Transport yourself to Greece with Olympic Holidays’ favourite book list
April 2020/…Olympic Holidays has launched their very own ‘Book It!’ List – a novel(!) new series where every week, they will be sharing recommendations of various books based on Greece, Cyprus and other islands that Olympic Holidays travel to.
The first recommendation in this series is from Olympic Holidays’ customer, friend and Grecophile, Paulene Green. Paulene and her husband Ron, from West Sussex, usually travel to Greece at least twice a year and love the off-the-beaten-track studio or apartment holiday as well as recently staying at the Skiathos Palace, in Skiathos, for the occasional luxury.
Paulene says: “Someone told me about the Brighton-based fiction writer Beryl Darby who writes stories about individual characters in Elounda, Crete. She’s an independent author with 25 published novels to her name and they follow the amazing lives of different family members in the town from 1918.”
Beryl’s books can be found on Kindle and you can order books via her website Beryl Darby Books.
“The titles have simple names: YANNIS, ANNA, GIOVANNI, JOSEPH, CHRISTABELLE, SAFFRON, NICOLA, MANOLIS, CATHY, VASI, ALECOS, JOHN, TASSOS, RONNIE, MARIA, SOFIA, BABBIS, STELIOS, KYRIAKOS, MONIKA, EMMANUEL, THEO, PHAEDRA, EVGENIY and LUDMILA – all gorgeous family novels.”
“I wrote to Beryl and told her how much I loved her work and she added my quote to the back of one of her books. I was really made up by that. Each book has a photo of a character on the front cover and the people of Elounda clamour to have their picture taken. Beryl usually spends a great deal of time in Elounda and is quite a celebrity there.Reading her books certainly transports you to the island – you almost feel Crete’s warm salty breeze!”
Jennifer Barclay, Falling in Honey – Life and Love on a Greek Island
The second recommendation comes from Olympic Holidays’ customer Claire Wrighton who can’t wait to get back to Greece, particularly to see Philipous at the Olive Press for an ice-cold Mythos beer and a plate of calamari!
Claire, from Tadley, Hampshire, has been on Olympic holidays with her friends; stayed at the Sofia Apartments in Kavos in the quiet season and at Bali in Crete with her dad for ‘a much-needed break after my mum passed away. She said: “My dad had never been to Greece and he loved it. We have now been twice to our much-loved Nisakki Corfu where I have also converted my partner Chris into becoming Grecophile!
“I loved the recommendation of Beryl Darby’s stories about individual characters in Elounda, Crete and in turn, I would like to suggest Falling in Honey – Life and Love on a Greek Island by Jennifer Barclay. It’s a great, easy-going read that transported me to the tiny island of Tilos. It firmly cemented in my mind that one day I will fulfil my dream to hop on a plane to Piraeus or Rhodes and just see which ferry takes my fancy and wing it on whatever island I end up on.”
Jennifer Barclay is a British freelance editor and writer who followed her dream and moved to Tilos in 2011. She is also the author of an Octopus in my Ouzo. Jennifer’s new book, Wild Abandon: A Journey to the Deserted Places of the Dodecanese, comes out in May.
Author Jennifer says she is “thrilled that Claire chose Falling in Honey”. She said: “It’s about that pure happiness you can feel simply by arriving on your dream Greek island. At the moment I am in lockdown in the UK and missing the sea and home and island life –but grateful we’ve had sunshine here!”
Falling in Honey – Life and Love on a Greek Island is an honest, mouth-watering mix of comedy and romance – a journey from heartbreak to happiness. One difficult winter when her love life falls apart Jen decides on Three Gifts to Self. Gift One and Two are reducing her workload and staying away from relationships for a while. Gift Three, the most important, is a month alone on a tiny, wild Greek island. It’s a chance to find another kind of contentment: one that comes from the sun and the sea, from the aroma of herbs on the mountains and holding an octopus in your hands. She decides to act on her dream of staying for longer but just when everything is falling into place again, the strangest thing happens.
Imogen Edwards-Jones, Hotel Babylon
The third recommendation is Hotel Babylon, by Imogen Edwards-Jones is a fantastic inside look into how a hotel works. Imogen, who spends her time between London and Ibiza with her TV producer husband Kenton Allen and two children, has generously given Olympic Holidays an overview of her bestseller.
She said: “Hotel Babylon started when I met the manager of a five-star hotel; he had been in the business 25 years, and the initial idea was to write his biography, but his stories were so interesting I decided to pack them into a 24-hour story. It was around the time of the TV series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland as counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer and each season of 24 episodes, covered 24 hours in Bauer’s life.
“I put all the story ideas into 24 hours within a fictious hotel – every juicy, fantastical story – so the reader learned how a hotel worked within that time frame. It went from there with various sequels because I got feedback from readers who gave me their stories. “They include Beach Babylon, which might particularly appeal to Olympic Holidays’ readers – it’s about island resorts which are a microcosm of the world – all nationalities brought together, contrasting rich and poor. There’s also Pop Babylon, Wedding Babylon, Fashion Babylon and so on.”
“At the moment I am writing the sequel to The Witches of St Petersburg – it takes the story on to the Russian Revolution and how the royal family escaped from St Petersburg to Crimea and were rescued from the beaches by the British. It was an amazing rescue!”
Imogen, who has sold more than 1.5 million books, has also visited many of the Greek islands in Olympic Holidays’ portfolio including Skopelos and Skiathos as well as Lesbos, Mykonos and Santorini while Inter-Railing as a teenager.
For further information or to share your favourite novels, visit www.olympicholidays.com/blog/
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