Thursday, December 27, 2012

I travel, I photograph! Someone must USE all that info in a novel, right?

This year in the spring I go to eastern France for 2 weeks. Want to come along?
Yes, I am not merely dining and drinking champagne and spatlese, I am WORKING IT, baby! Doing research is such a tough job, but someone simply must, eh? This research becomes a series set in France in 13th century.
Here are a few of my pix from travels past and how I have used the info.

(All pictures property of Cerise DeLand, no use without permission.)

 I give you a tidbit I learned about the place, the photo or how I used it in a story!
Classical sculpture, trip to Greece with hubbie in 2009: This came from the museum at Olympia where athletes trained and smaller versions of the games were held. Here was a training ground for Olympiads with a description of the rigorous diet and exercise. What did I take away? AH. That being an athlete, even then, required an enormous commitment of time and energy.
For me?
Not so much. I used to do 5K races. Now I work out in a gym! And do hip hop class!
Enuf already!

Fresh Fish and Jambon from La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain: This was a real treat! Notice the prices on the ham. YIKES! This ham is special coming from pigs who are fed acorns. Very pricey. What did I get out of this? Look for #4 in Desiree Holt and my NEMESIS series, UNTIL NOON, romantic thrillers that are selling like MAD!

East door, Door of Birth
Door of Death, West door.
From the same trip come the pix of SAGRADA FAMILIA, Sacred Family Cathedral. Note the “dripping architecture” of the East Door, or Door of Birth, and the contrast of the West Door, Door of  Death/Crucifixion which is very stark and rigid. I give you the very dolorous and ironic sculpture of Judas Kissing Christ.
Entrance to Cathedral of Montserrat
Atop mountain of Montserrat Monastery, looking toward Barcelona.
Interior of Montserrat Cathedral, gold brought from New World by missionairies in 14-16th centuries!
In UNTIL NOON, we set a murder in the nearby town of Montserrat on a cliff near a famous 1000 year old monastery.

Doge’s Palace, Venice: What a marvelous place Venice is! I long to return. From this trip, I got the background of CARRIED AWAY, my romantic suspense set there in that wonderful city. I’ve done a lot of travel in Mexico, too, where LAID BARE is set, the first in the Irresistible Forces series along with CARRIED AWAY. 

I love to cook and my husband is my terrific sommelier. We go to Napa often and this pix of the Mondavi Wine cellar is one of my faves! Wine and champagne make big appearances in my books. 
Prosecco, anyone? Yum.
For a taste of my own cooking, wine and love for Italy and Italian men, try MIA Dolce!

The Street Scene of Pompeii makes my mouth water to return. When I did my master’s degree, I took quite a few courses in ancient civilizations. This pix makes me wish there were 48 hours in a day so that I could write romances set in Pompeii!

And the picture of the Texas Cypress trees is dear to me. I live here in the Hill Country and these beauties are a joy to see surviving, especially in a very dry climate. My new series for EC, Knights in Black Leather, begins with ROPE ME IN and TIE ME DOWN, then continues with STEAL ME AWAY, a historical about the Comanche who stole white women from their families. This is due out soon.

And where am I going next? My big trip this year will be to Paris (again!) and eastern France. What will I do there? Drink champagne. Eat truffles. And just for crazy self-promo, do try my Regency LADY STARLING’s STOCKINGS.
Come visit me for all my books at http://www.cerisedeland.com


Tina Donahue said...

Oh wow - how I envy you. Those photos have given me cabin fever. I am drooling.

jean hart stewart said...

wonderful photographs, and excellent quality. They are certainly worthy of any travel book. Incidentally had a lot of trouble bringing up this comment form..Loved the blog.