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After years of near-constant writing, in 2003 Steel opened an art gallery in San Francisco, Steel Gallery, which showed contemporary work and exhibited the paintings and sculptures of emerging artists. She continues to curate shows a few times a year for the Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco.In 2002, Steel was decorated by the French government as an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, for her contributions to world culture. With two grown children and a lovely home in Connecticut, Paris was happy with her marriage, her family, her life.So when her husband of 24 years said they needed to talk, Paris couldn't imagine what he was about to say. Just like that, the husband she adored had dumped her for a younger woman, leaving Paris to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. Heading west to San Francisco, Paris discovers a world full of men too young, too old, too married, or too good to be true, and with her dating game score hovering between disappointing and disastrous - and her daughter now engaged to a man Paris' age - Paris determines that romance is not in her future.While still married to Lazard, Steel met Danny Zugelder while interviewing an inmate in a prison near Lompoc, California, where Zugelder was also incarcerated.
And Paris discovers that that the secret of happiness is finding the gifts in life's unexpected twists and turns - turning despair into freedom and loss into joy.After receiving her divorce from Lazard in 1975, she married Zugelder in the prison canteen.She divorced him in 1978, but the relationship spawned Passion's Promise and Now and Forever, the two novels that launched her career. With the success of her fourth book, The Promise, she became a participant in San Francisco high society while Toth, a former drug addict, was left out. Coincidentally, beginning with her marriage to Traina in 1981, Steel has been a near-permanent fixture on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers lists.Her formula is fairly consistent, often involving rich families facing a crisis, threatened by dark elements such as prison, fraud, blackmail and suicide.Steel has also published children's fiction and poetry, as well as raising funds for the treatment of mental disorders.
As time has progressed, Steel's writing has evolved.