Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller by Joe Giordano (Review & Giveaway)

Book Details:

Book Title: Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller by Joe Giordano
Category: Adult Fiction, 299 pages
Genre: Literary Thriller
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions
Release date: June 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (No f-words but there's mild profanity and religious expletives, some depictions of gory violence and brief sexual content.

Book Description:

This time, Anthony's libido threatens his life. He flirts with Russian mob boss, Gorgon Malakhov's mistress. The Russian deals in death. ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant, wants the product. Russian Intelligence supplies the means, and an art theft funds the scheme. ISIL's targets are chilling. The chase across the Mediterranean is on. Can Anthony thwart ISIL? Will he survive?

Praise for Appointment with ISIL:

​"A roller-coaster ride to the finish, this book confirms Giordano as a writer to eagerly watch."
- Kirkus Reviews

​"A sexy, all-in-one-breath read, this is a story for those eager to strap on their boots and immerse themselves in a whirlwind adventure that will take them from espresso in New York with the Italian Mafia to walking the Old City of Jerusalem with the chief of Israel’s security service."
- The iRead Review

If you like gritty intriguing thrillers involving the FBI, Russian/Italian mobs or Islamic Terrorists you will absolutely love this book…. The characters, the plot and prose come together for an outstanding work of contemporary Americana. PRIMO highly recommends Appointment with ISIL."
Primo Magazine

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

After reading Joe Giordano's first book, Birds of Passage, I was eager to read his latest release Appointment with ISIL and I was not disappointed. Although different in genre, Joe Giordano's crisp writing, complex plot and storytelling skills stand out in this book too. His main character Anthony Provati, an American-Italian with family in the Mafia, is a wonderfully flawed character who propels the story forward.

Anthony made his first mistake when he flirted with Russian mobster Malakhov's girlfriend. This leads to a series of events that gets Anthony involved with the Italian mob and finally leads him to ISIL territory and indirectly stopping terrorists attacks. Like a train, the story slowly builds momentum until it picks up full speed and the reader can't turn the pages fast enough to get to the end.

Giordano skillfully builds his characters, so each one distinctly stands out. Even the secondary characters get background information. Although the plot is multi-layered, it's easy to follow and there are no plot holes. Once again, I was impressed with Giordano's intelligent writing, the witty and dangerous dialogue among the mobsters and his knowledge of organized crime behaviour in different cultures. There was nothing predictable about the story (except perhaps that a pretty face would stir Anthony's libido) and I loved not knowing what was going to happen next.

Of course, the whole Italian connection appealed to me since I'm Canadian-Italian. I was very familiar with the Italian expressions used throughout the novel. I live in Montreal where the Italian Mafia is very active and was a topic of conversation at the dinner table among my father and my uncles. There are some rough scenes in the book, religious profanity and violence in the form of brutal killings, but none of it is too excessive considering the setting and circumstances of the story.

Appointment with ISIL is an impressive debut in the thriller genre, and a fantastic start to the Anthony Provati series. Joe Giordano is a talented author to watch out for, and I eagerly await his next novel.

To read more reviews, please follow the tour on Joe Giordano's page on Italy Book Tours.

Disclosure : Thanks to the author for sending me this book. I was not told how to rate and review this novel.

Buy the Book: 

Meet the Author:

Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. He and his wife, Jane, have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas.

Joe's stories have appeared in more than ninety magazines including The Monarch Review, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, The Summerset Review, and Shenandoah. His novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, was published by Harvard Square Editions October 2015. His second novel, Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller will be published by HSE in June 2017.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dancing in the Rain by Lucy Appadoo (Book Spotlight, Author Interview, and Giveaway!)

Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

I'm featuring Australian-Italian author Lucy Appadoo with her latest book in The Italian Family series! I have yet to read this series and I'm excited to have discovered this new-to-me author, especially because her books are set in Italy. I had the opportunity to interview Lucy and discovered we have lots in common. Check out her new title (isn't that a great cover?) and then enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. 

Book Details:

Book Title: Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series)
Author: Lucy Appadoo
​Category: Adult Fiction, 274 pages
Genre: Historical Coming of Age/Romance/Family Drama
Publisher: Lucy Appadoo
Release date: March 24, 2017
Tour dates: June 5 to 23, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is physical abuse and death involved.)

Book Description:

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?

Buy the Book:

Interview with Lucy Appadoo:

EI: Welcome to Essentially Italian, Lucy. I'm excited to be shoecasing your latest release today. Describe your book in 20 words or less.

LA: Dancing in the Rain is an historical/coming of age story about romance and freedom for a fifteen-year girl from Italy.

EI: What inspired you to write The Italian Family Series?

LA: My mother and father both inspired me to write this series as I found their childhood stories touching and emotional. They both grew up in Italy and arrived in Melbourne in the 1960s to forge a life for themselves and their children. As we were growing up, they recounted their challenges, joys, and nostalgia with a resilient soul, and I had always wanted to recreate their stories through fiction. I honour their strength and love for their family through The Italian Family Series.

It is a true inspiration to know about all they had suffered growing up in the Italian village, and to have created a life for their three children when they had no penny to their names after arriving in Melbourne.

EI: Your parents are Italian immigrants, just like mine. Did you grow up speaking the Italian language?

LA: I grew up speaking an Italian dialect, originating from a small village, Piaggine in the south of Italy. I found that when I travelled to Italy at twenty-three, I was learning a whole other language; the purest of Italian rather than the dialect. I learned to use both the pure language and the dialect during my trip.

EI: I noticed we have a lot in common when I read your bio. I too have worked as a counsellor, caseworker and taught English as a second language. How much of your life experience permeates your writing?

LA: Some of my life experience permeates my writing when I describe the challenges and traumatic issues in my novels. I have applied and merged some of my experience with clients with my own personal challenges and grief. I feel that writing is a holistic process and covers both the personal and professional experience.

I use many things in my writing, and that includes my life experience, imagination, professional experience, knowledge, and research.

EI: What was the last great book you read?

LA: The last great book I read was All That Remains by Hannah Holborn, which is a suspenseful story about a missing boy and a deranged villain. It continues with the same characters in Book Two with Strange Lineup but the plot varies. The book is intriguing and captures you until the very end.

I enjoy books with psychological intrigue and suspense as I like to know what’s in people’s minds, given my psychology background.

I also enjoy reading stories about Italy (Adriana Trigiani’s The Shoemaker’s Wife) as I can relate to the culture because of my Italian upbringing.

EI: I loved The Shoemaker's Wife. Any future projects you want to share with us?

LA: I am currently working on a romantic suspense novel that is a spin-off from my novel, Rising Hearts. I am also working on a short story thriller (my second one as part of a collection of three short story thrillers). I am not sure at this stage whether I will continue with other character’s stories from The Italian Family series.

EI: If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

LA: If I could travel back in time, I would travel back to my younger adult days and change some of the bad decisions I had made, as in hindsight you know what went wrong.

EI: Thank you, Lucy!

Meet 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 the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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