Monday, January 7, 2013

Santa Montefiore: Love Stories

Welcome to the The Woman from Paris blog tour! Santa Montefiore has written an amazing guest post about love stories - stay tuned until the end too, you can enter to win your own copy of the novel!

About Santa Montefiore:
Santa Montefiore is the internationally bestselling author of several novels, including The French Gardener and The Last Voyage of the Valentina. She lives in London with her husband, historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, and their two children.

Love Stories...
For me there is nothing more important to write about than love.  The greatest stories ever written are about love: Gone with the Wind, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride & Prejudice to name but a few.  Art reflects life, and life, when boiled down to its essence, is love.   Love for our friends and family, love for our homes, love for our countries and in rare and beautiful cases like Mother Theresa and Ghandi, love for the human race.  Love drives us to do wonderful things, but also terrible things in the name of love. Of course, the latter is not real love, that’s ego-driven, selfish love – more possessiveness than love.  But that’s what makes love so fascinating to write about – because it can damage as much as it can heal, when it’s not pure and unconditional.

Love is eternal. It is who we are in the core of our being, beneath the layers of ego.  Writing about love leads me to ponder the great questions of our existence. Why we’re here, where we go when we die – and I truly believe that we’re here to grow in love, to expand our consciousness, to rid ourselves of ego, to wake up and realise who we really are: spiritual beings here to learn and teach those around us – about love.  It’s so simple, but so hard!  Because we love so fiercely, loss is so devastating.  Love is the fire which moulds us and makes us more compassionate.  But I don’t believe death is an end, but a new horizon and love lives on.  It’s the one thing we take with us.

When I’m writing my novels I like to explore love, life and Afterlife along with my characters. I want them to evolve and grow – or if appropriate to resist all Life’s lessons and remain miserably rooted in their ruts. It’s fun to explore both sides of the coin. I know an old man who is so bitter that he is no longer chairman of a massive corporation with all the gilded trappings of his position that he is terribly unhappy, and unpleasant as a result.  He cannot see beyond his ego and status is still incredibly important to him.  But status, power and riches don’t last.  Nothing material does.  Old age can be a great lesson in acceptance and a time when the ego melts away and a person realises that the important things in life are the deep things, like love for one’s family and friends, and not in the superficial things that never last.  My father is a great accepter. He’s happy to be surrounded by his family, friends and his farm.  He derives great pleasure from his woods and fields.  He’s an example I use a lot in my novels – and one I would like to follow when I am his age.

Everybody wants to be loved. It’s what drives us all.  After all love makes us happy.  We want to love our jobs, love our homes, love our families, love our friends, love ourselves.  I can’t think of anything more important to write about than that. It is the root of life.  So, with love at the root of all my tales, I build and expand my plots like trees that grow into forests – and what fun it is to explore those mysterious woodlands!

Santa and I are giving away a hardcover copy of her novel The Woman from Paris. To enter, please leave a comment on this post with the following information.

  • What is your favorite love story? (This can be a true story or a fictional story.)
  • Your first name with middle and last initial (mine would be Hilary C.L.), email address or Twitter name
The winner of the giveaway is... Robert J. Z! Congrats!

The Woman from Paris Book Blurb:
When Lord Frampton dies in a skiing accident, a beautiful young woman named Phaedra appears at his funeral, claiming to be the Lord’s illegitimate daughter. In his will, Lord Frampton has left her the priceless Frampton suite of sapphires, confirming her claim and outraging his three adult sons and widow, Antoinette. Eventually, however, Phaedra’s sweet nature thaws the frosty relationships. She becomes the daughter that Antoinette never had and a wise and compassionate granddaughter to the formidable Dowager Lady Frampton. But an undeniable attraction grows between Phaedra and Frampton’s eldest son, David. It seems an impossible love—blocked by the fury of one family member determined to expose Phaedra as a fraud. Featuring the enchanting characters, scenery, and emotional complexity her fans adore, The Woman from Paris is a sweeping, sophisticated romance about family, forgiveness, and the surprising strength of love.

To purchase your own copy of the book, go to Amazon, Simon & Schuster, or Barnes & Noble.  Keep up with Santa and the novel on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and the official blog tour site.  Happy Reading!


Tribute Books said...

Hilary, thanks for hosting such a lovely guest post from Santa. What an enjoyable read! Good luck to all who enter the giveaway :)

Rob Zimmermann said...

I've read many stories with love in them and it's hard to choose one as a favorite. There's one that I think goes overlooked because of all it's adventure aspects, while at the heart of it is a story of one man battling for his life and to regain his kingdom and his wife.

The Odyssey is one of my favorite portrayals of love. Not only does Odysseus have an undying love for Penelope, but Penelope doesn't give up on her husband either, even after 20 years away.

Robert J.Z.