Paris pictures are a little industry all to themselves — I’ve even been known to make a few. But Instagram users have pulled more than a half-million together under the hashtag #ParisMaVille, and they are fun.
Here, for example, is The Balloon Diary, a short video that reminds me in a good way of The Red Balloon, the 1956 short film.
It’s part of a website, TheBalloonDiary, made by Anna Dawson, an Australian who followed her muse to Paris. Her site said she and significant other made the video in collaboration with Autolib, the French car-by-the-hour rental service.
Thanks to the people at the Wishing Shelf Awards for awarding Last Stop: Paris its “Red Ribbon Award” and “highly recommended” rating.
Wishing Shelf is a British organization that manages an annual contest for indie-published books. Its judgments are crowd-sourced — that is, the books are distributed to a group of readers whose scores all go into the final judgment.
Wishing Shelf posted the results on Amazon today. You can see the full score and review of my novel at this page.
My favorite among the brief reviews was this one, from a woman who identified herself only as age 55: “Fantastic twist at the end. I liked this book a lot. The cover is also excellent. When I was half way through I realized I needed to read the first book to understand what was going on. So, I bought it on Amazon, read it (also very good) and then everything became clear. Full of fun – and nasty characters and well-plotted.”
Last Stop: Paris continues to sell briskly on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.6/5 stars and almost always ranks among the top 5% of the million-plus books available in the Kindle market.
TWO YEARS AGO, when I had hardly started the writing of Last Stop: Paris, I was casting about for a good location to set the climactic, resolving scene. I needed a crowded urban site (not hard to find in Paris) where I could set a car chase that ended in the Seine. At the time I wasn’t sure that’s how the book would end, but it made more and more sense as I worked through the writing and revision of the manuscript.
Île Saint-Louis has long been one of my favorite walking haunts, even though it’s very crowded during during tourist season. The architecture is marvelous and historic, the shops are fun if not practical, and there are more than enough places to stop for a coffee or an ice cream, as my character Jeremy Bentham says in the opening chapter.
So the Île it would be. Starting the scene there would bring a certain roundness and sense of completion to the story because the first scene is set there as well. So, after hours of pacing its streets and quais, in the summer of 2014 I found my site.
I make a lot of photos of Paris, especially the parts that seem like they’d be good “characters” in a novel. Actually, that describes pretty much all of Paris, which is why I have thousands of JPGs stored in the Google cloud.
These are some of the photos I used in constructing that last scene.
Last Stop: Paris is the sequel to Treasure of Saint-Lazare. Both are available on Amazon. The story will flow better if you read them in order.
I can’t think of any other way to say it: Kirkus Reviews LOVED my new novel Last Stop: Paris. Said the sage of book reviews, it is “An exhilarating journey that will satisfy the most avid thriller reader.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
You can see the entire review on Kirkus’s own site, or look at the full info sheet for the book, which includes several other pre-reviews, by clicking on the image below.Last Stop: Paris will be available for pre-order on Amazon within a few days, and will go on formal sale Dec. 1.
There’s still time to prepare your own review before the sale begins, if you’re so inclined. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a link to download a review copy. Include your mailing address if you’d prefer a paperback.