Books That Inspired Me To Travel

Books and traveling… Two of my most favorite things in life.

If I´m not reading / book blogging or going after my highly demanding duties as a mom and wife I´m always on tour. And by on tour I don´t mean hopping in the car and visiting surrounding cities. I mean I actually do some serious country hopping.

Some say it´s because I´m an Aquarius ( I fail to see that connection ). Some say I travel a lot because I´m bored out of my wits….

I think it´goes deeper than that. You see, I´m an Army brat. I´ve been to places. I´ve seen my fair share of countries against my will as a kid ( because moving a lot and having to make new friends at a new school ALWAYS sucked ). Years ago, once I settled down and stopped moving, I felt a certain unease. I felt caged by life. It´s funny because, as a kid I wanted nothing more than for my family to settle down. When I became an adult I didn´t want to be settled. I wanted out. And not only out of the house. I wanted out of the country. To be able to see new places, taste new dishes, meet new people and just…. enjoy what the world has to offer.

What I used to hate with a passion became by second greatest passion.

Reading books helped a lot to ease the nerve wrecking itch I felt. I had the power to dive into a story and live wherever the story was set at. But books only helped to a limited extent. I actually WANTED to visit the places I read about. I wanted to be in Paris and sit at a Café and drink hot chocolate while watching tourists and Parisians pass by. I wanted to walk through the Black Forest and feel the Snow White aura.

But reading about those fabulous places and seeing them with your own eyes are two completely different things.

Sure, I could gush over the beautiful details talented authors provide. And I do. I soak up every stinking detail authors give on certain places. Some writers are brilliant at painting a picture for a reader.

But wouldn´t it be even better to visit those places that inspired authors to include in their stories?

My grande idea: Visit the places I loved so much in books.

I´d like to clarify something real quick before I´m shoved into an unloving category.

I live in central Europe. In Germany, to be exact. And, flights are super cheap within Europe. I can be in a lot of places within 1 – 2 hours ( flight!) for a more than affordable price. Of course, taking the car is also cheap. But who wants to sit in a car for 12 hours when they can book a flight to the UK for 14.00 Euros pP. ?

 

Here are the books that inspired me to travel. Cities and countries I highly recommend any book lover ( and non book lover ) to visit soon!

 

Outlander – Diana Gabaldonoutlander

Genre – Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Romance

Set in – Highlands, Scotland

 

Outlander made me visit Scotland and boy, was I ever grateful I decided to do a short trip through the Highlands. The people were amazingly friendly, the weather was perfect ( for me ). The food was exactly the way I like it – Hearty. It didn´t matter where I went I was surrounded by the magic so many authors swoon about in their stories.

Seven Ages Of Paris – Alistair Horneseven ages of paris

Genre – History, Non Fiction

About – Paris, France

 

What can I say? I´m a sucker for knowledge. I love to learn new things. And…I love to know things. Knowing stuff rocks. Paris is my go – to place when I can´t decide where to travel next. The city is actually not the cleanest but it definitely has that special flair that´s been described in many books. You can literally smell and taste the history when you walk the old streets and visit certain areas of the city. The people aren´t as friendly as they are in the UK but since I´m used to rudeness ( yeah. Germans aren´t known to be a friendly bunch, either ) I have no problem with Parisians.

 

Goddess Of Yesterday – Caroline B. Cooney goddess of yesterday

Genre – Fantasy, YA, Mythology

Set in – Greece

I´m some – what of a Greek Mythology geek. For as long as I can remember I´ve loved stories told about the Gods. Hence the reason why I´ll read anything involving Greek Mythology.

 

Sadly enough, I only have 1 picture from my 2009 Greece vacation because my, then 2 yr old daughter, deleted them. All 200 pictures. But I have those great memories to hang on to. Greece is one of those history packed countries where you can also feel it´s ancient aura. The people are great. The food…. GOOD GODS ABOVE! You´ll think you´re in Heaven when you eat a Gyros Pita. It´s truly no wonder many authors choose Greece for their story and / or write about Greek Mythology.

 

Fingersmith – Sarah Waters Fingersmith

Genre – Mystery, Historical Fiction

Set in – London, UK

 

To be honest- this isn´t the book that set off my need to travel to London. Many MANY books before the Fingersmith had accomplished that years before. Still, a great book, though. London belongs to the cities I´ll never grow tired of. The city flair matches no other. It´s a super busy place and I get lost every time I´m there. The people “bless” me all the time ( which can get confusing because I only use the term when someone sneezes ). Plus- I get to see my bestie when I visit.  London is just THE place to be.

 

Zoo Station – Christiane F. Zoo Station

Genre – Non Fiction, Biography

Set in – Berlin, Germany

 

This was the first book I read that was set in Berlin. Of course, the true story of a teenage drug addict didn´t necessarily inspire me to travel to Berlin. The book itself is not for the faint of heart but still worth reading ( even if it´s to cure teenagers from taking drugs. THAT´S how graphic this book is). No. It wasn´t Christiane F´s story that made me want to visit the city with depressing history. I´ve always been some – what of a fan of the Golden 20´s era in Berlin.  I thought some of that magic was still lurking around ( like it does with Paris and London ) but, nope. I´d say Berlin is my LEAST favorite city in all Europe. It´s just…. super modern and super sad. You get an awful lot of reminders of how Berlin ( or Germany, for that matter) had once suffered. I understand the importance of history. But… there´s needs to be a break somewhere. Still, the place is packed with tourists from all over the world.

 

PS, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern PS I love you

Genre – Romance, Chick Lit

Set In – Ireland

 

 

Ireland is the place I want to retire at. I want to spend the rest of my glorious old days on the small Island, preferably out in the country, living in a cozy cottage, surrounded by sheep. I LOVE Ireland. Ever since I read PS, I Love You I wanted to visit. And when I did I refused to leave. What a beautiful place. The weather is definitely something you could argue over but the rest? That´s the place I want to be. I can hear Ireland calling my name.

 

Midnight In Sicily – Peter RobbMidnight in Sicily

Genre – Non Fiction, Cultural

Set In – Sicily, Italy

 

While Sicily isn´t and has never been on my Top 10 list of place I want to travel, Italy was.

This book is a glorious piece of wonderful, but I sort of lost interest in visiting Sicily. IT`S DANGEROUS! People don´t gossip for nothing. And when someone writes a great book on the good and bad of that Island then you´ll think twice before booking a flight. But the rest of Italy is fantabulous! My favorite cities are, without a doubt, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence and Pisa ( because I tackle all the tourist favorites before getting lost in the middle of nowhere).

And then there´s Pasta. Need I say more?

 

Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm – The Grimm Brothers grimm

Genre – Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Children, Classic

Set In – Germany

 

I really REALLY don´t want to toot my horn, here. Seriously, I don´t. But there is NO WAY I can leave this one out. I live just a handful of miles away from where the Grimm Brothers were born and where they grew up. Yupp. I´ve walked through the forest where they got some of their inspiration for their Fairy Tales. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Yes. My all time favorite Fairy Tale story tellers. Of course, I was unaware of that fact for years ( It took 5 years after moving to Germany for someone to point that little fun fact out. 5 YEARS!), which makes the whole situation more exciting for me. their history is just a short car drive away from my house! It´s a feeling that comes close to winning the lottery.

 

Of course, there are quite a few more places I´ve been to but those countries / cities had nothing to do with books / story settings.

 

Is there a book that inspired you to travel somewhere? Where was the destination? Or have you ever taken a literary – themed vacation? Is there a book place you´d love to travel to?

 

I hope you enjoyed my little travel / book inspiration adventure. Thank you for reading! ❤

 

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book review- The Break by Marian Keyes

Book Description

Amy O’Connell is living your typical modern life – harried, overfull and totally stressed out (more-than-occasional glasses of wine notwithstanding). Between a husband who has become withdrawn following the death of his father, three girls with various degrees of independence, a high-stress job commuting between Dublin and London, and the distraction of a colleague who may or may not be making moves on her – what’s a girl to do? Then Amy’s husband announces that he is taking “a break” – six months to go to the other side of the world and “clear his hand”. What the everlasting…..?

My Thoughts

Your husband wants a break. What do you do? Do you flip your top? Do you push him to go and enjoy his break or do you make him stay?

A break for me says someone in a marriage/relationship isn´t happy and needs time for themselves. I mean, that´s the only logical explanation I have because I, myself, have never been on one before so…. I got curious when I saw the book and read the synopsis.The Break

It´s scary when you´re married or in a relationship to think about a break when you don´t even need one. But what would happen if I or my husband would reach that point? Hof would either of us react? Would we survive? Or would we split up and go separate ways?

The ride home from the bookstore was gruesome, to say the least. I had so many questions and needed answers from the chick-lit I had bought.

I love Marian Keyes books. She has an amazing writing style. It´s truly a pleasure to read her stories because they´re so easy-going with the perfect amount of depth.

`The Break`was a fun and exciting read with so many feels. I had so much love and hate boiling inside me but then again- I felt alot of understanding for the characters and their actions.

( Not the break part. That crushed me.)

Without wanting to give anything away I would say this is a relatable read. The idea of a couple that loved each other to bits, even after so many years of being together, suddenly being challenged by one tiny life choice… plus the involvement with kids and work and everything else that comes with life is really not too far fetched.

My kind of Chick-Lit!

I did not only enjoy reading this relationship romance because it made me go through the „what if´s“ afterwards… I also enjoyed `The Break`for what it was- Entertaining.

It took me 2 days to start and finish 568 pages, and boy… was my heart all over the place.

The only complaint I have it that the end was a bit „So, this happens,… color out the rest for yourselves.“. The end didn´t quite get as much attention as I hoped for.

A reader gets alot of well written scenes on what happened before the break, during the break, and after the break. It felt like the real closure didn´t get a proper spotlight moment.

Nonetheless- I still enjoyed reading `The Break` by Marian Keyes.

Would I reread the story? Sure. Sometime in the future, most definitely.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. Although it´s a rather larger book it´s well written and the reading flow is great. Chick-Lit lovers will definitely get a kick out of this one.

The Cover – 5 stars ( A total eye-catcher. Simple, in-your-face subtle…. I love it )

The Story – 4 stars ( As a whole I´d say it was really enjoyable. But the end didn´t really do it for me. I expected more.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Great. All aside from Amy´s husband, Hugh. Would have liked for him to have more… more…. more.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Satisfied and waiting to read something new from the author.

I´m giving `The Break` by Marian Keyes 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

The Lost ( Whitechapel Chronicles #2) by Lindsey Clarke ( Wattpad )

Book Dscription

‘Whitechapel. The East End of London. Streets of tawdry degradation and grisly dark crimes of unlimited horror…..’

From the comforts of London’s middle class suburbia, to taking refuge in an old abandoned asylum in Whitechapel, Megan’s life has changed immeasurably since meeting the vampire, Harper Cain. Now living with Harper, his blood brother Garrick and Garrick’s gang of mercenaries,

Megan finds herself at the centre of an age-old war between the vampires and their enemies, the lycan-esque Varúlfur. Still struggling to cope with the turn her life has taken, Megan discovers that not only is she unable to escape the ghosts of her past, but she is going to have to contend with some very dark revelations about her future.

A vampire with the history of Whitechapel running through her veins she might be, but Megan will soon learn that there are far worse things to be frightened of than ghosts.

*** Spoiler free Review ***

 

My Thoughts

`The Lost` is the second installment in The Whitechapel Chronicles. And since author Lindsey Clarke has not once disappointed me I just knew the second part of the dark vampire tale was going to blow my mind. And I was right. I thought `Playing Dead` ( book #1 ) was genius….

I won´t waste anyone´s time giving my own description of the story because I completely lack that skill ( in other words- I suck at it ). I will, however, say one thing- Lindsey Clarke is AMAZEBALLS. `The Lost` is flipping brilliant!

The story:

Megan, Harper and Brandon´s story continues and the path they take is unexpected and far from easy ( emotionally and physically ).

lost-quote

After the events in `Playing Dead` I never thought Megan could be confronted with anything worse. I mean- turning into a vampire and finding out your husbands fury secret is tough, but not as tough as what happens in this part of the story.

New characters are introduced, challenging Megan and Harper and the entire vampire race. The obstacles become more and more challenging. The characters thread into more unknown territories.
A lot is at stake. Are the characters up for saving the world as it´s known? Will Megan find the answers to her questions? Will she ever see the light in the never ending dark tunnel?

I cannot being to tell you how extremely nail-bite-worthy `The Lost` is ( in fact- I´d probably end up writing a full novel explaining every awesome detail about this story, so best I don´t start.).

What´s extremely noticable is how much Megan´s character has grown. The Megan from the beginning is long gone and is replaced by a curious, head strong woman who knows what she wants and won´t stop for anything to get what she needs… even if that means going against Harper.

lost-quote2

With `The Lost` being the second book in the series, one would think that this is a bridge to the grande final. It isn´t. `The Lost ` feels like a warm up story, getting ready to blow a reader´s mind.

My mind has been blown away already and there´s still `Savage Wings` ( book #3 ).

If it were up to me, this story would never end.

The Cover- 5 stars ( It fits perfectly with the first cover. The coloring is fab and catchy. ❤ )

The Story – 5 stars ( I´m not sure my heart can handle more. But it has to, damn it! Extremely well thought through story. LOVE IT! )

The Characters – 5 stars ( The author has an evil side. She creates characters you want to take home with you and then does the unthinkable to them. I guarantee- you will want a Harper Cain, a Brandon and even a Garrick. You´ll want a Josiah, a Fenton… all at your beck and call.)

My emotional state after finishing `The Lost`– Drained in the best possible way ever. Totally satisfied but afraid to continue at the same time.

I´m giving `The Lost` ( The Whitechapel Chronicles #2 ) by author Lindsey Clarke 5 out of 5 stars

`The Lost`, along with `Playing Dead ( book #1) can be read for free on Wattpad. All you need to do is click here and begin to read. Don´t forget to leave a comment for the author and a vote.

If you´re not a member of the Wattpad society then don´t worry. Sign up. It doesn´t hurt and only takes a few seconds. Trust me- if lazy old me can do it…so can you!

See you on the flip side!

the-lost

Billy and Me ( Billy and Me #1) – Giovanna Fletcher

Book Description

In this utterly sweet and moving women’s fiction novel, a celebrity comes to town and sweeps a young woman – who is used to being overlooked – off her feet.

Sophie May is content with her life in her small English village, working in the local coffee shop and living with her mom. But when famous actor Billy comes to town to play Mr. Darcy in a new film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Sophie’s quiet life is quickly turned on its head. Billy is adored by women around the world, but he only wants Sophie on his arm. But being with Billy comes at a price, and Sophie is thrown in the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy?

Brimming with humor, wit, and genuine warmth, Billy and Me is a book about taking a chance on life and on love.

My Thoughts

Well, butter my butt and call me biscuit! What an extremely cute read. My God- I had so much fun with `Billy and Me` and if it weren´t for my near death experience on my vacation ( yes, I get very dramatic when my Kindle dies on me while I´m out of the country ) I would never have marched into a bookstore and bought `Billy and Me`.

Yes. This was a panic purchase and I didn´t regret it. My husband gave me exactly 5 minutes to find a book so I jumped in the store, grabbed the first thing that looked romantic, paid for it and left.

To make a long story short- I wasn´t the best kind of company that day because the story was much more interesting than taking a hike through windy mountains.

A simple lovestory with strong emotions.

What I loved most about `Billy and Me` was how it wasn´t pushy. It wasn´t really relateable ( or, who knows- these things probably could happen ) but still highly enjoyable.

How would you react when a movie star bumps into you at work? Well, in `Billy and Me` Sophie May didn´t react the way she should have. She was absolutely clueless on who the good looking guy was.

From that point on Sophie and movie star Billy became an item. Their relationship was innocent until Billy had to go back to London and Sophie decided to tag along. There was trouble in paradise and Sophie was suffering under the movie star life of Billy. Hollywood is ruthless, but being around Billy´s entourage was even more unforgiving.

Was their relationship doomed? Would Sophie crush under the preasure of being in the spotlight?

Questions after questions after questions……

The characters were just fabulous. Sophie didn´t have an easy childhood but she had a complete village of supporters who loved her. Due to family matters Sophie never left the small town and practically missed out on quite a few life events she should have experienced.

Billy was the outgoing type with the perfect looks and a great personality. On top of that he was a movie star and endlessly in love with Sophie- the „girl who baked“.

They fit perfectly together until- they didn´t anymore.

There were emotional up´s and down´s, even a Pretty Woman moment that had me squealing with joy!

A beautiful, catchy and cute romance that had me glued to every single page!

The cover – 4 stars ( Okay. The cover is pretty, but also a little busy. Didn´t know what to look at at first.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( From the main to the subcharacters- all beyond loveable.)

The Story- 4 stars ( Not really anything new but the story was told in a cute way.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Relieved, happy, but also afraid knowing there´s a second book about these two and I can´t handle another meltdown like I had while reading `Billy and Me`.

I´m giving `Billy and Me`by author Giovanna Fletcher 4 out of 5 romantic stars!

To puchase this book just Click here . I promise you won´t be disappointed.

A Dark Fall ( Book #1) – Scarlett Drake

Book Description

Alex has led a life full of wealth, privilege and opportunity. An accomplished doctor, she’s always followed a very safe path and that has always been enough. She’s always done everything that was expected of her. And its worked out pretty well – until now… Jake has led a life full of violence, power and darkness in the gritty underworld of London’s east end. Respected and feared, he’s forged a life for himself in a world he’s always felt apart from. A world he knows he doesn’t want to live in forever. A world he knows he won’t survive in forever. When one fateful night brings them both together, an instant attraction draws them into a strong obsession. One that neither of them is able to deny. One that neither of them wants to deny. Jake knows he has to have her, and Alex knows she shouldn’t let him. If Jake could only open up to Alex about the dark parts of his life she may just be the very one who can save him from it. Though they are worlds apart – it might just be the very thing that makes them perfect for each other..

My Thoughts

I had the pleasure of reading this years perfect dark romance! After a stab to the neck, Jake Lawrence, a respected criminal, is dragged to a surgery in hopes to receive quick help…. until he hears her voice.

Then she speaks. My body relaxes instantly. She confirms she´s a doctor before ushering us both inside. Her voice is calm and low, and sort of husky and reminds me of the soft contented purr of a cat.“   – Jake

Alex Marlowe, a beautiful, middle class doctor, thought her life was simple and quiet until the night Jake entered the surgery and confused her little normal world. What happens after Alex and Jake meet is so captivating and exciting it had my heart speeding at an abnormal pace.

So God help me- I loved this story.

When opposites collide a catastrophe is bound to happen. And that is exactly what happened with Alex and Jake. Their characters couldn´t have been more different, yet they found a way to make things work between them, despite the events that threatened to tear them apart. I have to say that Jake is one of the best fictional bad-boys I´ve come across in a long time.

Scarlette Drake created the perfect and believable „Don´t fuck with me“ Hero. I mean- Jake Lawrence had the attitude, the language, the moves and the looks. And above all- Jake was passionate. What more could I ask for in a bad-boy? Alex was exactly what I´ve been looking for in a female character. She was….normal. She had the tendency to over-think alot….but what woman doesn´t over-think to much? Perfect.

It was much to my delight that this book gave me exactly what I crave for while reading. Angst, sex ( and you better get that bucket of ice ready because the sex in this story is worth it. All I´m gonna say is: The stairs) and of course, the struggle to keep a relationship work. An absolute MUST READ about love, secrets and wild passion! No one should miss out on this one.

The Cover- 4 stars ( It´s dark, it´s simple, and it gives nothing away from the story)

The Story- 5 stars ( A dark, edgy, very well written romance)

The Characters- 5 stars ( very well developed. Very realistic.)

My emotional state after finishing this story- I´m total mess. Can´t decide if I should be utterly pissed off because it had a cliffhanger, or extremely excited that there will be a second book. Since this story touched all my emotional buttons I´m giving this one a full star rating.

I´m giving `A Dark Fall` by the extremely talented Scarlette Drake 5 out of 5 stars ( and so many more)

This book is currently available on Wattpad for FREE. Click here to start reading. Don´t forget to vote and leave a comment..:-)