13/04/2015

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - YEARS AND AN OCEAN BY JO NOELLE

Years and an Ocean



? Years and an Ocean by Jo Noelle

Going to a séance was supposed to be a harmless diversion in Victorian England, but for Delia Spencer, it was life altering. Since that day, she has been plagued by fainting spells, while her consciousness visits Elle Thomas more than a century in the future. In modern-day New York, Elle has kept secret the dream-like memories of Delia’s life. As the visits have become more frequent, Elle is confused about what is her life and what is not. Back in England, Delia’s father is determined to marry her off to any marginally suitable man before her illness becomes known to society. But will Delia consent, now that she’s had a taste of Elle’s independence?


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Read an excerpt


Cool grass tickles against the back of my calves, and my palms press flat to the ground to hold me up. It feels light here, and I know I have a wide smile. There are people cheering around me on all sides—our shoulders bump now and again as we enjoy the game. We’re watching soccer teams at the summer six-on-six tournament. Lately, orienting my brain to this other life takes a moment for Elle’s consciousness to kick in and push mine back. Sometimes my thoughts and confusions push through, disturbing us both.
During the early days of my visions, I felt scandalized by the wanton fashions and vulgar language of Elle and her friends. But with so many visits over the years, I realize they are just like me, only they’re free. Now I embrace the visits and look forward to them.
Sometimes the memories come slowly—like now. I should know that guy—Elle does. A familiar man on the red team slows his pace and stops in front of our group, cocking his head to the side expectantly. The girls around me break into applause, to which he bows and runs up and down the side of the field again, warming up to sub in a bit.

02/04/2015

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - WHO'S THE ROMANTIC HERO OF YOUR HEART? JAMIE FRASER OR ROSS POLDARK?

Sighs and swooning out there? Yes, I know. I've seen polls spring up all over the Net and wasn't surprised at all.  Ross or Jamie? Aidan or Sam? Poldark or Outlander? Cornwall or Scotland?
Starz Outlander and BBC One Poldark are the two hit period drama series of the moment. Blending adventure and romance, historical fiction and stunning locations, talent and beauty they have got legions of passionate fans all over the world. These fans are quite vocal and convey their enthusiasm in their tweets, facebook pages and their blogs, they read or re-read the books on which the series are based, they discuss them in groups, they create fan-fiction and gadgets, they make friends and have fun gathering together. They love the stories and all the characters in them, they are fond of the locations and costumes, they are intrigued by the twists and turns, watch and re-watch their favourite scenes, learn by heart their favourite lines but ... let's be honest ... the main reason of their passionate interest is their fondness for the two gorgeous, fascinating, dashing heroes: James Alexander Malcom MacKenzie Fraser and Captain Ross Poldark.



31/03/2015

BLOG TOUR - BETWEEN NOW & NEVER: BOOK PRESENTATION, EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY CONTEST

 
Between Now & Never





Between now and never
Between Now and Never by Laura Johnston
 
Buh boom, buh boom. My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night. All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and… Julianna. Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…







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Praise for Between Now & Never

“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.” ~ Janette Rallison

 "This was a lot different than I was expecting and I was honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. The cover led me to believe this would be a cute, love story but it was a suspenseful and gripping read." ~ Review from Goodreads

28/03/2015

NEWBIE BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

? Newbie by Jo Noelle

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching. Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.



23/03/2015

NEW BOOK FROM PAMELA AARES: THE HEART OF THE GAME + GIVEAWAY



The Heart of the Game

Publication Date: March 13, 2015

Amazon • Nook • Kobo • iBooks

From USA Today bestselling author Pamela Aares comes THE HEART OF THE GAME, the sixth book in the Tavonesi family series featuring passion, mystery, and well-won love!

When Cody Bond, the Giants’ hot new catcher, agrees to ride in a benefit polo match to help heiress Zoe Tavonesi, he falls hard for the Italian beauty.
Cody’s determined not to screw up his career with relationships, especially when Zoe and the loving, tight-knit, aristocratic Tavonesis remind him of everything his dysfunctional American family isn’t. But while he may be a master of control on the baseball field, Cody’s iron will can’t shield him from the desire Zoe awakens.
Zoe wants nothing to do with her family's new home and vineyard in the California wine country. Every day spent in exile from the world she loves in Rome feels like an eternity. Her heart's set on returning to Italy and opening the art gallery her late mother always wanted. But the passion Cody fires has her second-guessing her plan and her dreams.

18/03/2015

PERIOD & MORE PERIOD - POLDARK, THE MUSKETEERS 2, BANISHED AND ... OUTLANDER!

Being the period drama freak I am, I have been watching quite a few costume drama series recently. Not as many and as I would wish, but enough, I’d rather say,  for a very busy bee like me.

Outlander (Starz)

Now, first things first! Looking around my stuff, you may have noticed I’m slightly hooked by “Outlander”. Aye,  I can’t deny the fact I am verra favourably inclined toward the spicy intriguing  historical romance written by Diana Gabaldon and adapted for Starz by Ron D. Moore. I had bravely resisted Jamie Fraser’s charms as long as he remained a book hero,  while now, and  I must blame Scot-to-the-bone Mr Heughan for my sudden astonishing change, the situation has changed and I'm prone to an Outlander frenzy. Indeed. 

I'm watching the series on Fox Life HD on Monday night. The first two episodes have been broadcast so far. I can watch it in the original language and enjoy Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan , Tobias Menzies and the rest of the talented cast perform in their real voices. 

I can’t wait for April 4th ,  when episode 9 will be on Starz with all its burden of marital issues for the newly married  Claire and Jamie and, especially,  with the announced hot scenes of make-up sex.

12/03/2015

THE MONTANA GALLAGHERS SAGA - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

mk audio book  

Find MK’s Books at


GALLAGHER’S PRIDE Book One of the Montana Gallaghers Audiobook read by Philip Ormond 

 Brenna Cameron was a on a quest of discovery. Ethan Gallagher was on a quest for revenge. Together they would discover a second chance. From the Scottish Highlands to the Montana frontier, experience the first book in a series about a family in search of peace, hope, and love on a wild land.  

06/03/2015

FIERCE - SIXTEEN AUTHORS OF FANTASY AND MERCEDES LACKEY ($100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

FIERCE

Grab 
your copy now for just .99 cents!
Fierce fantasy collection
FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy with Mercedes Lackey

For a limited time only!
Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

04/03/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - LEAVING LIBERTY BY LISA MONDELLO

Leaving Liberty cover Leaving Liberty by Lisa Mondello

There's been a storm brewing in Liberty Calvert's life. But she didn't know just how strong it would be until Texas Ranger, Jackson Gentry, came to Liberty, Texas. Her already fragile life will be changed forever if he learns the truth. Her head tells her that the best thing for all of them is for Jackson to leave Liberty as soon as his investigation wraps up. But her heart is telling her this is the one cowboy she wants to spend the rest of her life loving.


Praise for the book

 "I can truly say that I love this series of books. Can't get enough of them and I hope they continue. The characters and plot are totally believable and hold your interest. Thank you and keep them coming!" Amazon Reviewer 

 "Lisa Mondello is one of my favorite authors . I loved this book. All should read." Amazon Reviewer 

28/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - WINTER IN THE SOUL BY JENNIFFER NOVOTNEY

Winter in the Soul CoverWinter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

 In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul. When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul. Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?


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Praise for the Book

“This book is original, cleverly written and most of all a great read.” 

 “This novel is very suspenseful and can be enjoyed by young and old alike.” 

 “I really, really liked the story line, it is fresh take in the high fantasy/magic genre.”

27/02/2015

DO WOMEN WRITE BETTER THAN MEN?


I don't particularly agree with stereotyped considerations and cliches or generalizations, but this survey proposed by grammarly.com sounds interesting. Have a look and feel free to share your opinions and comments below. Do women write better than men?

26/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE THIRD TWIN BY C.J. OMOLOLU

third Twin

The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything. The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life. Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist. As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.


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24/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE CRYSTAL KEEPER BY LAURISA WHITE REYES

Crystal Keeper 1 to 3 The Crystal Keeper by Laurisa White Reyes

Fourteen years before The Rock of Ivanore… Jayson lives among the shadows of Hestoria, his sole purpose for staying alive – to protect his half of the Seer’s crystal. Exiled from his homeland for loving the king’s daughter, Ivanore, Jayson is now pursued by two opposing factions: the Vatéz (League of Magicians) who intend to use the crystal for their own selfish gain, and the Guilde, the ancient guardians of the crystal. Meanwhile, Ivanore flees from her father to Hestoria in search of Jayson. As the Seer, she is plagued with visions of him being tortured and is determined to rescue him. When the Vatéz capture her, however, she unwittingly jeopardizes everything Jayson has vowed to protect. He must now make a terrible choice: Should he save Ivanore or save the crystal? The Crystal Keeper trilogy is available in print or digital formats.

21/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - MIRANDA'S CHOICE BY MYA O'MALLEY

Miranda's Choice by Mya O'MalleyMiranda's Choice by Mya O'Malley

Have you ever felt that the grass is greener everywhere else? Meet Miranda James. Miranda has a problem. Her friends and family are wrapped up in themselves, so clueless. With divorced parents, a mother who is always on her case and a new step-mother on the horizon, Miranda wishes that everybody would just grow up. In a moment of magic, Miranda is mysteriously pulled into the life of a charming mermaid and her adventurous daughter. Why can’t her life be so carefree and exhilarating? Why can’t her own mother be more like Abigail, the mermaid? Be careful what you wish for though. Only through self-realization can Miranda figure out that perhaps the grass is not always greener. Held captive in an underwater paradise, Miranda wishes to desperately recapture the life she used to have. Through many twists and turns, Miranda is caught up in a whirlwind of emotions, including finding her first true love. Miranda is faced with making a decision that will not only affect her own life, but also those around her. What would you choose?

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20/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE RULES OF ROME BY A.L. SOWARDS

Rules of Rome The Rules in Rome

With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome. To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience. With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?


  Praise for The Rules in Rome

 - Readers who hunger for a great espionage thriller with an extra helping of romance will devour The Rules in Rome. A.L. Sowards is at the top of her craft with this terrific WWII suspense novel. It is definitely a book not to be missed! Gregg Luke, author of Bloodborne and Deadly Undertakings   

19/02/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - SALLY SMITH O'ROURKE, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Days of Future PastDays of Future Past by Sally Smith O'Rourke

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think of as our present existence, as a dream. --Edgar Allen Poe Fate sometimes conspires to right a decades-old wrong. And the 6.8 earthquake that strikes Southern California one warm March night is the fateful event that brings family therapist Ann Hart and trauma specialist Ted McConaughy back together. In search of her cell phone after the tremor, Ann picks up a shard of vintage cut glass from a collection she and her husband gathered during the four years of their marriage. 

For the millionth time she thinks about the day six years ago when he disappeared on a search and rescue mission in the Sierra foothills. Sitting atop the shattered crystal, a small silver cigar lighter glistens in the beam of her flashlight. Gently she returns the Victorian piece to the shelf. What does it mean that something she and Ted, her ex-fiancé, bought together survived when Alex’s beautiful glass is smashed to dust? Ann tells herself that it doesn’t mean anything more than glass breaks and silver doesn’t. Sara Jane McConaughy has never experienced a strong earthquake, and as her father comforts his 16-year-old daughter, his mind is flooded with memories of the Northridge quake in 1994. 

He was living with his fiancée, his ex-fiancée, and even after all these years he doesn’t know what caused the split, but he always loved her. And he’d been sure she loved him. Volunteering with the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the earthquake brings Ann and Ted face-to-face for the first time since their break-up, twenty years ago. Angry, flustered, excited, and bewildered by Ted’s sudden appearance and unusual behavior while she’s teaching a small group of people relaxing exercises, Ann demands he leave. Just as excited and bewildered, Ted rushes away. His exit leaves both of them wondering about … everything. 

16/02/2015

JEFFREY PERREN, THIS WRITER'S LIFE - MEET THE AUTHOR OF COSSACKS IN PARIS


Up before dawn — tea for me, coffee for the wife, pet the dog. Check emails, correspondence with beta readers, and miscellaneous.

So far, that doesn’t sound very exciting. But that’s the business side of things. I leave as much of that as I can to my publicist — remembering how blessed I am to have one who loves my work.

Later, write or edit the latest story. It will be a re-telling of the William Tell legend and later a trilogy set in the Age of Discovery.

15/02/2015

THE WIFE MAKER BOOK BLAST + GIVEAWAY

Wife MakerThe Wife Maker by Karey White

Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she's determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time--on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants. Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he's tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She's broken his heart one too many times, and it's time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won't let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he's willing to let her in again or if she's too late.







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14/02/2015

DIFFERENT SHADES OF LOVE - WHAT WILL ITALIAN VALENTINES SEE TODAY?


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Both to those of you who will celebrate and those who won't, May this day be filled with love, of any type,  for anyone and anything. 

Many girls will spend part of this day with their beaus today and may possibly  convince them to join them and  see a romantic movie,  a beautiful love story to warm up a very special date. 

What are the romances my fellow Italian movie-goers in love will find in their cities'  theatres?

12/02/2015

FIFTY SHADES OF ... GRAMMAR!

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in Fifty Shades of Grey 

Well, we can shout our dissent in a hundred different ways, anyhow Fifty Shades of Grey will be as successful on screen as it was in print. It has been released in theatres just in time for Valentine's Day and it'll be seen by millions of enthusiastic fans and many others will join them following the hype. 

You know, dear critics and detractors (me included),  all your attacks and hammering against it have only made it a bigger event. 
Now,  it is time we give it a break and accept the fact that so many people like or even love this peculiar (may I say that?) love story.

When I read the first book in E L James's  trilogy to discover what all the fuss was about, I was totally puzzled by the poor quality of the writing. It was even worse of the worst fanfiction I had ever read. But, the Grammarly team doesn't agree with me and reviewed the book for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, learning that — although there were some mistakes — the errors were in alignment with similar gaffes in celebrated romances!

They have sent me the results in this amusing infographic below. Check out some of the most frequent grammar mistakes from Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as some quotes from classic romances that also make these mistakes. The language of love really is a language of its own!

11/02/2015

WAITING FOR THE OSCAR NIGHT - THE IMITATION GAME (2014)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing - The Imitation Game


"Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of 
who do the things no one can imagine"

Alan Turing was a prodigy endowed with incredible stubborness and will power. He succeeded in an apparently impossible enterprise saving thousands of lives during WWII: he invented a machine to decrytp  Enigma, the Germans' secret code, thus boycotting many of their deadly attacks on Britain. He saved all those lives  thanks to his ingenious intuition, algorithms and computation being almost a game to him . He contributed to change the outcomes of a horrifying war,  designing his machine which could compute thousands of figures at a speed a human mind could have never achieve, neither the most brilliant. He is now considered one of the fathers of computer science and a war hero. 

06/02/2015

BLOG TOUR - DIAMOND RINGS ARE DEADLY THINGS BY RACHELLE J. CHRISTENSEN + GIVEAWAY

diamond rings (1) 


diamond rings are deadlyDiamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she is especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success–that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim. With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.  

Amazon

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Praise

“I love Rachelle J. Christensen’s stories and characters, and Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is another thrilling mystery to add to my collection. Don’t be surprised if you have to stay up all night to finish he book!” ~Rachel Ann Nunes, author of Before I Say Goodbye 

04/02/2015

DEFINING CONTEMPORARY ART - A BOOK, A VIDEO

25 years in 200 pivotal artworks

(by guest blogger Thomas K Brent)

In terms of contemporary art, people often feel lost. What makes a very great masterpiece of design? Why is usually this painting better than that just one? What will be the qualities people should be seeking? When can be an artist faking it? As a result people are always researching to sharpen the mind, to assist to produce a better see and expand the setting. That’s why people adore Defining Contemporary Art, a fresh book posted by Phaidon. Eight well known curators choose 200 pivotal artworks from the last 30 years along with explain why those performs changed the lifetime of art. Big surprise: even a few Belgian painters made your cut.

02/02/2015

MERYTON PRESS SHORT STORY CONTEST - SUMMER LOVIN'



BEGINS9:00 a.m. Feb 1, 2015 (US Pacific time)
ENDS11:59 p.m. March 15, 2015 (US Pacific Time)
Meryton Press is conducting a contest to find the best short stories.
The theme of the contest, “Summer Lovin’,” represents the summer season. The interpretation of the theme is left to the writer’s imagination; the story may have summer as a backdrop or may convey a sense of happiness and light. It might be a romantic comedy set in the South Pacific, a thriller in the everglades of Florida, a romance in Queen Victoria’s summer court, an ode to the ocean and Elizabeth Bennet, or a mail -order bride in the Old West—anything your summer muse suggests.
Any genre is acceptable as long as there is ROMANCE. Austenesque is a plus, but is not required. In other words, so long as there is a commonly accepted or acceptable interpretation of the theme embedded in the plot, it works for us. However, this contest is not for children’s stories. Our target audience is readers over 18 years old.
The contest will be judged by a panel of independent judges, and the results will be announced by mid-April 2015.

DREAMING OF VENICE WITH LAURA MORELLI'S TRAVEL GUIDE BOOKS + AWESOME GIVEAWAY

Planning a trip to dreamy Venice? Just dreaming of being there one day? Or you've already been there and would like to leaf through your beautiful memories? These wonderful travel guides by Laura Morelli will be of great help and I'm really glad to give you the chance to know more about them and even win them in the giveaway you'll find right below this post. Good luck and happy dreams, everyone!

Traditional Arts of Venice

( guest post by Laura Morelli

By its very nature, Venice is a walking city. Devoid of automobiles and bikes, Venice requires your feet—and occasionally a boat—to get where you want to go. The city is replete with opportunities to window-shop, to pause and chat with a shop owner, to linger over unexpected treasures and finds among the maze-like streets and squares in which you will find yourself inevitably lost.
When I stroll along the alleys and quaysides, my mind flashes with images of what Venice must have been like some five hundred years ago: a city-as-artisanal-factory, its doors open to the streets, its wares spilling out onto the cobblestones. It is easy to conjure the ring of the blacksmith’s hammer and aroma of hot coals from the forge; to envision glassblowers twisting molten shapes at the end of their blowpipes; to imagine woodworkers, painters, and gilders sweeping sawdust flecked with red pigments and gold out into the alleys from the thresholds of their doors. That’s because, in spite of cycles of decline and renewal in its artisanal enterprises over the past three hundred years, Venice maintains its place as a world capital of the handmade, the beautiful, the richly colored, the impossibly ornate.

01/02/2015

SPOTLIGHT ON ... REBEL QUEEN BY MICHELLE MORAN + GREAT GIVEAWAY



Out on March 3rd!
I'm really happy to share this awesome upcoming release with you all: Rebel Queen,  a new brilliant historical fiction novel by the internationally bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter, will be out on March 3rd! Michelle Moran is back with the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi—India’s Joan of Arc—who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

Below this post you can enter a great giveaway contest: it is open internationally, you can win and receive a signed hardback copy as well as gorgeous bangles directly from the author. If you participate in this giveaway, you can receive a free signed bookplate clicking  HERE and entering your details. The giveaway ends on February 9th. Good luck!

About the book

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

31/01/2015

THE ONLY THING WORTH SAYING: WHAT ONE FEELS - FROM VIRGINIA WOOLF TO FABIO STASSI.



“Peter would think her sentimental. So she was. For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying – what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.” 

I love this quote from Mrs Dalloway and day after day Woolf's melancholic heroine becomes dearer to my heart.  Mrs Dalloway's suggestion of saying what one feels simply and plain  is something I can agree with. Not an easy task, though. To reveal one's own feelings makes a person fragile but,  if you think twice, it makes a person stronger as well. 

Cleverness may help you look stronger, but it may be silly on certain occasions in life. What ones? Those Woolf calls "moments of being".  It is not your brain nor your cleverness which help you through those moments. It is not a question of sentimentality, but one of honesty and truth. 


I may have become a tiny bit sentimental in my old age, I can't deny it,  and that is something,  I hope,  understandable. However, I think this is the time to say what we feel, because ...  if not now, when? How we feel is important, crucial, vital and we have not much more time to waste in lies and not much more space for regrets. 

I started writing this post after meeting,  for the second time in less than a year, a man who dares to share what he feels, not only what he thinks: gifted writer and extraordinary man, Fabio Stassi. He is highly communicative,  grounded and self-deprecative, smiling and direct, simple and astonishingly deep. 
Second meeting and second epiphany: this man and his words can make my heart melt and my brain  work out a flow of thoughts quite like ... fireworks. So many inputs that my mind's reaction is an explosion of ideas and feelings. You see?  I'm just telling you what I felt, the only thing worth saying.  

So what did Fabio Stassi say that was so thought - provoking and emotionally strong? He discussed his book, Come un respiro interrotto, with an audience of readers in a town not distant from mine and I was there with friends. He managed to surprise me with the analysis of themes, motifs and ideas which were different from the ones we had discussed when I happened to listen to him for the first time last summer. 

29/01/2015

DRESS LIKE A CRAWLEY - STYLE INSPIRATION FROM THE LADIES OF DOWNTON ABBEY

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes get a little distracted while watching Downton Abbey.

It’ll be the middle of an important scene, full of subtle dramatic tension and all of a sudden, you realize that you’ve completely tuned out the dialogue because you’re studying one of the character’s outfit so closely. 

You get lost in a sea of dropped waist dresses, intricate beading and gorgeous hats.  And you’re also probably thinking, “Is there some way I can get away with dressing like I just stepped off of a sprawling Edwardian estate?” 

The answer, thankfully, is yes.  Well, sort of. 

You may not want to go whole hog period fashion, or you might risk looking costumey, but there are certainly ways you can incorporate the style into what you wear every day.

Color Me Softly


When it comes to a color palette, if you want to fit in at Downton, you should stick to soft shades.  Think colors like dusty rose, pale mint, creams, grays, lavender, and light blues.  The overall effect you’re going for is delicately feminine, so stick to muted tones as opposed to vibrant ones.  You do sometimes see the Crawley ladies in more saturated colors, but that’s only for formal occasions, and only once in a while.

Art Deco Details


The Art Deco design movement can clearly be seen in the fashion of Downton Abbey.  Everything from the jewelry to the details on dresses is inspired by the symmetrical, geometric elements seen in things like the stained glass, furniture and architecture of the time period. 

27/01/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - DEVON'S CHOICE BY CATHERINE BENNETT

devon's choiceDevon's Choice

 Life holds no surprises for Devon Murphy. Her life consists of keeping tabs on her aging Irish father, working part time at a coffee shop, and building her online graphics design business. Devon’s only tricky situation is a shallow relationship with the pampered and affluent Michael Turner, who sees her as just another woman to conquer. Following his father’s death, Brandon’s only goal is to expand the family business and live life on his own terms. That is, until he walks into the coffee shop one snowy evening and meets the enchanting, red-haired barista behind the counter. But can Devon and Brandon’s attraction for each other be strong enough to help erase their deepest disappointments and renew their faith in God?


 Excerpt 

Brandon looked over at her  neutral expression. Whatever kind of relationship she had with Michael Turner didn’t seem to be making her happy. At that moment, all he wanted to do was to make her forget all about the jerk. As if sensing him watching her, Devon turned her head enough to make eye contact with him. The faint, milky glow from the streetlight showed enough of her features for him to see a soft blush warm her cheeks. Under her dark lashes, he watched her sea green eyes glint invitingly as her soft lips turned up at the corners. In that moment, his resolve to keep the date on a friendly level came crashing down.

21/01/2015

OUTLANDER NEWS - DVD & BLU-RAY OUT SOON


Have you been envying Outlander fans in the US who have been able to enjoy this amazing series on TV? It's time for you to stop wishing and dreaming. 
Have you,  instead,  seen it on Starz and want to rewatch it,  because you can't have enough, because add it you your Outlander book collection, you wish to own it or think of giving it as a  present to friends to share the love? 
The big news is that you can do all that right now! Outlander season 1, volume 1 will be released on Digital HD on February 9 and on DVD and Blu-ray on March 3rd. Loaded with extras (see details below!) 

You can pre-order your copy HERE

The second half of season 1 will be aired from April 4th. Episode  9 will be broadcast,  which includes one of the most controversial  scenes in Gabaldon's book. It will be a shocking  and shaking moment for millions of Jamie Fraser's fans. 
While eagerly expecting for the darker part of the series, here is a great surprise gift : A 2-disc set for collectors! Read on to discover more.