As many of you know, back in October 2014 Karina Halle and I traveled to the Amalfi Coast in Italy to research her novel, Racing the Sun (out 7/28). Throughout the course of 10 days, Karina and I visited Sorento, Positano, Ischia, and Capri (as voted by her readers). As you can imagine, Italy was a gorgeous place, and I managed to fill 2 photo cards with hundreds of pictures. Some of these I wanted to share with you so that you’ll get an idea of some of these amazing sights that will be featured within the pages of Racing the Sun.
Oh, and also, Atria Books is generously providing a finished paperback copy of Racing the Sun for you to WIN!
Check out the photos & giveaway below, and I hope you’ll fall in love with Italy (and Derio) as much as we did!
First off, you’ll see that Karina dedicated the book to me and my 2 suitcases.
Karina flew down to meet me in Maryland, and the two of us embarked upon our journey to Italy. Our trip consisted of one flight from the U.S. to Paris, then Paris to Naples.
Once we got to Naples, we took a 45-minute bus ride across steep cliffs and coast to our final destination: Sorrento!
Within our first few days in Sorento, we traveled to Pompeii & Positano. (Which became 2 of my favorite places on our trip.)
For those of you who had been following along our #HalleInItaly hashtag back in October, you’ll remember that Karina and I were on a quest to find the stone penises that were rumored to point visitors in the direction of the brothels in the red-light district in the city of Pompeii. We were riDICKulously (see what I did there?) determined to find the stone marker, and after almost an hour of hardcore searching in the blazing heat, we were victorious. (Thanks to the help from a very helpful site worker, and Karina’s keen eyes!)
AKA: The place with the CLIFFS.
This trip was vomit-inducing. There’s actually a scene in the beginning of Racing the Sun where Amber talks about taking a cab to Positano that weaves precariously on cliffside roads. THIS IS REAL. We lived this. But the trip was worth it.
After 3 glorious days spent in Sorento, Pompeii, and Positano, we took the ferry to the island of Ischia!
Ischia was where we ate the most amazingly delicious tomatoes (and believe it or not, the BEST Caprese salad).
In Racing the Sun, Amber becomes the nanny to Derio’s younger (twin) siblings. She goes on a day trip to Ischia with them, and they visit a castle on the island called Castello Aragonese. Karina, Pocket Jamie, and I had a BLAST there. It is old and historic, with amazing views of the island. Here’s a 15 second video of us goofing off…
The gorgeous island of Capri is where Amber meets Desiderio (Derio) in Racing the Sun. He and his siblings live on Capri, and Amber describes just how ridiculously beautiful this place is.
In Racing the Sun, Amber talks about taking the Funicular de Capri as a way to get to the top of the mountain from the Marina Grande (the main port in Capri). Here’s what it looks like:
Amber also describes another way to get around the island: taxi.
A more scenic way to explore the island of Capri is to take a boat tour. You get get it with a group, or take rent boat from Florida Keys Boat Rentals and hire personal guide.
Yes, like Gilligan.
No, I didn’t like it.
But alas, I couldn’t NOT do it. So I strapped up with two Sea-bands, a Dramamine or two, and subjected myself to a 2-hour tour in VERY questionable waters. (The water was so choppy, they considered canceling the boat tours that day.)
Toward the end of our boat tour, we made a pitstop over at a world-famous place in which a very special scene happens in Racing the Sun: The Grotto Azzura (the Blue Grotto)! I refused to get out of the boat until we reached the marina, so Karina was the only one to actually go in. But thankfully there are pictures, right?
Trust me, just looking back at these pictures make me feel seasick.
We only spent 2 days on Capri, but we were still able to fall in love with everything about it. (Minus the Caprese salad. Trust us on this.)
Capri was the final stop of our Italian adventure, and after our second day, we took the ferry (which almost capsized) back to Naples to head home. I was lucky enough to have a 20-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey, which was totally amazballs. (The food there is DELICIOUS!)
Italy was nothing short of breathtaking. The sights, sounds, tastes, and yes, smells were tantalizing. (Minus the cigarette smoke. Everyone smokes, lol.) I fell in love with Italy in the same way that Amber does in Racing the Sun–deeply, and passionately. I only wish I could’ve found a sexy pro-motorcycle racer to fall in love with too. *sigh*
Better luck next time, I suppose.
In case you live under a rock, here’s all the book details for Racing the Sun!
Published by Atria
Published on July 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Love & Romance
Buy on Amazon--Buy on B&N
Add to Goodreads
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.
It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.
It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.
But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.
Win a Paperback copy of Racing the Sun by Karina Halle!
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