By Tracy March
One of my favorite parts about writing romantic thrillers is researching my stories. Whether it’s a specific character quirk, an intriguing setting, or a science-related plot element, I’m all in. Especially when it comes to researching an incredible setting. My latest romantic thriller, A SHOT OF RED, is partially set in Lucerne, Switzerland, and my husband and I had the awesome opportunity to visit there before I wrote the story.
We had a fascinating time in the land of watches, army knives and chocolate. But there’s way more to Switzerland than that. Here are ten things my husband and I enjoyed most, and some of them can even be found in A SHOT OF RED.
1. Strolling through the charming narrow streets of old town Lucerne, admiring the still-intact medieval city walls with their fairy-tale towers. Countless clocks chime on the hour, but the oldest clock in the city does the honors. It’s allowed to chime a minute before all the others!
2. Visiting the Engelberg Benedictine Monastery and meeting real-life monks. Engelberg means angel mountain, and the monastery got its name when two monks saw a host of angels while they were walking in the nearby meadows. The monastery gave its name to the village that grew up around it, and an angel is the symbol of the idyllic town.
3. Learning the ancient art of cheese making at the Engelberg Monastery Cheese Factory. Cheese is an important source of income for the abbey. Made from fresh milk from cows that feed in the lush Engelberg pastures and surrounding Alps, the monastery cheese makes a mean fondue!
4. Viewing some amazing Picassos at the Museum Sammlung Rosengart in Lucerne. Over thirty Picassos showcase his amazing creative vitality. I admit I didn’t quite get his style, despite a (way too) thorough explanation from our tour guide, but I enjoyed seeing the work of a modern master.
5. Visiting Ruag Aviation’s airplane factory. This is what happens when your husband works for NASA aeronautics! It was fascinating to see how an airplane is made—all the way down to the steel rivets. And “flying” in a flight simulator was kind of fun, too!
6. Blowing glass at Glasi Hergiswil. As if it wasn’t amazing enough to see the fiery glass furnace and the craftsmen blowing, pouring and shaping glass, I got to create my own glass ball to bring home.
7. Traveling to the peak of majestic Mount Pilatus by way of the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. This was a seriously slanted way to climb the mountain. Thank goodness the train cars are built with the incline in mind. The seats are tiered like stadium seating. Just don’t look behind you on the way up!
8. Listening to an alpenhorn concert. At the peak of Mount Pilatus, we ate lunch on a sprawling terrace. The sky glowed electric blue. The snowy Alps stretched for miles in the distance. And men dressed in lederhosen played alpenhorns. Seriously, lederhosen. But the soothing music helped me forget the fashion fright!
9. Ziplining in the Alps—the ultimate mountain experience. What a rush it was, speeding down those cables with a view of the snowy Alps as far as I could see—when I kept my eyes open, that is!
10. Getting the real vibe of Lucerne so I could bring it to life for readers in my sexy new romantic suspense novel, A SHOT OF RED. It’s hard not to fall in love with Switzerland, and I fell hard enough to want to write about it every day for months.
A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick “This is one of the best romantic suspense novels I have read in a while. The suspense is super tense. The characters are real and easy to relate to, and the chemistry between Gio and Mia is hot, hot, and hotter. The plot has many twists and turns, some that will leave you gasping for air, and the premise is utterly chilling.”
Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without Diet Coke and Cheez-Its.
Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA.
To learn more about Tracy, please visit her website.