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Picturing a World

Fruit stand

On the way to Amy and Sonja’s studio for a session of sketching in the chapter “Winter’s Cold,” Jeanette is struck by how artistically French tradesmen arrange fruits and vegetables. Those beautifully piled displays are something I love about Paris, which is why I put them in the novel and why I was mindful of this painting as I wrote. In the original manuscript, Jeanette banters with a fruitier while she makes her selection of apples to take with her. The scene was edited way down, but here are fruits to linger over—they are even summer fruits for August! Read More 
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Winter's cold

In Pont Aven in August 1878, Amy warns Jeanette about the everlasting gloom of Paris in winter. That slushy, dark, urban chill is captured in Buhot's 1879 etching (complete, notice, with dogs on the street). In August 2013, why not welcome a momentary shiver?!
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American Girls Art Club

Blog Alert:I'm almost too excited to type, but you MUST go to today's American Girls Art Club post for a book review of Where the Light Falls with a GORGEOUS illustrated tour of Paris to take you to landmarks in the novel. Thank you, Marge! Read More 
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Blue-and-white teacups

When Edward goes to Sonja and Amy’s studio to see the portrait medallions Sonja has sculpted for him, Amy serves the gathered friends tea in chipped blue-and-white porcelain. I got the idea for chipped china from Massachusetts artist Eleanor Norcross, who  Read More 
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Effie's "Lady's Guide"

An early Eureka! moment on this project came when I saw a reference to May Alcott Nieriker’s Studying Art Abroad and How To Do It Cheaply. Wow! Louisa May Alcott’s sister wrote a book for women who wanted to study art in Paris in 1879? Read More 
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Prop collections

Blog alert: Successful 19th C artists built large personal collections of props to use in their paintings. Yesterday James Gurney posted on prop collections during the Golden Age of illustration with an update to current movie studio collections and manufactories.
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Napoleon III

Emperor Napoleon III might not be anyone's choice as companion on a Summer Adventure, but he provided worlds of anecdotal material during his reign and he'll take us back into Where the Light Falls. At Cornelia Renick’s house, Maestro Hippolyte Grandcourt regales a lunch gathering with a story about a model who stood in for him while the many official portraits required by an empire were being painted. This anecdote was my way of glancing back at France’s glittering Second Empire (1852–1870), which haunted French memory in the first decades of the succeeding Third Republic (1870–1940). Read More 
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And the winners are …

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures, and now Winners of 10 Great Giveaway books:

Kate Noble’s Let It Be Me: Emily R.
Lauren Willig’s The Ashford Affair: Ann Z. & Lori K.
T.J. Brown’s Summerset Abbey: Spring Awakening: Connie F.
Alison Atlee’s The Typewriter Girl: Theresa B. & Debra C.
Jessica Brockmole’s Letters from Skye: Ally P.
Katherine Keenum’s Where the Light Falls: Patricia in NYC
Sarah Jio’s The Last Camellia: TBA
Deanna Raybourn’s A Spear of Summer Grass: Rebecca B.
Stephanie Lehmann’s Astor Place Vintage: Jessica L.
Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird: Sarah (at 2:40)

Winner of the Grand Prize, all ten books: Meredith A.

Congratulations, winners! And to all of you who have ventured out with us, thanks for coming along. Thanks especially to those of you who commented on my blog. It has been a great pleasure to meet you and I hope you come back often to explore Paris and writing historical fiction. Happy reading for the rest of the summer! Read More 
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Summer Adventure: Susanna Kearsley

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14—tomorrow!

You may enter today’s contest by leaving a comment on Susanna’s blog.

Here’s Susanna:

Nicola’s not looking for adventure. But when a client brings a family heirloom—called “the Firebird”—to her gallery to be appraised for sale, she has to help, despite the fact that helping means she’ll have to use the psychic “gifts” she’d rather hide, and call a favor in from an old boyfriend, Rob, whose gifts are even greater than her own. Read More 
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Summer Adventure: Stephanie Lehmann

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

You may enter today’s contest by going to the Astor Place Vintage Facebook page and liking it. Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

Here’s Stephanie:

Adventure? What do I know about Adventure? I’m not an adventurous person. I’d rather stay home than travel. And if I do go anywhere, the natives will speak English, wifi will be available, and the restaurants will ideally offer hamburgers and apple pie. If I’m feeling particularly daring, I’ll get cheese on my pie. Read More 
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