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Today we have an exciting tour and GUEST POST to share featuring author Kimberly Sullivan.
Sassy Brit : What’s something quirky about you?
Kimberly Sullivan: I’m not sure if it’s truly quirky, but I like to tell the story of how I wound up in Italy. I’ve always loved Europe and had visited and studied languages in European countries as I was growing up, but I first moved to Europe after college, working as a journalist in Prague, Czech Republic.
I remember sitting with a new friend, another young American woman, in one of the elegant art deco cafés I love so much in central and eastern Europe. Conversation turned to men and I remember we were both pretty adamant (as only twenty-year-olds can be) about the type of men we would never date. Embarrassing to admit it now, but topping both of our lists were Italians.
A few months later, my new friend started dating an Italian, who would go on to become her husband. A short time later, I followed in her footsteps, dating an Italian whom I later married. I’ve now lived in Italy for almost a quarter of a century, love Italy and feel fully at home here – and the bel paese tends to work its way into most of my stories.
My sons–obviously Italian themselves–always get a kick out of the story and about my absolute certainty that I would “never” date an Italian. So I tell them the moral of the story is, obviously, “Never say never.”
SB: Anything specific you want to tell your readers about your novel?
KS: Although parts of my novel take place in the Italian seaside town of Sperlonga and in hilltowns in Umbria, the bulk of the story is set in Rome, where all three characters live. In my story, there is a plaque that plays a small, supporting role–and inadvertently influences all three women.
When I started writing this novel, my family and I were living close to the Circo Massimo, where this plaque was located, and I passed it each day. My children and I wondered at its cryptic message “I was lost” and a twenty-first century date in Roman numerals. Like my sons and me, Annarita, one of my characters, discovers this plaque and wonders what it is and why it was placed there.
This plaque was too mysterious not to weave into my novel, where it serves as a reminder to all my characters as their lives are unfolding in ways they hadn’t envisioned.
Sadly, the plaque, which was obviously placed in that spot unofficially, has since been removed. I only have a photo of it. But I’m pleased I was able to memorialize it as a part of my story. And I loved that it played a small role in encouraging my characters to pursue their dreams.
SB: Who designed your book cover?
KS: Oooh, I love my cover design! I worked with amazingly talented artists and graphic artists Joanne Morgante and Roberto Magini of Maxtudio. I love how they fully captured the mood I wanted to convey with this story of three new friends in Rome. And, of course, it had to also succeed as a throwback to the 1954 film, with the Trevi Fountain front and center.
One of the great things about being an indie author is maintaining full control over the cover choice. While I am an embarrassingly bad artist myself (I never realized what a handicap that was until I had kids begging me to “Draw this! Draw that!” while I shifted into panic mode), I love art and graphic arts, so working with my designers was a dream. I love their bold colors, clean designs and their eye for great fonts.
We’re already at work on my second novel, and I’m so excited to collaborate with my favorite designers once again.
And yes, I fall firmly into the You-can-judge-a-book-by-its-cover camp. I tend to fall in love with covers for books I read.
by Kimberly Sullivan
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
One Eternal City. Three women. Three wishes. Three coins.
Emma, an American expat living in Rome for twenty years, can’t count on her ex-husband to help out with the kids when things get tough. Dario Rinaldi, famed plastic surgeon to the stars, is too busy gallivanting around Europe with young women to take an interest in his family.
Beautiful Tiffany, born and bred in Iowa, is desperate to get a spot as a dancer on an Italian television show. But is she willing to do whatever it takes to make her dreams of TV stardom come true?
Annarita, from an Italian-American family in Yonkers, teaches English to over-privileged Italians and regularly has her heart trampled by boyfriends all wrong for her. As her mother is always quick to point out, nothing has gone right for her since she moved to Italy. And she isn’t getting any younger, either.
Emma, Tiffany and Annarita all meet up by chance at a 1950s movie night while on a restorative holiday at a beach resort off-season. The triumphs and hardships of these three very different women become intertwined as they form an unlikely friendship and work to better their messy lives.
**On Sale for only $1.99 December 6th – 12th!!**
I write the women’s fiction stories I love to read, both contemporary and historic tales of women and the rich lives they lead along their journeys of self-discovery. A lifetime admirer and longtime resident of Italy, I’m often guilty of sneaking the bel paese into my stories.
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