Friday, 12 February 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway - Samantha Tonge's Five Favourite Things About Paris - Paris Weekend

My fun romantic comedy, From Paris with Love, is set in the French capital, and in order to write it I drew on a period of my life when I lived there. In fact I have lived there twice, once as part of my university degree and once when I worked at EuroDisney. Both fun times, the result of which was that I fell in love with this city and my fantasy is to move there one day.  A little flat by Montemartre please! 

My favourite five things about Paris are...

Firstly, the beautiful skyline. For a stunning day-time view, go up the escalators to the top of the Pompidou Centre. Magnificent, with the mix of olde worlde roofs and modern skyscrapers, plus the adorable Sacre Coeur Cathedral, nestling in the hillside. In fact the Sacre Coeur is my favourite part of Paris altogether. I remember several romantic moments, sitting on its steps at night, looking across the star-lit, twinkling Parisian horizon. And, of course, it is just a few minutes walk from the artists’ haven, Montemartre. *Sigh*. I wish I could fly out there tomorrow.

The patisserie. Oh my word. Nothing beats the smell of walking past a Parisian bakery. Often, on the way to work, I would grab a warm pain-au-raisin, and on the way back grab a baguette and snap the top of to eat, before getting on the underground. And what a feast for the eyes – the stunning array of tarts and pastries available to buy.  Pastry-making is a real art and one the French do so well. Coupled with a coffee or hot chocolate, what could be better?

Parisians. Okay, some fit the classic stereotype of being snooty or abrupt – but the ones I worked with were lovely. I adore their accents. How quickly they speak. Their hand gesticulations. The emphatic expressions. Their love of debating abstract subjects or politics. I also admire their dress sense and rarely remember seeing a scruffy professional on the train – we’re talking classy clothes made different perhaps with a quirky accessory. For hours I could people- watch, sitting in a cafĂ©, watching Parisians walk past with their groomed little dogs or well-dressed children.  It’s an intrinsic style I could never pick up in a million years. 

The open markets, particularly the flea markets, the MarchĂ© aux Puces, especially the big one at Porte de Clignacourt. What a treat, moseying along, looking at vast selection of goods on sale – antiques, jewellery, food, records, perfumes, watches, clothes. I bought myself a second-hand suede jacket there one Sunday morning. Always a fascinating day out, as long as you watched out for pick-pockets. The smells of exotic foreign foods cooking in little stalls have stayed with me forever, along with the sound of bartering customers and stallholders trying to attract attention.

I suppose what I like most, though, is that Paris is such an inspiring place, it makes me feel that anything is possible. With the magical horizon at night, the eclectic architecture, its locals who love art and politics, the wide range of restaurants and shops... It’s a city without a city feel, with its parks and cobbled streets still holding their own amongst the modern developments.

Thank you Samantha, for those fantastic thoughts about Paris. I can see I still have a lot about the city to explore, to appreciate fully next time I'm there.

Giveaway to win a Paris Tote Bag (Open Internationally)

Samantha Tonge has bought this lovely Paris tote bag, to giveaway to followers of Rachel's Random Reads. 

Giveaway open internationally, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 19/2/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Author Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart. 

AmazonUK or Amazon US

How To Get Hitched in Ten Days - Out Now

Amazon UK


Meet Mikey, every girl’s best friend – he bakes the creamiest cheesecake, loves movie nights and is a great dance partner.

For Jasmine, Mikey is the perfect flatmate – he owns a 50s diner that turns out the best food around, gives the best bear hugs and amazing romance advice – after all they’re scoping out the same hot guys! So when her boyfriend proposes in the worst possible way, Jazz knows her best friend will be there to pick up the pieces with gourmet popcorn, Pinot sleepovers and a shoulder to lean on.

But Mikey isn’t about to let Jasmine give up on love, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to mend her broken heart – even if it means helping the one person who sees him as the enemy…

Because at the end of the day, all’s fair in the pursuit of true love… right?


  1. loved this read and gave it 5* well done samantha

    1. I agree Beverley, it is a wonderful book.

  2. It's always fun to see Paris from the view of people who've lived there. Lucky Samantha, she's lived twice and EuroDisney, must've been a great experience.

    1. I've also been to EuroDisney and its a lot of fun. However when I went it was November and freezing cold.

  3. Paris sounds like the perfect place to go for a vacation. Maybe one of these fine days, definitely.


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