31 May 2020

New Shifter Series from Allyson Young!


Cassie Fortuna flees back to her own pack, broken-hearted, after discovering her intended’s interest in another woman. Despite shifters being monogamous, it seems Ben isn’t.

As her twenty-fifth birthday approaches, and her heat, she resigns herself to returning—there is no one for her in Mystic River and her only sibling and her family live in Blue Star. Besides, she’s over Benjamin Kraft.

Ben hopes Cassie came back for him but is unable to breach her cold façade to finally share his dark secret. Secrets have a habit of coming out, however, and Cassie is stunned by what she learns. Intent on making things up to her, Ben succeeds in winning her back. Having never gotten over him, she embraces their new relationship.

But Cassie and Ben could be in danger, as well as someone else important to him when others learn his secret. Is the risk worth the reward?


She was cutting the crusts off a peanut butter and jam sandwich when she felt him. He moved almost silently, but her wolf was attuned and threw itself against the boundaries she’d enforced on it. His scent reached her next, that spicy fragrance with a hint of musk, and Cass the woman swallowed a moan.

After setting the knife down, she transferred the sandwich from the cutting board to a plate before turning with it held in front of her like a tiny shield. Or an offering.

It took a massive effort, but she met Ben’s stare with a cool, polite one of her own. “Hey, Ben.”

“Cass.” He sauntered closer and leaned one hip against the fridge.

Having no desire to engage in small talk, she snagged her cup and moved past him, now intending to eat her breakfast in her room.

“Jett tells me you’re back for good.”

“That’s right.” She was nearly out the door when he moved with that deceptive speed he had, grasping her elbow.

“I’d like an explanation.”

When hell froze over, not that she’d pretend she didn’t know what he was referring to.

With a calm she didn’t feel, especially with her wolf begging for freedom, she shifted her weight to face him, and her elbow came loose. “I changed my mind about you. About … us. And I was too chicken to tell you to your face. Sorry. I’m such a girl.”

He watched her with the same steady regard she remembered so clearly, only without the warmth he’d faked in the past. How he’d charmed her… Old news. She fought her humiliation and looked into his eyes.

Ben had golden eyes, and she suspected his wolf was almost always at the surface but within his iron control. Thank god for that control because he hadn’t allowed them to become intimate, something that puzzled her to this day. Because surely, if he’d played the amazing sex card—and she just knew it would be amazing because his kisses made her melt—she’d have been a total pushover.

In any event, passion couldn’t cloud her thinking, even if her wolf might not agree. Her animal hadn’t yet matured, but it still knew what—who—it wanted. Her other side was surely smarter.

“You’ve changed,” he finally said as she waited him out. “What happened to you?”

You happened. Shoving back the thought, fearful it would echo in the room, Cassie lifted a shoulder, careful not to spill her coffee. “Nothing happened to me, Ben.”

Shaking his head, he backed up a little, and she breathed in the extra space. “I don’t get it, but I will. I like puzzles.”

God help her. With a smirk that hurt the corners of her mouth, she said, “I’m not a puzzle to be solved, sorry. I came back to seek a mate. Jett has granted me permission to make my choice.”

She blinked at the sudden bleaching of his sun-kissed skin, as if all the life-giving blood had drained away. His eyes narrowed, and his mouth set, a muscle clenching in his jaw. And then his face relaxed, and he laughed. The sound grated across her senses, like fingernails on a chalkboard.

“Our Alpha has been gradually changing the time-honored rules. Accommodating the females more and more. Some don’t approve, but we need to consider the period we live in, and I’ve been a supporter. Until now.”

“Excuse me?” The mug of coffee and the plate were weighing her down heavily, like an extra tiny punishment she had to endure as part of the interrogation. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that when flighty, spoiled females are given the right of choice, I question our Alpha’s wisdom.”

Successfully defeating the urge to throw her coffee in his face, Cassie found the right words. “I suppose you’ll have to take that up with him. With my brother-in-law. Be sure to mention the spoiled and flighty part.”

Her comment hit the mark. Ben flinched, barely, but she caught it. He knew he’d crossed a boundary, and she wondered what he’d do to fix it. He surprised her.

Passing a hand over his face, he said, “Dammit, Cass. What happened between us? I can’t believe we’re sparring like this. I can’t fathom how you left without so much as a goodbye or an explanation. Aside from that note.”

You’re sparring, Ben. I’d prefer not to converse at all.” She made her exit as quickly as she could without appearing to flee. How could she tell him what she’d overheard?

“It’s not over, Cass.” His final words floated behind her, but she pretended not to hear. She didn’t care to interpret his … warning? Promise? Threat?

She gained the privacy of her room—shades of that fateful night—and shoved the door closed with her hip. Her coffee was lukewarm, and her sandwich had the consistency of flavored paste, but she grimly consumed both. She’d survived her first encounter with Ben and hadn’t given anything away, and had seen him dig himself a hole. With any luck, he’d widen it on his own and fall in.

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About the author:

Peri Elizabeth Scott aka Allyson Young lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada where she and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of May 2020 she has published seven series and several standalones, with others in the works. 

30 May 2020

Sweet Romance from Bonnie McCune!

Hello Bonnie!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) What type of research did you do for your book?

NEVER RETREAT combines characters with very diverse backgrounds, from the military and the corporate world to Latino. The characters and situations in my books resemble the path of my own life, indeed of most people in the USA. So I researched the military in the middle east, life in corporate America, how helicopters function, making and roping with a cowboy lasso. The most extensive, as well as heart-breaking, was flash floods. History Colorado keeps a number of oral interviews with survivors from the first Big Thompson flood in their library. I listened to them, usually winding up in tears. People were swept down the river to their deaths in their automobiles, their headlights still on, singing and praying together. I didn’t include that because it was too sad.

Q) Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?

My favorite novel is one I haven’t been able to place yet, THE COMPANY OF OLD LADIES, in which two old ladies take in a young Asian man with money and immigration problems. Should they or shouldn’t they? How trustworthy is he? It’s pretty much an off-the-wall premise, but I adore the characters because they’re based on people I know, including my adored mother-in-law who, sadly, passed away some time ago. She was a model for maintaining enthusiasm for living right until the end. I simply haven’t been able to find a publisher probably because it’s too unusual and low-key. And I’ve resurrected a sci fi novel I began 35 years ago, set 200 years in the future, called EMANCIPATION, which ultimately discusses freedom and its responsibilities.

Q) Do you write in a linear fashion or do you jump from scene to scene and then go back and “fill in the blanks”?

I start with jotted notes, then insert times and sequences, keep adding notes and ideas, clean up an outline, go back and rewrite, then do it again and again. I’ve taken notes and made observations to myself since I was ten and have thousands of scraps of paper, computer files, and filled tablets. Not infrequently I can’t remember what a scribbled note means. Such as this recent entry:

  • On the leading edge of the subduction zone
  • Geologist meets humanist
  • Shifting slowly, inch by inch
  • Where are your trenches?
These were all written down at the same time, during a trip to Oregon with Road Scholar, but I have no idea why. No wonder it takes me years to write a book.

A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils
their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

See-sawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their difference to rescue their colleagues—and their future as a couple.


Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem about rain rushing down the gutter to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization, and managed Denver's beautification program. 

Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers' and arts' groups, and children's literacy. For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Bake Off. A special love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.

Her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards. Never Retreat is her third novel and her fifth book of fiction. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes one person can make a difference in this world. Visit her at www.BonnieMcCune.com, Bonnie@BonnieMcCune.com, twitter.com/bonniemccune, facebook.com/authorBonnieMcCune.

29 May 2020

Flashback Friday...When Dove Cries

Can two men, who don’t trust each other, protect a woman they both care for?

Book three in the Red Wolves Motorcycle Club series
John Draven is vice president of the Red Wolves Motorcycle Club. While on a special run, he meets FBI Agent Cadence Vanaker again. Cade is the man who killed his cousin five years ago and the person he hates more than anyone. Now John is forced to work with him to take down a human trafficking ring operating in John’s hometown.
Cade wants more than anything to tell Draven he wasn’t the one who really killed his cousin, but he can’t reveal the truth and has to live with Draven’s hate as a result. When the two men find a woman half-dead and bound with zip ties, they both feel a need to protect her—and the need to be her only man.
Dove Aldrin is a sensitive young woman who was abducted and held prisoner. When she escapes, she falls into the path of two men determined to help her and to find the man responsible for treating her so cruelly. What she didn’t count on was falling for both John and Cade. How can she pick one over the other, especially when the two men despise each other?

"The relationship was interesting because even though the men hated each other, the both loved Dove enough to put her first. LOVE that!"

"Carter creates new tension in book three of her Red Wolves Motorcycle Club ménage series.  In When Dove Cries, we have delicious tension with two leading men who loathe each other. Draven and Cade are complex and attractive and care deeply for Dove.  She relishes their protection after the ordeal she nearly didn’t survive and fall equally for each."

"I love this series. Each story gets better and better."

28 May 2020

The Evernighties Weekly Blog Challenge - Week 22

How Do I Get my News?

I have the news now-a-days.

I don't watch the news on TV. I used to watch the Today show, before Covid 19 hit us, but now I can't stand watching all the hate and division that's going on in this country. For my sanity, I decided to stop watching any news channels.

Since I'm on Twitter, I can't help but catch news briefs, but unfortunately, it's all tension driven divided arguments. People's opinions are fine, but I can only take so much.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of HGTV. It's much better for my stress levels.

27 May 2020

Q & A with the Writing Duo Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead!

Hello Catherine & Eleanor!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s always a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) What was the hardest (or easiest) scene to write?

With romantic suspense, the hardest scenes to write - for me at least! - tend to be action scenes where you’re trying to make sure the reader knows what’s going on, but keeping up the pace at the same time. The easiest scenes to write are ones where our characters are talking, because the way Catherine and I write together means you really are seeing two people talking!

Q) What type of research did you do for your book?

The Man in Room 423 is set in Manchester, and The Colour of Mermaids is set in Brighton. We know both cities well, but I refreshed my memory by scooting about via Google Streetview. As a poisoner is on the loose in The Man in Room 423, we looked into the most plausible way they could be doing it. I know a great deal about poisoners in the 1800s, but it’s quite an usual crime in the 21st century.

Q) What made these stories special to you?

For me, I think it was the characters and how they got to know each other, while at the same time being under threat. And it was fun to explore a side of life we don’t often see in our other novels, especially in a rural romcom like The Captain and the Squire.

Q) Do you have a writing quirk, or habit when you write?

The big quirk really is that Catherine and I write together, and it seems that the way we do it is quite unusual. Generally, people who co-write take a chapter each, but we write together on the same page, albeit it via the magic of the internet rather than being in the same room. It works for us!

Q) Do you write in a linear fashion or do you jump from scene to scene and then go back and “fill in the blanks”?

We write in a linear way, and to be honest, the way we write together wouldn’t work if we didn’t. We’ll plan ahead, and with The Colour of Mermaids and The Man in Room 423 - and our paranormal romance, The Ghost Garden, too - we plot in detail before we get started. Our other novels and short stories aren’t plotted quite as tightly, but we felt that for the novels where a central mystery is key to the story, it’s important we both knew where we were going, so we can carefully tease out the stories’ secrets. Planning ahead is really important when writing together as well, so we’re not throwing curveballs!

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

We’ve got titles scheduled all the way into 2021, so look out for more Captivating Captains, seasonal shorts and other surprises, as well as a new installment in The de Chastelaine Chronicles.

About us:

Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead began writing together in the spring of 2017 and swiftly discovered a shared love of sauce, well-dressed gents and a uniquely British sort of romance. They drink gallons of tea, spend hours discussing the importance of good tailoring and are never at a loss for a double entendre.

They are the authors of numerous  short stories and two novel series, the de Chastelaine Chronicles, and the Captivating Captains, published by Totally Bound and Pride. Their novel The Ghost Garden has been shortlisted for the 2020 Romantic Novel Awards.

Follow Catherine at: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bookbub
Follow Eleanor at: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bookbub.

Sign up to our newsletter and receive our free, exclusive short story “Brighton Beaux”. https://curzonharkstead.co.uk/newsletter

The Colour of Mermaids

Released 24 March 2020 by Totally Bound. Available in ebook and paperback.

When artist Eva Catesby is invited to an exhibition in honour of art world enfant terrible Daniel Scott, she’s expected to follow the crowd and sing his praises. Instead she tells him what she really thinks and sparks fly. As they plunge headlong into a wild affair, Eva becomes the target of unwanted attention from an unseen enemy.
Daniel Scott is famous for his paintings. Filled with darkness and tormented imagery, his canvases are as mysterious as his background. Until he meets Eva, Daniel is a stranger to criticism and doesn’t know what it means to fall in love.

Can Eva help Daniel overcome his childhood demons or will a fatal secret from the past destroy their future?

The Man in Room 423:
Released 5 May 2020 by Totally Bound. Available in ebook and paperback.

In a heady cocktail of passion and poison, who can you really trust?
When Lizzie Aspinall and her sister meet for cocktails in a high-rise bar, the last thing she’s expecting is to spend the night in the arms of the nameless man in room 423. As a one-night stand with a stranger turns into a steamy affair with a dedicated detective, Lizzie finds herself in the sights of a stalker.

Ben Finneran has spent ten years pursuing a ruthless serial killer who poisons victims at random before disappearing into the shadows. He wants to believe that the attraction he and Lizzie share is just physical, but when they find themselves falling for each other, is Ben unwittingly leading a murderer straight to her door?
Pursued by the past and threatened by the present, who can Lizzie and Ben really trust?

25 May 2020

Upcoming release from Stefania Hartley!

Sonia believes that men equal heartache and disaster. Brad has sworn never to love a woman again. It’s a pity they’re so irresistibly attracted to one another.

After her traumatic teenage years, Sonia’s teaching job would be the best thing that has happened to her if it weren’t for Brad Wilson. Her arrogant, standoffish colleague never fails to rub her the wrong way. But when she’s faced with the choice between canceling the school trip to Sicily or accepting his ungraceful help, she swallows her pride and resigns herself to spending an entire week in close quarters with him. Little does she know just how close.

A tragedy from his past still haunts Brad, and he’s sworn never to let his heart be shredded by grief again. Loving another woman is not in the cards. That’s why his petite olive-skinned colleague is so very dangerous.

What could possibly go wrong when their mutual destination is one of the most romantic places in the world?

Reader advisory: This book contains references to teen suicide, accidental death and abortion.
General Release Date: 7th July 2020

Hello Stefania!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) What type of research did you do for your book?

Like many new writers, I’ve put a lot of my own personal experiences into my first book. Sun, Stars and Limoncello is set in the country where I was born and grew up until the age of twenty-one—Sicily. A lot of the settings are places which I have visited or lived in for many years.

The hero and the heroine are both secondary school teachers in England, which is what I’ve been for a few years before starting to write.

There were still things I had to check and research (for example, I had never taken a class on a school trip abroad), and I looked them up online or I asked friends and family.

Q) What made this story special to you?

This story is special to me because I’ve poured all my love for Sicily into it. It’s bursting with the sounds, the colors, the smells of the places where I grew up and which I love. The sparkly Tyrrhenian Sea, the rugged Etna volcano, the roaring of Sicilian scooters… And I have fallen in love with the character so much that I feel for them and what they’re going through.

Q) Do you have a writing quirk, or habit when you write?

Sometimes, when I get stuck on a piece of dialogue, I get up from my desk and I go downstairs to the kitchen for a snack. As I go, I repeat aloud my characters’ last words. Believe it or not, by the time I get to the kitchen counter (it’s not far, but I walk very, very slowly) I usually come up with the next line of dialogue and I’m unstuck, so I run back upstairs and continue writing. If I don’t come up with the answer before I get to the counter, I console myself with a little snack. Not a healthy writing habit, so I don’t recommend it!

Q) What do you think is your strongest asset as a writer? …what is your weakest factor as a writer?

People have told me that I’m a very descriptive writer, and I guess that it’s because I always set my stories in places that I love. I have lived in many places and, although it’s not always been fun or pleasant, the experiences I’ve had have given me a wonderful bank of memories.

My weakest factor as a writer must be the fact that English is my second language. Growing up in Italy, I learnt basic English in school and when I went to the UK for a year as an exchange student, I struggled a lot with the language. It’s taken me many years to become fluent enough to dare imagine myself as a writer.  

Q) Do you write in a linear fashion or do you jump from scene to scene and then go back and “fill in the blanks”?

I write in a linear fashion but that means that sometimes, when I get stuck on a scene that isn’t working, I’m unable to jump it and go ahead. What I do, instead, is work on another book and return to the first one when I’m fresh.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

I have a novella entitled Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea due to be out in December with Totally Bound/First For Romance. Like Sun, Stars and Limoncello, it’s set in Sicily, but it’s got more of a rom com feel to it.

Thank you for having me here on your blog x


Sonia felt like she’d sped straight into a wall, even though the broken leg wasn’t hers. Kate would not be coming on the trip. The staffroom was plunged into silence as the other teachers pondered the impact that their colleague’s sick leave would have on them.

“Then there’s the Sicily school trip to cover,” Mrs. Ashcroft continued, “because even though we all know that Sonia would happily take twenty-eight Year Sevens to Sicily all by herself…”

Yes, she wouldn’t think twice about taking the kids on the trip on her own. She’d do anything for them. She curled
her fingers tighter around her mug.

“It wouldn’t be legal. Our school cook and his wife are going with her, but we need another teacher. Unless, Sonia, you wish to cancel the trip?” Mrs. Ashcroft turned to her and all her colleagues’ eyes swiveled in her direction.

Cancel the trip? After her students had worked incredibly hard on their Italian, baked and sold cakes and washed cars to raise money? She had fought tooth and nail for the grants that would allow even the less-well-off to come. Then there was Charlotte Rogers, who had fixed her with her big, sad eyes and thanked her for this trip, because it would give her respite from her warring parents. No, I can’t cancel it! She wouldn’t, even if she had to pay someone to go with her. “Absolutely not,” she answered resolutely.

“Then we need a volunteer to go with Sonia,” Mrs. Ashcroft confirmed, scanning the staffroom. Bums shifted on chairs, hands crept to watches and the wind whistled outside the windows. All eyes were pinned to the floor except one green pair. Even though she didn’t dare look in that direction, Sonia felt them on her.

No, not him. Please, not him.

“The kids going are a lovely bunch of Year Sevens,” Sonia said, trying in vain to make eye contact with her other colleagues, “and Sicily is very beautiful in April—not too cold, not too hot.”

Eventually, Rachel looked up. “I’m sorry, Sonia. I’d love to come, but I haven’t got anyone to look after my kids.”

Mildred explained that her knees were giving her trouble and she couldn’t walk far. Alistair had just had his first baby. Grumpy old John muttered some excuse. Anyway, Sonia knew that he wouldn’t give the school a minute more than his contracted time. Chantelle had already booked her Eurostar ticket home, and Sonia delicately avoided sending a glance in Bernie’s direction. During the holidays, she’d be going for another IVF attempt. One after the other, all the remaining teachers declined the invitation. When even the head felt the need to excuse herself—a crucial meeting with the school governors—Sonia felt her last drop of hope drip away.

The only member of staff left was the owner of the jade eyes that had followed her from the beginning of the staff briefing, but Sonia avoided looking anywhere near that direction. She had absolutely no wish to travel with him, and she was utterly confident that her feelings were fully reciprocated. Brad Wilson had gotten under her skin like a freezing cold shower from the day he had started at the school. He seemed to have no normal, friendly way to look at her. He either averted his gaze or pinned her with one of his icy stares—unsmiling, as if he were about to dish her a detention. The first few times, she had checked her reflection in a window. Was her décolleté too low? Her skirt too short? Eventually, she had concluded that he was just a miserable wet blanket.

She could put up with Brad Wilson in other circumstances but not on this trip. She had cajoled the newlywed cook, Jake, to come along with his wife, only under the promise that it would be as close to the honeymoon they hadn’t been able to afford as she could make it. When Kate had been going with her, Sonia hadn’t minded the idea of giving the couple space, provided they were available in the event of an emergency. But if Brad took Kate’s place, the setup would be much too much like a double date. The idea was totally cringeworthy, especially as there wasn’t a single female member of staff who wouldn’t swoon over Brad Wilson.

Not that she was in any way attracted to him. No way. She was done with men. Made the mistake, got the T-shirt, learned the lesson. But being pushed together with the staff’s heartthrob would be uncomfortable, if not utterly unpleasant.

Sonia felt his brooding presence and, out of the corners of her eyes, she could make out his tall figure leaned against the door jamb, detached from the rest of the staff, his mug in one hand, laptop carelessly held under his other arm. She kept her gaze trained on the ground, but she could feel his gaze needling her. Do not make eye contact. Do not look at him or at anything near him. If she could have made a sign flash on her forehead with the words Brad Wilson need not apply, she would have.

“How about you, Brad? Could you go with Sonia?”

Mrs. Ashcroft’s words made time slow down and blur like a bullet in the movies, only there was no way Sonia could dodge this bullet if he said yes.

Please, say no. You must have a holiday booked, a girlfriend waiting or a wife and children at home. Please, be busy.

He clutched the mug to his chest like it was a miniature shield and contorted his face into a pained frown.

Please, say no. Make up an excuse.

“I suppose I should.” He sighed.

A flood of angry adrenaline restarted Sonia’s internal time at a galloping trot. That was the unkindest acceptance he could have ever conjured up. ‘I suppose I should.’ Was there a more convincing way to make it clear beyond a doubt that they were twisting his oh-so-handsome-and-muscly arm? He was going to oblige, but only out of duty, and he would do it with as little grace as possible—and even less enthusiasm.

Before Sonia had a chance to refuse his ‘offer’, Mrs. Ashcroft replied hastily, “Thank you, Brad. That’s very kind of you.”

’Kind’ was the last word Sonia would have used to describe Brad Wilson.

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About the Author

Stefania Hartley, also known as The Sicilian Mama, was born in Sicily and immediately started growing, but not very much. She left her sunny island after falling head over heels in love with an Englishman, and she’s lived all over the world with him and their three children.
Having finally learnt English, she enjoyed it so much that she started writing stories and nobody has been able to stop her since. She loves to write about hot and sunny places like her native Sicily, and she especially likes it when people fall in love.

Her short stories have been longlisted, commended and won prizes. Sun, Stars and Limoncello is her first novel.

You can find out more about Stefania on her website (http://www.stefaniahartley.com/)