I was DONE! I ditched graduation, dumped my repressed college boyfriend, and dropped my sexual insecurities for a wild ride with Destiny. Unpredictable Fate beckoned with a European adventure!
In a chance encounter, I met Jean Louis. From the instant we met, the dashing young Frenchman soothed my bruised heart, rejuvenated my spirit, and convinced me that leaving my old life was no mistake. Together, we set out to explore southern France.
Jean Louis was torn from my life almost as quickly as he had entered it, yet leaving the haunting memory of his caress permeating my every thought. Driven by love and passion, I journeyed to find my lover, even if it meant scouring all the hidden corners of France.
Would I ever reunite with the man I believe to be my one true soulmate? Would I ever hear him say he feels the same for me as I do him? What twist of Fate will it take for me to find him?
They said he was “very mean.” He threw people off the bus all the time. Some tried to speak what they could in English, to tell me this bus driver was evil. He would call the police!
I smiled and said with American confidence, “Pas d’aujourd’hui.” Not today.
The bus driver came back and again threatened to call the cops.
I said, “Ahh, M. chauffeur de bus, le flic, il viendra ici, il me dit, ‘Avez-vous un billet?’”
Ahh. Mr. Bus Driver, the cop, he’ll come here, he’ll say to me, ‘Do you have a ticket?’ I pretended to talk to an imaginary cop standing beside the bus driver.
“Et moi, moi je dis… And me, me I say…” I used my theater training to perfection. I put a finger in my cheek to make a pretend dimple and spoke in a honeyed, childlike voice in French.
“Oh, Monsieur Flic, bien sûr, j'ai un billet, avec la date et l’heure d’aujourd’hui, les mêmes que toutes les autres ici.” Oh. Mr. Cop of course, I have a ticket, with today’s date and hour, the same as all the others here. I leaned forward, acting as if I were whispering to the pretend cop. “Il est un peu malade, tsk, tsk.” He is a little sick, tsk, tsk. I twirled my index finger in a small circle, signaling the French gesture of “mental.”
All the bus riders burst out laughing at my sugar-coated, sweet face and voice to the imaginary cop. The red-faced bus driver threw his hands up and went to his seat. His arms across his chest, he stuck out his bottom lip in a Gallic pout and refused to move the bus for nearly ten minutes before finally giving up and moving off.
As each of the riders got off the exit by me, they patted my arm, smiled, and said things like, “Oh, you Americans, you are so amusing. Very good, very good!”
There were still about ten passengers when they got to my stop. I waved at the bus driver and shouted, “À demain!” Until tomorrow. He threw up his hand in a friendly salute before he remembered who I was, then flung his hand forward and scowled.
I laughed and shouted at him, “J’aime la France!” I love France!
In his big mirror at the front, I saw his eyebrows raise, and he lifted his head at me in agreement and gave a tiny smile.
Victory is sweet!
Who is your favorite villain?
Robert Mandeville, the villain in my upcoming historical regency romance book called That Wylde Woman!
Robert is a complicated character. He is the second son of the second son of a duke. The Duke, unhappy with his second son’s marriage choice, refused to give him any position or family monies. Still, he did purchase him a very modest cottage and a few acres.
Robert’s entire family worked in the fields. His father scrimped to send his boys to school. He wanted them to have an opportunity. He kept in touch with his family so his sons might have connections as they approached adulthood, needing those contacts for employment.
Robert always drifted in two worlds: honorable working-class poverty and the indulgent wealthy community of the Ton. Through the connection to hisgrandfather,he was invited to the Ton parties and celebrations as a young man.
A man such as Robert Mandeville, who loved to indulge himself, yet was brought up in a plain, modest household without servants, was a conundrum. As an adult, he attempted to live the do-nothing life of the very wealthy, yet it was a complete façade. Robert was bored by the day-to-day dullness and often reverted to theft just to liven things up. The fact that it fetched him some additional cash was beneficial, but many times, he stole because he hated the superior behavior of the person from whom he was stealing.
His lack of title and funds created a social sinkhole from which he struggled, hoping that something would happen that would make all the difference one day. Yet, Robert being the man of action he was, albeit a man of stealth and secrets, kept his place in the Ton because of his impeccable manners and charm.
He was interested in married women because they were bored with their lackadaisical husbands who drank, gambled, and completely ignored them. He was the handsome, charming man whom they could count on for a romantic dance and then often an exuberant tryst that evening. Robert knew the young ladies would never be allowed to do more than dance, for their parents were looking for titles and deep pockets either to support their daughter or possibly her entire family. It was a jaded world he despised yet desperately wanted to join.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE
As a Special Education teacher, I became fascinated by the English language. I still marvel at how it changes and expands over time. My most pleasurable teaching moments were showing children how a wondrous story can take their imaginations to other times, places, even other worlds. When the pandemic began, I started my first foray into publishing⸺ a nonfiction book, The Sensible Parent’s Little Homeschooler Handbook.
My secret pleasure-writing has always been focused on romance. French Kiss is a Contemporary Romance based on a fictionalized version of experiences during eighteen months of living and working abroad before the formation of the European Union.
Next year, my first Historical Regency Romance That Wylde Woman will be published. It has allowed me to indulge my curiosity and enthusiasm for history by incorporating in the storyline a historical geologic event which affected weather and farming and even how England’s war with Napoleon impacted clothing styles.