Who better to be my first guest blogger of 2015, than the writer of one of the post popular guest posts of 2014! Please welcome Alice Raine, back to my site!
Over to you Alice…
Firstly, a big, huge, enormous thanks to my host today, the lovely, Kay x
For this blog I thought I’d do a behind the scenes tour of the areas where my current series of books ‘Untwisted’ is set. This post will focus on the settings of book 1, The Darkness Within Him, but if you like it and request more then I’ll happily return and take you around the settings for the others books in the series too. I hope it makes for an enjoyable read and gives you a bit more of an insight into both the series, and me.
I’m a London girl, not an ‘apples and pears’ Cockney rhyming slang kind of Londoner, but a Londoner none then less, and so it just seemed natural to set my first series of books in my beloved hometown. What I’ll aim to do in the next few paragraphs is give you a fly by the seat of your pants tour of the main locations and briefly explain my reasons for choosing them.
Let’s start where all good stories do, with a sexy scene… oh, er, sorry, I mean at the beginning…
Our female lead, Rebecca Langley, lives in Camden Town, London. Why Camden Town? I hear you cry, well its simple, I just love the area. As a young teenager I spent many a good day walking the canals or roaming around the markets buying t-dye t-shirts, incense sticks and Doc Martin boots (yes, I was a hippy wannabe, possibly still am), and as I aged these days evolved to finish up in one of the various bars and pubs.
I know the backstreets, canal sides and markets off by heart, so it’s a familiar and friendly location for me which makes it perfect writing fodder. Camden is always full of fascinating sights, crammed with people and buzzing with energy, it’s this eclectic nature that I love; anyone from any background can go to Camden and feel like they fit in.
I’ve always thought I’d rather like to live there myself, but never had the chance, so when putting together ‘The Darkness Within Him’ I decided my character Rebecca could have the pleasure for me. I set her up in a little flat near the canal, just past the markets and the infamous Camden railway bridge. Rebecca’s bookshop ‘The Camden book Emporium’ is at the other end of Camden, near the tube station.
The first skin tingling, panty soaking meeting between Rebecca and our devilishly handsome male lead, Nicholas Jackson, takes place at the London Palladium theatre where he plays a piano concert for charity. Obviously I was spoilt for choice when choosing which theatre to use because London literally has hundreds of them. As I searched through theatre listings it seemed logical to select somewhere I could describe first hand, and seeing as I’ve been to the London Palladium several times it immediately sprang to mind. I liked the fact that it’s one of the oldest and most recognisable venues in town, and given the list of celebrities who have acted, sung and performed on the stage there it is arguably the most famous theatre in London too, so seemed a perfect choice.
So, the part that all the female readers really want to know about – the location of Nicholas Jackson’s home. After quite a bit of indecision I chose Primrose Hill for Nicholas’ house. The name Primrose Hill technically refers to the 256ft high hill that sits in the centre of the district just to the North of Regents Park in London, but the name also extends to the surrounding district in which Nicholas lives.
It’s a truly beautiful area of London, central and convenient, but with the park, café culture and general opulence it also has a sort of village feel to it that suit’s Nicholas’ contained persona perfectly. Conveniently it still falls in the London Borough of Camden, and seeing as Rebecca doesn’t have a car this is ideal because she can walk to Nicholas’s house in about twenty minutes.
Nicholas is rather well heeled, not a snob as such, but through his piano playing he’s made himself a lot of money and isn’t afraid to spend it. Now with that in mind, I want you to take a second to think of Nicholas in your mind … tall, dark and handsome (yes, yes, clichéd I know, but true!) with blue eyes so intense that you’ll struggle to tear your gaze away. He’ll be in a suit of course, well-tailored and pulling taut across his broad shoulders as he walks down a tree lined street passing small boutique cafes and independent restaurants, perhaps stopping to buy a newspaper and a coffee on the way. The image suits him perfectly doesn’t it? I thought so too, and so this is why I chose Primrose Hill for his house.
Nicholas’s beautiful townhouse becomes the base for the majority of the meetings between himself and Rebecca as he begins to give her weekly piano lessons. Put a keen, experimental girl in a private music room with a handsome, rich, sexy and ridiculously skilled pianist and as you can imagine, that’s where all the fun really begins!
If you’d like to see some images of these locations, and other visuals that inspired me whilst writing this series, then please check out my Pintrest page – http://uk.pinterest.com/alice3083/
Books 1,2 & 3 of the Untwisted series are available now, with the final instalment due early next year. (Reading order: 1.The Darkness Within Him 2. Out of the Darkness 3. Into the Light 4. Enlightened) http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Alice+Raine
Thanks again to Kay for having me!
Small exert from ‘The Darkness Within Him’.
Unbeknown to me, Nicholas had moved to stand behind me, and as I completed the song, he placed a hand lightly on the centre of my back. As ridiculous as it sounds, I couldn’t help but gasp as the heat from his palm seemed to sear my skin and simultaneously froze me to the spot. Very slowly, he used one finger to trail a path up my spine before resting his hand on the nape of my neck and seeming to rip the breath from my body as he did so. Involuntarily, I shuddered from the intense pleasure of his contact, still slightly shocked that he was touching me at all. Shooting sparks danced across my skin, causing me to jab the piano keys clumsily and make an awful racket. Unfortunately it ruined the otherwise successful piece and made me look incredibly foolish to boot.
‘Am I mistaken, Rebecca, or do you feel it too?’ Nicholas asked in a silken tone as he lowered himself to sit on the piano stool next to me, heat positively radiating from his body. Or perhaps the heat was coming from me, things felt so surreal that I couldn’t quite tell.
Part of me wanted to play dumb and say, ‘Feel what too?’ but even though I’d tried to tell myself he didn’t like me, I wasn’t entirely naïve. The tension between us these past few weeks had grown to the point where it was almost palpable; besides, I was dreadful at seduction so I simply nodded shyly.
‘Say it,’ he instructed, his thumb doing disastrous things to my equilibrium by rubbing a small circle on the nape of my neck.
‘I feel it too, Nicholas.’ I had dropped my eyes out of embarrassment, but immediately felt his hand stop circling and grip my shoulder tighter, till it was almost painful.
‘Look at me,’ he ordered, and instinctively I did. I really should be remembering his obsession with eye contact by now; he’d reminded me of it enough times. ‘Wayward and fiery one minute, yet so obedient the next,’ Nicholas mused out loud, seemingly talking to himself. But I scoffed internally at his comment, I was confident yes, headstrong even on occasions, but wayward and fiery? Hardly – especially not when I was in his domineering presence.
Book 1, The Darkness Within Him: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Darkness-Within-Him-Untwisted-ebook/dp/B00LO3RLMC
(Also available via Amazon.com)
Thanks Alice- great blog!
Happy reading everyone,