A Paris afternoon in Place Saint-Michel, complete with music

Most afternoons when we’re in Paris I take the métro to Place Saint-Michel, the crowded plaza on the Seine across from Notre-Dame cathedral. For a few days before I took this picture and video a well-used upright piano sat ready for amateur pianists, most of whom were of the “chopsticks” variety. But one day the music changed, and we were treated to a real musician:

Pianist-in-Place-Saint-Michel-Paris

I watched a while and caught this short video. Stay with it through the end for a view of the famous fountain.

Then I left to write. When I returned four hours later the piano was gone.

 

Audio version of Treasure of Saint-Lazare is now available

IT’S AVAILABLE – The audio version of Treasure of Saint-Lazare has been released on Audible.com and Amazon.com. You can hear a sample and buy it  at http://j.mp/12mxGb2.

This is the full, unabridged version of the novel as narrated by Tim Campbell, a talented operatic baritone who lives in Pasadena, CA. He’s narrated more than two dozen audio books for Audible.com, and I listened carefully to several of his audition samples before choosing him from among 20 candidates. I’m pleased, and hope you will be, too.

The Kindle and paperback versions of my novel are on this page: http://j.mp/UKIVVi

 

The Passages of Paris

If you’ve made more than one trip to Paris you’ve probably seen some of the famous Passages, the 19th-century indoor shopping centers under glass, which connect one street to another. They were important when they were built because they provided shelter from the rain as well as the mud and mess of pre-pavement Paris.

The City of Paris web site — paris.fr — has an English-language section that features a recent article on the Passages. Go to http://j.mp/X1NdNs for the overview, and from there you can download (PDF) the city’s brochure on the passages.

As an aside, Passage Jouffroy, home to the wax museum, the Hôtel Chopin, a really outstanding teashop and a bunch of antique-book stores, features prominently in the early portion of my novel Treasure of Saint-Lazare. (Amazon: http://j.mp/UKIVVi).

 

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Hotel Chôpin, where my characters escaped from the pursuing Germans

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Le Valentin, tea-room extraordinaire, just down the passage from the Hôtel Chopin. There’s a dining room upstairs, as well

Thanks for a successful promotion

The two-day promotion for Treasure of Saint-Lazare ended Saturday night, with almost 5,000 free copies downloaded. The success of the promotion gave me a substantial jump in sales the next day — thanks to everyone who participated.

In order to encourage more sales, I’ve reduced the price to $2.99 rather than its original list of $4.99. This special offer will last for at least two weeks.

To read about Treasure of Saint-Lazare or to buy it, go here.

The paperback went to the printer this week and should be available on Amazon.com by mid-December. That’s not a printing delay, just the normal setup time Ingram takes to get a new book into its database. If you know someone (such as a reviewer) who would like to have it earlier than that, I will have a few copies within a couple of weeks.

The Kindle version still has one of the best reviewers’ rankings among mystery/thrillers/suspense fiction. So far I have 14 reviews, of which 13 give it five stars, for a rank of 4.9 stars. Thanks — and if you haven’t yet reviewed it, I’d appreciate your doing so. I’d also appreciate a review on Goodreads.com – http://j.mp/OKdIEX

Thanks again for your support.

 

Magical Métro Musique

One of the delights of walking around Paris is finding unexpected charms. Whether it’s a pocket park or an first-time view, it’s always a pleasant surprise.Today we enjoyed finding a familiar string orchestra in the busy Châtelet métro station, one of the prime spots for busker groups — soloists tend to stick to the corridors and landings, where the hard walls carry their sounds further than you’d think.

We first saw this group several years ago, performing under one of the arcades of the Place de Vosges. Since then we’ve bought two of their CDs, which they issue under the name “Le Marais Performers.” They are said to be conservatory students, but there’s no program so it’s hard to tell, and the players change frequently.