Posted by: theresegilardi | November 27, 2014

First and Fourth Fridays Welcomes K.V. Flynn

Well hello there! If you’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving then you’ve come to the right place, for you’re about to read of a boy of action. He’s featured in the new novel by K.V. Flynn, today’s featured guest on “First and Fourth Fridays”. Before K.V. answers the “First and Fourth Friday” questions, which she will do while in character, she’s going to tell us a bit about herself and her book.

I’m K.V. Flynn, and I write MG/YA novels for boys. The first in my ON THE MOVE trilogy came out as an eBook in September and is now available in paperback on Amazon. I live in a beachy Southern California town with a big gray dog and when I’m not writing, I’m editing and publishing other writers’ work, usually for artists or experts with a unique story to tell or wisdom to share. I try to skate or dance or do yoga or something sweaty and fun away from the computer every day, too, and catch the sunset at the beach with my hound anytime I can.

My new novel On the Move is about a fourteen-year-old middle school kid named Callum Vicente. He also lives in a Southern California beach town along with his four best middle school buddies, and together they narrowly miss being grounded for life after they sneak out of town on the bus for a great skateboard day just before promotion from 8th grade. Their pal Justice ends up with a wicked broken leg, but their parents soon forget about it because weird, tense things are happening in the news. So Callum, Levi and his bff Apollo are soon deep into their best summer ever at PEAK skateboard camp where they learn tricks from the pros, grind on endless street courses, and careen off one awesome ramp straight into the lake. It is mad fun until the War breaks out: the teens watch major cities blown up on TV, have no idea what’s happened to their parents, and then lose virtually all communication with the outside world.

Stranded, the boarder buddies strike out on their own to find their families, travelling north through all of California and Oregon, following a network of underground message boards and savvy riders who they find holed up in skate parks along the way. They pick up their school buddy Mateo Beltran and hitch a ride with their Native friend Obbie, on his way to safety on his dad’s reservation in Washington state, and even get some surprising help as they try to figure out a world gone crazy while they are “On the Move”.

1. When I think about that bereft feeling of loss at the end of a story, the first thing that comes to mind is watching Iron Giant with a kid friend of mine who was about nine at the time. Maybe because the movie was also about a nine-year-old or maybe because it was just awesome storytelling, but we both watched the film and loved it, walked out into the hall outside the movie theater, and burst into tears. Two guys just standing there blubbering and sad that the Giant had been blown apart… even though, hopefully, his parts were finding one another again and would come back together! We also read The Book Thief together and I know I cried reading the ending, it was sad, too. Really wonderful story. And I keep going back to be in the magical baseball fantasy world of Michael Chabon’s Summerland—otherwise I’d be too sad to leave that one, too.

2. Most loving thing I’ve ever done–well, pretty good, for me!: Okay, so my mom gave my dad a Weimeraner puppy before I was born and it sat on the sofa with her every night, she says, until I came along. Grace was her name, and she was ten months old when I arrived and became officially in charge of me. When we moved to the country a year or so later and I’d take myself out for a walk, she would follow alongside my two-year-old self just making sure I didn’t topple into the pool or get lost in the cherry tomato field next door. She lived to be over sixteen years old, and it was really tough for everyone when she had to be put to sleep. So I asked my stepmother, who is a very cool painter, to silkscreen one of her own paintings of Grace on to a silk lamp for my mom for Christmas that year. She still has it on her desk so Grace can watch over her, now that I’m not around so much.

3. Most loving thing: my mom read to me literally every night before I went to sleep until I basically left for college. Sure, we missed a few evenings, and some nights in middle school and high school I stayed over at my dad’s. But we had a LOT of reading time together. Definitely the best books of my life. Yes, all the Harry Potter books and the Narnia Chronicles, most of which we did not even understand. Hunger Games rocked our world. So did Auntie Mame and Huckleberry Fin and Absolutely True Adventures of a Part Time Indian and Rumble Fish and That was Then This is Now. I can’t list them all but each one was like a magical thing we shared together, and a story that gave me a place to dream into as I fell asleep.

4. Most romantic song?…School’s Out For the Summer…School’s Out FOREVER! It means, tons of straight free time to be with your best buddies, sleep in, and skate until the shadows grow long.

K.V. hopes that moms out there will check out “On the Move” for their teen readers. Especially if they’re skaters! I love to hear from them, too, so feel free to have them talk back! KVFlynnOnTheMove@gmail.com, or check me out on Facebook/OntheMoveBooks or OntheMoveBooks.tumblr.com.

How refreshing to find some boys’ fiction. I’m sure you want to know how to purchase a copy of “On the Move” for the boys in your life.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/W0A2Zg
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/KuY8EI
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/WM0s59
Kobo: http://goo.gl/45hFgD

 

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Posted by: theresegilardi | November 6, 2014

First and Fourth Fridays Welcomes Lucie Ulrich

TheRoseRing-LucieUlrich

Today “First and Fourth Fridays” is pleased to welcome Lucie Ulrich. Lucie took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her–until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else’s was so strong, that once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.
Lucie’s first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for “Broken Vessels,” her first published work. No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

So how has Lucie answered The Four Questions?

1) What was the first book that so captured your imagination that you felt a physical loss when you reached the last page? This may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but it’s a vivid memory. When I was a child, I received a book of bedtime stories dealing with nothing but animals. I LOVED that book, and read it over and over again. One day, I discovered that one of my younger sisters used crayons to color the cover and a number of the pages. I was devastated. I’m 60 years old, and I still own that book. I look forward to the day I have grandchildren and can read the stories to them—despite the markings.

2) What is the most romantic/loving thing you’ve ever done for someone else? I sat with my father on one side of Mom’s bed, while he sat on the other. We each held one of Mom’s hands and waited for her to take her final breath. We knew the time was short, and I didn’t want Dad to be alone. Obviously this is not a romantic moment, but love comes in many forms.

3) What is the most romantic/sweet/loving thing someone has ever done for you? For my 45th birthday, my husband gave me a wedding band I’d found in an antique store. My engagement ring was a sapphire and two small diamonds, and the band was perfect. We didn’t have a lot of extra money at the time, so the gift was an amazing act of love.

4) What do you think is the most romantic song? “When I Fall in Love” the Nat King Cole version.

Now that we’ve gotten to know Lucie, let’s hear about  her inspirational romance, “The Rose Ring”:

BACK COVER BLURB: With a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

You can purchase “The Rose Ring” through the following sales outlets:

Amazon, B & N, i Books 1, Smashwords, and Kobo

Connect with Lucie: http://www.lucieulrich.com/

  https://www.facebook.com/inspywriter?ref_type=bookmark

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823505.Lucie_Ulrich

and on Twitter: @LucieUlrich

 

Posted by: theresegilardi | October 23, 2014

First and Fourth Fridays Welcomes Maria Ann Green

InTheRearview-MariaAnnGreen

 

“First and Fourth Fridays” is thrilled to welcome Maria Ann Green. Undaunted by winter, Maria lives in Minnesota with her husband. She has a degree in psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing Maria loves to read with a strong cup of coffee or a glass or sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. Maria’s fantastic new book, “In the Rearview”, was recently released by Astraea Press. Below please find the blurb:

“IN THE REARVIEW” by Maria Ann Green:

When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.

Meagan’s problems aren’t like every other adolescent’s no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They’ve pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it’s apparent that there’s no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn’t understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn’t last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.

While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.

Now I know you’re going to want to get your hands on a copy of “In The Rearview” so here are the buy links:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1w77UpL
Nook: http://bit.ly/1pG2CRk
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1yDuGKj
*Also available where eBooks are sold such as Smashwords, iBooks, etc.

Posted by: theresegilardi | October 2, 2014

First and Fourth Fridays Welcomes Mya O’Malley

At First Sight

First and Fourth Fridays welcomes the lovely Mya O’Malley. Mya is the author of “At First Sight”, which was recently released by Astraea Press. Before Mya answers the Four Questions let’s get to know her a little better. Mya lives in the New York suburbs with her husband, daughter, stepdaughters and pets. Mya is a special education teacher who has been creating stories since she was a child. Mya loves to travel, and is working on her fifth novel. And now to the Four Questions:
1) What was the first book that so captured your imagination that you felt a physical loss when you reached the last page?

I’ve felt this sense of physical loss when finishing a book many, many times. One of my earliest memories of finishing a great book include Sounder by William H. Armstrong and The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.

2) What is the most romantic/loving thing you’ve ever done for someone else?
For my wedding anniversary, I booked a room at the same hotel that we spent our wedding night and made a reservation at the same restaurant, I even managed to get seated at the same table.

3) What is the most romantic/sweet/loving thing someone has ever done for you?
My husband proposed to me on Christmas Eve, one of my favorite days of the year, that night will always be special to me.

4) What do you think is the most romantic song?

It’s just so hard to choose from so many romantic songs. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri is right up there with my favorites.

I’m sure that you will want to connect with Mya. You can find her at http://myaomalley.com. On Twitter at @MyaOMalley. On Facebook http://facebook.com/myaomalley. Check out Mya’s blog at http://myaomalley.blogspot.com. And find her on Pinterest at pinterest.com/myaomalley.

Buy your copy of “At First Sight” from the following retailers:

http://amzn.com/B00MF3EB8C

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/at-first-sight-mya-omalley/1120057000?ean=2940149622764

*Kobo.com- http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/at-first-sight-17

*Smashwords- http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Mya+O%27Malley+At+First+Sight

* Trailer-   At First Sight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRae8EcCko

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/at-first-sight/id906502664?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo=4

Posted by: theresegilardi | September 26, 2014

First and Fourth Fridays Welcomes Linda Covella

YakimalisGift-Cover 300dpiWelcome Linda Covella! Before Linda answers the First and Fourth Friday questions, let’s learn a little more about Linda.

Linda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.
A writer for over 30 years, her first publication was a restaurant review column, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines, she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books: the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.
Yakimali’s Gift and The Castle Blues Quake, a middle-grade paranormal ghost story, are her first novels.
She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

1) What was the first book that so captured your imagination that you felt a physical loss when you reached the last page?
This would have to be a book I read as a child, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I loved the time-travel aspect of the story and became hooked on books with that type of plot.

2) What is the most romantic/loving thing you’ve ever done for someone else?
It was a recent New Year’s Eve. Instead of going out, my husband and I decided to stay home, just the two of us. I made a special dinner: filet mignon with a mustard-cream sauce, risotto, and green beans, and butterscotch brownies with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert (because he loves butterscotch and caramel 🙂 ). The whole bit, with candlelight, romantic music, etc.

3) What is the most romantic/sweet/loving thing someone has ever done for you?
That same night, after we ate, my husband asked me to dance—a slow dance, the lights down low, the candles still burning. We ended up dancing for a few hours. It was the most romantic night. Even after being married for 20 years, the romance hasn’t died!

4) What do you think is the most romantic song?
The song my husband and I chose for our wedding dance: Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder

BOOK BLURB: It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. After a tragic accident, Fernanda and her family join Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California. On the journey, Fernanda will discover not only romance, but truths that will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.

 

Read an excerpt and view the trailer for Yakimali’s Gift on Linda’s website http://lindacovella.com/yakimalis-gift/
Connect with Linda:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Covella/e/B00MBR9II0
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lindacovellaauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindacovella @lindacovella
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3659665-linda-covella
http://pinterest.com/lindacovella

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes and Kobo

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Posted by: theresegilardi | September 4, 2014

First Fridays Welcomes L. E. Fred

Lucid

Welcome to “First and Fourth Fridays”, a new regular feature on “Behind The Sunglasses”. I want to share some talented, unique writers with all of you. So happy Friday!

L. E. Fred is a perpetual dreamer who writes about worlds both within and without this realm. With a degree in psychology, L. E. Fred tends to get lost in themind, the greatest adventure of all. L. E. Fred is currently traveling the world, finding more addventures to inspire new tales of dreams and beyond.

L. E. has graciously agreed to answer the “First and Fourth Friday Four Questions”.

1) What was the first book that so captured your imagination that you felt a physical loss when you reached the last page? The Harry Potter series was my first love affair with a book. Before discovering Hogwarts, I wasn’t even much of a reader. After the first book, I was hooked. My mind would wander to Harry and his friends in fictional UK even while I wasn’t reading. After reading the last book (fittingly at age 17,) I felt a sense of closure. Something had ended but it let me with an opportunity to create my own worlds by writing new stories.

2)What is the most romantic/loving thing you’ve ever done for someone else? This is more of a friendship/sisterly love than romantic, but I always think about it when I’m feeling down. I’ve had the same 2 best friends since middle school. We’ve stuck together through thick and thin and have been there for all of our changes during those awkward teenage years. Just before college, we started having falling outs. One of my friends was moving away to college, and the other was not going to college at all. It put a big strain on our friendships. One night, after feeling really sad about our friendship threads unraveling, I decided to make us friendship bracelets. The bracelets and message were both simple: no matter what we’ll always be friends. Needless to say, those little pieces of yarn brought us back together. To this day, we give each other little matching presents to remind all of us that we’ll always have each other.

3)What is the most romantic/sweet/loving thing someone has ever done for you? My senior year of college was a pretty tough one. I started out the school year by ending a really stupid relationship which ruined most of the first semester for me. The following February, my sister introduced me to a guy she thought I’d like. Though he was extremely shy, he agreed to go with me to my senior dance. The relationship never turned into anything romantic, but the fact that a near stranger would throw himself at the mercy of all of my crazy college friends just to make me smile for a night was a touching memory that I’ll never forget.

4) What do you think is the most romantic song? This one is definitely a personal choice, but I’ve always been attached to “The Reason” by Hoobastank. It’s about someone who takes a love for granted and decides to change for the better to make it up to that person. We all make mistakes in relationships, and the fact that someone can swallow his pride to completely change for another person deeply resonates within me.

Now that you know a little bit about L.E., here is a tantalizing taste of “LUCID”:

I know that most adventure/fantasy/whatever-you-would-like-to–call-these-stories start with something magical, but my story starts with something ordinary, dreams. I’m talking about the “I’m taking a test and don’t realize I’m in my underwear” kind of dreams. We have them every night, whether we remember them or not. Sometimes theyleave us waking up with excitement or inspiration. Sometimes they cause us to wake with a shriek and to look around our rooms. Sometimes they leave us waking up confused or ashamed. These experiences are probably commonplace for most people, but I doubt any of you could ever say your dreams caused you to stay asleep for a long period of time.What if your dreams made you disappear?

You’ve met L. E. Fred and now you want to connect: http://facebook.com/only.but.a.dream

 Blog: http://marsjaws.blogspot.com  

http://goodreads.marsjaws.com

BUY LINKS: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lucid-L-E-Fred-ebook/dp/B00L96KPNQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1403629450&sr=1-3&keywords=LucidBN.com:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucid-l-e-fred/1119860362?ean=2940149781171

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/451564

Posted by: theresegilardi | July 26, 2014

Book Spotlight- Matching Wits With Venus – Therese Gilardi

Book Spotlight- Matching Wits With Venus – Therese Gilardi.

Posted by: theresegilardi | July 15, 2014

WORLD BLOG TOUR – THE WRITING PROCESS

twobeachtrees

I’d like to extend a great big thank you to the creative and generous E.A. West, writer of over ten romance and YA novels, for offering me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour.

And thank YOU for participating in this blog hop! I’m a novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer published by numerous presses in print, online, and audio formats, which is code for “I adore variety”. In writing, in food, and in life.

WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I am currently writing a series of interrelated YA and NA novels that feature Americans abroad, a subject which is close to my heart as I lived in Europe for many years with Irish Man (a.k.a. the husband).

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN THE GENRE? Because of my time spent overseas with Irish Man, I’ve had the chance to experience the charm, wit and occasional frustration of the expatriate life first hand. I’ve had the joy of driving the Paris Metro, and the sense of disbelief that other nations do not take off the fourth Thursday in November to eat marshmallow topped sweet potatoes and watch a Snoopy balloon float down Fifth Avenue. I’ve been a student abroad, a wife abroad, and a mother abroad. It’s this intimate knowledge of life in foreign lands that I hope will lend an air of authenticity to my current works in progress and hopefully allow them to be companion pieces for the fabulous “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I WRITE? Because I’m captivated by a sense of place. Any place, from a dingy beach bathroom on a gray winter morning to the steel bed of a crowded maternity ward on a sweaty Sunday in August. For me place equals story. And character.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK? My favorite place to write is on a train. Alas, I do not have a job on the railroad, or live near a train track. So my writing practice is to write in my journal while listening to music, then bust out my characters’ playlists. Ideally I’m seeing the book unfold as a movie in my mind, which is why the soundtrack is so helpful. It’s probably my only shot at playing director.

Well thanks again for stopping by. Here are the links to three more writers who will discuss their projects and their process. But before you leave, please leave me a comment and tell me how YOU create. Do you paint while doing yoga? Does the sound of the dryer have you running to your keyboard? Let me know ….

http://krkystenlindsay.com/

http://michelleroth.net/

http://noblevalerie.com/

Posted by: theresegilardi | July 1, 2014

FREEDOM TO READ BLOG HOP 2014

 

 

Freedom-to-Read-Hop

Greetings fellow word lovers! I hope your summer is off to a fabulous start, full of captivating reads, leisurely days and starlit nights. At this time of year, when the days are long and the nights are full of firecrackers, I am reminded that there is a lot of magic in the air. That goes double for the hills above Hollywood, where the silver screen is not the only thing that glitters. For you see, the Roman god Cupid and his mother Venus, the goddess of love, live in Hollywood. Who else do you think makes all those crazy love connections that keep the gossip mags in business?

But there’s trouble in Tinsel Town, in the form of Amelia Coillard, a bereaved Hollywood matchmaker who is beating Venus in the game of love. “Matching Wits With Venus” is the story of what happens when the fantasy world of Hollywood and the fantasy world of Roman mythology collide. “Matching Wits With Venus” has been called a “smart, witty, imaginative” “delightful” read that has kept romance fans up all night. And a copy of “Matching Wits With Venus” and a tiny Hollywood SWAG bag can be yours if you’re the winner of this blog hop. All you have to do is tell me your favorite summer food and/or drink. My favorite drink on hot nights is panache, a French drink made of equal parts lemonade and lager. What about you? What’s your favorite way to keep the heat at bay?

 

CONGRATULATIONS ELIZABETH! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE HOLLYWOOD SWAG BAG! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR STOPPING BY MY BLOG AND LEAVING ME A MESSAGE. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RECEIVING A FREE COPY OF “MATCHING WITS WITH VENUS” AND DID NOT LEAVE ME YOUR E-MAIL, PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA FACEBOOK IN-BOX. HAPPY READING AND HAPPY SUMMER!

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. May your summer be full of magic! P.S. I would love to connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Here is the link to your next stop on the I AM A READER BLOG HOP – http://susan-thebookbag.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Posted by: theresegilardi | June 19, 2014

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S IDLE

Bonjour my friends! I am so pleased to be reconnecting with you all after my far too long hiatus. I had a bit of a vision problem that kept me away from the computer for all these many months. And no, before you ask, I don’t mean “vision problem” in the sense that I was stymied by my work. I’m referring to the old fashioned kind, a.k.a. eye trouble. But all is clear now, and I’m back and thrilled to be here with you.

On the eve of the eve of Fete de la Musique in Paris, the all night celebration of music, song and summer, I am firing up the record player with “Supertramp” albums and getting ready to make some guacamole. Here’s my recipe, honed through years of sampling. Two ripe avocados, one tablespoon of salsa, the juice of two key limes, and a teaspoon of cilantro paste. Chill for one hour then enjoy with your favorite chips. And your favorite cold drink, be it a Shock Top with a wedge of orange or a cool lemonade or sun tea you’ve brewed on your windowsill.

I hope all of you have been well and that summer (or winter, for my friends down under) proves to be full of magic.

All the Best!

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