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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WOW! Women on Writing - Finding Love in Unimaginable Places

Today I’m participating in a group blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Why this topic? We’re celebrating the release of Michael French’s twenty-fourth novel. Once Upon a Lie (Terra Nova Books) is an exploration of the secrets families keep, and the ways those secrets can tear a family apart. Visit The Muffin ( to read what Michael has to say on finding love in unexpected places and view the list of all my blogging buddies. Visit Michael’s website ( to find out more about the author.

Check out the following link to see all the participating bloggers:

I figured out what romantic love was in the 90's when I was introduced to Anais Nin. My first introduction to Anais Nin came with the debut of Jewel’s album ‘Pieces of You’ in 1995. I was graduating that year and the songs played on popular radio stations seemed more important than anything else and still bring me back to a different place and time. On Jewel’s debut album was a song titled ‘Morning Song’ which included the lyrics: You can be Henry Miller and I’ll be Anais Nin. I didn’t know who they were, but the song was catchy and it was obvious that they were lovers. I was still only seventeen the year I graduated and lonely, so the thought of having a lover or boyfriend truly appealed to me.

I researched who Henry Miller and Anais Nin were and was shocked to find out that they were writers who carried on a literary love affair for nearly twenty years. I kept reading, and learned that their passionate love letters led way to a physical love affair in the 30’s and a love triangle that included Henry’s second wife, June Miller. This love triangle was the basis for the 1992 film ‘Henry & June’. Who would have thought that these type of scandals preceded MTV and cable television? My mother had it all wrong… The love letters between Henry and Anais can also be found in the published work titled: A Literate Passion.

Anais Nin was born in 1903 just outside of Paris. He mother was French-Danish and her father was a Spanish composer who abandoned his family when Anais was just 11. Her mother took Anais and her two brothers and sailed for America (New York to be specific). Anais was known for more than her affair with Henry Miller, she is best known for her diaries, but also wrote novels, poetry, and erotic short stories. Her powerful imagery set her apart from other authors of her time. Her writing began during the journey to America and most of her works were not published until after her death in 1977.

Anais married Hugo Guiler in 1923 and a year later moved to 1924; his career in international banking provided them a comfortable lifestyle and Anais had an opportunity to live on a houseboat on the Seine for a time while they lived in Paris. They moved back to New York right before the outbreak of World War II.

Anais was truly a woman before her time and a cult figure of the early feminist movement. Her writings are poetic, positive, and her words taste smooth, like a buttery chardonnay, well-aged and a flavor that lingers. If you haven’t already headed to the bookstore, here is an irresistible taste of her writings taken from A Literate Passion - I love when you say all that happens is good, it is good. I say all that happens is wonderful. For me it is all symphonic, and I am so aroused by living - God, Henry, in you alone I have found the same swelling of enthusiasm, the same quick rising of the blood, the fullness…

I knew at 17 that I wanted a love like that and a life like that. It didn't happen until my 30's and my Henry Miller happens to be a dairy farmer driving a tractor, but it happened! I wasn't looking for it when it found me and I was quite resistant to the thought by then. Sometimes I think that's how it happens. Now I often say "you still make my heart beat faster every time I see you" and to that, my husband replies "you've got it bad" and he envelopes me in a hug that lets me know I've found love - the kind of love that wraps itself around you and never lets you go!


About Once Upon a Lie:
Twelve-year-old Jaleel Robeson is on the run after the police in his tiny Texas town try to frame him for the death of his father. A world away, Alexandra “Alex” Baten is growing up amid all the material comforts a wealthy Los Angeles lawyer can provide. One day, a simple cup of lemonade unites their lives, leading to a maze of adultery and murder that shatters Alex’s youthful innocence and Jaleel’s struggle to reshape his life.
While the forces of the law try to unravel the mysterious death―or at least find a scapegoat―the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again. Justice, Alex learns, can be a strange and nebulous thing, easily enmeshed in webs of loyalty and betrayal. Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful―but dangerous―rock on which to build a life of honor and courage. As their stories play out over the years in cities far apart, best-selling author Michael French fills the world of Alex and Jaleel with a cast of vivid characters both supporting and threatening their efforts to build a life that “works” amid the expectancies of others and their own conflicting drives.

About the Author:

A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism, Michael French is the author of twenty-four books: adult and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptations, and gender studies. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, an avid high-altitude mountain trekker, a world traveler to developing countries, an activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools, which are some of the most challenged in the country.
Author Links:

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Purchase Link:


  1. Henry & June is still one of my favorite movies! It prompted me to read all their books. I have all Anais Nin's diaries and several of Henry Miller's works--Tropic of Cancer is my favorite. They were both way ahead of their time. I haven't read A Literate Passion though and will definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing, Crystal!

  2. Thanks for acknowledging the works and loves of Anais Nin.

  3. Thanks for introducing me to the story of Anais Nin and Henry Miller. And I loved that you shared about your personal happy ending too!

  4. I remember being intrigued by this Anais person after hearing that song by Jewel. Now I need to check out her writings (and the movie, ooh la la!)

  5. You're right, Anais Nin, as a writer, feminist and thinker, was as before her time as was Henry Miller, so how fitting they found each first in letters and then in Paris. "Henry and June" was an exceptional movie. Thanks for sharing your insights.