Category: Italy Book Tours

Dancing In The Rain Spotlight

Italy Book Tours

In Dancing In The Rain, can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

Dancing In The Rain Spotlight Tour

Dancing In The Rain

Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.

This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Amazon US and Barnes & Noble.

Dancing In The Rain Spotlight

About the Author

Lucy Appadoo is a registered counsellor and wellness coach with a part-time private practice. She also works as a rehabilitation counsellor for the Australian government. In her spare time, she self-publishes or writes nonfiction and fiction texts. She previously worked as a rehabilitation consultant, caseworker, English as a second language teacher, and proofreader.

Lucy has postgraduate diplomas in psychology, education, and English as a Second Language teaching, as well as specialised qualifications in grief counselling and hypnosis. She has also completed wellness coaching courses (levels 1-3) at Wellness Coaching Australia.

Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense, historical fiction, and romance. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.

Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).

Lucy’s interests include meditation, playing tennis, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.

Connect with Lucy on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight post, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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More Than a Soldier Book Review

Italy Book Tours

More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.

More Than a Solider Book Review

About More Than a Soldier

Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old, Angelo J. DiMarco, enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.

Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.

My Thoughts

More Than a Solider is a truly powerful story of a young man who is determined to survive and fight for what he believes and knows is true. It is a story full of bravery, grace, resilience and leaves you feeling humbled, sad and hopeful. While a true story about Angelo’s experiences during the war, it does not glorify war. It shows us the real pain, the hopes and frailness of life.

Angelo enlisted in the US Army and was soon off to fight at the front with the very important battalion, the Rangers. They are trained in a physically demanding manner that makes you cringe but once they are out in the field, you truly understand why they had to be so physically, mentally and emotionally prepared. When they are captured and many of the men in battalion are killed, you worry that the end is near. Somehow he manages to escape but is then out in the open behind enemy lines. This begins an even greater struggle for food, shelter and survival.

Through this novel we are exposed to the real sides of war – the brutality, the illness, the friendships, the hopes and fears. Everything is laid out bare for us in this novel. You feel sadness, hope and pray for him throughout his journey. More Than A Soldier should be a must read for young adults and adults a like. It is a truly special story that I feel blessed to have had read.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

More Than a Solider Book Spotlight

About the Author

Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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More Than a Soldier Book Spotlight

Italy Book Tours

More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.

More Than a Solider Book Spotlight

About More Than a Solider

Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old, Angelo J. DiMarco, enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.

Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.

More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.

You can purchase a copy of More Than a Solider on Amazon.

More Than a Solider Book Spotlight

About the Author

Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Disruption Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In Disruption, there are two types of people: those who have been hacked and know it, and those who have been hacked and don’t know it.

Disruption Book Review

About Disruption

There are two types of people: those who have been hacked and know it, and those who have been hacked and don’t know it.

Former Naval Intelligence Officer turned secret operative Jake Pendleton finds himself in a pulse-pounding race to stop a cyber-terrorist from releasing a string of the most heinous cyber-crimes the world has ever seen. Crimes that could render the world’s advanced technology useless.

Jake teams with his partner, Francesca Catanzaro, to track down their only lead, a white-hat hacker in Italy known only as The Jew. A man who might hold the key to stop a group of black-hat hackers from causing worldwide chaos—tag named Disruption.

After a search of the hacker’s flat in Rome turns up empty, Jake and Francesca follow the clues—a trail of dead bodies that leads them across Europe. Along the way, Jake discovers a possible link between recent hacks and a Malaysian airliner that mysteriously disappeared.

In the final adrenaline-charged moments before Disruption, Jake and Francesca find themselves in a high-voltage race to stop these cyber terrorists from unleashing destruction against their sworn mortal enemy.

My Thoughts

Hacking is one of the scary topics that you hear about but don’t always understand. I know I don’t understand it as much as I should! We put so much out there on the internet and it is scary to know how accessible this information is.

This novel brings hacking to the forefront in an exciting and scary way. The plot line was fantastic – I could not put this novel down it was so exciting! Between the schemes, terror plots, hacking and murders, my mind was blown!

Our two key characters Jake and Francesca play a central role in a race to try to stop the cyber terrorists from causing global destruction against the Western world that would threaten to push them back hundreds of years. The plot unfolds in a unique manner and you are never quite sure what is going to happen next. It is only near the end that the story fully comes together and you can fully understand and appreciate the plot. The murders add in a whole new level of suspense and fear to this adventure packed novel.

Disruption is a well written, exciting and suspenseful novel. I love the way he writes and have already read this novel again. It is a definite must read that will leave you questioning things you do online and share. I will definitely be looking into his other novels because of his superior writing and plots.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Audible.

Rating: 5/5

Disruption Book Review

About the Author

Chuck Barrett is the bestselling author of the Award-Winning Jake Pendleton series—Breach of Power, The Toymaker, and The Savannah Project, as well as his latest award-winning blockbuster, BLOWN, the first book in his new Gregg Kaplan series.

In addition to writing thrillers, Barrett speaks and conducts workshops at book festivals, book clubs, reading groups, writers conferences, and writers groups. Some of his topics include Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing based on his book—Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide To Independent Publishing—as well as, Blueprint for a Successful Book Launch, Getting from ‘Idea’ to ‘Finished Manuscript,’ Mysteries & Thrillers: Fact or Fiction, and Adding the “What if” in Storytelling.

Barrett is a graduate of Auburn University and a retired air traffic controller. He also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and a Dive Master rating. He enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and most things outdoors. He and his wife, Debi currently reside in Colorado.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opionions expressed are my own.

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Dreaming Sophia Book Review

Italy Book Tours

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture.

Dreaming Sophia Book Review

About Dreaming Sophia

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with Dreaming Sophia! My time in Italy when I was sixteen was magical, Italy has this way of drawing you in with its culture, history and people. The streets are alive with history at every corner and instead of hiding it, history is embraced and celebrated. The art in Italy is incredible – I could have spent days just wandering around the cities I visited. You want to touch the walls, visit every Church and just sit in the streets to embrace every moment.

In Dreaming Sophia, we have a young girl who must overcome a great loss and change in her life and in order to do so she must embrace her love of art and history, as well as travelling to the place her Mother loved so much. Her dreams help guide her and encourage her during this difficult time in her life. I love how free Sophia is to love and embrace her dreams and the hope they give her. She embraces her future and we are drawn right into the Italian culture and history. You will feel as though you are with her on the streets of Florence, in the coffee shops and in her art studio. We watch her grow as an individual and as a woman and the transformation is wonderful. You feel almost like her Mother and best friend, wanting nothing but the best for Sophia. I wished the story would never have ended because I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next (to tell you would give away the story but trust me, she leaves you craving more!). Dreaming Sophia is a beautiful story of hope, faith, trust and a love of all things Italian. A truly wonderful novel to treasure over and over again.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Create Space, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Inktera.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

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

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

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.

Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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