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Ella Carey | Romance Tied Up in a Mystery

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When a true story holds both impossible mystery and romance ...

The heart of mystery is perfection. The writer needs to find the perfect ‘crime' with which to begin. The reader should not be able to work it out. If you committed it, you could ... get away with it.

As a writer you need to force yourself into becoming a master detective, into solving the mystery in a way in which you outsmart yourself. You need to discover the flaw in what you thought was perfect.

But what if you discover a true story that not only holds all of these elements, but is also set in the most romantic city in the world, and encompasses a secret love story from the past, its ghost-like images captivating not only you, but also thousands of bloggers all over the world?

This was what happened to me. I was writing a mystery surrounding valuable art. It involved a love affair from the past and I was working with an agency in London. The novel was almost ready. But then, I read about THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE. Now, you see, I adore France. I speak French, and I love history. I have a passion for art. I have been to Paris so many times that I can close my eyes and sense it from where I am sitting now.

I had to switch stories.

So - here was the true story that became the inspiration for the novel. A woman died aged ninety-one in the south of France in 2010, but she kept a ravishing secret for seventy years.

It was only when the woman died that her heirs discovered that she was the owner of an extraordinary apartment in Paris. The woman, who was only known as ‘Madame de Florian,' (she becomes Isabelle de Florian in my novel) had fled the city just before the Nazi invasion in 1940, never to return. But that was not all. Inside this Paris apartment there were treasures, antiques, all manner of exotic gifts that had been locked up for seventy years, not to mention a portrait of the owner's grandmother, the famous Belle Epoque courtesan and actress Marthe de Florian. It was unsigned, and it was in the style of a famous Belle Epoque artist.

Experts trawled through bundles of love letters from actress Marthe's many gentlemen admirers, looking for clues. Amongst love notes to Marthe from these powerful men, including George Clemenceau, the then prime minister of France, they found what they were looking for - a letter from Giovanni Boldini, famous Belle Epoque artist, and his calling card. Later, the experts discovered a description of the unsigned painting in Boldini's late wife's diaries. Boldini had painted Marthe de Florian when she was twenty-four years old.

Now. Fascinating as this love story between an artist and actress was - the real question to me was, why did the owner of this stunning apartment abandon it for seventy years? Why, even after the war, did she never return to Paris? And why did she keep all of this a secret until she died?

That was what I wanted to write about. The more I delved into this world, the more fascinated I became.

Here is the blurb for THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE:

New York photographer Cat Jordan has fought hard to free herself from the past, but when a stranger dies, Cat finds herself the sole inheritor of a treasure filled apartment in Paris that has been locked up and abandoned for seventy years.

A stash of love letters belonging to Marthe de Florian, one of the Belle Époque's most famous demimondaines, and the appearance of the mysterious Isabelle de Florian's grandson leads Cat in search of the reasons why Isabelle kept her Paris apartment a secret, and why she left her entire estate to Cat.

As Cat unravels the story, she too begins her own journey ... realizing that the secrets in the apartment may finally unfasten the future.

Now, I'm researching the second novel inspired by this story. I can't leave this world ... not just yet.

Tell me, what is the most perfect, true mystery that you have come across?

We have one free print copy of THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE to give away to a commentator.

About Ella Carey

Ella Carey is a self confessed Francophile who can almost claim Paris as her second home. Ella spotted the story of the apartment in Paris that had been abandoned for seventy years on a blog, in 2011. At that time, Ella was working with an agency in London on a novel about a mystery surrounding valuable art. But the story about a woman who left her treasure filled apartment in Paris, not to mention a valuable Boldini portrait hanging on the wall, never to return again, seemed the perfect inspiration. Why did the apartment’s owner, Madame de Florian never return to Paris? Why did she keep the apartment a secret until she died? What’s more, the story held all Ella’s passions in one perfect package. Ella has degrees in English literature and Music, and a passion for Art and History. She has learned French since she was five and has travelled to Paris at least a dozen times. Ella has had her work published in the Review of Australian Fiction and has written stories for as long as she has spoken French. Ella Carey lives with her husband, two children and two divine Italian greyhounds. website | Facebook | GoodReads | @ella_carey

Praise for Ella Carey:

'Ella Carey creates an almost impossibly romantic atmosphere.' Rachel Edwards, Review of Australian Fiction.

'I am so looking forward to the release of The Paris Time-Capsule. Ella Carey is one of the most talented writers I have ever worked with. Roll on release day!' Melanie Milburne, USA Today best selling author.

BUY THE PARIS TIME CAPSULE:

US and the rest of world | Amazon UK | Australia | India | New Zealand

 

 

Comments

49 comments posted.

Re: Ella Carey | Romance Tied Up in a Mystery

I loved the articles about the Parisian apartment. I think it makes for an excellent mystery novel. My favorite "true" mystery is that of the treasure of Oak Island.
(Pam Howell 7:39am April 28, 2014)

the book sounds really good cant wait to read it
(Denise Smith 8:07am April 28, 2014)

This sounds like a great mystery novel I'd love to read! Thank you...great giveaway!!
(Bonnie Capuano 8:31am April 28, 2014)

I wanted to start out by saying that when the cover to your
book loaded ( dial-up), it took my breath away!! It is just
stunning!! As for my mystery, my Husband and I are trying
to figure out why our radio and tv will turn off on their
own, and the microwave will turn on by itself. Once in a
while, one of us will also feel as if someone is brushing
against one of our arms!! Shortly after my Mother passed
away, she came to see us, and pulled some pranks on my
Husband, which are too long to get into, and I could feel
her presence, but she hasn't been around for a while, so I
know she came by to let me know that she was just fine, and
now has other important things to do. As for the electric
things going on, I can't explain them, but they're not a
constant thing. They just happen occasionally, and make us
wonder who's trying to send us a message. I would love to
read your book, because I am also an art lover. My best
Girlfriend is a professional artist, and I'd probably pass
your book on to her to read, as well a couple of other
people in my life, who read your genre of books. It sounds
like it would be a great book to curl up with.
Congratulations!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:56am April 28, 2014)

Your captivating novel sounds fascinating and unique. The
era is my favorite since it is meaningful and important and
the mystery is intriguing. Congratulations and best wishes
on the success of this unforgettable novel which I would
enjoy greatly. Having an interest in the World War 11 era,
art since I was brought up to appreciate and learn about art
this would be a wonderful book.
(Sharon Berger 10:36am April 28, 2014)

This sounds like a fantastic story. Even if I'm not a lucky winner, I will have to get your book to read. It sounds great. Best of luck with it! Thanks for the chance to win.
(Nancy Reynolds 11:15am April 28, 2014)

would love to win and read!!!
(Pamela Faye Howell 11:34am April 28, 2014)

I read the story from a link and about your book you were
doing. I think it will be interesting to see your twist on
this unfold in you book.
The most perfect true mystery I have come across.. true
mediums.. I have met a few and still do no believe they have
the gift.
(Tina Ullrich 11:57am April 28, 2014)

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading
(Jean Benedict 12:39pm April 28, 2014)

What a fascinating book! Your inspiration for this book is a great example of "the truth is stranger than fiction." Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.
(Bonnie Hometchko 12:52pm April 28, 2014)

I think the most perfect, true mystery I have come across is...where do all those socks go I lose in the dryer? Do they run away, escape to live an adventure in someone else's laundry, get eaten in some cannibalistic sockfest? Inquiring minds and bare feet want to know. The "Paris Time Capsule" looks great. Can't wait to read it!
(Debbie Kelly 2:13pm April 28, 2014)

I don't have any true mysteries in my life, but your book sounds like a great read.
(Sheila True 2:16pm April 28, 2014)

the best mystery i have read is vey difficult..there are so many excellent ones. culling about overpopulation was one and a recent one was no accicent by dan webb was pretty good..however yours sounds like it would be great
(Mal Kaplan 2:42pm April 28, 2014)

Having premonitions in a dream and then having the "dream premonition" come true a few days or weeks later. Nothing scary or dangerous has happened; but little incidents happening. Example: finding a lost dog where my dream showed it would be or finding a lost watch where my dead mother-in-law said to look.
(Joanne Hicks 2:56pm April 28, 2014)

I have no true mysteries to speak of but Id love to win this book! Ill have to add this one to my list of must reads!
(Julie Parrish 3:07pm April 28, 2014)

i want to win this.
(Kent Cook 3:10pm April 28, 2014)

I found that I have the gift of telling stories to young children.
(Rosemary Simm 3:27pm April 28, 2014)

mysteries in books or real life? well in books the best one
that made me guess (wrongly until the end lol) was the seventh
moon by Marius Gabriel. in real life well my husband is the
real mystery XD
(Sarah Hansrote 3:50pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Pam! Thanks for posting. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the photographs of the abandoned apartment. The Oak Island mystery looks fascinating! I just went and looked it up! xx
(Ella Carey 4:13pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Denise, thanks so much for your kind comment. I hope you enjoy the novel. x
(Ella Carey 4:14pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Bonnie! Thanks for posting. I do hope that you enjoy the book and good luck with the giveaway! x
(Ella Carey 4:16pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Peggy! Wow - truth is often stranger than fiction, isn't it! Thanks for sharing this today - I am not sure what is going on with your electrical appliances at all! These do sound like perfect mysteries. Thank you for your comment about the cover. I love the fact that the cover designer's name is Giovanni, just like the artist who painted Marthe de Florian in the real abandoned apartment! Thanks for posting today. x
(Ella Carey 4:19pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Sharon, thanks so much for that. I agree - the world war two era is so meaningful. I was intrigued with women from different generations; it is incredible how much the time in which we are born affects our attitudes - everything. So lovely to share that you love Art, as I do. I hope you enjoy the novel.xx
(Ella Carey 4:29pm April 28, 2014)

Hello Nancy, thanks so much for your kind comments! Keep fingers crossed. The original story did inspire me so much. x
(Ella Carey 4:30pm April 28, 2014)

Thanks Pamela, for calling in today and hope you enjoy the book! x
(Ella Carey 4:30pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Tina, thanks so much for that. Yes - the question of mediums is an intriguing one! x
(Ella Carey 4:31pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Jean, so thrilled to hear of your interest! Thank you for posting. x
(Ella Carey 4:32pm April 28, 2014)

Hi there Bonnie! I know - truth is stranger than fiction so often; I do agree with you. Thanks for calling in today. x
(Ella Carey 4:34pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Debbie! You can't see me but I'm giggling about the socks! It is so funny as to where they go. The best answer I heard was a little girl I know who told me that of course, there was a tunnel running behind her house that took the socks to fairyland. Magical socks! Thanks Debbie. xx
(Ella Carey 4:35pm April 28, 2014)

Thank you L Lam! That is very kind. x
(Ella Carey 4:36pm April 28, 2014)

Hi there Mal, I agree. It is almost as difficult to name the best mystery that you have heard of on the spot as to solve it! These sound interesting. Thanks for posting! :)
(Ella Carey 4:37pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Joanne! Now, that is a good mystery! It is so strange when that happens, isnt' it? The subconscious is the most fascinating thing. Thanks for sharing that and for posting today. xx
(Ella Carey 4:39pm April 28, 2014)

Thank you so much Julie! I do hope that you enjoy it! xx
(Ella Carey 4:40pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Ken! Good luck! Thanks for posting today. :)
(Ella Carey 4:40pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Rosemary, what a lovely gift for you. I think telling stories to young children is one of the most important things. Enchanting children with stories enriches their lives in ways that have a myriad of positive results for them in the future. Thanks for sharing this today. x
(Ella Carey 4:42pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Sarah! That made me smile! Great to find a novel that contains such wonderful mystery, and ... I'm still smiling about your husband. ;))
(Ella Carey 4:44pm April 28, 2014)

This sounds like a wonderful mystery novel. The cover is just beautiful. There are many unexplained mysteries in life. I have also experienced premonitions in dreams one to two days prior to them actually happening exactly as seen in a dream or in thoughts. I have a sister that experiences this also. In fact, she actually visualized where a child murder victim could be found and the exact last name of the killer and went to the authorities with her information. It was all true. It freaked her out, and she doesn't know why this all came forth to her. So this is a very unexplained mystery why some people receive these detailed messages from something that has happened or is about to happen! I would so enjoy reading your book.
(Linda Luinstra 6:28pm April 28, 2014)

perfect ... love those kind of stories [ =
(Elaine Fisher 10:56pm April 28, 2014)

Hi Linda, thanks so much for your kind comments regarding the cover. The painting on the front of the novel is the portrait of Marthe de Florian that was found in the real abandoned apartment in Paris. On the back of the print book, there are vintage perfume bottles, a stack of letter tied in silk ribbon, and a view of Paris, looking down the Seine. Wow - what an amazing story you have shared here today! Thanks for that! I do hope you enjoy the novel. xx
(Ella Carey 12:51pm April 29, 2014)

Hi Elaine, Thanks for calling in here today! I am so pleased that you like these sorts of stories, and I hope you enjoy the novel! Thank you, xx
(Ella Carey 12:52pm April 29, 2014)

I love places that are frozen in time like this. The coolest real life mysteries I've run across were trying to figure out where the pictures were taken in Granpa's WWII album. He was so old it wan't of any use to ask him who was in the picture with him. Some of them he thought were in Wales. After he died we were going through his things and found another bunch of pictures. He was not the best of at adding labels or talking about the past. The back of the pictures said things like "another street in Paris. sigh.

Going through the church safe when I was secretary was another. Old deeds, old records, really old negatives, stuff written in Norwegian. It took me a while to figure out all the old deeds.
(Laura Gullickson 11:33am April 29, 2014)

Love the cover and the story. Mystery is my favorite genre and
pretty much all I read. Would love to win this. You would be a
new author to me.
(Denise Austin 3:37pm April 29, 2014)

Hi Laura, old photographs are fascinating, aren't they? Your grandfather's WWII
album sounds very special. The church safe also sounds interesting! In
Norwegian! Thanks so much for calling in here today. xx
(Ella Carey 7:03pm April 29, 2014)

Hi Denise, Thanks so much for your kind comments about the cover and the
story. Good luck with the competition and lovely to meet a new reader here. xx
(Ella Carey 7:05pm April 29, 2014)

Hi there, I read about this lady and her abandoned apartment
in Paris. Even though I was just looking at pictures it was
like stepping into another time! So beautiful. I'd say my
most intriguing mystery is my dreams. Some times what I
dream is what I wake up to having being true, even in other
parts of the world, like earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes...
things like that. Totally weird.
(Joanna Moreno 9:58pm April 29, 2014)

Hi Dexterity, Yes, I agree, looking at the pictures of the apartment is like
stepping into the past. It just fascinated me that everything sat there, through all
second half of the twentieth century, until 2010 ... just waiting. Wow, your
dreams sound like the ultimate mystery! Thank you for posting! All the best,
Dexterity xx
(Ella Carey 12:58pm April 30, 2014)

I saw that article. I can't think of a mystery. Except maybe my father's
family. They rarely talked about themselves or things from the past. :)
(Penny Mettert 3:49am May 1, 2014)

Hi Penny, I think your mystery sounds quite perfect, you know! xx
(Ella Carey 4:48am May 1, 2014)

karen rose series, love that mystery
(Tami Bates 8:06pm May 3, 2014)

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