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February 24, 2012

0957106602.MAIN.jpgI swore that I wouldn't, as I love the look and feel of real books too much.

In my house in France, books are stacked up on shelves, under and over tables and piled up on the floor. They are literally, part of the decor, as I've always believed that books bring warmth and character to a room as well as being part of your personal history.

But in January I bought a Kindle. It was purely for professional reasons – I wanted to see what my books looked like in electronic format. Then I discovered that on Amazon you can 'sample' the first ten per cent of any e-book for free, which is enough to tell you whether you want to carry on reading. It's the book lover's equivalent of being given an unlimited tasting at the Charbonnel & Walker chocolate counter.

I've also discovered that on Kindle, I read much faster. As a result, I have zipped through twice as many books as I normally would, many of which have been on my 'must read' list for months.

When the snow and ice arrived in France recently – blocking out the satellite signal and making it impossible to leave the village for nearly a week – I was even more grateful for my Kindle. I had no TV and no organic vegetables but I did have the the world's biggest book store at my fingertips.

It's important to point out that Kindles are far from the only way of reading e-books – you can download to many tablets and devices including your computer - and Amazon is not the only place to buy e-books.

As for me, I will buy books on Kindle because it is a quick and convenient way to read; and then, if I really love a particular book, buy the 'real' version for my bookshelves.

It is the immediate access that makes e-books so wonderful. It's also a good way not to waste money on books that turn out not be your cup of tea.

And so dear readers, this is a very roundabout way of telling you that ... TOUT SOUL IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON. And if you are waiting for the print version, you can in the meantime, click on the link below and have the first two chapters of Tout Soul delivered free to your e-reader, or your computer, tout de suite.

comments (28)

1. Posted by Monika on February 25, 2012 12:34 PM

Hi Karen,

I've waited for this moment since last summer and have just read the first two chapters on my Kindle while sipping coffee in bed :-) Love it already!

Best wishes and love to lovely Biff,


2. Posted by Sally on February 25, 2012 1:39 PM

Hi Karen,

This sounds like a book lovers dream! I am looking forward to reading your new book! Hope the weather is not so cold, spring is just around the corner. Quite hot in Sydney, and I would love to be somewhere a little cooler:)

3. Posted by mimi pompom on February 25, 2012 3:04 PM

Hi Monika, hi Sally

Thanks very much for your lovely comments. It is such a thrill to know that somewhere in the world, there are people reading Tout Soul this weekend.

K x

4. Posted by Helen Wallace on February 25, 2012 3:28 PM

Hi Karen congrats on releasing your book. Got it this minute on my ipad kindle reader and it will be lovely company on my holiday here in Sweden. Hope the book makes you enough dosh to buy yourself a chateau next ; )
All the very best,

5. Posted by Lyst on February 25, 2012 4:25 PM

Hi Karen,
Was looking forward to getting my copy of Tout Soul on the 11th at Mad Hatters but now I have downloaded the first two chapters on Kindle I don't think I can wait til then :-)

6. Posted by Sandy on February 25, 2012 9:38 PM

Hi Karen! I just finished Toute Allure - a copy from the library - and loved it. I went to amazon to see if a new book had come out. Turns out only the Kindle version! I had to laugh as I just this morning was trying to decide if I should buy a Kindle or not. I've been thinking it over for about two weeks now. Guess what the tipping point was? Indeed. I'll be buying the Kindle and as soon as I receive it my first purchase will be your book.

Amazing how the Universe works, isn't it?

7. Posted by Sandy on February 25, 2012 9:39 PM

Hi Karen! I just finished Toute Allure - a copy from the library - and loved it. I went to amazon to see if a new book had come out. Turns out only the Kindle version! I had to laugh as I just this morning was trying to decide if I should buy a Kindle or not. I've been thinking it over for about two weeks now. Guess what the tipping point was? Indeed. Your post recommending the Kindle and the fact that I can only get the new book right now in Kindle version.

I'll be buying the Kindle and as soon as I receive it my first purchase will be your book.

Amazing how the Universe works, isn't it?

8. Posted by Angela on February 26, 2012 11:56 AM

Hi Karen , just read the first 2 chapters of your new book on the preview,- brilliant!!- can't wait for the book to arrive - ordered it months ago. Best wishes.

9. Posted by Lilliebo on February 26, 2012 2:54 PM

Congratulations Mimi pompom,

I am very excited to read it, Hurrah! I am going to download my copy now. I can't wait.


10. Posted by Liz Bryant on February 26, 2012 6:09 PM

Hi Karen,
Thank the lord for your blog and for kindle!! I do the same as you - read books on kindle and just buy the ones by my favourite authors to have on my shelf too.
I am in bed with horrible flu, missing the last day of the first European Zumba Instructor Conference and feeling thoroughly miserable and sorry for myself. By chance, I've just loaded your blog on my iPhone and as a consequence have downloaded Tout Soul to my kindle!!! Being poorly doesn't seem quite so bad now, as I'm going to curl up with your book - which has been long awaited.
Much love,
Liz xx

11. Posted by Liz Bryant on February 27, 2012 12:26 AM

Uh oh! Six hours after my last comment to you, and I've finished Tout Soul....! Brilliant as always, Karen and although I followed your blog for most of it, the book is a heartfelt and beautiful memorial to an amazing man. Thank you for writing it.
On a lighter note - get writing again, woman!!! The major downside to a kindle is the speed at which you can read, so while you eagerly anticipate the publication of a new book, it's over far too quickly and so could you write another, please??!! :-)

All the best, xxx

12. Posted by Jennie on February 27, 2012 4:21 AM

Hi Karen, I started to read T-Soul in bed last night. It was 4am before I switched off and then I dreamed of the 'Devil' and I smacked him one for you. He was here in Goa in the Portugese house next door. Sorry, but I just couldn't help it. I'm tempted to start reading again this morning but my fella would like me to speak to him. Well done, love it, love Biff, love how you make me homesick for my home in France. Thank you x

13. Posted by The Celiac Husband on February 28, 2012 6:39 AM

Whaaaat? Not available on KOBO yet? Victoria is threatening me.....she wants to read this book today.

14. Posted by mimi pompom on February 28, 2012 10:01 AM

Thanks everyone for your lovely messages. Helen, yours really made me laugh. I can't quite see myself as a chatelaine, but funnily enough I can see Biff in a chateau. xxx

15. Posted by Loraine on February 28, 2012 10:16 PM

Hi congratulations on the release of your book. I will now order it for my kindle, can't wait. All the very best to you and Biff. xx

16. Posted by Claire Park on February 28, 2012 11:03 PM

Is it any coincidence that you have a book published at exactly the same moment that I need a good pick-me up read?
Just off to get the kindle...

17. Posted by Lyst on March 1, 2012 8:11 AM

Couldn't wait and downloaded Tout Soul on my Kindle.
Oh Karen. Like many others, I followed your blog but the terrible time you had been going through wasn't apparent. So, so sorry.
A brilliantly written account of your life in the Poitou. I really hope Tout 4 tells a story of a happier time for you. xx

18. Posted by Fingal Pauzé on March 1, 2012 12:40 PM

Félicitations à vous Karen!

Il est souvent difficile d'acheter un livre anglais récent au Canada-français
Quelle ne fut pas ma surprise d'acheter Tout Soul dès le 27 février en version Kindle. Et pourtant Amazon.ca nous le promettait pour le 7 mars.

Magnifiquement écrit, authentique, si touchant et combien universel! Cette re-lecture de votre vie à travers l'écriture doit être salutaire pour vous et inspirante pour vos lecteurs. Y a-t-il quelque chose de plus universel que de trouver un sens à sa vie et la poursuite du bonheur qui en découle?

Merci encore,


19. Posted by Trish on March 6, 2012 11:12 AM

As an expat living up north in Brittany, I've just discovered your blog and will add it to my circle. Life in France takes some describing!

My love affair with my kindle started some 6 months ago! Fab for travelling back and to from Britland and farther afield. Haven't quite given up books though. I even made my kindle its own little padded case for its travels.

Congrats on the new book, will set to and read it.

20. Posted by Sarah Barber on March 7, 2012 12:26 PM

Hi Karen, i'm so excited!! Tout Soul is finally out! I read the first two chapters which I managed to download onto my laptop (something I never knew I could do!) I got so into it straight away and cant wait for my "hard copy!" to arrive in the post. My partner and son are going to be losing me until I've read it all! Keep up the excellent work. Best regards, Sarah x

21. Posted by elizabeth Strong on March 7, 2012 8:56 PM

Karen, I can't tell you how excited I am waiting for your new book! I have sampled the free sample on my kindle and I can't wait!!!!!! I am meant to be saving it for our hols in May (in France of course) but I will never ever last that long!!!
Thank you so much for all the great reading you have given me over the last few years!

22. Posted by Frankie on March 15, 2012 9:33 PM

I have been on amazon trying to work out how to leave a review for tout soul but i cannot!!Absolutely loved the book.I could again relate to the story in so many ways as my complicated ex died last november and he'd been trying for longer than a year to contact me and i ignored him too,for my own sanity.I too thought i had all the time in the world to get over the hurt and one day be able to open communication with him again.However,i felt differently when he died.Brilliantly written from the heart,Karen.Incredibly honest,very generous.Women everywhere salute you.

23. Posted by Kim, Rambling Family Manager on March 21, 2012 10:28 PM

I finished Tout Soul last night on my Kindle; I read Tout Sweet a while ago, also on my Kindle. I haven't read Tout Allure- it's not available on Kindle!!! Please, please- is there any way to make that happen?

24. Posted by mimi pompom on March 21, 2012 10:40 PM

Hi Kim,

many thanks for your comment. Where in the world are you? Toute Allure is not yet available on Kindle in the USA, as the rights haven't yet sold there. You can order the print version of the book to be shipped from the UK from the Book Depository. Sorry about the lack of Kindle availability. v best, K

25. Posted by Kristina on March 22, 2012 4:09 AM

Your book looks great with many food reviews. I saw it on kindle by it is not available to buy or read on kindle for is in canada. We can see it but it says we can't have it. I don't know why you would not allow us to buy ur book???

26. Posted by Lynne on April 28, 2012 3:34 PM

Hi Karen, Took your first two books with me, the hubs and my own little black bundle of fur, to North Wales last year for a holiday, and read them in three days flat - it rained a lot that holiday. Have been waiting for your third for what seems like an age, and didn't even realise you had a blog, so I could have had my regular fix of your tales of Biff and The Lion. So third book on kindle, and up to Northumberland for a week - and yes, it has rained, and it took me all of one day, curled up on a couch overlooking the sea and the blustery weather, to complete it. My husband couldn't understand why I sat there with tears running down my face as I finished reading. After I had explained why, he still looked at me as though I was nuts, but your writing from start to finish has taken me with you along your journey, and I felt quite heart broken by the end of it. But having read your blog now I am back home, I know everything is starting to get back on course with you and the glorious Biff, and I will look forward to dropping in again (electronically speaking of course) with a cup of coffee, and a big slice of cake, to catch up every now and then.
Lynne x

27. Posted by Sally Seibert on June 19, 2012 10:43 AM

Hello Karen - I have spent the last week reading Toute Suite and Toute Soul. I have been frantically trying to download on my Kindle Toute Allue. I pray I can get it. I love your books Karen!!! My husband and I lived in a little village outside Mulhouse France (Alsace) named Habsheim - we lived there for a little over a year. I have not stopped thinking of France since. If I had been a single woman with this experience behind me, I would not hesitate to move back to France. I have been thinking about writing a little book about our experiences, although they were not as interesting as yours. Living in Alsace is like living in Germany and France at the same time. It is Tres' beau!!!! So, Karen, I know as I'm reading your books how you feel when you are walking your little Biff, the beauty of the French countryside. We also lived in Singapore and although I really enjoyed myself, it was nothing like living in France.

I hope you keep writing books Karen. I will read everyone of them!!!!

It's late and I must go and finish Toute Soul. I've been crying over The Lion. I'm not quite finished with the book yet. Bless your heart, you have been through so much. I am hoping you will find a Prince Charming!!!

I love you already!

Bon Soir -

Sally Seibert

28. Posted by Judy on July 17, 2012 7:08 AM

Karen - I'm so glad that you did release the Kindle versions of your books.
I'm a Brit living on the Red Sea coast of Egypt where bookshops are non-existent (Cairo is 180 kms away) so although I prefer real books, at least I can download something at once and not have to wait till my next trip up there.
Really love your writing. Certainly not the usual "I went to live in France" kind of book!

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