15/12/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE LAST ENCHANTRESS BY SCOTT AND JUDITH POWELL

last enchantressThe Last Enchantress by Scott & Judith Powell

 Being nineteen for over three hundred years bites, and being single in New York with magical powers isn't much better. Eva is trying to live an everyday life in New York. When this fails, she takes a seemingly unmagical job as a translator for a wealthy American family in Spain. Eva cannot stay out of trouble for long as she runs into a friendly but hungry vampire named Louis. Eva feels drawn to this handsome, dangerous stranger who has problems of his own. Louis's life was just fine until Eva walked into his church. She smells like heaven. Or is it hell, always smelling but never partaking? Surely she is the devil coming to collect on his lost soul.



Download a FREE copy of The Last Enchantress


Available December 15th to 17th

12/12/2014

BOOK BLAST + GIVEAWAY: TEARS FOR A WORLD BY ALEXANDER FERNANDEZ

Tears for a worldTear for a World by Alexander Fernandez

The holy artifact bonded around Marisylia Malludar's neck gives her incredible physical and magical powers—at a price. The bloody piece of vein is consuming Marisylia's body inch by inch, her skeletal hands and feet only the beginning of a slow death. A cruel sorceress and her assassins are on the hunt for Marisylia to steal the artifact. Religious fanatics, volatile and unstable in their blind faith, also seek her to exploit the vein’s most dangerous purpose—liberating the erratic Creator of the World, Lysielle, from her 1,000 year incarceration. With the vein the key to Lysielle’s freedom, Marisylia must use her abilities to survive long enough to find Lysielle first. Then her most grim challenge awaits—deciding if the Creator has truly repented for attempting to destroy all life. To achieve global peace, Marisylia must discover faith in the unpredictable Lysielle or rely on her own instincts to set the world’s fate.


  Excerpt 

 Marisylia blinked and rubbed milk out of her eyes, but the mob wasn’t finished. A stiff hand shoved her from behind and she stumbled against the table. Unfinished slices of pie and rolls of bread pelted her. With nowhere to hide, she dove into the horde and tried to shove her way out. Most of the people only yelled insults as they let her pass. Others bumped her roughly with their shoulders, tried to trip her, or pushed her around so she bounced back and forth between pairs of hands. One woman caught Marisylia and carefully steadied her. She peered into the woman’s eyes, one friendly person amid the riled swarm. The lady smiled softly, then suddenly spit into Marisylia’s face. When the saliva splattered her cheek, Marisylia stopped caring why the citizens acted like this. Whether due to fear of the religious power, worry that it would infest Three Fingers, or simply senseless anger, none of it mattered anymore since the time to quit had arrived. All of her determination to succeed had been ripped to shreds by the crowd. Each hand that shoved, every object that struck, drained her enthusiasm. Her devotion to the religion had drowned in the woman’s spit. It was all too much. Marisylia didn’t have Milick’s iron skin or Shri Lilyn’s boldness. She had nothing, only the desire to run away and forget everything. 

10/12/2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... THE NOVICE BY MIRELLA SICHIROLLO PATZER + BOOK GIVEAWAY


A young woman on the verge of taking her vows to become a nun. 

A desperate flight from a murderous massacre. 
One honorable man comes to her rescue. 
Another becomes her nemesis and captor. 
And a life and death search to reunite with her one true love.


In 10th century Naples, Saracens run rampant, annihilating villages, murdering women and children. Death and despair is everywhere. Alone in the world, Sara is a young novice plagued with doubts about taking her final vows to become a nun. When her convent is attacked, she flees for her life straight into the arms of a group of Saracens who leave her to die alone in the woods. An honorable cavaliere named Nicolo comes to her rescue and offers to take her to the safety of Naples. As they journey together, they are irresistibly drawn to each other. Believing Sara to be a nun, the honorable Nicolo is torn between love and duty to respect her vows. Heartbroken, he does what honor demands and sets her free before she can tell him the truth that she is not a nun. In her search to reunite with Nicolo, she encounters Umberto, a dark and dangerous man who will stop at nothing in his obsession to possess her. With her sharp intellect, and her heart, Sara must rely on her own courage and strength to escape her abuser and find the only man she will ever love. A story that burns with intensity, intrigue, and passion from the author of the highly popular novels, Orphan of the Olive Tree, The Contessa’s Vendetta, and The Betrothal.

07/12/2014

BOOK BLAST - DAISY MCDARE AND THE DEADLY LEGAL AFFAIR ( A COZY MYSTERY) - WIN $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD OR PAYPAL CASH

Daisy McDareDaisy McDare and the Deadly Legal Affair by K.M. Morgan

Welcome to Cozy Creek, a quaint tourist town nestled along the Pacific Coast. Daisy McDare is busy nursing a broken heart, trying to build up her interior decorator business, and baking cookies when murder strikes Cozy Creek. At first she leaves the investigation to Chris Crumple, the local bumbling police detective. But when Crumple arrests the wrong suspect, Daisy takes the investigation into her own hands. Cracking the case won't be easy. She'll need help from her pastry-baking best friend Samantha, her wise-cracking Granny Annie, and her trusty West Highland Terrier Shamus. It's up to Daisy McDare to find the murderer in Cozy Creek before they strike again.

  Author K.M. Morgan

K.M. Morgan loves baking, crafts, cute cat videos, and reading mysteries.

05/12/2014

WHO R U REALLY? BLOG TOUR - AUTHOR GUEST POST: MARGO KELLY, TEENAGERS AND THE INTERNET

who are you

Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly 


 Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends. Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.



Author Guest Post - Teenagers and the Internet


The inspiration for my debut novel, Who R U Really?, came when my daughter was nearly abducted by an online predator.

There are countless—seemingly innocent—online games to play. Regardless if it’s a role-playing game, a racing game, a building game, a chess game, or a social media game … if there is a chat box, there is a danger.

My daughter participated in an innocent online role-playing game where a chat box was necessary to facilitate the game. Because of that chat box, she met a guy. He seemed nice. He seemed to need a friend. He seemed safe. But in fact, he was none of these things.

04/12/2014

WAS SHAKESPEARE A CATHOLIC? AUTHOR ELIZABETH ASHWORTH ON SHAKESPEARE'S LOST YEARS

In April 1757, men working on the house in Henley Street, Stratford, where William Shakespeare was born, discovered a six page, hand-written document hidden between the eaves and the joists. It was a copy of the Borromeo Testament, an affirmation of the Catholic faith written by Cardinal Borromeo of Milan. Each one of the six pages was signed by John Shakespeare, William’s father. It would seem to suggest that the Shakespeare family continued to practice the forbidden Catholic faith. In addition, two Stratford recusancy returns have survived from the year 1592 and on both John Shakespeare is listed. His excuse for not attending church was that he was in debt and feared his creditors – a myth which has persisted although evidence suggests that John Shakespeare was not in debt and that it was a common excuse made by Catholics to avoid the Protestant churches. The final clue that the Shakespeare family were Catholics is a list compiled in 1606, after the Gunpowder Plot, of people missing from the Easter communion in Stratford. On this list is the name of Susanna Shakespeere – William’s daughter.

03/12/2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... UNDER A GEORGIA MOON BY CINDY ROLAND ANDERSON + GIVEAWAY

under a georgia
 Under a Georgia Moon by Cindy Roland Anderson

Addie Heywood thought she was doing okay after her fiancé dumped her just weeks before their wedding, claiming he’d found someone else more compatible with his health food tastes. But when he marries the other woman three months later, Addie needs to get away. Leaving her home in Idaho, she escapes to Mitchel Creek, Georgia to visit her Aunt Janie. She just wants to spend the next two weeks enjoying her aunt’s southern cooking, not dodging the guys her aunt is determined to set her up with. Chase Nichols isn’t looking for love. His dream is to trade his computer mouse for his guitar and make it big in the country music world. If he can land a job in Nashville, he might have a shot at getting discovered. His plans get derailed when he does his neighbor a favor and picks up her niece, Addie, at the airport. Things get even more complicated when his ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture. That’s when he hatches a new plan. Since Addie wants to avoid her aunt’s matchmaking schemes, and he wants to avoid his ex-girlfriend, they’ll fool the world by pretending to date. What neither of them counts on is actually falling in love.



Purchase Your Copy


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Praise for Under a Georgia Moon

“This is just the kind of sweet romance that I love. I thought the plot was fun and the writing well done, was paced well and kept me wanting more. Throw in some swoony moments and I was hooked.” –Kathy (Bookworm Nation) 

02/12/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE AWAKENING BY DORINE WHITE

The Awakening by Dorine White
The Awakening by Dorine White 

Nightmares really do come true, and for fifteen-year-old Kyler Birkwood, they are just beginning. Raised on a farm by his Aunt Martha, Kyler has no clue about the magical heritage swimming through his blood. When he discovers evidence of a mythical creature, a terrifying beast thought only to exist in fairy tales, his safe world shatters. Left at a school of magic to hunt for clues, he is overwhelmed and disbelieved. As loved ones begin disappearing and Orcs roam the land, Kyler must undergo a journey that takes him from the High Courts of the King to the unknown forests of the East. His magic just awakening, Kyler is the lone hope for a world that will not listen.


Purchase Your Copy


Praise for The Awakening 

 "Dorine White delivers twists and turns to the plot that will keep you turning the pages." ~ Melanie Mason, author of the YA historical, The Line That Divides

23/11/2014

BOOK REVIEW - ROGUE SPY BY JOANNA BOURNE

 (by guest blogger and dear friend K/V)

The signs were all there: anticipation and the thrill of the hunt (just imagine my increasing anxiety until I was able to locate a B&N bookshop in Manhattan – too few bookshops left there, IMHO!); the awareness of being hooked from the very beginning – “The end of her own particular world arrived early on a Tuesday morning, wrapped in brown paper and twine, sealed with a blob of red wax”; the unusual desire to lengthen the pleasure of reading by stopping before I really wanted to; the frequent re-reading of entire pages; the feeling of emptiness when the book was over; the lingering sense of bliss even days after I finished reading; the compelling need to tell someone about it... 
And what’s more, it happened AGAIN within a matter of months! I already felt that way last spring, when I devoured Joanna Bourne’s Spymasters series all in one swallow, ending with The Black Hawk. At the time, I resisted the impulse, but this time I simply couldn’t. Also because the authors I usually feel inspired to congratulate happen to be dead for a long time, centuries sometimes, and it is a privilege to be able to do so with someone who’s not only very much alive, but also friendly available to readers through her own website and even a Twitter account! What a temptation!

I have always liked Spy stories and historical novels: the addition of a bit of romance is very welcome, but not necessary. The mixture can be (it usually is) very dangerous for a writer to handle, and the models are quite hard to compare with. I’m thinking of classics like Dumas’s Opera omnia, Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles and such. That’s why I admired Ms Bourne’s ability to blend the ingredients together creating her personal mix, with the addition of witty dialogue and insightful presentation of the characters’ psychology which I have seldom (if ever) happened upon. The characters, the main ones as well as the minor, are so cleverly portrayed and expanded,  that they immediately start to grow on the reader: you can’t help actually caring for them. That’s because you can follow their thoughts, not being just a witness of their actions. Ms Bourne handles their background stories very cleverly, moving to and fro along the whole series – this is the 6th book of the series (including Her Ladyship’s Companion, because of Hawker’s ‘cameo’). Ah, Adrian: how couldn’t we love him? Looks like the Author herself can’t let him off: even if other (major) characters don’t appear in every novel, Adrian “Hawker” Hawkhurst is always there - at various stages of his interesting and complicated life – and smart, witty, lethal and good-looking as always. Not flawless, mind you: but that’s another reason why we like him.

18/11/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - SPELL FOR SOPHIA

SpellForSophia_453x680 Spell for Sophia

Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou. Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving. Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.  





17/11/2014

LOVING LUCIANNA BLOG TOUR - FIVE QUESTIONS TO THE AUTHOR, JOYCE DI PASTENA, AND GIVEAWAY

What made you write a book about an older couple falling in love?

I belong to a Facebook group called the Clean/Sweet Romance Group. Last spring we held a joint promo event on Facebook, and afterwards the group leader challenged us to write a fall-themed short story, novella, or novel for a promo event to be held in the fall. At first I simply tried to come up with a story set during the autumn season, but then I thought, “What if I wrote a story about a couple falling in love in the autumn of their lives?” (All good plot ideas begin with “What if…?”  ) And then I remembered a pair of secondary characters who fell in love in my medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart, who were in their 40s and 50s. Their romance was a very small part of the arc of that story, but I decided it would be fun to follow it up and see where their romance took them. And that became the kernel of my idea for Loving Luciannaand my Hearts in Autumn romance series. (Loving Lucianna is the first in my projected series. I have an idea for a second romance, hopefully to be completed by next fall.)

What advice would you give budding writers?

I  know this sound trite, but write. Write every day, even if it’s just 100 words. And most importantly, write whether you feel like writing or not. The best advice I ever received was from someone who said, “Real writers write even when they don’t feel like it.” That advice has gotten me through many a rough patch when I didn’t feel like writing but did it anyway. It’s the way books get finished. I may not enjoy every word that I write—some days it literally feels like pulling teeth to get 100 words on the page. But I have never once regretted “forcing” myself to write when I came back to the computer the next day and saw that I had made progress with my story instead of letting it stand still.

AN INTERVIEW WITH NLB HORTON, AUTHOR OF "THE BROTHERS' KEEPERS' + DOUBLE GIVEAWAY



In The Brothers’ Keepers, we meet archaeologist Grace Madison who is in Brussels cataloguing looted antiquities when her son’s bride is attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie disappears in France.
Coincidence is a luxury Grace cannot afford as history — saturated in espionage — is repeating itself.


The title of the book, The Brothers’ Keepers, refers to heroine Grace Madison’s determination to protect someone important to her. To what lengths would you go to protect someone you cared about?



I would do whatever it took — and I remember the exact moment I decided that! I stood at the edge of the tel Dan (northern Israel) archaeological dig pit in 2007 with my husband and two then-teenage children. They had accompanied me on an archaeological survey as part of my master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Heavy artillery fire began booming from Syria as staccato machine-gun reports peppered near the Lebanese border. An Israeli Defense Force camouflage-painted plane broke through an unseasonal cloud cover, circling the site. I hoped they could see we were unarmed! Grace Madison was born from this harrowing experience.

 The Brothers’ Keepers largely focuses on doing the right thing. Tell us about a situation in which you chose to do the right thing despite personal cost. Was it worth it?



My business was thriving, my children were young, and I had to choose between a smaller role in their lives or limiting my company’s growth. My husband was trying to transition from one career to another, and I was the family’s wage-earner.



16/11/2014

AT THE CINEMA - TORNERANNO I PRATI - WWI SEEN BY ERMANNO OLMI

Why this movie now? Not only to join the celebrations of  WWI 100th anniversary. At  83, one of the greatest contemporary Italian directors, Ermanno Olmi,  makes up his mind to direct a new  “useful” movie, committed and lyrical at the same time, which is a visual poem against all and any war. In “Torneranno i prati”, each frame is poetic imagery and each line is true poetry wrapped in simple, direct words. 

War is absurd and terrifying. This is something Olmi has always been convinced of, since he and his brother were made the addressees of painful war tales by their own father, a veteran from WWI, who had experienced the trenches in first person.

15/11/2014

" ... THEY CAN'T FIND THEM, THEY MAKE THEM." AT THE THEATRE: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.”

It was a bit sad to be sitting in a half-empty theatre while  watching  this play,  one of George Bernard Shaw’s "Plays Unpleasant". The thought that The Eliseo is going to be closed at the end of the season, all those empty seats and what was said and performed on stage made me, in the end, quite melancholic. The "unpleasant" in the title is not a random choice. 

The cast was really good in the hard task to involve the audience in this not-at -all –easy- to - digest piece. You know, you can’t actually relate to any of the characters and you are constantly disturbed by the harshness of one or the hypocrisy of the others.

14/11/2014

HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY, NORTH AND SOUTH!


Can a TV series touch your heart and change your life? Nooo? You can only say that if  you haven't seen this one. I would have answered "no" myself before watching  it  by chance  a  few years ago. Unbelievable but true, this is what this miniseries did to thousands of viewers all over the world. If I had only suspected what a turning point   BBC NORTH AND SOUTH, would be in my life... I would have watched it earlier! Instead, I discovered  it only in the summer 2008 and it , incredibly, actually changed my life.
Exaggerating? Not a bit. I know the same happened to so many! Which other costume series had such an extraordinary response? Pride and Prejudice 1995, of course. But not many others.
Enthusiastic fans, hundreds of them, overwhelmed the BBC Drama message boards with messages about the series and,  in particular, its hero. Soon the BBC had to set up a separate message board for the discussions. The phenomenon of so many women taking to an Internet message board for the first time because of their love for this programme became the subject of an article by Anne Ashworth in The Times. She wrote: 
The BBC Drama website contains the outpourings of hundreds of thirty and fortysomething women for this year’s romantic hero. He is John Thornton, the northern millowner in Mrs Gaskell’s North & South, recently serialised on BBC One. Thornton was played smoulderingly by the previously little-known Richard Armitage as a blue-eyed, dark-haired stunner, the Darcy de nos jours. On the messageboard, character and actor merge into one object of desire: RA/JT (from http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/

13/11/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - RETURN TO CHELSEY FALLS

Return to Chelsey FallsReturn to Chelsey Falls

After the death of his mother, fourteen year old, Wyatt Barnes was sent to live with his grandparents in Chelsey Falls, Washington. That summer was filled with new friends and new adventures until his life was turned upside down for a second time. Almost ten years later, an offer to teach at the high school in Chelsey Falls, brings Wyatt back to the small town. Is he getting a second chance to make amends with Alexa, the young woman that had befriended him? Meanwhile, Wyatt’s sudden reappearance in town sends Alexa’s life into a tailspin. Alexa can’t help but wonder if Wyatt has finally found the peace he so desperately needed. Although apprehensive about opening old wounds, Alexa knows she can’t avoid Wyatt forever. Could what started out as a crush so long ago become more than that now? Or is it just too late? Return to Chelsey Falls is a heartwarming story of second chances and forgiveness.



  Praise for the Book:

 Alisa says: Good read! I enjoyed the story and the characters. The author’s description and character development allowed the reader to get into the story easily and quickly. A fabulous clean, good story about following your heart and not giving up

11/11/2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY : FORGET ME NOT & REMEMBER ME BY STACEY NASH

Forget Me Not and Remember Me


Forget Me Not Forget Me Not

Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true. Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They're not just jewellery, they're part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One. She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

04/11/2014

MY NAME IS BRYAN BLOG TOUR + AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

My Name is Bryan
My Name is Bryan by Stacy Lynn Carroll If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Bryan chose to dive. Moments later, as he lay on the beach, unable to move his arms or legs, two questions ran through his mind: Would he walk again? And would he ever have kids? Based on the incredible true story of life, love, and never giving up.



Praise for the book: "I plowed through his story, amazed at how he could so easily accept something that would destroy anyone else and just move forward with such a positive attitude. I don't give many 5 stars, but it's well-earned. This book really touched me. It's the kind of story that stays with you for a long time." --Amazon customer 

 "I actually love stories like this. Ones that show the power of the human spirit and what love and determination can achieve. I cried multiple times while reading this but they were a happy sort of hopeful tears. If you are looking for something uplifting and motivational read this heart-felt story of love and hope." --Inspired Kathy 

"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wring your hands in frustration, and you won't be able to put it down to go to sleep as you keep waiting to read about Bryan's happily ever after. This is one of those books that stick with you long after you've finished reading it." --Bookmom 

31/10/2014

THE MATCH MAKER BY CAREY WHITE - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

Match Maker Book CoverThe Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2)

 (Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker) It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

The Match Maker releases on November 1st
Order your copy Now!



30/10/2014

SWEET AND CLEAN ROMANCE COLLECTION BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

Sweet and Clean Romance Collection

Hearts in Harmony and Something Blue



Ok clean romance lovers these books are for you!! Trifecta Books is excited to announce their new line of short contemporary romance novels for e-book. The Sweet and Clean Romance Collection will melt your heart and sweep you off your feet. There are currently four books out with many more titles coming soon.   


28/10/2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... KITTY HAWK AND THE CURSE OF THE YUKON GOLD + INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

25/10/2014

FROM BOOKS TO MOVIES - CORIOLANUS (2011), TWO MOTHERS (2013): HATE, REVENGE, LOVE.

Among the latest films I managed to watch on satellite TV, two adaptations of literary works: a play by William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, directed and interpreted by Ralph Fiennes, and Two Mothers, based on a novella by Doris Lessing.

Fiennes's Coriolanus is not set in ancient Rome since it it a modernization of the Elizabethan play. Warfare characterizes the dark, bloody story of Caius Marcus Coriolanus in this movie, too. A great cast, including Vanessa Redgrave, Gerald Butler, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt, give  life to the protagonists of this political historical play, who are really difficult to find appealing,  but who are, anyway,  complex and interesting, flawed and out of time. 

Coriolanus is a war hero, a strong leader, a patrician who despises the plebeians, a powerful man who is arrogant, impulsive, stubborn, incapable of diplomacy or mediation, except when he accepts  to be allied with his worst enemy, Aufidius,  when it comes to take revenge against his own citizens who had  exiled him. He is ready to march on Rome and destroy it at Aufidius's side since he is blinded by his own rage, his furious, violent desire for revenge. Coriolanus is not a great Roman leader embodying great virtues, but a boastful politician who too easily becomes the victim of other plotting, scheming, and  not even smart -  politicians.  Is he capable of love? He is incapable of denying anything to his own mother, if that can count as filial love. To me, it sounds more like a never totally overcome aedipus complex. Strongwilled mother bends weakwilled son and, in the end, even succeeds in undermining  his convictions, making  him the victim of those other politicians, the ones he had entrusted of his own plan to destroy Rome: the leaders of the Volsci. When they see his undecisiveness in the attack to Rome, though they got their profits from the final peace treaty, they decide to kill him. 

24/10/2014

WHY I AM NOT 'A-MUSED', OR AM I? SARAH HAWKSWOOD, ON MR ARMITAGE AND HER NEW RELEASE, "THE LORD BISHOP'S CLERK"

No, I am not Queen Victoria, but the question of muses is interesting. Personally, I associate them with poets of dodgy mental stability and pre-Raphaelite painters, but some people find them helpful in the creative arts. However, writers, painters, and other creative people all use bits and bobs, ‘collages’, from reality, both experience and physicality, to infuse their fiction, consciously or unconsciously. I suppose I am wary of using the same person over and over again, lest that create the same character, and from preference I would blend even physical aspects. The danger there is that you end up with a Frankenstein’s monster, badly stitched together and a bit leaky at the seams.

Having declared against muses, I am then forced to admit I took one physical form for one of my two ‘detectives’ for my 12th century Bradecote and Catchpoll murder mystery series. I had two characters in mind, one the grizzled ‘seen it all before’ Sheriff’s Serjeant, and the other a manorial lord drafted in whether he wanted it or not, initially to keep the more lordly suspects ‘happy’. I began writing the first book in 2003, and a few months later opened my newspaper to see ‘Catchpoll’ staring at me fully formed.. It was an interview with an actor about to play Titus Andronicus, and staring at me was the perfect fit for my character.
Reader, I stole him.

Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North and South (BBC 2004)
From that moment on I could visualise Catchpoll in every gesture, grimace, every sucking of teeth. I knew his voice, the way he screwed up his eyes. I gave him a character that was a ‘collage’, but I could see him clearly. Now, it has been remarked that reading my work is like watching a television drama or film. Perhaps that is a consequence of creating a world and being ‘in it’ as I write. It does mean ‘seeing’ characters helps. It also meant that my Under Sheriff was a bit ‘thin’ on first draft.

19/10/2014

MGS MEETS MGS - INTERVIEW WITH BEST SELLING AUTHOR MARIA GRAZIA SWAN + GIVEAWAY




Hello and happy Sunday, everyone! Are you ready to meet my new cyber friend?  She's brilliant  and talented.  We curiously share quite a bit, starting from the same name, the same initials and the same nationality. She lives in Arizona and is a successful writer as well as  blogger. Her English is much, much better than mine. But she insists on flattering me ... Well, more in the interview. Read, enjoy and take your chances to win Maria Grazia Swan's latest release, Ashes of Autumn. (see rafflecopter form below)  

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Hello MGS! How curious it is we share the same name, Maria Grazia, and even the same initials, MGS! Pretty awkward we found each other out because people mixed us up on facebook. Now we’ve virtually discovered each other, what else do you think we share? I think we’ll know after this chit chat. So … Welcome and thanks for accepting my invitation!
We both speak Italian and English. My maiden name is Tognolo. Swan is the last name of my former husband. But, honestly, Swan is such an easy name to remember and so easy to spell and pronounce, so I kept it.

17/10/2014

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - AT THE CINEMA: A PROMISE


Germany 1912.  Friedrich  is a young man of humble origins with a degree in chemistry employed by Karl Hoffmeister,  who immediately understood the character and potential of the young man and decided to make him his protégé. Suffering from a serious heart disease, Hoffmeister is forced to work at home, where he lives with his wife,  Lotte,  and her son Otto. Impressed by Friedrich’s   zeal, he promotes him as his personal secretary and  urges him to move into his large mansion.

Happy but confused by the feelings he starts feeling for his master’s and benefactor’s young wife, Friedrich accepts both accommodation and challenge, anyhow. The proximity feeds the feeling and reveals an affinity difficult to control,  at least until Hoffmeister decides to send Friedrich to Mexico to follow a new and important project. Lotte can’t hide her own feelings any longer, especially because the idea of living without Friedrich is now unbearable.  However the two young lovers resist their passion and promise one to the other to wait until Friedrich is back and Lotte free from her duties to her husband.

16/10/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - JACK TEMPLAR AND THE LORD OF THE WEREWOLVES

Jack Templar 4Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves 

 Fresh from confronting the Lord of the Vampires in the limestone catacombs beneath Paris, Jack Templar faces his toughest challenge yet as he searches for the next Jerusalem Stone, this one being held by the Lord of the Werewolves. But the narrow escape from the vampire lair came at a great cost and Eva battles to survive the new vampire blood in her veins. The only chance to help Eva is to continue their quest and find the Jerusalem Stones. Reuniting the Stones will not only stop Ren Lucre’s coming war against mankind, but also transform Eva back into her human self. From the ruins of ancient Delhi to the depths of the Black Forest in Germany, Jack and his friends face monsters, bewildering riddles and treachery from the most unlikely of places. Through it all, they are plagued by the Oracle’s prediction that at least one of their group with not make it through the adventure alive. Worse yet, they know that Kaeden, the Lord of the Werewolves, will do his best to make sure none of them do. But they are monster hunters of the Black Guard… and they will do their duty, come what may.

15/10/2014

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - AT THE CINEMA: IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO


“Freedom is the dream you dream
While putting thought in chains again --” 

Il Giovane Favoloso directed by Mario Martone is an Italian movie which participated in Venezia Film Festival last September. I was lucky enough and I could see it in a special premiere for teachers in Rome, before  it will be released in theatres on 16th October.

The film is a biopic of Italian Romantic poet, Giacomo Leopardi (1798 - 1837). Italian students inevitably meet him on their path through high school and two are the chances: either they love him or they  hate him. Impossible to remain indifferent.
For me it was love at first line, when I studied his poems in my final year at high school. I felt like that genius young man from a distant time could read my deepest thoughts and put them on paper in powerful words.

Touching and at times disturbing, his pessimism and his humanity, his melancholy and his sufferings, have stayed with me while turning into an adult.  I still treasure those poems as remarkable moments of  self-realization and growth.

Said that, you may guess my watching this film couldn't be nothing less than an emotional experience: it was something like meeting Leopardi in the flesh and finally giving him a body and face, while in my mind he had only been a voice.

14/10/2014

SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP - WIN TWO CLASSIC GOTHIC TALES

You know who started all this in English literature? I mean supernatural, horror and terror, fantasy, and alike? Horace Walpole, writing his The Castle of Otranto in 1764, which started a new genre that would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century: the Gothic novel. Thus, Walpole, by extension, is the forerunner to such authors as Charles MaturinAnn RadcliffeBram StokerEdgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier.  

Here is my choice, then,  for my giveaway contest here at FLY HIGH!,  which is included in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop organized by Kathy at  I am a Reader: you can choose your prizes from the list of  classic Gothic novels below (in paperback edition). Pick up two titles and they will be yours,  if you are lucky enough. Take your chances to win in the rafflecopter form below this post and ... good luck!

10/10/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - UNSTRUNG BY KENDRA C. HIGHLEY

UnstrungUNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley

Lexa Pate, seventeen-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don’t make a career out of stealing other people’s property without making enemies. When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation’s hit list because they’ve accidentally stolen the wrong thing—plans for a new model of genetically engineered super humans. Now, every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them. Lexa’s world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss? More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her? Based on the fairy tale Pinocchio, UNSTRUNG takes you into a near future world where the lines between fake and real are blurred, all that’s pristine isn’t always innocent, and being a criminal isn’t always wrong.