Joining me today is author Evonne Wareham whose latest Choc Lit novel, A Villa in Portofino, will transport you to Italy and will be published tomorrow, 21st September. Buying links are below. She is sharing #TenThings she’d like her readers to know about her. She explains how her own garden inspired the villa garden in the novel and why she’s in need of a gardener like Gideon, the romantic hero of the book!
- I write romantic suspense – crime, thrills and maybe a few dead bodies – along with the romance. It’s a genre better known in the US than the UK, but if you enjoy American writers like Karen Rose and Nora Roberts, (two of my writing idols) you might like to take a look.
- I live by the sea, a few minutes walk from the Welsh Coastal Path. I like to set books in Wales, but at the moment I’m enjoying the sunshine and glamour of the Italian and French Riviera in a series at the lighter end of the romantic suspense spectrum. The latest – the third in the series – is set in Portofino in Italy.
- I got my first big break as a writer in an American reality writing contest. I’m the only writer ever to have made the final twice. Sadly the contest is no more, but it was a lot of fun and my first two published books were the ones that made the final.
- I write all my first drafts by hand – which makes me quite unusual, as most writers type them now. I think that’s a relic of academic note taking.
- I’m a bit of an academic nerd. I have a PhD in history – hence all that note taking – and I’m usually doing some sort of course or other – art, folklore, cooking sometimes. A lot of that finds its way into the books.
- Talking of cooking – as in real life, a lot of social interaction in books takes place over drinks or meals. One of my pet peeves as a reader is scenes where food is wasted because of some big dramatic revelation. I can guarantee in my books all the food will be eaten, and if possible I will try to make it appropriate to the setting. Warning – ice-cream may frequently be involved.
- I lived for three years in a shoe box of a flat off the King’s Road in London. I loved it – theatres, galleries, shops and my dream job in a very posh town house in Eaton Square.
- The garden in my latest book A Villa in Portofino is inspired by the current state of mine. When I say that the garden at the villa is massively overgrown and neglected you get the picture. Unfortunately there is currently no gorgeous gardener like my hero, Gideon, to put it in order for me. But a girl can dream.
- I never intended to write a series of books, but I enjoyed writing Summer in San Remo so much, I decided to use the detective agency owned by the hero, Jake, as a jumping off point for more stories. That book is quite light, with only a smidgeon of mystery, but things have got considerably darker since then! Each book can be read as a standalone as they all feature a new couple with their own love story, but if you read them in sequence you will find old friends and familiar faces popping up.
- In A Villa in Portofino, I found myself juggling five generations of one family, as the story begins with a forbidden romance at the end of the Second World War – which is how my heroine comes to inherit the beautiful if neglected villa. All those generations gave me the chance to explore the idea of family secrets – not necessarily ones that have been deliberately kept, but simply things that have not been passed down, although there are a few of the other kind too. I really enjoyed helping my heroine, Megan, unravel the layers of family history, but keeping track of all the relationships was quite a challenge.
More about Evonne and social media links
Evonne is an award winning Welsh author of romantic suspense – more crime and dead bodies than your average romance. She likes to set her book in her native Wales, or for a touch of glamorous escapism, in favourite holiday destinations in Europe. She is a Doctor of Philosophy and an historian, and a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association.
A Villa in Portofino –from the back of the book
Third in the ‘Riviera’ Series of romantic suspense: love and mayhem in the sunshine of the French and Italian Riviera
From chambermaid to “got it made” …
When hotel cleaning temp and poetry academic Megan Morrison finds out she’s inherited an Italian villa and small fortune from her estranged great-great aunt Olwen, she doesn’t quite know how to react. That is, until she travels to Portofino to see Il Giardino delle Rose for herself. Then she knows exactly what she has to do: live there!
Enchanted by the beauty of the house and gardens, fascinated by the history, and more than a little intrigued by handsome hired landscape gardener Gideon West, Megan can immediately see the villa’s potential as a dream home.
But having long-lost relatives sometimes means long-lost secrets – and it seems that Olwen had plenty of those. Could these secrets and a jealous obsession be powerful enough to drive Megan out of the house that she’s already fallen in love with?
Available as an e-book from