Monday, January 17, 2011

January Sunshine

Isn’t this new-look website lovely? It’s just the thing to chase winter woes away. In January, holidays seem a long way off, although I’m still celebrating as this month sees the release of my latest Harlequin Presents title, The Master of Bella Terra. It’s the story of Kira and Stefano, and the setting is loosely based on a beautiful old villa in the Tuscan hills where my family and I spent a wonderful holiday, not long ago. 

I love Italy, and doing research there is always such a pleasure. During the cold winter months it’s lovely to think back to days spent lounging in the dappled sunlight of a citrus grove, listening to the gentle hum of bees and breathing in the lovely blend of sharp and sweet fragrances coming from the flowers and ripening fruit that can often be found nestling together, among the leaves. When I look back through the pages of The Master of Bella Terra now, it’s a lovely reminder of those days spent beneath the Italian sun.

Romantic Times awarded The Master of Bella Terra a four star review, saying: “Landscape consultant Kira Banks doesn’t appreciate it when Stefano Albani invades her countryside existence, but she can’t resist his lucrative contract to turn his houses into homes. Kira and Stefano are searching for ways to escape their painful pasts and protect themselves from future hurts. So while their passion is hard to resist, they’re determined not to fall in love. From the Italian countryside to the Caribbean, beautiful surroundings come to life as Hollis does a good job of maintaining tension between the characters.”

I hope you enjoy The Master of Bella Terra, along with all the other great Presents titles available this month.


  1. Hi Christina,

    I had to smile at your 'January Sunshine' heading as it's summer here in Australia, but I can relate to the idea of warm climes when you're in the middle of winter, and can definitely understand your desire to research in Italy. What an inspirational place! Even those lemons look tempting.

    I love the idea of a heroine who's a landscape consultant. Especially if her client is a charming Italian with a gorgeous garden! Congratulations on the lovely review.


  2. Thanks, Annie - I hope the flooding in Australia hasn't affected you.
    After weeks of snow and temperatures well below zero here in the UK, all I want to do is think about is summer (and Italian heroes, of course!)

  3. Christina, your blog and pictures took me straight back to Italy! I'll be there in September, all going well, and your blog is the next best thing to being there.

    Congratulations on the release, can't wait to read it!

  4. Thanks, Trish - I'm so envious of you getting to Italy this year. May the sun shine for you, and the inspiration flow!

  5. Well deserved review Christina!
    I love the picture of lemons - my mouth is watering and I'm imagining sunshine....

  6. Hi Sarah - thanks!
    Sadly I lost my two lemon trees last February. They don't mind the cold, but hate being damp at the same time. I can't wait to replace them as we drink a lot of lemon and honey in 'flu season.

  7. We who are under a heavy blanket of snow are thinking fond thoughts of Italy at the moment -- at least the southern part where it is presumably warm. Thanks for the reminder, Christina! Will grab a copy of your book and live vicariously!

  8. Thanks, Anne - snow is beautiful, but there comes a time when enough is enough. Warmth and light is what we need!

  9. Christina,

    Thanks for the good wishes. We're safe here from the impact of the flood - wich is saying something when so much of the country is under water.

    Really looking forward to reading 'Master of Bella Terra'!

  10. Hi Annie
    We heard on the radio yesterday about a huge lake of flood water, fifty miles by twenty, I think they said. Such huge figures are terrifying - thank goodness you're safe.
    I hope you enjoy Kira and Stefano's story. Working on it was so enjoyable, I can't wait to get started on the next one!