Category Archives: Books

One Year Anniversary Book Promo: Looking Back

Featured Image: Me in the South of France during my study abroad program in 2004-2005

In France and the US alike, as students return to school and the seasons change from summer to autumn, our focus shifts. Life takes on a new rhythm which coaxes us to look ahead and plan for the future instead of living in the moment of vacations and beach days as we’ve been doing. (For more on “la rentrée” or back to school, click here). While many celebrate Labor Day as a welcome break from work and classes, a last summer “hoorah,” I am also celebrating the one-year anniversary of publishing my first book: Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France. Instead of looking forward, I am taking a moment to look back at the events that led up to its publication. If you’d like to get right to the promo, just scroll down to the last paragraph.

Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France

Many summers ago as I returned from my year studying abroad in France, I thought to myself: “this would make a really good book.” (To read more about the benefits of long-term study abroad programs, check out my article on Abroad101). However, I continued on with my life in Southern California working in the study abroad office and applying to masters programs on the East Coast. With a scholarship to NYU at the Institute of French Studies, I lived for a year with my nose buried in books until the program was over and it was time to find a job. What started out as an exciting internship writing a travel study guide for a French magazine ended up as a tedious full-time job managing subscriptions. What can I say? It was a paper magazine in the publishing industry: there wasn’t much funding. So I began writing for myself, at last.

La vue depuis chez nous/ The view from our studio

La vue depuis chez nous/ The view from our studio

What started as a delightful distraction during the workday at a job I disliked eventually evolved into an entire book. I never dreamed I would get the chance to be a writer in Paris, but when that opportunity magically presented itself (more on this later), I took it as a sign that it was also the occasion to finish writing my memoir. After all, what better place to write about France than in France? As I wrote at my little desk in our studio in the 10th arrondissement I could look out onto our balcony and see the signature Haussmannian facades of Paris (pictured above). When I needed a break, I would walk down Canal Saint Martin and stop in a cafe for un crème. I know I am so lucky to have been able to spend a year living in Paris writing about my French experiences.

Canal Saint Martin. Photo credit: Jessica's Franglais

Canal Saint Martin

All this reflecting has got me thinking about writing the follow-up memoir about my year spent writing in Paris. I have been gathering photographs and re-reading journals, and I think that soon I will be ready.

In the meantime, in honor of the first anniversary of the publication of my first book, Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France, I am doing a Kindle Countdown which offers the book at a reduced price on Amazon for a limited time. Additionally, readers who leave a comment below about their favorite memory in France will be entered for a chance to win a free copy.

Bon courage! Good Luck!

© Jessica’s Franglais 2015

Spring Break Kindle Countdown Deal!

It’s finally (almost) spring, and you’ve planned a relaxing vacation to the white beaches of Florida, or maybe you’ll just head out of town for a short getaway. No matter what your travel destination, or even if you’ve just planned a stay-cation, Pas Possible is the perfect read whether on the go or staying home: just click to download on your kindle and you’re all set! Whether you’ll be on a plane, a train, in a car or maybe just surfing on your own couch, it’s the French adventure you’ve been waiting for. So settle into your seat and let’s plunge into the maddening magic of France and French culture…

For a limited time only (March 18-21), Pas Possible will be participating in Kindle Countdown deals. N’attendez pas! Don’t wait! Download your reduced price copy today.

Bonne lecture/Happy reading!

On n’a pas tous les jours 20 ans

It’s not every day that you’re 20 years old. That’s why my time in France around that age was such a special experience (see photo above of our night picnic in Toulouse!). It’s a unique period in life when you have most of the freedoms of being an adult and yet few of the responsibilities. For a review of my book, Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France from the fresh perspective of Emilie Chassagne, une française (a French woman) living in New York, please visit French Wink, a website dedicated to French arts, crafts and culture in the US. I especially appreciated her comparison of my book to Cedric Klapisch’s film trilogy about young internationals as they advance through life together: l’auberge espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) the study abroad experience in Barcelona, Les poupées russes (Russian Dolls) where the group is reunited for a wedding in Russia, and Casse-tête chinois (Chinese Puzzle) the main character follows his children and their mother to New York.

credit to

Photo credit to

If you are in college or beyond and considering participating in a study abroad program (or in the mood to reminisce about an experience you already lived), please visit UC Irvine’s alumni spotlight page so I can convince you to take the plunge. Because it’s not everyday that you’re 20 years old, and it’s not every day you get the chance to study abroad!

Berthe Sylva – “On n’a pas tous les jours vingt ans” (click to listen to the song)

Photo credit to

Photo credit to

On n’a pas tous les jours vingt ans, We aren’t twenty years old every day,
Ça nous arrive une fois seulement, It happens to us only once,
Ce jour-là passe hélas trop vite ! That day passes alas too quickly!

C’est pourquoi faut qu’on en profite. That’s why we need to take advantage.

On n’a pas tous les jours vingt ans, We aren’t twenty years old every day,
Ça nous arrive une fois seulement, It happens to us only once,
C’est le plus beau jour de la vie. It’s the most beautiful day in life.
Alors on peut faire des folies. So we can go a little crazy.

On n’a pas tous les jours vingt ans, We aren’t twenty years old every day,

Ça nous arrive une fois seulement, It happens us only once,
Et quand vient l’heure de la vieillesse, And when the time of old age comes,
On apprécie mieux la jeunesse. We appreciate better our youth.

De ce beau temps si vite passé Of this good time so fast flown by
On n’en profite jamais assez… We never take enough advantage
Et plus tard on dit tristement : And later we sadly say:
“On n’a pas tous les jours vingt ans!” “We aren’t twenty years old every day!”

Lyrics from

Do you have an unforgettable memory from when you were 20?

© Jessica’s Franglais 2015

The Gift of Armchair Travel

It’s that time of year once again, when you see cars driving by with Douglas Firs tied to the roofs and Nat King Cole melodiously reminds us that “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” If you’ve been racking your brain trying to think of a present for your friend who’s been bitten by the travel bug or a gift for that francophile relative, I’ve got an idea for you: give the gift of armchair travel to la belle France.

As the days grow darker, colder and rainier, what better distraction than to dive into a world filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread, where you can smell the lavender and hear the cicadas chirping as if it were the height of a bright hot summer in Provence? Of course, there are always the colorful markets, roman ruins and decadent 4-course meals en famille to help pass the time as well.

Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France

You can find all this and more in my book, Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France. Whether you offer it as a gift for a loved one or yourself, it’s sure to be an exciting journey à la française.

For a limited time (December 16th-18th) take advantage of a discounted price on the book with Kindle Countdown deals!

If you are interested in study abroad, check out my article on Bridge from Abroad.

Happy reading/Bonne lecture!

© Jessica’s Franglais 2014

Congratulations to the Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Debra Paper on winning a free copy of Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France!

The book was part of a giveaway on Tuula’s Belle Provence Travels blog, where she wrote a lovely review of the book. Thank you Tuula! And thank you to everyone who commented on the blog about where you would most like to live in France. There are so many beautiful cities, towns and villages in France it is certainly hard to choose just one

Map of France by Food from Nancy Nikko

Regional Map of France by Food from Nancy Nikko

The Champagne region has bubbly (bien sûr), Alsace-Lorraine offers foie gras and fairytale German architecture, Burgundy has snails and Bourgogne wine, while Bordeaux boasts Saint Emilion and châteaux. The French Alps offer majestic mountains and spas, Languedoc-Roussillon is home to cassoulet and fortified cities, Provence has lavender and sunshine, and the Riviera boasts beaches and world-class art galleries.

Where is your favorite region or city in France? What do you/would you like to do there?

I hope my book inspires you to visit France, whether it’s for the first or the hundredth time.

© Jessica’s Franglais 2014