Archive for the ‘books about Paris’ Category


Yes, it’s the giveaway time here at the Victorian Paris blog!


Dear readers!

I seldom use the blog for personal matters, but the launch of my second novel is a rare exception.

The Boarding House for Single Gentlemen fits the category of the BBC’s popular series Downton Abbey with the addition of French flair, tasty cuisine, and subtle humor.

The year is 1886. Not far from the Champs-Élysées, on a boulevard that leads to the Bois de Boulogne, stands a mansion belonging to the twice-widowed Estelle de Chavignon, a former high-ranking courtesan. Estelle, now in her sixties, acquired the property through her charms, and the house is still the crossroads for her former lovers and admirers.

The quirky residents hide many secrets, not least Estelle herself who has withheld from her orphaned grandchildren the truth about their parents. And then there is Mariette, a kitchen scullion, who ascends the social ladder with meteoric speed. But will she escape her servitude? Many of the envious servants hope not. The cast of characters also includes a retired world-famous hypnotist who still occasionally alters people’s minds. With all this happening, the arrival of American guests adds a clash of cultures.

The chapters are illustrated with pictures from the 1877 album Les Boulevards de Paris.

(300 pages, available in print and ebook)


Here is what the early reviewers say about the novel:


Be prepared for a rollicking good read

With a cast of characters that will stay with you after you’ve finished reading and a plot with as many ups and downs as a roller-coaster ride, be prepared for a rollicking good read. This story has everything you could wish for an entertaining read: intrigue, love affairs, secrets, deceptions, even a touch of magic in the form of mind-altering hypnosis, all played out in Paris of the Belle Époque. Polansky’s smooth prose lavishly laced with humour is a joy to read.

Delicious, devious, and delightful

The Boarding House transports you back to Paris during the enchanting Belle Époque period with a diverse ensemble of players: young and old, servants and socialites, French and foreign, polite and ill-mannered. It seems that everybody has something to hide. It’s delicious, devious, and delightful. Iva Polansky writes with a style and authenticity you might wonder if she was there in another life.


For a limited time (July 1 to 5), the e-book version is available free (see below). If you like the story, please leave a brief review on Amazon to help with the sales. With millions of books, the competition is stiff and every recommendation helps.

Thank you for visiting, and enjoy the read!

Iva Polansky


To obtain a copy, click on the picture:



Read Full Post »

commune 1


A blook? I bet your reaction was “Huh?” as was mine when I first heard that word. That happened two weeks ago and, yesterday, the mailman brought me a fairly heavy parcel which contained my blook. Since yesterday was also my birthday—a very round one—I could have hardly received a better gift.


You, too, can have a blook, assuming that you have a blog (who doesn’t?) and a valid credit card. Made of time and energy, a blog is a body without substance, which is in danger of disappearing should the technology that keeps it together break down. I had that thought several times in the past, telling myself that I should print the posts or at least save them, but I failed to find the time. Never mind now. The blook is here to save us from possible cyber-annihilation.


So what do you do to get a printed book out of your blog and how long does it take? Assuming, again, that your blog needs no serious editing, and that you need no help with the cover design, the whole process of uploading and pdf-churning takes about ten minutes. The result is a high-quality printed version of your blog plus a free epub edition to read on your phone or tablet while awaiting the delivery of the real thing.



You can choose a program-generated cover design or make your own


commune 2

Careful with the captions: if you add them as an afterthought, they will format into narrow columns. I had to part with several posts rather than to start over



I would wish for a better use of space here but considering that no human hand handled the page, it looks acceptable





Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: