Francine FuquaI grew up in Nancy, France. Nancy is a beautiful historical town in Lorraine. Lorraine is a department located in northeastern France. Some of you might have heard about the Maginot Line, or the American cemetery in Verdun. Nancy is in that region, and that puts it right on the path of the German army as they invaded France during the First World War. Nancy was in the “forbidden zone” in World war II. My father, a French aviator, lost his life in an aerial combat in March 1940. I was 21 months old and my baby sister was 21 days old. As the Germans poured into France, my mother, my little sister and I were among the thousands of refugees who took to the roads to escape. We travelled by foot from the northeast of France to the southwest, to Bordeaux. My mother and her two babies arrived there as the Germans entered that city. I was very little and remember nothing about the month during which we hid under bridges and walked miles each day. I do, however, have many memories of the following five years of German occupation. I will share those with you in an upcoming blog and have included some of those experiences in my novel, In Pursuit of Abraham. The first few years that followed the end of World War II were difficult ones, but I grew up healthy and happy. I went to college in Nancy and  obtained an accounting degree. I also attended art school. I met an American GI, married him and followed him to America.

America wasn’t what I expected. In my mind I had conjured Gone with the Wind mansions and cowboy ranches. Instead I found a small Florida  rural home where you could sit in the “outhouse” and grab an orange through a hole in the wall. My marriage ended in divorce but gave me two wonderful sons. I eventually became a proud American citizen.

I later moved to Tennessee where I enjoyed a career in accounting, management and real estate. I now live in Chattanooga and spend my time writing, painting and enjoying my many hobbies – I also love fiber arts, gourmet cooking and learning languages. I speak 2 languages fluently, 2 others adequately, and am now learning German. My husband, Kevin, and I are both pilots but have retired our licences. We love to travel, but now  fly as passengers. We love Chattanooga, a beautiful, vibrant city that is “on the  move” and close enough to my two sons and  grandchildren. So this is a very happy time in my life. Oh, I forgot to mention that we share our home with an adorable Yorkie, Lucas, tons of flowers in the garden, and a pond with fish, frogs and turtles. So I am never bored and I have started writing a sequel to my novel.