A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco – Spotlight & Giveaway (US only)

It’s almost the end of the week already and today I’ve got a great book to spotlight for you called A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco.  This book sounds great and I see there is an audio available so you may be seeing a review in the near future.  For now please enjoy the spotlight and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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Publication Date: May 14, 2015
Publisher: Cefalutana Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback, AudioBook
Pages: 284

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book

SHORT LIST FINALIST IN THE WILLIAM FAULKNER-WILLIAM WISDOM WRITING COMPETITION.

A Song for Bellafortuna is an inspirational Italian Historical Fiction novel concerning a young man’s desire to free his Sicilian village from the domination of one family’s long reign. For years, the beautiful, yet secluded, hilltop village of Bellafortuna, Sicily, was a great producer of wine and olive oil. The entire village prospered. However, after the arrival of the Vasaio family, production dwindles and the villagers soon find themselves in crushing debt to the Vasaios. Only one family in the village remains outside the control of the Vasaios, but the reason haunts Antonio Sanguinetti every day of his life. Antonio is determined to erase this legacy by offering financial and emotional support to his fellow villagers. He introduces them to the choral song from Verdi’s opera, Nabucco, which becomes the rallying cry for the villagers and offers them hope for a better life.

When Antonio’s only son, Giuseppe, discovers his family’s past, he becomes determined to take on the Vasaios and remove them from power. Led by the young Giuseppe, a plan is hatched that could result in either complete freedom for the villagers, or if it fails, forever solidifying the Vasaios’ control.

Find out what happens in A Song for Bellafortuna, a sweeping epic historical fiction tale of love, drama, sacrifice, and redemption, set among the beautiful landscape of Sicily. Already listed by Amazon as a Top New Release in Historical Fiction and Italian Historical Fiction.

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Praise

“Vincent B. LoCoco writes a heartwarming piece of historical fiction . . . He captured the essence of the Sicilian culture, especially regarding the value of ancestry and music . . . A Song For Bellafortuna is a beautiful tale of antiquity.” – Readers Favorite 5 Star Review

“The book was a joy to read. It is a wonderful story, told in a magical way.” –Cavaliere Ufficiale Aldo Mancusi, President of the Enrico Caruso Museum of America in New York

“An inspiring story of an Italian village threatened by commerce and saved by opera.” –John Biguenet, author of The Torturer’s Apprentice and Oyster

About the Author

song1Award winning and bestselling author, Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco, lives in New Orleans. His first novel, Tempesta’s Dream – A Story of Love, Friendship and Opera, became an Amazon bestselling novel and was awarded the 2014 Pinnacle Achievement Award in Historical Fiction. Amazon also has named his book as a Top Rated Novel in Italian Historical Fiction.

Visit him at www.vincentlococo.com, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY
1 paperback copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 5/15

 

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Source: All post information and giveaway provided by the tour company. No compensation was received.

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

uninvitedThe Uninvited by Cat Winters is a haunting and powerful novel of love in unexpected places, of loss, and of moving forward.  I was swept to another time and place in this novel that is set during the time period of The Great Influenza of 1918.

Twenty-five year old Ivy has always had the ability to see the ghosts of loved ones.  It’s a gift she dreads as these appearances of ghosts are always uninvited and always signal the death of someone to come.  With the flu epidemic raging Ivy is struck down but she pulls through.  Upon being well enough to get out of bed Ivy is horrified to learn that her father and brother have killed a young German man in town apparently to avenge the death of Ivy’s brother.

Ivy can’t live in the same house with her father and brother anymore so she leaves home.  She’s shocked to see how much devastation the flu has caused.  Finding lodging with May, a young war widow, Ivy struggles to get her life in order.  First on her list is to somehow make amends to the living brother of the one that her brother and father killed.  Aside from that she works relentlessly with the Red Cross to transport the sick to the hospital.  Ivy is shocked to see the hatred towards the Germans in her community and it seems nobody is safe anymore.  Still she finds that she is drawn to the murdered German’s brother and she decides to live life as she wants since there may not be a tomorrow.  Unfortunately Ivy begins to see more and more of the uninvited and she’s terrified for those close to her waiting for another to die…but there are secrets being kept.  Secrets that have the power to change everything for Ivy.

This story is greatly enriched by all the historical elements. Being a historical fiction fan I really appreciated that side of the story and being a fan of the paranormal that side of the story intrigued me as well.  So The Uninvited was a winner for me and the twist at the end had the power to surprise even me who usually has everything figured out.  I listed to the audiobook which is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller who does a fantastic job.  I really enjoyed listening to her and the effort she put into really bringing out the power and emotion of this tale were great.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction/ghost stories.  I loved it, so much so that I already picked up a couple more of the author’s novels.  Highly recommended!

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Source: Digital copy received from the publisher in return for an honest review. Audiobook personal copy. No compensation was received.

The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena – Spotlight & Giveaway (eBook-Int’l)

Today’s spotlight is for The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena.  Please read on to learn about the book and read the excerpt.  Also be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy for yourself!

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Publication Date: January 29, 2015
Publisher: Sable Tyger Books
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 601
ISBN: 9780986239618

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

About the Book

A forbidden love and a past they can’t leave behind . . .

In King John’s England, Robert Marcel chafes against the law that holds him bound as a villein on his lord’s manor. He tries to make a daring escape and is nearly caught by his cruel master, but a young girl helps him slip away.

Years pass and Robert takes up trade as a minstrel. Invited to play at a banquet for the notorious Earl of Saxton, he is stunned to come face to face with the girl he’s never forgotten—now Lady Marguerite of Winbourne, betrothed to the earl. Her status as a noblewoman puts her completely out of Robert’s reach, but he knows they are meant to be together. He vows to make her his wife no matter what the cost.

Lady Marguerite has often thought of the young man she helped escape. Her tender feelings for him quickly turn into much more when they are brought back into each other’s lives. She longs to be free to marry Robert, the man she loves, but that will require her to sacrifice all she holds dear.

They are tested at every turn by those bent on driving them apart and destroying what they have found together. Can their love truly conquer all?

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Excerpt

“Why are you here? What do you want?” She wished to chill him again with her dignity, but the questions instead came out barely more than a whisper.

“To see you. To talk with you. To—” His voice snagged as the truth swept the impassive mask from his face. “Oh, heaven forgive me, to kiss you!”

His hand reached out again, then hesitated, hovering just below her chin. Instead of rebuffing him, she felt herself sway towards him ever so slightly. His fingertips, calloused from his lute’s strings, brushed against her cheekbone. Then her cheek cradled gently in his palm and the midnight eyes, no longer veiled, gazed into hers with a longing that took away her breath.

“I have thought of nothing but you since you gazed at me in the village today.” His voice shook slightly as the words spilled out in a rush. “Then when you smiled at me in the hall, I knew I was lost. I cannot hope to court you. I am only a poor minstrel, and you are betrothed to the Earl of Saxton. But one kiss—just one!—I would cherish to the end of my days. Just one, if you will grant it—and then I will be gone.”

Gone? Let him go now, when she had only just found him? Heaven could not be so cruel as to ask her to send him away so soon! If it took a kiss to bind him—

He must have taken her silence as assent, for he pulled her against his chest. He held her firmly, yet so gently that the embrace brought no pain to her back. Marguerite had never been in a man’s arms before. Her heart raced so hard a pleasurable little buzz of dizziness hummed through her mind and body. He did not look like a man who often hesitated to take what he wanted and yet when he bent his head towards hers, he checked himself just short of her lips. It was that instant of uncertainty in him, briefer than a heartbeat, that nudged her leap of faith in his honor and lifted her willing mouth and drifted shut her eyes.

And then she felt his mouth on hers, gentle, warm, strong, yet somehow cautious, as if weighing something in her, as if waiting … for what? Outrage on her part? Resistance? Oh, heavens! If Marguerite had felt dizzy before, her senses now swam in earnest, and she wound her arms around his neck and let her body melt against him and kissed him back as if all her future hung on this one moment.

Praise

“DiPastena portrays . . . the world Robert and Marguerite inhabit, with a great deal of confidence and skill; this is a deeply-researched book that wears its learning very lightly, and it bears comparison well with other great novels of the Middle Ages. I loved the book and highly recommend it.” ~ Historical Novel Society

“A grand novel of epic proportions . . . Both Marguerite and Robert are rich characters with much depth and background. . . . The storyline is unique . . . The solution to Marguerite’s problem is inspiring!” ~ InD’Tale Magazine

About the Author

lady1Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist). Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances and romantic historicals heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

For more information visit Joyce DiPastena’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
1 eBook copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 2/15

 

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Source: All post information and giveaway provided by the tour company. No compensation was received.

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott & Giveaway (US/Canada)

wonderHaving read and really enjoyed Jason Mott’s debut novel The Returned I was really excited to read his newest The Wonder of All Things.  Mott’s storytelling leaves the reader questioning themselves as to what they would do in the same situation and I like that.  He also writes of strange phenomena and that intrigues me.  In The Returned it was dead people coming back to their loved ones and in The Wonder of All Things it’s a young girl who has the power to heal.  I love books like this – books that give me a shiver up my spine.

It’s a normal day in the small town of Stone Temple and Ava and her best friend Wash are at the air show when a plane crashes into the crowd of people gathered there.  Ava and Wash are trapped underneath a pile of rubble and while Ava is ok Wash is seriously injured.  Ava can hear her father Macon telling her that help is on the way but Ava knows only one thing – she can’t let Wash die.  As Ava lays her hands over Wash’s wounds he is miraculously healed.

What follows comes as no surprise.  People go crazy, both in Stone Temple and throughout the world as the news spreads of this young thirteen-year-old girl and her healing powers.  People and reporters flood into the town.  Of course everyone wants to be healed and the doctors want to test and test Ava to try and determine how she even possesses this gift.  People think it is a sin for the girl not to help people if she’s able to.  The thing is though that every time Ava uses this gift it takes a horrible toll on her body and she refuses to do what everyone wants her to… she will only use her gift if it is her choice to do so.

I felt for Ava.  What a choice to be faced with – help people suffering or don’t help them and with her being so young she had to depend on the adults to help her and that help wasn’t always the best.  I think the choice would be made easier for me if I became ill myself doing it.  Wash was such a little gentleman and always taking care of Ava and the blossoming love between the two young people was sweet.  As with Mott’s first novel, this one too leaves you asking yourself what you would do and has you wondering about miracles in themselves.

I listened to The Wonder of All Things which is narrated by Julia Whelan who is a favorite narrator of mine and she did a great job bringing the characters and this story to life.  The Wonder of All Things is a beautifully written novel about love, loss, and the deep love we carry for those closest to us.  Highly recommended!

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 paperback copy up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date September 2/15

 

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Source: Digital copy received for review from the publisher in return for an honest review. Audiobook personal copy. No compensation was received.