Friday, June 30, 2017

A Venetian Love Story - Annie West of the special bonuses of being a writer is immersing myself every day in the location of my current story. For weeks or months I'll be spending my days in Greece, maybe at a private villa, or living in a modern executive apartment in a bustling, exciting city. Maybe I'll take up residence in a cute country cottage with roses around the door and with a brooding, enigmatic but terribly sexy neighbour... Every story, every location is incredibly real to me and it's such a treat if the action happens in a place I want to be, since I spend so much time (in my mind) there. One place I'd told myself for years that I'd write about was Venice. But still it's taken me an awfully long time to set a story there. Not because I was wary of it but because I didn't have the right story - till now. Right now I'm part way through a series of e-novellas - my HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS series, and for my current story, THE ITALIAN'S BOLD RECKONING, Venice was just the perfect setting.
What is it about Venice that appeals so much? It's a mix of things. Some of which you'd see if you opened a travel magazine or watched a documentary on the city. Other things come from the experience of the city itself. I've only been there in the cooler months so I associate Venice with mists and warm coats, with snow (yes, really!) with the glamour of Carnival and the glimpses into the shimmering, luxurious spaces frequented by the rich and famous. Here are just a couple of the things I enjoy about the city:

The fact there are quaint surprises everywhere, like this gorgeous ship I'd have missed if I weren't looking up at the lights.

The gondolas. I know, a bit of a cliche, but it really is tremendous fun sliding silently through the canals this way. You get such a different perspective from the water, and the quiet, away from the main thoroughfare, is so atmospheric.

Speaking of boats, I loved the luxury motorboats too. And the painted poles at the piers!

There's a hint of the sinister and of mystery in this old city. This is a slot used in days gone by for people to slip notes to the powers that be, denouncing citizens for plotting against the city. Brr.

Venice in party mode is lavish and fun and unlike anything else. I particularly like the handmade masks that are part of the Carnival tradition. A lot are shipped in cheaply from elsewhere now but there are still some places, like this, that make them by hand.

There's so much else to attract in this old city too. The art works. The food. The tiny little bars crammed into corners. The way the sun sparkles on the lagoon on a still, sunny day. The feeling of discovering new things at every turn.

Is there a place you find particularly fascinating? Somewhere beautiful or maybe intriguing or downright sinister? Somewhere that stands out as different from the rest?

I hope I've whetted your appetite for Venice and maybe even for a Venetian Love Story. Here's a taste of what THE ITALIAN'S BOLD RECKONING is about.

He’s lured her back. Will she take the bait?

He believed their passion could never fade. Yet it’s a year since Matteo De Laurentis lived with his gorgeous, talented, obstinate wife. Angela insists they’re mismatched, but Matteo refuses to give up the only woman he’ll ever love. Italy’s sexiest leading man is determined to get his wife back. By whatever means necessary.

Angela is desperate to avoid working on this film with the handsome, charismatic actor-turned-director who happens to be her estranged husband. It was a mistake ever to think she could hold her own in his glamorous world. But now she’s trapped in Venice, unable to escape the one man who turns her brain to mush and her body to a blaze of passion.

Is Matteo taking revenge to a whole new level, taunting her with everything she’s given up? Or is this seductive torture as difficult for him as it is for her? She can only pray he never discovers her secret weakness – that she’s still desperately in love with him.


Anna Campbell said...

Hi Annie! Hi Lee! Annie, what a fun post and I love those photos. How atmospheric. I've been to Venice twice - once in 1985 and once in 1995. I think I'm definitely due for a revisit, don't you? One of the things that immediately struck me was how lovely it was not to have that constant hum of cars in the background. At night, you can wander around and all you can hear is the lap of the water on the quays. Really makes you feel the past crowding around you. Wonderful stuff.

Good luck with the Italian's Bold Reckoning. What a fabulous cover!

Annie West said...

Yes, Anna, I agree. That silence adds to the atmosphere and the sense that you might just have entered a time warp, particularly if it's a misty night without lots of people! Love it!

Thanks for the good wishes for the latest book. I love the cover too - hoping others will too, enough at least to read the back cover copy!

dstoutholcomb said...

one of my brothers brought me a Carnival mask from Venice. he was visiting our brother who was stationed in Italy at the time.