Please welcome Hannah Fielding, author of The Echoes of Love, a romance novel set in Italy. I'd love to visit Italy someday, and that is why I was so excited about her guest post (and the first post of The Echoes of Love ‘Legendary’ Blog Tour!). Hannah is going to talk a little bit about a legend of angels and demons in this beautiful country, so keep reading and don't forget to enter the giveaway....thank you Hannah!
For the love of legends
For me, researching a book is just as enjoyable as writing it. I set each of my novels in a passionate, romantic country, and so that I can really transport my readers there, I immerse myself in the setting: its history, its scenery, its cuisine, its culture. Top of my research list are local legends – I love colourful, age-old stories; the more fantastical, the better!
Since I was a young girl, tucked up in bed and listening avidly to my governess weaving bedtime tales, I have loved legends. Fairytales too, of course – they sowed the seeds for my romantic nature – but legends fascinated me most: those that have stood the test of time, that offer intriguing explanations for the modern world, that are at once fantastical and yet, somehow, believable.
My novel The Echoes of Love, set in Venice, Tuscany and Sardinia, incorporates various Italian legends – told by the hero, Paolo, who is a raconteur extraordinaire, to my heroine, Venetia – and in my research files I collected many more. What better way to share some of these most romantic, magical and atmospheric tales but in this Echoes of Love ‘Legendary’ Blog Tour!
Today, I’m taking you to the beautiful island of Sardinia, where the flames of attraction in Venetia and Paolo are kindled…
The Bay of Angels
Have you ever visited the port of Cagliari? There, as you enter the port, you can’t miss a large promontory framed against the Tyrrhenian Sea. A fluke of nature? Perhaps. Or perhaps, as Paolo suggests in The Echoes of Love, it is a long-standing symbol of the eternal battle between heaven and hell:
‘There’s a very famous legend about the Gulf of Cagliari, which is called “Bay of Angels”. As the visitor comes into the Port of Cagliari from the sea, the first image that appears is the promontory of St Elias. Its most distinctive aspect is a limestone ridge at the top of the hill. It’s called “Sella del Diavolo”. Legend has it that after the seven days of Creation, God decided to give the angels a land where they could live in peace, with the condition that it had to be a place where there were no wars or evil. The angels searched long, until they came down on our earth and discovered the Gulf of Cagliari with its emerald sea, its green vegetation, and the pure white of its cliffs.
“Here is our uncontaminated place,” the Archangel Gabriel said, “we will make it our city of love and peace.”
‘The angels settled in what is known today as the Bay of Angels. But this prompted the envy and anger of Lucifer who, before he was cast out of Heaven, rode his horse and, with his army of demons, declared war on the angels. The angels then brought about a storm, creating big waves in the Gulf and they made Lucifer fall off his horse. Archangel Gabriel rose into the air with his shining sword and the defeated Lucifer in fury threw off the saddle of his black steed. The saddle immediately petrified, forming the promontory known today as “The Devil’s Saddle”. ’
I love the idea of this picturesque idyll that holds evil at bay, a true haven for those seeking peace. The perfect backdrop for a romantic retreat!
Hannah Fielding is a novelist, a dreamer, a traveller, a mother, a wife and an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: she writes full time, splitting her time between her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
Her first novel, Burning Embers, is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. Her new novel, The Echoes of Love, is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany. It was picked by The Sun newspaper as one of the most romantic books ever written.
www.hannahfielding.net | @fieldinghannah | Facebook | Goodreads
Keep reading to enter the giveaway!
Keep reading to enter the giveaway!
The Book: The Echoes of Love
Book Trailer | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon | Barnes & NobleSeduction, passion and the chance for new love. A terrible truth that will change two lives forever.Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Italy’s most captivating city to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone.Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can’t help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them.When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia must not only contend with a beautiful young rival, but also come face to face with the dark shadows of Paolo’s past that threaten to come between them.Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?
Follow the tour
If you’d like to read more Italian legends like this, and keep up with the accompanying Very Venetian giveaway in which lots of romantic goodies are up for grabs, follow the Echoes of Love ‘Legendary’ Blog Tour this month:
1 May: Oh My Books!
3 May: Maldivian Book Reviewer
4 May: Krystal Clear Book Reviews
5 May: Romance Junkies
7 May: Book Briefs
8 May: Words I Write Crazy
9 May: Luxury Reading
10 May: The Little Reader Library
11 May: Kristy Centeno
13 May: Love Romance Passion
14 May: MamaKitty Reviews
15 May: Books & Other Spells
16 May: Pages of Comfort
19 May: The Flashlight Reader
20 May: The Window Seat on a Rainy Day
21 May: Simply Ali
22 May: Reviews by Molly
25 May: Reese's Reviews
26 May: Moonlight, Lace, and Mayhem
29 May: Tiffany Talks Books
30 May: Reading Between the Wines
31 May: Rites of Romance
WIN in the Very Venetian giveawayAt least one reader commenting on this post will WIN in the Very Venetian giveaway, with prizes totalling more than $600:
5 signed hardback copies of The Echoes of Love + 10 signed paperback copies of The Echoes of Love + 3 romantic Venetian masks + Lots of fabulously colourful Murano glass goodies: 16 pendants, 2 bracelets, 2 paperweights and a vase
Anyone who comments on a blog tour stop post will be entered in the giveaway. Simply comment below, including your email address so that Hannah can contact the winners. Good luck! Ende June, 1.