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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Chasing a Dream

September 1st marks the 146th anniversary of the Battle Of Sedan, an event that crushed the belief of France's glittering Second Empire that it was the major power in Europe. It's a matter of debate among historians whether the war was engineered by the powerful Prussian chancellor, Bismarck, or whether he simply took advantage of the situation when France challenged Prussia over a diplomatic incident involving Spain. 
At Sedan the victorious German federation, led by Prussia, defeated the armies of France in a mere six weeks. The blow to France's pride was as great as that dealt by Wellington and his allies in the much more famous Battle of Waterloo 55 years previously.
Emperor Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, fled into exile in England and a new Republican government was left to struggle through the terrible winter of the Siege of Paris before admitting defeat and surrendering the city to the Prussians. The French were forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty in the Galerie de Glaces at Versailles, where once the Sun King had reigned in splendour.
The story of the war plays an important part in my coming-of-age novel, City of Dreams. Anna, my heroine, has come to Paris from Russia on her marriage to dashing Frenchman, Emile Daubigny, looking forward to a happy and exciting life in the city she has dreamt of being part of, but fate has something else in store. As Paris fights for her life, Anna has to struggle with her own demons, always hoping for better times for herself and the city she loves.
City of Dreams is currently free on Kindle, to download your copy, click on the cover image to your right.
'Loved the story and the author's voice - really enjoyable.' 5* Amazon reviewer, Monette.
'It was a great, great read.' 5* Amazon reviewer, Dr Milton Burnett.    
Harriet Steel's latest novel, the murder mystery, Trouble in Nuala, is just out on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon. Recommended by Omnimystery News, it's a great read. Look for the purchase and Goodreads Giveaway links in the right-hand sidebar. There are  five signed paperback copies to be won.