Early last month, my husband and I traveled to NY for a gorgeous, fun weekend, and then on to France for the next 10 days. Our first stop was in an amazing medieval chateau in the village of Eze, located high above the Mediterranean between Nice and Monaco, with breathtaking views of the sea. Then, we went up to Lyon to explore that city and visit some French friends. Our final stop
was Paris for a special birthday dinner at the Eiffel Tower, bookended by lovely walks in the Latin Quarter and romantic spots in the City of Light.
At times, the writer in me couldn’t help herself: I was busy observing the unusual and sometimes mysterious happenings around us:
- At boutique hotel Chateau Eza, and while exploring the beautiful Jardin Exotique (Exotic Garden) nearby, a plot line featuring a sudden (accidental?) fall from a terrace hundreds of feet above sea level over rocky cliffs popped into my mind, and it hasn’t left yet.
- In our Lyon hotel, another luxury inn and spa where we were upgraded (free) to a very spacious suite on the premier étage (2nd floor), we woke one morning to find all our windows shielded on the outside by metal barriers that we couldn’t raise. Feeling trapped and wondering how and why, I called the desk and reported the issue in French, with a hint of panic in my voice: “Bonjour, Madame. C’est Mme Mcdermott à l’appareil, et… “ (Hello, this is Mrs. Mcdermott, and..) There was a logical and therefore non-creepy explanation: I had inadvertently pressed an unnoticed white remote on the nightstand when I went to bed that lowered the barriers to block out the light. I quickly found the remote and hit the button and Voilà, problème solved.
- But one creepy thing about this fabulous hotel (possibly my favorite one in the world) was a message we noticed imprinted on a tile in the wall, in the bathroom next to the shower. My husband actually did touch it, and nothing happened, fortunately.
- In Paris, all went (basically) well, but one morning as we slept in, the room dark and quiet, we heard the door knob slowly turn. The door to our room was in a small alcove to the right and behind us as we slept. A sliver of light grew into a square and footsteps followed. Then came a breathless, hurried Excusez-moi, presumably from the femme de ménage (maid) as she softly closed the door. We thought we had locked it the night before, but… qui sait? (Who knows?)
I had a blast in Dallas, and in NY and France last month. Now that it’s November, the holiday season is about to unfold, and I’m looking forward to family visiting us as I work in my writing time on my next novel. In between, I’ve squeezed in two appearances, and you are invited to both:
- On Tuesday Nov 12, I will read a smidge from my latest work and speak about writing at Crema Espresso Gourmet in Dunwoody, GA at 6:30 pm. Four local authors will join me and admission is free. Come have a glass of wine and dinner while you learn about us and our books.
- Then on Saturday Dec 7, I will be at Johns Creek Books & Gifts from 3-4pm at a book signing arranged by the Atlanta writers Club.
Books are always good gifts, and signed copies are even better. I would love to meet you and tell you more about mine on Nov 12 and Dec 7. See you then! Learn more at juliamcdermottbooks.com