My bestest bestest author friend is the lovely Raven McAllan and the moment she stepped off the plane from HK (now technically a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, you know. A handy freeffrenchfact there...) I grabbed her for a blog spot. So, while she drops off her cases and I pour her a small reviving glass of something chilled and white I'll let her tell you all about Hong Kong Heat:
It's a well known fact I like to travel. Indeed I met my host by a swimming pool in South Africa. (There's a book in that somewhere, I'm sure.)
So I guess, given that Hong Kong is one of my favourite places, it was inevitable I'd set a book there.
Sometimes the words just flow, and this book was one of those times.
The names were suggested by a friend and the rough idea plotted over a bottle of wine, with her, in Amsterdam.(and there's another book's setting I'm sure.)
However, this is the result of that fantastic few days in Holland.
And a wee tease…
She felt like a secret agent—or someone up to no good as she entered the hotel later. One doorman was busy hailing a taxi for a customer and the other was wheeling five suitcases and several suit carriers into one of the lifts.
Debra waited until its doors had closed and called a different one. She got to her floor without it stopping and when the doors opened looked out into the corridor with caution. It was empty apart from a cleaner’s trolley at the opposite end of the corridor to her suite.
Numpty, she berated herself. There is no earthly reason why Braam should be lurking on your floor, especially at this hour. Get a grip. Nevertheless she still made it into her room in record time. And hated herself for scuttling as if she was in the wrong.
Frustrated both mentally and emotionally and getting more annoyed with herself by the minute, Debra poured a large glass of wine and took a long, leisurely shower. It didn’t cool her temper, but it did go a long way to cooling her ardor and her skin. By the time she’d toweled off, dressed in a long, loose kaftan and dried her hair, she was in a happier frame of mind.
Debra sang along—off key—to an old James Taylor song on her iPod as she plated her dinner and sat on a high stool at the kitchen area work surface that doubled as a table. She propped her guidebook up against the pepper mill and plotted her next day’s activities.
She hadn’t been to Sai Kung on her last visit, owing to the distance from the center of the city. This time she had promised herself she would go there. So tomorrow was Sai Kung day via the MTR and a green minibus. Once she’d finished her simple, and to be honest boring meal, Debra worked out her route. There were a couple of options and she thought she might go one way and back the other. Pleased that she’d sorted the next day with an excursion well away from the hotel, Debra opened her laptop.
One of the good things about Wi-Fi was that she could tune in to her favorite radio station from home. Listening to golden oldies and singing away, often with the wrong words, as well as answering trivia questions was a perfect way to pass the time as she wrote her diary—without reference to Braam or Shade’s revelations.
The knock on the door was unexpected and startled her. Debra looked at it as if somehow she could see through the wood and find out who was on the other side. The next knock was louder.
Had she omitted to put the ‘do not disturb’ light on? When the third knock sounded, Debra stood up, irritated and ready to tear a strip off someone who didn’t take silence for an answer.
She forgot there was a security peephole and pulled the door open, saw who was on the other side and went to slam it.
“Naughty, naughty.” Braam put his shoe-clad foot between door and jamb and held it open. He bet she wished she’d remembered to put the chain on, or at least look through the peephole. Then he reckoned he could have hammered until he put a hole in the paneling or she called security and she wouldn’t have opened the door. He hadn’t needed his hand over the peephole or his rough “Housekeeping” statement.
“I wonder what Mr. Scotburn would say if he heard that language coming out of his wife’s mouth and if he would condone your behavior of the last few days. Does he get a kick out of knowing what his wife’s up to?” Braam could hardly believe the vitriol spilling out of his mouth. Every nasty thought he’d had since seeing her name in the guest register bubbled up and demanded to be said.
“I wouldn’t think so.” Debra’s hazel eyes were almost black and as he glared at her, tears appeared and clouded them.
Ha, a woman’s wiles, what next?
“He’d be hard pressed to make any comment unless he can speak from the grave. And that would be difficult, he was cremated.” Deb sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Please take your foot out of the door. You’re hardly one to talk. What was it the waitress said? Oh, yes, I remember. ‘Have you bumped into Braam Van Meister yet? I hear he’s back in town. My god what a man and hot, hot, hot. Mind you, his reputation goes before him. Love ‘em and leave ‘em Van M we call him. A girl in every hotel’.” She glared at him. Her voice rose to a shout. “Now move your bloody foot.”
~~~ Can they resolve the misunderstanding? Ah well, you'll need to buy the book to find out…
Raven lives in Scotland with her long-suffering husband. Luckily he's a dab hand at choosing and pouring wine, working the Aga and ignoring the dust bunnies as well as a welcome and informative travelling companion.
She's the author of over seventy published stories, and intends to continue writing, and growing old disgracefully.
You can find out more on www.ravenmcallan.com