Monday, July 16, 2012

Paris at Noon: end credits

Paris at Noon
a virtual book event
June 2012

Quel horreur!

Look at the time! I must dash...


Thank you dear readers for joining me for this virtual book event.

Please note the last batch of giveaways end July 31, 2012 unless specified otherwise.

THANKS TO: Authors, Publicists, and Publishers for Book Giveaways & Guest posts

A Werewolf in Time
by K.H. Koehler

Book of Pawns
by Prue Batten

Random Magic
by Sasha Soren

The Fashion Zombie of Marseilles by E. Van Lowe
The Zombie Always Knocks Twice by E. Van Lowe

Claire Jenkins

Special thanks to fellow bloggers:

AimeeKay of Reviews From My First Reads Shelf

Ashley of Happy. Pretty. Sweet.

Blodeuedd of Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Karina of Nocturnal Book Reviews

Sophia Rose


For more France related schtuff this month...

Paris in July
hosted by BookBath & Thyme for Tea
(this tip courtesy of Cayce of Fighting Dreamer)

French Friday
hosted by Book on the Hill


AND last but not least, something sweet for my sweets...

Paris, My Sweet:
A year in the city of light (and dark chocolate)
by Amy Thomas

WIN a copy of this book!

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 31, 2012

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. Leave a comment on any of the guest posts in this event.

2. Leave a comment here letting me know you did the deed.

If you've already left comments throughout the event then you're set. But let me know in comments that you're interested in winning this book.

3. Let me know if you prefer ebook or print.

AND, include your email (if I don't already have it)


* PicMonkey was used for some graphics creations for this event.

* vvb dashes to catch a train, she is on her way towards a sailing vessel.

Return here in August for the next adventure...

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Books and Nails: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Books & Nails
show me yours

Paris themed nails to share...

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Bridget Howard
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Until I Die
by Amy Plum
Just released: May 2012

I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever. It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. And if I pretend, I can almost believe that my life is normal and everyone I care about is safe. But as long as I'm with Vincent, 'normal' doesn't exist.

Gorgeous, charming, and witty, he's everything you could ask for in a boyfriend - but his destiny is so much more. Even more terrifying than his destiny are his dangerous enemies, enemies who will kill for immortality. How are Vincent and I supposed to be together forever if we're always in danger?

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Bridget Howard
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~


* this is book 2 of the Die For Me series aka Revenants trilogy

* leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

* this is Bridget's entry for Anna and the French Kiss book giveaway here

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Winners for July pt1

Here are the winners for giveaways that
ended July 8, 2012
during the Paris at Noon event

Thanks to all contestants!

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Winner: Michelle of Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Winner: Sophia Rose

Kissed in Paris by Juliette Sobanet
Winner: marybelle


* to see the original giveaway offer, click on the prize title links

* I will email winners for mailing addresses within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* keep in touch with my giveaways and learn about other book giveaways by subscribing via email on my sidebar (you may want to go digest mode)

* if not this time, maybe next time

--> check out the current giveaways and upcoming events on my sidebar

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tea, tartelettes, and a mysterious countess from Sasha Soren

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet Lady Witherspoon on a balcony.

Balcony a platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade.
-per wikipedia

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Sasha Soren
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Ah, yes, Paris at noon. What a charming prospect. And surely, if Lady Witherspoon, that gently eccentric denizen of the in-betweeny pages of Random Magic, happens to be in town…

Well! Then we’ll have repartee, odd guests, and a delicious repast to look forward to, in some pretty pied-à-terre on one of Paris’ more sedate and leafy streets.

Oh, have you never met the lady? Well, then, let us remedy this lamentable state of affairs tout de suite:

A startlingly lovely woman glided into the room in a swish of red and gold silk underskirts, like an upended hibiscus.

The rich fabric of her elegant evening coat gleamed with an understated sheen - a mauve and midnight blue brocade stripe, trimmed with a flare of stylized peacock feathers along the hem. It clung to her figure as if she’d been soldered into it, from swan’s neck to shapely ankle. A blood-red velvet choker encircled her slender neck; a startling slash of dark red across an expanse of flawless ivory skin, pale as a November moon.

Her glossy silver hair was swept up into an odd chignon, wrapping around her head, and down over one shoulder, ending in a cascade of frothy ringlets that gleamed in the gaslight.

To this already eye-popping ensemble, she’d added a fur boa in a shade of deep purple never before seen in nature, and an impossibly large tri-corner hat tipped at a rakish angle, trimmed with what could only be described as some sort of unfortunate millinery explosion - intricate loops of lilac, scarlet and citron ribbon, fields of painted silk violets, tiny red brocade poppies, a lone cabbage rose, and a handful of jaunty osprey feathers.

Teetering cheerfully at the very peak of this curious assemblage, there perched some sort of small bird with iridescent wings. Possibly a nightingale.

This femme of whimsical appearance and unique couture came to rest in the center of the room, surveying the motley coterie of late-night visitors like a queen reviewing her troops, before deigning to incline her head towards the assembled company, by way of greeting.

Lord, Winsley thought grimly, that woman. She offended the eye, somehow. Completely out of place, like a stargazer, or a night-blooming orchid in an otherwise sensible kitchen garden.

Lady Witherspoon was French by birth, and not one of the county’s old families had ever forgiven her for it.

As an elegant exile from her homeland, Lady Witherspoon brings a hint of la vie parisienne to her surroundings just by virtue of being herself.

Her Gallic sensibilities in all manner of lovely things are sometimes subtle, but always near at hand. Even in the remote reaches of the English countryside, at Witherspoon Manse, she has a way of conjuring up French delicacies, perfumes, fashions - along with enchanting amuse-bouches and astonishing sweets.


What have we here?

Shown above: Something sweet to eat.
(Source: Cultured Living)

Perhaps just the sort of delightful tarte aux myrtilles auvergnate (blueberry tart) to be found at one of that elegant lady’s afternoon at-homes.

The manner of making this particular tarte is a wee bit quirky, yes. Lady Witherspoon is nothing if not a generous and elegant host - but no one ever claimed her temperament to be anything other than charming, winsome and cultured…but just a bit peculiar.

In the most delightful way, of course. For all the persons who might wish to complain of being perplexed and astonished by the odd hour spent in Lady Witherspoon’s company, they cannot – and we are quite sure of this – ever have cause to complain of being the least bit bored.

Bien sûr que non!
(Certainly not!)

Shown above: This is one way to make a blueberry tart. When it comes to the enigmatic Lady Witherspoon, that divinely charming lady of indeterminate origins, this is actually precisely how to make a blueberry tart.

Credit: Yuna of Hearts and Honey.

Music track: Generation Celebration, by Detektivbyrån.

If you’re interested in the recipe for the blueberry tart shown above: Blueberry tart.

A recipe for blueberry tart may be found in this book: The French Kitchen (Browse)


A smaller but similar treat: Tartelettes aux framboises


About Random Magic: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes.

Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is.

Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Strüths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time. View book trailer:

Shown above: Book trailer for Random Magic, by Sasha Soren

Reviews: Review | Review | Review | Review | Review

More Random Magic: Print | Kindle | Twitter | YouTube | Blog

Thanks for stopping by to partake in a bit of amusement and a tidbit of something sweet and summery to nibble.

Bon appétit!


Guest post created by Sasha Soren of Random Magic
© 2012. All rights reserved.


Oh là là!

A book! While you're here, enter to win a cute summer read about France.

France, A Love Story: Women Write About the French Experience
About (pub. desc.): For some women, a love of France and all things French started when they first started learning one of the most seductive languages in the world. For others, the attraction came later when they made summer trips or even packed up their bags and just moved to Paris or Provence. In this beautiful collection, two dozen travel writers share their firsthand experiences with the people, landscape, flavors, history, art, culture, and character of France. Featuring a delightful mix of perspectives, 24 women describe the country they love - and why, for better or worse, they fell completely under its spell. (Reviews)

How to enter:

1a. Watch the Random Magic book trailer and leave a thoughtful comment on its YouTube page - what was most unexpected or intriguing part of the trailer, was there anything that made you curious, etc.

Trailer shown above, or just watch here

1b. Mark off your comment entry, using Rafflecopter here.


2. Tell us in the comments below: Which part of Lady Witherspoon's ensemble is something that you'd actually love to wear, and what you'd love to be served for lunch, if you were invited to her mansion for afternoon tea.

Thanks for visiting, and good luck to all.

Bonne chance!

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Sasha Soren
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~


* if you're not entering the giveaway, feel free to leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

* image source On the Balcony by Georges Clairin

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we take a solitary walk along the Boulevard St. Germain.

The Boulevard Saint-Germain is a major street in Paris on the Left Bank (south side) of the Seine river. It curves in a 3.5 kilometer arc from the Pont de Sully in the east (the bridge at the edge of the Île Saint-Louis) to the Pont de la Concorde (the bridge to the Place de la Concorde) in the west and traverses the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements. At its midpoint, the Boulevard Saint-Germain is traversed by the north-south Boulevard Saint-Michel. The boulevard is most famous for crossing the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter from which it derives its name.
-per wikipedia


This book mentions some sites to see while on this walk...

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World:
A Pedestrian in Paris

by John Baxter

Visit John:

Published: 2011
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: France, Memoir
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 5

Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, an expat writer provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris in years.

In this enchanting memoir, acclaimed author and long- time Paris resident John Baxter remembers his yearlong experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city.

Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past. Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Paris, by custom and design, is a pedestrian's city—each block a revelation, every neighborhood a new feast for the senses, a place rich with history and romance at every turn. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is your guide, par excellence, to the true, off-the-beaten-path heart of the City of Lights.

PeekAbook: meet John Baxter

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): delightful
Book lovers will enjoy this one! It is filled with wonderful tips and places to note especially for the Left Bank of Paris.

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

WIN my copy of this book!

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 31, 2012


TELL me, besides a walk in Paris, what other city in the world would you like to take a walk in?

AND, let me know in comments your email (if I don't already have it)


* image source Spring Morning St Germain, Paris by Ramon Ward-Thompson

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

Visit Stephanie:
Book Playlist

Published: 2011
Publisher: Speak
Genre: France, Romance, YA
Paperback: 400 pages
Rating: 5

Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Anna is not happy about spending senior year at a Paris boarding school, away from her Atlanta home, best friend Bridgette, and crush Toph. Adapting isn’t easy, but she soon finds friends and starts enjoying French life, especially its many cinemas; she is an aspiring film critic. Complications arise, though, when she develops feelings for cute—and taken—classmate Etienne, even though she remains interested in Toph.

Her return home for the holidays brings both surprises, betrayals, unexpected support, and a new perspective on what matters in life—and love. Featuring vivid descriptions of Parisian culture and places, and a cast of diverse, multifaceted characters, including adults, this lively title incorporates plenty of issues that will resonate with teens, from mean girls to the quest for confidence and the complexities of relationships in all their forms.


My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): kilometre zero
Fabulous YA romance read! especially before visiting Paris for the first time.

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

signup to win this book


-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ysabel's Tale from Prue Batten

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet Prue Batten at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, France (44 hectares (110 acres)), though there are larger cemeteries in the city's suburbs.

Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement, and is reputed to be the world's most visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years. It is also the site of three World War I memorials.
-per wikipedia

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Prue Batten
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

My name is Ysabel, Lady of Moncrieff, and I am charged with welcoming you to this place whilst the Lady of the House is away. She tells me she goes to Paris and I think she is a lucky woman, for Paris has many stories to tell and many of those tales to do with love and life and eternity.

You see I am the daughter of Lady Alaïs de Cazenay, a cousin twice removed of the glorious Eleanor of Aquitaine who had her own love story with the English king called Henry. But my mother also had a story of love to tell for she married my father, Joffrey of Moncrieff, an English baron of greater ranking.

Through their great affection for each other, I was born.

And I? Oh, I have a love story to tell to rival that of the great Abelard and Heloise.

You know them of course. Everyone knows them. A meeting of great minds which led to a meeting of bodies, to a child, to marriage, to rank cruelty by the Church so that the poor lovers must leave each other and enter the Church separately; Heloise as a nun and Abelard as a eunuch priest.

But even the Church could not stop their affections; I urge you to learn of their strength in the face of adversity. It is the stuff of love like you have never seen.

Sometimes I wonder if my own love for Sir Guy of Gisborne will be as remarkable. Because I tell you, we have loved and lost and loved again, and he has turned from me … and turned back and may turn again and I wonder if it will be too late. Much of our time is spent apart until I find I must utter Heloise’s words: ‘While I am denied your presence, give me at least through your words … some sweet semblance of yourself … I beg you … think what you owe me…’

You see I bore a child too, like Heloise, and as I enter this new phase of my life I find the child is the link in the chain, or perhaps the straw that will break the camel’s back.

It is why I urge the Lady of this House to meet me at Abelard and Heloise’s tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Rue de Repos, "Porte du Répos", Metro Philippe Auguste
 (Line 2) in the 20th Arrondisement in Paris.

I would impress upon her and you, her friends, of the depth of my own love so that you can see for yourselves how confused and angry I am…


It’s amazing to think that Heloise’s words were uttered in the twelfth century, a time when Ysabel herself was struggling to make sense of a life that tossed her ever closer to the Third Crusade.

If you would like to read more of Ysabel’s and Guy’s story, here is a small excerpt:

I gave him my hand and he led me from the chamber, up the stair and to my room. All the while my heart pattered as we walked close, our bodies side by side, his hand beneath mine. He pushed open the door and we passed through, he moving to a chair by the window, me taking a seat by the hearth. I pulled the folds of the gown from underneath my feet and fiddled with the hem.

‘What else have you to say? Why did you imply danger?’

He sat in the shadows by the window. I couldn’t see his expression, whereas I dare say he could see every mood flash across my own face.

‘De Courcey is a violent man, Ysabel. For some reason he wants you.’

‘How violent?’

‘The kind that as a young boy would probably have killed puppies. Ysabel, trust me. In this instance I do know best.’

He was just a dark voice in a corner of shadows.

‘Be specific, Gisborne. How violent?’

‘God damn you, Ysabel.’

‘No,’ I almost shouted as I stood up. ‘God damn you if you don’t tell me.’

He came toward me, a subtly clad figure whose face I would remember all the days of my life. ‘Ysabel…’

‘Tell me.’ This time I yelled.

He was so close and I let his arms slide around me as he pulled me toward his chest, buffering me from his next words. ‘He would rape you, Ysabel, if he wanted you. It is what he does. He would kill your father if he wanted to and then attend a banquet immediately after.’ I struggled against him but he held tight. ‘It - is - what - he - does.’

I sucked in my breath and a little sob followed but I had no tears as I reflected on how much my life had collapsed in a few weeks.

He eased me away from his chest. He was infinitely gentle, lifting my face so that I had to look at him, his hands either side of my jaw. The pain I felt as my ruined life rattled around me like a thunderstorm was stupendous, but he was there … as he had been every step of the way, and once again, I let him take the pain away. I lifted my right hand to his and covered it as it lay on my jaw.

There are times in life when one just wants to forget about concerns and cares. To ignore the shouted whisper of caution in the ear…


Gisborne: Book of Pawns is available at, and all other Amazons, Kobo, B&N Nook, Smashwords and i-Book. It will also be available through major online and standard booksellers in print from June 2012.

If you’d like to see what kind of world Ysabel and other characters from my books inhabit, come to

And if you want to see what I’m doing now and then, come to and ‘like’ my writer’s page. I’d love it if you did.

And there’s more!

I would welcome you at You never know, you might see Vvb32 there one day…

While visiting here at the kind invitation of Velvet, I am offering two Kindle copies of Gisborne: Book of Pawns. (details below)

Bon chance!


Guest post created by Prue Batten of Gisborne: Book of Pawns
© 2012. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Prue Batten
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Book of Pawns
by Prue Batten

WIN a copy of this ebook - kindle version!

for 2 winners

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 15, 2012


TELL ME - if you win this ebook, would you be able post your review on Amazon and/or Goodreads?

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)

Earn an extra point for this giveaway:

- tweet about this giveaway


* leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Monster in Paris

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we head out to watch a movie at the Cinema.

A Monster in Paris (2011) -trailer
Un monstre à Paris (original title)

Director: Bibo Bergeron
Writers: Bibo Bergeron, Stéphane Kazandjian (screenplay)

Mathieu Chedid as Francoeur
Vanessa Paradis as Lucille
Gad Elmaleh as Raoul

A 3D-animated movie set in Paris in the year 1910 and centered on a monster who lives in a garden and his love for a beautiful, young singer. Paris.

Plot from wikipedia:

The story begins by documenting the Seine flood of 1910.

Set in Paris. Emile, a shy projectionist, has a passion for film and romantic interests for his collaborator of the cinema, Maud, but has trouble admitting his true feelings. His friend, an exuberant inventor and delivery driver, Raoul, is picking him up from work to transport him in his crafted vehicle, named Catherine, to assist in retrieving a new belt for his projector, due to a mishap with him daydreaming. In the process of purchasing a new belt, he also gets himself a new camera. The story also introduces Lucille (Vanessa Paradis), a childhood friend of Raoul, and cabaret singer at the club L'Oiseau Rare (The Rare Bird). As Paris is diverse in the category of the rich and the poor, though she is a successful singer, her Aunt does everything to push her into the arms of the Chief of Police, Maynott, a man devoured by pride and ambition.

On a particular evening, Raoul, accompanied by Emile, is making a delivery to the Botanical Gardens. In the absence of the Professor who works there, the place is guarded by his assistant, a proboscis monkey named Charles. Appreciating the opportunity to browse through the laboratory, Raoul experiments with an "Atomize-a-Tune" mixture which gives Charles a voice of an opera singer and an unstable "super fertilizer" which grows a sunflower seed to a giant sunflower in the blink of an eye. Due to the enormity of the plant in a small amount of water, it starts to topple towards Raoul and Emile. In the ensuing chaos, an explosion occurs due to the mixing of the chemicals. Everyone comes out unscathed, but Emile is convinced he has glimpsed a monstrous creature which is recorded on camera. A few days later, the creature is featured in the newspapers.

An investigation is made into the whereabouts of the creature by Maynott's second in command, Paté, but is fronted by Maynott, who uses it as a scheme to maintain fear in Paris and popularise his status as providential candidate for the upcoming elections. At the same time, he tries unsuccessfully to seduce Lucille. Meanwhile, Lucille is trying to find a new musician for her show, and refuses the candidacy of the club’s waiter, Albert (due to his terrible singing). Whilst trying to vacate the club, Albert stumbles across the creature and tries to get back into the cabaret with no success and flees terrified. Lucille opens the door and accidentally pushes the creature aside into the alleyway after it was curiously playing with the doorbell. Upon seeing the creature, she flees in a initial state of panic, but later hears the creature sing and discovers it is not dangerous but has a lovely singing voice. She welcomes it in her dressing room, and gives it the name, Francœur (meaning "honest heart"), the name of the street where she had found it. The creature is nothing but a flea that the fertilizer, amidst all the other chemicals in laboratory explosion, caused to grow to human scale.

During the ongoing investigation, Emile and Raoul's secret of the laboratory incident is blown and they are arrested. Brought before Maynott, Emile and Raoul think they are going to prison, but due to Maynott's interests in the creature, they are commended as heroes and are given the Legion of Honor. On a challenge he had been set earlier by Lucille during an altercation, Raoul uses the badge as an advantage to get the best seats at Lucille's show at the Rare Bird club, which she had promised him. After the show, Emile and Raoul come to congratulate Lucille on her show, but upon been greeted by the musician, Lucille reveals the identity of Francœur. In the ensuing surprise, Albert overhears the situation and reports it to the police in an act of jealousy. The police arrive at the cabaret searching for the creature, but Emile, Raoul and Francœur narrowly escape and Albert is framed for lying to the police.

The following day, Maynott opens the Montmartre Funicular, which serves Montmartre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The trio, along with Francœur and Charles the monkey, decide to use this opportunity as a way of staging the death of the creature. Things do not go according to plan as Maynott discovers the creature hiding under the trap door of the stage. Trying to escape, Francœur and friends are chased through the streets of Paris by the insane Maynott -who is hellbent on the death of Francœur, even if it meant killing Franc's friends in the process- involving the use an airship and "Catherine". The chase concludes at the tip of the Eiffel tower. Meanwhile, Maud, who Emile had the courage to make a date for, also travels there. After a battle to protect Francœur from Maynott, the fertilizer begins to wear off, but a gunshot and Francœur's disappearance makes everyone believe he is dead. The megalomaniacal villain is arrested by Paté on the concern that Francœur is innocent and Emile and Maud also fall into the arms of one another.

Later that evening Lucille is distraught after the "death" of Francœur. Hesitant to sing her number onstage, Raoul convinces her anyway. Whilst struggling to begin singing, she hears a humming in her ear, which appears to be Francœur still singing on her earring. Some time later, the Professor who was absent from earlier, returns from his trip and when the three friends explain the situation, he makes a new mixture (which could be a permanent solution to help Francœur stay human sized). Francœur continues to sing with Lucille. After an introduction to a childhood memory of Raoul, he and Lucille confess their true feelings to one another.

In a post-credits scene, Raoul, Lucille, Francœur, Maud, Emile and Lucille's aunt with Paté riding the airship, scatter super fertilized sunflower seeds to help drain the flooded Seine River. In a second scene, Maynott is shown in the same cell as Albert and a thief, and forced to endure their appalling singing.

Introducing Lucille at the Cabaret with a ditty...

La Seine Cabaret
performed by Vanessa Paradis

Per comments, here are lyrics from Purple Lunacy to the song...

Elle sort de son lit / Tellement sûre d'elle
She's leaving her bed (overflowing her banks) / So certain of herself

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine ( / Tellement
jolie elle m'ensorcelle
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / So pretty, she's bewitching me

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine / Extralucide la lune est sur
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / The lucid moon is reflected on

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine / Tu n'es pas saoul
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / You are not drunk

Paris est sous / La Seine, la Seine, la Seine
Paris is drowning under / The Seine, the Seine, the Seine

Je ne sais, ne sais, ne sais pas pourquoi / C'est comme ça, la Seine et moi
I don't know, don't know, don't know why / This is how it goes between
the Seine and me

Je ne sais, ne sais, ne sais pas pourquoi / C'est comme ça, la Seine et moi...
I don't know, don't know, don't know why / This is how it goes between
the Seine and me...


* leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

* on my DVD to-watch list!

* first spotted this at Susan Dennard's site

* lyrics addition to post is courtesy of Sasha Soren

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fashion, Zombies, and Paris, Oh My! from E. Van Lowe

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet E. Van Lowe along the Champs-Élysées.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a street in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world. Several French monuments are also on the street, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is known as "The most beautiful avenue in the world", La plus belle avenue du monde in French.
-per wikipedia

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by E. Van Lowe
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

VVB is off to Paris and she has turned the asylum over to the inmates. WHOO HOO! Par-tay! When Velvet asked me to guest blog while she was away, I told her I had the perfect project to share with you. It’s zombie themed—and we all love zombies—but more importantly, it takes place in Paris. That’s right; Paris and zombies—Ooh, la, la!

A few years ago I decided to write an illustrated novel. I wanted it to be like the novels of Kate Dicamillo but for an adult audience. I also wanted the story to be humorous and dark. I settled upon a satire, an indictment of the fashion industry, an industry whose standards for beauty are ridiculous and unachievable by most women. Oh, and I wanted it to be a period novel from the 20s or 30s. Out of this mish mosh of ideas The Fashion Zombie of Marseilles was born.

I was very excited about the novel and began writing. While I wrote I searched for an illustrator to help bring the fashion zombies to life. A prominent illustrator loved the idea, offered some suggestions and did a preliminary drawing. Things were moving quickly… And then they stopped. The illustrator became more and more difficult to reach by phone, and emails rarely got a response. When we did speak, he waxed on about his love of the project, but nothing was happening on his end. After almost a year of nothing happening, I told him to forget about it. I was moving on. Once that happened, I put the project on the shelf. I pull it out from time-to-time and write a few pages only stash it away again.

I tell myself I am too busy with other projects: The Falling Angels Saga novels—Heaven Sent is due out in December, and the Hollyweird novels—The Zombie Always Knocks Twice is completing editorial and will be out at the end of the summer. But the truth it, it’s not the other books that keep me from completing my fashion zombie project; I’ve lost my motivation.

And so while Velvet visits the Louvre and dines on the Champs Elysees, I am taking the time to share a sneak peek of my Parisian project with you—her friends and followers. I need some motivation, people! If you like what you read here please leave a comment. It will help motivate me to find an illustrator and finish the damn thing. If you don’t, oh well, back on the shelf it goes. Ready? Below is the opening chapter of my illustrated novel The Fashion Zombie of Marseilles. Enjoy:

Chapter One

On a dull, dark and soundless day, in the autumn of a year far removed from our own, Henri Ledeaux stepped from his cutting room and unveiled his latest creation, a gown made of silk and organdy. Upon seeing the gown, Ledeaux’s wife, Coco, oohed and aahed. The long awaited dress was magnificent to behold, and the mere sight of it brought a tear to her eye.

“You have outdone yourself, my love,” she declared with reverence for her husband’s new creation.

“I know,” replied Henri. For in fact he did know that this was his most beautiful creation ever. “Try it on,” he said, offering her the dress.

These were words Coco had been longing to hear. For nearly two decades Henri Ledeaux had been one of the most celebrated designers in all of Paris. And for all those years Coco had been his most celebrated model. But recent collections from the House of Ledeaux had been met with indifference by the fashion establishment. They labeled the 1925 spring collection uninteresting. The 1926 fall collection was simply called boring. Rumblings that the House of Ledeaux’s best years were behind them could be heard in the cafes and couture houses up and down the Champs Elysees.

Coco had feared Henri might blame her for the lack of enthusiasm over his recent designs, and that he might procure a newer, younger model to display his creations. Hearing the words try it on filled Coco with more than delight, she was flooded with relief.

“Thank you, my precious. I cannot wait,” she uttered, as she headed for the dressing parlor to slip into the magnificent gown.

“Henri,” she called a short time later. “I fear this gown, while endlessly beautiful, may be a little… snug. I cannot seem to zip it.” Coco braced herself. Her husband was renowned throughout the fashion world for his violent temper and lack of tolerance for those who did not appreciate his creations.

“Snug!” Henri called back through tight lips. “Perhaps it is the model who is a little… fat.”

Coco gasped audibly. She was not fat. She had not gained one ounce of weight in the twenty years she had modeled for the House of Ledeaux. A knot the size of a goose egg formed in her throat as she choked back a tear. “That is not true, my dearest,” she replied. “I am the same size zero I have been since I was sixteen.”

“Zero!” Henri exploded. “No wonder the world has soured on my designs. No one can appreciate the finest of fashion when it is worn by pigs.”

The new insult brimmed Coco’s eyes with tears. “I assure you I am no pig, my sweetest. I have not eaten a stitch of solid food since last Friday. And then, it was just five strands of pasta—no sauce.”

Henri shook his head in disgust. “This slovenly behavior only goes to demonstrate your lack of commitment to your career. The twentieth century woman is more slender than the zaftig female of your bygone era. Today’s model must be able to wear a size minus two if she wants to be beautiful. If you cannot do that, my little bacon bit, I am afraid you are out.”

For the next two weeks Coco monitored every morsel of food that crossed her lips. This proved to be a simple challenge since she already consumed next to nothing. Coco augmented her foodless regimen with hours in the sweat box. And while the task was daunting, by the day of the show, she was finally able to zip herself into the magnificent gown.

The unveiling of Henri’s fall collection went off without a hitch. The show was fast-moving, flawless and utterly boring. By the time Coco strutted the magnificent gown onto the catwalk, the guests had all fallen asleep.

What were once rumblings of the demise of the House of Ledeaux grew to a fever pitch. Henri was known to be a bully. Paris’ top designers and fashion critics were eager to see him fall. Even Henri’s bankers could not wait to pull the plug on his financing.

Coco grieved as much for the House of Ledeux as she did for her once magnificent career. Her beauty and slender figure were at one time the toast of the town. Everywhere that Henri went, Coco was on his arm. Their wedding was attended by heads of state and famous designers from around the world. But that was twenty years ago.

Coco did what she could to retain her youth. With the help of a little beauty parlour magic, her hair was the same shade of auburn as when she arrived in Paris. She had staved off wrinkles by using the finest skin creams and oils money could buy. She exercised regularly and ate very little. But Coco was wise enough to realize there is no way a person can stop the hands of time. You might delay it a bit, but in the race against time, time always wins.

Henri sat in his workshop on a rainy Saturday night, sipping cognac with his trusted assistant, Robespierre. He muttered darkly. “The House of Ledeaux, she is doomed.”

Meanwhile, six hundred and sixty-two kilometers from Paris, the coastal city of Marseilles was having a problem of its own—zombies. A zombie infestation that had started in the hills of the Seventh Arrondissement spread into the city proper. Zombie hordes could be seen roaming up and down the Canebière, terrorizing tourists and shop keepers alike. The government had declared Martial law on the city of Marseilles. Zombies were to be shot on sight, and then beheaded.

To keep from being shot and beheaded by the military, most of the city’s residents took refuge elsewhere, away from Marseilles, waiting for the day it was safe to return. Only a few dozen stubborn citizens remained in the city by the sea.

That one city’s nightmare could be the answer a man’s prayers may seem strange, but that is how it is with serendipity. Serendipity is always serendipitous. It was indeed serendipity that Robespierre suggested he and Henri attend the cinema to forget their troubles.

The cinema generally annoyed Henri, but Robespierre felt the old designer needed something to take his mind off his crumbling empire. Henri agreed, and so he went along willingly. It was even more fortuitous that news of the zombie uprising was featured on the evening newsreel as they sat waiting in the darkened theater for the start of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

“Those poor, poor people of Marseilles,” lamented Robespierre, staring up at the flickering images on screen. “Losing loved ones, and then having to leave their homes for who knows how long.”

“Who cares about them,” muttered Henri through the darkness. “I have my own troubles.”

The shaky news camera was focused on rag-tag bands of zombies slogging through the streets of Marseilles, attacking anyone who got in their way. For a few seconds the camera settled on a particular zombie, a young woman of sixteen or seventeen. Her skin was the color of parchment paper, her lifeless eyes, black coals sunken deep into their sockets. She was so terribly thin her joints bulged as if she had rickets.

At the sight of the girl, Henri sat bolt upright, eyes transfixed to the screen. Her clothing had been ripped to shreds, and yet the tatters hung on her bony frame with an amazing grace. The rags flowed like a majestic sail in the breeze as she shambled down the Canebière. She was a sight to behold.
Henri’s breath caught in his throat. “She is sublime,” he rasped.


“The girl,” he breathed in raptured response. But the camera had rested on her for mere seconds, and by the time Robespierre focused, the girl was gone.

“All I see are zombies,” said Robespierre.

“Yes,” Henri replied. His mind was a dither. For he had seen a vision, the most breath-taking creature he had laid eyes upon in many years. It was as if he’d witnessed the coming of Our Lady of Lourdes, for he knew in that moment, the vision he beheld just a few moments earlier—the girl, the zombie—would change their lives forever.

If you’d like to know more about me and my books visit me at And head on over to The Bookish Brunette for a Sneak Peek of my summer release The Zombie Always Knocks Twice.


Guest post created by E. Van Lowe of The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
© 2012. All rights reserved.

Visit E:

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by E. Van Lowe
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~


* leave a comment to be eligible to win E's latest book - The Zombie Always Knocks Twice - along with your email if I don't already have it. -offer ends July 15, 2012.

* image source Paris, Les Champs Élysées by Antoine Blanchard, zombie models

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Catacombs from Karina

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet Karina at the Catacombs.

The Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris are an underground ossuary in Paris, France. Located south of the former city gate (the "Barrière d'Enfer" at today's Place Denfert-Rochereau), the ossuary holds the remains of about 6 million people and fills a renovated section of caverns and tunnels that are the remains of Paris's stone mines.
-per wikipedia

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Karina
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Why Paris Catacombs fascinate me?

Did you know that over 6 million Parisians are buried under the city streets? That Paris catacombs is the biggest necropolis in the world? Aha! I thought you didn't!

How did it all start?

By 18th century Paris with its 200 cemeteries within city walls was seriously overcrowded by dead. One of the biggest cemeteries – Cemetery of Innocents had huge amount of aristocratic dead buried under the church, bourgeois in the graves around the cemetery and poor in mass graves. The putrified remains of the dead were so dense whole of Paris soil and water were contaminated. The stench was unbearable, and the cemetery itself with its promenading acrobats, prostitutes, thieves and beggars was literally wall to wall with residential houses. You can imagine the amount of infection outbreaks the city experienced.

After the incident when the walls of a restaurant next to the Cemetery of Innocents caved in May 1780 and thousands of bones and half-decomposed bodies flooded its cellar to the horror of Parisians, after the same thing happened with the residential homes, the authorities decided to close the cemetery. However for 5 more years the rest of the cemeteries around the city continued to be overcrowded, until the authorites agreed with the idea of a police lieutenant Lenoir to use Paris quarries as burial grounds.

Paris quarries where the city masons used to find limestone was a literal maze of underground chambers which had been excavated since the early Middle Ages. They were closed in 18th century because of the danger of the city going under due to the weak foundations (which is the reason you won't see many tall buildings within the old city walls these days) and this vast underground space seemed to be a perfect solution for the problem.

From 1785 until 1814 the remains of the dead were being transported into the quarries. At first it was a solemn funeral ceremony, starting after dark with procession of priests and black chariots, but soon the routine turned the work messy, bones were shoved in and mixed up. The ossuaries of Paris or "catacombs" didn't start as the famous macabre art we now know them for; in the beginning the bones were piled up without any consideration but Viscount de Thury, a general inspector of quarries from 1808 till 1831 changed their look.

When the work was done in 1814, the catacombs were opened to public, but the bones were being stolen, people were lost and the administration closed the quarries for good until the last quarter of the 19th century, and only the most famous historical figures could receive a guided tour of catacombs.

In 1897 the catacombs held their first illegal "rave". The guests received mysterious invitations asking them to secretly present themselves to the entrance of the catacombs in the evening and not to park near by so they won't attract attention of the authorites. When they were led inside they discovered 45 musicians giving a morbid concert of funeral marches among food and drinks and people mingling. The guides nowadays still talk about that concert...

I could have gone for ages about the catacombs and its fascinating history, but the fact is they are huge part of Paris, pretty morbid, and relatively unknown. If I'm in Paris I'm definitely visiting! What about you?


Guest post created by Karina of Nocturnal Book Reviews
© 2012. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Karina
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~


* Karina's source

* leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

* image source from vvb's photo collection

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Monday, July 2, 2012

An American Werewolf in Paris from K.H. Koehler

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet K.H. Koehler on tour.

Bouncer: [outside the Club Luna] Claude said no one is to be admitted once the door was locked.

Serafine: The full moon is rising; would you rather I remained out here with you?

Bouncer: Uh, no.
[opens the door and lets Serafine in, quickly locking the door behind her]
-from film, An American in Paris, per imdb

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by K.H. Koehler
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

This review is part of The Werewolf Run to help promote the release of my own werewolf novel, A Werewolf in Time (Mrs. McGillicuddy #2). Please visit Amazon and Barnes & Noble online for information on ordering a copy of the book for your Kindle or Nook. To see the werewolf tour visit:

There are times when I wonder if a director who’s making a film is actually looking at it. This is one of those times.

An American Werewolf in Paris has much the same setup as its predecessor, An American Werewolf in London. It involves three young people, Andy, Brad and Chris, who are touring Paris and who wind up ass-deep in trouble of the hairiest kind, though the movie seems to shift crazily between the three boys “adventure touring” versus “sex touring,” which rather foreshadows the movie’s erratic multiple personality disorder. Not a good sign. While bungee jumping off the Eifel Tower, Andy saves Serafine from a suicide attempt. What Andy isn’t aware of is that Serafine is the daughter of David Kessler and Alex Price, the lovers from the original movie, An American Werewolf in London. At least, that’s what internet sources would have me believe, though I was never really sure if this was canon in the movie. Nothing like it is ever discussed. In fact, I wasn’t sure about much of anything in this movie.

Not long after, the three young men are invited to an underground party, put on by the human-hating Claude, the head of a secret society of werewolves who regularly lure humans to their parties in order to devour them. During the festivities, Andy gets bitten, Chris gets lost, and Brad gets dead. Serafine intervenes to save Andy’s life, and Andy wakes the next morning forever changed. Claude, however, plans to come around and finish the task he started—eliminating Andy.

What Andy isn’t aware of, but will be soon, is that he has now joined the ranks of the furry, and there’s a full moon tonight. Meanwhile, Brad has returned, much like Jack from the first film, in an attempt to persuade Andy to kill the werewolf who killed him so he can escape his present undead state and move on to the next world. Serafine, meanwhile, is being haunted by her own undead mother—Alex from the first movie, who, in my opinion, got the shortest straw of all in life. Not only did she get involved with David, who was killed in An American Werewolf in London, but she bore his illegitimate wolf-baby, a child who winds up killing her despite her and her second husband’s attempts to reverse her condition. Did I mention Serafine’s step-father is also a paraplegic lycanthrope? And what about that clueless police inspector with the investigative skills of Jacques Clouseau? It’s almost like there was another movie playing somewhere and the characters just wandered randomly onto the set of An American Werewolf in Paris for some cameo shots.

An American Werewolf in Paris is a mess of a movie any way you slice it. In some ways, it feels like a movie half-finished, in another, a movie that should probably have never seen the light of day at all—sad, considering the movie was in development for six years. The Paris visuals are stunning both by daylight and moonlight, but past that, the film offers the audience nothing by way of entertainment value or even much logic. The relationship between Serafine and Claude is ambiguous at best—I can only assume Serafine changed Claude, except that a key part of the climax is Andy destroying Claude, which apparently “frees” Serafine from the curse, an act that makes no sense within the context of the story’s canon and rules. There are also weird sub-plots about Serafine’s scientist stepfather (and part time paraplegic lycanthrope) searching for a cure for lycanthropy, and Claude’s own anti-social hang-ups. Claude apparently loves Americans (or so he says) but has real issues with social welfare. His idea of reform is to devour all those people who are burdening the social system, though this would have a more negative impact on his clan of werewolves than anything else. After all, if all the “undesirables” were gone, Claude and his bunch of deviant furries would have nothing to hunt or eat. Chris, it turns out, has no role except as a male damsel in distress, beaten, hog-tied and threatened by Claude in disturbing, homoerotic ways.

The movie has other problems. There are the awful inside gags, Andy’s murky motivations, and the werewolf visuals themselves. Andy, as a werewolf, manages to kill two people and one cute dog (truly, the movie has no shame) yet he’s practically unaffected by his acts of violence, despite him being a so-called “nice guy”. One of the undead return to haunt-and-taunt him, again like Jack, and make silly commentary about her decaying body and popping eyeballs, while the other undead (including the cute dog) are curiously absent. Somehow, I feel cheated by the missing undead dog. In fact, I’d rather follow his drama than the frantic, mindless series of impossibly stupid incidents that befall our protagonists. The CGI-generated werewolves themselves are so badly rendered, they make pieces of art out of made-for-Syfy computer animation.

The entire movie is a sucking miasma of werewolf vomit that I strongly recommend viewers run, not walk, away from. Please, do it for the undead puppies.

1/2 pentacles out of 5.

Agree or disagree? Share your opinion below.


Guest post created by K.H. Koehler of A Werewolf in Time
© 2012. All rights reserved.

Visit K.H.:
Book Excerpt

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by K.H. Koehler
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

--~ eBook Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

A Werewolf in Time
Mrs. McGillicuddy #2
- The Mrs. McGillicuddy Mysteries
by K.H. Koehler
Just released: May 2012

The Dark is rising…

The McGillicuddys travel to the village of Whitby in East Anglia for a very delayed honeymoon. But once there, they discover the ancient legend of The Wild Hunt, a haunted village of people in the grips of nightmares, and some very recent unexplained murders at the castle estate of Edwin’s old friend, Lord Ian Severn.

Eliza absolutely must investigate! But before she can uncover the secret behind the old castle and its creepy, archaic laboratory, an ancient, power-hungry race of dark Fae stir, which in turn summons the Werewolf of Whitby, the ages-old hunter of the Fae.

Soon, bloodshed and bad fairies abound. And it isn’t long before Edwin and Eliza’s once-relaxing holiday goes straight to the dogs!

WIN a copy of this ebook!

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 15, 2012


VISIT at least ONE of the stops on this book's tour here and leave a comment there.

RETURN here and tell me where you went.

AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)


* film review is a re-post with permission by the author,
original post is located here

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Books and Nails: Paris YA theme surprise

Books & Nails
show me yours

I hold in my hot freshly painted fingers a popular french-themed YA book up for grabs!

What people are saying about this book...

"Very sly.
Very funny.
Very romantic.
You should date this book."
--Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Scarlett Fever

"Imagine a mug of rich, thick hot chocolate.
Now add a swirl of sweet whipped cream.
Well, (this book - title reveal later) is richer, sweeter, and--yes--even hotter.

You're in for a very special treat."
--Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of Peace, Love and Baby Ducks and Let It Snow

"This lively title incorporates plenty of issues that will resonate with teens, from mean girls to the quest for confidence and the complexities of relationships in all their forms."

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

WIN a copy of this book! - front cover now revealed below!

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 31, 2012


1. Email me (vvb32 at a picture of your Books (front cover) & Nails.


2. Tell me the title and author of the book.

3. Provide a description of your decorated nails (optional).

4. Leave a comment to let me know of your participation so that I will look out for your email.

Earn extra points:

- include a mini-review of book

- tweet about this giveaway


* participant entries will be incorporated in future posts for this meme

So far, entries received from:

Ashley of Happy.Pretty.Sweet

Bridget Howard

who's next???

* inspired to create this meme from The Fashion Planner's Burgers and Nails mention in her Things i Love Thursday post

* Front cover reveal of book giveaway...

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu