Today I am so pleased to welcome Elizabeth Coldwell to Joyfully Jay. Elizabeth has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Pride of Amsterdam. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
So What Inspired The Pride of Amsterdam?
As writers, the first question we’re usually asked about any story we produced is “where did you get your inspiration from?” Over the years, I’ve found ideas in many places – dreams, conversations I’ve either taken part in or overheard, music videos that cry out to have their premise reworked in an erotic fashion… However, The Pride of Amsterdam took shape in slightly more unusual fashion. On holiday in Amsterdam I spotted a plaque on a building on the Brouwersgracht, one of the prettiest canals in the centre of the city. It was designed to mark a brewery that once stood on the spot – the Roode Leeuw, or Red Lion – and featured a stylised image of what appears to be a man wearing a lion suit. I couldn’t get it out of my head. To me, it suggested a creature that was part-man, part-beast – one of a race that had been there since the days when the Netherlands were the most powerful nation on earth, almost indistinguishable from the humans they lived among.
At first, I toyed with the idea of setting the story in different time periods, switching between the modern day and Amsterdam’s Golden Age, until that started to become too complicated. But I knew I wanted to write a scene that took place in what, until fairly recently, were disused waterside buildings in the city’s Eastern Docks. Over time, they’d become home to a community of squatters. The area is a lot more gentrified now. Jamie Oliver has a branch of his Fifteen restaurant chain there and the warehouses have been turned into modern apartments and office blocks. Still, I hoped to recapture some of the old, anarchic spirit that once infused them. The scene became the prologue of the book, which takes place on Millennium Eve. Naïve 18-year-old Kees van der Veer meets an enigmatic older man at a party, who takes his virginity then promptly disappears out of his life for 15 years. Kees is left with the promise that they will be reunited when the time is right, and only when that happens does he learn his lover’s name – Arjan – and the bizarre truth of his nature.
From there, the story gets darker, as the centuries-old enemy of the shifter pride reappears, threatening to destroy them for once and all. The danger to both Kees and Arjan grows more serious at the same time as their rekindled passion becomes increasingly intense.
So whether you’re a reader or an author, my advice to you is the next time you’re out walking, take a good look at the buildings around you. Amsterdam has plenty of commemorative inscriptions over door lintels and statues secreted in niches but it’s certainly not alone in that respect. Keep your eyes peeled, because you never know what you’ll spot or where the discovery of some hidden treasure will take you.
When an ancient enemy is summoned to destroy his pride, a lion shifter must fight to protect the man he loves.
Kees van der Veer has never forgotten the mysterious stranger who seduced him on Millennium Eve and who promised that when the time was right, they would be together again. Returning to Amsterdam after fifteen years away, he is reunited with that stranger, entering into a world of love and danger he could never have imagined.
Arjan is a lion shifter, part of a pride who has lived in Amsterdam since its Golden Age. He has spent fifteen years regretting the need to drive his destined mate away after one night of blissful passion. But only once they meet again can he reveal to Kees the truth of his heritage. When an old enemy is summoned to destroy the pride, Arjan must act to protect not only his family but also the man he loves.
Elizabeth Coldwell is a multi-published author whose stories have appeared in the best-selling ‘Best Women’s Erotica’ series and Black Lace’s popular ‘Wicked Words’ collections. Formerly the editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine, she also contributed a spicy monthly column, ‘The Cougar Chronicles’, to its pages. She has worked as a senior editor for Xcite Books. When she is not busy writing, she is an avid supporter of Rotherham United Football Club and can be regularly found on the terraces at weekends, cheering her boys to victory (hopefully!).
Find Elizabeth at The (Really) Naughty Corner— http://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com