Tag Archives: Odyssey

First there’s the getting there…

29 Sep

Je suis très fatigué.

My Paris neighbourhood

My Paris neighbourhood

The first (and last) time I travelled alone to Paris, I was more than a decade younger and a thousand years less tired. I’d plotted out my first days of pre-conference playtime in 15 minute intervals, determined to see every single thing in case I never returned.

As it transpired, I returned again and again over the following years. A Christmas lunch on a bateau on the Seine with my family; a romp down the Champs Elysees at midnight with some work friends, giggling like school girls; a glorious long springtime weekend with my son, just hanging out in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

But now I’m back here alone, having caught the same flight and arriving at the same ungodly hour as all those years ago. This time, though, I arrived footsore and heart-heavy, vulnerable and impatient. By the time I checked into my apartment (on the beautiful rue de Rivoli – thank you, AirBNB!), I’d been travelling more than 37 hours. In the same clothes. In the same shoes. In the same stressed-out headspace.

This time I didn’t throw my bags on the bed and rush back down onto the street to explore. This time, it was enough to sag into a chair in the streetside cafe below my apartment, order a vin rose and some lunch, and watch the traffic roar past; the impromptu friendships renewed in the middle of the intersection; the crow high on a balcony turning age-creamed walls into art deco cliche. It was enough, just to sit, just to be. Just to be in Paris.

And just like that, the magic was back. I need to rest now, but I can’t wait for tomorrow.

My Paris apartment/workshop

My Paris apartment/workshop

But I promised you pictures, so here are two. The one at the top is my neighbourhood for the next little while, taken from the salon where I’ll be working. And this one on the left is my little Paris apartment – light, bright, high enough for the street noise to be charming, and with a view to inspire all sorts of dreaming and wordsmithing.

Jusqu'à demain!

Sarah Belle is in the Calypso Bar!

6 Sep

Sarah Belle writes wonderful romantic comedies about women on fantastic journeys with a hint of magic! I’m delighted she’s brought some of that magic on her journey here to the Calypso Bar!

Why the Calypso Bar? Hearts on Hold is set on Gozo, said to be the true location of the mythical island of Ogygia where, in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus washed up on the shores and was saved by the goddess Calypso.

Our Hearts on Hold heroine, Cate Boyd, is struck by the tragedy of Calypso’s fate, doomed to give up the man she loves to the perils of the sea. If you want to find out why Calypso’s story means so much to Cate, you can find an excerpt here.

In honour of Hearts on Hold‘s stunning island setting, we’ve named our guest bar after Calypso, whose grotto home was renowned for its wonderful banquets and exotic elixirs!

So chill your cocktail shaker, pull up a stool and join me here in the Calypso Bar each week as I talk to some fascinating guests about writing, love, and their desert-island essentials (books, music, cocktails… and their favourite people, of course!).

Where is Gozo?

16 Aug

Xlendi sunsetThe question I’m asked most often about Hearts on Hold?  “Where’s Gozo?”

In the Mediterranean Sea, between the ancient civilisations of Sicily on the European continent and Libya in North Africa, lies the Maltese Archipelago. Its three islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – comprise one of the world’s smallest states. For thousands of years its strategic importance – for trade, for culture, for war – has kept it in the covetous sights of empires and religions.

Gozo, second largest island in the Maltese achipelago after Malta, is said to be the true location of Ogygia, the home of seductress Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey.

Rich in history, rural in character, Gozo’s fortunes have forever been tied to those of its larger sister, Malta. It carries the world’s oldest free-standing structures, in legend the temples of giants. Invaded by the Ottomans in medieval times, repopulated by the Knights of Malta, occupied again by Napoleon’s French before being surrendered to the British, the people of Gozo have learned to adapt, to defend, to endure.

None of that matters to Cate Boyd. After searching for a place where nobody knows her name or asks why she’s alone, Cate has settled in the sleepy Gozo village of Xlendi (pronounced Shhlend-ee, with a sibilant, sensuous shhh at the front). Here she has privacy, anonymity, the serene life she craves, far from her former world.

Her peace is shattered when monolithic development company Vena announces its plans to level her village, and threatens to expose Cate if she stands in its way. Can the arrival of seductive, nosy professor Brandon Blackshaw really be coincidental when Vena is his research partner? Will he keep his promise to help, or will he betray her too?

As the pressure mounts, Cate must decide which is more important: her hard-won privacy, or the future of her beloved Xlendi.

Hearts on Hold is converting readers to the delights of Gozo, its warm, beautiful people and its stunning landscapes. If you can’t afford a holiday in this wonderful place, why not let your imagination and Hearts on Hold heroine Cate Boyd take you there!

MA Grant’s in the Calypso Bar!

9 Aug

Pull up a stool and join us as we chat about Alaskan summers, flamingos and a bright new Red Moon. You’ll find us here.

Why the Calypso Bar? Hearts on Hold is set on Gozo, said to be the true location of the mythical island of Ogygia where, in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus washed up on the shores and was saved by the goddess Calypso.

Our Hearts on Hold heroine, Cate Boyd, is struck by the tragedy of Calypso’s fate, doomed to give up the man she loves to the perils of the sea. If you want to find out why Calypso’s story means so much to Cate, you can find an excerpt here.

In honour of Hearts on Hold‘s stunning island setting, we’ve named our guest bar after Calypso, whose grotto home was renowned for its wonderful banquets and exotic elixirs!

So chill your cocktail shaker, pull up a stool and join me here in the Calypso Bar each week as I talk to some fascinating guests about writing, love, and their desert-island essentials (books, music, cocktails… and their favourite people, of course!).

Pull up a stool in the Calypso Bar!

2 Aug

The Calypso Bar opens tonight, with the first of our weekly guests treating us to cocktails, gossip and her desert island essentials!

Why the Calypso Bar? Hearts on Hold is set on Gozo, said to be the true location of the mythical island of Ogygia where, in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus washed up on the shores and was saved by the goddess Calypso.

Our Hearts on Hold heroine, Cate Boyd, is struck by the tragedy of Calypso’s fate, doomed to give up the man she loves to the perils of the sea. If you want to find out why Calypso’s story means so much to Cate, you can find an excerpt here.

In honour of Hearts on Hold‘s stunning island setting, we’ve named our guest bar after Calypso, whose grotto home was renowned for its wonderful banquets and exotic elixirs!

So chill your cocktail shaker, pull up a stool and join me here in the Calypso Bar each week as I talk to some fascinating guests about writing, love, and their desert-island essentials (books, music, cocktails… and their favourite people, of course!).

Joining us this week… Kendall Talbot talks about the men she’d love to be stranded with!

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