Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Paris is Always a Good Idea -- Release Day!

On Sale Today!






































RHYS: Who doesn't agree that Paris is always a good idea? Now more than ever! But today we Reds are jumping up and down with excitement because this much anticipated day has finally come.  Our dear Jenn's beautiful, wonderful, sexy, funny break-out book is finally born.

What's more it's the perfect book to help us escape from the crazy world we're living in. Tell all your friends. Jenn couldn't have the sort of tour and publicity she would have expected for a new venture like this so let's all shout from the rooftops.

Here is enough to whet your appetite:

One of Popsugar’s Best New Books for Summer 2020

A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.


It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again. 

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.


JENN McKINLAY: What a thrill to have Paris is Always a Good Idea released into the wild! Even after so many books (Paris is my 45th book!!!) the thrill of opening a box of author's copies never ever gets old! 

This book, oh, this book. My first foray into women's fiction and it was an endeavor. It was hard. It required some blood letting, sage burning, and howling at the moon. Okay, not really, but it sure felt like it. Given that my personality is one of conflict avoidance -- as in, Oh, things are awful, okay, let's just cracks jokes and move forward and pretend we're not having any feelings -- writing about a person grappling with grief and loss and big turning points in her life, while she was traveling in three different countries, mind you -- was really freaking difficult. Oh, and it's me, so it had to be funny or why bother. In fact, I'm quite positive this book gave me shingles! Oy!

There was so much about this book that came from my own life. Chelsea, the heroine, finds herself at a turning point where big decisions have to be made. Her journey to find her happiness brought me back to the time in my life where I was standing at a crossroads, trying to decide which way I should go. Should I quit my job and move across the country to follow my dream of being a writer or should I continue on in the unfulfilling but safe job I had landed post college? I suppose it’s obvious which path I chose. Like me, Chelsea quits her job, but her journey, to try and find her former happiness, becomes much more complicated than she anticipated.

Chelsea has been challenged by her sister, Annabelle, to rediscover her old self in the last place she can remember being happy. She believes that if she goes back and reconnects with her past loves, maybe, she can find her happiness and herself again. But is it possible to go back? Can we ever be the person we once were before such a life changing event like the loss of a loved one? There is only one way for Chelsea to find out. She has to go.

It is my fondest wish that Chelsea’s journey will resonate with you, Readers. I think we have all lived through times of loss and grief, endured uncertainty while standing at life’s crossroads, and have looked to our past to inform our future, while navigating this crazy journey called life. Being able to examine these truths through Chelsea, while writing about some of the places I love best in the world was a pure joy for me in the end (despite the shingles) and I hope it will be for you as well.

So, tell me, if you had to go to Europe (hardship, I know) to make a big life decision, which country would you visit and why? 



Also, if you're in the mood for a bargain (and who isn't?) my romantic comedy EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY is on sale for $2.99, with several other terrific titles, wherever ebooks are sold!

75 comments:

  1. Happy Book Birthday, Jenn! My pre-ordered book is on the way and I’m looking forward to reading Chelsea’s Paris adventures. Congratulations on your newest book . . . .

    Oh, goodness, there are so many places on my “if I ever get to Europe” list that I’d like to visit . . . Paris, of course, is definitely at the top of the list [to visit the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral]. But Italy and the Sistine Chapel are pretty high on the list, too . . . .

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    1. Thank you, Joan! I only went to Florence when I was in Italy. Rome is definitely on my list.

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    2. You need to visit Rome once, but Florence merits many visits!

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  2. Congrats on the release!

    Not sure where I'd head to in Europe. I'd be happy just to be traveling anywhere.

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  3. Hooray, Jenn! Your book is finally out! As for travel to Europe I’d be thrilled to be heading anywhere.

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    1. Thank you! I think we're all feeling that one!

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  4. Oh, happy book birthday, Jenn. This theme really resonates, especially now when we simply can't go to Europe!

    I would go to the UK - Cornwall to be precise. Passed through once in college and fell in love with the sound of the sea. I'd love to go back and stay a while, really sort things through.

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    1. Thank you, Kait! I've always wanted to see Cornwall. There are big cliffs there, yes?

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  5. Congratulations, Jenn! My copy is on its way. I'd probably want to find a cottage in a little French village to write and think and eat great food.

    Was this book you rewrote parts of in a hurry after the last presidential election to give the woman protag more agency and not be pushed around by a man? I guess that would have been too long ago for this one. I admired you for doing that, whichever book it was.

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    1. That was Barking Up the Wrong Tree - thanks for remembering that. Most brutal rewrite (50K wds in 3 weeks) ever! This one was just A LOT of travel and research. Loved the travel part :)

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    2. We are all grieving for travel about now!

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  6. Congrats on the new book release Jenn.

    If I was going to be heading over to Europe, I would want to visit the UK, Ireland and Scotland to be precise. With a side trip to London to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

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    1. That sounds like the perfect trip, Jay. I'm trying to convince my publisher to let me set a book in Ireland because...travel! You know, if we're ever allowed to travel again.

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  7. Happy book birthday Jenn ! Paris is Always a Good Idea was already on my tablet when I woke up.
    I'll be glad to revisit Ireland and Paris with you and to have a taste of Italy.

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  8. Congratulations on your new release! I need a great summer read right now.

    Our wonderful May trip to Paris and SW France was cancelled till next year.

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    1. Oh, Margaret, I'm so sorry. I was lucky enough to get to Paris last October. Unfortunately, I brought teenage boys (what was I thinking?) so it was a lot of graveyards and catacombs - not a bad thing, but still.

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  9. Congratulations on the new book, Jenn, and on the courage it took to strike out in a new direction! Amazon assures me that my copy will be here today. It even sends me cute little graphs and maps so I can follow its progress. At the moment, my copy of your book is logging more travel hours than I can.

    If I could only go to one European country, it would have to be the UK, because I have such a handy travel guide to recommend all the best pubs. I could get around to Scotland and Wales by train (which I love) and there are lots of border collies. Heaven!

    But of course I'd want to go to Ireland, too, and Italy, and France. Heck, I'd want to go everywhere. Sort of roll around in it, bouncing from museum to cathedral to concert hall to extravagant pastry shop. Which probably means I'd want to hit Austria, as well. At the moment, I can't even manage a day trip to Lufkin, but it is nice to dream.

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    1. LOL - Gigi, you're a stitch! Yes, my mail is more traveled than me these days (sigh). It is nice to dream. I definitely want to see Wales - the Welsh language fascinates me.

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  10. Congratulations on the book, Jenn! I'd definitely go to Italy. There are a lot of places there I'd love to visit.

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    1. Excellent choice. The food in Italy to me was better than in France. Shh, don't tell.

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  11. Jenn, congratulations on your new book! I am excited to say that my copy is on the way from AZ to CT and should be here any day now.
    If I could go to Europe, I'd love to go to Italy with my husband. I think he'd really love it and it's been a lifetime since I've been there. But honestly, right now, Maine seems like a good idea. I wonder if they'd let me in?

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    1. CT seems to be one of the safest spaces. Maine might just let you in. Italy in spring is the perfect trip to me!

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  12. Number 45, huh? (Shhh, don't let anyone know this, but I think your dream of being a writer has come true!). Big congrats on pulling this one to the finish line--I've already told my sister she needs to get her hands on a copy--she's not getting mine!

    Anywhere in Europe? I'd like to do a leisurely canal boat vacation in France--stopping at the small towns along the rivers, or maybe in England.... or journey to Dublin and meet up with a genealogist to explore my Irish roots.... or to Scotland for some day hikes.... or to Austria, Switzerland, the Iberian Peninsula--tell me again why I have to choose just one??

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    1. Thank you, Flora! Fair point, a tour is clearly in order after this year of no travel. I'll come with you!

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  13. I’m so incredibly thrilled about this! Love love love this book, and I will spread the word far and wide! Hurray Jenn! My vote , for making a big life decision?Say it with me: Paris is always a good idea !

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  14. And Jenn, I just read your paragraphs again, and you are just such an inspiration. Hooray hooray hooray! And sorry about the shingles.

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    1. It's the worst. Okay, maybe not as bad as COVID but yeesh, I was so sick. Lesson learned. It's just a book, settle down, Jenn. LOL!

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  15. Happy Book Release Day, Jenn, and congratulations on it being #45! I found it on my Kindle when I woke up this morning. Aren't Kindles great? Book release days are like Christmas. :)

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    1. I have a Kindle and a Nook - because I'm a weirdo. And, yes, it is like Book Christmas every time!

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  16. It's a red letter day, for sure! Congratulations, Jenn.

    About ten years ago my youngest daughter and I planned what we called the "I" tour: Iceland, Ireland, Italy, and Istanbul. But life happens, and we couldn't pull it off. Now I doubt we ever will. My husband and I would have been in the British Isles this year, plus other places, including Poland. His distant cousin who found the American branch of the family a few years ago keeps in touch, and we would so love to visit in person. And of course we'd always enjoy going back to Paris. Reading about it is the next best.

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    1. Sometimes, like now, reading about faraway places is even better or at least safer and less stressful!

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  17. YAY! My copy is coming today!! Can't wait to hunker down in front of thee fan and get lost in... Paris! Sigh.

    And Paris Paris Paris. By far my favorite European city. I so look forward to when we call *can* go back.

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    1. Yes! I wish I'd known it would be awhile before I got back - I'd have eaten more!

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  18. Jenn, Happy Book Release Day and congratulations on #45! Sorry about the shingles and I hope that you have recovered from the shingles. I look forward to reading PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. Since the borders are closed to Americans right now, I can virtually travel to Europe through your lovely book.

    To answer your question, if I had to go to Europe, it would be a tough choice. I think it will be Denmark. I Loved Denmark. It is a beautiful country.

    Before Brezit, I would have included England. I loved the English villages. I also loved Scotland and Wales. I have Not visited Ireland Yet.

    Did you see photos of Princess Beatrice's wedding to her Italian count? There is a lovely photo of them with her grandmother the Queen and her grandfather Prince Philip. The church looks like the type of the English village church where I would love to get married.

    And I had an English boyfriend who became a Doctor. He looked like a young Antony Andrews from Danger UXB.

    Diana

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    1. I did see the photos. That looked like the perfect wedding to me. I could not get over the arch of flowers over the chapel door. Breathtaking!

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  19. If we ever get to travel again, I would love to visit Scotland which I never have seen and which is the land of my mother's ancestors.
    But if I could only go to one country, it would be France where I spent several years and where I have almost family (my godmother's grandchildren) and many friends. I would love to spend time in Brittany where I lived for a year.
    Fortunately I have many good memories and books which take me there.

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    1. Memories are indeed precious, especially during these trying times.

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  20. Hooray! I've been awaiting this day since last year when you first started giving us glimpses of Paris but alas, I shall have to wait a bit longer for my copy, need to get my move done first.

    Life keeps messing up with my dreams of traveling in Europe but not the distinations. It's always been England and Scotland first. I would want to visit more country locations than big cities but I do know some time in the big cities will be necessary if I want to see any of the really marvelous, and probably overcrowded, museums. Than Norway, which is the most recent country my family departed from. I'd more than happy to jump on a train and see Canada. I've read about some tours that sound promising. Congratulations on on your new book baby. Enjoy your day.

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    1. Thank you so much, Deana. When I was a kid, my parents took us in an RV across Canada. Amazing trip! Such a beautiful country.

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  21. So excited for you, Jenn.
    Usually I’m in France or Italy at this time of year , last year actually was in Paris in July, but right now I’m fantasizing about a peaceful English village with a green and a pub and a place that makes sense!

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    1. Rhys, me too. I love English villages.

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    2. I'm ready for a pub, boy howdy, am I. LOL. Thanks, Rhys!

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  22. Jenn, I am so in awe of your courage, striking out with this book into uncharted territory. And I cannot wait to read it!! Like Gigi, I am tracking my copy as it gets closer and closer. It feels like Christmas. I am also in awe of 45 books...

    As for where I would go in Europe, well, London first, because it is the city of my heart, always. But lately I've been thinking a lot about Ireland, where I have NEVER been! About nine books ago, I had an idea for setting a book in a fictional cooking school in County Cork, but my agent nixed it. But I think I need to see Ireland, and I've also really been wanting to go back to Scotland. And Paris, of course, is always a good idea... Congratulations, dear Jenn!

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    1. Deborah,

      I would LOVE to read your book about a fictional cooking school in County Cork. Perhaps your agent will change her/his mind later? I've never been to Ireland either.

      Diana

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    2. Thank you, Debs! I definitely want to spend more time in Ireland! I could really use the greenness of it right now!

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  23. Congratulations, Jenn! Looking forward to reading about Paris, Ireland and Italy.

    If I could go back to Europe, I return to ICELAND. I went there in 2015 in 2018 in the winter and had a fabulous time but would love to explore more of the country without all that ice and snow!

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    1. Grace,

      ICELAND is on my bucket list. I want to visit someday.

      Diana

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    2. I must see the Northern Lights - I just have to! So, Iceland is a huge draw for me!

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    3. Yes, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland was a bucket list item for me, too, Jenn! So eerily beautiful.

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  24. Congratulations on the new book, Jenn.

    I've been to Paris many times, and of course I'd love to go back, not something I see happening in the near future as I haven't even been to DSW for sandals this year.

    The place I'd like to be right now is Brittany, sitting in that outdoor bistro overlooking the Atlantic, slurping oysters that were in the sea only hours ago. Easy there to maintain social distance!

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    1. Debs darling, you would be so welcome. When Julie tasted her first oyster, it was in this place. She said “It tastes like the ocean!!”

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    2. Ah, that sounds lovely, Ann. Just lovely.

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  25. Shalom Reds and fans. The announcement of my e-copy hit my Inbox earlier this morning. I loaded it up to my laptop right away and will sync it to my phone and tablet later today.
    I have been trying to get my passport. It’s almost impossible when the current pandemic shutdowns. If I ever get to travel again, it will first be to Israel. I long to practice my Hebrew on the streets of Jerusalem. And Paris would be the second stop. I did study French in my youth and young adult years. It is one of my favorite things to sit outside and drink coffee in cafes and watch the world go by.

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    1. Thank you, David. I had a friend who went to Tel Aviv every year. I am eager to see it. The picture he showed me were just so beautiful. And, yes, Paris would be fine in a pinch!

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  26. Can’t wait to read Paris Is Always A Good Idea. Cause it is. But, if I was at a crossroads and needed inspiration I would head to Sicily. Where my grandmother and my great aunts were born and lived until they came to the US after WW1.

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    1. Yes, please! All I can think about is the food. I bet Sicily is divine.

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  27. Can’t wait to read Paris Is Always A Good Idea. Cause it is. But, if I was at a crossroads and needed inspiration I would head to Sicily. Where my grandmother and my great aunts were born and lived until they came to the US after WW1.

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  28. Oh Jenn, congrats! 45 books? amazing. Can't wait to get the call that my copy is in the bookstore. Boo hoo, I had a trip to Paris on the books for September (and some Ireland too.) I will plan on redoing that next year. And dying to head to Brittany too, and back to Scotland, since that's what I'm writing now. And Italy...you've got us all salivating...

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    1. LOL! I know. Nothing makes you want to travel more than the inability to go. At least, that's what's driving me cuckoo this summer. Argh. Scotland - I really want to go to Scotland! I have to find the family tartan!

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  29. Sister! Happy Happy Book Birthday!!!!!!

    Having the very good luck (thank you, Jenn!) of being gifted an advance copy of this lovely book, I can shout loud and proud about how much I love it.

    Love it to the moon and back.

    Read it in one sitting (laughed AND cried) and then read it again.

    Jenn. I am SO proud of you, oh fearless one.

    Hmmmm - if I "had" to go to Europe . . . Pfft! Paris! Of course! Paris is ALWAYS a good idea. And I cannot wait to get back.

    xxoo
    Kaye

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    1. Loved Paris. I was there for only 1 and half day. Next time I want to spend a week in Paris.

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    2. We spent a month in Paris for Julie’s 50th birthday. Pure heaven.

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    3. SAME! And I loved your book Carousels of Paris, dear Kaye. We are kindred spirits in our love for the city of light!

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  30. Cognratulations on the new book! For some unknown reason I had not pre-ordered it, but I just ordered it now.

    As for where I would go, well, I hate to bore you all again with my oft-told story, but 2020 was the year I was FINALLY to get to Europe for the first time, with a trip to London and some nearby areas plus a short trip into Ireland. But we all know what 2020 had to say about that. So my husband and I are currently on a staycation. We canoed this morning. It was lovely, really. Just not quite on the same level as a first-ever trip to Europe.... Sigh.

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    1. Blast! Here's hoping you and hubby get there next year. I have no doubt you'll love every second and we look forward to hearing all about it!

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  31. Last year at this time I was in Switzerland, living on cheese and chocolate.

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  32. Jen, congrats on the new book.It sounds like great fun and is already on the list for my next round of book buying.As to the question? There are many places I've been and loved,(yes, Paris and other parts of Frnace. Greece, too) and some I'm dying to finally see,(Istanbul!) but if it was a "make it all better trip"? Probably London, a place I always inexplicably feel at home.All those English books I read as a kid, I think. Or somewhere else in the UK. Scotland, where I've been and had the best possible travel time.Northern england, which I'd like to see for the first time since (yikes) 1971.(York was observing is 1900th anniversary!) Or Cornwall,where we've never been and have been discussing? Day dreaming.

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  33. Thank you, Triss! So many wonderful places to see. I can see we're all going to be very busy when we're set free! LOL!

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  34. Oh, Paris. I went for three months...and stayed for five years. As soon as this virus is defeated, I'm there! And Jenn, I'm taking your book with me!

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  35. Just finished this book and I loved it! I enjoyed the humor and how you handled the diff ways we process grief. I dream about renting a cottage in the U.K. near a train station so I can take day trips to all the National Trust sites and as many castles as possible.

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