Archivi tag: blogger

The Emperor’s list by Morgana LeFay

img_7327

You can find it here 

DESCRIPTION:

Jerusalem 135 A.D. General Julius Severus has just guided his legions through a difficult campaign in Palestine. The repression of the rebels has been maybe the bloodiest in Roman history. The praetor Fulvius Atticus is asked to return immediately to Rome, he has a secret mission to carry out. In Rome Cornelia Clodia, the only daughter of a rich copper trader, is getting ready for her husband’s funeral. He died during the Jerusalem campaign. Theirs was not a good match. She was his young second wife and he married her for her money. Also, she has not a drop of noble blood, while Marcus descended from a long line of patricians. Marcus’s best friend, Fulvius Atticus is the executor of her husband’s will which states that Fulvius and Cornelia should marry. The praetor has a decree from the Emperor Hadrian, by which the Emperor himself blesses the wedding. Cornelia can’t do anything but obey. On the night of her wedding she discovers a list of names in her new husband’s study and finds a partially burned letter from the Emperor in which there is mentioned a list of conspirators. Her father is on that list…

MY REVIEW:

I’ve read this book incredibly fast because I just couldn’t stop reading. Since the beginning of the story, my only thought has been “How is this gonna end?”. Morgana LeFay really knows how to keep the reader in suspense. At every end of chapter, you feel the need to go on and on through the pages.

Another reason why I’ve enjoyed this book is that I’ve always loved Roman history. This book let you travel in the past and recognise the Latin world with its traditions, language, formulas and families. The idea of “fides”, as Latin tradition intended it, is in this book alongside love, honesty, pride. Cornelia is a wonderful character. She’s not only pretty and young, but also intelligent and wise. When her world seems to crush down, she knows how to protect whom and who she loves.

I’m sure you’ll absolutely love this book, even if you aren’t passionate about history. It costs a very little price, but it has so much to give you!

Annunci

Do things before you’re ready

img_6794

I’m not disappeared into a puffed, light-blue cloud. It’s just that my IELTS test is approaching and I’m just… panicking. I can write, yes, I think I can do it. And I can read and listen to the records (although the latter makes me incredibly anxious). But the speaking? That’s my real problem. Speaking is something you usually practice with English-speaking people, but I live in Italy and it’s not so easy to find someone who can talk to you in a foreign language and, most of all, who WANTS to spend his time with you like that. So, I’m panicking. I don’t know if I can pass this exam and I don’t know if I’ve the necessary skills. Apart from that, life goes on as usual. I spend my mornings playing the piano in conservatory (I should graduate next year) and I’m perfectionning my PhD research proposal. I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (we’ll have time to talk about that) and I’m trying to reduce the pile of magazines standing on the floor like a paper tower. Most of all, I’m writing. I’ve subscribed to the #NaNoWriMo and I’m writing my novel-in-a-month. This year I’m writing into Italian language, but I’ve sweared that next year I’ll try to do it in English. Can I do that? I don’t know but, as wise people say, “do things before you’re ready”.

November fair

img_6653

Here where I live, in this little town in the south of Italy, November is the month with the highest number of fairs. It starts with a big fair in a little town next to mine and it goes on with another in my native town. November smells like oranges and roasted chestnuts and popcorn and sugar. November smells like pouring rain and grey sky. I love this month that is a bridge between summer and winter, the main part of autumn. For me, this is also the period of time in which I’ve to make my decisions and my English test. I don’t know where I’ll be living next year and which language I’ll be speaking. What I know is the incredible atmosphere of this (perhaps) last November in Italy. And I’m gonna enjoy it ‘til the end.

The home corner by Ruth Thomas

image

I’ve found this book in a remainders’ shop,  near the hugest library of my town. It was completely new, untouched, and I can’t understand how it’s arrived in my little town in the south of Italy, but still…

The story is quite nice, even if I think it should be better edited. The novel is too long for a short story like that. The plot is perhaps too “easy” to justify this number of pages. The last part of the book, for instance, is incredibly long. The story starts finishing too soon, and it finally finishes too late. There’s something that is a bit unrealistic, too, in particular everything which concerns Mrs Ellis and her role in Louisa’s life. Characters are either too good or too bad, as if in a story that’s meant for children. Perhaps, this book really IS for children and extremely young teenagers, but still I’ve found it too simple and linearly written. It’s a “cold” writing, I couldn’t feel anything at all during the reading but the strong need to slap Louisa into her face.

In conclusion, I don’t feel like advising this reading to you. What a shame! But it doesnt’t matter: the next reading will be better!

Acrylic on canvas

image

Blue, cyano, white. A bit of yellow. That’s pale green. And then all over again.

Seven years ago, I drew a little croissant and a fork plunged into it on canvas. Then, I abandoned it. For years it’s been there, among the magazines I wrote for and the books I still have to read. Yesterday, I surprised myself thinking “The day’s come to finish what I’ve started”. And I’ve done it. I’ve searched for my acrylics and the brushes, I’ve set the palette, I’ve started painting. It was midnight. My mum has looked at me, still in her nightdress, and she’s said: “You’re completely fool”, which is actually true. I’ve carried on painting until 2 am. Then, I’ve washed the colours out of the palette, I’ve washed my hands and looked at the almost finished plunged-into-heart brioche. Seven years to complete it, but now I’m really satisfied. So it’s true: the time always comes to complete what you’ve once thought of. Sometimes it’s a matter of a couple of days, sometimes it’s a matter of years, but the time will come. Now, my hands are green with acrylics and I’m sleepy but it doesn’t matter. I’ve finished what I’ve started. That is always a good way to spend your days.

Goodmorning, miss!

high_school_class_room_retouch-sized

These mornings I’m experiencing something completely new, for me: I’m reading books in classes from 6th to 8th grades, at school. It’s incredibly funny! Can you believe that? The best moment is when you enter the room and they don’t know you yet. They look at you, they smile ironically and try to understand if they can laugh at you or listen to you and trust you. And then, the miracle: they suddenly feel at their ease ‘cause you’re acting as if you were a student just like them. You’re sitting among them, you’re reading Fred Uhlman, you’re answering their questions and they’re answering yours. You speak all together about friendship, love, hate, future. You’re having fun and they’re having fun. THIS is the secret. And it’s something I’ve never thought it would suit me, and instead… here we are. Yesterday a young, redhead boy from 6th class, sitting just in front of me, has asked me: “Have you a boyfriend? I’m asking you that because my cousin’s boyfriend has dumped her because of her writing”. And I’ve answered “I’ll pick a writer: problem solved”, which could actually be true.

The youngest students are smart, funny and incredibly curious about life, love and… books, too. They want to know how much money you’re earning, in what does your editor’s job consist, why have you suddenly started writing down everything which passed through your mind. A girl has asked me where do I find inspiration, and I’ve said: “Everything that surrounds you IS part of the inspirational process. YOU yourself, while you’re sitting there asking me questions, are part of my inspirational process”, and it’s extremely true.

My parents have been working as primary school teachers for years and years. The main part of my life has been characterized by “schoolish” conversations. And I can remember the infinite times I’ve said “I’ll never become a teacher”. I’m not so sure about it anymore.

New Release: The strategist by Giovanna Barbieri

Hi! Today I’m showing you another great book by an Italian author that’s a friend of mine and an editor too: Giovanna Barbieri. If you love historical fiction, you can’t definitely miss that!

GIOVANNA BARBIERI was born in Verona in 1974 and she actually lives in Volpicella. In 2001 she graduated in Political Sciences, school of International economics.
She’s a member of EWWA (European Writing Women Association) and she’s a freelance editor at http://righerosse.wordpress.com/

image

PLOT:
History and fantasy wrapped into one novel.

After a strong storm Alice, a young woman from the 21st century, finds herself in 1163, in a forest in the beautiful Valpolicella area. What happened? Who sent her back to the period of the struggle between Emperor Federico Barbarossa and those against him? And why? Was it a coincidence or a divine plan?

Hurt and confused, Alice is rescued by a family of peasants that take her to the Abbey of the Sacred Heart in Arbizzano, where she is treated by the kind nuns and learns the use of medicinal herbs. Once healed and brought to the castle of Fumane, she will have to decide what to do: fight to return to her time or, to escape the unjust accusations of witchcraft, take part in the 1165 siege of Rivoli beside Sir Lorenzo Aligari, with whom she will fall madly in love.

LINKS:
https://www.amazon.it/Strategist-D-1164-English-ebook/dp/B01KFXSHKQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477045292&sr=8-1&keywords=the+strategist+ad+1164

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-strategist-ad-1164-giovanna-barbieri/1124334064?ean=2940153392899

And for those of you who enjoy reading in German language, here’s the German version of the same book!

image

DIE STRATEGIN, AD 1164
Genre: FICTION / HISTORISCH
Es handelt sich um eine surreale Zeitreise ins zwölfte Jahrhundert, während der anti-imperialen Kämpfe von 1164-1165
Nach einem starken Unwetter findet sich Alice, eine junge Frau aus dem XXI. Jahrhundert, ins Jahr 1163 versetzt, in einen Wald des wunderschönen Tals Valpolicella. Was ist passiert? Wer hat sie ins Jahr 1163, in die Zeit der anti-imperialen Kämpfe gegen Kaiser Federico il Barbarossa geschickt und vor allen Dingen, warum? War es ein Zufall oder ein Plan Gottes? Verletzt und verwirrt wird sie von einer Familie halbfreier Bauern gerettet, die sie in die Abtei des Sacro Cuore nach Arbizzano bringen, wo sie von freundlichen Nonnen gepflegt wird und wo sie die Anwendung von Heilkräutern lernt. Nachdem sie geheilt und in die Burg von Fumane gebracht worden war, muss sie sich entscheiden, wie sie handeln soll: Kämpfen, um in ihre Zeit zurückzukehren, oder, um den ungerechten Vorwürfen der Hexerei zu entkommen, an der Belagerung von Rivoli im Jahr 1165 an der Seite des Ritters Lorenzo Aligari teilzunehmen, in den sie sich dann unsterblich verliebt.

LINKS
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/die-strategin-giovanna-barbieri/1124115800?ean=2940153395838
https://www.amazon.it/Die-Strategin-German-Giovanna-Barbieri-ebook/dp/B01K7K0TGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477045622&sr=8-1&keywords=die+strategin