Friday, April 3, 2015

Love, Lucy ~ April Lindner Tour - Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway [@TheNovl @misadventure123 @lbkids #LoveLucy]

Love, Lucy
January 27, 2015
304 pages
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buy from TBD/B&N/iBooks/or Amazon

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.


I loved Love, Lucy - check out my previously posted review here


Jesse was waiting for her in the lobby looking freshly scrubbed, his dark hair still damp.  “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” she said back.

He surprised her with a quick hug, as though they hadn’t just seen each other the day before.  Lucy inhaled deeply, taking in his clean, delicious smell. Almond and mint, she decided.  “I’ve been wondering all morning where you’re planning on taking me,” she said.

Without a word, Jesse ducked behind the front desk, and emerged with two motorcycle helmets, one under each arm.

Lucy’s pulse sped up.  She followed him out into the square, then down the street to a row of parked motorbikes.  He walked up to a silver-blue scooter, and pulled a set of keys from his pocket.

“A Vespa?  Like in Roman Holiday?” Lucy was simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  “Is it yours?”

“I wish,” Jesse said, straddling the seat.  “It belongs to Nello, but it’s ours for the day.”  He handed Lucy one of the helmets, strapped the other on, and backed the Vespa out into the street.  A chorus of horns and what sounded like Italian curses immediately started up behind them.

“Aren’t you going to get on?”

Lucy thought of what her mother would say, if only she knew.  Lucy had never been on a Vespa before, and she wasn’t exactly a fan of high speed.  “Is it safe?” A motorbike zipped past them on the narrow street, so close it blew her hair back.

“I’ll be careful,” Jesse promised, his voice muffled by his helmet.          Lucy hesitated, then thought of Audrey Hepburn zipping around Rome with Gregory Peck.  She pulled on her helmet and slung a leg over the Vespa, leaning into Jesse’s back.  The engine’s hum traveling through her whole frame, she wrapped her arms around his waist and shut her eyes tight.  Several minutes went by before she dared open them.  By then they were zooming down a city street, the people and store windows streaming past on both sides.

“Do we have to go so fast?” she yelped, her words drowned out by the engine.  Jesse leaned into a turn, and she gasped, putting all her concentration into hanging on.

When they stopped for a red light, she allowed herself a look around.    They were on the road that ran along the Arno; sunlight danced on its dark surface.  Lucy clung to Jesse, adrenaline coursing through her veins.  The view of the river had been beautiful before, but now it was thrilling.

After that, Lucy forced herself to keep her eyes open, to watch the city unfurl through the scratched plastic visor of her helmet.  She didn’t want to miss a thing

About the Author:

April Lindner (website) is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

Author Interview:

Book Sp(l)ot: Do you have plans to modernize any other classics?

April Lindner: I’ve been working on a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion set on a prep school class trip to Greece.

Lucy really wants to see Florence and have her Audrey Hepburn moment, is there any movie scene, in a foreign city, you want to experience?

In the 1985 film version of A Room With a View, there’s this one particularly romantic scene involving a spontaneous kiss on a hillside in Tuscany. Love, Lucy is a retelling of A Room With a View, and I came to E. M. Forster’s novel after falling deeply with that film—and especially with that one gorgeous scene.

Your descriptions of Lucy and Charlene's trip to Europe - the sights, their stay at The Tent - all made me want to take my own trip, how did you decide what/where to include?

The Tent is a real and very wonderful place, so you could stay there if you’re ever in Munich! I took my own first trip to Europe when I was 22 and I would have happily written about every stop on that trip, which took me through England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. For Love, Lucy, though, I had to reign myself in; I needed to focus on the climax of her travels—her stay in Italy during the last week of her month-long trip. The story flashes back briefly to her time in Munich, Lucy’s last stop before Italy, to give some necessary backstory and to show that before Lucy and her friend Charlene started to grate on each others nerves they really did have some wonderful travels together.

Is there any (more) modern/recently published novel that you would like to update and/or tell as YA tale?

There are many recently published novels that I adore, but I don’t necessarily feel driven to retell them. There’s something I find particularly enticing about dipping into a book from long ago and trying to imagine its characters and plot elements into the present.

Lucy and Charlene don't know each other well before their trip. Have you ever gone on a trip with someone you didn't know well? How did it go? Any advice for other travellers?

Actually, I’ve travelled with my husband and my family, but mostly I travel alone. The first time I backpacked through Europe I travelled solo, and as I stepped off that plane all by myself onto a strange continent, was I ever terrified! But travelling alone turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Without someone else to rely on, I learned I was perfectly capable of getting around and making myself understood in my very basic French, German, and Italian. With my Eurail pass, I could show up at any train station, pick a train at random, and hop on—something that would be much more complicated with a travelling companion. And I made friends at every stop along the way—something that might not have happened if I’d been travelling with a friend.

Ever since, I travel solo whenever I get the chance. And that would be my advice to other travellers—try going solo, at least once. It’s empowering…and so freeing.

If you could travel with any two fictional characters (your own or others) which ones would you choose? And where would you go?

I love this question! I’d like to travel with Jo from Little Women. I so identified with her desire to see the world, and my heart broke for her when Aunt March chose to take Amy travelling instead. On our way to the airport, we’d pick up Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing because she’s so snarky and full of fun, and the three of us would get on a plane to Tokyo—because why not?

Thank you, April! I'm looking forward to that Persuasion retelling and I love your thoughts on travelling alone.


Details: Win (1) of (5) hardcopies of Love, Lucy by April Lindner (US Only)
Ends: April 7, 2015

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