30/07/2015

BOOK REVIEW - THE EDGE OF DARK BY PAMELA HARTSHORNE


A dark, page-turning tale from Pamela Hartshorne, author of The Memory of Midnight and Time's Echo, and a perfect read for fans of Barbara Erskine and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Part of a trilogy 

This novel shares much with the previous two in the trilogy, Time’s Echo and The Memory of Midnight - which I both read and reviewed - but it is not a sequel, nor a prequel,  the three plots and the characters are not related any way.
The three novels share the geographical setting (York), the time-slip pattern (Elizabethan Age/present day), the presence of supernatural events and the fact of having two female protagonists.

In The Edge of Dark, the two heroines live in distant eras but share a great deal of tragicality in their respective lives. Roz Acclam is the only survivor to her family’s slaughter by fire and Jane Birkby faces the outcomes of her vow on  deathbed  and the hardship of being a woman in the 16th century. “Beware what you wish for” may well be the leit motiv for them both.

Book Blurb

Jane believes in keeping her promises but she’s caught on a twisting path of deceit and joy that takes her from the dark secrets of Holmwood House in York to the sign of the golden lily in London's Mincing Lane. Getting what you want, Jane discovers, comes at a price. For the child that she longed for, the child she promised to love and to keep safe, turns out to be a darker spirit than she could ever have imagined.

27/07/2015

BOOK REVIEW - THE POLDARK SAGA, ROSS POLDARK (BOOK 1)

I blame Ross Poldark for ...

I hadn’t read any of the books from the Poldark saga before the new adaptation started on BBC1, though I had been totally smitten by the original series back in the 70s. I was just a kid who was beginning to learn English as a foreign language at school at that time and my love for everything British is,  for sure,  a result of Robin Ellis’s good looks and Ross Poldark’s charm as a character. My interest in Jane Austen's novels came soon after.

However, I bought the first 2 Poldark books when the remake was announced in the press. I decided I wanted to read them,  to compare them to their adaptation in the upcoming TV series.

You know, that’s one of my favourite passtimes! 


Synopsis of Book 1 - Ross Poldark

In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth—believing Ross to be dead—is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.
Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.


My review is part of The Ross Poldark Blog Tour promoted by Sourcebooks and it is linked to a great giveaway!



24/07/2015

SHERALYN PRATT, THE KISS THAT LAUNCHED 1000 GIFS - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

Kiss that Launches 1000 gifts by sheralyn pratt
The Kiss That Launched 1,000 Gifs by Sheralyn Pratt 


 Each weekday from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Grace and Ashton cohost Battle of the Sexes, a radio program arguing the he-said/she-said issues of the day. Their fiery debates often have listeners wondering if there’s more to their relationship than just talk, even though Grace has been dating Phillip, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Perfect, since long before she ever met Ashton Miller. Yet when news comes that Battle of the Sexes is on the bubble for cancellation, Grace and Ashton need to step up their efforts to engage their audience to keep the show alive. When a charity organization approaches them and proposes that the two of them kiss for a fund raiser, Grace and Ash agree to kiss for a good cause. A kiss is just a kiss, right?


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13/07/2015

HOW TO BECOME SHERLOCK HOLMES! BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY: SHERLOCK ACADEMY BY F.C. SHAW

Sherlock Academy Sherlock Academy by F.C. Shaw

 Teachers in disguise, secret libraries, hollow books . . . All these and more await eleven-year-old Rollie Wilson at the mysterious Sherlock Academy of Fine Sleuths. When Rollie and his best friend, Cecily, are invited to attend a school where children learn the art of detection just like the great Sherlock Holmes, they discover a strange burglary has been committed and a mystery is afoot. Determined to investigate, Rollie discovers that appearances can be deceiving, the truth can be hurtful, and friends sometimes turn into foes. Does Rollie have what it takes to follow in Holmes’s footsteps? Can he use his skills to solve the mystery and save the school from an unknown villain?     

Praise for Sherlock Academy

For anyone who's ever wanted to be Sherlock Holmes, this is your chance. -- Adam Glendon Sidwell, Bestselling Author of Evertaster 

My students love this book, and have asked for it again and again. It makes them feel as if they are in the story; they keep wanting to know what might happen next. Delightful story that invites anyone who loves mystery to dig in and figure it out! – Amazon Customer  

Grab your copy from

08/07/2015

BOOK BLAST - MARROW BY PRESTON NORTON

MarrowMarrow by Preston Norton 

Marrow is a fourteen-year-old prodigy at FIST (Fantom Institute for Superheroes-in-Training). With a perfect score on his finals, the ability to smash through walls, and leaps that can launch him over a city block, the Sidekick Internship Program is bound to place him with a top-notch superhero mentor for the summer. But when a series of disastrous events lands Marrow on academic probation, he is forced to team up with Flex--a drunk, hippie, bum with the power of elasticity. The two Supers' powers and personalities clash as they are forced to overcome their differences to prevent the return of Cosmo City's most notorious foe, a supervillain so powerful, no one will survive the cataclysm he is sure to unleash.

Grab a copy from AMAZON

  Praise for Marrow

"If you can't get enough of superhero and comic book movies, read Marrow now! It's like stuffing an action movie into your head. The twists will surprise you." -- Adam Glendon Sidwell, Bestselling Author of CHUM and EVERTASTER. •

 "Fans of comics, superheroes, and stories with twist after twist will love Marrow. It's filled with nods and homages to classic heroes, yet still manages to put a unique stamp on the genre." -- Jacob Gowans, Bestselling Author of the PSION BETA Series.   

06/07/2015

MONEY, FAME & YOUTH

Young people, money and fame

Ask young people about their top life goals and the answer is clear, resounding and a bit worrying: they want to be rich and famous. Worrying for me as an educator, as an adult. To be ambitious is not wrong a priori, of course. I constantly work  at stimulating teenagers' wills to set goals and reach them, to set them high and do their best to pursue them. But I'm also sure that money and fame are not naturally connected to happiness. I am convinced that "money doesn't buy happiness"  is not just a popular saying, but an old truth. This is something my students and I often discuss about but it is not so easy to convince them since they are sent hammering messages persuading them that the opposite is true: money and fame are the keys to happiness.

29/06/2015

DISCOVER YOUR TALENT, DO WHAT YOU LIKE - YES, I'M LUCKY ENOUGH TO DO WHAT I LOVE (PODCAST)


When my American friend, Don Hutcheson, asked me to join him on skype for an audio interview I was puzzled: what could I possibly tell him which could sound interesting? And, especially, how could an English - speaking audience appreciate anything uttered in my awkward English? I know my accent is definitely foreign to mother-tongue speakers' ears, so I was worried and a bit scared and couldn't make my decision easily. Once he sent me his questions and the description of the aim of his new podcast site, I was even more worried and more scared. 

Discover Your Talent ~ Do What You Love is a daily podcast series hosted by Don Hutcheson. Every day of the week Don interviews someone from around the world who has discovered her true talents and abilities and figured out how to use them doing work she loves.
 The podcast series is designed for people of every age and background who are looking to build a life and career that uses the best of who they are to enjoy a life of success, satisfaction and freedom.
Don has been a pioneer in the field of education, career and life planning for 35 years as an inventor, entrepreneur, author and coach:


"Every one of us is born with unique talents and gifts. They are hardwired into us. We don’t learn them and we can’t ignore them. They are just a part of who we are—our DNA.

“Some of us discover our talents at an early age, some much later in life. Whenever we discover them and use them in our lives and careers, we do not merely survive, we thrive in every way possible.”  

23/06/2015

THE SEEKERS TRILOGY BY DAVID LITWACK: BOOK ONE, THE CHILDREN OF DARKNESS - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

Children of Darkness
The Children of Darkness, book one of the dystopian trilogy, The Seekers by David Litwack


"But what are we without dreams?" A thousand years ago the Darkness came--a time of violence and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they have kept the madness at bay with "temple magic," eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything. Childhood friends, Orah and Nathaniel, have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the rigid status quo. 

When their friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his "teaching"—the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds the young to the Light—they barely recognize the broken and brooding man the boy has become. Then when Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her. In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a terrible secret that launches the three on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in jeopardy. 

For hidden in the keep awaits a truth from the past that threatens the foundation of the Temple. If they reveal that truth, they might release the long-suppressed potential of their people, but they would also incur the Temple’s wrath as it is written: "If there comes among you a dreamer of dreams saying 'Let us return to the darkness,' you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light."

17/06/2015

COMING TO TERMS WITH YOUR FAMILY'S SECRETS: AN INTERVIEW WITH MELANIE DOBSON, AUTHOR OF SHADOWS OF LADENBROOKE MANOR


Every family has secrets they’d prefer to stay hidden, but where is the line between protecting the ones you love and simple self-preservation? The theme of Melanie Dobson’s sweeping new novel, Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard Books) is how the choices of a few can impact generations.


Hello and welcome, Melanie! In your latest book, Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, we meet 19-year-old Maggie — innocent in many ways — but she finds herself in an unwed pregnancy during a time period when that was socially unacceptable. What does that situation mean for her and her family?

Maggie lost her biological parents during World War II, and her beloved younger brother died in an orphanage after the war. Heartbroken and scared, Maggie was raised by foster parents near Bristol, England. In the 1950s, British mothers often told their children that a midwife or a stork brought each new baby, so many young women were naïve about the facts of life. Maggie and her foster mother never discussed where babies came from.

Maggie craves love at the beginning of this story, but the father of her baby has sailed away from their coastal village, and she knows this unexpected pregnancy will humiliate her foster family. Since she has no place else to turn, Maggie begins to contemplate suicide, thinking it will be better for her child to be cradled in heaven rather than dying slowly in an orphanage like Maggie’s brother.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor spans four generations of women, slipping back and forth between a past and contemporary story. Why do the three older women keep secrets from their daughters? How far are some people willing to go to cover the shame of their past?

Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated. This relationship can be one of the closest a woman might experience, but it can also be one of the most hurtful. In both the past and present parts of the story, the mothers kept secrets from their daughters in order to protect them, but as these secrets are passed down through generations, they almost destroy their family.

16/06/2015

ARE YOU A GRAMMAR NERD?


There are millions of grammar enthusiasts in the world. Do you fit the profile compiled by Grammarly? You are one of them, then!

14/06/2015

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - ZION'S CALL BY JEREMY MAUGHAN

Zions Call Zion's Call by Jeremy Maughan

1830's LDS Historical Fiction Howard Egan has left his life at sea to try his hand at the new America. A dream of owning land and a better life for himself. More than anything he wants to find a woman to spend this new life together. To his surprise he finds her on his first day on shore. He just didn't expect her to be so beautiful or to be so harsh. Thrown into the middle of a political firestorm between a Mormon missionary and local business men. Tasked with being the Mormon's Bodyguard Howard has to find a way to secure his love, fulfill his duty and keep himself and the Mormon alive.  

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Read an excerpt 

Howard spoke up. “Ladies.” The three turned to face him. The woman in the center gave him an exasperated look. “Pardon me?” she asked. “Did you speak to us?” She looked him up and down. She gave a little click of her tongue and looked on unapprovingly. Howard was taken aback by her harsh tone. He struggled to get words out, “Yes. “He stammered, “I wanted to meet you.” he said slowly so he could be understood. He cursed his swollen tongue. The girl on the left giggled a little, the one in the middle gave her a rueful glance before looking back at Howard. She frowned. “Do you always speak like you have a mouth full of marbles? Are boots a foreign concept from where you’re from?” Howard started to turn red. He didn’t expect to be talked down to by this woman or any other. His anger started to rise. “I just wanted to meet you and get your name.” “A little forward aren’t you sir? I don’t think you gave me yours, for starters.” “My apologies ladies. I am Howard.” He said putting

12/06/2015

ELIZABETH FREMANTLE, WATCH THE LADY: TUDOR ENGLAND, POETRY AND LOVE

Tudor England is a great setting  for an historical novel. I've asked Elizabeth Fremantle, bestselling author of three intriguing novels set in that era,  a few questions to discover more of its allure.

WATCH THE LADY is set in the Elizabethan Age. What is the allure of Tudor England on modern readers?

It’s hard to say why the Tudor period has captivated modern readers so much more than other periods. I am personally fascinated by the state of political and cultural flux that came with the Reformation and the exploration of the New World, which coincided with an unprecedented half-century of female rule. England was late to the renaissance but in the late sixteenth century with writers such as Spenser, Sidney and Shakespeare there was a great literary flourishing that continues to have relevance today.

What is the most intriguing aspect of that age to you,  instead,  both as a historical researcher/writer and a reader?  

My particular interest lies with women writers and this was the time when they began to take up their pens. My first book QUEEN’S GAMBIT is about Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, who few know was one of the first women to publish an original work in the English language. The period is filled with intriguing and powerful women whose stories continue to captivate modern readers, some of which, like Penelope Devereux’s in WATCH THE LADY, have been forgotten by history and merit re-expooration. 

Writing historical fiction must be challenging. How much do you work on research and how important is historical accuracy to you?

In my novels I like to remain faithful to the historical record but I am not under the illusion that it is possible to achieve absolute accuracy when dealing with the distant past.  Often history contradicts itself, in differing points of view, and the truth remains elusive but there is usually a framework of known fact that I will work to.

11/06/2015

WATCH THE SUNRISE, DREAM YOUR LIFE, DANCE SHAMELESSLY: SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS FROM AN ITALIAN TEACHER TO HIS STUDENTS GO VIRAL

In the last couple of days, these summer tasks went viral. They were posted by an Italian teacher, Cesare Catà, on his facebook page  and from there they made it to the national press and were spread all over the Net. What's special in them? See it for yourself.  I've translated them for you. Useless to add, I'd sign them myself.

In the mornings, sometimes, go and walk along the seashore in complete solitude: look how the sunlight reflects on it and, thinking about what you most love in life, feel happy.

Try to use all the new words we learnt this year: more things you can say, more things you can think;  and more things you can think, more free you are.

Read as much as you can. But not because you must. Read because the summer inspires adventures and dreams and  reading you feel like flying sparrows. Read because it is the best form of rebellion you have (for good reading advice, ask me)

Avoid all things, situations and people that make you negative or empty: look for stimulating situatuations and the company of friends who can enrich you, understand you and appreciate you for what you are.

09/06/2015

HOLIDAY ROMANCE WRITING CONTEST


Do you like writing?  Here is a new chance for you to get published or win money! Meryton Press is conducting a contest to find the best short stories. The theme of the contest, “Holiday Romance,” represents the season from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. The interpretation of the theme is left to the writer’s imagination; the story may have the season as an incidental backdrop or may highlight the warmth and goodwill of the holidays. It may be a romance set entirely before a fire on a cold winter’s night, the plight of a young couple hosting their first family Thanksgiving, or the mystery of an anonymous holiday philanthropist with a reporter hot on his tale. So many holidays, so many stories: Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve…
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 open for submissions from 9:00 a.m., June 15, 2015 (US Pacific Time) until 11:59 p.m., July 15, 2015 (US Pacific Time)

07/06/2015

THE GOOD AND THE BAD OF BEING A TEACHER

In the latest days I have been writing two very different pieces which contain reflections connected to my job. They are about students and teachers, not about methodologies or technicalities. In fact,  what I am most interested in in my job is the chance we have to build relationships, to communicate and interact with young people. 

The bad or ... they say it is because they are bored



My husband comes into the kitchen, sees my laptop on - I'm writing final reports for the end of the school year - and he just drops there: when you have a moment, google "baby doccia" (Italian for "baby shower"). Why? What is it? I ask, but he takes his coffee and goes away without adding one word more. He knows me well. I immediately stop, whatever I'm doing, and google those words apparently meaningless together. I click on the first link and I'm immediately disturbed by the picture. I don't want to see a video of young people having sex in a toilet! But I start reading the article and it announces a TV programme about teens and sex...at school. Ok, now I understand my husband's suggestion.  I work with teens and he knows how interested I am when it comes to school and education.
This is a shocking report from a woman journalist which will be on a Sky Tg 24. It's not the first one, there have been similar ones recently.  It's the story of a few girls (14-year-olds),  going to a private school in Milan and having sex between lessons in the toilets with any boy who asks them via txt messages. Baby prostitutes, not for need but for their own choice, for fun they say, because lessons are too boring. Not enslaved, nor bullied, nor forced.

01/06/2015

I TOOK MY TIME AND WROTE ABOUT OUTLANDER


Descent to Hell

It’s been a long ride, a journey in which I didn’t expect I would invest so much emotionally. It’s only a TV series I know, but it is Outlander, the show acclaimed as the bravest on TV this year, as a milestone which will change the history of TV series. Love it or hate it, what you can't do is ignore it. 
To know in advance and in detail what was going to happen was no protection, didn’t help, didn’t save me from the overwhelming wave of powerful emotions that swept me off my feet. That was more Sam Heughan, you say?

Seriously, now.  It was such a gripping experience! It had been some time since I was last so enthusiastically committed and involved in a TV series.   


22/05/2015

MEET RACHEL ROSSANO AND DISCOVER HER SWEET MEDIEVAL ROMANCE - WIN HONOR: SECOND NOVEL OF RHYNAN

First of all welcome Rachel and thanks for being my guest at FLY HIGH!
Thank you so much for having me come and chat.

Just out of curiosity, you know I’m Italian  and your surname is Rossano. Are you of Italian origins?
Unfortunately I don’t come by the Italian name by blood. I married into it, but I love Italians and their culture.

Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan is part of a series set in the Middle Ages and featuring intriguing love stories and gripping adventures. What is your fascination with medieval history? When did it start?
It started when I was young. I loved fairy tales, queens, kings, princes, and princesses. The romance of the Arthurian legends and the fascination with England started almost as soon as I was reading books on my own. I spent hours researching the Tudor dynasty of English history when I was a teen, but when I started writing I settled more in the Middle Ages because of the simpler and wilder setting.

You planned the Novels of Rhynan as a 5-book series + an anthology. Are the books stand-alone volumes or a connected saga following the same characters?
Each book stands alone. Each book is about a different couple, but they are linked by friendship and family. The heroes of the first and second books are best friends. The third book is about the man that the heroine in the second book rejects. The fourth and fifth books are going to be about the second generation of these couples. Reading the books in order will enrich the experience, but each can be enjoyed completely alone.

19/05/2015

FROM GODS BY MARY TING - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

From Gods


From Gods NewFrom Gods by Mary Ting

Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don't blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome should have been having the best summer ever, before heading off to college. Suddenly her whole life changes while visiting her cousin, and meeting the Grand brothers; Mason, in particular. Though she's sure he is someone she should stay away from, the attraction was undeniable. Strange things begin to happen, throwing Skylar's life into turmoil. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world where the descendants of ancient gods have super powers, and evil beings are after her. Not only are her discoveries difficult to accept, but now she is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

                         amazon blog Barnes and Noble

18/05/2015

COVER REVEAL! MERYTON PRESS PRESENTS A NEW COLLECTION OF LOVE STORIES INSPIRED TO JANE AUSTEN AND NOT ONLY , COMING OUT SOON: SUN KISSED



“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in…” —Thomas Hardy

If you desire a little heat, a summer flirtation, or an escape to bask in your own private sun, this whimsical collection of original short stories is inspired by all things summer. In collaboration with some of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors, this anthology debuts other promising and emerging talent.

·         In KaraLynne Mackrory’s “Shades of Pemberley,” Mr. Darcy, with some fantastic assistance, discovers Elizabeth Bennet in a most unlikely place.
·         Karen M. Cox’s “Northanger Revisited” modernizes Northanger Abbey at a fictionalized Georgia seaside.

16/05/2015

DEADLY ENGAGEMENT: A GEORGIAN HISTORICAL MYSTERY BY LUCINDA BRANT HAS BECOME AN AUDIOBOOK - CHECK OUT OUR DEADLY GIVEAWAY!

Spring 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London to the shocking news his estranged brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but is engaged to the woman Alec hoped to marry. The dead man’s mother wants Alec to investigate, so he reluctantly attends a weekend house party celebrating the engagement. Houseguests get more than they bargained for when a lady’s maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead. Uncovering a connection between these sinister acts and his brother's duel, Alec confronts a cruel twist of fate and why his brother will go to any lengths to ruin him in Polite Society.
The Alec Halsey mysteries explore the darker side of Lucinda Brant’s deliciously romantic 18th century world. Along with her trademark wit and high drama there are deeper subplots and even quirkier characters that will have you shuddering and laughing in equal measure!

My musings

Alex Wyndham reads Lucinda Brant's books

Deadly Engagement and Deadly Affair are truly intriguing ones! Real page turners. They are the first two books of a  three-part mystery series set in the Georgian Era, in England. If you dream of  books with a gorgeous hero, thrilling emotions, romance and intrigue, wit and elegance, silk and powdered wigs, you won't be disappointed,  I'm sure you'll enjoy Lucinda Brant's DEADLY ENGAGEMENT and DEADLY AFFAIR pretty much. Moreover, you can't miss the rest of the saga! Deadly Engagement and Deadly Affair are  already out,  but there's  another one, book 3, Deadly Peril, coming  soon.  I love the perfect blend of history, romance  and mystery of Lucinda's Alec Halsey Mystery series. The first two novels have now become audiobooks read by British actor, Alex Wyndham and, I can assure you,  they are terrific fun! 

14/05/2015

AMNESTY: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

Amnesty


AmnestyAmnesty by Jo Noelle

 Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven. No sweat. But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school. Oh, I’m so going to hell. Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal. Assignment with benefits. This young adult novel is a coming of age story with a clean romance, packed with action and suspense.

Get your copy from AMAZON.com

Jo NoelleAuthor Jo Noelle

 Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people— Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team. They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with

12/05/2015

WHAT IF SACRIFICING YOUR DREAM WAS THE ONLY WAY TO GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED? TAMERA ALEXANDER, TO WIN HER FAVOR - INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY

In Tamera Alexander's riveting new novel, a young woman caught in a marriage of convenience must sacrifice everything to save her home, her land, and the people she truly loves. 

Seattle: Against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent times in American history, the post-Civil War era, one woman struggles against prejudice, injustice and suffocating conventions of the 19th century to pursue her dream. Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor the second stand-alone novel in the Belle Meade Plantation series, is already receiving high praise. According to Library Journal, "Strong characters, a sense of the times and the themes of love, friendship and the importance of loyalty and determination make To Win Her Favor a triumph."

Maggie Linden lost nearly everything in the Civil War - including most of her family. She's about to lose her stables and land at Linden Downs and her thoroughbred racing hopes as well. A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie is determined that her mare, Bourbon Belle, will become a champion. Indeed, her only hope of saving Linden Downs is if the horse takes the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. To give his daughter a chance, Maggie's wily father makes a barter. But his agreement includes one troublesome detail: Maggie must marry a man she's never met - a man she never would have chosen for herself.

An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once-prosperous life in England because of a horse-racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He's come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. With "No Irish Need Apply" signs greeting him at every turn, Cullen finds starting over proves much more difficult than he wagered. When Maggie Linden's father makes him an offer he shouldn't accept, he finds it impossible to refuse.

02/05/2015

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! AUTHOR CECILIA LATELLA PRESENTS A MEDIEVAL STORY OF SILENCE AND CHANGE: IN ABSENTIA

Celebrate and discover the amazing world of comic books on Free Comic Book Day! To celebrate here at FLY HIGH! comic book author, Cecilia Latella, presents her latest digital creation, In Absentia. Win a copy in the giveaway contest below this post! 

When her husband leaves for the Crusade, Lady Dionea remains alone to take care of her castle and of her two children. Inexperienced in such a role, she feels frightened by the task. Her children’s tutor, Giacomo, a cleric, seems at first hostile to her. Dionea will have to gain the support of her husband’s council, the trust of the population of her fief, as well as the friendship of Giacomo in order to discover her own quiet strenght.

Set in an imaginary fief in central Italy as the time of the Third Crusade (1189-1192), In Absentia is a stand-alone comic that appeals to lover of intimate graphic novels, Middle Ages and romances featuring members of the clergy. Drawn in 2102 with the support of an Indiegogo campaign, this new edition features also all the sketches done for the campaign backers.   

“The world that Cecilia Latella creates in this comic is a Middle Ages that I recognise. Not only is it familiar to me as a historian, but Lady Dionea and Brother Giacomo are characters in their own right. They are not clichés of the desperate noble lady, or the vice ridden monk. No, the characters are there to explore the more universal issues of solitude, duty and the gulfs that this can create. Where masks are seen, but never really removed. All of this is done using only the sparest dialogue to communicate. This is not a story where things happen all at once, but it is a full story nonetheless. The quiet and tension of absence lets change flourish, not just for Lady Dionea, but also for the her land.” (From the introduction by historian Anne Holloway.)

29/04/2015

YORKSHIRE & VICTORIAN LITERATURE - WHITBY


Do you think I've been neglecting my little blog lately? You may be right, I admit it, but I've been extremely busy working, living and even travelling. I've recently been to Yorkshire to visit friends and spend a weekend there. My trip brought me to York,  which is a town I already knew and  I really love for its connections to Richard III, for its ancient allure and historical heritage. But we also spent our Sunday by the sea and I was truly intrigued by Whitby, for its charming views and its connections to great Victorian literature, and had the chance to literally fall in love with a small, picturesque village on the sea called Robin Hood's Bay. In this post I'll collect the most interesting news and information I found online about Whitby as the setting of Victorian literary works,  adding some of the pictures I took during my visit.  Here we go then! Do you know on the pages of which unforgettable  Victorian  novels can we find Whitby and its landmarks?

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.