The House by the Cypress Trees

Coming in 2019 from The Wild Rose Press.


Below are the shelters that will benefit from the book sales. Feel free to contribute to them as well. 

San Antonio Humane Society

Animal Defense League of Texas

San Antonio Pets Alive

Canine Companions for Independence

A Texas teacher and a London architect, stranded in Tuscany after rescuing a dog in Rome…What could go wrong?

Julia Ramos, in Italy to find her birth mother, has rescued a dog, been nearly run over by a handsome British architect, and gotten evicted from her rental apartment. Not a perfect trip.

Daniel Stafford wants to visit his family in Tuscany—after his girlfriend dumped him for their Italian driver, he botched a work presentation in Rome, and an assertive American and her dog fell in front of his car.

When their two disastrous lives collide, they end up sleeping on the side of the road, breaking the rules, and dealing with family issues. Falling in love with Italy—and each other—is the least of their concerns.


Within seconds, Julia entered the labyrinth of Trastevere. It was a perfect place to hide. A turn to the left, then a few to the right. No one would find them. Just run across a square and, hopefully, they would be safe.

The sudden screech of brakes in her ear was deafening. She held the puppy tight to her chest, as she turned away from the sound, her entire body wrapped around the tiny bundle. She braced for the impact.

It never came. Seconds later, she heard yelling.

So she wasn’t dead, after all.

The dog squirmed at her blouse. Her legs collapsed under her, hitting the cobblestones painfully. She needed a moment to regain her breathing. In, out, slowly. In, out.

She lifted her head. A bumper of a car two inches to her right. A few tourists on her left. And a very tall man in front of her, pointing at her and yelling, his face red with anger.

Julia got up, tucked the puppy back against her chest securely and raised her hand. “Okay, first of all, I don’t speak any Italian. Io non parlo l’Italiano. Io sono Americano. American. Capisce? And second, you could’ve killed me and my dog. So back off, buddy, all right? What is wrong with this damn country?” Her knees shook, and she stood up straighter. She hoped she wouldn’t collapse again and embarrass herself.

“American. Of course.” The man’s voice was less angry now, although his facial expression conveyed annoyance if not outright rage.

“Yes, American. Do you only run over the Americans, then?” She picked up her purse from the ground, hung it back on her shoulder, and took a deep breath. Better.

“I apologize,” he said. “It’s only that you frightened me to death. You popped out in front of my car.” He came closer. “Are you quite all right?”

“I’m fine,” Julia said, inspecting him. A Brit, then, from the sound of him. Tall, shaved, wearing an expensive suit. She doubted he wanted any trouble from her. Well, better than an Italian. At least she understood him. She scanned her body for any injury. Bloody scrapes on her knees, but she was fine otherwise. “Yes, I’m fine. I have to go.”

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