Sunday, 29 May 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway - Greek is the Word by Samantha Tonge - Greek Week

There is no doubt about it. Greece is one of the most romantic places in the world with its gorgeous turquoise sea, the shortbread sands and peachy pink sunsets to die for.  And the history – with so many truly ancient buildings to visit, a trip there can feel like a step back in time. I have holidayed there twice and those vacations inspired the setting for my award-winning novel Game of Scones and its standalone sequel My Big Fat Christmas Wedding.

As a young woman I holidayed in Kos with two girlfriends. What a blast! We hired mopeds and befriended a group of lads and spent our nights drinking and dancing... one nightclub even had a swimming pool in the middle! During the day I recall shopping and going to the beach, plus eating out of course. The local men seemed dark and dangerous with sexy accents and inspired the character of sultry fisherman Niko in my books - especially one who worked at our local bar. He had flirty eyes and curly hair. He would always greet us with “Yasas girlies” and had a cheeky smile.

I think the appeal of an island in sunny climes is the outdoor nature of life. This gives a carefree feel to day-to-day life - barefoot strolls along the beach, a sea breeze lifting your hair. In Game of Scones Niko and the main character Pippa have a special place on the beach, under a large fig tree.  As someone living in built-up Manchester that is a very attractive image. The nearest I get to sitting under a fig tree in the summer is planting myself under a street bar’s parasol for a drink! 

The music, as well, is so cheerful – along with seabirds and foreign chatter... it’s a wonderful soundtrack of life. Game of Scones is set in Taxos, a small fishing village, away from the dust and blaring car horns of city life. Of course, a story wouldn’t be satisfying if it was completely unrealistic, and both of my Greek books deal with the current Greek economic crisis plus the plight of refugees.

My view also isn’t one hundred percent rose-tinted as... well... there is the story of my honeymoon!
So, we arrive in Zante, tired from the wedding and flight and open our hotel room door. I go into the bathroom. The taps ‘spit’ water and to my horror, I am confronted with the Greek waste-disposal system (don’t flush loo paper)!  There is no air-con and at night we are plagued by mosquitoes – I suffer from an allergic reaction to their bites. Plus at the beginning of the holiday, out in the strong sea breeze sun rays, for the first time in my life I suffer from Prickly Heat – my body is covered, from head to toe, for most of the holiday, with a red itchy rash.  Hardly romantic!

Overall, though, I would definitely say Greek is the Word for the perfect romantic setting of a book. But if you are going there in real life, just don’t forget the insect repellent and sun cream!

Thank you so much Samantha for this great look at Greece and your not particularly romantic Zante honeymoon. I still remember finishing Game of Scones last year and googling for a holiday in Taxos, only to discover it was a figment of your imagination!

Author Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart. 


Giveaway - Win a signed copy of Game of Scones (Open Internationally)

Since it is Greek Week here on Rachel's Random Reads, Samantha Tonge has very kindly donated a signed copy of Game of Scone for one lucky person to win. 

Giveaway open Internationally, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 4/6/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Win a signed copy of Game of Scones (Open Internationally)

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