Friday, 11 January 2013

The Joy of Travelling

I'm over at Shelley's blog today, talking about travelling. Come along and share your experiences :)


Thanks for inviting me to guest blog, Shelley. I’m thrilled to be on your lovely blog today.
I am a traveller, having been around the world, too many places to name. This time I’ve spent in London is the longest I’ve been without visiting new places, it’s nine and a half years since I boarded a plane to anyplace other than Ireland and Spain. But I have made a little family and home for myself, so I think you could say I was otherwise occupied.
The itchy feet have started though. For me, there is nothing more exceptional than boarding a flight to some unknown place. A mixture of nerves and excitement blend inside you and start pumping adrenaline the closer to your destination you get. I landed in so many cities, not knowing the language and fifty percent of the time, not even having a guide-book (a choice, rather than an oversight). It was extreme travelling LOL. I miss it. I miss the joy of waking up every day and not having a notion of what was going to happen, who I was going to meet, what I was going to see. So what’s a girl to do? Simple, write about the countries I’ve been to and let my imagination travel instead.
Pippa, my heroine in Romancing the Seas, is a girl after my own heart. She leaves London after a failed love affair with her boss and becomes head chef of a cruise ship touring around New Zealand. Her boss, the delectable Jonathon Eagleton is also aboard, doing some customer entertainment and the two have to share a suite together. Cue fireworks J. Again like me, she loves hiking or tramping as they call it in New Zealand. The two go hand in hand, don’t they? Travel to a new country, hike through it and then move on. It’s a great way to see a place. Pippa and Jonathon bump (!) into each other on a tramp, just as a storm is closing in:
Pippa tried to think straight, but it was hard with desire nipping at her. Why had he kissed her? More to the point, why apologise? He must regret it already. Whereas she had loved it. She had never been kissed so … so … masterfully before. And God, look what it had woken within her. How was she going to beat her attraction now? She should join Attractions Anonymous. Hi, my name is Pippa Renshaw and I am inexorably attracted to a man who doesn’t feel the same way.
He stared at her, an unreadable look on his face.
“It was unforgivable, actually, you’re right.” She forced herself to talk to him, anything to try to stop her awareness of him, of his full lips and his quirky smile and his hot body … dammit. “I don’t know what you thought you were doing. I mean, you are the CEO and all that. You should know better!” Lack of oxygen brought her rant to a halt just in time for an ominous rumble. The dark clouds rolled and multiplied by the second, and clashed into each other, cymbals in the sky.
“Come on.” Jonathon reached out to her as though to grab her by the arm but stopped just short of touching her. “We need to find shelter — if that storm hits us out here, we’ll be in trouble.” He turned and strode off, and Pippa trotted behind him.
“Are we heading for the trees? We’ll get some shelter there, at least.” She was puffing as she spoke, pulling her hood out from under her backpack.
“No, there’s a tramping hut here, tucked out of sight. I stayed there a few years ago. Quickly.”
A fat raindrop hit the ground beside Pippa, and another one to the front of her. The heavens opened, the loud shush of the downpour drowning out all other sound. Her visibility narrowed as sheets of grey water slanted to the ground, and she focused on Jonathon’s orange jacket ahead of her. Winds gusted around her, buffeting her sideways, and the weight of her backpack doubled as the water seeped through it. Rain laid siege to her from all angles, bouncing off the hard ground.
“Here.” Jonathon had to shout to make himself heard, and he reached out to grab her hand. “Stay with me.” He slowed his pace to hers, a solid anchor for her to cling to.
Cait O’Sullivan is a romance author with a love of words and magic, having had the good fortune to grow up in Ireland. The wanderlust in her blood sent her out to travel the world and now, residing in a leafy suburb of London, it is her thoughts and memories that journey far and wide in order to create her stories.

Also today, I'm talking at Crimon Romance about the beautiful promise of a shiny new year :)

19th Jan, edited to add:

Promises, promises…
☺ It’s that time of the year, isn’t it? Where promises land lightly upon you, whispering seductively in your ear. The old year is passing away, and the bright, shiny, sparkly one is just beginning. As I sit here typing on New Year’s Eve 2012, I almost shiver in anticipation. I love this time of year – not Christmas, (although I’m not a bah humbug kinda gal) – rather the New Year. It’s the time when you are allowed to think that anything and everything is possible. Out with the old, in with the new. Didn’t write that book/take that trip/become a nicer person (LOL)? Well that that was last year and this is now, 2013, and the year is so squeaky clean that you can believe you’ll keep it so by doing all the things you dream about. It’s almost like flirting, isn’t it? You know, when you meet an attractive man and you see a flicker of interest in their eyes, your heart picks up a pace and, before you know it, you’re the wittiest girl alive and he’s devouring you with his eyes. And it’s all to play for – your future, his future, maybe your future together. But heck, whatever happens, this is fun…pure and unadulterated. I think bringing in the New Year is like that – it’s all to play for.
Pippa, in my debut novel, Romancing the Seas (out now, woo hoo!) has it all to play for, having packed in her life in London for one in New Zealand – here, have a bit of a read:
There were several top-of-the-range treadmills and she chose one, slowly working her stride.
But her mind refused to let up. Why had she come out here to New Zealand? She should have stayed in London, working for Marcus. Okay, maybe she would have moved to a different restaurant, but even then she would have been surrounded by the familiar, not the unknown — and the downright scary. Now she was a prisoner of her own design: new country — heck, new continent — new job, new boss, no friends, and not even any space to call her own.
Pippa heaved a sigh, then took lots of little breaths to make up for her hard working lungs. Oh, who knows, maybe she had done the right thing. How could she have stayed in London after what Marcus had done? An up and coming celebrity chef, she had supported him all the way. Until his publicist had said to him, “Lose the sous chef; she’s too ordinary a look for you. You need an it girl on your arm, so all the paparazzi will be snapping you for the celebrity magazines.”
“Look, Pippa,” Marcus had pleaded. “Just give me a couple of years to get to the top of my career and then we can be together properly. We can still be together, but just keep our relationship under cover.”
Pippa had wanted to cry, but instead picked up her bag and walked out of the flat she had never quite moved into.
She had been right to leave. But whether she had been right to leave so drastically, swapping everything she had ever known for the unknown, was very questionable.
Her heart pounded rapidly and she pressed the treadmill button to lower the speed, concentrating on breathing deeply to slow her heart rate down. A light cough from the treadmill beside her nearly threw her off her treadmill in surprise.
Her new roomie.
In an attempt not to let the machine sweep her off, she pumped her legs and finally caught back up with the pace. Great. Glances at the monitor, proudly proclaiming a heart rate of 190, made her want to curl up and die. Mr. Eagleton, on the other hand, appeared very relaxed and loose limbed beside her as he lengthened into his pace, despite a faint sheen of sweat — clearly he had been in the gym for a while.

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