Thanks so much to Vicky at Aria for allowing me to be on the blog tour for the brilliant Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman! And today it’s not just a review, there’s a guest post too!
What they say: The feel-good read of 2019, perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Karen Swan.
Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.
So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?
Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…
Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.
Guest Post: Location, Location, Location…
As a full time writer what I’ve come to appreciate is that no experience whether good, or
bad is ever wasted. By nature, I’m a people watcher and sometimes an incident I see, or hear, is enough to trigger the idea for a new story. But the question I’m asked most frequently is how do I decide where a story is going to be set?
The answer is that because I simply sit down and write with very little information in front of me, the location is usually dictated by where the characters take the storyline. In the case of bestselling author Brie Middleton, I was only a few chapters in when it was obvious to me that she was heading for Lake Garda. The setting had to be breathtakingly beautiful and romantic. In the way that only the perfect place can feel when it casts a spell over you, and everything that happens while you are there is special. It’s not something you can engineer- it just happens.
But aside from a gorgeous setting, the actual villa Brie visits was key. Having visited Lake
Garda a few times over the years, while the property itself is fictional it was very easy to
bring it to life. Having stayed up in the hills and enjoyed waking up to the panoramic vista looking out over the lake, for this story I simply drew on memories
.In particular, one such stay in a beautiful hillside villa saw us spending every evening eating at a lovely little restaurant a short walk away. My husband and I would take what turned out to be a rather challenging walk given the short distance, due to the gradient. Thankfully the walk back was downhill all the way and much easier on the leg muscles.
The rustic little eatery was a place frequented mainly by locals and the menu wasn’t easy to interpret, so every meal was a bit of a surprise. But the welcome was always very warm, and we laughed a lot as we tried our best to communicate. Always they brought us additional dishes to sample, or wines to taste and there was much gesturing of hands in appreciation. We would sit at a table on a terrace with unobstructed views out over sweeping hills and valleys. The ambience was magical and that’s why Lake Garda had to be the setting for this story. For Brie it was the place where she finally discovered that what she thought she wanted wasn’t really what she wanted at all!
Ironically, my current work in progress started with the location and I can’t wait to see how that turns out as it’s a first for me…
The Review: I had heard so many (so so many) people talking about Lucy Coleman but nothing could have prepared me for how quickly I fell in love with this story of a writer (yay!) whose birthday is Valentine’s day (double yay!) and who lives in a ‘quirky five bedroom cottage in the Forest of Dean.’ (Falls over!)
Despite the ample property space and romantic birthday, it’s just her, which is fine, except for an author of erotic fiction who believes totally and absolutely in love and who is obsessed with all things romance, including Jude Law, well, she doesn’t believe it is. Feeling like she’s in a rut, she barricades herself in her lovely cottage and is soon the subject of an intervention which aids in sending her to Italy to work alongside an author who gives amazing courses (truly, as in I really wanted to go to take part in the writing retreat, it covered a lot of things I myself need and would love to work on!) I thought this would be more about the people on the retreat (which would have been very much up my street) but actually this is a very soft spoken, spell binding story of how whirlwind romances can occur when people are actually just looking to find themselves and where they fit. I loved Brie and Arran, swooned at the drama, romance, settings and above all all the writerly bookish parts (in particular Brie defending her genre and her writing, which as an Irish chick lit writer is something I have to do all the time!) Very much recommended and I now have Ms. Coleman bookmarked as an author to watch. Thanks so much to Aria for the book in return for an honest review!
About the author
Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.