Monday, 15 April 2019

Travelling the Romantic Destinations of the World, One Book at a Time


by Stella Quinn

Photo Credit: Depositphotos
Hi, my name is Stella Quinn, romance writer and romance reader.

When I read romance, I want to escape the humdrum of work, drama and bills, and welcome the adventure of a book holiday. I especially love book holidays set in romantic destinations.

The South Pacific ... a vineyard in Italy ... or maybe a fictitious historic town set between mountain and lake where the people are adorable and the air smells like fresh-cooked cinnamon donuts ... and I don’t even need to check whether my passport’s expired before I jetset off.

Romantic destinations in fiction are such a treat to visit, but they are even more of a treat to write. Today I’m going to share with you two locations I’ve used recently.

Romantic Destination #1: Cathedral Springs, Upstate New York


Okay, I made this place up. But I made it up to be beautiful, as I am writing a small-town romance novel series set there. I needed historic buildings, snow-capped mountains, and a lake large enough to have an old paddle-steamer still operating on it as a tourist boat during the summer months. I needed grassy valleys where horse studs could be found, and I needed the sound of church bells ringing on Sundays. I needed an old-fashioned cinema, and a new coffee shop with a charming barista who made world-class coffee.

I used a map of Queenstown, in New Zealand, as my town and renamed the streets to suit myself. I googled “small town USA” images for inspiration. The picture at the head of this blog is how I imagine Cathedral Springs in my mind.

Sound like a nice place? Sounds like heaven to me. You can read about Cathedral Springs in my novella, The Umbrella Diaries, which was launched on April 9 by Literary Crush Publishing in the latest of their popular seasonal romance anthologies, April Showers, which you can find here.

Romantic Destination #2: The Australian Outback


Okay, I made this town up too, but I based it on pictures of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. And hey – I’ve seen Crocodile Dundee. I used a fictitious hiking trail in the outback as the setting for a short story called The Crocodile Track. This story needs a rugged, harsh landscape because the heroine, Lara, needs to go on a journey of redemption. She’s lost in life – and she needs to get lost in the outback before she can find who she wants to be by the time she reaches the end of the hiking track.

The Cockatoo Track is free to download for the month of April 2019 for everyone who subscribes to my mailing list – and the plus side is, then I can let you know when the next Cathedral Springs story is coming out (hush … it’s a secret ... but The Patchwork Project, a full-length romance novel starring cafĂ©-owner Vera and town vet Josh will (fingers crossed) be out before Christmas).

To join in and read The Cockatoo Track, click on this link.


Thanks for having me on the blog!

 I love to love ... gorgeous travel photos in Instagram.
I love to laugh ... with my kids about pop culture.
I love to learn ... crafty things, such as knitting cable-knit beanies. My bucket list project is to learn to crochet a retro owl tea cosy.


Have a great day!

Stella Quinn xx


12 comments:

  1. Hi Stella! I love to travel, not only in real life but also vicariously through the books I read. Whether it's a real place or one from the author's imagination, as long as that setting is vividly portrayed, I'm going to love it. I have April Showers sitting on my kindle ready to read at the first opportunity. Can't wait to read about Cathedral Springs.

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  2. Hi Marilyn, thank you for hosting me! I hope you enjoy our stories in the April Showers anthology. I'm supposed to be in editing mode, but I'm knee deep into a book set in a small Italian alpine village (the main character is a pioneer in the gelati industry ... back in the days when somoone traipsed up above the snowline to gather ice). Perhaps its the brutal summer we Queenslanders have just survived that has made reading about quaint alpine villages such a wonderful fictional escape.

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    1. That unknown person was me, Stella -- updated my profile, hopefully I am recognisable now ;)

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  3. Hi Stella, Thanks for joining us today on the blog. Loved your article. Good luck with April Showers!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, thank you, it's great to be here. I can't see April Showers selling statistics to see how it's doing (and the publisher hasn't shared those details yet) but there's a 5 star review up, so that is encouraging!

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  4. Welcome Stella. I love the sound of Cathedral Springs, even it if is made up. lol.

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    1. Hi Cassandra. Me too, I want to move there. In my work-in-progress the main character runs a cafe, so I've made sure she's employed a barista who understands the sanctity of the skinny flat white (he's Australian). Hmmm. Note to self. Must check there's smashed avo on the menu. And humming bird cake ... the current wip is set in summer to autumn, so I've yet to start describing autumn leaves falling, but I can't wait. There just HAS to be a scene set beneath a maple tree.

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  5. Hi Stella, enjoyed reading about your lovely locations! Always fun to know how authors come up with them. I've downloaded April Showers and also your freebie - thankyou! Looking forward to reading them.

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    1. Hi Miranda, thank you, hope you enjoy them xx I'm heading over to Queenstown (NZ) in a few months for a writing retreat, which is not quite North America, but the lake and snow-capped mountains will hopefully inspire some Cathedral Springs style creativity.

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  6. Thanks for being a guest on the blog Stella - I absolutely agree that there's nothing better than falling into a romance that whisks us away to beautiful locations - real or made up! Can't wait to read more about Cathedral Springs ;)

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  7. Thanks for sharing the way you create romantic settings with us, Stella. Cathedral Springs seems to capture so much of the beauty and wonder of some very special places on our planet.

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  8. Hi Stella. Aren't writers blessed in being able to bring to life fictional places. Your Cathedral Springs sounds lovely.

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