The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

Coming April 21, 2020

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse.

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Praise for The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

"Emilia Fontana is a princess in sensible shoes in this delicious modern fairytale where love is elusive, hope is a pipe dream and a centuries old curse on the second sister remains intact. Lori Nelson Spielman deftly weaves the past and present with artful twists and turns that will keep you reading and hoping as secrets are revealed that change the course of Emilia's life, her perceptions of herself, and ultimately unleashes her potential in a world that was waiting for it. Bella!"—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of Tony's Wife

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is a gorgeous blend of family, friendship, and love. This heartfelt multi-generational tale whisks the reader away to the magical streets of Italy where an old legend unveils family secrets and carries the characters on a journey they’ll never forget.”—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of When We Left Cuba

“Lori Nelson Spielman's deft and tender touch illuminates a glorious journey through Italy, and the heart. The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is unflinchingly honest about the frailty of human desires, as Emilia encounters estrangement, lies, and betrayal, yet it treats them with grace and forgiveness. It's a wonderful balance between the darkness of the human heart, and the irrepressible optimism of love and adventure at any age. Filled with humor and wisdom, this is a celebration of life, and love.”—Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Lori Nelson Spielman writes beautifully about self-discovery, forgiveness, and love. The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is an insightful and tenderhearted novel that illuminates the ways in which the bonds of family can sometimes feel like a warm embrace, and other times feel as though they are tying you down. Mysterious family lore, a heartrending love story, and luminous descriptions of Italy all add up to an utterly captivating read!"—Meg Donahue, USA Today bestselling author of You, Me, and the Sea

"With lush descriptions of Italy, poignant writing and intriguing family secrets, The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is as effervescent as an Aperol Spritz and written in Lori Nelson Spielman’s signature heartfelt style. Emilia’s journey of self-discovery transported me to Venice’s enchanting canals and the striking beauty of the Amalfi Coast, while Poppy’s story—set sixty years earlier—wove in the lasting impact of the Berlin Wall. I didn’t want to leave Nelson Spielman’s lovably flawed cast of characters behind, but her satisfying conclusion brought a smile to my face."—Meredith Jaeger, USA Today bestselling author of Boardwalk Summer

“Lori Nelson Spielman’s tells stories full of heart with characters you’ll love from the first page. The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is her best yet! Fans of Adriana Trigiani will rejoice in this story of a stunning journey that celebrates family, life and love, in the unparalleled backdrop of Venice, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. You’ll enjoy every moment of the trip. I loved it. Ciao Bella!”—Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of The Favorite Daughter

"If you love Moonstruck as much as I do, you’ll fall head over heels for The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. In this captivating and utterly charming tale of several generations of “cursed” women, Lori Nelson Spielman proves—yet again—that she’s a masterful storyteller. I loved every page.”—Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You

“In a love letter to Italy and indeed, to life, Lori Nelson Spielman’s The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany carries the reader on a delightful and poignant journey of no regrets. From the secret corners of Venice to the cobblestones of Ravello, ‘cursed’ Emilia and her Great Aunt Poppy enchanted me and gave me hope that all things can work out just right—even when it seems the stars are hopelessly misaligned.”—Julie Kibler, bestselling author of Calling Me Home and Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

“Spielman’s novel takes you on a breathtaking tour of Italy through the eyes of Emilia, the cursed second-daughter. Readers will get lost in these pages about family and cheer for our heroine as she discovers herself and the secrets of her family. This book is the perfect escape.”—Roselle Lim, author of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

"The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany perfectly captures the singular magic of Italy. Every page radiates with sunshine, adventure, and a love story as timeless as the cobblestone streets of Florence."—Ruth Emmie Lang, author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is a fresh and funny page-turner that weaves generations of secrets into a charming story of enpowering self-reflection and discovery. A pure joy to read, filled with heart, hope and insight. To say I loved it is an understatement, and I can’t wait for more from Lori Nelson Spielman.”—Angela Pisel, author of With Love From the Inside

"The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
is a captivating family saga that centers on a granddaughter's efforts to repair the age-old loss and betrayal that threaten her future happiness. You will be swept away to Italy's romantic Amalfi coast, and laugh, cry, and cheer as Emilia searches for the truth and finds her own voice at last."—Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of Undiscovered Country

“A family curse. A mysterious letter. A forbidden journey. And pastries. Italian pastries. Being a second daughter in the Fontana family is tantamount to a life without love. Practical, methodical Emilia may have accepted this in her head, yet her heart still hopes for romance. It will take an adventure across the ocean to reveal her true destiny, despite controlling relatives and family assumptions. In Lori Nelson Spielman’s exuberantly wrought Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, century-old family dynamics must be destroyed for a new and beautifully told modern life to begin. Spielman turns the traditional fairy tale on its head, to satisfying and dramatic effect.”—Mardi Link, author of The Drummond Girls

"The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is a fresh and funny page-turner that weaves generations of secrets into a charming story of enpowering self-reflection and discovery. A pure joy to read, filled with heart, hope and insight. To say I loved it is an understatement, and I can’t wait for more from Lori Nelson Spielman."—Angela Pisel, author of With Love From the Inside

"In The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, Lori Nelson Spielman has created a stunning, heartwarming, multi-generational story of family secrets and self-discovery, spanning the globe from New York to Italy. Emilia, Poppy, and Lucy's deeply emotional, life-changing, and life-affirming journeys instantly captured my heart, broke it then put it back together. Spielman will make you believe everything you want to be is possible."—Samantha M. Bailey, author of Woman on the Edge


June 2, 2015

#1 international bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman follows The Life List with Sweet Forgiveness, in which a woman’s receipt of two “forgiveness stones” sends her searching for atonement. 

The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans' favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn't biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals, on air, the details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.
Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.


Bright prose, a plucky heroine, and more than a few plot twists make for a delightful, light read.
— Kirkus Reviews
Filled with warmth and humor, Lori Nelson Spielman’s Sweet Forgiveness is a novel about family that will make you rethink everything you know about forgiveness and love. Lori Nelson Spielman is an insightful storyteller who captures your heart and keeps you turning the pages.
— Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Glass Wives
Once again, Spielman delivers living, breathing characters and a page-turning plot. Sweet Forgiveness makes us examine the way we let past hurts shape our lives and forces us to admit that the histories we have constructed for ourselves may be more fiction than fact, and the role we actually played may be less victim than villain.
— Julie Lawson Timmer, Author of Five Days Left
Spielman’s heroine is both likable and relatable, and the power of confession, forgiveness, and love shines all the way through this touching novel.
— Library Journal

the life list


In this utterly charming debut — perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern’s P.S., I Love You and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life — one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.
Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen.

Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

Spielman’s debut charms
— Kirkus Reviews
A wonderful, touching story that reminds us to live life to its fullest.
— Cecelia Ahern, New York Times bestselling author of P.S., I Love You


Irresistible! Everything I love and look for in women’s fiction. A clever, funny, moving page-turner.
— Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Escape