Friday, July 22, 2016

Buy a Book and Help a Cat!



Exciting news that makes me smile: From today through July 31, I'll be offering all of my royalties from my latest release, A Perfumer's Secret (ebook and paperback), to St. Francis Society Animal Rescue in Tampa, FL. 

Who will you be helping when you buy a copy of the book? The cats in the image above and many more homeless and injured kitties! I know of St. Francis Society Animal Rescue because I went to college in Tampa and grew up in Florida...  

The folks at the shelter do an amazing job of rescuing, treating injuries and finding foster care and homes for cats and dogs. For my little initiative, I teamed up with the "cat" department at St. Francis. So let's sell lots of books and make some money for this very worthy cause! 

I was actually inspired to do this after reading about little Fireheart, pictured above with a cast on one leg. Fireheart was found in a parking lot, and the rescue team thinks he was thrown from a car. He spent 12 hours in an oxygen tank due to head trauma, and St. Francis spent at least $1,000 on surgeries for this little guy. The good news is he is doing well and getting stronger each day. Needless to say, when I read about Fireheart, I knew I had to do something to help.

Now let's meet the other cats above:

Rusty was found by a homeless man and was in very bad shape. He's doing better now, but will have to have an eye removed when he gets big enough to undergo the surgery.

MacGyver was rescued from a construction site, where he was found alone.

Wunder was rescued from the local animal services shelter when she was put on the euthanasia list. 

And of course, St. Francis Society has dozens of other cats waiting for foster care and homes...

People often ask me why I love animals so much, and I always say it is almost a selfish thing: They give US so much love and are such loyal friends. I've never understood how anyone could mistreat them.

So with this small effort, I hope you and I can do a little something to help the cats and the amazing team at St. Francis Society Animal Rescue. Thanks for joining me!

Find A Perfumer's Secret on Amazon, and help the cats!  



Monday, July 18, 2016

A Perfumer's Secret is on Sale!


Feel like a trip to Provence this summer? Well, if I can't actually visit a place, I love traveling there through the pages of a novel. This particular trip through the pages is at a good price... My novel A Perfumer's Secret is on sale for $0.99 today through July 21. 

It's a story of love, family, secrets, and of course, perfume! The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France... 

Here is what people are saying about A Perfumer's Secret:

"Filled with the vivid sites and scents of alluring Provence, Ms. Cimino delivers an intriguing story of love, family ties... and French perfume. With a deft eye for detail, and a wonderfully drawn cast of characters, this novel will keep you turning the pages to the very end!" -- Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso


"A beautifully descriptive journey into a perfumer's world where lush French scenery, long-held family secrets, irresistible romance, and magnificent scents are brought to life on the page by this talented author." -- Juliette Sobanet, best-selling author of Meet Me in Paris


"I loved A Perfumer's Secret. How could I not? From the first line, I was caught up in it and unable to put it down." -- Cathy Lamb, author of My Very Best Friend


"Adria J. Cimino is indeed a talented writer who brings a beautifully written plot to readers. I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere." -- Readers' Favorite Book Reviews

Find A Perfumer's Secret on Amazon

Monday, June 27, 2016

Win copies of BIGLAW and The Creepshow!



Want to make your summer reading about the empowerment of women?

I've teamed up with Lindsay Cameron, the author of BIGLAW, on a giveaway for both of our novels. What do our books have in common, and what do we as authors have in common? Lindsay and I worked in these worlds of law and finance, respectively, and we each decided to create a story set in the environment we got to know so well...


BIGLAW by Lindsay Cameron

The Devil Wears Prada meets One L, BIGLAW provides an insider's view of the cut-throat world of big New York law firms.

Mackenzie Corbett has always dreamed of living in New York City. Now, almost two years into her job as an associate at a premier Manhattan law firm, she's living her fantasy--big salary, high profile deals, cute boyfriend, designer bag on her arm. The giant bags under her eyes from lack of sleep don't fit into the fantasy, though. To make matters worse, she's being tormented by a bitter, bitchy senior associate, her boyfriend is annoyed she never has time for him, and now she's stuck on the deal from hell with a partner whose biggest claim to fame is throwing a stapler at a cleaning lady because she touched his ficus plant. 

With the opportunity to secure a prestigious secondment on line, the overachiever in her is determined to endure whatever it takes to close the biggest deal in the firm's history. But when Mackenzie finds herself the focus of a devastating investigation her dream job begins spiraling into a nightmare. 


The Creepshow by Adria J. Cimino

An empowering story of friendship, love and one woman’s fight against workplace discrimination.

Wanda Julienne was the perfect employee. Until she had a baby.

Wanda, a thirtysomething single mother, would love to spend more time with her newborn daughter, and maybe even rekindle the flame she once had with her baby's father. Instead, she's stuck fighting discrimination and harassment at her horrid job.

After maternity leave, Wanda returns to her fund manager position and finds her world turned upside down. Suddenly, everything she does seems wrong—at least in the eyes of management. Add in a dose of sexual harassment, and Wanda, who can't afford to lose her job, is trapped.

At home, the situation isn't much brighter. Wanda struggles to balance her baby's needs and her tough work schedule. Her best friend, Galina, and the ex-boyfriend Wanda never thought would return, Max, offer support, but the attention only suffocates her.

Wanda turns her back and isolates herself, submerged in a downward spiral, until Galina suggests a way out—but the exit won't be without drastic consequences.

Enter the giveaway!

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Magical Dîner en Blanc...






After weeks of rain, flooding and roof leaks in the City of Light, it was hard to imagine that warm temperatures, sunlight and clear skies would return. And then, as if by magic, just in time for the most magical night in Paris, the clouds passed.

So what evening am I speaking of? The Dîner en Blanc, when sparkling threads of white glide through the streets, all moving toward a magnificent unknown destination. And then they converge, and like a blanket of white settle down for the most elegant picnic on Earth. Picnic baskets, champagne, the finest silver, candles and flowers. All this under a Parisian sky that turns from periwinkle to indigo, illuminated by stars and lanterns and the spark of sparklers.







Can you tell this is my favorite night in Paris? No. It’s my favorite night anywhere! Why? Well, this is as close to time travel as I’m going to get. This evening feels like stepping back in time, into a world where we all dress stylishly for dinner, some wearing hats and gloves, all smiling, laughing, sharing drinks and culinary creations. (These revelers don’t pack sandwiches, but instead roasted chicken, quiche, barbecue, and layer cake. They don’t drink soda, but instead, champagne and rosé. So in addition to being beautiful, this picnic is also delicious!) 




With this thought of time travel, I feel as if I might meet Jay Gatsby at the next table... So far, I haven’t met Jay, but I have met many interesting people, some of whom have become friends I look forward to seeing on that same evening a year later.

This year, we settled down to dinner in the opulent Place Vendome, which makes an appearance in my novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs! The Dîner en Blanc was like the latest jewel in this crown-shaped circle of shops and offices. It was an evening set to the rhythm of music, laughter and friendship. (And books: I couldn't resist taking this shot with my latest novel, A Perfumer's Secret.)




And then, as always, the clock strikes midnight, and like thousands of Cinderellas, party-goers gather all traces of their presence and disappear into the night…



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Interview: Juliette Sobanet, Author of MEET ME IN PARIS



My last in a series of interviews with the talented authors who took the time to read my latest novel, A PERFUMER'S SECRET. Today, I'm chatting with Juliette Sobanet, the author of romance novels set in France, and most recently, a memoir: MEET ME IN PARIS

Like me, you’re a real Francophile. How and when did you first fall in love with the country?
I took my first trip to France when I was fifteen years old and it was love at first pain au chocolat. I had never seen a place more beautiful than Paris, and I decided then that I would spend the next several years studying French so that I could become a French professor and one day live in France. It’s been almost twenty years since that first trip, and in that time I’ve lived and studied in France, I’ve taught French to hundreds of students, and I’ve eaten more chocolate croissants than I can count. My love for France has only grown stronger over the years…and I suspect it will grow even more when I move back to Paris one day soon!

Tell us about your favorite spots in France… 
During my junior year of college, I spent a semester studying in Lyon, which is a charming city just two hours south of Paris by train. Lyon is the most vibrant, happy city I’ve ever lived in, and I am constantly telling people, “You must go to Lyon!” It is known as the gastronomical capital of France, and the food really is outstanding. Along those lines, I would recommend eating at Le Nord, a Paul Bocuse brasserie located in the center of the city. And at Le Nord, you must eat le fondant au chocolat for dessert. It will change your life. Really, it will.
Another spot I adore is Annecy, a fairytale town in the French Alps. With a sparkling lake, snow-capped mountains, castles, and decadent fondue restaurants sprinkled among the winding cobblestone streets, it really is a glorious little paradise.
And of course the south…St. Tropez and Cassis are two of my favorite towns along the French Riviera. That coastline is absolutely stunning, and really, you must go!

What inspired you to become a writer in the first place? 
I’ve had the writing bug since I was a little girl, and it only grew stronger as I got older. When I was in Paris completing my master’s degree, I spent a few weeks writing my thesis at the end of the program and realized that I loved the process of writing something longer than the usual short stories, poems, or journal entries I was accustomed to writing. I had my first book idea while I was living there, and as soon as I finished my degree and returned to the states to begin teaching French, I started writing my first novel, SLEEPING WITH PARIS. Much like my love for France, writing is such a part of me now that I am only my best version of myself when I am writing every day.

Your latest book, MEET ME IN PARIS, is a memoir – unlike your previous work, which was fiction. What were the challenges of writing about yourself? 
My memoir covers a very tumultuous time in my life—my divorce and my love affair with a most unavailable man. Writing the story of these two loves and how I survived the loss of both was an incredibly cathartic and powerful experience. But it was not easy. There were many days where the scenes had me crying and reliving the experience as if it was happening all over again. But I wanted my writing to be raw and authentic, and I knew I had to let myself feel all of those emotions again in order to reach my readers. The saving grace was, of course, Paris! Thankfully this wild time in my life included two long, beautiful trips to France, and writing about my travels and all of my lovely friendships there made me realize, once and for all, that I do belong in France.

What’s next for you now? Can we expect more romantic fiction set in France? Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Yes, I’m back to writing romance set in France! I’m so happy to say that because for a long time romance just wouldn’t pour out of me the way it used to. But we are back in business, and I’m currently working on a magical romance about two star-crossed lovers in Paris. The book will release later this year, and it will be the first in a series of Paris romances with magical elements. In addition to my fiction, I’m also blogging for The Huffington Post, and I am planning my move to France!

About Juliette Sobanet 
Juliette Sobanet is the award-winning author of five Paris-based romance and mystery novels, four short stories, a book of poetry, and a new memoir, Meet Me in Paris. Her books have hit the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon US, UK, France, and Germany, and her novels have been translated into Italian, Romanian, and Turkish, with more on the way. Juliette is now a blogger for The Huffington Post, and she is the host of an exciting new travel show called Secret Paris which takes her characters to hidden spots in the City of Light. A former French professor, Juliette holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in Paris. Today she lives in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing, dancing, teaching yoga, and eating loads of chocolate. 

Keep up with Juliette:



Friday, May 27, 2016

Happiness, Love, and the Naming of Characters...




I've had a great time over the past two weeks, hopping from blog to blog as part of the launch of A PERFUMER'S SECRET... In case you missed any of the guest posts or features, check out the links below. Happy reading!


USA Today -- Happy Ever After (Interview with yours truly)

Tall Poppy Writers blog (Behind-the-Scenes: Novel Research in the South of France)

Shelf Pleasure (What Does Happy Smell Like? When the Sense of Smell Guides the Author…)
 
My Novel Opinion (Excerpt, A Perfumer's Secret)

Women's Fiction Writers (4 Tips to Make Sociological Issues Shine in Fiction)

Always With a Book (What is Love? My Favorite Love Story Ingredients)

The Debutante Ball (Do Characters Have to be Likable? No. Here’s Why…)

Writer Unboxed (Meeting the Reader’s French Expectations (Or Not)!)

Writers in the Storm (What’s in a Name? How to Avoid the “Claire” Confusion)



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Interview: Diane Haeger -- Anne Girard, Author of MADAME PICASSO



Today, I welcome author Diane Haeger, who also writes as Anne Girard, to the blog! I'd like to thank Diane for graciously reading my novel A Perfumer's Secret and sharing her thoughts about the book. Diane has written many beautiful books, often set in France... 

Diane, France has been a setting for some of your books, due to the subject matter—for example Madame Picasso and Courtesan. What do you like most about creating the French setting, especially in the historical context?
I have found France completely intriguing since I was very young. I remain fascinated by the country, the history and the lyrical beauty of the French language. When I factor in some of the fabulous true stories from history that have taken place there, it all ignites my imagination like no other.

What are the challenges of recreating a France of the past? Does your research include trips to France, and what do you do while in France to prepare yourself to write?
Because I primarily tell true stories from history, I feel the enormous pressure, out of respect, to get the details right. The greatest compliment I can get from readers is hearing that they not only learned something from history they didn’t know, but that they felt transported in time and felt they were really there. To do that to the best of my abilities I always travel to the country I am writing about. Many years ago when I first began writing, the iconic author Irving Stone, who also  told true stories from history, gave me a wonderful piece of advice: Go where you characters lived, walk the same streets, see the things they saw, as much as you can. Only then can you truly hope to make them live again for your readers. I have been following that advice for the 25 years of my career.

How did you start writing historical fiction? How much fiction do you allow yourself to add to the true story?
It was a true story from history that drew me forward and began my career for me. On my honeymoon in France decades ago I came upon the epic love story between Diane de Poitiers and Henri II. I visited their homes at Chenonceau and Fontainebleau and I was mesmerized. When I began the research and realized that, at the time, it was a relatively unknown story here, It hooked me and I became driven to bring it to an American readership. A fun detail that helped inspire me as I wrote was that my name is also Diane and my initials, DH, form the emblem Henri had fashioned to represent his commitment to his lady love, Diane. 
I try to deviate from truth as little as possible with my stories. Naturally, that is the framework and my mindset when I begin, and I do a great deal of initial research to that end before I write. That said, inevitably there are also historical incidents that occur without explanation so that sometimes motivation and details must be supposed and creatively drawn. When those occur I work very hard to make them as believable as possible.

You’ve written so many books. Do you have a favorite, one that you feel closest to? And if so, why? 
I usually say that my favorite book is the one I am currently writing, and there is an element of truth to that because I am so deeply involved with my characters during the process. That said, of my 16 novels, Courtesan the book of Diane de Poitiers and Henri II, which was my first, will always be most dear to my heart. The process of research and writing was a four year complete labor of love, one that took me to France for the first time, and many times since. 

Can you tell us about your next book or give us a general idea of what you’ve got going on next?
I can’t wait to talk about it but for now it is still “top secret”. What I can say is that it is about another fabulous character from history and I’m thrilled that it will be bringing me back to France in the next few weeks!

Find Diane Haeger -- Anne Girard on:

Facebook

Amazon

Barnes and Noble