un grand service = a big favor
de guingois


Life's merry-go-round. Read on, in today's letter. (Photo of le manège taken in Marseilles)

aigre-doux (ehgrh-doo)

    : bittersweet


Bonjour les amis,

I wanted to update you on the good news. Blossoming in Provence made it to #31 in the hot new releases at Amazon.com! 

I returned home from Marseilles, yesterday, to a flurry of excitement in the comments box (please check it out here). Mom was busy stirring up sales and announcing Blossoming's latest ranking at Amazon. Thanks, Mom! Your enthusiasm is contagious. 

These exciting bonnes nouvelles are tempered by some not-so-good news: at my doctor's appointment in Marseilles, it was confirmed that I will have to have another surgery, this time for a "spot" on my nose. I am upset, to say the least. (No need to write in or to email about this, I feel your support and I thank you for your prayers.)

Parfois on gagne, parfois on perd
Win some, lose some... I will be working on my attitude, my perspective, and my faith--trying to keep any anxieties at bay by focusing on the positive.

Blossoming in ProvenceSpeaking of the positive, for those of you who would like to offer a copy of Blossoming in Provence to someone for Christmas, it is not too late....

Here is a fun way to do so: click here and look for the "eGift this item" near the end of the page, (you will see the buble icon, as pictured here, to the left. The recipient of your gift will see a picture of the Blossoming book cover and will be prompted to select this item as their gift.

Thank you very much for your help in getting the word out about my latest book. I am grateful for and very touched by your Facebook announcements, your tweets, and your all-around enthusiasm and encouragements.

"See you" tomorrow, for a Christmas story...



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


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Lee Taylor

BitterSWEET, not sweat!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Lee! Will fix that one...

Wylie Goodman

Dear Kristin,

I've had a friend here in NYC who has had many, many "spots" removed. She's 47 and she's doing fine! If for some reason you want to come to the U.S. for a consult, let me know. She loves her dermatologist. I have every faith you will be fine. I know it's scary, but as long as these are caught early, you will pull through these.

Bill Schubart

or bittersweet?


Kristin - I received notice that the copy of Blooming on Provence that I ordered for Portia is on schedule to arrive for Christmas. She will be so pleased.

You and the whole Espinasse family will be in our thoughts for Xmas as we have a bottle of Lunatique!


Bob Head

Here in Australia --having nasty things cut off one's face is just a 'way of life' for us--almost everyone has to undergo it--many times.
It looks bad for a time, but the skin recovers well.
Ne t'inquiete pas!

Angela Sargent

Kristin - I know you will be fine.You have many guardian Angels and we all have plenty of faith for you!

I tried to buy Blooming in Provence but will have to wait until it's available in England as I can't order it from amazon.com -has to be .co.uk. but I'll get a copy,don't worry!

Pat, Roanoke, Va

Your photo of the merry-go-round prompts one of my earliest memories, that of riding one as a tiny girl, thrilled and terrified at the same time! I remember watching the one in Aix, too, marveling how beautiful and ornate they are--magical at all ages. Delighted that Blooming will arrive here in time for Christmas sharing! Our Sam arrives Thursday, his first visit home since joining the Air Force. We are goofy-crazy with excitement, needless to say! Blessings and love to you and yours.






i WILL be home in ten minutes

gail bingenheimer

I thought it was the merry-go-round in Aix-en-Provence on the Cour Meribou? However, I too never wore sun screen when I was young.

Elys Mattar


My prayers are with you and know that you do have a guardian Angel! you will be fine, exercise those faith muscles and you will be good. I am reading your first book for the second time and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have your new one on my wish list to be ordered after the holidays. Have a wonderful Christmas and may the love and protection of Christ be with you and your family.


Cynthia Crane

That beautiful face - the Cancer god is jealous. We all wish you good health and an end to these attacks in the the New Year. Bonne santé et bisous. Cynthia Crane

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

I have purchased my copy of your book as a Happy Birthday present to you *waves*. Today I'll post on Facebook and Twitter. After Christmas I'll post on other sites I follow, but right now those online friends are whipped into a frenzy over the countdown to Christmas weekend and aren't around.

I have had spots removed (frozen off) the side of my nose and have had no further problems. I hope yours goes as well. We love you and are thinking of you.


As a friend of mine who went through a major illness said, "You just slow WAY down(in your head, where the thoughts are racing)and take the next step". Easier said than done.
Your book looks fantastic. Take care.


Kristin- :) know that your many readers/friends/fans will be praying for you that this is but a mere small, small speed bump.
I so enjoy your musings.
one of your readers in Arkansas.

catherine taylor

Will Blossoming in France be availble on amazon.co.uk? Could not find it this morning? Thanks so much nd best holiday wishes.

Fred Caswell

If you get a chance, please read my comment re yesterday's posts.

Comme toujours, Fred

Louis Plauche'

The success of your latest comes as no surprise...you are living all of our dreams, and you're very good at describing the experience believably. Thanks for all the work I know goes into your writing.



Kristin -

My assurance in such moments is 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Claim it.

Blessings, Mary in NM, USA

Johanna DeMay

Chère Kristin,

Merry go round? More like a roller coaster! UP, UP, UP with the book,
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN with the doctor's verdict. But you will be fine. Our son beat lymphoma, and I am confident that you will beat skin cancer. The experience you are facing may be unpleasant, but like every lemon that ever landed in your lap, you will use it to make lemonade. You will turn it into wonderful stories that will bring even more light and love into all of our lives. That's what you do.

Happy Birthday, dear one. You and I are going to celebrate on the 22nd - your 44th and my 68th. We are going to wish you all good things, and GOOD HEALTH, most of all!
Much love from Albuquerque, NM, where there is snow on the ground!

Johanna & Will

P.S. Am ordering Blossoming in Provence today.

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for these heartening messages. 

Catherine, the book is only available at USA Amazon, Im sorry to say. I need to look into how to make it available to the other Amazons. Thanks for your interest.

Debra Saturday

Hello Kristin,

Love the Carousel photo. So pretty. And the stairs! How inviting.

I have your new book in my wish list on Amazon...sadly I will not be able to order it until after Christmas & New Years. But ...it is there waiting for me...yay! (I have your 'Words in a French Life' on my desk as I type....love it:)

yes many 'bisous' for you and your family, at this Christmas time and always.

'Love bears us through what nothing else can.' Debra Saturday


I'm not allowed to drive with my new knee until mid-January, so I'm happily doing my shopping clicking buttons on the Amazon website to send your book, as well as the book of another friend, as gifts hither and yon. Thank you for making my shopping so easy!

Mary BEth Splaine

Just ordered Blooming Provence as a Christmas present for myself. We'll be in St Didier for the winter again and hope to finally get to visit with you. Merry Christmas.

Suzanne, Monroe Twp., NJ

I can't wait for your new book to arrive and plan to spend some of my time off during the holidays to enjoy it! A new book, a birthday, and Christmas!


Congratulations! It's exciting to think you could do this mostly using the web .... I just ordered the book and look forward to reading it.
Joyeux noel ...et
bonne année, bonne santé!

Jeanne of Maumee, OH

Just one comment - PLEASE see a plastic surgeon if there is one in the area, or even go to Paris! Or come to Toledo, OH and go to the dr. I used to work for. He does excellent work. Noses are very difficult! GOOD LUCK!!!

Julie S. from San Diego

Sorry to hear you will need surgery, Kristin. Keep up your spirits and your faith, I know you will. You will pull this and be fine. I am purchasing a copy of your new book today. I can't wait to read it and share more stories about life in Provence with my students. The picture of the carousel is beautiful. Carousels always make me feel like a kid again when I see them and occasionally I still ride them!! You are so blessed to have such a loving, caring, and supportive mom. Joyeux Noel, bonne année, et bonne santé!!
Je t'embrasse,


I ordered Blooming in Provence from Amazon Canada (amazon.ca) yesterday but it said there was only one copy available!


Oops, that should be Blossoming in Provence - my apologies (although I do like Blooming in Provence too)'

Frieda Oxenham

I bought myself a copy of your latest book as a Christmas present to myself! Can't wait!!
And good luck with that op!

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Salut Kristin,

Félicitations pour le succès de votre nouveau livre! C'est très bon!

I’m anxiously waiting my copy.

À bientôt

Kristin Espinasse

Ann, re ordering from Amazon.ca (and only one copy available) -- I have been noticing that there are resellers that probably order and quickly resell this print-on-demand book. Just be sure that you dont pay more than the $14 USD (one reseller had it on offer for $82.39. There are no special editions of this book (nothing with real gold leaves inside!) so be careful not to overpay.

Jeff Taylor

My prayers are with you for a quick and complete recovery!
Jeff Taylor

Kristin Espinasse

THank you, Jeff, and thanks everyone for these comforting messages!

Lee Isbell

I put Blossoming in Provence in my Amazon shopping cart the day it arrived there, planning to wait until I had something else to order, in order to get the free shipping. Then you suggested buying two! So I did, but they won't make it before Christmas, so someone else will be getting a tardy gift.

I adored merry-go-rounds in concept, as an avid horse lover, but as someone with severe motion-sickness, hated how I felt by the end of a ride. (The invention of Dramamine when I was about 11 changed my life.)

I'm thinking of you and sending positive thoughts for your next surgery.

Phil Anderson

Did you mean 'bitterSWEET' and not 'bitterSWEAT?' Love your letters no matter what!


Ellen Aragon

Hello, Kristin,
I went to Amazon yesterday and bought two copies of Blossoming right away. Was not until today that I looked more closely at the beautiful cover (front and back) and was tickled to see that my review is one of the ones you used. I am so honored! Will have to get back to Amazon later today and post a new and different one. You are a rock star, Kristin. You will beat back any cancer in a short while, don't worry. Happy Birthday in two days, and have a beautiful Christmas as well. Have a little champagne and a look at the midnight stars - que la vie est belle!


I love your books too, and I am really enjoying the French Christmas CD you recommend here on your site.

Alanna Strong

Here's to a very Happy Birthday. Stretch the festivities out for a week or two (including Christmas!)and you may be able to stuff those awful cancer fears until after the surgery. I, along with, I suspect, all of your readers, would be honored to carry part of your worry load. Alanna in Dallas


I received notice yesterday that my book is on it's way. Yay. I blogged about it on my blog and hopefully that'll get some people over to Amazon. Big hugs and joyeux noel.

Jill in Sydney

Hi Kristi
Joyeux Noel! I am thinking of you here from down under. Sure and certain you are going to be ok, just something to get through and you will be fine. Looking forward to purchasing your book and also Jean-Marc's wine. Where will it be avaialable in Sydney. Tried to open the link you posted but couldn't. Happy holidays - we are still waiting for summer here, but it just doesn't want to come this year!

Alison Johnston


Wow! I am so excited for you! I just ordered three copies from Sauve, France and they will be waiting for me when I get back. One for me, of course, one for my mom and one for my daughter! You have inspired me to get back to work on my book! I do hope to visit you in January. Be anxious for nothing...big breath...hope...big breath....hang in there and love on your family. Joyeux Noel! and Bon Anniversaire!


We met with your mom yesterday in the bus while going to Puerto Vallarta. She is quite an ambassador for your books. I am anxious to know more about your books and also about her art. Could you tell her that I try to reach her to talk about all this. Tell her I was the guy who took the picture of the beautifull girl behind the driver. She will lagh. My email is in the information module below.
PS :
I tried to contact you with the contact mean of your site, but we must be member of google, which I am not.
Best regards

Karen from Phoenix, AZ

I am anxiously awaiting my copy of your book. Should have it in a few
days. YEAH!!!

I will be thinking of you and sending healing prayers your way.

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a very dear sweet friend.

xoxo Karen

Betty Bailey

I've twice had my dermatologist "freeze spray" small spots on my nose. I go regularly for her to have a look-see. She's listed as one of the best doctors in Texas. And M. D. Anderson in Houston is the place heads of state go for cancer treatment. If you should consider coming here for treatment.... God bless!

Jacqueline Gill

Just cannot wait until after Christmas to order your books--so excited! In the meantime, I am praying for you daily and I know you will be fine. I agree--claim those verses--they are our promises! Jackie from Pennsylvania

Judi Miller

Like many of your other readers, I too have put Blossoming on my Amazon Wish List - with the "priority" set to "Highest" - hoping for a wonderful Christmas present! (or New Year's if it's delivered a bit late). As a Breast Cancer survivor, now of 17 years, I still know the 'scare' that creeps up and takes over, but also, like one of your bloggers mentioned - deep breathing really helps, and my mantra, "I am just fine, right this exact moment!" You will be fine, too, and get past this health scare! I hope you can remember to be 'just fine' today and especially on your upcoming birthday! I just celebrated mine a few days ago, and it makes me even more thankful for each one I celebrate! We are all blessed! Bon Anniversaire et Joyeux Noel!!!!

Kristin Espinasse

Jill, thanks for asking about the books availability in Sydney. I have not yet looked into world distribution. Please remind me in the new year, as this is a goal! 


I ordered my copy a day or so ago, and got it today! Amazon was super speedy. I have only looked at it a bit, but I think the content is mostly new to me. I look forward to the reading the rest.
Anne (& Jack) Tucson


Kristin~ Congratulations on the new and continued success of the book!!

Head up, spirits up! We are all thinking good thoughts for you!

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