s'envoyer des fleurs & a request for blurbs!

Tip: take a break from the current "book publishing" theme by simply reading the stories that follow, below. In the stories "Foi" and "Conjoint" you will continue to build your French vocabulary, while in "Envie" you can read about longing.

Mas la MonaqueMas la Monaque - rent this beautifully restored 17-century farmhouse! Click here for photos and availability.


s'envoyer des fleurs

    : to pat oneself on the back


Publishing Update!

Now listen in, closely: we are racing toward the imminent deadline for this 21 Day Publish A Book challenge and I need your help today big time!

I am about to do the unthinkable. I'm now going to ask you "to send me flowers"! Not because I received bad news at the doctor's yesterday (another suspicious spot will need to be removed—this time from the side of my nose. Gah! Double gah!!)...

No, I am not asking for flowers for that... I am asking you "to send flowers" in the very French sense of the phrase:

envoyer des fleurs = to send compliments
s'envoyer des fleurs = to send oneself compliments 


In fact, what I really need from you today is what we readers, editors, writers, and publishers call "BLURBS".

Normally, a publisher (or author or editor or marketing team) will seek such endorsements from other authors or from journalists. You then see these promotional statements on the book's back cover or on the inside flap or on the first few pages of the book or on the product description page at Amazon. 

Such blurbs serve many purposes. Here are just a few. Blurbs help to convey:

1)  the book's subject matter
2)  the author's writing style
3) the tone of the book  

Especially, blurbs help to sell the book!  They help potential readers decide whether to buy.

 Again, blurbs are typically written by writers... but, personally, I think they should be written by readers. This is where you come in! As readers of this "thrice-weekly" blog, you are the most qualified of all critics to comment on my stories. It is you who can best label my writing style, the subject matter and the tone of these essays.

So forgive me for being brazen or blatant ...or even a bit bumbling... in asking you to send me "flowers"! But I sure need your positive words at this time.  

And now, à vos plumes! To your pens! (or keyboards...). Please answer my call for blurbs by leaving one here, in the comments box (be sure to leave your name as it should appear... should your blurb be published).

Tip: For help writing a blurb for my book, please have a look at some of the books lying around your home or office. Notice how the blurbs effectively answer the questions: What is this book about? Who is this author? What is the author's style? The book's tone? How am I left feeling, having read a chapter? Would I recommend this book to someone?

To those of you who do not feel up to writing an endorsement, I hope that you will stick around to help choose one for the back of my book! Your job will be to read the blurbs as they come into this box, and help decide which ones will work best for my book's promotion.

Thank you very much! Meantime, here are the next set of stories that will go into the book. Click on the following links to begin editing.

FOI: My daughter and my hot-tempered mom say grace

ENVIE: Restless souls and longings...

CONJOINT: My husband courts Mother Nature


  July2005 024

(2006. Before we had any idea we were destined to move to a vineyard...) I thought I'd run this photo for you today, as most of the stories in my next book focus on this time period (so that when you read about Max or Jackie, you can picture them at this age.) The photo was taken at Uncle Jean-Claude's winery, Domaine du Banneret.

Don't forget to leave a book blurb in today's comments box. Thank you again! Your support makes all the difference!

A Note to Editors
Note, if you have helped to edit a story for this collection (that is, if you have submitted a correction to one of the stories in this "publishing challenge", then please add your name to the Acknowledgments box, here.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Since discovering French Word a Day it has become one of the few blogs I read word for word. Each story that Kristin writes takes you on a little journey, whether it be harvesting grapes with her viticulteur husband, Chief Grape, buying make-up with her teenage daughter or stopping to photograph something she has seen out of her car window. She writes as engagingly about the everyday challenges of being an American woman living in France as she does about the big life changing moments in her life.
Whatever the subject, Kristin brings a sense of joy and warmth into her writing, which lingers on after the reading.

Cate Read Hickman

Warm and friendly, Kristin's stories not only teach about life en France, they transport readers to another world. We learn about what daily life is like as a vitner in the French countryside for a long-since transplanted American, as well as fun installments regarding her family and personal adventures.

After reading her stories, one is left with a smile, ready to create one's own positive life adventures. I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about life there, or anyone needing a mini vacation. It brightens the spirit and lifts the heart!


Reading Kristin's blog brings smiles, tears, thoughtful moments to my life. She writes with sensitivity great humor, self-awareness and modesty. Reading about the characters she encounters, the stunning setting of her life and travels and the reflections of cultural differences and similarities bring me great joy and energy. I recommend this book with full commitment and no reservations!

Angela Sargent

Kristin draws us into her life in France.By the clever use of a new word-a-day she allows us to be a part of that life.Her stories are amusingly honest,soul-searching and very human.Her photos show an intuitive understanding of the people and country she lives amongst. Simply the best blog to read.

Alison Johnston

From the heart, humorous and often touching, la vie francaise experienced through the beautiful eyes and thoughts of one American woman living her dream. For anyone who has ever spent any time in France, living between the words, in that exciting and challenging yet ofter irritating realm of truly understanding a foreign language. Kristin gives us all the courage to live our passions outside of ourselves.

Kevin Donovan

I visit France three times a week. Lucky me. Is that via Easyjet from Liverpool, England?, you ask me. Why leave the European Capital of Culture to visit France?, you add. Well, hold your horses. I may be a Scouser but I'm not a complete flaneur; I'm lucky enough to receive Kristin Espinasse's "slices of French life" and each time am happily transported over the Channel to where (if I had two hearts) my second heart would stay. Chapeau, Kristin!


To read this book will encourage you to grow and Blossom too!!! Kristin draws you into her life and joys of living in Provence.Each new Word-a-Day helps you with the nuances of the French culture.Her pictures draw you into the life so you feel part of Provence.A must read.Jackie Pace

Marilyn and Larry Griffith

Both my husband and I subscribed to Kristen's French-Word-a-Day from California soon after she began to publish them on line. We since have moved to France and continue to love Kristen's story telling ability. Anyone can "step right into" the scenes and "feel the emotions" of the scenes and characters she is describing. It is very easy for her "passion" to become our own.


I can't find the posting where you had decided on a title for the book. Can you tell me what it was please? Sandra

Betty Gleason

As satisfying as a seven course French dinner with lots of good wine and laughter.

Each petal of this blossom is a story straight from the heart, mind and funny bone of transplanted American Kristin Espinasse, whose love of all things French now include her native born husband and two children. Come grow with her as she learns the idioms of the French language and life in the French countryside.

Tim Averill

Kristen's vignettes of life in France and her discoveries of the nuances of "la belle langue" are refreshing to both the novice francophile and the seasoned traveler. Because she explores France and French with the eyes of an American ex-pat, her discoveries consistently reveal the complexities of language and culture. Never pretentious, always self-revelatory, Kristen demystifies then ways of France to the American reader.

Alyssa Ross Eppich

I have been reading French-Word-A-Day for many years now, and Kristin's words never fail to evoke the beauty and mystery that is France for me. Each time I read one of her pieces, the most intense urge to travel France strikes-again!

J. Davis Harte

Pulling in against time-poor resistance, French word a day tugs my poetic linguistic self with charm and loveliness. Kristin's open-hearted demeanor stirs movements of adventure, senses and beliefs. Topics of the great writers everywhere, done with elegant finesse.

Catherine Noble

After recently spending a week in Provence, I find myself devouring every word of Kristin's thrice-weekly blog written from the heart of this incredible region of France.. She is masterful in capturing the essence of Provence and drawing us into the daily lives of her family. Her breezy style interspersed with French vocabulary makes for a very entertaining and colorful read. Kristin feels like an old friend.


Living the dream, and savoring each day. The setting is 'la belle Provence' but the experiences come through the eyes of a raconteur who makes the daily fabric of life resonate through all cultures. Bravo, Kristin

Kimberley Lovato

Whether you're a francophile or dream of une vie francaise of your own, these funny, poignant, and wanderlust inspiring tales are the perfect accessory for your next journey, be it far flung or curled up in your favorite arm-chair.

-Kimberley Lovato, francophile, travel writer and author of Walnut Wine & Truffle Groves

Ken Scupp, Bow NH

A completely easy (facile) way to enrich your french vocabulary and visit rural france in bite size pieces (histoires). But so much more than that. Written in a warm, insightful and personal style, she makes you feel that you would like to be a friend of the family.

Maureen McCormick

If you have ever dreamed of running a vineyard in Provence - or if you have ever been in love - then you will cherish Kristin Espinasse's accounts of her life amid the grapevines with her French husband Jean-Marc. Using the definition of a French word as a starting point, Kristin shares - with warmth and humor - her love of her adopted language as well as the challenges of marriage and motherhood. Kristin's gorgeous photos perfectly complement her descriptions of "la vie quotidienne" that make France come alive wherever you live.

Dr. Alma H.Bond

I have read French Word-a-Day for years, and find it significantly improves my ability to read French.
Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.
Author of "Jackie O: On the Couch."

Lana Holmes

An American living her dreams and passions in the south of France, Kristin invites us, with remarkable frankness and generosity, to share her own and her family's challenges and triumphs. She inspires, enlightens and entertains with down-to-earth vignettes of daily life that sparkle with her wry humor, zest for life, energy and 'bon courage.' Lana Holmes


Three days a week, I sit down with my coffee and scurry to go through my emails searching for Kristin's latest post. I am never disappointed--I'm transported to France with glimpses of a life well-lived. Mary

Janis Hernandez

Magnifique! While reading Les Miserable I began following French Word-A-Day and voila! it has enhanced my appreciation of the written and spoken word effortlessly!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these wonderful blurbs!

Note: the stories in this book do not cover our time here on the vineyard. This collection is from 200-2006 (mostly), when we lived in another village.

Thanks again!


Kristin treats us, as if we were a trusted cousin visiting from America and she were filling us in on the latest parts of her adventure living in Provence and raising a French family. Trusted because during the course of our little visits she not only tell us of her daily interactions with French life and the French, she reveals bits of her heart. Since we are family Kristin shares with us many things; the struggle of her husband, "The Chief Grape" to create his vineyard, the growth of her children, the visits of her mother, her visits to the doctor, all of this with a matter-of-fact bravery and trust in us, her cousins.

I came to these stories to learn French. At first I was a little disappointed; too much English. What I got was a better understand of the French, built up little by little without really thinking about it, along with daily vocabulary. But, mostly, I was drawn in be the humanity of Kristin's writing and the bravery of her trust in me.

Sharon Sakson

Reading Kristin's book brings a ray of sweetness into each day, like visiting the warm, cozy kitchen of a good friend. It always fills me with the feeling of having spent an hour or two immersed in the rich, enchanting life of my favorite country.

Sharon Sakson, author of Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs.

Herm in Phoenix, Az

With this new book, many faithful followers are looking to their left, then their right, and seeing themselves. . . . . . They are beside themselves in anticipation of this fresh new glimpse into Kristin’s “Provincial World” of family, friends and readers from around the world.

Sonja Johansen

I look forward to Kristin's words and photos. When I don't find them in my in box, the day just isn't the same.

Jeanne in Oregon

Early every morning, with cup of coffee in hand, I visit my inbox. Ads are quickly discarded, items needing attention are mentally prioritized, but a missive from Kristin is always eagerly opened and savored. In her unique manner, she carries me off to France, to her vineyard home, to the heart of her family, and into the very depths of her soul.

Jeanne Robinson, author of The Visitor's Guide to Oregon Historic Cemeteries

Mindy (Manhattan Beach, CA)

French-Word-A-Day is an engaging way to learn about the French language and French culture. Kristin's easy-going, whimsical style takes the reader to unexpected places as she shares her personal journey as an American woman blending her past life with her present one in a country rich in charm and character.


In the style of Peter Mayle's books, Kristen Espinasse invites us to share her family's life; opening the door to Provence with sips of French joie de vivre and language.

Della M. Seaton

Fred Caswell

Dear Kristi, hope you read my comment way down the list on Monday's story re your book cover.

Latest idea -- use a photo of a field of bright blossoms (white ?) as there are flowers, people (+ other forms of life) blossoming in Provence (as everywhere).

Such a cover may catch many an eye and your blossoming will be the pleasant discovery within your latest libre.

Can't help but wondering if less stress and more rest might help in the healing of your forehead. Comme toujours, Fred

Jeri Famighetti

The special quality of Kristin's stories comes from their combination of the personal and the universal. They are very much her stories, drawn from her life, and yet they are all our stories in their emotional content. That is why we can enjoy reading them even as the feelings--whether joy, love, loss, fear, amusement--resonate deep within us--they are all of our stories.

Lola Vardigans

The great CS Lewis wrote, "We read to know we are not alone." Kristin's thrice weekly missives from Provence have lifted my spirits from the moment I see 'French Word a Day' in my inbox. She writes about her life, her family and most recently, her brush with illness, 'de la coeur'. I defy anyone not to be uplifted by her unabashed 'joie de vivre'. And the icing on the cake for all of us Francophiles is that we get to learn some serious French into the bargain! Who needs to listen to a boring language tape when we can go on a journey with Kristin?

Hilary Tayeb

Kristen has a rare gift; she is authentic. The human expression of her experiences in life and France are generous, candid and warm. I have never met her, and I feel I know her very well. Her writing is like hearing a friend speak. Her willingness to be vulnerable I find inspiring; her quest to publish I feel is encouraging to me as a writer; reading French Word a Day makes me happy.Hilary

Sharon Marchisello

Engaging snippets of French "vie de famille" told through the eyes of an American wife. A great way to build or refresh one's proficiency with French vocabulary and idioms.


French Word a Day helped me prepare for my two year living experience in Paris. Kristin made me laugh and cry while trying to learn French. Her stories at not to be missed!

Olivier J. Bourgoin (aka Olivier the Wine Guy)

I came across Kristin Espinasse's wonderful blog several years ago and I have since recommended it to scores of other people. As a native of France and as an aspiring writer myself, not only do I truly appreciate the very honest approach of her writing style; I also genuinely enjoy reading about Kristin's experience as a foreigner in my country of origin. While teaching a beginners French class to a group of 8th graders, Kristin's first book became an integral part of my lesson plan as well as strongly recommended reading for my pupils parents. Although we have never met in person, Kristin and I have corresponded via e.mail on occasions and When I get writers block I often think that I should just ask Kristin to assist in co-writing my own book. I encourage you to treat yourself to some of the most fun reading you are likely to encounter this year.

Olivier J. Bourgoin
(aka Olivier the Wine Guy)

Renee Convers

What a treat! Personal & perky, informative and fun! Sharing a little slice of Provence with Kristin is food for the senses.

Dennis LeFils

Kristin's writing is friendly, informal and personable. She avoids many of the cliches, and her stories are fresh and enticing.

John Moore

I have been reading French Word a Day for years. One posting had a story about the sound a wheat field makes in the wind. The next time I saw a wheat field, I got out of my car and listened.

Astor Adams

Sadly, I lost my job one day before being invited to France. Thankfully, you give me a little bit of France with every post. If I cant get their physically, I will enjoy my morning coffee with your pictures and words and arrive there in my mind.


Several times a week I am magically transported to Provence where I drink in the culture with my morning coffee via Kristin Espinasse's blog, "French-word-a-day." I become captivated by her down-to-earth stories, her humor and honesty, and I feel connected to another person and place so far away. While embarking on this beautiful imaginary voyage, I learn so much about France (seen through the gentle eyes of Kristin) and I even increase my French vocabulary!

Paul Heffron

You'll love Kristin's stories about how her own native French speaking children make fun of her non-native French pronunciation.

Kristin, Change this as you wish. Paul

Louis Plauche'

Kristin Espinasse is so much more than an American woman married to a French winemaker, a gifted photographer, a mother of teenaged children, and an expatriate living in the lovely Provence region of France. She also simply and effortlessly sees more things than we do, and is gifted with the talent to communicate her extraordinary vision in ways we can all understand. The vignettes of her life which make up this book will ring true to her fellow lovers of Provence...and life.

Diane Scott

True to her trademark flair, Kristin Espinasse imbues her latest collection of vignettes with warmth and wit, and invites her readers to enjoy a vicarious, “frenchified” bike-ride through the beautiful vineyards and villages of her beloved Provence. Join her and be prepared for the delights that lie just around the bend, but don’t forget to stop and smell the lavender! Diane Scott

Anne Winner Anderson

Kristin Espinasse's practical French language hints, tucked into delightful stories from an ex-pat living in Provence, reveal a woman like the rest of us: watching her children grow up, balancing work and family, worrying about her husband's health, pondering her own aging, finding beauty in the everyday, missing her mother, seeking spiritual discernment. Kristin's vignettes, tinged with longing or wonderment or vulnerability, uncover a writer whose sincerity infuses every story, whose readers regard with affection and feel they have come to know. Kristin doesn't just dole out Words From a French Life, she gives us Words From a Real Life.

Rob cyr

You'll fall in love with France, its culture, the language and the writer as well. They are one.

Priscilla Fleming Vayda

I can’t remember how I discovered Kristin Espinasse and her French Word-A-Day blog. But her writings and au courant photographs have become a regular part of my life, taking me to the south of France when I cannot go there myself. This collection of petite histoires and striking photographs helps satisfy my longing for Provence et tout le Français. Kristin takes her readers along for the voyage as she, a young American, learns her way through the French language, marriage, village life … even the perils of earning a driver’s license in a small French village. Her new book is a reading must for those who love the French way of life. Great job Kristin!
Priscilla Fleming Vayda
Writer and Painter, New Orleans

Nijole Ladd

Kristin not only captures the essence of a French day- she captures the essence of the people she encounters in each story. I enjoy each courageous jaunt into life and relationship from her humble and humorous perspective. It's always an affirmation of life and even more fun to see it through French culture and expressions.

Edna Suarez

A daily visit with Kristin Espinasse on French Word-A-Day feels like I've just been invited to a tete-a-tete with a good friend. She shares her life adventures a la francais with wit and candor. I'm addicted to French Word-A-Day!
-Edna Suarez
Photo Editor, New York City

Kathi Koegle

Most travel books and articles tell you about the topography, culture, places to shop and eat. French Word-A-Day connects me three times a week with "la France profonde," the real, daily life of the French. Without doubt, Kristin's creative missives have improved and expanded my vocabulary, boosted my confidence each time we prepare to visit France, and rekindled my lifelong passion for Provence. She's real, and she makes French life jump off the pages and into my heart.

Maxine Nunes

The biggest surprise for me was discovering what a wonderful writer Kristin is! I started subscribing to improve my French, and it took me awhile to even start reading the stories that accompanied the vocabulary. But once I Such a rare combination of charm and depth -- and style.

Candy in CO

The author invites us to "blossom" along with her in that area of France which has embraced artists through the years - the lovely Provence. As she learns new phrases to add to her growing French vocab, Kristin shares them with us using her passion of France and her French family with poignant stories that have us laughing, crying, commiserating, and wishing we were all there with her! We are drawn into her life and are the better for having done so.


Thankfully in my quest to learn the French language, I came across Kristin Espinasse! She took what was a waning hope and injected new life with her heartwarming writing style and candid stories. Now, she is a dear friend (though we've never met) and I feel her pains and rejoice with her in her triumphs. Hers is not mere writing, but more like an embrace from a friend welcoming us into her life.


(if you need a last name, let me know)

Ellen Aragon

Eager to help, I sat down and wrote my own "blurb" or "bouquet des fleurs" for you, Kristen. Then I was floored by the excellence of those who have already written here today. I especially liked the comments from Alison Johnston, Betty Gleason, Maureen McCormick, Della Seaton and Hilary Tayeb. Wish we could all be friends! Of course, I was also not paying attention, so what I wrote relates to your time in Provence as well. Here it is anyway - feel free to use it for your next book - perhaps your novel (!) set in Provence:

"Kristin Espinasse is the American Everywoman who opens our eyes to French life from the inside out. From back-breaking vineyard work to the joys of family, food and unique village characters, we walk the lavender-scented paths of Provence with her - and we believe."

David J Kirk

Have you ever wondered about being romantically transported to another place and culture? Kristin Espinasse took that journey when she moved from Arizona to France and married a Frenchman. Even though she could speak French, she soon discovered that there was much more to being a French wife and mother than that. In short vignettes, Kristin shares her experiences in her new world - some romantic, poignant, frustrating, or humorous. Read this book and you will take that trip with her - laughing and crying all the way (but from a safe distance).


Kristin's stories are warm and filled with life. I enjoy reading them very much. They make me feel like I'm right at the farm watching how her life develops day by day into a beautiful tapestry.

Catherine Stock

Charming, quirky and a tad naughty, Kristin lives a life many dream of sharing, even those of us living parallel lives in France.

Linda R.

To read vignettes of France through Kristin Espinasse's writing is to be warmly and openly welcomed into Kristin's daily life in France. Linda Reynolds

Rosalinda B. Roll

Many books have been written about Provence, but what sets this one apart is the touch of whimsy, something that even the most jaded reader will find hard to resist.


Could it be that after all these years I am still intrigued by each and every one of Kristens' writings. Watching her family grow, watching her bring in family members and friends for us to know has been such a pleasure. When I do take my first trip to France, thanks to Kristen, I will be well prepared.

Judith Augustine

Kristen's observations of her life in France are something I always look forward to. To read her is to be sitting with her in a Provencal cafe, laughing, crying, remarking on the strange and the wonderful. She had me with her first photo of her beloved Golden Retrievers. She has kept me with her ongoing days-in-the-life of a life that has its harsh realities as well as its stuff that dreams are made of. Which is to say, Kristen writes from an authentic place and transports me to a place I love dearly. Kristen, I thank you for this gift.

Rebecca Q. T.

Clean, playful prose whose optimism belies its daring honesty. Kristin's book is a wonderful balance between the picturesque moments of Provençal life and the candid, generous musings of a friend. Read this and you will become a friend, too.

Sorry to hear about your dermatological dissapointment. Don't let it get you down. Hugs and prayers.


Loving Provence as I do, after reading nearly every post I think, "Would that it were I." Of course that would be with my own husband, my own children and my own animals.

A Francophile (I could be more specific if Provencophile is a word) from La Porte, Indiana

Phil Hicks in CA

A sense of place. . . the essence of family. What a delight to become engrossed and enveloped in the daily lives of this extended wine making family with all its interactions, humour, and foibles!

Kristin Epinasse's eamil posts shout TERROIR with all its possible definitions.

anne wirth

Having followed Kristin's Word-A-Day for many years, I find her weekly stories to be an enduring pleasure. She writes about her life, including the happy, sad and anxious moments, all conveyed in her charming style. Kristin's French family and in-laws, mother and friends all become characters in her tales of living in a country village. I never become bored with her adventures.

Olga Brown

Since I would not dare to write a book blurb, I just want to vote for the best one.

Kristin, so far my favorite are the blurbs written by Lana Holmes and Sharon Sakson.
Is it possible put both on the back cover?

Have a wonderful day!


Kristin's writing fosters an appreciation of the 'joie de vivre' !

Sarah LaBelle

A girl from Arizona blossoms into la maman et l'écrivante in the south of France. Tales of Kristin Espinasse's life as mother of her school age son and daughter delight the reader in easy doses.

Well, I am not very good at writing blurbs!

Rather I agree with Olga on two favorites. Adding Phil Hicks comment, if it is modified to reflect the book -- no longer daily e-mails.

Your book is so very different from Peter Mayles, as different as your two lives. He settled in Provence after reaching success in his English career, living where he often vacationed. You came from college and married a Frenchman, casting your lot with him in his homeground.

Maybe some of the same audience, but I think a wider one -- anyone who likes to read insights on a rich family life, conducted in French and English.


Kitty Wilson

Hmmm ... why do only a couple of blurbs mention your photographs? Is it because they'll be obvious to anyone lookin' at the book? Okay, they speak for themselves, provided browsers can also look INTO the book! For me your stunning photos are (almost) as addictive as your magical writing, as they too reflect not only the development of your skills, but of your heart's wisdom.

So many stunning 'blooms' amongst these glowing fleurs submitted by readers that I am tempted to pick and choose phrases from among them to form a composite bouquet. Like Ellen Aragon, I too am "floored by the excellence of those who have already written here today. I especially liked the comments from Alison Johnston, Betty Gleason, Maureen McCormick, Della Seaton and Hilary Tayeb." And even after Ellen's post, along came more lovely ones!

Above all, as Fred tenderly observed up there, once this publishing marathon is over, I pray you will take a restful break from frenetic activity to let your body and spirit heal to the utmost.

Your own whole health, wounds, fears and all, is to be as gently embraced and cradled as any beloved innocent whom you'd seek to ease. Do it for you, for la famille, and for us, Dear Woman? That would be a universal blessing!

edith schmidt

"A delightful American perspective on the joys and perils of living and loving in France."

Edie Schmidt

Sevahn Merian

Kristin Espinasse is a gifted writer and photographer who communicates wisdom and faith through her pen and photo lens. Discover French words and phrases that delight and stimulate, like a delicious cup of cafe au lait. Read French Word-a-Day and you will add a dollop of friendship, grace, and love to start your day!

Julie Castiglia

I've always loved France but Kristin has brought that country into my home in California and broadened my French vocabulary. She has helped me to undestand the French way of life with much vivaciousness, style, warmth and a terrific sense of humor, and a voice when she writes that reflects her character; every writer's dream.

Julie Castiglia
Literary Agent


Life is about the details and the big picture. Kristin combines both in her short stories about everyday life in France. Her irony and vivid sense of humor brings to life the scenery. As a foreigner living her dream, Kristin can grasp and describe the very Frenchness that natives can't see. Every time I read her blog, I feel part of her family, and I want to go visit Kristin soon. Thanks for opening up your family to include us all!


French word-a-day is a constant in my life – like Kristi and koffee in the morning !


Sandra Edwards

Kristen is like a meadow of bright, beautiful wildflowers on a sunny day. She is a fairy tale princess that found her prince. Her writing is magic…It pulls you in like you are part of the family. Let your heart be captured and your soul refreshed. You will feel like you have a new best friend! Her stories are delightful, thought provoking, encouraging, and endearing. They make you want to be a better person. You come away feeling renewed and that you can handle and conquer anything! She masters the art of transferring all her emotions and her senses – sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste to the reader. French life, culture, language, and passions are brought to life, yet she transcends all nationalities, gender, age, and status, as her stories resonate with the inner spirit in us all. She makes the ordinary become extraordinary!

Lynn at Southern Fried French

Kristin, you have a bunch of awfully good writers following you! the blurbs are truly lovely and a great tribute.
Here is mine:

American transplant Kristin Espinasse takes us deep into Provence, sharing both the charm of her French life and the conflicts of her poet’s soul. Her adventures are as fresh as a bouquet of just-picked lavender, her observations on French life as sharp as the Mistral that blows through the valley where she and her family tend their vines. Her honesty, wit, and generosity make this a book you’ll want not just to savor, but also to share.
--Lynn McBride, author of the blog "Southern Fried French"

Sandra Edwards

Sorry for the typo on your name!!!

Allen Laskin

A lot of excellent blurbs; good enough to keep me from trying my own. But too many refer to Word-a Day, instead of the forthcoming book.

I just have a very minor niggling correction of the sentence under the (great, as usual) photo at the beginning of this post. It should read "...stories THAT follow...) instead of "...stories WHICH follow..."
This, of course, is of no consequence as far as the book is concerned.

Perhaps you grammarians out there would like to explain WHY! (Do you want to take on "I/me"? "Who/whom"?)


A blurb, as requested:

I live an imaginary life in France. With the help of Kristin Espinasse' thrice-weekly blog, I am transported away from the every day and into a world which I long to experience. And I'm expanding my French vocabulary, too.
--Julianna Palazzolo, freelance writer


Funny, fragile, frivolous,fruitful, fresh...yes, fresh.
Kristin's vignettes are like opening a window and letting in a little of the fresh Mistral air. Sometimes it is warm and gentle and at others biting and brave. Always she colours her tales with her own palette of humour and insights into her life's experiences that touches the humanity in us all. With a word, a picture, a tale and a smile she allows us to share some of her space for a while in the fields of Provence.


Carolyn Chase

Much like Peter Mayle in his book, A Year in Provence, Kristin offers a step out of the ordinary into another world - living the life of the wife of a French winemaker, a foreigner in a small community. With exquisite charm and grace, a delightful sense of humor, especially about herself, an artist's eye both for photographs and for word pictures, and a superb and fresh style of writing, she shares her triumphs as well as her trials and tribulations, and we step through the looking glass or the wardrobe door into an adventure it would be a pity to miss. For those of us who have sojourned for a period of time in France, it brings back fond souvenirs of similar experiences, and wrenches the heart to be back.
Carolyn R. Chase

Debbie Ambrous

Imagine that a dear friend moved to France and then dished all her experiences just for you. She flings open her windows and doors spreading the aroma of tomato tart fresh from the oven, the laughter of her children plus a normal amount of squabbles and her love for her handsome French husband. She takes you along the winding, ancient streets to find new friends and absorb France with all your senses in Blooming in Provence.

Debbie Ambrous


Angela and Lola's
comments really struck home when I read your
Blog...great for the back cover.

Jan Leishman

This book is probably the most pleasant and inclusive way to learn about life in France and the French language. Blogger and author Kristen Espinasse takes the reader into the heart of day-to-day life in Provence. She creates an inspirational setting in which to demonstrate – with her photographs and stories – how to feel at home in France and use everyday words and expressions in context. Espinasse is an American who lives with her French husband and two children on a vineyard in the south of France. Her conversational style draws you into her circle of family and friends and whether or not your aim is to learn French, you will enjoy accompanying her on a delightful journey through France and its language. Highly recommended.

june furey

Kristen you bring the ambience of France into my life life everyday I open your emails.
Your writings are everything a Francophile like myself could desire. Whatever time of day or how one feels at the time, your . bright and happy style enriches my life. I wish to have "more please".
artiste ami June


Great blurbs!

Chanelle Carlin

Kristin has reinvigorated my love of French, la belle langue, which has inspired me to share it with my niece and nephews who have now been studying le francais avec leurs tante a quatre ans. Her stories brighten my Inbox throughout the weeks.

Diane W. Young

I can hardly wait for the next vignette, wondering what the desert darling from Arizona will choose to reveal about the world of la famille Espinasse. She has taken us on so many adventures with such charming snapshots to draw us into the scene. Kristin writes from the heart with honesty and humor.

Lisa A., CA

Charming, Tantalizing, Irresistible, Heartfelt and Beautiful are just a few words that come to mind when I think about Kristin Espinasse short stories and photographs de France. Her stories will take you on an adventure to different way of life. It's wonderful!

Lisa Adams

Rina Rao.

When the ordinary is transformed into The Extraordinary---you know you have a writer who is gennunine about all that she writes. Be it the Mother-daughter/son, or husband-wife relationship or all else that she writes about. To add to the diversity and colour, you can really 'feel' the myriad hues of Provence in/as the background!!!
A spritual tone here, a funny one there and not to forget the 'Ouch' moment/story. A 'must read'.
Kristin is a writer, whose got it just

Jacqueline Gill

Here's my blurb and it's as true as the wind:
Espinasse's stories make me yearn to visit France on a daily basis.I want her for my friend.
Jacqueline Gill

Marika Ujvari

I told Kristin that if she ever looses her wonderful stories because of computer glitch, I have them all in my "Love Kristin" folder. I have been a fan of hers since the beginning, and not only enjoyed her lively stories and photos, but learned a lot of French. Her first book has a prominent place on my bookshelf.

Lisa Teed

Reading Kristin's stories is like reading a daily devotional to the French way, a little escape from my hum drum desk job into the romance novel life of Kristin.
Lisa Teed


After reading Kristin's stories and faithfully reading her "French word a day" column, I decided to take French classes. Her vision of life in France has truly made an impact on my life.

Her writing is not only interesting, but it is heartfelt, loving and full of warmth. With her breathtaking photographs and vivid prose, I am transported to La Belle Francais!

Merci beaucoup Kristin!

Rob Tonkinson,  Mahomet, IL

Kristin has done it again, with another compilation of stories about everyday French life and family that thoroughly entertain by bringing readers into her family and transporting them to the French Countryside to be introduced to the beauty of the French language and culture.

Sushil Dawka

Kristin Espinasse is the penfriend we thought we had lost to email.

She writes with sparkling insight as an American drawn by love to France, and It is a privilege to be let in to her daily life with her viniculturist husband and her teenaged children. Her words have the freshness of a Provençal spring and her metaphors are as picturesque as her photographs of rural France.

Her exquisitely crafted prose is a delight to read and her descriptions of everyday family life and the expatriate travails of fitting in are humorous and revealing of human nature.Yet I have come across the occasional thought or phrase so poignant and delicate that I have had to stop reading to blink, and so will you.

Her blog format of using a French word or idiom from which to hang a portrait , a landscape or a vignette in words (no less works of art) tells us so much about France, the language and culture, the wines and cuisine, the people and the countryside.

This is at once a Francophile's indulgence, a travelogue, a photo-journal, an occasional diary and a learn-French blog. It is also the 'happily ever after' of a love story and who can resist that?

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

The stories of ex-pat author Kristin Espinasse find that perfect balance point between her American roots and the heart of her adopted country. They are moving, laugh-out-loud funny, and always informative as she takes her readers through their own private tour of France. Her photographer’s eye for the oddities and the everyday of that country just add to the sense that you need to buy a plane ticket right now and visit these places. Read this book before you go so you can learn the language and culture of France you’d never get in a guidebook, or read it after you return so you can reminisce and say “It was exactly so.”

Julie Farrar, writer and travel blogger at "Traveling Through"

Sue J.

Whoa! Such a turnout with the blurbs! Your readers inspire me -- and you did all the work!

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