I’m thrilled to welcome author Sidney Bristol today. She has such a great post about Paris. I think I need to start saving for a trip now. Over to Sidney!
Thanks so much to Shelley for hosting me again! I’m kicking off my Tour de Paris, celebrating the February 13th release of Collar Me in Paris. Thursday thirteen, February 13th release day. Coincidental? Maybe?
Back in 2011 I got the chance to go to Paris with my mother for the big Paris-Brest-Paris cycling adventure. While I’m not a cyclist, my mom loves that crazy stuff. Instead of pedaling across the country, I went around discovering Paris on my own.
1. Eiffel Tower. A lot of people consider this their number one draw. For me, it was very neat to see, but by no means my favorite. There is something very beautiful about the architecture and romantic spirit of the structure. My favorite moment at the tower was the night my mother and I paused to watch the lighting show. You see, at sunset they make a big production of turning the lights on. When I was there they all sparkled and twinkled before settling in to a lovely glow.
2. Opera. The Paris Opera is a beautiful building. I didn’t get to go inside, but I loved the exterior. There are a bunch of gold angels along the top of the building, and the way the roads flow around it is lovely.
3. Moulin Rouge. I’d have loved to go see the dinner show, but it was a bit out of my price range and my mother would have died. That said, the theater is every bit as decadent as pictures lead you to believe. The area is also quirky and fun to walk around.
4. Jardin des Plantes. This wasn’t something I did intentionally. This is a beautiful collection of gardens and a menagerie in the heart of the city. It’s beautiful to stroll through while eating some ice cream on a warm day.
5. Château de Vincennes. My mother really wanted to see a castle, so we dug around for something located in Paris. This is a medieval castle next to a chateau. The history was fascinating. We did a whole audio guided tour of the spread. It was a lot of fun and we got to see a more remote part of the city than I would otherwise have.
6. Shakespeare and Co. This was a fantastic little bookstore. The history is fascinating. It’s crammed full of English books, most of which are used. It’s considered to be "a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore" and has hosted many famous writers. If you ever go to Paris, visit this shop.
7. Cafés. One of my favorite things to do in Paris was to select a café at random, sit down and pick something off the menu that I couldn’t read and order and eat it. I ate some stuff I’m not sure of what it was, and some really awesome food I wouldn’t have ordered otherwise.
8. Arc de Triomphe. I didn’t think much of this when I first saw it, but I went round and round it several times in an open top bus and I really wish I would have taken the time to go up and see the top of the arch. It’s located on the Champs de Elysee and at the heart of Paris.
9. Seine River. I love how most of the major cities have a river that helps give the city life. I got the chance to take a boat tour, which was a lot of fun, and showed me how the Siene touches so many parts of the city. You can see so much of the history and all of the little shops on the bank. I loved it.
10. Versailles. The palace was every bit as beautiful as the photographs make it out to be, only smaller. I kind of expected something on a much grander scale. But it was beautiful. The gardens and canals were every bit as gigantic and impressive as you would expect. You really need a golf cart to see all of it.
11. Louvre. I spent a whole day wandering around and seeing all of the paintings and things you only see online. The Louvre is amazing. From the exterior to the different regions of paintings and sculpture. It would be so easy to lose days in there! I know I spent at least one day inside, and a half day wandering around the gardens and reading by the large fountains in the front.
12. Catacombs. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this was by far one of my favorite things to see in Paris. This is an underground part of the city that’s a little physically difficult to get to because you have to go down about 140 spiral stone steps to get to the ossuary. There are hand carved scenes in the stone and then hundreds of thousands of bones arranged to form shapes and scenes and little areas. It’s fascinating and sadly you can’t take pictures in it or else I would have spent the day there. It can get a little morbid and claustrophobic because you feel the weight of the city on top of you. Still, amazing experience.
13. Notre Dame. My number one thing I had to see. I always love visiting cathedrals the most of any place I go to. I knew that Notre Dame would be my number one attraction, and it didn’t disappoint. We toured through the interior with an audio guide and got to see all the stained glass windows, the relics and different stations around the interior. Sadly we couldn’t climb to the bell tower, which I would have really liked to do, but I can imagine how amazing it was.
Paris was so memorable, I had to write about it. When I sat down to figure out the story for Bianca and Clay, I knew it had to be their backdrop. I hope that my experiences help create a more vivid experience for the readers!
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
What begins as Clay’s first family vacation with his new wife quickly dives into disaster. He may be the submissive in their relationship, but he’s no shy violet. Bianca has taught him the quickest way to turn her on is a challenge, so he’s throwing down the gauntlet.
Bianca butts heads with not just her brothers but her husband when the family torturing begins. But the joke is on him. She’s ready to put him through the most erotic misery of all. In public, at a night club and all over the city, she’ll show him who is Dominant in their relationship until he’s screaming for more.
Their relaxing Paris vacation turns into a mad dash through the ancient streets, a competition of wills and a new exploration of what it takes to make their relationship work. From bondage, discipline and very public orgasms to navigating the Métro, family feuds and overcoming the language barrier, they’re going to redefine the word fun.