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French Illusions

****BRONZE MEDAL WINNER in the Non-Fiction Travel Category in the 2014 Readers' Favorite Book Awards Contest *****

Located in Tours, France, La Place Plumereau is busy square filled with pubs and restaurants.

An early French Citroën. I rode in a few of these during my stay in France in 1979 and 1980.

Most lies are told with the expectation that no one will uncover them. In the summer of 1979, I told a monumental lie, fully aware that mine would be discovered. Set in the beautiful Loire Valley, French Illusions, my remarkable true story, will remind readers what it was like to be young, adventurous and filled with dreams.

Map of France. Note the town of "Tours" in the upper left quadrant.

Gateau au Yaourt Cake (Yogurt Cake). One of the many dishes I made as an au pair in France, 1979.

Tomates Farcies - one the many dishes I learned how to make during my stay in France in 1979.

A photograph I took of my bedroom at the chateau where I was an au pair - Loire Valley, France, 1979

My own photograph from 1979 of the Université François Rablelais in Tours - Loire Valley, France.

My own photo of a Butcher Shop in the Loire Valley - France, 1979.

My own photograph from 1979 of the Tours-Saint-Pierre-des-Corps railway station in Tours - Loire Valley, France.

Another photograph, taken by me in 1979, showing off a half-timbered building in Tours - Loire Valley, France.

This photograph of a small train station in France, was taken by me in 1979. It introduces the last section in "French Illusions" titled "Escape." I was able to use this picture in my memoir and my book trailer, because none of the passengers are looking directly at the camera.

Saint Gatien's Cathedral in Tours - Loire Valley, France

Inside my passport, August 17, 1979.

First entry in my diary, dated August 22, 1979: "Since a person does not take a trip to Europe everyday, I have decided to keep track of the time I spend in this foreign land. I have written not only feelings, experiences, and hopes; but informational data that may someday be useful upon my return to the U.S.A. This journal shall surely be a reminder of the good times along with the bad."

My passport dated August 17, 1979

This photograph introduces the second section in "French Illusions" titled "Venturing Out of Songais." It is a picture of the Point Wilson Bridge as it crosses the Loire River into the city of Tours, France.