Monday, October 20, 2014

Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen on tour with Italy Book Tours! Enter to win one of five copies

For the next two weeks, Lois Leveen is touring her latest book, Juliet's Nurse with Italy Book Tours. We're excited to spotlight her book today!


About the book

In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next fourteen years, the nurse learns the Cappellettis’ darkest secrets. Those secrets—and the nurse’s deep personal grief—erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family.

By turns sensual, tragic, and comic, Juliet’s Nurse gives voice to one of literature’s most memorable and distinctive characters, a woman who was both insider and outsider among Verona’s wealthy ruling class. Exploring the romance and intrigue of interwoven loyalties, rivalries, jealousies, and losses only hinted at in Shakespeare’s play, this is a never-before-heard tale of the deepest love in Verona—the love between a grieving woman and the precious child of her heart.

In the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, and Geraldine Brooks, Juliet’s Nurse is a rich prequel that reimagines the world’s most cherished tale of love and loss, suffering and survival. - See more at SimonandSchuster.biz.



About Lois Leveen

Award-winning historian, author, and former college professor LOIS LEVEEN holds degrees in history and literature from Harvard, UCLA, and USC. She traveled to Verona, Italy, to research JULIET'S NURSE, as well as apprenticing herself to an urban beekeeping group in her adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon, to write accurately about the life cycle of hives.

Lois has given talks in Finland, France, and throughout the US about the historical research behind JULIET'S NURSE, and about how she approached challenging themes of teen violence, suicide, and plague epidemics in adapting Shakespeare for contemporary readers. Her first novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser, based on the true story of an African American woman who spied for the Union during the Civil War by posing as a slave in the Confederate White House, was a 2012 Target Book Club pick and is currently being developed into a Broadway musical.

Connect with Lois: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Follow Lois' tour schedule from Oct 20 to 31 and read the reviews of Juliet's Nurse. I'm so excited to have her on tour with Italy Book Tours, and I hope you get a chance to read her books!

And now for the giveaway!

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Italy Book Tours

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mamma Mia : Italy!

Today I participated in a Google Hangout hosted by CONNECTIONS: Forum for Relationships, Expression and Healing with Heidi Hornlein (who's been living in Italy for the past 30 years) and Margherita Crystal Lotus.

The panel consisted of myself with Nazim Beltran and Nuccia Ardagna. The topic was Italy! We intended to discuss what the country of Italy means for us, what tourists can get when they go there, what you get when you chose to live there, why life seems easy there - and really difficult, and why we, ultimately, love this country and are proud to show it to visitors.

Take a look and see what foreigners living in Italy have to say and how children of Italian immigrants view the country of their parents. I hope you enjoy this snippet of our chat about Bella Italia.

NOTE: As I re-listened to this show, I realized I mistakenly said (37:00) that my son was required to wear a seat belt in Switzerland when I meant a BOOSTER CHAIR. Of course we wore seat belts! But at 10 years of age my son DID NOT want to sit in a booster chair that usually preschoolers use. I hope those watching the show will realize my gaffe and not think me irresponsible!! LOL



The hosts of this show were:

Heidi Hornlein

She came to Italy 30 years ago to study Italian Opera. She fell in love with the country and with an Italian partner she moved to Umbria where she created an organic farm and a countryhouse becoming a guest house and seminar center during the years. It is now called Paradiso Integrale. She felt quite isolated in the countryside until Internet became an option. Since January she hosts the CONNECTION SHOW with Margherita and in November she will start a new Show on G+ “The wisdom Factory” with her present husbandMark Davenport - an American in Umbria, following the call of love….

Margherita Crystal Lotus

She is an Intuitive Mentor/Healer/Author/Creative Artist and Consciousness Explorer and founder of The Crystal Lotus

+ Heidi Hornlein. Transformational Relationship Coaching/Integral Practice/ Integral Voice Training, Paradiso Integrale Live Coaching Retreat

*Connections replays on: http://HangoutOnConnections.com*

On the panel:

Nazim Beltran

In his own words he is “an American living in Italy since 1992 thanks to his wonderful wife (+Elisabetta Chiesi) who dragged him to this wonderful paradise, together they are involved in the +Casa Chiesi Italian Lifestyle Project. (www.casachiesi.com)”

Nuccia Adagna

Nuccia was born and raised in Montreal. She has a passion for writing and blogging especially about beauty. A year ago she was diagnosed with Celiac disease and being Italian, it forced her to change her entire eating habits. She wanted to help others in their journey with celiac and gluten intolerance and as a result, has written a book in hopes that it will help them answer their questions. The traditional Italian and Sicilian recipes contained in the book prove that going gluten-free doesn't have to be a sacrifice. It can be delicious! Find Nuccia here: http://www.nuccia.ca

Laura Fabiani

Laura Fabiani is an author, book reviewer, entrepreneur and blogger since 2009. She blogs about books at Library of Clean Reads and owns iRead Book Tours and Italy Book Tours where she organizes professional virtual book tours for authors and publishers. Laura is the daughter of Italian immigrants and lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where there is a large Italian community. She is the author of Daughter of Mine, a novel set in Italy and inspired by her mother-in-law's stories of her childhood in Naples.




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mailbox Monday for August 11


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

While vacationing in Wildwood, NJ last week and shopping at the local grocery store, I saw a pile of books on sale and, of course, I was drawn to look through them, while my hubby kindly reminded me I have more books at home that I know what to do with. But, oh! to resist buying a new book on vacation? I just couldn't, especially when I stumbled upon this one:


The Sun and Other Stars by Brigid Pasulka

In the seaside village of San Benedetto, a resort town on the Italian Riviera, twenty-two year- old Etto finds himself adrift. Within the past year, Etto has not only lost both his twin brother and his mother, but in his grief has become estranged from his father, the local butcher. While his father passes the time with the men of the town in the fine tradition of Italian men everywhere—a reverential obsession with soccer—Etto retreats ever further from his day-to-day life, seeking solace in the hills above the town.

But then a Ukrainian soccer star, the great Yuri Fil, sweeps into San Benedetto, taking refuge himself from an international scandal. Soon Yuri and his captivating tomboy sister Zhuki invite Etto into their world of sport, celebrity, loyalty, and humor. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and, slowly, open himself back up to the world. Who knows: perhaps the game of soccer isn’t just a waste of time, and perhaps San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.

The Sun and Other Stars is a gorgeous, celebratory tale about families, compromise, and community, and about how losses can be transformed into hope. Irresistible and unforgettable, it is a shimmering miracle of a book.

How could I pass up this one with such a good story line and setting? Besides I think the cover is gorgeous. Have any of you read it?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Adriana Trigiani is on tour with Italy Book Tours!

For the next two weeks, Adriana Trigiani is touring her latest book, The Supreme Macaroni Company with Italy Book Tours. This is the third book in the Valentine Trilogy and can be read as a stand alone. I love the cover of this book. It reminds me of my summer in Ostia, Italy when I was 18 and stayed with my cousins who lived by the sea, their home facing the large rocks I loved to sit on. Much like the woman on the cover of this book.



For those of you familiar with Trigiani's books, you know she builds unforgettable characters. All her books have an Italian them, and will make you laugh and sometimes cry. But mostly they will make you fall in love with Italian American families.


I had the pleasure of meeting Adriana at Book Expo America, when she came to the line of readers who were waiting in line to get an autographed copy of this book. She took the time to shake everyone's hand before making her way back to the table to begin autographing. Her popularity and New York bestseller status have not gone to this author's head. She is down to earth, friendly and open. That, and the fact that she writes great books have gained her a slew of loyal readers.

Follow Adriana's tour schedule from August 4 to 15 and read the reviews of The Supreme Macaroni Company. I'm so excited to have her on tour with Italy Book Tours, and I hope you get a chance to read her books!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia (Cookbook Spotlight and Giveaway!)

I want to introduce you to local author and chef, Maria Loggia. If you love Italian food and cooking, check out her second cookbook and try one of her recipes posted here! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a beautiful hardcover copy of this cookbook.


Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012

Amazon.ca  *  Cardinal Publishing  *  Amazon.com

Try One of the Recipes!


Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts


Ingredienti

For filling:

1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices 

For chicken:
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
5 bay leaves
 
To serve:
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparazione
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)
The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’√®? (what is it?)
I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.


Meet the Author



Maria Loggia is one of Montreal's best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy's regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.


An Interview with Maria Loggia



Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.


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Monday, June 2, 2014

Transporting us to Venice and the Art of Gondola Making

Today, I'd like to spotlight Laura Morelli, art historian and award-winning author of The Gondola Maker. Morelli is currently touring her book with iRead Book Tours, and I had the opportunity to meet her at BookExpo America in New York City this past Thursday, where she accepted the Silver IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction.

The Gondola Maker is also finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award Category, shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize and finalist for the Indie Excellence Award.


Laura Morelli accepting the IPPY Award

Laura Morelli is a lovely woman and I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with her. In the fall, The Gondola Maker will be on tour again with Italy Book Tours, another tour company that I am launching this month. I will be spotlighting more books set in Italy and their authors. So if you love everything Italian like a lot of bloggers I know, stick around for some great upcoming titles!

Morelli is also launching a series of travel guides, especially for travelers who love to discover and learn more about Italy's beautiful artwork. I'll be spotlighting those as soon as they are published.

Me with Laura Morelli at BEA 14
You can learn more about The Gondola Maker by reading Sandra's review and interview with Morelli on my review blog Library of Clean Read. If you love historical fiction and atmospheric books, this one is sure to please! It will transport you to medieval Venice and the art of gondola making.

Here's a brief synopsis of the book:
From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

When Luca Vianello, the heir to a renowned gondola-making enterprise, experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.



Where to buy the book:
Amazon
Barnes & Nobles
Book Depository
Indigo Chapters

About Laura Morelli:

Laura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome. She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction.

Connect with Laura here: www.lauramorelli.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauramorelliphd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauramorelliphd
about.me/lauramorelliphd

Do you like books set in Italy, in particular Venice?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Verona Trilogy: Medieval Italy, Time Travel and a Guest Post

Today, I'd like to welcome Lory S. Kaufman, author of the YA novels, The Verona Trilogy. Lory is currently touring with his books for two months on a mega virtual book tour. You can follow the tour here. Since I love books set in Italy and time travel, I am super excited about this trilogy!

Following the synopsis of his books, Lory is guest posting about time travel. Be sure to scroll down and read his post.


The Verona Trilogy is an adventurous series that takes readers along on the life-changing journey of three 24th century teens. Travel in time to 14th century Verona Italy with them and get lost in this exciting sci-fi, historical fiction tale.


The LENS and the LOOKER
BOOK #1 of The Verona Trilogy:

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradation. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.



The BRONZE and the BRIMSTONE
Book #2 of the Verona Trilogy

What could go wrong in the 14th-century for three time-traveling teens? How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention of the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected – situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disastrous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone. Do they have a future in this past?


The LOVED and the LOST
Book #3 of The Verona Trilogy

A quest for lost love. An adventure of many lifetimes.

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, our three time travelers go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn't have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

Guest Post by Lory S. Kaufman: 
Time Travel: A Fun Way to Make the Impossible Seem Real  
At the beginning of The Lens and the Looker, Book #1 of The Verona Trilogy, humans in the 24th-century can’t time travel. They can in the 31st-century, and a History Camp counselor from that future, Arimus, comes back and kidnaps three spoiled hard cases: Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln. He takes them back to 14th century Verona Italy, a time when there is no social safety net. He abandons them. That’s when the fun and adventure starts.

As a writer whose stories depend on time travel, do I actually believe it’s possible? Not in the way it’s used by me or most speculative fiction authors. Am I suggesting that in the foreseeable future it will be possible? I used to believe it, but now I’m not sure.

Then why do I use time travel?

Well, it’s a great literary device that allows characters from different times to be thrown into the same arena of life to compare notes and knock heads – and the more outrageous the situation the better. You see, for me the art of writing (and the fun) is to make the impossible seem real and truly plausible; to craft words in a way that the reader will want to suspend disbelief. Also, time travel works especially well for me since my interest in doing these stories is to be part of a discussion about what type of world the human race will plan for the future. Time travel allows me to compare the past, as well as the future, and then I hope some readers will want to live the changes they want to see happen in the world. Hey, like Arimus, a character in my book says, “. . . what’s life mean, without an impossible dream?”

One last thought about time travel and the one thing I am certain about. We shouldn’t hold our breath about it coming soon enough to help fix and save the world. The older I get, the more obvious it becomes that we’re on our own for that.

If you are further interested in reading about the preparation I did to create the future universe of The Verona Trilogy, you can go to my author website and read the BACKSTORY tab. There you’ll find an expanded essay about the many topics that are “between the lines” of my futuristic, post-dystopian adventure. http://www.lorykaufman.com/back-story
Thanks for allowing me the space on this excellent book blog, and thank you, readers, for taking the time to read it.

Meet the Author:

"I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. The books of THE VERONA TRILOGY are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter.” -Lory Kaufman

On the artistic side of Lory’s career, he’s written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. He enjoys art, especially sculpture. He loves science fiction and historical fiction and he has been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. All this shows through when you read his work. Lory has three grown children and works and lives in Kingston, Canada.

Author website: www.lorykaufman.com
Connect with Kaufman on Twitter and Facebook.

Where to buy the books:
Amazon
Barnes & Nobles
Book Depository
Indigo Chapters

Thank you, Lory, for joining us today! Ciao e alla prossima!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Monuments Men - preserving art treasures in Italy and Europe during WWII

Just a few days ago I finished reading the book Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman. (Read my review here.) While the plot itself was somewhat mediocre, it did stir my curiosity about the Monuments Men. The story is set in Italy, with a woman photographer assigned to take photos at the front lines, and a lieutenant who is part of the Monument Men, trying to preserve the art treasure and architecture of a country bombed by the Germans.

For some reason I had never heard of the Monument Men before this book, and I was happy to have discovered this group of men who risked their lives because of their love for the beautiful painting, statues and relics that are still with us today because of their efforts and those who worked with them.

After reading this book, I did some research and was thrilled to learn about the movie The Monuments Men, just released last week. The movie is based on Robert M. Edsel's non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, which sparked Putman's idea for Shadowed by Grace. Edsel also wrote Rescuing Da Vinci and Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis.

The movie stars some of my favorite actors and promises to be good. Last summer, I was in Rome and Venice with my family. My eyes feasted on the works of art and I couldn't get enough, even under the scorching July sun. I have always loved architecture, and a stroll in the old city enjoying gelato al cioccolato e nocciola is absolutely divine. Have any of you read these books or seen the movie. If you did, what did you think?



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mailbox Monday



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

I bought this one at Costco. I've begun to cook with coconut oil and I'm truly liking it.

Coconut 24/7: Easy Ways to Look and Feel Better by Pat Crocker

Sales of coconut water doubled between 2011 and 2012 and they’re still climbing as athletes and celebrities tout the benefits of coconut water. Coconut flour is becoming more widely available and being embraced by the paleo, gluten-free and wheat-free communities. Coconut sugar, now too, is being seen as beneficial for people trying to control their diabetes. And sales of coconut oil are skyrocketing. Coconut is the newest and hottest “superfood.” It’s also a trend outside of the world of food, as cosmetic and beauty companies are trumpeting the anti-aging and health benefits of coconut oil and incorporating it into their products.

Coconut 24/7 features over 100 recipes from morning to night so you can easily reap the benefits of coconut every day. We’ll include recipes that use coconut water (smoothies, juices, soups etc.), main dishes with coconut oil, baked goods with coconut flour and a raft of other easy, delicious recipes. And with Pat’s expertise as a herbalist, there will also be tips on making your own moisturizers, balms and creams with coconut.

Anything good in your mailbox?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What I've been up to for the past year....

So I basically abandoned this blog for awhile...unintentionally, of course. So what have I been up to? Book blogging galore on Library of Clean Reads, trying to catch up as my kids are growing up and become world savvy faster than I can keep up, and getting ready to start a new venture. For the past two months I've been putting ideas together and working behind the scenes to bring my love of book blogging one step higher.

I've teamed up with Penny C. Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, the recognized leaders in book marketing and publicity and started iRead Book Tours, a professional virtual book tour company! I can't tell you how exciting this is for me. If any of you love to blog about books, please visit our tour host page. We are currently looking for bloggers who want to host book tours, author interviews and book spotlights. See who is on board with us already.


During my research I came across many blogs and it made me realize that I missed this blog, my little corner of Italy; my personal blog that I had meticulously put together to explore a passion of mine...and then abandoned. Well, I've been inspired to revive it, so you'll be seeing more of me here. It's great to be back!