Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bella Toscana by Nanette Littlestone - Book Tour and Giveaway

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?


I want something exciting to happen. Something wonderful like selling my brownies in Italy. They’re perfect for the Italian market, the quick savor of delight at the end of a meal with a glass of wine. Or in the morning with the first cup of cappuccino. A little shot of sweet to start the day. If I can just find the right person, the right words. Without Jackson, though . . .

The flutter moves to my collarbone. Persistent. Steady. Like the soft beating of a dove’s wings. My mother’s voice whispers to me. Words she said to me many times as I was growing up. Puoi fare tutto quello che vuoi. You can do anything you want. I close my eyes and see her sweet face, the luminous eyes that glowed with a wisdom I wanted to have. Sì, Mama, I say and nod my head. She’s right. And with that acceptance comes the yearning for my other home, the place of my ancestors. Graceful olive trees that surround my aunt and uncle’s villa; lush gardens filled with jasmine, roses, and lavender; hills of green that roll to the horizon. The memories spring to life and catch me by surprise. Nonna’s golden cakes as light as clouds. Nonno’s hearty hug that squeezed the air right out of my lungs. The moon skimming the tops of the trees. The stars so clear and bright I knew I could touch them if I just reached out my hand. 

I need to go. I need to stuff my face with chocolate-dipped biscotti and cassata and torta di nonna and listen to sappy love songs that I barely understand and dance in the moonlight under the stars.


What should readers expect when they pick up your book?

Expect to be immersed in good food, chocolate, love, and passion. Toscana owns an Italian sweets shop and loves to cook and bake, especially brownies, so there are loads of mouth-watering descriptions of food and chocolate. She’s half Italian and a lot of the story takes place in Rome and Italy, and she has to eat, so they’ll probably want to hop the next plane to Italy to try out some torte di mele, tiramisu, cacio e pepe, krumiri, fettucine con carciofi, etc. plus all the gelato.  The love story with Flynn and the connection to ancient Rome opens the doors to passion and forgiveness. And underlying all the scrumptious food and longing is Toscana’s journey of self-discovery, learning to open her heart , trusting herself and her instincts, and all the obstacles and pitfalls and mistakes she makes along the way as she travels (literally and figuratively) in search of what she truly desires.

Have you started your next project?

Yes. In the past I’ve focused on women’s fiction or historical fiction with some aspect of love as the underlying theme. This new book is taking me into uncharted territory. It’s developing as a YA fantasy with a teenage girl who tries to heal the heart of the planet. There are a lot of areas that I’ve never delved into before—the human heart, the ocean, math and logic, synesthesia, fractal geometry, Hebrew traditions—so I have my work cut out for me. But love and forgiveness make up the underlying theme, so the structure may be different but the core feels the same.

How did you choose the genres you write in?

I love love. I know that sounds trite, but  I’m a hopeless romantic, always looking on the bright side of things and wanting the best for people, and everybody wants love and to be loved. So when I started writing I began with romance. As I matured and my writing matured, I became more aware of complex relationships, the struggles and challenges, the effort and compromise, the needs and fears that we all exhibit. I’m fascinated by the choices people make or don’t make and how some environments are hostile and unsupportive and others are safe and loving and nurturing. I’m also a huge fan of historical fiction. I never liked reading history straight out of the textbook, but weave a story around it and you have my attention. Besides all of that, I listen to my intuition and Spirit and when those crazy ideas come to me I do my best to follow.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?

Characters and a story that people can relate to. And hope. The human spirit wants to believe in the best, in fairness and justice for all and a safe world to live in. That’s why we all root for Superman or any of the superheroes. We love a good fight but in the end we want the good guy to win. Stories that show a journey for the character get our attention, especially if we can root for them along the way. Even tragedies that break our hearts stay with us because we want so much for the characters to prevail. 

The best book/s you ever read?

How much space do I have? I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little kid so I know there are hundreds, maybe thousands of books that I’ve loved over the years. Favorite books, like movies, are ones that I want to read again and again. Here are my top 25 right now: Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley), Dancing on Broken Glass (Ka Hancock), Cloud Nine (Luanne Rice), Illusions (Richard Bach), The Outlander Series (Diana Gabaldon), The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy (Nora Roberts), Born in Trilogy (Nora Roberts), The Last Chinese Chef (Nicole Mones), The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein), The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough), Almost Heaven (Judith McNaught), Comfort & Joy (Kristin Hannah), The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah), A Fall of Marigolds (Susan Meissner), Magonia (Maria Dahvana Headley), Every Day (David Levithan), Timekeeper (Tara Sim), The Other Einstein (Marie Benedict), The Reluctant Midwife (Patricia Harman, The Scribe of Siena (Melodie Winawer), The Bookseller (Cynthia Swanson), Delirium (Lauren Oliver), Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon), The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope (Rhonda Riley).

Favorite place to read?

I read in bed, in a chair by the window, on the couch, just about anywhere that’s comfortable. My dream place would be on a long, wide couch in a warm room with lots of pillows and a cup of tea by my side. The couch would face a huge window that looked out over the ocean with a view of the beach and the waves and the sun. That would be heaven.

Anything else you might want to add? 

I sincerely hope you enjoy reading Bella Toscana. And if you do read it, please drop me a line. Authors lead lives of solitude, plying our craft and hoping that we’ve created a story that entertains, that makes you think, that inspires you. Hearing from a reader is the most amazing thing. So please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.


About the Author

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Always fun to hear about another new great book. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi James,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll give Bella Toscana a try.

  2. Good morning, EdgarsBooks! Thanks so much for hosting me and Bella Toscana. I'm excited to be here today.

  3. A question for the fans - Toscana loves good food and chocolate, especially chocolate. What's your favorite food and why?

  4. Great interview, thanks for sharing :)

  5. It's been a pleasure hanging out here today. Thanks so much for the opportunity. Have a great rest of the night.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Febie. I hope you'll try Bella Toscana and enjoy the reading.