The countdown is on …

If it’s Friday, it must be France…

Excusez-moi! I’ve been a little off the radar on the blog this past week. There’s been a lot going on in my writing world. How’ve you been?

I spent some time processing all the fabulous writing and publishing information generated at the PubSmart Conference, I attended in Charleston SC, April 16, 17, 18. There will be a blog post  about it  soon. Wow, did I learn a lot !PubSmart_logo_290

The conference was also a great opportunity to mingle with and meet so many interesting and energizing people who are committed to sharing information and working together to get better at what we do! It was SO good to  spend some time in person with some of my online “besties”. Making connections with people who motivate and inspire you is such a buzz, isn’t it?  Have you had the same experience lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Next I took a big load off my shoulders when I hit “send” and fired my manuscript off to my editor. With any luck, we will be good to go for a July 1st release and I’m excited! The cover art is in the works as well!

There’s always a moment of what I refer to as “extreme anxiety” when an author sends a new novel off to their trusted advance readers. These are avid readers who have promised to be completely honest and candid in their comments about your new work. Their word is their bond and we trust them implicitly! Their comments are the best way to make our work even better. Here’s the thing, we’ve lived with the story for months or years and we feel good about it and we hope everyone else will too … but … what if they don’t … egos must be set aside. It’s all part of the process … and I love it!

But, zut alors, it’s Friday and I want to be talking about France!ilovefrance

The countdown is on … 31, 30 … in 29 more days my husband and I will be back in Nice, France.  It feels more like going home than going on holiday and we are always thrilled to be there!

Here’s how our first morning will play out:

~ Walk along the Promenade des Anglais, just minutes from our apartment, pausing for a croissant and café au lait at a beach restaurant.


~ Dip our feet in the Med and plan to come for a swim in the afternoon.


~ Stop in at the fab daily market in the old town and pick up some cheese, fruits, veggies, and a big bouquet of flowers.


~ Attempt to limit the number of photographs I take on my first day!

~ Write for an hour or two and then meet friends for lunch. From that point on … who knows?

Bon weekend, tout le monde!

You know I love to spend time in the south of France and write about this breathtaking area on my blog and in my novels. I’ll be researching my next novel as well as spending part of each day writing, and I hope you will enjoy my reports.

Better yet! Come and visit for yourself. For part of June, my friend and fellow author, Susan Sommers and I will be leading a tour of the south of France for women, organized by the Womens Travel Network .  There are two spots open in the first tour from  June 12 to June 22. The second tour from June 25 to July 5, is sold out. Call your BFF, your mom, your sister, or just come on your own as you will find great company in our group of travellers. I know at this point it would be a spur of the moment decision, but those are often the best kind!

Have you been to the south of France? If so, please tell us your favourite spots to visit! Any questions? Fire away! I’ll be happy to find the answers for you.

And, by the way, this is another home exchange for us. I keep saying what an affordable and friendly way this is to travel. Try it! You’ll like it!



Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

26 thoughts on “The countdown is on …

    1. Thanks, Anneli! There’s always another trip to plan and so much to learn from other cultures. It fuels my writing, that’s for certain! Hey, I’m popping over to your blog right now to see who is visiting with you today in the interesting series you have going. It might even be me!

  1. You are making me homesick, Patricia. Although I’m not a south of France girl, I tend to favor the cooler, rainy weather of Normandy and Brittany, which I find very romantic, this is very tempting to go for one of your home exchange thingy in Provence. Also I’m happy for you to see that more projects have been simmering over the winter and are ready to be tasted soon.
    Good news for you and your readers.

    1. Evelyn, I agree with your sentiments about the north of France too! In fact, one of the fascinating aspects of your native country is the diversity and beauty, in very different ways, each departement offers the visitor. My dream is to spend a year visiting each area … and goodness knows we all need a dream!

    1. It just never gets old, Phil! I’m looking forward to the day you cross the pond and write about it. With your boundless enthusiasm, the stories would be magnifique!

      1. Unfortunately working in the Paris metro area. I look forward to your postings and photographs while you are in France!

  2. Love to hear what you are up to! Can’t wait to read your new book. How long will you stay in Nice this year? We will be there the end of September ……. Latte? Wine? Brunch? All of the above? xo

  3. Reading this is making me want to book a flight to Nice immediatly.So looking forward to reading your new book in July!

    1. Bernadette, how much fun would that be? Perhaps one of these days we will meet somewhere across the pond. I’m looking forward to working on edits … I love that part of the process!

  4. Thanks so much for allowing us into your world. I can dream alongside you and your travels, and become nostalgic for what I had and no longer can do – travel!!! I am finally digging into my huge box of photos, but it is not easy. I only wish I had been more organized, but it’s too late now and I’ll have to cope! Your site allows me to relive my travels in my faraway past…Merci again!

    1. De rein, mon amie. How lovely that you are reliving so many travel memories AND that you have photos to go along with them. I am always amazed when I talk to people who rarely take photos when they travel … and I know quite a few who do not. Pull those pictures out one at a time and lose yourself in them.

  5. The south of France looks breathtaking, Patricia, but on my budget, about all I can afford is the south of the Bronx. I look forward to seeing what I anticipate will be more wonderful photographs.

    1. Hey, the south of the Bronx can have its moments too. I’m happy to know you are doing some traveling with me right here. Hopefully when I get to Switzerland on Wednesday, I will have some time to relax and enjoy it myself! Right now I’m on a c r a z y schedule and details like … uh, packing … haven’t hit the priority list yet! That reminds me, I better charge my camera battery right now …

  6. Patricia, I really hope I can go on your tour one day. It was out of my budget this year, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next. Congrats on getting the book to the editor!

    1. Thanks! Now I’m patiently waiting for the edits to come back. I actually love that part of the process … not the waiting, but the editing … It would be great fun to have you join us in France some time. In the meantime, come along on the blog!

  7. You’re leading a tour? I can’t think of a better tour guide!!!
    I didn’t realize you did home exchanges. I enjoy reading about people who trade homes, but I haven’t the nerve to do it myself. Looking forward to living that life through you. . . : )

  8. I have been to France a few times and love it… especailly the country side. Home exchanges sound cool, but I don’t know if I would want strangers in my house… is it a direct swap? You are in theirs and they in yours?

    1. Here’s the site to which we belong. It’s been going for over 50 years!
      Yes it is a direct swap but not necessarily simultaneous if you have a second home. You get to know your exchangers by email as you exchange information and you see photos of the inside and outside of the house, the neighbourhood, etc. Yes, you are letting strangers into your house … and so are they. We have only experienced excellent exchanges and often become friends with the people. We are in Nice for a month now (another exchange) and had dinner last evening with the couple from Nice that we exchanged with last year. They are doing a different exchange in the autumn. When you look into it, you will see that problems are few and far between. One thing I like about the concept is that it reaffirms my belief that people are basically good and honest, all over the world. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      1. Thanks Patricia. That may be something to look into when we go back home. Right now we are living in China. The school rents our apartment for us, so I am not sure if we could do a swamp since we are not the official tennants. Looks like a great idea though… and so much more affordable to travel!

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