You can’t really hold against me how I pick books set in Italy, right?
The story is A Life By Design (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo, a 20th Century Historical Romance, coming of age story set in Milan, just released.
When 20-year-old Elena Allegro leaves the Italian village of Laurino to study Fashion Design in Milan, she’s certain her dreams are about to come true. Despite her father’s warnings that risk comes with her newfound freedom, she loves her studies and develops a love interest with Francesco, the handsome young entrepreneur who offers her a part-time job in a Milan clothing store.
It seems like an idyllic situation—until a stalker targets Elena, tormenting her with mind games and threatening her safety. In the face of escalating danger to herself and to Francesco, Elena must fight for her freedom, her love, and her survival.
Lucy writes romantic suspense, historical fiction/coming of age, short story thrillers, and non-fiction books. She is also a Registered Counsellor/Wellness Coach, and works as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for the Australian Government.
She enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.
Her favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).
Lucy’s interests are meditation, exercising, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.
When I asked her why she picked Italy for her story, here’s what she told me.
Italy for me is a beautiful and cultured country with so much history. It cannot be compared to my own country, Australia that is more modernized. In this blog post, I’d like to share memories that demonstrate the aesthetic appeal of Italy.
The aesthetic appeal of Italy for me has arisen due to growing up within an Italian family in Melbourne, and enjoying the Italian food, customs, and the childhood stories recounted by my parents.
I had visited Italy twice; once when I was 7 years old and the second time was when I was 23 years old. I absolutely adored Positano’s mountainous terrain, pizza restaurants, the downward view of the harbour by night, and the journey along the Amalfi coast.
I enjoyed the tasty pizza and pasta dishes in Venice and Rome and recall the tips these owners expected. I took long walks or a passegiata in the village of Piaggine and breathed in the mountains and chill air. I had drifted in and out of Laurino (where Elena comes from) where my cousin’s friend took me around for a leisurely drive. The village was just as peaceful and green as Piaggine.
I remember riding the gondolas in Venice and window shopping at a leathergoods factory in Florence whilst I was on a Contiki tour a number of years ago.
I visited the town of Eboli with its tranquility, open spaces, greenery, farmland, and splendour of nature. My father’s side of the family come from this town, and had worked hard on their farms to grow their own organic food.
I observed how my cousins and their friends had changed their clothing several times a day, simply because they wanted to be seen as fashionable and trendy. Why walk in simple clothing down the village square when you could look like a trendy star? Even drinking cocktails from a fancy-looking test-tube glass with my cousins and their friends was a treat in the village of Piaggine. Nothing much else happened in the village, so that was the greatest of adventures.
I danced at a nightclub in Florence and lost count of how many times I’d been proposed to. Even dancing with my Contiki tour group friends proved difficult when the gorgeous but sticky men wouldn’t leave us alone.
Smelling freshly-baked bread and assorted pastries in the local bakery made my mouth water. The soft and moist bread made me feel like I tasted heaven.
I recall how my uncle’s wallet was stolen by two small children in Rome, and how my uncle chased after these children to get his wallet back.
A lot of these pleasant memories and my parents’ childhood stories had prompted me to write about Italy in a fictionalised way. I expanded on my parents’s stories in A Life By Design by using a character from my original story (Dancing in the Rain) and allowing Elena to find her own journey.
I truly hope you find the aesthetic appeal of Milan in my novel, A Life By Design.
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