I have a particularly delicious treat on the blog today as bestselling author Isabella May is here to introduce her new novel, The Ice Cream Parlour. Set in Capri and Bath, it’s a lip-smacking, time-slipping tale of sibling rivalry, sexy shenanigans, cut-throat business wars and, ultimately, the sweetest romance you’ll read this year. Over to Isabella with her answers to my Q and A:
Thank you very much for hosting me today, Alice. Apologies in advance if I make your tummy rumble!
Why ice cream?
I absolutely love proper ice cream and proper gelato. There is just no substitute, and, with the increasingly dazzling array of fusions and flavours available in the year that is 2019, I was desperate with a capital ‘D’ to showcase these in a novel. I thought that could be very fun!
Well, I used to work and live in the gorgeous Aquae Sulis! Bath to me will always feel like a little piece of home. There’s nowhere quite like it (I know I say the same for Glastonbury which frequently crops up in my books), but Bath really is a gem and so full of history at every turn. It’s also really compact for a city, and I liked the idea that potentially everyone knows everyone else’s business; that for the warring twin sisters in this novel – and Jeremy Kent, the rugby star love interest at the heart of that – there’s nowhere to hide. On the plus side, Bath’s accessibility meant that news would travel fast about Giovanna’s avant garde ice cream parlour, attracting the crowds!
Did you research the ice cream wars of the 30s?
Not in too great a detail, but yes, I did look into this and found it fascinating. I think it helped make Giovanna and Natalia’s battle more solid.
Your books are always centred around food/drink, why is that?
Ha – you’ve noticed? I think I am just enamoured with the way food and drink bring us together – be that in times of peace or war. I am also a very keen advocate of #eatwhatyoulove #eatwhatyouwant. These are two hashtags I coined my very self. They’re undeniably simple but their message is profound. I would love so dearly for women to stop justifying their calorific intake (and appearance); it is, after all, the only way we can change things for future generations of females. If we want to break those glass ceilings then change starts with these seemingly small day-to-day nuances. It’s important we are aware of the messages we are sending out.
Aside from that though, I love to bake and create never-tried-before concoctions, merging taste sensations to see what happens. Mainly – it has to be said – of the sweet variety…
Did you put on weight while researching this book?!
Erm… yes! It was absolutely vital that I paid a few trips to my local Italian ice cream parlour for research purposes, you see.
*Disclaimer to readers* I will not be held responsible for jeans that no longer fit.
And now I feel as if I am totally back-pedaling ref. my answer to the last question!
You deal with past life regression in the book, is that something you’ve tried yourself or find intriguing?
I haven’t, and I don’t think I’d be brave enough to… but I have a few friends who have experienced it, so I coupled the essence of their accounts with research to write those parts of the book. I think it’s a hugely interesting subject though.
What’s next bookwise?
Book 5 is almost ready to be edited. It features mountains of cake. I’m taking that one the indie route too. Book 6 will be a little darker. It may contain chocolate…
Thanks so much, Isabella, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll serve up next. Here’s the blurb for The Ice Cream Parlour:
“A twintastic read full of heart and family affairs. This book will make your heart melt quicker than the Amalfi sun could melt your Garibaldi and Mascarpone gelato.” THE BLOSSOM TWINS
“A sundae of sensational storytelling.” HEIDI CATHERINE
Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren’t as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an ‘Eat Pray Love’ style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn’t expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can’t shake.
How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All’s fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn’t it?
*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*
Here’s Isabella’s biography:
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.