After a harsh brush with her mortality, shadowed by a premature divorce, Wanda St. Hilaire pledges to be true to her primary passion—living ardently through travel. On the fateful day her life intersects with Jean-François, a charming Frenchman, on a bustling street in Lisbon, every fiber of her being feels as though she has finally entered the doorway to a magical world that she knew existed since she was a young girl.
St. Hilaire turns a complicated romantic ballet full of missteps into a collage of people, places, and cultures. Fragments of French is an exquisitely detailed travelogue of Portugal, Canada, France, and Mexico, filled with minor characters who delight with their humanity. However, what really makes this tale a standout is a gift for pacing and description to rival Tom Wolfe.
The hero’s journey is not only for the characters of our favorite stories or mythical legends. At some point, each of us receives the call to adventure. Fate summons the hero; we can refuse the call, or step into something that will turn our lives upside down, and potentially change everything we know to be true.
From feeling “completely disarmed, no fortress standing”, to embracing her untethered strength, the author turns this account of living life out loud into lessons for us all.
My internal time clock askew, I awaken before dawn, eager to investigate Lisbon. With only one night booked in this over-priced hotel, I will search for another room in the heart of the city. Taking my breakfast and a frothy cappuccino on a vine-shaded terrace, I then wander the busy streets. I find a suitable room that is antiquated and stark, but larger than any of the others. Although I don’t need space, I like it. Retrieving my bags, I make my way back to the pensão near Rossio, the center of the action. The rotund owner is a cheery and welcoming man, and I feel that I am in safe hands.
Collapsing on the small bed, I find the room warmed by the unseasonably high temperature today. I daydream about what I shall do on this trip, my brain swinging from thought to thought. Slowly, my monkey mind settles into meditation. Relaxed, I drift into a blurry theta state.
Like a bud unfurling, an intense longing begins to push its way up my body and into my consciousness. Forming a prayer, I am cognizant of its power - a force that can be generated only from fervent desire and clear intent, unified in a deeply contemplative state. I pray that I will meet a man - not a typical holiday fling soon forgotten - but a real romance.
A man who will rock my world.
About the Author
Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.
Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration, and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.
Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.
Fragments of French on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fragments-French-Unexpected-Journey-Heart/dp/189433115X
Companion Poetry Book, Of Love, Life, and Journeys
(Inspired during the story of my travel memoir, this collection of poems and verse was first published in 2004 and became a Canadian bestseller for poetry. This second edition was created as a companion book to Fragments of French,)
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPp3vMOpFFw
Twitter: @spicytraveler (https://twitter.com/spicytraveler
Wanda St. Hilaire will be awarding a ribboned beret & Paris coin bag with an E-book of Fragments of French to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (International offer)