Nely Cab’s Paris Book Signing Experience + A Paris Inspired Giveaway!

NELY CAB’S PARIS AUTHOR RETREAT, BOOK SIGNING, AND GIVEAWAY

It was mid-March when I received an email invitation by Janet Wallace, founder of Utopia Con for the Next Chapter Writers Retreat in Paris, one of the places at the top of my bucket list. The three-day retreat focused on branding and personal image, which really ignited much needed inspiration and drive within the members of our writer’s group.

*If you’d like to read more about the rest of my stay in Paris, prior to the retreat days and to enter a bonus Giveaway, click on the blog link, “You had me at Bonjour,” provided at the end of this post.

On Thursday evening we met Janet Wallace and the rest of the group (pictured above) at the conference hotel for a meet and greet/happy hour, and from there, we set out for a nice dinner at a nearby cafe.

 

THE SPEAKERS & THEIR MESSAGE

(Press on each image to find out more about each speaker and author.)

Janet Wallace, who aside from founding Utopia is also a marketing strategist and owner of Social Deviants, lectured on the importance of breaking out of the comfort zone to be seen and heard. I found her speeches especially motivating and uplifting. I can’t wait to attend next year’s Utopia Con!

Regina Wamba of Mae I Design, a professional photographer and graphic designer, spoke about finding one’s style in images. Regina also took photos of each individual in our group. I can’t wait to see how they turned out. Of course, knowing how talented she is, I’m certain they’ll be perfect. Did I mention Regina is an award-winning cover artist?

Cat Espinosa, owner of Ateliercloth and fashion designer extraordinaire, explained how to find our own style, and how to create concepts for future branding and image. Having worked in the New York/Paris fashion industry in earlier years alongside Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, it’s no wonder her creativity, style, and grace were an immediate inspiration to everyone in the group.

THE AUTHOR ATTENDEES

Carlyle Labuschagne

Tia Silverthorne Bach

Katie John

Jadah McCoy

And me, Nely Cab
Sunday afternoon, we had a book signing. Each author took turns reading a bit from their novels while the the guest attendees listened and sipped on champagne. It’s amazing how the right excerpt can pull you into a book so quickly. I secretly purchased the e-books on my Kindle app right away. I guess it’s not a secret anymore. And let met tell you something… Based on the excerpts I heard, they are all amazing books!
Below is the excerpt I read from Creatura, which takes place in Paris. I thought it properly fitting.

I left the estate in search of Eros. I couldn’t fly over the Atlantic, weak as I was. I boarded a plane in a nearby city. I slept the majority of the way, arriving in the crisp and chill of the morning in Paris, Eros’ current city of residence. Since Eros possessed the power to tamper with the heart, I was certain he would help me once he saw my heartache. Eros was a pushover for love.

I arrived at the Café de Flore, one of Eros’ favorite spots. Fragrant European coffees and the scent of pastries filled the air. Eros wasn’t at the café this morning. I took a seat at an empty table, ordered a double espresso, and waited to see if he would appear. After two hours, I never did see him arrive. I pondered the places where Eros would roam. I knew him well enough to know these sites, and so I set pace to an antique bookstore named Shakespeare and Company, a short distance from the café.

As I walked among the rues of Paris, I wished one day I would be able to show Isis the City of Love. I came to the street where the bookstore was located. I prayed to Deus that I would find Eros. The shop doors were opened wide with books stacked on tables on the sidewalks. I stepped in to the sweet vanilla smell of vintage paper coming from the antiquities. A numerous collection of works were scattered over tables and arranged on shelves. I examined the literary hunters, which were but a handful. Next to one of the book tables by a window there stood a blond, tall young gentleman in a grey trench coat and spectacles. I approached him discretely, as if I were also searching for literature. As he picked up a book, I leaned into his field of view.

“Bonjour.”

“Dahveed! My brother!” Eros embraced me. “How are you, my friend?” he asked in his thick, French accent. “Have you come to visit as you did last time… for pleasure?”

“Actually, I’ve come to ask for a favor. But where are my manners? How are you?”

“A favor you say?” He set the book down and led me out of the store.

“Tell me what I can help you with. You know I’m at your disposal.”

“I would rather discuss this in a more private place, if you don’t mind.”

“I see. We can speak at my current residence then.”

“That would be perfect.”

Eros flagged down a cab on the sidewalk. “La Reserve. Place du Trocadero,” Eros told the driver.  During the cab ride, we spoke of my family. He was surprised to learn we had moved to a small town instead of a fast-paced city.

“Paris is where you should be. The women here die for our kind… I jest, of course. I should be so ignorant as to put myself in that position.”

I avoided that topic of conversation. I couldn’t let him know the circumstance behind my visit until he knew the entire story. He’d be more inclined to help me if he understood the degree to which I was now emotionally engrossed.

We walked through the lobby of the hotel as a familiar classical number by Chopin played in the background. Upon entering his elegant and contemporary penthouse suite, Eros removed his coat and offered me a drink.

I declined and waited for him to prompt me to tell him the reason behind my visit.

“I’ll assume this concerns a female, oui?”

“You assume correctly.”

“Is it someone I know?”

“No. She… she’s not of our kind.”

“What?” Eros dropped his glass of wine. “Mon frère, please don’t tell me this concerns a mortal?”

“Let me explain.” Eros sat down and awaited my rebuttal. I deliberated on how I should gain his empathy. “I love her.”

 
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