Meet Claire McAlpine, Reviewer Extraordinaire

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

From the Office of Tourism website

Last Friday we spent some time in beautiful Aix-En-Provence. Today I want to introduce you to a young writer and reviewer living there. I’ve been following her blog, Word By Word, for a while now and I’m sure you are going to want to add it to your list too!

Claire McAlpine writes book reviews that are a pleasure to read as much for her own literary style as for the book. She has a fine way with words … truly magnifique!

In her own words – About Me. I am originally from New Zealand, leaving when I was 26 to travel the world, basing myself in London, England. I met my husband in Aix en Provence on my way from London to a small fishing village in Italy (where my first novel is set) and when my daughter was born we went to NZ for a few years before deciding to live in France.

 Despite a career in Marketing, I’ve always had other passions and desired a lifestyle that could include them. I studied Aromatherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine in London which I now practice as well as teaching english as a second language to adults. I also write a monthly travel guide on the city of Marseille. I love to write fiction and continue practicing and I adore reading.

Word by Word ( is part of my journey and where currently my reading and writing meet not just each other but that wonderful community of others like us out there.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the French government was removing the term “mademoiselle” from all of the official forms and documents. Around the same time, Claire wrote a super-interesting post about the French language. Click here to read what she had to say.

*Drum roll and fireworks* Claire recently received The Versatile Blogger Award and posted these seven random facts about herself:

  1. I am an Aquarian.
  2. The 1600-acre hill country sheep farm where I spent my childhood was one of the Middle Earth locations in the film ‘Lord of the Rings’.
  3. I once worked on the 104 foot (30m) tall ship ‘The Golden Plover”. I was employed as a hydro ceramic engineer (dishwasher), except when the Captain or 1stmate shouted “all hands on deck”.
  4. I have visited more than 30 countries.
  5. I was a bridesmaid at a traditional African wedding in Lagos, Nigeria.
  6. I am married to a man who was born in a manger refugee camp in Bethlehem whose name starts with J.
  7. I like to read Buddhist philosophy.
How’s that for a good story?  Find some time to spend on Claire’s website and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Claire, and letting the gentle readers here have a peek into your world. I’ve got to dash over to your place now and see what you are reviewing – wouldn’t miss it!
Don’t you love the opportunities we have in the blogosphere to hear stories like Claire’s? It’s such a pleasure to share them with you and I know you’ve got some to shout out too. Go ahead. Share them. 
A big thank you and cyber-hug to awesome blogger Amber West, once again, for the reblog of her post here last Tuesday.

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

14 thoughts on “Meet Claire McAlpine, Reviewer Extraordinaire

  1. Interesting lady, Patricia. I think that people in countries outside the US travel more than Americans do, as a whole. I also think it’s fascinating to know someone who has lived in several culturally different places. I’ll go check her out. Thanks!

  2. Interesting… and 30 countries! I haven’t even been in 30 states… okay, I put a foot in Mexico and have been to Canada a million times, but… 30. Wow.

    And yes, Claire does wonderful reviews!

  3. Wonderful collaboration, Patricia and Claire! I already had a good impression of Claire from our previous blogging encounters, but I left this post convinced that I need to spend a lot more time keeping up with Word by Word – her list of 7 things is amazing! Thanks for this.

    1. Totally agree! Claire does speak from the heart in so many ways and her reviews are among the best I have read. Thanks for dropping by Juliet. I’m also a gardener and look forward to reading Eden’s Garden.

  4. Thank you so much Patricia for spreading the word and sharing a little of my story, something I don’t mention too much on my blog, so it’s a special occasion to reveal a little more than usual – it is not unusual however for someone from NZ to have travelled to many countries, it’s almost expected and is part of our culture, coming from an island in the Pacific so far away we are expected to learn something of the world – by seeing it – and employers also like and encourage young people to have “overseas experience”.

    I love to travel in the imagination, both writing and reading and so all those places and bundles of memories are within me ready to be reimagined into stories 🙂

    I look forward to more of your stories too Patricia, both those from your fingertips and those you share with us, it’s so true, everyone has a story to tell and we all have things to learn from them. Thank you for inviting me into your world, it is indeed a wonderful community.

    1. It was my pleasure to have you visit my blog, Claire and I know we will have many opportunities to share more of our stories. Thank you for allowing us to have a peek into your world. The community is all the more wonderful with friends like you.

It's always good to hear to from you!

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