Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Rosemary’s Angels

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
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Angel Cake by Rosemary Flannery

Angel Cake by Rosemary Flannery
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Graphic artist Janeen Koconis hosted a cocktail party last night for Rosemary Flannery to celebrate the publication of the French edition of Rosemary’s book Angels of Paris. Entitled Les Anges de Paris, it is available in hardcover from Amazon.

Rosemary Flannery with Anges de Paris on left and Angels of Paris on right

Rosemary Flannery with Les Anges de Paris and Angels of Paris
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Festive Spread

Festive Spread
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Animated Conversation

Animated Conversation
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Angels of Paris by Rosemary Flannery

Read my review of the English edition of Angels of Paris by clicking here: http://blog.parisinsights.com/angels-of-paris-by-rosemary-flannery/

Bonne lecture!

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Seven Authors Tell Why They Like Paris in December

Saturday, November 21st, 2015
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Christmas Header for Paris Writers Connection

 

Galerie Lafayette Christmas tree 2010_2The December holidays are just around the corner! We asked the members of the Paris Writers’ Connection to tell us what they like in particular about that month.

Happy holidays and happy reading!

 

 

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Vicki Lesage, author of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl
Vicki LesageI love that the Christmas season doesn’t start too early in Paris (unlike in the US where decorations go up before you’ve even had a chance to finish eating your Halloween candy) but once it starts, it’s glorious. The French don’t shy away from festive decorations, and nearly every street has some sort of display. As you walk through the City of Light during the holiday season, you can’t help but be dazzled.

 

 

Christmas Confessions and CocktailsVicki Lesage proves daily that raising French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer, Petite Confessions, and Christmas Confessions & Cocktails. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.

Buy now: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Lesage/e/B00HUZQUI4

 

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Tom Reeves, author of Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light
Tom ReevesChristmas in Paris is the most peaceful season of the year. Because many Parisians leave the city to reunite with relatives during the holidays, those who stay behind enjoy a noticeably reduced tempo of automobile and pedestrian traffic on the streets. This makes Christmas a time to relax and enjoy the city! My wife and I particularly appreciate the traditional, seasonal confections that are available in the shops. Examples include bûche de Noël, a rolled sponge cake that is decorated to resemble a Yule log, and candied chestnuts. We also enjoy strolling about to see Christmas decorations in different neighborhoods. The enormous Christmas tree that stands in front of Notre Dame Cathedral each year is particularly inspiring.

 

Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first took an unpaid sabbatical in 1975 to travel to France to learn the language, see the country, and pursue a diploma in French language, literature, and civilization. Returning to California in 1978, he eventually realized that while he had left France, France had never left him. He moved back permanently in 1992. Reeves’ latest book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light helps Paris-bound travelers understand French dining customs so that they feel comfortable when entering into a French restaurant for the first time.

Buy now: http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

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Lily Heise, author of Je T’Aime…Me Neither
Lily HeiseThe holiday season is one of the most magical times of the year in Paris. Although the days might be darker, Paris truly becomes the City of Light, but also that of joy and community. There’s a true village feel. Each subdistrict within each arrondissement proudly displays its own street lighting, shops decorate with care, residents express and indulge in extra joie de vivre which encompasses so much of the essence of Paris; good food, wine, laughter, and enjoying the moment with loved ones, something that will be especially poignant and highlighted this year.

 

Je t'aime... me neitherApril Lily Heise is a Canadian writer and romance expert based in Paris. Her writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Frommer’s, City Secrets, and DK Eyewitness Guides and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T’Aime, Me Neither, a lively novelized memoir on her romantic misadventures and continues to share dating tips, stories, and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com.

 

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Rosemary Flannery, author of Angels of Paris
Rosemary FlanneryWhimsical creativity and the fine French aesthetic are what makes the capital city so entrancing. Nativity scenes – “les crèches” – in Parisian churches delight both believers and non-believers. At the majestic Madeleine Church, a contemporary artist is commissioned each year to create the manger – this year it’s sculptress Pauline Ohrel. Miniature figurines carved in traditional Andalusian style on display at the Eglise de Bonne Nouvelle in the 2nd are a particular thrill to children. At the St Joseph Artisan Church in the 10th, 300 figurines re-enact the birth of Jesus in a virtual museum. And this year, Notre Dame Cathedral challenged its parishioners to a “stable-making” contest. All will be unveiled on the first weekend of Advent, November 28 – 29.

 

Angels of ParisRosemary Flannery is an author, photographer and tour guide. She arrived in France in1989, just in time for the bicentenary of the Revolution and the inauguration of the Louvre museum and its Pyramid. Passionate about Parisian architecture, she wrote Angels of Paris: An Architectural Tour of the History of Paris, celebrating the illustration of angels in the city’s facades, fountains and rooftops. Released in 2012 by The Little Bookroom NYC and distributed by Random House, her book is now available in French as Les Anges de Paris: Voyage au coeur de Paris, by Editions Exergue.

 

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Leonard Pitt, author of Walks Through Lost Paris
Leonard PittParis at Christmas is perfect for Americans. We don’t have to get caught up in the madness of the holiday and can enjoy it for all the best it has to offer. The holiday atmosphere permeates everything everywhere and provides the perfect background for the cafés, restaurants, a little shopping, and visits with friends. The city scintillates with light and joyful anticipation. If you get a chance to do Christmas there, don’t pass it up.
 
 
 
 
Walks through Lost ParisLeonard Pitt is an author, actor, and teacher. He lived in Paris for seven years in the 1960s and learned nothing about the city. It was only much later, in the 1990s, when he became shocked upon learning what he did not know that he started reading and researching everything he could about Paris and its history. As someone once said, “If you want to learn about something, write a book about it.” Leonard has written three books about Paris. His first, Walks Through Lost Paris was a bestseller in the French capital. In addition he has written, Paris, A Journey Through Time, and Paris Postcards, the Golden Age. His new book, My Brain On Fire, Paris and Other Obsessions, is a memoir. It will be published later this year by Counterpoint Press.

 

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Shari Leslie Segall, author of 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French
Shari Leslie SegallThe best part of the holiday season in Paris is the shop windows. Bakeries, charcuteries, candy shops (Oh, especially the candy shops, and especially the chocolates!), caterers with their sculpted ducklings in feast-day fields of greens, produce-merchant pyramids of pommes, cheese vendors. Even fishmongers! You think what the French do best is prepare food? What they do supremely is display it. Let the Louvre be closed on Tuesdays—go out and pick up an end-of-year-holiday baguette and you’ll have all the art you need.
 
 
 
90+ Ways to Know You're Becoming FrenchShari Leslie Segall, is the author of France-themed books and articles. She teaches English and cross-cultural communication at the prestigious Institut des Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) and at the French Military Academy. She is the founding director of Foreign Affairs, which provides linguistic and cross-cultural training and creates English-language documents for executives. Among her other works is 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, a just-for-fun little gem full of perspicacious cultural observations. The palm-sized book, illustrated with beautiful watercolors, is an amusing way to measure acquired “Frenchness” for those who have lived in France or studied its language: such as, “You know you’re becoming French when your holiday menu would not be complete without foie gras, oysters, and glazed chestnuts.”

90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French is available at select shops in Paris and on the FUSAC site http://store.fusac.fr.

 

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Lisa Vanden Bos, creator of the Speak Easy Puzzles
Lisa Vanden BosMy favorite part of Christmas in Paris is the holiday lights sponsored by the local businesses. On a wet night they not only light up the sky overhead but also reflect off the wet pavement. A street with lights is so much warmer and gay. I honestly feel that people are happier on those streets. In 2014 rue Lecourbe in the 15th arrondissement was my personal favorite. The ribbons of lights that zigzagged down about 600 meters of rue Lecourbe were stunning. Standing at the top of rue Lecourbe where it intersects with avenue Pasteur and looking to the south the effect of the light ribbon was as if it were a continuous canopy over the street. I sure hope they do this display again this year!
 
 
 
Speak Easy PuzzleLisa Vanden Bos, originally from New Jersey and in Paris since 1989, is co-owner of FUSAC, the magazine and website for English speakers in Paris. She has created three volumes of the Speak Easy Puzzles book which helps people to learn French and English idiomatic expressions in a fun way. She also collaborated on the book 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French. Lisa never tires of exploring Paris and its outskirts, France and French language and culture.

All three volumes of the Speak Easy Puzzle book are available on the FUSAC site at http://store.fusac.fr

 

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Seven Authors Tell Why They Like Paris in December

On Bastille Day, Celebrate France’s Joie de vivre with Books by the Members of the Paris Writers’ Connection

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
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Paris Writers Connection

 

French FlagBastille Day falls on July 14, only a few days away. To celebrate that day, we asked the members of the Paris Writers’ Connection tell us what they like about Paris. Happy Bastille Day and happy reading!

 

Vicki Lesage, author of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl

Vicki LesageMy favorite thing about Paris is my neighborhood boulangerie and the routine of getting my daily baguette. Even though there are two boulangeries closer to my apartment, I still venture out to my favorite one because the perfection of their baguettes is worth it. And now I bring my two-year-old son with me so he can share in this quintessential French experience. He knows how to order the baguette (hilariously addressing the boulangère as “Madame Baguette” in the process), pay for it (if I hand him the correct change in advance), and carry it home like a true Parisian: eating just the end off.

Confessions of a Paris Party GirlVicki Lesage proves daily that raising French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. She penned three books in between diaper changes and wine refills: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer, and Petite Confessions. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.

Buy now: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Lesage/e/B00HUZQUI4

 

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Tom Reeves, author of Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light

Tom ReevesThere are many things to like about Paris, but for me the most pleasurable is the quality of the restaurants that one finds here. French chefs, restaurant managers, and staff have mastered the art of preparation and presentation of the food that they serve, the spirit of service, and the arrangement of the dining space. Each week, my wife and I look forward to dining out and then reporting on our experience in our weekly restaurant review.

 

Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first took an unpaid sabbatical in 1975 to travel to France to learn the language, see the country, and pursue a diploma in French language, literature, and civilization. Returning to California in 1978, he eventually realized that while he had left France, France had never left him. He moved back permanently in 1992. Reeves’ latest book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light helps Paris-bound travelers understand French dining customs so that they feel comfortable when entering into a French restaurant for the first time.

Buy now: http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

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Lily Heise, author of Je T’Aime…Me Neither

Lily HeiseThe thing I love the most about Paris is its joie de vivre. This is manifested in different ways, but I truly feel that Parisians celebrate life. They take the time to sip un petit café at the bar or a laugh over a glass of rosé en terrasse. They savor their meals over hours instead of gobbling down a quick bite. They spend Sunday afternoons in the park or taking in an exhibit at the city’s vast array of excellent museums. This energy keeps me here and keeps me alive!

 

 

Je t'aime... me neitherApril Lily Heise is a Canadian writer and romance expert based in Paris. Her writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Frommer’s, City Secrets, and DK Eyewitness Guides and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T’Aime, Me Neither, a lively novelized memoir on her romantic misadventures and continues to share dating tips, stories, and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com.

 

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Rosemary Flannery, author of Angels of Paris

Rosemary FlanneryThe truly great thing about Paris is its constant surprises. This evening Radio Classique offered a classical music concert sponsored by the RATP in the great hall of the Miromesnil metro station. The space was packed, the acoustics were perfect, and the violinist, Nemanja Radulovic, a brilliant young star. Tattooed, his huge mane of hair waving as he moved, his passion for the music was palpable, and the familiar pieces resounded as never before. This was not the first time Radulovic played in the metro: it was here at the age of 14, having moved with his family from Serbia to France after the Yugoslav Wars, that he began his career, busking for money. I felt truly grateful to have been part of such an original evening, and thought ‘only in Paris’. . .

 

Angels of ParisRosemary Flannery is an author, photographer and tour guide. She arrived in France in1989, just in time for the bicentenary of the Revolution and the inauguration of the Louvre museum and its Pyramid. Passionate about Parisian architecture, she wrote Angels of Paris: An Architectural Tour of the History of Paris, celebrating the illustration of angels in the city’s facades, fountains and rooftops. Released in 2012 by The Little Bookroom NYC and distributed by Random House, her book will be published in French this September as Les Anges de Paris: Voyage au coeur de Paris, by Editions Exergue.

 

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Leonard Pitt, author of Walks Through Lost Paris

Leonard PittParis is made for walking. There are walks I’ve been doing for over fifty years and they only get better. Like turning a rich soil and taking in the pungent aroma of fresh earth that flairs the nostrils with pleasure. An early morning when the cafes are just opening is best, before traffic, crowds, and tour buses. The city breathes Zen.

 

 

 

Walks through Lost ParisLeonard Pitt is an author, actor, and teacher. He lived in Paris for seven years in the 1960s and learned nothing about the city. It was only much later, in the 1990s, when he became shocked upon learning what he did not know that he started reading and researching everything he could about Paris and its history. As someone once said, “If you want to learn about something, write a book about it.” Leonard has written three books about Paris. His first, Walks Through Lost Paris was a bestseller in the French capital. In addition he has written, Paris, A Journey Through Time, and Paris Postcards, the Golden Age. His new book, My Brain On Fire, Paris and Other Obsessions, is a memoir. It will be published later this year by Counterpoint Press.

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On Bastille Day, Celebrate France’s Joie de vivre with Books by the Members of the Paris Writers’ Connection

Our Gift Suggestions for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
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Looking for a memorable gift for that special person this Valentine’s Day? We’ve joined with five authors to present a list of six books that we think will please even the most discriminating bibliophile.

Dining Out in Paris_flat

 

For visitors in search of an authentic Parisian dining experience, this book is indispensable!

The e-book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light provides essential information for the Paris-bound traveler who wants to enjoy a fine dining experience in Paris.

Bonus! Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light contains in-depth reviews of twelve of the author’s favorite restaurants.

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

 

 

Je-t-aime-me-neither

 

Is Paris really the eternal City of Love? Dumped suddenly by her Parisian boyfriend, sultry expat Lily is left wondering if je t’aime still exists. Instead of crying into her glass of wine, she decides to heal her bruised ego and quash her romantic doubts with a carefree summer fling . . . or as the French call it: une aventure. Little does she know what—or whom—this adventure has in store! A fun and tantalizing true story of what the Passions of Paris can ignite. Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1Htubo7.

 

 

 

 

90-plus-ways

 

90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French is a just-for-fun little book full of perspicacious cultural observations. An amusing way to measure acquired “Frenchness” for those who have studied French or lived in France. Such as when you:

• say things like “I’m getting down from the bus at the next stop”
• know where the “first floor” really is
• ask everyone about their recent/upcoming vacances.

We had a lot of fun making this book. It’s a great gift (less expensive than flowers!) and gets a party rolling. Attractive watercolor illustrations.

Click here to order in Europe http://store.fusac.fr/, in the USA http://amzn.to/1sANloR.

 

Walks through Lost Paris

 

This book features four walks through Paris with hundreds of photos, before and after, showing a Paris that no longer exists. Walk from Saint-Germain des Pres to the Grands Boulevards, through the Left Bank, Ile de la Cité, and the Marais to see how Paris transformed in the 19th century and into the early 20th century under the pickaxe of Baron Haussmann and his followers. The text tells us the history of these grand projects.

“Leonard is completely legitimate, he’s impregnated with Paris. He sees things that we don’t see.”
    -Le Figaro

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1Aqksvu

 

 

 

Best Paris Short Stories

 

For some, Paris is home, for others, merely a dream. For Gaston, it is a bench, the anchor of his life. For Sue, a romantic city filled with scandalous, dark-eyed men, for Frank an all-consuming fire, for Mme Santinelli a ghost she’d hoped to forget.

By turns humorous, bittersweet or surreal, each of these carefully selected* stories explores a different facet of Paris.

*Selected by distinguished judges Elizabeth Bard, Cara Black, Janet Skeslien Charles, Charles and Clydette De Groot, Penelope Fletcher, Nicola Keegan, Anne Korkeakivi, Diane Johnson, Robert Stewart, Heather Stimmler-Hall and Charles Trueheart.

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/16o28cj

 

 

 

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl

 

Wine, romance, and French bureaucracy—the ups and downs of an American’s life in Paris. This laugh-out-loud memoir is almost too funny to be true!

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and maybe fall in love. In her first book, this cheeky storyteller and semi-professional drinker recounts the highs and lows of her life in Paris. Full of sass, shamefully honest admissions, and situations that seem too absurd to be true, you’ll feel as if you’re stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1jSGJ0h

 

 

 

 

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Launch Party for Our New e-Book – Dining Out in Paris

Friday, June 20th, 2014
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Dining Out in Paris

Last night we held a launch party for our new e-book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light.

En Vrac

It was held at En Vrac, a cave à manger located at the corner of rue l’Olive and rue Riquet in the 18th arrondissement.

Lily Heise, Anna Eklund-Cheong, Charin Chong, Claire Thomas, Tom Reeves, Mary Kay Bosshart, and Lisa Czarina

Lily Heise, Anna Eklund-Cheong, Charin Chong, Claire Thomas, Tom Reeves, Mary Kay Bosshart, and Lisa Czarina
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Eleven Paris bloggers and writers gathered to hear me talk about Dining Out in Paris and En Vrac owner Thierry Poincin talk about his wine shop and restaurant.

Tom Reeves, author of Dining Out in Paris - What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light

Tom Reeves
Author of Dining Out in Paris –
What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I explained that I wrote Dining Out in Paris with first-time travelers to Paris in mind. My intent was to provide helpful information about French restaurants and French dining customs so that newcomers will have confidence to enter a Parisian restaurant to enjoy a fine meal. As a bonus, I have included in-depth reviews of twelve of my favorite restaurants in the book.

Thierry Poincin - Owner of En Vrac

Thierry Poincin – Owner of En Vrac
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Thierry explained how he sells wine en vrac (in bulk) to customers who bring their own bottle or leave a 2€ deposit for a bottle that the shop supplies. The bottles are filled from stainless-steel wine vats that contain wine protected from oxidation by nitrogen gas. He also talked about a new location that he’ll soon be opening on rue Maubeuge in the 9th arrondissement.

Tom Reeves with Claire Thomas

Tom Reeves with Claire Thomas
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The following Paris bloggers and writers attended:
Mary Kay Bosshart – Out and About in Paris
Charin Chong – Sight Seeker’s Delight
Lisa Czarina – Ella Coquine
Anna Eklund-Cheong – Paris Haiku
Heidi Ellison – Paris Update
Rosemary Flannery – Passport to Paris
Gerri Chanel – Saving Mona Lisa
Lily Heise – Je T’aime… Me Neither
Ganit Hirschberg – Food, Wine, and Other Adventures
Claire Thomas – Sight Seeker’s Delight
Laurel Zuckerman – Laurel Zuckerman’s Paris Weblog

The party was hosted by:
Tom Reeves – Paris Insights
Monique Y. Wells – Entrée to Black Paris
Thierry Poincin – En Vrac
(En Vrac is one of the restaurants that I reviewed for Dining Out in Paris.)

A good time was had by all!

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Heather Stimmler-Hall Launches a New Edition of Naughty Paris

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
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Heather Stimmler-Hall

Heather Stimmler-Hall is a travel writer who has been living in France since 1995. I recently had the opportunity to meet her for the first time at the CititenM launch party about which I blogged two Sundays ago. Heather told me that she was about to launch a new edition of her book Naughty Paris: A Lady’s Guide to the Sexy City. This is a self-publishing venture, as was the first. For the second edition, she intends to have it printed as a gorgeous coffee-table style book measuring 6.25 x 7 inches, containing 352 pages and 295 color photos, and bound in sturdy Smyth Sewn binding.

A Woman in Paris

To raise the funds necessary for this costly venture, Heather has launched a campaign on Kickstarter.

The first edition of her book was awarded a Gold Medal for the 2009 Independent Publisher Awards Best Travel Guide. The second edition, to be released in December, will be shipped in July to those who pledge a minimum of $35 CAD (Canadian dollars) to her Kickstarter campaign. Pledges must be made online by Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Take a look at her video on Kickstarter and see what a classy gal this writer is!

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The French Like to Read

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
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An antique and used book fair was held last Saturday at place Monge. The weather was mild and sunny. It was a perfect day for browsing through old books!

Sign announcing book fair

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Bonne lecture!

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A Roll in the Hay with Lily Heise

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
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The Irrepressible Lily Heise

The Irrepressible Lily Heise
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I first met Lily about five years ago at a bloggers’ meet-up in Paris. At that time and at subsequent social events, she impressed me as a cheerful person with a bubbly personality. Little did I suspect that within the body of that effervescent persona beat the heart of a woman with the passion of an exploding volcano! I found that out just two weeks ago when I accepted her invitation to attend the launch of her first book, Je t’aime…me neither. There, at the Abbey Bookshop in Paris, she announced that her new book was about the saga of her search for love in the City of Light. It turns out that she found it…and then lost it…and then found it and lost it…again and again!

What makes her book more than a kiss-and-tell story is that she readily admits that her adventures have all ended in failure of some sort. (At least, that is what she told the audience at the book launch.) But she analyzes each failure in a humoristic way before she moves on to the next adventure. And she does move on! At the disappointing end of every adventure she manages to step back and find humor, even if it is dark humor, in her distress.

Lily Heise

Lily Heise with Her New Book
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The night of the launch, the audience enjoyed her wit as she read several accounts of her adventures from her book.

Here is an excerpt:

Je ne t’aime plus (Stephane)

“Je ne t’aime plus.”

What do you mean . . . you don’t love me anymore? I sat there, dumbfounded, staring at my boyfriend—or rather, my exboyfriend—his words slowly sinking in. Once they had, the emotional floodgate opened, unleashing hot tears streaming down my cheeks.

What did he just say? He had never said that he did love me, so how could he not love me anymore? While I was trying to grapple with this unpleasant detail, another one hit me. Hey! I was being broken up with! This made me cry even harder. Here I was, in my tiny Parisian apartment, overlooking the eternal City of Amour, which had just transformed into the City of Désamour, as I was now unloved, dumped, ditched, or, in French: larguée.

This wasn’t how things were supposed to happen.

This experience must have been a sad moment for Lily, but when she read the passage in her sing-song voice the audience roared with laughter. (Not laughing at her, mind you, but with her.)

She saved the best passage for last:

A Roll in the Hay (Julian)

Where am I? Who am I with? More importantly . . . who am I kissing? These are not good questions to wake up asking yourself, especially when you don’t know the answers! Well, from what I could immediately gather, the answer to the first question seemed to be “a wheat field,” which could have been pretty much anywhere. The answers to the other two questions would remain—for the time being—something of a mystery . . .

How had I ended up in a wheat field at the crack of dawn being ferociously kissed by a young, sun-streaked blond stud?

No, I wasn’t on the set of the kind of racy TV show screened after midnight on French public channels. And no, I hadn’t gotten lost on a hike in the country and been rescued by a shepherd boy . . . or had I?

Intrigued? Lily leaves it to us to buy the book to learn the answer to this mystery.

Lily has given Je t’aime…me neither her heart and soul. Five years in the writing—and thirteen years of extensive research—have gone into its creation. Put this one at the top of your list of must-read books for the summer!

To learn more about the book, click here.

To purchase the Kindle edition, click here.

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Tales of Storms and Other Encounters
A Book Review by Monique Y. Wells

Friday, May 18th, 2012
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Tales of Storms and Other Encounters

Tales of Storms and Other Encounters is a stimulating book of short stories by Michele S. Kurlander. Kurlander is a Francophile like few others I’ve met. She frequently writes articles about her experiences in Paris and has included two stories about the city in Tales of Storms, which is her first book.

In “Notre Dame,” the young protagonist Angela seeks redemption within the cathedral whose “two muscular arms reached up into the sky” and whose “faceted circle of stone rested in its forehead like a third eye.” All the helplessness and confusion that Angela feels are evoked in Kurlander’s description of the cold, wet city that she encounters as she searches for the church and again when she is caught in a downpour after running from it with money that she has stolen from a coin box. Derek, the cause of her distress, has brought her to the City of Light and she thinks that she has escaped him. But fate has something different in mind…

“The Bridge” is the story of a married woman who was caught in a rainstorm and “saved” from an old beggar woman on the Pont des Arts by a handsome Frenchman. We find her writing a letter to her husband Bill about her experience of that day – without mention of the Frenchman, of course. Her narrative includes many common threads in American observations about Paris – the small size of her very expensive hotel room, the propensity for the sky to cloud over at a moment’s notice, the feeling of being a “real world traveler…”

Kurlander paints the scene at the bridge so vividly that those who know Paris will be able to see it unfold as though they were watching it on television or at the cinema. The city’s role in the story is as intimate as the romantic encounter between the woman and the Frenchman. His name is Jean-Pierre. We never learn the identity of the woman.

There are eight additional stories in Tales of Storms and Other Encounters, many of which are set in Kurlander’s home town of Chicago. I enjoyed them all! As the press release about the book states, “Not everything goes as you expect it to. You may be surprised – or shocked. You won’t be bored.”

Tales of Storms and Other Encounters is available at:

Shakespeare and Company, 37 rue Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, telephone: 01.43.25.40.93

Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, 714 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60605, telephone:
(312) 922-2104

From the author: lawmichele [at] aol [dot] com.

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My Day at the Paris Cookbook Fair – Part II

Friday, March 9th, 2012
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I attended the Paris Cookbook Fair yesterday. For me, the fun took place at the food and beverage stands and the cooking demonstrations.

Festival du Livre Culinaire

There was one area in the exposition hall that was dedicated to products from Brittany. There, I met Adrien Auroy, sales representative for Coreff, an artisanal beer-brewing company in Carhaix, France. I tasted three of the beers that were on tap: a blanche (white), an ambrée (amber), and a stout. Of the three, I was most intrigued by the blanche for its refreshing, spicy taste. Adrien told me that it was flavored with coriander.

Adrien Auroy - Sales Reperesentive of Coreff

Adrien Auroy
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Because man cannot live by beer alone and (presumably) needs intellectual stimulation, I left the food hall and went to see the presentation of a new book, Food on the Silk Road. There, three chefs recounted their adventures traveling the silk road in China in search of the foods that eventually found their way to Europe.

Chakall - James McIntosh - Jimmy Yang Jimei

Chakall - James McIntosh - Jimmy Yang Jimei
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

In another part of the exposition hall, author Teresa Severini Zaganelli gave a talk about her book Grapes in the Glass, in which she endeavors to teach youngsters and adults about wine production and responsible drinking.

Teresa Severini Zaganelli

Teresa Severini Zaganelli
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

In the French Show Kitchen I watched Chef Cyril Rouquet make an orange-flavored Saint-Honoré. This classic French cake is a circle of choux pastries on a pâte feuilletée base. The choux are filled with crème chiboust and the cake is finished with whipped cream. Lots of calories here, but who is counting? After samples were distributed, I sneaked back for another bite!

Cyril Rouquet

Cyril Rouquet
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

I will continue the saga of my day at the Paris Cookbook Fair tomorrow! I still have to reveal the amazing technique that I learned for making Bad Piggies’ Scrambled Eggs.

The Paris Cookbook Fair will run through Sunday, March 11.

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