Trapped in Paris

Trapped in Paris, my juvenile fiction novel (12 and up) has been released.
Set in contemporary Paris and the Parisian suburbs, Trapped in Paris is a fast paced action novel on a background of loss.

Social and cultural backgrounds separate Cameron and Framboise, yet when the two teenagers find themselves stuck at the airport in Paris, their paths cross, and they become unlikely partners in a fast spine-chilling four-day adventure, leading to the dismantlement of a human trafficking network and ultimately to the possibility of change and love for Cameron and Framboise.

What is Trapped in Paris?
The first idea of the story came to my mind when the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland in the spring 2010 and shut down air transportation through the entire world.
This incident triggered the set of adventures that happen to Cameron and Framboise. However, the novel remains the product of my imagination.
As often when I write, my French roots cross my now days’ life in the USA.
Paris came as a natural setting. Through the introduction of a few French words and short sentences, here and there throughout the novel, I share my affection for my native language.


A Few Words About Trapped in Paris:

Sixteen-year-old Cameron and Framboise have nothing in common and no reason to meet. But when a volcano eruption in Iceland interrupts all air traffic activity, the two teenagers find themselves trapped in Paris.
When they witness a murder on the River Seine and are kidnapped by a mysterious dangerous man, they become unlikely partners in a fast spine-chilling four-day adventure through the Parisian suburbs.
Confronted with exceptional events, Cameron and Framboise must rely on each other. When they get separated, after a disagreement, Cameron will trust his survival instinct, brave danger, and act with unexpected courage.
Ultimately Cameron and Frambroise will also overcome their personal grief and open their hearts to the possibility of change and love.


A Few Thoughts on my Mind:

1- The solitary writer.
I wrote Trapped in Paris alone but never felt lonely, thanks to a supportive group of fellow writers and a loving family. All of them provided advice, productive critique, encouragement, and countless joyful moments.
2- Profound changes
 Changes in the publishing industry are affecting writers, editors, agents, and more importantly the way books are made and distributed.
The appearance of e-books is still at its beginning. As anything new it challenges what was familiar. Book lovers – and I am one – still have a difficult time to consider e-books “real books”.
Of course, no screen can ever replace the touch and smell of paper.
Yet voracious readers remain voracious readers, with a paperback or an e-book.
This summer, because I traveled a lot, I couldn’t carry heavy books in my bag and suitcase. I purchased several books before my departure and downloaded them on my Kindle.
In the end, I read as much this summer as I previously did. That is why I’m happy to offer both versions of my novel.
3-To everything there is a silver lining.
The communication revolution that started in the mid 90s, and deeply changed the way we now listen to music, watch movies and interact with each other has more recently reached the book industry.
The way stories are now published and read has definitely changed, but it certainly hasn’t changed the fact that human beings crave stories.
Boys and girls, men and women, regardless of age, race, ethnic or national origins, we will always be seeking words that take us away, make us dream, laugh, cry, cheer, and make us more human.
Stories, either published in a physical book or electronically, found in a bookstore or online, still unite people through the universality of human feelings.
Trapped in Paris is available as a paperback and can be purchased in your favorite bookshop as well as on
In addition the e-book version for Kindle is also available.
Happy Reading!

Une Nature Indomptée

Depuis mon retour de Yosemite le week-end dernier, une autre personne, qui a campé dans l’un des sites du parc, vient de mourir des suites de l’Hanta virus.
Une variété de souris sont porteuses du virus. Leurs excréments et urine, respirés par un être humain peuvent le rendre malade voire provoquer sa mort. 
Au jour d’aujourd’hui huit personnes ont trouvé la mort après un séjour dans le Curry Village, 
le camping le plus populaire pour les randonneurs qui veulent atteindre le sommet de Half Dome, ou tout simplement pour ceux qui préfèrent la vie rustique au confort des cabines et hôtels avoisinants et les prix plus raisonnables du magnifique Ahwahnee Hotel.
Je ne suis restée qu’une fois dans l’une des tentes/cabines qui sont maintenant une par une démontées et fermées sans date de réouverture.
Le confort était bien sur rustique mais la propreté impeccable. Je ne suis jamais restée lors de mes nombreuses autres randonnées, préférant pour le confort de mon lit, quitter ma maison très tôt le matin.
Les nouvelles sont tristes parce que le parc reste l’un des plus beaux endroits que j’aie jamais visités, parce que la région vit du tourisme américain et étranger, et surtout parce que mourir en visitant la nature semble particulièrement injuste.
Régulièrement des visiteurs perdent la vie à Yosemite, mais toujours en ayant pris un risque non apprécié, souvent en bravant les forces de la nature, qui dans ma modeste opinion, nous domineront toujours.
Mais en ce qui concerne les neuf personnes qui ont été affectées par l’Hanta virus, elles n’ont rien fait pour mettre leur vie en danger.

Ce matin, comme presque tous les dimanches, j’ai marché avec l’une de mes amies. Nous avons parcouru nos huit kilomètres hebdomadaires en plus des plus courtes distances que nous parcourons seules le reste de la semaine. Nous nous entrainons ensemble lorsque nous préparons une randonnée dans Yosemite. Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Upper Yosemite Falls, autant de noms qui font rêver et ne peuvent être vraiment appréciées qu’après une longue marche épuisante mais récompensée par des paysages hors du commun.
Ce matin, nous avons parlé d’une belle randonnée pour le dernier weekend de septembre. Le lac Ostrander, qui s’atteint à partir de Glacier Road, l’un des points les plus photogéniques et les plus photographiés dans Yosemite, se présente comme une belle promenade, longue mais assez plate.
Pour le printemps, Waterwheels Falls, à partir de Tuolomne Meadows nous tente beaucoup.
Ni l’une ni l’autre n’avons fait ces deux randonnées.

Les nouvelles de l’Hanta virus nous rendent plus hésitantes, ou en tous cas, plus que jamais conscientes de notre vulnérabilité dans une nature peut-être très visitée mais jamais domestiquée.

Yosemite and the Hantavirus

Yosemite National Park is one of the most renowned National Parks in the US and the most visited by Americans and foreigners alike. People who set foot in this wonderland never forget the sight of Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Half Dome and Clouds Rest.
Hikers, fortunate enough, to have walked the Mist Trail, the John Muir Trail and reached the top of the famed Half Dome, know that danger and raw beauty are often best neighbors.
Since I live in the southern foothills, I am a frequent visitor.
The news that people have contracted and died from the Hantavirus after staying in Curry Village is alarming and sad.
Although I climbed Half Dome four times, I only spent a night at Curry Village – my first hike to the top – in 2004.
I expected very basic commodities and was impressed by the rustic yet very clean facilities. Freshly laundered sheets were provided for the beds. A dresser stood on the wooden floor, which was clean.
The only drawback for me were the strict rules about food, drinks and toiletries – including toothpaste – that had to be put away in bear safe lockers. I knew they made sense but it’s annoying to pack your little personal things in a metallic safe to only retrieve them in the morning.
When I stayed in the tents, my friends and I ate before reaching the park so I had no opinion on the food served within Curry Village until I climbed Clouds Rest early June.
Our group had three teenagers and I had promised them pizza on the way home. We enjoyed a great outdoor meal on the large shady terrace of the pizzeria feet away from the tents. It was the perfect closure after a day spent outside.
Over Labor Day weekend, my family brought a young French student to the park and we ate our lunch on the Merced River, where we saw squirrels and deer, enjoying their own lunch.
At Glacier Point we admired Vernal and Nevada Falls, the two falls you pass on the way to Half Dome. People have lost their lives at these three outstanding locations.
Each time I go there, I am especially careful, aware of the strength of nature.
Only in wilderness do I find myself humbled by powers that can’t be tamed.
What is happening in Yosemite now is scary. It does scare me.
This morning I was planning a hike for late fall to Ostrander Lake, off Glacier Road and a spring hike to Waterwheels, accessible from Tuolumne Meadows.
As always, my hiking buddy and I made backup plans. Hiking in Yosemite means being able to change plans in case of a sudden change of weather.
Now it will also means being aware of the life that we encounter when we enter animals’ territory. We knew to be wary of bears and mountain lions. But mice?
So far everyone who died from the Hantavirus stayed at a campground.
These deaths are tragic and will have an impact on the park and affect the way visitors want to experience their stay in Yosemite.
As for me, I will check the news carefully, hoping that more answers will be offered to the visitors and that no one else will die after visiting what, in my opinion, remains one of the most awesome American landscapes.

American Favorites for New and Old Comers

Years ago, I was proud to be able to introduce Paris to one of my best American friends. She and her husband still talk of the Paris-by-night car drive my husband and I offered them.
It is only normal, I think, to show your hometown and your native country to a foreigner. Besides, there is some natural pride to show off your knowledge and fluency in a place you love.
I must admit that I’m not able anymore to keep up with the new cafés and restaurants, which open in Paris while I’m gone, neither with the new idioms that update the French language.
However, I am now able to show California – at least some parts of it – to foreign visitors.
This Labor Day weekend my family hosted a young Parisian girl, daughter of an old friend from the university. She will be studying in California for a year.
Through her eyes, I relived my first months in the US where everything was new and exciting. Even equipped with an iPhone and a MacAir, and able to text, take pictures, e-mail and Google anything at anytime, her discoveries weren’t any different from mine.
She loved cinnamon as much as I did – we don’t use it as much in France.
She wondered what ‘We Finance’ meant when we drove past a used car lot. I had tons of questions related to money when I moved here. American money stuff still puzzles me sometimes.
She asked where she could find plain yogurt – take note Americans, yogurts here are too sweet for French palates.
Diners are among her favorite places to eat.  Men : diners are exotic for a French woman.
Cinnamon rolls are her new croissants. Although she already noticed how sugary they are and that she should keep them as a weekly treat. Remember : French women don’t get fat for a reason.
She found strange the constant ‘Hi, how are you ?’ but already liked them. Please, never stop saying ‘Hi, how are you ?’ We miss them so much when we are abroad.
She liked anything western look. Yeah, cowboy boots and hats are sexy for French women. When real cowboys wear them.
She loved the ice creams flavors unvailable in France. Paris can have Berthillon and its sorbets, but where else but in the US can you find Butter Pecan, Blueberry Crumble and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream ? Very sweet for the French, but a small scoop satisfies us.
She was astonished by the vast land. Yes, space is very American and French are in awe of it. I miss our beautiful land after weeks in Paris. 
Through her eyes, I fell in love again with all that and so much more.
In three days, I realized that I could now talk of California as well as I spoke of Paris to my American friend.
And also that I was showing off my America to a French as much as I showed off my France to an American. 

Epater et Faire Craquer une Parisienne

Lorsque je suis arrivée aux USA, tout m’apparaissait nouveau et par conséquent excitant, même ce qui était choquant pour la française que j’étais.
Au fil du temps le dépaysement des premiers moments s’atténue et l’extraordinaire cède la place à l’ordinaire. Les visites de me parents et famille m’ont longtemps permis de voir les Etats Unis à travers leurs yeux étonnées. Mais leurs séjours se sont espacés, et c’est moi qui maintenant redécouvre ma France natale en leur rendant visite.
Alors quand la possibilité de faire découvrir la Californie à quelqu’un qui ne la connaît pas se présente, c’est une chance que je ne laisse pas passer.
Au cours de ce long weekend de Labor Day (fête du travail aux USA, toujours le premier lundi du mois de septembre) ma famille a reçu la fille d’une très ancienne copine de fac qui vient étudier pour un an à San Francisco. Et à travers ses yeux j’ai revécu le temps d’un weekend mes premiers jours de vie en Californie.
Son émerveillements devant la beauté naturelle de Yosemite et de la côte entre Monterey et San Francisco, sa curiosité par rapport au comportement amical et courtois des américains, et ses efforts pour mieux comprendre la langue et la culture américaine m’ont ramenée des années en arrière quand tout était une découverte de tous les instants.
Je n’ai eu aucun mal à partager son enthousiasme naïf et sincère. Je me souviens encore du mien.
Mais ce qui était nouveau était de pouvoir parler de ce pays qui est maintenant le mien avec fierté et émotion.
Je n’avais pas d’iPhone, pas de MacAir, ni même d’adresse e-mail en 1990, et si cette jeune française pouvait en un clic envoyer à sa famille des photos et textos illustrant ses découvertes reflétant l’évolution foudroyante des vingt dernières années, ce qui n’avait pas pris une ride restait l’essentiel.
Découvrir un monde qui n’a rien, ou si peu, en commun avec celui dans lequel on a grandi reste une expérience inoubliable.
Même si la France s’est américanisée et que les américains mangent plus de fromage et boivent plus de vin que dans les années 90, il reste encore les cinnamon rolls, les diners et le café to go pour épater et faire craquer une parisienne.

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