“Le Petit Prince” Returns


My husband and I recently moved to a smaller home in Arizona and this required lots of downsizing. As I rummaged through old boxes, sorting “keep” piles and “give away” piles, I stumbled across my copy of Le Petit Prince from my stay in France in 1980. My heart lurched as I picked up the well-used book, turned to the first page and discovered  an inscription — long forgotten — from my love interest in France. 

A Christmas Memory from France

french-yule-log-2In 1979, I experienced my one and only Christmas abroad, far away from my beloved family in, Seattle, Washington. Fortunately, a French friend invited me to dine with him and his friends, otherwise I would have spent the day alone. It was a pleasant experience, filled with good food and comradery, and I was glad I attended the event. Here is an excerpt from my sequel, French Illusions: From Tours to Paris, describing this special event.

French Illusions Series’ Audiobooks Now Available

Announcing the launch of my audiobooks, French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley and French Illusions: From Tours to Paris. It’s so exciting to hear my books come to life!

Fabien the Dog

Several readers have asked about the dog who lived at the Château de Montclair during my stint as an au pair in 1979. Fabien was an endearing, scruffy, shepherd mix who lived outdoors, except in the winter months. The children, especially Antoine, loved the dog, but most everyone else either ignored him or shoved him aside. Some days, he was a “hazard” and this excerpt from my memoir, French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley depicts this sentiment perfectly. In this scene, Marie (a domestic helper at the chateau) and I are tending to the laundry.

A Love Affair with French Bridges

In my opinion, France has some of the most remarkable bridges in the world. Here are four of my favorites, three of which are located in “The City of Light.”

Remembering the “Place de la Concorde” in Paris

Traveling abroad and living in Paris in 1980, when I was in my early twenties, was a big deal. It was the kind of experience I dreamed and talked about long before I worked out a way to make it happen. Even though I was on a tight budget at the time, I enjoyed La Ville Lumière, or City of Light, on many levels. Place de la Concorde, ParisOne of my favorite memories is the day I toured the Place de la Concorde with Michel. Here is an excerpt from my memoir, French Illusions: From Tours to Paris, describing this magical event.  

A Gift to Remember

In 1979, while I worked as an au pair for a family in the Loire Valley in France, I spent a few Saturdays at the local middle school helping the teacher, Madame Bernard, teach English to her students. During the holidays, I visited the school and the children surprised me with box filled with Christmas presents.  The doll in this photograph was one of those gifts. I’m so pleased that I kept it safely tucked away all these years. Here is an excerpt from my book detailing this special event:

Foreshadowing in “French Illusions”

Foreshadowing is a great way to hint to a reader that a future event will occur in your story. According to Wikipedia, “It is also sometimes used to arouse the reader.” The writer can do this with dialog or an action, and the “hint” often occurs at the end of a chapter or scene. You don’t want the reader to put the book down. You want the reader to turn the page because they “have” to find out what happens next.

Hairdresser Hazards for Authors

The summer of 2015 was the first summer my husband, Alan, and I spent four months aboard our boat in the Pacific Northwest Waters of Washington and Canada. We made Bellingham our home port and this is where I found my new “summer hairdresser.” During my initial appointment with young Ellie (not her real name), we covered the basic “how do you dos,” and then we moved on to the subject of my books.

From Tours to Paris: The Pictures that Introduce Parts One, Two and Three

Back on February 6, 2013,  after I published my first memoir — French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley — I wrote a blog that revealed the “story” behind the photographs introducing the four parts in my book. As I said before, it was my publisher’s design team that came up with this fantastic idea and I carried it forward to my sequel, From Tours to Paris.