The Husband Diet cover reveal

And here it is! The perfect cover for my debut Women’s Fiction novel, The Husband Diet!

From page one of Erica Cantelli’s roller coaster story I’ve been wondering what kind of cover would best portray my big, beautiful heroine (besides which actress would best portray her and Julian on the screen, I must admit!).

And here it is- fantabulous, colourful, feminine… but most of all it tells it like it is! Erica is like most women who think their body could do with some improvement. But her love of life and everything that is good (including lasagna!) puts everything else on the back-burner. And then when she meets Julian, she learns what is most important.

I love everything about this cover because even the title looks like a big beautiful women- curvy, feminine and soft. On the outside. On the inside she’s got one helluva life!

And to my husband’s question, Did you send Oliver a picture of your feet? the answer is no- but they sure look like mine! And the SOS on the scale are what I think every five years or so when I pluck the courage to step onto one of these dreaded contraptions (she exclaims while chomping on potato chips).

I am immensely grateful to Oliver Rhodes of Bookouture who not only believed in this series, but went as far as designing the cover himself! Thank you so much, Oliver!

I hope you enjoy The Husband Diet as much as I enjoyed living, drinking and breathing it. Because still, after having read it and edited it a gazillion times, it always leaves me with a good feeling inside. I hope it does the same for you!
Nancy Barone

Italian Mothers, Food and Dieting… my Pinterest board


Hello again and welcome to my brand, spanking-new website! I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to share my stories with you.

Although my Pinterest board is called Italian Mothers, Food and Dieting, this board is actually my heroine Erica Cantelli’s life in pictures.

Now, we know she’s plump. And even if she doesn’t, we know she’s also very pretty with a smile to die for. But what does she look like? I’ve posted a couple of faces that could represent her, but please feel free to suggest any others. Who could be Erica, Julian (yum-yum!) and even Paul? Don’t bother with Ira.

And yes, I admit I couldn’t wait to post images of some of the characters and places in book two as the plot thickens (and she thin-ens)! These are images of Tuscany, a farmhouse and things to do (and eat) in Tuscany.

But this is just a work in progress as Erica matures every day, so more on my snarky, sassy heroine very soon.

Editing The Husband Diet

For some time I had in mind to write about a BBW- big, beautiful woman  with a messed-up life but it wasn’t until I was at the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, that I realized exactly what the story would be about. After three days I went home and pounded out 120 k in three months. It was September 2010.

When you’re trying to depict the helter-y-skelter-y life of a woman such as Erica Cantelli and the words come faster than you can type them, it’s no wonder you begin to sound like her after a few chapters. Talk about empathy.

Just like she pours out her feelings, I wrote and wrote, trying to do her justice and vindicate her. Only I ended up burying my beloved heroine under tons of secondary clauses, redundant after-thoughts, leaving her to waddle in self-misery and loathing, not to mention needless bouts of cruelty from her absent mother. It was like she couldn’t find a way out as it seemed I’d simply made a long list of the worst things that can happen to a woman in love.

Luckily, my editor Emily Ruston had us both figured out. She knew exactly where Erica was going and gave her (and me) a gentle nudge in the right direction. And that’s when Erica became almost real, steering the story where she wanted it go. The second book practically wrote itself, while The Husband Diet was definitely the most difficult to write as Erica had many issues to solve and get her life into gear. Emily Ruston weeded out the nonsense and put Erica on the right path.

And then Julian – the breath of fresh air she desperately needed.

When I was on my laptop writing away, my husband could easily tell whether I was working on a romance or my Erica series because I’d be snickering to myself. Erica feels like the good friend who knows you inside out.

I am presently doing last-minute edits on The Husband Diet while finishing up the third book of the series. I have plenty more Erica stories and I hope you’ll follow her along her journey and laugh and cry along with us.
Nancy Barone.