Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Marianne's holiday romance set in Florence, Italy


Welcome 
Marianne Evans to the blog today! She's here to share an excerpt from her new novel, Bella Natale! A Florentine Christmas Romance. The cover is breathtaking! Here's a picture of it:


Here's the blurb for Bella Natale! A Florentine Christmas Romance:  
Ashley Coratini is bucking her family, and the odds, by embracing the chance to pursue a dream. During a three-week trip to Florence, Italy, she’s determined to immerse herself in the world of art and to explore the gifts God has given her.

Widower Luca DeRosa owns and operates a premiere art gallery at the heart of Florence. He’s just over a year away from turning forty, but doesn’t mind the milestone. He enjoys a life spent raising his five-year-old son and scouting artistic talent. When he comes upon Ashley, he’s captivated by her artistic skills and fluid grace, and he sees to it that Ashley’s dreams take off at high velocity.

But as love blooms, questions mount. Will Ashley embrace her gifts and a life in Italy that’s worlds different than the one waiting at home in America? Can Luca trust his heart and instincts enough to embrace the love of a vibrant young woman whose spirit speaks to him so deeply?

What comes next when the dreams they dare to dream really might come true…?

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Fill out the book giveaway contest entry form on this Rafflecopter widget for your chance to WIN a copy of Marianne's book: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Bella Natale! A Florentine Christmas Romance:

The first thing Luca DeRosa noticed about the stranger was her hands. Perched just below him, on a ledge of the Ponte Vecchio, a waifish, brunette stroked swift, confident lines across the surface of a wire-bound sketch pad centered across her lap. Fluid grace punctuated the way she crafted a scene of the Arno, bringing her vision to life with a level of detail and eloquence that pulled him to stay put and absorb. Engrossed, she paused infrequently, just long enough to give brief study the world around her—the inward roll of fat, moisture-laden clouds, the dancing spikes of sunlight that intermittently pierced the cover of gray—before returning to her drawing.

What a gift.

The three words sounded through his spirit like a gong, eliciting a craving, the tantalizing curves of a wistful dream…

The creationist that had always resided in Luca’s soul admired the woman’s skill. Ever a tactile person, he continued to watch the way she used the tips of long, slender fingers to blend and shade. Her gentle strokes evoked a responsive warmth that built at his chest and flowed through his gut—launching the kind of intrigue and hunger only a fellow artist would truly understand, for the hunger he felt wasn’t merely physical, it seeped through the farthest reaches of his senses in a call that left behind an empty ache. A longing.

That fact alone should have prompted him to a hard pull-back from a reckless topple into attraction. Hadn’t his heart just been extracted with nothing more than a blunt spoon? Hadn’t he just traded one hope, one dream, for another?

Luc blinked, regrouped, and took a deep breath of cold air spiced by the promise of a December snow to come. Forecasters projected a blanket of white would soon cover the cobbled streets, slated rooftops and dormant balconies of Florence. He refocused when the artist stood, carefully, since her perch was somewhat narrow and precarious. She lifted onto the wide cement rail that served as a lookout post along this particular stretch of Florence’s most historic and storied bridge.

When she swung her legs over, Luc ignored an instinct to withdraw and instead stepped forward.

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Author bio:  

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create.

Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian women’s fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home.

Her career began twenty years ago with the sale of three contemporary romances to Kensington Publishing, but she felt led to leave the world of sec­­ular romance behind in favor of writing that features a strong Christian worldview. She has now published nearly 25 books with Pelican Book Group.

Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at www.marianneevans.com.
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Buy Marianne's book:
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7 comments:

  1. I'm very interested in anything that has to do with travelling in Italy; Italy is one of the most romantic places in the world!

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    1. It sure is! My hubby and I loved visiting Rome and Florence a couple of years ago and fell in love with both cities!! Good luck in the give away, and have a wonderful Christmas!! I appreciate your visit!

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  2. Alexis, thanks so much for hosting me, and Bella Natale!! I'm so grateful to be part of your beautiful blog and your awesome countdown to Christmas!! Blessings and hugs, my friend!!

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    1. "Bella Natale" to you and your loved ones too, Marianne! :) I'm happy that you are here. It's a blessing to host you and your lovely story on my blog today! :) Thanks for offering to give away a copy of your book to one of my readers. God bless you, friend!

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  3. I think Italy would be a lovely place for a story!

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    1. I agree, Susan - and to be there is to truly fall in love with a historic and lovely city.... I hope to return there someday!!! Merry Christmas!!! <3

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    2. Congrats Rebecca B!! I'll get you your copy ASAP!!! Merry Christmas!! Alexis, thank you again for hosting me! Blessings always!!

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