petite anglaise

February 21, 2008

best places to pick up "petite", in France

Filed under: book stuff — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:16 pm


A little bird has just told me that “petite” is on sale in France RIGHT THIS MINUTE in the following bookshops:

I’m feeling a little faint.

February 18, 2008


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:46 am

“When mummy gets married, I’m going to wear an extremely pretty princess dress,” Tadpole has been telling everyone who will listen. “And a tiara. And when mummy gets little bit busy, I’m going to help with carrying the flowers…”

Tadpole’s Disney Princess phase has lasted upwards of a year now, and shows no sign of abating. Given every self-respecting princess story culminates with a sumptuous ceremony, my daughter seems to have all sorts of preconceived notions of what my wedding day should be like. I do hope my strenuously low-key nuptials will not be a disappointment to her, when the time comes, but there’s no way I can stomach the idea of wearing a frothy white meringue, not even for my daughter’s sake.

A few days after my botched proposal, Tadpole returned from her New Year’s holiday with mamie and papy. I hadn’t yet had an opportunity to speak to Mr Frog, so sharing the news with my motormouthed daughter was a risky business. But one morning, when I crawled into her bed for our morning cuddle, I just couldn’t help myself.

“If I tell you something really, really exciting, can you keep it a secret?” I ask. There is a silence, and for a moment I wonder if she’s sleeping. I seem to have a knack for broaching important subjects when my listener is only semi-conscious. But Tadpole isn’t asleep. She turns to face me, her eyes serious.

“If it’s a secret, you have to whisper it in my ear,” she says. “Because otherwise somebody else might hear.” The only somebody else in the flat is snoring gently in the next room, fully aware of his impending marital predicament, but I humour Tadpole and snuggle closer to her ear.

“In a few months, I’m going to get married to …. ,” I whisper.

“Just like Ariel, in the Little Mermaid?” Tadpole cries, her eyes widening to the size of dinner plates, the need for whispering apparently forgotten.

“Kind of like Ariel, yes…” I reply. “Although probably not with the same colour dress. Or on a boat.”

“I’m going to marry myself as well,” Tadpole says matter of factly.

“Well, yes, one day you will,” I say. “When you’re just a little bit older.”

“NO, NOT when I’m older, mummy! I’m going to marry myself with my daddy, on the SAME DAY as you.”

My daughter speaks with such fierce certainty that I decide not to contradict her, for now, and make a mental note to add Freud to the guest list.

February 15, 2008

Tomorrow’s fish and chips

Filed under: book stuff — petiteanglaiseparis @ 7:44 pm

Just a little heads up to say that if you happen to buy a copy of the Sunday Times this weekend, you are likely to find a shivering, goose-pimpled petite in a sheer red dress posing on a Paris roof terrace lurking somewhere inside the news review section…

This is not an article written by me, but a serialisation of the book. Which means that the extracts were not selected by me, and are taken somewhat out of their context, knitted together to make a (more or less) coherent whole. So while it’s great exposure, and I’m grateful to the ST for supporting “petite”, I think the portrayal of me may be a little skewed.

Part two of the serialisation will be in next Sunday’s edition.

I’m not sure Tadpole really comprehends how I came to be there:

I’ve created a facebook page, where I’ll be posting press links, book covers and book tour news, and where readers can leave reviews/comments. If you want to become a “fan” on facebook, the page is here. You may enjoy scrolling through to see if you can guess which one of my current “fans” is my future husband.

Photo ©Alistair Miller

February 13, 2008


Filed under: mills & boon — petiteanglaiseparis @ 5:09 pm

It is New Year’s Day morning.

After a damp squib of a New Year’s Eve involving a disappointing soirée under the Pont Alexandre III, a predictable lack of taxis in the vicinity of the Champs Elysées and rather more walking in the icy early hours wearing a gauzy dress and stockings than was advisable whilst heavy with cold, The Boy and I are dozing in bed.

To say The Boy is not a morning person would be something of an understatement. Upwards of four heavily sugared espressos and two cigarettes are required before he is able to manage anything approaching speech, and displays of affection the wrong side of midday are rare. I’ve learnt not to take this behaviour personally and, indeed, have grown rather fond of his habitual morning grimace: eyes scrunched tightly closed so as not to let in the merest chink of light, brow furrowed, lips pursed.

So when he wakes for a moment, rolls over and snuggles into my shoulder, his arm creeping around me, I am surprised and pleased and touched. And suddenly the question I’d been carrying around with me for three whole days in Amsterdam – never quite managing to find the right moment – wells up and, before I can stop myself, crosses my lips.

“I think I’d like to…” I say, shyly.

I regret the “I think” afterwards, because it doesn’t sound, well, sure enough. I also regret the fact that I addressed my question to somewhere slightly northwest of his collarbone instead of gazing deeply into his brown eyes.

“Um, can you ask me again later? When I’m awake?” replies the Boy, groggily.

“Yes. Of course,” I mumble.

I’m mortified. Groaning on the inside. But there is nothing I can do now except wait. And see whether he chooses to remember our exchange when he wakes up.

Several hours later, I open my eyes to a vision of The Boy – showered, dressed and perched on the edge of the bed – looking at me intently with an odd expression on his face. Somehow he manages to remind me of the dramatic chipmunk and a lovestruck puppy, simultaneously.

“That question you asked me earlier… Did you mean it?” he says slowly as I blink and rub the sleep from my eyes. “Because if you did… then the answer is YES.”

For a moment the only sound is my sharp intake of breath. Then I hug him tightly. I don’t think I’d ever got as far as imagining beyond actually popping the question, and I have no idea what to do, or say, next.

T’es pas dans la merde là!” says The Boy – who I realise will need a name change, now that he has been promoted to Husband-to-be – with a grin. That seals the deal: together, we have managed to make this a scene we will never be able to recount to our grandchildren.

Neither of us dares refer to the subject for the rest of the day. I think we are both in shock.

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