Author Archives: Laura Florand


Permalink to Fleurs (2)

Fleurs (2)

Note: This is an old post from 2007, when I first started doing research for the Vie en Roses series. I’m re-posting it now because I’m pretty sure none of my new readership (those who found me with the Chocolate books) have seen it and that you might enjoy a glimpse of this world.

 

All around Grasse in the south of France, the world is full of flowers.

Maybe most of those old fields of flowers have been sold, turned into “concrete fields” as one rose grower said, or villas.

But the people who live there have kept flowers as their identity, what makes them unique and beautiful. They are the place where flowers and perfume once reigned supreme, and that’s a beautiful identity for any place, so they want to keep it.

grasse_perfumer.jpg
(A statue in Grasse of a 17th-century perfumer. Imagine buying perfumes from someone in the streets like this! If only we could somehow blend the beauty of their world with one where we have electricity and vaccinations.)

So flowers show up…in violet flavored ice cream.

violet_icecream.jpg

(The same place had lavender, rose, and orange blossom with pine nuts. More on this glacier later.)

In trous normands at fine restaurants, where the sorbets are flavored with lavender or thyme or rosemary. (Two of which aren’t flowers, but when you’re eating them, close enough.)

mougins_lamandier.jpg

(What a delightful experience this restaurant was in every way, the food, the view, the waiter, the chef, the hostess…)

In guimauve, which is old-fashioned, handmade marshmallow. Cut, as Auer sells them:

auer_guimauve.jpg

Or left in strips, as they are in the big jar in this photo.

grasse_shop.jpg

The flavors were orange blossom, violet, anise, and rose.

In the same photo, we find flowers in syrups and liqueurs and jellies. (In French, jelly or jam is a confiture de fruits, but a confit de rose or jasmin or any flower.)

In fountains.

grasse_rosefountain.jpg

This one flows with eau de rose.

And that is not all, but I must take a break now and go lay me down in a bed of roses…

rosesgrasse.jpg

 

 


Permalink to Once Upon a Rose, advanced copies have gone out

Once Upon a Rose, advanced copies have gone out

ONCE UPON A ROSE advanced review copies have gone out!! If you put your name in the drawing, be sure to check your email and spam (because spam filters love these things). Demand however was *really* high. We increased the advanced copies from 10 to 20 in honor of the demand, but of course there were still a lot more requests than copies.

Thank you SO MUCH for your interest in this new series. I’m very excited about it. To me, there is such a sweetness to this particular couple that I hope they bring sweetness to you, too, and that this will be a beautiful visit to a valley of roses in the south of France and a very fun meeting of this new family, all the Rosiers.

COMING SOON!

once upon a rose laura florand


Permalink to Friday Book Club!

Friday Book Club!

Let’s talk about books today! It’s Friday Book Club, and we’ve missed a couple with the holidays. What are you reading?

I’m reading proofs of ONCE UPON A ROSE, to be honest. I’m enjoying that, so that’s a good sign, right? I find this couple so sweet.

Also, our Romance Novel course at Duke has started! And for the first week I have them reading Susan Napier’s IN BED WITH THE BOSS, so I’m re-reading that to prep my class. (The title has already gotten some discussion going in class! It will be fun to see how discussion goes Monday.) Have any of you read it? This must be one of my favorite Harlequin Presents, and I routinely contact any writers I know in New Zealand and beg them to tell me when Susan Napier is going to publish another book. And this is probably the reader favorite of all her books.

Have you ever read category romances like Harlequin Presents? (Do you have favorite authors, if so?)

Next up for me, I have WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR waiting for me at the library desk, and I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to start it this weekend, because it sounds really fascinating.

What about you? What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?


Permalink to The darkened Eiffel Tower

The darkened Eiffel Tower

Earlier today I learned that one of our colleagues was one of the journalists gravely wounded in the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices. Philippe Lançon, a very well-known journalist for Libération who also collaborated with Charlie Hebdo, spent last year here as a Media Fellow, in our department, and taught two courses for us, as well as gave many talks and was very actively engaged here intellectually, as you might expect of someone of his mind and wit. I didn’t realize he was among the wounded until another colleague emailed the rest of us today. My understanding is that, while seriously wounded, his prognosis is good, but it’s just…hard for me to wrap my mind around this event, as it is for everyone, I think, and to actually know someone who was caught in it makes it that much harder to encompass, while at the same time bringing it closer. The colleague who emailed to let us know is actually teaching a course on freedom of expression in France, inspired in part by some of the work with Lançon, a course that, by bitter coincidence, started yesterday, of all days.

The Eiffel Tower went dark tonight in honor of the victims.

I’m sorry to bring dark things to this site, as you know that is something I prefer to avoid, but of course you know how important Paris and France are to me, and my husband, of course, is Parisian, and these are artists and journalists he “grew up with” (reading their work).

It’s a very grievous thing.


Permalink to Keep Warm!

Keep Warm!

I am really dumbfounded that they didn’t delay openings today. They’ve delayed for much warmer temperatures here. (Schoolkids waiting for the bus before dawn without good winter attire, which they might often not have in this area if their family is struggling.)

Of course *we* are only at 10F, plus wind chill. That’s practically toasty warm compared to some of you. How are all of you doing? How are you staying warm? (It probably won’t surprise you to know that our method in this household involves hot chocolate.)

I hope you have a cozy throw and a good book to read! And if you have to go out in it, that you don’t have to stay out in it long.


Permalink to Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo

I rarely post anything to do with international tragedies here, because I want this to be a safe and happy space, but I just wanted to state my extreme sadness for the courageous artists and journalists of Charlie Hebdo as well as the two policemen who died intervening.

This is a very grievous day.

If you are in Paris, I think people will be gathering at République to manifest for freedom of expression at 18h00.

Rest in peace.


Permalink to Maybe that sweet book you’ve been waiting for?

Maybe that sweet book you’ve been waiting for?

Going through the edits and proofs of ONCE UPON A ROSE makes me feel as if I’m wrapping myself up in a big cozy throw, with hot chocolate. Only the cozy throw is made of rose petals and that pine- and herb-scented air of Provence. Summer in winter.

I think for those of you who have been wanting another sweet and not-so-angsty book from me, this might be it! (Watch everyone email me about how angsty it is, though! That happens to me all the time, when I think the book is basically a big bowl of marshmallows.)

Still…this one does feel (to me) as if it’s dominated by one big, grouchy cuddle-bunny. We’ll see if you like him. :)

I’m getting really excited to launch the Rosier series with this book.  I hope those of you who have been wanting another sweet comfort read will be happy!

Book 1 of the Vie en Roses series, ONCE UPON A ROSE, coming soon!

 


Permalink to Happy New Year! And my New Year news: Once Upon a Rose

Happy New Year! And my New Year news: Once Upon a Rose

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you have fun ringing out the old one today (safe fun! be safe!) and that 2015 is a great year for all of you.

MY news to start the New Year off right, which I hope you all will like, too, is that ONCE UPON A ROSE is ready to go into production! “Into production” means that story wise it is done and we are starting the copy edits. (After which come proofing, formatting, and another round of proofing of the formatting. Which sounds like a lot, and it IS a lot, especially with a new semester starting, but it does mean the book is coming your way.)

I have to offer once again a huge thank you to Virginia Kantra, who reached out to me about this story when she heard about some of the things that derailed it back in July, and whose insight into Story with a capital S really made a huge difference to me and to this book.

Also, another big thank you to all of you who offered support and to read it or really anything that could help! That meant a lot to me, to hear from you.

Happy New Year to all of you!

once upon a rose florand


Permalink to Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

I’m signing off through the holidays, but wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday season before I go!

May your season be merry and bright!

And if the holidays are a tough time for you, hide away with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate, if you need to.

All my best wishes for a good start to 2015!


Permalink to Heart’s Gift

Heart’s Gift

HEART’S GIFT: I’ve heard from a few alert readers who have told me that I switched the names around on Luc and Summer’s children. (That in the epilogue to THE CHOCOLATE HEART, they oldest child is Océane and the second is Lucienne.)

It’s TRUE. I managed to switch this around very early when working on SHADOWED HEART and didn’t myself realize it until readers pointed it out this week.

I am in a bit of a quandary as to how to resolve it now, because…well, here is the thing. The epilogue anticipated 7 years into Luc & Summer’s future.

But working on SHADOWED HEART, it became very obvious how valuable it would be to Luc to have his first child named after him, and that Summer realized this and would do it.

So…I know this kind of thing drives readers absolutely crazy, and I can understand. Because to you the story is fixed, and to me it’s always in a process of creation.

But given that the mistake is MADE now and it’s too late, I will have to reflect some. Obviously the easiest thing to do is to revise HEART’S GIFT so that they use the name Océane. But…well, I’m really attached to the significance of naming her after Luc and what her name means.

So…I will think. I do very much apologize for the error! I know this is the kind of thing that can drive a reader crazy. It should perhaps be a lesson to me not send out these side stories! I really wanted to send out a special story as a gift, though. :( I don’t know and will have to reflect.

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