Friday, March 18, 2011


Before I introduce you to a guest with an extremely interesting  story, let me remind you that we are in the midst of our Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop. For more info on the blogs participating and the prizes, check out the 273 blogs participating in the Lucky Leprechaun Hop giveaway at
Now, to our fascinating guest, Rachel Brimble:

Rachel Brimble and Max
 I live with my fantastic husband, our two young daughters and my beloved black Labrador, Max in a small market town near the famous Georgian City of Bath. Having always ‘played’ with writing, I didn’t seriously sit down and write toward publication until I became pregnant with my second daughter – then I told myself to get my butt in the chair and get on with it before she grows up and I’m forced to get a real job!

Rachel Brimble and family 
on a 2008 Zante vacation
Lots of short stories followed as did lots of rejections! I took a few distance learning courses, joined some online writers groups and basically, learned my craft. Finally deciding short stories weren’t working for me (they are an art form in themselves!), in 2006 I decided to embark on my first novel and voila SEARCHING FOR SOPHIE was born! Since then, my other books have followed each year. I love writing and although I work part time for at my husband’s financial adviser’s firm, I write at every opportunity…and I mean EVERY opportunity!!

And when I’m not writing? You’ll find me with my head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with my family. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused.


In an interview recently, the interviewer ask me to tell her something interesting about me that few people know…so I told her I was rescued by helicopter from the center of the flash floods that hit and nearly destroyed the beautiful hamlet of Frejus, in Southern France last June.

When Caroline read this, she asked me to tell her the whole story on my visit today – and I am happy to oblige!

It all started with a phone call at 2 am from my friend who was holidaying with us in a caravan park in the hamlet. We’d had a gorgeous four days there already with the temperatures in the high eighties, the kids swimming in the three pools, drinks on the decking, outside eating…glorious.

But then on day five, it rained like we had never seen before – and bearing in mind with live in England, we are used to rain! It didn’t stop from the minute we woke until we went to bed at midnight. Two hours later, my friend rang telling me to grab as much as my husband and I could carry, wake the kids and get out of the caravan – my friend had already been evacuated because their caravan was situated closer to the river, which had burst its banks. We leapt out of bed, woke the kids, filled a backpack each with a change of clothes, some bits and pieces and then left.

The sight that greeted us outside was unbelievable. While we had been asleep for two hours, the entire caravan park had been covered in a half a foot of filthy dirty, muddy and rapidly running river water. We got in the car but within minutes the road to the center of the park was gridlocked and cars were abandoned. When my husband opened the car door, the interior immediately flooded and that was when we realized how quickly the water was rising.

Not what you hope to see on
your vacation!

We grabbed our two daughters and together we waded through the water into the park’s restaurant where we were reunited with our friends. We all embraced as though we hadn’t seen each other for weeks. That’s when I knew all of us were silently thinking the same – how are we going to get out of here?

From the time of my friend waking us to 5 am, the rain didn’t stop and when the sun rose we saw the extent of the devastation. By this time, all 500 of the park’s residents had been moved to the roof of the clubhouse, which is where we stayed until we were rescued at 2 pm.

Not the way to spend time at the club house

This is a picture of us on the roof taken by the circling news cameras – family, my friends and me are standing by the red and white umbrella!

The ordeal of waiting and watching as the police and army helicopters rescued five people at a time in a relay was as traumatic as it was surreal. The four children with us were amazing, so well behaved and calm – the after affects came out the next day when my eleven year old slept in our bed with my husband and I for the first time in eight years…

Happy sight

Being involved in a natural disaster like this changes you. I have a huge respect for life, for the power of water, for the men and women who put their own lives on the line to save others and most of all, the courage and unity of people thrown together in crisis – God bless the 25 people who lost their lives that day.

For the entire twelve hours we were on that roof (in one hundred degree heat), there was no arguing, fighting or scuffling. Thankfully, the park staff managed to rip off the roof of a storeroom and a line was formed to pass out water, Coke, lemonade and tinned fruit. It was humbling to see…

Five people at a time rescued

And here I am to tell the tale! The next question is when I finally write about this in a novel, who will the heroine in the helicopter be??

Rachel’s latest novel is GETTING IT RIGHT THIS TIME – available from Lyrical Press.


She's back, but this time she’s a mother…intent on protecting her young.

Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.

A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though Mark lost the girl of his dreams to his best friend, he finds no hardship in being single. Or so he thought.

Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work. But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him, being anywhere near her daughter? Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?

Buy Link

In addition to her recent release (and isn't that a gorgeous cover?), Rachel has other books available at The Wild Rose Press at Those books include: RELUCTANT WITNESS, SEARCHING FOR SOPHIE, THE ARRIVAL OF LILY CURTIS, and TRANSATLANTIC LOVING.

Thanks, Rachel, for sharing a harrowing experience. Thanks also for sharing a bit about your new novel, GETTING IT RIGHT THIS TIME. Don't we all wish we could do that?

Keep reading!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Rachel, I'm so happy to have you as a guest today. Thanks for sharing your exciting, but frightening, story!

Vicki Batman said...

Rachel and Caroline--an incredibly captivating story! One which will stay with you for a long while.

Thank you so much for posting and sharing.

Ruby Johnson said...

That had to be a terrifying experience for you and your loved ones.
I am sure you can totally identify with others going through a water disaster. So glad there was a good outcome for you and your family.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Bless your heart, Rachel. What a harrowing experience. So glad you and your family were rescued. I think we learn a lot about ourselves when we live through an event that is out of our control. Yes, you most definitely need to find the right heroine to put in that helicopter when you write the story.

Nice to meet you today. :)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Wow, at an incredible experience. So, why can't she be flying the helicopter? LOL. The closest I've come to a natural diasaster is looking out my plate glass living room window and spotting a tornado about a mile away. Had it stayed its course it would have born down on my apt. complex, instead it jogged to the south and went through a neighborhood. Thankfully, no deaths, just damage.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

thanks for sharing your harrowing experience with us today. I found the photo of everyone on the roof frightening in itself. How strong was that roof?! I told Caroline I wasn't sure I could read about your experience in the flood after the flood we had here in El Paso a few years ago. But I'm glad I read your story. It's amazing how people come together in times of need. :-)
Beautiful cover for your new story! And hope you get to that helicopter pilot soon. :-)


Joanne Stewart said...

Rachel! What a captivating story! Such a scary thing to happen, but thank heavens everything turned out okay! Thank you very much for sharing this tale! It definitely humbles me just reading it.

Diana Cosby said...

Wow Rachel, what a harrowing true life tale. Thank God you as everyone was rescued. I agree the elements of nature are those to never underestimate. Take care and I wish you every success!

Beth Trissel said...

Rachel, what an amazing account. One you will tell and retell. I also enjoyed reading about you and your lovely part of the world. Glad to get to know more about this talented author I've heard good things about.

Cathie Dunn said...

Rachel, glad you're here to tell the tale. What an incredible story, and the timing couldn't be more poignant.

Margaret Tanner said...

Wow Rachel, what a harrowing story, so glad it ended well. That is the scary part of floods how quickly the water rises.



Sandra Crowley said...

Rachel, What a harrowing experience! Thank you for sharing. And, thanks to you too, Caroline.

I enjoyed your excerpt, Rachel. Let us know when you find that heroine in the helicopter.

Rachel Brimble said...

I'm here, I'm here!! What a whirlwind couple of days I've had - I don't know if I'm coming or going, LOL!

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments, ladies. It was the most terrifying experience of my life and the worst part was worrying about being separated from my kids (some parents were). But we managed to stay together and I certainly look at life differently now!

It will no doubt come out in a story soon. Time to get the thinking cap on!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Rachel, I apologize for the poor spacing earlier. Yikes! Don't know what happened.