The Whole Lock Thing…

I’ve been so excited to share this story with you, friends!

It took me a while to put this post together because all my writing time has been devoted to finishing my next book, EVERY LAST WORD (which I’m incredibly excited about, so time for brief and not-at-all-subtle plug: Please add EVERY LAST WORD to your Goodreads TBR list! If you loved Anna and Bennett, just wait until you meet Sam and A.J.!)


Now… back to our regularly scheduled post.

Who wants to hear about this?



Can you spot it?


It’s a fun story.

You may have heard this recent news: A portion of the railing on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of all the “love locks” that have appeared over the years (luckily, no one was hurt).

It’s not that surprising. I’ve seen this bridge and the sheer number of locks is an incredible, mind-blowing sight.



A small section of love locks on Pont des Arts.


As soon as the news hit, I started getting messages from readers, asking if I’d heard what happened. If you haven’t read Time After Time, you might be questioning why I would have anything to do with news about the bridge’s collapse. But if you have read the final book in the Time Between Us series, you’d know immediately.

See, Anna and Bennett may have started “the whole lock thing.”





Paris 1995

This is one of the many reasons I love writing time travel stories. No one knows who hung the first lock on Pont des Arts, so Anna and Bennett get to travel back to 1995 start the trend.

I love my job.





In Time Between Us, I set up the idea that Bennett would eventually take Anna to Paris, so I knew it would be one of their destinations in the sequel, Time After Time.

It had to be. Because I love Paris. It’s so romantic. And if your significant other was a time traveler who could hold your hands and immediately transport you anywhere in the world, wouldn’t Paris be at or near the top of your list? It was always at the top of Anna’s.

While I was writing the first draft of Time After Time, a friend of mine told me about the “Locks of Love Bridge” (read the full story here) and I got hooked on the idea of the two of them visiting this spot. I started researching and discovered that there are quite a few lock bridges around Paris.

Pont des Arts was the original one, but I wasn’t sure it was the one for Anna and Bennett until I learned about its connection to the French film, Amélie.

I’ve always loved this movie, but I didn’t remember that Amélie is on the Pont des Arts when she makes the decision to start changing people’s lives for the better.



It seemed like a sign. In Time Between Us, Bennett starts out sticking to his code: He’s an observer. He doesn’t interfere. When he travels to the past, he’s careful not to change things. But in Time After Time, he begins to question this. He starts experimenting, going back in time to alter a few small moments in the lives of seven total strangers. Each one has dramatic results.


Paris 2013

I love to write when I travel. I wrote major portions of Time Between Us in little cafés in Amsterdam, Bruges, and London (and on trains between those cities), but I wrote all of Time After Time at a desk in my office.

Until the very end.

When the book was nearly complete, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Paris chapters were missing something. I hadn’t been to Paris in years, and Google Maps and photos weren’t doing the trick.

I had a trip to Paris planned, but it was after my final deadline. I asked my editor if I could have a little more time to refine those important Paris scenes, and I was delighted when she agreed.

Now that was magical. I got to write in Paris (a dream come true), and I got to see that incredible city through Anna’s and Bennett’s eyes.



Where Anna & Bennett first arrive…



Time After Time, Chapter 15



Anna’s view when she turns around and looks over the shrubs. You’ll have to pretend it’s nighttime and the Eiffel Tower is all lit up.



Looking up…



Anna was terrified when Bennett left her on the second deck of the Eiffel Tower. But he needed to go to the gift shop for one of these…



I was able to walk through my scenes and answer some burning questions.

Like this one: Can you walk along the banks of the River Seine to Pont des Arts? Is there a staircase that leads up to street level. I’d written it that way, but couldn’t I be sure.




Now I know. Yes, you can!



Just doing some fact checking on the banks of the Seine River, en route to Pont des Arts.


At Pont des Arts

I spent hours on this bridge, reading the locks, taking photographs, and thinking about all the people who kissed a padlock key and threw it into the River Seine.




And it took me forever, but I finally found the lock Anna and Bennett left there in 1995:



Anna & Bennett have a real love lock on the Pont des Arts.







Can you find it? Look in the lower left for the red combination lock. Anna & Bennett’s lock is to the right.




Can you find it now?




Of course, Mike (the love of my life) and I also left a lock of our own. (P.S. Isn’t he cute?)


Okay, and get this. I’m not usually in the habit of taking photos of complete strangers without their knowledge or permission, but as we were leaving Pont des Arts, I spotted this girl across the street, window shopping.

Hello, Anna hair.


IMG_4725 copy

Anna hair. With beret. And Uggs (which aren’t an Anna thing, but they ARE a Tamara thing).


Le Temps Contre Nous — the French edition of Time Between Us — released in Paris the week we were there, so I stopped by this cute little bookshop to say bonjour!



Bonjour, Le Temps Contre Nous!



But the best part: Getting this reaction from my editor when I got home and submitted the final draft of Time After Time



Happy editor = Happy readers? I hope so!



… because if I’m making her happy, I’m probably going to make readers happy, too! And happy readers make my world go ’round.


And as far as I can tell, the section of Pont des Arts that fell was on the opposite side of the bridge, so Bennett & Anna’s love lock is safe. Phew!





Characters are so real to their authors, and I love it when readers tell me that Anna and Bennett are real to them too. I hope you enjoyed their trip to Paris in Time After Time and this little photo trip from mine!


If you liked this post, you might also enjoy my recent photo tour through Anna’s hometown.




Oh, and if you haven’t read Time After Time (or Time Between Us) you can start reading both books, free, right now: CLICK HERE.



In honor of that lovely lock bridge and the story that brought me to Paris, I’m giving away a very special edition of Time After Time.



Grand Prize



Second Place


Grand Prize:

* An annotated “Paris Edition” of Time After Time, including handwritten notes in the margins about the Paris scenes (and some of my other favorites)

* Notes and photos about real locations that inspired some of the settings, like Bennett’s school in San Francisco and his rock climbing locations.

* Postcards from Paris!

* Postcards from a few other Time After Time destinations, placed in key spots throughout the book.

* A Paris journal

* Paris notecards

What do you think — do you want this one-of-a-kind edition for your bookshelf?


Second Place:

* A hardbound copy of Time Between Us

* A Paris journal

* Paris notecards



Open internationally. Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


YOUR TURN: If you could hang a lock on the Pont des Arts in Paris — declaring your love for anyone or anything — what would YOU write? Leave your mark in the comments.




114 Responses to “The Whole Lock Thing…”

  1. Emily Morris says:

    If I could hang a lock, it would say E loves D.

  2. Johanna says:

    I really don’t know what I would write on a lock on the bridge. I’m not currently in a relationship, so maybe just Johanna + books or a couple fictional characters.

  3. Atenas says:

    mmm I think I’d say something like: “Atenas & Paris, lovers since 1996”

  4. I don’t have anyone special in my life right now so I’m not sure I would actually put a lock on the bridge yet. I think I would want to wait until I found something I hope would end up being permanent to finally place a lock there. Maybe I could do one with fictional character’s name on it. That would make me really happy I think.

  5. I mean, it has to say Stacee + Bennett right? Too much? 😀

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. I’ve been dying to know everything since you showed me that photo.

    And the giveaway? Gah. My collection {and my greedy hands} NEED an annotated copy. Adding all things Paris is just a bonus.

    Thanks for the chance! Please let me know if you’re open to bribery.


  6. Crystal says:

    J+C=NJS(My kids initials)

  7. Charlee says:

    I would write I.F.L.Y (I Freaking Love You) Zach! Zach is my boyfriend of almost 6 Months 🙂

  8. Kassiah says:

    I guess the right answer is Kassiah & Todd. I would gladly leave the book boyfriends behind to spend time with hubs in Paris 🙂

  9. Tina-Ellen Muise says:

    If I were to put a lock it would be about the day I accidentally text the wrong number and the person/day will forever be special to me so id say
    Friends by fate
    Jan 2/2014

  10. Carina Olsen says:

    Omg, I love this post. LOVE IT. So many amazing pictures 😀 And story. <3 Ack. Thank you for sharing sweetie 🙂 I have yet to read your books, because I'm a coward, but I own them both and I will read them soonish. <3 I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win either of these prize packs 😀 Thank you so much for the chance.

    Hmm. For the question. I am not sure. As mostly I just love books, lol, but I have too many bookish boyfriends. So. Probably: Carina <3 Books 🙂

    You are awesome. <3

  11. Artemis says:

    Very beautiful post! I really don’t know what I would write on a lock on the bridge. Maybe somethig like:
    With love Artemis from Greece and the date where I will leave the lock on the bridge.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  12. Daniela Simmons says:

    Sempre….. W&D

  13. Christina R. says:

    Love YOURSELF no matter what!!

    thank you 🙂

  14. Sarah Winkler says:

    My love would say “S+C ’08-’14 and many more”

  15. Jaime says:

    I think I’d want to put I<3 Bennett but Stacee may get mad at me.

    Thank you for this amazing giveaway!!


  16. Mara Atienza says:

    I’m forever yours.


  17. Vivien says:

    Just, Always.

  18. Ashley Jellison says:

    Knowing me, I’d probably go alone and write something totally random. Something like “I love pie”. Or maybe, just maybe, I’d take my characters and write their names on a lock. That’d be cute.

    Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway. You’re incredible!

  19. kara says:

    I would put something like “I’m Here, bye – Kara ” w/ a little doddle. I think I acutally found your lock . . . It just called to me (or I could still be wrong, lol).

  20. Oh, I’m absolutely in love with the idea of Paris. While I haven’t yet had the privilege to visit, it is in my mind one of the most romantic places someone can experience—especially with a partner and a lover.

    If given the opportunity, I would proclaim my love for my husband on a lock and happily leave it at Pont des Arts. It would say:

    Je t’aime beaucoup, Esly Reniery, mi Amor toujours! – Zara depuis 2001.

    Btw, I LOVE your giveaway. How generous of you. I hope Rafflecopter is romantic enough to pick moi! First prize, second prize, doesn’t matter. What wonderful bookish goodies to win. Thanks for hosting and congrats on your publication! – Z

  21. Dani says:

    My lock would say: A + D

    It would be simple. 🙂
    Thank you for this post, I was looking forward to it, it was worth the wait!
    And thank you for the giveaway!

  22. Mary B. says:

    Like many others, I am not currently in a relationship. I’d like to believe that with any lover, I’d want to put a lock on the bridge if given the opportunity. However, at this point in time, I think I would wait until I was married or in a much more serious relationship to do so. I think the notion is beautiful and I hope that someday I will get a chance to hang a lock on the bridge. Until then, I’d probably put Mary & Writing or some other passion of mine.

    I loved your post and found it to be an amazing way to connect with the characters on a much different, deeper and more realistic level. I can totally understand how you could find yourself accidentally spending hours there. It’s phenomenal that so many people are in love. It is such a beautiful thing!

  23. Arnie says:

    I might write A<3ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ ( A is the first letter of my name and ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXZYZ- the first letter of my book boyfriends' names) 😉 🙂 😀

  24. Maria Theresa Santos says:

    I dont know

  25. Carmel says:

    time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. 🙂

  26. I’d probably write “Ailla was here.” lol I dunno yet but maybe when the time comes, I would be able to write something more appropriate *coughromanticcough* :)) thanks for the giveaway! *fingrs crossed*

  27. Brittany Leathers says:

    This is awesome! So cool of you to share this with us <3

  28. Brittany Leathers says:

    P.S….I’d say “Love you Forever & Always, Son”

  29. Gaby B. says:

    I’d say: I will always love reading and dreaming.

  30. Juveriya says:

    leaving a lock…I might say about my love for the old times like 60’s or I’ll say books! 🙂

  31. Jesselle V. says:

    If I could hang a lock on the Pont des Arts in Paris, I’d say “Your essence is what makes you spark”. I hope the message would inspire people who would get to read it. 🙂

  32. Karin Shaim says:

    it would say “I love
    I have loved
    I will love”

  33. I’m having such a wonderful time reading these comments. They’re fantastic! Thanks for sharing your love locks. Good luck, everyone!

  34. Jillyn says:

    Mine would say Jillyn <3 Emily on one side and 'we made it' on the other. Four years and counting, and now it's finally legal to marry her in her home state.

  35. michelle says:

    it would say: “Finally made it” on one side and my name and the date I put the lock on on the other side.

  36. Carolina F. says:

    You are, haracters my past, my present viewer, co-owner of my future. I love C.

  37. Ali says:

    If I could hang a lock I think mine would say that Ali loves Sammy and Braxton. (Both my kids.) on one side then I Finally Got to be here!! On the other. Thanks for the giveaway.

  38. Elke says:

    I don’t know what I’d say. Possibly something to a fictional character, or to my mom and dad and sister, but I don’t really have a guy in my life just yet (:

  39. Jenny O'G says:

    I would write: ” I can finally love myself”.

  40. Emily says:

    Mine would say Emily <3 Jill on one side and 'Eternally together' on the other. My eternity with her started when we met, and it will continue long after we part from this earth.

  41. Sofía says:

    My lock would say “Sofía loves.”

  42. Ursula says:

    Mine would be U <3's EV 1991- forever

  43. Kate Hearn says:

    Something about my husband and me…maybe Mr and Mrs Hearn, established June 12, 2010

  44. Lena says:

    Mine would probably say ” I love my family”

  45. Stephanie says:

    I love every single thing about this post. I saw your pictures of Anna’s hometown, and as a fan of your series as well as a writer myself, I understood from a very deep and sacred place what you were feeling when you got to visit the places your characters live in. It’s a little magical, isn’t it?

    When I go to Paris, I will make a lock for my husband and I ( married 13 years today:) and one for my characters who visit Paris in the epilogue of my book. It will make them just a little bit more real. Who knows? Maybe in a parallel universe, book couples live their lives as they are written.

  46. Maria says:

    I would probably say ”Maria loves books + Sparky” (My dog).

  47. Raquel M. says:

    Love you, Paris. Until next time.

  48. I just LOVED Time Between Us and I can’t wait to read Time After Time! And I think this is such a beautiful thing to do with the person you love. I’m a helpless romantic <3

  49. 1. I really loved both of the books, THEY ARE FEAKING AWESOME and still and forever in the list of my favorite books.

    2. This may sound selfish, but I would write “DAPHNE =•) (the happy face turned 90°, it is kind of my thing, so yeah) FOREVER”. It means I wanna keep it on real and always be myself, and not hurting my self for somebody else, because even if I hate me sometimes, I should still love and take care of myself.

    Of course, if I had two locks I would write the name of that someone special I haven’t met yet, but the one for me is a fact. 🙂

  50. Clara YM says:

    You’ll always be in my heart Paris <3

  51. Lisa M says:

    I went to Paris for the first time early this year but I didn’t go to Pont des Arts! & if I could hang a lock, I’d write “Lisa was here” or something LOL

    (and I haven’t read Time After Time eep! must remedy that soon)

  52. Ashley Plonski says:

    I commented earlier, but it never published! My computer must have had a glitch! 🙁 I would easily put “Meet Me At Point Zero” and let people go to point zero to see if someone would show up. Sometimes, maybe, one person would run into another and my lock could be an icebreaker for them! Or I could just put my name and when I visited the city to keep it simple!

  53. Precious says:

    Thank you so much for the giveaway! I would write: ‘Waiting for the One.’ As I have not yet met the guy who would make my heart jump to life again. 🙂

  54. Chrstine says:

    Mine would be “Love Life! <3 " Hope I can do that someday! 🙂

  55. Enna P. says:

    The heart is not so easily fooled.

  56. Kristy Petree says:

    Mine would say “M&K Petree Forever”. Thanks!

  57. Myra White says:

    My lock would say “Jared, always.” Short, sweet and something I’ll always remember. 🙂

  58. Saralyn says:

    I just fell in love with everything about this post!! I have not been lucky enough to stumble upon your books until now. I know what I will be starting to read tomorrow! Thank you for the opportunity and the beautiful inspiration!

    As for my lock I would write, “You Are Loved,” because I believe that everyone should know that they are loved by somebody out there.

  59. Aisha says:

    I think my lock would say “Try to survive.” It’s kind-of long story, but in case that you don’t really have people around you, and you’re all by your own, your whole life is with books and the fact that you need to survive. It would be awesome, to go back every single year, and remember myself the one of the most important thing in the life. : )

  60. Tamara Nemry says:

    Amazing post ! I would write “the boy that I have not yet met and I’m expecting : I will love you from minus infinity to plus infinity”
    Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway !!!

  61. Alexandra A says:

    I`d write: “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” 🙂

  62. Sharon says:

    I loved reading time between us, haven’t got to time after time but I will..
    I would keep it simple ..
    D Always and forever yours S

  63. Zaira F says:

    I love this post so much. It actually brought tears to my eyes, oops. Psris is a dream for me. And I haven’t read your books yet (shame on me, I know) but I somehow connected to Anna and Bennett through this post. I can’t wait to get to know them more.

    If I were to put a lock it would say, “To Hoult, I will wait. – Z” 🙂

  64. Erika says:

    Definitely, my love for my family. I would do anything for them. 🙂 “Family comes first.” That’s what I would put.

  65. Caroline says:

    I’m not in a long term relationship, so I would wait until I was to leave a lock. But if I did leave one now, it would say “Caroline + Paris.”

  66. Caroline says:

    Since I’m not in a long term relationship, my lock would say “Caroline + Paris.”

  67. Camii Lorusso says:

    In this moment, I am not in a relatioship, so I write Cami and books, or Cami and travel! jajaja

  68. Shai Villanueva says:

    When I finally fall in love, I would write “Never regret..” on my lock.

  69. Maria Medeiros says:

    Beautiful giveaway! I would write, Maria + Joe for ever!

  70. Kory says:

    My heart is currently broken, so my lock would say, “I believe in love, I just hope an infinite and true love find me in this lifetime.”

  71. Johanna says:

    I would probably write “Bennett Cooper” on a lock, you know. I fell so in love with these characters, especially Bennett, so i’d definitely write his name.

  72. Lily says:

    I would write my name and date along with a bible verse

  73. Becky says:

    First time in Paris!

  74. Angela C. says:

    Carpe Diem, my name, and the date. 😀

  75. I write what I feel to read every single word, there are many feelings inside that book and I think a lock will not be able to express everything, it’s just a truly beautiful story teaches that time is something that separates, but in this if these two people join Anna Bennett and love, there is nothing more beautiful than love and no matter how slow hurdles in life as long as they do not stop to reach your goal, nothing is perfect and never will be, but there things that are extraordinary as love ♡

    Life goes fast, but today I stopped to breathe and think about all those things that sometimes do not know how to value ♡

  76. shaina pierce says:

    Probably my daughter’s initials: N.A.P. 🙂

  77. Maia J. says:

    I’d probably write something like: “this is to remind myself and all others who can see this that i’ve managed to take myself to Paris and find love in a city”.

    Thank you for this giveaway! I love this duology so much and I’m crossing my fingers!

  78. Elijah H. says:

    I would write “Someday my prince will come…

  79. Teia Collier says:

    I would say: “Love always wins.”

  80. Brittany says:

    I would make a lock for my sister and me, since she is my best friend for life. 🙂

  81. Joanna Mae C. says:

    I’d probably bring more than one lock :))) And one of them would most likely have Joanna <3 Paris 😀

  82. Amy says:

    I’d hang a lock saying ‘love yourself’ or something along those lines. I think it’s important to have that first before you turn your attention to someone else, though I’m still working on that!

  83. I’d say that “I was here. And I was happy!” 🙂

    Thanks for this giveaway, Tamara! I’d probably weep if I didn’t win 😛

  84. Stephanie H. says:

    I would write:

    (Drawn Heart Here)
    I&V (Our daughters)
    (Drawn Infinity Symbol)

    What a wonderful post. Thank you so much for the giveaway. 😀

  85. Aline Tobing says:

    From Paris with Love 😉

  86. It would say: Find me. Love, Melissa.
    Maybe he will find me, who knows. 😉 Thanks for the awesome giveaway, cannot.cross my fingers enough.

  87. HanaPouletta says:

    I would probably express my love for books, my blog, my dog or a book character! 🙂

  88. Marianne Robles says:

    My lock would say something like Marianne ♥ Meeko. Meeko is my puppy and I love him so much, lol!

  89. María Isabel says:

    I would write “M loves books”.

  90. Dian Setyarini says:

    It would say: “Hope to be loved” and my name and date.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  91. Caro says:

    I’m not in a relationship right now, so no Caro + Someone, lol.

    But if I were to go now, I think I’d write ‘Caro <3 life'. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway, it looks awesome.

  92. Fatima Tariq says:

    My family and books!

  93. Zairah Divino says:

    I’d write something along the lines of “…future NYT Bestseller”. Hihi. A girl can dream, right? 😉

  94. Marie Landry says:

    I’d love to be able to write Marie + but since I don’t have a + yet (lol), I think I’d write my parents’ names. They got married later in life and had me a year and a half later, so they never got to travel, and then my dad died when I was ten. His ancestors were from France, so I think it’d be doubly fitting.

  95. Tamara says:

    Your love locks are AMAZING. Thanks for playing along and sharing the love!

    Good luck, everyone!

    — Tamara

  96. Roxanne says:

    I’m going to Paris at the end of August for my birthday. YAY, I’m so excited!! Mine would probably say something like R ❤️ Food. I thought about fictional boyfriends or fav book/book series but there are so many, there just wouldn’t be enough room to write them all down on 1 lock I would have to get like 20 of them

  97. Alyssa L. says:

    I’d probably write “Love waits” or “You’ll get your happy ending soon”.

  98. I’d write T + R.

  99. Rebecca says:

    I haven’t had a lot of luck with romantic love lately so I think my love lock would have to be for me and my twin sisters, Brett and Jana. We’re quite a threesome. And sisterhood always lasts forever!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Tamara. It’s lovely!

  100. *when* I get to hang a love lock with my husband, it will say, “Sam-Pig ❤️s John-Pig

  101. *when* I get to hang a love lock with my husband, it will say, “Sam-Pig ❤️s John-Pig

  102. Sil says:

    I think the only love that lasts forever, no matter what, is the love for our family, so my lock would either say that or I♥Life!
    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂
    PS: You make a really cute couple!

  103. _Sandra_ says:

    When I get a chance to hang a lock on the Pont des Arts in Paris, it’ll most likely say. “Je ne regrette rien”. 🙂
    Thanks for an amazing giveaway! 🙂

  104. I’d hang a lock with Fay ♥s TL on it. TL stands for true love. 🙂

  105. ashley says:

    Mine would have to say Ryan+Ashley or R&A. Maybe Life is Beautiful or To our beautiful journey on the other side. Would love to go and do this with my husband, definitely going to add it to our bucket list! 😀

  106. Jessica says:

    Jess <3 Books

  107. Bre says:

    you make me happy.

  108. I adore every single one of your love locks! It’s such a wonderful thing to see you sharing your love for friends, sisters, significant others, future significant others, books, fictional buddies, and Paris itself! Your words are inspirational.

    Thank you so much for playing along and sharing your locks. Best of luck to all of you!!!

    — Tamara

  109. Flory says:

    I would leave a lock for the one who gave me a passionate love story to keep locked inside my heart.. even if we both ended with someone else.