Monday, May 12, 2014

A Shot of Red


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One of my favorite parts about writing romantic thrillers is researching my stories. Whether it’s a specific character quirk, an intriguing setting, or a science-related plot element, I’m all in. Especially when it comes to researching an incredible setting. My latest romantic thriller, A Shot of Red, is partially set in Lucerne, Switzerland, and my husband and I had the awesome opportunity to visit there before I wrote the story. 

We had a fascinating time in the land of watches, army knives and chocolate. But there’s way more to Switzerland than that. Here are ten things my husband and I enjoyed most, and some of them can even be found in A Shot of Red. 

1. Strolling through the charming narrow streets of old town Lucerne, admiring the still-intact medieval city walls with their fairy-tale towers. Countless clocks chime on the hour, but the oldest clock in the city does the honors. It’s allowed to chime a minute before all the others!

2. Visiting the Engelberg Benedictine Monastery and meeting real-life monks. Engelberg means angel mountain, and the monastery got its name when two monks saw a host of angels while they were walking in the nearby meadows. The monastery gave its name to the village that grew up around it, and an angel is the symbol of the idyllic town. 

3. Learning the ancient art of cheese making cheese at the Engelberg Monastery Cheese Factory. Cheese is an important source of income for the abbey. Made from fresh milk from cows that feed in the lush Engelberg pastures and surrounding Alps, the monastery cheese makes a mean fondue! 

4. Viewing some amazing Picassos at the Museum Sammlung Rosengart in Lucerne. Over thirty Picassos showcase his amazing creative vitality. I admit I didn’t quite get his style, despite a (way too) thorough explanation from our tour guide, but I enjoyed seeing the work of a modern master. 

5. Visiting Ruag Aviation’s airplane factory. This is what happens when your husband works for NASA aeronautics! It was fascinating to see how an airplane is made—all the way down to the steel rivets. And “flying” in a flight simulator was kind of fun, too! 

6. Blowing glass at Glasi Hergiswil. As if it wasn’t amazing enough to see the fiery glass furnace and the craftsmen blowing, pouring and shaping glass, I got to create my own glass ball to bring home.   

7. Traveling to the peak of majestic Mount Pilatus by way of the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. This was a seriously slanted way to climb the mountain. Thank goodness the train cars are built with the incline in mind. The seats are tiered like stadium seating. Just don’t look behind you on the way up! 

8. Listening to an alpenhorn concert. At the peak of Mount Pilatus, we ate lunch on a sprawling terrace. The sky glowed electric blue. The snowy Alps stretched for miles in the distance. And men dressed in lederhosen played alpenhorns. Seriously, lederhosen. But the soothing music helped me forget the fashion fright! 

9. Ziplining in the Alps—the ultimate mountain experience. What a rush it was, speeding down those cables with a view of the snowy Alps as far as I could see—when I kept my eyes open, that is!

10. Getting the real vibe of Lucerne so I could bring it to life for readers in my sexy new romantic suspense novel, A Shot of Red. It’s hard not to fall in love with Switzerland, and I fell hard enough to want to write about it every day for months. 

Our trip to Switzerland is a couple years behind us. But I love remembering the amazing my husband and I spent there, and the awesome things we got to do—memories that will last a lifetime. How about you? Which of these fun things would you like to do—or have you done? What magical destinations have you visited? 

A Shot of Red is a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick! “One of the best romantic suspense novels I have read in a while. The suspense is super tense. The characters are real and easy to relate to, and the chemistry between Gio and Mia is hot, hot, and hotter. The plot has many twists and turns, some that will leave you gasping for air, and the premise is utterly chilling.”

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15 comments:

  1. Loved this book! I would love Switzerland just for the chocolate!

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    1. Thank you, Delene! The Swiss chocolate was divine. I would've gotten sidetracked in my article if I'd started writing about the chocolate fountain and the wonderful chocolates the hotel staff left on our pillows every night! Yum! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

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  2. Thanks for hosting me at Just Romantic Suspense, Maureen! I'm so excited to be here! :)

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  3. Hey, Tracy! I wanted to go to Switzerland after I read the book (staying away from bridges and gondolas, though) but now I really want to go. All for the cheese! :) Congrats on A SHOT OF RED!

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    1. Oh, Amy! The cheese fondue at the Engelberg Monastery Cheese Factory was AMAZING. I ate way too much of it, but I couldn't stop--it was so delicious! And when you do go to Switzerland, definitely check out the bridges and gondolas. Make it an adventure! ;) Thanks for coming by and commenting! :)

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  4. Oh the cheese and the chocolate sound divine! Two of my favorite guilty pleasures. :) Congrats on the release of A Shot of Red!

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    1. I'm a cheeseaholic, Brooke! And I eat more than my fair share of chocolate, too! I'd better not move to Switzerland, huh? ;) It was awesome of you to stop in and comment! :)

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  5. Greetings! Congrats on the new release!! You are a new author for me and I can't wait to read your books. LOVE chocolate and cheese . . . looking forward to reading A Shot of Red!! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. :)

    ~Kimberly

    k_kperry@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Kimberly! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy A Shot of Red. May I suggest you pair it with some chocolate and cheese? ;) Happy reading!

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  6. Congrats Tracy on the new release!!! I'm so excited cuz I just bought your book!!!!!! I'm dying to get started :) Your trip sounded like a blast!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Erin! My trip was indeed one of the highlights of my life so far. I'm looking forward to more! I hope you enjoy reading A Shot of Red! :)

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  7. I love Just romantic Suspense's blogspot as I get introduced to so many terrific authors in my fave reading genre...like you, Tracy! I'm so glad to "meet" you today. My hubby and I were fortunate to have visited the Holy Land (inc. Egypt and Jordan) in 1984 and were fascinated by all of the historical sites. It was actually an educational tour as my hubby was an active pastor at the time (now retired). Then, during the Summer of 1986 we participated in a Pastor Exchange program whereby we lived in the English pastor's home and used his car (in Wigan in Lancashire, England), and he and his family tended our church and used our car in Santa Cruz, California. It was a great way to learn new customs and see historical sites in all of the British Isles, all the while drawing their respective salaries. I will forever be thankful for those wonderful traveling opportunities. Now I'm anxious to read about Switzerland with a bit of intrigue! :-) jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Janice! Nice to meet you, too. Sounds like you've had lots of travel and adventure in your life. I love your story. My dad was a pastor too, but we never got to participate in a foreign exchange. That would've been awesome! I'm all about going new places and learning about other cultures. It really opens your eyes to the diversity of the world. Thanks for stopping in and sharing. Your story would make a good foundation for a book, too! Happy reading! :)

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  8. Congratulations on you book! I like you cover.
    Jan

    Janet_kerr@msn.com

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    1. Hi, Janet! Nice to see you here. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on the cover of A Shot of Red. It's my favorite cover of all of my books so far. I was amazed how well the cover artist captured the essence of the story with one image. I'm pleased that you like it, too! Happy reading! :)

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