Guest Post + Giveaway: Rachel Harris, Author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

Hey everyone, I was lucky enough to have Rachel Harris stop by and talk about Italy and why she's using it in her novel, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Check it out!

Visions of Italy
Lili rocks, doesn’t she? As we all know, she has spectacular taste in books and fabulous ideas on who she should invite here as a guest (ahem), but something you may not know is that her and I happen to share a fascination for a certain European country. Lili’s the President of her school’s Italian club, and I…well, I’m a huge fan of it.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure how and where my love affair with Italy began, but I’m pretty sure it was freshman year of high school with the play Romeo and Juliet. Before then, sure, I’d gobble up the food like nobody’s business and swoon over hot Italian guys and their sexy accents, but the country itself didn’t really come alive for me until that play.
Maybe I thought the place was swarming with modern-day Romeos or something—and  to date myself completely, at the time Romeo in my mind was Leonardo DiCaprio who’d just played him in the movie version. But whatever the reason, I made it my personal mission to go to Italy and see it myself one day. To breathe in the espresso-scented air, see the beautiful architecture, gaze upon the centuries old artwork, and yeah, gawk at a few Italian guys. Luckily, I shared that mission with my parents, because four short (or really long, depending on your outlook) years later, they took our family on a trip of a lifetime.
Our trip to Europe was a whirlwind. We visited so many cities in a dozen countries, but the highlight was definitely our stops in Italy. That is where I ate, people watched, shopped, took pictures, and ate some more. And my favorite hotspot on that leg of the trip, hands down, was Florence.
It wasn’t just the food, though I did have a spectacular pizza there. And it wasn’t just the shopping, though I did buy my favorite memento—a very sweet leather jacket—here. It was everything.
Seeing David up close. Walking the ancient streets. Touring the buildings. And best of all, watching the historical reenactment parade.
I don’t even know why it happened—if it was an annual festival in Florence or I just got extremely lucky—but while we were there, people suddenly burst onto the road, dressed in period costumes, waving banners, and cheering eagerly. Over the next thirty minutes or so, I was swept away in the magic and beauty of the city and its history, and though I never really thought about it until this moment, the kernel idea for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was probably birthed right then.
What about YOU? What was your favorite vacation ever…and did it inspire your creativity? And, most importantly, what was the best thing you ATE on your vacay (mine was that fabulous pizza!)

This is Rachel's tour group in beautiful Firenze. She is in the middle on the bottom in a white shirt, sunglasses, and khaki shorts (most like the tourists that Cat makes fun of in the book! lol)


Don't forget to check out this awesome giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a copy of her book and some swag! U.S. only, sorry!


  1. My best vacay ever was when I visited a place called Fantasy World and had so much fun there... It's actually a palace, like what you see in Aladdin... And they have peacocks there... I can't remember what were the foods I have eaten there but I can remember that not one food was excellent... Thank you for this!!!

  2. Oh wow, I want to go to Fantasy World!!! That sounds awesome. My first thought was that my daughters would love it (they have a crush on Aladdin lol), but in all truth, *I* would love it even more he he. Awesome vacay, Denice!

  3. I so want to visit Italy, actually the whole Europe.
    So excited about this book. :)

  4. Cool post!

    Thanks for participating!

  5. My best vacation was in 2007 when i went to Panchmari (India) with my friends it was a beautiful place surrounded by lush green Forrest... :)

  6. That does sounds like an amazing trip!
    Now I totally want to go there too!

  7. My best vacation was when I went to Egypt with my family, I had so much fun there, visiting museums going to the pyramids, I even rode a camel! Ahhh tons of fun, my favorite food had to be Koshary, its an Egyptian dish with rich, lentils, pasta and sauce. So yummy!