Book review: The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson

Book Details:

Book Title: The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 220 pages
Genre:  Self-Esteem, Motivational, Personal Transformation
Publisher:  Real People – Real Lives Press
Release date:  May 28, 2018
Format available for review:  print and ebook (mobi and ePub)
Willing to send print books to: USA and Canada
Tour dates:  Sept 24 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets–pieces of gold they’ve accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities–then start a conversation.

Praise for The Wisdom of Listening:

“Every life has a story and, no matter our background, we share similar hopes, dreams and fears. This book not only gives you insight into the varied lives of its subjects but, through Marilyn’s reflections, shows how we each walk a similar spiritual path.”
– Robbin Whachell, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bahamas Weekly

“Marilyn shows us, through her compassionate and incisive interviews, how to grasp and link those golden moments, like sparkling prisms of light, into an animated and profound acceptance of ourselves, the people we encounter, the relationships we build, and the dreams that will set us free.”
– Gabriella Contestabile, Author, Founder of Su Misura Sensory Journeys

I was reminded we are collectively each walking our own paths, but often experience similar emotions, feelings, obstacles, challenges, triumphs, rewards and successes. We all learn as we go and we all become wiser as time passes. This is humanity. The diversity in each of us as a whole is awesome.”
– RozeMerie Cuevas, Co-Founder and Designer at JAC by Jacqueline Conoir

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Amazon.ca ~ Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

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Meet the Author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer, published author and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way: by answering a Craigslist ad from a NYC magazine. The world shifted when she conducted her first interview—she had found her passion.

Since 2006, she has interviewed over a hundred and fifty people from around the globe, co-owned a local magazine, wrote freelance for others, worked as an editor, published two books and provided author support for her publisher. Her goal as an author — to give wings to the stories of others and to pay forward some of the many “pieces of gold” received during interviews – bits of wisdom that have changed her life. ​

Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

REVIEW:
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Marilyn has put together a treasure trove of inspiring “pieces of gold” or bits of wisdom she has acquired through years of interviewing and listening to others.  She has generously passed these on to her readers in her volume “The Wisdom of Listening”.
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She begins her book with her own story.  I am acquainted with Marilyn, having read her first book as well as through our connections on social media.  I’ve always been curious to learn more about her work as an author and fashionista and was delighted to read her story.
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Her “pieces of gold” are easily read and absorbed because her book is separated into little chapters that you can read in a few minutes.  At the end of each chapter she leaves us with an inspirational quote.
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Most of what we find in Marilyn’s book is practical wisdom such as building a good support team, taking time for yourself,  living one day at a time and being fully present and focused in the the moment.
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I really enjoyed reading each chapter and am thinking of the different ways I can apply what I’ve learned.
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Book review: The Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz
Series: The Miracle Man Series Book 1
Category:  Adult Fiction, 446 pages
Genre:   Thriller
Publisher:  Manifesto Media Group
Release date:  February 2014
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF & ePUB)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Aug 6 to Sept 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Some profane language, some use of the word ‘g*ddamit’, mature subjects including pandemic disease, terrorism, sex abuse, suicide)

Book Description:

REVERED REVILED REMARKABLE

​The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

Miracle Man is the winner of a Best Thriller national award, and was named by Amazon as ONE OF THE TOP 100 NOVELS OF 2015, a TOP 10 BEST SELLING THRILLER and a TOP 10 NEW YORK TIMES/AMAZON BEST SELLER

Buy the book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads

William R. Leibowitz

Meet the Author:

William R. Leibowitz practices law internationally and prefers not spending too much time in any one place. He is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Law School.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

REVIEW:

Peter and Edith Austin, who had successfully adopted and raised a large family and were now close to retirement, were were asked to adopt an abandoned baby.  They agreed, provided the child had no serious health issues.  When Bobby began to develop recurring nightmares they brought him to a doctor only to discover that their little boy’s intelligence was so extraordinary that he was soon placed in a government sponsored institute for gifted children.

As it turns out, Bobby’s IQ was off the chart.  Way off.   The government provided everything he needed to develop and grow his intellect.  But do the math and science skills Bobby possess come with a price?

A thought-provoking plot as well as a glimpse into the workings of the different governmental organizations and  pharmaceutical companies provide an interesting backdrop to the story.

Although the storyline was compelling and kept me turning the pages, there wasn’t a lot of character development.  The romance and accompanying dialogue between Bobby and Christina was awkward and superficial and didn’t sound very realistic. The characters were rather one-dimensional.

Although this is admittedly a work of fiction, there were some inaccuracies that could have been avoided with further research.

At 420 pages, this was a bit of a clunker but the unusual plot kept my attention until the very end.  The cliffhanger was a complete surprise (please stay tuned:  there is a 465 page sequel!)

If you are looking for a psychological thriller / scifi drama, you’re sure to enjoy this novel.

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Book spotlight: The Last Dance by Lonna Enox

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Last Dance by Lonna Enox
Category:  Adult Fiction, 226 pages
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths
Publisher:  Lonna Enox Publications
Release date:  June 24, 2016
Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

Saddle Gap, a quiet little town in southwestern New Mexico, seems the perfect place for Sorrel Janes to start her life over. But within a few days she finds herself entangled in two murders, the object of harassment, and the number one suspect of a murder. Will her past terrors destroy her future dreams? Amid the evolving conflicts, she resolves to reconstruct her new life and find happiness. Detective Chris Reed is equally resolved to solve the murders as well as Sorrels secrets. Neither of them suspect where the steps of this dance will lead, but they are too stubborn to sit this one out.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
​Watch the trailer:

Meet the Author:

​Lonna Enox is a former high school and college English instructor. She grew up on a ranch in New Mexico, where she learned to love critters, reading, and “wide open” spaces. She is a wife, mom, and grandmother, as well as the proud owner of 4 rescue pets–3 cats and a dog. Aside from an early stint as a newspaper reporter, she also spent 10 years as a freelance magazine writer. She is happiest exploring a wildlife refuge, cuddling little ones and critters, or snuggled up reading a good mystery.

Lonna is a professional writer with over 250 printed articles in a variety of national and regional magazines. She has written in several genres and The Last Dance is her debut mystery.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 18 – The Book Girl – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 19 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
June 20 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – book spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – bk spotlight / int / giveaway
June 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
June 25 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
June 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 27 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 28 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 2 –  Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 3 – Truly Trendy – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 4 – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 5 – Paulette’s Papers – book spotlight / giveaway
July 5 – Poetry Hub – book spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
July 9 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
July 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 12 – Rocksprings Crafts – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 13 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book spotlight: Poppy (The Montgomery Sisters, Book 2) by Kat Flannery

Book Details:

Book Title:  Poppy (The Montgomery Sisters, Book 2) by Kat Flannery
Category:  Adult Fiction,  170 pages
Genre:   Historical western romance
Publisher: Picco Press
Release date:  May 18, 2018
Tour dates: May 28 to June 15, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

Poppy Montgomery has always been good with a gun and could fight her way out of anything. Tough as nails and a sharp shooter, her beauty deceives the outlaws she’s after.

Hot on the trail of the Clemmons gang, a group of outlaws who rob trains and killed an innocent woman and child a few months before, she is determined to make them pay for the sin’s they’ve committed by bringing them to justice.

Pinkerton, Noah Shaw is investigating a ring of stage robberies and knows the Clemmons gang is behind them. Told to track down the infamous redheaded bounty hunter, Noah gets more than he bargained for when he arrests Poppy for assault.

Handcuffed together the pair must work together to stop the robberies, and figure out who is behind them. But what happens when love interferes and thrusts Poppy into discovering emotions she never knew existed? Will she choose the solitude she’s always known, or Noah’s sweet embrace?

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing.

A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. Kat enjoys teaching writing classes and giving back to other aspiring authors. She volunteers her time at the local library facilitating their writing group. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career

Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been an Amazon Top 100 Paid bestseller. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next series, THE MONTGOMERY SISTERS.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

May 28 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
May 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 28 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
May 29 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – book spotlight / giveaway
May 29 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 30 – My Reading Journeys – book spotlight / giveaway
May 31 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 31 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
June 1  – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
June 4  – Jorie Loves A Story – book spotlight / author interview
June 5  – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 6  – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 7  – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
June 8  – Paulette’s Papers – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 8  – Don’t Judge, Read – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 11 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
June 12 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
June 13 – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 14 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
June 15 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
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Book review: All the Way to Italy by Flavia Brunetti

Book Details:

Book Title:  All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past
Author: Flavia Brunetti
Category:  Adult Fiction,  222 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction (can fit into YA Fiction as well)
Publisher:  Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Release date:  April 21, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub and PDF)
Tour dates: April 23 to May 18, 2018
Content Rating: PG for the occasional use of “for God’s sake” and a few religious references (though very mild). No violence, no swear words, and no sex scenes.

Book Description:

Until her dad died, Little considered herself a Californian. Now, thanks to half a letter, a symbol she can’t quite remember, and writer’s block, she finds herself back in Italy, the country of her birth. In a headlong rush to return to her beloved San Francisco, Little will travel throughout Italy, enlisting the help of the aunt who raised her, friends old and new, and the country itself, in her search for the answers she needs.

This is the powerful story of those in search of a balance between wanderlust and the necessity to come home, a reminder that although we may be fragments, we are never a lost cause.

Buy the Book:   Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Born just outside of Rome, Flavia Brunetti grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Flavia holds a Master of Arts degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Cabot University. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. You can find her city blog on Rome at whichwaytorome.com and her portfolio of published writing at flaviinrome.com.

Connect with Flavia: Website ~ Blog on Rome ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

REVIEW:

Although not strictly a “coming of age” story, All the Way to Italy  brings us on a young woman’s emotional journey to determine where her roots really lie.  She was brought to California by her aunt when she was very young as her parents’ relationship suddenly fell apart.   Little loves her life in California but after her father’s death she returns to find answers to what really happened to her family before her flight to California.  Feeling lost and uprooted, with her love for her present home struggling with her love all things Italian, she travels around the country looking for clues that will help her decide where she feels the most connected.

If you love all things Italian, history, food and travel, you will enjoy this emotional and touching family drama.

 

Book spotlight: All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past by Flavia Brunetti

Book Details:

Book Title:  All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past
Author: Flavia Brunetti
Category:  Adult Fiction,  222 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction (can fit into YA Fiction as well)
Publisher:  Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Release date:  April 21, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub and PDF)
Tour dates: April 23 to May 18, 2018
Content Rating: PG for the occasional use of “for God’s sake” and a few religious references (though very mild). No violence, no swear words, and no sex scenes.

Book Description:

Until her dad died, Little considered herself a Californian. Now, thanks to half a letter, a symbol she can’t quite remember, and writer’s block, she finds herself back in Italy, the country of her birth. In a headlong rush to return to her beloved San Francisco, Little will travel throughout Italy, enlisting the help of the aunt who raised her, friends old and new, and the country itself, in her search for the answers she needs.

This is the powerful story of those in search of a balance between wanderlust and the necessity to come home, a reminder that although we may be fragments, we are never a lost cause.

Buy the Book:   Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Born just outside of Rome, Flavia Brunetti grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Flavia holds a Master of Arts degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Cabot University. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. You can find her city blog on Rome at whichwaytorome.com and her portfolio of published writing at flaviinrome.com.

Connect with Flavia: Website ~ Blog on Rome ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:​

April 23 – TFaulc Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 23 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – FLY HIGH! – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
April 25 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Readers Muse – book spotlight / guest post
April 27 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
April 30 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
May 1 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
May 1 – XoXo Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview /  giveaway
May 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 3 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – bk spotlight / interview / giveaway
May 4 – Just Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
TBD    – Diary of an Avid Reader – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book spotlight: The Ticket by Fred Shackelford

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Ticket by Fred Shackelford
Category:   Adult Fiction,   320 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense
Publisher:  Black Opal Books
Release date:  December 2016
Tour dates: April 2 to 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

Channing Booker, a compulsive gambler, drug abuser, and philanderer whose marriage is failing, finally gets lucky and wins the Mega Millions lottery. Expecting an imminent divorce, and hoping to hide his new fortune from his wife Susan, Channing devises a scheme to have a friend claim the $241-million jackpot and secretly return the money to Channing after the divorce is final. But Susan flees with all of her possessions, including the rare book in which Channing hid the winning lottery ticket.

With time running out before the lottery ticket expires, Channing launches a desperate search to find Susan, but she’s covered her tracks well, fearing his retribution. In need of money to fund her furtive new lifestyle, Susan begins selling off her worldly goods, including her rare books, unleashing a chain of events that puts not only her life in danger, but that of her new love as well…

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Meet the Author:

Fred Shackelford is a Virginia attorney who lives on farmland that his great-great-grandfather purchased in 1817. Before writing his début novel The Ticket, he published Judges Say the Darndest Things, a collection of humorous excerpts from legal opinions. Fred is a graduate of the University of Virginia. The Ticket was a finalist for The Clue Awards from Chanticleer Book Reviews, a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards, and a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

April 2   – TFaulc Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 2   – Book Paradise – book spotlight / giveaway
April 3   – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 3   – Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / giveaway
April 4   – What Cathy Read Next – book spotlight / giveaway
April 4   – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 5   – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 5   – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
April 6   – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 6   – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
April 8   – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight
April 9   – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight / giveaway
April 9   – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
April 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 10 – Olio by Marilyn – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 – Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – XoXo Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – Phytallic – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Miss Tilly and Me – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: Waking Isabella, because beauty can’t sleep forever by Melissa Muldoon

Book Details:

Book Title:  Waking Isabella: Because beauty can’t sleep forever by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction,  250  pages
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:  December 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Will send print books out: internationally
Tour dates: Feb 19 to March 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The story begins with violent rape and murder scene, touches on themes of miscarriage, murder, Nazi violence during war, adultery)

Book Description:

Waking Isabella is a story about uncovering hidden beauty that, over time, has been lost, erased, or suppressed. It also weaves together several love stories as well as a few mysteries. Nora, an assistant researcher, is a catalyst for resolving the puzzle of a painting that has been missing for decades. Set in Arezzo, a small Tuscan town, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of the city’s antique trade and the fanfare and pageantry of its medieval jousting festival. While filming a documentary about Isabella de’ Medici—the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband—Nora begins to connect with the lives of two remarkable women from the past. Unraveling the stories of Isabella, the daughter of a fifteenth-century Tuscan duke, and Margherita, a young girl trying to survive the war in Nazi-occupied Italy, Nora begins to question the choices that have shaped her own life up to this point. As she does, hidden beauty is awakened deep inside of her, and she discovers the keys to her creativity and happiness. It is a story of love and deceit, forgeries and masterpieces—all held together by the allure and intrigue of a beautiful Tuscan ghost.

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Watch the trailer:
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Melissa Muldoon

 Meet the Author:

Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta—the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned.” Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano,” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Waking Isabella is Melissa’s second novel and follows Dreaming Sophia, published in 2016. In this new novel about Italy, the reader is taken on another art history adventure, inspired by Melissa’s experiences living and traveling in Italy, specifically Arezzo, as well as her familiarity with the language and art. For more information about Waking Isabella and links to Melissa’s blogs and social media sites, visit www.MelissaMuldoon.com.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Waking Isabella and Dreaming Sophia. She also curates the Dreaming Sophia blog and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy. Please visit the Pinterest page for pictures of Arezzo, the Giostra del Saracino, and all the places we go in Italy in both books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

Connect with Melissa:

Website ~ Twitter ~  Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Youtube

REVIEW: 

For  anyone who loves history, art and anything Italian, this is the perfect novel for you.  The story begins with Isabella de Medici, a 16th century Italian princess and her mysterious, and the circumstances surrounding her untimely death as well as the disappearance of  her most beloved painting.

Nora, a researcher and art lover is recuperating from a failed marriage.  She is at a point in her life where she must decide to take the safe route and remain a researcher or follow her dreams to return to Italy.  A chance Facebook message from an old friend ignites her passion for Italy once again and inspires her to investigate Isabella de Medici and her mysterious past.

The author’s historical research really makes this novel “come alive” as we are transported to different time periods and places in search of elusive clues to missing pieces of artwork.  The introduction of realistic characters and multiple storylines that ultimately lead back to the beginning of the story made for an interesting and enjoyable read.  Brush up on your Italian, there is plenty in this book!  Take care, you may end up enjoying a cappuccino yourself on sun drenched day somewhere in historic Italy.

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Book review: The Love Lottery (A Comic Tale of Lessons in Life, Love, Dating and the Odd Samosa Party) by Raj Dhawal


  • Title & author:  The Love Lottery (A Comic Tale of Lessons in Life, Love, Dating and the Odd Samosa Party) by Raj Dhawal
  • Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing
  • Date of publication:  February 20, 2018
  • Pages:
  • Genre:  adult fiction

Description:  

In our fast-paced digital age, never has finding the one felt more like playing the lottery.

If anyone knows about the cruelty and chaos of dating in the 21st century it’s Raj Dhaliwal; accountant by day, hopeless romantic by night.

By his own admission, Raj is a tax wizard but a clumsy disaster area when it comes to matters of the heart. This book charts his misadventures in the art of looking for love in an age when a man’s best intentions can be coldly dismissed by a swipe to the left.

The Love Lottery: a comic tale of lessons in life, love, dating and the odd samosa party explores the emotional rollercoaster of dating, charting the epic excitement and anticipation, highs, lows and disappointments of our ever optimistic search for romance.

As a British-born Indian gent, Raj compares and contrasts the social and cultural distinctions between his family, his friends and the women he meets on the dating scene; a route to romance that’s littered with speed dating, online dating and feverish matchmaking, in this funny and heart-warming book. As self-appointed United Nations Love Ambassador, Raj has made it his mission to date the weird and the wonderful in the pursuit of lasting love.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Chapters/Indigo  

Meet the author:    

Living in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Raj Dhaliwal works as an accountant for the car manufacturing company Land Rover.

 

 

REVIEW:

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many faces
Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of
Hoping to find a friend and a lover
I’ll bless the day I discover,
Another heart- lookin’ for love.

The song  “Looking For Love” sung by Johnny Lee kept coming to mind while I read this book.  Just where does one go to find true love?

As a visual artist, the cleverly designed book cover immediately caught my eye.  Having spent many years immersed in Indian culture, I was curious to read of the author’s experiences as he searches for his soul mate.  The impression I get after reading his many experiences is “yikes!”  It’s a battlefield out there!

This diminutive essay is liberally laced with the author’s self-deprecating humour and examples of some of his more awkward social encounters.

Do I have any suggestions for this long-suffering and tormented dude?  Get a dog.  Chicks love them. 😀

Book spotlight: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey
Category:  Adult Fiction, 240 pages
Genre:  Literary / Women’s Fiction
Publisher:   Sojourner Books
Release date:  December 2017
Format available for review:  ebook (gifted Kindle copy, PDF)
Tour dates: Feb 1 to 16, 2018
Content Rating: R (Two bedroom scenes)

Book Description:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of a meal; it also feeds the soul of the person who creates it. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents; a nobody (her words) who wants to taste life outside the world she was born into and her passion for cooking is all she has to help her do so. She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where she finds a world of a privileged class with money to spare for dinners that cost hundreds of dollars. A world of new friends and new challenges—one that exposes her to fascinating people who’re also gripped by dark motives.

Amidst her culinary adventures, she becomes good friends with pastry chef Marcia, and falls in love, in different ways, with, two very different men: Leon, a rich regular client who has been dating Cristi, her friend from childhood, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This other world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger that eventually threatens her life.

Can the lessons she learned from her mother about cooking and life help Gina survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure and unexpected danger?

Buy the Book:     Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the author:

Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest  

Join the Facebook Group: Thoughtful Romance Readers Love 

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Feb 1   – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Feb 1   – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2   – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2   – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview
Feb 5   – StoreyBook Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 5   – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 6   – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 6   – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review
Feb 7   – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Feb 7   – Based on a True Story – review / giveaway
Feb 8   – Lukten av trykksverte – review / giveaway
Feb 9   – Laura’s Interests – review / guest post
Feb 12 – My Reading Journeys – review / giveaway
Feb 13 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 14 – Wander Girl Life – review / giveaway
Feb 15 – Rainy Day Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 16 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway

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