Stephanie Dagg


I'm an English ex-pat living in France with my family and a lot of animals, including llamas and carp. I was a bestselling author in Ireland, where we lived for 15 years before we moved to our new home here. I've recently relaunched my writing career, but this time as an indie ebook author and publisher. It's the twenty-first century after all!

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
I've just published two books on the same day, so a quick word about each. 'Total Immersion: Ten Years in France' picks up where its prequel 'Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France' left off. It shares with you the fun, faux pas and frustrations of the expat experience in France whilst running a business, bringing up children and generally grappling with life in a foreign language.
The other book is cosy mystery 'Haircuts, Hens and Homicide', my first foray into this genre. There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers as lively heroine Megan investigates fowl-related foul play in rural France, helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across.
How do you approach cover design?
I love this part of self-publishing. I've commissioned a couple of my covers, but usually I hunt for a good image on Dreamstime and then match it with suitable typography. It's important to reflect the content of the book without giving too much away, as well as looking sleek and being eye-catching.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Stephanie Dagg online


Dead in Tune: A Christmas Cosy Mystery
You set the price! Words: 59,500. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
It’s nearly Christmas, a time for peace and goodwill. Or maybe not. A series of attacks on people connected to the World Friendship Club choir of a small French town culminate in murder. Unlikely best friends Martha and Lottie set out on the trail of the perpetrator. Their unconventional sleuthing methods land one of them in rather a lot of trouble. An entertaining, festive cosy mystery.
Deck the Halles: Next Christmas at the Little French Llama Farm
You set the price! Words: 83,550. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
It's nearly Christmas at the little French llama farm. Noelle is looking forward to a quiet Christmas with her partner Nick, but that's exactly what she's not going to get. She's pushed ever closer to the end of her tether dealing with llama-related matters, and also with relatives! Can she hold it together or will she make a bolt for it? Lots of feel-good festive fun to enjoy in this novel.
A Christmas Hamster
You set the price! Words: 51,910. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Cam’s career and love life take a nose dive once she becomes guardian to her young nephew. However, an encounter with the charming Declan causes her heart to flutter once more. Fate, alas, seems determined to hamper any possibility of them getting together. So what chance does a tiny, naughty hamster have of bringing them happiness this Christmas? A festive, feel-good romcom.
Hate Bale
You set the price! Words: 80,060. Language: British English. Published: January 9, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
In this entertaining mystery, Martha struggles to run a holiday cottage and smallholding in rural France. So, whilst horrifying, stumbling across a corpse does at least distract her from her own woes. Best friend Lottie swoops in and the pair embark on some unofficial sleuthing. However, the killer remains at large and the bodies keep piling up, rather too closely around Martha for comfort...
Fa-La-Llama-La: Christmas at the Little French Llama Farm
You set the price! Words: 55,130. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
This is a feel-good, fun and festive novel in which llamas play a small but crucial role. Set in rural France, it features a feisty heroine who comes to pet-sit at a remote farm and copes with blizzards, bad-tempered intruders and premature births. There's also a hero who's a bit of a handful, and some right woolly charmers.
Haircuts, Hens and Homicide
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 110,930. Language: British English. Published: February 17, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens and a dead body. Together with her unlikely allies, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Megan becomes involved in investigating fowl-related foul play in sleepy rural France.
Total Immersion: Ten Years in France
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,170. Language: British English. Published: February 17, 2018 . Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region » Europe, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Total Immersion shares with you the fun, faux pas and frustrations of the expat experience in rural France whilst running a business, bringing up children and generally grappling with life in a foreign language. It's the sequel to 'Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France'.
Anna Partridge in a Pear Tree
You set the price! Words: 11,950. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
(5.00 from 1 review)
Anna Partridge is house-sitting for family friends in a very cold cottage in the middle of snowy France. She’ll be there for a fortnight over Christmas. It’s all rather quiet and unexciting until, on Boxing Day, a pheasant gets tangled in the pear tree in the garden. Anna can’t possibly leave it there but her rescue attempt goes wrong, leaving her the stuck one.
Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,540. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2012 . Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues
Heads Above Water is the lively account of our first years as expats in France. With three kids aged 5, 12 and 14 we arrived full of excitement from Ireland ready to get to grips with living in our new country. The plan was to run a gite and carp fishery but somehow we got sidetracked into llama trekking too. Follow our adventures in tackling schools, bureaucracy, the weather and Frenchness!
A Girl Called Deirdre Duck
Price: Free! Words: 2,320. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
(5.00 from 1 review)
Deirdre's surname is Duck, and she hates it! Everyone teases her at school, and even her dad calls her his little duckling. It's awful! Then one day she rescues a duckling which is all tangled up in fishing line, and this is the day that changes her life. With help from her new feathered friends, she hatches a plan and starts to enjoy being Deirdre Duck
Flint Dog
Price: Free! Words: 15,490. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
(4.00 from 1 review)
Welcome to the Stone Age! Flint Dog is the story of a ten-year-old boy, Youngest. He has just two dreams — the first is to be a Hunter like his big brother and his father, and his second is to have a dog of his own. He has many adventures on the way to do with caves, a mammoth and a menhir. Flint Dog has been carefully researched. It brings to life a period in history that's often neglected.
Stanley and the Football Sock
Price: Free! Words: 3,640. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Stanley Thomas Ian Nigel Kevin Smith, otherwise known as STINKS, is in trouble. Big trouble. He's lost his football sock. And if he doesn't get it back, Mum won't let him go to football practice. So he goes on a hunt which involves friends, conkers, bullies, head masters, cows, rats and dinosaurs. And does he get his sock back? You'll have to read the story and find out for yourself!
Animal Rescue Club
Price: Free! Words: 1,990. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals » General
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Emma has started at a new school and wants to make friends. So when the twins announce that they have started an animal rescue club, she's determined to become a member. She begins to hunt for an animal to rescue, but that proves to be much harder than she ever imagined. Will she ever be a member of the Animal Rescue Club?
Best of Blog in France
Price: Free! Words: 58,940. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region » Europe
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Five years ago in 2006 we left our large, brand new house in Co. Cork, which we’d built ourselves, for a two-hundred-year-old hovel in Creuse, France. Why, oh why? We wanted to change our lives and we've certainly done that. I began my blog detailing our experiences in 2009 and it's become very popular. Here's a selection of entries from its first two years arranged January to December.
The Smelliest Cheese in the World!
Price: Free! Words: 3,740. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
Here's a very fun story for children about very smelly cheese. I wrote it after visiting a smelly cheese factory in France. That cheese was smelly, but the cheese is my story is far, far worse. Mr Smelleigh, the manufacturer, says it's the smelliest thing in the world. If it isn't, he'll eat his pet skunk. So he's in for trouble when Stanley and friends arrive for a guided tour of the factory ...
Witching Again!
Price: Free! Words: 6,520. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
In this third story about Cackling Carol the witch, Big Roddy her dog and Broom, her witch's broom, of course, the three friends are reunited again. But along the way they run into trouble in the shape of Egbert, the wicked blue wizard. Carol is nearly out of magic. Can she save her faithful friends from Egbert's fury? Or will Broom have to stay a floor cloth and Big Roddy a toy dog for ever?
Price: Free! Words: 4,830. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
This is another story about Cackling Carol the witch, Big Roddy her dog and their best friend Broom. Well meaning social workers find Cackling Carol in her cold and dark witch's cavern and rehome her in a sparkling clean new flat in the town. Carol hates it and can't wait to leave, but slowly and surely she becomes - de-witched! Whatever will Broom and Big Roddy do?
Oh Santa!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,270. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays
(5.00 from 1 review)
Santa is still worn out after last Christmas, so his assistant Teddy Bear Jake decides it's time to get Santa into shape. But will Christmas be the same with a slimmer, super-fit Santa?
The Witch's Dog
Price: Free! Words: 3,560. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals » General
(4.60 from 5 reviews)
Cackling Carol must be the only witch in the world who hates cats! So she decides to get a dog instead. Together with her faithful and very clever Broom, she visits a dogs' home and finds Big Roddy, the biggest and shaggiest dog you could imagine. All Cackling Carol's witchy friends fall about laughing when they see him. But just who is it that saves them all from the wicked Wizard Egbert?
Escape the Volcano
Price: Free! Words: 16,950. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2011 . Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Fiction
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Tom has always loved volcanoes. So this summer Mum takes him, his sister Anna and his best friend Kevin for a holiday close to a dormant one in France. They explore the area and make friends with a scientist studying a cave system nearby. Everything is peaceful and fun - until one morning the volcano comes to life again.
Oh Grandad!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,330. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00 from 1 review)
Ben is staying with Grandad. Grandad may be a senior citizen but that doesn't mean he's dull. Far from it! There's great excitement when he has a go on on Ben's scooter before he finds out where the brake is, and then gets in trouble at the amusement arcade. And Grandad comes to the rescue of the Firework Night party for the Cub Scouts and Brownies after vandals seem to have spoiled everything ...
Oh Gran!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,730. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
Gran has plenty of surprises up her sleeve when she comes to look after Emily for the weekend. For one thing, she rides a tiger-striped motorbike, and for another, she lives on burgers and muffins. And that's just the start ...
Beat the Hackers!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,530. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Heather’s dad, Ray, is writing the ultimate anti-hacker program for computers. But a mysterious company called Domination PLC launches its own version, and for free. Ray is ruined. And things get worse. Heather and Ray are finally forced to go on the run to escape Domination. Ray is caught, so it's all up to Heather to save the world's computers ...
Oh Auntie!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,360. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Mum and Dad are going away to a farming conference, so Auntie has come down from the city to look after Robyn and Paul. No one is looking forward to it. Auntie doesn't like dirty farms, and Robyn and Paul think Auntie is boring. But this time round, Auntie's visit is very exciting - for all sorts of reasons! A fun story for young, confident readers.

Stephanie Dagg's tag cloud

adventure    amateur sleuths    amusing    animals    beaver scouts    blog entries    bullying    children    childrens    childrens fiction    christmas    comedy    community    computers    cosy mystery    cozy murder    cozy mystery    dog    duck    europe adventure    expat    expat life    family    family fun    fantasy    farm    father christmas    feelgood    feisty heroine    festive    football    france    french adventure    french experience    french experiences    french living    french setting    friendly characters    friendly witch    friends    friendship    fun    fun adventure    fun story    funny    grandad    grandfather    hacking    halloweeen    hamster    healthy santa    heroine    history    holiday    humor    humor and life    humorous    humour    humour crime    junvenile fiction    juvenile fiction    kids    life in france    light    light comedy    light hearted    lighthearted    limousin    living in france    llama    llamas    mayhem    noel    north pole    prehistory    romance clean    romcom    romcom mystery    rural    rural france    rural living    santa    school    silly    smallholding    smelly cheese    spells    stone age    travel    uplit    variety    volcano    winter    witch    witch adventure    witching fun    witchs broom    witchs dog    wizard    women sleuths    young reader    young readers   

Smashwords book reviews by Stephanie Dagg

  • The First Ten Steps on Sep. 04, 2011

    This is a very helpful book. As other reviewers remark, there's no padding and fluff. Just salient facts about how to go about promoting your book. The author doesn't pull punches. He makes it clear that you have to put in a lot of effort. Well worth reading. I got a lot out of it, and am sure you will too.
  • The Wake-Up Call on Nov. 04, 2011

    This is a fast, exciting read. Jack Reynolds, a self-absorbed high-flying, high-stress executive and serial womaniser, is all about image. He has designer-label this, top-of-the-range that, and thinks he’s living the ultimate enviable lifestyle. However, it’s not sustainable. Jack’s shallow world comes crashing down around him when he gets the first of his wake-up calls. Calls plural? The title refers to just one, but in my opinion Jack gets several which accumulate to finally make him turn his life around. You can make your own mind up when you read this story. What is this book? It’s not quite romantic comedy, although it has both those elements in it. It’s certainly contemporary, and there’s a strong picaresque element to it in that it’s the story of a lovable rogue going on a journey of self-discovery. But you don’t need to pigeon-hole it. It’s a unique book, it’s gritty, it’s realistic, it’s a damn good read. The characters are interesting and complex, the various settings are well portrayed, and the plot is exciting and original. On the technical side, there are a few minor typos, but I’m an editor so I tend to notice that stuff! On the whole this book is extremely well-written and constructed. And it’s precisely why this era of self-published books is so great - books like this get to find an audience. Looking forward to your next book, Jonas.
  • Affections: Collection of Poetry (Vol.1) on Dec. 05, 2012

    Warren’s collection, Affections, consists of twenty-five romantic poems that play with language and emotion. Some are triumphant, some are sad, but all celebrate love, whatever its outcome. They all also celebrate language. De Mills revels in words. It comes as no surprise to learn that he is a songwriter too as there is real musicality to his verse. The rhythms and wordplay sweep you along. Opening poem ‘You Are’ explodes with alliteration and a prediction – ‘You are a poem perfectly penned’. In my opinion this whole book of poetry is perfectly penned. Throughout there is the mastery of words and meter in many different forms. We have free verse and rhyming verse, long flowing lines as in ’14 Year Old Valentine’ and ‘Thoughts of You’ and the short punchy lines of ‘Lass of Love Lost’, and sometimes both together as in ‘Dark Love’. There are superb images in every poem, some of my favorites being the endless maze and numerous corridors that embody unrequited love in the poem of that name, and the moon that floats in the sky like a leaf in ‘The Ailing Love’. The poems are joyous like ‘Bria’, or regretful, as is ‘Au Revoir’, but even if love brings sadness sometimes, it never makes this poet bitter. He sees the best in everyone and the value of every situation and celebrates the good and bad with his exuberant, energetic poetry. Upbeat, good natured optimism colors all his verse and makes it so enjoyable and positive. This is a fabulous collection of love poems by a versatile poet. Some make you smile, some make you think, and they’re all enjoyable. You’ll read them again and again because they’re that good.
  • Paulyanna: International Rent-boy on Oct. 04, 2013

    It couldn’t be better timed that Paulyanna: International Rent-boy by Paul Douglas Lovell has been published exactly 100 years after Pollyanna (by Eleanor H Porter) first hit the literary scene. And yes, Paulyanna, coined by one of Paul’s friends, is a clever adaptation of Pollyanna. Paul is Pollyannaish through and through. And that’s a real word – Pollyannaish. It’s in the dictionary. (Check if you don’t believe me!) It means someone who’s incorrigibly optimistic and upbeat. And that’s what Paul is. Paulyanna follows Paul through early adulthood as he begins to make his way in the world. Emerging from an underprivileged childhood in the Midlands, Paul heads to London to take up his first job as a kitchen porter. He’s delighted to be in the city, where he’s free to be himself – to be independent and to express his sexuality. From portering he moves on to barwork and later a responsible job in the music TV industry, but increasingly he comes to rely on his alternative career as a rent boy to support him. A character himself, with his strength of personality, slightly unconventional interpretation of the Catholic faith and strong belief in karma, Paul encounters some equally fascinating people along the way. Some are good, generous and sympathetic, others less so. Others, such as his friend Richard whom he calls his ‘partner in crime’, are a bit of both. He travels to Spain, Holland and America and his amazing eye for detail really comes into play here in his depictions of the appearance and atmosphere of the places he visits. Drugs, streetlife, friends succumbing to Aids, loneliness – there’s a tough, gritty element to the book but the overall impression is of hope and cheerfulness. The Pollyanna in Paul won’t be beaten. As you read the book you’re rooting for things to turn out well for Paul who doesn’t ask for much – a settled loving life with a husband and a dog – so when the dark, handsome Michael turns up, you’re holding your breath. Will he be the one to cement Paul’s happiness? The book is so well written. Paul’s style is easy to read, ranging from the poetic to the pithy. He’s a great companion through the pages of the book. This is a thoroughly modern, entertaining memoir that I recommend to everyone.