Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE ALLURE OF FOREIGN SHORES by Nicola Marsh

I’m an avid reader. I devour books; have ever since I was a kid.
I read widely, across genres and could happily spend a day/week/month curled up with my nose in a book. For me, part of the appeal of reading is getting engrossed in another world, being so absorbed in the characters’ lives that I’m almost there alongside them, laughing and crying and feeling their pain.
It’s sheer pleasure to be swept up in the fantasy as I turn the pages, eager to reach the end yet reluctant to do so because I love the story so much.

So what helps sweep me along?

The setting.

I’m a sucker for an exotic setting, a place that brings the book alive.

How many of you have read a book set in Paris and can see the Eiffel Tower? A Roman book with the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps? Venice with its charming waterways and gondolas? Mention a city in the world and someone will have an instant mental image of what that place is like.

That’s what I hoped to evoke with my Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award finalist for Best Harlequin Romance, A TRIP WITH THE TYCOON.

Set in India, I wove the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of this magical country through the book and by the feedback, readers loved it! Whether it wins or not (Lucy, you’re on the spot so we want instant updates please!) I hope I brought a little piece of India alive for those who delved into the book.

Do you have any favourite settings around the world?

I’m giving away a signed copy of this RT finalist book, A TRIP WITH THE TYCOON, to a commenter chosen at random.

Want to know more about where I set my books? Visit my website at www.nicolamarsh.com

Happy armchair travels!
Nicola

Nicola is a USA TODAY, Waldenbooks and Bookscan bestseller, has published 24 books with Harlequin Romance & Modern Heat/Presents series and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
A physiotherapist for 13 years, she gladly traded in manipulating patients’ backs for manipulating the intriguing characters she loves to create!
She blogs daily at http://www.nicolamarsh.blogspot.com and can be found networking on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace way too often!

Her upcoming releases are:

THREE TIMES A BRIDESMAID...(Harlequin Romance) UK May, USA June
OVERTIME IN THE BOSS'S BED (Harl. Modern Heat) UK May, USA June
DESERTED ISLAND, DREAMY EX! (Harlequin Romance) UK & USA September




56 comments:

ladybirdrobi said...

OMG your reasons for reading so match my own. I'm disabled with low back pain, ankle and knee arthritis as well as degenerating spinal arthritis.

So being sucked into the book is such a good thing whther it be a paranormal romance, erotica, fantasy, animal or even autobiographical genres. I've gotten to go so many places and be so many people but the two places I like the best so far I discovered in the 1980's. Anne McCaffrey's world of Pern where you bond with mighty dragons or firelizards and Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar where I could be chosen by a companion white magical horse who bonded with their riders and had mind magics and speech. Even back then three years after the fall down the outside basement steps that would start my years of pain as my constant companion those books would take me away for the very first time.

Robin S
Robbibird3@aol.com

Leni said...

When I started reading the European settings always got me and made me want to go to Europe. Now I'm loving just about everything western. I'm hooked and just love the description of the landscapes. I want to visit every spot I read about.

Katy M said...

I love Scotland, the Amazon, Ancient Rome and Greece, Africa, Australia, or "globetrotting" books that take you to several locations around the world. I also love books set in New England (US) where I live. I don't think I've read a book set in India, but I would love to :)

Jane said...

I love reading stories set in Vegas, San Francisco, the Mediterranean and Egypt.

nmulder81 said...

You know...Im not real particular in the setting. I think its all in how the writer sets the scene. I like my scenes to be set completely...but not so detailed that I get bored reading about it lol. Its a fine line with me. I like greenery..lush..whether that b in a jungle or in Scotland. I like cities, loud, noise. I like countrysides with the little flowers growing on the hillside. I like the ocean...the sounds of the waves hitting the rocks at the bottom of a cliff...I like it all!

Im loving the sound of your book...can't wait to read it!!

sonya said...

I read in all the geners and I love Historical Regency

Lucy Monroe said...

I'm a big fan of the JoAnn Ross school of thought - that setting can be a whole other character in the book. :) I adore foreign locales and really enjoy any book that I feel gives me a true taste of local flavor.

Thank you so much, Nicola, for taking the time to be a special guest author at the RAH Conference. ~ Hugs, Lucy

SiNn said...

your books are awesome

and i agree your reasons rock and match my own tho i have to say reading your work actuallym ake sme feel like im in the story which deff makes me feel awesome

Stephanie said...

I'm in the same situation as Ms. Robin. Books take me out of myself and away from my problems. So I like to globe trot past, present and future, but also let each genre show me something new.

Nicole S said...

Some settings I love when reading are Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Italy, Montana, and Texas.

I love reading because you can get to experience places you may never visit thro9uh the books. plus I'm a sucker for a good HEA.

etirv said...

Favorite setting is still England and Scotland! Not too keen on America because I live here!

Lillie said...

I'm a total sucker for books set in the Louisiana bayou. I've never been there myself, but the descriptions are always so great!

LDee said...

Nicola,
I don't give to much thought to the settings other than that they fit the characters. But, my mother did. As she got older her health declined. She was an avid reader of romance, especially category and told me that she felt like she through them she had the opportunity to travel.

Thanks we all need writers like you.
Lavada

Raonaid Luckwell said...

New Orleans, Scotland, and Ireland are favorite settings for me. Those three things are most key for me to picking up and buying it.

I have to agree with ladybird robi on the world of Valdemar. Myself I would rather be a shin'a'in or a hawkbrother first before a Herald. Hehe. Shows what a geek I am about it.

And then there is DnD/Forgotten Realms Faerûn that I would dearly love to live in.

Toni said...

I'm an avid reader too and I agree that the setting as well as the characters have to be believable but with just enough spice to sweep you away. I will have to add you to my growing list of new authors, at least to me, list.


Toni

Linda Henderson said...

I'm an armchair traveler too. I have sever RA and don't get out very much. I love traveling to exotic lands in the books I read. Some of my favorites are anywhere in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, Italy, France, and of course anywhere in the USA.

seriousreader at live dot com

Refhater said...

I don't really have a favorite setting for books. I read to escape my normal life. Especially during the LONG Michigan winters.

runner10 said...

I love to escape to a nice, tropical setting.
My favorite setting is Hawaii.

Lil said...

I actually don't have favorite settings. But I love feeling like I have stepped into a book and am taking a short holiday from the mundane.

Valerie said...

I love reading about places I might never get to experience in real life whether it's here on Earth or someone's imagined space frontier. I also love to read about places I know in a book. And sometimes, I love to read a book set in Arizona, where I live, and just love it when I can pick out exactly what location the author is describing.

I remember how fascinated I was by the Gettysburg Address in grade school. A few years ago I visited Gettysburg and stood in the exact same spot as Lincoln. As luck would have it, there was a huge anniversary re-enactment there at the same time and something like 25,000+ people were there at Gettysburg in full regale. It was amazing, astounding and inspiring!!! What an awesome experience to just happen upon! It was like a scene from a novel coming to life. :)

Melanie said...

I love books that are set in Europe but am not that picky as long as the book is good.

Bonnie said...

I think India and Bangkok Thailand could be fun places to visit from my armchair. Love learning about far away countries through books.

Rhea said...

Location, location, location! I love all the exciting locations in books. That is one of the things I look for, it all started when I grew up in a small town in Montana, I read travel books to learn about the world, before I was introduced to romances by my mom.

Leigh D'Ansey said...

India is a wonderful setting for a romance. Gorgeous colours, beautiful people, mystery and magic. And of course there's the Taj Mahal - what a testament to love and romance!

Judy F said...

I love wilderness locations best. Like being in the rockies etc. I have never been there but it seems so outdoorsey etc.

I also like tropical locations, hot nights, hotter characters.

erahime said...

When I first imagined myself being in a setting, like Regency London or medieval Scotland, I would feel the "magic"...then a thought follows. What about my modern necessities, like a toilet or, pardon the language, women's STUFF? And don't get me wrong about the sanitary issues.

Then I think about the modern cities and I sigh over the landmarks like Paris' Eiffel Tower and Rome's ancient ruins. Then the thought of safety, language barrier, etc. intrudes and I'm back to where I started: sitting on my bed with a book in my hands.

What would be the allure of far-off places when you have the best right now: the comfort of your fave spot. To me it's my bed, where I can lounge while I read.

However...

I will admit that the places that fantasty/sci-fi comes up with are very intriguing. And also, mythical places like Atlantis and the City of Gold, for examples, are catching my attention.

It is really nice when an author creates a world that you, as a reader, want to dive in and BE on the setting that the characters are at. That's what makes the allure of foreign places so much MORE.

I do hope you understand what I'm getting at. I'm just rabbling it out here, so hopefully there are no confusions to anyone reading my comment.

Sherry said...

I love books set in Texas and Montana. I really enjoy the outdoors in a book the wide open spaces.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Andrea Becraft said...

I love your books! I love how they are set in wide open country. And your characters are so down to earth,.

thanks for blogging with us!

Terri said...

I really like books set in Vegas, Montana, Texas, Europe, and the Med. Keep them coming. Have a great time at the convention.

amy said...

I love them all-lol. I think I have a soft spot for books set in Ireland, Scotland, Louisiana's Bayou or anywhere in the wilderness...but if it's a great story, then it doesn't matter.

But if it is a great story in a great location where you can really see and feel the setting, then that is an awesome book :) Now that you have me thinking about it, most of the books on my keeper shelf are books with great settings.

CherylS22 said...

I love books set in Italy - Venice, Florence, Rome, Tuscany. I also like to read books set in Ireland or Scotland.

Nancy G said...

I have always felt the setting was important to my enjoyment of a story. I like being able to travel, and with a limited budget, my visits are in my books.

flchen1 said...

How fun, Nicola! I've been reading since I can remember, too, and do love visiting different settings as I read. I can't say that I have a favorite though--it's exciting to get to explore so many different places without leaving my house ;) I guess I love the traveling rather than a specific destination!

red said...

I love reading Harlequin Presents books and the setting is one of the reasons. I just love reading about other countries and imagining I'm there.

I love stories set in Greece, especially an Island setting.
I also enjoy stories set in Italy.

Moran

donnas said...

I love reading about settings like Paris, places I havent been and can pretend to be. But I also love when they are set in cities I am familiar with. I lived in Chicago for a number of years and still love to read about it. Although it does make me miss it too.

Beth said...

Never noticed this before, but in thinking about your question, I realizes that most of my books(except the futuristic/sci-fi ones)fit this.
I don't have a specific country that I prefer, but I definitely prefer the more small town type setting. Or at least books that don't focus too strongly on the big city setting, that are more character driven than location oriented.

robynl said...

I enjoy Australia, Rome, Paris, the Canadian prairies.

Tamsyn said...

I love all kinds of settings, past, present and future, places all over the world. That's what is great about books - you get to experience a little the places where your pocket wouldn't let you go! even though it is via third person. Sadly, I see very few settings in Asia.

Eva S said...

My favorite settings are Scotland, and the Greek Islands, especially Santorini. Would love to go there someday....

Sue A. said...

With the HP line I've always enjoyed Greece as a setting. I've never been there, but I'd like to go there some day!

Dannyfiredragon said...

I love books set in the States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Carol L. said...

Scotland and Ireland and Italy. I love reading stories based on these countries.Hopefully I'll get to travel to these locations and enjoy them in person.
Carol L.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Nic, you dod the "setting" thing so well. It takes one to places they've never been before.

I just finished Liz Fielding's latest and it was set in Africa. I actually felt I was there along with the hero and heroine.

Nicola Marsh said...

With the time difference and running around with kids, I finally made it!

Thanks to everyone for your great comments, I've really enjoyed reading them all.

Juliet said...

I love unusual settings in the books and Egypt, India, Japan, Greece, etc are some of my favorites. India fascinates me, but I have found more movies than romance books located there and the are usually historicals, so yours sounds very apealing to me. :o)

Margay said...

England is a favorite because I tend to read a lot of Regencies, but I also love Greece.
Margay

CrystalGB said...

Some of my favorite settings are Scotland, England, Ireland, Australia, Greece, Sicily and Italy.

Maria said...

I love books set in Europe, pretty much anywhere in Europe. I also love books set in my hometown area (St.Louis)which may sound strange but sometimes it's just nice to get someone else's perspective on home.

LM's Drama Queen said...

What a great way to go on vacation, and so much more affordable in these harsh economic times. I love when I can pick up a book and taste the salty ocean air, or smell the fresh biscuits on the streets of France. It's a wonderful way to escape. Thanks for sharing that experience with us, Nicola!

XOX
~*DQ*~

Natasha A. said...

Oh wow, where to start....
First I love reading books set in Canada - cause that is where I am! Most books are set in the US, so it is always nice to see a change.

I really don't care where the book is set, as long as I can *see* it.

Lisa F. said...

One big lure for me in the Presents line is the location. It doesn't really matter where, but its always neat to read about different geographic areas that I know I'll never be able to visit.

I really like reading about romances set in the south since thats where I live.

WK said...

I love to read.

Not sure what else to say that hasn't been said.
WendyK

zina seawitch6464@yahoo.com said...

I love books set everywhere and anywhere, even space. I can see it all in my head just as if I were there watching it unfold. Books are my escape and I usually carry one at all times.
Zina

Kammie said...

I love to read stories in places I haven't been...which is most locations outside of the US. lol Venice and Scotland are two places that come to mind.

lrwirum said...

I love books set in Scotland but I will take anything at all. :-)

Larena

Joni said...

There's just something about an Italian and Greek man that draws me like no other and Harlequin Presents provides stories set in those countries. They make me want to know everything there is to know not just about those countries but the type of men that reside there other than the main character that's usually richer than Croesus. I love being sucked into a world far removed from my own and pretend reality doesn't exist if only for a short while. HP books give me that too...short enough to read it its entirety without having to set it down!