I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; Sign of the Times by Susan Buchanan, I love the sound of the book, the cover is super pretty and I can’t wait to share it with you all, plus I have an exclusive guest post; Using locations I’ve visited in my books, which is pretty darn good and not to be missed!
About the Book
Sign of the Times
Sagittarius – Travel writer Holly heads to Tuscany to research her next book, but when she meets Dario, she knows she’s in trouble. Can she resist temptation? And what do her mixed feelings mean for her future with her fiancé?
Gemini – Player Lucy likes to keep things interesting and has no qualms about being unfaithful to her long-term boyfriend. A cardiology conference to Switzerland changes Lucy, perhaps forever. Has she met her match, and is this feeling love?
Holly is the one who links the twelve signs. Are you ready to meet them all?
A tale of love, family, friendship and the lengths we go to in pursuit of our dreams.
Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/u/baGXYP
Any Purchase/Pre-order Links – https://books2read.com/u/baGXYP
Using locations I’ve visited in my books
Guest Post by Susan Buchanan
Sign of the Times, being my first book, and my most complicated (!) has a very special place in my heart, so it needed a very special physical place as its starting point. I’ve always loved Italy and everything Italian, apart from the traffic! And there’s a reason so many people go on about Tuscany, or write about it – it’s gorgeous. I’ve been to so many different parts, but I’d never been to the north-east before, and I was trying to book a holiday for myself and 7 friends, and because I knew Italy well, and spoke Italian, guess who had the job of finding somewhere and booking it?
It would be fair to say Bibbiena, a small town, although I’ve depicted it more as a village, as that’s the feel I had of it, is off the beaten track for most tourists. It’s not Florence, Siena or any of the big Tuscan names. I’ve been to those too, and loved them, but Bibbiena is the quintessential small Italian town, a leisurely pace of life, the put-put of a Vespa cutting through the animated chatter of a group of elderly gentlemen outside one of the local bars or simply sitting outside one of their homes, chewing the fat or playing chess.
One of my favourite memories of Bibbiena is us all walking back from the town one night up to the villa. We’d misjudged it a bit time-wise and it was rather dark. And that’s OK, but there were no street lights on the road up, and none of us had mobile phones with us. I know. Can you imagine such a time?! Anyway, the only light we had were the fireflies buzzing about in front of us lighting the way. I don’t think I’d ever seen fireflies before, and they were absolutely beautiful. Nature at its best. It really made you realise how cut off you were from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. One day I shall return!
Many people have commented on the locations in my books and how I seem to breathe them! It definitely does make a difference, I think, if you’ve been there and experienced it all. Otherwise, a whole lot of research is required. In Sign of the Times, I also wrote about a ski resort in Switzerland, which I’d never been to, and that was a lot more difficult to write about as I was superimposing my own ski trip to Austria on it, but having to take the details from Google and various tourist sites, sometimes not in English!
I am lucky that I have visited a lot of countries, 50-something, many of them several times. So I have a whole raft of locations to choose from for future books! However, I did use Barcelona, where I used to live, as one of the key locations in The Dating Game, and again, I received some lovely comments from readers about how well I depicted the area and brought it to life for them. I also think it’s important that you like the area! I have to say, my cousin has had to convince me to reconsider visiting Seoul in South Korea, as I really didn’t much to enjoy about it, albeit both trips were business ones. So I’d find it difficult to write with such emotion and bring to life somewhere like Seoul.
I have a half-written book which is partly set in Hong Kong, but I’ve discovered that one of my favourite places to write about is the Isle of Arran in Scotland. Funnily enough, that book starts off in Arran! I love Arran. It’s my go-to happy place in Scotland. I have a few, but it’s not called ‘Scotland in Miniature’ for no reason. So, expect books set in Arran in the future too! In fact, Arran makes an appearance in my Just One Day series as well.
When I write about places I know, I conjure up all those wonderful memories I have, and it makes me really happy, and I’d like to think I’m showing the reader an insider’s view of what makes that particular place so special.
I have plans to write, possibly in 2023, a book set in France. I haven’t been to France, apart from a business trip to Lyon about 10 years ago, since I visited the World Athletics Championships in Paris in 2003, so it’s opportune that I’m going on a writing retreat next month near Bordeaux. I’ll be getting my French books out, brushing up on the lingo and as I walk around the town, I’ll be actively trying to recall every detail, immerse myself in the language and customs, the sights, the sounds, the smells. Imagination is wonderful, but having a real-life bank of memories to call upon can provide the seed for a story, location or character.
About the Author
Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband, their two young children and a crazy Labrador called Benji. She has been reading since the age of four and had to get an adult library pass early as she had read the entire children’s section by the age of ten.
Susan writes contemporary fiction, often set in Scotland, usually featuring travel, food or Christmas. When not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, Susan loves reading (obviously), the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!
Social Media Links – Twitter –https://twitter.com/Susan_Buchanan
Facebook – www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/AuthorSusanBuchanan/
Website – www.susanbuchananauthor.com
Giveaway to Win Signed copies of Just One Day – Winter and Sign of the Times (UK Only)
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