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Monday, March 13, 2017

ARMCHAIR TRAVELLING by Luanna Stewart


MUSE MONDAY
I love traveling of all kinds. Please welcome my guest, Luanna, for a little traveling talk. And be sure to read to the end to be eligible for a hand knitted wash cloth and soap. Cool!

Thank you, Brenda, for inviting me to visit with your readers.

A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart's desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

I’ve always been an armchair traveller. One of the reasons I love reading is for the chance to escape to another land. From thrillers set in the crowded streets of London, to cosy mysteries in a quaint Cotswold village, I enjoy the setting descriptions as much as I do the plot. Romance novels offer a similar travel experience whether it’s a contemporary or an historical. 

When writing my own stories I try to deliver that same sense of place to my readers. My contemporary stories take place in towns and villages with which I’m at least familiar if not actually where I live. Sure, I might change a street name here or a store location there but the basic feel of the place remains true because I’ve walked that street and I’ve visited that store. 

Writing an historical romance with the same sense of place is a little trickier since I’ve yet to purchase a time travel machine. And that’s where maps and research come into play. I love Google Maps and can play on that site for hours. The best parts for me are the Earth view and the zoom feature. My historical stories are set in Victorian England in the early 1880’s. Once I determined I wanted to place my latest release, If Wishes Were Earls, in Cornwall, I pulled up Google Maps and started roaming. When I found a likely location I furthered my research by zooming in to discover if the basic structure of the area – roads, rivers, forests, etc. – would fit my story. Keep in mind that I write fiction so I can be forgiven if I add a manor house that has never existed in the area. To further check historical accuracy I log onto the National Library of Scotland website which has a vast online collection of historical maps. This allows me to verify that yes, there was a bridge over that river in the year my story takes place. And yes, the rail service did extend only as far as a nearby town, thus necessitating the hiring of a cart and driver. 

Until I can afford my own time travel machine, maps, current and historical, allow me to walk along with my characters. 

Do you enjoy armchair travelling? Do you have a favourite location you’ve experienced through reading a novel? 

One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)
If Wishes Were Earls
When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart's desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda's wish doesn't seem so out of reach. 
Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave. 
But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.




Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart
 


12 comments:

  1. Good morning, Brenda and all your readers! I can't wait to hear where everyone has travelled via the armchair.

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    1. It's great to have you here. You're the top post for a few more days so more readers can enjoy your post.

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  2. I believe Sheldon, on Big Bang Theory, has a time machine for sale, since Leonard wants it out of the apartment :-) As Luanna's critique partner, I was privileged to read the first few chapters of this story. And then Luanna left me hanging. So I was so excited to see the book pop up on my Kindle in the middle of the night. I love the preorder button - it's like Happy Birthday every time I get a new book. I know you'll enjoy this one with its feisty heroine and mysterious and handsome hero. I'm waiting in anticipation to delve into this book tonight, to see what happens next! Enjoy!!!!

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  3. Gosh, thanks Deb!! I hope you like how I made them completely miserable before they got their HEA, hehe.

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  4. Luanne, I'm huge fan of Google Maps, too. I use it in my own writing to get as close to factual as possible. I write contemporary which is much easier than historical, in my minds eye. I love reading to escape to another place. Wishing you success in your latest release!

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    1. Hi Jody, I use maps when I write contemporary stories as well. And with the street view I can imagine myself sitting in that cafe, or window shopping in that store. Lots of fun! Thank for stopping by.

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  5. I sometimes wish I had a time machine too, because I enjoy armchair and real traveling. Just one-clicked my purchase of If Wishes Were Earls!

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    1. Ooh, thank you, Susan! I'd love to travel for real today, but this storm has canceled most flights. So I'll have to curl up with a book and travel in my imagination.

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  6. Lulu, you will be travelling up to Nova Scotia, Canada in a month's time, no time machine required! and it will be lovely to see you!

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    1. LOL, everyone, meet my Mum! And yes, no time machine required to travel to NS, though when staying at your summer house it often feels like I've gone back in time (built in the 1800's, and to prove it, none of the doors close, hehe).

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  7. And now it's time to pick a winner. *drum roll* And the winner is...Susan Vaughan!!! Susan, please contact me at luannastewart@gmail.com so I can arrange delivery of your prize. Thank you to everyone who stopped by. And thanks again, Brenda, for inviting me to be a guest on your blol.

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    1. Congratulations, Susan. Thank you so much for being my guest, Luanna.

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