Drink Wine and Be Beautiful

Short Stories

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Pub Date 26 May 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023

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Italian Tales of love, betrayal, longing, desire - and hope

Italy serves as the backdrop for stories of Italian women and expatriate women living in Italy.

A freak snowstorm in Rome changes the travel plans of two women, touching their lives in ways they could never have imagined. An ambitious Italian professional working in Brussels rails inwardly at her privileged boss, until fate presents her with a rare opportunity. A long desired trip to Bali, Indonesia serves as a needed chance for introspection. A cautious housewife in Rome thinks back to a fateful missed connection in Florence. A first-time mother feels debilitating guilt for not bonding with her newborn, until an elderly neighbor provides her with a new perspective.

The twenty-one stories in this collection follow women's lives as they confront betrayal and love, alienation and community, despair and-ultimately-hope.

Italian Tales of love, betrayal, longing, desire - and hope

Italy serves as the backdrop for stories of Italian women and expatriate women living in Italy.

A freak snowstorm in Rome changes the...

Advance Praise

" This is a strong body of work, and the author is unafraid to experiment, as the stories range from slices of life to near fairy tales. Sullivan’s own adventures abroad and knowledge of history provide solid grounding for her narratives. A searching collection of tales about women’s quests for self-realization.."

-Kirkus Reviews

"Twenty-one fascinating slice-of-life stories fill up the pages of this captivating collection. Set in different cities of cultural and historical significance, Drink Wine and Be Beautiful contains stories about women from diverse backgrounds and stages in life navigating love, betrayal, loneliness, success, and much more. Each short story in this enthralling collection is unique and brings something different to the narrative. There is a relatable quality to the protagonists of these stories that make them feel like real people. Their flaws, conflicts, and struggles shape their personalities in distinct ways. Sullivan has a way with words and brings emotions and complex relationship dynamics to the pages in a seamless fashion. Highly recommended."

-Readers' Favorite Review

"Offering a compelling range of emotionally charged narratives, Drink Wine and Be Beautiful by Kimberly Sullivan is a brilliant collection of short stories with an Italian backdrop. The Italian women and ex-pats who find their lives intricately and sometimes painfully tied to Italy are each unique and complex: strong-headed women, vulnerable wives, pained mothers, and women who have run away but have mustered the courage to return. Each one of Sullivan's characters and personal stories are richly drawn with Sullivan's vibrant and nuanced prose, for a collection that brings to life the splendor of Italy, while vividly exploring the inner lives of modern women."

-Self-Publishing Review

"Kimberly Sullivan impresses again, with a collection of stories displaying emotional sophistication and surprise. This is a collection that contains sharp and tender observations of the complexities of being human. This is a wonderful read for those who love a book that guides the imagination to foreign destinations with a feeling of being at home anywhere in the world. Drink Wine and Be Beautiful masterfully delivers emotional complexity in settings rich with equal parts romance and melancholy."

-Feathered Quill Review

"A bustling, contemporary collection of vibrant fiction. A truly European treat, this collection feels like a vacation that can be enjoyed whenever the mood strikes."

-Indies Today

"This is a collection of striking short stories that will hit home with virtually any reader. Sullivan is adept at colorful descriptions, heartfelt dialogue, and reaching out to readers via memorable characters. Sullivan will, without a doubt, garner a sizable following from her work."

-Literary Titan

" This is a strong body of work, and the author is unafraid to experiment, as the stories range from slices of life to near fairy tales. Sullivan’s own adventures abroad and knowledge of history...

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Book reviewers, Blog posts, Podcasts, Blog Tours, Social Media, Book signings and events

Available Editions

ISBN 9798986884417
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

I loved this collection of short stories about strong, Italian women! Not all stories take place in Italy but involve an Italian, place in Italy or references in some way. Most of the stories involve coming of age, escaping abusive relationships, cheating, finding yourself & other more mature topics but is not spicy.

If you want to be transported to Italy, read these emotional stories!

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Such an easy to read book, not too long and as it is short stories I could read a bit, put it down and then pick it up again days later to read another story.

Stories of life in Italy and surround, about friendship, relationships, life in general and all that goes with it. All the stories are different, some more intriguing and interesting than others abut all great reads. It brings the culture of Italy to the fore, making life there real and not so different from any of our countries and any of the lives we lead.

Very interesting and great book for women.

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Once again, Kimberly Sullivan does not disappoint. Her impressive range of stories, called forth a range of emotions, equally as powerful.

And I loved the tangle of them; a mix of joy, jealousy and shame in “Amica del Cuore” about leaving behind a cretino, and finding a friend of the heart in Rome.

“Early Morning Jogs” about rekindling marital bliss, by ….well, you’ll have to read it to find out! Pangs of remorse and independence. Defiance, exhilaration and sadness.

Then there was “Roman Snow” about a luggage mix-up that leads to more shaking up. If your luggage has ever been lost, what happened? Did you feel anger? Longing? Helplessness? You'll have a new appreciation for what happened in its life away from you before it found its way back to you again.

For more of Kimberly Sullivan’s great writing check out her book length fiction on her website. https://kimberlysullivanauthor.com/

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I thoroughly enjoyed Kimberly Sullivan's collection of short stories about women finding their way in the world while experiencing love, despair, loss, anger, anomie. I loved the twists and surpises in Roman Snow, the female friendship in Amica del Cuore, and the poignancy of Heat Wave. The twenty-one stories are set mostly in Europe, but also in Bali, Morocco, and Ecuador. This mix of countries and cities, each with its own personality, was an added bonus - I could read "wherever" I wanted to go - Florence today, the Balkans tomorrow. - which is one of my favorite things about reading.

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I loved this collection of short stories! Each story had a twist of Europe, mostly Italy. After the first two stories, I was hooked and. couldn't put it down, anxious to see where the next story started and ended. I enjoyed the writing style, ease of reading and the description of each city the characters were in. Many locations mentioned in her stories I have personally been to and she was spot on with the culture and flavor of each one. If you are a traveler like me, or just an armchair traveler you will love this collection!

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A solid set of stories that will likely be enjoyed by those that pick it up. The focus is on women, and the author has a good voice and talent. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the free copy for review!!

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This is a thought-provoking collection of short stories about women and self-discovery—female friendship, women’s dreams and guilt, their careers, and their marriages (an abusive husband, an unfaithful husband, new love, a second chance at love etc.). And about longing and betrayal, with happiness and bitterness. Some are feel-good and some have quite a shocking twist so it is a wide-ranging collection. I also enjoyed taking armchair trips to so many different countries: Italy, Croatia, Bali, Morocco and Ecuador. I especially loved Amica del Cuore. Superstitions gave me a chill at the end. Modern Art was a touching, thought-provoking ode to friendship.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this short story collection! I felt like I was on a world tour (mostly in Europe), which is exactly the vibe I look for in summer reading selections. The stories were quick to read enabling me to pick this book up when I had a few free minutes and finish a complete short story. The women featured were complex and dynamic, and many of these stories packed an emotional punch as well.

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