Things we learned in France.
Paris is beautiful.
The city is gorgeous. We had a chance to walk around a little, have breakfast in a little quiet cafe, have dinner in a restaurant away from touristy places, and watch people.
French people are very nice.
Everyone we met was very nice to us. We opened with “Bonjour” followed by “Parlez vous anglais?” and most of the time people spoke English. For some weird reason, probably because of Gordon, people kept assuming we were British and when we told them we were from Texas, we got big, surprised eyes.
French taxi drivers are insane.
If you ever want to have your life flash before your eyes, take a taxi that goes through the round-about at Arc de Triomphe. It’s an eight lane round-about. There are no lanes. I repeat, there are no lanes. It was like riding in a bumper car, because everyone slams on their breaks, cars go perpendicular to each other, and bikers and scooter riders completely ignore the fact that they are a vehicle and zip between the cars with fractions of inches to spare.
Also we saw taxi drivers and hotel staff almost come to blows over some sort of dispute regarding taking payment by credit cards. It was hilarious.
The unrest is real.
A lot of store windows around Arc de Triomphe were smashed. Security was everywhere and all the bags had to be inspected. We asked one grim looking security guard about the windows.
Gordon: What happened?
Guard: Yes. Every Saturday.
French fashion is different.
Their casual is our formal. There was a lot less kin – although it was pretty cold. If you are a woman and you want to look like a local in Paris, put on dark jeans or pants, preferably ankle length, a business casual blouse, a jacket or a cardigan, and a scarf. Seriously, 50% of the women wear some variation of this.
You haven’t had a croissant until you had it in France. Seriously. I don’t know what they put in them, but they are insanely good and I don’t even like croissants.
French Readers are amazing.
They are. So many people came out to see us. Some many people told us in fluent English how terrible their English was and how much they loved our books. Hundreds of readers came by to see us and when the signings were finally done, we were left with a small mountain of chocolate and sweets presented to us. Thank you to everyone. You guys were amazing.
We also met Luisa Pressler, who created Kinsmen art, and her partner, Klaus Scherwinski. We had some productive business discussions and we might be bringing something new to you in Kate Daniels’ world.
So what’s next for us? We are diving into the edit of the Sweep of the Blade. We are hoping to have it available to you in early summer.
So glad you had a great time. I really enjoyed Paris and its people.
I bought many croissants and scarves!
Glad you’re having a great trip!! ?
I’m so glad you had a good trip! I was worried your allergies were going to make it miserable for you! I’m nearly 48 hours into a cold I caught, so I am really feeling sympathetic right now!
Glad you enjoyed Paris! I wish I could have come to see you, since you were in Europe ?
Glad you had a great time! Paris is on my bucket list.
When it comes to scarves, what type (like infinity, rectangular, triangular, knit, woven) did you see most often? And would a Clapotis be suitable? (I mean, that’s what it’s designed for, but that was years ago.)
Mostly the typical long rectangular scarf, although I saw the others as well. One reader came in with a knitted asymmetric one. It was pretty.
Oooh, nice. Idk how the French do it, I’ve tried following those videos that show you how to wear scarves different ways, but I just look like someone who accessorized in the dark with her eyes closed.
I heard you met Mariana Zapata, who is awesome. You should try her books when you are in the mood for a romance. From Lukov With Love is one of my favorites.
I discovered Mariana Zapata within the last few months and plowed through her backlist. I love her type of books: slow-moving, relationship-centric books without a lot of external conflict. (I totally get why her hard-core fans call themselves the Slow-Burners.) With those types of books, I always feel like I can believe in the HEA because the couple has really had a chance to truly know one another. Anyway, Kulti is one of my favorites, and I’ve been obsessing over it. I’ve re-read it probably 10 times and I’m on my third re-listen even as I type this. I like the characters and their story, but it’s also refreshing to read about a FEMALE professional soccer/football player.
Same. Kulti is number one with me, but for Ilona, I’d pick Lukov first, maybe just because he’s Russian.
Amanda P says
Pleased you had a fantastic time.
Is it UK next? ?
Glad you enjoyed Paris, I love it! It’s not far on Euro Tunnel and I considered coming over but childcare prevented me. Gutting as you were so close to merry ol’ England
Miss Bliss says
“Gordon: What happened?
Guard: Yes. Every Saturday.”
This reminds me of a moment in an amazing play written by Paula Vogel titled Indecent. Near the end there is a bit of dialogue between the one of the main characters and his wife, after getting out of Europe at the beginning of the holocaust they come to the U.S., after a few years they are preparing to leave the U.S. during the HUAC hearings. The wife is trying to convince her husband to let a young man have permission to produce the play that brought the husband much fame and misery. The husband says, “Now? Now you want to produce a play? When Rome is burning?” and the wife shrugs casually and says, “Eh, Rome is always burning.”
Glad you’re having a good trip to Paris.
Glad you guys had a safe and successful trip!
When I was in Paris a few years ago, I figured out why all of the café tables are situated so that you face the street and not your partner. It’s so you can watch the scooter and taxi war or see the taxi that is going to jump the sidewalk and try to kill you. The stop lights are always quite interesting. All the scooter drivers converge at the crossing and when the light turns green, it’s like the green flag at a NASCAR race. And they don’t care that there is a car there. They just line up in front of it. All of the drivers are insane. Literally.
Cheryl M says
Butter, it’s the butter. At least that’s what the European part of the family says. And, hooray for having a great time!
Lisa M says
Having worked in a bakery with a Cordon Bleu baker grom France, I can definitely say it’s the butter. If I remember correctly, the ratio of butter to actual dough is 1:1 or more. Minimum of 5 lbs of butter for 5lbs of dough. Lots, and lots of layers of dough and butter. And of course they use really good butter. 🙂
They are also smaller and very crispy inside and out, not like here where they are enormous and only the outside is crispy.
As for the Le Etoile, I always wish I had those peril-chromatic glasses from Hitchhiker’s Guide. Vive la France!
part of it I think is also the fact Americans pasteurized the milk, before we make the butter, and that kills a lot of the taste. Because we pasteurize everything even eggs are different. Ours have to be refrigerated, whereas in Europe they don’t have to be.
Sometimes altitude/elevation can impact baking too.
European butter is significantly higher in salt than American butter. More salt, more butter, more taste. I don’t know what proportion of European butter comes from free-range, grass-fed cows, but that also will affect the taste compared to the typical American silage dairy rations.
Patricia Schlorke says
I have a French croissant receipe from a very old Fannie Farmers cookbook (family heirloom). I made it once when I lived in Oklahoma. Butter, butter, and more butter with just enough flour to keep the butter from melting all over the place. It took two days to make one batch because once dough is worked the first day, it has to be refrigerated for at least 12 hours. The layering process is a workout! By the time I got them baked, my mom and brother ate all of them except one, which came to me (was able to make 8 of them). After that, I’ll buy them. ?
Patricia Schlorke says
Btw…used 1 (one) pound of butter.
Susan Targove says
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the fashion tips! We leave for Paris in 2 weeks and I have added scarves to my packing list (already planned on black pants, tops, and jackets).
So glad you had such a great time! Hopefully you feel rested and relaxed 🙂
Springtime in Paris. A dream. I hope you were able to experience Midnight also.
I would love to return to Paris or anywhere in France and see if my memories are accurate.
Everytime I’ve been to Paris the city is beautiful but it stinks. Killed my, then 16 yo, romantic notions of the city of love.
It’s a gorgeous place to visit I’m good you and Gordon are enjoying it.
I adore Paris. I’m glad y’all loved it!
Good luck on the edits!
And welcome home!!
Christina S says
You’re back!! Horayy!!
Sarah N says
What a fun look into another place! Thanks!.
Glad to hear you had a great time in Paris! I agree, it’s such a beautiful city and the croissants are amazing. Also the brioche, actually just bread in general is awesome there.
Tina in NJ says
I’m so glad you had a good time! I wouldn’t mind a scene in a future book set in Paris, maybe involving Catalina and Alessandro? Non?
Glad you had a lovely time! I hope sometime you make Sweden a part of the tour <3
Danielle Chapman says
I have always wanted to visit Paris and now more so than ever! So glad you had a lovely time!
So glad you had a good time.
And can I say, I just looked at Luisa Preissler’s portfolio, and I’m in love. Her illustrations of female characters are beautiful and – biggest pet peeve in the world when it comes to book covers – NOT over-sexualized limpets wandering around battlefields in swimwear. Please tell me you are hiring her for more covers!
Pat Sciarini says
Welcome back! Glad you are better, and enjoyed your visit!
Love Paris! I’m taking my two teenage girls in June before my oldest heads off to University, so I can be there for their first Parisian experience!
There is something inherently weighty to the place. You walk the streets of Paris and there are echoes of its history in the uneven cobblestones of its streets. It’s something that we just don’t have in here in our (comparably) newly minted country of New Zealand.
Can’t wait for them to experience this!
What was really trippy as a New Zealander was going from Paris (which admittedly felt old) to parts of Spain and Rome which made Paris seem new (there are of course much older things in Paris and France as a whole but the bulk of the buildings are under 400 years).
Human habitation in New Zealand is currently thought to be less than a 1000 years old so walking down a Roman road that is twice that age is strange.
Maria R. says
Pleased you both had a wonderful work/pleasure Paris trip. Enjoyed your synopsis of your time in the city.
Have a good flight over the pond.
So if you wore jeans and a T-shirt, would they treat you differently? Because if I ever went to Paris, I’d need a new wardrobe, because I have one pair of dress slacks and I hate dresses and skirts.
Hope you were over your cold or whatever before you traveled.
Thank you so much for attending this event! I’m sure near the end you two were already very tired, but you were so nice signing all the books and answering all the questions (I couldn’t keep my mouth closed and let you keep your time signing my books, because I was so excited to finally meet you!) Thank you so much once again!
And I’m glad that you also had time to visit Paris (one of my favourite cities in the world) and enjoyed croissants. Did you also try french baguette and pain au chocolat (at the outside nearly like a croissant, but rectangular with a bit of chocolate in it)?
And about the round-about at the Arc de triomphe… well, it depends at which time you’re arriving. My first time, I was so scared but in the end it went very well. But at rush hour…. that’s another story 😉
Thank you for coming ! The french Readers and me are so glad you came ! It was a pleasure to meet you both ! So happy to hear that you have liked paris . Hope you enjoy the chocolate. And yes the french croissant are the best ? and the taxi are crazy !
Ohhhhhh, my folks are in Paris right now! And my mom is taking a one day baking class learning how to make croissants ? The pictures you posted look gorgeous and I’m glad you had a lovely time ?
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
French Taxi drivers are 2nd only to Bostonian Taxi drivers for scariness.
And yay for Sweep of the Blade! Can’t wait.
Suzanne Rothchild says
well NY cabbies are in that sacred scary rides too.
I’ve been to both cities, and Boston drivers scared me more.
In the states, that is. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Paris.
Duffi McDermott says
All of the above.
So glad you’ve had a great time. I love Paris. I wish I’d set up my life so I could spend more time there.
You are completely right: there is no croissant like a French croissant.
Thank you so much for coming to see us in Paris! I’m a big fan of your Kate Daniels and a hidden legacy series and to see you was one of my dream (i’ll normally see you again in september at Rare London) ! I was so happy… Thank you again!
And the butter has a higher fat content than we are used to
That’s the secret ingredient (there is a lot of butter and calories in our croissant)
Thanks again for coming !
You were amazing and we were all so happy to meet you.
So glad the trip report is good. I can believe it about the croissants.
I bet the pets were happy to see you!
Paris is on my bucket list. So glad you enjoyed your trip!
Suzanne Rothchild says
SIGH, glad you guys enjoyed it. For all your hard work and awesome books< you deserved a good time. Thank you for all that you do for us.
As I hate flying anywhere that takes more than 2 hrs, I guess that I will have to live vicariously through those who get there.
So glad you had a great time in Paris.
You were so kind and had a smile for everyone, even though it was a long day for you.
My sister and I were so happy to have met you, if only for a few minutes. I was so starstruck, I think I did not say everything I wanted to say to you two and may have babbled awkwardly.
I hope you liked the macarons!
I’ve spent in Paris a couple of semesters when I was at university. Going to the barricades is their national sport since 1789.
They do it every few years, then the situation calm down, then they do it again. When I was there it was the people of the banlieux (poor suburbs) who protested. Now it’s the gilets jaunes.
Paris, as usual, will survive.
Good to hear you had a nice time 🙂
Sabrina Jamers says
I was so happy to meet you. I really do hope you enjoyed the Belgian chocolate I brought you 🙂 Thanks to show me a picture of your cat, Salem is the best name for a cat !!
I hope I can see you again!
Yeah for a good trip! I know it was busy, but I hope y’all are feeling refreshed after having to plow through those edits.
Something new to the KD world?! Graphic novel?
Early summer-yay! Paris is amazing. We also saw lots of Normandy when we went, and they loved Americans. Less English, but five years of French back from middle and high school got me through. They appreciate you trying for sure. Being polite and not being loud is key also. Plus don’t expect Midwestern type of friendliness to be the norm. More Maine east coast-you do your thing, I’ll do mine, and we’ll be cognizant of each other, but not best buds.
Yes, looking forward to reading Maud again!
Happy to hear your trip went well, good writing travels throughout the world.
Welcome home, maybe you can throttle down some of the stress now.
Whoaa very cool!?
I’m so sad – all the years I lived in France, and you end up going after I move to the US. ?
Penni Ferguson says
Nice to know that some things do change for the better…I toured parts of France back in the 70’s with a friend who was French Canadian – and not only would no one speak to us in English – no one would speak to her in French !!!
I really loved the hot chocolate in Paris, it came in a small pot with dainty little cups. It was the Best Hot Chocolate I have ever had! I loved the Louvre and Notre-Dame. Taxi drivers are definitely scary and the pigeons have no fear.
Seagulls in Florida also have no fear! I still remember my brother losing his cheeseburger to one that swiped it out of his hand!
d LM a says
Home again home again jiggity jig!
You sound refreshed & enchanted that what you hoped would be wonderful, outdid itself. Now …
back to the grist & on to the grill … naw … but really maud maud maud maud maud
when & as you’re ready
Welcome home, I ‘m glad the journey was enjoyable
I loved the descriptions of France. I also heard Late Daniels. Woowheee! Thank you thank you. Y’all are awesome!
Gloria Magid says
So glad you enjoyed Paris. I’ve been there once, only for a day. I want to go back and spend a week. Welcome home!
So glad you guys had a good time in Paris.
The fashion thing is real. Even though I already dressed up a little to fit in, I felt quite the country bumpkin in Paris.
Looking forward to SotB!!
Welcome home!I’m super jelly!I’ve always wanted to go but looks like California is where I’ll be going for vacay this yr…Btw…why where they surprised yall where from texas?And wasn’t it nice to come home to this beautiful 75 degree weather!!!
Judy Schultheis says
Glad you had fun, and hope you’re feeling better. Editing Sweep of the Blade is good news – I will pre-order as soon as it’s possible.
Something new in Kate’s world is great news! Although I am working on the assumption that it’s the second book in the series about Hugh. Love what you’re doing to him!
Lynne Binkley says
Glad you had a good time in Paris. So glad everyone was friendly to you. Hope you’re feeling refreshed and have recovered from being sick. Excited for anything from ya’ll! Love to hear/see the words “Kate Daniels”. lol Thanks for all your hard work and efforts that bring so much enjoyment to so many people, all over the world! Welcome home!
I’m really happy you enjoyed my country ?
The magic of the croissant is love and a lot of butter.
Hope you will visit again.bises.
Welcome back. Love your description of Paris and the food. Hope you are rested and well.
Sounds like you had a really nice time. I’m happy for you. And it sounds like the readers were really sweet and welcoming. That’s great! Bet it feels good to know how much your work is appreciated. You deserved any and all kudos received. And something new in the Kate Daniels universe? Excellent! Whatever it is, I’ll be first in line to preorder. And I’m definitely looking forward to Sweep of the Blade. I didn’t read the chapters as they came out so my anticipation has been simmering for some time. Will be so happy when this meal is served, lol. Thanks for sharing a taste of your trip!
Diane Lang says
Paris sounds wonderful! No one seems to have a better sense of style than the French . . . I felt like a total bumpkin too.
Looking forward to picking up a copy of Sweep of the Blade! 🙂
Michelle Fishman-Cross says
Ah the Arc de Triomphe roundabout. How’s this for insanely stupid. When my sister and I were in Paris (many, many years ago), we attempted to *cross* it on foot! We couldn’t figure out how to get to the other side otherwise. We saw signs that said “subway”, but since we are from NYC, we thought it meant an underground train system, so we didn’t think it was what it really is–an underground passageway for pedestrians to bypass crossing streets. D’oh!
Oh wow. There’s a crash every three minutes there and people die quite frequently. Please tell me you didn’t manage to step out onto the road?
Michelle Fishman-Cross says
No, we wisely decided not to attempt it. I think we walked back the way we came until we found somewhere we could cross safely, albeit on the other side of the road we wanted.
Fan in California says
Lovely!! Thanks for the mini trip!! Glad you guys had a great time!!
Amy Ann says
And what happened to the small mountain of chocolates and sweets?
Katie L says
Thanks so much for the update! We are going to Paris for the first time at the end of May and we are wondering about all of the info you wrote about! Can’t wait for the next book?
Jean Morgan says
Welcome home, Paris sounds enchanting, I’ve never had the opportunity. Take it easy for a few days, what with jet lag and all!
Patricia Schlorke says
Welcome back! Glad you had a great time. My eyebrows rose when I read the part that the people you talked with in Paris thought you and Gordon were British instead of Texan. I’ve had Texans assume that I am a native Texan. When I tell people I’m not originally from Texas, I get the surprised look. ☺
Sweep of the Blade and a possible Kate Daniels Universe????? Oh wow and thank you! On top of Diamond Fire…..just give yourselves permission to rest.
Welcome back. Glad you met so many welcoming fans/people.
Jonathan Briggs says
I believe the secret ingredient in French food is butter. Real butter made with milk from cows.
I’ve been using it in my own cooking and on toast and such. Never going back to margarine or “spreads”.
Yep!! And the best butter is from Holland or New Zealand. It is so sweet. I don’t know what grasses they feed those cows, but we need the equivalent here. I do love our local butter (yea, butter!!), but really, there’s no comparison.
Not just any butter. Cultured butter ?
Kelly Jacobs says
I had to read your description of the
Arc de Triomphe roundabout to my husband because in 1992, we drove to Paris from (Deutschland) Germany and got stuck. Around and around the Arc de Triomphe we drove, our camping van’s blinker politely asking to please let us over but the answer was no.
Around and around the Arc de Triomphe (for about 15 minutes!! ) until my husband got hot, just cut in front of other drivers, and decided we would not stop if we evah got out.
So we left Paris, I’d like to go back, but not with the revolution going on.
That little jar of jam next to Gordon. We have that and it’s delicious! Bonne Maman. We like the raspberry preserves. Product of France. A friend who is gluten intolerant says the flours used for baking in France are different so she has no problems eating breads and pastries and the croissants in Paris. Maybe it’s because no additives or chemicals are used during milling or processing. Also the boulangeries (bakeries) bake small batches and so the baked goods are fresh.
Sara Joy says
So incredibly excited to hear you say that about the flours used!!! Have had to live a GF life for 7 years now & long to have pastries again!
Soery to tell you that but, flour is not gluten Free in France. If you are alergic dont eat that….
Sorry for you , but you will have to resort to other flours ( like corn , coconut or else).
If you’ re just intolerent… Well, depends how intolerent you are…
trailing wife says
Sara Joy, you might want to try The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IPPIETG/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title)
The American Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated people take a scientific approach to developing their recipes, making them robust as well as delicious. I have a bumch of their cookbooks, and got this one so I could bake for an elderly relative who had developed whomhad developed sensitivity to gluten.
Sounds more like your friend is intolerant to some chemical in the growing/processing of wheat or maybe even the fact that most of our wheat has a modification that makes it tolerant to pesticides and herbicides. European wheat doesn’t have those mods and they also tend to have a lot more organic production of grains, too, skipping the nasty chemicals. Gluten is a name given to encompass several different very similar grain proteins that are found in all varieties of wheat (gliadin), barley (hordein), rye (secalin) and oats (avenin). So if you truly have celiac disease, you need to avoid the grains listed above.
The difference could be the baking methods. In the U.S. they speed them up, which may make the gluten undigestible.
Yay! Thanks so much for the link to the Kinsmen cover artist. I’ve been wanting a print from her since you posted the original sneak peek, and wasn’t sure where to order. <3 <3
Margaret R says
Revolution! Every Saturday! ? Vive la France!? I took a photo from the top of the arch and people didn’t believe me when I told them the cars were moving, because they were going willy nilly.
Sue Gundel says
Welcome home! I’m so glad the trip went well. I thought the taxi drivers in Mexico were bad-the French taxi drivers sound much worse. I just used to close my eyes until we arrived at our destination! The pictures are beautiful esp L’Arc De Triomphe. I laughed myself silly reading all the WCB days! They were the funniest ever. I think 105,000 words is reasonable, don’t you?
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed Paris! My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to go in December of 2010. The funny thing we noticed about the fashion that year was the colder it got, the shorter the skirts were. I’m not kidding! We got snow and those beautiful women glided over frozen sidewalks with stilettos and miniskirts! We joked that the wall radiator businesses must be booming because you have to sit and defrost every time you come in from outside before you can go to the bathroom!
Glad you had a great trip and had a safe flight home. A friend from France told me that the driving and parking is crazy over there. According to her there are no bump or scratch free cars in Paris, as people will bumper car their way into a space! So by the sounds of it- definitely a place for adventures in a car if you like your adrenaline 🙂
Wel, that second picture, be still my heart. Such a gorgeous building! I laughed and laughed re the Parisian taxi drivers…it’s a sport.: ) it brought to mind a hair raising dash across Paris to the airport, at night,. Driven by our normally charming French host, who changed personalities immédiatement he was behind the wheel!! He was quite alarmingly determined we arrive and not miss our plane. I’m pretty sure I closed my eyes right at the start and only opened them, and unstuck my white knuckled hands, only when we finally pulled up in front of the doors. My husband had been trying to explain, using excellent French vocabulary with his entirely horrible accent, (I have amazingly limited vocabulary, with an excellent accent) that we had plenty of time! All the while exhorting him to watch this, and watch that, and BE CAREFUL! . Sacré bleu! Weaving in and and out, cutting off cars, etc., all ordinaire! Rather like a stock car race but, I can’t imagine how, without a lot of crashing into one another! Even if I still shudder, it made a wonderful, and rather iconic, memory.
Patricia Schlorke says
Sounds like Formula 1 racing only in every day cars instead of race cars and sponsors. 😀
You have the picture! : )
Leanne Ridley says
I’m glad you had such a wonderful time! Now take a few days to relax before diving back into the workload insanity 🙂
Looking fwd to a reflection of Paris in your stories ?
Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! Have a safe trip!
OMG – it sounds like a combination of being both very relaxing and very adventurous! I’m so glad that you had a good time. As the saying goes, “A change is as good as a cure!”
Delighted that you enjoyed Paris and the fine croissants, and that you had such enthusiastic and warm responses from your adoring French community! xoxo – A.
Welcome home – glad you had a good time.
With regard to the revolution, I don’t know if you got the whole story, but the “yellow jackets” have been demonstrating in Paris for weeks. The initial reason was against the high petrol (gas) taxes which Macron wanted to introduce, but it turned into a general protest about Macron’s government. He’s even more despised now than Trump is – and I never thought I’d say that!
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms says
I was so happy to meet you both again, and I loved being your line ambassador for part of the day 🙂 I’m also really glad that you had a good time – and I have started counting down the days until you come to London in September 🙂
Heh, my aunt lived off Redcliff Rd in London for years, and the Parisian women’s clothing sounds rather like what I saw, visiting her — perhaps it is ‘European casual’ for women?
And all this description is making me hungry for croissants with real butter (readily available up here on the Plains)! Sounds like it was a fun trip & good to hear you all are home safely!
It’s a correct assumption you’ve got here: from my US visiting experience, women in Europe tend to wear more trés chic clothes. Leggings, track pants or other gym clothes are nice when you’re at home or at gym. Not outside on the streets. And: what we in west Europe consider trés chic is nothing in comparison to east Europe☺️
Last time I was in Paris was …gosh 1988’the circle around the Arc was even then insane.my cousin worked at the embassy and they were always checking for bombs…I was not thin enough size 10, to be allowed to go window shopping at fashion according to my cousins wife…
They took us for a ride down a hooker street…really…..
I tried to speak some French,they answered in English…..
I loved Muse Dorsey…sp?
My husband and I enjoyed very long walks….
I return to Europe in 2004 to ride Andalusian horses in Spain……loved Tortilla Espanjole…the end……
So glad you enjoyed yourselves! I loved Paris the one time I was there. I would go back in a heartbeat, but only if I could stay at least a week. And the Arc de Triomphe roundabout is even more exciting when you’re trying to drive it in a manual transmission rental car with your parents white knuckle clutching anything they can hold onto. Oh, and trying to find your correct turn with nothing marked except way up on the side of a building! We’d been driving through France and enjoying the car trip up until then. Fortunately we didn’t have to drive again until we left for the airport. It might be easier now that we have google maps.
Looking forward to Maud, thanks!!
Lynn T. says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post. I am glad you enjoyed France.
The answer your question is the French use real butter from real live cows. No not Texas cows but French cows. Smile. Personally I prefer butter from Brown Swiss cows as cream fat ratio is much higher than Holstein cows but lower than Jerseys. Bakes better too.
Eagerly awaiting SOTB and Hugh 2. Already on list for Sapphire Flames. But whatever you write we will enjoy your hard work. Sounds like you two had a great trip. Welcome back. Brandi was informative and helpful.
I take it the gilet jaunes protests haven’t been reported stateside. The French have been rioting in Paris initially against fuel prices but it then grew into wider dissatisfaction with the Government. They were actually rather successful in that they got several reforms out of it, but they had a good go at destroying tourist areas. But no, it really was every Saturday. Don’t get me started with the Eurostar protests… The french have a reputation for a reason.
Glad you had a nice time, Paris can be lovely and you can’t knock a patisserie. (Worth the flight over 😉 ).
regarding the croissants; it is the butter. my sisters were there a few years back and they said europe has the best butter
Debi Majo says
I know why croissants are better in France. They use real butter when making them, not a blend of butter and crisco. And they have MUCH BETTER BUTTER!!!
Glad you had a good time. The pictures were great. Take a rest from your travels. I’m always so excited to travel but when I start to return I get just as excited to be home. I totally get how some people say they need a vacation after they just went on a vacation.
Ellen D. says
Glad you had a good time. Love the photos.
So glad you had a lovely time. I hope your cold went away or was mostly gone. Take a few days to relax before jumping into SOTB.
Fanny C. says
Daaarn it, I didn’t know you were in Paris ! I completely missed that opportunity to meet you, duh, maybe next time. I’m glad you enjoyed Paris though, and that French people weren’t rude haha
Take care ! (Croissants are amazing isn’t it)
Glad to hear that you had fun.
Jennifer T. says
My coworker rhapsodizes about the croissants she had in France. Welcome back to Americaland!
So glad you enjoyed Paris. I had a friend who was a medieval scholar and she went to Paris every year. And she lived on croissants , cafe au laid and cigarettes. And said it was the butter that made the difference .
And brought home the ugliest gargoyles from Norte Dame. They resided on top of her china cabinet. With her Limoges tea cups.
Glad you got some rest and great photos. And chocolates
Looking forward to Sapphire Flames. And Sweep of the blade andIron and Magic 2 .
it’s all about the butter, and since croissants are made of 99.99999% butter it makes all the difference. buy some quality french butter and take it home.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed Paris, come back and go see other towns in France, you’ll like it ?
I’m sad that I couldn’t go and see you, but I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself ~~~
Bill from NJ says
The secret to French croissants is the flower they use is not the crap flour that most bakeries use here, plus they likely use what in English is called double butter, bakeries here likely are using the equivalent of land o lakes butter you get in a supermarket,and they are fresh,too,the French wouldn’t tolerate what most bakeries and cafe’s serve here,likely w preservatives to keep them multiple days. Glad you enjoyed Paris, my dad always said one of his fondest memories was a 72 hour pass he had in Paris just after it was liberated in WWII, said he walked the city and didn’t sleep the 3 days.
Sounds like you have a great time! On a totally different note – my mother sent me this: http://www.ladylifehacks.com/beautiful-knit-scarf-free-pattern/ I’m not a knitter but darn it! this is sooo pretty. Makes me want to struggle just to make one. I’d post the picture but I don’t know if that’s allowed or not.
Juliette V says
The first Saturdays were about “revolution”. Now it’s the 20th (this is a real number) and the shops are closes, windows smashed, cars burnt by “casseur” (breakers/hooligans), not by the gilets jaunes and the government does not know how to handle this situation. Quite sad as lots of shopowners near the Champs Elysées are in financial difficulties as no Parisians nor tourists want/can go there on Saturdays because of the violence.
As for the croissants and as many readers have commented… French butter is the best and is definitely the key for making croissants (quantity and quality!).
Anyways Paris is beautiful and glad you enjoyed it. Maybe next time I will manage to go to one your signings !
Oh boy. Paris croissant. Life will never be the same after them. They are a slice of heaven. The ones with chocolate inside….I still dream of them. I am glad you enjoyed your trip. It sounds marvelous!
pain au chocolat!! OMG. Heaven
I really miss those. Best part of getting to work in Cannes twice a year
Gai LaMarche says
I was just reminiscing about pain au chocolat! YES! I adore Paris. I was last there for their Labor Day. It is true that Paris in the springtime is incredibly beautiful. And muget de bois are one of my favorite flowers. Sigh.
Also, I saw a tute on how to dress with French chic, and it said do NOT wear tight, revealing clothing, no mini skirts or short shorts, no bare midriffs or low décolletage. When I was in Europe I remarked that if you saw an obese person, you knew they were American. ☹️
The secret ingredient in the croissants is butter! Come back to Atlanta. In the suburbs there’s a french bakery called Douceur de France in Marietta and Roswell.
Not sure how true this is, but it’s certainly a fun explanation of French driving!
Yes, France, in general, is AWESOME!!
Hummmm thinking Kate would make a great video game?
Gabrielle Roberts says
Yes! Like assassin’s creed? Or a really amazing graphic novel?
We did not find most French people in Paris as friendly to us as you did on your trip. My daughter Emily was received with joy everywhere because they thought she was a French model! We were followed off an escalator by a male soccer team! Sheesh! The pastries were, a you reported, phenomenal! We stayed in a small locally owned hotel (elevator only held one person at a time!) with breakfast included in room price. The breakfast consisted of delicious coffee or tea and a basket of plain and chocolate croissants. Needless to say it became our favorite meal! At the Arc round about we actually saw a person on a bicycle get knocked off the bike by a car! He quickly jumper back on and rode off! To ride a bike there imo is to have a death wish.
Glad you enjoyed your visit. I didn’t know you were coming until yesterday and it was too late. Maybe I’ll have more luck next time!
Gail G says
Yes, croissants! Cafe au lait! Breakfast of champions…. Then dinner with (fill in blank) and pommes frites, merci a tout! Dessert: Sweep of the Blade. Yum.
I loved Paris, even in December it’s nice. The butter is key to all the pastries and the chocolate is to die for. I’m glad you two had a wonderful time. The only issue I had was everyone was amazed that the only coat I was wearing was a hoodie style light jacket. I had to keep telling people that where I came from 45 degrees is actually warm for that time of year.
So….will you be working any of your observations or scenery into upcoming Hugh books? What a wonderful trip; it sounds like just what you needed to ease back a bit. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of Paris in the spring.
Oh boy, I will be on my way to France and was researching how to dress less like a writer in my living room and more, you know, without ze sweatpants. Part of the difficulty is (and I realize this doesn’t sound like much of a difficulty) that I’ve spent much more time in Italy being a history and art nerd. I realize much to moi horror, That all my scarves are wrong. The French are into square scarves tied in a little knot around your neck. The Italians are into long scarves folded in half and neatly folded in the front. And I have a lot of them since you can buy them on every street corner, really nice ones. (OK, in Florence.) The other problem is to tuck or not to tuck. Italians always tuck their shirts in. I’ve only recently heard of what is called the ‘French tuck’ where you just tuck in the first few inches of your shirt in front and then let everything else hang out. Also little striped black and white shirts are actually in. As in – everyone has one or two or three. Usually I’m able to go to a place and no one guess’s I’m American. I get comments like “Oh but you are so polite for an American did you live elsewhere in Europe? ” Is it TV or are we really that awful? But mon Dieu, I am afraid this will be a lost cause as my command of French comes from the names of perfumes which I collect. So I know water, air, fire, rose, beautiful, rain, innocence, girl and nice. I need to learn ‘Knitting Store’.
So, I shall simply drop the name Ilona Andrews – as obviously you have many, many fans in France so there should be no problem. Thank you for all the things you do for us fans, all over the world. Also- my book withdrawal is so severe that Im going through all the Kate books for the, um, 6th time? Oh great Authorlords- I have much yarn and perfume, I make an offering….?
I am so glad you had a great time in Paris. I am half-French (my father is from Normandy) and I get really annoyed when Americans tell me they hated Paris. It’s fine to hate Paris, not everyone will love it. But the “I hate Paris” is usually accompanied by “French people are so rude!” and usually the people in question only visited Paris and nothing else in France. Paris does not represent the entire country.
The fact you said the magic sentence “Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?” makes me so happy because those 7 syllables will open doors. As for all the rioting, it started with the Gilets Jaunes and I get it kind of splintered off from that. Also French taxi drivers will often refuse payment by credit card because they get taxed on it and will often only take cash and lie and say their credit card thing is broken. Which is why you witnessed that argument. Their business is suffering as more people are taking Uber as it is less of a hassle.
And as you said nothing beats a real French croissant. However Costco has some decent croissants and they are the best I’ve had in the US. Nobody believes me when I say it but it’s true!
So glad you had a great time with your French readers 🙂 and I hope you get to return to France again someday.
Crazy driving in Paris? Let me direct you to this classic short film: Rendezvous
I had to revisit your pictures of Notre Dame. I can’t believe you were just there. My heart is breaking. Thanks for these pictures.
I know it is horrible! 850 year old beautiful church in flames today. They think it may be related to the renovations that were going on there.
“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told local media.
I came back for the Notre Dame pictures too. I can’t believe it’s burning.
What a loss to the world.
I was sad to miss your signings but I’m glad you enjoyed the city. You made me laugh with that taxi comment, it’s true driving there makes you wonder if your affairs are in order ! I always take the metro to get there. It’s really sad but most shop owners on the Champs are modest and since people get in the street every saturday to « keep the pressure » on our government, and sadly there were more than a few damaged and vandalized, shops are protected for next saturday, just in case. We were waiting for a speech of our president on the subject, but then Notre Dame roofs on fire happened 🙁
Ps you nailed it on the fashion here (big scarf fan here, plus I have a stupid cough that doesn’t want to go away). Can’t beat the classics !