Strolling in Storyland

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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.

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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

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Cover reveal-A French Princess in Versailles (The French Girl series #3)

Here’s the cover and blurb for my new book, “A French Princess in Versailles.” Hope you like it!

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Determined to escape her failed pop career and focus on her classical training, Maude Laurent moves back to France and enrolls at the prestigious National Academy of Arts. Between balls, charity events, concerts, and navigating in the French elite, Maude has to prove she’s cut out to become a professional opera singer in a world where pop music is regarded with disdain.

Though she fights it, her past catches up with her when she meets an English teacher who forces her to see a world beyond the safety of the Academy and takes her down an unusual musical journey where the risk is great and the reward uncertain. And when a chain of events bring her and Matt back in the same town, Maude will learn that music can bring people closer or tear them apart forever.

*A French Princess in Versailles will be released June 30th, 2014*

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Maude Laurent’s World

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

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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!

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