Monday, February 20, 2017

Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon (Book spotlight & Giveaway!)

Today I'm kicking off the book spotlight for this dreamy novel! If you love books set in Italy and need to escape for a few hours then pick up Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon. You can read my review here and see why I liked this novel so much. And scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon
​Category: Adult Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher: Matta Press
Release date: August 2016
Tour dates: Nov 21 to Dec 16, 2016
Content Rating: PG (Mild profanity, and mild religious expletives, exploration Italian swear words, kissing - oh my!)

Book Description:

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

​Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Buy the Book: 

Watch the Trailer:

Melissa meets Sophia Loren in March 2016!

About the Author:

Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta ( Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, "Tutti Matti per l'Italiano" and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa's first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she'd never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That "thing" was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.

Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!


Win a copy of Dreaming Sophia (print open to USA & Can, ebook int’l) One winner will also get a $10 Amazon gift card (3 winners total)

Ends March 18

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Italian-themed Books I Hope to Read This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme is great for those who love lists. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it. You can do a list of 3 or 5 or 20, whatever you decide. And you can put a spin on the topic if you need to. Each week there is a new list to create. This week the list is a FREEBIE --- that super specific list we want to make?? All ours to tackle this week! So mine is:

Italian-themed Books I Hope to Read This Year

I love books set in Italy, written by an Italian author or just based on an Italian theme. It's what made me start Italy Book Tours. Some years, I've read more Italian-themed books than others but last year not so much, so I'd like to change that. Here are the Italian-themed books I hope to read in 2017.

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary A. Osborne
This is YA fiction set in Florence of Renaissance Italy. I already read Alchemy's Daughter which I loved so I've been wanting to read this for a while now.

All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani
I loved The Shoemaker's Wife. Trigiani's historical fiction novels are so good, I'm ready to dig into this one soon.

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani
Yep! Trigiani is coming out with another one. How can I resist?

Appointment with ISIL by Joe Giordano
Giordano's historical fiction Birds of Passage impressed me last year and I'm looking forward to reading another book by this talented author.

Tempesta's Dream by Vincent B. "Chip" LoCoco
I loved LoCoco's historical fiction A Song for Bellafortuna. So I want to read his first book, an Italian opera love story set in Milan.

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily
I've had this one on my bookshelf since I got it at BookExpo in 2015.  It's got such a good premise.

The Sun and Other Stars by Brigid Pasulka
I bought this one when on vacation one summerSet in a seaside village on the Italian Riviera, it tells the story of a widowed butcher and his son...and there is a good amount of soccer...

The Garden of Letters by Alyson Richman
After reading and loving The Velvet Hours, I couldn't resist this one and I am currently halfway through the audiobook. Another winner!

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
I just finished this one last week. I had to read it after reading Greg's review at Book Haven. It made me want to visit Florence!

What about you? Do you love books set in Italy?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

WE'RE CELEBRATING! iRead Book Tours turns 3 in January. Celebrate with us!

Happy Anniversary to iRead Book Tours!

iRead is on tour from Jan 2 to 27, 2017!

This whole month of January we will be touring and showcasing iRead Book Tours, our virtual book tour company that has been helping authors for the last 3 years to feature their books on awesome book blogs.

As part of our celebration, we have a  a giveaway for
$50 cash to any reader
and a free Basic Review Tour to any author with a published book. So be sure to scroll down and enter for a chance to win.

Would you like to celebrate with us? 

We would love it if you helped us spread the word about iRead and how much we love working with you bloggers, authors and readers. All you need to do is sign up to participate by being a part of our January month-long tour.
We already have 50+ bloggers participating so why not join us?
All you have to do is post about it on your blog.

To thank you for participating in our tour, we will enter you in a giveaway for a
$25 Amazon gift card.
​We hope you join us in letting other readers, bloggers and authors know about our services. 
​And of course, you will get a credit toward your Incentive Program for posting. Don't know what that is? Become a tour host and find out.

Thank you for celebrating with us!

Enter the Giveaway!