As a holiday destination Italy always been one of my favourite countries to visit. The people, the history, the food, the pace of life, the weather, and so many amazing places to explore.
I have a close affinity with water and boats – Dartmouth and Fowey being two of my favourite UK holiday destinations. So it’s not surprising when I arrived in Garda in 2001 for a week’s holiday, I was totally smitten. I’ve been back twice since then. Another stay in Garda and then across the water to Desenzano, the biggest town on the lake with its rail link to Milan and main ferry terminal.
When I began to develop the plot for A Cornish Affair, I needed my heroine Cat’s father Ruan to have two long term friends who would become key players in this story. So I created Gareth Hunter who like Ruan had been born and raised in Carrenporth and Étienne Di Marco. Étienne and Ruan had met at university. Both from hotel owning families, they became good friends and over the years kept in touch. Half French-half Italian, Étienne now owned the Casa D’Oro hotel group and was based at their flagship hotel Fiore Del Lago on Lake Garda. The creation of this character and his hotel was helped by the fact we had recently stayed in Desenzano at the Hotel Villa Rosa and I was so taken with this beautiful hotel, I used it as inspiration for Fiore Del Lago.
But it wasn’t only the hotel. The lake is one of the most relaxing and atmospheric places I’ve visited so taking Cat there to work for Étienne was like going on holiday without leaving home!
If you’d like a trip to the Italian Lakes to join Cat in Desenzano, A Cornish Affair is one of four books currently on offer as part of an Italian Summer Sale. You can buy on Kobo, Kindle and Apple. And at just 99p for the e-book version it’s una grande offerta. The sale ends midnight on 17th July
Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …
In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …