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)  

*********************************************

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.



08/10/2014

GOOD MUSIC, BRIGHTER CHILDREN - BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

Good Music Brighter Children
About the book

 Good Music Brighter Children is written for parents, educators or anyone who wants to build a bigger, better brain using music. Scientific studies indicate that children introduced to classical music at a young age read earlier and perform better on achievement tests. Adults can also revive tired brain cells using music. This book gives you a step-by-step program that any parent or individual can follow. You’ll discover how introducing your children to good music can accelerate language development, improve math and science skills, enhance physical coordination, strengthen memory and reading retention, and benefit children with learning disabilities. Discover how to choose an instrument and music teacher for your child; how to get your kids to practice and how character traits such as confidence, responsibility, creativity and teamwork are taught when learning a musical instrument. Learn how to introduce your child to the music community and how to appreciate all kinds of music. Last, if you want to advocate for music in your schools, this book gives the ammunition and data to do so. Also includes a 35-page Resource Section on the best music, books, and DVDs for kids.

05/10/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH SARAH E. LADD, AUTHOR OF A LADY AT WILLOWGROVE HALL + GIVEAWAY


When the noose of your secrets begins to tighten, it can cut off any hope for freedom and love in the future. Letting the light of truth sever your unhealthy tie to the past is a major theme of award-winning author Sarah E. Ladd’s book A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Thomas Nelson/October 7, 2014/ISBN: 978-1401688370), the third and final installment in the Whispers on the Moors series. Set in Great Britain’s Regency era, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall perfectly conveys the romantic sensibilities of that time. Here's my interview with Sarah E. Ladd. Below this post there are a few chances for you to win this book! (Giveaway US only)


Hello and welcome, Sarah! A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the third book in the Whispers on the Moors series set during the Regency period. Can you tell us something about the historical context you've chosen for this novel? 

The Regency era took place in England from 1811 to 1820. It was called that because when King George III was deemed unfit for the throne, his son, the Price of Wales, ruled in his stead as the Prince Regent. England was engaged in the Napoleonic War against France, and they were also at war with the American colonies in the War of 1812. The Industrial Age was in full swing, and the Romantic Movement was shaping the literature, art and music of the day.

What about the Regency period interested you most and made you want to write about it? 

I have always been a fan of Romantic British literature and enjoy the Romantic Movement in general, which, again, fell during the Regency era. I have read the literature and the poetry of this time period extensively, and those works had a profound influence on me. If I had to pick one favorite author, I would have to choose Charlotte Brontë, although Jane Austen is a very close second.

02/10/2014

HAND OF FIRE BLOG TOUR - INTERVIEW WITH JUDITH STARKSTON + GIVEAWAY


First of all welcome and thanks a lot for accepting to answer my questions, Judith. It’s a great pleasure to have the chance to present you and your debut  novel,  Hand of Fire, to my readers. How excited are you on releasing your first book?

It’s great fun to see the positive reaction to my book. Such a long journey to get published and now I feel proud. My book launch at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore was fabulous and we sold twice as many books as the staff had predicted. How thrilling is that!

My first question may be quite tricky, but let’s try. What’s the difference between a good historical fiction novel and a brilliant one?

I’m so glad you asked. According to Helen Hollick, editor of Historical Novels Review and author of Forever Queen,”But what is the difference between a good historical novel and a brilliant one?

I suggest you read Judith Starkston’s Hand of Fire and you’ll discover the answer." I would never argue with a pro like Helen and any other answer would take a few hundred pages!


BOOKS TO MOVIES - GIVEAWAY HOP


I really like watching films and series inspired to books I love. I like to compare books and movies, and I'm always curious to see my dream characters come to life. Sometimes I am disappointed, sometimes I am thrilled, never indifferent.
Here are my choices for a great giveaway hop, BOOKS TO MOVIES, organized by Kathy at I am a Reader in collaboration with BookHounds.

You can choose one of these two books as your prize!


01/10/2014

BOOK BLAST: BEYOND THE GLOAMING BY BRENDAN MURPHY - WIN AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Beyond the Gloaming
Sebastian and the Hibernauts: Beyond the Gloaming

It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his parents, bullied at school, steals from his friends and still mourning the death of his brother. To cap it all, strange things have begun happening around him and he is finding it hard to distinguish dreams from reality. After a nightmarish assault, he wakes in the Gloaming, a shadow world inhabited by ghosts. There to greet him is Porrig, a creature from Hibercadia, a magical realm crafted from Celtic dreams. Inhabited by Fir Bolg, Tuath and Milesians, it has been overthrown by brother gods from another dreamworld. One brother, Phobitor, is a tyrant and even the Tuath, who took to their underground sidhe millennia ago, are concerned. Sebastian discovers that he alone can save Hibercadia by finding an enchanted spear. Teaming up with the Hibernauts—a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet—he embarks on a fantastical quest, but can he succeed when he is yet to find his magical potential or even his courage, and half the realm is bent on his destruction?  


add to goodreads

24/09/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - LIFE ON HOLD BY BEVERLY STOWE McCLURE

Life on HoldLife on Hold

A paper found. A secret revealed. A girl’s life changed forever. Myra Gibson’s life is a lie. For sixteen years her parents have kept their secret, but the adoption paper she discovers while cleaning the guesthouse tells the truth. As the past and present collide, Myra finally stands up for herself and begins a journey she may regret.  


Praise for Life on Hold

 All I can say is wow! Beverly Stowe McClure knocked this one out of the ballpark. The story of Myra and her search for the truth touched upon one of the fundamental needs of all children (and teens): the need for a father in their lives. Darby Karchut, author of the Griffin Series and other books for tweens, teens, and adults. McClure exhibits rare talent in this story which follows a young girl on her journey to discovery as she struggles to be true to herself in this compelling coming-of-age novel. Children’s Literary Classics Book Reviews (Silver Medal Winner 2012) Teen readers can easily relate to Myra's pain and rebellion. Part coming of age, part teen romance, "Life on Hold" is full of surprises. Peggy Tibbetts, author, editor, and associate producer.

ROME - A MUSEUM, A FILM, A PIZZA

Going to Rome is in itself a very exciting occasion for me. Being with friends, visiting a museum, watching a good film, having a good pizza, made my going pretty special.

Musei Capitolini at Centrale Montemartini 


Situated on Via Ostiense on the left bank of the Tiber, opposite to the former General Markets, the Centrale Montemartini is an extraordinary example of an industrial building transformed into an exhibition space. It was originally the first public electricity plant in Rome, named after Giovanni Montemartini; now it is the second exhibition centre of the Musei Capitolini, and contains an outstanding collection of classical sculpture from the excavations carried out in Rome at the turn of the 19th century.

22/09/2014

GENTLEMEN OF PITCHFORK - INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KAMIL GRUCA

First of all welcome and thanks a lot for being my guest at FLY HIGH!, Kamil. It’s a great pleasure to have the chance to present you and your new spellbinding novel, 'Gentlemen of Pitchfork,  to my readers, since they are always so interested in historical fiction!  Thanks also for granting them five copies of your book in the giveaway contest attached to this post (see rafflecopter form below)

Let’s start briefly introducing your book.
The book tells the story of three English knights, who joined Henry Vth in his campaign for the throne of France.

How would you describe the main heroes  of your novel?  Let’s play with 3 adjectives each.
Lord Arthur: combative, inspired, slow-witted Sir Robert: bright, observant, overeducated Sir Ralph: experienced, disillusioned, womanizing

Are they inspired to literary characters you admire?
Probably more than I would like to admit, but I couldn't honestly point at any specific one I had in mind while creating them. Some of the characters were however based (partly) on people I personally know from reenactment groups – and they are well aware of that.

How did you come to be so interested in English Medieval  history?
As a boy I had my head filled with the knight’s tales. The first originated from fantasy (my mother read Lord Of The Rings to me when I was 5). Then I joined a history reenactment group at the age of 14. The group initially reconstructed English archers from late XIVth and early XVth century. My senior collegues were reading everything they could find about English medieval history (they had good general knowladge of history as well, a lot of them are archealogists and historians). But why  they chose that particular period and unit, I don't really know. I just accepted it as my reality. That’s how it all began.

19/09/2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... LACING SHADOWS: ANTHOLOGY

Lose yourself in the Shadows…

Five young women each encounter a different supernatural force: seductive werewolves, shadowy vampires, dangerous fae, mysterious ghosts, and nightmare creatures.
Asia, a young college student, struggles between two seductive temptations. Farren is desperate to escape her heart-wrenching grief when she encounters vampires. Holly finds herself home alone on winter break when she rescues a handsome Fae. Lena has always been aware of a world beyond our own when she attempts to help a mysterious ghost. Ruby is entranced by a creature made of nightmares...
Lace yourself in scintillating tales of fated meetings, undying love, and eternal life.

Lacing Shadows features New Adult paranormal tales from five talented authors.

Spirit of the Wolf
Asia, a young college student, struggles between two seductive temptations—her boyfriend, Jesse, and a new friend, Nati. Meanwhile, hidden forces strive to draw out the wolf spirit inside her. Will she embrace her nature…or have it driven out against her will? In the end, the spirit of the wolf may be the only thing that can save her and those she holds dear.

17/09/2014

SCOTLAND WANTS TO REWRITE HISTORY: GUN DEID LEAT!

Glasgow - 17th September 2014
Come what may, British history will be rewritten with 18th September 2014  referendum. The Scottish want their complete independence from the UK, not the palliative autonomy they have been offered so far.
I'm not Scottish, I love Britain as it is, with all its different nations and peculiarities, so I decided I'll be watching this extraordinary event without taking sides, with great respect for the passionate political campaign of the YES! front,  as well as for the matter-of-fact worries of the NO! party. 

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland
I'll be giving a lesson to my oldest students tomorrow titled: "Fighting for a flag of blue and white". We will read articles and listen to interviews about the Scottish referendum and will revise the historical events involving Scotland we studied last year: Mary Stuart and her rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, which ended up with the beheading of the Scottish Queen; the ascent to the English throne of Mary's son, James VI of Scotland after Elizabeth's death,  which meant the unification of the two reigns under one crown in 1605; the 1688 Bloodless Revolution, which led to the dethronization of  the Catholic  line of the Stuart dynasty.

In the second part of the lesson we will move to literature and start discussing Walter Scott's Waverley and its historical context - the Jacobite uprising of 1744-46. In that novel, Charles Edward Stuart,  Bonnie Prince Charlie, is one of the historical figures interacting with the fictional ones created by the great Scottish writer, father of the historical novel.

16/09/2014

BACK TO SCHOOL: MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN OUR FAVOUR!

Back to work, which  in my case is back to school, of course. Honestly, I can't remember what it meant for me as a student. My memories, influenced by the nostalgic mood typical of the middle-age syndrome, makes me recall my teenage self as longing to go back after an endless boring summer. But, perhaps,  I was nothing like that. Maybe I was just like them, my half-resigned, half-bewildered, totally "I'm happy but I mustn't show it" students. Poor kids (they are not exactly kids, but they are to me)! What do we want? Do we want them already alive and kicking after coming back from the summer holidays country,  where night is day and day is night? You know, jetlag can be tough to deal with. 

15/09/2014

REWIND TO YOU - BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY

Rewind to You CoverRewind to You 

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away. But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street. When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…



Author Laura Johnston

 Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story.

13/09/2014

THE HUNGER GAMES & READING YA FICTION


Getting ready for school and reading YA fiction

I feel the pressure of a new school year approaching and, maybe you have noticed  I've already started having some troubles with the daily or regular updating of my blogs. I haven't met my new  (4!) or old  (2) classes yet, but I'm working on my lesson-plans for the first weeks.
The two class groups I already had last year were assigned  their first book, entire book, in English to read during the summer. Tough job, I know, for foreign students. So, to gild the pill and make them undertake the task more willingly, I suggested a list of very popular YA novels (HERE): each of the students picked up one book. I had to read them all, of course. How could I test them on something I knew nothing about? Now, it was such a pleasant, exciting, entertaining journey that I will not dare complain or regret. I only hope my students didn't hate it, at least.

09/09/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY: JUBILEE'S JOURNEY BY BETTE LEE CROSBY

Jubilee's Journey Book CoverJubilee’s Journey by Bette Lee Crosby

 JUBILEE’S JOURNEY…FPA PRESIDENT’S BOOK AWARD GOLD MEDAL WINNER

   When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?   

Reviewer Praise:   

An uplifting story of hope, love and the kindness of strangers. Rainy Day Ramblings
I was drawn in from the first page and held captive to the end. Jubilee’s Journey makes you believe in the power of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers. The Caffeinated Reviewer 
 Real both in circumstances and dialogue Jubilee’s Journey is a book that will have you up late to finish. It will make you believe that you can triumph over tragedy. Mrs. Mommy Booknerd 
Crosby’s novels touch my heart big time, and Jubilee’s Journey is no exception. Even the Grinch would be hard-pressed to scowl at the Wyattsville Series books. They’ve got tension and suspense in their mysteries, Southern charm and lessons aplenty. Popcorn Reads

08/09/2014

TIME FOR A GOOD MOVIE - AN INDIAN CLASSIC FROM THE 50s: PATHER PANCHALI (SONG OF THE LITTLE ROAD)

Pather Panchali (in English: Song of the Little Road) directed by Satyajit Ray and produced by the Government of West Bengal, India. Pather Panchali is described as a turning point in Indian cinema, as it was among the films that pioneered the Parallel Cinema movement, which espoused authenticity and social realism. The first film from independent India to attract major international critical attention, it won India's National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1955, the Best Human Document award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, and several other awards, establishing Ray as a distinguished filmmaker. It features in several lists of great films.
Paul Reynolds guest blogs about it . Read on.

Pather Panchali, or the Song of the Little Road, was a film created in 1955. Bengali was the primary language of the film and it is 115 minutes in length. This movie was created by Satyajit Ray and was inspired by the novel “Pather Panchali” by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee. Government of West Bengal assisted the production of the film. Cinematography was overseen by Subrata Mitra, Editing was done by Dulal Dutta, Art Direction was done by Bansi Chandragupta and Sound Production was done by Bhupen Ghosh. The soundtrack of the film was composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar. The movie won Best Human Document. Cannes award and Diploma of Merit, Edinburgh in 1956. It was the initial phase of struggles for Satyajit Ray and he had to wait for two years to find a producer for the movie.

07/09/2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - THE SENDING BY JANDY SALGUERO

The SendingThe Sending

 A city's peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence. Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught. While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.   

Praise for The Sending

 The Sending reads like a dystopian Romeo and Juliet where strong, full characters from very different places inevitably collide with passion and conflict. Salguero fills a fresh, vibrant world with a nerve-tingling fast plot. Prepare to be immersed. ~Tamara Ward, author of Hidden Betrayal The Sending is a thrilling, fast-paced, science fiction-romance that's impossible to put down. Edge-of-your-seat action scenes, and a romantic attraction so intense that it will make you want to turn down the air conditioning, The Sending is a great read that left me hungry for more. I loved this book! ~Sterling R. Walker, author of The Orphan Ship

06/09/2014

AT THE CINEMA - OKAY WILL BE OUR ALWAYS: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS IN ITALY (COLPA DELLE STELLE)

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.” 

I was so proud of myself because I had read all through John Green's book smiling or laughing, getting sad or moved,   but never giving way to tears.   I read The Fault in Our Stars not long ago and in a very short time,  appreciating Mr Green's talent at creating a brilliant YA romance (my review). 

Now, it is not that I'm not proud of myself anymore for what happened, but, you know, it is not easy for me to get moved to tears in public and it is always quite embarassing when the lights in the theatre are switched on and you are in a flood of tears and blowing your nose, isn't it?
In this case there were many wet eyes and noses blown here and there at the end of  The Fault in Our Stars (Colpa delle Stelle) which opened on 4th September here in Italy, so I felt a bit less foolish.

Anyway, what I especially loved in this movie is that, just like the book, it is not whining or melodramatic. What prevails is teenage lightness and bitter irony,  which becomes harsh, if not paradoxical,  sarcasm some times.

Cancer and young love, death and life, hope and desperation: tough dichotomies to deal with without ending up with sappiness or melodrama. I couldn't find traces of either in this touching story, honestly.

04/09/2014

SEPTEMBER KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY

229 giveaway
It’s time for September’s $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader. We are giving away 2 great prizes both valued at $229. 

Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!   The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.   


Win a Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

03/09/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH SARAH SUNDIN, AUTHOR OF IN PERFECT TIME


All of your books are set during World War II - what is it about that era that draws you in?


It was a time of such intensity, of great upheaval and of great unity, a time that showed humanity at its most cruel and depraved - and at its most noble and heroic. Ordinary men stepped out of their ordinary lives and discovered they could do extraordinary things. Women tried on exciting new roles, learned new things about themselves - and yet remained ladies. It was a time of drama, daring and romance.

What is the overall spiritual theme or message in this new book, In Perfect Time?

Both Kay and Roger feel they don't deserve God's gifts. Kay feels unworthy of God's love and His mercy. While Roger has accepted God's forgiveness, deep inside he doesn't believe he deserves God's grace, His blessings, His gifts. Both Kay and Roger learn that God doesn't give to us because we're good, but because He's good. They can't earn His gifts - and they should wholeheartedly embrace the gifts He gives.