Meet the Newbies: Jenna Evans Welch

Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.

I absolutely love Italy, and Jenna's debut Love & Gelato is a contemporary which takes place in Tuscany. Romance AND gelato? This sounds like a book I'd definitely enjoy!

Author Most Likely To Figure Out A Way to Incorporate Her Love of Sugar Into a Novel

Nickname: Yenna
First Day of School: May 3, 2016
Homeroom: Simon Pulse
Grade: Contemporary YA
Extracurricular Activities: Reading voraciously, attempting (then failing) to write a "serious" novel, riding scooters, baking cupcakes, dancing, hiking
Favorite Class: English literature (of course), Biology, Italian
Favorite Quote/Motto: "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent Van Gogh


1. Describe your book in five words.
Romance, adventure, heartbreak, mystery, growth!

2. I saw in your bio that you attending high school in Florence, Italy. What was the experience like? Was there any culture shock?
It was such a great experience, and yes—I pretty much got smacked in the face with culture shock. I went from a typical American high school (huge building, massive class) to a tiny international school housed in an Italian villa on the outskirts of Tuscany. My class was tiny (just 18 of us) and there was a huge blend of nationalities, languages and experiences. At first everything felt strange to me, but I fell in love with the whole experience pretty quickly, and obviously have thought a lot about it since!

3. What is your fondest memory of your time spent in Italy?
For a while my family lived in a house that was near the ruins of a small stone tower. One morning I woke up very early and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I hiked out to the tower and watched the sun come up while I thought about what I wanted my life to be like. It was one of the most peaceful experiences of my life. Watch for that moment in LOVE & GELATO ☺.

4. What is the most fascinating thing you learned in your research?
How many secrets Florence has! I spent a lot of time trying to find things that most people don’t know about the city and found a TON. It made me want to go back ASAP.

5. If or when you visit Italy again, where would you want to visit? What would you hope to see and do?
I would head straight to a bridge in the center of town called Ponte Vecchio (it’s my most favorite place in the world) and buy myself a bacio gelato ☺.

6. What is the hardest part of writing a novel?
Hmm, everything? There are so many things to think about in a book (plot! Characters! Setting!) and it took me many, many attempts to get this novel to a place where I loved it. But when I finally did…best feeling in the world!

7. What do you hope people take away from your novel?
I’ve always thought of my time in Italy as a little bit of magic that I could carry around in my back pocket and pull out on days that aren’t nearly as awesome or magical as I wish they were. I hope my book does the same thing—provide a little magic and adventure when you need it most!

8. I understand that you have a blog called The Green Lemon. Can you tell us a bit about it? Why did you start it? What types of posts do you write?
Thanks for mentioning my blog! I started it several years ago when I knew I wanted to write but wasn’t sure what I wanted to write exactly. It’s been a great place for me to find my voice and test things out. Lately I’ve written a lot about the writing process and books I love, but I’ve also written about a lot of personal experiences—including my love of pulp fiction covers and my fear of goldfish.

Five Favorites:
Favorite food? Anything Italian—I’ll never say no to a good bowl of spaghetti!
Favorite city? It’s a tie between London and Florence. Both are absolutely magical to me
Favorite color? Green—always has been. Nothing looks complete to me without it!
Favorite tv show? I love terrible reality TV—the trashier the better! (My husband says it’s to counteract all of the good literature I read.)
Favorite band? U2 ☺

About the Book:

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Book Buy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Jenna Evans Welch spent her high school years in Florence, Italy, where she drove a scooter, danced in fountains, and ate entirely too much gelato. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and young son. Read her blog, The Green Lemon, at

Social Media Links: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you read this book? If you could travel to any country for a summer where would you want to go? What is your favorite gelato flavor?


  1. This book sounds amazing! I've been to Italy (Venice) and it's so easy to fall in love with the country. I look forward to reading this book. :)

  2. I'd love to read this book!!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Lol! Love her sugar superlative award. Thanks for the giveaway opp :)

  4. I am so excited for this book! Thank you for the giveaway, Rachel. :)

  5. Wow, this book sounds very intriguing! I'm definitely planning to read this!


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