One Dance in Paris

by Julia Holden

Why I Picked This Book:
I saw it from across the room, the image of a man and woman dancing across the cover of a book. As I moved closer, I saw the title, One Dance in Paris. While the name of the author, Julia Holden seemed vaguely familiar, I was certain that I had never read her work. Even so, the title intrigued me, and the purchase of this novel rounded out the collection of French-themed books that I gave myself for my birthday last month.

Brief Plot Summary:
Linda Stone lives in a Boston suburb with her father who has never quite gotten over the death of her mother, when she was a girl. For that matter, neither has Linda, who runs as an escape from the reality of her life in which she works successive low-paying job, generally as a waitress, and avoids Harvard men as much as possible.

When a mysterious package arrives at her door – a single feather and a photograph – Linda decides she has to solve this personal mystery. She travels first to Las Vegas, to meet the sender of the package, and then to Paris, and along the way she learns that a headliner is not a showgirl, that her mother was a headliner, and that sometimes people can mentor you from beyond the grave…sort of.

My Thoughts About the Book:
I loved this book. I wanted it never to end, and I have to admit, I’d have loved a couple more chapters in Paris, both before and after the actual end point. While elements of the story were preposterous, Holden wove them into a story that sucks you in enough that you can buy into Linda’s tale. The dialogue is fresh, the clothing descriptions are fabulous, and there’s a breezy sense of adventure that pervades the entire novel. This is chick-lit, but it’s chick-lit at it’s best: light, fun, and immensely satisfying.

Not only to I recommend this novel, I’m also eager for the first of the month to roll around, so I can buy the author’s other book, and read that as well.

If you’re a fan of off-kilter heroines, Paris, or Project Runway, you will LOVE this book.

Talking Pictures

My favorite details of the Harry Potter books are the moving, interactive paintings and photographs, where you can not only see a bit of movement, but because subjects can visit other frames, it’s like having many different pictures.

Even though we live in a decidedly muggle world, we actually can have something similar, thanks to the use of modern technology. Buy a digital photo frame and use your USB drive to upload images, and you can have either a single still, or a personal slide show, playing in a photo frame of your choosing (metal, wood-tone, or acrylic) in sizes from 7-10 inches, and even better, you can include audio.

The company that makes these digital frames is called Digital Framez, and even though their locations are limited to the UK and Australia right now, they ship worldwide.

Even better, 10 inch digital picture frames come with a free 256 MB memory card, and all of them also support DIVX playback, so you can actually have movie playback, and since takes PayPal, and will give you pricing in your local currency, not only do you not have to figure out what $109 is in galleons and sickles, you also don’t have to convert dollars to British pounds.

Consider a digital frame today. It’s less expensive than a trip to Hogwarts.

Booking Through Thursday: Sunshine and Roses

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

What is it?

It really depends on my own mood on beautiful days, what I read just for kicks. It might be a decorating book by Alexandra Stoddard, though my favorite work of hers is Gift of a Letter, or it might be something by the always hilarious Christopher Moore. If it’s hot, and I’m missing the beach, I’m likely to go outside with a glass of cold water (with lemon) and a juicy Anne Rivers Siddons novel or a really good mystery, or I might feel like traveling to a new world with some great fantasy or science fiction, or Jen Lancaster’s latest snarky memoir.

Prompted by Booking through Thursday