Chronicles From Château Moines

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Chronicles From Château Moines, my middle grade novel, is now Released!

Check here what Publishers Weekly wrote about my novel.

Chronicles From Château Moines is entirely a work of fiction, but the cultural, social, and historical backgrounds of the early 1970s in France and the USA inspired the writing.

The story starts on September 14, 1970.

This is back to school day in Château Moines, a small French town.

Sylvie isn’t too happy. Her maman has said no to the pair of Levi’s and other American clothes Sylvie dreams to wear for her first day in seventh grade.

Her best friend Annie on the other side is over excited: A new boy has just moved to town. And he is American.

A Few Words About Chronicles From Château Moines:

Although Sylvie is immediately drawn to Scott, looking so exotic with his American accent and perfectly faded Levi’s, she cannot say a word to him. Later that day, she can’t even write any good lyrics in her secret notebook either.

Sylvie has the feeling that this first day of school marks the beginning of a lot of unpleasant firsts.

If only she knew how Scott is feeling!

His mom has recently died and his father has moved his family from California to Normandy. Now Scott has to learn to live without his mom while adjusting to France.

On this first day of school he’s as displaced as can be. In his seventh grade class there is only Ibrahim who comes from another country. At home his eight-year old sister Stacey misses their mom very much, so Scott tries to be a good big brother, but this is hard.

Scott doesn’t even want to play his guitar anymore. Why does his father think that life will be better so far from home? This move is crazy.

While Scott and Sylvie struggle with their daily lives, the world around them is also in turmoil.

Chronicles From Château Moines is set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protest era and social and cultural changes in France.

Told in alternating first-person chapters, from the perspectives of Scott and Sylvie, the novel is a story about loss and friendship, music and peace, and also about secrets.

A Few Thoughts on my Mind:

When my first novel Trapped in Paris was released, I wrote this blog post.

What I wrote is still on my mind but I want to add this:

Over the last two years I have been writing almost every day. Short stories in French, two novel-length manuscripts in English… Enough material to keep me busy for a while!

I also wrote many blog posts. Keeping up with my bilingual blog is teaching me discipline and patience. I have no doubt that I have been able to revise, edit, and seek professional help to move Chronicles From Château Moines from manuscript to publication, because of my blog.  

A blog exists through its readers. I cannot tell you how much your interest in my writing, your support and encouragement through your ‘like(s)’ and comments matter to me. You play a crucial role in my writing journey.

To Each of You: Thank You.

P.S. Check out Chronicles From Château Moines  HERE where you can purchase either the paperback or eBook version.  You can also order Chronicles From Château Moines from your favorite bookshop.

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 Amazon.com
In addition the e-book version for Kindle is also available.
Happy Reading!

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