Strolling in Storyland

Welcome to a world where imagination runs free

Maude Laurent’s World

Before moving to New York Maude Laurent grew up in Carvin, a small town in the north of France.


It’s an actual French town that I visited a few years ago .  I didn’t want Maude to grow up in Paris, because everybody’s already heard of Paris and nobody knows Carvin. Hell, I’d never heard of Carvin until I found a short internship there  in a tribunal completely by a lucky mistake (that’s a story for another time).

If you must know, I love the north of France and I’m proud to have spent my teenage years over there.

The north of France is known for a couple of things, mainly its bad weather.

I spent my teenage years in Lille and when I moved to Paris for my studies, every time I said I came from Lille people were like ‘oh the town where it’s always raining.” Then I’d tell them I spent my childhood in Miami and they’d be like “Man, it never rains over there! Why’d you come back to France?”

What Parisians say about Lille’s weather is accurate. But Parisians tend to exaggerate the brightness of their weather.  Having lived in Paris the last couple of years I can assure you Paris isn’t all sunshiny all the time, but the beauty of the city makes up for the grey weather. I love Lille, but the weather is truly awful. People hibernate during winter and we hardly ever have an actual summer. We haven’t seen a real summer in years!

Lille isn’t far from Carvin, but is actually a very pretty city unlike Carvin, one of the the biggest in France after Paris, Marseille, Lyon. At first, I thought Maude would grow up in Lille, but I didn’t want my hometown to be associated with Maude’s difficult childhood, so I thought of Carvin. And it’s important to know that Lille is just an hour away from Paris when traveling with the TGV, our fastest train. So Paris is Lille’s backyard!

pianoAlso, Maude learns to play the piano in her library. I don’t know if that’s done in the USA or elsewhere, but in France you can find pianos in the library and people can practice sometimes with a cask sometimes without.

I thought that was pretty cool so I made Maude learn the piano in the library where she was able to find all the scores her heart desired.

Students are taught musical theory at school from an early age in France, so from there, it’s not too difficult to read a score.

I went to music school during middle school and high school  where I learned to play the piano and hated musical theory, but Maude doesn’t seem to dislike it.

Finally, I gave Maude a classical background, because in France, in musical schools, we essentially learn classical music not modern music, at least not right away. Classical music is very important in  French  music school curricula.

Hope this helped you understand Maude’s world a little better!

Au revoir!


Cover reveal- A French Star in New York (The French Girl series #2)



“Maude thought her life couldn’t get any better: her first music album is a hit, she’s about to meet her extended family and she’s looking forward to her first date with teen pop star, Matt.
But when scandal strikes Maude must part ways with Matt, and watch Soulville Records fall into the hands of an ambitious Alan Lewis, who will stop at nothing to turn Maude into an unparalleled star.
Between glamorous parties, an unauthorized tell-all book, a web of lies, new revelations about her French past and her rivalry with Lindsey Linton attaining a whole new level, Maude must fight for her voice to be heard and decide if being a star is more important than her love for music.”

A French Star in New York (The French Girl series #2)

For a chance to win a copy of ‘A French Star in New York’ don’t hesitate to participate in the cover reveal giveaway  from June 10 to July 31. Just click on the picture underneath. Good luck!

magic book

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare


“When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .”

My opinion:

Vampires and demons, what’s not to love?
My main reproach is how the author starts out by flooding the reader with tons of info, tons of supernatural vocabulary that we know nothing about at first. Vampires and demons, I get. But then in a couple of pages you hear about Shadowhunters, and Raveners, Silent Brothers, the Clave, and organizations and categories and it goes on and on. So you really have to follow.
However the pacing of the narrative is very good. I was rarely bored, and the action moves along pretty fast so that’s great.
BUT and this a big but, I disliked Clary thoroughly!

Clary : I thought was very boring as a main character. She was not just average, but also sometimes outright dumb. For example when she arrives in the City of Bones and asks Jace“Where do the Silent Brothers sleep?” –total facepalm moment-.
At first she’s very reluctant to try things that might help her save her mother. I mean come on ! Her mom’s the only member of her family left! A little courage, please!

Jace : By far the character I liked the most : his wit and humor , sometimes a jerk face that’s for sure. But very entertaining nevertheless.

Simon: a very good sidekick in a Ron Weasley kind of way. Very funny although sometimes a pain.

Valentine : Why oh why name a villain Valentine ??? It sounds too nice for a villain. I mean, Voldemort sounds threatening; but VALENTINE ?? You picture a villain with hearts and roses and candy. : The worst he can do is give a bad toothache.

All in all a good book, not without faults, but with an entertaining read nevertheless which is why I give this book:

5 star

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