Monthly Archives: August 2015

Research in Strasbourg

2015-08-18 16.11.44If you ever get the opportunity to visit Strasbourg in Alsace, France … go!

I’ve just spent an incredible four days staying with my lovely friend, Julie, who lives in a village just outside  the city. In fact, she’s responsible for my deciding that my WIP, currently entitled ‘Just for the Holidays’, was set in Alsace, as, when looking for a suitable spot for my English characters to spend August in France, I remembered her saying ‘You must come and stay!’ To have a built-in tour guide makes research five times easier.2015-08-18 11.51.30

After strolling through the city and admiring the totally fantastic cathedral, we took a boat ride along the River Ile, which flows through Strasbourg and connects with the canal, to give me an overview of the city, the half-timbered buildings and steeply pitched roofs, the flowers, the ironworks, architecture and history. 2015-08-18 14.51.54

And I had to begin my exploration of local food and drink – Baeckeoffe, with Fischer beer. Baeckeoffe is a very hearty stew with three kinds of meat in it.Baeckeoffe

Wednesday saw us at ‘Urgences’, the A&E department of l’Hopital Civil, where my character, Alister, is taken after rearranging his leg in a cycling accident. Of course, I wouldn’t intrude on anybody’s privacy by taking photos of their dashes to the hospital, but I was able to check out the building, the department, the surroundings and, via Julie (now turned translator), quiz the receptionist in Urgences as to what would happen to Alister after admission. (Transport to l’Hopital Hautepierre for his operation and aftercare).

Flammkuchen, tarte flambeeThat day’s dejeuner was flammkucher and Meteor beer. (You see how seriously I take my research.) Later in the day we wandered for two hours around the village where Julie lives, taking pix of the gorgeous houses and the infrastructure of the place. I was particularly impressed by the pizza vending machine.DSCF0210

Thursday saw a return to Strasbourg to meet Julie’s friend, Corinne, an English teacher who had volunteered her local knowledge. After cake at Christian’s, near the cathedral, we hopped on the tram back to Corrinne’s place, where she gave us lunch on her terrace, much of it sourced from her lovely garden. Then we talked for hours about the locality, about the medical system, the insurance system and we drank tea made of roses. (Sorry that so much of this post is about food and drink but, when in Alsace, one must eat as the Alsatians do.)DSCF0259

I’m going to draw a veil over later standing outside Julie’s apartment with my case as I waited for taxi after taxi that ‘had a problem’, ‘seems to be lost’ and couldn’t find the apartments. Suffice to say, I got a bit anxious. But, eventually, I was on my way, arriving at the airport in time to kiss my hostess goodbye and join the tail of the line for airport security.

Today I’m back at my desk with over 200 photos, leaflets, notes and memories, to weave into my manuscript. So, bye then! I have work to do.

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Nikki Moore’s latest!

Picnics in Hyde ParkPicnics in Hyde Park is a book I’ve been waiting to read since the first chapter, under another title, was shortlisted for a Novelicious competition. I was completely intrigued but, though Nikki Moore is my niece (and I’m very proud of her), she has steadfastly and perniciously refused to tell me What Happened Next!

Now that the book has hit the shelves, I forgive her. Picnics in Hyde Park is safely on my Kindle and is my designated travel companion on my next trip, when I fly to Strasbourg on research for my WIP, currently titled Just for the Holidays. Happily for me, that’s only next week!

Here’s the Picnics in Hyde Park blurb:

Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?

Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.

Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.

But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?

Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is?

Here are the buy links:

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook

I’ve read all of the novellas that led up to Picnics in Hyde Park, (the #LoveLondon Series). They have, deservedly, hit the Amazon UK charts.

Reviews:

LoveLondon - Facebook‘The writing style is impeccable. How I’ll fill the void left by this series is something I’ve not yet figured out an answer to.’ K.L Beeden, Books with Bunny.

Strawberries at Wimbledon

‘I eagerly read and absorbed every page. Such a good feel read earns an easy 5 stars from me.’ Sheerie Franks, Amazon UK.

Cocktails in Chelsea

‘I loved every single minute of this fun, flirty romance… the perfect read for your boring commute to work.’ Holly, Bookaholic Confessions

Valentine’s on Primrose Hill

‘Uplifting and at the same time thought provoking too. I guarantee you’ll be hitting that button on Amazon to order the fourth book in the #LoveLondon series as soon as you’ve finished this one.’ Dawn, Crooks on Books

New Year at The Ritz

A sweet and flirty short story, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see what Nikki comes up with for the next book in the series.’ Simona Elena, Sky’s Book Corner.

Skating at Somerset House

‘Sexy, fun and everything you need in one neat, gorgeous package. This is a winner for me.’ Chicks That Read.

 Nikki MooreHappy publication day to Nikki Moore for Picnics in Hyde Park.

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