When the local branch of the Society of Authors met in Monmouth this week, somebody asked me which I liked more—writing, or gardening.I had to confess I couldn’t decide!
I’ve loved doing both since I was old enough to copy plant names onto seed labels with a grease pencil. When the weather is cold and miserable, as it is while Storm Chiara is rolling around the house, there’s no contest. All I want to do is curl up by the fire with paper and pencil, or sit in my nice warm office with tea, cake and a deadline to meet.
The trouble starts when February rains ease and the sun slides out onto a blue sky only lightly smeared with clouds. Then I want to drop everything, get outside and start getting the garden (and myself) into shape for spring.
Before I started writing romance, I used to write gardening columns for magazines. That combined my two loves perfectly. I always had an excuse to get out and about. If I wasn’t looking for inspiration, I was taking photographs to illustrate my work.
This has been a really mild winter so far. Although it’s too early to tempt fate by looking forward to making more apricot jam, the flowers are already beginning to open on the fruit trees in my greenhouse.
That’s a real sign of spring! It won’t be long before we’re looking out for beach reads. Here’s one for your list—the three-book collection With Love From Florence. My contemporary romance The Italian’s Blushing Gardener is teamed with Scarlet Wilson’s His Lost-and-Found Bride and Heidi Rice’s Unfinished Business with the Duke to create a big, bold celebration of love.
I spent one of my best holidays ever in a little hideaway in the countryside not far from Florence. What’s your favourite holiday destination? Post a comment below to be in with a chance to win a copy of With Love From Florence. The winner will be chosen at random on 28th February, so let me know where you love to spend your holidays!
16 thoughts on “With Love From Florence!”
I spent a week in Florence with my daughter and absolutely loved every minute of it. However, my favourite holiday destination has to be a Greek island. I discovered Kephalonis last year and will definitely return.
It’s a beautiful city, and the one thing that struck me was the clarity of the blue sky. I’ve rarely see such an undiluted blue here in England. However lovely the day, there always seems to be a cast over the sky. Thanks for commenting, Jan!
I loved Florence, possibly because it reminds me of my favourite holiday place of Bath. I love everything about the city and visit whenever I can!
Florence is gorgeous, isn’t it? I was born only a few miles from Bath, so I can see what you mean! Thanks for commenting, Audrey.
Florence is fascinating and incomparable. The history and the beauty make this setting memorable. My favorite holiday destination would be a secluded beach since peace and quiet is what I crave along with sunshine and warmth.
If only more places had that perfect combination of beautiful weather, *and* peace and quiet! Thanks for commenting, Anne.
My first ever international trip was to Italy. I was spellbound by the charming towns and historic settings. My favorite vacation destination is Nova Scotia.
I’ve never been to Canada, but when he was a little boy my OH and his parents were all packed up and ready to emigrate there. His father was due to start work there as an engineer and they had a house ready and waiting… but at the very last minute my OH’s mum couldn’t bear to be parted from her parents and siblings. I am SO glad they stayed in this country! Thanks for commenting, Ruth.
Beautiful, historic and fascinating city. Visiting the beauty of Italy my favorite vacation destination is Lido.
I’ve just Googled it and it looks lovely, Laini. Thanks for commenting!
Florence is fascinating. When I first visited Italy I was spellbound. My favourite vacation destination would be Lerici. The sea, promenade and incomparable scenic wonders.
I’m always happy in th mountains of East Tennessee.
The Ken Burns country music documentary has been showing here so I *should* have remembered how stunning they were, but I had to Google it to be reminded. The phots alone are breathtaking. To actually see it in real life must be wonderful. Thanks for commenting!
I’ll be visiting Florence for the first time ever in a few months and I can’t wait! I’ve always wanted to go to Italy.
My favourite holiday destination so far has been San Francisco. I loved the vibe it had there. And Alcatraz was fascinating.
The City by the Bay lives up to all the expectations, doesn’t it? You’re bound to love Florence, and the locals are lovely, too. Hope you have a great time!
Thank you to everyone who posted a comment. And the winner of a copy of “With Love from Florence is…Laura Pickett!” Congratulations, Laura—if you’d like to email your address to me at christinahollis(at)hotmail.co.uk, I’ll put your book in the mail.