Train My Heart
By J'aimee Brooker
I'm thrilled to have J'aimee Brooker as a guest today on my blog. J'aimee's another very talented Australian author, but her current book is set in the wonderful country of Italy ... so the obvious question was:1 – Your book’s set in Italy. What made you decide on the European location ?
My family background is Italian, our family originating from a small village in northern Italy with a to-die-for view of the Italian Alps. The Italian way has always intrigued me—the passion of the language, the people, the history is invigorating and restorative for the soul. In 2012, my husband and I took our three kids backpacking through Italy, Switzerland and France and it was whilst visiting the family village and getting off the tourist track in Italy that the concept for the Capello Brothers series came to me.
2 – Train your heart is part of a series. Can you tell us a bit about the other books?
Yes, Train My Heart is the third novella in the Capello Brothers series and is based around the youngest Capello brother, Luca. Book one, Draw on my Heart tells Roman Capello's story and book two, Command My Heart is Dominic's story. Very broadly, the Capello Brothers series centres around three brothers living in Australia who departed Italy due to problems within their family unit. Each story tells of their own unique journey on the quest to find love. The brothers, Roman, Dominic, and Luca are assertive, strong, handsome men who are chivalrous and true to their Italian roots.
3 – You’re one very busy woman and a mum of three children under 9. What’s your secret to time management?
I have a full-time job working in the radio industry and have always worked in the media, so being deadline- and outcome-driven and fluid in my approach to work is a skill that I've developed over the span of my career. I work daily until 3pm, then pick up the kids and do homework, dinner, bath, bed routine, then once they're in bed at about 8pm I start my writing time. Generally, I set myself a weekly word count goal (usually between 3000-5000 words) and work toward that as opposed to forcing myself to work for an exact period of time because let's face it, sometimes you can sit and write easily and other times it just doesn't happen at all.
4 – Tell us a bit about your current project.
I'm working concurrently on two projects—both of which I am writing under a pen name. Both are romance, one is set in Italy (of course!), the other is a darker more niche style of romance. I am planning for another four releases in 2014.
Being the youngest of three brothers has always been one of life's greatest pleasures for Luca Capello, sheltered from many of the hardships his family has faced and spoiled as the baby of the family.
His successful personal training business gives him the structure and routine he wants and Luca's uncompromising attitude to fitness coupled with his inherited handsome looks has always ensured a steady stream of business.
But, growing up without his father hadn't been easy yet from what he can remember living with him in Italy had been worse. Luca's uncertainty about his past has always bubbled beneath the surface and when his relationship with his meek-and-mild girlfriend Imogen takes on a new level of intensity, Luca resolves to explore his past in Italy and make amends with the past.
From the busy backstreets of Venice to the foothills of the imposing Italian Alps; Luca's journey through northern Italy proves to be a life-changing decision. Will he lose everything by confronting his father; most importantly the love and future he has in mind with Imogen?
An avid bookworm and creative and commercial writer by trade, J’aimee is the author of contemporary romance novels and novellas focusing on romance, travel, and suspense.
A creative and commercial writer by trade; J’aimee also authors novellas and short stories focused within the contemporary romance genre and incorporating themes of travel, intrigue, and suspense.
J’aimee has written for industry trade publications and lifestyle magazines, and is a regular columnist for several lifestyle magazines and lifestyle/travel websites as well as having a full-time job in radio and three kids (under 9yrs).
Website - www.jaimeebrooker.com.au
Blog - http://jaimeebrooker.wordpress.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jaimeebrookerauthor
Twitter - https://twitter.com/jaimee_brooker
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/jaimee_brooker/
iTunes US - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/train-my-heart/id663545437?mt=11
iTunes AU - https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/train-my-heart/id663545437?mt=11
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/Train-Heart-Capello-Brothers-ebook/dp/B00DKT7NTO/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372134951&sr=1-3
Amazon AU - http://www.amazon.com.au/Train-Heart-Capello-Brothers-Series-ebook/dp/B00DKT7NTO/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390179059&sr=1-3
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/train-my-heart-jaimee-brooker/1115835619?ean=2940044588721
Kobo - http://store.kobobooks.com/en-au/books/Train-My-Heart/XpJGkbUoSkeiPtvcFTG34A?MixID=XpJGkbUoSkeiPtvcFTG34A&PageNumber=1&s=fDelwl2SEUeiY2jRy0BhhQ&r=1
Pulling up at Angelo's, Dominic walked over to the Jeep, opening Imogen's door for her, making her realize just how gentlemanly the Capello brothers were. She'd always thought Luca did these small things because they were dating, but it seemed this old fashioned chivalry was actually a family habit.
"Hope you don't mind Italian for lunch, Im" he laughed as they walked into Angelo's restaurant.
"Ha! Do you boys eat anything else?" she replied jokingly to raucous laughter from both Roman and Dominic.
"Roman, Dominic! Come in, come in!" exclaimed the older, matronly looking female who seemed overwhelmingly excited to see the boys. "Oooh… who have we here" she smiled, looking at Imogen then back and forth between Roman and Dominic, eyebrows raised playfully.
"Violetta, always so good to see you" Roman said genuinely, bending to kiss the woman on each cheek, "this is Imogen, Luca's girlfriend"
"Oooh, Imogen… A beautiful name for a beautiful girl. Where is your Luca today, we are still waiting for him?" she enquired.
"Lovely to meet you too, Violetta" Imogen responded warmly. "Luca…"
"Luca's flown out to Italy today" Roman offered, rubbing Imogen's back in support.
The expression on Violetta's face spoke a million words—worry, concern, confusion. She obviously knew the family background, Imogen thought to herself.
Redirecting her thoughts, Violetta turned to Dominic and playfully smacked him on the rear. "Dominic, you are too grown up to give ol' Violetta a hug, huh?" she said cheekily, "sit, sit—your usual table is waiting, I'll get Imogen a menu"
Imogen stared at the menu for what felt like forever, the words jumping and blurring on the page. It all felt nonsensical, too hard, too overwhelming.
"Im, god help me, tell me you're not looking for the salad menu" Dominic joked, trying to lighten the mood at the table.
"No. I just… don't know. I feel like I should've told Luca not to go or insisted on going with him" she whispered.
"Ok, first things first; pizza or pasta? Meat or seafood?" Dom asked, clearly hungry and keen to get some food organized.
"Just something light, Dom, I don't know what to choose"
"Violetta" Dominic called kindly to the older lady, "Roman and I will have our usual, Imogen will have the spaghetti alla Genovese please"
"Yes, yes. I get Angelo to start now" she called back.
Within minutes, Violetta walked to the table balancing a massive tray of toasted breads, olives, cured meats, cheeses and all matter of sundried and charred delicacies, along with two bottles of wine. "You get started on this, your lunch will be here soon" she smiled, rustling Roman's hair lovingly before walking away.
Imogen stared at the platter, how on earth could three people possibly eat all this food, she wondered.
Roman picked up a plate, nudging her and asked "anything you don't eat Im?". She shook her head and smiled as Roman began plating her up a feast.
Looking over at Dom who was waiting impatiently for Roman to serve her food before serving himself any, Imogen realised the Capello boys not only had impeccable manners, they were kind, generous and caring to a fault. How had they survived such a horrendous childhood and still become such wonderful men?
"Can I ask you both a question, a personal question?" she asked meekly.
"Sure", Roman smiled weakly; locking eyes with Dominic who even with his mouth full looked concerned.
"What was your father like? Luca only recalls snippets of information, he's told me bits and pieces but he's sketchy on the details".
"Im, he's sketchy on the details because he was sheltered from a lot of it. He saw, and unfortunately copped, a bit of it but mostly he wasn't aware of how bad it was" Roman replied quietly.
"How? How, could he have been there and not known about it all—?" she asked, confused.
"We had a system" Dom interrupted, "Luca got hidden, he was younger, smaller than us, and he wasn't physically able to take… as much as us".
"Hidden?" she whispered, her body filling with emotion—just how bad were things for them growing up, she wondered.
"Hidden. Under the bed worked for a little while until our father figured it out, then we'd hide him in cupboards, the garden, under the house. You know, hidden". Dom answered, emotionless.
"But you guys, your Ma—what about you" she asked, looking between them both and seeing the pain of the memories the conversation had provoked flooding their faces.
"We're all fully aware of what happened and what a miserable old bastard our father is. With all the trips we've made home to Italy, none of us have ever made the effort to visit him, that's why we were surprised that Luca wanted to" said Dom.
"Will he… be safe?" Imogen whispered, the words almost not making it out of her mouth.
"He's strong Im; physically he'll be fine" Roman answered.
"And, mentally?" she asked, but the question was left unanswered, hanging uncomfortably between them all.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CAPELLO BROTHERS SERIES at http://jaimeebrooker.wordpress.com/capello-brothers-series/