Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Mermaid Garden - Interview & Giveaway

The Mermaid Garden: A NovelAuthor: Santa Montefiore
ISBN: 978-1451624304
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 432
Purchase Link: The Mermaid Garden: A Novel
Amazon Reviews
Goodreads Reviews

Interview with Santa Montefiore:

Please tell me 5 things about you.

I adore chocolate
I’m crazy about skiing
I love nature and the out-doors
I’m very sentimental
I’m psychic

What are 3 unique aspects about The Mermaid Garden?
One of the characters is a cross between my father and Derek, the decorator in our village! I based the hotel Polzanze on Endsleigh, a stunning country house hotel in Devon owned by a great friend of mine, Olga Polizzi, and the hero, Rafael, is the kind of man I would like to have met when I lived in Argentina as a 20 year old…I might never have come back!

Name 5 things you wished you knew about publishing?
I think I know all I need to know….

Name 3 things on your bucket list.
What is a bucket list? Must be an American term!

What are your top 5 favorite books?
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Like water for Chocolate – Laura Esquival
An Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim
House of Spirits – Isabel Allende
The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas

If you could invite and 5 authors on a cruise who would you invite?
Simon Sebag-Montefiore (my husband)
Alain de Botton
Andrew Roberts
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Philippa Gregory

Name 3 things that help you gain inspiration for writing.
Nature, love, life

What's the most embarrassing author moment you've had?
Turning up to an event in Waterstones in San Francisco where I was to speak to a huge room full of people to find NO ONE had come…

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as an author?
...So, I spot a man sitting in the back row reading a book. I fall on him like a drowning woman onto a piece of driftwood and gush “You are my only fan!” to which he replies, a little bewildered: “Actually, I’m waiting for my wife and kids to finish shopping.”

If you were stranded on an island and could magically name 2 people, 3 things and 1 book you could have to have with you who/what would they be?
My children Lily and Sasha, Tolstoy’s War & Peace (because I’ve never managed to finish it) chocolate, French bread and white wine, preferably Burgendy!

Do you have another title in the works?
Yes, but I haven’t thought of the title. It’s based in the English countryside and Swiss mountains and is a mystery/love story in the present day.

What has been your best author experience so far?
Getting my first book published. Nothing will ever beat that!

What is the least thrilling/attractive part of being an author for you?
Going into a book shop and finding that mine is stuffed in some dark corner at the back!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write from the heart, with integrity and love and you will succeed.

What is the last book you read?
My husband’s Jerusalem on holiday in Mauritius a week ago – (Simon Sebag-Montefiore)

What are you currently reading?
Louis de Bernieres The War of Don Emanuel’s Nether Parts

Name an author who inspires you and how?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez because he is such a sensual writer, I live and breath every moment of his stories!

About the Book:
From the internationally bestselling author of The French Gardener comes a complex and irresistibly compelling story spanning four decades and set in Tuscan Italy and the coast of Devon, England. As the threads of two stories intertwine with elements of mystery, romance, family drama, and humor, THE MERMAID GARDEN by Santa Montefiore reveals a unique, sensuous tale of love, forgiveness, and the past revealed.

In Italy, ten year old Floriana, is captivated by the beauty of the Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea from just outside her village. When Dante, the son of the villa’s owner, invites her inside and Floriana lays eyes on the enchanting Mermaid Garden, she knows that her destiny is in that garden, with Dante. But as the two grow up they cross an unseen line, jeopardizing everything they hold most dear.

Decades later, a beautiful country house hotel in Devon has fallen on hard times after the crash of 2008. Its owner, Mariana, hires an artist-in-residence to stay for the summer and teach the guests to paint. This mysterious Argentinean artist pacifies the discord in her family and transforms the fortunes of the hotel, but who is he really? It seems that he comes with his own hidden agenda… is it to destroy, seduce, or to heal?

The Buzz:
“Santa Montefiore is a superb storyteller….Her plots are sensual, sensitive and complex: her characters are unforgettable life forces: her love stories are desperate yet uplifting . One laughs as much as one cries.” --Plum Sykes, author of The Debutante Divorcee

“Epic in scope and emotion, but also brilliantly observant and truthful…surprising, moving, and skillful.” --Elizabeth Buchan, author of Separate Beds

"The Mermaid Garden has it all: secrets, mystery, passionate love affairs fueled by drama and determined by fate, and the grace notes of fairytales- evil stepmothers, cranky stepdaughters, and redemption in the wake of understanding in the hands of the great painter Rafa Santoro. Santa Montefiore is a wonder, you will not be able to put this novel down. Unforgettable!" --Adriana Trigiani, author of Brava, Valentine

“An absorbing plot.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Two stories, two generations, and two beautiful European locales are neatly gift-wrapped into one sumptuous tale of love, loss, and redemption. . . . Luxurious and romantic depictions of scenic Tuscany and the beautiful English coast.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Montefiore has written another lovely fairy tale for grown-ups. . . . Fans of women’s fiction will be moved by the characters and eager to find out what happens to them. Lush descriptions of gardens in Tuscany and Devon add to the novel’s charm.” --Library Journal

Want to win it??  Maybe for mom??  This book is a wonderful title for the mom in your life!  Birth, Step, Grand or Adopted Mothers will all enjoy the gift of a great and relaxing read!!
To enter:  Be a follower or subscriber to this blog.  Have a US or Canada Address and leave a comment telling me something great about the mom in your life!!  Share this giveaway via Twitter/Facebook/Blog for an extra entry!! Deadline 5/14. Fill out the form below to enter!


  1. My mom's always been great...she's been there when I've needed her most and helped me get my life started.

  2. I couldn't have asked for a better mom than I have. She is so special.

  3. Mom is who taught me that, to travel anywhere, all you had to do was read.

  4. My mom is mt best friend. Great interview.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  5. Am not entering giveaway as in the UK
    but just had to say, this looks like a great read and I soooooo love that cover! :)


  6. My Mom sadly has passed away a few years ago but she is always in my thoughts and my heart. I am now a mom and try to pass on her words of wisdom.

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!


  7. My Mother & Father both passed when I was only 25. I miss them every day but especially my Mom on Mothers Day. I am a mother to 2 grown wonderful children & grandmother to an awesome 5 year old so I just shower all the love I can on them because every day is precious!

  8. my mom's great!!!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  9. My mom is the most awesome!!! when my health issues threw us a curveball 3 years ago, Mom stepped up & did all that she did to help me!! now that my health issues are no longer, she can breathe again & go back to NormalMom!!!!!
    Thanx, Mom!!!


  10. My mom only gives her opinion when I ask for it.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  11. Sadly, my mother died in 2005 after a long, slow departure due to Alzheimer's/dementia. I still reach for the phone sometimes to call her . . .


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

  12. She's always there when I need her.
    Theresa N

  13. Thanks for all the wonderful comments!! I love hearing about your moms! Winner will be posted tonight!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I appreciate any comments or feedback! It is great to interact with other book lovers! If you read a book after seeing my review I would love to read your review! Come back and leave me a link ( : Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!