Showing posts from January, 2015

With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Celebrates Lucy

Alexis and Ashley at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book are two of my very favorite book bloggers.  Thanks to Alexis for this very festive post celebrating the release of Love, Lucy.

Tomorrow, Alexis and Ashley will play host to yours truly.  I'll be writing  about the songs that transport me straight back into Lucy's European backpacking adventures--and her vacation flirtation with footloose Jesse.  So stay tuned!

A Launch Day Giveaway And Some Rules of the Road

It's Lucy's launch day, and in her honor, the fantastic folks at Rock Star Book Tours are hosting a book blast and a giveaway!  To enter, visit one of the participating blogs! 

The book blast post is a little something I wrote about the first time I backpacked across Europe, and how the experience taught me a few rules of the road.
Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. 

Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at reading maps or train schedules. 

Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo. Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for …

Picnic in Boboli Gardens: A LOVE, LUCY cheese playlist

On the eve of Love, Lucy's release, I'm still fine-tuning the plans for Friday's big Italian-themed launch party.  One of the things I really want to do is recreate the impromptu picnic lunch my characters share in Florence's Boboli Gardens.  

Lucy and her traveling companion Charlene meet up with Jesse, the cute street musician who also works at the hostel where they are staying.  He arrives bearing some very special delicacies:

"Jesse--with his hair ruffled from the walk across  town--was a welcome sight, to Lucy at least.  'You brought your guitar,' she observed, taking one of the bags from him."'Everywhere I go,' he said.  "Let me show you my favorite spot for a picnic."  He led them along a winding path to a shady spot in a grove of pine trees, spread his blanket among the fragrant needles, and motioned for them to sit.  Then he unpacked the grocery bags, laying out soft cheese, crusty bread, artichoke hearts, apricots, and prosci…

Preparing to Launch

After all the work and waiting, the first few boxes ofLove, Lucy have arrived on my doorstep, wafting that new book smell.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the big Italian-themed launch party I'm throwing, I've been trying out recipes for cannoli bites, trying to achieve the perfect mix of ricotta, mascarpone, cinnamon, and amore.  

I've been consulting with my fabulous friend Madame Fromage on the perfect cheeses to convey the mood of a picnic in the Boboli Gardens, perfecting my playlist of Italian music....

 and counting up the numbers of likely party guests to make sure we've got enough antipasti to go around.

By the way, there's still time to RSVP if you'd like to join me for the festivities.  We'll be gathering on January 30 from 7-9 p.m. at Salem Oak Vineyards, 60 North Railroad Avenue, Pedricktown, NJ.  Contact me at to say you'll be there!

Say Buongiorno to Lucy

...because there's nothing quite like holding your newborn for the very first time.  Or setting off on a brand new journey.

On Retellings, Strong Women Protagonists, and Bopping Around Europe

As the Love, Lucy launch day grows tantalizingly close, some terrific book blogs have been running reviews and, in the case of Dizneeee's World of Books, an interview. Thanks to Lisa for asking me some really great questions, and for letting me share our conversation here with you.

Q: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions with me today. My book club recently read Love, Lucy and we had a great time discussing it and dreaming of taking a European excursion to see the sights and meet cute boys! We loved your retelling and spin of A Room With a View! What gave you the idea to write a new adventure for this particular story? 

A: You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Like Lucy, I was given the chance to backpack through Europe when I was pretty young. Ever since, I have wanted to write a novel inspired by my backpacking experiences, and A Room With a View—Forster’s novel and also the glorious 1985 Merchant Ivory film version—is such a romantic, funny, bea…

Love Italy? (Some Odds and Ends)

As the release day for Love, Lucy approaches, I have a few odds and ends to share.  First of all, the amazing Jaime and Rachel at Rock Star Book Tours are putting together a killer book blast.  If you're a blogger, please consider signing up with them here.

And, speaking of blasts, I've been busily planning an Italian-themed Love, Lucy launch party.  If you'll be anywhere near Philadelphia, South Jersey, or Delaware on January 30, please consider stopping by for fun and light fare.  Here's what you need to know:

Finally, time is running out to walk with me in Lucy's footsteps.   A few spaces are still left in this summer's Travel Writing: Rome class.  We'll be living and writing in Rome and taking side trips to some very glamorous locations:  Florence, Assisi, Orvieto, Pompeii, Capri, and Sorrento:

This Saint Joseph's University class is open to college grads and undergrads in any degree-granting program.  Click here to learn more.

Reading in Bed With Nico

This morning Andre and I planned to set out on one of our river town daytrips.  We got up, got dressed, went out, made a pit stop for coffee, and realized that on a coldly rainy day like today no road trip could rival staying home in bed and cuddling the dogs.
So here I am, doing something I get to do all too rarely: reading for pleasure.  First up, this lovely ARC by Lara Avery:

There's so much else I should be doing--dusting, making my grocery list, answering emails.  But today, for once, I'm saving the shoulds for another day.