Giveaway and Tour for It Happened in Tuscany by Gail Mencini

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Book Details:

Book Title: It Happened in Tuscany by Gail Mencini
Category Adult Fiction (18+), 408 pages
Genre Mainstream Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher Capriole Group
Release date Feb 18 2020
Content Rating: PG-13. The novel includes violence in war scenes and non-explicit sex scenes, but

not f-words, religious profanities, or crude terms as described.

Book Description:

From the multiple-award-winning author of To Tuscany with Love comes a captivating story of the epic tug of war between honor and duty, the irrepressible power of love, and the concept of family.

In 1945, Will Mills and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division scaled Italy’s treacherous Riva Ridge in the frigid night to break through the nearly impenetrable German line of defense. Severely wounded, Will was rescued by Italian partisans and one, a beautiful girl, tended his injuries until he had the strength to rejoin the U.S. troops.

Tormented and haunted by his decisions and actions during wartime, Will knows he has unfinished missions in Italy to complete. The passage of time and years of carrying this unfulfilled need have molded Will into a bitter, angry man.

Seventy-five years later, Will’s spunky thirty-two-year-old neighbor, Sophie Sparke, faces disaster in her life. Everything is going wrong—her job, her love life, even her dog. Part of the problem is that confident and fiercely independent Sophie lets her quick mouth get her into trouble.

Grouchy, mean-spirited Will finagles Sophie into traveling with him to Tuscany to find the partisan who saved his life. Will also secretly hopes to confront the demons his wartime actions created. Sophie and Will comb enchanting Tuscan hill towns on an improbable and unfolding mission with few clues to aid them. Will’s passionate tenacity drives their quest and in the process exposes their darkest secrets. The journey alters the course of their lives, and Will and Sophie find more than they had imagined in the hills of Tuscany.

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Will is still troubled about his severe injuries in the war, Will take his quirky neighbor into going to Tuscany with him to find the partisan who saved his life, and hopefully confront the demons he has fought since the war. It was a blast following the two on their journey. With Will’s grumpy old mean spirited attitude and Sophie’s spunky self mixed together there was a lot of humor thought this story. The author does an amazing job detailing their journey to make readers feel like they are there in the moment. I love the vivid descriptions of the scenes in Italy. I’ll never be able to go there but it was sure fun to dream and imagine I was there while listening to the descriptions of the different places. The supporting characters were well thought out and created as well. Over all this is a interesting book to read, while some parts were fun and exciting, others were not so much.

I was able to listen to the Audible copy of this book and I want to comment Susan Fouche on the fabulous job reading this book. Her voice is smooth to listen to and the different voices for the characters brought the story to life in a real way. I appreciate listening to someone who does such a beautiful job. I have to give this one a Five Stars because it’s so good. 

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Interview with Gail Mencini, author of It Happened in Tuscany

Hi Gail! Thank you for being willing to share some of your writing life with us.

What inspired you to write, and how did you get started?

My husband and I vacationed in Key West, Florida, in the perfect month to travel there–July. People know Key West for sunsets, water sports, Jimmy Buffett, boozy celebrations, and Ernest Hemingway.  

We toured Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West. I stepped over six-toed cats, and a bizarre thing happened. Prickles ran up and down my body! I grabbed my husband’s arm. “Don’t you feel it?”

“Feel what? It’s hot. It’s humid, and I need something cold to drink.”

“No. Don’t you feel it—in the air? On your skin?”

“It’s July. In Key West. It’s hot.”

“That’s not it. It’s the ghost of Ernest Hemingway.” My secret spilled out later that night. I confessed what I had told no one. “I’ve always wanted to write novels.”

“Then do it.”

 So I did. I learned the craft from books and workshops and started writing. 

In both To Tuscany with Love and It Happened in Tuscany you included a character with breast cancer. Why?

I’m many things–wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and breast cancer survivor. I’m also a dreamer and a writer. All these characteristics are an integral part of who I am.

My husband, a radiologist specializing in breast imaging, read my mammogram in 2009 and found my cancer. Breast cancer became intensely personal for him. He saw how lost and afraid I would have been without his help to plan and navigate my course of treatment. He vowed to start a Breast Center of Excellence at St. Anthony Hospital in Denver and create a Breast Network to serve and guide patients throughout their journey, which is exactly what he did. When he shares that his wife is a survivor and thriving, it helps give his patients courage.

A screening mammogram saved my life. Early detection is a vital key to beating breast cancer. I had a mission: if my novels had one or more characters affected by this disease, I could highlight the importance of regular mammograms while entertaining my readers.

But first, I had to be published so people could find my books and read my words.

The only thing holding me back was me.

I made a vow to believe in myself as a writer. I asked myself: if not now, when?

The belief that it would happen made all the difference in the world.

What is the most troublesome part about writing for you?

Research. I have to fight myself from being too complete and too detailed with my research. I write fiction, but want it to be authentic, even if not one hundred percent historically or geographically accurate. 

For example, I researched hairstyles, fashions, what songs were at the top of the charts, and what colleges held semester abroad classes in Florence, Italy as part of my To Tuscany with Love 1980s research. I did extensive research for the war scenes in It Happened in Tuscany. It pleased me when one reader, who is a retired Army officer, commented with excitement that I got the weapons and bombs exactly right, for both the United States and German soldiers.

Both your characters and scenes are realistic and well-formed. Do you do this work as you write the novel, or before you start?

I do extensive setting and character building before I write the manuscript. I create files in Scrivener, a writing application. My research files and character sketches include photographs, webpages, maps, descriptions, and other research. The character sketches detail physical descriptions, history, motivations, background, and stock photographs. I also include timelines to keep events and time periods consistent.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining, sexy, or sad scene, do you do anything special to get in the proper emotional mood?

I acted in and directed plays during high school and part of college. When I write, I “become” the characters as I would if I were acting.

For the sexy scenes, I know the characters and their motivations well, so it isn’t difficult to “put myself in the scene.” For emotionally draining or sad scenes, I do the same, but draw on personal experiences as needed. Without giving away plot details, there are scenes that take place in cemeteries in It Happened in Tuscany, and To Tuscany with Love. I have visited some of these cemeteries and wanted to incorporate them in the novels for important plot reasons. When writing, I drew on my personal experiences in cemeteries and at funerals.


Thank you for a glimpse into your life, Gail!

A note from Gail: 

Thank you for this interview! My goal in writing is to entertain and for a brief time, transport readers to another world. If you read It Happened in Tuscany, I sincerely hope you enjoy it. When you finish the novel, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or a shout-out on Facebook. I love reader comments, they inspire me to continue writing!

You can learn more about my novels at: www.gailmencini.com, on Facebook: @GailMencini.Author, and Instagram: @gailmencini.

 

Meet the Author:

Gail Mencini is the acclaimed author of It Happened in Tuscany and To Tuscany with Love, both of which are Denver Post #1 bestsellers and

award winners. Gail grew up in DeWitt, Nebraska, graduated from Wartburg College with a BA in Accounting and Economics, and earned a master of taxation degree from the University of Denver. A frequent visitor to Tuscany and a homegrown gourmet cook, Gail has toured Italy by car, train, bus, Vespa, and foot. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

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

 
Tour Schedule:

Mar 8 –
Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Mar 8 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 9 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review / giveaway
Mar 10 – Laura’s Interests – audiobook review / giveaway
Mar 11 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 12 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 15 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 16 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Mar 17 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Mar 18 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 19 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review / giveaway
Mar 22 – Book World Reviews – book review
Mar 23 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 23 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 24 – High Society Book Club & Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 25 –Pass Me That Book – book review
Mar 25 – Lisa Everyday Reads  – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 26 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post
Mar 26 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review / giveaway
Mar 29 – Sadie Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 31 – Pick a Good Book – book review / guest post / giveaway
Apr 1 – michellemengsbookblog3 – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 1 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Apr 2 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review / giveaway

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Tour and Giveaway for A Divine Conspiracy By Tom Bruner

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Divine Conspiracy

(A Divine Conspiracy #1) By Tom Bruner

Christian Young Adult Fiction

Paperback & ebook, 297 Pages

February 15, 2021

It’s a new world for the first fifty, ever-created, Angels.

They have been brought to life for one reason. To fight evil. But no one knows what evil is or where it’s going to come from. The story takes place in Heaven another newly created estate, under construction as the Angels begin training, under the watchful eye of the Archangel, Michael, to become Guardians on a yet to be created planet called Earth. Heaven is something to behold. The Angels are mystified as they take their first tour through the new city. Incredible architecture (Skyscrapers made of seashells and white sand), birds of every color (Golden Eagles), and a city made of libraries (For those who like to read), are just a few of the sights the Angel’s experience.

We follow Adlay, one of the Angels, from his first breath, through extensive physical training, his Humanities class with Jesus, and his Worship class with a beautiful Angel named Lucifer, who immediately gives Adlay a foreboding feeling. The Angels work hard for months to improve and graduate from training. Adlay excels above everybody else in training but quickly discovers Lucifer is planning something. What he finds out, makes him question if he actually knows what is right or wrong. As the Angels near their big day, Adlay must make a difficult choice. Does he care only about graduating and moving on or does he risk everything to discover if Lucifer and evil are synonymous.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 Creation, continued

“Excuse me, excuse me.”

A tall, light blue, glowing cloud-like life form took shape in the middle of the room. It hovered there, slowly spinning as if looking at everybody, though it did not have any eyes. It was close to three feet tall but had no discernible shape. I can see through it! thought Adlay. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the smoky, blue creature with no face.

Adlay slipped off his table. What is this?

“I’m so sorry, I know this has to be confusing, but that couldn’t be helped,” the smoke quipped in an aristocratic English accent. He paused and turned, seemingly looking around the room. “My name is Thalzn. I am what we call a Spirit, and I will be your host for a brief period.”

Where is his mouth?

The apparition paused, waiting for some sort of feedback. None came.

“Yes, well,” Thalzn finally said, “You, my friends, are what we call new creations. Your job will ultimately be one of Protector or Guardian. For a little while, you will be students. You don’t know what that means yet, but you will. Believe me; it is quite an honor you have. Not quite as honorable as what I do, but not much is!” Thalzn bragged. Nobody looked like they cared, but Thalzn wasn’t put off in the slightest. He continued, “Look around you and be proud. You are the first fifty of your kind ever created.”

Adlay felt a warm, extremely pleasing sensation roll through his body and settle in his heart. A feeling, a sense of camaraderie. That was the word. Why? He looked around the room. Because these people were just like him.

Adlay peered at the glowing spirit again, then around the room as the others were doing the same. This doesn’t seem so bad. I’m one of the first. But of wh…

“I expect you have many questions, as would I, but it is not my place to answer them, and I really don’t have the time. We are tremendously busy. Michael will escort you from here in a few minutes. He will give you all the answers to your questions, I’m sure. I am only here to give you a quick overview of what is happening right now, okay?” Okay.

“Know that you are in a place of infinite joy and happiness. Or at least we will be once we start getting customers. For now, we are still “under construction.” This will be a bit confusing, but I promise, soon, you will begin to feel better, and your thoughts will be clearer the longer you are here. You have been created for many reasons, most of which I will let Michael tell you, but I will say that you will be very much needed, from the little I know. I apologize again; I don’t know what any of that means, I was just told to say it.”

A rumble of murmur came from the Angels. Not helping, Thalzn.

Excerpted from A Divine Conspiracy by Tom Bruner. Copyright © Tom Bruner.

About the Author

Tom Bruner appreciates books. Over one thousand read. Really. Growing up in Southern California, Tom has had a passion for reading books since his early teens. It’s all about the story is what he believes. Tired of the same vanilla spoonful every time he opened a Christian Fiction book, he decided to write, A Divine Conspiracy. This book is set in the newly created estate of Heaven. It tells the story of the creation and training of the first Angels ever to be. We follow Adlay, a newly created Angel from his first breath, through physical training and classes with Jesus and Lucifer until the day Heaven falls apart. It packs a punch. There is not a dull moment.

Tom considers taking a motley group of boys from the 7th grade through the graduation of high school with Lifegroup a church program to be his greatest accomplishment so far. That and U.S. Air Force Basic Training. That and fraternity initiation. Oh, and running a marathon without training. The boys and Tom met once a week throughout each school year. Spending six years with the same boys going through that period of their life a great adventure. Tom, an avid Christian, volunteers on Sundays at his church in the junior high ministry. Please pray for him.

Tom is a Southern California guy through and through. He loves the beach and writing books. A Divine Conspiracy is the first book in a trilogy. Tom hopes to have the second book out in six months.

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