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Choosing Greece as the setting for my new novel
So far, my fiction has taken readers to Kenya (Burning Embers), to Venice and Tuscany, Italy (The Echoes of Love), and to Andalucía, Spain (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy). In each of these novels, the setting is essential to the mood and the themes; it’s not just a backdrop that could be substituted for some other place, but an integral part of the story. So it is with my new novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, set in the Greek islands.
Greece has been on my ‘must write’ list for many years, because it is one of my favourite corners of the globe. I first fell in love with Greece through meeting Greek people. I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, at a time when it was a very cosmopolitan place, and many of my parents’ friends and my school friends were Greek. They were wonderfully warm and loyal people.
Of course, during my childhood I also became intrigued with Greece through the many stories of this land I was told – legends full of wit and wisdom, with a god or goddess for everything, from love to war to wine-making. I was so enthralled that my father gave me a book, a compilation of the best stories. I remember it as well-thumbed, with a cracking spine, and falling open on certain stories I loved: Persephone and Hades, King Midas and the golden touch, Theseus and the Minotaur – although the Minotaur illustration would frighten me. My governess read this book over and over to me, as did my parents, and I lived the stories in my imagination.
Then, in my early twenties it was time to spread my wings, and I travelled across Europe and spent time on the Greek mainland and the islands. I explored the Acropolis of Athens; I ate mezedes in little cafes; I went to festivals that were a whirl of dance and song. I met many Greek people, and was taken by their joie de vivre, their hospitality, their sentimentality.
I was so enchanted by Greece, and swept away by the romance of it all, that when I married my husband I not only had a Greek designer make my wedding dress but I honeymooned on the island of Santorini, where, like Oriel and Damian in my novel, I saw the most spectacular sunsets.
In the years since, I continued to visit the Greek islands, and to read the stories of Greek mythology, which really are more dramatic and romantic and complicated than any soap opera! Eventually, I had a head full of legends and of beautiful sights and experiences from Greece, and it was the most natural thing in the world to put pen to paper.
Aphrodite’s Tears, then, is the book I just had to write set in Greece, steeped with the history and traditions of this beautiful and fascinating country. I hope readers will enjoy visiting Greece through my story, and will fall in love with it as I did.
Aphrodite’s Tears by
In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?
Aphrodite’s Tears by . London Wall Publishing (January 25, 2018) ASIN: B076LPC1HP. 624p.
NOTE: The Kindle version will be available on Jan. 25; the print version not until April, 2018!
Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99.
About the author
Hannah Fielding was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, the granddaughter of Esther Fanous, a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s. Upon graduating with a BA in French literature from Alexandria University, she travelled extensively throughout Europe and lived in Switzerland, France and England. After marrying her English husband, she settled in Kent and subsequently had little time for writing while bringing up two children, and running her own business renovating rundown cottages.Hannah now divides her time between her homes in Kent and the South of France. She has written five previous novels, beginning with Burning Embers.
Hannah’s books have won various awards, including Best Romance for Indiscretion at the USA Best Book Awards. She has also won Gold Medal for romance at the Independent Publisher Book Awards (The Echoes of Love), and Gold and Silver Medals for romance at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards (Indiscretion and Masquerade).