Sherri Chianti joins us today to talk about Unveiled, her debut time-travel romance, and why Italy is so romantic.
My three favorite things are romance, writing, and travel. I like to combine all three as much as possible. When I first wrote Unveiled, I had never been to Italy. I had to rely on books, movies, and music to get all the details and the “flavor” of the place–that certain something that can’t be defined.
When I was finally able to go to Italy a few years ago, I was so excited. At last, I would see the Sistine Chapel, walk the streets of Florence, and float in a Venetian gondola. The trip was everything I dreamed it would be and more. I’m happy to say I’d gotten the original setting in Unveiled right, but actually seeing the country allowed me to add many more wonderful details. For example, the air in Rome is not humid yet it’s fresh, hinting at water close by.
When I arrived in Rome, I felt as if I’d been there before. Maybe this explains why I’ve written so many stories set in Italy. I bet all writers have certain countries that really inspire them. I also bet “romantic” countries are the most inspiring of all. Saying Italy is romantic is almost a cliché, so I want to define what makes it that way.
Why is Italy so romantic?
1) scenery — Nothing beats the view from a Tuscan mountaintop. The countryside is lush and green and undulates like a sigh. Even the trees look amazing. What better to complement it than beautiful architecture? Venice alone has styles from three different cultures.
2) history — Italy’s history is long and colorful. Ancient Rome, Renaissance, Baroque…choose an era and get lost in it.
3) romance languages — Even a weather report sounds artistic. The first thing I noticed when I landed at the airport in Rome was the wonderful sound of Italian flowing all around me.
4) al fresco — There are so many wonderful things to do outside. My favorite is dining al fresco. Feel the sun and the breeze, watch the view and the people, and hear the old-fashioned bells chiming.
5) Europe, down to Earth — Europe, especially traditional old-world countries like Italy, are earthy. You might see someone carrying a bare baguette instead of finding these foods neatly shrink wrapped at a giant supermarket. When you fix your lipstick in a public bathroom mirror, a handsome man might admire you since some bathrooms are partially unisex.
Leah Miller is tired of being the ugly duckling in a family of beauty queens. When the opportunity to graduate with honors from her art school comes along, she takes it, agreeing to go back in time 500 years to Renaissance Rome to earn a certificate of study from the moody but attractive artist Bertoldo Perini. Unfortunately, the tall girl who had to play boys in school plays must disguise herself as a man.
Perini has devoted his life to rebuilding his art career after a past romantic liaison nearly destroyed it. Alessandra Paloverde, the beautiful and powerful woman he rejected, will stop at nothing to be back in his arms. If she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll destroy every obstacle in her path—including him.
Earning the elusive certificate proves much harder than Leah imagined, but she discovers her true calling and makes plans for a promising future in her own time. While she fights her attraction to Perini, he sacrifices passion to his recovering career. When Leah’s secret is unveiled at last, will their love be strong enough to keep her in the Renaissance?
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About the Author: Sherri Chianti is a prolific traveler and writer, often combining the two. Believing characters grow the most when they’re put in new surroundings, she crafts romance, time travel, and women’s fiction in diverse locales. Sherri has been to the Caribbean, Europe, and all corners of the U.S. Despite her wanderlust, she also enjoys being a homebody in her own back yard. For a change of place, visit her web site at www.SherriChianti.