Has anybody else had a crazy year? Some days, I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going, and some days I can’t tell up from down.
Despite all that, it’s been a good year. God is good, and His faithfulness amazes me. All. The. Time.
Last month, I shared the opening scene from Bella Notte with you. This time I’ll share part of the story behind one of the book’s scenes.
You may know this already, but my name is Heather.
(Please tell me you already knew that. I’m going to be worried otherwise.)
My grandmother once bought me some heather potpourri. Sadly, I was allergic to it. Flowers and I don’t generally get along, so it shouldn’t have been a huge surprise, but…it was heather. I was supposed to love it, not feel like my entire face was on fire.
In any event, as I grew up, I often heard about the flower heather and how it was the national flower of Scotland.
I may not have loved the flower, but I liked feeling special. Being a national flower was pretty cool.
Then I wrote Bella Notte. How could I not work the whole heather-is-the-national-flower-of-Scotland thing into the story?
And a beta reader said, “Um. Seriously? You know that’s not Scotland’s national flower, right?”
So I looked it up.
After forty years of believing heather was Scotland’s national flower, you can imagine my shock when I learned that the national flower is actually thistle.
That’s what Eeyore eats. It’s all thorny and unfriendly and not remotely romantic.
As you read Bella Notte, I hope you’ll laugh with me at some of the characters’ adventures. From the moors of Scotland to the sewers of Paris, there’s not a dull moment as they discover their feelings for each other and some of the lessons God has for them.
Patrice nodded. “I keep a map where I mark off the different countries I’ve been to. I want to hit as many as I can before I retire.”
“Retire? You’re not old enough to be thinking about retirement.”
Patrice’s head bobbed. “Oh, sweetheart, you are good for the soul. Modeling’s a girl’s game, though, and I left girlhood behind a while ago. It won’t be much longer before I start to get fewer and fewer calls, before someone tells me I’m not quite right for a particular shoot. I love what I do, but I do it with my eyes open.”
“You’re not like the others. I hope you stick around for a long time to come.”
The model waved her comment away with a delicate hand. “Tell me about Piero. Are the two of you finally on speaking terms?”
Felicity’s skin heated.
One of Patrice’s eyebrows arched. “Do tell.”
“You have milk-white skin, dear. You couldn’t hide a blush if you tried.”
Felicity reached for the palette that would help her to give Patrice the soft, romantic look that morning’s shoot called for. “He’s not quite like I originally thought.”
The model managed to snort without moving a single facial muscle.
“Hey. It’s not my fault I thought he was a player.”
“Has he taken you out yet?”
“Uh… I guess?”
“You guess?” Patrice rolled her eyes. “What does that even mean?”
“We toured the Paris sewers.”
The model shoved Felicity’s hand away from her face and started laughing. “Oh, dear. The sewers? He must be off his game. Piero’s usually way more romantic than that.”
Felicity waited for Patrice’s laughter to subside before returning to her work. “We also visited an art museum and had lunch in a sculpture garden.”
“That sounds more like the Piero I know.”
“How well do you know him?”
“Officially? We’ve been on two dates, both in public venues where I wanted to be seen, and he didn’t mind being on my arm to help me accomplish that.”
Tightness coiled in Felicity’s belly. “And unofficially?”
To enter, comment below with the name of the most bizarre tourist attraction you’ve ever visited. Share a link, too, if you have one! :-)
Two commenters will be randomly selected to receive an e-book copy of Bella Notte. The winners will be announced in the upcoming Sunday Edition.