But from time to lucky time, there’s a manuscript that’s enthralling. Captivating. Fabulous. A manuscript that makes me pick up the phone or open my email to tell the author—I absolutely LOVE this.
That is exactly what happened when I read Lark Brennan’s earlier version of what was then called Deyrolle. (Isn’t that what it was called, Lark?) And I might be mis-remembering this, but I don’t think the contest even revealed who the author was, so I told the contest admin to let her/him know I was instantly their biggest fan.
That was a while ago, and many things have changed. But not how much I adore this book! Its different, it’s quirky, you would not predict it to be my cup of—anything.
But look at these photos! Look at this story! Oooh, la la! I know we’re having kind of a Paris theme this week, and talking about traveling solo--unplanned, but that’s the Jungle Red magic.
A Special Place in Paris
By Lark Brennan
Thank you so much for inviting me to Jungle Red, Hank! I’m honored to be with such talented authors!
The first time I visited Paris I wasn’t yet 30 and was traveling on my own. My college French had already become a bit rusty but something about the city and its people made me feel that I belonged there. Since then I’ve visited the City of Lights so many times I’ve lost count.
Still, I love Paris in all its moods and seasons, especially a neighborhood that’s begun to feel like home. This is where the most obscure famous place (or is that famous obscure place) in Paris—Deyrolle—inspired me to write IRRESISTIBLY YOURS.
Deyrolle isn’t much from the street, just a quaint garden shop. But when you climb the stairs to the second floor you discover an elegant townhouse filled with the most amazing collection of taxidermy animals—everything from elephants and lions to horses, llamas, chickens and mice--that looked like they froze mid-party. I was so charmed, I imagined the owner of the collection could bring them to life when no one was there. Et voilà! That man became Adrien Durand, a powerful telepath who had inherited the establishment and unusual responsibilities, not to mention a vast international business empire which is in deep trouble.
In spite of the animals, IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is anything but Night at the Museum meets Doctor Dolittle. Rather it’s the story of deceit, betrayal, international intrigue and a man with dangerous enemies determined to destroy him--including a mysterious woman from Adrien’s past. And if external forces aren’t enough, Adrien is also dealing with tricky Durand family dynamics and an unwanted connection to Tate, a beautiful American with psychic abilities of her own.
While I was working on the book, my husband and I had the chance to rent an apartment a few doors down from Deyrolle. I found myself weaving the fabric of the neighborhood into the story and using some of my favorite places for key scenes. For example, Tate’s future is sealed—unbeknownst to her and Adrien—as they stroll past the cafés on Boulevard Saint Germain to the Bel Ami Hotel where she’s staying. After luring kidnappers into Adrien’s trap, the Durand cousins meet up Chez Papa Jazz Club with its graffiti walls and live music. To make up for behaving rudely earlier, Adrien would, naturally, take Tate to dinner at Le Jules Verne on the second floor of Eiffel Tower to apologize and the course of their relationship changes there (the private elevator to the top is fictional as far as I know).
And where else in the Louvre would Tate fall into a trance but the exotic Egyptian wing with all its ancient artifacts?
I also ventured outside the city for inspiration. A few years before I started IRRESISTIBLY YOURS, I’d visited the Parc Zoologique et Château de Thoiry about 20 miles west of Paris and loved seeing all the animals roaming free. So when Adrien and Tate use animal telepathy to rescue a pair of white lions from explosions during a concert, they take them to Valtois, the Durand family’s estate and animal sanctuary for wild and exotic animals.
I never intended the book to be a Paris travelogue, and it only touches on a very small part of the city. But it does share my love of the streets and places in a neighborhood of the old section of the Left Bank. I can only hope that readers will feel a little of the magic of my special corner of Paris.
HANK: Wait—Susan, are you going to Paris soon? Or someone? How can you resist a visit here?
Did you all even know this existed? What do you think of it—fabulous? Or bizarre? Or both?
And the amazing Lark is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter!
Adrien Durand, one of the most powerful telepaths in the world, was born for a life of action and intrigue. But his father’s sudden death forces him to return to Paris to take over his family’s business empire and control the source of the Durand family’s psychic abilities. When American empath Tate Fulbright walks into his world, he suspects she's a spy for the Durands’ enemies. Even more disturbing, however, is the mysterious energy that flows between them, forming a psychic link he’s powerless to break.
Adrien’s life begins to unravel when an unknown enemy tries to abduct Tate, and threatens his family and his freedom. Just as it seems Adrien and Tate might have a chance for a future together, the danger gets up close and personal—and deadly.
You can find her at: www.larkbrennan.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/LarkBrennan/
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS is available at:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1SFk9DA