Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Look and See

I love to travel, whether to reconnect with my first home (Switzerland) or to explore new areas. When I do research for my novels, which take place in different countries, I often go back to a place to really look at it and see things I didn't notice when I traveled there as a tourist. It's a different kind of traveling, you have to slow down and really look at details in order to describe them accurately. Not just looking with your eyes, but using all your senses: observe the colors, light and shadow, smell the scents, listen to the sounds, taste the food. It's one of the most satisfying experiences of creative writing.

This morning, I went on my usual walk past my favorite pond of my childhood. As a child, I spent hours exploring, watching the ducks and other water birds.

This morning, I was struck by the play of light filtered through the trees.   


This pond also plays a role in my novel An Uncommon Family (Family Portrait, Book 1)

More pictures that served as inspiration for the novel, you can find here: Picture Tour.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A cold, tea, coffee, delicacies, and a beautiful landscape

I get a full-blown cold only about every ten years or so. Well, it must be that year. Anyway, I try not to complain because at least I cough and sneeze while admiring a beautiful fall landscape here in my first/second home in Switzerland.

I allowed myself a writing hiatus, now that my WIP, the second book in The Wine Lover's Daughter series, is with my loyal beta readers. Here is a preliminary cover of Finding Angelo:

I went for walks in the neighborhood and here are a few photos.

A visit to my niece's and her husband's Vegan Restaurant and tea and coffee house Limalimón, in Bremgarten/AG. Excellent tea and coffee and yummy food, and, of course, great service by Claudia and Alberto and their team!

A wonderful selection of teas and cute gifts.
All the food and drinks prepared and served by enthusiastic and friendly people.

Alberto and Claudia, the owners, work together with the team.

Cook Brigitte prepares yummy delicacies.

Have you ever seen a ceiling lamp made of wine glasses? Here it is!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

THE JOURNEY HOME by Olaf Olafsson

I have a few of my favorite books that I keep reading and rereading. These are usually the kind of books in which plot and action are less important than the beauty of language and the emotions they evoke. The Journey Home by the marvelous Icelandic author, Olaf Olafsson, is one of these works. It doesn’t matter that I know the story by heart. Each time I read it, it moves and delights me anew.

THE JOURNEY HOME deals with several journeys: the physical journey that Disa, a sensitive and tenacious woman, is compelled to take to her home country, Iceland. She lives in England where she runs a country inn together with Anthony, her friend and companion. It’s also about an emotional journey, a painful and joyous journey into the past, a journey of memories of the conflict with her mother, of the destiny of her German-Jewish lover, of the fateful happenings in the family of her former employer.

This is a beautifully written, lyrical, meditative novel full of wondrous moments. A quiet novel, yet there is tension, a tension that leads, in the end, to an emotional climax. Every time I read it, I enjoy it more. Every time I read it, I discover more nuances. And every time I read it, I end up crying through the last few chapters.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take a journey to the vineyards of Tuscany while staying at home!

A picture paints a thousand words? Perhaps somewhat exaggerated, but I love pictures and they inspire me. This is why I created a picture journey for each of my novels. Here is the newest one for The Italian Sister (The Wine Lover's Daughter, Book 1):

Grab some popcorn or chocolate, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Picture Tour from California to Tuscany

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Italian Sister - Take a wild ride from California to Tuscany, Italy, together with my young heroine, Sofia Laverne!

THE ITALIAN SISTER is published and available as ebook for the Kindle and with the free Kindle App on all eReaders. The printed version is in production.

Link to the eBook:

Standing at her father’s grave in California, Sofia Laverne mourns his untimely death. Henry had not only been a loving parent but Sofia’s best friend and mentor. Imagine her shock and grief when she finds out her father had lived a double-life, that she has a ten-year younger sister and inherited a vineyard in Tuscany. Torn between anger about his betrayal, grief for her loss, and hopeful anticipation, Sofia packs her bags and takes off for Italy to meet fourteen-year old Julietta. Arriving in the small hill town of Vignaverde, she is greeted by olive groves, neat rows of grape vines, and picturesque houses. Some of the inhabitants of this beautiful estate are, unfortunately, less welcoming and resent her intrusion into the family business. Soon, strange occurrences begin to frighten Sofia. When a suspicious accident lands her in the hospital, Sofia fears for her life.

Part family drama, part romantic suspense, THE ITALIAN SISTER takes us on a wild journey from California to Tuscany and provides glimpses into the exciting world of winemaking.

As a special introductory offer, the Kindle ebook is available for 99 cents from August 4 to and including August 10. So get with it and grab it while the discount lasts.

A post about the research into grapes and winemaking in Tuscany, Switzerland as well as California with lots of great pictures is on Lisette Brodey's wonderful Writers Castle blog. Research for this novel was a truly pleasurable (tasting wine!) and exciting adventure. Click on the link, sit back, and enjoy:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Italian Sister - needs your help!

The Italian Sister

Dear Friends and Book Worms,

My new (and fourth) novel, The Italian Sister, is on its homestretch. This time, I have the opportunity to win a publishing contract through the Kindle Scout program. This is a contest, organized by Amazon, where readers have an input on which books get published. It's a new concept and it sounds exciting to me. The first step in the process is to get enough readers to nominate a book. Although this is not the only criteria for having the manuscript accepted, it is an important first prerequisite.

And this is where you come in. You can help me get enough votes. It's very simple and it only takes a few seconds of your time. Click the link below, which will take you to my Kindle Scout campaign page, where you'll find a short description of the book, an excerpt, a brief bio, and a few questions and answers, and the important NOMINATE button. This page will be up for 30 days, starting ??

Please click the NOMINATE button - but only once. If you click again, it will undo the nomination. This is of course to prevent some overly enthusiastic supporters from clicking it repeatedly and give the book an unfair advantage.

You will also get something for your help. If The Italian Sister is published through the Kindle Scout program, you'll get a free Kindle copy!

And now, here is the link:
After nominating the book, you can continue to help me by spreading the word to your friends and share my announcements and reminders on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

The competition on Kindle Scout is fierce, so I need all the help I can get. Thank you in advance for your support. It really means a lot to me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pay Attention Book Lovers/Readers: A SPECIAL DEAL starting Monday, April 20!

THIS WEEK ONLY, from Monday, April 20 to and including Sunday, April 26, the complete Family Portrait collection (An Uncommon Family, Love of a Stonemason, Emilia) is available on all Amazon sites for $2.99. You get three novels for the price of less than one!

Link to the Book: