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Scent of Bergamot by Višnja Rašić @VisnjaCreates

Today I am pleased to tell you about the historical fiction novel for women Scent of Bergamot by Višnja Rašić which is out today (21 June 2021).  The author tells me it is about

Four generations. Three countries. Two women.  

One hell of a skeleton in the armoire. 

It contains adult themes, so is suitable for an audience aged 15+ . 

Scent of Bergamot is available in paperback and ebook  from Amazon and Smashwords.  It is on my TBR pile!

Book blurb (supplied by http://visnjacreates.com.au/ )

Dragged off as a teenager to live in France with yet another stepdad, Marica thought things had finally settled for her.  Almost a decade later she was happy in her small Paris apartment, and even though she missed her Gran back in Melbourne, their ritual Sunday afternoon phone calls made up for it; a little. 

But when her mother became ill, and then suddenly died, Marica felt she needed to return home, to Melbourne, and her Gran, the only real family she still had. And that should have been the end of it – except for the discovery of the haunting photo of a little girl Marica found in her Gran’s attic. Things only got stranger when the photo was followed by the discovery of two old diaries, which weren’t written in either English or French. 

Marica soon embarks on unravelling a family mystery she never knew existed, and a few secrets which maybe should have been left with the dead. Question is, how will Gran react? 

Set in Australia, France, and Russia, Scent of Bergamot is a journey of self-discovery told through the eyes of both the main character and the unknown author of diaries written between WWI and WWII. 

Extract from Scent of Bergamot by Višnja Rašić 

Chapter 1
Ghosts of Bergamot and Rosin 

The day they buried Mother, a thick grey Brittany sky crackled with electricity and the air smelled of burning leaves and tasted of rain. My clump of dirt hit the carved French oak coffin with a hollow thud. 

That was two weeks ago. 

Last week I was disposing of the well-intentioned frozen quiches and casseroles as snow flurries danced past my Paris apartment window. 

And this morning – this morning I’m slumped in one of Gran’s kitchen chairs, picking at my memories and my cuticles… in Melbourne. 

Nothing fit. Not Mother’s death, not my detachment, and certainly not the bullshit with Gran’s passport. 

Pushing out my chair, I winced as a phantom squawk shuddered down the hall the nanosecond I scraped Gran’s precious flagstones. “Didn’t wake her,” I whispered. I have no idea why I whispered. If Gran hadn’t heard the chair scrape, she was hardly likely to hear me talking to myself. 

Walking to the kitchen window I could see the first signs of daybreak. The ‘just before dawn’ grey now saw the first amber and crimson wisps emboss the odd cloud, a promise of light and warmth. Aside from a crow’s caw, everything outside remained library quiet. Inside, the only sound was Gran’s massive kitchen clock with its sunflower face and hands the shape of stalks. Ugly thing. It didn’t even tick-tock, just a steady tock-tock-tock as the second-hand stalk moved time along. 

Beneath it, on the kitchen bench, the crusty remnants of last night’s pizza taunted me to clean up. I was good at ignoring housework. One of the few things I’d inherited from Mother. I picked off a sliver of burnt anchovy, as ‘birthplace – Moscow’ drifted into my head. That’s what the email from the passport lady said. I rolled my eyes. “Pfft. Don’t think so.” 

I nudged the pizza box a little further out of view and reached for the Royal Doulton ceramic tea container. Gran’s tea ritual. “Marica,” she’d huff, “Good tea warrants correct preparation.” Gran only drank good tea. 

I listened for the water to reach a simmer, bubbles no larger than champagne, before pouring just enough water to cover the tea leaves. After three minutes precisely, more hot water could be added before straining. Certain I was breaking some rule of etiquette, I grabbed a mug and put two teaspoons of sugar in. Before the tea – sacrilege! Just as I’d done a hundred times, I followed Gran’s tea ceremony protocol, sans sugar, and began my three-minute countdown. 

Even as the sun did its best to remain snuggled under its cloudy duvet, the smell of Summer  roses seeped through the open window, bringing back images of my Dida Nik in the garden. Croatian for granddad, Dida Nik was dad’s father. Calling him Dida rather than Pop or something equally Anglo made him happy. I didn’t mind. It offset Mother’s and Gran’s side with their French heritage and pompousness. Not that Dida Nik didn’t like the French, after all, he married his bride de français, Nana Marguerite. Despite Mother’s death just weeks ago, it was Dida Nik who I missed…

******

All the best, Emma

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