News Flash–Congrats to Lynn Hones –drawn as the winner of the free download of Megan’s book from the pool of those who left comments. e
Enjoy the wonderful read, Lynn!
From the lovely U.K. we are happy to welcome author Megan Johns to London Blog today. She is here to tell us a bit about her latest novel inspiration and love of all things Italian. Leave a comment and you just may be the lucky winner of a PDF copy of A Shore Of Secrets! Take it away, Megan…
AUTHOR BIO: I live in a pretty village in the UK countryside complete with a duck pond and stocks on the village green. With our daughter now grown up, my husband and I are empty nesters apart from an adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and some neighbouring alpacas.
I always enjoyed writing, but juggling family life and a lecturing career left little time. Only when life began to slow down did I start writing in earnest.
My reading tastes are eclectic. I enjoy Joanna Trollope because of the pithy way in which she deals with contemporary issues, also Rosamunde Pilcher and the late Maeve Binchy are firm favourites. I like to explore most genres, however.
In my own writing, I aim to focus on writing contemporary romance novels ‘with teeth’.
The inspiration for ‘A Shore of Secrets’ stemmed from my love of all things Italian.
To start with, the people are gregarious and they possess an appetite for life that is infectious. Generally, they are feeling people, not afraid to show their emotions, who will often act on gut instinct. The resulting spontaneity can make life very exciting. Italians also possess a flair for style that is universally acknowledged. They admire wealth and beauty, and appearances are everything. Much of Italy is about style over substance, and they are masters at beautiful presentation. As a nation, they are so unlike us buttoned-up Brits.
The food and wine are to die for and the lifestyle so stimulating. With the cafe culture, life is lived much more in public than in Britain or the USA. Loud conversations in the piazzas and streets compete with the background noise of traffic horns. Quiet it is not. The English author Tobias Jones remarked, “After a while, other countries begin to seem eerily quiet, even dull”.
One thing is certain – it is impossible to be bored in Italy! The place is oozing with culture, both architecturally and artistically. Even its history and politics are far from dull and I imagine we have all been captivated by recent scandals. Religion, too, is important and still plays a part in everyday life for many Italians. The country has a wealth of spectacular and historically significant churches and, to some extent, the importance of the father within a family reflects church hierarchy.
That brings me neatly onto the topic of family life. Family is everything in Italy. Family defines people, gives them a place in society. They are the ones you can trust, the people you work for, for whom you do reciprocal good turns. Bound by deep-rooted loyalty, a family will close ranks to protect one of its own and secrecy is an integral part of its make-up. This aspect of Italian society fascinates me, particularly since the power of the family has diminished so much in many other western societies. Fundamentally, this is what gave me the idea for a central theme in ‘A Shore of Secrets’. In the book, the closely guarded secrets of the Renaldi family play a pivotal role in determining the storyline.
Here’s the blurb:
‘Italia! Oh Italia! Thou who hast the fatal gift of beauty.’ Byron
And Venice is exquisite. Nor is the beauty confined to the place. Hotelier Giovanni Renaldi is tall, dark and devilishly handsome. Yet holiday representative Abi seems immune. Crossed in love, she is in no hurry to fall again. Plus his arrogance is so infuriating.
Surely the discomforting feelings he evokes can only be guilt at covering for his naive sister’s secret lover?
When passion finally wins through, the thrill of their lovemaking is soon wrecked. And Giovanni, proud and fierce defender of his family since inheriting the role of patriarch, is enraged to learn Abi has colluded with his sister.
But Abi quickly discovers her secrecy is nothing compared to Giovanni’s. As the family’s closely guarded secrets begin to unfold, she is sucked into their internal wrangling.
Is nothing what it seems in this clandestine community?
And can love triumph over the turmoil of scarred lives?
‘In all secrets there is a kind of guilt.’ Can Abi learn to trust, and Giovanni to forgive?
SHORT EXCERPT: The piazza hummed with activity. A huddle of guests outside the hotel seemed in good spirits, despite their various states of undress. From beyond them, however, the shadowy image of a stretcher emerged. Abi’s stomach clenched. Pushing a path through the crowd of onlookers, she rushed toward it.
“What’s going on?” she protested as the tall, imposing figure of Giovanni Renaldi appeared from nowhere to block her way.
“Nothing to worry about,” he informed her in a manner so crisp it verged on brusque.
A needle of pique worked its way through her veins and she regarded him head-on. He might be the epitome of Italian suave and sophistication, but any appeal was annihilated by his infuriating manner.
“So, why the ambulance?”
“There’s been a minor incident, that’s all. It’s just a routine check-up.”
“Routine? At this time of night?” Her voice rose in sharp protest. Something about his demeanour struck a chord. “If it’s one of my clients, I need to know what’s going on!”
He regarded the shoes still dangling from the crook of her fingers and pitched her a severe look, as if addressing a child. Uncomfortable under the weight of his gaze, she wriggled her shoulders and looked away.
Author’s Other Works:
‘The Path of Innocence’, published by Devine Destinies BUY LINK CLICK HERE
Short stories in the anthologies ‘Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road’ and ‘The Speed of Dark’ published by Chase Enterprises Publishing. BUY LINK CLICK HERE
Megan’s LINKS: http://www.megan-johns.com http://www.meganjohnsinvites.blogspot.com
Twitter: Megan Johns @meganjohns12
TAGS: Romance, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, Italy, Venice, holiday romance, British heroine, secrecy, trust
Giveaway: A pdf of ‘A Shore of Secrets’ to be awarded to one commentator