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Travel dreams stir a young girl, who sways on a front porch swing in the unique town of Opp, Alabama, to escape to "A French Opportunity." Aboard the front porch swing conducted as an imaginary train, she visits faraway places. She leaves her hometown with Jim, her young, "funny as all git-out husband," riding in a 1957 Chevy, not her romantic train. Children max out her checkbook, breast cancer causes an ugly scene, and there's always more and more work to finish; yet somehow she finds her way to her true love - France. She writes passionately of this love, sounding like Paula Deen longing to be Catherine Deneuve, while never forgetting Opp, a town with front porch swings, not Eiffel Towers!

France's picturesque landscape and villages are shared from the viewpoint of a soft-spoken lady who says, "Forget the grits and taste the wild mushrooms," and enters with a "Bonjour ya'll" wearing a big smile under her floppy-brimmed chapeau. Debbie's storytelling is sprinkled with humor plus a few tears and lined with her southern speaking habit that she says is, "stuck in my brain with super glue mixed with Brer Rabbit Molasses."

Experience the beautiful variety of France when she sees fairytale castles, shops markets for antiques and junk, wanders country roads bordered with fields of poppies, tastes buttery croissants, and as she sleeps in farmhouses, B&B's, and chateau hotels.

Debbie, a mature mother of grown children, ventures on a solo trip to France leaving a husband and teenager behind. While in France, she is haunted by a Miami car's bumper sticker: Got Brains? Driving a car without automatic transmission while juggling maps and guidebooks is a challenge, but she is a winner with newly acquired confidence. At a stop In the Burgundy region, ladies with big, floppy-brimmed hats flow from a church wedding along a narrow lane. Debbie wishes she had a beautiful hat, and she recalls painfully her battle with breast cancer when she wore hats daily. She thought she would never want to wear another hat.

Her confidence is tested when her Parisian taxi driver takes a side street in pursuit of a truck driver who cut him off. Verbal French insults fly, and she hopes she will not be in an evening news report. Then, she is shocked to see the beautiful, reserved hotel on a street lined with sex shops.

Returning to France for a longer visit with husband Jim, they stay in a beautiful seventeenth-century farmhouse in the Loire valley. Exuding French ambiance with Renaissance fireplaces and exposed beams overhead, the home is the base for exploration of some of the most beautiful villages in France. They end their journey near Paris in an ancient farmhouse B&B. A love story involving a physician in Napoleon's army is connected to the farmhouse, and the welcoming owners tell the enchanting story.

Another region of France rich in old chateaus and villages with honey-colored stone houses is shared with colorful personal anecdotes. Debbie and Jim adore La Prairie, a group of farmhouses in the Dordogne, a few miles from the fairytale city of Sarlat and near picturesque riverside villages. They ramble through it all: shivering in the darkness of caves, ogling the ancient chateaus, sniffing roses in the gardens and filling their baskets in the markets.

Almost from the beginning, Debbie wishes she could find a little place of her own. Then, after hours of searching the Internet for a bargain property and finding houses with no resemblance to the glossy pages in decorator magazines, she thinks she could possibly live in a DIY project with a portable toilet. Jim brings her back to reality with his usual wit and hopes she isn't serious. Finally, she calls a French realtor hoping to find her own farmhouse. Debbie shares a peek inside the open door of opportunity with romanticism and optimism despite the quirks of French real estate. She leaves the door open for fulfillment of "A French Opportunity."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615697284
Publisher: A French Opportunity
Publication date: 11/19/2012
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Debbie Ambrous is from Opp, Alabama, a unique town that was the setting for her childhood dreams of traveling. Florida has been home for most of her life, along with husband Jim who she claims is "directionally challenged, but still finds the important things in life plus most of the places on the map, given enough time." They have three children and a lovely granddaughter.

For several years she has worked for a major Florida Construction/Development Company in various capacities.

Debbie thoroughly enjoys travel, and France is at the top of her destination list. Photography and gardening are special interests along with baking - especially when blackberries, peaches, and blueberries are in season!

She says: "I knew I wanted to write from the moment my high school English teacher praised me and posted on the bulletin board an essay I had written and titled Simplicity." Debbie's writing is delightful, down-to-earth, and humorous. She loves the elegant style of France, but still has the principles of Simplicity in her heart.

Enjoy following her journeys, seeing beautiful scenes from her travels, and reading entertaining, personal anecdotes:

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