'Prosecco and Promises' By A.L Michael Blog Tour | My Review and Author Q&A.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.
Mia’s dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia.
Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that’s been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?
If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia’s best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!
Title: Prosecco and Promises

Author Name: A. L. Michael

Previous Books (if applicable): Cocktails and Dreams

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Release Date: 12th February 2018
Publisher: Canelo

Links to Book:

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

Twitter: @AlMichael_

Facebook: A.L. Michael
Website: A. L. Michael
My Review:

I loved this book, I loved the whole idea of a summer romance in Italy just jumping on a plane, away from all of life's responsibilities and into the bosom of a family to look after me. Only with Prosecco and Promises, Mia isn't running away, she has been sent away by her father to await his death and the family she's staying with are her Mum's relations whom she only remembers because the last time she saw them was when her Mum sadly died. So not quite the idyllic summer holiday you first think of. Mia at first hates her father for sending her away to somewhere with bad memories but as time goes on, the love for her family grows, Mia starts to feel comforted by them and understand why her father didn't want her around while he was dying. Oh and she also has a romance with Salvatore, the last guy she ever thought of being involved with but you just know they're going to end up together! 

I just loved how well this was written, the descriptions of Ischia so vivid it felt like I was there. It helped that A.L. Michael has travelled to Italy 6 times, she was able to bring it to life for me and I definitely felt like I had travelled along with Mia to this remote Italian island. I love how books can transport you to a different place without having to leave the sofa. This is one of those books and if you have ever wanted to visit then I can recommend starting with A.L. Michael's book. I can highly recommend Prosecco and Promises and I give it 5/5!

Author Q&A:

Q1: Hello there, nice to have you here on SunshineSarahxo! Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your book:

I’m Andi (A L Michael) and I’ve been writing for a while. Prosecco and Promises is my 10th book, and it’s about a girl called Mia, and how she’s been sent away by her Dad, who is at the end of a struggle with cancer and doesn’t want her to be there. He sends her to the Italian island of Ischia to bond with her late mother’s family. She doesn’t want to, but she goes, and spends time figuring out what her life will look like when she returns, and learns a lot along the way.

Q2: At what point did you decide to write books and share them with the world??

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It was my ‘thing’. It was the one thing I was better at than anyone, and to be honest, it’s the one thing I love more than anything. I knew I wanted to write books, but I never assumed anyone would want to read them. But that’s the point! And now with 10 books down, sharing books with readers feels like this relationship, where they review and you’re sort of creating the story together.

Q3: How would you describe your writing style? Has it changed over time at all?

I’d say my style is definitely mine, but it has grown up a bit over the years. It’s sassy, and sarcastic and I swear a fair bit, but I can write some vulnerable moments too. I always write the way I wish I could speak - confidently and quick-thinking, always with a smart retort.

Q4: Was there anyone in particular who inspired you? Which authors do you emulate?

I was thinking about this the other day, because as a kid I read absolutely anything anyone would give me. I didn’t discriminate, didn’t differentiate between genres, wasn’t snobbish at all. I grew up reading Jane Austen, and then disappeared into teen books and out through beat writers. I’m not necessarily sure I emulate anyone. I really admire the styles of Mhairi Mcfarlane and Sarra Manning, as well as Kirsty Greenwood and Jenny Crusie. I like female characters who are happy to kick arse, who even if they’re down, or quiet or failing, they don’t give up.

Q5: Do you have any other books in the pipeline which you are excited about?!

Always! There’s always 3 or 4 new ideas waiting to be written. I’m working on two books right now. One is the third in The Martini Club series, which is called Martinis and Memories and is out in the summer. For those who have read Cocktails and Dreams or Prosecco and Promises, it’s Bel’s story, the owner of the burlesque club. She fascinates me and I’m eager to tell her story. The second is a book for my agent which is a bit hush hush right now but I am super excited about it and can’t wait to get back to it.

Q6: Has your writing helped you in other areas of life?!

Absolutely! So in the most practical way, I’m a content writer for a company, so I’m actively spending my days researching, writing articles, writing for different types of publications, altering voice and tone, all the stuff I do as an author. On a personal level I believe that writing has therapeutic benefits, and so I went to do an MSc in that. I finished it at the end of last year, and did a research project on how writing can be used in recovery from eating disorders. I can honestly say I’ve spoken to so many people who say writing has saved their lives, and I believe it. Writing is so many things, it’s expression and fun and sharing and pretending and playing and scribbling furiously into diaries that keep secrets. Writing is a bit magic, and it’s changed my life.

Q7:  I absolutely loved 'Prosecco and Promises' it took me away on an Italian holiday and although Mia was there to get over her mother's death and await her father's, I couldn't help but get swept away by the romance of it all. Was that the intention when writing the book or did the characters have other ideas?

I guess I knew Mia’s situation wasn’t particularly romantic, and Mia herself is not a romance sort of girl. She’s very practical, she wants to be in control. The setting was as much about giving her a place to heal and regroup as her family members and the love story were. Italy to me is about comfort and beauty and people, and when you’re in a beautiful place all alone, it’s a very strange feeling.

Q8: I must admit I teared up near the end when Mia went home for her father's funeral but what I loved about it was how thankful Mia was to him for the memories he gave her. Did you have any personal memories which helped you write this portion of the book?

I think anyone who’s lost someone can relate to this, whether it’s through a long drawn out illness or not. I know I’m getting to an age where people’s parents are starting to get sick, and everyone’s suddenly wondering what they’re meant to do. It’s hard to know how to be an adult without your role models there. A lot of these ideas are often ‘what ifs’ - what would I do if this happened? What would I do if this was me? So some of the emotion behind the writing is memories, but some of it’s simple fear and wondering.

Q9: How did you come up with the name for the book? Did it come before you started writing or is it something which only really develops once the writing has begun?

Honestly, I had nothing to do with the title, my lovely publishers came up with it, and as I knew it was already going to be set in Italy, and Mia made a promise to her father, it made complete and perfect sense.

Q10: Is there going to be another Prosecco and Promises book where we follow Mia and Salvatore as they set up life together on the gorgeous island of Ischia?

Unfortunately not - I feel like they deserve a bit of time off on their own to have their adventures, but they’re definitely be popping up in Martinis and Memories, back in London.

Bonus Question: Have you ever visited Italy and if so what was your favourite part? Where did the inspiration come from for the setting of the book?

I have visited Italy 6 times now. The first was the summer before university, when I inter-railed with two friends and we visited 5 cities. The most recent was July 2017 whilst I was finishing writing Prosecco and Promises. I love Italy, it feels like home. I love movies about Italy, I was trying to learn Italian. I’m Greek, and I see a lot of the similarities in culture - having this big loving family who want to be involved in your life and know all about everything. And eating all the time. I visited Naples and Ischia to make sure the ideas I had about the setting were correct, and I did have to make some changes to specific things to match. On the day I visited Ischia sadly it was the heaviest rain I have ever experienced, so we missed out on a lot (but it was still beautiful!) but my favourite city is Florence, I’ve been there three times and I could just keep going back.

Have you heard of Prosecco and Promises before?! What do you think?

Love, Sarah

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