Sunday, 30 September 2018

Fashion Corner - Black Shorts

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A bit longer than my usual shorts, but I still really like them. 

The shorts are from Hallhuber. I combined them with a white/silver shirt from ... Then there are my silver slippers and my beige bag (bought at the market in Canobbio). 

- Shorts: Hallhuber
- Shirt: Adolfo Dominguez
- Bag: Market in Canobbio
-  Shoes: Emozioni

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Love at the Northern Lights - by Darcie Boleyn

The blurb: 
‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’ 
Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.
When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother. 
Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Frankie Ashford runs away just before getting married. She hops on a plane to Norway to find her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby. 

She meets Jonas Thorsen and they have an instant connection and chemistry. Darcie Boleyn captured that beautifully, I loved the scenes and moments they shared. 

Part of the book was set in Norway. Boleyn made the setting come alive with her words. Take me there please! Oh and the title is perfect for this story. 

There were a lot of sub plots going on, which just made the whole book even more exciting and compelling. All the characters are wonderful and bring their own touch into it.

I really like the authors writing style. It’s full of love and passion and so wonderful and gripping. The story is about forgiveness, second chances, love, family and much more. 


Author Bio: Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.
Author Social Media Links
Twitter: @DarcieBoleyn

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Q & A with Tricia Downing

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Did you always dream of being a writer?

I actually never dreamed of becoming a writer, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a physician. I had hoped to work in sports medicine helping athletes, as sports have always been my number one passion.  

How did your writing career develop?

If you would have asked me as a senior in high school if I would become a writer, I would have cowered into a corner and told you the story of what I felt was one of my biggest high school failures. My senior year, I was told my writing skills were not on par with my classmates and I was not cut out for Advanced Placement English. It was a blow because, unlike most of my friends who did qualify for AP English, I would break off each day from the group and head to a remedial writing class. But what I didn’t know at the time was that it would be the best thing that would happen to me in high school. We had a strict writing teacher who scared the pants off of us as freshman and I had her again senior year. As a senior, though, she wasn’t trying to turn 9thgraders into disciplined high school students through a stern and frightening exterior, but it was like we got to see the human side of her, and her genuine desire to prepare us for college and become writers for life. That experience gave me the skills and confidence to allow writing to become part of my life. And when I got to college and realized I wasn’t so great in science and would never be a doctor, I applied for the journalism school and writing became my career path. 

But even then, I never thought I would write a book, until ten years after I had a paralyzing injury and decided to write a memoir about my experiences. I didn’t think I could do it, but it actually came pretty easy. Of course, now I have jumped into the world of fiction and found myself facing a whole new challenge, but knowing that I’ve succeeded before, has given me the confidence to know that I will always be learning and growing, and that I should never shy away from doing something that I love to do. 

Your newest novel is called Chance For Rain,what is it about?

Chance for Rain is about a 32-year-old woman named Rainey May Abbott whose best friend has decided it’s time for her to find the love of her life. But Rainey is sceptical because as a 14-year-old, she was in an accident with her family, and was paralyzed from the waist down and doesn’t believe that anyone will love her as a result of her disability and the fact that she uses a wheelchair for mobility. 

What was your inspiration for the book?

My inspiration for the book came from both my life and the lives of the many women I have met who have disabilities. I was paralyzed in a cycling accident when I was 31. Just at the age when my friends were getting married, having children, getting settled in their careers, I was learning skills for the first time again—getting around in a wheelchair, driving with hand controls, figuring out how to take care of my new physical situation. I had moments when I wondered if I would ever find a relationship. Would I find a guy who loved me despite my wheelchair?

Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Rainey is feisty, she’s an athlete. She’s confident on the ski slopes, yet terrified of going on a date. She has a big heart, but is afraid of being vulnerable. But over the course of the story, she learns that to fall in love, she is going to have to let down her guard and truly trust in another person. 

Where and when do you write your stories?

I actually write a lot of my stories on the notepad of my cell phone in the middle of the night. The best ideas, sentences, stories, come to me as I’m falling asleep or they wake me up at night. I used to keep a pad of paper by my bed to capture them, but now I find it easier to pull the cover over my head (so I don’t wake up my husband) and write into my phone. But once I have my ideas, I typically write at my desk…either first thing in the morning or late at night. My writing brain is typically worthless in the middle of the day. But my goal for my next book, is to get away, to a writer’s retreat—maybe by the beach and be able to immerse myself in writing without the phone ringing or laundry calling my name, or as much as I love them, without having my cats walking on my keyboard and distracting me with their furry little faces!

What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

If I’m not writing, I’m usually either working (I am a professional speaker and the director of a non-profit) or working out. I’m still in the thick of my competitive career, so training is a must in every day. 

If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why?

I don’t have a specific character I’d like to be. I would be more interested in being able to live different lives, and experience different worlds. There are so many people whose lives look intriguing—I look at them and always think, “I wonder what it’s like to live that way...” I’d like to be able to experience walks of life that are so different from mine. 

What books have influenced your life most?

As a result of the question above, I love reading memoirs to dive into other’s lives and see what makes them tick. I also love chick lit, and stories that are light and quick reading, but on some level still make you think. Some of the authors I enjoy most are: Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Gilbert, Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, John Irving, and my favorite authors growing up were Judy Bloom and S.E. Hinton.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I’m working on a new blog project and making notes for my next fiction novel. 

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like going back and reading what I have written. Sometimes I feel like I’m just slogging along putting words on paper, but after I step away for a day or two, or maybe weeks or months, I come back and read something I’ve written and think, “hey, that’s not so bad after all!” And sometimes, you even find stuff that feels truly brilliant. 

Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

I would like to have dinner with Judy Blume, because as a kid, she helped me develop my love for reading. I’d also like to have dinner with Elizabeth Gilbert…I have truly enjoyed her writing and through her interviews and speeches, believe that she’d be a wonderful, down to earth person to sit down with. And third, I’d like to meet Lizzy Weiss, who is actually a screenwriter (not a traditional book author) as I love the young adult show she created, called Switched at Birth which seamlessly incorporates several characters with disabilities into the family drama.   

Imagine Chance for Rain would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

     I’ve definitely envisioned Chance for Rain as a movie a million times! I’d cast my   friend Regan Linton, who is an actor and paraplegic, as Rainey and Kate Hudson as her best friend Natalie. As for Rainey’s love interest, Brian Ryan Reynolds. 

You are a paralympian, can you tell us more about this experience?

Ever since I was a kid I have been an athlete. I started in swimming when I was four and had competitive careers in swimming, gymnastics and diving through college. After college, I spent a short time as a couch potato, but made a strong comeback getting involved in cycling, for which I had high hopes. But a head-on collison with a car on a training ride would end that pursuit, as I became instantly paralyzed from the chest down. But with sports as my therapy, I quickly ended up competing again, this time in wheelchair sports—first road racing, then triathlon, had a short stint in rowing, and then when my body started to say no more, I began a new sport—Olympic style target shooting. It was something totally new and foreign to me and, frankly, quite intimidating. I enjoy it for the mental skills it has taught me and the physical challenges that are unlike any other sport I’ve experienced. When I started in 2014, my goal was to try to make the 2020 Paralympic Team in Tokyo, but I was fortunate to make the US Team in 2016 for the Rio Games. I’m now training with the hopes of making my original goal come true—a spot on the 2020 Paralympic team. 

You also wrote a memoir: Cycle of Hope. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from paralysis to possibility? 

My memoir is the story of my bike accident, what it was like to lose the use of my legs and become a paraplegic. It was a pretty massive change in my life and took a long time to accept and make the transition. But along the way, as I started doing sports again and began seeing parts of “me” re-emerge, I got to a point of acceptance and even joy. That was something I never thought I would feel again, but I’ve actually had the opportunity to do some amazing things as a result of my injury and I feel like I have personally pushed myself further because I know how fortunate I was to get a second chance. I think it has allowed me to take risks, and one of those risks was to start living and doing the things I wanted to be doing rather than what I thought other people expected of me. So, my journey has taught me to go for my dreams because you never know which day will be your last. And it might come much sooner than you expect. It’s taught me to live with no regrets. 

Coffee or tea?


Paperback or e-reader?


Mountains or the sea?

This is a tough one….I grew up near the mountains and they hold so many great memories for me, but I find being at the ocean is such a calm, beautiful place to be. In my ideal world, I’d have a mountain house anda beach house. 

Summer or winter?

Easy. Summer. 

Sweet or salty?

Sweet. Oreos or ice cream. Preferably both. Together.

Chance for Rain Shows Disability Experience for What it is: Another Version of the Human Experience
U.S. Paralympian, author, and mentor Tricia Downing’s first fiction novel,  Chance for Rain, tells the story of disability experience as what it is – simply another version of the human experience. Downing, a 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Member and founder of the nonprofit The Cycle of Hope, wrote Chance for Rain after finding herself disappointed not only in how few books about disabled people put those characters in a positive light, but also how few – if any – were written by authors who have experienced disabilities.

In Chance for Rain, Rainey Abbott, a Paralympic athlete whose confidence on the ski slopes and the race tracks doesn’t transfer over to her love life, finds herself attracted to a man she meets online. As their romance develops, Rainey has to face her insecurities. She realizes she must pave her own path when it comes to the road to happiness.

The character of Rainey is inspired by Downing’s own experience. After a paralyzing sports-related accident in 2000, she went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, and she had to decide whether to give up or to “get her grit on.” She decided to get tough and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Downing has used the lessons she learned through her injury and rehabilitation as the foundation of her life as a competitive world-class athlete, author, speaker, and mentor. She has completed more than100 races – including marathons, duathlons, and triathlons – since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, she competed as part of the U.S. Rowing team at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Downing also is a member of the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame and was named the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority.

image4.pngAbout the author 

Tricia Downing is a Denver-based author, speaker, Paralympian, and director for The Cycle of Hope, a nonprofit “aimed at empowering adult women who are full-time wheelchair users.” She has been highlighted for her athleticism and tenacity in multiple publications, such as Muscle and Fitness Hers and Women’s Adventure Magazine. She has also been featured in the Warren Miller documentary Superior Beings and the lifestyle show Life Moments. Although her first fiction novel, Chance for Rain is her second book. Her memoir, Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility, was published in 2010.

For more information about Tricia: 

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Fashion Corner - Royal Blue

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Isn't this dress just pretty?! 

This royal blue dress of dreams is from Sandro. I love it so much!!! Mr Boho sunglasses, black bag and some back sandals and the look is perfect. 

- Dress: Sandro
- Shoes: bought in Como years ago
- Sunglasses: MR BOHO

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Q&A with Julie Gardner

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer? 

When I was ten years old I wrote in my diary that I wanted to be a teacher and an author like Judy Blume, so I guess you could say I’ve dreamed of being a writer for most of my life.

2.    How did your writing career develop? 

I tried writing a novel when my kids were babies, but I was also teaching and trying to be a good wife and mother. Something had to give. So I waited a few years, then took a leave of absence from the classroom so I could focus on writing and family. 

3.    Your newest novel is calledForgetting Ophelia,what is it about? 

In Forgetting Opheia, Lia Townsend believes her future with the man of her dreams is planned out and perfect—until Jake Townsend leaves her on their 5thanniversary. Blindsided and adrift, Lia must face the consequences of Jake’s secrets and find a new direction for her life—with or without Jake.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book? 

Since I took a pivot in my own life—leaving a safe teaching career for an uncertain future as a writer— I wanted to explore those feelings in a character. I absolutely fell in love with Lia Townsend along the way, and want her to be as happy as I am.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)? 

Lia and Jake (plus their best friends and their families) are well-intentioned but also flawed, as most people are. As much as they do care about each other, they may not better off together. I love complexities in relationships, not simple answers in a Happily Ever After. 

6.    Where and when do you write your stories? 

I write at home, typically in the mornings on my laptop. I start at my desk, then move to a counter downstairs, even outside on a beautiful day. 

7.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing? 

I love to spend time with my family and dogs, read, go for walks, and binge-watch Netflix. (Shhh!) I also have a part-time job at a library which I adore. I work there four afternoon/evenings a week. 

8.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why? 

Ooh. Good question. Maybe Maren Hollister, Lia’s best friend. She’s a happily-married wife and mother, and a real kick to be around. Although her life has some bumps and twists, it’s a lot less complicated than Lia’s. 

9.    What books have influenced your life most? 

Hmm. I would have to say Stephen King’s books, because I was obsessed with his fiction as a teenager, and as an adult writer I revisit his memoir On Writingevery year or so. As a study of the craft of writing, it’s brilliant. Having said that, my books (and life) are NOTHING like his – ha! 

10.   What are you working on at the moment? 

I’m working on the follow-up to Forgetting Opheliacalled The Opposite of Addie. It’s Jake’s story…

11.     What do you enjoy most about writing? 

I love starting with a seed of a storyline then letting the characters take me where they want to go. I end up with plot threads I never imagined and surprise even myself. 

12.     Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why. 

I’ve already mentioned Judy Blume and Stephen King, so I’ll pick three new ones: I think dinner with Jo Jo Moyes, Jennifer Weiner, and Kristin Hannah would be full of laughter and insight. I’d love to ask each one of them how they create such endearing, real characters I root for immediately. 

13.   Imagine Forgetting Ophelia would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters? 

Maybe Blake Lively as Lia, Ian Somerhalder as Jake, Chris Pine as Declan McKinley, Emilia Clark as Maren Hollister, Susan Sarandon as Regina Lark. (This is fun! I hope it happens!) 

14.   You have written other books as well, can you tell us more about them? 

Yes! Forgetting Opheliais the third book in my Friendship & Secrets Series. Guest List(a prequel novella) and Letters for Scarletcome first; and like Ophelia, they explore the impact of love and loss, secrets and betrayal, complicated friendships and family drama. I’ve also written a Young Adult novel called Lily by Any Other Namethat takes on the same conflicts and love triangles, except with younger characters still in high school. 

15.    How do your own experiences influence your writing? 

I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles which is where my stories are set, and my characters either work in schools or attend school, so my experiences as a teacher are key. My next book will probably be set in a library, because that’s where I’m working now. 

16.    Coffee or tea? 

Definitely coffee. Three cups every morning. 

17.   Paperback or e-reader? 

Paperback. I adore the feel (and smell) of a new book!

18.    Mountains or the sea? 

I love the beach, so sea. 

19.    Summer or winter? 

Summer. (See above!) 

20.    Sweet or salty? 

Can I say both? Salted Caramel is my favourite flavour combination. 


 Ever-hopeful Lia thinks she’ll be with handsome, brooding Jake forever. Until one day he completely blindsides her and makes her question everything she knows…

Lia Townsend is expecting a ring and a trip to Hawaii for her fifth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband, Jake, walks out on her. Out of the blue. Devastated, Lia vows to win back Jake and the perfect life they shared.
Because it was perfect, wasn’t it?
But as Lia searches for the truth behind Jake’s departure, cracks in the shiny varnish begin to show. And once she uncovers his secret, all that she once knew and believed in crumbles.
Lia’s eccentric mother, her best friend, and two vastly different men each pull her in new directions, and Lia attempts to push past the pain and start anew.
But Jake isn’t gone for good. When an accident rocks the lives of their best friends, Lia and Jake are thrown together. Will Lia choose to salvage her old life with the man who broke her heart – or was everything they shared an illusion? 

Forgetting Ophelia is set for release on October 8th by Velvet Morning Press. 

About the author:

I’m a lapsed marathon runner and former high school English teacher who traded in my classroom for a writing nook. The author of Lily by Any Other NameLetters for Scarlet, and its prequel Guest List, I live in Southern California with my husband, two children, and three dogs. When I’m away from my computer, I can be found with a good book, a glass of wine, or a pair of running shoes. My best days feature all of the above.

To learn more, visit me at my website, or on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.