Posts Tagged ‘exotic destinations’

Travel Destinations – Alison May

Everyone has a favourite place in the world or memories of their best ever holiday and here on the blog I’m continuing to celebrate the e-book publication of my new novel, The Jade Lioness, by asking some of my fellow authors to tell me what their favourite exotic (or not so exotic?) travel destinations are and to recount some of their travel tales (good or bad!). Today I have Alison May with me and she has a truly magical place in mind:-

Alison whalePicking my favourite exotic location was tricky. I’m a seaside girl at heart, and as soon as I started thinking about it I was torn between two gorgeous bits of coastline –Kaiteriteri in New Zealand and Kaanapali on Maui. Now I get that that last sentence is the most horrid humble-brag imaginable so let me make clear that I haven’t spent hours narrowing it down to those two from the vast array of exotic places I’ve been too; it’s the fact that I’ve only been to two exotic places that’s making it tough to choose.

Kaiteriteri is the place I most associate with the first big holiday I ever took with my beloved EngineerBoy. We rented a camper van and drove around the South Island of New Zealand. We spent two nights at Kaiteriteri’s camping ground right next to the beach, where there was a sandwich bar that did cheese and ham toasties. I’m not sure if it’s possible to achieve a higher level of contentment than sitting watching the sea eating a cheese and ham toasty. Unfortunately though cheese and ham toasties definitely don’t count as glamourous and exotic so Kaiteriteri is, regretfully, relegated to second place, and my favourite exotic location is Maui.

At the risk of coming over all ‘holiday brochure’ about it, Maui is incredible. It’s the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and along with its Hawaiian Island buddies, forms a tiny speck of land in the middle of the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a weird cultural mix of American, Polynesian, and something completely unique. The beaches are incredible. The wildlife is incredible. The whole atmosphere is incredible. But none of these are my reason for picking Maui as my favourite exotic location. My reason is simple: Maui is magic.

Now you’re going to have to bear with me here, because I don’t mean ‘magic’ in the sense of ‘romantic, beautiful, inspiring.’ I mean actually magic. And I have evidence. While we were in Hawaii, EngineerBoy and I got a teensy bit fixated on wanting to see a whale breaching. A breach is when the whale ‘jumps’ out of the water. During our holiday we went out on whale-watching trips and snorkelling boats, and we saw lots of whales. We saw whales up close to the boats, and in the distance from the beach and the cliffs, but by the final day we still hadn’t seen a proper breach. On the drive back to the airport we stopped for a few minutes at a viewing point on top of the cliff. We had no time left. There was a plane to catch and a home and jobs to get back to, but we both had that end of holiday ‘Why can’t we just stay here forever?’ feeling. I stuck out my bottom lip, leaned on the barrier and announced that I wasn’t moving from that spot until I’d seen a whale breach. And one did. Right in front of us. Right at that moment – the thing we’d been waiting for appeared on demand at the last possible second. And so there you go. Maui – it’s actually magic. Either that or the whale thing was just a coincidence, but I’m going to go with the ‘magic’ explanation. It’s much much more exciting.

Wow, that sounds wonderful, Alison – thank you for sharing!

Alison coverAlison is a novelist and short story writer, who grew up in North Yorkshire and now lives with her husband in Worcester.  Her contemporary romantic comedies, including Sweet Nothing, Holly’s Christmas Kiss, and Cora’s Christmas Kiss, are published by Choc Lit.  Alison is also a qualified teacher with a degree in Creative Writing, and teaches novel writing workshops and courses. You can find out more about Alison at or on Twitter @MsAlisonMay

Alison author picAlison’s latest book, Midsummer Dreams¸ is available for Kindle pre-order now.



About Midsummer Dreams:-

Four people. Four messy lives. One night that changes everything …
Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect. 

Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself. 
Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers. 
Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach. 
At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice might not always be the right one.

Please come back tomorrow to hear about Georgia Hill’s slightly scarier adventures!


Travel Destinations – Sue Moorcroft

Continuing the celebrations here on the blog for the e-book publication of my new novel The Jade Lioness, I’ve asked some of my fellow authors to tell me what their favourite exotic (or not so exotic?) travel destinations are and to recount some of their travel tales (good or bad!). Today Sue Moorcroft is here to tell us about hers:-

Sue picI’m not sure that Malta qualifies for the ‘exotic’ label but as it’s my favourite place, and not in the UK, I’m going to choose it.

When my family moved permanently to the UK, I had spent more than half my eight and a half years in Malta. The flat-topped limestone buildings, prickly pears, bougainvillea, blue Mediterranean, old-fashioned buses; these were the familiar landscape. Moving ‘home’ to London in January was a horrible shock!

One of our army quarters was a top-floor flat overlooking the Ta ’Xbiex Yacht Marina. We kids had a lot of freedom to explore the marina, cross the bridge to Manoel Island, or run around the surrounding fields (now built upon), but I also remember watching the boats from our balcony. It never occurred to me that one day I’d set a book in the marina – especially as I firmly believe that boats are best admired from the shore – but once I’d decided to send Lucas and Elle to Malta in The Wedding Proposal, nothing else would do but to moor the boat they live on, The Shady Lady, in Ta ’Xbiex.

The research, of course, was a particular pleasure. My favourite moment was asking a fisherman how deep the marina was at the point where he was fishing. He reversed his rod, plunged it into the water, withdrew it to display the wet section, and said, ‘That deep.’

Sue coverI wish I could have written some of The Wedding Proposal while in Malta. It wouldn’t have been from ‘our’ flat (apparently a hairdresser named Adrian now lives there), but there are hotels. I could have got close enough. Maybe next time.

Thank you, Sue, and I think Malta sounds very exotic indeed!

Sue writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards. Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.

Sue author picSue also writes short stories, serials, courses and writing ‘how to’.

Sue’s latest book (set in Malta) is: The Wedding Proposal




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