Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #relationships #Italy #Scotland #mystery with Leslie Tate, Patricia Salamone, John Quinn and Jessica Norrie


Time for more authors from the Cafe and Bookstore who have amazing books that would make amazing Christmas gifts. Many authors write in series and the first author today does so in shades of Lavender Blue.  As with most of the featured series, I am starting with book one… Purple (Lavender Blues: Three Shades of Love) by Leslie Tate

About Purple

Lavender Blues: Three Shades of Love takes us deep into the lives of the Lavender family. The three books – ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’ – explore free love, traditional courtship, open marriage and late-life romance.

Matthew Lavender, starting college in 1969, has embraced a student underworld of drugs, image and cooler than thou. But behind his wild and witty persona lies a shy, sensitive romantic – a ‘feeling type’ bullied at school and restricted by his parents – who knows absolutely nothing about sex.

As Matthew gets involved with fellow-student Sally, the scene shifts to the early 20th century and his grandmother Mary Lavender begins her story.

Brought up by an over-controlling father nicknamed ‘Jack the Hammer’, Mary witnesses her parents’ fierce, monosyllabic rows and the long-running battles between Jack and his children. After the defiant exit of Mary’s brother and sister, Mary meets Stuart Lavender and a traditional courtship begins, leading to the birth of Matthew’s father, Alan.

History repeats itself as Alan and Matthew clash and Matthew leaves home. He takes up residence at a commune where he witnesses some supremely laughable examples of 60s free self-expression. From here on he grows and matures through contact with children and a number of deeply-felt and unpredictable love affairs.

In the end Matthew returns to the beach where he played as a child with Mary. As the two stories come together, Matthew learns a whole new outlook on youth, relationships and the man he has become.

One of the reviews for the book

Purple’ is a delicate, detailed watercolour of a novel. It starts out with the shy and awkward student, Matthew, who is trying his hardest to look cool, clever and with-it. I really disliked Matthew at first but came to like him better as the novel progresses and he has his rough edges rubbed off by his relationships with different female characters, two of whom let him down very badly. He also meets adult role models and eventually comes to realise that his anxious, micro-managing parents were once young and extremely cool – and still can be.

The novel has fabulous descriptive passages, some of which are very poetic. Leslie has given Matthew a number of well-written sex scenes showing his journey from the first awkward encounters to a full and passionate relationship. I enjoyed the scenes at the commune where Matthew discovers a muddy and chaotic world of dreadful poetry and worse art, controlled by a dictatorial leader who forces decisions on everyone and makes them believe it is the group’s will. He progresses from this world to the Colony, which is a family living an ordered and creative existence. The Colony leads him to his godmother and aunt, who in turn shows him who his parents really are.

The story of Matthew’s grandmother Mary is interwoven with Matthew’s, and is a progress from tyrannical father to cold and unloving husband, before eventually finding fulfilment in her children and grandchildren. I’m looking forward to the next two novels in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purple-Courtship-Generation-Lavender-Shades-ebook/dp/B0163F2ESQ

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Purple-Courtship-Generation-Lavender-Shades-ebook/dp/B0163F2ESQ

Also by Leslie Tate.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leslie-Tate/e/B07BL5L23B

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Leslie-Tate/e/B07BL5L23B

You can find all the books with reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6043204.Leslie_Tate

Signed copies of all the books can be bought at Leslie Tate’s own bookshop: https://leslietate.com/shop/violet/

Connect to Leslie via his website: https://leslietate.com/

Another author who has written a book that would be perfect for those who are of Italian extraction who might be visiting relatives in Italy at some point.. Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the reviews for the book

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit. Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country. However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat. “Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life. I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Who were out of their depth, and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia via her Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/

And now for a book set in the 1970s in Scotland.. a time of unrest in most of the UK with miners’ strikes and the influences of the Northern Ireland troubles.. John Quinn and his debut novel, The Eyes of Grace O’Malley.

About The Eyes of Grace O’Malley

State … Security … Secrets …

Scotland 1972. A turbulent place – miners’ strikes, blackouts, Clyde shipyard workers defying the British Government, oil discovered in the North Sea and the long and deadly arms of conflict in Ireland reaching across the Irish Sea.

Farrell Golden is a bright working class kid from Dundee with an Irish heritage. But he hasn’t always paid it much attention. Thanks to his family he’s made it to the University of Edinburgh against the odds. But does he want to stay there?

There’s beer and there’s women – in particular a beautiful ethereal English girl called Maggie. She’s out of the London stockbroker belt but she’s not all that she seems. Then there’s an Irish girl who is somehow familiar …

Roisin O’Malley’s not like any trainee teacher Farrell’s ever seen. What is she getting away from in Edinburgh? What are her family’s links to the Troubles? What of her ex-boyfriend?

At a Bloody Sunday protest march Farrell sees Roisin in trouble and goes to help. He’s knocked unconscious. When he wakens up he finds he’s stepped down a rabbit hole of Irish history, family ties and state security. Is there a way back? Should he have paid more attention to the family heritage? Who is Roisin O’Malley really?

One of the recent reviews for the book

A great read on 3 November 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel. It reminded me of a distant past but one I remember well. The story is very well developed but to me it is the setting that really evokes those memories. All senses are involved in remembering Edinburgh and indeed Scotland in those days. The characters of Farrell, Roisin and Maggie are particularly well developed – I felt I actually knew them. Their back stories are interesting and realistic. Their adventures, while simple in the beginning, develop into something deeper and more complex and reflect perfectly the world of young people at that time. I look forward to reading more from this talented author.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyes-Grace-OMalley-John-Quinn-ebook/dp/B07G65CLY8/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G65CLY8/

Connect to John Quinn via his blog: https://johndquinn.wordpress.com/books-by-john-quinn/

And the final author today is also a popular contributor here on the blog with her Literary Column.. Jessica Norrie is busy with her next book but in the meantime, here is The Infinity Pool to enjoy or give as a gift.

Jessica Norrie

About the Book.

In this thoughtful novel set on a sun-baked island, Adrian Hartman, the charismatic director of the Serendipity holiday community, is responsible for ensuring the perfect mindful break, with personal growth and inner peace guaranteed. People return year after year to bare their souls. For some, Adrian IS Serendipity. But Adrian disappears, and with him goes the serenity of his staff and guests, who are bewildered without their leader. The hostility of the local villagers is beginning to boil over. Is their anger justified or are the visitors, each in a different way, just paranoid?

As romance turns sour and conflict threatens the stability of both communities, everyone has to find their own way to survive. This evocative story explores the decisions of adults who still need to come of age, the effect of well-intentioned tourism on a traditional community, and the real meaning of getting away from it all.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Nice holiday read  on 29 September 2018

I enjoyed reading this book during my summer holidays. It gets you thinking about the way we interact with local communities and the environment during our few weeks away in the sun. The book is a nice mix of crime, romance, philosophy, and social constructs.

Read some of the many excellent reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Norrie/e/B01CEUZF26

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Pool-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B011RA8QZW

Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270629.Jessica_Norrie

Connect to Jessica via her blog: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com/

Thank you very much for stopping by and I hope you leave with a book or two.. thanks Sally

 

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Jena C. Henry, Patricia Salamone, Mae Clair and Adele Marie Park


With so many authors to feature before Christmas I am going to do a very brief weekly update later in the day so that I can fit another book fair into the schedule.

The first author with a series of books that would make a wonderful gift for those about to retire, or those who have retired and are looking to get up to mischief. The Golden Age of Charli: RSVP is the first book in the series by Jena C. Henry.

About the book

Charlotte McAntic spent her thirties, forties, and even fifties in peace and harmony aligning her marriage, mortgage, careers, and children. As she stumbles into a new phase of life—also known as the Golden Years—Charli cannot help but wonder where the gold and her husband, Pud, are hiding.

Pud is happily cruising down the retirement path that, for him, leads straight to the golf course. While Charli spends her days at home cleaning out closets and the basement, she yearns to gaze deeply into Pud’s blue eyes and remember all the reasons why she fell in love with him thirty years ago. Unfortunately, the only thing Pud is eying is the next fairway. Knowing there is more to savor in retirement than silver-hair shampoos, senior discounts, and hernia surgery, Charli embarks on a quest to do whatever it takes to spend retirement in the embrace of the man she loves. But is it too late for happily ever after?

In this humorous novel, a high-energy wife and her solid guy must learn to adjust to a new chapter in their lives and find their way back into each other’s hearts after their retirement begins with a jolt.

One of the excellent reviews for the book

While reading The Golden Age of Charli: RSVP, I moved from wanting Charli to be my aunt, to wanting Charli to be my best friend, and finally to wanting to BE Charli when I retire someday. I found the main character to be delightful, warm, honest and fun; and I appreciated her life’s motto – “press on” – and admired her determination to deepen her relationships with her husband (the newly-retired and golf-loving Pud) and with her many nieces and nephews. I also found myself drooling over the author’s abundant descriptions of food, wine, and cocktails – an unexpected and delicious part of this book!

One month from now, my youngest will be heading off to college, so I ended up relating more than I expected I would to Charli’s empty-nest pursuits. Although my husband and I are far from retirement, I still felt a kinship with Charli, and I look forward to reading the next books in Jena Henry’s charming series!
 

Also in the series

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jena-C.-Henry/e/B014PLDN12

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jena-C.-Henry/e/B014PLDN12

Read more reviews and follow Jena on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254103.Jena_C_Henry

Connect to Jena via her website/blog: http://www.jenabooks.com/

Another author who has written a book that would be perfect for those who are of Italian extraction who might be visiting relatives in Italy at some point.. Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.

Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.

However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.
“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.

I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Who were out of their depth, and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia via her Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/

The next author is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair with her latest release published in July, A Desolate Hour, Book Three of the Point Pleasant Series. Perfect for lovers of paranormal, folklore thrillers with a touch of romance.

About A Desolate Hour

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing the chief—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

The most recent review for the Point Pleasant series.

A superb end to an outstanding series! Author, Mae Clair, crafts another brilliant story in this third and final book in the Point Pleasant series. Once again, Clair seamlessly weaves folklore, paranormal, suspense, thriller, and a little romance in this highly engaging story. The character development is exceptional and the pace is intense! We are introduced to Quentin Marsh, a past resident who returns to Point Pleasant looking for answers and possible family ties to a centuries-old curse. He becomes acquainted with many of my favourite characters in the series, including Sarah. Sarah Sherman’s character, introduced earlier in the series, takes on a pivotal role in its conclusion. A researcher/historian, and skeptic of curses, she is integral in unveiling Point Pleasant’s dark mysteries. Her role takes on more than that of a researcher. She is part of the mystery.

Clair masterfully takes us on a riveting journey, piecing together the past, unveiling legends cloaked by time. In true form, Clair never falls to engage all our senses. We are immersed in the small town of Point Pleasant and the looming, ominous feel of the TNT site. We can smell the sultry air; it’s moist to the skin. The mysterious existence of the Mothman is forever present, and the potency of a centuries-old curse is penetrating.

Clair has delivered an exceptional series, and I highly recommend it. Much like the first two books in the series, A Thousand Yesteryears and A Cold Tomorrow, I believe A Desolate Hour can stand alone as well, but I suggest that you treat yourself to the full series or you’ll be missing out on two fantastic reads.

Again, a superb end to an outstanding series!

Read all the reviews so far and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Desolate-Hour-Point-Pleasant-ebook/dp/B01MDPY2A5

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desolate-Hour-Mae-Clair/dp/1601837828

A selection of other books by Mae Clair

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0

Read more reviews and follow Mae on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

Connect to Mae via her website: https://maeclair.net/

Another author that I would like to showcase before Christmas is Adele Marie Park and her book released earlier in the year, Wisp

About Wisp

Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought.

When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisp`s life, as he knew it will completely change.

What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.

A review for Wisp.

Colleen M. Chesebro5.0 out of 5 stars Enter the world of Edra where magic becomes survival 23 March 2017

Meet Wisp, a law enforcer in the land of Edra, where magic is encouraged to flourish and is often needed for sheer survival. A mages council rules Edra compared to the neighboring area of Finah, who prefers humans to control their resources. After a bloody civil war, many years ago, the two lands exist beside each other in a fragile peace.

Wisp is a marsh fairy (YES! Can you believe it?) with raven hair and pointy ears pierced with silver earrings. Marsh fairies are rare and possess special powers. Wisp keeps his real identity under wraps, known only to his superiors. Abandoned as a child, the “Senior” Law enforcement officer raised him ensuring his survival.

In a desolate area filled with putrefying rubbish, Wisp comes across the body of a High Elf, a member of the Thorns, who was a high-ranking council member found murdered in the circle. The elf’s throat had been brutally cut. Wisp sets out to solve the murder not realizing he is to play an integral part in solving the mystery.

Wisp meets Finn Redhaven, the lover of the murdered elf, Sammiel Thorn, and feels an immediate attraction to him. Wisp and Finn fall in love and discover a wealth of magical abilities enabled by their relationship. And, they are going to need all the help they can get to battle the evil that has descended on Edra.

As fantasy novels go, Wisp stands out to me in its originality and political intrigue. Ms. Park creates a world where love is considered to be one of the greatest powers of all. I enjoyed that the two main characters were male and embraced their love and desire for each other, which was a refreshing approach to solving a mystery in a magical land. The reader discovers along with Wisp the extent of his abilities which I anticipate will increase over time.

I’ve added Wisp to my list of favorite fantasy novels. I loved the story and the characters. The ending is a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the next volume to find out what happens to Wisp and Finn. Hopefully, Ms. Park won’t keep us in suspense for long

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4

Anthologies contributed to by Adele – Ghostly Writes are currently FREE on her author page.

Read the reviews and download the anthologies:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adele-Park/e/B01G9VHA9W

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Adele-Park/e/B01G9VHA9W

Connect to Adele via her website: http://www.adelemariepark.com/

Thank you for dropping into the Christmas Book Fair and I hope that you have enjoyed the selection.. More tomorrow. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Post from Your Archives – First Kiss by Patricia Salamone


Welcome to another story from Patricia Salamone.. Do you remember your first kiss?  If you can perhaps you can share your experience in the comments.

I am offline today celebrating our wedding anniversary… It would be great if you could share the post around as I am not here to give it another boost until tomorrow.. you are in charge.. thanks Sally

FIRST KISS – By: Patricia Salamone

The year was 1958, I was 15 and boys were the topic of conversation. I had two older sisters and we all had crushes on one boy or another. I was still on the verge of being a tomboy, but since I was allowed to go to the church dances at St. Mary’s church on Friday evenings the “guys” started looking different to me. Of course, I suppose the raging hormones helped.

The confraternity is what the dance was called. Father O’Toole would talk with us from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm about life, religion, and virtue. We would all sit there and when he would ask at the end of the sermon if there were any questions, not one hand would go up. Even if you did have a question, if you raised your hand you would be dead meat. At 7:30 the chairs were cleared by the guys’ and the dance would begin. Of course, we had to be dressed presentably. Boys with suit and tie or sports jacket and slacks with a tie. Girls with skirt and blouse or dress. No jeans, Tee shirts, leather jackets allowed by the boys and no tight skirts or see-through blouses for the girls. After all, this was the 50’s and we were at a church social. Father O’Toole hung around while the rock “n” roll blared so there were never any fights. However, he did overlook the smoking of cigarettes for the most part.

We danced the night away until 10:30 pm and then it was over, so we (the girls) had three hours to meet guys. This was all new to me and I got pointers from my two older sisters.

This one particular night a boy came up to me and asked me to dance. Since my group of girls danced with mostly each other this was a shock to me, but I accepted. As I walked to the dance floor I could hear the giggles of my friends and sisters. The song was Earth Angel and it was a magical moment. My heart was racing and my throat was dry, but I managed to chat with him. His name was Mike, he was about 6 feet tall, with dirty blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. He was wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie. He was a dream, and he danced well. Mike walked me home that night. He asked me if I would go to the movie with him on Sunday. I told him it would have to be in the afternoon because we had school on Monday and my parents wouldn’t allow me to go in the evening.

I had never even been on a date before, nor did I know if my parents would allow it, but I accepted anyway. It was a magical night, I of all the girls had a guy interested in me. “Oh What a Night.” When I arrived home my sisters had a million questions for me. They also told me that Mom and Dad would never let me go on a date. I had all night to plan what I would say to my parents the next day. After all, I had an ace in the hole, you see his brother was a priest! Mike was practically a saint.

Saturday I told my mother about Mike and how nice he was. How he walked me home and asked me to go to the movie on Sunday. I also gave her his last name, where he lived and advised her that he had a brother that was a priest. “I don’t know Patti, you are only 15.”

“Oh, Mom please, it’s only a movie and I will be home by 6:00 pm.”

“Well, I will talk with your Dad and let you know.”

I did want to whine and argue, but thought twice about that and just said “Okay.”

To my surprise, they were letting me go. I was elated. My sisters teased me all day, but my girlfriends were so jealous, I was thrilled. I might have landed a boyfriend. At 15 that was practically a miracle, especially with parents as strict as mine.

I pictured Mike coming to the door in his beautiful black suit with his white shirt and tie, I couldn’t wait for tomorrow. I did all of my chores with a song on my lips. “Earth Angel.”

Sunday arrived it was pouring rain. I was heartbroken. I thought it would be a beautiful sunny day, I had wonderful visions of walking and hand holding and possibly my very first kiss. I decided not to let the weather change my hope’s and dreams. I just changed the scenery, I thought of Gene Kelly and “Dancing in the Rain.”

The doorbell rang, my father told me he would get it. I heard him greet Mike and exchange conversation. My parents grilled him about his family and himself. They then called me to tell me Mike had arrived. Like I didn’t know. I walked down the hall to the kitchen where Mike was waiting with my parents.

Shock took over my body, who was this guy? Where was the handsome boy who danced with me and walked me home on Friday night? My God, he was wearing a brown suit and brown shoes. I hated brown. How could he do this to me! Now I had to spend an afternoon with him at the movie. I might as well have gone with my younger brother. Oh, Lord, what do I do now, I thought. Brown shoes, and ugly ones at that. What happened to his black shiny Penny Loafers that he wore Friday night.

The movie playing was “East of Eden.” We took our seats, he bought me an ice cream cone. He put his arm around the back of my seat. I panicked, I knew he was going to kiss me. I could feel it in my bones. He did kiss me. Right there in the theater, with everyone watching, and him in those ugly brown shoes. A few minutes later I announced I must go home.

“Why? I told your father we would be home at six.”

“I don’t care what you told my father, I have homework to do for school and I am leaving.”

Mike followed me out of the theater it was about 4:00 pm. We caught the bus and he walked me home in the pouring rain. No “Dancing in the Rain” either. I said an abrupt goodbye and thank you and went directly into the house.

“What are you doing home so early.” my parents asked.

“He kissed me. It was disgusting, so I left the movie.”

“You mean you just got up and walked out, just because he kissed you?”

“Yes.”

“He just kissed you? Nothing else? He didn’t get fresh with you, did he?”

“No, nothing else.”

“Then why didn’t you wait until the movie was over?” They asked.

I looked at them, what’s the matter with these people I thought.

“Because he wore brown shoes, ugly brown shoes, and a brown suit.” I headed off to my room.

I didn’t go to Confraternity for a few weeks after that.

The moral of this story is be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

©Patricia Salamone.

My thanks to Patricia for sharing this post and I have a confession to make.

I have a thing about feet.. I cannot stand them!  So when I was asked out on a date when I was 14 or so I would suggest we went swimming at the local baths. If I didn’t like their feet I never saw them again.. They could have looked like Brad Pitt and it would not have made an iota of difference!!!!

About Patricia Salamone

Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing.

Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, Patricia Salamone decribes her trip to Sicily with her husband Mike to visit for the first time his Italian relatives for the Christmas/New Years holidays.

Their experiences, told through her wry eyes, are just delightful. Patricia has a sly sense of humor and as she encounters the familiar as well as the differences of the Italian experience, we learn as much as she does as she gains confidence not only in her limited ability in the language but in driving their rented van through the narrow streets of the villages of Sicily and in coping with bathrooms very different from her own back in Florida. Her love of the various relatives they meet (all of whom seem to have variations of the same names) and the cuisine are contagious.

Readers of this book will begin to feel they know these people, and also Patricia and Mike, as members of an extended family. And one’s mouth begins to water when reading of the meals and all those delicious pastries. This is a book anyone who loves family as well as traveling will enjoy. I highly recommend spending time with the Salamones on their journey back home for the first time.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia

Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.k.salamone
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pattisalamone

I am now looking for archive posts for the festive season.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today Patricia Salamone shares something that she wrote in the 1970s which has as much relevance today as it did then. A short post but a powerful message.

 Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone.

Can you hear the rumbling?
If you listen close you might.
Can you see despair and poverty?
It is an awful sight!
Can you hear the children crying out in pain?
Can you see their faces as they’re calling out in vain?

Each day you line your pockets. Is that your only goal?
Is human life so meaningless you let degradation take its toll?
Do you see how you are destroying the only world which we know?
We trusted you to lead us and this is all you have to show?
You keep your little circle tight, with nothing but the best.
Once this world is finished, you’ll go down with all the rest.

Promises you made mean nothing anymore.
You will say anything you need to get you in the door.
If you think we’re not aware of what is coming down.
If you think this can go on, you really are a clown.
Quietly we gather; one by one we come.
Silently we move while all of you are having fun.

We are tired of your grabbing, and never giving back.
We are angry you’ve betrayed us. We are about to crack.
You have lost sight of what you’re there for; to lead, and not to take.
Your Greed has taken flight.
Can you hear the rumbling? If you listen close you might

©Patricia Salamone 1970

My thanks to Patricia for sharing this post from 40 years ago that illustrates how little somethings have changed… when it comes to those who lead us.

About Patricia Salamone

Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing.

Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, Patricia Salamone decribes her trip to Sicily with her husband Mike to visit for the first time his Italian relatives for the Christmas/New Years holidays.

Their experiences, told through her wry eyes, are just delightful. Patricia has a sly sense of humor and as she encounters the familiar as well as the differences of the Italian experience, we learn as much as she does as she gains confidence not only in her limited ability in the language but in driving their rented van through the narrow streets of the villages of Sicily and in coping with bathrooms very different from her own back in Florida. Her love of the various relatives they meet (all of whom seem to have variations of the same names) and the cuisine are contagious.

Readers of this book will begin to feel they know these people, and also Patricia and Mike, as members of an extended family. And one’s mouth begins to water when reading of the meals and all those delicious pastries. This is a book anyone who loves family as well as traveling will enjoy. I highly recommend spending time with the Salamones on their journey back home for the first time.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia

Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.k.salamone
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pattisalamone

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The Big White Balloon by Patricia Salamone


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today Patricia Salamone shares one of her posts from her archive that reflects the innocence of childhood. Patricia has also written some wonderful serial stories since she began blogging. Please head over and enjoy them. More about Patricia and her links later.

The Big White Balloon by Patricia Salamone

The year was 1950. The place was Maspeth, New York. We lived in the house on 73rd. St. There were four of us. Myself, almost 7, my two older sisters, 8 and 10, and my brother, 5. It was summer, and in those days the only recreation we had was summer school. The local elementary school was open to all children. They offered arts and crafts. Knock hockey. Checker Tournaments. Basket Ball, Potsy or if you prefer it was also called Hop Scotch, and every day they would put the showers on and everyone was allowed to cool off running through the delightfully cool water. This was all supervised by teachers that worked through the summer to make extra cash.

We (my siblings and I) were allowed to attend summer school with the consent of our parents. Every morning my mother would pack each of us a lunch and a snack, put it in a brown paper bag and off we would go to walk the few blocks to the school. We would remain there until 4:00 pm and then walk home.

For the most part, it was fun. The teachers were very nice and we each had other children in our age group to play with. It did get a bit boring after a few weeks, but there was nothing else available for free so summer school it was.

This particular morning as we were walking to the school we were bickering back and forth and my brother was whining. I started to walk ahead of my siblings as I told them to shut up. I was about 25 feet ahead of them. I could hear my oldest sister calling me to stop or she would tell our mother that I was not obeying her. I stopped and when I did I noticed that I had stepped on a balloon. It was a white balloon. It looked fairly large to me so I picked it up brushed off the top of it on my shorts to remove any germs that might have gathered there and started blowing it up. By that time the rest had caught up with me and wanted to see the balloon. I had already put it in my mouth and was blowing away. It was wonderful the balloon was getting really big.

“Hey, let me try said my sister Denni,”

“No, I want to try cried, my brother.”

“Let me see that balloon said my older sister.”

I took the balloon out of my mouth and held my arm up in the air so none of them could grab it. I had blown it up and it was bigger than a basketball. I let go of it and it flew up and swirled around and finally came down to rest in the street. It was magnificent! We all ran over to where it landed and took turns blowing it up and letting it go, being careful not to make it pop. We continued this all the way to school. As we assembled in the schoolyard we continued blowing up the balloon and soon had a crowd of other kids around us. The all wanted to try it. We let some of them take a turn. It turned into a game of who could blow up the balloon the biggest without making it break and then who could make it go the highest. We were having a great time.

Soon after the teachers started arriving and we knew we would be going to the gym shortly. My teacher saw me letting the balloon go and smiling said to me “What have you got there Patti?”

“A big white balloon.”

“Can I see it?”

“Sure,” I said and handed it over to her. “It’s great isn’t it,” I said so proudly.

“It is pretty interesting, where did you get this?”

“I found it on the way to school.”

“Oh, how nice. Would you do me a favor?”

“Yes, Ma’am. What do you want me to do?”

“I would like you to put the balloon away for the rest of the day.”

“Why?”

“I don’t want any of the kids to break it.”

“Oh, they won’t, we’ve been blowing it up and letting it go before you got here. It gets really big. Do you want me to show you?”

“No, No I believe you. Just do me a favor and put it away until you get home, OK?”

“OK.”

“By the way Patti, what children blew up the balloon beside you and your sister’s and brother?”

“I don’t remember, but everybody who was here at the time.”

The rest of the day went on as usual, except for one thing. We were famous that day. All the kids in the school wanted to see the great balloon I had. We were so popular that day, we had crowds of kids around us wanting to just see it. It was the first time in my entire 7 years that I felt so popular. I was almost sorry to see the school day come to an end.

On the way home my siblings and I continued to blow up the balloon and let it fly, it was a great day. I told my sister’s and brother I was going to blow it up as big as I could and then jump off the garage roof holding it and just float to the ground.

“You will not, mommy will kill you.”

“Only if you rat on me, and if you do I’ll get you.”

“I won’t tell.” said my brother Augie. “Will you let me take a turn jumping off the roof?”

“No, you’re too little,” I said as we were entering our house. We lived on the second floor of a two-family house. We all ran up the stairs like a heard of cattle, laughing and screaming.

Our mother was in the kitchen cooking. “Hi kids, how was school?”

“It was great Mommy. Look what I have.” I showed her my prize possession, with a big smile on my face.

“Let me see,” she said. She took the balloon from me and asked me where I got it.

“I found it on the way to school, you should see how big I can blow it up.” So proud of myself.

“Where did you find it?”

“In the street.”

Before we knew what was happening my mother was making us scrub out teeth and rinse our mouth’s with Peroxide and water. Scrubbing our lips and giving us all a bath. I tried to explain that I wiped it off real good before I put it in my mouth, but there was nothing I could say to make her understand. She took my balloon away from me and I never saw it again. She also warned all of us to never, never pick anything up off the ground and put it in our mouth. We could get a disease and die.

I was devastated, not only did I lose my balloon, now I might die. I did not die that night or any other night, but years later I found out that I had picked up a used condom that beautiful summer day.

©Patricia Salamone 2017

My thanks to Patricia for sharing this story and I seem to remember a very disturbing conversation with my mother on the subject!

 

About Patricia Salamone

Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing.

Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, Patricia Salamone decribes her trip to Sicily with her husband Mike to visit for the first time his Italian relatives for the Christmas/New Years holidays.

Their experiences, told through her wry eyes, are just delightful. Patricia has a sly sense of humor and as she encounters the familiar as well as the differences of the Italian experience, we learn as much as she does as she gains confidence not only in her limited ability in the language but in driving their rented van through the narrow streets of the villages of Sicily and in coping with bathrooms very different from her own back in Florida. Her love of the various relatives they meet (all of whom seem to have variations of the same names) and the cuisine are contagious.

Readers of this book will begin to feel they know these people, and also Patricia and Mike, as members of an extended family. And one’s mouth begins to water when reading of the meals and all those delicious pastries. This is a book anyone who loves family as well as traveling will enjoy. I highly recommend spending time with the Salamones on their journey back home for the first time.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia

Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.k.salamone
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pattisalamone

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

 

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Patricia Salamone, D.G.Kaye and Geoff Le Pard


Welcome to the first of the review posts this week and we have three authors who are celebrating great feedback.  I usually find out via social media but you can always email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first recent review is for Patricia Salamone and her entertaining The Italian Thing which shares the reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

The most recent review for the book

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.

Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.

However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.
“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.

I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Who were out of their depth, and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

Find out about Patricia Salamone,read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia via her blog:https://the-italian-thing.com/

The next review is for The Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye with a book that explores the damage that can be done to our self-esteem with unguarded or unkind words when we are young.

About Words We Carry

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

The most recent review for Words We Carry

I read the introduction to Words We Carry, and I couldn’t put it down until I finished. Everything D.G Kaye wrote about growing up—the obsession with fitting in, being slim to point of hipless, trendy fashion, big hair, makeup and even the high heels that we practiced walking in from the time we were three years old, had me nodding my head until I felt like a bobble-head doll. I was struck by a sentence in her chapter on flirting. “Our egos may lead us to believe that we have to be the object of someone’s attentions to quantify our sexuality.”

I can see now how as young girls we learned to flirt and use our sexuality to gain advantage. D.G. Kaye openly shares her memories of growing up, vividly detailing her feelings and insecurities. I personally can identify with every single chapter, right down to the movie Psycho and my fear of the dark. But this is a timeless book and one that is still extremely relevant today. Kaye’s chapter on vanity, centers on insecurity and people pleasing (friends, parents, teachers, boyfriends) out of fear of rejection but more so for validation. In the section Relationships, she reveals how in a past relationship her overly compassionate, ‘I can fix him’ mentality lead to an erosion of her self-worth.

Kaye advocates doing away with negativity and not letting it overtake your life, and permeate your well-being. She stresses the importance of addressing and overcoming one’s fears, which if ignored can easily make one a target of abuse. Kaye’s chapter on that subject rang true for me as well, and is a clarion call to develop self-esteem early in life. But it is never too late. Kaye hit the bulls-eye with the statement “We all possess the ability to save ourselves.”

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.https://www.dgkayewriter.com

The last of the reviews today is for Geoff Le Pard and his entertaining book Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle with its brand new cover.

About the book

It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades

Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. He expects he will be bored rigid, but the appearance of old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son, Claude, and predatory wife Monica changes that. As his parents’ marriage implodes, Harry’s problems mount; before he knows it he’s in debt up to his ears and dealing in drugs. Things go from bad to worse when he is stabbed.

He needs money fast, but now his job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he has discovered a family secret that could destroy all he holds dear. The only way out appears to require that Harry joins forces with the local criminal mastermind. Can Harry survive to see out the summer? Can he save his family? Can he regain some credibility and self-respect? Most importantly will he finally get laid?

Here is the latest review on Goodreads

Brigid Gallagher rated it 5 Stars on August 20th.

In the summer of 1976 Harry Spittle aged nineteen, heads home for the summer after his first year at university. Harry seems prone to crisis from the beginning – bullying from fellow student Stephen Mc Noble who soon befriends Harry’s ex girlfriend, working in the local hotel with a diverse group of characters, and facing a bullying chef, entering a world of drug dealing, diamond smuggling and petty village gardening competitiveness…

However, Harry’s main focus in life is the opposite sex which takes him on a series of hilarious escapades. I could not stop laughing at some of Harry’s shenanigans, and I learned a lot about the minds of nineteen year old males!

I loved the humour and enjoyed the musical references which reminded me of my own youth.

If you want a great laugh out loud read this book is for you.

Read other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Flies-Sherry-Trifle-Geoff/dp/1502916495

Also by Geoff Le Pard

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0

Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9791177.Geoff_Le_Pard

Connect with Geoff on his blog:  http://geofflepard.com/

 

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have a recent review that you would like to share drop me a line to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Carmen Stefanescu and Patricia K. Salamone


Welcome to the first of the book review posts for the week and our first author celebrating is Carmen Stefanescu with Dracula’s Prodigy.

About Dracula’s Prodigy

Running from the hands of an abusive husband, on the verge of committing suicide, a series of strange events/apparitions make Linda reassess her life. She embarks on a thorough research regarding her unusual ancestor—Vlad, the Impaler, aka Dracula.

Can Linda discover the truth regarding Vlad among the countless malicious stories, exaggerated legends and whispered slander dating back to 15th century? Is he a hero, a brave protector of his hard tried people and country? Or a cruel monster feeding on the blood of those impaled at his order?

And is good-looking Jody really helping Linda regain her trust in men and love, or is he another evil envoy of a past that haunts her and threatens her life?

The most recent review for Dracula’s Prodigy

An Engrossing Read  on August 6, 2017

A complex story that focus on a descendant of the infamous Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) that is intricately imagined and beautifully told. Linda Cartwright has no idea who the strange man in her dreams is, nor does she understand how the life she once imagined with her husband, Bill, has turned into a nightmare for her and her young daughter.

Fleeing a loveless marriage, Linda discovers courage she never realized she had, and an ancestral history rife with betrayals, revenge, and eternal devotion. Rich with details of both past and present, Carmen Stefanescu continues the story she began in Dracula’s Mistress, but offers a unique twist by placing her heroine in modern times.

I found myself caught up in the emotion of the central characters and a mystery that transcends centuries. The author’s writing flows beautifully, both visual and compelling, keeping the reader turning pages and racing to the conclusion. If you enjoy history and myth with a twinge of the paranormal, woven into a contemporary setting, this is a story you don’t want to miss.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Prodigy-Mistress-Book-ebook/dp/B071KVQ48W

Also by Carmen Stefanescu

Find out more about Carmen’s books and other published work: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ie/p/works.html

Connect to Carmen via her blog: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

My next reviews are for Patricia K Salamone and her book The Italian Thing which shares the trip that she and her husband took to meet his Italian relatives.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip! *Includes 26 original photos!

The most recent reviews on Amazon

I have always wanted to visit Italy, such a timeless and beautiful country with so many interesting places to visit.

Reading “The Italian Thing” will be like going there and seeing the country through someone else’s eyes, I thought, expecting to find a country I was already familiar with. I was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime and the book did not disappoint. It was well written, full of all the wonderful scenery and architecture I have come to expect of the country.

However “The Italian Thing” isn’t about the country, not really, it is about the people and family. About the lives they live and the glorious food they eat.
“Everything will be fine” is the Italians hilarious answer to everything, and is the key to understanding their very different way of life.

I loved the touches of humour, the very descriptive narrative, and the loving but feisty relationship between Pat and Mike. Who were out of their depth, and up to their eyes in food of every delicious description. How they came home weighing less than before is remarkable!

Everything will be fine”, they all said, and of course it was. A light hearted and most amusing account of an Italian America couple’s holiday to Naro, Italy. Patricia and Mike travel from Florida in the USA to experience life with Mike’s relatives. They are Italian so it will be a doddle, they think. This book is a heart warming account of how very different life proves to be on the other side of the pond and how this couple come to realise that being an Italian in Italy is a little different from being an American of Italian extraction.

They are welcomed, in what I came to think of as “true Italian style”, by their extended family as they all gathered for one fantastic meal after another to celebrate their American relatives visit to the continent. Mike and Patricia learn how to take a hand shower in the bath and how to mop up the bathroom from top to bottom afterwards, are introduced to the delicious joys of homemade bread, still warm from the oven and Patricia gets an opportunity to show off her own cooking skills when she make a tomato based sauce for a family event. Patricia also learns to drive like a real Italian and only scrapes the car once during the entire holiday. In addition to the delightful people, Patricia and Mike are introduced to the delights of Italian pastries, delicious food served on plastic plates and a toilet facility with no door.

I read this book with my son, Michael, aged eleven, while my older son, Gregory, aged fourteen, listened. Michael was completely taken with the story and chose this book as the subject of his second term book review for school. He has been walking around ever since we read it telling me that everything, from not brushing his teeth to gobbling all the left overs is “the Italian thing!”. A truly worthwhile read for everyone and anyone who enjoys life and a jolly good laugh.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19295811-the-italian-thing

Connect to Patricia and enjoy her fiction series: https://the-italian-thing.com/

Thanks for dropping in today and please spread the news about these talented writers and their new reviews. Sally