Anita Hughes – The Romance of Life

August is Read-A-Romance Month.


I hope you’ll visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about the Joy of Romance. (Check out the calendar.)

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

Why I Write Books with Romance 

My fifth novel, ROME IN LOVE, was published yesterday by St. Martin’s Press and it RomeInLove-2encompasses everything I love about romance in fiction. It is set in Rome, one of the most romantic cities in the world and it is inspired by one of my favorite romantic movies: Roman Holiday with the incomparable Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Needless to say, while I was writing it I was in heaven. Every morning I felt like I was sitting in the Piazza del Popolo, drinking espresso and dreaming about love.

Why are movies like Roman Holiday, which is more than fifty years old, still so popular? And why do we love to read and write romantic fiction? I think because everyone needs an escape at times from daily life. Even if one has a wonderful marriage and amazing children, most people don’t spend their days trying on gorgeous clothes or eating at elegant restaurants anita readingor just feeling the heady emotion of falling in love.

That’s why I include all those elements in my fiction. I think romance is not just about the attraction between a man and a woman; it’s also about exploring all the things we dream about and can’t attain every day.

My previous novel, FRENCH COAST, was set in Cannes, and while I was writing it, I felt French Coastlike I was strolling down the Boulevard Croissette and inhaling the scent of croissants and exotic perfume. Can you imagine anything more romantic than the French Riviera, with its sparkling ocean and wide yachts and elegant people?

I will continue to write romantic fiction and watch romantic movies because no matter how good life is, there is always room for a little romance and magic. I hope when people read my books they feel they have gone on vacation to somewhere full of delicious foods and fabulous clothes and exotic locations: somewhere completely foreign where anything can happen!

Anita recommends:

Sally Koslow – Sally’s most recent book is The Widow Waltz.

Nicole Baart – Nicole’s most recent book is The Good Daughters.

All of today’s authors, Amy, Cathy and Anita, are part of a group of great authors known as The Tall Poppies! A few of them did Read-A-Romance Month content, too:

Amy Impellizzeri – – Amy’s RARM post (thanks, Amy!)

Marin ThomasMarinThomas.comMarin’s RARM post (thanks, Marin!)

Sonjay YoergSonjaYoerg.comSonya’s RARM post (thanks, Sonja!)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

I have five children and one of the best days of my life was last April, when my oldest son got married. I didn’t realize before the wedding, what an incredible day it would be for me. They got married in Carmel Valley and the ceremony and reception site was gorgeous. To see my son so happy and in love was truly wonderful and to see my other children – ages twelve to twenty-four, giving toasts and dancing and having a great time, was really incredible.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

I live near the beach and whenever I see the ocean it brings me joy. Just seeing the anita walkingwaves makes me happy. The beauty of the beach is incomparable – and it is always changing. Sunsets and sunrises are so different.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The sound of the tram going to the beach makes me happy because I know people are out having fun. I also love the sound of little children, especially when they are discovering something new.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

I loved RICH CHINA GIRLFRIEND by Kevin Kwan. He is a fantastic writer and it was great fun to read about the super wealthy in Hong Kong and Singapore and China. (And of course there is a great love story.)

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Chris Pratt. He’s definitely the guy of the moment!

Anita and St. Martin’s are generously giving away two copies of Rome in Love. (U.S. only, apologies to international friends.)

anita HughesAnita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. She graduated from Bard College and attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program. She is the author of MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, and the forthcoming ROME IN LOVE (St. Martin’s Press, August, 2015). She lives at the St. Regis, Monarch Beach, where she is at work on her next novel.

Find her online at

Buy  Anita’s books:

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(Please note that the Amazon button links to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks for your help!)

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  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Rome in Love looks really good! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Christyna

    Ah, such lovely locales, even if found through the pages of a good romance novel. Thanks for writing such lovely locales and lovely stories!

  • caitie

    Looks so good

  • Molly

    I would love to read your book.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I too, am filled with joy at the beach. Watching the waves is mesmerizing.

  • Diane Blaser

    I absolutely love reading books that take place in countries I doubt I will ever see in person. I can soak up the culture and pretend that I’m right there next to the hero and heroine!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoy books that allow your to experience another country.

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Your book looks most enjoyable! Thank you for the chance.

  • jcp smith

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read your book.

  • I love your positive perspective … and I adore Roman Holiday!

    Congratulations on your son’s wedding.

  • Ren

    I love the ocean as well! I live in Kansas and I try to get to the coast as much as I can (which isn’t often). The waves just bring me a peace. Can’t wait to read your book. It is on my tbr.

  • Kareni

    Rome in Love sounds wonderful! Have you had the opportunity to visit the cities you’ve featured in your books? I was in Rome years ago and would enjoy the opportunity to revisit it.

  • Sharon Forbes

    Your books sound amazing! Confession time here:I haven’t read any of your books yet, I don’t know how they escaped me, but am hoping to remedy that soon!

  • sj1384

    I’ve really just started getting into the Women’s Fiction genre and I love the sound of your books! Do you travel to the places as you write about them?

  • Patty Vasquez

    It’s funny; I regularly read in every subgenre of romance except contemporary romance. And I think it’s for exactly the reason you stated in your essay: “…romance is not just about the attraction between a man and a woman; it’s also about exploring all the things we dream about and can’t attain every day.” So I go back in history or spend time with people who can weave spells or live in a Victorian steampunk setting.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Great post!

  • Beth K. Vogt

    “I will continue to write romantic fiction and watch romantic movies because no matter how good life is, there is always room for a little romance and magic.” Great truth!

  • I have been in Rome this may. Thank you for your words!

  • Bonnie Karoly

    I love reading Anita’s books. I hope to read Rome In Love soon.

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the

  • BookLady

    What an interesting book! I’d love to go to Rome someday.

  • K Davis

    You won me over at the beginning “romance is not just about the attraction between a man and a woman; it’s also about exploring all the things we dream..”
    Nicely said. I have a feeling that I will be crazy about your books.

  • Aleen D

    I would love to visit Rome one day.

  • mariannewestrich

    I think the great thing about books is that we fall in love with a character through their thoughts and speech long before we fall in love with their appearance.

  • Texas Book Lover

    I love a great book that makes me fall like I’ve travel to wherever the book is taking place!

  • flchen1

    Sounds like you have a beautiful family, Anita! Glad there is much romance and joy in your life!

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for all the recommendations, I haven’t read any of them!

  • kirsten west

    I love watching the sunset over the water!

  • Jennifer Huelsebusch

    I really enjoyed Monarch Beach and look forward to reading this one.

  • Bernadette Long

    I love reading about foreign places and dream about visiting them.

  • Angela H

    I can’t wait to read Rome in Love – it looks like a great book

  • Mary McCoy

    I look forward to reading Rome in Love. I hope to visit Rome some day.

  • Seanna Yeager

    Romance in Rome, sounds like perfection to me.

  • Dawn Anderson

    To me, old movies always represented how I wanted to fall in love. It didn’t quite happen like in the movies, but I still watch them and feel the same way as when I was a kid.

  • Sue G.

    What a great joyful memory. My oldest is still a couple of years away from getting married but I am really looking forward to that.

  • Linda Henderson

    I think Rome would be a wonderful place to visit. I do all my traveling through books. I will put this on my wish list.

  • Carol Luciano

    Rome In Love is on my TRL. Thanks for the post and giveaway chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot ) com

  • Pamby50

    I would love to visit Rome. I watch Roman Holiday every time it comes on. Classic Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

  • Erin F

    congrats to Anita on her books! I would love to visit Rome too!!! It sounds so romantic 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the
    chance to win.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I so understand that feeling when a child marries. My third child married 3 years ago to the love of her life. Next year might bring another wedding to our family, this time our eldest. I love reading stories that take me to places I’ve never been. Thank you.

  • Charlotte Litton

    You are a new author to me, thanks for the chance ❤

  • Connie Saunders

    I have read several reviews of this book and I appreciate the chance to win. Thank you!

  • Diane Sallans

    I was in Rome for one day – I’d love to get back there and spend more time – for now I travel thru books

  • Rhi

    Roman Holiday is one of my favorites, but then, my crush on both Audrey Hepburn and Greg Peck has something to do with that!

  • rebecca moe

    I love the ocean too. If I could live anywhere, it would be right by the ocean.

    Thanks for sharing!