Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NANCY JARDINE -- Scottish Author

Nancy Jardine is my guest at Vintage Vonnie, and I'm thrilled to have her visit. Nancy lives in Scotland, and is returning today from a week-long trip to Holland. Lucky her! Nancy also writes for The Wild Rose Press and has a new release scheduled for the third of August. She has a fun post full of beautiful pictures to share with us regarding her newest book. In fact, she's taking us all over the globe in a pictorial journey. But first, who is Nancy?

Nancy Jardine was a teacher of 11-12 year olds for too many years to mention-gave up the chalk in Oct 2011, and now writes full-time. Since 2010, one historical and three contemporary romances have been completed. The first in a planned series of time-travel novels for children 9-12 yrs is finished, and a family saga is the current work in progress. You can tell from that she’s not exactly found a writing niche, yet!

Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire

The picturesque, castle country of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is home where she lives with her husband who now does all the cooking…the menu far more exciting and tasty than it used to be! Hobbies include ancestry research, doing exciting fun things she’s never done before with her two daughters and sons-in-law, and working in her large garden where she tends real flowers (occasionally) and some spectacular weeds (often). Looking after her first granddaughter, now 8 months, takes up a very special place in her week.

Come Fly with me…come fly, come fly away…you get the drift!

Hi, Vonnie! I’m excited to be with you today and would love to have you, and your readers, fly with me now as we get a little taste of my soon to be released TAKE ME NOW, a lighthearted contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press (** 3rd August 2012--can’t wait **)

Do you have a thing about flying? I’m beginning to wonder if I do. So far, in three out of five of my completed novels, I have characters flying about somewhere or other. (Two are historical novels, set back in the Britain of Celtic Roman conflict, and someone would be bound to notice the anachronism if they flew about in an airplane!) In my three contemporaries I take my characters to fabulous destinations as they solve mysteries and fall in love-well, they are romances after all!

Why do I have my characters flying about? It’s because I love taking them to exotic and interesting far flung places, and as more of a pantser than a plotter, it just sort of evolves that way.  If I’ve actually visited the places myself I find it’s easier to write about them, though nowadays I don’t believe that’s a necessary requirement. Internet information is so…GOOD for garnering what you need to know.

What about you? How many of you include locations that incur some kind of travel for your protagonists?  I’d love to know just how common it is.

I’d like to set you a little challenge. Which of the destinations mentioned below do you think are the three I’ve never actually been to? (The information for those has come from second hand knowledge or the internet) Does my writing give you any clues that help you make you make your choice?

In TAKE ME NOW Aela Cameron transports her injured boss, Nairn Malcolm, to lots of lovely places, albeit they are all only fleeting visits. She flies his floatplane better than he does (He’s not too miffed about that, though, since she saves his hide on one momentous journey) and competently whizzes him around in his jet, catamaran and Range rover. A girl of many talents is Aela.

How do you fancy accompanying them as they visit these European destinations?

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia. Imagine lots of needle sharp tall grey spires on old white churches, some of which tower above the modern high rise glass fronted tower blocks. Or others that have a more Russian Baroque Orthodox style: black spires more bulbous; chequered tiling to the almost domed roofs; deep pink walls with ornate white bordered window frames. Fabulous architecture abounds-some of it very old; some quite old; all jostling with modern city buildings.

Aela doesn’t have too much time to appreciate them though, since she’s off kayaking in the bay of Tallinn, taking in the impressive prison buildings and old walled city of Peter the Great, from a wonderful watery perspective.

Barcelona, Spain. Here the buildings are also fabulous, in some cases fanciful, and even some absolutely fantastic. Again there are impressive Medieval and Baroque buildings. Yet, the most memorable may be some of the Modernista buildings-Spanish Art Nouveau- those of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) in particular. There’s the Casa Batllo with its amazing rippling fa├žade, with balconies that remind Aela of masks worn at medieval carnivals. The walls between the balconies are a spattering of pale blues, greens and glittering gold-the whole structure would do well in a fantasy movie.

Aela can’t take her eyes off the Casa Batllo; can’t believe the facade was remodeled by Gaudi more than a century ago, although the building itself is around three decades older. Or there’s the Casa Mila, an apartment block with incredible statues on the rooftop that dominate- a barrage of sentinels in white featureless helmets, redolent of medieval helms.  Wow! A whole row of wow!

Paris, France. In TAKE ME NOW, Paris gets a mention too, especially that wonder of wrought iron lattice engineering, La Dame de Fer (the iron lady) otherwise known as the iconic Eiffel tower. La Tour Eiffel is the backdrop to an eventful night for Nairn and Aela…more of that in the book!

River Thames

London, England. Nairn’s business headquarters have a wonderful view of the River Thames-granted it’s a bit downriver from the Thames bridges, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, but Aela maneuvers him wherever he wants to go. Just imagine Aela whipping Nairn around in his Range Rover from airport to his office through crazy London traffic…or there’s that exciting scene where someone has sabotaged said Range Rover and only Aela’s superb driving skills saves them from an untimely death!

Lanera, A Scottish Island.  Nairn’s dinky castle on a Scottish island is the base for Aela to fly Nairn elsewhere. Can you imagine her flying him over the neighboring islands, leafy green from recent rain, with the landscape twinkling down there in the now blue sky scudded with cirrus clouds? Nairn’s castle is only one of many down there, Aela flying his beloved floatplane low over the hills bordering the true lochs, and the sea lochs which have access way out to the Atlantic Ocean as she takes him to Glasgow, where they board Nairn’s jet. Nairn’s so glad his Aela is superbly competent as she battles ferociously wild weather on another occasion, landing his floatplane at Lanera in battering high seas he’d never attempt himself-again Aela saving not only his butt but his plaster casts!

And what about the non-European destinations they fly to in TAKE ME NOW? Here’s a little idea:

Muscat, Oman. Imagine a fabulous hotel that was originally built as a palace. A basic hexagonal shape with embellishments, it boasts a central domed atrium, the night sky visible through it is a twinkle in the darkness, the delicate stained glass a mystical tracery in itself. Sparkling fountains play out front, and tall palms sway in the evening breeze vying for Nairn and Aela’s attention. To the rear of that beautiful white building there are majestic, craggy, ominous mountains rising up behind. They take a short drive to scenery so ochre-red dark, clustered with rock so weird Aela feels transported to a Martian landscape.

An island in the Caribbean. Imagine their island hotel complex-their villa affording personal butler service if they don’t want to eat at the variety of restaurants a short walk away. Can you see their private infinity pool that leads down to their secluded beach stretch where Nairn organizes a spectacularly wonderful surprise for Aela? Fly with them at low levels over the sparkling ocean, the waters so greenish-blue by day and so clear in places the marine life is visible. The setting sun of the evening is even more fantastic, the water changing color as it darkens, the pinkish-violet-orange above the horizon darkened by some dramatic clouds, a darker blue above leading to nothingness as they sip a cool cocktail on the beach.

New York. Aela has fun on the Hudson in the Beast, having had to work very hard to convince the tour operator that the injured Nairn is capable of managing the fast boat ride. Their hop-on-hop-off City Tour bus is the absolute best for an incapacitated person to see as much as possible. Do you see them cramming in the ubiquitous hot dogs and ices from a stand near Central Park?

So…are you still following or has your imagination transported you elsewhere?

One lucky commenter who answers my question correctly will receive a digital copy of my current novel MONOGAMY TWIST! In that debut novel Luke and Rhia’s travel takes them from Yorkshire, England, to Rome, and to Brisbane, Australia as they solve their mystery!

Bye for now, Vonnie! It’s been lovely to visit. Wishing you all a lovely day dreaming of the far flung places that are out there waiting for you…or your characters!

Come fly with me….




MONOGAMY TWIST is available from:

The Wild Rose Press :   Barnes and Noble:

Link to YouTube Book Trailer for Monogamy Twist is:

TAKE ME NOW will be released by The Wild Rose Press on 3rd Aug. 2012. (Yippee!)


Nancy Jardine said...

Good morning, Vonnie...and everyone else! I'm about to embark, soon, on the last 160 miles of my trip this week to Holland. there's just that one last leg to get me back to Aberdeenshire. I'll check in again when I get back to my desk...

Kylie Frost said...

Nancy - wow! Those destinations are amazing. I've been to a lot of places and love to travel myself, but I've never been to Estonia and I think I've just put it on the top of my list. You've evoked the spirit beautifully with your words and chosen pictures. I'll venture a guess you've never been to an island in the caribbean.

Vonnie Davis said...

Nancy, thanks for being mygues today. I'm hoping you get home safely. Traveling opens your eyes to new and different cultures. I use my travels in the series I'm currently writing. The first book is set in Paris and a little seaside community along the Normandy coast. Book two is Paris and Budapest. And book three, the one I'm working on now, is set in Paris and Berlin. some of the places I've been to and others I haven't. Like you, I've researched for hours on the Internet.

Barbara Mountjoy said...

My guess is Estonia, the island in the Caribbean and New York, are the ones you haven't been to. My reason for choosing those has nothing to do with your writing, but more that images and text are readily available on the 'Net for research. All the destinations are fascinating!!

I have set most of my stories in familiar places like Pittsburgh, which aren't as fabulous as yours, but still have plenty of interest. My YA series will be different--it moves from Hong Kong to San Francisco and then across the country, so it's a little more exotic. :) Wonderful post!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Nancy, give me a hand lady as I do the same, travel and set my stories in the place I visited. Let's see among the settings you used I have visited Barcelona, Paris, the Caribbean, London. But I've never been to Estonia or Oman. Thank you for the armchair trip.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi, ladies. I'm now back at home and at my desk. Sorry, Kylie. It's lovely of you to pop in today but that's not the correct answer! Barbara-you're a bit closer... but not correct. I agree, though, that lots of info is available out there. Mona- thanks for popping in. There are so many destinations still to go to, aren't there? But for now my Dutch bulb-gazing trip is over (till I post some lovely pics on my blog)

Tara MacQueen said...

Wow such a great cover of quite a few destinations.

I do incorporate travel into my writing for places that are special in my heart.

Great blog!

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Tara. I always enjoy it when authors include even the merest hint of places unknown to me in their writing, and if I finish the book with a sense of the place, I get a good buzz about it.

Vonnie said...

Umm...Muscat and New York perhaps Nancy? Would those be the two you haven't made it to yet? The world is full of beautiful places and as I get older, I really REALLY want to see them all. Talk about a full bucket list. Great to see that settings matter to you. Read a few books lately where they skim over the setting and it takes until Chapter 2 to find out where we are.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi, Vonnie.You're again only partially right in hte answer. There are still so many places for me to see as well. Thanks for your visit and comments!

Nancy Jardine said...

*Waving goodbye* Vonnie! Thanks for hosting me on your blog. I've now got to do all that lovely laundering and emptyng of cases now...boring, but necessary...and get back to all that writing that got abandoned. Have a good day!