Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Fabulous Vicki Archer- Part One

Mas de Berard in Provence where the story began......................

The evocative photo image cover of A French Life
~ photography by Carla Coulson

When I first started blogging a few months back, I would see this evocative book image often. A high-profile circle of high-style bloggers love this book (released in 2007) and just adore the stylish author Vicki Archer. She did what most women dream about from time to time....took the leap, moving from Australia to France, and landed in a whole new life. Now, I don't miss too many books myself, at the trade shows or by way of my neighborhood bookstore, but for sure I never saw this one....if I had I would have bought it in 5 seconds flat. I love a great follow-your-passion story with gorgeous photography and this I could tell had both. So how did I miss this fabulous book? Author Vicki Archer thinks "the book was printed in Australia, then made it's way to the US by way of blogger support, but for some reason it never had a strong presence in Canada". Hmmmm..........who is this lady? And how can I get my hands on her book with that fabulous cover? .

The blog of Vicki Archer is called French Essence where she posts regular and welcome doses of her rural french life. Last week she sent us a series of blooming flower photos and their floral history. Both these photos are from her popular blog. It may sound like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but really I'm not....

While A French Life was waiting on my order list, I received a lovely comment on my new blog one day, then another, another, and soon there wasn't too many early blog days when my empty comment page didn't have a supportive little comment from, you guessed it....Vicki Archer. I am sure she was politely responding to a comment I had left, but from what I can tell she has this great little habit of commenting and supporting many blogs....a most gracious habit to share. I'm going to get to her stunning, yummy book in a minute, but you should know Vicki Archer has the most fabulous blog called FRENCH ESSENCE that gets many comments per post, so the fact that the France-based author and blogger takes the time to comment at all tells you .........this is one of those fabulously chic ladies everyone wants to know.

The Terrace at Mas de Berard

I did a little background research on ordering this book in Canada and received a response from her publisher Penquin that the Canadian rights to this book were never bought, which means Canadians can't walk into a bookstore and see or buy this book. If Canadian you have to be patient, but you can order it through {click here} just make sure you order a few, one for yourself and one to give away. It is quite simply a spectacular book to give or receive. If you do either, you will be in for a few delightful surprises. One the book is larger than you would expect (coffee table size) from it's website photo and it has this wonderfully unique padded cover under the jacket that my friend says "gives you such a comforting feel when reading it" , she was right, it does. There aren't too many books that I have read (and we are talking hundreds here) that so elegantly transported me to another world, the world every women wants to live and love in..... rural Provence, where she restored Mas de Berard a seventeenth-century property, and then on to Le Weekend in Paris where she regularly meets up with gal pals for shopping and macaroons. Her feminine and enticing style of writing and story of how this lifestyle came to pass will have you swooning, then you'll spend the rest of your day or week figuring out if there is anyway on earth you can just pack your bags, cash in your ailing retirement fund, move to France and do the same. Right next door........she sounds like she would be the most down-to-earth and stylish of neighbors.

Lavender in July

Vicki Archer graciously sent over some of the images from A French Life, more of which you will see tomorrow. In Part Two of this post, I will share some of her interior photos of a more feminine nature and her thoughtful answers to some questions I had after finishing this lavish book. In Part Three , I'll send you over to meet Vicki's gal-pal and Paris-based photographer Carla Coulson .

Fruit Blossoms in Spring

Hope to see you tomorrow for Vicki Archer ~ Part Two

All photograph's courtesy of Vicki Archer ~ A French Life and French Essence


  1. I am going to bet this for someone special who might just be inspired to make a change and sell pareo's on the beach like she has always wanted to. We all need dreams, gift wrapped gorgeously. Right?

  2. Beautiful! Vicki captures some of the most beautiful images of real life. It's shocking how it looks like those peonies are right in front of you. I can't wait to see part 2 and 3...

  3. Sande,
    LOVE Vicki and I This Book! I'v been meaning to buy for a while..I am going to go buy it right now! It literally sweeps me away~
    So Beautiful~ Always, thanks for sharing.

  4. I am so happy to have stumbled on your blog. I lived in France for a while and can't wait to get my hands on this one.... You make some fabulous gifts...BTW my mother can absolutely not make a bow.

  5. A lovely book and what a beautiful post. Such a giving and thoughtful gesture to a fellow blogger! Besides just what we can already tell from your stunning blog, you definitely have class my dear, inside and out! Looking forward to the next installments.

  6. Vicki is the best! She is just as sweet and genuine as she is gifted. Great post, Sande - thank you!

  7. That's it! I'm buying this book this week-end! I LOVE visiting her blog! GORGEOUS photos here!

  8. I don't know if I should comment or not Sande because I am so flattered and honoured and still blushing all over about this. But as 'A Gift Wrapped Life' is a daily fix - I must. Thank you so much and words fail me - which is something for an over talker with too much to say in the first place like me! xxv

  9. What a treat this post has been Sande! Even though France has won Vicki's heart & soul, I just love that every now & then she lets the Aussie girl in her make a 'guest' appearance @ French Essence. Just to keep us all on our toes I reckon!
    Millie ^_^

  10. Hi Sande,
    I'm behind on visiting my friend's blogs and only read this today. I saw Vicki's book in an independent bookstore in Toronto. It was high up on a shelf and I was attracted by the photo on the cover and of course the title. I bought it and only later realized it was the same Vicki Archer who had posted comments on my blog. I haven't had time to dip into it, but maybe you should make a trip to Queen Street soon if you haven't already ordered it on Amazon!

  11. Not only are Carla's photos for 'My French Life' stunning, but Vicki's text is superb. I admire her enormously...She is a very gifted writer. I've read 'My French Life' several times and am always overjoyed with this book. Vicki is a very, very smart lady, as well as kind and generous. Lovely to see her featured here. (And you have a beautiful blog yourself, Sande!) Thanks.


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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