Friday, July 10, 2009

July Author Post...Sicily with Carol Grace

Greetings from sunny California where I write from my mountain top house overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

It’s July and I’m celebrating the release of my 30-something Harlequin/Silhouette romance – THE SICILIAN’S BRIDE, while Harlequin is celebrating their 60th birthday.

When my family and I went to Sicily on vacation a few years ago, I was seduced, not by a dashing Sicilian winemaker as happened in my book, but by the colorful history, the cosmopolitan cities, the gorgeous scenery, the art and the archeology. And the food! I can’t forget to mention the delicious arancini, the pasta and the famous drink made from the lemons growing everywhere - limoncello. Sicily is Asia, Europe and Europe all combined on one enchanting island. I knew I had to set a book there.

Isabel Morrison, an American from California, has inherited a vineyard from an uncle she never knew. As an orphan, she’s touched to think a relative cared enough to remember her in his will. She takes Italian lessons and learns what she can about growing wine grapes and heads for Sicily. After a broken love affair, Isabel is eager to make a new start. But there’s a man standing in her way. He’s Dario Montessori, the former owner of the land, who’s determined to get it back. But Dario doesn’t know how stubborn and how intriguing the heiress can be. As he reluctantly helps her tend her vineyards, and get to know his extended family, he falls in love with her along the way. Reluctantly!

Here’s a brief excerpt from THE SICILIAN’S BRIDE:

Isabel Morrison was lost. She’d been driving around on dirt roads for hours looking for the Monte Verde Vineyards. There were no signs at all out here in the country. The small rented Fiat was no equipped with GPS or air conditioning and she was sweltering in the September heat. She’d known it would be hot in Sicily, but not this hot…….

Just when she thought she’d have to turn around and go back to the little town of Villarmosa and get more directions, she spotted a man picking grapes. Exactly the kind of man she would hire to work in her fields….The man in sight was tall, strong and muscular and obviously used to hard work. She was so excited she slammed on the brakes and skidded to an abrupt halt.

He was shirtless and his jeans rode low on his hips. Very sensible in this kind of weather. Very sexy too. She swallowed hard and tried to tear her eyes from his broad chest covered with a light dusting of dark hair, but couldn’t. Perspiration broke out on her forehead. She couldn’t seem to take a deep breath. Maybe this was her property. Maybe he worked for her already and she’d be making wine this fall with his help. No, she couldn’t get that lucky.

Ciao, signore,” she called. “Per favore, dove e la Villa Monteverde?”

Carol's book is available in stores July 14 and online at eharlequin now.

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