Trastevere

I recently returned from a trip to Italy where I spent time in Rome. One of the areas I visited while there was Trastevere where part of my novel, Not By Design, was set.

Not by Design

We cross the River Tiber and approach the archeological remains of rooms that were once baths made of black and white mosaics. My guidebook tells me that these were made in the first century AD. It’s hard for me to grasp that over two thousand years ago there was an entire civilization living on the ground I am standing on.

We are walking along the delightful district of Trastevere.  In Trastevere one will get glimpses of the “real” Rome. Marco and I have been here many times. To eat in their famous restaurant area, go to the theatre, the cinema or just mingle with the Romans in clubs and bars. Today our mission is different. We are visiting the church Bridget reserved for our wedding.
Marco and I are holding hands as we pass by boutiques offering handcrafted wares and clothing stores with magnificent styles.

As we approach Piazza Santa Maria with its spectacular fountain I stop to take in the church in front of us. It is a stunning Medieval church. Its façade glows with its series of faded mosaics honoring the Virgin Mary. I can’t think of a more romantic setting for our wedding. Even before entering the church I know that it is perfect. Except for one thing. “I can’t believe that my father won’t be here to walk me down the aisle,” I say.

 

Travestere (2)

To visit my author page click here 

 

 

 

Thelma Mariano: Heart of Stone

Book’s Blurb

Following a wager of the gods, a statue of Aphrodite springs to life. She has thirty days to find true love or return to stone.

After two hundred years trapped in granite, Daphne will do anything to stay alive. However, she’s past her prime as a woman and her face is pockmarked after prolonged exposure to acid rain and pollution. Without the advantages of youth or obvious beauty, how can she attract a suitable partner in so little time?

 

 

Heart of Stone

In a world of instant gratification and hookups, is it even possible to find anything real? And do so before the month runs out?
Desperate for answers, she turns to others for advice and looks for love in all the wrong places. With days, then minutes remaining to her, she must listen to the wisdom of her now-fragmented heart.

 

 

…the story symbolizes the dilemma faced by many women – to open our hearts to love and risk vulnerability (in Daphne’s case, death) or to resist and turn to stone.

Heart of Stone is a romantic fantasy.  Thelma Mariano began writing fiction in the confessions field, where she sold over 40 stories to women’s magazines (such as True Story, True Confessions and True Experience) put out by NYC publishers in the days of mass readership. She is also the author of three published novels: Night Cries (women’s fiction), ConneXions (psychological suspense) and SeaStruck (a paranormal romance).

Heart of Stone is a short and easy read. It ponders the notion of true love and the pain of a broken heart. The novel is set in some of Montreal’s landmarks: Old Montreal,  Le Plateau and St. Denis Street. But the most remarkable one for me is of the chapel in the Old Port where the statue of Our Lady of the Harbor is immortalized in Leonard Cohen’s haunting song Suzanne.

The book is offered for free right now on Smashwords and Amazon. I had difficulty downloading it on my Kindle through Amazon but had no problems sending it to my iPad. Go figure!

 

 

Ana Linden: Albatross

albatross

In her collection of stories Ana Linden refuses to have her characters see through rose colored glasses or have happily ever after futures.

Don’t expect extraordinary individuals, always able to make the world a better place, when they can hardly save themselves. This world is not one of untainted, selfless, righteous spiritual leaders either, just as it is not one devoid of violence, crime, pain or punishment.
https://analindenblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/albatross-the-big-day/

In Albatross, the opening story, Linden gives us an honest perspective of husband and wife regarding the staleness of their marriage.

Then there is the single woman’s paranoia and fears that accompany what it’s like to live alone after being robbed.

And the story about the affair. “The moment we met, we knew the week spent together would be one of those times so essentially shallow, that it can have nothing less than a profound effect on both of us.”

Ana Linden has the ability to surprise and at times shock. Her characters are often “running away from someone, something or running to catch them, him, whoever.”

Running away from memories and the past, Ana Linden’s stories challenge us to dig deeper where safety lies. Safety and home are recurring themes in these stories. In Freedom her character builds herself a home with an inheritance: It’s so fulfilling to have an endpoint in sight, after all this time.”

A second layer to these stories has to do with self-awareness. Not the fluffy kind but an honest awareness of the fear of losing one’s identity by getting too close. The kind that brings you to the scary heart of emotions and thoughts, of guilt and doubt. The kind that makes you feel uneasy and provides insightful (sometimes horrific) snippets of what goes on behind closed doors and minds.

Ana Linden writes with a certain innocence, breaks the rules and is at times obscure and experimental. Like her nameless characters she is unconventional in her writing. A writers’ writer, one might say.

Click here for an excerpt of Albatross.

 

Anneli Purchase: The Wind Weeps

The Wind Weeps ​

A romantic fishing tale​​​​​​​​​

Although knowing practically nothing about fishing, Andrea accidently finds herself in the hard-working sub-culture of commercial fishing. She painfully learns the ins and outs of fishing from preparing the boat for the season to the camaraderie within the fishing community and its inevitable human tensions.
The setting is exquisite, wild and beautiful and the author has the talent to create vivid, emotionally packed images.

Annel photo

photo source

In her attempts to redefine a life for herself Andrea is forced to face the complexities of her abuse and their devastating effects on her romantic relationships.
This is a story about survival: physical survival, moral survival and survival of the soul.

 

Anneli

The Wind Weeps, is a must-read for any woman who has been or is trying to get out of an abusive relationship. But it is also a man’s story as it involves the rugged world of commercial fishing on the gorgeous coast of British Columbia.

Click here for more details on Anneli Purchase’s books.

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Shop in Fripperies?

Fripperie

source

It’s interesting how the meaning of frippery has evolved from cast-off clothes to an elegant garment.

Definition of FRIPPERY (Merriam-Webster)
plural fripperies

1 obsolete
a : cast-off clothes
b archaic : a place where old clothes are sold
2 a : FINERY; also : an elegant or showy garment
b : something showy, frivolous, or nonessential
c : OSTENTATION; especially : something foolish or affectedly elegant

“To take my mind off Chand’s awful words, I google maternity clothing. I’ve never been a fashionista; one of the advantages of wearing a sari was not having to develop my own style. Still, I feel a twinge of guilt in abandoning it. I take a sip of coffee as I scroll down the screen and come upon a frippery that sells maternity clothes. It’s close to where Suzy lives and I feel like company.”  p. 9 in The Longest Nine months

 Available at Amazon

Do you shop in fripperies?

 

Annika Perry’s The Storyteller Speaks

 

I have been following Annika’s blog for some time now and am always eager to hear what she has to say. Whether she writes about her reflections on the extraordinary-ness of life; providing tips for writers; reviewing books; or writing about journeys taken, Annika writes with a sense of profoundness mixed in with whimsy. 
Such is also the case in her collection The Storyteller Speaks.

 

annika perry

Her descriptions shine. Take as example where, in Biding Her Time a young girl  “…smiled sweetly, shaking her head, her long pigtails waving apologetically, the red bows catching the sunlight.” Or her humorous side in Chillies in My Handbag where she “feel(s) the reassuring caress of soft leather – my red Hermes handbag. Subconsciously I bend over and stroke it, with a final pat on the side. My surrogate pet.”
Then there are her stories of death. In A Bouquet of White: “First when they were young its reality as remote as the planets they gazed upon, with the unflagging belief in their own invincibility.” And her most touching and loving piece in memory of her grandfather in Loss of a Patriarch – “A farewell hug to last a lifetime.”

Perry’s stories are emotional pieces. Moving and honest. Filled with love and beautiful imagination.

The Storyteller Speaks Available at:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/STORYTELLER-SPEAKS-Powerful-Stories-Heart-ebook/dp/B0789KZVF8/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/STORYTELLER-SPEAKS-Powerful-Stories-Heart-ebook/dp/B0789KZVF8/

The Longest Nine Months Review

It is always fun to see how readers interpret my work. I like that Anneli placed attention on the issue of mixed marriages.
Thank you Anneli for your perspective on my novel. ❤

Anneli's Place

I first shied away from reading this book because I thought it was going to be all about having babies, not my favourite topic. Luckily for me, I did pick up the book, read it, and enjoyed it. It was not all about babies and pregnancies, although this was a significant factor in the novel. It was more about the relationship between Chand and Campbell.

Chand is of East Indian heritage and Campbell is Caucasian. They are devoted to each other; so much so, that Campbell wears the traditional sari to please her husband, even when other modern East Indian women at their office party are wearing western dress.

No children are planned in their as yet young marriage, so when Campbell finds herself pregnant, major changes loom. Chand is not as thrilled as Campbell had hoped he would be, and the final straw, a possibly flawed baby, threatens…

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