One Night in Paris
About the book (City of Light, Book 1)
When Manhattan attorney Ella Carlyle gets a call that her beloved grandmother is dying, she rushes to Paris to be by her side, against the wishes of her overbearing boyfriend. Ella would do anything for her grandmother and jumps at the chance to fulfill her dying wish. But things take a mystical turn when Ella is transported to a swinging Parisian jazz club full of alluring strangers…in the year 1927! As the clock runs out on her one night in the City of Lights, Ella will attempt to rewrite the past—and perhaps her own destiny as well.
inspiration for one night in paris
By the time I wrote One Night in Paris, I had already written my first two time travel romances Dancing with Paris and Midnight Train to Paris, and I knew that I loved writing in this genre. So far, my characters had traveled back in time to 1950s Paris and to 1930s Paris, so now, it was time to go a little further back into the 1920s. What a fun era to explore!
A common feeling for me when I leave the US and arrive in France is that feeling of exiting the rat race and arriving in a place of beauty, where I can breathe a little deeper and take the time to experience life in a more joyful way. This is exactly what my leading lady Ella needs in One Night in Paris. I decided that Ella would be living squarely in the Manhattan rat race as a corporate attorney, with her domineering attorney boyfriend who is focused mainly on money and status. Ella’s life has fallen far from her beautiful childhood summers spent in Paris with her grandmother, and if she doesn’t want to end up jaded and cold like her boyfriend, she has to go back.
When I was crafting Ella’s time travel journey back to 1920s Paris, I thought about what I would want to do if I had just one night to explore that time period in my favorite city. I would want to dance in a jazz club, go to the Opéra Garnier—my favorite place in Paris—and see la Tour Eiffel at night. Of course there would need to be a love story, too, which is where Leo, the handsome American writer, comes in.
Ella’s mission for traveling back in time is more serious, though, than just dancing around the city and falling in love. In my time travel books, I love playing with the notion of going back in time to change the past. What if you could alter just one event that went horribly wrong the first time around? How could that change the future? Ella’s Parisian grandmother has one dying wish—for Ella to travel back in time and rewrite one tragic event from her past. In doing so, could Ella bring more joy to her grandmother’s life, and in the process, to her own as well?
These are questions I wanted to explore in Ella’s journey…and they are questions I ponder for my own life as well. If time travel were possible, what would I go back and change, if anything? How would my life have unfolded if just one event had gone differently?