Guest Author: Malena Lott – Living La Dolce

Posted August 22, 2008 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 11 Comments

Guest author Malena Lott talks about living the sweet life.


Do you live la dolce vita? In English, it translates to “the sweet life.”

If you’re like me, most days the answer is “only if you call sneaking a Hershey bar the sweet life.” In my new novel, Dating da Vinci (November,), my protagonist, the widowed 36–year-old mother of two, Ramona Elise, has lost her joy and doesn’t know where to find it. That is, until a handsome Italian immigrant named Leonardo da Vinci strides into her English classroom. He’s the very embodiment of passion and joy and Ramona hopes his joy might rub off on her. Literally? Well…

For those of us without a passionate Italian in our midst, experiencing our own renaissance (awakening) may take a bit more soul searching. Here are a few questions I like to ask myself to get less stress and more la dolce vita.

  1. What happened today to trigger this feeling? Whether it’s a bad feeling or a good feeling, it’s important to do a mental check every now and then to see how our bodies are responding to both the joys and pains that we feel in any given day.
  2. Have I done anything I love today? If you just thought to yourself, “yes, my husband,” good for you! If not, that’s okay. What are your passions that you could put back into your day? For me, it’s making time to read a great book. Days that I don’t get to read, I feel restless. And a candlelit bath with a nice glass of Merlot and a good book? Divine. Followed by hubby time is nice, too.
  3. Am I saying yes to things I should really say no to? We are our own worst enemies when it comes to trapping ourselves in to activities and events our true selves don’t enjoy. For me, I’ve promised myself no more volunteering at school – at least not when I am working, writing, promoting my novel, and have a three year old still at home with me. What’s yours?
  4. What’s stopping you? Many times we stay in a rut because we listen to not only the negative voices in our heads, but those “logical, well-meaning” Others who influence our lives. I say: don’t listen to them. If you’ve always wanted to sky dive or write a novel or get a tattoo, by golly, just do it!

Remember, no one’s going to hand you la dolce vita on a silver platter. You have to want it and go after it. Don’t be scared, but if you are, do it anyway. Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to read more from me, check out my TUG (The Ultimate Gift) blog each week about finding joy in the every day on, follow me on Twitter to get my latest writing news and uplifting evening “TaoTwitters,” and pre-order Dating da Vinci at Amazon.


Many thanks to Malena for being with us this week. Don’t forget to leave a comment either here or on her interview post to be entered to win one of two ARCs of Dating Da Vinci. Bonus: If you leave a comment on both posts you’ll be entered twice! Good luck.

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11 responses to “Guest Author: Malena Lott – Living La Dolce

  1. All great questions to ask yourself, Malena. Our mutual friend, Jenny Gardiner, sent me some unusual napkins last year when I was almost pulling my hair out over all the things I’d volunteered to do. Napkins? you ask. Well, yes, a rather unusual gift, until you saw the monogram.


    Okay, those aren’t my initials. Beneath the pretty scrolled gold-foil letters were the words:

    Stop Unnecessary Volunteering.

    I took them to many of the functions I’d volunteered for and they were a huge hit.

    The napkins are gone, but the message has stayed with me. We try to do so much, but sometimes less is more and time for ourselves is the best give we can give those we care for.

    Looking forward to reading some of your Dolce Vita!

  2. No. 3 really hit me where it hurts. I’m guilty in a big way. Thanks for reminding me.

    I’ll be really looking forward to reading your book.

    Joan K. Maze

  3. Judi – too funny about those napkins! On PTA sign-up day I joked to the moms in the booths that I had blinders on and was walking straight to the T-shirt line. I got away without volunteering for anything (except for one art class in the springs when things aren’t so crazy for me!)

    Joan & Michele – yeah, we just *have* to let the guilt thing go. As in, I’m not feeling guilty at all that my toddler is watching the same Sesame Street episode twice in a row as I type this. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I think making my actions fit with my goals is always a challenge.

    And whenever I feel guilted into taking on too much, I remind myself that being hospitalized or incarcerated is not me at my best! 😉

  5. hi! coming late to the party! Um, I want my dolce vita handed to me on a silver platter, dammit!!!
    I also would LOVE a little dolce vita in the form of attending the women’s fiction conference in Matera Italy in September…Sadly my husband nixed that suggestion that I attend, darn it! Guess I’m going to have to find me a hot little Italian like your Leonardo
    Loved the book!!! Thanks for the sneak peak!

  6. Taking time for myself is the hardest thing because it makes me feel guilty, like I should be doing almost anything else, work, write, clean, take care of someone else.

    I need to take back those me times I used to be better at, like going to the retreat coming up.

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