Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Echoes of Love: Guest Post, Review, and Giveaway

Today I'd like to welcome over Hannah Fielding, author of The Echoes of Love, over for a guest post!

For the love of legends

For me, researching a book is just as enjoyable as writing it. I set each of my novels in a passionate, romantic country, and so that I can really transport my readers there, I immerse myself in the setting: its history, its scenery, its cuisine, its culture. Top of my research list are local legends – I love colourful, age-old stories; the more fantastical, the better!

Since I was a young girl, tucked up in bed and listening avidly to my governess weaving bedtime tales, I have loved legends. Fairytales too, of course – they sowed the seeds for my romantic nature – but legends fascinated me most: those that have stood the test of time, that offer intriguing explanations for the modern world, that are at once fantastical and yet, somehow, believable.

My novel The Echoes of Love, set in Venice, Tuscany and Sardinia, incorporates various Italian legends – told by the hero, Paolo, who is a raconteur extraordinaire, to my heroine, Venetia – and in my research files I collected many more. What better way to share some of these most romantic, magical and atmospheric tales but in this Echoes of Love ‘Legendary’ Blog Tour!

Today, I’m taking you that most romantic of cities, Venice, the backdrop to the opening of The Echoes of Love.

Legends of the gondola

When you think of Venice, what image comes first to your mind? I bet it is the gondola – that romantic and picturesque craft particular to the city of lagoons. As Venetia points out in The Echoes of Love, ‘Italian legends are always about lovers’, and none more so than those stories connected to the gondola.

Paolo explains the legendary origin of the gondola: ‘A crescent moon plunged into the sea to provide a shield of darkness for two young lovers to be alone together. That is the reason for the black colour of the gondola, caused by the abrupt immersion of the phosphorescent body in cold water, and the reason for the silvery lustre of the prow and the stern, which remained out of the water.’

A gondola ride is obligatory for any lovers visiting Venice – but if you want to secure eternal love, take to the waters in the evening and direct the gondolier to the Bridge of Sighs leading from the Doge’s Palace. Venetians believe that if you kiss beneath this bridge at sunset just as the bells of St Mark’s Campanile toll, your love will stand the test of time. (If, like me, you find this legend wonderfully romantic, I recommend the 1979 film A Little Romance in which Laurence Olivier and Diane Lane make it their quest to cement their love through that sunset kiss.)

Follow the tour

If you’d like to read more Italian legends like this, and keep up with the accompanying Very Venetian giveaway in which lots of romantic goodies are up for grabs, follow the Echoes of Love ‘Legendary’ Blog Tour this month.

From Goodreads:
Seduction, passion and the chance for new love.
 A terrible truth that will change two lives forever.

Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Italy’s most captivating city to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone.

Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can’t help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them.

When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia must not only contend with a beautiful young rival, but also come face to face with the dark shadows of Paolo's past that threaten to come between them.

Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?

My Review:
Oh, did I enjoy this book! Such beautiful writing, and such a romance, it just took my breath away! Plus, a stunning location and around in Italy, which is a pretty awesome country as it is! Yeah, this book was spectacular, and a must read!

That romance, it was sweetness and softness and love and a bit of danger and mystery, and just so freaking good! And with it being with 2 characters that you can't help but feel for, well, that just adds to the story, because compelling characters are always a plus!

Loved the slight mystery, of Paolo, and his secret, and the why's of it, it was interesting, and intriguing, and that, "I want to know this now" kind of vibe, that just urges a reader to keep reading, and to read faster, but still take in the details!!!

Yeah, I really enjoyed this book, it was nice and sweet, so go on and check it out!

Author: Hannah Fielding
Read: May 7th, 2014
Source: Author for Review on the Tour
Reason Why: It sounded good, and it's a SAC 2014 Book!
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Published: December 6th 2013
5/5 Hearts
5/5 Books
4/5 Stars

Hannah Fielding is a novelist, a dreamer, a traveller, a mother, a wife and an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: she writes full time, splitting her time between her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

Her first novel, Burning Embers, is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. Her new novel, The Echoes of Love, is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany. It was picked by The Sun newspaper as one of the most romantic books ever written.

WIN in the Very Venetian giveaway that lasts until June 1st.

At least one reader commenting on this post will WIN in the Very Venetian giveaway, with prizes totalling more than $600: 

• 5 signed hardback copies of The Echoes of Love
• 10 signed paperback copies of The Echoes of Love
• 3 romantic Venetian masks
• Lots of fabulously colourful Murano glass goodies: 16 pendants, 2 bracelets, 2 paperweights and a vase
Anyone who comments on a blog tour stop post will be entered in the giveaway. Simply comment below, including your email address so that Hannah can contact the winners. Good luck!


  1. I know of Hannah from Twitter and I have enjoyed reading your review. I will be recommending this book to my daughter Rebekah who loves all things Venice. Best of luck with your book, Hannah.

  2. I know of Hannah from Twitter and I have enjoyed reading your review. I will be recommending this book to my daughter Rebekah who loves all things Venice. Best of luck with your book, Hannah.

  3. The research for this would have been fascinating.



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