Hi FRIENDS of HALLIE,
How's your summer going so far? Having fun with the fam? Working on your tan? Seeing the world?
Now. Let's get down to the real nitty gritty....
WHAT ARE YOU READING?? I'll tell you what I'm reading at the end of the newsletter. Believe me, it's worth the wait.
First though, I'm happy to announce the WINNER of June's FREEBIE Drawing. All new subscribers were entered, and June's winner is.......
Drum Roll Please...
Kristi's Freebie of Choice was an Audiobook of Paint Me Fearless!
Enjoy, Kristi, and Congrats!
How do YOU win a FREEBIE? It's easy. All you have to do is encourage your friends to sign up for my newsletter/blog. If I draw their name, I'll ask them who referred them, and if they say YOU, well.....YOU GET A FREEBIE AS WELL!!
I've had a busy summer doing two of my favorite things. One, of course, is reading, and the second, is meeting my readers!
Summer Book Clubs
I had the most wonderful time at the Azur Book Club talking about Paint Me Fearless. What a wonderful group of women! It's fair to say that I've got a new group of besties, as they asked me to become a member!! Does it get any better than that?
Thank you to Paula Lowman for the delicious meal and the invite!
At the end of May I had another fantastic experience with the Knight's Playbook Book Club. Again, another super discussion with an amazing group of women with wonderful questions.
The lovely Angie Johnson hosted the event at her home and served us a combo of Louisiana and Kentucky cuisine to match the theme of Paint Me Fearless.
Do you belong to a Book Club? If so, tell us about it!
Do y'all gather at a restaurant? Or at someone's home?
Do y'all use Official Book Club questions? Or go crazy with random discussion about the book? Does everyone read the same book or does everyone share a little about whatever they're reading?
If you aren't in a Book Club, I'd encourage you to find one and join. It's a great place to meet people with like interests...and make new friends!
***If your club is reading a Shady Gully Book and you'd like the official Book Club questions, go to the book's page-----
Paint Me Fearless
----and click on Book Club Questions, and I'll send them to you.
Or if you're interested, I'll even make an appearance in person if possible, or via Zoom. I love, love, love my readers :)
And now.....about what I'm reading!
Not only am I THRILLED to share The Difference with you, but C. D'Angelo, the molto favoloso author, is this month's featured guest on the FRIENDS of HALLIE newsletter/blog!
C. D’Angelo is the award-winning Women’s Fiction author of The Difference and The Visitor. When not writing relatable stories of the Italian American culture, she can be found at home in Florida enjoying time with her husband, playing ukulele, drawing, crocheting, and partaking in a variety of other artistic endeavors.
C. D'Angelo, in her own words....
Hi, I'm C. D'Angelo and I love writing about quirky characters, Italian history, and food (it's no exaggeration- you will be hungry reading my books!). I can't wait for you to dive into my stories and experience their humor and richness. Enjoy.
When anxiety-prone Rachel Granza learns that her growing sense of emptiness is affecting her relationship with her almost perfect boyfriend and that she’s jeopardizing any possibility of a marriage proposal, she knows she must pull herself out of her funk. But how? A dream apartment in New York City, a thriving psychotherapy practice, and her unique obsessions with topics like the Titanic don’t even make her feel grounded anymore. Red alert!
Trying to find happiness and meaning again—in more than her beloved Italian food—she stumbles into a genealogy mission to discover childhood information about her idol, aka her grandpa, who died years ago. He never spoke about his Italian immigrant past and now she’s determined to find out the reason for his unusual secretiveness.
Rachel’s ancestral roller coaster has roadblocks galore, but she needs the answers to her family’s hidden history. They’re her only hope to know more about her hero, salvage her relationship, and most importantly to save herself.
Fiercely independent Mary Pontrelli is blindsided when the New Orleans building housing her New Age store and upstairs apartment is listed for sale. Worse yet, a developer wants to destroy it and her high school ex-boyfriend—ahem, nemesis—is leading their charge. But this budding sweet spot for that weasel from the past can’t happen since traitors never change.
The best chance Mary has to save her cherished French Quarter building is to join forces with the other business owners whose livelihoods are also at risk. Too bad she avoids teamwork at all costs. Thankfully, a mystical new customer who shares Mary’s lost Italian heritage may be able to help alter her stubborn patterns. And, learning about the city’s history and her own Sicilian roots from the shopper may prove beyond merely engaging.
Even so, acquiring trust in strangers and accepting assistance requires more bravery than any societal expectation she’s challenged in her life. But if she doesn’t depend on her community and learn forgiveness, she may lose her career, home, and deeper relationships. No eccentric spirituality or heritage lessons can fix this…right?
Hallie: Welcome, CD! I can't start without asking about the ukulele! Where did you learn how to play, and do you have a picture to share with us?
CD: I come from a musical family and have played multiple instruments in my life; organ and flute being the two most prominent. In my adulthood, the strings called to me and I taught myself the ukulele. Since I have a knowledge of music, it wasn’t hard to learn, thankfully. It’s such a joyful little thing to have fun with and relax! I wrote more about it and have pictures of it in this blog post: https://cdangeloauthor.com/2019/11/
Hallie: I'm so impressed. Not only are you a talented writer but you're musically inclined as well. Very cool. Thanks for sharing the pic :)
Now, onto the books. In The Difference, Rachel's idol is her grandpa. Who is yours? And did he/she inspire you to write?
CD: My grandpa was an idol of mine as well, which is why I made Rachel have her grandpa as her hero. He was just the sweetest, gentlest man who always made me feel special. We were easily in sync and enjoyed our time together to the fullest. My grandpa died many years ago and I felt like when the story came to me I had to honor him in this way. So, his strength as an Italian immigrant and all that he built in America along with the person he was inspired me to write The Difference.
Hallie: He sounds like quite a man. I bet he'd be so proud of you!
The setting for The Visitor is New Orleans. Do your characters ever visit Shady Gully? Hhahahahahhah! Just joking. But seriously, I'm curious, what inspired you to choose the Big Easy as the setting for your second book?
CD: When I write novels, I set the stories in places of Italian significance. There's a lot of Italian history in New Orleans that people do not realize (I didn’t). One tragic event occurred there that I include, as well as many positive connections to our world today, such as brands we know and love. The other aspect of my stories is to include a highlighted area of Italy, so this book features Sicily, since most of the immigrants from Italy were Sicilian in the late 1800s. Then, because it’s New Orleans and known for the mystical, I added an element of that in The Visitor. It’s a perfect mix and a perfect setting for the story I wanted to tell to honor my grandma. (Yup, the first book honors my grandpa and the second honors my grandma.)
Hallie: Oh my gosh, and your grandma gets the honor in the second book! How wonderful!
Here's a fun question: if your books were made into movies, who would you choose to play the lead roles?
CD: Wow, what a dream. I honestly always envisioned The Difference as a movie, even before I wrote it. The funny part is that I never thought about the actors that much. Even when I post about the characters on social media, I am careful never to include faces because I want the reader to imagine them as they would like. So, my answer is that I would leave it up to the professional casting director. But, let me add that I hope there's a role for my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, in either book’s movie. LOL!
Hallie: I feel exactly the same way about planting "real faces" on my characters. Like you, I want my readers to imagine my characters through the lenses of their own life experiences. Same way with covers. I don't want faces, only silhouettes. Speaking of covers, yours are fantastic! Did you create those yourself?
CD: That's so kind of you to say! No, I did not create them. My cover artist, Jena R. Collins, is outstanding in every way and I'm in awe of her covers. View all of them on her website: https://jenarcollins.com/
Hallie: Thank you for joining us, CD. It's been an absolute pleasure. Shady Gully fans, I hope you'll check out C. D'Angelo's books. She's a super talented author and she's just getting started!!
Find out details about C. D’Angelo’s books, get freebies from her newsletter, and more at: www.CDAngeloAuthor.com
Connect with C. D’Angelo:
What's Coming Up in the next FRIENDS of HALLIE newsletter/blog?
NEWS on Book 3 in the Shady Gully Series! THAT'S WHAT!
And here's a hint: There's a dog, a church, and a tree...
Just kidding. About the tree anyway.
Seriously though, NOW would be a great time to read Paint Me Fearless and Wolfheart, if you haven't already.
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