Hi there.

Recently I did one of those DNA test things and discovered that I am one quarter Scandinavian. Who knew?! However, I have now decided that this must be wrong as I am clearly half ITALIAN!

I’m joking, of course ( well, about the Italian bit at least – I really am quarter Viking). What I maybe should have said is that I FEEL half Italian. I might not have long dark hair or skin that turns a delicious chestnut colour in the sun and I have next to no proficiency in the language but when I go to Italy I feel like I belong there. It’s almost like coming home even though I have never been there for longer than a month at a time.

I have to confess though that this was something that I only remembered when I was in Rome last week and immediately fell back in love with the place. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that I find so appealing – the architecture certainly, the tiny roads and the way you can just stumble across flashes of  startling beauty in and amongst the everyday. I love the food too and the warmth. of the sun on my skin but mostly I think it’s the Italian people that appeal to me. They seem to embrace life as if every day might be their last and they must squeeze every last bit out of it. It’s not that they are perpetually happy or enthusiastic but they never seem to do anything in half measures. Whatever an Italian is busy with they do as if they really mean it.

So I think I need more trips to Italy and I’m going to make it a goal for me to pursue. After all, it’s so easy to get there from here that there really is no excuse for not doing something about it.

In other news, the new cover for Postcards From a Stranger has been finalised so watch this space for the grand reveal. The Thing about Clare is almost ready to go to proof too and the first draft of the third book for Lake Union is also complete. Now I’m thinking about the ideas that are bubbling round for my next story. So far I have the two main characters, a setting and the theme. Now I just have to wait for my creative brain to configure them into something that I can work with.

Whilst that is all cooking, I have been doing lots of reading and if you like family dramas I can recommend This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel

It’s the story of a family with lots of children and a big issue which they all find different ways to deal with. It’s everything I enjoy in a book – well written, thought-provoking and with a little humour.

If you enjoy what I’m doing here and on Facebook and Instagram then please tell your friends and I’d love to hear from you too. (If you don’t know then click the links above to follow me and find out!)

Best wishes,