Monday, June 23, 2014

From Here to Paris by Cris Hammond

rom Here to paris Banner

Author Cris Hammond

on Tour
June 23 – July 2, 2014

From Here To Paris

 Release date: November 30, 2013
at Davenator Press
363 pages
ISBN: 978-061598587


This is the story of becoming suddenly unemployed, nearing 60 and being forced to face up to the fact that life is about to change drastically. It’s about discovering that your life can fall apart just enough to allow you to put it back together again in a whole new way.
This is the story of tossing the briefcase, cutting up the credit cards, selling the house and buying an 80 year old Dutch barge in France, then setting sail for Paris.
It’s a joyful and funny tale of stepping off the beaten path to live a dream that you’d thought you’d forgotten: Living on a barge in the middle of Paris. [Goodreads]

From Here to Paris
The sun was setting by the time I checked into my room at Chez Holiday Inn on Rue de Lyon in Paris. I was jet lagged and tired but desperate to stretch my legs, so I went down to the street to wander around. The glass doors at the Holiday Inn slid open and the city poured in. Contrary to just about every movie depiction of Paris, the true sounds of the city aren’t accordions playing La Vie en Rose. Rather the broad tree-lined boulevards and quaint side streets reverberate with whining scooters, thundering motorcycles, small honking cars, tinkling bicycle bells, and bleating police klaxons, all clog dancing over a background buzz of people talking a mile a minute. The pace is manic. Engines of all sizes impatiently rev at stop-lights while pedestrians, dressed in black with nine-foot-long scarves, leap off curbs with the assurance of trapeze artists who know they’ll always be caught by their lover and greeted with a kiss on each cheek.
I made it twenty feet to the first sidewalk cafe and ordered an espresso. A waiter jogged by and took my order on the fly, then returned tout suite and slid the tiny cup and saucer under my nose. Then he dropped his little plastic change tray featuring an ad for Pastis, slipped the bill under it, and ran off like his apron was on fire. I love this place.
The sky had darkened to a deep topaz blue and it was getting cold by the time I found myself leaning on the stone parapet at Pont de Sully and looking down at the Seine. To my right was the Ile St. Louis and beyond that lay the Ile de la Cite and the flying buttresses of Notre Dame bathed in light from below. The Seine churned and split at the tip of Ille St. Louis and the amber streetlights reflected in the water created a necklace of waltzing stars around the island. My eyes followed the current as it rolled under my feet and on toward the glowing heart of the city. The bridge would take me across to Notre Dame, so I headed for it. 

My Review:
Copy received from France Book Tours for an honest review
Four Stars
I think many people dream of moving to Paris or even living there but Mr. Hammond's adventure is very unique.  I can honestly say I never read about a person that lived on a barge before!  When Mr. Hammond finds himself out of a job he decides that he will take off to France.  I loved that he was able to add humor into many different parts of the story.  This made if very enjoyable.  I also found it very humbly that at 60 years old after finding himself laid off he did not lick his wounds but set off on an adventure. I've read about many 20 something and 30 something re-inventing themselves but this is the first time I read about a 60 year old doing the same and I loved it! I loved the adventurous attitude and also the beautiful experiences that he had.  He added many beautiful descriptions of  France that made me feel like I was a part of the journey and this was definitely a wonderful and fun journey!

Cris Hammond is a nationally known artist, cartoonist, and entrepreneur. His comic strip, Speed Walker, Private Eye, was seen daily in over 150 newspapers across the country, from The Miami Herald to The Seattle Sun Times, The San Diego Union, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune. His paintings of ships and the sea have appeared in galleries in Sausalito, San Francisco, Tiburon, and Carmel, California. He led special effects teams to Academy Awards for Special Effects in motion pictures including Star Trek IV, Innerspace, and The Abyss, among others. In 1994, facing penury, he left his artistic pursuits, bought a briefcase and a couple ties, and went out and got a real corporate job. Eight years and four more neckties later, he walked into his office one morning and was ambushed by the waiting Exit Interview Team, which informed him that he was, as of that moment, “out on his ear.”
After a suitable period of bi-polar careening between panic and reflection, he realized that he was too young to retire and too old to go looking for another corporate job. So, he sold the house, bought a barge in France and started painting again.
Now he and his wife, Linda, spend half the year in California living and working in their tiny art studio near San Francisco, and the other half doing the same thing on the barge in France. Piloting their 1925 Dutch barge Phaedra, they’ve meandered through more than 1200 kilometers of canals and rivers and negotiated more than 850 locks in their travels from the Rhone wine region, through Burgundy to Chablis and down the Seine into Paris.


Monday, June 23
Spotlight + Giveaway at Literary Chanteuse
Tuesday, June 24
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway at Book Nerd
Review + Giveaway at Wildmoo Books
Wednesday, June 25
Review + Giveaway at The French Village Diaries
Thursday, June 26
Review + Giveaway at An Accidental Blog
Friday, June 27
Review at Lisa’s Yarns
Sunday, June 29
Spotlight + Giveaway at Books A to Z
Tuesday, July 1st
Review + Interview + Giveaway
at Books Are Cool and Blog in France
Wednesday, July 2
Review + Giveaway at Words And Peace

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