Strolling in Storyland

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Una francesa en Nueva York

Prólogo

Una francesa en Nueva York-Cover

–Vale, ya está. ¡Ahora, date prisa! –exclamó la maquilladora–. Tienes que salir en dos minutos. ¡Ni se te ocurra volver a estropearte el maquillaje!

Maude salió corriendo, intentando no tocarse las mejillas recién maquilladas, mientras Matt se apresuraba tras ella.

Se quedó de pie tras el telón escuchando como la animada voz del presentador anunciaba su entrada.

Esta noche, señoras y señores, tenemos una nueva artista con nosotros. Ha pasado estos últimos meses en Nueva York trabajando en su primer álbum. Su primer single ya se ha publicado y es un gran éxito…

–Maude –susurró Matt, mientras le cogía la manga.

–¿Sí? –se giró sonriendo.

–Solo quería decirte que… quiero que sepas que siempre puedes contar conmigo.

–Lo sé, Matt –sonrió, Maude, agradecida.

Su voz les dejará impresionados, su música es espectacular…

–No, hablo en serio. Nuestra amistad ha tenido altibajos, pero no quiero que sea así nunca más.

Maude asintió.

–No me importa que estés con Thomas Bradfield. Mientras tú seas feliz, yo también lo seré.

–¿Cómo? ¿Thomas Bradfield? –le interrumpió Maude, desconcertada.

¡Demos un fuerte aplauso a Maude Laurent! –gritó el presentador.

–Es tu entrada, ¡vamos! –le instó Matt.

Maude dio la espalda a Matt a regañadientes y se apresuró para llegar al escenario.

La intensidad de las luces la cegó al salir al escenario y se encontró con una multitud llena de júbilo. Evitó el impulso de cubrirse los ojos y continuó caminando hacia el oscuro piano Steinway sin detenerse.

Ya había tocado antes en un piano como ese, pero esta vez estaba más nerviosa. Le temblaban las manos y la voz.

Maude se sentó en la silla del piano y miró hacia la multitud.

Estaban todos allí.

James y Victoria, sonrientes como padres orgullosos, estaban cogidos de la mano. Cynthia, tan digna como siempre, intentaba que Ben no se cayese del asiento mientras saludaba enérgicamente a Maude. Jazmine juntaba las manos para mandarle toda la energía positiva que era capaz de transmitirle desde su asiento.

Maude se giró hacia el piano y cantó la primera canción. La había tocado en muchas ocasiones, pero esta vez era diferente. Había madurado, ya no era la misma persona que hacía seis meses, su forma de actuar no era la de una simple adolescente, sino la de una mujer joven que no temía a la vida y que se negaba a arrodillarse ante ella. Terminó la primera canción y se preparó para cantar la segunda.

Pensó en cantar «Amanecer» de su álbum debut, pero se dio cuenta de que no podía tocar esa canción después de todo por lo que había pasado. Maude dedicó la segunda canción a sus padres, «Coming Home» de John Legend.

Respiró hondo y empezó a cantar:

 

Un padre que espera a su hijo,

Una madre que reza para que regrese,

Solo llamo para saber

Si todavía hay sitio para mí.

La vida nos ha separado,

Pero os llevo todavía en el corazón.

Cuando duermo y siento vuestra alma junto a mí.

 

Mientras tocaba, fue consciente del dolor que había guardado durante años. Sus padres habían muerto y se habían ido para siempre, pero ella aún estaba viva. El intenso dolor que la afligía también le daba la fuerza necesaria para cantar con claridad, superar sus miedos, controlar el temblor inicial de sus dedos y hacer que sus notas resonaran entre la audiencia.

 

Puede que tarde en volver,

Parece que ya he estado en todas partes,

Pero algún día regresaré a casa.

El mundo gira y gira,

Oh, es un ciclo que nunca termina.

Así sabéis que volveré a casa.

 

Su voz resonaba como el agua en una fuente, fluctuaba con profunda emoción a medida que la canción deshacía sus dudas, ahogaba sus inseguridades y desembocaba su dolor en un precioso mar de esperanza.

Maude terminó la canción y colocó con cuidado las manos sobre sus rodillas.

–Lo conseguí –murmuró suavemente para sí misma.

La multitud rompió en un estruendoso aplauso. Maude podía oír los silbidos y el clamor de la multitud. A medida que caminaba hacia el presentador, entrecerraba los ojos para evitar las intensas luces, entonces vio la multitud a sus pies, vitoreando y diciendo su nombre.

Maude sonrió y saludó al presentador, un hombre alto de nariz prominente y una amplia y calurosa sonrisa.

–¡Vaya! –exclamó. Este presentador era conocido por su entusiasmo, aunque, en realidad, había pocos presentadores de TV que no lo fueran–. ¡Ha sido increíble, Maude!

Maude rio aliviada de volver a respirar a un ritmo normal.

–Dime una cosa, Maude –le dijo con tono informal–. ¿Cómo una chica de dieciséis años, que ha crecido en el norte de Francia, ha acabado pasando seis meses en Nueva York grabando su álbum debut con una de las estrellas más conocidas del pop?

–Eso es, sin duda, una pregunta muy interesante –respondió ella, sus oscuros ojos brillaban con picardía.

*****

El libro está disponible  en Amazon!

 

 

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A French Song in New York-Exclusive Sneak peek!

 

 


French-Song-In-New-York (1)

 

Former students who become teachers both fear and fantasize about their fateful first day of school.

Their apprehension stems from the prospect of facing a new version of themselves, complete with their flaws and qualities.
It was so with Maude Laurent, a famous twenty-one-year-old singer with beautiful chocolate brown skin, who would soon embark on the incredible journey of becoming a mentor.
She had returned to New York after a successful world tour and felt that performing for crowds was less daunting than the prospect of teaching vocal lessons to a single Grace Heaton the next day.
Only practice could calm Maude’s back-to-school jitters.
That was why she tested her professorial skills in the safe quarters of Soulville Records.

The cozy Creation Room she worked in had seen her humble beginnings as a singer.
Only a few years had gone by since Maude had arrived from France, poor and orphaned, singing classical music and French songs. The room was still her haven now that she had a thriving career, a family, friends and, that day, an unwilling beta student.
Her boyfriend, Matt, far from being an unruly student, had quite a number of faults.
One of them, he was proud to say, consisted in never missing an opportunity to interrupt Maude’s lesson by stealing a kiss.
“This is the opposite of an appropriate student-teacher relationship.” Maude extricated herself from Matt’s embrace and kept him at arm’s length.

“Good thing I’m not really your student.” With puckered lips, he pulled Maude closer to him. She smiled, acknowledging that this fact was indeed a cause for relief.
“Hold still. I need practice. Grace will be ruthless if I show the slightest hesitation.”
“Why do you want to give this girl classes again? Oh, right!” Matt slapped the top of his head. “You’re a masochist.”
“She needs to have someone on her side,” Maude insisted. “She’s spent the last two years at Children’s Haven, after being abandoned by her family.”
“What happened to her parents?”
“I never had the guts to ask.” Maude bit the inside of her mouth, tense. “Imagine if she asked me out of the blue, ‘Hey, what happened to your parents?’ I probably wouldn’t tell her. Talking about death usually puts a cramp in any conversation.”

Matt wrapped his arms around Maude. As she placed her head on his shoulder, she whispered, “One of them must have given her that beautiful voice. With the right training, she’ll get cast as Lilac in my musical. I can feel it.”
“It’s your musical now, huh?” Matt pinched her right cheek. “Someone’s getting a little cocky.”
“Violet’s Voice is Mr. Soderline’s musical,” Maude rectified. “But he chose me as the lead. It’s a little bit of my musical, too. Especially since Julia Tanand is no longer a part of it and several of my songs are in the libretto.”

Nothing made Maude prouder than the reminder that she’d rid herself of a staunch rival with little effort on her part.
Due to pure happenstance, she had discovered the singer who proclaimed she was French and a pianistic prodigy did not know how to distinguish a do from a fa on a keyboard.
Under Alan Lewis’ manipulative tutelage, Julia had sought to overshadow Maude’s career. Now that Maude knew the singer’s secret, and had graciously promised that she would not reveal it, Julia would no longer be a problem.
“Imagine me playing a French girl moving to New York to become a singer. That’s already my real-life story!” Maude squealed. “I’m so excited to start rehearsals soon.”
Raising her arms in the air with an exaggerated sigh, she flapped her arms like wings, before racing to the broad French windows. She gazed at Manhattan with a renewed sense of healthy ambition. Classical, pop, and now Broadway. The city had so much to offer to those who dared to dream.

“Any particular reason why you’re looking forward to these rehearsals?” Matt asked as he came up to the window and stood next to her.
He stood still, but it was his crisp tone that indicated to Maude that something was amiss.
“I wrote part of the songs and the story’s inspiring. Why else would I look forward to …?”
Matt blinked twice, turned away from her, and emitted a long, heavy whistle.
Maude followed him. “You heard?”
“Did I hear Thomas Bradfield got a part in the musical?” Matt put his hands in his pockets and lifted his shoulders. “I’d have to be buried under a rock to avoid hearing about it. I was kind of wondering when you’d tell me about it.”
“You see,” Maude started nervously, “the thing is, I thought you’d mention it once you found out.” Maude winced at her lack of intelligence. “Tell me you’re not anxious about this. I heard it would be a tiny role.”
Removing his hands from his pockets, he lifted them as if to shield his torso.
“I’m not anxious. In fact, I’m kind of curious to listen to him sing something other than a song he stole from us. Not sure he can,” Matt laughed.
Maude rolled her eyes, but was relieved that the tension had diffused.
Matt would never get over Thomas and Lindsey Linton plagiarizing Paris versus New York City, and she no longer expected him to. But she had moved on.
“This, right here, is something I don’t understand. Why are girls always said to be petty, but not guys?”
“I’m not competing with him! Because I’ve already won.” Matt gave her a coy smile. “I’ve got a career and he’s running after crumbs. I’ve got the girl he loved. He’s got Lindsey Linton.”
“Lindsey’s a good person.” Matt’s raised eyebrows prompted Maude to add, “When she wants to be.”
“Maybe I should date her then.”
Maude squeezed his nose. “You could, but then you wouldn’t be dating a singer slash teacher of the year.”
“That wouldn’t be so bad,” he said in a nasal tone. “No corporal punishment.”
Maude released his nose and kissed its tip.
“Every student has a crush on at least one of their teachers.”
“You got me. I had a mad crush on my sixth grade math teacher. She smelled nice and had shiny hair. Her smile was like a ray of sunshine,” Matt sighed dreamily. “I became good in math, thanks to her. I’m positive, Maude, had I been of legal age, I’d have stood a chance.”
“Keep dreaming,” Maude laughed. “I knew I never had a shot with my math teacher. He took pleasure in giving me bad grades. Loved to remind me just how bad I was at it. I’ll never be like him. I want to encourage my students to do better.”
“I like being encouraged,” Matt nodded gravely. “Please, do encourage me.”
Maude’s giggles burst out like sparkling wine from an uncorked bottle.
Locking her arms around his neck, she nibbled his lip before kissing him gently.
For she was certain that no student, no musical, and no Thomas Bradfield could ruin the happiness of two people in love.

***

A French Song in New York will be released August 12th, 2017!

Pre-order at half price for a limited time on:

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A French Diva in New York-Cover Reveal and Preorder

Here’s the cover for the final book in the French Girl series! You can pre-order A French Diva in New York on ibooks half-price for a limited time.

Afrenchdivainnewyork

 

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A French Princess in Versailles is out!

AfrenchprincessinVersailles-1A French Princess in Versailles is finally available on the following bookstores:

Amazon

Ibooks

Barnes and Noble

 

Hope you all enjoy it and don’t forget to leave a review if you do!

 

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Pre-Order A French Princess in Versailles!

A French Princess in Versailles is available for pre-order on ibooks by clicking on the icon below:

iBooks

 

It will soon be available on Barnes&Noble to pre-order.

The release date is June 30th.

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New cover for A French Girl in New York

I improved the cover for A French Girl in New York. Here it is!

afrenchgirlinnewyork.FULL

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Excerpt 1-A French Princess in Versailles (The French Girl series,#3)

Hi everyone!

Here’s the first excerpt from A French Princess in Versailles, book three in the French Girl series!

Hope you like it!

Prologue-AFPIV-Excerpt 1

AfrenchprincessinVersailles-1

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