In 2010 I was working on a series involving ancient relics and it was set primarily in London. I also had another book to write with more scenes in London and since my daughter was doing a study abroad there, it seemed like the perfect time to go and do some research. Just a few problems. It was Easter time and little did we know that there were a lot of “bank holidays” which meant some of the train lines weren’t working. Also, the Queen wasn’t in residence at Buckingham Palace but at Windsor Castle which meant we could walk the grounds, but not see the inside of the castle. 🙁
Still, we had an amazing time and I got to take lots of pictures of prospective locations and visit some of the places I wanted to include in the books.
Here is a photo of me, my daughter and my hubby outside Windsor Castle.
If you’d like to see more photos, you can check out this album! There are nearly 200 photos there.
Today’s Write Wednesday is dedicated to my fabulous daughter and her debut novel, FOLLOWING JANE.
Samantha was lucky enough to spend a semester in London and when combined with her love of Jane Austen and an assortment of boy bands, it was only natural that she mix up all three loves into a fun and emotionally compelling story.
FOLLOWING JANE is a young adult romance that combines a scavenger hunt left behind by none other than Jane Austen with a young woman’s desire to fulfill her dying mother’s last words: to take up an adventure that is “just around the corner.”
The heroine, Lizzie (of course), sets off to London and along the way meets a young boy band member who will soon assist her in her quest and also present another challenge: romance.
Congratulations Samantha on this debut novel! I am so proud of you! What do others have to say about this novel? Here’s just one of the many 5 star reviews:
“I literally could not put this book down. It follows a young woman around England in such a way, you feel as if you are there yourself. With a little love, lots of laughs, tears, and mystery, this book is a must read. For the 20-somethings, the 30-somethings, and beyond, Jane will show you how to be independent, brave, and true to yourself. Kudos to the author for taking us on this journey!” Meaghan Abell, Reader
About the Author: Debut author Samantha Scordato has been penning stories in her journals for many years. She fell in love with Jane Austen at an early age and kept up with her love through an undergraduate degree in Fashion Merchandising and an MBA from Philadelphia University. After graduating, Samantha turned her attention to her two loves: Running a surf and skate shop and writing. FOLLOWING JANE is Samantha’s first novel, but she has already finished another novel. For more information, please visit www.lifemythlegend.com.
Yet more photos from England for you, this time of the area around Westminster Abbey and Parliament (aka the Palace of Westminster)!
We had a great time strolling around this historic area. The only bummer was that you couldn’t take photos inside Westminster Abbey. There was so much to see there and that I wanted to share with you. But the good news is that Westminster Abbey has some great information and photos. You can click here to see some of the sights and get an idea for yourself of the immensity of this cathedral which was built in 960 and holds hundreds of tombs and monuments.
Big Ben (apparently the name of the big hour bell and not the clock!) is nearby as are the Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately Parliament was closed due to the “bank holiday”, so we missed seeing the House of Commons and House of Lords, but the outside is quite impressive and we had the treat of getting a glimpse at English politics at work when the Prime Minister asked the Queen to disband Parliament and set a date for new elections.
In Britain they only have a month to campaign. What a grand idea! Too bad we can’t do that here!
Almost directly across the way from the Westminster area is the London Eye — a giant ferris wheel of sorts. I wanted to go for a ride, but the lines were very long and my family – knowing my fear of heights – feared I’d freak out since it takes at least 45 minutes to make a complete loop on the Eye.
We took a lovely train ride out to Windsor to see Windsor Castle and the quaint town nearby, also the home to Eton, the exclusive school. Weather was a bit dreary, but not too cold. Unfortunately, Her Majesty was in residence which meant we could go on the castle grounds for free, but were unable to get into any of her “apartments.” Major bummer as I was dying to see the various bedrooms, kitchens, dining areas, etc. that we had seen on the PBS special about a year in the life of Windsor Castle.
Nevertheless, we were able to walk around all the grounds and see St. George’s Chapel. The guards were patrolling all over the area and are quite attractive in their bright red coats and furry hats. Real guns — no one will mess with them.
The gardens and areas in and around Windsor Castle are lovely. Well-kept and so green thanks to the spring rains. If you see the picture of the entrance to the Moat Path in the slide show below, it is now the entrance to the gardens that have replaced the moat.
We then headed to town where we had fish and chips in a delightful pub and walked around town before returning to London. The train ride was nice and it was a good way to also get a glimpse of the suburbs and countryside around London.