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Once Upon a Villa

Winner 2024 Book Fest Award - Memoir

Adventures on the French Riviera


In this wise, warm-hearted, witty, and LOL hilariously funny true account, New York Times bestselling author Andrew Kaplan tells what it’s like when he, his wife and two-year-old son decided to chuck it all and live the fantasy in a villa by the sea in that extraordinary corner of the world – part international café society, part billionaires’ playground, part provincial France – that is the French Riviera. Whether it’s matching wits with French bureaucracy, searching for the perfect bouillabaisse, encounters with con men, eccentric ex-pats and Monaco’s royal family, partying with the international set on Onassis’ yacht, playing chess with a philosophical police chief or adventures and friendships with the rich and famous and the presumably standoffish French, Once Upon a Villa will transport you to a fascinating and shrewdly-observed world that you will savor like your first morning bite of pain au chocolate . So pour yourself a glass of wine, open the book and Santé!


“Hilarious one moment, poignant the next, Once Upon a Villa is the journey of an American author and his young family through Europe as few have ever experienced it. I devoured this memoir, thrilling at the vicarious adventure, the often hysterical scenes filled with celebrities and even royalty. An author with ten lifetimes' worth of experiences, Kaplan has penned far more than a writer’s story but an evocative and witty tour back in time to the French Riviera as most only dream of it. Clever and—best of all—true, Once Upon a Villa belongs at the top of every reader’s list.”

-    "NY Times bestselling author Tosca Lee"

“Reading ‘Once Upon a Villa’ is as   joyful as a great vacation . . . only less expensive."

-       Peter Bart, Deadline Magazine , former Editor-in-Chief of Variety

"With his sharp eye for detail and wicked sense of humor, Andrew Kaplan's  memoir of a newly minted American novelist moving his young family to the south of France made me feel as if I were right there with him. The end result is a delightful page turning Franco/American discourse on creativity, culture and cuisine (and I'm not talking a can of spaghetti)."

-       Sandy Krinski, TV writer, Spencer, Alice, ABC Playhouse, Three’s Company

Our featured new release!

Get your copy now of BLUE MADAGASCAR:

The sizzling new bestselling novel by Smugglers Lane author Andrew Kaplan


Winner 2021 Global eBook Gold Award:

Best Thriller Novel of the Year!

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Winner Chanticleer International Best Global Thriller Book Award!


Finalist International Thriller Writers Association Thriller Award!

Finalist American Book Fest Award: Best Mystery/Thriller!

A Top Amazon Bestseller:

#1 Hot New Release

#1 International Mystery & Crime

#1 Action & Adventure Literary Fiction

#1 Heist Crime

#2 Political Thrillers & Suspense

#3 Espionage Thriller

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A candidate for U.S. President ahead in the polls and about to win the election suddenly commits suicide -- and no one knows why. A botched jewel heist on the French Riviera during which an American bystander is killed triggers a world-wide hunt by intelligence agencies for something of Top Secret importance the dead man left behind.
When U.S. Homeland Security Special Agent Casey Ramirez uncovers a clue involving the dead American, the discovery catapults her into a deadly chase across Europe to unravel a dead man’s bombshell secret that threatens the foundations of the American government.
Andrew Kaplan weaves these disparate elements into a stunning tale of international intrigue that is being hailed as “one of Kaplan’s best” and a “must read” of the mystery and thriller genres.

Smugglers Lane Press is a boutique publishing company with a select list of the finest and most interesting authors and books. We feature the very best in literary, historical, mystery and thriller fiction.

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Andrew Kaplan is the author of two bestselling spy thriller book series: “SCORPION” and “HOMELAND”, including the international phenomenon, “HOMELAND: CARRIE’S RUN”, a tie-in prequel novel to the award-winning “Homeland” television series. 

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His Homeland novel, “HOMELAND: SAUL’S GAME” won the Scribe Best Novel of the Year award. His books have been translated into 22 languages. His standalone novels include the NY Times bestseller “DRAGONFIRE,” “HOUR OF THE ASSASSINS,” and “WAR OF THE RAVEN,” cited by the American Library Association as “one of the 100 Best Books ever written about World War Two.”

Of his writing, Kirkus Reviews hailed it as “Electrifying,” Readers Favorite said “Flawless . . . Kaplan is up there with the best,” Publishers Weekly called it “Smashing, sexy and unforgettable,” Reader to Reader stated “Kaplan's writing is reminiscent of the best of Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy,” and Suspense Magazine declared: “It matches the best work of the late Robert Ludlum and then surpasses it.” His screenwriting career includes the James Bond classic, “GOLDENEYE”.


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