and her Monroe stud. But to me, she was simply Vee.”

Vee: Vol. 1

In Alex’s notebooks, the story of Vee unfolds, from their first kiss, their first date, and the moments in between. It’s a May-December romance between a former punk girl gone con

servative, and a gamine young woman in combat boots and fishnets. They find each other on the streets of New York City and it’s love at first sight.

These are short collections of stories. Along with the free reads from this site, there are new, unreleased stories, and occasionally short fiction that was first available in various anthologies.


Volume 1:

Vee (from FELT TIPS)
Heart of Glass
Birdland (I)
Birdland (II)
Vee’s Notebook (from ANYTHING SHE WANTS)

ISBN-13 (Kindle): 978-0-9920065-5-6

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Vee will be FREE! Starting Dec 24th.

Vee: The Collection (Vol. 1) will be free on Amazon from Dec 24-28th!

“Sylvia, my brightest star, my desire. My lust, my soul.

“She was Lia to her co-workers at the bookstore, Sylvia to her mother, who clicked her tongue disapprovingly at her bright blue and hair and her Monroe stud. But to me, she was simply Vee.”

In Alex’s notebooks, the story of Vee unfolds, from their first kiss, their first date, and the moments in between. It’s a May-December romance between a former punk girl gone conservative, and a gamine young woman in combat boots and fishnets. They find each other on the streets of New York City and it’s love at first sight.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Volume 1:
Vee (from FELT TIPS)
Heart of Glass
Birdland (I)
Birdland (II)
Vee’s Notebook (from ANYTHING SHE WANTS)

Buy on Amazon!

goodreads-badge-add

New release! VEE (Vol. 1) on Kindle!

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Sylvia, my brightest star, my desire. My lust, my soul.

“She was Lia to her co-workers at the bookstore, Sylvia to her mother, who clicked her tongue disapprovingly at her bright blue and hair and her Monroe stud. But to me, she was simply Vee.”

In Alex’s notebooks, the story of Vee unfolds, from their first kiss, their first date, and the moments in between. It’s a May-December romance between a former punk girl gone conservative, and a gamine young woman in combat boots and fishnets. They find each other on the streets of New York City and it’s love at first sight.

These are short collections of stories. Along with the free reads from this site, there are new, unreleased stories, and occasionally short fiction that was first available in various anthologies. (And for those of you who read MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS and need a little more of Daniel and Benoit…there is more!)

Volume 1:
Vee (from FELT TIPS)
Heart of Glass
Birdland (I)
Birdland (II)
Vee’s Notebook (from ANYTHING SHE WANTS)

Release Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN-13 (Kindle): 978-0-9920065-5-6

Buy it on AMAZON.

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New Release! The Fool’s Gold Anthology from Bandit Creek Books

I’m proud to say that I’m a part of this fantastic anthology, the latest release in the Bandit Creek Books series! These seven stories all deal with fools… whether they are purposeful jokesters, or purposely hiding something.

FOOL FOR LOVE by Louise Behiel
A woman is dragged from a contented, happy marriage to a life on the run.

NEVER COUNT YOUR CHICKENS by Victoria Chatham
Two boys play an April Fool’s joke on their employer.

WISHFUL THINKING by Alyssa Linn Palmer
CeeCee tells Ruth about her past, but how truthful is she?

AIRPORT SECURITY by Julie Rowe
On her way home from her tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dr. Abigail Westward discovers it’s not easy to leave her fellow soldiers or the memories of combat behind.

BABY FEVER by Sheila Seabrook
Baby cribs and baby swings and a winking, blinking doll. Oh my!

LUCY’S APRIL FOOLS by Brenda Sinclair
Will this be George Jack’s year to catch Lucy in an April Fool’s joke, or will his wife outsmart him again?

WHERE RABBITS RUN WILD by Trip Williams
Not all the rabbits in the mountains of Bandit Creek are cute and cuddly. Some come with a warning label.

The book is available via Amazon and Smashwords!