Dear Readers & Friends,

AMT - American Express & Crystal Cruises has negotiated a fantastic discounted fare on 50 of the best staterooms on the brand new Crystal Serenity just for you, my readers & friends! Now I can share with you personally some of the romantic locations that I write about in my books.



My Latest Paperback

in stores now!

My Latest Hardback,
"Hotel Riviera"
in stores now!

Our newest kitten,
Sweet Pea



Dear Readers, Friends,

First let me tell you that INVITATION TO PROVENÇE is finally finished – and I am ready for a vacation – leaving for France for a month, where of course, I’ll revisit all the towns and villages, the cafés and restaurants I write about in my books.

The village of Marten-de-Provençe, in INVITATION TO PROVENÇE, is an imaginary place, though like everything I write about, it’s based on many villages I know. And the wonderful old Chateau des Roses Sauvages is named for the wild white roses that surround it and is the scene of a grand family reunion, with tragedy, happiness and love all happening.

The Marten family winery, the Domaine de Marten, which is set on a stony Provençal hillside, the Café des Colombes that serves the same menu it’s been offering for thirty years, the lavender fields and the silvery lake with the lacquer-red little Japense bridge, the island with the white gazebo that is the setting for the scene of more than one generation of love affairs…… It’s all out of my head and on its way to you, this time next year.

Meanwhile, THE HOTEL RIVIERA will be published the first week in September, which means it will be in the stores in late August, and is the perfect late-summer read. I promise it will make you long for those Mediterranean beaches and a small perfect hotel just outside of St. Tropez, with delicious food and quirky guests, and a charming, flustered young patronne who’s French husband disappeared mysteriously six months ago – and the adventurous American guy who helps her sort out her past – and becomes part of her future….. Trust me, you’ll love it. I do!

As you probably know, SUMMER IN TUSCANY was released in paperback in July and is in the stores now — do read it, it will lighten your days.

And after all that – I am going to forget about work for a few weeks. I’m going to try on my bathing suits in the hope that I can still fit into them after seven months of sitting on my bottom, just writing and not exercising at all! The gym awaits me! We’ll be staying with our friends, “the Shoups” who you occasionally meet in my books – at their wonderful house in the Dordogne, which is really five houses – all converted from a farm and old barns. I lie in bed at night staring up at the soaring old beams, wondering about the men who built this place hundreds of years ago, and who else lived here – besides ducks and geese and pigs….. and the ghost of a little girl…..

Then it’s onto the Mediterranean, and a place we love in old Cap d’Antibes – another area I’ve written about (in LAST TIME I SAW PARIS,). We’ll be lazy and no doubt we’ll eat too much, and the chilled Provençal rose wine will taste just wonderful, I know.

In fact I must tell you about a Provençal restaurant in LA, where we had dinner just last week. It’s called La Bastide, on Melrose Place, and the chef, Alain Giraud, is a Provençal – and a man who knows his roots. The restaurant is delightful and the food exquisite, for instance the seafood soup with the parmesan-rouille crouton, is some of the best I’ve eaten anywhere, and the daube de veau – the softest veal stew — is simply to die for. The presentation is delicately beautiful, the service excellent and unpretentious, and the food tastes the way it does in Provençe. I forgot to mention the cheeses- just at the perfect point for eating, delicious every one – especially with the green olive bread. They even have a Provençal rosé – what more can you ask for on a warm California night? The menu offers interesting choices and I’ve mentioned only a few, but it was a memorable evening. Do try it if you get the chance. And by the way, no I am not paid to say this and I do not get free dinners – it’s just that when I find something good that is “in my field” so to speak – then I want to pass it on to you.

Which brings me to the Mediteranean cruise I mentioned in my last newsletter. Plans are moving ahead fast on this. As of now we are looking at a July l3th sailing date for a 12 day cruise on the Crystal Serenity. I’m so excited about this, as are all my friends – and I want you, my readers, to share this with me. Do click onto here to find more details!

So, now, what else can I tell you about? Ah yes, I’ll be a guest speaker at the Brandeis University Books & Authors Luncheon on February 17th in Phoenix, Arizona where they expect a turnout of about eight hundred people. The Brandeis University National Women’s Committee, a non-profit organization who sponsors this annual event, supports the University with scholarships, fellowships and is the largest Friends of the Library organization in the world. Perhaps if you live in the area, you might want to come along. I’d love to meet you.

Meanwhile, my dears, I’m just going to be lazy and enjoy my holiday – and then I’ll come back and start on the next book – tentatively titled THE VILLA IN AMALFI ……… More later.

My best to you ,

Read my Summer 2003 newsletter

Read my Christmas 2002 newsletter