Christmas = beach holiday with family.
Here in Oz where our summer holiday coincides with Christmas, we gravitate like lemmings to the coast. Whether or not it has anything to do with astrology (Iâm a Cancerian and yes, family also plays an important part in my stories), I need sea vistas at least once a year, more often if I can con or cajole my husband into a beach weekend (I can and I do!). So it was inevitable that my stories would be set beside water.
White Ginger, my first novel, is set on Kauai. At the heart of Amelie and Arne's relationship is the reef which is threatened by a major developer. I spent hours in fascinated research on the reef and marine life, and saw numerous similarities to our own Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast. Water symbolises creativity and rebirth (among other things) and Amelie, my Aussie heroine, desperately needs a fresh start. Where better than on an Hawaiian island of love? Here's a snippet!
"Now...what do you think?" He removed the blindfold and stood, warm hands on her shoulders.
Blazing red and gold clouds spread out before them as the Hawaiian sun set, framed by palms whose fronds almost met from either side of a narrow rush of sea water. They were on the far side of a small lagoon. White sand and lush greenery tumbled down to the water's edge in fabulous profusion.
Merger in Melbourne is set in the heart of this southern city's CBD with the lovely Yarra River and the bay as backdrops. Inspired by an abandoned red brick building, I thought this would be a regular cityscape story but found it impossible to keep my characters, Andie (Andrea) and Matt away from the water. They insisted on their coastal romance too!
One Night in Sorrento, my novella, is set on the Amalfi Coast. Last year, my husband and I spent several weeks travelling in Italy and I fell in love with this beautiful coast line. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a dramatic backdrop and the trip along the mainland coast road is not to be missed! In fact, it inspired Rhiannon and Luca's story. We WILL return and I intend to ride a Vespa around Sorrento.
In the spirit of Christmas and to share my love of travelling in Italy, I'm offering this novella as a free Christmas read. Hope you enjoy it! You can download it here...from Sunday, US time...probably later in the day for Aussie readers, but keep looking!
Where is your favourite coast road drive and what makes it special to you?
Don't forget to enter the raffle copter below to go in the draw for a $100 gift card and 26 books from the authors participating in the hop. You can enter every day! Follow the blogs below on each day leading up to Christmas Eve for more chances to win this fabulous virtual gift basket!