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March 7, 2012


They're here at last... I drove back from the UK early yesterday morning, my old Golf weighed down with twelve boxes of Tout Soul for my French signings, the wing mirror held together with FRAGILE tape following an altercation with a pillar in London.

Over ten people worked on the production of Tout Soul and I'd like to thank them all, but there are two people in particular, to whom I'd like to say a very big 'merci'.

The first is Andy Robert Davies for the wonderful cover illustration. Andy – who has pretty much cornered the market in French illustrations – now also does the artwork to accompany my regular column in Living France magazine.

The second is Geoff Fisher of CPI Books, who has put up with my irritatingly perfectionist ways and endless questions for the past six months – and remained calm, unflappable and thoroughly charming throughout. I'm sure that he is greatly relieved that he is no longer fielding a dozen missives a day from me.

All I can say is: Thank you, Geoff. And I don't want to panic you or anything, but it won't be long before I'm knocking on your door with the next one. (I should also mention that CPI delivered ahead of schedule on everything – proof/press preview copies, e-book conversion and the final print run.)

I'd also like to thank everyone who has emailed me, tweeted or commented on my blog in the past week. Extra enormous thanks to those who read Tout Soul on their Kindles at a cracking pace and posted the wonderful, early reviews on Amazon.

And thanks also to the lovely Emma Lee–Potter for doing the first interview and review of Tout Soul on House With No Name.

Meanwhile, Biff has had his hair cut and we are both very excited about next week's events, kicking off with lunch at The Mad Hatter's Kitchen this Sunday, 11th March. Join us for cocktails and get a signed copy of Tout Soul from 12.30 pm onwards.

Forthcoming Book Signings

Sunday 11 March and Sunday 18 March: The Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, Le Breuillac, 79190, Caunay. Tel 05 49 27 67 29. I would like to invite anyone booked in for lunch, to join me for a pre-lunch cocktail and book signing from 12.30 pm onwards.

Monday 12th March, 6.00 pm onwards: book signing at ‘Fish and Chip night’ at Bar Les Tilleuls, Champniers, 86400. Tel 05 49 87 08 99; www.champniersbar.com.

Tuesday 13th March: 10.00 am - 1.00 am book signing at La Grande Galerie, 7 Rue de Temple, 86400, Civray. Tel 05 49 87 73 02 www.grandegaleriefrance.com

Thursday 15th March, 8.00pm: I will be reading from Tout Soul at the Entente Internationale meeting, Lycée les Terres Rouges, Rue Jean Moulin, Civray. Tel 05 49 87 21 28 for information.

comments (29)

1. Posted by Rosie Luchini on March 7, 2012 10:17 PM

This is so exciting Karen! Amazon has emailed to say my copy is on its way: I'm trying to think of imaginative reasons for staying off work tomorrow so I can wait for it to arrive,
snatch it from the postman's hands and devour it! Well done and congratulations on its safe arrival into the world!

2. Posted by Cheryl Mathena on March 8, 2012 1:02 AM

Congratulations Ka-renne! I actually read all three books at a cracking pace, after first having found Tout Sweet by accident on Amazon. And I don't have a Kindle, but was so impatient to get Tout Soul that, instead of waiting for it to come to U.S. Amazon, I downloaded the Kindle app to my laptop. (Full disclosure: I even downloaded the Kindle app on my smartphone so I could read it at my desk on my lunch hour.) The hardcopies are currently on loan to a good friend, who is loving them too. I'll be keeping up with you on your blog...

3. Posted by David on March 8, 2012 9:31 AM

I spent last week in France and had a wonderful time. Toot Soul is in the post and I can't wait to get another fix of Frenchness!

4. Posted by Lynda on March 8, 2012 12:55 PM

Have read T/S on kindle but want hard copy too. Love books. Had Gall bladder out last Friday and still hope to make it on Sunday!

5. Posted by Mandy on March 8, 2012 2:09 PM

So exciting! Congrats. Need to go order my copy now! Come to New York for a signing :)

6. Posted by tricia on March 8, 2012 11:30 PM

My copy of Tout Soul was delivered to my office today (so glad I pre-ordered from Amazon as it's already sold out). I tried to resist & save the pleasure for the weekend when I could indulge in an orgy of reading, but already a third of the way thru. Loving it so far. BTW I really love the cover - colleague commented on how attractive it was as well. Going to lend her your first two as I am sure she will love them.

7. Posted by Fiona Cashin on March 9, 2012 7:04 AM

Hi Karen, like you I had resisted the temptation of a kindle but had recently bought one and I was glad I had when you posted we could download Tout soul.I did just that and read it in a day.Well done it was amazing everything I thought it would be.Hope you have started on the next! Good luck with the book signings wish I could be there! hope Biff behaves and doesn't get jealous

8. Posted by Deirdre Taylor on March 9, 2012 10:35 AM

Dear Karen - Tout Soul arrived yesterday lunchtime, just in time for a long train journey last night. I am half way through and it is simply brilliant. Karen your best yet, so well written with just the right amount of humour and sensitivity. I fear the ironing will now have to wait!! I have missed you - more anon. Dee xx PS Will you have another signing in Kensington for this one - I have friends queueing up!!

9. Posted by gwenda on March 9, 2012 1:23 PM

Tout Soul just been delivered, so nothng much will be done for the rest of te day! About to settle down with a cuppa and put my feet up and read!

10. Posted by Carole on March 9, 2012 5:15 PM

Just got Tout Soul delivered to the Kindle. Can't wait to start reading!

11. Posted by Kathy Clifton on March 9, 2012 6:13 PM

I have just finished reading your first 2 books and loved them. Ordered Tout Soul yesterday and since I live in the USA it will be a month before arriving! Must be a slow boat. Can't wait to read it!

12. Posted by jk on March 9, 2012 9:29 PM

I want one of those books!!!! Not available on
Amazon US yet without ordering from a UK vendor.
Any idea when it will be available in the US??
I do have it on my new Kindle but I still want the
book to add to my growing collection.
I have read the others and have loved them.
I hope you are planning more books. Happy book signings!!!

13. Posted by Maggie on March 10, 2012 9:55 AM

Just finished Tout Soul and absolutely loved it. Shed some tears, but laughed too. Now have withdrawal symptons! Please have some book signings in London soon.

14. Posted by tricia on March 10, 2012 5:01 PM

Have now finished TS & and can't deny I shed a few tears. I cannot believe what you have been through Karen. I am so glad you had good friends around you when you needed them. I loved the book & it's a real & lasting homage to Luis. Wishing you & Biff lots of the good things in life

15. Posted by Sara on March 10, 2012 10:28 PM

Have read your first two books and couldn't wait until Amazon (USA) got the new one in print, so downloaded the electonic version and read on my iPad. (I'm so sorry for your loss.)

Please keep writing: blog and books. So interesting to read about life in rural France. (And you sure make alot of fun friends.)

16. Posted by Lianne on March 11, 2012 3:14 AM

Hi Karen, I loved your first two books and am waiting with anticipation for number three to arrive any day from The Book Depository..... enjoying catching your blog too! Best of luck with all your signings over the coming weeks, L

17. Posted by Elizabeth Strong on March 11, 2012 2:34 PM

Despite my best efforts at trying to restrict myself to a chapter a day (which was never going to happen!) I have finished Tout Soul and been through every emotion possible! My husband and daughters were most suprised to see me clutching the book and sobbing, shortly followed by hysterical laughter!
Thank you Karen once again for making my life so much more interesting over the last few days. A great book, like the other 2 and now I am waiting for number 4....!!

18. Posted by Angela on March 11, 2012 5:15 PM

Mine arrived on Thursday and as we had people staying I have only had a chance to dip in...but will probably devour the rest this evening. Really enjoyed the first 4 chapters so far, well done and keep 'em coming please Karen,

19. Posted by Lisa Jackson on March 11, 2012 7:08 PM

Cant wait for my copy to arrive , have just reread the 1st two books to refresh and hop Tout Soul is here tomorrow . This year i will holiday again in venise verte @ Coulon , having stayed many times and also in Airvault , i can envisage the area in your books. Hope number 4 wont be to long away !
Gros bisous to Biff xx

20. Posted by mimipompom on March 11, 2012 9:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the really great comments. Glad your enjoying Tout Soul. It's such a thrill to know that it is being read by so many people right now. If there's any chance of a review on Amazon once you've finished, I would be v grateful. K xx

21. Posted by Pierre L'Allier on March 11, 2012 11:37 PM

@Elizabeth Strong -- I used a different strategy. I read Tout Soul quickly (I got the Kindle version the day it canme out) because I wanted to know what happened and then I read it again one or two chapters a day in order to enjoy it fully. I did have some giggles and I also a few good sobs (just as well I was on my own at the time).

22. Posted by Cathy Parker on March 11, 2012 11:56 PM

Just finished reading Tout Soul on kindle So sad cried buckets ,So sorry
for you Karen.Hope you are coping.Still able to laugh though and still
loving tales about Biff.Read other books too.Like all 3 books .I couldn't
put it down .Hope you are still in France Hope to meet you one day as we
travel to our house in The Perigord a lot.L C x

23. Posted by katie kennerley on March 14, 2012 8:57 PM

Read Tout Soul in 2 days.Blinkin Brilliant...passed it on to my sister....We are sharing little bits of the books everyday as though we know you and Biff. Read all otherscant wait for number 4.
Visiting your part of France in 2 weeks ...love it! May be I might see little Biff walking with you.cant wait ...I love it...

24. Posted by annie on March 16, 2012 11:18 PM

Loving Tout Soul Karen.... I wanted to save it to take on holiday at Easter but am now on chapter 16......I love your description of the countryside & feel that Im walking through the fields with you & Biff & for a small village you have some very colourful characters.... I dont want the book to end....xx

25. Posted by Linda on March 22, 2012 7:00 AM

Just finished reading Tout Soul. Fabulous, funny and heartbreakingly sad. So many emotions in one book.
We were on the table next to you on NYE when Biff made a dash for the food. You forgot to mention the awful woman that tried to make a scene about it but quickly got stared down by the rest of the room! Then reading about L'Ecurie, which incidentally we thought was OUR discovery, I felt as though I was reading parts of my diary lol

Can't wait for the next one of your adventures with Biff - the Leader of the Pack :)

26. Posted by Arlene Grimm on March 27, 2012 1:35 AM

Karen, just finished the Kindle version of Tout Sweet and ordered a paperback from Amazon. IT is a book that I want to have on my bookshelf and to hold in my hand as I read when I want to visit France via armchair. There is just something about a REAL book versus the kindle version. As I read your book I can just picture the lovely village, your home and all the people who surround you! Thanks for writing a GOOD BOOK. It seems they are getting harder and harder to find!

27. Posted by Arlene Grimm on April 8, 2012 12:57 PM

Just received Tout Allure and Tout Soul in the mail last week. Tout Soul arrived first and had to put it away until I read Tout Allure. Just received it Friday and I am loving it. Please keep writing your wonderful books....love love love them!

28. Posted by Donna De Luca on August 21, 2012 7:07 AM


Loved your books! When are you writing the next???

PS I really can't stand that Biff has a better social life than I do!

29. Posted by Cyndi Caro on December 5, 2012 2:59 PM

I am really enjoying this book! I can't wait to start on the other two. :) I'm a little obsessed with Paris so it's nice to read some of your experiences you went through.

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