Happy 1st birthday to ‘The Little French Guesthouse’ …. and a giveaway!


I can’t believe it’s a year since the first in my La Cour des Roses series, The Little French Guesthouse, was published.

And what a year!

The journey to publication was a long and arduous one. (You can read the post I wrote about that, just before publication, here)

But it was SO worth it.

When I signed with Bookouture, I could never have dreamed that my book baby would reach:

  • #4 in the UK Amazon Kindle charts 
  • #1 in the UK Amazon Kindle Romantic Comedy category
  • #1 in the UK Amazon Contemporary Romance category
  • #1 in the UK Amazon Women Writers & Fiction category

For a time, it sported one of those lovely orange #1 BEST SELLER flags on Amazon, stayed in the top 100 for a good long while, and sat alongside some rather esteemed company.

More importantly for me were the wonderful reviews that the book garnered. It’s been such a pleasure to know how much people enjoyed escaping to the French countryside with Emmy and friends, and I have been overwhelmed by the number of positive reviews (currently over 470 5* reviews on Amazon UK) and the lovely messages I’ve had, and continue to get, from readers of all ages.

Equally exciting, the book is or will soon be available in Turkish, Hungarian, Czech and Italian!

It’s been a busy year since publication. The sequel, Return to The Little French Guesthouse was published at the end of August 2016, and I’ve since been working on Book 3, Summer at The Little French Guesthouse, which will be published on 12th July this year.

To celebrate The Little French Guesthouse‘s first birthday, I have a . . .

 *     GIVEAWAY!     *  


Thank you to all those who entered.

 I’ve very much enjoyed reading your comments about France and the many things there are to like about it!

In time-honoured high-tech fashion, my husband was asked to pull a name from a hat (well, a mixing bowl) and the winner has been contacted by e-mail.

The winner of the draw will receive a signed paperback copy of The Little French Guesthouse and a beaded ring, appropriately in the shape of a rose. 








All you have to do to enter the draw is to comment below, telling me what you like most about France. If you haven’t been to France, just let me know what you think you’d like most! You’ll need to give your e-mail, but don’t worry, that won’t be published.

The draw ends at 5.00pm UK time on Sunday 7th May 2017, when I’ll pick out a name AT RANDOM and get in touch. 

I’ll start off by telling you that I think nothing beats sitting outside a cafe in the sunshine with a decent coffee, drinking in the atmosphere of a French town or village. 

How about you?



80 thoughts on “Happy 1st birthday to ‘The Little French Guesthouse’ …. and a giveaway!

  1. FrenchVillage Jacqui says:

    Happy book birthday to you. I love everything about France, but especially shopping in the markets, chatting to stall holders about recipes and stopping for a coffee, watching the world go by. I can’t wait to read book three.

  2. Deborah Small says:

    The weather, the food, the wine, the markets, the attitude to life, impossible to choose just one! Am crossing my fingers my name comes up.

  3. Paula Lassey says:

    I love the french attitude to life, shopping free Sundays, summer fetes, bbqs, village life, love it all.
    Hope I am lucky enough to win a copy of your book.

  4. Debbie Charman says:

    My favourite thing about France is the smell. Nowhere else can you go and just know where you are by the delicious smells of bread and croissants. Such a fabulous way to wake up in the morning!!

  5. Deborah Laing says:

    Love living here, driving to one of our favourite restaurants in the evening and only seeing two other cars on the way. Sitting outside on the terrace with a chilled glass of rose watching the butterflies on the lavender. Riding with my friend on her horses and seeing a buzzard swoop down and pick up a snake.
    Meeting up with friends for a girlie lunch at the local Auberge.
    I could go on and on 😘😘

  6. Paula Heron Phillips says:

    Nothing beats a warm croissant from the bakery, a glass of wine from the grape grown in the same country and the wonderfully french local people, who always have a friendly word to say.

  7. Karene says:

    I haven’t yet been to France, but I’m hoping to get there next year. I just want to take in everything: the history, the beauty, the food, the wine, and the people!

  8. Donna Faulkner says:

    I live and work in France and love the people, their kindness, the history and culture of France. Just about everything.

  9. isisthe12th says:

    Hello Helen! I have never been to France but it’s on my bucket list. I have had French Croissants to die for. and your idea at the cafe sounds perfect. Thank you

  10. Dawn Johnson says:

    I will start with the baguette tradition. None like it anywhere in the world and the first thing I pick up as soon as I arrive. And I never gain weight eating it. I love how all the old villages are preserved and the architecture in the cities.. Most of all the people and how they slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, how they take a two hour lunch. And close on Sunday, etc. I love the market culture and shopping for fresh groceries for dinner and developing relationships with the vendors. Too many things to count but I will start with the baguette for sure.

    • Helen Pollard says:

      Hi Dawn. Gosh, yes, fresh baguettes are so delicious. And you’re right, many of the villages and towns seem so well-preserved and untouched by too much modernity. I like the quieter Sundays, too 🙂

  11. Robin Whitaker says:

    Happy 1st book birthday to you. I loved both of the books and cannot wait for July 12th. I loved the architecture in France. The buildings, sitting next to the river having a glass of cider with my good friend, exploring the countryside. Learning things that we don’t hear here in the states.

  12. Debra Frogley says:

    It has to be discovering Laduree’s macarons in Paris, leading me to include them as a recurring motif in my (unpublished…as yet!) novel, culminating in my main character baking her own macarons in a French chateau!

  13. Clare Chase says:

    Congratulations, Helen! Ooh – favourite thing about France? There’s lots of competition! Maybe cycling through the French countryside. Last time I did that the drivers were all so cyclist-friendly! x

  14. Goldsquirrel says:

    The diverse landscape from rocky gorges, to rolling hills, to sandy beaches. From tiny hamlets to cosmopolitan cities. There is a place for everyone. X

  15. Sally Beswick says:

    Hello Helen, I’ve never been to France, but from reading ‘The Little French Guesthouse’, France sounds absolutely wonderful. A beautiful happy place, where the sun shines and the slow pace of life, is blissful.

  16. Rae Cowie says:

    What an amazing set of achievements in the first year of publication, Helen! My favourite daydream about France involves sitting al fresco at a cafe in the Alps. The sun is shining, the sky’s a brilliant blue, shimmering snow dresses the mountains and I’m sipping hot chocolate, surrounded by those i love. : )

  17. karen Cudahy says:

    I Love everything French, the language, the lifestyle the buildings and Maison.s. the Brocante Faires My dream would be to live in France but unfortunately I discovered France to late in my life and as I live in New Zealand it is such a long way to go. I am fortunate to have had some lovely holidays there in years past and now spend my life dreaming of the beauty of everything French and try to make my home as French as possible. Unfortunately in NZ we do have the beautiful old antiques that you have in France. I am a real Francophile. Merci.

      • karen Cudahy says:

        We have built a French Style house in the Sth island of NZ in the Waipara area and hope to have an Air B & B. We would love to have some lovely French travelers call in and visit on their travels.

  18. LeilaB says:

    I love the South of France, I went to university in the early 90”s I love the scenery, the Mediterranean food and the warm welcome. The seaside is fantastic. Every place are special in their own right.

  19. Ashleigh Miller says:

    I am a huge Disney lover so I’d love to go to Paris and visit the Disneyland there. I suffer from chronic pain every day all day and it feels so out of reach but I need something to dream of. For now I use books as an escapism.

    • Helen Pollard says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you’re looking forward to the next book! Yes, just mooching around the countryside and villages and towns, soaking up the atmosphere . . . 🙂

  20. The Cappuccino Diaries says:

    I love strolling through pretty French villages and stopping for a café au lait and a pain au chocolat and soaking up all the lovely atmosphere.

  21. Susan Hoare says:

    Definitely the markets.
    Oh and the cafés.
    And the chateau.
    A good book (by you!)
    Everything. ……………

  22. Michelle Robinson says:

    I love the food and the smell of the food, also having a glass of wine with an amazing view in front of you. When I go back I will also now be wanting to explore the places Emmy went to. I will also secretly be looking for a cute dog called Gloria!

  23. Mary Carter says:

    It’s such a long time since I have been to France and I would love to read all about your guest house…… so I can imagine I am there again enjoying the food, wine and glorious weather.

  24. Helen Pollard says:

    Thank you to all those who entered. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your comments about France and the many things there are to like about it! In time-honoured high-tech fashion, my husband was asked to pull a name from a hat (well, a mixing bowl) and the winner has been contacted by e-mail.

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