Since One Night in Edinburgh was released I have had the same question asked several times: Why Edinburgh? So I thought I’d take today to tell you why I think the Scottish capital is one of the best cities in the world.
I’ve visited Edinburgh a few times during my life – going to the zoo and castle as a child with my family, and then later as an adult. It has always struck me as being a beautiful city, rich in history and architecture, and offers something for everyone. Edinburgh is considered to be the second most popular tourist destination in the UK (after London), because of its eclectic and diverse culture, all steeped in tradition. It’s also thought by many to be the world’s festival capital, hosting events such as the Edinburgh Fringe, Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Mela, The Book Festival, and many more. All this, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enjoying a Long Island Iced Tea in a bar close to the Royal Mile (2010)
But even if you don’t want to get involved with the excitement, noise, and colour that is on to offer, you can still relax and take in the views, with plenty of open space to walk and wander through, countryside to become lost in, and sporting adventures to take part in. You can also take a ride over the famous Forth Bridge to discover what lies on the other side.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a few times, and my first stop is always the zoo. I took my own children there earlier this year when we stayed at Edinburgh to attend a friend’s wedding. The climb up the hill is exhausting, but it’s worth it. Even though the weather was miserable, and most of the animals were in hiding, it was a good family day out. The enclosures are mostly modern, and built with the animals in mind giving them as natural a habitat as is possible in the centre of a city. I like Edinburgh zoo because its sole purpose is not for entertainment, but conservation. We even got to see the elusive pandas!
Edinburgh airport gets a bit boring when your flight is delayed! (2014)
The Royal Mile, a serious of streets that runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace that is supposed to be a Scottish mile long, features in One Night in Edinburgh. I wanted to have this stretch of the city in the book, because it gives so much for description, from the cobbled streets to the Victorian buildings, from the stream of buskers, including bagpipes, living statues, and other entertainers to the tourists taking in Parliament square and the Whiskey tours. Sadly during editing, a lot got taken out of the story, but there are still elements woven through to help give readers a sense of place. Or at least I hope there is!
I’ve experienced Edinburgh as a child, during the day as a mum, and during the evening on a hen-night. There wasn’t one part of any of those trips that didn’t leave me with happy memories. I found it to be interesting, intriguing, and romantic. I’ve even suggested to my husband that the next time we have one of our “child-free weekends” we go to Edinburgh again.
So when I was told about the City Nights series, there was no doubt in my mind – I was going to set my erotic love story in Edinburgh.
Excerpt from One Night in Edinburgh:
They wandered down The Royal Mile. Edinburgh Castle with all its magnificence stood proudly on its rocky pedestal, looking down over the city. Cobbled roads spilled down the hill, between rows of shops and museums, all proud of their Scottish heritage. Colourful lights flickered against the ageing walls. Tourists and locals blended together as they searched for food and fun.
The sun had not yet reached the horizon and shot the sky with bullets of red and orange over a darkening background. A talented artist, the burning star had swiped his brush over the blue canvas, leaving an array of varying shades of purple above his head.
There were no clouds to hide the twinkling of Venus as she radiated her beauty over the earth. One-by-one, each star peeked out from its daytime blanket and smiled down on them. As a kid, he’d believed that each star was an angel, a loving soul, who was watching them and keeping all the children safe. Sometimes he wished that he still held that naivety.
He hadn’t meant to pull her closer to him, but the vivid memories of childhood that punctured his brain forced his grip to tighten. She stopped mid-stride, and he stopped too. They turned to face each other. He could almost taste the wine and chocolate that danced on her breath. A heavy ache weighed in his chest. In the morning she would be gone, and it would be painful to say goodbye to her.