Summer 2022 Newsletter


A warm welcome to my VIP’s newsletter. 

As a VIP you’ll be the first to know what’s going on in my writing life. I’ll give you a sneak peek of new book covers, snippets of the current Work in Progress and advance notice of new books.

Summer 2022

At last it’s summer again and the garden is in glorious bloom. The roses, sweet peas, honeysuckle and jasmine all smell divine. Everything is growing just a little bit faster than I can keep up with it – especially the weeds!

We’re already eating spinach, fresh herbs and a courgette or two. The tomatoes have set fruit and the French beans and runner beans are reaching for the sky. On the other hand, the radishes are rubbish this year and some of the lettuces bolted while I was on holiday.

One of my greatest summer pleasures is being able to sit outside to write in the sunshine or linger over dinner and a glass of wine in the longer evenings.

Publication news
I’m excited to tell you that the mass market paperback of Letting in the Light will be in the bookstores on the 7th July – just in time for holiday reading!
Buy Now
Click the links to read blog posts written to celebrate Publication Day for Letting in the Light. 
Publication Day excerpt from Letting in the Light
Read here
The Post Office During the Great War
Read here
Port Isaac – a glimpse into Cornwall’s Past
Read here
My favourite books for researching WWI
Read Here
Socks for Soldiers in WWI
Read here
WWI Hospital at Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)
Read here
Writing a Trilogy – the Pros and Cons
Read Here
Letting in the Light is also available as an audio book.

Buy Now
I lived and breathed the Spindrift trilogy for more than three years. I’m sad to leave my characters behind in Cornwall but I can drop in on them at any time by picking up one of the books again!
Writing news

I delivered The Venetian Inheritance to my publisher at the end of May and expect to receive editorial notes at the end of July.

The Venetian Inheritance is the first of three books set in Italy with a WWI widow as the heroine. Each book will be a standalone. The Venetian Inheritance will be published in January 2023.

Research holiday to Lake Como

Here I am having a wonderful time on holiday in Bellagio, a small town on the shores of Lake Como. The purpose of my visit, apart from eating as much gelato as possible, was to soak up the atmosphere for writing the second book in my WWI Widows in Italy series. The Italian Garden, (working title) will be set near Bellagio in 1919. The story is about a young widow, Violet Honeywell, who travels to Bellagio to restore a garden lost for over fifty years. As she recreates the garden, she also uncovers secrets from the past.

The first photo shows Bellagio at night from my hotel balcony and the second is the boathouse at the Villa Cipressi.

Since The Italian Garden is about the creation of a garden, it gave me the perfect excuse to visit the gardens of Villa Cipressi in Varenna, a short boat ride away from my hotel, and Villa Melzi within walking distance of where I stayed.

It was extremely useful to discover the variety of plants that grow in that climate and also to see them in such delightful settings. I do love an Italian garden! The story of The Italian Garden is set within an imaginary villa and gardens near Bellagio on Lake Como and is owned by a family who made their fortune in the manufacture of silk.

The first photo above is a silkworm incubator, once found in many cottages. You can see the oil lamp beneath the cabinet used to incubate the eggs. The second photo is a dye vat for finished cloth.

I caught the fast ferry from Bellagio to visit the Museum of Silk in Como, an hour’s journey away. There is a long history of silk production around Lake Como and, although the raw silk is now mostly brought in from Asia, at one time there was a thriving cottage industry in silk production. Silkworms only eat mulberry leaves and, to this day, you can still see mulberry trees in the area.

The museum exhibits a stunning collection of early dyeing and printing equipment, old pattern books and photographs. There are displays that chart the fabric production process.

What am I reading this month?

The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley 

I’m thoroughly enjoying this escapist read!
In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives.

One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

Book reviews are invaluable to an author because they not only offer feedback about what you did, or didn’t like, but also increase the novel’s visibility to other readers. So, if you’ve enjoyed a book, please do leave a review and make an author very happy!
That’s all for now!
Have a wonderful summer!
Twitter: CharlotteBetts1
Facebook: Charlotte Betts – Author

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