What weather we’ve seen in England recently. I feel so sorry for those affected by floods. How miserable.
I’ve been sheltering indoors, listening to the wind sweeping in from the sea, buffeting our house. But I’ve been getting into my next Italian novel, researching about the brave women resistance fighters of Italy and trying not to weigh down my new story with great wodges of information.
I’m also preparing for February 25th – publication day for my second novel with Bookouture. The Tuscan Girl
On March 10th, my first “baby, The Tuscan Secret ,will be published in HUNGARY 🙂 . The cover is quite different from the English language version: rather whimsical, I think. But, I like it and it is all very exciting to me. I wish I had some Hungarian friends. Maybe my book will find me some. Fingers crossed!
Last week started well, with a dose of metaphorical sunshine. I was nominated by the lovely blogger, Jessie Cahalin for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Wow! How great to receive this award! I always feel as if I am blundering about on my blog, but if I have brought sunshine to even one person, then I am smiling.
As well as being a fantastically supportive blogger, Jessie is also an author and her first book has the intriguing title of You can’t go it alone
Jessie set me 11 questions and here are my answers.
- Which three photographs would you present to capture your life?
It was hard to pick only three. I should really like to include photos of my five grandchildren but, sadly, I don’t think it is safe to post images of little children on the web 😦
Below are photos of me in Italy, where I live for six months of each year. I have more time to write and research in Tuscany. The beautiful countryside in the Apennines is inspiring and I’m blessed with a tolerant, kind, half-Italian husband who also loves walking and doesn’t mind when I bounce ideas off him for my stories.
2. I believe laughter is one of the best tonics in life. When was the last time you could not stop laughing?
Gosh, good question! I always laugh when I’m with my grandchildren. But, rolling around on the floor, tears running down my face, my tummy muscles hurting… I can’t actually remember the last time. This needs remedying…
3. Explain the last act of kindness you showed to a friend or stranger.
I buy a hot drink when I see a homeless person and talk to them. I was touched that our oldest grandson (7 years old) shared his pocket money with a young lad yesterday when he was in town with his Daddy.
4. Do you prefer the winter sun or the summer sun?
Although we live in Tuscany for six months, I far prefer a crisp winter day for a long walk, rather than a sweaty slog. It snows most winters in the Apennines and the scenery is breath-taking.
5. Describe your perfect Saturday evening.
It depends on how lazy or tired I feel. Could be by the log burner with my husband, with a glass of wine, enjoying a simple meal or cooking for half a dozen good friends and sharing more wine and conversation.
6. What sorts of characters do you prefer to meet in novels?
Unusual characters with unexpectedly big hearts. I’ve recently read Lisa Jewell’s “I found You” and I loved Alice and her dysfunctional family. She leapt off the page for me.
7. Give one sentence of advice to yourself when you were sixteen.
You are who you are and it doesn’t matter that you’re so tall and have big feet because it’s what’s inside your head and heart that counts.
8. Is there a friend from the past you would love to get in touch with and why?
My schoolfriend, Monica, whom I’d recently lost touch with. I went to her funeral two weeks ago and there was still so much I wanted to share with her.
9. What is your food heaven and food hell?
Food heaven would be home-made pasta with sauce made from fresh, homegrown basil and tomatoes from our Tuscan “orto”.
Food hell would be school gristly suet pudding that I got caught stuffing down the floorboards by a mean nun. She made me eat it…
10. Share your favourite recipe
I’ll share it in Italian, so you’re right in the atmosphere and learn some words!
It’s on You-tube, so I hope this link works. aubergine parmigiana
11. If you could travel back in time where would you visit and who would you take with you?
I’m intrigued by the Edwardian era but I would have to go above my station and visit above stairs in a grand house for a country weekend. I’d take my husband with me, but we would be in our twenties and have more energy for all the fun, food and games. (In reality I’d most likely have been a skivvy below stairs, but a girl can dream). I’d also have small feet and a waspish waist and look beautiful in the Edwardian fashions. (I think I’m being influenced by the scenes from Downton Abbey. 😉
That was a bit of fun. Thank you, Jessie And now, I get to nominate 11 more friends to continue this Sunshine Blogger Award (only if they want to... I know we are all very busy).
The Sunshine Blogger Award empowers bloggers to celebrate other bloggers who are creative and bring positivity to the blogging community. So, I nominate:
There are a few rules to follow:
Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions that I set below.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award on your own blog post.
Nominate 11 new bloggers and their blogs and ask your nominees 11 NEW QUESTIONS.
Here are my questions to you – with thanks to Mixtus Media
- When you were little, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?
- What is something you like to do the old fashioned way?
- What is one of your favourite smells?
- If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
- What job would you be terrible at?
- If you had a million pounds/dollars, what would you do with them to help the most people?
- For one day, you can do whatever you want. What would you do?
- Give me three words to describe yourself.
- What is your favourite food treat?
- What is your favourite outfit?
- You have one last wish… go for it!