Tell us a little about your book:
‘Rosamanti’ was a book that I needed to write. I have known for many years that I would one day write a book set on the Italian Isle of Capri. As a child, I was fascinated with the island, then – as an adult – I managed to visit there several times. Once I started writing, the whole story just came, and I wrote the first draft in three weeks! Now that’s got to be some record! I fell more than a little in love with my leading man, Pietro. He is charming, sweet, handsome, sexy – and he can cook. Hey, what’s there not to like?
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
Valentine’s Day is always a celebration of romantic love. I’m mindful that not everyone has managed to find – or maybe keep – their perfect soul mate, but the notion of love, of being in love, is one that we as humans must hold on to. It’s good to celebrate a day where people are proud and happy to show their true appreciation for their significant other.
Favourite Valentine’s Day memory?
A cold, snowy, blustery day in Paris, the wind chilling me to my core. We stopped at a little café where, when we opened the door, warmth from an open fire welcomed us. We sat sipping wine, thawing out, admiring the view of the Champs Elysees coated in a dusting of white snow.
Best ever Valentine’s Day gift you’ve given or received?
Believe it or not, tickets to see The Eagles in Sydney.
What’s the appeal of the romance genre for you as a writer? As a reader?
The appeal is the same for me as both a writer and a reader. Romance is the one genre that promises an uplifting, happy, positive image of humanity. Only in romance do you find so many people who can identify with the characters, with the problems the characters have, and with the ordinary human desires to find a soul mate and fall in love. I’ve read articles about the therapeutic effect of romance novels on people who are lonely, going through hard times, and finding life tough. It’s a fact that people gain hope, and even find solutions to their problems, within the pages of a romance novel. When I read them, I feel great. When I write them, I feel even better.
Fate drew her to Rosamanti. Love made her stay…
After the death of her husband, best-selling mystery author Sarah Halliman has lost her desire for just about everything. Desperate to break out of her funk and rediscover herself, she answers a newspaper advertisement—For lease: Isolated villa on Capri, Italy. Must love cats. Traveling alone to the beautiful island of Capri, she locates Villa Rosamanti, a gorgeous 400-year-old dwelling nestled in the hillside of Monte Tiberio. Above it lies Villa Jovis, the 2000-year-old villa of Emperor Tiberius, ripe with history and intrigue.
Sarah soon discovers a strong resonance with Rosamanti and its gardens and quirky pets. She begins to feel a deep connection to Elena Lombardi, the deceased owner. But it’s not just the villa Sarah’s fallen in love with. Elena’s grandson, Pietro, is handsome and charming, the epitome of the passionate Italian. His dream is to own a restaurant of his own, but such dreams are for wealthier men.
Between the sparks that Pietro kindles in Sarah’s heart—and her kitchen—and the mystery of nearby Villa Jovis, Sarah’s muse begins to stir. She senses stories in the ancient stones, and romance in the phosphorescent blue waters of the Blue Grotto. But when her curiosity takes her to Elena’s library, a child’s notes and maps lead Sarah to a mystery that could be the answer to everyone’s prayers—or perhaps, be the destruction of everything they hold dear…