Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Kim! I've been keeping up with all your gorgeous photos from Zagreb and Warsaw, and I have to say I have a little bit of travel envy. The biggest trip on my radar right now is a ten-hour drive to Columbia, South Carolina, for Thanksgiving. (And with a four year old and a seven year old in tow, that hardly counts as a vacation, I say.)
I'm no stranger to international travel, but having young children has grounded us Stateside. I'm excited to introduce them to travel when they're a little older, but right now I don't think there's enough wine (for me) and fruit snacks (for them) to get us through a transatlantic (or even cross-country) flight.
Before kids my husband and I used to pick a week to take off from work and then wait until a few days before to decide where to go, literally picking whichever far-off location had a last-minute flight sale. It was a fun way to explore the world, and a few times we really lucked out, finding fares to places like Honduras and Belize. (Other times we didn't have the travel gods on our side and ended up in places like the Bahamas, Jamaica, and one very unfortunate trip to Cancun on what turned out to be college spring break. Not a great time for anyone on the north end of 20 who doesn't have a special affinity for Señor Frog.)
I miss that travel spontaneity, and my fond memories of exploring new places is part of what inspired Island House, which comes out Nov. 11. It's available now for preorder as an ebook or paperback from Dreamspinner Press.
I chose to set Island House on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands because it seemed to combine beautiful scenery with a hometown feel. I've never been to that part of the Caribbean, so I relied a lot on Google Images searches and travel sites to get the lay of the land. Niall Ahern is a British ex-pat who picks up and moves to Tortola after the death of his longtime partner. He'd hoped being on the island would help him move on, but four years later he's still mired in grief and the guilt, since he blames himself for Nolan's death.
Niall meets Ethan Bettencourt when Ethan comes to the island to buy a vacation home, and the attraction is instantaneous. Life intervenes, as it tends to do, and the two of them go their separate ways at the end of Ethan's stay. Later, Niall travels to Seattle to confront Ethan, and that was a deliberate setting on my part. It's a city I absolutely love to visit, so I got to take a bit of a virtual trip through some of my favorite places there while I was writing. (It backfired a bit, since instead of satisfying my travel urge it just underscored all the things I love about Seattle and made me even more itchy to visit again!)
Buy links for Island House:
Paperback (The first 20 readers who order the paperback will get a signed copy!) www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4365&cPath=707
Find an excerpt from Island House as well as excerpts from my other works on my website: www.bru-baker.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Bru_Baker