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Author: Hannah

Welcome to Cádiz

The day I first visited Cádiz I just knew I must situate a love story there! The Moors compared the city to a ‘dish of silver in a bowl of blue’, so vivid are the colours there. It is a lovely city; the most beautiful in Spain, I think, and so today I want to introduce you to it briefly.

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Comfort from autumnal poetry

‘Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold — / Come change — and human fate! / Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound, / Can ne’er be desolate.’ The seasons are changing… but we can find hope and comfort in poetry.

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Muse: The woman in the shadows

‘Maybe you could become my muse … what d’you say?’ So says the hero of my latest novel, Concerto, to the heroine. Umberto is a pianist composer set for superstardom; Catriona is his young and naïve neighbour who dreams of being an opera singer. The idea of being a muse… well, who wouldn’t be flattered? But does it mean living in the shadow of genius?

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Writing Romantic heroes

An individual, a maverick, a self-made man; introspective, a thinker; drawn to nature; driven by emotion and deeply impassioned… the heroes of my novels are not just romantic, they’re Romantic in the sense of the literary archetype.

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Building your home library

‘I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.’ So wrote Jorge Luis Borges, and I quite agree. What is truly wonderful about this idea is that paradise is within our reach! We each have the ability to create a little haven at home, with a home library.

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Views of Lake Como: ‘a spot blessed by heaven’

My latest novel, Concerto, is set on Lake Como, Italy, a place so beautiful the composer Franz Liszt described it as ‘a spot blessed by heaven’. Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favourite views of the lake. Don’t forget my Sunday Special offer: if you sign up to my newsletter, you’ll receive my ebook 8 Must-See Tourist Attractions Around Lake Como for free!

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The romantic lace-making of Venice

Venice, setting of my novel The Echoes of Love, is famous for being the City of Love – but did you know it’s also known for lace-making? Not only is Venetian lace so intricate and beautiful that it’s a work of art, but there’s a romantic legend that tells us how this lace originated…

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Finding beauty in the moment

‘Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!’ From a William Wordsworth sonnet, inspired by a moment of reflection and connection he experienced during a visit to London and written 218 years ago today…

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Romantic legends of Italy

Once I have chosen the setting for my next novel, I do my best to learn all about this place: its history, its culture, its cuisine, its scenery. But my favourite research of all is into the stories of the place: its myths, legends and fairy tales. So it was with my novel The Echoes of Love

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Drawing inspiration from romantic settings

Setting is everything for my fiction, not just the backdrop of the story but where I write – where I dream up the first meeting of two people destined to be soulmates, or a first kiss shared on a moonlit beach, or a sunset framing lovers walking off into their happy-ever-after…

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Romance: not fantasy, but reality

‘To me, romance is reality. Romance – love – is everywhere, playing out all around us every day. Reading a romance novel isn’t indulging in a flight of fantasy; it’s reading about something real, and beautiful, and within your own reach in life…’

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WIN fabulous prizes in my Sunday Special giveaway

Over the past few months, as a ‘Sunday Special’, I have given away my novel Indiscretion, serialised in chapters. I had such a wonderful response that I’ve decided to run another Sunday Special – a giveaway with exquisite and unique prizes worth more than £150. This giveaway is open to EVERYONE, so don’t miss your chance to win a wonderful gift from me to you.

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Taking inspiration from the poet Rilke

‘Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other…’ I love poetry, its ability to capture and convey a sentiment in so few words; and for me, the more lyrical, the more beautiful. That is why I love the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke.

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British Museums

My favourite British museums

Museum, for me, is another word for sanctuary, paradise. I suppose, growing up in Alexandria, Egypt – home of the original Musaeum (‘Institution of the Muses’), founded in the third century BC – it is inherent in me to have a fascination with these places. Over the years I have lived in Britain, it has been such a pleasure to explore its museums. Here are some of my favourites.

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The lonely novelist

Lockdown, quarantine, distancing – these are all words, and experiences, that equate to some level of isolation. None of us have found this time easy, for to be separate from each other is to deny the basic human need for connection and company. Perhaps the novelist is better suited to being alone and apart than others. Perhaps not…

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An art tour of the French Riviera

Art is a great source of inspiration for my writing, and so I am very fortunate that my French home is located on the Riviera, which has attracted so many wonderful artists. Here is a look at the stunning scenery, the vibrant Mediterranean colours and the beautiful light of the Cote d’Azur, as encapsulated by the artists who fell in love with this special place.

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rules romance writers

Five golden rules for romance writers

A question I’m commonly asked is: ‘What advice would you give an aspiring romance writer?’ I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject – really, who is? – but the following outlines some of the lessons I’ve learned on my journey from being a little girl who dreamed of writing romance to being a grown woman who really does write romance, every day.

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The classical music that inspired Concerto

Music is at the heart of my latest novel, Concerto. The hero, Umberto, is a pianist composer who has lost his sight, and consequently his will to compose and play. ­Enter music therapist Catriona, who will have her work cut out trying to guide this stubborn and depressed man back to the piano, where he belongs.

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love antiques

For the love of antiques

Classic, vintage, timeless, shabby chic – whatever you call them, antiques can be truly beautiful and soulful. They connect us to those who have come before, who have lived different lives. The writer in me is fascinated by the stories inherent in antiques: who once wore this necklace, read this book, took plates from this dresser, admired this glass bowl?

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