I don’t know about you, but I love to travel. My one big problem with traveling, however, is that I hate to fly. Totally hate to fly. Despite that, I have been able to go to a number of places for both work and pleasure. I still have lots of places I’d like to go and today I’m sharing my Pinterest board of all of those locales!
Take a moment to tell me about somewhere you’d like to travel!
I have to say I wasn’t a fan at first, but the one two punch of TWO WEEKS NOTICE and LOVE ACTUALLY just changed my mind. There was just something totally endearing and irresistibly cute about Hugh Grant in those two movies. So here he is with that too charming boyish grin!
Photo Credit: Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Several years back I was lucky enough to be part of a romantic suspense series from Harlequin that included MORE THAN A MISSION and SECRET AGENT REUNION. I loved writing these stories set on a fictional island as well as London and Rome. Especially MORE THAN A MISSION which is one of my personal favorites and was also turned into a comic in both Japanese and Chinese!
These were emotional stories about sisterly love and devotion and of course, romances with strong alpha heroes and action-packed suspense. Plus, they gave me an opportunity to do some first hand research in London and Rome. While I was in London, I also did research for another romantic suspense book that I had planned to revolve around the Knights Templar. That book is still in my ideas journal and I hope to get back to it one day when I have more time to write.
For today, on this Travel Tuesday, I’m sharing some photos from the places I visited and which inspired MORE THAN A MISSION and SECRET AGENT REUNION and will eventually make it into another book! For now, I want to leave you with these images. Just click on a thumbnail to see the full photo!
I can’t believe it’s been nearly five years since I visited London! It was awesome to walk around and see the sights that I wanted to include in a number of books I was writing. Two have been published, but the other one, which had a story revolving around the Knights of Templar, might never see the light of day. Sigh. Too many books to write and too little time.
This is a photo of me, my daughter, and my husband in front of Big Ben. We love to walk around and explore the city and we really had a wonderful time doing just that. I can’t even imagine how many miles we clocked since we spent most of the day walking. One of our most fun adventures on this trip was a Jack the Ripper Tour. Very informative and interesting to walk the same streets as where the crimes had occurred. Now that’s one thing I will definitely fit in a book in the future. Maybe Diana and Ryder will have to take a trip there to help out Scotland Yard with a copycat killer or maybe even a vamped out Jack the Ripper!
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.
Today’s Tuesday is some more photos from my trip to London. This time I’m taking you to Buckingham Palace and the Mews where the Royal horses, carriages and the like are stored.
First thing — the Queen’s Apartments in the Palace are only open in August and September when the Royal Family retires to Scotland for the summer months. During the winter you have to content yourself with views of the exterior, the changing of the guard and the museums at the Palace.
We watched the changing of the guard (some of the last slides you’ll see), but it was packed. We clearly had to get there a lot earlier than we did, but despite the crowd, we were able to see the nearly 45 minute long ceremony as the one group of guards is replaced. Mind you, it’s not just the guards, but their band and everything that is changed. So, there’s a lot of pomp with all the turnover.
We also had an opportunity to visit the Royal Mews and it was really interesting. We got to see some of the horses (huge huge animals) that pull the carriages as well as various carriages, limos, carts, etc. The most interesting one — a golden carriage made for Richard III. It was stunning and the artwork on the doors, etc. was amazing.
It was interesting to see all the different carriages as well as learn how some are postillion driven (riders are on the horses pulling the carriages) versus being driven by a driver on the wagon. A bit of trivia I know I’ll put to use in one of those historical flashbacks in a future novel!