April and May in Paris

Hi Everyone,

This year anyway, April in Paris has lived up to all the songs and movies about it. The weather has finally gotten warmer and gentler, after a freezing cold winter, and it has been absolutely wonderful to be here. All this week it’s been sunny and beautiful, the kind of weather that makes you fall in love with Paris all over again, as you sit having lunch or dinner on the terrace of a restaurant, or an outdoor cafe, watching people stroll by. Definitely a slice of Heaven.

May on the other hand is ‘hell month’ in France, or at least I think so, from a work/business standpoint, and others agree. From a work standpoint, it’s hard to get anything done in France in May, not just because of the enticing weather that makes people slow down, but there are 4 long 4 day weekends in May. People call them ‘bridges’ here, wherever the holiday falls, they make a ‘bridge’ to the weekend, and take 4 days off. For French Labor Day on May 1st, Armistice Day on May 8th, and 2 religious holidays, which means 4 lonnngggg weekends in the month of May. And French schools get more frequent and longer vacations than in the States, so although there is a 2 week school holiday in April, there is another 2 week vacation in May. So people with school age kids take off, and it’s so hard to get anything done, that businesses and even some/many restaurants close too. I defy you to get anything done in France in May. No one will come to do repairs, you can’t find people in their office, deadlines are delayed, and work is generally slowed down. Even people who don’t have kids often take a break, because you can’t get anything done anyway, with everyone else on vacation. It’s extremely frustrating to try and get anything done in France in May. Things will pick up again in June, and then slow down again in July and August, when the entire country goes on vacation. By law, workers get 5 weeks off, and most take their vacations in July or August. It adds to the quality of life here, people are much less stressed when they get that much time off, and have a whole month’s vacation to look forward to, and a month of holidays before that, but it’s hard to get much work done at this time of year.

I’m currently working hard on finishing the album of 10 songs, that 3 composers and I have been working on for 2 years. We are doing the final ‘mixing and mastering’ now, a final polishing process, and the songs should be on the internet at the end of May. I’ll give you the details closer to the time, of how to find them on the Internet. It’s exciting for me to see the project come to fruition, finally, and to have learned something new. I wrote the lyrics and the composers wrote the music. Each song tells a story, the way my books do. Six of the songs are in English, and four in French. The album will be called “Love Notes by Danielle Steel”. And I really hope you love the songs!!!

May is also a tender moment for me, as the month begins. May 1st is Labor Day in France, but it is also my late son Nick’s birthday. I give a dinner for close friends on that date every year. It is a sweet reminder of a day that was a happy one in my life, and Nick loved his birthday. And in France, people give each other little sprigs or bouquets of Lily of the Valley on that day, for good luck. Lily of the Valley, and its delicious smell always reminds me of Nick…..so Happy Birthday, Nicky…..and happy May Day to you.

love, danielle

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6 Comments so far
  1. Linda Hoard April 30, 2013 7:41 am

    April 30, 2013

    Dear Danielle,

    Just had to drop you a line telling you what your novel, “Betrayal”, has meant to me. I was married years ago to a man much like the character, Hunt, (only worse, involving his drugs and alcohol usage, and losing our medical practice we had both worked so hard for…I had put him through school for 7 years after college…) and the horror of the various ways he betrayed me have been truly hard to overcome. As you mention in your novel…”trust” is truly an illusion. I am a “forgiving” Christian, but it is hard to know an arrogant, selfish, prideful character can harm your life so greatly. It took me years to “get on my feet” again and to recover from the collateral damage he caused me to endure. Reading your novel and the education you gave me of the court systems, true justice and “absence of trust” issues, and your inherent wisdom about the profile of this sort of man (REMARKABLY accurate !), actually helped me further my healing over the wrongs done to me and my two daughters ( who were very young at the time). I, like Tallie, am a principled person of integrity, and was forced to divorce him after 12 years of marriage…he was definitely NOT the man I thought I had married. Last year, this man, who was my first husband and father of my daughters, was murdered by his best friend in his own palatial estate, (with the woman he left me for…the bar waitress at our local Yacht Club, whom I had helped get a job as a nurse in his office to get her out of the bar). My naiveté and innocent goodwill toward her, took me down a dark road. The murder, being shot with his best friend’s pistol at point blank range, behind the metal gates of his gated community, in an area along our Texas coast near Galveston, just shows that “justice” can get a person anywhere…anytime. He was not a good man and did many harms to many. Although it should go trial, I think a plea bargain will prevail, and all of that should happen this fall/2013. The info on plea bargains in your book helped me know what to expect that my thirty-something daughters will be having to endure. I would never have wished such a horrible demise to anyone, but somehow the “reap whatsoever you sow” principles of the Bible really do kick in in real life…it was “allowed” to happen. I only wanted him to do some “prison time”, and perhaps change his evil ways, but, alas…foolish, arrogant pride is the demise of many a man. I have since remarried an awesome man, do Internet business out of my home on ETSY and read your wonderful novels when I have time. I love you without knowing you, Grandmother to Grandmother (Mimi is my grannie name!) through your written word, and hope to read everything you have written. Have you done an autobiography ? If not…hope you do ! I have read the autobiographies of many great people, and studying their lives gives me inspiration and courage. If you have not read the biography of Thomas Edison…I HIGHLY recommend it. Made me proud to be an American. I would love to send you one of the beautiful bracelets I design and handcraft from my home in Texas, if you would be willing to look at my site and pick one out. I do not ship out of the U.S., but could send it to you somewhere in the U.S. for you to receive when you are back in the States. It would be an honor to me to send you one for the help you gave me in “healing” over long ago wounds by the wonderful way you dealt with the characters in “Betrayal”. I noticed you enjoy cuff bracelets by a photo on the back of my paperback copy of “Betrayal”, and that is principally the style of most of my creations. To get to my ETSY site to pick out any bracelet you want (NO CHARGE…a gift from a fan…thanking you for your help in my “healing”…my HONOR…if you see one that is “you”…) go to:


    Hugs from Texas !

    811 Ramada
    Houston, TX 77062

  2. Mary May 1, 2013 5:22 pm

    Hi Danielle,
    I like the idea of a slowed pace for an entire country for a month, gives people time to be free. I want to move to Paris. Do you have plans for that time, spend it with the kids!
    Your openess of your loss of Nick always touches my heart. It gave me goose bumps that you share your love of him with us. The loss of my brother Jeff seems to haunt our family and his life is not celebrated. I love him still and I celebrate the privilege to have known him every moment I breath.
    Mother’s Day is approaching, mom is 82, I cherish every moment with her. I hope you have a wonderful mother’s day,and enjoy the SPRING!!!!
    Looking foward to your music, maybe it will launch another chapter in your life that will leave us all admiring you even more, good luck!

  3. Perla Sanchez May 6, 2013 2:17 am

    Hello Danielle,
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you…as it turns out,a few minutes ago I finished reading Hotel Vendome and I just loved it!! going to Paris is one of my biggest dreams! And here comes why I want to thank you..even if I can’t ever afford to go to Paris, I’ve already seen it through your eyes!!! the way you describe everything
    makes me feel like im there and I even dream about it!! Thank you…I know this isn’t the last book that will take me to magical places.

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