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Welcome to the Great Summer Reads Hop hosted by Author Cindy C Bennett, featuring books that make for a great summer read!

For some reason, summer always makes me think of Italy.  I spent a month in Florence when I was in college, studying photography and art history for no reason other than the fact that I wanted to, and the memories from that summer resurface every time the nights get hot and the days get long.

One of my favorite memories from my Tuscan summer was one jumbled up night filled with laughter, music, and unexpected friendships.  My roommates and I walked across town to “the fort”, supposedly a medieval ruin on the edge of the city that was now being used as an impromptu, open-air night club. (I’ve looked for information on the place ever since I got home, and I’ve never turned anything up in an internet search, which just adds to the magic of that particular night.)

After a night of dancing and laughter, we made our way back to the charming apartment for a late night snack.  We were all standing around in the kitchen when our door crashed open and three slightly drunk young men fell into the hallway.

(Seriously.  This happened.)

They were staying in the hostel next door, and had mistaken our door for their own.  The boys were very kind and apologetic (and they had lilting British accents), so we forgave them and sent them on their way.

And then, a few minutes later, I happened to lean out the kitchen window at the same time as one of the guys leaned out the hostel window next door (they’d finally made it home safe).

He apologized again for scaring us, and invited us down to the piazza for some wine and conversation.  And that was how, at two o’clock in the morning, four young American girls found themselves laughing and talking with three young British boys in a city park in Italy.

We stayed out until dawn, and while I’d love to say that the bizarre night was the beginning of a whirlwind romance, it wasn’t; we never saw the boys again. (But, oh, the possibilities this memory has as a story starter! Excuse me while I jot some ideas down…)


Photo by Jen McConnel, 2004

Now, I be you’re wondering what my little trip down memory lane has to do with the Great Summer Reads Blog Hop, but all will be revealed…now!

I’m giving away a copy of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris.  This awesome YA novel is set in Florence, and it’s filled with the unexpected magic that made my trip so memorable (and, well, there’s also time travel.  And a charming boy.  Need I say more?)

If you want to win, just leave a comment on this post and tell me the most memorable summer moment you’ve had.

Giveaway open to U.S. folks only (sorry, guys, but postage is a pain!).  Contest runs July 9-12th.  Please include your email address in the comment so I can get in touch with the lucky winner.

Enter my giveaway and then Click here to view the list of other stops on the hop!