30/04/2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILL SHAKESPEARE - GIVEAWAY WINNER



Hello everyone! I'm here again just to post the name of the winner of my Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare Giveaway.

My congratulations to Elizabeth L.!!! 

She wins the book of her choice from the list I proposed: Richard Paul Roe's The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels (Paperback).

Thanks to all the readers who asked to be entered in the giveaway and left their comments. There will be other book giveaway contests soon here at FLY HIGH. Just stay tuned!

ON ROBIN HOOD, HISTORICAL ACCURACY & BOOKISH MEDIEVALISTS

Those of you who have been following  my activity online for a while, are well acquainted with the fact that I am a teacher, that I love my job, that I also run a blog for my students and what I usually do is teaching English as a foreign language or English Literature to Italian students.  What I want  to share and discuss with you today is something which happened to me on LearnOnLine, after posting a lesson  with video clips taken from BBC Robin Hood, addressed  to  a group of 15-year-old students to whom I teach grammar and language, as well as to a second group of 16-year-old students to whom I teach grammar and language but also "pills" of literature (from the origins to the Elizabethan Age). 

It was not the first time I used those materials, as I usually don't teach my younger students literature or history in a very academic way. My approach is rather  focused on what teenagers may like more than on the accuracy of information (which I respect as much as I can). I may be wrong, but this is what I generally do. They are not really interested in sound devices or rethoric figures at their age, they hate being forced to memorize facts and dates which they consider useless. They do like stories, legends, heroes and myths. They also like when the lesson is not merely listening to the teacher speaking or reading in front of them. That is why I use videos and music, multimedia tasks and sources quite often in my lessons.

That happened also in my lessons about the medieval popular ballads. I don't want to bore you, but I'd like you to understand before I ask you to join me in the discussion.

29/04/2013

BOOK BLITZ TOUR - SOUL TAKER BY KAREN MICHELLE NUTT

The book



No soul is safe…


A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.


A vampire, a werewolf and a Necromancer, are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.



26/04/2013

The Importance of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic in Early Life and Beyond


(by guest blogger Pam Johnson) Educational psychologists have stressed the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic for decades. When teachers instill in their students reading, writing and arithmetic skills early on, children demonstrate higher academic achievement and even higher cognitive ability scores years later.

What is Reading?

Reading is often colloquially defined as the process of assimilating new written information. In a broader sense, however, reading is the cognitive skill that involves making sense of symbols and deriving meaning from those symbols. Both reading and writing involve sharing and disseminating information.
Structure of Language

Reading and writing depend on the early acquisition of certain skills. To show high reading proficiency and comprehension, a working knowledge of syntax, diction and semantics is necessary to cultivate early in the schooling process.

24/04/2013

PERIOD DRAMA VS PERIOD DRAMA: DA VINCI'S DEMONS - THE VILLAGE

Tom Riley as Leonardo da Vinci
Two new costume series I'm watching, The Village (BBC1) and  Da Vinci's Demons (Fox, Italian Sky TV) epitomize  the difference between the old traditional way to represent history in fiction and the new tendency to spectacularise it  for modern audiences to enjoy it more. I must be old (I am. Enough, at least) or ancient  (Gosh! I really hope I am  not) because I like it much more when it is accurate and traditional. Not that I despise innovation and originality but I tend not to hit it off with HBO's  and especially Starz's  style in producing costume drama. 

23/04/2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILL SHAKESPEARE! GREAT BOOK GIVEAWAY



William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
The actual date of Shakespeare's birth is not known, but, traditionally, April 23, St George's Day, has been Shakespeare's accepted birthday, and a house on Henley Street in Stratford, owned by William's father, John, is accepted as Shakespeare's birth place. However, the reality is that no one really knows when the great dramatist was born. According to The Book of Common Prayer, it was required that a child be baptized on the nearest Sunday or holy day following the birth, unless the parents had a legitimate excuse. As Dennis Kay proposes in his book Shakespeare:

17/04/2013

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - MOONLIT BY JADIE JONES + WIN A $50 GIFT CARD

 

Moonlit Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?





 Praise

"Virginia's trees look like they're burning. Most of them blaze crimson or gold, but some still have a chokehold on their green. I wish they'd give it up already. Leaves are more beautiful when they're dying."

UPCOMING COSTUME MOVIES AND INTRIGUING NEW PROJECTS: ROMEO AND JULIET, SUMMER IN FEBRUARY AND THE INFERNAL DEVICES



I won't miss these upcoming movies  and  I really hope they will be good. They are all set in the past and this is something I've always been charmed by. Good stories set in the past... period movies! What's in this post? A new Romeo and Juliet whose set was near my home but  I unfortunately missed, Summer in February starring Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper,  as well as a fantasy YA saga set in the Victorian Age - Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices - soon to be adapted for the silver screen . 

16/04/2013

SHEILA HANCOCK, A JOURNEY TO THE BRONTES' COUNTRY AND INTO HERSELF


Perspectives: The Brilliant Brontes was on ITV  at the end of March and it is still available in streaming on their iPlayer. 

What was really touching while watching it was how deeply the commenter, actor Sheila Hancock,  was connected both with the Brontes and with their works. 

Watch the clip I've added for you below to get an idea. You can feel how moved she is, her voice broken more than once and eyes filled with tears . It is as if she is undertaking an honest journey into herself while visiting the places where the Bronte sisters lived, wrote, dreamt and died.

Impossible not to be  moved by the tragic series of deaths their official biographies are charachterized by, but following Sheila Hancock in her gripping journey to Yorkshire and into herself has been much more than that.

She starts the documentary remembering how much in love she was with Laurence Olivier’s Heathcliff as a young girl and how she felt betrayed when later on she re- read the book Emily Bronte had written. 

15/04/2013

GREENWOOD TREE BY B. LLOYD - BOOK COVER REVEALED


The book


1783 – and Lichfield society is enthralled by the arrival of dashing ex-officer Orville; he charms his way into the salons, grand houses and even a great inheritance from extrovert Sir Morton. 


1927 – and detective writer Julia Warren returns to her home in Lichfield to work on her next novel. Initially she hopes to find plot material from the past and set it in the present. Aunt Isobel, while making preparations for the annual midsummer ball, has managed to root out an old journal from 1783 which might prove a source of inspiration. Once Julia starts reading her ancestor’s journal she becomes absorbed in solving the mystery surrounding officer Orville. Detective fever takes over, and she moves from reality to legend as events from the past seem set to re-enact themselves in the present, and she finds herself unravelling more than just the one mystery. Who was Orville? Who was the agent, Oddman, set to spy on him? And who is helpful Mr Grenall ? 

Pagan gods don’t walk away just because you stop looking at them. The Gronny Patch sleeps. Perhaps it dreams. Or perhaps not …

A complex, multi-layered story unlike any other, full of whimsy, horror, and mystery, shifting between the centuries and from source to source, until all the threads are finally drawn together by the imperturbable Miss Warren.

The author: B. Lloyd

A Bustle attached to a keyboard, occasionally to be seen floating on a canal ...
After studying Early Music in Italy followed by a brief career in concert performance, the Bustle exchanged vocal parts for less vocal arts i.e. a Diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. 

13/04/2013

BOOK BLITZ TOUR - NIGHT STARS AND MOURNING DOVES BY MARGO HOONSTRA


The Book

Elyse Monroe may be her sister's maid of honor, but that doesn't mean she has to follow the bride's example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another--no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.


Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.


Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship--only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?


Read an excerpt

Remodeling your home to accommodate Jay and me. Isn’t that a little extreme?”

Lips pursed, he shook his head. “Your mother and I have talked about adding on for years. Anyway, whatever we put into this house should increase its value eventually.” Setting aside the paper once and for all, his expression mellowed as he regarded his son. “Helping you out is helping us out.”
“It’s nice to hear you say that. And I want you to know I do appreciate what you’re doing for us. Especially Jay.”

10/04/2013

BOOK BLAST - JANUARY BLACK BY WENDY S. RUSSO + GIVEAWAY $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD


January Black

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.


09/04/2013

BOOK BLAST - REPLACING GENTRY BY JULIE N. FORD + GIVEAWAY $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD


Replacing Gentry

When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.

Despite the cadaver's warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry; and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.

A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.



08/04/2013

BOOK BLITZ TOUR: SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE BY DONNA SHIELDS, ROMANTIC SUSPENCE


Picture
Hunting down a dangerous mob boss has brought FBI agent Mitchell Donovan home, reawakening an old flame, resurrecting a dead best friend, and discovering fatherhood. As if those aren’t enough, his new case will push everything else aside: finding the kidnappers who took the daughter he never knew he had.

Katherine Delaney never forgot the heartbreak Mitchell had caused with his abrupt departure all those years ago. With her dead ex-husband accused of murder and her daughter kidnapped, she will place her trust in the one man who could trample her heart again if she gets too close. But, will the resurrection of Katherine’s ex-husband and Mitchell’s chase for a killer destroy their second chance at love and happiness?

You can purchase Secrets of Jenkins Bridge on 

04/04/2013

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES - SHADOWHUNTERS, KILLING DEMONS AND PREJUDICES

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” (Cassandra Clare) 

Book synopsis  - Sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own. Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family - and the battle for the fate of the world.

You know,  each time I write about books or movies at FLY HIGH, it is never on a professional level .  I  try to be as honest as I can with you,  but don't ask me to be  objective. I've been and will be,  on the contrary,  totally and personally involved in each of my reviews.

So,   this time too,  I'll  tell you something really personal.

03/04/2013

BOOK BLAST - Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2) + Giveaway of $50 Gift Card


Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2)

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

                          Amazon


Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business.
Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.
As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

02/04/2013

BOOK BLITZ AND FREE DOWNLOAD - TO BE OR NOT BY MARGO HOONSTRA


To Be Or Not (Class of '85)
by Margo Hoornstra
Published by The Wild Rose Press

Free Download Exclusively on Amazon April 2, 2013

Barry Carlson had it all, a successful career in professional baseball and the adoration of any woman he wanted. Except one. Forced to retire in his prime, Barry returns to his hometown of Summerville, New York to coach the Minor League Hornets.

Twenty years ago, Barry broke through Amanda Marsh’s trust issues. He melted her ice, won her love, then walked away without a backward glance to survey the wreckage. Now Amanda is the head of public relations for the Hornets and happily single—until Barry slides back into her life.