Paris Day 6: Special Delivery

You know what’s better than being in Paris? Being in Paris with your favorite person 😀

Bug “surprised” me yesterday. I had a feeling he was going visit me, but until I actually saw him peeking in my window, with his suitcase in one hand and a HUGE box of chocolates in the other, I wasn’t sure I’d see him until at least mid-July or early August.

We spent most of yesterday walking around, talking, and snacking.

Today, we woke up late and set off on some work errands. But the BIG NEWS is….

Nightingale, book two in the Sensitives Series. Release date, September 25, 2012.

Thanks to Mundie Moms for hosting the cover reveal! Sarah Marino, my cover artist, did it again. I love, love, love how she kept a similar feel as Larkstorm while keeping the look unique. And it captures the darker tone of Nightingale beautifully.

One thing I have to address: I’ve received numerous emails and tweets asking what the correct release date is. Originally, the planned date was July 10th, but due to family and health issues, I was unable to finish edits in the time necessary to meet the production deadline. The new, FIRM date is September 25th.

Okay, so back to Paris. Bug and I spent the day shopping (he was determined to buy me a new handbag and shoes, but I ended up with other things) and wandering around. We climb to the top of Sacre Couer and watched a terribly awesome music performance that involved a guy with a guitar, his friend, a microphone, and jumbled English lyrics of one of Adele’s songs. Oh, and “beer guys” who kept trying to sell us cans from a twelve pack they carried around.

Bug and me at the top of Sacre Couer.

When we were done, I asked if we could talk a long walk back to my apartment. That was a hard. I’ve talked about it before, but my husband suffers from PTSD stemming from his accident. Loud noises startle him – and Paris is full of loud noises. It’s also full of scooters, another of his triggers. But we took our time, stopped when we needed, and eventually made it back to my place.

We decided to eat near the apartment and found a cute bistro. While it was charming, it was also empty at 10pm (it’s now 12:45am and the cafes are still packed), even though the place across the street was packed. We nervously decided to take a risk – either it was going to be awesome or we’d both die of food poisoning. Fortunately, it was insanely good.

Things I learned today: if you climb the stairs at the Abbesses Metro stop and Sacre Couer, you will never need to workout again; people in Paris never sleep or appear to have jobs; and finding department stores don’t have air conditioning.

Paris Day 4 – Skipping Out

Since it rained all day yesterday, I didn’t do much other than pop out to eat lunch and have dinner with a friend. I spent the day working, or trying to work, and contemplating the fastest way to dry my soaking wet Tom’s.

But today was gorgeous, nice and sunny…and I slept until 1pm because I was up till 5am again. Some day I’ll have my jet lag under control.

Walnuts, goat cheese, greens, and proscuitto.

See this lovely salad? It was delicious. And the glass of water was wonderfully cool. The waiter brought the check with the food, so when I was full, I tossed my coins on the table and left.

The waiter chased me down. Apparently, there was a separate bill for the water that I didn’t pay. He brought me back to the cafe and I apologized and gave him 20 euro. He handed me back some change and I left again. Just as I was about to enter Les Halles, another waiter chased me down with a fist full of money. I had now overpaid by 11 euro 50. By this point I was so embarrassed, I told him to keep it and ran down the steps into the craziest, maze of a mall ever.

Les Halles is an underground shopping mall. It’s layout makes absolutely no sense. There are metro stops in the mall, weird corridors and very narrow passages. All I wanted was to buy a pair of shoes and a sweater to replace the one I’ve lost. Never found a shoe store, but I did find a new sweater.

Since I didn’t like the feeling of being underground, I left the mall and headed over toward Hotel de Ville. I picked up a few items I need for the apartment, found a nice boulangerie, bought a lemon and raspberry macaron per my boys’ instructions, and a loaf of bread. I have Celiac’s disease and can’t eat bread, but I have a guest coming tomorrow and wanted to have something on hand other than fruit. As I wandered, I came across this street:

Is this where all the Bad Boys in YA live?

It’s called the “Street of Bad Boys.” Made me laugh. Ever the writer, I had this image of all the bad boys in YA retiring here when their series ended.

I did spend a little time this afternoon sitting in the park writing. Not working on Nightingale like I should, but jotting down ideas for another book. On my way home, I stopped into a florist and bough a bouquet of hydrangeas.

Something pretty for me.

I don’t have a vase, so I filled up a cereal bowl and hacked off the stems. At home, I don’t keep flowers in the house because they are like drugs for my cats. Anything green is pounced upon and devoured. But here, in Paris, I thought flowers would be perfect.

After doing a little more grocery shopping to prepare for my guest, I treated myself to Japanese food. It was delicious. My appetite is still terrible and I know I’m not eating enough, but I’m trying and I ate more than yesterday. Baby steps.

Things I learned today: Drinking wine or champagne with every meal is a good thing; aways check for multiple bills; and “MC” hammer pants are apparently in fashion among chic Parisians.

Paris Day 3: Soloist

I didn’t go to bed until 5am last night. Not because I was out doing anything exciting, but because I’m still jet lagged. However, I woke up at 10:30am and made myself get going. Today was the first day since arriving that I haven’t had any plans with anyone. Just me, myself, and I alone in Paris.

By the time I left, it was a little after noon. I walked two blocks to the Metro for the short ride over to the Printemps stop. The area around Paris’s grandest department store reminds me a little of the area around San Francisco Center – wide street, lots of people, and frankly, many of the same shops. But oh do I love Printemps. It has EVERYTHING. Including amazing food. I hurried down one floor of the “Mode” building and secured a salad and a Coke (typically a no-no for me, but I needed caffeine). After, I walked across the floor to the lingerie section. Here’s a not so-secret-secret (as in, I often talk about my love of frilly, lacy things): I love pretty undies. The last time I was in Paris, I’d just had breast reduction surgery and wasn’t able to shop. So I made up for that today 😀 The poor salesgirl must have thought I was insane, but she kept bringing me more, like a good little drug dealer.

I sat in this little park and read a book for a bit. In Paris, no one reads on an ereader. It’s paperback or nothing.

With my beautifully wrapped package in hand, I decided to walk back to my apartment so I could see more of Paris. Since I have an iPhone, it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Just drop my home pin and go. I decide to go off path though, toward the Tuilleries and Louvre. I kept disobeying my GPS and ended up at the Tuilleries. No matter how many times I see it, I always feel sad. The whole place is very touristy, which is fine, but sometimes I wonder about all the horror and misery that happened there. The imprisonment of the Royal family. The suppression of the Paris Commune and subsequent gutting fire of the palace.

Across the street, I came upon a small orchestra. Unfortunately, I’m short, which means I don’t get the best pictures or videos, but you can still hear it.

After I got home, I collapsed on the couch until my friend, Julia, rang and asked me to dinner. Since my plan consisted of eating dried apricots and nuts, I agreed to meet up in the 4th arr at a cafe not far from my place. When I arrived, a strange, handsome guy stood and kissed me on both cheeks and told me Julia would be along shortly. Turns out he’s her brother…which, one, I didn’t know she had; and two, I had actually met years before. He seemed to know all about me. It was a bit disarming to speak to a stranger who knew more about me than I did him. Thankfully, Julia came along quickly because I was beginning to think she set me up on a date with her brother (despite the fact I’m married). After dinner, we walked down toward the Seine, but I had to run – my boys wanted to Skype with me. So, I said good-bye and made my way home.

Things I learned today: There are lights in the never-ending staircase that stretches up to my floor. The past two days, I’ve stumbled up the uneven, rough wood runners in near darkness. There are also garbage cans on the first floor where I’m supposed to dispose of my rubbish. And lastly, Parisian men LOVE colored pants. It’s like 1982 over here – green, pink, orange. All worn with fitted sweaters or graphic tees. Even guys in their 30’s and 40’s are wearing them. I’m getting pictures tomorrow.