Sunday, November 06, 2011

WRITING ITALY


I've been so busy the last couple of weeks, mentoring my New Voices finalist, putting the final finishing touches to THE LAST WOMAN HE'D EVER DATE and getting stuck into a non-fic project I'm working on.  More of that later.

But I have new book on the blocks. FLIRTING WITH ITALIAN is now available online from Mills and Boon (you can read the first chapter here) and from Harlequin in paper and eBook format.

You'll probably have to wait a couple of weeks for delivery from any of the other online outlets, or retail, but I thought it was time to make you better acquainted with the setting. Well, there's Rome. Hard to say anything about the city that's new. It is just, amazing.

The secondary location in the book, Isola del Serrone, a large village in a wine-producing area south east of Rome, is a figment of my imagination based on my own visits to the area.

I love this picture, which seems to encapsulate those large villages and small towns I visited when I was in Italy. Narrow alleys, beautiful golden squares, so much unimaginable age.

In Italy, history is not so much a tourist destination as part of life.  And the Romans, in many places, are just Johnny-come-lately types.  Where I stayed with friends, they speak a dialect which is an older language than Latin.

It's a new world for Sarah Gratton who, newly single, is picking up the threads of the life she had abandoned for the "perfect job" the "perfect man".  Travelling, teaching abroad. And her much loved great-grandfather, knowing how much she is hurting, tells her not to look back but forward, and gives her a little advice:

Sarah started as Lex took her hand. 
            ‘It’s not far,’ she told him. ‘I’ll be home for visits so often you’ll be sick of me.  Half term.  The holidays.’
     ‘      What for?  To see an old man?’ His gesture was dismissive. ‘Don’t waste your time or your money.  Enjoy Italy while you have the chance.’
‘I’ll have plenty of time to see everything.’ And could travel with the money she’d been saving for her wedding, for the big dress.  Her share of the deposit they had been saving for a house. One with a garden for the children they would have one day.    
‘There’s never enough time,’ he warned her. ‘Your life goes by in a flash. Enjoy every minute of it.’
‘Of course,’ she said, on automatic.
‘No, I mean really enjoy it.’ He regarded her with that thoughtful gaze that his patients would have recognised when he had still been in practice. The one that saw through the “headaches” to the real problem. 'I prescribe an affair. No falling in love, breaking your heart stuff, mind.  Nothing serious,’ he warned. ‘A just-for-fun romance with some dark-eyed Italian. A memory to make you smile rather than weep. To keep you warm at night when you’re old.’

He's speaking from the heart and when she goes in search of his own memory, she finds Matteo di Serrone.
What do you think? Does he fit the bill?

4 comments:

Nicola Marsh said...

Oh yes, he fits the bill perfectly!

Caroline said...

Ohhh I'll say! Caroline x

Charlotte Phillips said...

I'm just about to start reading mine and now will do so with Rufus Sewell in my head, very nice!

PS. Thank you so much for Lib's book, she's delighted with it. I will let you know what she thinks!

Liz Fielding said...

Glad he fits the bill!