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Liza Perrat
Author, French-English Translator, Aussie living in France.
Author, French-English Translator, Aussie living in France.

Liza's posts

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Today, I'm delighted to welcome Liza Perrat​ (one fifth of Triskele Books​) to my blog to talk about her new release, Blood Rose Angel. If you want to be among the first to read it, she's giving away a free paperback. All you need do to be entered in the draw is post a comment.  

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Thank you, Naomi!
Words can't describe this historical fiction dynamo! A book review: Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat

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Writer's Choice writers' co-operative.

Writer's Choice acts like a traditional publisher for our members in selecting or rejecting, beta reading, improving and finally doing a full editing process, then our members publish their books as POD and ebooks.

So far we have the following historical novels published:

'South of Burnt Rocks West of the Moon'
by G J Berger
Hardback, paperback and ebook
"A fascinating mostly true story, winner of the San Diego historical fiction Book Award 2012, about the real Hunger Games where a courageous people led by a young She-warrior hold off the mighty and brutal oppressor, Rome."
'A Woman Transported'
by Sharon Robards
Paperback and ebook
This heart-warming Australian historical became a top 100 best-selling Amazon historical novel
by Sharon Robards
Paperback and ebook
If you enjoyed the film, Philomena then this similar heart wrenching story of an unmarried mother, set in Australia of the 1960s, will touch you too.
'Jacob's Ladder'
by P.D.R. Lindsay
Paperback and ebook
1642 and war threatens England, so how do you protect your family and business from the bigots on both sides?

by P.D.R. Lindsay
Paperback  and ebook
It’s 1887 and what do you do when you find your family tricked you out of your share of happiness and life?

Details of our authors and their books at:
Goodreads author pages:

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Brown-nosing the Nazi. Review of WW2 French village novel, Wolfsangel, based on true war crime.

Before I swiped the first page of Liza Perrat’s captivating novel of Occupied France, I already knew I would enjoy it. 
“Wolfsangel” is in my wheelhouse.

I’m fascinated with World War II, familiar with the sordid story of French Marshal Petain and his puppet Vichy government’s collaboration with the Nazis, and lived two months in the Rhone-Alpes region of France where Perrat sets her colorful roman-a-clef.

In 1967, I was an American college student determined to push my schoolbook French beyond “bon jour,” and spent that summer in a tiny village in the Loire, working as a personal chauffeur/companion for Madame A_____, an imperious, 70-year old, aristocratic widow whose ancient and noble family owned most of the commune.  Each June, she departed her elegant city apartment in Lyon and traveled 75 kilometers back to her 30-room ancestral chateau to pass the summer. She didn’t drive of course – that was my job, along with picking up her croissants at the patisserie, and formally dining with her each evening.  We sat there three hours nightly, just the two of us, working our way through the soup to nuts repast, me dutifully filling my notebook with French expressions while Madame discoursed on Jacques Maritain and excoriated Danny the Red, the Marxist-anarchist student leader whose antics that summer filled the pages of the Paris newspapers.  Madame was staunchly Catholic, socially conservative, and her late husband – a Supreme Court lawyer and Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur – had worked for the government.  Her natural sympathies lay with law and order, and though she declined to talk about the recent war, I suspect they supported Petain and the Vichy government during the Occupation. 

Who did exactly what during the Occupation remains a touchy subject in France.  

French citizens faced three choices following the spectacular, sudden, and humiliating collapse in June 1940 of the French army: They could join the Resistance; collaborate with the Germans;  or simply  keep their heads down, shut up, stay out of the way,  and survive. The list of heroes is short, and many prefer to forget, but French historians like Henry Rousso, author of “The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944,” have forced the country to look itself in the mirror.  

Celeste Roussel, the plucky, impatient narrator of “Wolfsangel “ knows what she wants to do – join the Resistance. Her brother Patrick and his male friends are blowing up Bouche trains; her saintly, older sister, a nun, is hiding Jews and guns in the local convent.  

Celeste’s sour maman, hiding a secret of her own, is determined to wait it out on the sidelines until the Allied army, pushing up through Italy, can arrive and liberate the village.  The Vichy government has dragooned her husband to work in Germany, leaving her to support Celeste and the family. She’s an herbalist (legal) dispensing omelets of oats and sawdust to cure snake bites;  but also an abortionist (illegal), a “maker of angels,” as the unique French expression goes, using soapy water and a brew of mugwort and rue to terminate  pregnancies. If she’s caught, she’s done for. Performing an abortion was a capital crime under the harsh natal laws enacted by the Vichy government – in 1943, convicted abortionist Marie-Louise Giraud famously lost her head to the guillotine. Petain and Hitler shared the belief that the primary duty of patriotic women was to produce cannon fodder for their country. Some of maman’s clients are getting pregnant by village boys; others by the occupying German soldiers. Human nature. They’re lonely perhaps – plus, fraternizing with the enemy earns you chocolate, lipstick and nylons.

When the local Resistance assigns Celeste to chat up German officer Martin Diehl to collect intelligence, she also finds herself falling for the handsome, seemingly honorable soldier who only wants to get back home to Germany, and the novel takes off. 

Celeste and Martin surreptitiously hide notes for each other behind the cistern in the toilet of the Au Cochon Tue bar, and secretly rendezvous in the woods. They have sex, but she’s troubled. Is he simply using her?  Will she slip and betray information that will compromise lives?   Can she ever truly love a man who serves, even reluctantly and indirectly, a Nazi evil which imprisons and tortures her brother?  And what if she’s seen by someone in the village who mistakes her for a collaborator? Perrat lets Celeste explore her increasingly confused feelings with the reader as she deepens her involvement in the Resistance, Martin turns jealous and suspicious, and General Eisenhower successfully executes his monumental gamble at Normandy. Everyone in the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne now knows that the Germans will pull out.  

At this critical moment, with victory in sight, Celeste Roussel commits the mistake of her life. Perrat’s final chapters sing – taut, tense writing, clocked down by the minute, until the story reaches its horrific conclusion.  

Oddly enough, the author of this novel of Occupied France is Australian. 

Perrat, a nurse and midwife, met her husband on a bus in Bangkok, Thailand, but  she’s lived in France for twenty years now. Her assimilation is complete.  She tosses singularly French cuisine references into her tale –   “tripe gratin, lamb’s foot salad and clafoutis moist with cherries.” She evokes south France in a simple phrase, describing  “the scent of lavender, peppermint and thyme” that clings perpetually to maman’s apron. She uses all five senses in her writing. Early in the novel, Celeste goes skinny-dipping in the river, then dries herself on the bank in the summer sunshine. “It was so quiet I could hear the flutter of feathers in nests, the sound of pecking on bark, the fidgeting of insects in the grass.”  For the lover of history, there’s ersatz café Petain; brushes with the Milice, the infamous French SS equivalent; and French Jews filling railroad cars bound for concentration camp.

For the student of the French language there’s some choice slang.  Madame A­­­­___ taught me a lot of French that summer, but she didn’t deign to share vulgarisms. Perrat taught me a winner. Celeste’s brother Patrick confronts a village girl, cozy with a German soldier, who defends grandpa Petain and the Vichy collaborationists.

“You’re nothing but a Nazi  leche-cul,” he spits back.  

Love it! Just don’t tell Madame I’ve added it to my vocabulary.

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Indie publisher interested in translating your books? Excellent article.

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Thanks to Karen for her review of my WW2 novel based on the tragic war crime of Oradour-sur-Glane

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Delighted to feature on Triskele Book blog today about the release of Crimson Shore. You can also read an excerpt from my latest crime thriller.! #crimsonshore

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If anyone is interested in winning a signed copy of the first novel in my HF L'Auberge des Anges, series, I'm currently running a Goodreads giveaway. Spirit of Lost Angels follows the struggle of French peasant-woman, Victoire, in the years leading up to the French Revolution.

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