Christina Courtenay’s novel The Soft Whisper of Dreams (sequel to The Secret Kiss of Darkness) is now available in paperback. In this blog Christina talks stately homes and escaping to the country…
In The Soft Whisper of Dreams, the heroine Maddie travels to Devon to stay with friends, which sounds like a great way of getting away from all her worries. For me this was sort of wish-fulfillment as well since Maddie’s friends live in what I can only describe as a stately home and that would be my idea of a perfect getaway location (at least for shorter holidays – for longer ones I’d go to Japan)!
There’s something very special about stately homes and I feel very lucky to live in a country where there are hundreds (if not thousands?) of them. I can never enter one without starting to imagine scenarios from the past or daydream about owning such a house myself. It’s like being inside a fairy tale – all I’m missing is the silk gown and Prince Charming.
The house in The Soft Whisper of Dreams (and the prequel The Secret Kiss of Darkness) was based on several visits I made to Saltram House, which is just outside Plymouth in Devon. I’m not sure why this house in particular caught my imagination, but it’s definitely my favourite one so far. It’s very grand, but at the same time feels inviting and not overpowering somehow. The rooms are big, but not too big, with magnificent plaster ceilings, huge windows and gorgeous furniture. And the very best one is the library – my dream room! Lined with bookshelves full to bursting, comfortable chairs to sit and read in, plus several desks and a gaming table among other things, it’s the sort of room you just can’t resist.
Then all you need is the perfect hero – in this case Alex Marcombe, the archetypal ‘bad boy’ trying to reform himself. I think we’ve discussed ‘bad boys’ here before and I know some of you would find it hard to live with one, but to me that doesn’t spoil the attraction. There’s always the chance that you could be the one woman who can tame him and who can resist such a challenge? My heroine can’t anyway.
Find out more about The Soft Whisper of Dreams:
Christina’s Twitter: @PiaCCourtenay
Christina’s Website: Christina Courtenay
Christina’s Facebook: Christina Courtenay Author Page
The Soft Whisper of Dreams is available from all good book retailers: