First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?




I've been watching comedy. Something definitely unusual for me. Fact is that my wish for escapism is growing fast and furious. I'm getting rather anxious lately. The passing of time can be fairly depressing by itself (remember Mrs Dalloway?), add people around you aging and being unwell and the situation can become quite distressing; add three men at home = no help, no sympathy;  friends? taken by thousands of big litlle problems just like yours,  they may seem really distant though near. Hence,  what can one do? Trying to escape. Where to?  Into a lighter world made up of  surreal situations and hilarious events, absurd characters and funny anecdotes. Laughing can be the cure. Sometimes.



Too great a temptation. Comparing them, I mean.  I was thinking: what about making  them compete in a challenge?  John Thornton from Milton, the hero of BBC North and South (2004) facing Mr John E. Moray from BBC The Paradise (2012). But what kind of a competition? Kind of “who makes more money in given time”? The  two men are quite competitive, as a matter of fact.  However, since I couldn't find any good idea for a competition, what about simply comparing them? Without even asking you to choose who’s better  or to pick up a favourite. Well, you can do that, if you wish, of course. Just choose your champion and tell us in your comments. As for me,  I won't do that, I’ll just draw a comparison between the two characters trying to point out  similarities and differences. Don't ask me to choose. 


My Favorite Romantic Movies Based on Books by guest blogger Jack Meyer

We all have our favorite romance movies. Some of us like Elizabethan romance, some of us like fantasy romance, and some of us like modern romance. However there is one thing we can all agree on. The best romantic movies all come from books. From books written long ago to those written today, there is just something complex and wonderful about a well-written story with a romantic twist. Here are some of my favorite romantic movies that were originally books:

1.   Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen is a romantic film staple and her works are well worth watching. The 1995 adaptation of her book of the same name is one that is filled with great actors, including Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman, and oozes with charm and grace. It also has lots of timely humor and great performances by the actors and actresses that do the famous novel justice. Thankfully it is succinct as well as sensible and never seems to drag. Definitely a romantic film I would recommend for Austen lovers.

2.      Pride and Prejudice – Another Austen based film, I know, but her work is just so relatable even to the present day.  There are actually many movies based on her most famous work, but the one I am talking about is the 2005 adaptation. Starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, this film is bright and quick while still sticking with the novels key points. Though it lacks some of the pomp and circumstance that usually follows an Elizabethan film, it more than makes up for it with the acting and quick story line. Romantic and fun to watch, I would recommend this film for anyone who loves a good conflicted and complex love story.



The Author
Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, in the UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston. He eventually attended Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy. He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city. 

On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of specialist roles both in the UK and abroad. In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008. 

Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, The Adventures of Willy Whiskers, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities. 



I've been watching quite a bit of great period drama recently nothwistanding my very little spare time. Downton Abbey series 3 and The Paradise ended, what we've got left is ... DVDs and satellite TV. My first recommendation is a brilliant TV movie you now find on DVD, The Scapegoat (2012), first broadcast in September on ITV. Based of Daphne Du Maurier novel, this is a great adaptation, thrilling suspence from beginning to end, dark humour, unexpected twists, stellar cast, amazing performances, awesome locations and costumes.

In 1952 schoolmaster John Standing meets the aristocratic Johnny Spence,his exact double. After a night of drinking John wakes with a hang-over to find that Spence has disappeared,leaving him to substitute for him. John finds he has 'inherited' a country house with a bed-ridden,drug-addicted mother,put-upon wife Frances,scornful sister Blanche,little daughter Mary Lou and two mistresses,one married to his brother Paul. After unsuccessfully trying to explain the situation and make his escape John settles into his new identity,surprising himself with his capability


Imperfectly Beautiful by Diony George

At 1:30 am, in New York City, Regan Wright is ripped out of a sound sleep with a jolt - her heart thuds in her ears and her face feels flushed. Straining to hear anything out of the ordinary, she fumbles to turn on the bedside lamp. Nothing seems out of place. Suddenly her stomach twists in knots - it's her identical twin, Rebecca. Something is terribly wrong...

Though twins, Rebecca and Regan couldn't be more different.

Independent and outspoken, Regan chose a high-profile career as a fashion designer in New York City. Despite her hard-earned success, Regan’s become disillusioned by the glamour and the glitz. She’s tired of coming home to a lonely penthouse apartment welcomed only by her cat and has all but given up on ever finding “Mr. Right.”

Steady and reliable, Rebecca chose to be a wife and stay-at-home mom. From the very first moment she met James Conrad—tall and muscular with eyes as blue as a cloudless sky—she was captivated. Married and four children later, Rebecca’s life is not what she expected. Her marriage has lost its shine and her sweet babies have become challenging and often unappreciative children.



Vanessa Morgan is here today to present her hilarious new story. The launch of her book is supported by a great giveaway. Read the details in the post and take your chances to win in the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Maria Grazia. I'm truly honored to be here!

How many people do you know that make jokes about their GPS device or even talk to it?

Nearly everyone, right?

Also, GPS devices already know where you are and how fast you are driving. Who says that, in the near future, they won't be able to know  what you look at and what you say.

These thoughts form the basis of my new release, GPS WITH BENEFITS in which a womanizer purchases a new GPS device, not knowing that it has a mind of 'her' own.



First of all I want to thank Kathy at I'm A Reader Not a Writer for organizing the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop  and all the readers from all over the world (impressive!) that entered the giveaway contest at FLY HIGH! The result is that some of my books are going to fly away, they'll leave their shelf directed toward new enthusiastic readers who, I'm sure, will treasure them. I'm really happy for that.

First, let's discover who is the winner of the international winner ...

Congratulations to Corey!

She'll receive the book she has chosen: Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy by Barbara Tiller Cole

The second draw is for the readers leaving in Italy, like me. They could choose three books from my list.

And the winner is Reading Mind/The Loyal Book 

who chose 

The Jane Austen guide to happily ever after, Mr Darcy Bites and Definitely nor Mr Darcy

Enjoy your new reads and have a good time! MG



Because I'm grown-up and getting older? Because life is totally different? Please, let me get my glimpse of paradise! If romance is  the form of escapism which makes me happy, let me smile in bliss or bite my nails (yes! I still do that when nervously watching/reading something which gets me excited or anxious), let me foolishly talk with the screen/page and encourage my heroes or menace their antagonists, let me giggle in joy or grunt in disappointment. It was some time I didn't get so enthusiastic for something. So, thanks a lot BBC1! 

What am I blabbing about? The new series, THE PARADISE, just ended about an hour ago which was a lovely gift for my poor, bored heart. Its story and its characters won me over, my interest grew little by little, till exploding during episode 6 (if you saw it, YKWIM!)
I know many of you haven't been able to see this series yet, so I'm not telling you much, I don't want to spoil your journey through this great story. But, since it has just finished, and I am still trying to calm down,  could I at least say a little? No spoilers, I promise. Just this ...



Welcome to another great event! I must have already told you about this and I hope you don't mind if I repeat myself. I just want to explain the reason of my taking part in this giveaway hop.
I'm sure you know how much I love reading and collecting books. I know many people who are jealous of their books and, actually, I am quite jealous of  mine, too. However, what I love much more than to keep them on my shelves and dust them - I've got several hundreds of them kept in every room of my house and go on receiving new ones every day-   is to spread the love for books and reading. So,  to that purpose, I'm always glad to lend them to family and friends or give them away. Hence, more than"operation clean your shelf", which sounds something like "let's get rid of bad stuff", my contribution to this giveaway hop is more "let's spread the love"!

Many thanks to Inspired Kathy at  I Am A Reader, not A Writer for hosting this Giveaway Hop

Here's the list of books you can pick up your favourite one/ones from in no particular order:

1. Rosy Thornton, More than Love Letters
2. Georgette Heyer, The Masqueraders
3. Elizabeth Kantor, The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After
4. Barbara Tiller Cole, Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy
5. Victoria Connelly, The Runaway Actress
6. Mary Lydon Simonsen, Mr Darcy's Bite
7.Karen Doornebos, Definitely Not Mr Darcy
8. Carrie Bebris, The Deception in Lyme

Here are the rules to enter this giveaway contest:


"The Brontës and the Shelleys - Crafting Stories from Lives" : A talk by Juliet Gael at Keats-Shelley House in Rome

Juliet Gael at Keats and Shelley House - Rome
It's been a very pleasant afternoon spent in one of the most spectacular landmarks in Rome, Piazza di Spagna, and more precisely at the Keats and Shelley HouseJanice Graham, writing as Juliet Gael, is the author of the critically acclaimed historical novel Romancing Miss Brontë, and is currently working on a follow-up novel that deals with the fascinating lives of the Shelleys. She was the guest author at today's meeting and she gave a  talk  about crafting stories from the lives of iconic literary figures like Charlotte Brontë and Mary Shelley.

Part literary reading, part discussion, and part work-in-progress seminar, Juliet Gael addressed the creative problems involved in romanticising the lives of authors and gave us some tantalising sneak previews into the process of writing her book about the Shelleys.
Starting with E. M Forster's definition of events and story, Juliet conveyed the sense of great respect with which she approached her research and then her creation of a  story - line for Romancing Miss Brontë  .



Maria, thanks for inviting me to reach out to your readers on Fly High. Flying high is what writing historical fiction is all about!

I'm happy to tell a little about my most recent release, The Queen's Gamble. It's Book #4 in my "Thornleigh" series which follows a rising middle-class family through three tumultuous Tudor reigns.

And there's a giveaway! It's open to the US and Canada, and the winner will receive a signed copy of The Queen's Gamble.

Take your chances in the rafflecopter form below and good luck! The contest will be closed on November 16th.


Young Queen Elizabeth I’s path to the throne has been a perilous one, and already she faces a dangerous crisis. French troops have landed in Scotland to quell a rebel Protestant army, and Elizabeth fears once they are entrenched on the border, they will invade England.

Isabel Thornleigh has returned to London from the New World with her Spanish husband, Carlos Valverde, and their young son. Ever the queen’s loyal servant, Isabel is recruited to smuggle money to the Scottish rebels. Yet Elizabeth’s trust only goes so far—Isabel’s son will be the queen’s pampered hostage until she completes her mission.

Matters grow worse when Isabel’s husband is engaged as military advisor to the French, putting the couple on opposite sides in a deadly cold war.



London Labour and the London Poor is a remarkable work of Victorian journalism by Henry Mayhew, Dickens's contemporary and like Dickens celebrating his bicentenary this year (both were born in 1812). 
Mayhew observed, documented, interviewed, described hundreds of poor people living in the abyss which was London in the 1840s-50s for a series of articles published in the Morning Chronicle. Those articles were later on compiled  into book form (1851 in 3 volumes, 1861 a fourth Extra Volume was added). 

As a fond reader of Victorian literature, yesterday I was in Rome, at Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, for the presentation of the first Italian translation of Mayhew's work by Mauro Cotone: Il lavoro e i poveri nella Londra Vittoriana.

The Italian version of the work is a selection of 138 articles out of the many hundreds Mayhew wrote. Mauro Cotone selected them obtaining a significant wide range of typical figures from the crowd inhabiting London slums: beggars, street entertainers, mudlarks, prostitutes, labourers and thieves. A great portion of those destitute beings had no fixed place of work nor a fixed abode, they lived in the slum alleys and streets where Mayhew meet them. The caricatures full of pathos we find in Charles Dickens's pages become sketches of real people in these articles, people telling about themselves in authentic first-person accounts and objectively described by a professional reporter. 



The book
The ghosts of The Assembly Room have been waiting for someone to unlock their secrets, and Merryn Stearne has arrived. For 14 year old Merryn, the future should have been perfect - a new home in the idyllic Suffolk countryside and romance with the gorgeous boy next door, Jamie. If only the past would stop interfering with the present. Dreams of medieval witchcraft trials become terrifyingly real and Merryn realises there is a mystery to be solved. With Jamie's help, she uncovers the truth about her ancestor's role in the Suffolk witch hunts of 1645. But can they stop the curse that threatens to ruin the Stearne family once again, or are the forces of the past too strong?

The e-book version of this book has been won by Alicia. Congratulations!

Many thanks to Bryony Allen for taking the time to write for FLY HIGH,  being my guest and providing the copy of THE ASSEMBLY ROOM to give away.



Read the interview and try to win Tanya Anne Crosby's Lyon's Gift,  great historical fiction novel set in Scotland in the Middle Ages. Fill in the rafflecopter form below this post and ... good luck!

Welcome to FLY HIGH, Tanya.  I’m really glad you accepted to answer some questions about you, your writing and your latest releases.-  First of all, you write romances. Does that mean you are a very romantic  person in real life?

I don’t know … let me ask my husband! He says, “Yes!” But I’m pretty sure that was a loaded question. I would have to say I am an eternal romantic. I believe everything in this universe comes down to love – nothing is bigger. I also think it’s important to appreciate life’s beauty—the way a leaf flows from a tree in fall and the way my dog looks at me at 7 a.m. – waiting eagerly for me to open my eyes. Romance, to me, is about sensing every little moment in life and soaking it in. As a writer, I want to be able to share what I see with you.

- What is your secret “ingredient” to make a scene very romantic?
I rarely focus on the physical aspect of intimacy. For me, it’s all about what’s going on inside the character’s head and heart and how the moment relates to their surroundings. I also think personal growth is very sexy, and it’s important to me as a storyteller to show you those moments, big and small, that become a characters catharsis.



I've been in heaven these last few weeks with two weekly dates with my beloved period dramas: The Paradise on Tuesday and Downtown Abbey on Sunday. Double pure delight! 
ITV hugely successful drama, at its third season, will be over tonight at 9 p.m. What do we have to expect? Will we see a series 4? Will the prequel we heard about take its place instead? Let's wait and see: ITV has found a gold mine in this successful   show, I'm sure they won't let it down so soon.

BBC1 The Paradise, on the other hand, is totally new and will go on for two weeks more. It has been recently announced that a second season has been commissioned after the rewarding viewing figures (average audience of 5.9 million viewers) for the first one. And I'm terribly happy to hear that. 
What has happened to me is that I've been won by the new BBC1 series loosely based on Zola 's "Au Bonheur des Dames" , by its different setting (a 19th century department store in an unnamed town in the North of England) and by its new characters. So,  I  started waiting for Tuesdays more eagerly  than for Sundays. Mr Moray and his little champion Denise , Miss Audrey and Edmund Lovett, Pauline and Sam, Clara and Mr Dudley, Young Arthur and Mr Jonas have definitely conquered my heart. Did I forget anyone? Oh, yes, Miss Glendenning and her father. Maybe, it is not casual, since they are not exactly my best favourite characters, as you may have guessed. 



(Amazon.com ReviewSince completing high school history, few of us have managed to keep straight the details of the French Revolution. Beyond suggestions of eating cake and the effectiveness of the guillotine, this sordid time period has remained--for many--somewhat obscure. Now, through the novel The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., not only do we learn of the many differences between Robespierre and Rousseau, but we gain insight into the marriage of one of history's greatest political couples: Napoleon and Josephine.
Standing beside the charismatic Napoleon, Josephine's own importance and fascinating history have often been overshadowed. In a fictionalized account of Josephine's diaries and her correspondence, author Sandra Gulland has shed light on Josephine's pre-Napoleon life. This, the first of three books about Josephine, covers her childhood in Martinique, her first marriage, the birth of her children, her life during the revolution, and her marriage to Napoleon.