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Helena Fairfax: Romance and the beautiful Lake District, England
Sunday, July 9th, 2017

The Lake District in the north of England has inspired some of the most romantic poetry and literature in the world. It’s no wonder William Wordsworth – one of the most famous poets of the Romantic era – made the Lake District his home, calling it “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.”

Courtesy of Pixabay

The shining lakes, the green mountains, and the dramatic changes in weather in the Lake District make the perfect backdrop for a romance novel. The heroine of my novel Felicity at the Cross Hotel has travelled to the Lake District from her home in Norfolk – a part of England that’s renowned for being completely flat. Here is Fliss’s first sight of the spectacular view looking down on my fictional lake, Emmswater:

“The jagged mountains of the Lake District rose and fell in great dark peaks on the skyline, their sides flecked with splashes of bright, mossy green. Soft fields crept down into the valley, dotted with the fluffy white forms of sheep, and lying at the centre of it all was the gleaming lake.

Fliss took in a deep breath, letting the fresh air fill her lungs.  ‘What a magical place,’ she said to the man standing next to her. ‘ And look, the sun’s come out.’ She held up a hand to the pale sky. ‘Where I come from is so flat. I’m starting to get vertigo here, but in a really good way. Like being on the roller-coaster at Great Yarmouth fun fair.’”

Some people find living in mountains claustrophobic, but my heroine is trying to escape the stresses of working in her father’s business, and instead of feeling hemmed in she finds the mountains exhilarating. I wanted to capture this feeling of wild escape when she looks down on the wonderful landscape.

The setting of the Lake District is also a novelists’ dream because of the dramatic actions the landscape can inspire. The beauty of the scenery can become threatening, as swiftly as the clouds that roll in from over the mountains. Patrick Cross, the hero of my novel, is grieving the death of his friend, who died because of an act of recklessness while diving the still, green waters of the lake. There have been many deaths in the mountains and lakes of Cumbria, and I’ve used the symbolism of the landscape to reflect the contrast between the beauty and the danger.

It’s a shame that nowadays some parts of the Lake District are inundated with tourists, and the roads in summer are very often clogged. But it’s only in recent times that the Lakes have become a tourist destination, and there are many quieter areas that have remained unchanged for centuries. Alone in this magnificent landscape, away from the traffic, you can’t help but feel a part of a long, long history of the soil that stretches back thousands of years.

Lots of people have fallen in love in this wonderful setting, but there are some exceptions. Bill Clinton was famously moved to propose to Hillary for the first time by the shores of Ennerdale Water, but she turned him down. Obviously there are some people who remain unmoved by the romance of the Lakes!

Ennerdale Water, scene of Bill Clinton’s proposal. Attribution: Trevor Harris, via Wikimedia Commons

Will love blossom for Patrick Cross and Felicity Everdene, the hero and heroine of my novel? Here is the blurb to Felicity at the Cross Hotel:

A quaint hotel in the Lake District. The Cross Hotel is the perfect getaway. Or is it?

Felicity Everdene needs a break from the family business. Driving through the Lake District to the Cross Hotel, past the shining lake and the mountains, everything seems perfect. But Felicity soon discovers all is not well at the Cross Hotel …

Patrick Cross left the village of Emmside years ago never intending to return, but his father has left him the family’s hotel in his will, and now he’s forced to come back. With a missing barmaid, a grumpy chef, and the hotel losing money, the arrival of Felicity Everdene from the notorious Everdene family only adds to Patrick’s troubles.

With so much to overcome, can Felicity and Patrick bring happiness to the Cross Hotel … and find happiness for themselves?

Amazon universal buy link for Felicity at the Cross Hotel: http://mybook.to/FelicityCH

About the Author

Helena Fairfax is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now which is just as well, since these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. Helena walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings. Subscribers to Helena’s newsletter receive news of free stuff, competitions with prizes, gossip, and links to cool websites she’s been looking at when she should have been writing.

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