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Release Day: Dante's Gift by Aubrey Wynne

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Dante’s Gift

Plato Publishing

Contemporary/Vintage Romance 

Novella

Kathleen James has put her practical side away for once and looks forward to the perfect romantic evening: an intimate dinner with the man of her dreams—and an engagement ring. She is not prepared to hear that he wants to bring his grandmother back from Italy to live with him.

Dominic Lawrence has planned this marriage proposal for six months. Nothing can go wrong—until his Nonna calls. Now he must interrupt the tenderest night of Katie’s life with the news that another woman will be under their roof.

When Antonia’s sister dies, she finds herself longing to be back in the States. An Italian wartime bride from the ‘40s, she knows how precious love can be. Can her own story of an American soldier and a very special collie once again bring two hearts together at Christmas?Dante’s Gift has two settings. The contemporary romance takes place in Chicago but we’ll talk about that in the next letter.

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Double Settings, Double Romance

Dante’s Gift has two settings. The contemporary romance takes place in Chicago but we’ll talk about that in the next letter.

The vintage romance takes place in Benevento, Italy, in the region of Campania. A lovely town close to Naples that has survived a terrible bombing and invasions by the Germans and then the Allies. While I have never visited, my stepfather (a WWII vet) was stationed near there at an airbase in Foggia. With his help, I was able to add authenticity to my story.

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Chicago, Illinois (The Windy City): Kathleen James lives in Lake Pointe Towers. It is the odd, wavy-shaped building on the left. Imagine the view!

Sant'Agata de 'Goti is Italian town of 11,473 inhabitants situated in Campania in the province of Benevento. Caudina located in the Valley, at the foot of Mount Taburno, and the border with the province of Caserta.The historic citadel stands on a outcrop of tufa between Martorano and Riello, Isclero two tributaries of the river, forming a spectacular crossing of the deepest gorges in geology was the epicenter of a violent earthquake, the entire city is spread on the slopes of Mount Maineto (556 m), over the stream Martorano.  The plant is at the center circle and measuring 1 km in length, diameter directed from south to north. Extends around the entire municipality, hilly

Benevento, Italy: home of Antonia Capriotti. The city has not changed a lot over the centuries.

strega

Benevento is now on my bucket list. Things to do: visit the Santa Sofia church, the Arch of Trajan, the Roman amphitheater, drink Strega and espressos, and enjoy some authentic Italian food.

bombed window front

Excerpt:

The pilot with wheat-colored hair put his elbows on the counter and leaned toward her. “I could buy thirty loaves of bread at home for that much lettuce.”

“But you are not home, soldier. You are here, in Benevento, and a sticky bun is 100 lire.” She meant to be rude but his soft brown gaze made her heart race as if she’d just chased Dante across the field. His smile went to his eyes, adding crinkles to the corners, and made her own lips turn up. “The cost of supplies is very expensive these days, as you know.”

“So I’ve heard. Give me five,” he said with a wink. “Maybe I can sweet talk the captain into putting me back into a plane.”

“Save your money, Ken. Your ears obviously ain’t got any better in the last ten minutes,” he answered, rubber-necking over the counter. “Get a load of that landing gear.”

Dante growled again but this time showed sharp, white teeth. “I don’t think he likes you much, Bob.”

“Well I don’t care for him, neither. Give me two of those, and we’ll get out of your hair.”

The men paid for the rolls and walked outside. She headed into the kitchen when that quiet, deep voice stopped her. “I’d like to apologize for my friend. He’s not a bad Joe once you get to know him.”

“I don’t think I care to,” she said without turning around.

“It looks like I may be making regular trips through your town. Do you work here often?” His tone dripped like honey from a ladle and poured over her; she felt her body turn toward him even as her brain told her “no.”

“My family owns it. I am here every day.”

“So your father is Guido?” He had resumed his place at the counter, balanced on his elbows again, inviting her back without a word.

She found herself leaning on the counter from the other side. “How do you know my father?”

“The sign says Guido’s Café.”

She laughed. “Yes, it does. So you are no private eye, eh?”

He whistled then. “You’d make Betty Grable green with envy when you smile. It makes those blue eyes sparkle like a fresh-cut diamond. You should do that more often.”

Her eyes lowered, embarrassed at the compliment and the image of the American pinup girl in a bathing suit. “You should go catch up with your friends.”

“My name is Ken Lawrence,” he said and held out his hand.

“Antonia Capriotti,” she replied and took his hand. A tingle shot down her center and curled her toes. “It is nice to meet you.”

“You’re blushing. Mmm, beautiful and modest. That’s a rare find, you know.” He held firmly onto her hand. “And who is this?”

She looked down at the silent collie. He hadn’t made a noise when this man reached across the counter and touched her. Odd. “Dante, our protector.”

“You need one, with mugs like Bob.” He made a kissing noise in the dog’s direction and slapped the counter. Dante jumped up, feet on the edge and barked. Ken reached over and scratched the dog behind his ears. “Good boy, you look like my old Schotzie.”

“You have a dog?”

“I did. Old man hit fourteen just before I left. Mom sent me his collar when he passed.”

“I’m sorry, they are just like one of the family, si?”

“Yes they are,” he agreed, giving Dante one more pat before he tipped his hat. “I hope to see you again soon, Antonia.”

She hugged the collie as the Yank left, a swagger to his walk. “What do you know that I don’t, hmm? I trust your instincts better than mine. Perhaps we’ll consider more conversation with this Americano if he returns.”

Giveaways:

Enter the rafflecopter for a $10 Amazon gift card or Paypal bucks OR these adorable Thanksgiving wine charms. One click Dante’s Gift, put it on your wishlist, tweet or vote for me on Goodreads.

leaf and cornucopia

Review Rafflecopter $25 gift card & signed copy of Dante’s Gift (includes international)

If you have read any of my stories, get rewarded! Leave a review for Dante’s Gift and/or Merry Christmas Henry (available at major retail sites and Goodreads.) You may also request a complimentary digital copy of my short stories and leave comments for those at Goodreads. Check out the award-winning Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies or To Cast a Cliche on my website. This contest will run until Christmas!

AubreyWynn_DantesGift_BandNoble_1333x2000 copy

My question to you: What is your favorite city and why? 

 

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This Post Has 0 Comments
  1. I love Bar Harbor, Maine! The rugged coastline, the pristine water~simply lovely! Your book sounds great and thank you for the contest!

  2. Where do I find the Raffle-copter link for the below? Enter the rafflecopter for a $10 Amazon gift card or Paypal bucks OR these adorable Thanksgiving wine charms. One click Dante’s Gift, put it on your wishlist, tweet or vote for me on Goodreads.

Let us know what you think!

aubreywynne51

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas.
Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, a holiday novella received the 2016 Golden Quill award and was a 2016 Maggie finalist.
Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served for the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” will launch in 2017 with Rolf’s Quest.

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