Today I'm pleased to share a link to a guest post I've written for the lovely and talented Dan Holloway, as part of his series on creativity and extreme sports. I'd be thrilled if you would drop by, read and comment.
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! It's that time again, and this week, I've prepared a special little tribute to my hubby of ten years - and tomorrow, that number is official! That's right, our tenth wedding anniversary is Friday the 28th, and I thought I'd "celebrate" a bit by sharing some of my favorite photos of my hottie hubby, Alessandro, taken over the years.
So now, please allow me to share with you:
Thirteen Photos of My Hubby!
And there you have them: Thirteen Photos of My Hubby!
I think you'll agree he's a cutie, eh?
And since this is a special edition of my Thursday Thirteen, I've prepared an equally special final photo for you all.
It's a little different from the usual fare (to say the least), but...
I sure hope you don't mind!
Ciao for now! :)
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! It's that time again - and this week, I'm sharing with you a portion of the books stacked up in my To-Be-Read pile, at the moment. So, here we go:
Thirteen Books in My To-Be-Read Pile
1) Sex is Forbidden - Tim Parks
2) Talking About It - Tim Parks
3) Adultery and Other Diversions - Tim Parks
4) Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman
5) Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
6) Stardust - Neil Gaiman
7) The Red House - Mark Haddon
8) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- Mark Haddon
9) Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Green
10) To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11) Look at the Birdie - Kurt Vonnegut
12) Joyland - Stephen King
13) A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
And there you have them: Thirteen Books in My To-Be-Read Pile!
Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments, won't you?
And, in the meantime, I think we can agree that it's perfect weather for kicking back and reading a good book.
Ciao for now!
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! Well, it has been another busy week for me, filled with writing, editing, cover designing, and blah-blah-blah (as my niece Mia loves to say). This week also saw - albeit very briefly - my novella, Alternate Rialto, at number ONE (sorry, mustn't shout) on one of Amazon Italy's freebie lists. (See this post for more details.) As a result, I've decided to share
Thirteen Reasons to Download Alternate Rialto
1) Call me crazy, but I think that's a reasonably lovely cover, if I do say so myself.
2) It's the story of an ordinary young woman making some important self-discoveries while in Venice.
3) It's romantic without being too saccharine about it.
4) There's a genuine friendship between the two female characters, who support one another without competition.
5) The male character has an air of mystery about him.
7) There's a darker undercurrent to the story which keeps you guessing.
8) If you've already read Ask Me if I'm Happy, but haven't read Alternate Rialto, you'll finally learn how Emily and Jacopo met in the first place.
9) If you haven't read Ask Me if I'm Happy, this is your chance to read the whole story in a more linear fashion, from start to finish!
10) It takes place in VENICE, ITALY! What's not to like about that?
11) It's a realistic portrait of the city, too, both beautiful and flawed.
12) Here's an excerpt, should you desire one:
The streets were virtually empty, the campi deserted. They crossed the Rialto Bridge again, Jacopo guiding her as before, but this time he steered her to a place at the wall. The bridge was aglow, the ghostly pale stone surface softly illuminated by strategically placed lights. They stood and looked out at the reflections on the water which rippled, rose and fell with soft, gentle lapping against the boats moored nearby.
"Emily," he said, his voice scarcely carrying above the soft murmurs of conversation around them. She drew her gaze away from the hypnotic dance of light on water to face him.
Yes? she wanted to ask, but the word never formed on her lips. Instead, his hands framed her face and held her still as he brought his lips to hers in a soft kiss. She raised her own trembling hands to cover his as he kissed her again. At once, the other people vanished, along with the bridge, the water and the city itself.
His hands slipped from under hers to stroke her hair, twisting and tangling in the length of it while his kiss deepened. Her heartbeat was distant and remote, somewhere else. There were only his lips, parting hers and lingering while he pulled her to him and held her securely in his embrace. Emily trembled as eagerness, anxiety and need warred amongst themselves, threatening to breach the surface at any moment.
An adventure. I need to have an adventure. I deserve it, too, don't I?
Awareness of her surroundings filtered through, murky and submerged but slowly clarifying in the laughter and soft talk all around them. At last, she opened her eyes to find herself looking directly into his. The pale, Summer-sky blue of his eyes held her transfixed for what seemed like forever.
13) Finally, I hasten to add: it's FREE!!! What more reason could you need? What have you got to lose?
And there you go: Thirteen Reasons to Download Alternate Rialto!
I hope you'll find them persuasive.
And if not, I'll just ask nicely.
So... Pretty please?
With sugar on top!
Ciao for now!
Okay, to be fair, I may have hyped that title just a bit.
Still, Alternate Rialto did, in fact, reach number one on the Amazon Italy Kindle English-language freebies chart for Contemporary Fiction (Narrativa Contemporanea).
Hitting number one meant I'd topped Melissa Foster, Sophie Kinsella and Nadia Lee for a day - and that's no easy feat!
So, "Hurrah!" for list-topping, for the first time ever! Here's hoping I can manage it again, sometime. Heh.
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! I hope you've all been well and happy. I'm betting that most of you have been busy, too - just like me! So, let's jump on in and see how I've been passing time, eh?
Thirteen Ways I Have Been Keeping Myself Busy
1) First and foremost, the holidays were a big factor in keeping me busy - and I'd wager they kept most of you busy, too! The season was unusually warm in this part of Italy, which was a bit of a disappointment, but I enjoyed it all the same.
2) Another thing which kept me busy was revising the English translation of a popular Italian-language YA Fantasy novel by a local writer here in Reggio Emilia. Actually, that's still keeping me busy, but the work should be wrapped up soon if all goes according to schedule. (I'll share more details when the book is closer to release, of course.)
3) I've also been doing some work on None So Blind, the second prequel novella to Ask Me if I'm Happy. Alas, this project has been slow to develop - but I promise, it's on the way!!!
4) I've also been revamping the covers of my novels for a somewhat more "uniform" look, as I'm collecting Emily and Davide's stories into a proper series. The covers above are the "works in progress" at the moment.
5) A little cleaning and straightening of my workspace kept me busy, as did rearranging the furniture in my office. Nothing dramatic, no, but it freshened the place up a bit. Yay!
6) Night-time visits to the city center for a number of different reasons kept me busier than usual, over the last few months.
7) As I mentioned last week, I did another voice-over job for a local company. I enjoy that sort of thing a great deal, and the person I worked with was fun to work/hang out with. I hope to work with them again, soon.
8) Riding my bike kept me busy while it was warmer outside (up until I crashed right before the rainy season kicked in). I've been on the stationary bike since mid-November, and am looking forward to getting out on the road again.
9) I've kept busy reading, too. I especially enjoyed Stephen King's Doctor Sleep and Joe Hill's NOS4A2.
10) Visits with family kept me pretty busy, as did visits with a friend who came back to Italy for just over a week at New Year's.
11) A trip to Montebelluna, near Treviso, with the hubby to visit other friends kept me pretty busy, too, if only for an all-too-brief weekend.
12) The Doodlebug always keeps me busy - to say the least!
13) And finally, repainting the guest room - and then rearranging the furniture - certainly kept us busy, at least for a couple of days.
And there you have them, Thirteen Ways I Have Been Keeping Myself Busy.
Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!
Oh, yes, I know what you're expecting now.
Did you really think I'd forget?
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! I'm back (for now) for another thrilling edition of the Thursday Thirteen!
Yes, it's a topic I've done before, but I was tagged on Facebook for one of those memes that go around every so often, and I thought it'd be an amusing (and generally positive) way to post again.
So, please allow me to share with you:
13 Random Facts About Me!
1) I took photography classes for three years when I was in high school. People who have visited this site before know I love photography, so it won't surprise them to know I've been a fan of photographic work since I was in my early teens.
2) I always enjoyed riding my bike when I was a kid, but my love for professional cycling has its roots in watching the Tour de France with my cousin, Dustin, when we were both visiting our fathers in Ashland, KY in the summer of 1987.
3) As I said on FB: Samuele Bersani is still my favorite singer.
4) In Italy, as a native speaker of English, I have done the occasional voice-over job, mostly for industrial videos. The most recent one I've done is for a video about Reggio Emilia.
5) I cried when my husband bought me my first-ever wool "dress" coat. I felt guilty because - with the exchange rate at the time - it cost more than any other article of clothing I've ever owned. It's still one of my favorite articles of clothing, though I rarely get to wear it - it's seldom cold enough now!
6) I've had two celebrity encounters via Twitter. One with Fabian Cancellara (Swiss cyclist), and one with Luca Argentero (Italian actor).
7) On a more personal note, in the last year, I've lost 28 pounds. I like to say I've finally lost my kummerspeck - which is German for "grief bacon" - gained during a turbulent and painful period from 2009-2011.
8) In case you haven't noticed, I tend to "over-share". Sorry!
9) I scream and run away from bees. Just ask my hubby.
10) On a similar tangent - wasps make me physically ill. If I see a nest, or a number of wasps in a particular area, my heart starts pounding until I'm ready to throw up. I start shaking all over, too.
11) I really enjoy designing the covers for my books, for better or worse. I enjoy working with graphics and trying to capture the mood of the story as best I can. I've been known to design the cover before finishing the story - if not before I begin writing it in the first place. It helps me to "see" the final product more clearly in my head, most of the time.
12) I wrote an entire book inspired by the music of Jarvis Cocker and Pulp. I need to revise it (heavily) before it would be a viable, publishable entity, but I hope to do that one day.
13) I call my mother in the US at the same time of day, almost every single weekday. Thank goodness for Skype!
And that's it for today's 13 Random Facts About Me!
I hope you've found them somewhat entertaining.
If not, I apologize, and I will attempt to better in the future.
In the meantime, I offer this to you in hopes of making reparations:
Ciao for now!
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody!
Have you heard the good news? Amazon's Kindle MatchBook program is now live!
Why should you care? Well, if you ever bought a paperback copy of any of my books from Amazon, you can now get the ebook version for just $.99! That's a substantial savings, see? What a deal! What a bargain!
If you still haven't purchased one of my books, now is a great time to do so. You can buy a paperback copy of Ask Me if I'm Happy on Amazon for your Italophile friend, and nab an ebook copy for yourself at just $.99! Or, you can grab a copy of 27 Stages for your cycling-obsessed cousin and get the ebook to read at your leisure.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out the MatchBook program today!
Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! Just a quick note, here, to let you know Ask Me if I'm Happy is being featured on Thursday at The Fussy Librarian, a website that offers personalized ebook recommendations. You choose from 30 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic. It's pretty cool -- check it out! www.TheFussyLibrarian.com