, I've got an early Christmas present for y'all today. A free armchair tour of Amsterdam, a city I long to see. Although Calvin stayed there for a short while in his younger years, I've never had the pleasure. But today my Scottish friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Nancy Jardine, is taking us on a short tour of a city she loves, just as I love Paris. She's brought along a couple pictures from her trip to Amsterdam in April to share. And she's also brought along another gift, a copy of her latest release to award to one lucky commenter. So don't wander off...
There’s a *GIVEAWAY* e-copy of Topaz Eyes going to one lucky commenter today, so read on to find out how it could be you!
do I love about
I have an empathy with
that has been acquired through many
short visits, and a longer residence of three years. The fact that my two
daughters were born in Holland Holland has significant
impact on my feelings for the country, though I have no family connections in at all. My
reasons for being there were similar to many others-my husband’s job was there
for a while. It is relevant, though, that friendships made some time ago can
give the basis for writing ideas at a later date. I wonder if the readers of Topaz
Eyes would be able to work out what I have included in the novel that
was, in fact, true for us as a family? Holland
I always feel familiar with
when I return,
even though my residence there ended some thirty years ago. I love all its
cities for many different reasons, their quaintness and style a visual delight.
They do say a writer should write what they know, so it was inevitable that I
should include Holland
in one of my novels. Holland
Teun Zeger and Keira Drummond, in Topaz Eyes, have some very exciting moments in Amsterdam- a city of exciting streets and waterways. The canal system is extensive, the sizes of the canals determining their Dutch name. The canal that features in Topaz Eyes is part of the main Amsterdam canals system, the ‘grachts’ being wider waterways, forming the concentric rings around the old city centre.
The main streets of
throng with visitors and locals
alike, the tall narrow buildings jostling with each other for space. Some of
the quaint buildings seem lopsided, as though leaning against the next one, and
in fact they are since in some cases the foundations are sinking. The
architectural styles do vary a lot even though the general appearance might
initially seem common. The roof tops and gables are fascinating to view, as are
the painted hues of the brickwork. Amsterdam
Tourist venues are numerous and seem to be on every corner of the old city centre, which is quite extensive. A good tramp around is often easier than finding places by taxi or car, since traffic can slow the process down a great deal- though the cobbles are hell on the feet. A good pair of well-fitting Dutch wooden clogs can solve that problem, of course! How does the heavy traffic affect Teun and Keira? Sorry… you’ll just have to read Topaz Eyes to find out. The museums are plentiful- the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh being larger venues, though there are many other small ones including Anne Franks House which I’ve visited on a few occasions. It’s a place that can affect one very greatly and well worth the usual lengthy queuing to visit. Years ago, I wandered around the museums many times with a baby in a sling, and later with the elder in a stroller, and never saw everything that was on offer.
Of course if you’re so inclined there’s also the Red Light district that draws plentiful tourist traffic, day and night. And there’s the long pedestrianised shopping street- Kalverstraat- that has shops selling everything you can imagine. Kalverstraat also features a little in Topaz Eyes. There’s wonderful food on offer…and funnily enough that has popped into my Topaz Eyes as well! I’ve devoted another whole blog to the writing of that part of the novel, since it involved a situation that writers need to beware of. (Again check my blog for that particular BEWARE post.)
I hope my little taste of
has whetted your appetite. It’s
such vibrant city that a visit at any time of day, any time of the year, to the
central areas is quite fantastic. Amsterdam
Thank you so much for allowing me to be here today, Vonnie. I loved writing about Amsterdam and hope your readers enjoyed their mini-trip to this lovely city, too.
What details can you add about
It can be anything, so long as your answer includes the word Amsterdam ! Amsterdam
Please leave your answer in the comment box, and your email address, to be entered into the draw for an e-copy of TOPAZ EYES. (Draw will take place on 14th December)
Topaz Eyes Blurb:
A peculiar invitation to
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to
and ? Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a
Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.
“Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
“Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the
with you. Keira had no such
suggestion made to her.” USA
Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
“All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”
An ex-primary teacher, Nancy Jardine, lives in the fabulous castle country of Aberdeenshire –
. Her husband mans the
kitchen, her offspring only an hour’s drive away. When time permits, ancestry
research is an intermittent hobby. Neglecting her large garden in favour of
writing, she now grows spectacularly giant thistles. Activity weekends with her
extended family are prized since they give her great fodder for new writing. Scotland
A lover of history, it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.
Author and buy details: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com http://facebook.com/nancy.jardine.56 Twitter @nansjar
Topaz Eyes is available in e-book formats and print from amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Topaz-Eyes-Nancy-Jardine/dp/1908910585/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1 and e-book formats from www.crookedcatbooks.com
Book trailer Youtube video for Topaz Eyes can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgPf5kTAyi4&feature=channel&list=UL
Other books by Nancy Jardine can be seen on amazon.com http://amzn.to/wwaGCv