By the time you read this, I will be in Tuscany!

I left Seattle on Thursday and flew into Pisa by way of Paris and am now settling in at The Watermill where I’ll be writing for the next week.   While I work during the day, Ty Gurney is going to be off riding his rented Triumph Bonneville motorcycle around the countryside, and then returning to join us for dinner at night.

It’s a trip but not a holiday as I must get some serious writing done.  I’ve got just a little over a week to  finish my book and there is still chapters and chapters to go!   However, if I have to be putting in long hours, why not do it somewhere gorgeous?   I haven’t been to Tuscany since I was thirteen and lived in Europe with my family, and while I don’t remember Tuscany per se, I do remember Siena and Pisa so this will be a great refresher trip since I adore all things Italian.

But why specifically Tuscany, and why now?  Because I got it into my brain last February that I needed to improve my craft!  And so here I am, taking the Creative Writing Course at The Watermill led by the wonderful, absolutely delightful Sharon Kendrick. Sharon is a bestselling Harlequin Presents author from the UK and I find her zest and energy so inspiring and I can’t wait to see what Sharon has to share with us!

At the last minute my pal Megan Crane /Caitlin Crews was able to sign up for the course and so she’s also here, having flown in from Los Angeles, and then she’ll head over to London for a few days after to see friends and meet up with her Harlequin Mills & Boon editor.   And as happy as I am to see Megan, I don’t think there will be much lolly-gagging around as Megan and I both have that same May 15th deadline.

To celebrate my trip to Tuscany and my talented author friends Caitlin and Sharon that also write for Harlequin Presents, I’m giving away two prizes consisting of the not yet released UK anthology, Infamous, featuring my book Hollywood Husband, Contract Wife and Caitlin Crews’ Pure Princess, Bartered Bride, and a copy of Sharon Kendrick’s Monarch of the Sands, along with lots more fun goodies.   For a chance to win, tell me about your Mother’s Day plans, or how things are going in general.  I love hearing from you even when I’m far away, so bring me up to speed and you’ll have a chance to win! This Infamous contest ends Friday night and I’ll announce the two winners names sometime on Saturday.  Ciao!



  1. Mother’s Day I am having a big brunch for all the mommies I love and mean so much to me! Excited for it!!

  2. Hi Jane!

    As I said on your Facebook post, I’m envious that you’re in Tuscany even though it’s on a working holiday. I haven’t had a holiday in 9 years & have always dreamed of travelling throughout Italy. Hopefully one of these days, I’ll start making the kind of money that will afford me a trip like that.

    I will be spending Mother’s Day with my parents & my sisters and my sister Karen’s mother-in-law at Karen & Rob’s house, having a lovely lunch and enjoying each other’s company. Our family just had the shock of our lives as my middle sister Karen (46 on May 17th) who is the mother of 10 yr old twins was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer on Tuesday. She had her 1st chemo treatment (which she tolerated well) on Thurs. and is now at home. I’m heading over to her place now to help out around the house, make everyone a nice dinner tonight (I even baked banana bread) & I’ll take the twins to see The Avengers tomorrow. Should be fun! We’re all determined to stay strong, positive & supportive for Karen so I feel really blessed that we have such a tight-knit family during this difficult time.

    Sending you much love & positive karma,
    Christine xox

  3. I’m sure you’ll enjoy every minute, Jane. Yay for you. We visited Florence last year. Beautiful and memories made for a lifetime.

    This week is busy as my daughter and family are going to Australia, so I’m dog-sitting. Plus, my dear dog Trinket had knee surgery this past Wed, so I’ll be chilling at home with the dogs and writing. Will dodge out for my half priced Starbucks though, haha. Safe travels!

  4. Have fun and good luck with the writing. Things are good. I hung out with my cousin and some friends and we caught the midnight showing of “The Avengers.”

  5. Wow, I’ve always been intrigued by the Watermill Classes, both Sharon Kendrick’s and Jessica Hart’s. The students taking it this week are really lucky to have 3 talented authors and a chance to pick your brains 😉
    It’s been a while, but Tuscany is lovely and probably great inspiration for Presents writers.
    My plans for Mother’s Day involve a pedicure.
    I hope they do anyways. May 18th is my due date for my little boy, so I guess I’m just going to have to be flexible if he decides to come early! I hope he doesn’t b/c painting my own toe nails is beyond me just now.

  6. I’ll be flying a trip on Mother’s Day, but since I’m used to working and being away from my family on holidays, it’s just another date on the calendar anyway. Instead, I will be celebrating during my days off this week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday I’m planning to make a day of pampering and maintenance, getting a two-hour massage, and having my hair and nails done. Wednesday evening is going to be my official “Mother’s Day” celebration with my husband and kids – not sure where yet, it’s a surprise that they are planning! Then I plan to spend Thursday evening in celebration with a bunch of other “Mommys”, at a quaint little custom boutique winery here in Orange County, where we will share some great food (they have a fabulous on-site chef) and wine. So even though I won’t be home on “Mother’s Day”, I think I’m getting the better end of the deal – I get to celebrate pretty much all week!!! <3

  7. My parents, in-laws, & BIL & his family are coming into town to go to worship services & lunch. We always have a great time!

    Have fun in Tuscany!

  8. I’m headed to Palm Springs for Mother’s Day. Not exactly relaxing with the 3 kids, but there’s no one I would rather be with!

  9. Hi Jane,
    Your trip sounds dreamy!
    For Mother’s Day, we plan to spend it with family and friends. We will probably barbeque!
    Hope your Mother’s Day is great and full of laughter and love.


  10. So excited for you. I ADORE Siena. Had some of my best (and most frustrating) times there on my solo trip oh too long ago. I’m thinking of you three in the piazza and have a big smile on my face. Ciao. Andiamo!

  11. It sounds like a great trip, Jane. You’ve got your main squeeze and your good buddy. The writing course sounds awesome! I will be spending Mother’s Day with my beautiful mother. Have a great trip and good luck with the deadline.

  12. Russ said Ty sucks for getting to ride around on the bike while i Italy. He’s just kidding. He’s envious. I know it’s something he would love to do too. I’ld love the sight seeing and shopping. And, a motorcycle trip wouldn’t hurt either. I hope you get to eat lots of good food while you’re there and hopefully a nice view from your window while writing. My mother’s day will be spent with my mom and mother-in-law. Nothing really elaborate, just lunch and catching up. Summer has already started here and today I can feel it. It’s very hot and humid.

  13. Hi Jane,
    Tuscany sounds wonderful. My brother just came back from there recently and had some beautiful pictures. Enjoy your time and I hope you get some useful tips for your writing (even though I think your writing is really good!).
    I will spend time with my mom and family on Mother’s Day.

  14. My sister and I hand picked out a bunch of pictures of our parents ( they’ve been married 56 years) and arranged them collage style and had them framed. It has pictures of them from young children, to dating, to their wedding. they were so cute. Can’t wait to give it to her next week. Last year we all: 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 3 great grand children all wrote memories of my parents on slips of paper. We made a memory jar, decorated it, and put the slips of paper in it. There were over 300 memories. We wanted her to read one or two everyday for a year. She read them all in about 3 days! She read and cried. It was priceless!

  15. I started celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom today by going on a garden tour of homes in the neighborhood where she lives and where I grew up. It was really nice. Some of the gardens were fabulous! Way more work than I would be willing to put in, but definitely beautiful to look at. Happy early Mother’s Day to you Jane!

  16. HI Jane! hope you have a wonderful time. i am watching the Kentucky Derby and hoping my horse wins! then this coming week is one of the final few weeks til my CC Take Steps Walk for CCFA! and then my youngest last day of school is may 16. so we are getting everything ready for that!

  17. Enjoy your trip! Working, working, working is what i am doing. They changed my schedule so at least now i will be off for the weekend. Painting, reading and hanging out with my brothers are all on the to do list!

  18. Since my mother passed away in January, I will be visiting her grave and planting some of her favorite flowers around it.

  19. Jnae,

    Hope you have a wonderful time while in Tuscany. The surroundings are sure to inspire you to new heights. Not sure what we are doing for Mother’s Day as my mom does not like to celebrate it. Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day early.

  20. I can’t even think about Mother’s Day-after having a stressful day getting my daughter and her friend Amber ready for their senior prom..just got back from taking pictures all the girls and guys looked so beautiful and handsome..Amber’s parents are away and didn’t come home yet from their vacation so she was very upset…anyways,tyler and his parents and I calmed her down.At least now its almost over, their going to dinner than the dance. I loved Italy, travled all over and Pisa was a beautiful city but my favorite was Florence and Venice…fell in love, I want to go again but going to Wyoming or just somewhere west is on top of my list.Thats about all that I’m doing! Have fun and you’ll finish your book!

  21. Ah, bella Italia! What a beautiful place…have a wonderful and productive time there! If you venture down the coast, say buongiorno to Gaeta for me…it is a lovely place that I hope to return to someday. 🙂

    As for what’s going on now there are spelling tests and writing assessments I need to grade sitting on my dining room table waiting for me, but all I hear is the call of a book I just picked up on a whim last weekend…and think it will win for tonight anyway. Perhaps the call of duty will win tomorrow evening…

    Enjoy your time in Italy!

  22. How wonderful that you are in Tuscany! I hope you are inspired and able to breeze through the end of your story. The cover of your new book is wonderful. I am not sure if my son is working on Mother’s Day or not so what we do depends on that. Now that they’re older and in college I just like to see my kids on Mother’s Day. I hope you and your family have a great time in Tuscany and Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  23. I don’t think we are planning anything special for Mother’s Day this year. Usually my two daughters take me out for lunch but since my granddaughter just got out of the hospital last week my daughter is staying pretty close to her. Since I have a cold plus allergies I have to stay away from her. Her final, we hope, surgery is scheduled for next month so we have to make sure she doesn’t get sick again so they have to put it off. Bless her 3 year old heart. So I think this year will be pretty much a regular Sunday. Although I may get to get my herb garden planted, with my grandkids help, this coming week. I love mint plants so I hope to get some planted close to my windows so I can smell them when the wind blows. I hope you have a great time, and get a lot of writing done too.

  24. I plan to spend the day with my children at home. I plan to visit my mom sometime that weekend.
    Hope you have a fabulous trip.

  25. Hope you all have a great trip Jane! Mother’s Day- relaxing day with the kids. Hopefully not too much of anything, maybe pjs, books and movies all day. Oh yeah- don’t forget dancing too! 🙂 Wishing you an early Happy Mother’s Day Jane.

  26. Hi Jane,

    I’m so envious of your trip. I wish I could be there. I’ve never been to Tuscany before. For Mother’s Day I will be spending time with my precious daughter, Shaylah. We will go out for brunch and then spend the day at the park. I love mother/daughter days 🙂

  27. So happy for you to be on this fabulous trip and to be with writing buddies and your hubby, too. Hope the writing goes really well for you! We have no real plans for Mother’s Day, but I hope our youngest son, his wife and our granddaughter will be able to come be with us. Being a mother is so rewarding and worth all the worry when the kids are little. Even now, all our son’s have to do is smile at me and be happy in their own lives and I am thrilled to bits.

  28. Have a great time in Tuscany! Mother’s Day will probably involve a nice lunch at a restaurant.

  29. I would love to travel one day. Keep up the good work Jane you will get your book finished and get some fun time in. Mother’s day: no big plans. Just fun in the sun with the kids and a nice dinner. I look forward to reading your upcoming novel. Have a wonderful week!

  30. Mangia! What a wonderful way to get away from it all and hone your craft. I’m hoping that I am sleeping in on Mother’s Day, reading, shopping and getting some sweet lovin’ from my baby daddy! Enjoy your time away.

  31. This would be an amazing prize to win!!!
    For Mother’s Day we are having our daughter over for dinner. I plan on spending lots of time cuddling time with my cute little grandkids, too.

    I wish my Mom was still here so I could enjoy celebrating this day with her as well. We will be placing lots of beautiful flowers on her grave on Mother’s Day morning. She always loved flowers so much.

    Enjoy your trip in Tuscany, Jane! I have never been to Europe…would love to go someday! And Happy Mother’s Day to ALL of the wonderful moms out there!!!

  32. Have a wonderful time and enjoy this memorable place. For Mother’s Day I will be planning and making a luncheon for all.

  33. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

    We won’t really be celebrating Mother’s Day this year because my son will be participating in The Special Olympics that day! It is his first year taking part in it so the day will be focused solely on my handsome little man 🙂

  34. sadly Mother’s Day is no more for us as Mom has passed away 8 yrs. ago and MIL is 6 hrs. away from us.

    I’ve been helping friends at a Convenience store/eatery lately and like it so might end up there on Mother’s Day.

    Have a blast in Tuscany!

  35. Tuscany…..sigh. Some day I’ll get there!

    Mother’s Day is bittersweet since my mom passed away 7 years ago this month. I miss her a lot.

    I will be pampered on Saturday with my girlfriend at the spa, then I will get to choose what we do on Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day! I haven’t decided yet what I want to do. We are in the process of buying a new home, so I may wind up packing some boxes. It’s amazing how much stuff we have accumulated in our current home!

    Hope your Mother’s Day is filled with love, Jane. Blessings to you and all your “boys”.

  36. Sounds like a great place to work on your writing! Enjoy your trip!

    Mothers Day for me will be with family. My mother in law will be in town with other extended family and that will be Saturday. Sunday I might get a few minutes to myself, which would really be a gift. Otherwise, both kids have sports, which is what defines our springtimes. So I will be cheering them on! In there somewhere I hope to get a chance to see my own mom, too.

    Enjoy Tuscany!

  37. I wish I were in Tuscany – for work or play!!

    Life is generally very good right now. My daughter has been ill, but she is on the mend. The weather is beautiful. I plan to visit my Mother for Mother’s Day.

  38. Hi Jane,
    Wow. Tuscany. Good for you. I hope you have a fabulous time.
    I am working on Mother’s Day. I think it will be just the distraction I need. It’s been a year since my mom passed away.

  39. I’m envious Jane! You’re such a world traveler 🙂 Have a beautiful time!

    I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden. We’ve got 40 tomato plants, 36 greenbeans, 15 cucumbers, 10 okra, numerous carrots and radishes, and about 30 peppers. I’m anxious for things to start ripening so I can serve my family home grown vegetables 🙂

    Have fun on your trip 🙂

  40. No plans for mothers day here. I really hope you enjoy your trip. Sounds like a grand time could be had.

    Lisa B

  41. Jane,
    How strange, sad, and yet funny that so many of you devoted readers (myself included) must live through our favorite authors. No, we are not stalkers! Lol please just make sure I have a wonderful time while Im visiting Tuscany. 😉 Happy early Mother’s Day! On Mother’s Day after working on putting in a garden I plan to run to local Starbuck’s, return home to bar-b-q, relax in patio while working on my novel.

  42. Jane, I live vicariously through your travels. Tuscany, wow. I can’t wait to read about the trip.
    I am spending my Mother’s Day weekend moving my youngest daughter who is a junior in college to another place. Not a permanent place mind you just a place until the next apartment becomes available at the end of July. Me and my husband should become professional movers we have moved her so many times in the past 3 years.
    My oldest daughter just graduated college this weekend. It was a HOT outside graduation. Then we went to see the Avengers in IMAX (wow you gotta go see) and a nice dinner out after the movie to celebrate.

  43. Oh Jane,

    How I am so jelious of your trip to Tuscany! How exciting. I agree completely that if your working why not it be somewhere beautiful, relaxing and tranquil to the heart. The sandy air and crashing waves is where my heart is. It’s where I enjoy writing at most. I wish I was able to so spend this blessed mothers day with my family on the beach but I will be spending 2012 mothers day at my apartment with fresh lemonade, bar-b-que and my 16 month old attached at the hip! life couldn’t be more blessed when you stop to enjoy the simple things! Have a great mothers day with friends and family and enjoy ever second in Tuscany and DO take too many pictures!

    Happy Mothers Day (in advance) All the way from little ole Dripping Springs, Tx 🙂

  44. Have a great time in Tuscany, Jane. This time of year it is so incredible there!
    Here we had a wonderful week-end weather wise, warm and sunny and we basically lived outdoor. Biking, playing tennis and gardening.
    Not sure what the plans are for Mother’s Day yet.
    Have a good one with your beautiful children.

  45. I hope you’re having an amazing time in Tuscany. I can’t believe that Mother’s Day is next weekend. I will be going to church and then spending the day planting shrubs and flowers. I have a project for myself to put shrubs/flowers/trees around my deck and beautify it a bit 🙂 I hope I’m successful. Wish me luck …

  46. What a dream! A creative writing class in Tuscany. I hope it goes well for you. My mother’s day will be overshadowed- my father-in-law is very ill and husband will be with him. But my boys will do something fun for me.

  47. This Mother’s Day I will only have 2 of my 3 kids at home. My youngest is a US Marine & is in week 4 of his combat training at Camp Pendleton. But at least I can skype with him. One of my daughters is a single mom with a 2yr old. So I’m going to help my granddaughter make Mothers Day special for my daughter.
    Happy Mothers Day to you also Jane!

  48. Except for that pesky May 15th deadline, it sounds like you’ll have great fun with Ty and friends and fabulous scenery. Our Mother’s Day will be low-key, as my in-laws are both ill.

  49. For Mother’s Day my kids take me to the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga, NY for brunch. It is such a beautiful place and the food is to die for.

  50. every year i host a mother’s day brunch…so this week i will planning the menu and cleaning like a man woman! have fun in tuscany….

  51. No big mother’s day plans here, hubby will have to work that day. Things are not going well here, did get son moved back home from college but I am having back problems. They tell me I need surgery and I don’t want to have it done but I am not sure that I have a choice. I go see another surgeon on the 23 and will see what he has to say.

  52. Jane,
    Going to visit my Mom in AZ. Can’t wait to spend some much needed time with her and get away from the rain in Seattle. Enjoy Tuscany. That is on my bucket list.

  53. No plans. My mother lives in Michigan and i love in Coloado. Planning to call and send flowers, but that’s it.

  54. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Tuscany. For Mother’s Day I will have brunch with some of my children. I’m lucky in that 4 out of the 5 of them live in town. The one that lives out of town will be visiting this summer which will be wonderful.

  55. Hey Jane! Hope things are well in Tuscany and that you all are getting all the writing done that you need to. Must be awesome for Ty to get to check out that gorgeous countryside via bike too! 😉

    I originally had not planned on doing anything for Mother’s Day other than calling my mom, but since I am off of work for a while I am toying with surprising her by flying to FL. It will be Mother’s Day for her and my 20 year anniversary in the Navy that day as well!

  56. How exciting to write in Italy, I am Italian and love Italy I have been twice. Just came back from a Hawaii cruise and my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there and we loved it. Paradise on earth it was beautiful and hope that one day we can return! Now I see why you love it there so much! Mother`s day brunch with Mom`s on both sides including Me!

  57. I love Tuscany! Hope you’re getting your ‘work’ done and having way too much fun in between. For Mother’s Day we are invited to my son’s house for the weekend (he lives 30 minutes away…too funny). He emailed us an itinerary and the menu for Saturday and Sunday, thought it was really special and different. Happy Mom’s day to you Jane and all the mother’s here…Ruth

  58. You know I love you and your books and after reading “I Love The 80s” I am now a Megan fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Blah, blah, blah…writing course, improving you’re craft… If it smells like a boondoggle & looks like a boondoggle…it’s a boondoggle:)!

    Mother’s Day is all about ME:) Better than Christmas! Breakfast – yoga tape with my 7year-old (her request), trip to the spa!!!! Then lunch and a pottery date with a friend…then home…sun time, reading time – promised to me to be uninterrupted! – then a family cookout – and then I get to read in bed with OUT cleaning the kitchen or putting the kids to bed.


  59. I’m going to head to the coast for the weekend with just the girls (my sisters and daughter) Looking forward to a nice, relaxing getaway with the people I love. Can’t say it’s anything like Tuscany…but I’ll take it! 😉 Hope you are having an amazing trip and Happy Mother’s Day!

  60. Am driving my daughter and MIL to my SIL’s boat, 1.5 hours away, where we’ll chat and have a buffet lunch near the deck. (Mom has Alzheimer’s and a walker, so it’ll be enough just to get her ON the boat, let alone to take the boat anywhere.)
    Thanks for sharing your plans, Jane, and I hope the words flow quickly for you, and you still manage to have a great time!

  61. What an amazing adventure you are having in Italy. I can only imagine all the new story ideas you will have when you come home.

    I am going to spend the day hanging with my mom, which probably means going to the casino…..lol

    Hope your Mother’s Day is special and Blessed!

  62. I will be spending Saturday at a Hospital fund raiser for the Guest House the Foundation is building. We are almost to our goal!! Then Sunday with my mom. Yay! And my kids with fur. Have fun on your travels.

  63. Track meets, swim lessons, and studying. Not too exciting but a great way to spend the days. Have fun with your travels!

  64. Hi everyone,
    My body clock is still trying to catch up from the return-trip travelling so I’ll keep this short. Our winners for the Infamous prize packs are –

    #14 Shelley Bagby
    #3 Lyndee

    Shoot me an email with your mailing info, girls, and I’ll get these packages in the mail to you.
    I hope everyone’s having a great weekend! It’s good to be back home and I’m looking forward to some quality time with my boys!

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