Sunday, April 9, 2017

Guest Post: Three most romantic settings by Hannah Fielding, author of Legacy

Three of the most romantic settings by Hannah Fielding

Beautiful, interesting places inspire my muse. I write my books at desks with a view: looking over the green garden in Kent and the blue Mediterranean in France (or, indeed, in the garden when the weather permits). But in order to find the inspiration for book concept, I need more than a view – I need to really experience the place in which I am situating my love story.
Today I’m sharing with you three places to which I have traveled that, I think, are among the most romantic settings in the world – perfect backdrops for passionate, evocative romance novels.

Venice, Italy
Venice was my main inspiration for my novel The Echoes of Love. I first visited the city as a young child. Then, as now, I was wide-eyed and enchanted by the beauty of the city. I distinctly remember standing in the main square, the Piazza St Marco, gazing up at the stunning architecture of Saint Mark’s Basilica and feeling I had somehow entered another world – a fairy-tale world. Here’s an extract describing that same square from the point of view of my heroine, Venetia:  


The square was very nearly empty. The sun was setting and an intense pink blush in an explosive sky was lighting up the Campanile, the Doge’s Palace, and all the wonderful group of buildings surrounding the Piazza San Marco. They stood splendidly in that curious half-light, with the last rays of the day slanting in on their rounded sides, and making them cast huge brown shadows on each other. The Grand Canal had the dramatic, blinding brilliance of a purple mirror. Far over it, the golden orb seemed to set in a flood of vaporous colour which appeared to surge up from the land and become reflected in the glimmering pools created by the broken shadows of the building. Waves of burning light spread all over the western sky and the boats, the palazzi, and the water were dyed a deep rose by the glow.

The Rift Valley, Kenya
I can think of few places I have visited on earth that have such breath-taking natural beauty. It was while watching a sunrise over the valley that I decided I must set my first romance novel in Kenya – the colours were spectacular. Here is Kenya at its wildest and most awe-inspiring. In my novel Burning Embers I sent the characters up in a hot-air balloon so that they could take in the full scene:
Photo by Ross Merritt at Stock Sandwich

Gradually the mist had lifted, and the sun burst forth, a ball of fire radiating the sky with unnaturally incandescent hues. Coral was reminded of the strident brushwork and wild colors of the Fauvist paintings that filled her mother’s gallery, which Coral had always loved. The scene was now set for the show to begin: the drama in which the broad, breath-taking landscapes of Africa were the stage and the animals the actors.
They see blue waters and verdant vegetation and amid them the most wonderful array of animals: elephants, antelopes, flamingos, pelicans, impalas, hippos, buffalo, zebras, giraffes.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

My books Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy are set in AndalucĂ­a – tales of love, treachery, deceit and revenge set against the fierce and blazing Spanish land, which is governed by savage passions and cruel rules.
I especially love Granada in AndalucĂ­a. In Spanish Granada means pomegranate, a luscious round red fruit that appears on the city’s coat of arms.  That is just how one of the most magnificent heritage cities seems – with a little stretch of the imagination – as you approach it at dusk by a twisting road down the mountains.
Granada is home to the Alhambra, the amalgam of fabulous Arabesque palaces and fortress complex built by the Moors on a steep wooded hill during the mid-fourteenth century. Shadowed in the evening light, rising upon its reddish crag as though poised on a vast stage dominating the city, with its green peaked parks, its pink marble spires and domes guarded by the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the Arabian Night’s palace is startling in its beauty and in its impact on the imagination.
There, within the silent walls, where the ghosts of emirs, slaves and beautiful princesses still move through the corridors with silent footsteps; there, in the wonderful and mystery-laden atmosphere, dwells much of the romance of an exotic age.

A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.
Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.

The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…

Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past?
Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…

You can find her work, Legacy, on Amazon. You can also find her on her Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.  

About Hannah:

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. 

Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

Hannah is a multi-award-winning novelist, and to date she has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in Italy; and the Andalusian Nights Trilogy Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – her fieriest novels yet, set in sunny, sultry Spain.

Thank you, Hannah, and thank you all for tuning in! - Jessica