Hello, reader friends! Today we get to hang out with one of Marion Ueckermann’s fictional friends from and in celebration of her story, Ti Amo (book 4 of the multi-author A Tuscan Legacy series). Plus, there’s a giveaway!
meet Alessa Rossi
Ti Amo’s heroine is tall, red-headed Italian beauty, Alessandra Rossi—although only her Nonna can call her by her full name, and her oldest brother, Rafaele, when he’s angry with her. To all other people, she’s just Alessa. She thinks the extra letters in her name are just a waste of the alphabet—not to mention ink.
Alessa is twenty-two. Her mother died giving birth to her and her father blamed Alessa for her mother’s death. The tragic event shaped who Alessa is today…the good, the bad, and the ugly.
With a degree in architectural history and archaeology, Alessa is a tour guide in Rome and drives around in her little white Vespa. The inspiration for that came not only from the storyworld city, but also the stock photo chosen for the cover of Ti Amo.
Alessa has a lot of sass, as you’ll see from the excerpt below taken from book 1, That’s Amore, where readers are first introduced to her.
A sick feeling rose in Rafaele’s stomach. So much for not everyone dressing up. Also wearing a black tux as Rafaele had expected, Piero was strong competition. Sienna looked elegant as always in her long, black evening gown, the touches of lace around her arms and neck adding that extra femininity. And Alessa… What on earth was his little sister doing in an outfit like that?
“Alessandra!” He only ever used her full name when he disapproved of something. She hated it. He on the other hand couldn’t bear for anyone to shorten his name. “I hope you don’t run around the streets of Roma dressed like that.”
The gold sequins of the sleeveless micro-mini cocktail dress Alessa wore shimmered as she hurried toward them, balancing like a tightrope artist on her lace-up stilettos. One thing he couldn’t fault her on—she did have the legs and figure to pull off an outfit like that.
“What exactly is wrong with this, big brother?” She stuck out her hand to Jayne. “Hello, I’m Alessa—the baby sister. And I’m so sorry about upsetting you earlier. It wasn’t you—”
Jayne shook her head. “It’s all right. Rafaele explained everything. I hope I didn’t get you into too much trouble from big brother here.” She jabbed Rafaele in the side and grinned.
“Oh, I can handle him.” Alessa laughed then threw her arms around Jayne’s neck, the gift bag she clung to dangling beside Jayne’s back. “I’m so happy to finally meet my brother’s mystery woman.”
Rafaele rushed to grip the hem of Alessa’s dress to ensure it didn’t creep up any higher and show off whatever she wore beneath that shimmery fabric.
Releasing Jayne as quickly as she had hugged her, Alessa whirled toward Rafaele. His hand fell away from the sequins. She poked his chest. “I’ll have you know, this dress happens to be Mammà’s. If Papà thought it was good enough for her to wear, why are you objecting?”
Share your five favorite things.
Alessa: My family, food, clothes, shoes (yes, shoes deserve their own category), old buildings.
Beth: You had me until apparel… jeans, sweats, or capris and a stack of comfy tees suits me fine!
Describe yourself in five words
Alessa: Strong-willed, independent, fun, long-legs, a temper to match my hair.
Beth: Oh boy! You go, girl!
Tell us about Michael Young, the hero of Ti Amo.
Alessa: In five words…talented, creative, good-looking, well-built, great preacher (okay, maybe that was a little more than five). Not that all the above mattered to me when I first met him. Then I would have described him in five words as arrogant, forward, full of himself.
Beth: That’s certainly an improvement!
If you could be an animal, which would you choose and why?
Alessa: An Alpaca, because then I’d have an excuse for spitting at people who annoy me.
Beth: Remind me to stay on your good side!
Alessa: Promesse (Italian translation of The Promise) by Danielle Steele.
Beth: What a lovely cover!
What is your go-to beverage?
Beth: You are one high-octane lady!
What is your favorite comfort food?
Beth: Ah, yes! I can wholeheartedly agree with you there!
Let’s wrap up with a couple of questions for our author friend. What do you want readers to gain from Alessa’s story?
Marion: I want readers to realize that if life has thrown them with the curve balls of bad circumstances if they are bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood, that there is healing—physical and emotional—in the name of Jesus.
Will readers be able to follow Alessa’s story in future books?
Marion: Outside of the A Tuscan Legacy books, no. But she does appear in a few of this series’ books, eg. Book 1, 4 (her story), 6, 7, 8 and 9 (I might stand to be corrected on the last two). Restoring Faith, in The Potter’s House series, releases in June and will have Michael Young appearing as a child—that story will be about his parents.
Beth: Sounds like she’ll be tired after all that action in A Tuscan Legacy stories! Thanks so much for introducing us to Alessa today, Marion!
about the book
Ti Amo by Marion Uechermann
She never wants to get married. He does. To her.
The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammà died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in Architectural History and Archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fear that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single.
American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows no sign of interest in Michael.
Can anything sway the beautiful and headstrong Italian to fall in love? Can anyone convince her to put her faith and hope in a Heavenly father, despite being raised by an earthly one who never loved her? Will her sister’s prompting, or a mysterious painting, or Michael himself change Alessa’s mind? About love. And about God.
The Tuscan Legacy series
about the author
USA Today bestselling author, Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places.
Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest’s no longer so empty.
Marion has generously provided a copy of Ti Amo for one Faithfully Bookish reader friend!
What do you think of Alessa and that excerpt, reader friends?
Stay tuned for more spotlights from the authors of A Tuscan Legacy!