Monday, February 18, 2019

VBT Bella Toscana by Nanette Littlestone

Bella Toscana
by Nanette Littlestone


GENRE: Women's Fiction



An explosive yearning that can’t be denied.
Disturbing visions from an ancient past.
A mysterious stranger that somehow feels familiar.

On the night of her fiftieth birthday, the comfortable ride of Toscana’s life takes an alarming plunge. Haunted by seductive visions, she tries to push aside the desire and focus on the husband who adores her. Then she falls for Flynn, a younger man with an eye for adventure and a heart full of romance, who leaves her doubting everything she’s believed about love and passion.

In Atlanta, Rome, and the lush scenery of Tuscany, Toscana searches for answers to the mysteries of her life while she faces her biggest question. If she listens to her feelings will she lose everything she holds dear, or does her heart hold the key to love and joy?


Excerpt Two:

He kisses my shoulder in the early morning hours. The cluster of candles by the bed illuminates the smooth muscles of his back that bunch and relax as I stroke his warm skin.

Warm breath tickles my ear. “I have waited for this,” he says in a husky voice that heats my skin and makes my heart pound. Our bodies move in slow motion.

His mouth takes mine in a heady kiss, rich with wine and the passion of his love. Our tongues twine in a duet whose rhythm I recognize, yet have never felt before. He trails kisses down my neck and sups at the line of my collarbone. Who is this man who makes me feel so wanted?

Hands caress my limbs, invoking a trail of fire that spreads through me. Every graze of his fingertips makes my body clamor for more. “Love me,” he says, “for I love you more than life.”

“I love you,” I respond. My heart feels the exquisite agony of a passion so deep that nothing else matters. I press myself closer to him, skin on skin, hearts beating together. “I will always love you.” I thread my fingers through his tawny hair, straining to see his eyes as he moves over me. When we come together I feel myself weep. And when I scream my climax for the first time in my life, he covers my mouth with his to muffle my cries.

He holds me close then, cradling my back against his strong chest. One hand palms my breast, the other rests across my hips. I lie in his arms, too weak to think, before sleep claims me once again.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nanette Littlestone never knew she wanted to be a writer until she was over forty. But once she began, the ideas didn’t stop. Her fascination with relationships, history, and the spiritual path has opened her writing to women's fiction, historical fiction, and inspirational nonfiction.

A native Californian, Nanette lives in Atlanta, Georgia, far from the beach (which she loves) but a place that’s warm with spectacular scenery. On the professional side, she helps entrepreneurial women write and get published with Words of Passion. On the fun side, she takes walks with her husband, cooks, plays with graphic design, and makes origami butterflies. She loves to travel, but she’s waiting for the teleportation machine to whisk her off to Greece or Asia. In the meantime, she’s happy with dark chocolate and romantic movies that make her cry.

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Interview with Nanette Littlestone, author of Bella Toscana

1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I’m a peregrine at heart, a wanderer, an explorer. I may not be that great at solving puzzles, but I love the search for clues. So my favorite part of Bella Toscana is Toscana’s time in Rome with Flynn when they meet the various people and travel to different parts of the city that will give her clues to the puzzle of her visions that originate in The Sacred Flame (the previous book). I love the unfolding, the bit with the mosaic under the church, the spiritual reading, the book of costumes, poring over the list of Vestals. Each clue fills in more of the picture yet there’s still so much she doesn’t understand. It was fascinating to write that part because I felt I had a guiding hand leading the way. For example, the winery that Toscana and Flynn visit is located in the Lazio region of Italy, south of Rome. When I was looking for wineries and decided to go south of Rome and chose Omina Romana, I didn’t consciously see the connection with that location. It just felt like the right one. But when I compared the area and the history to what I’d used in The Sacred Flame, I was blown away.

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
It’s a toss-up between wanting to cook or bake with Toscana and immerse myself in those heavenly aromas and flavors that she concocts (I’m a foodie and love to watch food transform) or hanging out with Charlotte. I think I’m going with Charlotte because she’s so different. Toscana is much more like me, kind, gentle, nurturing, giving. Charlotte feels more like a whirlwind of strength and charisma. She’s beautiful, charming, loyal, has a way with people, and has incredible fashion sense. I’d love to spend a day shopping with her and revamp my wardrobe.

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Whenever I’m asked about my favorite books, The Mists of Avalon always comes to mind. It’s not just a book, it’s a work of art, a masterpiece that should hang on the wall alongside Renoir or Van Gogh or any of the great masters. I love that Marion Zimmer Bradley took the beloved tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and reworked it from the feminine point of view. And she did it in such a way that any woman, anywhere, can identify with the life struggles and obstacles and challenges that are central to the book. Beyond the women’s issues are the Celtic roots (which I’ve always been attracted to) and the beautiful, formidable magic and knowing that made Morgaine the powerful woman she was. I love the blend of fantasy and history, the author’s ability to tap into the emotions that unite us all, her wonderful way of weaving a story as the women of old wove their yarns and their spells. It’s an enchanting book and I’m in awe of the writing.

4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I firmly believe that all characters have parts of the authors who bring them to life. We write what we know, even if we breathe life into imaginary people and places. And some characters will seem more like us than others. Toscana is a lot like me (as I mentioned above). She is kind and gentle and has a soft heart and worries what other people will think of her. Jackson has some of my father’s and my husband’s qualities, the considerate down-to-earth practicality and straightforward reasoning like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. Charlotte was modeled after a woman I met in a networking group who was beautiful and always impeccably dressed. Flynn is mostly imaginary and a composite of many traits: a little James Dean (rebellious), a little Errol Flynn (dashing, reckless), a little Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time (refusing to give up).

5. What made you want to become a writer?
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer. I wrote some poetry in college and term papers (which I hated). And I remember in high school my mother suggesting that I write a story, but I had no clue how to pick a subject or what that person/animal/thing would do. So being a writer? Not on my radar.
I was sitting in my bedroom one Saturday afternoon in 1994 (I was forty-one years old), minding my own business, when I heard my name. I was alone. I waited several moments for something to happen, but nothing happened, so I shrugged it off. The following week I heard my name again. Irritated, I yelled, “What! What do you want?” There was no response, but this time I felt something, a sense that I was supposed to write. What a crazy idea! Still, I decided to give it a shot. It took a number of tries over several months, but I finally began a fairy tale romance and completed my first novel in nine months. I wrote the next novel in a month, and the one after that in a year. But I didn’t decide I wanted to be a “writer” until I moved to Atlanta. At that point I wanted to learn the craft and the rules and how to break them. That’s when I took it to heart.



Nanette Littlestone will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
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  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

    1. Hi James,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. Who's one of your favorite book characters and why?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Good morning, Teresa! Thanks so much for hosting me and Bella Toscana today. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to interact with your followers.

      A question for the readers: Charlotte is one of my favorite characters in Bella Toscana because of her strong personality but also because of her amazing clothes. I've always wanted to be a fashion designer. Who is one of your favorite characters and why do you identify with him/her?

  3. I enjoyed the interview.

  4. The cover is beautiful! Thanks for the chance.

    1. Thanks so much, Julie! It really says Tuscany to me. I hope it conveys that to you.

  5. I love the cover art makes me feel like I am in Italy

    1. Thank you so much! It took me a long time to find just the right cover and that's the feeling I was going for. Yay!