Amour, Wine and Real Estate in Southern France is California artist Marques Vickers' memoir and mediation on five years of his passionate pursuit of la belle vie in France's Languedoc rustic refuge. Vickers' 45 evocative and original vignettes illuminate the enchantment behind southern French culture and village life. His insider's profiles into the region's history, eccentricities and charm become an indispensable guide for the visitor wishing to lift the veil behind French mystique. For expatriates wishing to integrate seamlessly, his insights bridge the divide of nationality. His diverse and humorous essays become as delicately layered as the alchemic blending of fine Rhone Valley style wines. The edition offers practical advice on the realities of investing and revating stone village properties with purchasing and resale strategies. Commentary is abundantly seasoned regarding the often confounding and intruding French bureaucracy on matters of immigration, health care and regional wine classifications. Amour, Wine and Real Estate is a gourmet indulgence as flavorful and aromatic as the diverse natural herbs fronting limestone caged mountain ranges crowned by mediaeval castle ruins. France's Languedoc region boasts the world's largest wine acreage, pristine and vacant white sand Mediterranean beaches and internationally rewned cuisine including foie gras, cassoulet, duck specialties, pastis and varied fresh seafood delicacies from the spawning waters. The savage regional winds, climate and landscape extremes stimulate a beauty that has both haunted and inspired artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The writings escort you into the cloistered halls of a seasonal truffle auction, adjacent regional caverns boasting scrawled 10,000-year-old drawings and 400 year-old graffiti and the remnant legacy of the Cathar religion that barely escaped total annihilation. Savor this gourmet delicacy at your favorite patisserie accompanied by a dark roasted espresso and chocolate pastry. Amour, Wine and Real Estate in Southern France is your travel companion to experience a captivating adventure from the inside.
Visual Artist, Writer and Photographer Marques Vickers re-established his northern California art and creative operations following a five-year residence in southern France between 2005-2009. His figurative painting, photography and sculptural works have been sold and exhibited internationally since 1986 (MarquesV.com). Born in 1957, Vickers grew up in Vallejo, California. He is a 1979 Business Administration graduate from Azusa Pacific University in the Los Angeles area. Following graduation, he became the Executive Director of the Burbank, California Chamber of Commerce between 1979-84. He later served as Vice President of Sales for AsTRA Tours and Travel in Westwood, California between 1984-86. Following a brief residence in Dijon, France, he began Marquis Enterprises in 1987 until 2004 in northern California. His company operations have included sports apparel exporting, travel and tour operations and fine wine brokering. In 2005, he relocated to southern France where he refurbished and flipped two different 19th century stone village houses. Returning in 2009, he began the Marquis Gallery (ArtsInAmerica.com) and (InsiderSeriesBooks.com) focused on reselling rare books, collectibles, fine art and wine through online marketplace stores and barter trade exchanges. In 2015, he sold his northern California residence to concentrate exclusively on his writings and artwork and began a Ulysses' modeled odyssey seeking his ultimate homeward destination at his own pace. He has published numerous e-book and paperback works on the fine arts and auction industry, Southern France, notorious murder crime sites, wine, architecture, his poetry and short stories, phobias and obsessions, photography themed editions and photojournalism projects. He has two daughters, Charline and Caroline who presently live in France seeking their own distinctive destinies.