Thursday, October 22, 2015

Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich (Review and Giveaway!)

Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich
Odyssey Books
Published July 31, 2015
Kindle Edition, 219 pages

Book Description:

Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be.

As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons.

Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II.

What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter -- a journey you will want to see through to the very end.

My Review

Italian historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I've had the pleasure of reading several very good novels of this genre these past few months and I now have another author of whom I've become a fan. Michelle Saftich has written a beautiful story of the Saforo family and Italians who once lived in Fiume, now a part of Yugoslavia, under the German rule during WWII.

Right from the first page I was pulled into the story and I simply didn't want to put it down. I was so invested in these characters that came alive for me. I cared about them and wanted to know how they would survive when they lost everything and Ettore is hunted for having worked for the Germans to support his family. The losses are hard and Saftich paints a believable and realistic picture of war-torn Italy and the displacement camps, but it's the characters that stay with you. And among the despair is always the underlying hope that they will pull through.

The children play a prominent role in the book and I liked that because it was realistic. Families in Italy had many children and the scenes with the children reminded me so much of the stories my aunt in Italy told me of her childhood during the war years. Best of all, the story flowed well and I enjoyed every moment of it.

I've read many WWII stories but this was told from the perspective of displaced Italians and what finally led them to leave their beloved country. This is Saftich's impressive debut novel and I am highly anticipating her next novel. Although this story ends well, it does lend itself to a sequel and of course, I am eager to revisit the Saforo family. If you like WWII historical fiction and books set in Italy, don't miss this one!

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book for an honest review.
To read more reviews, please visit Michelle Saftich's page on Italy Book Tours.

Buy the book 


About the Author

Michelle Saftich is a first-time author who resides in Brisbane, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). 

For the past 20 years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. She is married with two children.

Connect with the author: Website ~   Facebook   ~  Twitter


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reef Libre: Cuba, The Last Best Reefs in the World by Robert Wintner (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)

Reef Libre: Cuba, The Last Best Reefs in the World by Robert Wintner
Taylor Trade Publishing (Rowman & Littlefield)
ISBN: 978-1630760731
Published Feb 2015
Hardcover with DVD, 266 pages

I'm kicking off the virtual book tour for Reef Libre, a coffee-table style book with stunning photos. To read the reviews, please visit Robert Wintner's Page on iRead Book Tours.

Book Description:

Cuba reefs host apex predators and coral cover at optimal levels. While Cuban reef vitality may be linked to economic default and no shoreline development, no agricultural pesticides or fertilizers and limited human population growth, the Castro regime is aggressively developing its reef potential.

Friday, October 9, 2015

World's Best Story: Unique Contest for Writers!

Writers submit your Story
Enter for a chance to join the House of transmedia stories company

What is World's Best Story?

"This is not just a literary contest, we're looking for stories that will be consumed in multiple media formats – from books to the big screen and beyond," says Vincent Salera, founder of World's Best Story. "Our goal is to revolutionize the traditional literary contest and identify a story with blockbuster appeal. We're looking for a story that audiences will love and help authors turn that story into trans-media franchises, which is why we're empowering readers to judge the contest."

How does it work?

Readers will vote for stories and awarded judges will declare the final Top 10 winners.

2015 Judges: Warren Adler, Victor Malarek, Tamarra Kennelly, Brooke Burgess, Samreen Ashan, Alistair Cross, Rhonda Hayter


Entry Period Closes/Public Voting ends. (November 8)

Top 10 Winners Announced! (November 8)

Professional Review/Voting (November 8 - December 8)

Winner and Top 10 Ranking Announced (December 8)

What are the prizes?

The top 3 winners will receive a full publishing package by FriesenPress, trademark protection in the U.S. and Canada by IP agency Benoit & Cote, a virtual book tour by Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours as well as consulting/marketing services with book expert Anne Chaconas of BadAss Marketing. Busbud and YoDough will be providing lots of goodies for both writers and readers.

How do I submit my story?

To learn more about World's Best Story, including how to enter, please visit World's Best Story.

World’s Best Story :

See what's buzzing at World's Best Story:

How to Get Readers Buzzing About Your Book: Secrets from the World of Book Blogging

Viral campaign with famous characters:

What if Oscar Wilde wrote Sex and the City? (series of posts)

What if Lady Gaga wrote Gone With the Wind? (series of posts)

The Current Top 10 Most Voted Stories

Connect with World's Best Story:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest

Enter your story today!