La Crève and Chili Basta! Fast and Easy Chili recipe with a Provençal twist
Will the sun still rise tomorrow? + Le bénéfice du doute

apprendre à profiter de la vie + Patricia Sands novel set in Arles and Camargue

Somewhere in Provence

In the novel DRAWING LESSONS, set in Arles, Arianna will learn to embrace life. Hear the previous sentence in French and discover Patricia Sand's novel set also in the breathtaking Camargue!

apprendre à profiter de la vie

    : learn to embrace life

Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence, profiter de la vie

Dans le roman Drawing Lessons, qui se déroule en Arles, Arianna va apprendre à profiter de la vie.


    by Kristi Espinasse

I will never forget listening to Patricia Sands speak at The Scotch Tea House. It was a sweltering June day in Nice, France, and as the audience fanned itself with tea house menus, the Canadian author was radiant, standing at the podium sharing her journey to becoming an author--author, I might add, of a bestselling trilogy set in France.

My Mom sat on the edge of her red velvet tea house seat, like a straight-A student who would breeze the test were we to be drilled at the end of the presentation. But this was no ordinary speech - it was an inspiring account of how someone like you or me went on to live her dream.... 

Patricia Sands in Nice at Scotch Tea House

I had heard about Patricia Sands before this muggy and memorable day, and even become good friends via social media, but meeting the author in person I was struck by her grace, her beauty and her generous, encouraging spirit. Just like my friend Lou, Patricia is a natural born coach! Indeed, the opening message on her website (with its subtitle "Everyone Has A Story") is a quote from Norman Vincent Peale:

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there.

"Patricia is a good mentor for you!" Mom said on the ride home from Nice. With that, she disappeared behind an inviting book cover, Patricia Sand's latest, and was not to be heard from again for the two-hour ride home.


Drawing lessons

I will be downloading Drawing Lessons on Kindle. The paperback version is also available. Please join me in reading Patrica's latest! If you have already read it, or another of Patricia's books, thanks for sharing your feedback on the comments, below.

Jules and Patricia Sands

My Mom, left, and author Patricia Sands, in Nice, France


The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…

Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists' workshop full of anticipation, but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband's dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she's loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas. 

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her, and like the sunflowers, once again face the light.



Calanque painter
Photo of an artist painting (and soon to be resting. Notice the inviting hammock) at Port d'Alon, down the road from our old vineyard. It is never too late to learn how to embrace life or apprendre à profiter de la vie. Enjoy your week!

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety