Monday, 8 January 2018

#1 Monday#Meanders!

Happy #Monday to you! 

#Monday#Meanders is the new title for my Monday slot and my theme will be on using special locations in a novel/s. The beginning of a new year is a time that I like to dream of places to go, or places to research to use in my contemporary mysteries. It isn't easy to use famous locations in my historical Celtic Fervour Series because chances are they didn't exist almost 2000 years ago. However, that is a challenge I might take up the next time I'm the posting on Mondays between now and the end of March 2018.  

I've a lot of lovely guest authors visiting in the coming weeks to share their special locations with us so please pop in on Mondays! 

Here's the place I'd like to kick off with...

Ah! It's true that the map above has a lot of potential locations, but which particular one do I mean?

I tend to choose my locations very carefully, as I expect most authors do. There’s generally a fantastic reason for choose one particular place instead of another but today I’m featuring Tallinn, Estonia.

Tallinn features in my fun corporate-sabotage, romantic mystery Take Me Now, though only briefly.
Tallinn, Estonia (image via
Tallinn, the capital city of the small independent Estonia has a population size that’s about half of my nearest city of Aberdeen, Scotland

Tallinn’s population is around 400,000, Aberdeen City not quite hitting the 2000,000 mark. With Estonia being only around 1.3 million it’s one of the smaller unitary states of the European Union. 

An interesting fact, perhaps needing further investigation, is that there are a lot more women in Estonia than men (ratio said to be 100 females for 84 men, accounted for in some part by the fact that women outlive men by 20 years). Estonia also has a small population for the geographic area. The land mass of Scotland is 80, 077 sq metres (population ~5.3 million). Estonia is 45, 336 sq metres (population ~1.3 million). I thought Scotland had lots of islands at around 790 but Estonia can boast some 1,520 islands!

Kalevipoeg is the country’s national epic story and it tells of a wonderful giant who throws stones and talks to hedgehogs. There's a local giant of Aberdeenshire who is known for throwing stones but I've not read that Jock O' Bennachie talks to hedgehogs- must look that up sometime soon *wink*. 

Tallinn is a beautiful city that’s steeped in history, best loved for its Medieval Old Town. Walk the streets and find the castles; Baroque buildings; and Orthodox (Russian style) Religious architecture in cathedrals and churches. 

When choosing some places to mention in Take Me Now, I chose to Tallinn as one of the cities that Nairn has to make a superfast trip to to check on his water-sports business. Unbeknown to Aela, her boss Nairn has organised for her to experience a kayak trip out on the waters. What a lovely gesture! 
However, you can read in this excerpt that Aela learns Nairn isn’t just interested in giving her a taste of his adventure sport…

Like the good little PA she was, she trotted to reception to find he’d surprised her again. Nairn had arranged for her to be included in the afternoon kayaking tour around the waters of Tallinn.
The ancient marine castle of Tallinn was astounding as Aela paddled her way around the bay in a two-person kayak, an instructor from the centre seated behind her. Strong sunshine reflected off the water, the old medieval town a fascinating backdrop for it. The stone fortifications, turreted walls and parapets made such an impact from the water her smile seemed never ending. The old prison buildings were just as fascinating as they paddled by. The whole tour was exhilarating.
Four hours later, she was struggling out of her buoyancy aid just as Nairn hobbled up to her, the clip taking more than a few tries before she could undo it.
“Impressed?” Nairn’s midnight blue eyes twinkled.
She could barely answer, so fired up with the pleasure she’d just had. “Totally incredible, and I must come back, sometime, and do the two-day kayak tour to the island of Saaremaa that your guide just told me about.”
She dropped the buoyancy aid onto the counter top as the assistants hung the returned suits on the racks and stowed the other gear in behind. Peeling off her sticky neoprene-sided boots, she dumped them too before she turned to Nairn and gave him an unconscious hug of thanks, her eyes latching onto his. “You’ve no idea how so at home I felt paddling out there on the water. Peter the Great’s walled city is incredible, unlike anything I’ve experienced and to see it from out on the bay like that was…heaven.”
Nairn’s arms clasped around her. Even more heaven, but his next words shattered her comfort zone.
“Sorry to burst your euphoric bubble, Aela,” he grinned down at her, those eyes of his a teasing glimmer. “I need you to tell me right now. How easy was it to unclip?”
Aela knew her eyes hit the ceiling. “You used me as a guinea pig?”
Nairn’s answering laugh said it all.
She couldn’t believe it. Nairn had given her such a fabulous experience…yet had used her at the same time - the devious sod! Still, she couldn’t stop the mirth rising. “You watched me, didn’t you? So you know just exactly how much I fumbled, Nairn Malcolm. And it’s only the month of June…not September, or October, when it’s much colder!”  

Personally I'm hoping to visit Tallinn quite soon, also for a very short time like Aela but I don't see me kayaking or bog-shoeing in the woody bogs around Tallinn avoiding the wild wolves. Tallinn is one of the stops on the cruise my OH has booked for June 2018, so I'll let you know later this year what my thoughts are on the city.

Till the next #Monday#Meanders... 

If the above whetted your appetite for a fun read try here:


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