Travels in Italy–Part Three

IMG_0409Pat here:

As many do, I fell in love with Umbria and Tuscany, the hill country of Italy. It’s hard to define why this area is so special. Perhaps because I’m not a fan of cities and the rural countryside with rolling hills and olive orchards appeal to my introvert self. But I think it’s also a matter of seeing the layers of Italy’s ancient history, largely untouched in some areas, that made it come alive for me.

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Travels in Italy–Part Two

Swiss guardsPat here, still rambling about our Italy trip. (The Vatican's masked Swiss guards to the left just because) In my last segment, I was so eager to get to hill country that I forgot to mention Rome at all. We’ve visited Rome several times over the years. It’s still a very busy city, much of it walkable if you’re staying in the forum area, which we were. The beauty of this visit was that the number of tourists was waaaay down. The lines at the forum and the Vatican were, at best, maybe fifteen minutes long. The guides—just now getting back to work after our long Covid vacation—were ecstatic about how much more they could show us without crowds.

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Travels in Italy–Part One

Village 2
Wench Pat here, just back from a two-week trip to Italy, combining business with pleasure. I’ve dug up some fabulous ideas for the new mystery series and enough material for a year’s worth of blogs. I should probably just post photos and not blather on!

One of the lures for this trip was the opportunity to explore the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. The winding, narrow coast drive is every bit as hair-raising as promised. We were a small group in a small bus and thankfully, most cars were smaller than us, but those giant buses. . . !  Ai yi yi. Traffic would back up on every curve when two buses met each other and had to maneuver their way out of the mess.

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Meet Sue Moorcroft

201320-FCX (3)Christina here and today it is my very great pleasure to have my friend and fellow UK author Sue Moorcroft as my guest – welcome to the Word Wenches, Sue!

Thank you, Christina. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Sue writes contemporary romance and her latest book, Under the Italian Sun, is out on Thursday this week. I had the great honour of reading an ARC and I can safely say it’s absolutely fabulous and the perfect spring/summer read! Please tell us a little bit about this story.

Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m delighted you enjoyed Under the Italian Sun.

Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 12.33.38Zia’s search for her unknown father and the truth behind why she apparently has two mothers carries readers off to a rocky plateau above an Italian vineyard. Zia’s relationship has ended and her best friend Ursula’s on a break so it seems a good moment to leave England behind and try to discover why Zia’s family has apparently been keeping secrets about her past. She finds a woman who shares her name and Piero, who’s fighting to keep his home.

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What We Are Reading

Christina here with this month’s round-up of Wenchly book recommendations! The recent beautiful spring weather, and the fact that lockdown has been easing in many places, has meant that the Wenches have been able to go out and about a bit more, but we have still been doing quite a lot of reading. Below we have another eclectic selection for you – from fantasy to romcom to Shakespeare (well, sort of) and more – and we hope that you will join in as always with your own recommendations!

CharlaineHarrisAnne:  Two very different books have hit the spot for me this month. The first is An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris, the first in her "Gunny Rose" series. Set in an alternative "America" where a combination of the 'flu plague of the early 20th century, the assassination of the US president, the escape from Imperial Russia by the Tsar and all his court, fleeing The Red Army, and general "wild west" style lawlessness in some parts of the country have resulted in the break up of the former USA and the formation of "new" countries or territories.

Lizbeth Rose is a 19 year old "gunny" – a brilliant sharp-shooter whose job it is to guard people and shipments from outlaws, would-be-slavers and thieves, and there are plenty of them. Add in a paranormal thread, where some of the Russian refugees (now running a territory called the Holy Russian Empire – California to the Canadian border) can perform magic, and you have a cracking good yarn.

There's quite a lot of shooting and killing, but isn't the kind of graphic violence I shrink from. Only baddies are killed. And Gunny Rose is a very appealing character – loyal, principled, and she's never failed a client – yet. And of course there's a handsome Russian wizard on a secret mission who keeps getting in her way. The first book in the series is called An Easy Death, which is what people traditionally wish gunnies when they head off on a mission. I've since read the other two in the series and can't wait for #4.

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