I’m very happy to have Alice here, and she’s talking about one of my favorite places in one of my favorite cities, London.
I was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, my father was French and my mother British (from Wales). I moved to London, UK, in 1997, where I now live with my husband and son. I have been writing since I was 14. I got quite a few short stories published in UK magazines, before moving to longer fiction. I wrote three contemporary romance books, but didn’t find a publisher for them. I then realized that mermen, sea witches and water demons were a lot more fun than sheikhs and billionaires! My first two paranormal romances did not find a publisher either, then I wrote A Merman’s Choice, which was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, Music for a Merman, is due out in 2019. I love reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
The Tower Bridge
I am lucky to live in London, UK, a city rich with many things to do and see. One of my favourites places to visit at the week end is Tower Bridge.
The famous bridge is an iconic landmark, instantly recognizable, but do you know it is also a marvel of engineering? It took 8 years, 5 major contractors, 2 of the finest architects of the day, 432 construction workers, 11,000 tons of steel and innumerable chunks of Cornish granite and Portland stone to build. It opened in 1894.
Since then, ships have always had right of way. This was made clear back in 1997 when former US President Bill Clinton drove into London on his state motorcade. The President had to wait almost 20 minutes, because the Thames sailing barge “Gladys” had scheduled priority. Just so you know, if you ever fancy sailing through the bridge, you’ll need to give the authorities at least 24 hours’ notice.
My favourite part of the visit is crossing the high-level walkways. Plonked in between the two towers, these pretty architectural feats were once a haunt for London’s prostitutes and pickpockets. Whilst they were seldom used by your average Londoner (you had to climb a few hundred stairs to get to them) things got so bad that the City of London had to close the once open-air walkways to the public in 1910. Now covered with lots and lots of shiny glass, the steel passages reopened to the public in 1982. A glass floor now connects the two towers, giving a magnificent view of the city and the boats passing below.
I also enjoy visiting the Victorian Engine Room, and the gift shop. My life was not complete until I acquired a bulldog doorstop!
I love looking at the Bridge, and crossing it, especially at night, when the city glitters and gleams with a million lights in all the colours of the rainbow. Of course, as it’s one of my favourite locations, I put it in my new book, Mermaids Marry in Green, which is based in London. The bank of the Thames, at the foot of the Bridge, is where the mermaid heroine Caltha and the warlock hero Jonty find the afanc, the water monster they’ve been hunting!
You can find Alice here:
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B
Alice brought along her latest story, Mermaids Marry in Green (Sea of Love Book 3).
Caltha Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas. She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock, Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water monster, she can’t say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for Jonty grows… and they soon fall under each other’s spell. But will his past and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic, the one that binds two souls together?
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A pile of twigs shuddered and slid to the side. Two yellow eyes peered at her out of the tangle of wood and litter. Excitement exploded in Caltha’s chest, rocking her whole body. She’d found him! But she strove to keep her voice low and soft.
A reptilian head that looked like a crocodile’s, but smaller, pushed through a plastic bag. The mouth opened, revealing a row of sharp teeth. “Morwenna?” the creature hissed, in Caltha’s language.
She tried to repress the trembling in her body and appear calm so the creature wouldn’t take fright. “Yes, I am a mermaid.” She lifted her webbed hands to show him. The afanc extended a furry paw, tipped with powerful claws. Caltha brushed the damp fur with her fingers. “I’m Caltha.”
The afanc let out a sigh. “Morwenna Caltha,” he said. He stared at her with shining eyes full of hope. “I am lost. Can you help?”
Caltha’s mind went blank with surprise. She’d expected a powerful water monster with awesome magical powers, not this vulnerable animal pleading for assistance.
The afanc stretched its neck towards her. “Please?”
Compassion engulfed Caltha. “Of course I’ll help you.”
The question was how. She’d been so focused on locating him, she hadn’t really given any thought as to what she would do when she found him. She studied his reptilian head and large, furry body. No way would he go unnoticed in a city full of humans. And dangerous warlocks were on his trail. Her mind worked overtime, searching for solutions. Would he follow her willingly, or would she have to trap him? He seemed friendly now, but he might panic if she tried to lead him away from his familiar surroundings. And how could she keep him hidden?