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Tag Archives: sacre-coeur

A Parisian Adventure – Mark #3

Hi everyone,

If you don’t want to read a rather long and possibly waffling post about my recent trip to Paris, then you probably ought to navigate away from this post now… why not go check out my books? 😀 Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Okay, well you’ve been warned. Here goes… (you can click any of the images to enlarge them)

We had three full days in the city, with days either side travelling – I won’t bore you with those details, other than to say the Eurostar is a fantastic way to get from London to Paris super speedily!

Day 1

Notre Dame TowersThe Notre Dame Towers

This was first on the list because, although we’d been in the Notre Dame before, we hadn’t climbed the towers. It’s two separate charges, the sneaky so-and-sos. It was also an opportunity to see Paris from another vantage point, as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur had already been checked off the list.

It was a pretty epic queue, as you’d expect, but fortunately the weather was dry and we were loaded up with drinks and nibbles. It was also an opportunity to people watch, and we ended up getting into conversation with a couple of really nice American girls who were (I should say are, they’re still at it!) touring Europe. Their stories were pretty fascinating, too, and I gave them business cards so they can friend me on Facebook so I can see their photos from their onward travels. It also turned out that they love filthy books. So who knows, I might even make a couple of sales out of it!

After a spiral staircase climb that had me gasping for breath and wishing I’d remembered my inhaler, we got to the top. It’s pretty narrow up there, so you have to wait for people to move along to grab a vantage spot and stare at the gorgeous view. There are lots of fantastic gargoyles up there, and I got several photos of them, as well as the view they get to see all the time. It was lovely to spot my favourite place, the Sacre Coeur, up on the distant hill.

Another staircase later and we were at the very top of one of the towers, which I wasn’t expecting. You don’t have to go all the way up, but there was no way I was going to go halfway! The views are different again from here as you get a 360 view of Paris, including the rest of the building of the Notre Dame, which is an absolute work of art. Well worth the visit.

Padlock BridgeThe Padlock Bridge

This is actually called the Pont de l’Archeveche. The padlocks are engraved with the names of lovers and is a very romantic spot. I can’t seem to find a definite story behind how the whole thing started, but the idea is to put your name, your lover’s name, the date and possibly a message, then lock it onto the bridge and throw the keys in the river. There are thousands upon thousands of padlocks, and I actually noticed them creeping onto other bridges across the river, too, when I did the cruise. While we were there, we saw a couple who’d just married (they were still in their finery) put their padlock on the bridge to much applause. We added our padlock and went on our way. An interesting idea.

St Etienne du MontSt Etienne du Mont

We’d actually headed to this part of town (after sneaking in a visit to Shakespeare and Co bookshop) to see the Pantheon. It’s under a huge restoration project at the moment, but a giant sign proclaimed visitors were still welcome during the work. So we followed the arrows around to the back of the building, only to be told the place was closed. Sigh. Fortunately, the next place on our list, St Etienne du Mont was just behind the Pantheon, so we had a cheeky pint in the British pub next door, then headed in. It’s a very beautiful, underrated place and I’m very glad I saw it. Stunning architecture inside and out.

Day 2

The Catacombs

We headed here first as it was the place furthest out of the city that we wanted to see. We got there to an absolutely enormous queue. The weather was pretty crap, so we put on coats, put up our umbrella and settled in for a 2.5 hour wait. But I have to say, it was absolutely worth it. The Catacombs are inside some old quarry workings, and the bones have been transported from various cemeteries throughout Paris, most notably the Cemetary of the Innocents, which had to be closed down because it was full to bursting and having adverse effects on the health of those living close by. I didn’t take any photos down there because somehow it just felt wrong, disrespectful, somehow. The bones are artfully arranged and it’s bizarre to walk along and have millions of skulls staring at you. But somehow, it wasn’t creepy, and I haven’t had any nightmares… yet. Yes, the queue was long and boring, but if you want to see something truly unique, definitely check this place out. It’s also worth getting an audio guide, as the information is pretty sparse.

Les InvalidesLes Invalides

There are several different things within this complex. The building itself is gorgeous, then there are the various museums, the church, Napoleon’s tomb, and so on. In hindsight, as we ran out of time, I wish we’d gone to the WWII museum instead of the French war stuff because it interests me more, but it’s a huge place and we underestimated how long we’d be there. The church is stunning (enter from the courtyard – it’s separated from the part that houses Napoleon’s tomb), and the area around the other side with Napoleon’s tomb is awe-inspiring. Gorgeous, flamboyant architecture, and the man himself… well, you could probably fit an entire family inside that tomb, not just one small man! Definitely worth a visit, but allow yourself a good half a day, if not more. Depends on how much reading you want to do in the museums.

St Eustache

A massively underrated cathedral in the Les Halles district. Find it by locating the shopping centre (which is currently covered in cranes and stuff as they’re putting a roof over the whole thing or something!) and then walking around the centre until you find St Eustache. You can’t miss it. It’s almost as beautiful as the Notre Dame on the outside, though, because it’s free to get in, there’s probably no money for repairs, so the inside is rather unloved. Still, it’s a truly beautiful place, well worth making the trip for.

Day 3

Place des VosgesPlace des Vosges

We seriously screwed up trying to find this place and ended up wandering the Bastille area aimlessly. Still, we found a hotel with free WiFi, a street full of geeky shops which was awesome, and some cool motorbike shops. Once we found this place, we were glad we did. Despite the rain, it’s beautiful and an oasis of peace in a busy city. I think it’s the oldest square in Paris, with lots of mansion houses owned by rich folk 😉 We sheltered under the trees for a while, before heading off again. Worth a quick visit if you’re in the area.

View of the Notre DameRiver Cruise

There are several companies offering this, naturally, and we had tickets for Les Vedettes. This was an hour’s cruise from the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, along to Ile-St-Louis, around the other side of it, and back up the other side. We didn’t see anything we hadn’t already seen as this was our third trip to the capital, but we saw it from a different perspective. The sun had mercifully come out by this point, so everything looked different. A lovely way to rest your weary legs and feet and still see the gorgeous city.

Sacre CoeurSacre Coeur

A few of our plans had been scuppered, so we were left in Montmartre at a slightly loose end. And, as often always happens in that area, I was drawn to the Sacre Coeur. It is still my favourite place in Paris. There’s just something about it, I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s just so beautiful and inspiring (literally, I’ve written a book about it), and having headed up to the building, I was then drawn to climb to the top. It’s over 200 steps up, but the staircases are broken up by a walk across the roof (you feel like you shouldn’t be there), then a few more steps, twisting and turning until you’re in the dome. I was delighted on reaching the top that I wasn’t as out of breath as the previous two times I’d climbed up there. Dog ownership has obviously made me fitter. I took dozens of photos, as always, and was re-inspired. Handy, given I’m going to be writing rather a lot about it in my next novel. After a while, we headed back down to ground level and walked back down the staircases, meandering through people sitting on the steps and soaking up the views and the atmosphere. It’s a very light-hearted atmosphere, but the area is very crowded and notorious for pickpockets, so if you visit, keep your wits about you. It was a wonderful way to end a lovely few days.

Here’s hoping for New York next year 😉

Happy Reading,

Lucy x

Sunday Snog – Bite with Height

Sunday Snog

Bite with HeightHere’s a very sexy and naughty snog from my best-selling, award-winning lesbian erotic romance story, Bite with Height.

Meg looked up and met Grace’s eyes. She looked sad, yet understanding.

In an attempt to shake the depressing tone the conversation had taken on, Meg joked, “You ever kissed a girl?”

A shocked expression crossed Grace’s face. “What? Didn’t you hear me say that I didn’t have much to compare my ex to? That includes the opposite sex.”

“Want to try it?”

“What?”

“Kissing a girl.” Meg moved closer to Grace, looking her in the eye.

“I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it.”

“Well, maybe now’s the time to think about it. Perhaps the reason lover boy didn’t float your boat was because he had the wrong equipment. Perhaps you’ve liked girls all along, but never realized it.”

“How is that possible?” Grace’s eyes took on a faraway look, as though thinking about what Meg had said.

“I don’t know, but it could be. Look, in all seriousness Grace, I like you. I like you a lot. If you just want to be friends, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll live with it. If you want to take things further, then great. I’m not pushing you either way.”

Grace looked at Meg, and their eyes met. A tense moment passed. Meg’s gaze dropped to Grace’s lips, but she was too scared to make a move for fear of alienating her for good. Seconds later, it appeared Grace had made her choice.

Moving quickly enough to startle even Meg, Grace leaned forward and kissed her friend. It was chaste to begin with, but soon Grace pressed her lips harder to the other girl’s soft mouth.

Meg thought all her birthdays had come at once, and for a vamp who was almost two hundred years old, that was a lot of birthdays. Slipping her arms around Grace, she pulled her closer and returned the kiss. The other girl didn’t resist, so she took the plunge and coaxed her tongue into Grace’s mouth, willing her fangs to stay hidden. Grace would be freaked enough already without her going all vamp-tastic.

Just as the lust factor was really ramping up, Meg felt some resistance from Grace.

She loosened her grip and pulled away. “What’s the matter?”

Grace, flushed of face, blurted “Are you going to turn me?!” She backed up further.

“What?! What makes you say that?” Meg didn’t move, not wanting to risk Grace panicking.

“You said you were lonely. Then it turns out you like me. Really like me. Were you planning on turning me just so you’d have someone to spend time with?” Mistrust crossed her face, which to Meg felt like a stake through the heart.

“I’m shocked that you would even think that. Hurt, actually. No, I wasn’t planning on turning you. I wasn’t ‘planning’ on anything. You just caught my eye in Starbucks, and I felt like I had to know you, know your story.”

She stepped toward Grace, who shrunk away the tiniest amount.

“You looked so out of place and uncomfortable. There was no ulterior motive, Grace, I promise. I would never do anything without your consent. I’m not the bad guy, remember?”

Grace had the good sense to look abashed. “I’m sorry. I’m just paranoid, I guess.”

“Glad to see you were so into our kiss that you were thinking of anything but.” She quirked an eyebrow wryly.


Bag your copy of Bite with Height here.

Also, don’t forget to head back to Victoria’s site and see what other luscious lip to lip action other authors have posted. Yum!

Revisiting the Scene of the Crime – Paris

As most of you probably already know, I’ve just been to Paris on a research trip for the follow-up to my lesbian erotic romance short, Bite with Height. Naturally, as Paris is just so inspiring and beautiful, I have tons of ideas for my upcoming story, which is very likely to be novel length, eek!

Also, though, I took the opportunity to revisit the “scenes of the crime” from Bite with Height, i.e. places that appeared/were relevant in the story. So for those of you that have read it, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing some of the places that you’ve read about in the flesh. If you haven’t, then perhaps these will whet your appetite and send you scurrying to your preferred eBook retailer 😉

Me posing with a Bite with Height postcard in front of the Sacre-Coeur basilica. This is where a great deal of the action takes place, mainly up inside that dome that you see right at the top. You know, the one you have to climb 300+ steps to reach. *phew*

A closer shot – not particularly flattering as it was a bit warm! The postcard is cute though, huh?

The view as you emerge from the first lot of steps. Though as it was a spiral staircase, my view was actually spinning a little, and I was gasping and pouring with sweat. Sexy, huh? No wonder Meg grabbed Grace and got her onto the roof the ‘easy’ way!

Finally up on the roof – the hat has been removed as it was uber-windy up there. Which is the only possible explanation for my insane hairstyle. I’m sitting on one of the stone benches inside the dome of the Sacre-Coeur – could this be where Meg and Grace got it on? Who knows…?

Plenty of room for two girls to get naughty there! They’re only slight, after all 😉

A rusty and somewhat mysterious-looking door. Could this be the entrance to Meg’s lair? That’s for me to know…

Sitting outside the Starbucks opposite the Moulin Rouge with a postcard. This is where Meg and Grace first met. It’s not as busy as when they first met, mainly because it had been raining and no-one wanted to sit on the wet seats. I, however, in my infinite genius got some tissues out of my bag and wiped them down. Ta-da! Posing picture!

I’ll probably do another post later in the week with some photos relating to the research for the follow-up to Bite with Height. In the meantime, if you haven’t read it – check it out here.

Yet More Praise for Bite With Height

Bite With HeightAt this rate, I’ll never sleep, because I woke up to yet another review of Bite With Height this morning. They seem to be coming in thick and fast, but I’m certainly not complaining, especially as they’re all good! I’m just astounded by all the lovely comments people are making about it and I’m going to make the most of it while it’s happening!

So, without further ado, here’s a snippet of the latest review, which comes from Dark Haven Book Reviews.

“…a delightful story that I highly recommend.” 4.5 out of 5

Check out the review in its entirety here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do some more happy dancing. Oh, and if you want to see what all the fuss is about, there’s a list of retailers here 😉

Another Fab Review of Bite With Height!

Bite With HeightExcellent news to wake up to this morning! Bite With Height was reviewed by Bitten by Paranormal Romance, and they scored it 4 out of 5! The only criticism was that it was too short, which I consider to be a compliment. Plus since I’m planning to write a sequel, possibly a series then it’s all good! 🙂

Here’s a snippet of the review:

“Very cute, sexy, short vampire story and humorous paranormal romance… Sex in the dome on the top of the Sacré-Coeur building in Paris — can it get any more romantic?”

You can see the entire review here.

See an up to date list of retailers, as well as a video trailer and excerpt for Bite With Height here.

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Bite With Height is a Top Pick!

Bite With HeightWell, what fabulous news to wake up to this morning! Night Owl Reviews did a write up of Bite With Height, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars and awarding it Top Pick status! Needless to say I’m doing a happy dance over here – it’s so great to know people are enjoying my story, particularly since a sequel is in the works!

Here’s just a snippet of what the reviewer had to say:

“Bite with Height is a sultry short tale with a fresh twist on the now played -out vampire story… Bite with Height is a great story played out in just a short number of pages.”

You can read the full review here.

See an up to date list of Bite With Height retailers here.