Your First Trip to Paris June 6 -13, 2016

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6 Days 7 Nights

$2999 Single - Land Only
$2499 Double - Land Only

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Latest Book Reviews

I recently read Cara Black's latest, Murder in the Latin Quarter, as well as Jake Lamar's Ghosts of St. Michel. Both are murder mysteries set in Paris, with Black's heroine detective Amy Leduc sorting out difficulties with Haitian refugees sans papiers (literally without papers), and Lamar's dealing with black American ex-pats coming to grips with the past.

Murder in the Latin Quarter was just released this month, and I was second in line to read it via our excellent library system here in Fresno. Did you know that you can research your book requests online, pick the book (vhs, cd, dvd or whatever) you want, and they will send it to your neighborhood library for pick up? My husband and I love this feature and utilize it extensively.

As for Lamar's book, Ghosts of St. Michel, strangely enough it wasn't in our library system at all, and I requested that they purchase it. Well I had to read it, because it's the second it the series after the excellent Rendevous Eighteenth. I was notified that it was no longer available, so I bought it online for a few bucks. Even stranger, this book only came out a few years ago, and the book I purchased was a withdrawn library book. One has to wonder if it was pulled from American shelves due to hints of the conspiracy theories of 9-11. Does anyone know if there is a list of blackballed books that the library uses to cull undesireable reading material? I really enjoyed this book as not only was it a great read, but gave a lot of history unbeknownst to me regarding Place St. Michel.

The Place (pronounced ploss san michelle) is a favorite spot of mine as Mike (as I like to refer to him) is my patron saint. A woman like me needs a good warrior saint to keep up the good fight!

Needless to say, the Place is noted in French history as a site for many political protests and the most notedly, as the spot where the Resistance, Communists, Allies won the fight against the Nazis in WWII. How many Americans knew that the Communists were on our side? If you stop and think about it, it makes you realize why they have such a strong socialist party.

More to come on Mike and the Place.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catching Up with Me

Let's see. Well first, Cattie Ness and the Revenge had a brilliant show at the Rockabilly Revenge 6. Lots of friends I haven't seen in a long while who joined us in Long Beach for a good old time. Thanks for coming out and all these years of support. There's actually a video for Triflin' Woman on YouTube:

Also at Spectrum Gallery, this is the last weekend to catch the lovely black and white nudes of Bob Barks, and also the huge scenics of Purple Hat. Wit the purchase of Bob's latest book, you also receive a free print. Feel free to call the gallery at 559-266-0691.

I have been spending lots of time in the darkroom myself, examining three years worth of proof sheets for my show next year celebrating my twentieth anniversary in photography.

The dates for my fall trip Paris for Art Lovers are confirmed as November 16 through 23, 2009, and will include ParisPhoto at Carrousel du Louvre. E me for details or check my website: La Belle France Tours . I have had a lot of interest in this trip, so sign up early.

Last weekend my husband and I went to the OC for the Hardcore Reunion show that featured lots of 80's hardcore bands (and friends) like No for An Answer, Carry Nation, Head First, Chorus of Disapproval and Black Spot. These bands and more are highlighted in the new book Radio Silence.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Parties for the Parkway Kickoff Event

I am so excited to attend. This is the first time I've been asked to donate one of my works to the River Parkway Trust, and this is one of those big fancy fundraising parties where all the who's-whos show up. This year it's at the new Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Old Town Clovis.

If you're not familiar with the Kickoff, this is actually the first of a yearlong series of fundraising events, with over seventy parties this year. These small intimate parties are as diverse as an Evening in Provence (complete with games of petanque, hosted by my petanque club) to a Barndance (at the Hallowell Barn) to an architect Art Dyson themed party on the Kings River at the home of my friends, Deb and Gregg Lapp. The money raised supports Trust's the effort to protect the San Joaquin River and helps to connect people to the river through programs and activities.

And I won't hide the fact that I'm excited about the food. There will be food from fabulous restaurants and caterers including my favorite, Sam's Italian Deli, where the guys know me by name. Plus lots of the local wineries as well.

The admission fee is $35 for members and $40 for non-members at starts at 5:30.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Great Fiction Books I've Enjoyed About Paris and France

I have always been a voracious reader and whizzed through all of Cara Black's books since I discovered them a few months ago, and am anxiously awaiting the release of her latest book Murder in the Latin Quarter this month.

The heroine of the book is Amy Leduc, a private investigator, who seems to get herself into and out of a lot of trouble. Each book is based in a neighborhood of Paris, and filled with murder and mayhem, coupled with political intrigues and social unrest, and of course, Amy's lovelife. Black gives you great background information on the different cultures that meld together to make Paris Paris. She is based here in California.

Another great book I recently devoured was Rendevous Eighteenth by Jake Lamar. The highlight for me was that the story takes place in Montmartre, my favorite part of Paris. Lamar's character is an African-American ex-pat who goes to Paris to get away from his past, and is enjoying his life until his cousin shows up. Lamar does a great job of capturing the streets of the eighteenth arrondissement that I love to walk. He's a great writer and another one of those Americans thought he'd stay there for a short while, and has now lived there for over ten years. He was a writer for Time magazine for six years. His website is nice and hs some good links as well. I cannot wait to read Ghosts of Saint-Michel, but my library doesn't have it, yet.

If you are interested in medieval life, and especially medieval life in France, then I highly recommend Sharan Newman's "Catherine Le Vendeur" series. Newman is a medieval historian and Ph.D in twelth century France. I have only read one of the books, out of sequence, and am now ready to start the series from the beginning. She prefers to do her teaching through her novels, and seems to have written a very large amount of them.