MOST exciting news: Paris Ever After (the sequel to The Paris Effect) is coming out on May 1, 2018. Tick, tock.
Next most exciting news: The Paris Effect has been optioned for film and TV, AND is going to be translated into Portuguese. It will be published sometime this year.
And more exciting news: We received a very nice review from Kirkus Reviews for Paris Ever After. I really like the synopsis they wrote. Couldn’t have done a better job myself! Here it is:
In this follow-up novel, an American woman who left her husband to live in Paris discovers obstacles to living her dream.
Amy Brodie, first introduced in The Paris Effect (2016), abruptly left her Phoenix home and her husband, Will, for a Paris adventure after the death of her best friend, Kat. It was to have been a short trip, but after a brief visit home and argument with Will, she decided to stay on in the City of Light. Amy’s new landlady, Margaret, a 60-ish British expat who’s been lonely after her adult daughter’s disappearance, has two friends who’ve become Amy’s own: Herve, self-absorbed but theatrically charming, and Manu (short for Emmanuel), who once dated Margaret’s daughter. Amy works for Manu’s catering delivery service, a good fit–she loves everything food-related and writes a blog called Fun French Food. On the day of Amy’s 30th birthday, Will shows up in Paris at the same time another unexpected guest arrives at Margaret’s house. Both visits introduce complications that upend Amy’s newly arranged and blissful life, giving her several questions to answer: Should she stay in Paris or return to Phoenix? Go through with her divorce or not? Uncertain, yet with a newfound trust in her intuition, Amy must make choices that will affect more than herself. Burns offers an appealing heroine in Amy, who has managed to let go of her self-admitted “insane” relationship with food in favor of one that’s fulfilling and creative, reflected even when describing Margaret’s apartment: “The butter-pat yellow walls, the chocolate and robin’s egg blue Aubusson carpet, the clove-dark beams.” Though such a novel could easily become shallow wish-fulfillment fantasy, Burns adds several layers of complication: secrets and lies to be unraveled; a history of grief and loss; and opportunities to prove Amy’s skill and resourcefulness, as when putting together a meal from an almost bare pantry. Amy’s voice is wry, honest, and articulate, a pleasure to spend time with.
An entertaining read for Francophiles, foodies, and romantics.
You have to love a review like that!
Finally, we also got a nice write-up from Midwest Book Reviews; here it is:
Paris Ever After is a love story that follows the results of Amy’s impulsive flight to a city far from home, and continues the adventure she experiences upon moving to Paris, far from her former life.
Amy told nobody of her goals and departure when she fled, and now she’s building a new life in the city of dreams, and is pregnant at the age of thirty. She’s enjoying every moment of new friendships, French culture, and a life that feels far more immediate than her old world.
Unfortunately the past has a way of swinging full circle into present-day affairs, and Amy finds her new life shaken when two visitors (one from her past; the other an unexpected arrival bringing conflict into her world) show up. Is Amy firmly enough rooted and committed to her new Parisian persona to deflect forces that could tear apart what she’s built? Would it be safer to leave Paris, or smarter to stay?
Readers with a special affinity for Parisian culture will relish a novel that is well steeped in French affairs, serving as an enthralling backdrop to Amy’s ongoing transformative process.
Paris Ever After excels in building the kind of story that is immediately absorbing and even, surprisingly, educational (“Yes, in France the cheese course comes with rules. It’s hilarious. Women are served first. Older people are served before younger people. If a cheese is round you carve out a wedge. If a cheese is rectangular you cut an even slice across the short side. Your pieces should be no bigger than the size of your pinkie finger. Do not take more than three varieties of cheese, and, whatever you do, serve yourself only once. I love stuff like this.”).
Equally powerful is the human psychology that permeates Amy’s changing relationships and revelations: “In our few years as a couple I’ve done the weeping for both of us. Even when I had the miscarriage, soon after our hasty wedding, all he did was look grave, and then, days later, inform me in a neutral tone that “one third of first pregnancies end in miscarriage.” Facts and data. They can serve you, and you can love them, but they’ll offer little love or solace in return. Anyway, information isn’t the same thing as knowledge. I said this to William once, not long after we started dating. He just looked at me.”
It should be mentioned that Paris Ever After is also a touching and engaging read fueled by the compassion of its characters and by their realistic cross-cultural encounters and connections to past and present: “Here I am in a foreign country, far from my humble upbringing in inner city Phoenix, but suddenly, I feel totally comfortable, totally at home.”
Whether it’s passion, compassion, romance, or confronting emotional ties, Paris Ever After is the kind of captivating read that can fling even armchair travelers into another country into hearts and minds that are filled with interpersonal connections and beauty.
The result is a story that is emotionally heartwarming; filled with warm tea, giving, and inter-relationships that feel compellingly familiar. As Amy makes some tough decisions and continues to cement her love for Paris, readers will find themselves thoroughly immersed in the atmosphere and attractions of French culture in a highly recommended leisure story for a stormy night, a stormy heart, or an attempt to reconnect with the intrinsic goodness in people.
-D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review