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5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom in spades, August 5, 2014
By Rozsa Gaston, author of “Paris Adieu,”… (Greenwich, CT) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Say What You Will (Hardcover)

This insightful and hard-hitting story is not just about disability but about how to be a friend. Amy, its main character, has a disability – not just CP, but over-honesty. She says exactly what she thinks and hurts the feelings of people she’s trying to make friends with. I read this book with my 14 yr. old and we both learned so much from it. I loved the fact that Amy is flawed. She is inexperienced at how to be a friend. She practices with Matthew, painfully at times, and the challenging emotional terrain they cover together offers insights for everyone. A book so universal in its appeal, I can’t say enough. I’m still thinking through the lessons Amy and Matthew taught each other the hard way. Sequel pls., Cammie McGovern!

The Secret Life of BeesI just finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and am still reveling in the rich resonance of this wonderfully written, content-packed story. There’s a lot of bee talk in The Secret Life of Bees, but there’s a lot more to this book than bees. How many books in one’s life are as beautifully written as they are content-laden? Usually I’ll like a book either because it’s well written or because the story is so compelling. The Secret Life of Bees delivers both.

If you read this book you’ll have received a gift that stays with you days after. Weeks, months, years. No wonder Sue Monk Kidd has exploded onto the literary scene as the next Carson McCullers or Harper Lee. What is it about these Southern female writers and their way with words?  Move over Southern ladies of the pen. Make room in the pantheon of literary lions from the American South for Sue Monk Kidd.  She floors me. She’ll floor you too if you you read The Secret Life of Bees.

21kQnOHYLfL._UY490_CR0,0,450,490_[1]What wine would you sip while contemplating this quote?

I would sip something honey colored—a buttery Chardonnay. Egret from California comes to mind.

paris-adieu-cover-11-17-114Travel to Paris this April without the airfare. Listen to a short audioclip from Paris Adieu here: https://soundcloud.com/audible/paris-adieu

Paris Adieu out now in audiobook format with Audible.com. Also in paperback and eBook. Read. Review. Enjoy April in Paris with Paris Adieu this spring.

Warmly, Rozsa Gaston

Paris Haute Couture by Razzia

Paris Haute Couture by Razzia

Travel to Paris without the airfare with a short audioclip of Paris Adieu:

WHAN that April…

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And drowned every vein in sweet liqueur,
Of which virtue engendered is the fleur.

—Chaucer, Prologue to Canterbury Tales

Party with Moms interviews Rozsa Gaston today as their Mom of the Week. Read here and if you enjoy, sign up for the Party with Moms weekly newsletter. http://partywithmoms.com/party-with-moms-interviews-rozsa-gaston-prolific-author/

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Once, just a few Aprils ago, I was a freshman in college and forced to memorize the first twelve lines of the prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Imagine my delight when I realized that Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were terribly tickly, not to mention positively ribald in parts! Not some old, moldy, medieval stanzas, but colorful, naughty and well worth the effort to make out the Olde English words.

Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343-1400

Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343-1400

Here’s first twelve lines of the most sensational poem written about April I’ve ever come across. Enjoy!

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich  licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the fleur;

Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt  and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,

And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,

And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,

The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

What wine would you drink while contemplating this quote?

Domaine Saint-LannesI would drink something white, light, and springy. Oh I know – a 2012 Domaine Saint-Lannes from Cotes de Gascogne. 80% Colombard and 20% Gros-Manseng. At $9.99 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.

Excerpt from Black is Not a Color

“Did you sleep?” Narcisa whispered to me as the owner of the male voice headed toward the nearest silver-tray-carrying waiter to capture two glasses of white wine for us.
“Did I what?”
“Did you sleep?” she asked again.
“Yes. I slept well, thank you” I answered confusedly. Did I look tired to her?
“You don’t have to tell me who it was. But tell me—who was it?”highres_front
“Uh—it was me. I mean I slept well. Didn’t you?”
“Ohhh no. I didn’t sleep. I had friends who helped me,” Narcisa whispered back, one eyebrow lifted significantly.
“Ohhh, I see. Uh—no I didn’t sleep. I—uh- took the tests last spring and they called me the beginning of August.” Startled by the conversational curveball, I stepped back from Narcisa, still intrigued but alerted that I had no idea who I was dealing with. The U.N. was on international territory. American rules no longer applied.
“The tests. Everyone takes the tests. So what? How did you get the job?” she pressed.
“Like I said, I took the tests. That was it. I waited, I gave up hope, then they called.” I shrugged in what I hoped was the classic Gallic way, perfected by my recent stay in Paris.
Narcisa studied me as I spoke. It was like taking a lie-detector test. Suddenly I felt as if I’d slept even when I hadn’t.
“So you just took the tests and they called you. That was it?”
“Yes,” I said, crisply. I tried to look like I wasn’t lying, even when I wasn’t. It was confusing talking to Narcisa.

Black is Not a Color © 2014 by Rozsa Gaston

 

 

 

 

The point in life…is to find equilibrium in what is inherently unstable.~Pierre Reverdy from Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney

Who Pierre Reverdyis Pierre Reverdy? An early twentieth century French poet and influencer of others. He made Arthur Rimbaud look like a choir boy.

Reverdy was a dear friend of Gabrielle Coco Chanel. Handsome, independent, a trifle brutish, he appealed to the peasant woman buried deep inside the exquisite Chanel.

In other words, Chanel’s bad boy. Need I say more? cocochanelquote

Find out more about bad boys in my latest book Black is Not a Color, sequel to Paris Adieu. Out in audiobook, it’s the story of Ava Fodor’s struggle to care for her father while cultivating her relationship with her new French boyfriend Pierre. Not a bad boy. Black frontcoverToo good for Ava, in her mind, in fact.

Can Ava measure up? First she needs to measure up to caring for her father, who didn’t raise her as a child. Not easy.backcover

Ava is not the only grown up child of a parent who didn’t raise her. There are many men and women with such a tale out there. Coco Chanel was one. If Ava’s idol Chanel could get beyond a rough start in life, so can Ava. So can you.

Listen to Ava’s story in Black is Not a Color and take inspiration. Move out of the shadows of a less than ideal childhood and take your place in the sun. Coco Chanel is your lodestar. And Ava’s story in Black is Not a Color will help you find the hero within yourself.

Warmly,

Rozsa Gaston

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz is a simply amazing book. Diaz’s full quote is as follows:
“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”

Diaz’s writing so so fresh, so alive that reading his books is more like hanging out at an edgy downtown club where you’re a little excited and a little uncomfortable all at the same time. His other book, This is How you Lose Her 2This is How You Lose Her, is also full of life, spice, and tragi-comic wisdom. I’ll never write like Diaz but because I’ve read him, I’m a different writer. Reading his work will change you: that’s how good he is.

Fresh, darlings. When they talk about a writer having a unique voice, Junot Diaz is IT. Read him and learn, read him and hate his characters and the world they inhabit. Most of all, read him and wonder why reading feels different when you’re caught up in Diaz’s tales. Maybe it’s because Diaz is actually a poet who writes novels.

What would you sip while contemplating this quote?

I wouldn’t need to drink a thing while reading Diaz because reading his books means drinking in words. However, while contemplating “The only way out is in” from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (referring to Oscar Wilde, pronounced Dominican-style), I might choose something equally paradoxical. A wine that combines opposites, for example, a Frenzy Pinot Noir.  Smooth yet spicy.  About $11.99 a bottle and drastically under priced.  Hard to find. Look for it.

Look for my books too. Paris Adieu for those of you with a taste for all things French and an adult coming-of-age story; Running from Love for runners and lovers, or my latest book, Lyric, to find out how a former hedge fund marketer finds happiness in a simpler life.

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