Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: What Remains of Love by Suzanne Trauth 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour and $25 Gif tCar dGiveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

What Remains of Love by Suzanne Trauth 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour and $25 Gif tCar dGiveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)

At the reading of her beloved father’s will, Kate, a divorced French professor, learns of his affaire de coeur during World War II with a French artist named Emilie, to whom he has left a substantial bequest. Kate, stunned to discover the existence of this woman who captivated her father, is determined to unravel the mystery of his past and unearth the truth. Though Emilie has passed away now, her daughter Yvette sends a box of her mother’s keepsakes from the war that are even more unnerving – among them a dried flower, a photograph, two smooth stones, and a train ticket. Kate wonders about her parents’ marriage. After the war had he abandoned passion for honor? Did he really love her mother, or was he compelled to marry her out of his sense of duty? How well did she really know her father? Or her mother? She embarks on a journey to the south of France to reconcile the past and confront her own demons, as well as the legacy of her father’s wartime love affair and the price he paid to live an honorable life. Kate’s life is changed forever…

     You can’t take twenty plus years getting a book written and published and not have a few “fun facts” in your hip pocket.  Since What Remains of Love has been a lengthy birth, I don’t mind sharing a few of those tidbits. It all began with a meeting in the south of France in 1997. I had joined family members for a tour of cities—including Arles, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint Rémy-de-Provence—where French artists Van Gogh, Picasso, and Cezanne had lived and worked. My aunt asked if we might stop by a small village on our way to Marseille one night for dinner. An artist, whom she had been corresponding with for over fifty years, lived there and my aunt was anxious to meet her. When we arrived, the artist proceeded to tell us a bit about her life and experiences during WWII while living in Nice, France. Needless to say, my family and I never made it to Marseille for dinner and I asked her that night if I could use her story as inspiration. She agreed. The result, after a number of revisions and versions, is What Remains of Love.  

     But in order to do the story justice, I needed to research some of the locations in the novel. On one fact-finding trip we landed in Nice late on a Sunday afternoon, after barely avoiding collisions with French drivers on roundabouts and highways—they do drive fast—and navigating directions delivered by a French service station attendant with a touch of exasperation and numerous hand gestures. My French was passable, but in this instance, I did well to interpret à droite (to the right) or à gauche (to the left). We eventually arrived in the city, checked in and headed to the beach to catch our first real glimpse of the Mediterranean and the sun glinting off the azure blue water. As the sun was beginning to set, and our stomachs rumbled, we settled on dinner at a restaurant on the beach. We could dig our toes into the sand while we noshed on French fare and an excellent bottle of wine. Though the image was luxurious, the reality was another matter. Since it was a Sunday night, no banks were open and our funds were somewhat depleted. We discovered that, between two of us, we had only enough euros for half a bottle of house wine and two simple plates of pasta.     

     Never mind. The five course French dinner could wait for another day. Right now we were watching the sun set on the Mediterranean, sipping a friendly red, and inhaling the pesto-laced pasta. I stretched my legs out into the sand. It was heaven. And probably the meal we appreciated most during that research trip. 

“Did you ever meet Dad in France?”

Bert leans back and allows his head to rest on the top of the booth. “Paris.” He frowns. “VE Day.”

“The end of the war?” I ask.

“Yeah. Everybody was in Paris.”

I bend forward tentatively. “Do you remember Dad mentioning a woman named Emilie?”

Bert fixes his gaze on the wall at the rear of the diner. A light goes on somewhere behind his eyes, and he breaks into a smile. “Emilie. Met her.”

My heart does a flip-flop. “You did?”

“She was a looker, all right.”

“Dad and Emilie were...friends?” How to ask about your father’s affair?  

Bert shrugs. “We were lonely. Far away from home.”

“What happened?”

“Dan didn’t think he’d get out alive. None of us did.” Bert rubs his chin. “He thought she might be his last chance.”

“Did he think about marrying her?”

“Couldn’t. He was engaged to Margaret.” 

“To Mother,” I say. Were Emilie and Mother competitors?

“Uh huh.” Bert starts to drum his fingers on the table, his focus shifting toward the door. It has been two hours since we left his apartment.

I have to ask. “Did Mother know about her?”

Bert picks at a yellowed, chipped fingernail. “Yeah,” he mumbles, abruptly stands up, and starts for the door.

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Suzanne Trauth is the author of What Remains of Love and the Dodie O’Dell mystery series—Show Time, Time Out, Running out of Time, Just in Time, No More Time, and Killing Time. She co-authored Sonia Moore and American Acting Training and co-edited Katrina on Stage: Five Plays. In her previous career, she spent many years as a university professor of theatre. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Visit her website: or connect on Facebook:


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  1. What a great site! Thanks for including me! Suzanne

  2. This sounds like a really emotional read!

  3. Sounds like a great read.

  4. This sounds wonderful. I love the cover too!

  5. The cover is lovely and seems to do a great job of representing what Kate must be thinking and feeling, I am looking forward to reading this story

    1. I agree...the cover hints at the past and present. A bit of a mystery! Thanks.

    2. Not sure my comment went through...but I agree. The cover suggests the present and the past and the link between them. Thanks!

  6. When you were a child, what were some of your favorite book genres?

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

    1. I loved mysteries - Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins - and biographies. I devoured books as a kid!

  7. This sounds a bit mysterious, I like it.

    1. Yes, there is a mystery at the heart of the story. Also romance and history! Thanks.


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