Hola! How are you doing? Today, I'm bringing an exciting book to add to your Summer Books-to-Read list- Karen Aldous's new book UNDER A TUSCAN SKY. Isn't that cover absolutely gorgeous? Set in Tuscany, this pretty little book seems like the perfect choice for a summer read. Scroll down to find more info and to read an exclusive guest post by the author.
A summer she’ll never forget…
When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.
Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…
And when handsome antique dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!
LIKE A BIRD OF PREY
Just before writing this, I was in the garden watching a bird of prey in the field opposite me – I love that they see something they want and hover, ready to dive. I thought how lucky they are to view everything from above and just swoop into their chosen spot. I would have loved to have done this recently in Tuscany. I have so many places on my list to visit there, but I was there for a specific reason; my daughter and her new husband’s wedding. Hence why wings would have really come in handy. I had to wear my practical hat. We had the car packed to the gunnels(just as well we took the entire family’s wedding outfits as my son’s and his family’s cases got re-routed at Gatwick), and we couldn’t possibly leave the car – we had the bridal gown too!
Even when we finally reached the beautiful wedding venue and unpacked the car, all those great intentions to visit at least a couple of beautiful towns like Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, Arrezo, Cortona and Pienza -we were scuffled as we had so much to do and family, friends and other weddings guests began arriving. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of being together and celebrating the great event, but being so close and being the curious person I am, I had to clip my wings.
Besides, we were staying at a most stunning medieval farm in the Tuscan hills which was just seventeen kilometres south of Florence and perched on among vineyards and olive groves with panoramic views over the undulating hills – it was heavenly.Being the Chianti Classico region, the area is typically rustic and is littered with winegrowers and agritourism establishments which are great if you want to savour the local wine, olives and gastronomy, with restaurants scattered in villages and beautiful countryside. Once owned by the Medici family, our venue, Fattoria La Loggia was situated in a hamlet Montifiridolfi, and made the perfect wedding setting but also central for exploring the area by car. At our earlier visit, last year, we found postcard pictures at every turn, the rolling hills and vines combined with the cypress trees is simply stunning and the people so warm and hospitable. I’ve yet to meet an Italian who doesn’t want to feed you or talk about food, it’s as expressive as their landscape and art.
Which leads me naturally to the city of Florence. An artwork in itself, with beautiful Tuscan architecture, the towers, loggias, piazzas and of course the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery, where you can indulge entirely on a diet of medieval and renaissance artists such as Pisano, Donatello, Botticelli, Vasari to name just a s few, the richness will stun you for days. And, the visit to Florence would not be complete without a visit to the River Arno and its bridges, particularly the alluring Ponte Vecchio which really is, lined with gold, albeit designer jewellers!Mamma Mia, I now yearn to be a magpie!!
You will come across these locations in my latest novel, Under a Tuscan Sky, so please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
Meet the Author- Karen Aldous
Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!
Much of Karen's inspiration comes from her travels and meeting people. The UK, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and parts of the USA and Asia are just some you will experience in her books to date. However, wherever she goes, new characters emerge in 'Karen's World' screaming at her to tell their stories; past or present. She loves to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course, there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!
GIVEAWAY (UK ONLY)
Do stop by the other blogs to read more posts and reviews related to this book. Danke!