Summer in Paris is one of the books I read as part of a Virtual Book Tour.  Michelle Ashman Bell has written this YA coming of age novel skillfully and leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction and sense of well-being. It is a delightful read even though difficult issues such as separation, suicide, teenage rebellion, peer pressure, drinking and boating, social outcasts, bankruptcy and grieving are dealt with.

Kenzie Williams is a fifteen year old who is accustomed to wealth, friends, polarity and talent. She has worked hard to earn her recognition in Ballet. Her world comes crashing down when her father declares Bankruptcy and her parents send her to spend the summer with her relatives in Paris Idaho for the summer. Kenzie is very likable, and the mysterious man that walks in moccasins and wears buckskins draws you into her heart.

I’ve read some of Michelle’s other YA books and her children’s series: Latterday Spies: Spyhunt, Dragon’s Jaw, The Rescue. You can count on Michelle producing a great read.

Michelle  is a middle-aged mother of four, who, after ten years of hard work, perseverance and a lot of rejection letters, finally got a book published.  As a young girl she was a devoted journal keeper.  Coupled with her great love for reading it only seemed natural to become a writer. During the course of having and raising her children, she  began writing. She spent any free time she had writing and learning the craft.  She attended workshops and conferences, joined critique groups and sent many of her stories and novels to magazines and publishers.  She received rejection after rejection.  She came close a few times, but something wasn’t quite right.

She says: “I couldn’t not write.  It’s in my blood.  When I get cut, ink comes out.  There’s something so wonderful and fulfilling about the creative process of developing characters and storylines and pouring your heart out on paper that can’t be matched by anything else.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to write.  And I want to encourage anyone who has the desire to write to never give up on their dream.  If you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough, you will become published.  I believe that with all my heart because that’s exactly how it worked for me. “

Michelle lives with her husband and family in the Salt Lake City area.

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