23/04/2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH PAULINE MONTAGNA - GET YOUR FREE COPY OF HER HISTORICAL ROMANCE, THE SLAVE

The Slave by Pauline Montagna is the latest historical novel I read and it is a lovely,  gripping one. A real page turner. I was first drawn to it by the original love story the author proposes as the main feature in the plot. A young woman from a rich Italian family doomed to obey her father first,  then her husband, the man his father chose for her and a slave coming from Asia and serving in her house, a handsome young man with a broken soul and a mysterious past.
As Harriet Martineau states in her works about women's rights, slaves and women experienced the same kind of subjection: an absolute luck of equality, no basic rights, no dignity. Is that why Batu and Aurelia feel immediate sympathy for each other? 
I recommend  you this exciting romance if you enjoy reading historical fiction. I'm sure you'll love it. You can get your free copy following the instructions at the end of my interview with the author, Pauline Montagna. 

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First of all, I’d love to know something more about you, Pauline. Did you always want to become a writer?

Although I was born in Australia, all of my grandparents and my mother were born in Italy. My mother was born in the Val d’Agri in Basilicata and came to Australia when she was twelve. My paternal grandfather came to Australia from Isola d’Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, in 1921 and my father was born here. I grew up with a strong Italian identity and studied French, Italian and European history at university.

22/04/2014

ROME - HOGARTH, REYNOLDS, TURNER: BRITISH PAINTING AND THE RISE OF MODERNITY

Easter Holidays have been an occasion to catch up with things I love, like going to Rome, visiting friends and play the tourist. Besides walking around the city centre in sunny, stunning Rome and have a good time with my friends, I could visit an interesting exhibition promoted by Fondazione Roma: Hogarth, Reynolds, Turner - British painting and the Rise of Modernity. The Foundation presents a fascinating itinerary to discover the characteristics and originality of 18th century English art which has not been shown completely in Rome since 1966. The exhibition offers to the public a comprehensive overview of the social and artistic development that took place during the XVIII centruy in step with the hegemony gained by Great Britain at the historical, political and economic level.

21/04/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - LIFE IN THE PALACE BY CATHERINE GREEN

Life in the PalaceLife in the Palace by Catherine Green

 “We need to talk,” Tal said. Then I knew it was going to go badly. ‘We need to talk’ is the conversational equivalent of walking into your basement without turning on the light, on a dark and stormy night, when a known psychopath is on the loose. You might as well cut to the chase and slit your own throat. Chloe Diaz assumed three things: that when Tal said that she was one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance, it was code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo;’ that the gorgeous Seth Wilks would never be her soul mate and that she’d never have to choose between them. Chloe was wrong. Now the future of the world is in her hands, but what if price is too great to pay?

Download a FREE copy now!


 This is a brief description of the plot:   After a lifetime in the shadow of her sister, Chloe is severely phobic of the chronically cool. Seth is everything she avoids; a pre-med philosophy major who works in a bar, plays in a band and is so good looking that grown women stare at him in the street. But it’s hard to say no to your soul mate. Thinking she’s maxed out her supply of destiny, Chloe settles down to enjoy the happily-ever-after.    Tal says that she’s one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance. Chloe assumes this is code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo.’ 

20/04/2014

IN WAR THE WORDS OF A POET CAN SAVE LIVES, IN LIFE THE WORDS OF A POET CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE: MEETING ERRI DE LUCA

"... in war the words of a poet can save lives ...
in war the orphans and those without a book have no refuge"  

Erri De Luca's original first name was Henry, an homage to his grandmother, who had American nationality, but defined by him as an "accident". He eventually decided "to change" few letters by Italianizing his name as Erri. 
Meeting Erri De Luca at the library in my town a few days ago was something unexpectedly important.
Do you know when you have the impression that a person speaking to an audience is instead speaking to you, just to you, that those words are meant for you?
Strange enough, especially because I couldn't see his face (see picture, I'm sitting on the right). But that is what I felt sitting behind,  right behind him, behind that table on which the widely popular and highly appreciated Italian author was informally sitting while talking to us. I was at his back and could watch his shoulders slightly bent forward, his slim figure in a comfortable blue suit, moving to the rhythm of his placid voice and turning left, then right, to direct the blue-eyed piercing stare to each and every one facing him.

19/04/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY: THE EPHERIUM CHRONICLES - EMBRACE BY T.D. WILSON

EmbraceThe Epherium Chronicles: Embrace

Book one of The Epherium Chronicles Hope. Captain James Hood of the Earth Defense Forces remembers what it felt like. Twenty-five years ago, it surged through him as a young boy watching the colony ships launched by mega-corporation Epherium rocket away. He, like so many others, dreamed of following in the colonists' footsteps. He wanted to help settle a new world—to be something greater. Then came the war... Hope. During years of vicious conflict with an insectoid alien race, it was nearly lost. Though Earth has slowly rebuilt in the six years since the war, overcrowding and an unstable sun have made life increasingly inhospitable. When mysterious signals from the nearly forgotten colony ships are received, Hood is ordered to embark on a dangerous reconnaissance mission. Could humanity's future sit among the stars? Hope. Hood needs it now more than ever. As secrets about the original colonists are revealed and the Epherium Corporation's dark agenda is exposed, new adversaries threaten the mission, proving more dangerous to Earth than their already formidable foes…

18/04/2014

COMING SOON FROM USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, KAREY WHITE: THE HUSBAND MAKER + GIVEAWAY

The Husband Maker by Karey WhiteThe Husband Maker
Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next.
Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?
When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she’s not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle’s wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?
add to goodreads

17/04/2014

THAT IS THE SORT OF BRAVERY I MUST HAVE NOW: INSURGENT AND ALLEGIANT BY VERONICA ROTH

I've been reading quite a lot this latest week. I have finished 3 books and that's something I'm really proud of after I had been reading very little in the previous months. Two of the 3 books are YA fiction novels.
After reading Divergent and watching the movie,  I was too curious to know what happened next, so I provided my iPad with the ebooks of the two sequels which completed the Divergent trilogy and was more than willing to take up the journey toward the epilogue of Tris and Four's story. Once started, I really couldn't stop.

Insurgent (book 2)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so (from amazon.com)

I was so disappointed while reading this second book. I found it a bit boring and frankly totally useless. I actually think it is completely irrelevant to the whole story, and this impression was confirmed while I was reading the final novel, Allegiant, which I liked, instead. What I experienced while going through  Insurgent and its more than 500 pages was just boredome. Was it only me or did anybody else reading Veronica Roth's trilogy experience the same?  I just couldn't bear suicidal Tris and found her interaction with Four quite unbelievable and rather repetitive. I think Divergent was a creative and interesting YA debut novel,  but I'm also sure Insurgent is not a worthy follow-up. 

15/04/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - SHADOW FIRE BY KIMBER LEIGH WHEATON

Shadow Fire Tour


Shadow fireShadow Fire

Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful life is shattered when the village elders honor her with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.
Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.
Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.
All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.
Shadow Fire – adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal
As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?
Each installment of The Light Chronicles is a standalone story.



14/04/2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: RIGHTING A WRONG BY RACHAEL ANDERSON

Righting a wrong


Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

 Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past. If only life worked that way. Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs. If only it were that easy.

12/04/2014

ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL, THE MUSKETEERS CHARMED US ALL

Luke Pasqualino & Howard Charles on set for series 2
Sorry for the silly rhyme but isn't that true? Those four charming guys with their swords, leather-clad looks, stilish beards and moustache have conquered us all: women and men, children and grown up. BBC The Musketeers series 1 has recently wrapped up with a very positive outcome, both high viewing figures and enthusiastic acknowledgements rewarded production, cast and crew for their good job. 
Luke Pasqualino (D'Artagnan), Santiago Cabrera (Aramis), Tom Burke (Athos) and Howard Charles (Porthos) are back on set in Prague these days , shooting series two, with Tamla Kari (Constance),  Maimie McCoy (Milady), Alexandra Dowling (Queen Ann), Ryan Gage (King Louis) and Hugo Speer (Captain Treville). We won't see Cardinal Richelieu back at court apparently, since Peter Capaldi has started shooting Doctor Who new adventures.

11/04/2014

GIFT OF THE PHOENIX BLOG TOUR - READ AN EXCERPT AND WIN $25 GIFT CARD

gift of phoenix tour


Gift of the PhoenixGift of the Phoenix


When three strangers are brought together by the discovery of a common enemy, they must fight to keep the magic of the Phoenix out of dangerous hands before their world is destroyed forever. The Three must learn to unite in spite of what separates them, and unlock the magic of three stones that seem to harm as much as they help. But uniting will not be easy for Nicolai, the simple peasant with a powerful secret; Marcellus, the warrior prince who’s no longer heir to the throne; and Corren, a gifted wizard whose ambitions threaten to ruin them all. Full of magic, mystery, and a touch of romance, Gift of the Phoenix is an epic fantasy that takes the reader deep into the heart of a wondrous world and the three men destined to defend it.


  Praise for Gift of the Phoenix

 “An incredibly impressive book that grips you from the very start. There is plenty of action in the story, some wonderful characters and magical, atmospheric settings. Donna has created a fascinating realm in this story which, even if you don’t consider yourself a fantasy fan, you’ll definitely enjoy.” – Excerpt of Stephanie Dagg’s review at Books Are Cool.

10/04/2014

BOOK BLAST, FREE DOWNLOAD & GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY: HAWTHORNE BY SARAH BALLANCE

HawthorneHawthorne by Sarah Ballance

After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it takes ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She seeks peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she finds is an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she can right. Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett has never forgotten about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents reveals a truth that can cost him everything. What he finds gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?  

Praise for Hawthorne "This is a marvelous ghost story. The mystery, the suspense, the eeriness - all collaborate to weave a spell-binding tale . . . The story seamlessly flows to a shocking ending that is utterly brilliant." -- Coffee Time Romance 

"When I finished it, honestly, all I could do was sit there - a little awestruck." -- Kick Back & Review

Hawthorne will be FREE on Amazon from April 10th to 14th

05/04/2014

DIVERGENT: READING THE BOOK, WATCHING THE MOVIE

Divergent - the story

Having been hailed as “the next Hunger Games“ Divergent is the first book in a trilogy by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiance) taking place in post-apocalyptic Chicago, where society is divided into five factions. Each of them represents  a different virtue: Erudite (the intelligent),  Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless). At  16 teenagers  have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret,  she is divergent, she doesn't fit into any one of the factions. If anyone knew, it would mean certain death.

My Divergent Journal 

03/04/2014

APRIL KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner's choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.


Kindle Fire April

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

       The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - NIGHT CHILL BY JEFF GUNHUS

Killer WithinKiller Within by Jeff Gunhus
Arnie Milhouse is a murderer. A millionaire with dozens of kills in his past and no one the wiser. But when his name surfaces in connection with the death of a D.C. call girl, Arnie knows it’s only a matter of time before the FBI puts the pieces together. As he makes plans to disappear and leave his life in Annapolis behind forever, he meets a beautiful, mysterious woman who takes an interest in him. The perfect final victim. He can’t believe his luck. Only luck has nothing to do with it. Allison McNeil has returned to Annapolis, a city that she promised herself she would never come back to, not while the cruel memories of her time at the United States Naval Academy still haunt her. But she’s willing to do just about anything to get close to Arnie, even if it means having to face down the demons of her past. Her plans work and soon she and Arnie find themselves locked in a dangerous dance of seduction and betrayal. But Arnie isn’t the only one who carries a secret and the dark truth about Allison McNeil makes a final confrontation between them inevitable. Neither of them know it, but they're on a collision course that only one of them will survive.

31/03/2014

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - THE RIPPLE EFFECT ROMANCE NOVELLA SERIES: SILVER LININGS BY KAYLEE BALDWIN

Updated Silver


Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

 Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of "smart" business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn't take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he's broke and has nowhere else to go. Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she have to sell her house to pay for her mother’s medical expenses, but she also had to drop out of school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn't the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Assisted Living. When she learns that her boyfriend's new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.

29/03/2014

MY BOOKS & MUSIC SATURDAY

My love for books is known beyond borders, since I've been blogging in English for a while now and I have been sharing my passion with readers living in so many different contries. 
What has happened is that in the last years,  I've read many books,  but not so many in my native language, which is Italian. That's a pity,  of course,  but as we usually complains in the book blogosphere, "so many books, so little time!"
Today has been pretty special as for books & me and the outcome is ... there are a few Italian books I am going to read soon. 
I'll be in the panel of reading judges in a literary contest, we are 29 and have the task to choose the winner in the fiction section. I'll have to read 3 novels, debut releases by new authors for important  Italian publishers. The event, Fieramente il Libro is at its second edition here in my town and I'm flattered and honoured to be involved. It'll take place on 27/28/29 June 2014. I can't wait! I'll keep you informed, of course, and I'll start reading soon. 

28/03/2014

A NEW COMEDY WEB SERIES & GIVEAWAY - UNPLANNED MOTHERHOOD DEBUTS TODAY!

unplanned motherhood
Unplanned Motherhood is a non-fiction collection of short stories written by moms and dads about their funny inspirational or motivational journey as a parent. Unplanned Motherhood is based on the web series created by Lena Sledge.
Unplanned Motherhood is a comedy web series for perfectly imperfect families, starring Lena Sledge as Layla, a wife and mother of five that gives parenting advice on her real life mommy blog. Her unique parenting style contradicting with her perfect parenting advice lends to a distinct brand of humor. With each episode we see Layla teaching her kids life lessons as she discovers more about herself and the advice she gives to her readers. Unique to this web series is the actual blog that Layla writes where she gives the perfect parenting advice and after many of her posts, follows the tag line; to see how I really handled the situation watch this week's episode.
This web series is special because the viewers of the web series and the readers of the real life blog get to interact with Layla and let her know if her advice is on the money or share their own parenting advice. To follow the Unplanned Motherhood blog go to www.lenasledge.com. Stay tuned. Unplanned Motherhood debuts March 28th!!!!

27/03/2014

ALIVE ALIVE OH, ALIVE ALIVE OH ... IN DUBLIN, THAT IS.

Dublin - Grafton Street
Were you curious to know more about my trip to Dublin? Well, I thought it was better to wait on. I didn't want to write on the heat of the moment. It would have been rushed and unfiltered. Time always sweetens, softens and smooths the excesses. I've waited and waited but now I've decided it's rather time to confess the truth, nothing else but the truth. Gosh, I'm being quite melodramatic. Too much if you think I have no crime to confess, only my disillusionment. Yes,  if you expect an enthusiastic report,  don't read further, just stop here.

I had promised myself  "never again" after this experience back in 2011. Instead, here I am,  I did it again. I'm a repeated offender, so no clemency for me.  I totally agree.

Where can I start from? Do you want to know what Dublin was like, my friends? Let's start from the few positive memories.
I posted pictures on my facebook and twitter and they were incredibly sunny and colourful, weren't they? In fact, we were blessed with good weather,  which anyone who has been to Ireland at least once knows it is so rare.
Dublin was as lively and welcoming as I had expected it to be. Dubliners were hard-working,  helpful, kind, talkative though a tiny bit loud and out of control on Friday and Saturday nights. There was always music and a festive crowd in the city centre, though St. Patrick's day was yet to come (quite soon,  since we were there from March 5th to 11th).

25/03/2014

BLOG TOUR & GREAT GIVEAWAY - THE RABBIT AND THE RAVEN BY MELISSA ESKUE OUSLEY

Tynan Tierney, Kruor um Beir of Cai Terenmare



A major theme in The Solas Beir Trilogy is the multi-faceted nature of evil. Sometimes people have bad intentions and cause harm. Sometimes people mean well, and end up hurting someone. But does it really matter to your victim what your intentions were? Maybe. Maybe not. What if you’ve made a terrible mistake and hurt someone? Can you be forgiven? Can you be redeemed? These are questions explored throughout this young adult series, and I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to come up with the answers.

Tynan Tierney is the Kruor um Beir of Cai Terenmare, the King of Blood and Shadows. As such he has authority and power over all those who serve the Darkness. The Kruorumbrae are nasty, shape-shifting creatures with a craving for the blood and life force of humans and those in the Light. They relish invoking fear.

24/03/2014

BREATHTAKING - SEVEN BESTSELLING NOVELS OF LOVE AND SUSPENSE AT A VERY SPECIAL PRICE

Breathtaking: Seven Bestselling Novels of Love and Suspense
Boxed set is only $ 0.99 March 24th through March 29th.
 
Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon

Deliah Dreser's in town to take care of family business. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but there's more to Lilah than meets the eye. Cole's in danger of losing his heart when this firestorm throws sparks his way. Is she simply playing him for the fool in order to exact revenge for her brother's murders? Bestselling author Sherry Gammon's reviewers exclaim; "She has a gift for touching her readers with beautiful, gripping stories that you can’t put down."

Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt 

Nothing good ever happens after dark. Those were the words country singer Daleigh McDermott’s father always repeated. Now her father is dead, and Daleigh finds a hidden journal hinting that his death was no accident. Small town mechanic Ryan Shields is the only one who seems to believe Daleigh. As the two work to unravel the mystery, it becomes obvious that someone wants them dead. They must rely on each other—and on God—if they hope to make it home before the darkness swallows them whole. Award-Winning Suspense Novelist and Bestselling Amazon Author, touted as "scary, funny, passionate, and quirky" by USA Today.

22/03/2014

ACTING AND ... CASTING THE RUNES - INTERVIEW WITH ANTONIA & NOEL BYRNE, THE BOX TALE SOUP

My fascination with the theatre and the acting job brings me to virtually meet interesting, fascinating people from time to time and I can't resist the temptation to discover more about their world. This is why I have invited Antonia and Noel Byrne, The Box Tale Soup, to tell us about their experience and everyday life as actors. Their new show, Casting the Runes, is going to debut soon and they are really busy with the rehearsals. They have accepted anyway to answer my questions and I thank them heartily. 

What is the history of your Box Tale Soup Productions?

Antonia - Noel and I met performing together in 2009 (we were playing Romeo and Juliet!) and after a while doing freelance acting work for theatre and television, we realised what we really wanted to do was make our own theatre. We decided, first of all, that we wanted our shows to be extremely portable, so that we might turn up almost anywhere and be able to perform. The first item we purchased, therefore, was a vintage trunk (seen in Northanger Abbey) and we decided that all the props, costume and set we used in the show had to fit inside it. We chose Northanger Abbey, as it's one of Antonia's favourites, and then everything else, including the decision to use puppets, flowed on from there. We now have three productions, Northanger Abbey, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and our newest, Casting the Runes.

21/03/2014

AT THE THEATRE (AND NOT ONLY): THE GREATEST LOVE STORY OF ALL TIME OR THE MOST ANNOYING TEENAGERS IN LITERATURE? - MY ROMEO & JULIET WEEKEND

I've been recently involved in a discussion on Facebook about Romeo and Juliet, the young protagonists of Shakespeare's tragedy (1595),  who were included in a top ten list of literary annoying teenagers. I really couldn't agree with that dismissive judgement nor with the low consideration given to such finely written characters. Please, don't touch my Shakespeare!

I have myself kindly underestimated Romeo as a dreamer and an incostant lover at times (dying for love for Rosaline and suddenly desperately in love with Juliet?) but he is such a realistic embodiment of teenage fast crushes and violent passions, and that cannot be denied. I couldn't agree with whom  defined the two young lovers as annoying characters.

The audience at the Gran Teatro - Rome
Virtual discussion apart, my real life has been full of emotions connected to the story of the two star-crossed lovers from Verona of late.

Last Saturday afternoon I was at Gran Teatro in Rome with niece and sister and friends to see a musical: Romeo e Giulietta, Ama e cambia il mondo (adaptation of the original French work “Roméo et Juliette” by G. Presgurvic).
I had decided to join  them out of curiosity,  knowing nothing about the show and its cast. As you can

20/03/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE FORTUNE CAFE', A NOVEL IN THREE PARTS

Fortune Cafe
The Fortune Café a novel in three parts

MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware. 

LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.   

18/03/2014

FATHERS AND SONS, THOSE FLAT ON THEIR BACKS AND THOSE DREAMING OF A WALK IN THE MOUNTAINS ... GLI SDRAIATI BY MCHELE SERRA

Hello everyone! It's been a while,  I know,  since I posted something really personal but here I am, ready to update you about my latest adventures and misadventures as ... a reader . 

I haven't been reading much. Not since my father sudden illness and his too quick departure.  I haven't read much since last December. I don't know why, exactly. I happened to start and immediately drop more than one book. I finished just one and not because I particularly liked it. And of that one I'm going to tell you.
It is a small Italian book titled "Gli sdraiati", in English something like, the lying down, or "those  flat on their backs".  (Apparently,  I am not that good at translating, I can't find a better one for this title, can you?). 
Anyway, the mentioned book is about a father and his relationship with his teenage son. Yes, teenagers.  They are  the lying down .
The more I try to understand them, the more I realize I can't. Is it only me?  It is not just due to the generation gap, it is because I have never been like them. I was a teenager once, I still feel like one at times, but I was never like them. Not like the ones I have in front of me every day, at least. It is like we are not separated by a generation but by an era, a geologic era.

17/03/2014

HOME MATTERS BY JULIE N. FORD - BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

Home Matters Updated



Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

 According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach. When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.




12/03/2014

AVALON SERIES BLAST & GIVEAWAY

Avalon

Avalon: Web of Magic

Three very different young teens, Emily, the shy one, Adriane, the outsider, and Kara, the power shopper, are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods where they discover a portal to another world. Wondrous animals have emerged from the portal, desperately seeking the magic that will keep them alive. Though the animals are peaceful and good, what follows them through the portal is twisted and evil and bent on destroying them all. The Fairimentals have chosen these three fourteen-year-olds to protect the magical animals. To save them and their world, the girls must overcome their differences and band together. They begin a perilous quest to discover Avalon, the lost, legendary home of magic, little knowing the terrible dangers they will face along the way.



07/03/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE BOXCAR BABY BY J.L. MULVIHILL

Boxcar BabyThe Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB'Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it's up to AB'Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB'Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa's spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB'Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries ... and that monsters come in all shapes and forms. The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.   

 Praise for The Boxcar Baby

  “Miss AB’Gale Steel, is a pure spitfire girl, full of strong-minded grit, who draws strength out of adversity, and endures hardship by bracing herself against self-pity.” – Jorie Loves a Story 

“One thing I really loved about this one was it was fast paced and moved quickly. Mulvihill did an amazing job making realistic characters.” – Bee’s Knees Reviews “J.L. Mulvihill is quite a talented writer and I think she has such a creative mind to come up with this Steampunk Southern American Adventure.” – Book and Movie Dimension

05/03/2014

M.L. LEGETTE, FAIRY-TALES & MEMORIES - THE ORPHAN & THE THIEF BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

I don’t wear make-up. I hate high heels. I positively detest dressing up. So it’s probably a bit of a shock that all I wanted to be when I was little was a princess in a poofy pink dress. I actually owned many versions of said poofy pink dress in matching plastic shoes. If you met me when I was seven and asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ I would have promptly answered ‘Cinderella!’

So what is it that makes children love fairy-tales so much? I don’t really know. My enjoyment of them in my youth obviously did not have a lasting impression on my wardrobe, so what is it? Generally speaking, boys make their own suits of armor out of cardboard and pretend to slay dragons and goblins in the backyard, while girls wear glittering, plastic crowns and run about with fairy wands.

This was my childhood, by the way.

04/03/2014

MARCH KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY

March 2014 Kindle 


Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".