Good morning, ladies and gentlemen…..  (I assume it’s morning!)

I have some truly amazing news to share with you today…..  THE PRESLEY PLOT is now being sold in the gift shop aboard our ship, The River Royale, and it has become an instant best-seller!  Granted, it is the only book for sale, but why does that matter?  Seriously, though, you can imagine my surprise when I walked out of the dining room last night and peeked into the gift shop and saw my own book in the book rack!  Who, I wondered, could have placed so many copies of my mystery novel on the shelves?  Well, why question “mademoiselle luck?”  Just go with the flow, as they say on the River Royale!

This evening is our “Epicurean Adventurer Dinner,” which means that our hosts will be preparing and serving some exquisite French dishes paired with the most famous French wines of the region.  Lord only knows how good this will be….. the food has been absolutely fabulous so far.  They did run out of pate last night, but I didn’t care, because I was traveling with Miss Pate!  (Patty)  Incidentally, they were kind enough to serve escargot last night, and as you might imagine, I consumed a fair share of the delicate little morsels.  (Not to be confused with mussels.)

This morning we arrived in a picturesque village called Tournon, and after a quick breakfast of shrimp and truffle eggs, we proceeded to Chapoutier Wine Cellars, to quench our thirst with some very fine wines from the world famous Saint Joseph Vineyards.  (Which ONLY date back to 1808!)  These folks produce some of the very best vino in the Rhone Valley, substantially better than the rot gut we drank in Burgundy yesterday.

By sheer coincidence, the good people of Tournon were holding their annual Onion Festival today, and we found that very “appealing.”  (The streets were lined with vendors selling all sorts of onion and garlic, as well as bread and cheese from different villages.)  Needless to say, we ate our way through town, stopping for…… oui, you guessed it, more wine!  (When I return to America I will be donating my kidneys and liver to medical science!)

This evening should be somewhat special for another reason…… the cruise director has asked me if I would mind being introduced as our “famous American author” during the opening wine ceremony.  As most of you know, I am very shy and humble, but I did consent to this honor.  (The rascal refused to let me make a short two-hour speech about myself.)  Before I close, I want to make a special birthday wish to my beautiful and talented daughter, Rebecca Lee!  The young lady is magnifique!!

I shall have to leave you now, as I must prepare for my big introduction!  I have written a SHORT acceptance speech, which I intend to deliver in French or my own native tongue.  (Whichever comes easier.)

Bon soir!  Best wishes to all……

The Marquis of Merriment!





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