Friday, February 28, 2014

My Favourite Country

I’m an Australian and love Australia, but Italy is my next big love. I’ll never forget travelling to Venice on a train from Munich, arriving on a misty winter morning and seeing the church of the Santa Maria Della Salute across the lagoon.  I remember being quite speechless at my first sight of the beauty of the place.

Italy is a country of contrasts, stunning beauty, sophisticated and elegant cities, brutal ugliness and a tumultuous history stretching back thousands of years. I fell in love with Italy when I was a child and was given a book on Ancient Roman myths and Legends. I read and re-read that book and it’s been responsible for my decision to study archaeology and for setting my novels in the world of antiquities.

Then, as a teenager, after watching a lot of Italian films I wanted to go there, be Italian, live life as they lived it. It’s been a long love affair, a passion that never seems to dim. I don’t really know why this is so, but I’ve stopped wondering and just enjoy it now. I’ve travelled to Italy many times, married an Italian man (and his large extended family), my children are Italian and now I set my novels there too.

Italians, like many Europeans, are not shy about showing their appreciation of a member of the opposite sex. It’s as natural to them as breathing. They accept love and romance as part of la dolce vita. When my heroine, a young woman born and raised in Australia by her Sicilian family goes to Sicily for the first time, the balmy air and the glittering azure sea, the beauty of the town of Taormina and the faded glamour of the palazzos, all cast their spell and she finds herself falling in love. It’s only later she discovers the harsh side of being Sicilian, and forced to draw on this ancestral determination she sets out to help the man she’s helplessly fallen in love with.    

If you’re looking for an escapist read with exotic locations, sexy romance, an ancient mystery and the page- turning pace of a thriller, you’ll find it in my new book For One Night Only, along with Hugh, a hot and rugged archaeologist, Ornella a feisty, funny heroine and a shadowy underground of antiquities looters who will stop at nothing to get what they’re after.

Book Blurb

In Italy, passion and danger share the same bed.

When Ornella vacations in Sicily, she meets Hugh, an archaeologist working on a dig in the beautiful town of Taormina. Hugh convinces Ornella to join him on a trip to the island of Stromboli, where they hike up a live volcano at dusk.

After a passionate night together Ornella, an actress usually focused on her career, suspects she's in love. But after breakfast the next morning, Hugh vanishes.

Ornella is left with Hugh's phone, sunglasses and a sudden end to the love affair she thought she didn't want. Desperate to know if Hugh ran out on her or if he's met with disaster, she wants to search for him. But with an important screen test in Rome and her agent impatiently waiting for her, Ornella faces a dilemma.

Little does she know the danger Hugh is in – and that she is the key to his survival. 


Villas clung to the steep hill, facing the sea, half of them decorated with small satellite dishes for television reception. All the villas nearby had iron fences but the Palazzo Calafato was enclosed by a tall wire fence, topped with coils of razor wire, its heavy gates held shut by a massive padlock.

“Gosh, what do you do at this palazzo?” Ornella asked.

“I’m an archaeologist. We’re excavating beneath part of the palazzo. The owners want to develop the site into a luxury hotel, but there’s some material here they have to deal with first.”

“What sort of material?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“Because then you’d have to kill me, right?”

“I’d make sure it was a very pleasurable death,” he said, reached inside his shirt and withdrew a key on a long leather string. He unlocked the padlock and opened the gate. She stepped past him and he caught the faint scent of magnolia, luxurious and female. He was not supposed to allow strangers on the site. They’d shown visitors over the mosaic before, visitors who had been referred by reliable sources, and he didn’t know Ornella—she could be the mastermind behind an international smuggling ring. He glanced down, noting the way her thin, sweat-damp, cotton dress clung to her body in an unbearably enticing way, and suddenly he didn’t give a toss.

Three stories high and topped with a turreted roof, the palazzo sat amid an unkempt garden of flowering oleander, umbrella pines and palm trees. Beyond the palazzo lay the glittering silver blue of the Bay of Naxos and above, in the distance, loomed the volcanic Mount Etna, lending the decaying opulence of the palazzo a frisson of danger.

“It’s beautiful,” Ornella said. “Like a fancy birthday cake everyone forgot to eat.”

“Definitely crumbling at the edges,” he said. “There are a couple more levels lower down the hill. They’re locked up and we’re working around the back of this ground level.”

You can buy For One Night Only here ...

Available in ebook format for Kindles from Amazon

Available for iPads, iPhone and iPod Touch at iBookstore

Available for Kobo and other devices at Kobo

My other Books

The Fragment of Dreams

Available in ebook format for Kindle at Amazon

Available for iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch at iBookstore

Available for Kobo and all other devices at Kobo

The Book of Love

Available in ebook format for Kindle at Amazon

Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch at iBookstore

Available for Kobo and other devices at Kobo

Contact Links
Amazon Author Page

Phillipa Fioretti is an award winning artist and Australian author. Phillipa studied art, archaeology and museum studies and worked as an artist and lecturer for twenty years before starting to write fiction in 2006. Her interest in Italy and Italian culture, vintage cinema and fashion, Classical Rome and the ancient world and the history of food and eating, all appear as underlying themes in her books.

In 2008 she was selected for participation in the Hachette Australia/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program.Her first book, The Book of Love, Hachette Australia, 2010, has also been published in Germany, Romania, Norway, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro and the sequel, The Fragment of Dreams was published in May 2011

Her third book, For One Night Only, is published by Pan MacMillan’s digital press, Momentum, January 2014

Phillipa lives at the bottom of the world – in the hills outside Adelaide, South Australia – with her husband and children and an assortment of animals domestic, wild and feral. She likes reading in bed and travelling to Italy.

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