Recording of “French artists in fiction: four lives, four authors”: France Book Tours webinar on May 8, 2021

Here’s the link to France Book Tours webinar I mentioned a while back with all the pertinent info about the featured authors and books. I, for one, truly enjoyed the experience, though I did have a cold! And warning, if you watch it, you’ll see that my head tilt game is strong here! (SMH.)

My thanks to Emma and my thanks and affection to my fellow art-in-fiction authors. I’ve found my tribe!

Many thanks, also, to those of you who showed up and those of you who signed up to see the playback. You’ll be getting a special thanks from me next week — sorry, there’s a birthday boy in my household to celebrate this weekend, so things are busy.

If you’re coming here from the webinar, welcome and I hope you will hang around and share in the conversation.

Also, on a more personal note, I made a thing!

I love cards and wee treasures, and after stewing and stewing, I decided to adopt this method of hanging my lovelies. I repurposed the frame from a faded art poster, spraying it with blue chalk paint. I strung it with wire (not as difficult as it sounds and I’ve had practice from entering art in art shows) and began digging through my box of sentimental items. The owl pins are from Japan. The feather is from Rome. (There’s a story there.) The pinecone is from China. The tiny canvas is from a professor friend. And cards, glorious cards! I intend to switch them out now and again. Since I have saved special cards for decades now, I think I have a few to get through. So if you have a place in my affections but don’t see yourself represented there, just hold on. You’ll get a turn.

A couple of the cards were handmade for me and Barry by his stepmom recently. They’re beautiful. (Barry said I can share his cards as well.)

Oh, and did you see my beloved finger puppets? I think I’ve just imagined another way to store my entire collection.

My original scheme (and I might do this some day still!) was to find a way to make a wall that is floor to ceiling “pockets” of glass where I can hang things that mean something to me.

You can call this current contraption of mine a glorified bulletin board if you want, but I would disagree: these items have their own space. They hang better. They’re not lost on a cork background.

I know, I know, I should either buy colored clothespins or paint these. I saw colored ones, I did, but I want coral (I can’t get away from that color) ones. I wasn’t patient enough to wait until I’d painted them to hang this. I spray painted the frame yesterday, let it dry overnight, strung the wire today, and before I knew it, I was putting it on the wall and adding the cards. It came out so much better than I expected. And if you’re thinking of criticizing my juvenile owl stickers, just don’t. 🙂

I’m so happy with this that I am tempted to make another one for my writing room. I guess I didn’t say that this one is living in the kitchen. That might seem like an odd choice, but we’re running out of wall space, and it’s right over the small kitchen table where I sometimes eat breakfast and start my day with a cup of tea and my journal. What a nice sight to greet me. So many memories. So much love.

Is there something you’ve been meaning to do for yourself that would make you happy? Do it! And then send me a picture, if it’s that kinda thing.

“If art is for us all and about us all, why isn’t it by us all?” — Victorine

Today’s blog stop takes us to Bookish Ramblings. The headline of this post is a quote from Victorine the reviewer pulled out. I thought it fitting for today. Please stop over and enter the book giveaway and leave a comment. And many thanks to Bookish Ramblings!

Book reviewers are so important to books! They are unpaid warriors who read for the sheer love of it and sometimes a free copy of a book. By the time they read it and review it, they’ve invested hours. I don’t take that lightly. So thanks to everyone who has reviewed my book thus far!

The Railway by Edouard Manet, featuring Victorine Meurent.

I posted the above painting because I said today’s stop, as in on a blog tour, as if on a whistle stop train tour…:-) Too punny?

Enter a Giveaway! Two Wonderful Victorine Shout-Outs Today!

Thank you so much to two sweet souls for helping get out the word about Victorine Meurent. First up, my gratitude to Amy over at Locks, Hooks, and Books. Please read her marvelous review of my novel, Victorine, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway while you’re there.

Okay, I have to share a sneak peek of her heartfelt review: “I loved being transported back in time to mid nineteenth century Paris. The historical details were so fascinating and vivid, I felt like I was right there taking in all the sights of the city.” Thank you, Amy. That warms my author’s heart.

Over on Instagram, Crystal Z. Lee, author of the vivid, vibrant Love and Other Moods, posted a fabulous photo and review of Victorine. She said I can share them over here.

“I gravitate towards books that transport, and Victorine–a historical literary novel–takes readers to France in the 19th century. It’s the story of a trailblazing female artist who defied the conventions of her time.”


“We know the woman on the cover of this book, even if we aren’t familiar with her name, Victorine Meurent. Her face and body had been immortalized by artist Edouard Manet in his world famous paintings Olympia, The Picnic In Paris, etc. I took several western art history courses in college, and remember seeing Manet’s work at the #museedorsay on my numerous business trips to #Paris later on. In Olympia, the nude model’s gaze is arresting. She makes you want to know more about her. But at the time, a woman like her received scant respect nor recognition. Her modeling for #Manet made his works world famous, but history hardly paid any attention or credit to his muse. Until now.”


“This book is truly a treasure just for the fact that author Drema Drudge’s thorough research uncovered Victorine Meurent’s forgotten paintings, and one of them is published for the very first time in her book.”


“If Victorine had lived in today’s era, she would’ve been celebrated; she overcame the odds of poverty, war, sexism… and went from being an artist’s muse to an artist in her own right. But because of the times she lived in, she was shunned, shamed, vilified. Still, she unapologetically lived for her art, for her love and passions.”


“This gem of a novel is for art aficionados, history buffs, francophiles, and anybody looking for a riveting read on a forgotten heroine.”

Wow, thank you, Crystal. I’m incredibly grateful for both your review and the creative, beautifully composed photo. My heart is full.

Thanks to both of these bookish, kind women for getting the word out. I truly appreciate it!

P.S. If you want a free historical fiction story from me, join my newsletter and I’ll hook you up!

Let the One-Year Anniversary Celebration of Victorine Begin!

Good morning! The sun is shining, I saw a gorgeous cardinal this morning, and I am thrilled to announce that on the Diary of an Eccentric blog you can enter to win one of two ecopies of Victorine! (Did I mention you will be able to buy your OWN ecopy very soon? More on that soon!) Many thanks to Anna for hosting me over on her excellent blog.

Thus begins the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Victorine being reborn! Victorine Meurent was an artist and the favorite model of Edouard Manet, something she’s most often remembered for. But with my research bringing to light paintings of her long supposed lost, gradually she’s coming back to Herstory and I am thrilled to be a part of that process.

I hope you will stay tuned and join us join me as other celebrations are revealed, including a blog tour with France Book Tours (schedule here) and a takeover of a Facebook group Starting Monday, The Historical Fiction Club. If you are on Facebook, consider joining me. If you’re not a member of the group, just request to be. There will be behind-the-scenes info about my book, fun games, and giveaways. I’m looking forward to it.

And my newsletter subscribers get an extra special opportunity. (Hint: it involves swag!!) What’s that, you’re not a subscriber? Let’s fix that now. (When you subscribe, you also get a FREE historical fiction story about artists Olga Meerson and Henri Matisse and their alleged affair.) Alleged or not, at the very least it was complicated.

This has been a challenging year for all new novels. You should have seen me crossing out book appearance after book appearance from my planner. But I can’t feel too sorry for myself. For one thing, others had it so much worse. And I had all of these wonderful people helping me get the word out. And I am, as always, grateful for you!

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436945

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Victorine: Brace(let) Yourself!

While this isn’t at all identical to the bracelet Victorine Meurent wears in Manet’s Olympia, it does seem like something she could have worn in the painting. Considering the painting’s theme, this would have worked nicely, having a real Garden of Eden feel. This vintage bracelet is today’s giveaway for one of my lucky subscribers. I’m excited about this one!

This hinged bracelet (it’s vintage, so predictably the hinge doesn’t line up perfectly with the rest of the bracelet, but it still works) is generously sized and would be absolutely perfect to rock on a Zoom call.  

To be entered to win this piece that is suitable for the temptress (or tempter) in you, all you need to do is be a subscriber to my newsletter list. (Again, sorry, but while you will get a free short story when you subscribe, if you’re not in the U.S., I can’t mail giveaway items to you.) Sign up today so you will be eligible not only for this giveaway, but future giveaways!

The winners will be chosen on or after Dec. 18, 2020 midnight EST. A list of winners’ first names will be posted here shortly after the contest ends. Winners will also be alerted via email.

Thank you again for visiting, and best of luck to you! Please share this post with others.