Monday, 20 November 2017


Sorry for the delay in blog posts. I was away in Europe last month, travelling through Italy. Though I loved the ancient grandeur of Rome, I have to say I fell in love with the less touristy south. In the towns and villages of Calabria you get a much more authentic Italian experience and you're not jostling with crowds of thronging tourists all vying to take the best selfie in front of some iconic statue or monument. Here's a list of my favourite things about Italy:

  • COFFEE - whether it's espresso, cappuccino or latte - it's always rich, delightful and best way to drink it is standing up at the counter of some gorgeous pastry or gelato shop.

  • EVENING SHOPPING - in the Southern towns, the shopping centres are pretty dead during the day but at night it's like a carnival. Everyone's out, dressed in their finest. From oldest to youngest they come out to shop, eat gelato, grab an evening meal or drink coffee on outdoor patios. It's a wonderful, festive atmosphere.

  • THE SANDWICHES - or pannini. We ordered a sandwich at a tiny cafe in Cosenza and the store owner lovingly cut the bread, shaved the meat and cheese and assembled it with careful precision, oblivious to the other customers who waited patiently. The result was the freshest sandwich I've ever tasted!

  • COSENZA OLD TOWN - Cosenza is a beautiful city in Calabria. There's a pleasant and bustling modern town area, but the old town is breathtaking. Haunting and beautiful, it sits on the other side of the river, Winding, cobbled streets and the decaying grandeur of its buildings show that this was an important centre in the past. 

  • THE HOTELS - Many of the hotels are independently owned and there are few large chain hotels. We stayed in some beautiful places which were all immaculately clean and relatively inexpensive, particularly the Civico 27 Guest House in Cosenza which had an incredible common area and balcony with a breathtaking view of the city.

  • THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGES AROUND COSENZA - Cosenza sits in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains. Ski towns like Camigliatello Silano are undiscovered gems, off the major tourist grid. This gorgeous mountain town just happens to be the porcini mushroom capital of Italy as well and the food stores are amazing. Fit for any gourmet traveller.

  •  BEACH RESORTS NEAR ROME - About 75 kms from Rome are lesser known beach resorts, popular with Romans who want a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We stayed at the Oasi di Kufra, a gorgeous beachfront hotel in Saubadia. It was inexpensive and looked out onto a vast, sandy beach where we watched incredible sunsets and sunrises from our balcony.

I've been working on a TV adaptation of my YA trilogy. I've always thought it would make a great movie or TV series and many readers have reinforced that idea. I'll keep you posted with any updates.



A witty, dramatic and clever Edwardian story set in a rambling, rundown mansion. It's Emerald Torrington's 20th birthday and preparations are underway for an elegant supper party, but an accident nearby causes a group of mysterious and unwelcome survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor. What follows is a thrilling, surprising and delightfully dark story.


  1. Brilliant post! Exploring Italy is something that has been on my mind for a few years now. I did apply for Italy visa since I am planning to explore Milan and other popular cities of Italy for at least a week or two. But I might take some tips from your blog to make my entire trip fun-filled and exciting. Keep sharing your short trips to other Italian cities as they can help me to explore more destinations of Italy in a short time.

  2. Your travel experiences of Italy have nudged me to apply for an Italy Visa Online as I always wanted to explore Italy with my wife and kids. I will also be looking for some interesting travel guides that will give me tips about places to visit, foods to eat and hotels to stay in Italy. This will ease up my travel itinerary preparation and help me to enjoy my Italy getaway in a more relaxed way.

  3. Informative post! This is the first time I got to hear about the many amazing attractions. I applied for an Italy Visa and was looking for some nice places to visit. Rome might just be the ideal place for me and my wife. Additionally, your informative tips will make it easy for us to know about nearby attractions nearby and places to visit. Do share some more informative posts about Italy’s many tourist cities and must-experience attractions.



NEW BOOK COMING DECEMBER 2023!! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming new novel from Severn House Publishers (a division of Canon...