When Caroline, a wealthy, American expat, gets dumped by her playboy husband on the French Riviera, she meets a race car driver who seduces her. He appears to be wealthy, suave, and glamorous. But life, in “Riviera Stories: Just Below the Surface” is rarely what it seems. The book of twelve short stories, grew out of my time spent exploring the Cap d’Antibes, the perched villages, and my beloved town, Antibes as I and watched the sun rise in different places over the water as the seasons changed.
The French Riviera enticed me with its beauty and wealth. With five star hotels hanging off of cliffs and gorgeous restaurants and bars where you rub elbows with the wealthy and sometimes famous, the allure of the Riviera never ceases to entice and fascinate. I lived on the Cote d’Azur for a few years, had a sea view apartment, and at a certain point, it no longer fit. I needed mountains, more nature, and clearer air and water. But while there, I attended Monaco’s Word Music Awards and met celebs at cocktails, including Ringo Starr and his wife, Eric Clapton, and I really, really wanted to sit with Seal and discover more about his inner life as I hung out at the WMA backstage bar. But Naomi Campbell beat me to it and took the seat next to him. And I still wonder what we would have talked about if I would have dared to move in first.
I boarded multi-million dollar yachts, dined at the Eden Roc, and my very favorite place was the Belle Rives at sunset in Juan les Pins. It’s the place where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway and lots of other literary figures chatted and sparred in the 1920’s to 1940’s. And it still had much of the art deco decor and furniture.
“Riviera Stories: Just Below the Surface” is my ode to the Riviera. It’s filled with short stories about twelve different characters who live, work, and love on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. After a stack of wonderful rejection letters from good publishers with notes like, “sophisticated, beautiful writing — but we’re not publishing short stories,” I opted to publish it myself. I love it. I love the place. I hope you will too. Here is the very last story in the collection that was published by Cha: An Asian Literary Review, called, “Appeasing Kali”. It’s about Caroline, the wealthy expat, who decides on a trip to India because her yoga-loving friend insists it will help her find her way. It’s the only story set outside of the Riviera. The story is free here. I hope you like it. The complete book is available on Amazon or iTunes and in ebook format.