Rosanna Ley

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    Rosanna Ley

    Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.
    Quercus

    Return to Mandalay

    By Rosanna Ley
    'Beautiful evocative writing takes the reader to a far away place in this stunning story' The Sun.
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    Quercus

    Bay of Secrets

    By Rosanna Ley

    The bestselling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail returns with a gorgeous summer read about romance, family and the secrets we keep from those we love.

    Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Harriet Evans.

    Spain, 1939.

    Following the wishes of her parents to keep her safe during the war, a young girl, Julia, enters a convent in Barcelona. Looking for a way to maintain her links to the outside world, she volunteers to help in a maternity clinic. But worrying adoption practices in the clinic force Sister Julia to decide how far she will go to help those placed in her care.

    England, 2011.

    Six months after her parents' shocking death, 34-year-old journalist and jazz enthusiast Ruby Rae has finally found the strength to pack away their possessions and sell the family home. But as she does so, she unearths a devastating secret her parents, Vivien and Tom, had kept from her all her life.

    Vividly written with a compelling storyline, this is top escapismI loved the sultry sensuous feeling . . . A fascinating story with engaging themesA perfect holiday read, to be devoured in one sittingA great page-turnerA gorgeous, mouth-watering dream of a holiday read!An impeccably researched and deftly written narrative that kept me hooked until the endA beautifully crafted slice of escapist fictionCompellingElegant storytelling at its best; poetic and touchingLike all good escapism it takes you to another place and another time ... the gentleness and authenticity of Rosamund Pilcher, with its strong sense of place, family and friendship. What a winning combination!Set between England and the Spanish Canary Islands, three women learn the truth about their shared past, and discover the importance of family.Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.
    Quercus

    The Villa

    By Rosanna Ley

    THE #1 KINDLE BESTSELLER. An unforgettable story set off the sun-soaked coast of Sicily for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Veronica Henry and Santa Montefiore.

    When Tess Angel receives a solicitor's letter inviting her to claim her inheritance - the Villa Sirena, perched on a clifftop in Sicily - she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. Initially resistant to Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. Meanwhile, Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is stressed by college, by her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her father, if only she knew where he was.

    The Villa will stay with you long after you've devoured this tale of family feuds, secrets and passion, Sicilian-style... Romantic, escapist and mouthwatering, it has everything you could wish for in a summer read. DeliciousVividly written with a compelling storyline, this is top escapismBeautifully written, warm and romantic...The perfect holiday readA gorgeous, mouth-watering dream of a holiday readThis summer read will keep you enthralledA warm and passionate story that is as beguiling as the aromatic tastes and scents of Sicily itself...Richly written, always engrossing. The perfect summer readThis story about three women of different ages makes a great summer holiday read!Rosanna Ley is a wonderfully talented writer who will appeal to fans of Cathy Kelly, Rachel Hore and Rosamunde Pilcher. I can't wait to read more from this authorIt is rare to find a book that offers mystery, adventure, romance and self-help, but somehow Ley has managed it perfectlyTHE #1 KINDLE BESTSELLER. An unforgettable story set off the sun-soaked coast of Sicily for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Veronica Henry and Santa Montefiore.Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.When Tess Angel receives a solicitor's letter inviting her to claim her inheritance - the Villa Sirena, perched on a cliff-topin Sicily - she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. Initially resistant to Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. Meanwhile, Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is stressed by college, by her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her father, if only she knew where he was.Three women, all seeking answers. Will Villa Sirena bring them together - or drive them apart?

    Set against the rugged coast of Sicily, debut novelist Rosanna Ley creates a lush multi-generational story in The Villa; an epic journey of love lost, family secrets, the road to self-discovery and the meaning of home and family.

    When Tess Angel receives a letter informing her she has inherited the Villa Sirena, perched on a clifftop in Sicily--she is stunned. Her only link to the small beautiful island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and has not spoken to her family, or of her life there, since.

    Initially resistant to Tess traveling to her home country, Flavia begins to recount her youth, told in flashbacks as she writes in a journal to Tess of her journey to independence, as well as leaving her legacy of cherished family recipes and secrets. Secrets including a lost treasure rumored to be hidden in the very Villa Tess is staying at.

    Told in alternating points-of-view between Tess, Flavia, and Tess' teenage daughter Ginny, dealing with her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her long-absent father.

    Inspirations behind Return to Mandalay

    Rosanna Ley's top tips for fiction writing

    Rosanna Ley is the best selling author of The Villa, Bay of Secrets and the forthcomingReturn to Mandalay. She has worked as a creative tutor for over twelve years, leading workshops in the UK and abroad, and has completed an MA in creative writing. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Italy and Spain. Rosanna has written numerous articles and stories for national magazines. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea. www.rosannaley.co.uk ROSANNA’S TOP TIPS • Let the idea for your story compost while you indulge in free writing/ thought-storming/ day-dreaming/ going for long walks etc. Create a space for your story. • Switch off your phone and avoid Internet and social media for at least 3 hours a day to enable more writing time. • Don’t just write what you know – write what you want to explore and discover. • Get inside your characters’ heads by being there with them – as far as you are able. • Check that your dialogue sounds natural, isn’t written in speeches, is not too heavy on dialect and doesn’t include too many extravagant tags like ‘he enthused…’ • Remember – every scene should progress the story in some way. • Create characters who are believable, interesting, fully rounded and who don’t do impossible things. • Forget the word count and cut, cut, cut – especially the waffly and self-indulgent bits. Less is more. • Never forget that readers are intelligent. They do not have to have everything explained to them as if they were four years old. Have faith. • Read your work out loud to yourself and the dog or a willing partner. Not so much for feedback (esp from dog) but to listen to the rhythms of your writing and to spot slow pace, repetition and sag. • Listen to criticism. Take most of it on board. Don’t allow yourself to be destroyed by negativity. Re-work. Re-write. Persevere. • Remember that writing is work. And you’re on your own. But you can still have fun.

    Rosanna Ley on landscape and creativity

    What is the relationship between landscape and creativity? There are little hotspots all over the world to which groups of creative people are drawn. But why? Surely it’s not simply a question of contacts and existing artistic infrastructure – though clearly this helps. Is it something to do with landscape? And if some landscapes provoke more creative responses than others, which kind does it for you? In the west country of the UK we can do wild and bleak or cute and scenic. We get a lot of rain – but this is why the grass is always greener… There are more writers, musicians, potters, artists, weavers, sculptors and glass blowers here, than anywhere else in the UK. And tourists of all nationalities brave our English weather and come in their thousands to visit our galleries, exhibitions, mills, shops and craft centres. But what is it about the landscape that inspires creativity? Is it perhaps the sense of history? In ‘Bay of Secrets,’ artist Andres and his famous father are inspired by the landscape of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. It is ancient and volcanic, rather like a lunar landscape with rolling pink-brown hills, craters and giant sand dunes cradling turquoise lagoons studded by black rocky outcrops. Age can certainly give a landscape a vibe – Lyme Regis, Charmouth and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset have a sense of history which literally clings to the fossilized rocks, the cliffs and the beaches. Roman roads and ancient forts abound. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, Dorchester provides an artistic legacy too – of the writerly kind. When Andres comes to Dorset in ‘Bay’, he is equally inspired by the golden sandstone cliffs of West Bay – as recently featured in ITV’s crime drama ‘Broadchurch’. Following ‘Broadchurch,’ visitors (known locally as ‘Broadies’!) have flocked to West Bay to see for themselves those amazing, towering honey-bricked cliffs. Or is it perhaps the tranquillity of a natural landscape – be it coastal, woodland, upland or riverside – which appeals to the creative mind and feeds our desire to get back to nature and away from the noise, turmoil and stress of busy city life? Sometimes, walking along the vastness of Chesil Beach, you feel solitary, humble, affected by Nature. It’s liberating. There again, the drama of a steep gorge or a rocky headland can also be inspiring – as Sister Julia experiences in ‘Bay of Secrets’; the sea’s turbulence echoing her own inner turmoil. Her landscape on the Island has both complexity and emotional depth. She has a spiritual response to it; she imagines that it helps her to hear her God’s guidance and voice. Artists here in Dorset often talk about the quality of the light for painting. The rocks range from the orange sandstone of West Bay through to the Blue Lias of Lyme; where there is light there is always shadow. As for Fuerteventura… There is a late-afternoon light that tints the landscape with a deep yellow and turns the sand (and blonde hair!) an unearthly golden green. Whatever the personal response to landscape, it seems that this is a relationship and a dialogue between individual and place. Landscape brings out the creativity in us all. It encourages us to reflect, express ourselves and even to change our thinking. Landscape might offer a glimpse of memory and the past – as it does for Ruby in ‘Bay’ when she first sees the turquoise lagoon in Fuerteventura, otherwise known as the ‘Bay of Secrets’. It might even offer a glimpse of the future. I always felt I belonged to West Dorset. It’s my ‘soul home’. And I’m always happiest writing where there is a sea view. It may be in my local cafe in West Bay with the high bank of ginger pebbles and the waves right beside me, the harbour and the sandstone cliffs beyond. Or in Fuerteventura on the Playa de Castillo watching the surfers ride the wild waves. It might be a tranquil summer day or bleak mid-winter. The sea lets me dream – it does it for me every time. – Rosanna Ley
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    A gorgeous, mouth-watering, dream of a holiday read

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