13 October 2011

5:15 p.m. Halloween. Loire Valley, France.

I am sitting in my kitchen in my tiny countryside village (1300 inhabitants!) webcamming with my friend Lisa back in New York. The doorbell rings.

“Who is it?” Lisa asks.

“I have no clue!” I respond.

My husband is in New York on business and my baby is asleep, and I don’t know a single soul in my new town. I turn the laptop around, facing the door, so that Lisa can see who it is. Not that she could do anything all of the way from New York if it turned out to be an attacker. But at least, I reason, there will be a witness to the crime.

I open the door to this...

...and am flabbergasted. I have never seen trick-or-treaters in France. When I last lived in Paris—back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (the early '90s)—Halloween wasn't celebrated. At all.

However, the day after Halloween—All Saints Day, or La Toussaint in French—is a national holiday, and everything is closed. Everyone spends November 1st going to the family graveyard and putting flowers on the graves. But, as far as I knew, October 31 was not celebrated in the Land of Baguettes and Cheese.

So I stand there gawking at these little girls as they hold out their pumpkin baskets. I am so surprised that I don't even notice what they say, but I’ll bet you five bucks it wasn't "Trick or Treat".

I stammer, "Um...Attendez", and scramble around the kitchen, looking for anything resembling candy. While I search, I hear Lisa yell “Bonjour!” from my computer screen in a super-strong American accent. The girls mumble “Bonjour” back, and stand there looking very sorry that they ever considered stopping at the crazy foreigner’s house.

Of course, I don’t have anything to give them. Candy isn't a staple in my house, since I will devour it within minutes of it passing through my front door. I do, however, spy the chocolate cupcakes that I made a couple of days before for my son’s birthday. “Saved by baked goods!” I think, and wrap four of them individually in foil, then bring them out to the trick-or-treaters.

"These are American," I say, pulling back the foil to display one. "They're called 'cupcakes'."

“Cupcakes," they repeat, and stare dubiously at the pink buttercream icing.

"They're chocolate. You'll like them," I say, trying to reassure myself more than them.

“You’re giving out cupcakes to trick-or-treaters?” I hear Lisa exclaim from the laptop. “Their moms are probably going to think they’re poisoned!”

The girls glance nervously at my laptop, chime "Merci" as one, and then speed out of my yard to safety.

I close the door with a sigh of relief, turning to see an amused Lisa smiling out at me from my computer screen. “So, how many more cupcakes do you have?”

“Those were the last ones,” I confess.

“Well you better come up with something else. Wouldn’t want French youngsters egging your front door. Or do they throw eggs? Maybe instead they throw baguettes. Or croissants,” she muses.

“Bye, Lisa!” I call, closing the computer and leaping into action, scouring the kitchen for cookie ingredients. I open a cupboard, peer into my special ingredient hiding place, and notice that my husband has not found the baking chocolate. His habit of sneaking down to the kitchen in the night and consuming any form of chocolate I have hidden has been thwarted by my crafty plan of hiding it behind the box of oatmeal. It is well known that the French despise oatmeal as much as they do peanut butter and jelly. I rub my hands together in glee.

A half hour later I am wrapping chocolate oatmeal cookies into little wax paper bundles and tying them off with festive blue bows. (Lacking any orange or black bows, of course, since I was totally unprepared.)

No one else comes, of course. If I hadn't bothered making cookies, there would have had been droves of trick-or-treaters. But it taught me a lesson.

Now I know...the French DO celebrate Halloween. And next year, I will be ready.

 Die For Me is currently available from HarperTeen!

Synopsis: In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Order Online:

Find Amy Online:

Enter to win a DIE FOR ME Prize PACK! 

One winner will receive a SIGNED copy of DIE FOR ME and the choice of a J or V key chain!
First runner up will receive the remaining key chain and a SIGNED Book plate!
4 Other winners will receive a SIGNED Book plate!!

So that's 6 WINNERS in total for this amazing giveaway!!!

Rules and now to enter:

You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
To enter, please fill out the form provided below.
Giveaway open INTERNATIONAL!!
Giveaway ends: October 27th, 2011

 Don't forget to stop by and check out who Jessica is featuring today for Haunted Halloween!

REMINDER: *If you are interested in the COMMENT CONTEST, remember to include your email address with your comment for an extra entry.
Please ready full entry rules >>>HERE<<<

Amy, thank you SO much for sharing with us about your first Halloween in France. I know I would have felt and done the same thing! I told you a bit about my first Halloween in the UK lol, so I totally get it. Loved hearing all about your experience. Also a HUGE thank you for donating some amazing prizes for some very lucky winners!

*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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  1. These giveaways just keep getting better and better!!! : D

  2. That is a hilarious story, at least you had cookies at the end of the day. I know that I trick or treated at a house that was unprepared. The inhabitant was able to rustle up a package of microwave popcorn though!

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  3. Oh man, that's too funny. I don't know what I would have done!

    Thanks for the giveaway. =)

  4. I have no idea what I'd do if I didn't have candy for trick-or-treaters...turn out the light and pretend I wasn't home, probably. :-P

  5. Now that is a great prize pack!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. I didn't realize the French celebrated Halloween either. Of course the minute you have treats on hand no one else shows up, for some reason it always happens that way.

    I have been dying to read Die for Me.


  7. Ooh those are kinda pretty!! Read this one awhile back though, so can't remember all the details! Way too many books ago!


  8. OMG! Thank you very much for the opportunity and for making the contest international!
    I'll send you the form right now and read the guest post :) I would really love to read this book, it's on the top of my wishlist!


  9. I really do love the filigree on that cover
    tlabunski **((gmail))**

  10. lol that is too funny! I had no idea that people in France celebrated Halloween either. Now I know!


  11. I REALLY want to read this book!! What a cute story and a great giveaway!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

  12. Amy- love hearing your stories about life in France! (It how's without saying that I also loved "Die for Me.") eliza.bernardini@gmail.com

  13. Oh Amy! I have never even considered that other countries don't observe Halloween!! BTW I so completely LOVE Die For Me! I received it from NetGalley and then bought a hard copy from the Borders sale. I snagged the last one, so popular much...I think so! tinas_family3(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. Yeah, when I was in Ireland this month the locals were saying Halloween is getting bigger there too!

  15. That is a cute story. Glad Halloween is catching on in Paris. Quick thinking with the baked goods! Thanks for the great giveaway too :)

  16. Wow! This is a fantastic giveaway. Good luck, everybody!

  17. On the bright side more chocolate oatmeal cookies for you ;) lolz. Fantastic giveaway! I'm dieing to read this book. The kechain looks gorgeous! I really want to win this. Wish me luck :)

    Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

  18. Cute story and awesome giveaway!!!

    Ashley Suzanne
    ashleysbookshelf at gmail dot com

    Come check out my 1000 follower giveaway here!

  19. Awesome story! Those kids are adorable!!!! :)

    bookcrookliza at gmail dot com

  20. I'm glad you guys liked the story! Good luck to everyone in the contests, and thank you to Lisa for inviting me to participate in Haunted Halloween.

  21. OOOOOOOOOO I want this one! Thanks for the chance.

  22. I love Amy Plum! She's awesome and Die for Me was soooo good!
    Cute Halloween story! Wish I had one!

    oreo_93 at hotmail dot com

  23. "If I hadn't bothered making cookies, there would have had been droves of trick-or-treaters." Haha I feel that way about a lot of things :-) Thank you for sharing your story!


  24. Hehe, cupcakes. I actually would be wary of homemade stuff on Halloween! but that's just me!

    jadedlittlegirlx AT gmail DOT com

  25. Any excuse to make cookies! :)


  26. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! Looking forward to this book.


  27. I love the keychains and bookplates! How cute.

    the imagine tree at aol dot com

  28. Cute story and thanks for the awesome giveaway!


  29. LOVED this book. Seriously, one of my favorites. I had no idea that the French did or did not celebrate Halloween, good to know!


  30. What a hilarious tale. I could've easily been me.
    I am dying(pun intended) to read Die For Me.
    Thanks again for the great giveaway!


  31. I didn't know that the French didn't celebrate either! And holy crow 5 winners! Too cool!




  32. Mary DeBorde
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    Wow ... just when I think it can't get any better lol, you girls keep on coming with the BESTEST giveaways! :D
    Thank you so very, very much for all the generous Halloween bling!

  33. It's crossed my mind that Halloween isn't celebrating in too many countries, but I never really put much thought into it. Of course, my house doesn't get any trick-or-treaters anyway because we live on a busy road and not in a neighborhood, but that just means more candy for me!

    Thanks so much for sharing your amusing story, Amy, and for the very generous giveaway :)


  34. I LOVED LOVED LOVED her story, it was so fabulous. I love the fact that she was going to hand out chocolate cupcakes with pink icing on them and then ending up stuffing oatmeal cookies into bags that she decorated with tied blue ribbons. What a fantastic and fun guest post. lol. Thank you, so much for the generous giveaway, as well. And for the good natured laught! :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

  35. This is such a great guest post! I very much enjoyed it.

    readingfever {@} gmail dot com

  36. i really want this books.. it sounds great

  37. Hysterical story! One year my son was grabbed and kissed on the lips by someone from a foreign country who didn't speak english. He just stood there mouth agape til his dad said, "well thanks and Happy Halloween!" He didn't want to go to another door!!!!

    bchild5 at aol dot com


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