Friday, November 30, 2018

The mysterious young woman I met on Santorini

It was back in the summer of 2012 when my husband and I spent ten days on the awe-inspiring Greek Island of Santorini—a precious gem in the Aegean Sea that is still an active volcano with spectacular rock formations, impressive lunar landscapes, and breathtaking red and black sand beaches.

What can I say? It was one of the most thrilling experiences in my life—the luxurious resort with a view to the volcano, romantic sunsets to take your breath away, and a deep blue sea vista to make you want to stay there forever.

But there was something more on Santorini that intrigued the writer in me: the couple that stayed next to us, Mark and Alexandra. Of course, these are not their real names but the names I gave them in my mystery romance novel “The Heiress of Santorini”.

They were from the States and having spent ten years of my life in Atlanta, Georgia, we hit it off right away. Mark was an attorney and Alexandra an insurance agent in a big city on the west coast. In my book, however, I describe them as being from Atlanta since I lived there and loved that city.

Our two suites shared a private terrace and a swimming pool carved on the rocks. So we spent a lot of time with that couple, swimming or sunbathing by the pool, talking and enjoying candlelight dinners with an amazing view of the Aegean Sea.

But there was always something intriguing about them, especially about Alexandra. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but I could feel it in the air.

And then, on the last night we spent on the island, and while Mark and my husband were shooting pool at the hotel’s bar, Alexandra broke down in tears and talked to me about her life…

I was surprised to find out that Mark wasn’t her husband—there was so much chemistry between the two of them that I was sure they were a couple. When I told her that, she explained that Mark was the love of her life and leaving him was the biggest mistake she ever made. But the fact remained that she was married to someone else—someone who’s been cheating on her and lying about his past. Alexandra didn’t go into details about her husband’s past or how she ended up on Santorini with Mark, but she sure seemed afraid of her husband and reluctant to ask for a divorce.

I asked her if she had anyone else besides Mark to help her get through this difficult time and she said no. She came from a wealthy family but for some reason wanted nothing to do with them.

In the still of the night, Alexandra and I stayed on the terrace, drinking wine and talking for hours. She needed a shoulder to cry on, and I’m a good listener.

I didn’t get much sleep that night, thinking about our talk. A story was already forming in my mind…

I was up at six in the morning and started writing “The Heiress of Santorini”. And hours later, I was still typing away on my laptop during our entire trip from Santorini to Piraeus—the harbor of Athens. Alexandra gave me the inspiration, but “The Heiress of Santorini” is a product of my imagination and doesn’t include real facts of that intriguing young lady’s life.

If you would like to check out “The Heiress of Santorini”, the novel is available as an e-book or paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo and other fine booksellers everywhere.

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