31/10/2018

MY HALLOWEEN TREAT: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

Do you remember Hitchcock's Spiral Staircase? Well, there's one in Hill House

I'm really happy to find myself in the position of enjoying a few days off starting from today,  so I'm here to share with you my joy and one of my latest exciting watching experiences, which  may fit the somewhat-dark merriment of today. 

Let me be honest first: Halloween has never been a big deal to me because

1. It generally isn't in my country, Italy
2. I'm definitely not attracted to things macabre and gloomy.

But ... there's always a BUT, isn't there?

I've been unexpectedly enjoying a show that may be the perfect pumpkin in your Halloween special -things-to-do list,  if you are not going to a party and are planning a stay-at-home celebration, alone or with friends. 

Here's my treat:  The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I am the first to be puzzled by my suggestion since I never thought a horror show about a haunted house could be something worth watching. But now I'm sure I never thought that, not because I had never seen one before (NE-VAH!),   but  because I had not seen this one yet! 

26/09/2018

ITALY BOOK TOURS: A LIFE BY DESIGN - 5 QUESTIONS TO AUTHOR LUCY APPADOO



1. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

For A Life By Design (The Italian Family Series), I was inspired by this story through the character, Elena who had a role in Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series). Elena was very creative in the previous story with her sister, Valeria from Dancing in the Rain, so I wanted to have a character that showed her creative skills in fashion. I adore Italian fashion with the most modern trends, so I wanted to be a part of that excitement of creating modern and contemporary fashion. Elena is the part of me that loves to create (as I like to write), and I have a fascination with Italy as I had visited Italy a number of years ago. The plot came to me by knowing Elena’s character and how her feisty character would be able to handle all the intrigue that came her way. Generally, my inspiration for my other stories comes partly from my imagination (when I’m in a meditative space) and partly from past experiences that are similar or embellished.

24/09/2018

WHAT KIND OF PRINT BOOK READER ARE YOU? - THE WISDOM OF LISTENING BLOG TOUR (AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY)

I have come to realize there are at least three kinds of print book readers I see on a regular basis. First is the tidy reader, second is the messy reader, and third is the hybrid reader. Do you know which you are?

 To the tidy reader, reading a book is like eating a gourmet meal in a five star restaurant. All of their books are purchased brand new, although exceptions might made for signed first editions. They want to be the first to crack that stiff spine open and love that new book smell. In a bookstore these readers never take the front book from a shelf or the top book in a stack. They reach behind and under to find the most pristine copy they can. 

 New books are brought home with as little jostling as possible and stored carefully on a bookshelf or stacked neatly on a table next to their reading chair. When they read, they sit upright and always turn a good reading light on. No drinking or eating is allowed to avoid staining the pages. No notations are ever made or corners turned down to mark their place. Only a proper book mark will do. When finished, the books are still in pristine condition. Only another tidy reader would know that its spine had already been cracked. 

At the other end of the spectrum is the messy reader. Reading for them is more like eating while camping with no table, chairs or utensils. Books come from every source – new and used book stores, thrift stores, library sales, garage sales and friends. It doesn't matter whether the book is in fabulous condition or a little raggedy; is clean or a little marked up; and dog eared pages aren't even noticed. As long as all the pages are intact and it's a good read they're happy. 

10/09/2018

STOLEN OBSESSION BLOG TOUR - INTERVIEW WITH MARLENE M. BELL + GIVEAWAY



Interview with author Marlene M. Bell


What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read Stolen Obsession? 

There are many morals in this book. Here are the top three: First, you are stronger than you think you are. Shown by Annalisse’s trials with personal loss and helping those around her. Secondly, keep those around you close to your heart because you never know when they can be taken away. Annalisse experiences a great deal of personal loss. Third, judge people not by what others say about them, but by how they truly are. Give people a chance to redeem any negative qualities that come from hearsay. Annalisse learns this with Alec Zavos, her love interest in Stolen Obsession. The tabloids paint him with a broad womanizer brush, and Annalisse takes her time deciding for herself who Alec is and if he can be trusted.  

How long does it take you to write a book?

Stolen Obsession took 8 years from start to finish due to the learning process. I’m working toward publishing the 2nd book, Spent Identity in 2019. I’m at 70,000 words so far!


Where did the idea for Stolen Obsession come from? What was the inspiration? 

The main character, Annalisse is a lot like me. Through 8 drafts of the story, the focus changed dramatically. The genre moved from Women’s Fiction to Romantic Mystery. I wouldn’t say the story came from one inspiration because of the long learning process. It has naturally morphed into the final version through plot changes and tons of edits.


Describe Stolen Obsession using seven words.

Ancient Curse Collides With Three Jewelry Pieces


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write every day, even if it’s a few hundred words. First thing in the morning after the sheep are fed. By 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on a good day. On very good days, I can knock out a single chapter in 4-5 hours of work. 1-2 chapters each week with editing along the way. I’m a constant editor, especially since using the Hemmingway App.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I can, I stop and read other authors to keep the creative juices flowing. Spending time with the lambs in their pastures with a camera along is also worthwhile as a pick-me-up when words clog my mind and are disjointed on the page. If my writing stinks, there’s no sense in staying at the keyboard. It’s nice to have options like photography, drawing, painting and of course, sheep.


What do you think makes a good story?

It’s all about the reader turning pages. Whether I write mystery, suspense or the occasional love scene, it’s important to leave a scene to hang with an important question in the reader’s mind. The goal is to create a page-turner by whatever means possible.



Book Details

Book Title: Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell
Category: Adult Fiction; 284 pages
Genre: Romantic Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Release date: March 20, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 10 to 28, 2018
Content Rating: R (Small bit of language and one detailed sex scene)

04/09/2018

PERRY PRETE: "DON'T BE SO FULL OF YOURSELF THAT YOU THINK YOUR WRITING IS A GIFT TO MANKIND"



At the reading group - guest post by Perry Prete 

I was asked to speak at a writers’ group last summer held at one of the local nursing homes. I was expecting a group of retired seniors sitting in recliners sipping tea and eating biscuits. Instead, I was greeted by a nice young group of men and women who looked liked cliché writers from a 1970’s hardcover jacket. One of the men wore a tweed jacket with elbow patches and had a bushy beard. If it wasn’t for the no smoking policy, I suspect he would have had been smoking a pipe as well.

I went around the table and found that not one of them had any works published which I found very odd. They asked a lot of valid and poignant questions until one of them asked if I had been paid for my writing.

I replied that I was paid for every piece of published work and expected to be paid for my time.
 The woman who appeared to the leader of the group was taken aback and said writing was an art and it should be a privilege to have my work out there for people to enjoy.

28/08/2018

BOOKS & MORE BOOKS: TWO NEW TITLES IN THE WHITCOMB SPRINGS SERIES

“Unchained Courage” by MK McClintock

Montana Territory—July 1865

Daniel and Evelyn Whitcomb dreamed of adventure as they made a home in the Rocky Mountains. Four years after Daniel left Montana, he returns from the Civil War a man uncertain of where he belongs. Through courage, honor, and the arrival of an old friend, Daniel finds a way back to the life he once imagined. Join him in “Unchained Courage” for a lesson in the power of hope, faith, and remembrance. 



MK McClintock is an award-winning author devoted to giving her readers books laced with adventure, romance, and a touch of mystery. Her novels and short stories take you from the rugged mountains of Montana to the Victorian British Isles, all with good helpings of daring exploits and endearing love stories. She enjoys a peaceful life in the Rocky Mountains where she is writing her next book.

If you'd like to know when MK's next book will be out, please visit her website at www.mkmcclintock.com, where you can sign up to receive new release updates.




21/08/2018

THREE GREAT BOOKISH FILMS




1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


Where do I start with this movie? I risk going on rambling for hours about how lovely it is! It is just my perfect cup of tea.  

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the adaptation of a book I read back in 2010. If I liked the book,  I loved the movie! And if you enjoy movies about books and reading with a romantic touch,  you can't miss this one. The cast is adorable, the locations are awesome, the story is simple but compelling. A delightful way to spend a couple of hours.

17/08/2018

BOOKS & MORE BOOKS - LUKE BY KIMBERLY LEWIS




Looking for a spicy summer romance? Here's one you will not regret reading.

Luke, an all-new friends-to-lovers standalone in the McKades of Texas series from Kimberly Lewis is available NOW!

15/08/2018

Q/A BOOK REVIEW - THE PHANTOM TREE BY NICOLA CORNICK



"My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another."

What genre does the book belong to?

Time-slip is the first definition which comes to my mind when you ask me, but The Phantom Tree is a novel for fans of mystery, drama and romance. Perfect for readers of Philippa Gregory, Barbara Erskin or Kate Morton.


What’s the historical  setting of the novel?

There are two parallel narrative lines: one set in Tudor England and the other one in present-day England.


14/08/2018

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT - ETERNITY'S ACCOUNT: RULERS



Book Details

Book Title: Eternity's Account: Rulers (Book #4)
Authors: Julie Bryson & Catherine Sharpe
Category: YA Fiction, 364 pages
Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: April 1,2018
Tour dates: Aug 13 to 24, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description

Patterns. They are the material weaved to make the intricate fabric of the universe. The one guiding the threads is the one teaching the 12 chosen children to recognize the complex design within the fabric of time. Each stitch aligns the essential elements of the story, revealing the intended pattern to be followed. Owr, the master creator, has tucked the invisible into the hem of the visible, allowing the children to peek between the tightly drawn threads to study how the spiritual affects the physical.

10/08/2018

BOY ON THE BEACH BLOG TOUR - 5 QUESTIONS FOR AUTHOR R.D.MADDUX + GIVEAWAY


R.D. Maddux has story telling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.
Living in California for over 60 years he couldn't help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it's inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it's finally coming to the page.

07/08/2018

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: TRIBAL AFFAIRS BY MATT DALLMANN + GIVEAWAY



Book Details

Book Title: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann
Category: YA Fiction, 277 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Matt Dallmann
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: August 6 to 24, 2018
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

Book Description 

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

03/08/2018

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - THE SONGS OF YOU AND ME BY MYLISSA DEMEYERE

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere 

Jane Hartford fell head over heels for Jackson at the tender age of fifteen. She spent most of high school pining for him, until she realized he wasn’t going to see her as anything more than his baby sister’s best friend. Now she finds herself single with a daughter, a broken heart, and songs that remind her of a long lost love. Jackson Wright is a man living with regret. His biggest one, never acting on his feelings for Jane. 

When he returns to Bellebrook, the town they grew up in, he literally runs into her and his world gets tossed upside down and sideways. This time, Jackson isn’t willing to give up. With a meddling sister eager to push both of them together, he believes things might actually work out. 

That is, if they can overcome the heavy baggage they both carry. Follow Jackson and Jane as they revisit their past, figuring out what went wrong so long ago. Will they learn they have the power to make things right in the present?