All Expenses Paid

Have you ever met someone and thought, I know you?

As a writer this happens from time to time.

You write and develop a character to such an extent that when they appear in real life, you are not surprised.

And so it was last Sunday. An Australian lady in a cafe starts a conversation and bingo…It’s Betty!

Picture pending Betty’s agreement.


Six months granny-sitting in the South of France
Separate en-suite accommodation. Ideally 40+ and non smoker.

Laura Bennett, been divorced longer than married.
No dependents. Lease just ran out on my rented cottage. Sales job going nowhere.

So, I decided to go for it. I mean what could be simpler than looking after an 82 year old English lady? I had visions of gentle strolls to the boulangerie and compulsory siestas. But this was before I met Betty. She looked like everybody’s favourite grandmother until Jean- Louis arrived to pick her up on his Kawasaki 1200!

Imagine Samantha from Sex and the City, team her up with Rose from The Golden Girls and you have ALL EXPENSES PAID.

“Engaging, fun, unpredictable, fresh, original, silly, and just plain old enjoyable. Cracking idea and neatly executed. All I need is a deck chair and some sun and I’m sorted!” ANDREW MORGAN on


Message:23 April 2012.

Just finished reading “All Expenses Paid”…
…not long after beginning to read it!! I couldn’t put it down! A fantastic read! Just how much of that is fact and how much is fiction?
The world could do with a few more Betty’s and Laura’s.

Keep up the good work!


Cover design by Simon Birch:



Read more about All Expenses Paid on Amazon

2 Responses to “All Expenses Paid”

  1. AndreaDuponte

    A great read and a good laugh, look forward to reading more books from you Helen.

    • Helen

      Ah thanks. So happy that you enjoyed All Expenses Paid. Would love to write a sequel but in the meantime have you read A Mouse in the Vinaigrette. Plus, if I may ask, would you post a short review on amazon. Good reviews definitely help sales.
      Cheers, Helen 🙂


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