By: Jane O'Reilly
Where do you want to go today?
Setting is a really important part of a story. It can influence the plot and the characters, and sometimes it can almost take on a life of its own. Where would a billionaire playboy be without his yacht and his penthouse? Where would a sports hero be without his weights room and his mansion?
In my latest novella, I chose a pretty unusual setting. The hero of this book, Nathan Wilde, is something of a loner, spending his time running survival courses in the wilds of Sweden. There is lots of snow. There are also wolves and the occasional moose. It suits this particular character to be there – it is somewhere very inhospitable, where he can spend most of his time avoiding human contact. Somewhere that most people would choose to avoid. Certainly not somewhere the average person would choose to go on holiday (which I guess makes the heroine, Erica Parker, slightly left of average).
I chose this setting because I wanted to write a winter themed story, but I didn’t want a chalet, or lots of après ski, and I didn’t want to strand my hero and heroine together in a remote cottage somewhere. What I really wanted to do was set a story in the Ice Hotel, a place that is high on my bucket list of places to visit (if only I wasn’t allergic to flying and snow).
This astonishing building is made completely from scratch every winter. And at the end of every winter, it simply melts back into the ground. From December to April, you can visit the Ice Hotel and see the rooms, many of which are created by highly skilled artists, knowing that their creations are temporary. If you’re brave enough, you can stay there overnight, as the heroine of my book does. Nature adds her own special touch to the landscape, in the form of the Northern Lights. There is something very magical about knowing that all the work will be gone after just a few short months, and the acceptance of change that it implies, something that both Erica and Nathan have learned to accept by the end of the story.
If you want to know more about the Ice Hotel, or just marvel at the artwork, you can find some wonderful pictures on their website here: www.icehotel.com
The Holiday Survival Guide
Witty, clever, and sharp. It's going to be the holiday from hell...and that's just how Erica wants it.
When tabloid journalist Erica Parker is forced to take a holiday, she's determined to make it the most miserable holiday she possibly can, but not even her impressive imaginative powers could have come up with sharing a tent with survival expert Nathan Wilde.
Nathan was a married man with a successful TV show before Erica got to work on his life. Now the hottest man she’s ever met is single, furious, and he’s got her alone in the wilderness for three long days…
Escape Publishing site (links to all retailers): http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991126
Jane O’Reilly started writing as an antidote to kids’ TV when her youngest child was a baby. Her first novel was set in her old school and involved a ghost and lots of death. It’s unpublished, which is probably for the best. Then she wrote a romance, and that, as they say, was that. She lives near London with her husband and two children. Find her at www.janeoreilly.com, where you can sign up for her mailing list and receive an exclusive short story for free. Or find her on Twitter as @janeoreilly and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/janeoreillyauthor
Jane will be giving away a copy of THE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE to one person leaving a comment or email entry.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Feb. 7th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.