A few years ago, my brother offered me a free trip to Italy with his family, thanks to extensive frequent flyer miles that were about to expire. We visited the Amalfi Coast and spent four days on the island of Capri, a place that still fills my soul whenever I think about it.
From the moment I set foot on the island from the little ferry that transported us from Napoli, or as we English-speaking louses call it, Naples, I became obsessed with setting a story on the island. There was so much to the place that to me screamed as the perfect love idyll.
First of all, the island is ancient and its medieval roads so narrow they don’t accommodate cars.
So, they don’t allow them.
There are a few locals who keep cars there but it seems pointless since they are confined to designated spots. Of course, being in a place with no traffic, no honking, no traffic signals, etc. is like stepping back in time.
Of course the food is superb and each little cafe is its own unique, delightful experience. I could go on and on about the food and the friendly way people invite you to Sunday lunch when they don’t even know you. Sunday afternoon is full of smiles, the scent of lemons heavy on the air. Even the insects seem woozy from the ambrosia-like taste of even the water.
We left the island with lots of tears and promises to return. About a year later, Relentless Passion was born. I wrote it fairly quickly, the characters as real to me as a crisp, chilled glass of the island’s favorite limoncello.
The sequel, Relentless Love came to me soon after and then I came up with the third story after I read a very funny column online about the terrible dog poop problem this walking island has. The mayor was forced to institute a doggie DNA program to discover who the culprit was who kept letting his dog leave his business in the middle of the tiny, twisting roads.
Of course, I thought this would be a hilariously embarrassing job for my supercop, Antonio. And since Antonio was making a return, so is his beloved life partner, Zeca, whose irresponsible twin brother, Alex found lasting love with his man, Hugh in book two of the series.
In book three, which has been published as Isle of Capri, the twins’ long-lost cousin, Marius, arrives extremely distraught after he’s quit his role on a hot British soap opera to move to Greece and spend his time writing. He soon learns all his hard-earned money has been stolen. His business investments are a flop.
Love has a way of finding itself in Capri however, as Antonio is fond of pointing out.
Here is the blurb for Isle of Capri…
British soap star Marius Treadway’s week has gone to hell. Still reeling from a failed romance, he quit his TV show only to learn that his sizable business investments are nothing but scams. Depressed and needing time to rethink his future, he travels to the island of Capri to visit his long-lost Uncle Toppy and twin cousins, Zeca and Alex.
At first, life seems relaxing and enjoyable on the sun-drenched, lemon-scented island, but it soon becomes clear that Alex’s private hotel is being targeted for crime, possibly because it’s gay-owned. Then, one of the oldest gay business owners in Capri Town finds his store trashed.
Determined to help his family, Marius soon meets dazzling Brazilian soccer player Crisanto Alvarez, who makes a play for him. Can it really be that, underneath it all, the isle of Capri is a healer of hearts?
Please leave a comment on this post to qualify to win a brand-new paperback copy of Isle of Capri, plus a ton of A.J. Llewellyn swag!
NOTE: The giveaway will run until Wednesday, April 24, 2013. If the winner has not read the first two books in the series, A.J. will add electronic copies of each of them to the prize.