The Environment in Contemporary Africa

Cavendish Square Publishing, 2017

From garbage recycling in Egypt and floriculture in Kenya to air pollution in Ghana a massive solar energy project in South Africa, this book for high school students looks at a wide range of environmental issues confronting the diverse countries of Africa.




Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel

Goose Lane Editions, 2007

Where did passports come from? Why did 1930s stewardesses carry wrenches? And how did teetotalers shape the modern vacation? Wanderlust answers these questions and more, as author Laura Byrne Paquet delves into the social history of travel. Now a multi-billion dollar industry, travel is also one of the world’s oldest.

Paquet follows hypochondriac Greeks to the Oracle of Delphi, checks out the bedbugs in medieval coaching inns, enjoys a Finnish sauna with a group of well-bred Victorian ladies, and relaxes on a transatlantic liner with some of England’s Bright Young Things from the 1920s. In breezy style, she explains the difference between a traveller and a tourist and explores the future of travel, from grand plans for commercial space travel to underwater hotels. As the book reveals, we’ve always loved to travel — the only thing that keeps changing is how we get from here to there.

The Urge to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping

ECW Press, 2003

People used to haggle in crowded outdoor bazaars. Now we buy collectibles on eBay. Tracing the evolution of shopping from marketplaces to malls, mail order to the Internet, The Urge to Splurge is a chatty, intriguing look at the history and the psychology of one of humankind’s oldest pursuits. With examples from literature and other sources, The Urge to Splurge explores the variety of reasons (and excuses) that have driven the impulse to buy throughout the ages. It uncovers how fashionistas have fought to obtain the most fashionable hemlines and trendiest hats for more than 2000 years, and discusses the age-old phenomenon of compulsive shoppers who shop beyond their means.

The Urge to Splurge also looks at the long history of our conflicted attitudes about shopping. Shopping, it seems, has never mixed well with our higher ideals. It has mixed with just about everything else, though. For instance: tourism. These days, every museum has a gift store and every cruise ship offers shopping seminars. But people have been carting home souvenirs from foreign lands since long before Hannibal crossed the Alps. As one bumper sticker puts it: “Veni, vidi, VISA: I came, I saw, I shopped.” The drive to spend has been with us ever since we’ve lived in villages and minted coins. The goods may be different now, but has the urge to splurge changed?

Secret Ottawa

ECW Press, 2000

So you’ve seen the Peace Tower and the Sparks Street Mall. Think you know everything about the nation’s capital? Think again. Secret™ Ottawa takes you behind the scenes of the official tourist sites — Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the National Gallery of Canada — and into the places only locals know.




Write Better, Right Now

Self-published, 1997

My husband Paul Paquet and I wrote and self-published this guide to business writing many moons ago. One of these days, we’re going to update it. Probably right around the time I finally lose those 10 pounds.





Regency romances

Zebra, 2000 to 2004

What is a traditional Regency romance? I hear you ask. It’s a “sweet” (read: safe enough for your grandmother) love story set in Jane Austen’s era. I loved writing them, but the market has largely moved on. But if you want the movie rights, you know where to find me.